6 January 1864: “Cousin Mary says, don’t you think she could hire Derry in Wilmington?”

Item description: Letter, dated 6 January 1864, from Catherine “Cattie” Kennedy to her stepmother, Catherine DeRosset Kennedy.  She discusses slaves belonging to the family, and circumstances of hiring them out.

[transcription available below images]

18640106_01 18640106_02

Item citation: From folder 60 in the DeRosset Family Papers #214, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Item transcription:

Columbia Jan 6th 1864

I have just received your telegraph dearest Mother, and telegraphed immediately to you.  I will be very satisfied if they give five hundred, feed & clothe, and pay doctor’s bills.  I have been feeling so anxious to hear of them, the weather was so intensely cold.  I have felt right unhappy about Susan, fearing it would be bad for her, but I try to feel all will be well.  It was been such a care to me, such a feeling of responsibility, trying to do what is best; acting for Annie’s good, and the welfare of the servants.  I have such a regard for John & Susan, that I hope all will be right with them.  Mr. Judge gives John the highest character, a faithful humble servant, he never had to say even a cross word to him; and offered more for him than he gives, for any one in his shop, white or black.  I felt worried about Susan, she had such a swollen look.  Adeline says she told her she had taken cold, she thought.  Perhaps she had better consult some physician at once.  I feel sorry for her; she is mortified, and penitent, a black man, and so humble.  I talked to her plainly, I can’t help feeling very much attached to her, and trust she will soon be quite well.  She was anxious to come away from Charlotte.  Tell Daniel he must try and exact a good influence over Dick & John, and get them to go to Church.  They had no bedclothes, but, I hope they will get along some how or other, and be comfortable.  John always stayed with his wife, & Dick with his mother.  Tell them if you see them, their people are well, Cousin Mary says, don’t you think she could hire Derry in Wilmington? He has been with a [baker?] for years, and must understand the businiss.  She would like so much to hire him there, if she could get a good price for him.  When are you coming? I want to see you very much.  I feel sorry I have bothered you with the servants, but you much excuse me, I can only be gratified to you and any one else, who has helped me. Don’t the R. Raid promise to get the negroes out of the way, if the place is attacked? Cousin says it could be a help to her to get Derry well hired there.  Mis Gray has gone back to Kentucky.  Om Gray is here, says he will be glad to see you.  All send love, I write in haste.  Your ever affectionate daughter


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