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Wilmington April 29, 1861

 My dear sis Annie

We were so glad to receive your letter this morning, knowing that you were all well and more grateful than can be expected at the kind offer of Mr. M & yourself.  If worst happens we shall feel that we have a shelter somewhere at present it seems best to stay where we are as we could not afford to sacrifice what little we have by way of furniture.  Mr. B now has employment and we manage to pay our way.

 We have a large pleasant house taken for the year – the rent of which will not expire until next October.

 My boarders may make a scattering and will in the course of a short time I suppose – then I hardly know what we may do but just now I see no way but to be patient and let our circumstances guide us. 

 Henry has joined a volunteer corps and is at Fort Caswell down the river. My heart ached to have him go but he could not be kept back. Mr. B is also [illeg] of a company for the protection of home.

 It is a dreadful state of things to think that the North want to come down here & sweep us all away.

 I could not have believed that such a bloodthirsty spirit could have been aroused as seems to acuate all who favor the black administration – their hearts as black as their names – all that the South asked was to be allowed quietly to take what belonged to her & separate peaceably.

 I think that “Old Abe” will have a heavy reckoning to answer for – plunging a whole nation into such distress – he will lend his name infamously down to posterity – Robespierre a saint by comparison.

 No one can picture the indignation felt by all classes here – Those that were strong Union men more better than any to think for a moment that can be driven back – when we see the flower of the army & navy coming once to our side daily & know the many wise & good men who know that they are right in taking the course that they have good grounds – All brought about those low fanatics abolitionists – If this were to be extinguished there might again be peace & comfort in the land but it is no use to talk we must hide the issue feeling convinced that God can stay the wrath of man – they can only advance as far as he wills it.

 Do write again dear Annie & often it is such a comfort to hear  kiss your dear little ones for aunty – all send love to you & Mr. M – again many thanks for your kind offer –

 From sis Helen

 Source: Helen B. to sister Annie, April 29, 1861. Anna Mercur Papers, 00751-z, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  Finding Aid: http://www.lib.unc.edu/mss/inv/m/Mercur,Anna.html

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