Submitted by: LouGene Hemphill
Ford Family LettersLetter from Charles H. Ford 1881 (Charlesí first letter to his Mother after he got to Chapel Hill) Chapel Hill Dec.1, 1881 Dear Ma, I received your letter to night. I never was so glad to hear from home in my life. I have been here two weeks to morrow and it seems as if I had been here six months. Sincerely do & thank you ma for the advice you gave me. I think this is the best place in the world for a young man to cultivate morality. The first thing every morning right after breakfast. We go in the chapel too pray. Then after supper we go to the young menís Christian Association.- I am glad to hear that you are getting along well with the affairs at home. I suppose you have heard from the Marble man. I got a letter from Gene last night. He seems to be very well pleased with his situation. I hope Gene will do right and take care of himself. Tell Sis and Katie they need not fear that I canít read their letter. Tell Bud that I will write to him soon and in return. I wont him to give me all the Chocolate news. Well ma, I shall try to explain my situation the best I can. I am boarding at Mrs. Daviesís, a widder; I am eating there and rooming in the college. My roommate is one lomsin Dan Miller. I think he is one of the best boys I ever met. The furnishing of our room cost seven dollars and 74 ctn. each, and we have all our wood to by. My washing cost $1.00 per month. My board is $6.50 in advance. It is called club board and is considered cheap. There are 22 boys in the club. I have paid one monthís board. The Facility does not furnish books. They make a memorandum of books. I am to have and I have to go to the bookstore and get them. I do not know what my books will cost me yet, as I have not got all the books. I need but am using Danís until I can see where I can get them cheapest. I can get several second hand books, which will answer my purpose, as well as new ones. I have taken what is known here as a Scientific course for my studies.- Ma I think you could do much better here by keeping a boarding house tan you can at home, If you can not o rent the land. Let me know if you are going to have any work done on the house at the canton Place. They ask, I forgot to tell you before I left home that I had all the tembers that were needed hauled out. Maybe Bud knows where they are. Ask him if he does. Ma I have met a good many women. Hearted Fried here that seem to take some entrust in me and help me out in my studies all they can, I like all the boys that are here from Duplin. Mr. Bob Buoyant came up to my room last night to see me. He is a fin young man and will graduate in June. I think Pres. Battle is one of the most pleasant Old Gentlemen I ever met, he takes one hour every Sunday mooring in lecturing. His subject for the present is Ancient Scenery and incidents of the Holy Land. They are certainly interesting. The boys have judiciously named him the Father of the freshman. - I must give you a short description of Chapel Hill. I have never in my life have I seen such rocks and hills as I see here. Some of the hills rise almost straight up for hundreds of feet above the tops of the tallest trees. Cousin Dan an myself went out to the ironworks last Saturday .The scenery here is beautiful. As we were walking a cross a high hill some miles and a half from the college we could look off to the North East and got a splendid view of Durham a distance of 2 miles. Dan and I went down in the mine to a depth of 285 feet and saw the hands at work blasting and drawing up the ore. We had to be let down in a bucket worked by horsepower. After ascending from the mines we walked on to where the hands were working on the new Rail Road, it is two miles and a half from the college and they expect to have it finished by Christmas. - I have given you an idea of what I think best for me to do. Ma, Let me be as economical as I can it is necessary for me to have money to pay my board, as it is to be paid in advance. That is at the first of the month. My idea, Ma, is this. If you could borrow $50. for me so that I could stay this session and through the lectures at the Norman School in June. I would in that time be very well prepared to teach School through on section of the county which I could do so and pay back the money and prepare my self to come here a gain next January. - Ma I wish you could manage to send me two blankets or quilts and one pillow. As bedclothes are so high here. It is almost impossible to get them. If you could spare them. You could box them up and send them to Goldsboro and have them directed to me and I could get the Hack driver to bring them over from Durham. - If you s end them, Ma, pleas put slate in and no. 16 linen collier as the one I have got, is so small I canít ware it. You may also put in some nick ties if you can find any. As the boys here make ties out of white Oak splits for freshmen if they havenít got a cravat. Let me know as soon as you hear, how Cousin Kate is. I scenically hope you may get Sis and Katie to school. Tell Aunt Mary I saw Balum as I came on while the train was stooped in Raleigh 75 convict came on board going up the country to work on the Western R. Road and Balum was one of them. He looks very bad, but says he hasnít been sick. He seemed t o be very glad to hear from home.- Jimmy said he would either buy or borrow the lumber ,but preferred to borrow it and pay it back when you wonted it. - Tell Sis and Katie to kiss Kine & Elbert for me and give my love to Ed and Chillie and tell them to write to me. Tell Pa I walked out to the cemetery a few days ago and saw some of the finest designs I ever saw. I wont to take the expressions of them and send them to Gene. Tell Bud to write me and let me know all about the good times they are having in our neighborhood through Christmas time. I would like the best in the world to be home for my Christmas dinner, for I know you will have something good. I expect we are going to have a dull Christmas here as most of thee boys are going home. I have got to work and have to study hard to keep up with my class. Ma tell all my Chocolate friends to write as I get lonesome and home sick sometimes, and would like to here from the old place as often as I can. Let me know Ma if you have sold the wine yet and what you got paid? I had my new clothes to make over as have ripped open in several places. Tell Pa to write and all of you write as often as you can. From your affectionate Son, Charlie P.S. Ma if a letter comes to that office for me send it to me at once.
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