Palfrey, John Carver 1865
 
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UNIVERSITY OF MASSACHUSETTS LOWELL
CENTER FOR LOWELL HISTORY1

WRITTEN BY JOHN CARVER PALFREY2
TO DOCTOR STEPHEN W. DRIVER

            Merrimack Man Company3
            Lowell4 Nov. 8th 1865

Dr. S.W. Driver

            My dear Doctor,

            I git your kind note
yesterday and it gave me
great pleasure.  I am very
glad you have such plea-
sant recollections of our
Ship Island Life.

            I have been here a fort-
night, hard at work, but a
good deal interested in the
beautiful machinery and
the regularity of the place.
I find myself in a very con-
spicuous and responsible
position, and my usual luck of
plenty of work follows me.  I
have a command of force

  1Transcribed by the University of Lowell, Center for Lowell History.
  2John Carver Palfrey b: 25 Dec 1833, Cambridge, MA d: 1906, 
    Belmont, MA; parents: John Gorham Palfrey and Mary Ann 
    Hammond; West Point engineer: Civil War served with Benjamin F. 
    Butler on Ship Island in Mississippi during the Civil War; Agent: 
    Merrimack Manufacturing Company cotton mill; married 21 Oct 
    1874 Adelaide Eliza Payson b: May 1838, Roxbury, MA; parents 
    Samuel and Hannah Payson.
  3Merrimack Manufacturing Company cotton mill.
  4Lowell, Massachusetts.
 

1800 people mostly women
who I consider about equivalent
to an Army Corps.  My duties
include the regulation & care
of these boardinghouses as
well as the Mills.  However I am
well paid, and the life, though
meritorious, promises to be
[unclear] and useful, and I
hope I did wisely in resigning.
My Army accounts are [unclear] and
unsettled, & my resignation is
not yet acted on, but is pro-
mised by Mr. Stanton [?]

            A fine house is one of my
prerequisites.  I have boundless
room & very little to put in it.
However I am going to move
in directly, & start a mess as soon
as I can get a cook.  After I
get unpacked & straighten
out, I shall insist in your
coming up to pass some Sun-
day with me.  I stole & brought
home my old Ship Island gun,
and I have also some stereoscopes 
f the sacred spot wh. will interest
you.

           I had a little fever in August
after leaving Texas, but now am
very hearty once more.  I do not
pay much attention to the ra-
vings of people in transition
States.  If you were only unen-
gaged or married, your tesi-
mony would be entitled to
credit. One of my sisters will
generally be with me to look
after housekeeping, and I
am as far from the Temple
 
 

of Hymen as ever. I will main-
tain in confidence however
that the abundance of bloom
in young women here, & the un-
mistakeable love-making in
the streets is not favorable to
asceticism, & this or some
change of life had rather
affected my refiner
since my return.

            I have just gone up ano-
ther peg - brevet colonel, reg-
ular army for conduct at
Mobile City & Spanish Fort of
wh. I can be quite proud.

            I will see you some Sunday.
I cannot well tell when, as
I am unsettled in living & a
[unclear] deal tied down here.

           Ever Yours Truly,
           John C. Palfrey
 

[on cover]
Nov 8
Lowell Mass

 

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