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Record number: WCP1263

Sent by:
Frances ("Fanny") Sims (née Wallace)
Sent to:
Mary Ann Wallace (née Greenell)
29 November 1845

Sent by Frances ("Fanny") Sims (née Wallace), Montpelier, Georgia, USA to Mary Ann Wallace (née Greenell) [none given] on 29 November 1845.

Record created:
23 May 2011 by NHM


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Record contains:

  • letter (1)

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LETTER (WCP1263.1042)

A transcription handwritten by other in English.

Contemporary copy possibly in the hand of Mary Ann Wallace, contained in a notebook entitled "Fanny's letters, England and Georgia, Sept 1844 to Jan 1845" [NHM Archive reference number for the notebook WP1/3/92].

Held by:
Natural History Museum
Finding number:
NHM WP1/3/92/7
Copyright owner:
Copyright of the Frances ("Fanny") Sims (née Wallace) Literary Estate.

Physical description

Transcription information





Nov[embe]r 29th 1845

Dear Mamma

Another mail is come in and no letter to me from any one how disappointing do contrive better write between you every month. Miss Sinclairs mother having mentioned you assures me you were then well, but as here I have no correspondence whatever -- a letter is so delightful please dear mother cross[?] it and tell me all the news you know -- ever so trifling a nature it will be interesting to me. We have not seen Bishop Elliott yet on account of his presence being required in the north upon the trial of a Bishop[.] This is a case which at present is very exciting to the Americans. He will I hope visit us during the vacation when I will speak about Alfred as Teacher at "Chase Hall"[.] Dr Vaughn who was headmaster here was a very clever mechanic and taught the Boys to make all their own school boxes and many useful things, and it kept them out of mischief. They had a large book shop and there was always something going on, they had began [sic] with the assistance of some workmen to build a large schoolroom. After the Dr left the boys were up to all sorts of tricks. I have [[2]] but little novelty to fill a letter & you will be glad to hear I am well & getting stouter. I thought I should never be tired of Poultry, but I assure you I am, we sometimes have Kid, but I do not like it, I long for the Summer to come, to have plenty of fruit and vegetables. The weather has been most lovely at times cold but we have large fires of wood. The holidays have just commenced and the Girls are mostly gone only a few left to go tomorrow. We are going for a week to Macon about the middle of the holidays. This will be a change of scene but we are very comfortable in our snug parlor Working Reading & Drawing that I do not care to go from home. Yesterday we went for a beautiful walk through the forest and returned by the Road.

I will relate something that occurred during our walk. The road being very bad some of us had gone up upon a high bank to walk. I saw at a distance a kind of cavalcade and the people appeared to be dressed in a variety of colours. I could not make it out in such a lonely place and the Girls said here are some travellers coming. I thought I would stand on the bank and see them pass & observe how people [[3]] journied[sic] in these parts, soon they came up to us, but what should I see at first but a number of negroes of all ages walking two & two as Mrs Parez[?] and I looked at them (I suppose astonished) two of the women smiled and said "How do you do M’am.["] I answered them, and said where are you going to. The next town? They replied we don’t know, one of the Pupils near me said "Mam they are traders", Mrs Parez and myself at the same instant said What do they trade in? but as they passed on and behind them appeared several white men[.] The truth came across our minds & in less time than I have taken to relate it we understood it all, the poor creatures stared at us but they were soon gone then came carts full of children who could not walk,[.] I could see (though dimly for tears) that there were very young children infants asleep, as the last men passed by they cried out "Want a good strong working girl Ladies, or a quiet room[?] woman.["] We said No & walked on, but neither of us could speak, no one can tell the extraordinary feeling of seeing human beings being driven to market for the first time. There are some such handsome young women amongst them and some fine boys, one was taking hold of the arm of [[4]] some of the women perhaps thinking even at that moment one might be sold & the other left to go on alone, no person can tell their thoughts. I have no doubt they have fine feelings, but they are treated like beasts and their spirits broken. They exhibit a fine taste for music and sing anything they hear.

We want a teacher to take the English department for their first pupils. Who shall we send out for? [B]ut there are none very young here, it must be a very clever English Scholar and a religious young woman. I mean one who will attend to the Bible instruction and all the students in her schoolroom on Sundays and weekdays. She has it to herself and is not interfered with in in her mode of instruction. Old Miss[?] Lucy says every morning the same thing when she comes in to light the fire "Well Mistress how do you get along"[.] I say "O Lucy as well as can be expected" ["]now why do you bring so much wood at one time. You should make Betsy do it for you" but the more I tell her of it the more she brings. I believe she is pleased with my consideration for her.

A baby was born a night or two ago to add to this property[,] a fine boy and I have ascertained the truth of what we have often spoken, that the Babies when born [[5]] are not black. This one is a dirty yellowish white but during the first month they become darker and at last what is called black. -- -- I hope Herbert reads my letters and takes an interest in them. [Y]ou will hear of my visit in my next letter. Now dearest mother adieu may Heaven bless you and preserve us all in health to meet again, give my affectionate love to my four brothers and accept the same from yours for ever

F.W. [signature]


The Bearer of this letter & the small parcel to Alfred is Mr McFiter[?]. This gent is going to be married to Miss Casson the Drawing[?] Teacher who left Montpeglier [sic] before we arrived.

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