1833: Levi Holbrook to Eliza (Grout) Holbrook

This letter was written by Levi Holbrook (1797-18xx) to his wife, Eliza (Grout) Holbrook (1807-1837). They resided in Danville, Virginia, where Luther started a boys school in 1817 that evolved into the Danville Male Academy. This school eventually began taking young ladies as well.

Stampless Letter

Stampless Letter

TRANSCRIPTION
Addressed to Mrs. Eliza Holbrook, Danville, Virginia

White Sulphur Springs
September 16, 1833

My Dear Eliza,

Arriving at White Sulphur Springs in 1830s

Arriving at White Sulphur Springs in 1830s

I wrote you last Wednesday from Fincastle. That afternoon I came part way to the Sweet Springs. Arrived there Thursday at one o’clock, stayed till 4, came 7 miles that evening. Arrived here at 9 next morning. I found 2 acquaintances at the Sweet Springs and 4 at this place, viz: D. Count — an old student and much esteemed friend, R. Moon, Lewis Williams ¹ — representative in Congress from N. Carolina, and Mr. Mills of N. C.  Mr. Moon left yesterday for the Latt Sulpher. He will be in Danville next month. His wife is well and much pleased with her situation in Oxford, Ohio. I took room with Mr. Moon. He treated me very kindly. When he left, Mr. Wilkins (brother to the one who married Mrs. Brodnax) took room with me. He is a very agreeable companion. Friend Count is in very bad health.

There are no distinguished characters here except Mr. Wirt ² and family. There have been 300 persons here at a time this season. At present, not more than 60. They are constantly leaving. There were about 200 at the Sweet Springs when I was there. The weather has been quite cool since I left Fincastle.

Capt. Stone and wife came here Saturday [and] left next day on their way home. They will probably get home next week. Mrs. Stone is much improved in health though she thinks she is not entirely well. Call and see her when she comes to Danville.

Sketch of White Sulphur Springs in 1830s

Sketch of White Sulphur Springs in 1830s

I feel perfectly well. The water here the two first days made me a little sick at the stomach. I doubt whether the water will do me any good for I am inclined to think that I have too much bile. The exercise will undoubtedly do me much good. I am glad I came horse back. Many are sorry they did not come horse back. They cannot leave when they wish — the stage being constantly full. Besides a man wants a horse here to take a little exercise every day or two. Were it not so late in the season, I would go to several other springs. I think it will be too cold after a week or two. I think I shall leave here the last of this week, stay a few days at the Sweet Springs, a few days at the Botetourt Springs, and make my way leisurely home about the first of next month. It is probable I shall not write you again. There will be no direct mail to Danville after I leave the main road to Lynchburg. The stage will not leave here for Lynchburg till Wednesday. I suppose you will get this Friday.

The road from this to Danville with the exception of about 30 miles in Botetourt is the most dreary and lonesome I have ever travelled. I had company only 5 or 6 miles the whole distance which is about 144 miles. The first mountain this side of Fincastle is 7 miles across. The road is very good. I passed a gap of the Blue Ridge. The road was nearly level.

I have been out to Greenbrier River 5 miles from this place. It has a bridge over it nearly equal to Hartford Bridge. The river is not quite as large as [the] Dan. The country is by no means as pleasant as is represented by some.

The principal amusement here have ceased. [James] Calwell ³ — the proprietor — gave a Musician, an Italian from Washington, $600. He is now gone. Great complaint is made against the fare here. I get along very well. The bread is very fine. I drink tea altogether — the coffee being bad. The desert is very good.

Most affectionately yours forever, — L. Holbrook

It is possible I may not be at home the first day of next month. If not, I think you had better kick the scholars out of the rooms just plastered as much as you can. I possibly may want to stay 4 or 5 days at the Sweet Springs and stop a little on the way. If so, it will be some day in October before I get home. That will depend on the chance for improvement.

Tuesday evening the 17. This has been a very fine day. it is said to be as warm as it twas a month ago. I continue to be quite well as far as my feelings indicate. The company have so dispersed that the fare has become very good.

FOOTNOTES

¹ Lewis Williams (1782-1842) was a U.S. Representative from North Carolina.

² This is probably William Wirt (1772-1834) who was once the United States Attorney General.

³ James Calwell, a former sea merchant of Baltimore, became the owner of the White Suphur Springs property when he married Mary Boyer, who inherited it from her father. Calwell built a tavern on the property which comprised eight acres and had three springs — the White Suphur Spring, the Black Sulphur Spring, and the Iron Chalybeate Spring. Eventually, more and more accommodations were constructed on the property. Mr. Calwell — described as a “courtly gentleman” died in 1851.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

The Civil War Letters of Theodore Harman

153rd Pennsylvania Volunteers

Spared & Shared 15

Saving History One Letter at a Time

The Civil War Letters of George Messer

Company F, 107th Illinois Volunteer Infantry

Jeff's Prayers are as Effective as Abe's

The Civil War Letters of George S. Youngs, 126th New York Vols

Soldiering is a Very Uncertain Game

The Civil War Letters of Lemuel Glidden, Co. K, 145th Indiana Infantry

Tough as a Pitch Pine Knot

Letters of John Whitcomb Piper, 4th Massachusetts Heavy Artillery

An Honorable Peace

The Civil War Letters of Frank B. Knause, 6th Michigan Infantry & Heavy Artillery

Looking for a Rebel to Give him a Pop

Letters to & from Sgt. John Henry Ward, 93rd PA Inf

Civil War Letters of William H. H. Kinsey

Co. H, 28th Illinois Infantry

Spared & Shared 14

Saving History One Letter at a Time

The 1863 Diary of Thomas Wilbur Manchester

A Rhode Island Soldier in the American Civil War

The Daniels/Stone Digital Archives

A Collection of Family Civil War Era Letters & Ephemera

Spared & Shared 13

Saving Civil War History One Letter At A Time

Spared & Shared 12

Saving history one letter at a time

Dear Nellie

Civil War Letters of Thomas L. Bailey

Homefront Letters to Mark Rankin

Co. B, 27th Massachusetts Vols.

These Troubling Times...

The Civil War Letters of William H. Walton, Co. B, 3rd New Hampshire

Reluctant Yanks

The Civil War Letters of Joseph F. & B. Franklin Orr, Co. F, 76th Ohio Infantry

Hunting rebels as a dog would a fox....

The Civil War Letters of George W. Scott of Co. I, 46th Massachusetts (Militia)

The Civil War Letters of William Hunt Goff

Company H, 24th Massachusetts

The Charles Wetmore Broadfoot Letters

Aide de Camp to Gen. Theophilus H. Holmes

Spared & Shared 11

Saving History One Letter at a Time

Billy Yank & Johnny Reb Letters

Civil War Letters Transcribed by Griff

To the Front

The Civil War Letters of David Brett, 9th Massachusetts Light Artillery

Dear Jack

Letters received by Dr. John William Crapster O'Neal

For the Union

Civil War Letters of William Freeland, Co. F, 132nd New York Infantry

I shall be Willing to Suffer

The Civil War Letters of Marquis Lafayette Holt of the 3rd New Hampshire Infantry

"Shall the Union be Preserved?"

The Civil War Letters of William Henry Hodgkins -- Co. B, 36th Massachusetts

%d bloggers like this: