1834: Julia Adelaide Patton to Joseph Harvey Wilson

This letter was written by Julia Adelaide Patton (18xx-1845) of Buncombe County, North Carolina. She was the daughter of James Patton (1756-1845) and Anne Reynolds (1776-1827). Other siblings mentioned in the letter included her sister Jane Elizabeth Patton who died in 1838, and Franklin Patton (b. 1807).

Joseph Harvey Wilson

Adelaide wrote the letter to her future husband, Joseph Harvey Wilson (1810-1884), the son of Rev. John Makemie Wilson, D.D. (1769-1831) and Mary Erwin (1773-1826). Joseph H. Wilson graduated from college at what is now known as Washington and Lee University in 1827. He began the study of law at Charlotte under the supervision of attorney Washington Morrison. In 1831, upon reaching the age of majority of twenty-one, he was admitted to the bar. He was a prominent attorney and leader of the bar in Charlotte, N.C. for more than 50 years. He was Speaker of the N. C. Senate.

Joseph and Adelaide were married in 1834 and had five children before her death in 1845: Anna Patton Wilson, James Patton Wilson, Joseph Harvey Wilson, Benjamin Franklin Wilson and Sarah Rosannah “Rosa” Wilson. Joseph’s second wife (married 1846) was Mary Louisa Phifer of Cabarrus County, N.C. They had two children: George Edward Wilson and Mary Ellis Wilson.

Stampless Letter


Addressed to Mr. Joseph H. Wilson, Charlotte, North Carolina

Habersham [County, Georgia]
May 25, 1834

My dear friend,

Page 1

I did not anticipate writing to you by this mail, but Sister Elizabeth thinks I had better do so, [even] if times does not permit me to write more than one page. In my last letter to you, I believe I promised to write you again in two weeks. Yet I thought certainly you would have written to me immediately on the reception of it. But you did not and the consequence is that I have been disappointed. Probably you think it was no more than my due as I so frequently have disappointed you. Hereafter, I hope you will write me as you did formerly — once a week.

Brother Franklin and myself have been sadly disappointed in our trip to the North [South?]. He has been compelled to remain on account of some business with Mr. McLaughlin and can not yet determine what time we will leave this. I certainly hope that it will not be a great while hence. We have dull times here so I have nothing new or interesting to write you.

Page 2

Last week, two of the Miss Camfields, Mr. Smith and Heath, Brother Franklin and myself visited Mt. Yonah. The view from it is very good, but not near so commanding as I expected to find it from the many fine descriptions that I had heard of it from persons that had visited it. We enjoyed ourselves pretty well. One of the gentlemen [is] much in love with Miss R. Camfield, but poor creature, his case is entirely hopeless as she dislikes [him] as much as it is possible for her to do.

The week before last I had the misfortune or good luck — whichever you may choose to term it — of falling into the river. At the time I though it rather a serious affair as I was near meeting with a watery grave. Late in the afternoon, Sister Elizabeth, Miss Camfield, and myself agreed to take a walk. In returning from our ramble through the woods, we concluded to cross by the boat. Sister and Miss Camfield were very soon quietly seated in one end of it and I at the other preparing to paddle it over. But before leaving the shore, I thought of playing some mischief on them, and in the meantime fell backwards into the river. The water was about twelve feet deep so I was very soon strangled. I was so fortunate as to find the side of the boat, and by that means saved myself. Since then, I have had a great dread of the river.

Page 3

I should like to hear the news of Charlotte at this time. You certainly have something new by this time. I have written Sister Rose a very long letter today which I hope you will call and insist on her answering immediately. And I hope you will do so yourself for I am quite anxious to hear from you and all of my friends. Continue to direct your letters to this place. I will write what time I leave this.

Have you no courtships or marriages in Charlotte by this time? How comes our Mary Ann and her _____. I would like much to enquire individually for all of my acquaintances, but have not time to do so. I must send my letter by once more begging you to write me soon. Sister sends her love to you, and J. A. P. also.

Yours affectionately, — Adelaide


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