Item Description: Letter dated August 22, 1863 from John S. Henderson to his mother, sent from the University of North Carolina. The letter features a disagreement about living expenses between father and son (via his mother) that would likely resonate with modern parents, and briefly mentions the war. He also discusses a project for school. After his brother died in Cold Harbor in June of 1864, Henderson enlisted in the 10th North Carolina Regiment (Henderson was granted his degree after the war). John Henderson would go on to be a member of the North Carolina General Assembly and a US Congressmen.
[Item transcription available below image]
Item Citation: Folder 34, John S. Henderson Papers #00327, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Chapel Hill, N. C. August 22nd 1863
My dear Mother,
I received two letters from you one yesterday and one today the letter of which contained a hundred dollar note. You say Father says I must “come down a peg or two;” I am willing, if he can prove to me that I am spending more than the necessary amount of money to carry me through this session. I make a rough estimate of what I thought my expenses would be; that will not be too high an estimate, everything taken into consideration, although I think five hundred and fifty dollars will just about carry me through; if it does not it will not be my fault. I know my expenses are enormously heavy and bear down very hard upon my Father yet if I must come to college I will confess I like it a little better now (than I used to) my expenses must be paid. Unless is brought to a speedy conclusion I suppose this will be my last session, until the contest terminates at least. When I need more money I will write; I don’t suppose I will need any more however until the first of October. I have to write a biography fore to read before a literary society in this place; I thought the best selection I could make would be Mr. Fisher; I wish you would write me a long letter devoted exclusively to Mr. Fisher. When he was born and where, who were his parents, what profession he studied if any, in short everything you can gather of importance concerning him. You send me the frameworks and I will build upon it; I know very little indeed of Mr. Fishers life so I hope you will enlighten me on the subject. Father I suppose, knows as many particulars concerning him as any man in Rowan County, so I hope you will send me the material; if you do I will write a biography of Mr Fisher if not I will have to choose another subject. When does Miss M S leave for Chapel Hill? Stephen sends love. As it is nearly dinner time I must now close. I wrote to Len yesterday.