Letter: [Marion, Alabama] to Callie [King, Athens, Georgia], 1853 Mar. 3

Joseph Henry Lumpkin Family Papers
Letter: [Marion, Alabama] to Callie [King, Athens, Georgia], 1853 Mar. 3
King, Porter, 1824-1890
Date of Original:
Alabama. General Assembly. House of Representatives
Domestic life
Plantation life
Political candidates
Pregnant women
Alabama--Social life and customs--19th century
King, Callie, 1826-1905
United States, Alabama, 32.75041, -86.75026
letters (correspondence)
Porter King, lawyer, future judge and Perry County representative to the Alabama legislature, writes a letter dated March 3, 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. Thanking Callie for the gift of handkerchiefs and flowers that she sent, King apologizes for his own dull letters. King mentions that he received a a commission to be a patrol leader as well as a recommendation in a Selma newspaper to be a representative for their district in Congress and will be asking her advice in these matters. King also talks of activities engaged in by his slaves, and particularly, the slave Booker's concerns for Callie's well-being. Booker had noticed a black seal on a letter from Callie and he associated it with bad news. King also mentions that another slave, L. Eliza, will start tailoring on Monday.
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 54, document jhl0054.
Holding Institution:
Hargrett Library

Page: [1]

Thursday night. March 3rd/53 [1853]
My dear Callie,
Last night my heart was made doubly glad by the receipt of your sweet letter and package of handkerchiefs -- this last letter, a kind of diary came through in good time -- I like much the plan of daily writing -- I have now received all the letters written by my darling, tomorrow I shall expect a sweet missive -- dear love, do'nt [don't] fatigue yourself by writing too much at one sitting -- your diary plan is mighty nice -- Sweet Callie, my letters to you must seem mighty dull and insipid -- I go no-where [nowhere], see nobody and consequently learn no news -- but from the abundance of the heart the pen will write, I do love my darling wife, my precious dear little Callie -- I thank my love so much for the nice sweet flowers, she thinks of her old man, whenever she has any thing [anything] nice or pretty -- I have put them away carefully in the Bible -- whenever I read that blessed book, dearest treasure to man, next best gift to woman, lovely woman, which is every night agreeable to our mutual undertaking, I will look at the sweet flowers and kiss them, because my darling kissed them -- I am so glad you sent them -- would that I had a nice bouquet to return -- in vain did I search the garden for a single flower -- I had a great notion to send you a strawberry leaf or pea blossom -- I am delighted to see you are taking so much interest in home affairs I know 'tis [it is] love for your husband that prompts the inquiries -- I am not attending to ditching at the expense of other pursuits

Page: [2]

but tis [it is] absolutely necessary to drain the land and if possible ward the water off my bottoms -- Yestarday [Yesterday] and to day [today] were fine for plowing and we improved them -- I am as nearly done plowing as any of my neighbors and should the weather remain such as the last two days, will be entirely done in some two weeks -- which will be ample time as I do not expect to plant any cotton, save my new ground before 1st April -- the new ground I shall plant on 21st Inst [Instant] It is now a very important time with farmers -- I should like much to attend to the planting of my crop, but have other engagements that are a thousand fold more pleasant -- when Fitz is having the seed put in the ground, I expect to be nursing our dear little one -- bless her little heart, how anxious her papa is to see her mama & feel the kicking of her tiny feet -- Callie I almost want a girl, I do want one, if she will only be half as sweet as her mama -- Dear wife, sweet Callie, the time seems so long, till [until] the 14th I sometimes determine I will break off any how [anyhow] and let Fitz & negroes go -- Then I get to thinking intensely about my dear absent wife and imagine ten thousand little thinges [things] I could administer to her comfort, that I could cheer and enliven her [unclear text: as no one] else can and resolve at once to put out; but then the second thought comes, "poor vain man, your wife is well provided for, she is with those who love her and who understand a hundred times better how to administer to her than you do" -- but, but, you are my darling little Callie and you do want to pillow your head at night on my bosom and feel my arms clasping you to my heart, the heart that throbs for thee and thee alone -- do'nt [don't] you precious love? And we are one anothers [another's] darlings and love one another more than all the world beside, dont [don't] we sweet Callie? say yes. Callie -- I know you feel yes and will say it when we meet -- which shall be soon

Page: [3]

I sat down with the expectation of writing only one page, but I have written two and have'nt [haven't] yet told you one thousandth part of my love -- dear Callie if the world, cold, heartless world, were to see my letters to you wouldn't they think me crazy for repaating [repeating] so often I love you -- Callie, darling Callie, I do love you and will say so -- let the heartless write me down what they will. On yestarday [yesterday] I received a very important document a commission as leader of a patrol company -- I shall ride but one night before I leave home -- I must be esteemed a gentleman of great importance -- not quite a year in the canebrake and appointed Comm [Commissioner] of Roads & leader of patrol -- rising fast ain't I? By the way I see in a Selma paper a recommendation of your husband among other gentlemen as a very suitable & proper person to represent this district in Congress -- how would Callie like to spend the winter in Washington? Give yourself no uneasiness, for I shall make no arrangements without consulting my Mentor, my good genius my little wife, who always advises for the best -- If I can find the paper I will send it to you -- Fitz moved day before yestarday [yesterday] -- I shall probably have Steve to whitewash the rooms desired, but the carriage horses keep him pretty busy trotting after a double plow -- of rainy days I don't think he can white wash well -- however if he dont [don't] white wash before I leave home, why he shall after I come back -- You will see to that, wo'nt [won't] you darling?

Page: [4]

Old Booker brought my mail last night, I cast my eyes from the back of the letter, before I had broken the seal, and the old fellow was standing shaking & trembling and his eyes filled with tears -- he saw the coloured [colored] seal and having heard that black was significant of bad news, he stood speechless, fearing to hear the contents -- ain't he a remarkable negro? Sarah's children are very well I gave Miss Rilla a flogging to-day [today], she, Ben, & Billy had a goose by the neck, trying how long they could stretch it -- Rilla grows very fast and can out talk a [illegible text] meeting, when peach tree is about -- I have had Caroline making negro clothes for nearly two weeks -- I give her 3 per day -- L. Eliza starts at tailoring on Monday -- I expect Maria will "fall to pieces" to night [tonight], to keep up [illegible text] every two weeks arrangement --

Dear love 'tis [it is] growing late, the wind is howling round the corners and I must stop -- My darling wife good night Remember me kindly to your Mama & Marion --

Friday morning -- notwithstanding the very flattering prospect when I lay down last night, we had no rain, so I hope for another nice day for business -- twas [it was] long, long after lying down, ere [before] I could sleep, tis [it is] the case every night that I write -- so deeply am I engaged in thinking of my loved absent one -- Dear Callie, breakfast is announced, dear wife be happy & cheerful in thinking of the soon return of your devoted

[Signed] Porter --