Letter: [Marion, Alabama] to Callie [King], Athens, [Georgia], 1853 Feb. 20

Joseph Henry Lumpkin Family Papers
Letter: [Marion, Alabama] to Callie [King], Athens, [Georgia], 1853 Feb. 20
King, Porter, 1824-1890
Date of Original:
Marriage--Southern States
Domestic life
Plantation life
Alabama--Social life and customs--19th century
King, Edwin Paul
King, Callie, 1826-1905
United States, Southern States, 35.8176689, -78.6268927103715
United States, Alabama, 32.75041, -86.75026
love letters
letters (correspondence)
Porter King, lawyer, future judge and Perry County representative to the Alabama legislature, writes a letter dated February 20, 1853 from home, Marion, Alabama to his wife Callie in Athens, Georgia. This letter contains two parts. In the first section, King expresses his love and informs Callie that he deeply misses her and their son, Paul. He also reports that he is having company spend the night and that earlier in the day he and Thomas Walthall rode over to check on the health of their friend's wife. In the second section, King informs Callie that he will be working on ditching in the morning and that Booker, one of Porter's slaves, inquires after her. He reminisces about their marriage day. He also mentions that Mrs. Perkins daughter is threatened by total blindness and will be treated in New Orleans.
Digital image and encoded transcription of an original manuscript, scanned, transcribed and encoded by the Digital Library of Georgia in 2001, as part of GALILEO.
Local Identifier:
Metadata URL:
Digital Object URL:
Bibliographic Citation (Cite As):
Cite as: [title of item], Joseph Henry Lumpkin family papers, 1821-1862 (bulk 1852-1857), Alexander Campbell King Law Library, University of Georgia School of Law, on deposit at the Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library, The University of Georgia Libraries, presented in the Digital Library of Georgia
5 pages/leaves
Original Collection:
Manuscript held by the Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Joseph Henry Lumpkin family papers, 1821-1862 (bulk 1852-1857), box 1, folder 51, document jhl0051.
Holding Institution:
Hargrett Library

Page: [1]

Sunday night Feby [February] 20th/53 [1853]
My dearest Callie,
I cannot permit the opportunity -- to pass unimproved of thanking you, my dearest love for you [your] sweet letter by Joe -- I received it on Friday evening, the most direct one yet & the sweetest letter, my darling wife how I do love you for it -- t'was [it was] written just as you talk to him who loves you more than all the world beside -- Callie, sweet wife, you are my dear, aint [ain't] you my darling?

Dear wife 'tis [it is] now past 10 o'clock, long after my usual bed time and I must be short Judge Graham and Mr Veitch of Phila, brother-in-law to the widow of Athens, are spending the night with me -- dear love, how I do miss my darling -- Mr. Veitch desires to visit his relations in Athens and wishes me to inquire of you if she is in the city, he expects to leave in some two weeks -- he paid my coffee a high complement, saying "Twas [It was] the best he had drank since he left home" --

This morning I rode over to Mr Thos [Thomas] Walthall's & we rode to Mr John W's -- he (John) returned on Wednesday last, his wife's health is perfectly restored, she is looking very well -- we returned and dined with Mrs Perkins, who made me promise I would do so before I left

Page: [2]

We had a very nice dinner and talked all the time about my darling -- they asked a great many questions about you and the old Lady expressed a great wish about recieving [receiving] your letter -- Dr [Doctor] Markham was at the dinner table -- he inquired after my darling they all know that to reach my affections, they must talk about sweet Callie -- Bless you, how I do love you -- as I have to rise early, I must desist -- don't feel uneasy if you do not receive your letters as regularly as heretofore for I have now to work in earnest, but sweet love I'll try to write you, if just a line, by every mail -- wouldn't you rather I would? Dear Callie, you are my heart's idol, what wouldn't I give for just one look on your sweet heavenly countenance, to taste your precious lips, to press your dear form to the bosom that loves you so tenderly, so devotedly, so supremely --
How is our darling Paul -- tell him that his Pa thinks of him every hour of the day, tell him to be quiet & bide his time --

Your Pa is right in thinking I have made a great sacrifice in giving you up, dear love, were it to do over, I don't think I could stand it -- could you? But my own darling wife, we must not suffer our feelings to lead us away, we have a high duty we owe to our God, our country, ourselves and to our posterity, let us discharge that duty to the utmost of our ability -- the candle flickers -- kind remembrance to all -- Believe me devotedly your

[Signed] Porter

Page: [3]

Before day -- Monday morning --
My dear wife,
this morning finds us all well I am making preparation to start all hands to ditching this morning -- sweet love I dreamed last night (would that dream could last two weeks) that darling Callie was by my side, the scenes of 19th Feby [February] / 52 [1852] passed fresh before my mind -- the blushing, timid, trembling bride waiting the arrival of her happy husband -- dear Callie I loved you then truly, sincerely and devotedly, but my love since that time has increased daily till [until] now no other thought, no affection other -- than for Callie crosses my mind -- sweet love I now see you arrayed in the bridal robe as spotless as your own pure self, leaning on my arm, [deleted text: gazing] taking shy & furtive glances at me, proudly introducing me to you [your] many friends -- Callie you promised to be unto me a faithful & affectionate wife, dear darling, you have fully, yea more, than redeemed your pledge --

Old Booker has just come in & says tell mistress & old Master, a heap of good things for him, about his cows, hogs &c [et cetera] -- My sweet little wife, the desire manifested by [unclear text: Perry ] to spread the table admonishes me to clos [close] -- Good bye darling Callie

Your own

[Signed] Porter

Page: [4]

Mrs Perkins has just received a letter from her daughter, Mrs Lindsey, stating that she is threatened with total blindness, she is under the care of [unclear text: an] oculist in N.O [New Orleans] -- Mrs P [Perkins] & W [Walthall] are much distressed I would not be surprised if Mrs W [Walthall] visits her sister -- the negroes all make frequent [unclear text: inquiries] after you -- they express great anxiety about your return -- Cora is doing well, killed a big rat on yestarday [yesterday], I think she is smart Do'nt [Don't] you feel this morning more attached to your " dear Porter" than ever? I know that you love me, I feel that you do --

George Johnson (the banjo player, you recollect him) [unclear text: is] to be married on Thursday night to Miss [unclear text: Poelnitz] (what a name) of [unclear text: Marengo] --

I have written this on the bible on my lap, breakfast is announced, so again adieu -- think often think ever of him whose heart beats for thee and thee alone -- Your devoted husband

[Signed] Porter
On Sat [Saturday] night 19th in addition to my regular chapter I read in the bible mother gave you, the [unclear text: XC 75] in the [added text: prayer of the] last two verses I heartily joined -- Write me fully, often -- I love so much to hear from my own Callie Now for scrambled eggs &c [et cetera]
[Signed] Porter

Page: [5]

Dennis is here from the river reports all well -- Mug & Joe had not moved home --