The Murphrey Letters (1768 - 1776)


July 3, 1768 - Letter from Michael Murphrey to Patsey Hill
September 30, 1768 - Letter from Captain John Murphrey to Drewry Aldridge, Sr.
October 1, 1768 - Letter from Drewry Aldridge, Sr. to Captain John Murphrey
September 14, 1769 - Letter from Gale Murphrey to John Murphrey, Jr.
May 3, 1770 - Letter of agreement to build the Little Goshen Chapel
June 1, 1770 - Letter from Gale Murphrey to John Murphrey, Jr.
June 2, 1770 - Letter from Captain John Murphrey to Murphrey Dickson
June 10, 1770 - Letter from Murphrey Dixon to Captain John Murphrey
September 9, 1770 - Letter from Captain John Murphrey to his son John Murphrey
September 10, 1770 - Letter from Gale Murphrey to John Murphrey, Jr.
December 10, 1770 - Letter from Gale Murphrey to William Murphrey
March 19, 1771 - Letter from Jethro Murphrey to Captain John Murphrey and his wife Elizabeth
August 10, 1772 - Letter from Michael Murphrey to Captain John Murphrey
August 7, 1774 - Letter from Elizabeth Murphrey to her husband, Captain John Murphrey
April 12, 1776 - Letter from Elizabeth Murphrey to her daughter-in-law Mrs. Mary Murphrey
October 19, 1776 - Letter from Mrs. Mary Murphrey to her mother-in-law Elizabeth Murphrey

Letter from Michael Murphrey, son of Captain John Murphrey, to his sister Patsey, wife of Robert Hill, Jr.

                                   Walnut Creek     3 July 1768

Dr. Sister

As you propose to Christen the Child on the Morrow - I shall be oblidged 
to loan you my Chair & Horses to bring Mother also Elizth Sheppard & 
Sukey Markland whom your Husband is desirous should be the god Mothers.  
I have sent Markquis to drive.  He should arrive well on to time for all 
to get here without trouble or haste.  We shall met you at Church.

Your Dutiful Brother Michl. Mrs. Patsey Hill the Hurricains

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Letter from Captain John Murphrey to Drewry Aldridge, Sr.

                                  Bearegarden  30 September. 1768

Sir,

    My son John informs me that he has been so fortunate as to have 
gain'd the affection of your Daughter Polly & that he expects to be 
married to her.  It gives his Mother & myself much pleasure in his 
most prudent choice.  We can not have the least objection to a young 
Lady of Miss Polly's amiable good Character, she having been brought 
up under the care of so genteel and Worthy Parents as Madam Aldridge 
and yourself.  You may depend that Mrs. Murphrey & myself shall do 
every thing that is in our power towards their living in ease and to 
prmoting their general happiness.  To further this aim we doubt not 
but that you & your Lady will most cheerfully contribute.  It is my 
intent to settle upon my son my Plantation known by the name Musquettoe 
containing upwards of 100 acres of River low lands, leaving the 
furniture in the house standing there - except for some few articles - 
the Stock and mills thereunto with 6 or 8 working slaves which is all 
that can be spared at present, I having lost a good many to the Ague. 
He shall also have my Clark's place which is worth in most years upwards 
to b300.  Our respectful Compliments & Praises attend both your Lady 
and yourself & family.

    I am Sir with very Great respect, yr Obdt Servt

                                       Capt. John Murphrey

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Letter from Drewry Aldridge, Sr. to Captain John Murphrey

                                  

Capt. John Murphrey

    Sir- 
    Your letter of yesterday is now before me.  I have no Objections 
either to your son or to his connections - I have sincere regard Sr 
for both yourself & Family & of consequence thereof I welcome a union 
betwixt our two Houses.  I propose to give an absolute Estate to my 
daughter of those things which I shall here after mention - Vizt. 250 
acres of unseated Forrest lands in Craven, 4 or five negroes and some 
stock & furniture.  Myself and Lady present our Compliments.

                                       Your very Hum Servt

                                       D. Aldridge Esq.

Myrtle Bluffs
Octr 1, 1768

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Letter from Gale Murphrey, daughter of Captain John Murphrey, to her brother John Murphrey
                              The Beare Garden 14 Sept. 1769


Dear Brother

We received yours of the 9th inst. by cozin Dixon when he returned 
from down the countrie and we was right glad to here from you.  We 
have had a frightful time of it here.  Mama, Jethra, & me went down 
to Tower Hill to see sister Caswell who had been brought to bed of a 
fine new son.  All are or were well there; we not hering from them 
since the gale, God only knows how they are. We was going to stay 
the night at Mrs. Shepards but made good time owning to the rds 
being firm & the chariott having no problems we got to Contentney & 
took the ferry on home. And good we did. The winds rose in the 
evening & becoming more violente begun to rattle the hole house.  
Mama was quite stricken with fright & would not be consold.  Papa 
gatherd us together & set us all in the hall as it was the most 
inner place.  In the early morning it stopped but came up again & 
lasted the better part of the day.  Two of the biggest oak trees in 
the yard are down - one right on the barn.  All the chimneys are 
knocked down and the negra houses gone.  Most of the contents of the 
houses are now in the yard.  Papa is much upset & swears he is ruind 
most of the tobacca being destroied & the store also.  Cozin 
Holliday at Hawlanding faired bad also not a single house left 
standing on his planta.  Dixon says Newbern is much destroied also 
and the country round abouts.  Most of the roads are not passable 
owning to the high water and fallen trees and he said he had a rough 
go of it getting up the river. Please take cear of yourself there & 
hurry home.


                                   Your loving Sister

                                   Gale


Mr. John Murphry
at Mr. Oliver's
Newbern, N. C.

Care of Francis Harper

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Letter of agreement to build the Little Goshen Chapel.

Little Goshen Chapel
pp. 92 -93


At the Vestry held for St. Patrick Parish the 3 day of May 1770 -
Present
          The revd Willm Miller
          Simon Bright, Drew Aldrige, William Bell, Robert
          Williams, Martin Caswell, Major Croom, John Tilmon, 
          Thomas Edwards

To the Hon. Abraham Shepherd & Capt. John Murphrey Trustees

It is agreed that a Chapel should be built on some part of the old
field belonging to the said Shepherd & Murphry called Little Goshen
to be 60 foot long & 30 foot wide in the Clear, the Foundations to
be begun 5 bricks thick & so continued to the surface of the earth
& from thence 4 bricks thick to the water table which is to be 4
foot above the top of the earth.  The walls are to be well framed
of Pine or Cypress timbers well seesoned to 25 foot pitch from the
surface of the earth.  The Doors in the North & South sides to be
12 foot high & 6 foot wide to be glazed with best London crown and
to contain 32 lights in the square part and 2 windows in the West
End convenent to the Gallery.  The flooring of the pews & Isles to
be laid with well seasoned quarter pine plank cleared of sap on
good White Oak sleepers, the wainscot for the pews to be well
seasoned pine or sypress plank raised on one Diameter at the bottom
of the Sharft to be fluted & the capitals of a good Order.  A
Gallery to be at the West End 10 foot wide to be divided into sets
of pews with stairs to go up on each side.  The roof to be well
framed with Pine or Cypress, the girders to be 12 inches squared
the summers 12 inches squared, the joists to be 12 by 3 the
principal rafters to be 10 inches by 3, the purloines to be 10 by
8 & the smaller rafters to be 10 by 4, to be covered over with
plank cyphered & lapped 1 1/2 inches & covered with shingles of
good cypress 20 inches long 3/4 inch thick & not to show more than
6 inches.  The Chapel to have a neat Madilioned cornick on the
sides & each end, the pews to be the same height as them now in the
present Parish Church to be primed with white lead & to be painted
with a wainscot colour.  All the outside of the doors & windows &
cornish to be primed or painted four times over with a neat straw
colour and the walls all about primed or painted with white lead. 
A neat altar piece of walnut with handrails & banisters of the same
with a neat pulpit and desks.  The Church is to be compleatly
finished by the last of May 1772.  One hundred pounds to be paid to
the undertakers on the last of May next.  Two hundred pounds to be
paid on May last 1772.  Jesse Jones and William Mackenny are
herewith appointed to see that the said work is forward &
faithfully done with good materials.  It is also agreed by the
Vestry that Abraham Sheppard & John Murphrey shall underwrite with
Thomas Edwards for the building of the aforementioned chapel
according to the plain & that they shall pay 200 pounds current
money for same.

Truly recorded           Jas. Lindsay, V. Clk.

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Letter from Gale Murphrey, daughter of Captain John Murphrey, to her brother John Murphrey
                              at Beare Garden June 1, 1770

Dearest Brother,

  I hope this finds you & yours in good health & spirits.  All 
here are fine.  Papa is quite busy.  He has given sister Mary 
and Robin the Hurricanes plantation and he and Robin are building
a new house there.  They have enlarged the Hunting lodge at the 
quarters there by putting on a second floor and little short 
rooms to each side.  It is a lovely home & Sister is excited 
beyond belief to get a new home of her own.  Brother Hill has 
sent into Virginia for new furnishings for he says the makers 
there have it all over ours her and Mother has already sent her 
gardner Cato over with some cuttings to get the grounds in order. 
The box garden there will be larger and more modern than ours but 
I think will never surpass the beauty of mamas garden.  Papa is 
planning ajourney into Virginia to visit the cousins and finish 
some tobacco business next month.  Mama will probably go along 
for some shopping & visiting & I hope to go also.  It is been so 
long since I've seen any of the relations.  Tell Mary her parents 
& family are all fine.  They were here for several days last week 
to hunt & were in high spirits.


                                   All my love

                                   Gale


Mr. John Murphry
at Mr. Cox's
At New Bern, N. Co.

Care of Mr. Caswell

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Letter from Captain John Murphrey to his nephew, Murphrey Dickson
                              June 2, 1770

Dear Couzin,

  As you have no doubt already heard the Vestry has authorized 
the construction of our chapel at Little Goshen for the use of 
our neighborhood.  It is to be compleated for use in the early 
part of 1772 or earlier.  Shepheard & I are to underwrite the 
cost of the same & Edwards will undertake most of the building 
himself with but small cost to the Parish.  We have need of two
chairs, of good proporsion larger than table chairs and a large 
square table and readers desk.  They are to be of walnut or 
cherry wood finished off in the best english manner not too 
plain but of a richness befitting their use.  We desire also 
that the creed & the prayer be carved & gilded on planks to be 
used above the alter.  The members of the Vestry spoke well of 
your work & feel your fee to be more reasonable than Thippen and 
the quality beter.  If possible also it is the desire of the bord 
that you undertake the pulpit & bord.  I will be home in the week 
& look forward to hearing from you then.  Elizabeth sends her 
greetings to Mrs. Dickson and desires me to thank her for the 
rose bushes that she sent us.  They are a most beautiful addition
to our arbor and will be greatly enjoyed.  The races here have 
not been of much account because of the freshes which have kept 
all but those with court business away.  Exum had an adventure 
day before when his canoe was sunk by the current & he near 
drowned.  All his deeds & papers to be registered at the Court 
are by now floated to the sea & all will have to be rewritten 
and signed much to his worry & that of his clients.  Mine to all 
at your place.

                                   Yr. Obedt. Servant,

                                   J. Murphry

Mr. M. Dickson
Grampon Hills
Dobbs

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Letter from Murphrey Dickson to Captain John Murphrey
                              10 June 1770

Dear Jacky

  I have your leter in hand and will be more than glad to 
undertk the chirs and table you spoke of.  I have on hand at 
presint a set of comb back chirs of cherry which I think 
would do nice for the chancil.  I take it that the table you 
wish dun in the stile of a silver table much as the one I made 
Pope some time back.  If this is not of your mind let me now. 
I will have to waite on the pulpit for the church to be well 
up afore I commence work on it in that I will need the exack 
measures for it.  All I will undertk for no fee in that it is 
for the Church & not for sum privet person.  I will be coming 
up river to deliver some goods to Mr. More in a day or so and 
will stop to yr house to make shure of all this work and its 
nature. You may be ashured that I will do my best to satisfie 
bout yrself & the Vestry. 

                                   Muffery Dixson

                                   

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Letter from Captain John Murphrey to his son John Murphrey


Muskettoe Quarter  Septr. 9, 1770


Dear Son,

     You will receive this of Dick Caswell who is accompanying 6
hhds. my tobo. to Newberne.  All are properly marked.  You are to
see Mr. Olliver as to the disposal of the same.  Have him hold the
note for I will settle debts & orders when I arrive which will be
on or about the 2d.  Your mother will be accompanying me as will
your sister Gale & little Jethra.  Mr. Blackledge has offered us
the hospitality of his home so you need not worry to engage us
rooms.  Send the enclosed list to Mr. Cornell to be fill'd & the
goods loaded upon the Betsey after Olliver has removed the hhds. 
Cousin Murphry will have other instructions for you also.  We will
take the perangue down after the canopy and rigging is refetted &
return at the end of the festivities.  You will keep the perangue
for your return trip at Christmas tide.  Remember me to all in that
place.

                         Your Loving Father

     N. B.  You may take the price of your picture out of the tobo.
notes.  If your painter be good, I may have my picture drawn for
your mother's Christmas.

Mr. John Murphry
At Wm. Coxs
Near Newbern

care of Mr. Caswell

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Letter from Gale Murphrey, daughter of Captain John Murphrey, to her brother John Murphrey

                              the Beare Garden    Sept. 10, 1770

Dear Brother
     We got here last evening & are in good health altho' much
fatigued.  The season has started off better than any I can
remember.  Papa allowed us to go to the festivities at Walnut Creek
for the opening of the courts & we did have a high ole time.  A
dinner & ball were held at the courthouse - about 40 or 50
attending - a sparkling company.  Madame Sasser as usual outdid all
there.  Papa entered his horse Marc Anthony in the heats but lost
to Major Crooms filly Royal Flush.  Abe Shepard's horse Donegale
won the second heat and Billy Sutton's Jupitar the last.  The track
was some muddy which Pa accounts for Marc's bad showing.  Went home
with Lam Hardy for two days of marryment & then came home.  Mary
Mewborn & sister Caswell & family came with us to attend church. 
Revd Miller also accompanied us and on Monday Papa threw a Birth
Day ball for Mama.  A real tearing Ball it was too.  Papa felt his
Spirits and he & Billy Hooker play'd their fiddles most of the
night.  I danced till I was out winded and Justice Speight lost his
wig during a reel with Mama.  Oh, how she was aback and how we
laughed at his little crop'd head.  Then we were off again to the
hunts at White House where no fox was got but two fine staggs.  A
shall shower caused dinner to be moved inside but didn't slack the
dancing on the lawn.  Justice Taylor got tipsy off Arrack and fell
from his horse (which was stoke still at the time) & broke his
collar bone.  He had to be brot back in a cart.  His lady was fit
to tie and berated him much for a lack of dignity.  If I were a
lawyer I would be hard put not to laugh while at the bar from all
the carrying on of our Justices.  This morning came Mr. Dick
Caswell & invited Papa to go down to Newbern for the opening of the
Government House because he is the Surveyor and one of the chiefist
men in these parts.  I am so excited - Papa is allowing me to go
along & meet the Governor.  Mama says she does not much care for
Him but that His Lady is quite a charming person.  Lany & Sally are
to stay here with Bill & His wife But Jethra & Mr. Duncan are to go
down also to look into Mr. Thom (torn) school there.  What are the
ladies of Newbern wearing this season.  I do not wish to appear the
Rustick Mouse amongst my City Cozins.  I know I will not be able to
out shine any of them but I would like to make at least some
showing.  My fondest wishes to my little sisterinlaw & friends
Bryan & Cox.

                                        Your loveing Sister
                                             Gale
Mr. John Murphry
At Mr. Cox's
At New Bern, N.C.
Care of Mr. Caswell

Notes from James Creech:
"The house mentioned above is the Old Best House, known also as the
White House.  The Walnut Creek, was the Old Dobbs County
Courthouse, located there.  Lam Hardy lived at Jason and Mary
Mewborn, was the widow of George Mewborn & Dick Caswell was Richard
Caswell.  Justice Taylor was William Taylor."

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Letter from Gale Murphrey, daughter of Captain John Murphrey, to her brother William Murphrey
                              New Berne  10 Decr. 1770

Dear Billy,

  We arrived here all safe & sound of Body.  The weather has 
been pleasant and warm.  The gods must surely smile on our 
festivities.  We are not at Mr. Blackladges as was planned 
because of fever amongst his people but are instead with Mr. 
Coor.  I have rooms at the top of the house with Sally and can 
see from river to river and well up the neck from this high 
point.  This is such a bustling busy place after the solitude 
of our forest clearing.  We have done much shopping and 
visiting abouts. There are so many old friends and acquantenses 
here and a great number of Dobbs folks are down.  Saw many of 
them at Church a Sunday.  We shared a pew with old Hannah Hill 
and Spyrs Singleton and family.  On Celebration day the town 
was decked out as to appear a fair.  Everyone in their finery 
& entertainments at every corner.  We went with Mr. Green & 
Brother Caswell to the setting of the Govournment in their new 
Chambers but could naught but stand below windows such was the 
press.  Papa was made door keeper for the Assemblage in that 
the regular keeper was a bed with the ague.  The Government 
closed business for the day when the point guns saluted and 
everyone repaired to prepare for the ball.  The Govournment 
House is indeed grand.  Mama says that it is even grander 
that the gouvernors house in Virginia.  I heard it said by a 
gentleman who is much travelled that it is an English house in 
the finest London taste.  Oh, I wish you could have seen the 
ball. It dazled the eyes & mind of the beholder.  Such finery 
& jewels.  Mother never looked younger or in more health.  She 
wore the blue spittlefelds gown Papa brought for her and 
Grandmother B's diamonds set her off to perfection.  And you 
should have seen our little Polly all in green & yellow satin 
with plumes and turban.  She has become quite the city lady. 
When presented to the Governour & Lady he spoke at some length 
with Mother his having met her cousins while in Virginia.  We 
danced and danced the long part of the evening and ate a great 
number of delicasys which we have only for weddings & funerals. 
The lawn before the house was set to form a large feast for the 
general public who were not at the ball and the whole night 
ended with a great fire show.  Parson Reed danced with me three 
times & the dear old gentleman would make to have great 
liberties of speech with Mother who laughed like a girl at such 
flirtations.  Papa played the part of the jealous husband quite 
well to the merryment of all.  On the day after the ball we 
walked over to Reed's & set upon porch for a while until he 
took Jethra & Papa to view the school and talk of tuition with 
Thomason.  We drank tea with Mrs. Reed and later came Mrs. 
Frank, Mrs. Roads and young Mrs. King a relation of Mrs. Roads 
from down the country.  We supped at Cornell's to a large 
company and afterwards i played the harpsichord for all and 
Mother lost 4 L. to Mrs. Cornell at quadrille which caused 
Papa's blood to rise.  The town is still in a festive mood, 
We have seen two horseraces and a concert by the young men of 
the town.  We are to be home in less than a weeks time to 
prepare for the holydays.  We have all or most of the items 
you wished, papa at present still haggling with Old Hard Money 
over credit and goods.  Tell (torn) the bolts of cloth she 
wanted and the set of Chinia.  Tell her the ladies are wearing 
the most charming knots and over skits and ribbons this season. 
Mama has found the most charming irish seamstress and you 
really must bring (torn) to town that she may make up dresses 
for her also.  I really must close now (torn) is having a 
dance tonight & I have to begin (torn)t. Love to all.  


                                   Your Sister

                                   Gale


Mr. Willm. Murphrey Esqu.at Mr. Cox's
the Newfields
Dobbs

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Letter from Jethro Murphrey, son of Captain John Murphrey, to his father and mother
                              New Berne  10 Decr. 1770

Dear Father and Mother,

  I am doing quite well and hope you are fine also. I am enjoying 
my schooling and the life here in New Bern.  Mr. Tomlinson keeps 
a good house and is pleasant and kind.  He has one other border 
who is also a student named Baker from near Edonton.  Mr. 
Tomlinson sees to it that we have our lessons done each evening 
and that is the only problem of living with a schoolmaster. 
Other wise it is alright.  Parson Reed comes often to the school 
to check on our progress and is greatly pleased with all that is 
done here.  He has dined with us once and asked to be remembered 
to you both.  He says the clippings Mother gave him are 
flourishing in his garden & he hopes you will both visit soon to 
view at first hand their progress.  There is always so much 
going on here it is hard to keep one's mind on lessons.  We saw 
a great horse race Thursday last.  Mr. Singlton was there and 
invited me to dinner with him at Bryans.  He asked me much about 
my lessons and I think my answers much pleased him for he said 
that I was pleasant companie and would someday be a joy and 
assett to my family.  Brot. Johnny has taken a small house near 
the Pallace.  I am sure you know the house it being near the 
brickill.  They have just gotten settled in good so I have not 
been avisiting.  I do see them at Church & have gotten dinner 
invitations but with us both busy in our separate ways we have 
not been able to get together.  All here send best wishes and 
await your next visit.

                                   I am your son

                                   Jet.

Capt. John Murphrey
Dobbs

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Letter from Michael Murphrey to his father, Captain John Murphrey
                              Michl's Delight  Augt. 10, 1772


Dear Father,

    The desire for keeping up a fillial love inclines me to give 
you a line or Two which I hope will be acceptable.  I have 
lately been put out by a bad fever but by taking the Bark am as 
well & sound of wind & Limb as before.  Our friend Randle & his 
Lady and daughter went from here Friday last and col Hardies 
coach met them at Crowne point which conveyed them to his home 
that night.  Mistress Randle is a fine plump Girl with a great 
deal of since & vivasity and behaves her self quite well.  I hear 
nothing of sister Patsey tho' I hear they were to Church in N Bern 
on Sunday and all were fine.  Reports from my oversere at the Cedar 
Stand say we have had such rains that the Taback fires & takes much 
damage in the house.  No doubt we shall have a fresh to carry off 
what is left.  I am afraid I shall make a poor showin all round this 
year. But what can I expect from absent planting when I cant keep 
a personal eye on my property.  I hope to move down the country for 
good in the near future if the times do not forbid it.  Saw Harvey 
last Wednesday in Wilmingtown.  He was purchasing a new spinnet 
for his middle girl who is recently married.  He says poor Tindol 
has lost both his girls and a son to the ague.  For more news I 
will have to refer you to a better authority.  My Kind Love to 
Mother & any of my brothers and sisters who might be about.

                                   Your very affectionate Son

                                   Michl

Capt. John Murphry esqu
the beare Garden
Newbern, N. C.

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Letter from Elizabeth Murphrey to her husband, Captain John Murphrey
                              Beare Garden  Aug 7, 1774


My dearest Husband

    The heavy rains here & the great rise of contentny must no 
doubt make you eager for news from this place.  All the low 
grounds here at the Meadows & Panther sw. quarters are completely 
covered over save for some few high spots.  It has drained some 
but the river is not yet in its banks.  The tobakha I feel is all 
but lost & the corn too I fear.  All is covered with mud but there 
is now a rain afalling which I hope may wash it clean to give at 
least a more chereful contenance to the view.  The upland crops 
have suffered some from the wet but have mostly shed it. Johnnie's 
losses will I am afraid be most calamitous.  Not only the crops 
on his place but the lower floor of his house is also covered up. 
We had little time to take out the furnishings and most of what 
was there is lost.  Betwixt the 2 of us we will nothing like 
clear expenses this year.  Only the new rice field & Robin's 
rice crop are standing in this part of the country.  Hooker and 
Sheppard have been by to visit and talk of nothing but high waters 
and ruin.  We are all otherwise well except Mr Duncan who has not 
yet entirely recovered but is so much better.  I will be so glad 
to see you again dearist.  Please let me know of you.  My deepest 
love to you & best wishes to all at that place. 

                                   Thy Most Loving & Obdt Wife

                                   Bess


Captain J. Murphrey
Martins
Hallifax

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Letter from Elizabeth Murphrey, wife of Captain John Murphrey, to her daughter-in-law Mary (Polly)Murphrey
                              Hurricanes  April 12, 1776


My Dearest Daughter

    I had a safe and very pleasant journey home to find all the 
jasamine & fruit trees in bloom.  And have been devoting much 
time to the garden no doubt to the better ment of both my health 
& attitude.  Mary has asked for help preparing her garden.  As 
you know she is but a midling gardner.  At your mothers urging 
she has written for seeds from Simpson.  Your Mother has already 
sent over several packets of spring peas and lilac.  I am in as 
fine a health & strength as could be expected at my time of age. 
I ride or walk about the plantation twice a day morning and 
evening according to the weather.  I would love to have you with 
me occasionally in these excursions.  I am much drawn to you for 
your resemblence to myself at that age.  I am so lonely these 
times.  Most of my chicks have fled the nest & the old cock has 
gone on.  It is hard to have built almost 50 years of life 
around one man only to be left alone in old age.  it seems that 
even despite ourselves life is still no more than a brief song 
on the wind that lingers for a bit and is no more.  I see the 
children frequently but they all have their own lives to live 
and very little time to spend on an old tit like myself tho the 
love between us all is strong and binding.  Sohee ran off from 
me a fortnight ago & is now lurking about God knows where.  He 
greatly offended Patsey when she came visiting & she threatened 
him with a beating.  He ran off to avoid it& so has left me with 
no one to wait table.  If it were not for the economy & the need 
to have Negras to maintain ones position in life I would rid 
myself of them this moment.  It is so hard sometimes to care for 
the every need of both a white & black family.  I am often 
stifled by the burden it places on my scant patience & wisdom. 
But for old Titch I would run off myself sometimes.  I bless the 
day Papa gave her to me.  I am with Patsey at present.  She had 
a miscarriage this friday will be most a week.  She was 
delivered of a fine boy tho stillborn.  She is quite well but 
distraught as any mother who looses a small one is.  Health  
wise she glows.  She attributes the misfortune to a very bad 
trip by charriott last week to visit Nancy at Chelsea.  Please 
write more.  These old ears pine for news of you & yours.

                                   Your loveing Mother 

                                   Elizabeth


Mrs. Mary  Murphry
Mr. Cox
at New Bern

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Letter from Mary Murphrey, daughter-in-law of Captain John Murphrey, to her mother-in-law, Elizabeth
                              Belare near Newbern  19 Octr. 1776


Dear Madam

    I am greatly saddened by the news of the fever on Contentny. 
William brot the news when he came to this place with his family. 
Johnnie was so much affected by the death of his dear Sister Gail 
as to be unable to eat or sleep for near a forte night.  Both his 
health & his business have suffered from this condition.  She 
above all others in this world was his true soul mate & confidant. 
He prays greatly that Lanie and Jethra recovered & were not taken 
also.  I am quite well tho fat with child yet. John has removed me 
to this place for fear of the outbreak of fever in the town and to 
escape the Heats there which are greater than any I can remember 
for this season of the Year.  The countrie round bouts is very 
pleasant & healthie and the house elegant and new.  Mr. Blount is 
quite nice and much the tease and his Lady indeed an ornament to 
his house.  Taken seperately they are accomplished and enjoyable 
company but the friction that exist between them as man and wife 
can make them quite uncomfortable to be with at times.  They were 
kind enough to prepare for me a room below stairs.  I am so plumb 
now that I can hardly rise from my chair let alone try to walk 
stairs.  But it is only a small inconvenience when one thinks of 
the great pleasure god grants us by children.  And yet, when 
thinking on Gail it is hard to understand why god should grant 
us such a gift only to take it so shortly from us.  Everyone 
about town is up for freedom.  John is still of two minds.  This 
independency is sweet indeed but he fears war will destroy our 
trade or at least cripple it to the extent of economic ruin for 
the Province.  I can but wonder what condition the world will be 
in when my child enters it.  Johnnie has spoken of sending to 
the Northward for a stone marker for Gail and swears he will do 
so if matters do not worsen.  Madam, I pray god to protect you & 
family & deliver them from future pain and sickness.
    My wishes and prayers to all.

                                   Your Loving daughter,

                                        Mary

Mrs Elizabeth Murphrey
the Beare Garden
Dobbs, N. C.

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