Letter, 18 Aug. 1872 (Greenville, S.C.), from| Manuscripts Gifts 2007 | Front Page 2007 | Previous Issues | Friends of the Library |
M.W. Hudnut to "Dear Bryon"
A gift to SCL Manuscripts Division announced in 2007
Letter, 18 August 1872, of M.W. Hudnut, Greenville, S.C., to "Dear Byron" reports on life in the upstate during Reconstruction, noting that he had been taken ill while in Greenville, and was being attended by a former slave of Gen. Waddy Thompson. | Manuscripts Gifts 2007 | Previous Issues | Endowments | Friends of the Library |
Continuing again on 25 August, the writer comments at length on his perceptions of Greenville, its residents and the political situation. "I don’t think the climate disagrees with me… but I can’t stand the cookery - corn bread & bacon & grease are too much for me - it’s the grease that is fearful - all the meats & vegetables are boiled in it & swim in it when they come to the table, & such a thing as good butter is unknown." His diet, he quips, had been "reduced to the base necessaries of life - bread & whiskey!!"
"I wish I could describe this town & its belongings," Hudnut writes. Although "you almost always find something good everywhere don’t know what it would be here, unless it is the profusion of corn juice." And while it was the third largest town in the state, "There is no business done here of any account. I suppose some cotton is brought in & sold here in the season of cotton selling…. There is one train daily from Columbia which makes 143 miles in the incredibly short space of 12 hours. The town is possessed by the colored population, not only numerically & politically but demoniacally, such pow wows & such howlings, as they keep up nights are ‘simply atrocious’….These are far more numerous than the whites, & so they just have every thing their own way, never having had any rights before ‘the surrender’ they are like children…. I have never seen the least disposition to quarrel among them or to quarrel with the whites though the latter get drunk and quarrel among themselves & abuse the negros. I have never seen a negro drunk in the street, though you can count the white men in that condition by the dozen any extra day."
The letter comments also on Judge [George Seabrook] Bryan of Charleston, S.C., deputy prosecuting attorney Butts, and deputy marshal Earle, as well as the upcoming election.