Papers (1866-1872) consisting correspondence to suitor, romantic and personal letters, receipt, bill of sale, difficulty of making train connection, dispute between older and younger, etc.
The collection consists of the correspondence of Miss Della Barlow of Tarboro, N.C., and her suitor, Col. John M. Perry, a lawyer living in Beaufort, N.C.
The letters primarily are of a romantic and personal nature with occasional references to political, economic, and social matters of the day.
Miss Barlow and Col. Perry began their courtship in 1860 and renewed it at the close of the Civil War. Col. Perry's letters to Miss Barlow (1864, 1866-1868) are far more numerous than hers to him (1867-1868) and are more likely to contain allusions to events of general interest.
Perry comments on the economic hard times in the area (April 2 and 5,1867) and the poor cotton crop (26 April, 9 June, 9 July 1867), reconstruction government in the state (18 and 30 August, 1 September 1867), the military rule of General Daniel E. Sickles (17 May, 18 July 1867), the political turmoil of the times, and the prospect of Negro rule (2 April 1867). He calls Beaufort dull and unprogressive (13 April 1867), "fast becoming a second rate fishtown;" and he is not willing to invest in real estate there because of the uncertainty of the town's future (18 September 1867). In response to the problems of sickness in the town, he gives a recipe for curing colds (21 December 1867). Perry tells of the New England whalers who incurred the ire of the people of Beaufort by taking whales in the area (2 and 5 April 1867). He comments on shipwrecks and the people of the Outer Banks called "wreckers" who make money by collecting and selling items washed ashore from stricken vessels (9 February 1868).
Also included are references to the difficulty of making train connections between Beaufort and Tarboro (2 June 1867), and disputes between older and younger members of a church congregation in Beaufort (2 and 7 April 1867). Perry also describes a "colored" baptism ceremony, and comments on the blacks' "excitable temper" (2 April 1867).
Of all the letters in the Barlow collection, only two are not correspondence between Barlow and Perry. One is a letter from Perry to Col. Thomas S. Kenan in Kenansville containing a humorous recipe for turtle soup (20 May 1867). The other is a love letter from Samuel L. Chissom of Galveston, Texas, to Miss Barlow (7 July 1867).
Included in the papers is a receipt for payment for dwelling repairs (1871) and a bill of sale for purchases at Mrs. M. E. Bond's store (1872) in Tarboro.
Gift of Mrs. J. L. Johnson and Mrs James A. Doggett
Processed by C. Stearns; I. Berent, January 1981
Encoded by Apex Data Services
Literary rights to specific documents are retained by the authors or their descendants in accordance with U.S. copyright law.