Letter: [Marion, Alabama] to Callie [King], Athens, [Georgia], 1853 Feb. 24

Joseph Henry Lumpkin Family Papers
Letter: [Marion, Alabama] to Callie [King], Athens, [Georgia], 1853 Feb. 24
King, Porter, 1824-1890
Date of Original:
Domestic life
Plantation life
Pregnant women
Alabama--Social life and customs--19th century
King, Callie, 1826-1905
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 24, 1853 to his pregnant wife Callie King, daughter of Joseph Henry Lumpkin, who is in Athens, Georgia. In the opening of his letter, King tells his wife he loves her, misses her, and hopes their unborn child will be a girl. He discusses the ditches he is working on at their plantation in Alabama and reports that using the Walthalls's level has made the task easier. King also informs Callie that Mrs. Perkins received Callie's letter and, after reading it, gave it to him to read.
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
4 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 53, document jhl0053.
Holding Institution:
Hargrett Library

Page: [1]

Thursday night -- Feby. [February] 24th 1853 --
My dear Callie,
Though I am much fatigued and feel wonderfully disposed to yield to the importunities of the drowsy God, still I will write a little to my darling wife, knowing she will look for a note -- Dear wife I was disappointed last night when Booker rode up with the mail in not finding a love letter, you have spoilt [spoiled] me, I love so much to receive those tokens of my darlings [darling's] affection -- that I almost expect to get two every mail -- dearCallie' tis [it is] so kind in you to write me so often and such sweet letters -- I prized highly your letters as my betrothed, but the letters of my wife, my own dear little wife could'nt [couldn't] be purchased with The "Kohinoor [Koh-i-noor]" diamonds -- dear wife, my Callie, as much as it gratifies me and delights me to receive one of your long, sweet, affectionate letters, still I would not have you injure yourself by sitting in one position too long for even my happiness -- I love you too tenderly and devotedly to have you incur even the slightest risk for my gratification -- Well darling, no doubt you have asked the question, "what has my old man been doing to weary himself so much"? The same old occupation, ditching! ditching!! I have to day [today] laid off, according to Mr F's account, who carried the target, near two miles of hill side ditch -- I like the business much and miss the plaudits of my little wife -- Mr Walthall's instrument (level) is

Page: [2]

an excellent one -- I have some improvements to suggest to the instrument maker, when we visit Paris with our little daughter Ain't I looking ahead? Well darling you see I am "fixing up" for a little feminine gender -- If my little gal is just half as pretty, half as smart as her mama, then won't I be proud of her? Callie, do you reckon her nostrils will expand? hey dear, what do you think? bless her little blue eyed (I know she will have blue peepers) soul, how her Papa wants to see her, rather to feel the kicking of our little darling -- Callie, dear Callie, how I long to press you once more to my bosom -- to listen to the tones of your sweet voice, to hear you call me your "dear Porter" -- I really beleive [believe] dear Callie, that you do love me, heaven knows how sincerely 'tis [it is] returned -- Every day but shortens the period of our separation -- then, oh then, will we face to face, yes locked in each others [other's] embrace, tell how truly, how supremely we love -- Darling, don't think I am sad, during the day I am busy, very busy, trying to arrange my plantation affairs that I may fly to your [deleted text: revif] revivifying presence -- My dear love, I charge you, as you love me not to give way to feelings of despondency -- think of our precious little babe -- think of yourself, of your husband, your duty -- I know that any one of these considerations would dispel & put to route all the blue devils in Athens -- If your Porter, was only with you, wouldn't he thrash them out? Honey, you have little Paul & tell him that his dad says, "give it to them", "gouge em", bite em, crack em over the head with his little fist" -- do'nt [don't] you think if he could get just one kick at them, they would leave in a hurry? --

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We had a very, very cold day, the ground was frozen, ice plenty of it -- may be [maybe] I didn't think of the nice cream dear Callie would have fixed up with her pine-apple [pineapple] & strawberry see darling how constantly you are in my mind -- Catherine says the peas are not injured by the cold, for really I have been too busy to-day [today] to go into the garden -- Just as I was in the act of sitting down to supper in popped old Jacob with an invitation pressing me to take tea with Col Lee who had stopped at his masters -- I wrote them various excuses, but as a clincher told them I must write to my darling -- dear Callie, I wouldn't give the pleasure I have in writing you, for all the tea in Canton -- Mrs Perkins is highly delighted at receiving your letter, she sent it over for me to read, also a nice pie and a large pan of butter beans, the last two not to read -- I have promised to take breakfast with them in the morning, if they will have it early --

Nothing of interest has occurred since I last wrote All keep well -- Sarah's children very well & fat -- Rilla is a perfect little hyena to fight, Catherine, by my order has to take her down a button hole or two every three or four days -- she is as spunky as her pretty mammy -- When you feel well write me long letters, when not, then short ones, but write often anyhow -- My dear wife, take exercise, when the weather is good, exercise in the open air -- My candle is dying out -- Sweet love, good night, may kind angels watch over & guard my darling is the prayer of her own

[Signed] Porter

Page: [4]

Friday morning
-- I have just time before Booker goes to the road to say that all are well and that I love my darling Callie, more than ever -- I, tired as I was & worn down by fatigue, laid awake till [until] a very late hour thinking of my darling -- I wondered, who was sleeping with her -- how she did -- was she happy and ten thousand other thoughts -- but above all I thought I would be mighty happy to have my dear little wife nestling close up to me, to feel her heart beat warmly for me. The morning is fair -- I must now comb my hair for W's [Walthall's] breakfast -- Good bye [Good-bye] sweet love -- be a good girl by being cheerful, contented, happy --

Remember to all who take an interest in me & to whom it would be pleasing to know that I think of them --

Dear darling, again good bye [good-bye] & believe me ever your fondly attached & devoted
[Signed] Porter