Jones’1 Oct 13th 1862
I am indeed sorry dear Mildred that you were so disappointed in “St. Marys,” though of course I make some little allowance for slight exaggeration just to make it more interesting you know. But it is really very forlorn to go all by yourself among so many strange girls after they have had time to know each other well. I felt very sorry for you Saturday & Sunday must have been very long if they were as rainy as they were here. Dr. Starke & Capt S gave a full accounting of you & the girls, & the latter delivered your message. I cannot promise to write every day, you know my laziness & then really I have not much time now but we certainly would have sent you a letter this morning but Uncle Ned has not arrived since Friday evening – we look for him this evening. We all felt very deserted & forlorn after your departures & the rain has kept us more indoors than ever & more apart. Mrs. Jones has taken pity on us & given us molasses twice! We were all put at one table for the first day but when Dr. Starke came back we petitioned for our old seats & were gratified. No news of the homespun or shoes yet. We have to learn to be patient in N. C. Annie continues the same very tired, & her fever still unbroken. Etta,2 Ma & I keep up our nursing, we have a pair of andirons & piece of carpet so are nicely fixed for this cold weather.
I suspect you have enjoyed yourself more to-day, you have had your studies to occupy you. You must write to me very soon & tell me all about yourself & what your studies are. I am glad you have your alcove to yourself unless it was with some friend. Do be careful in your choice of those, & particularly select from those who are lady like. I think among ninety there must be a number of nice ones. Are you really in need of collars, if so I might make you some if you have to sew those “two hours”! I could cut them out. Etta, who is sitting in the room reading sends her love & I am sure Charlotte & Mary would if they knew I was writing. I hope you will have too much good sense to emulate “the girls” the [sic] their extremes in regard to “beaux & dress.” & with that good advice I must say good bye as there is positively nothing of interest to write about at Jones this day. You had better destroy this letter as some of my quotations from your letter ought not to be seen by any one. Wrote soon I am very anxious to hear from you your attached sister
Source: Photocpy of original, Lee Family Papers, Mss1 L51c 389, Section 20, Virginia Historical Society, Richmond
Transcribed by Colin Woodward, 2016 October 12
1. The home of William Duke Jones of Warrenton, North Carolina.
2. Henrietta Wilson Selden (1838-1891), the daughter of Dr. William Selden (1808-1887), of Norfolk, Virginia.