Another Civil War diary
Fear in North Carolina is the book I read recently. I am glad for getting to know Cornelia through her diary. She was a good women and I enjoyed the sweetness of her kind husband she so often wrote about. It was the civil war era (chalk that up for my 3rd civil war diary that I read since summer!), yet each lady I read about had a different situation (the previous posts were July 11, 12, 31st). This recent book was called “Fear in North Carolina” compiled and edited by Karen L. Clinard and Richard Russell. 2008 copyrighted.
This lady, Cornelia Henry, lived on a farm in the mountains outside of Asheville North Carolina with her husband and operated a hotel for a short while till it burned, afterwards they took in boarders (like a mini hotel) in another building on the grounds which she writes about, making it an interesting read for an hour at a time on the sofa. All the farm hands were slaves. this was the first time I had known about middle class people owning slaves, just thought it was for big cotton plantations. On the link above you’ll find the touching excerpt of when Atheline ( house slave) dies. Atheline’s parents were there when Cornelia’s father in law had the farm. You can bet Cornelia made her dresses that she has on in both photos. She was always sewing for her family and the slaves.
Here’s a quote from her diary that sums up the risk you take concerning marriage:
April 9th, 1868 This day 13 years ago I paid a last adieu to the home of my childhood. Put my happiness in my dear husband’s keeping. He has faithfully discharged his trust as it lay in his power. I am happier now than I was as a bride for I know him now to be a high toned gentleman. Then I did not. He was almost a stranger to me. When I think of it now, I see how much we both risked.
Doesn’t that about sum it up as far as marriage goes? You really don’t know how the character of each other will develop until the years go by!
Don’t let Cornilia’s big hat scare you away from reading her diary when you see her on the cover of the book. I think it was a wedding photo. I’m glad the authors (Richard Russell and Karen L. Clinard) compiled this work into a book since I gleaned so much out of it.
To me it was a true love story about a good man who was a “high toned gentleman” (as Cornelia puts it) in the community and his family, with Cornelia shining throughout the book as a mom who dearly cared for her children. All the people mentioned in the book caught my attention and the time period of the book- the start to the end of the civil war covered. There was no insurance claim to be had when the hotel burned down either. If they had one, they could have rebuild. What a loss if you had a fire on your property back then!
photos courtesy of google books online reading.