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Union or Secession
  • "We are no longer one of the united States"
  • "We are no longer one of the united States"
  • "We are no longer one of the united States"
On January 9, 1861, Sue Gilmore wrote from Arkabutla, Mississippi, to her cousin Callie Anthony about her fears for the future on the day that Mississippi seceded from the Union.
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  • "We have a goodly number of abolitionists in our midst."
  • "You were supprised to hear of my marriage"
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My Dear Callie

"We are no longer one of the united States"

Sue Gilmore to Callie Anthony, January 9, 1861, Anthony Family Papers, 1785–1952, Acc. 35647, 35648, Library of Virginia.

Callie Anthony says: My cousin, Sue Gilmore, wrote to me from Arkabutla, in northern Mississippi. She told me about her Christmas visits and the amazing Christmas tree she saw. It must have been lovely. She was lucky to get six presents off of the tree, but I cannot believe that the music teacher really received 150 presents off of the tree!

I know Sue misses living here in Virginia very much. Her family news was welcome, though, as was her information about her suitor (a widower with a daughter), whom she says is too old for her. Sue also mentioned that Mississippi had seceded. She is afraid that "we poor helpless females will have to encounter many dangers and hardships we know nothing of now." I hope we never get to a point where women and children are in danger.

Sue Gilmore to Callie Anthony, January 9, 1861, Anthony Family Papers, 1785–1952, Acc. 35647, 35648, Library of Virginia.

Arkabutla Jan 9th //61
Good morning, Newyears gift dear cousin, and will you here permit me to name the gift I wish you to bestow on your absent Cous.? tis this, that when you prostrate your self at a throne of forgiveness that you will then and there remember one who loves you with a sisterly love, I have this morning been traversing the haunts of the past so forcebly impressed on my mind, and while retrospecting my past life, especially that part which was at dear old Pleasant Retreat, it causes my eyes to overflow, to think, that I am so far from the scenes of my childhood, and from all of my dear associates and that I shall never again behold any of the dear friends of my childhood, but I must hear lead a lonely life among strangers as I may call them, for I have never met with any one since I came to this state who can equal the dear good people of old Va although I have some very dear friends here. Yet I am often changing my home and each time I have to form new acquaintances, but enough of this for I know you are beginning to scold, What for I a Xmas did you spend? A pleasant one I hope, I was in Looxahoma when I received yours and did not return untill yesterday. I had fine times while I was gone, attended six parties and a large ball, spent several days in Holly Springs & Waterford stayed one week in Chulahoma, While there attended a Concert at the Seminary and then saw the most beautiful Xmas tree that was ever made in North Miss. And more than that was honoured with six present on the tree, that you know was nice, there was said to be two wagon loads of present on the tree a young lady who teaches music in the Seminary received 150 present on the tree and all of them were nice, the young lady of whom I am speaking gave Hallie Hunt a fine set of jewelry, Hallie will not go there to school any more, as she is going to keep house for her papa. It is reported that Buck is to marry a Miss Penn of Va some time this month, as he will leave for Va in a few days. Ma has gone out visiting today and taken May with her, Sis Sallie has gone to school. Nannie is at brother W. so I am all alone with the exception of a negro girl, and you may know I felt lonely, but not as much so as I would have felt two months ago had I been left all alone for I have gotten to be more cheerful than I was then, I think my trip did me great good. I hav'nt had a chill for five weeks and am now looking tolerably well weigh 110 lbs, I think I have at last found a cure for chills, I expected to have taught school this year where I did last, but while I was gone I declined the idea of teaching any this year, I will rest one year and see if I cant recruit my health as confinement does not suit me. What do you think of the idea? I have concluded there is no use in my killing myself for the sake of a little money and after it is made not be able to enjoy it, I will try and support this year on what I made last and when 62 rolls around take a fresh start. You said something about the old wid. in your last letter to me, wanting to know if I could not take pity on him and be a mother to his grown up girls, there you were mistaken for he has but one child and that is a girl and one of the nicest little creatures you ever saw, just let me tell you, I had the pleasure of his company home, all of them said here that they did not know what to do with such a rich and stylish old fell. he told Nannie that I had been flying round in Marshall visiting all of my new kin on his side and he had come down to see his kin, on my side, she asked him how he liked their looks, and his reply was very much indeed, he calls her Sis Nannie all the time, he is a nice old man but too old for me, he will be down in two weeks and bring Pattie with him, she will stay here several weeks, I am anxious for Mama to try and captivate him I think they would suit very well, Well have you ever known such a political excitement as is now prevailing through our land I now do no, you have learned in this that we are no longer one of the united States, I tell you cousin it fill my very soul with horror when I contemplate the darke fate that hangs over us, it is the last thing I think of at night and the first in the morning, for I am fearful we poor helpless females will have to encounter many dangers and hardships we know nothing of now. Brother William was here this morning, he is very much complaining has a horrid cold and cough Charlie has been quite sick with something like Diphtheria which has been prevailing through this portion of country for sometime and has proved fatal in many many instances Nannie has been sick for several weeks but is improving she is a poor frail delicate child, but is a very intelligent child for one of her age, and I must here say a very bad spoilt one, and I am sorry to say has a most ungovernable temper. I often wonder what will become of her she is so self willed, if you ever read Beulah I think you have some idea what kind of child may is for their dispositions are very much alike at least I think so, and I hope she may be as intelligent as she was but it is vain to make such a wish, You must write me a[s] soon as you receive this let us try and be more punctual in future, you must excuse me for writing this dull thing for I have had the head ache for a week. Give my warmest love to your Pa Ma, & Johnny, also Bens family kiss the little ones for Cousin Jane, All sends much love to you all Mamie says kiss little Charlie & Willie Goody for her
Yours so fondly
SUE GILMORE
Miss Callie Jennie Anthony
Walnut Hill