1852: Robert Houston McEwen, Jr. to Daniel Flavel Wilkin

Robert H. McEwen gravemarker in Mount Olivet Cemetery, Nashville.

This letter was written by Robert Houston McEwen, Jr. (1831-1873), son of Robert Houston McEwen (b. 1790) and Hetty Montgomery Kennedy (b. 1796). Robert Jr. graduated from Princeton University in 1853, studied law in Nashville, Tennessee 1853-54, passed the Tennessee bar in 1854, and practiced in Nashville from 1854-1873. He served in the Confederate army during the Civil War. He married Lucy Putnam (1837-1906) in October 1855.

Robert Jr. wrote the letter to his older sister Ann Maria McEwen (1827-1866) and her husband, Daniel Flavel Wilkin (1824-1916).

Stampless Cover

Page 1

Page 2

Page 3

TRANSCRIPTION

Addressed to D. F. Wilkin, Esq., Middletown, New York

Princeton, New Jersey
August 23, 1852

My dear Brother,

Your very kind and most welcome letter came to hand this morning. It’s Saturday. I snatch this opportunity to answer it. You can not tell how much pleasure it gives me to receive a letter from those who are dear to me. I think if the home folks were aware of this fact, they would write a little oftener. They never write except to tell me of a little sickness in the family. I do not intend to write again until they promise to do better. When you return, I hope, you will do better. They complain of what they have to do and what little time they have to do it in. They never seem to think that they have more time to write me than I have to write them. My time is wholly occupied by my studies, It gives me the greatest pleasure to pursue them and walk among the gilded paths of literature. I make it a rule to do my duty first, and then pass my hours and leisure time in reading instructing and standard works. My only consolation is that there is a prize, which if I gain, will reward me for all my toils. You can not conceive how much pleasure it gives me to think that I may at some day call that beautious object, for who I have toiled night and day, my own. This, and this alone, will compensate me. If I thought that such should not be the case, I would willingly die. You can not imagine how my thoughts return to her, and think if she ever thinks of one far away. She will ever be my beacon light to lead me from vice and immorality. I never hear or see a drunken man but that I think how much pain it might cost her and my other friends to see me in a similar situation. My heart shudders at the drunkard’s grave and gambler’s life. My prayer is that she may ever lead me in the right path, and guard me from unseen dangers. She is my cloud to direct me by day and my pillar of fire by night. These are my commendation of the Angel of earth. If there is such a thing as an angel upon the earth, she is one.

I have pursued my studies thus far with diligence and profit. My mind has received more benefit from the course I have pursued than on any previous course. I have made a resolution to go to every recitation, prayer, and church, whether I am prepared or not. Some of the students laugh at me for being so regular in my attendance upon these duties, but I repulse them at once by saying it is my duty and I intend to perform it. It is nearly time for the mail to close and I wish to send this out to night, I must close. Give my best love to sister and tell her that I would have answered hers but thought it would not reach her. This, I hope, will answer for both. Heard from home in the early part of the week. All well. You must write me a long letter at your earliest convenience and tell me all about your travels. When may I expect you? Write soon and believe me as ever, your brother truly, — R. H. McEwen, Jr.


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 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

The Civil War Letters of William Busby

A Private in Co H, 20th Iowa Vols

Diary of Henry Knox Danner

The Civil War Experience of a Private in Co. K, 30th Pennsylvania Infantry (1862-1864)

Franklin S. Twitchell

Co. B, 13th Connecticut Infantry

The Civil War Letters of Henry E. Mumford

A Colored Soldier of Co. B, 29th Connecticut Infantry

No Babies Play

Letters of Joseph Hazen, Co. F, 20th New York Cavalry

I Long to See You Again

The Civil War Letters of Willis McDonald, Co. F, 17th Connecticut Infantry

I stood in my tracks

The Civil War Letters of Benjamin F. Hulburd, 7th & 2nd Vermont Infantries

This fight will tell the story

Letters by Harlan P. Martin, Co. E, 123rd N.Y.V.

The Rebecca Breidenstein Collection

Letters addressed to Rebecca by both her first & second husbands during the Civil War

The Smoke of my Rifle

A small collection of letters by Capt. Augustus Alonzo Hoit of Co. G, 8th Maine Infantry

Trumpet of Freedom

Civil War Letters of Cyrus E. Ferguson -- a soldier and bugler of the 15th Iowa Infantry

The Bowdoinham Letters

Civil War Letters addressed to the Brown Family of Bowdoinham, Maine

"I am for war, till slavery is dead"

The Civil War Letters of Jerome Bonaparte Burrows, Captain of the 14th Ohio Independent Battery

"All glory to our flag -- and to those who defend it!"

Seven Civil War Letters by Col. Augustus Abel Gibson

"Mother, don't worry about me"

The Civil War Letters of Caleb & John B. Chase, 3rd & 9th Minnesota Infantries

"They will get but little duty out of me"

The Civil War Letters of Silas Townsend, 29th Mass Infantry & 3rd Mass Cavalry

"Teach my Hands to War..."

The Civil War Letters of John Hancock Boyd Jenkins, 40th New York Infantry

"It is Life or Victory Now"

The Civil War Letters of Pvt. Eli Caress, Co A, 50th Indiana Volunteers

In the Trough of the Sea

The Civil War Letters of Dr. Allen Smith Heath from Aboard the USS Daylight

From the Bottom of My Heart

The Digital Archives of the Hodgdon/Rayner Letters

Spared & Shared 10

Saving history one letter at a time...

When I Come Home...

The Civil War Letters of George Morgan of Company F, 11th New Hampshire Infantry

%d bloggers like this: