Posts Tagged ‘education’

August 20th [1864]

Since I last wrote, our dear Mary Eliza has again left for school. She is now at Hillsboro, under the care of the Misses Nash, Ladies of the highest character, both for accomplishments & piety. I trust the sojourn there of my darling child may be blessed to her best interests. Our boys have had a happy vacation and returned to Smithville to school. My dear friend Eliza Smith spent this week with me. It is still a good pleasure for us to meet. We have indeed “lived and loved together, through many a changing year!”



Source: Jane Evans Elliot Diaries #5343, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. http://www.lib.unc.edu/mss/inv/e/Elliot,Jane_Evans.html



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School Books

We are gratified that some of our people are, amidst all the present difficulties, striving to supply the wants of the Confederacy with school books of Southern production; and among those enterprising citizens, as pioneers in this important work, we take pleasure in classing Messers. Sterling, Campbell & Albright, of Greensborough, NC. They have just published an excellent Spelling Book of 112 pages, which we recommend for the use of schools and families. The first edition of their Primer for small children, having been exhausted, a second edition has been printed.

Source: Fayetteville Observer January 26, 1863 as found on www.digitalnc.org

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An Appeal to the Citizens and Patriots of North Carolina—We the undersigned ministers of the Eastern Conference of the Evangelical Lutheran Synod of North Carolina, having been appointed a Committee for the purpose of publishing an Appeal in behalf of the Daughters of our deceased Soldiers, respectfully and earnestly ask your attention to the following:

1.      The above named Conference has in contemplation the erection of a Female Seminary, with a view to furnish the daughters of our deceased and disabled soldiers with a gratuitous education, including board and clothing, if needed.

2.      This institution is to be located at Louisville, Forsythe county, N. C., a remarkably healthy locality, where 20 acres of land, and 2000 dollars in cash have already been secured from two citizens of the place, to aid in the erection of the necessary buildings.

3.      In order to establish this enterprise on a sure and permanent basis, it is proposed to create in the outset a fund of 100,000 dollars, to be called “The Soldier’s Endowment fund,” the interest alone of which shall be expended in the education of the class of orphans referred to.  The board of Directors will be instructed to make from time to time such additions as the growing wants of the Institution may require.

4.      Besides the daughters of deceased and disabled soldiers, other young ladies may be admitted into the Seminary, at the discretion of the Board and Faculty; but all profits arising from their education will be added to the Endowment Fund.

5.      When the immediate object for which this Institution is planted, shall cease to exist, that is to say, when there shall no longer be any female orphans of deceased and disabled soldiers to educate, then the Board will admit upon its bounty, so many indigent female orphans generally as can be sustained by the fund.

6.      Application will be made to the next Legislature of our State for a Charter, to enable the Board to carry the above plan into execution as speedily as possible.

7.      The course of instruction to be pursued in the Institution, will embrace all the branches usually taught in the best Female Seminaries of the State, it being deemed desirable, that as regards education, the poor orphans of our noble soldiers should enjoy equal advantages with the greatest and richest in the land.

8.      Although this Institution will be planted under the auspices of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of this State, it will by no means be sectarian in its character, as the Board of Directors will be composed of members of different denominations, and the pupils will be selected indiscriminately from among the families of deceased and disabled soldiers, without regard to religious creeds.

9.      In order that all may have an opportunity to aid in this benevolent enterprise, our agents, J. D. Scheck, of Guilford, N. C., and Rev. J. H. Mengert of Wilmington, N. C., are hereby authorized to call upon those citizens of our Commonwealth, who are still at their homes and to receive from them in cash or bonds such donations and subscriptions, as their patriotic liberality may prompt them to give.  They are also instructed to procure, if practicable, permission from the proper authorities to visit our soldiers now in camp, or in the field and to receive from them such contributions as they are willing and able to make.  The names of contributors and their residences, or in the case of soldiers, the Regiments and Companies in which they served, will be carefully recorded in a blank book kept for that purpose, and placed in the archives of the Institution.

10.  With a view of keeping this enterprise prominently before the public, and enlisting the sympathies of all classes in its behalf, our agents will from time to time publish the amounts collected, in the principal papers in the State.

And now, Fellow Citizens, we appeal to you, and hope to have your hearty co-operation in this good work.  We are under lasting obligations to the noble defenders of our soil.  When they left their homes, their wives and their children, to arrest the progress of an invading foe on the bloody battlefield, they did so in the sure expectation that, if they should never return to their loved ones, the protecting and fostering care of a grateful country would be extended over them.  By this hope they have been sustained amidst the arduous duties, the many privations, and the great sufferings of a soldier’s life; by it they have been supported in the hour of death.  Patriotism, not to say Christianity, would dictate that in this they should not be disappointed.  The great Founder of Christianity has said: “The Poor ye have always with you,” and in the brief history of our Confederacy we have been forcibly reminded of this momentous truth.  We are all aware of the alarming destitution, to which many of the families of our soldiers have been reduced, without any possible means for intellectual improvement; yet we should all feel that if any indigent children in our State are entitled to receive the highest mental culture, it is the offspring of those who have stood as a wall of fire between us and our enemies.  For them, and for them exclusively, we wish to endow an Institution, in which their wants will be met and in which they will be prepared to occupy respectable positions in society.

Our appeal is directed especially to the ladies.  It has fallen to the lot of their sex to mould the destinies of nations.  Of this fact many striking illustrations are afforded by the past.  And when the history of our present national struggle shall have been written, it will appear to the world, that for our independence as a nation, we are in a great measure indebted to the pure patriotism of our ladies.  To them, therefore, we especially appeal, to come forward and aid us in building up an Institution, in which a destitute portion of their sex shall receive that intellectual and moral training which will enable them to follow their noble example.  Our Confederacy is yet in its infancy.  As its history progresses, we may require other bands of Spartan fathers and sons to be cheered on to deeds of valor by Spartan mothers and daughters.  If we devise means to raise the latter, we shall never lack the former; and our Confederacy will then occupy that lofty position among the nations of the earth, to which it is so justly entitled.



Source: The Greensborough Patriot, September 18, 1862 as found in Confederate Newspaper Project

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Greensboro, N.C.

Septr 26th 1862

It is my duty to inform you that the annual meeting of the State Educational Association will be held in Linclonton on Tuesday the 14 of October, Commencing at 7 o’clock, P.M.—By reference to the Acts of Assembly, Session of 1860-61.  Chap. 20 you will see that the Association is incorporated, with a small annual appropriation to enhance its utility–& that to prevent abuses of its privileges certain safeguards are thrown around it, & among other provisions, its annual meetings are to be made known—Sept. 5th fifteen days in advance to the President & Directors of the Literary Fund Permit me to say that all the provisions of the Act were proposed by myself, & that having solely in view the permanent good of the State, I desired to make the State Educational Association an efficient agency to that end; & while adding to its means & powers for that purpose, to guard zealously against their perversion—Allow me, also, to add that nothing would afford me greater pleasure than a careful personal examination, on the part of the Chief executive Magistrate of the State, & of the Members of the Legislature, of the various means & appliances adopted by the Superintendent of Comn-Schools to harmonize, combine & advance all the educational interests of North-Carolina–.  The first annual meeting of its character, after the acceptance of its charter in 1861, is to be held in the midst of one of the most terrible wars of modern times; but as the struggle, on the most part of our people, is for the most sacred rights of civilized man, no statesman can fail to see the infinite importance of developing those moral elements which constitute the true greatness & happiness of nations—

Unless the present generation be morally great it is in danger of being overcome by the physical forces which it is creating, on a vast scale, for its defence and if the successors of the present race are ignorant & vicious how long will they enjoy the liberty won for them by priceless sacrifices of life, hardship & treasure?  Besides: the War forced on the Confederate States of America by a proud & pharisaical enemy is one which boldly impugns before the whole Christian world, the civilization of our country.  We are charged, before the Bar of Nations, with being an inferior people—necessarily inferior from a social system which, it is falsely alleged, is inimical to the development of moral power.  We are appealed to by every consideration which can influence our pride, our patriotism & our manhood to vindicate our character by diligent & ceaseless care in nourishing all the sources of inner national life, by keeping alive or rendering more & more efficient all the moral agencies of Society, & refusing to sacrifice for any illusive exigency of the moment the rights of freemen.  If we will do this, building always on the Divine Law, & properly seeking Divine protection, we never can be conquered by an external power—for physical force can never overcome moral power which is in its nature eternal in duration & infinite in resources—External power may wound—it is the failing of inner life that causes death—these are very plain truths—yet in the confusion & weakness of the times many are in danger of being carried away by those old plausible errors which assume that the interests of freedom require its own destruction for the present.  Your Excellency, called in the Providence of god, by an overwhelming popular vote, to preside over the destinies of a State most distinguished of all the Confederate sisters for promising elements of moral strength, cannot fail to see what an immensity of good may now be accomplished by the blessing of heaven, by encouraging words from your high position—your fellow-citizens universally confide in your wisdom & honesty, & will respect your opinions; & while you are thus placed, behold the best interests now trembling in the balance in the glorious land of our birth; Other States boast of their materials resources, their great staples from a teeming soil, & of their commercial advantages: Nature, apparently more harsh, but really more generous to N. Carolina, locked up her material interests & gave the key to science.  We could not be rich until we were morally great—discovering this great truth a few years ago, every hill & valley, every mountain top & bog & swamp was lighted up with the cheerful radiance of a vast system of schools, & guided by these the iron tracks of commerce, & agricultural & mining enterprize were pervading the state—Most of all, in these Schools was, under God, created & enlarged that love for N. Carolina, that respect for her character, & that enthusiasm at the mention of her name which have made her sons the heroes of this war in every great battle from Bethel to the hills of Maryland.

You cannot contemplate, without emotion, the possible drying up of the chief earthly source of so much good in the past & of such inestimable promise in the future to a State clear to you & to me as the place of our birth & the repository of the bones of our fathers—dear from the varied & beautiful scenery with which God has diversified its face & the benignant climate in which he has placed it—dear from the memory of past generations of free, modest, & kindly men—dear to us on account of the sneers & slanders of its enemies, & for the battles we have fought in defense of its honor—

Please excuse the feeling with which I write & the length of a letter much longer than I intended when I began it—As I wrote I became impressed with a deep sense of the importance of the position which you now occupy–& ever feeling my own responsibility to God & to future generations I felt that I could not discharge my conscience by saying less than I have—No one can estimate the responsibilities of those now occupying influential positions in the Confederate States; & as the interests of education in N. Carolina have been partly committed to my care I am ever fearful that I shall not act up to the dignity & the wants of this great crisis—I do not pretend to think that I can enlighten you as to your duties.

My great concern is to use the position God has given me to maintain the right—You know as well as I do that every state always contains an element opposed to its true greatness: an element that would, on various plausibles pretexts, repress the elevation of the masses to preserve, in fact, a perpetual ascendancy for itself—This class will now be busy among us; & the people, led off from the real issue, by suggestions of necessity, may permit a deadly blow to be stuck at this future welfare before they know it—

Entertaining no doubt of your sentiments—Knowing that you understand the real dangers of the times, & that you belong to that class who would rather see equals in a free intelligent & prosperous population, than hold hereditary rule over a poor, ignorant & vicious people, I can freely call on you to utter, from your high place, sympathetic words of encouragement to the great cause of education in this State.  We cannot expect you to attend the coming meeting of our association—but may we not count on your sympathy & cooperation in our Counsels for the good of dear old North-Carolina?

Calvin H. Wiley

[State Superintendent of Schools]


Sources: Christopher Watford, ed. The Civil War in North Carolina: Soldiers’ and Civilians’ Letters and Diaries, 1861-1865, Volume 1. (Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, Inc., 2003). Governor Zebulon Vance Papers, North Carolina State Archives, Raleigh.

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Glen Anna Female Seminary
Thomasville, NC
The Fall session will begin on the last Wednesday in July 1862, with a full corps of Teachers. Charges per session of 21 weeks: Board, washing and room $2.50 per week or $50 per session: English course, tuition $10 to $15, Piano, Melodeon or Guitar $2 each; Ornamentals reasonable. Board payable in advance. Tuition at the end of the session. For information address
J.W. Thomas, Pres’t Board
Source: Fayetteville Observer, July 3, 1862 as found in www.digitalnc.org

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Camp Barton, Va., March 18, 1862

My dear Wife,

            I will commence by saying that I am in a precious humor.  I got back at 11 A.M. and have done nothing but pitch into everybody and everything that has come near up to this time, 3 P.M. I can assign no reason, but my own dear wife shall get none of it.  I was sorry, Honey, to have to write such a hurried letter last evening.  I wanted to see Mr. John Norfleet to take $75 home for me.  I have had no dinner—and had to see the Sec. of War and ordnance officer.  I went after muskets, accoutrements, but only succeeded in getting the promise of half I wanted.

            My letter cost 80 cents.  They had no writing material at the hotel so I had to buy one package envelopes 50 cents.  Ten sheets of this paper 25 cents, postage 5 cents.  You see it was a very heavy outlay.

            Col. Lightfoot has been assigned to duty outside of the Regt. and I hope he will stay altho we have gotten along very well lately.  Gen. [Robert] Ransom asked me to whom he might write at Salem about quarters for his family and I told him I know none better than Jake, and he said he should write him.  Mrs. Col. Chilton may possibly go up there also.  I held out the advantages of Salem in the strongest light.  I know you would enjoy the society of older army ladies so much.  Mrs. Ransom has the reputation of being a very nice person….

            Oh, Honey.  I hope my Regt. will do well when we may get into a fight.  N.C. troops stand so low in that way, but I believe it is because they have been so badly handled.  I can manage my men in camp, on the march, and at drill, but it remains to be seen how I can manage them on the field.  They all seem to have the utmost confidence in me and I hope I shall not disappoint them.  If I live twelve months I feel that I am bound to be promoted.  I believe I could get it now if I would get political influence.

            The enemy seem to be making preparations to come this way.  The big men in these parts think this is the point.  These war times you must be prepared for anything.  When one goes to war he must expect to stand his chance of being numbered in the list of casualties.  Honey, never let us forget one thing, education is far more precious and highly appreciated even in these days of money loving, than money.  I want to educate my children if nothing else.  Either of us is capable of carrying them pretty well along in the English branches, so if necessary we could educate them on small means.  And above all I want to see them fully imbued with reverence for things Holy.  I had rather see them Christians than princes.

            I have never suffered more from cold than for the last few days.  I cannot drill at all.  My throat has been very sore, cough, etc., but it is getting better slowly and in time… I hope to be well.  Do you know honey I have not heard from you since your letter of the 10th, but I do not blame you.  I always find that you do your part.  Honey, I hope this will find you all ready to start home.  My next will be directed to Salem.  I wrote your father a few days ago, but it was a short and poor note.  I hope you will find Mary all comfortably domiciled at Good Spring.  You would do a good business to open a house of retreat for refugees.  The Yankees will never get up your way.

            We have it reported here that they have unaccountably recrossed the river.  The papers of today state that it is rumored that the people of Md. Have risen up in their rear.  As to their recrossing, Col. Hampton told me and he keeps well posted with their moves.  We are certainly in a blue way, but I never have any apprehensions as to the result.  If we can hold them in check one month more, we will be all right.  And if they have retreated to the other side it would look as if something was going wrong with them.

            Honey, how are you and the children?  Well I hope.

            I saw John Pegram last night at Richmond.

            God bless you all.

Your devoted Husband


Sources: William Hassler, ed., One of Lee’s Best Men: The Civil War Letters of General William Dorsey Pender (Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 1999). William Dorsey Pender papers, Southern Historical Collection, UNC-Chapel Hill. http://www.lib.unc.edu/mss/inv/p/Pender,William_Dorsey.html

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