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Letter 58 Mary Charlton to Martha William Wright Moody

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Date: [unknown] [unknown]
Location: Garysburg, North Carolinamap
Surnames/tags: Charlton Moody
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My Dear Sister,
I expressed to you this morning the picture of our Mother. You cannot fail to like it, and the price is very moderate for so large & handsome a picture. I'm sure you will be pleased with it.
Find one of myself within for Willie. It is as ugly as I am & I try to think a little uglier, but I know he will want it and tell him I was thinking of him when it was taken, and it at least has the merit of a pleasant look. Tell him I shall expect his very soon, bought with his own money. Kiss him for me and tell Annie I send her one too with as many kisses and as much love.
Jennie sends hers too.
Everything here seems in excitement about the closing of the Treasury, but I presume it will soon be reopened as Mr. Janell[?] has been appointed in Mr. M. Carter's place, and the report today is that work will be resumed the 1st March.
I am still anxiously waiting and not very pleasantly the decission of my fate at least for this session of Congress, but I am determined to make every effort to secure a good place, and I am certainly fortunate in the influence I have already. These places are so hard to obtain, and so uncertain after you secure them.
I so often long for the quiet dreamless sleep of old Blandford, and life seems a dreary pilgrimage, and then when I allow myself to look calmly at the past, I try to meet the future with some degree of hope lest its dark shadows throw me again in the ocean of despair & misery. You must not forget me because I am far away from you, nor let the little ones forget me either.
The weather is delicious here, I'm just in form a long walk. It is the 22nd & the Sts. are filled with military on dress parade in honor of the day. I feel very little interest in anything now except to try to make an honest living and as this seems to be the best place I’m here on the hope of doing it.-- It very interesting to be where all is life & activity, but one who anxious about the future is not prepared to enjoy anything much. You must not think me hopeless at all, for I've the same prospect of success I've ever had, but then it is "hope deferred" & you know it maketh the heart sick. If you don’t send me a longer letter than usual I shall begin to shorten mine.
Do write immediately and tell me how you like the picture. If there is anything you want write to me, and tell Alice to do the same. Money is so scarce, everything is cheap, but my advice is deny yourself. That is what I do. I buy nothing I can possibly do without. Is Caroline still with you? And is Martha married yet? Do write me some city news. You have never sent me an old express & I've bought half dozen papers to send you. Love for you all. Hastily & fondly
VLR (Virginia Leigh Refo)
This letter is the last letter we have from Mary Charlton to her half-sister, Martha William (Wright) Moody, who is probably at the family home near Garysburg, NC. Mary was declared insane in 1872, then later institutionalized in Pennsylvania. That may be where she is writing from. Although she could be in Petersburg, where she previously lived. The reference to Congress may be to the jurisdiction that will make a decision regarding her sanity, or it may be one of her delusions, or possibly she is writing from Washington, D.C. The picture of their mother is of Martha Robinson (Crump) Wright Charlton, who died October 1871. There are two pictures of Martha Robinson (Crump) Wright Charlton that survive in our family. One is a large oil portrait of an older woman sitting in a chair with keys. The other is a small pastel picture of the same woman, and may have been copied from the portrait. Is it possible that Mary is sending the portrait? The smaller pastel or a photograph could have been sent as her photograph by post.
Annie is Annie Gray Lockhart whose mother, Mary Elizabeth (Moody) Lockhart, died in 1871 and who was being raised by Martha W. Moody. Willie is William Robert Moody, son of John Mason Moody, Jr. and his deceased wife Laura (Tabb) Moody. Martha W. Moody is raising him also. Jennie [Jinnie] is Virginia Charlton, the author's sister. Blandford is a reference to the cemetery in Petersburg. Alice is Martha "Alice" (Moody) Leigh, wife of Dr. H.G. Leigh, niece of the author.
Caroline may be Caroline (Pierce) Crump, first wife of Richard W.D. Crump, son of Dr. James Robert Crump, and first cousin of the author. Caroline died early, but I don't know when. I do not know who she means by “Martha”. The only Martha in the family of marrying age would be Martha (Leigh) Ekford, daughter of Rev. William Leigh and Julia Ann (Crump) Leigh. Her first husband, James Ekford, died in 1858. I don’t know what happened to her after that. She may have remarried. Or this could be a Wright cousin.
Date: 1872 - 1875, possibly after 1875 (see letter # 62). The letter was written Feb 22nd, referring to parades for George Washington's Birthday. The reference to the closing of the Treasury is confusing. In 1874 the Secretary of the Treasury resigned, but his name was Richardson, not Carter. Maybe she confused the names.


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