Friday, August 8, 2008

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - February 18, 1863

February 18th [1863]

Cousin Hite and Mr. McGruder scarcely speak to us. They have never asked where we are going or what we intend to do or expressed the slightest interest in us. It is all a mystery we cannot imagine what has caused the change.

I have written to aunt Betsey Woolfolk telling her of our troubles, of how homeless and forlorn I feel and asking then to let me come there as a boarder. Of course Will will have to stay in town.

[Note in another person's handwriting: Repeats part of the last two entries, then goes on to say: The lady that presented the diary to the Library of Congress Mrs. James Parmelee - the daughter of Betty Herndon Maury - was born in 1863. Her mother, Mrs. Maury, was expecting to be confined when she stopped writing in her diary - in 1863.

Alice Maury (Parmelee) was born in Charlottesville, Va. She died in Washington, D.C. 1940 (Sept.) -- Her husband James Parmalee died in April 1931, leaving her an estate valued at $2,998,911.00 Her father became Judge W. A. Maury.]

End of transcription of the Diary of Betty Herndon Maury.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - February 17, 1863

February17th [1863]

Will received a written notice from Mr. McGruder yesterday to leave at the end of the month. It is a great surprise and mortification to us. We have had no falling out, no difficulty with him or cousin Hite -- or any one in the house. everything has been smooth and pleasant up to this time. I had had an express understanding with her that we were to remain until after May. It was at her suggestion that I engaged a nurse, and with her consent that I brought the furniture here from Fredericksburg and now when Richmond is crowded to excess and it is impossible to get comfortable -- even decent lodgings at any price for us to be turned out of doors. No one will be willing to take us when told that I expect to be confined in a month or two. It is most unchristian and uncharitable treatment.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - February 15, 1863

February 15th [1863]

Another letter from Papa of the 29th December [1862]. He is rejoicing over our Fredericksburg victory, has just received the first Yankee accounts of it and even they admit [crossed out: that they have sustained] a great defeat. His letters have to be so guarded and constrained that they are unlike him. He speaks of Mama as his friend and all of his children as Mr. and Miss. Speaks of them as his her children and not his. I know how hard it goes with him to write in that way when his heard is overflowing with love and affectionate anxiety for us all. Says Matsy is an unspeakable comfort to him, that he is a little man and a gentleman.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - February 12, 1863

February 12th [1863]

We have received letters from Papa from London of dates to the 20th December [1862]. He did send us a large case of goods by the Princess Royal. It cost between three and four hundred dollars in gold and is worth nearly four times as much in our money. If we had lost as much two years ago I would have thought it a great calamity but now we see and feel so much real trouble that we cannot let the loss of a few dollars trouble us much especially when we hear that all of our dear ones are safe and well. The loss will fall heaviest on Papa. Many of the things were Christmas gifts from him. Bless his heart. I think more of his disappointment than of ours. He writes in low spirits does not know where we all are, has not heard from home since he left – and sees no prospect of his return before the end of the war. He seems to be full of anxiety about Dick and Dave. Says he has no fears as to their gallantry in their devotion to the cause but that he does feel nervously anxious about their personal welfare.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - February 1, 1863

February 1st [1863]

The Princess Royal, an English vessel, was captured a few days ago while attempting to run the blockade into Charleston. The papers say that the Captain escaped with valuable dispatches from Commander M. F. Maury. I hope he has letters for us. We fear that Papa sent us a box of goods by the same opportunity. We all gave him commissions to execute in England.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - January 31, 1863

January 31st [1863]

Mrs. De Jarnette of Caroline has been on a visit to Washington (saw the blockade of the Rappa[ha]nnock at night) and through the influence of some Yankee friends was allowed to return with a quantity of baggage!! She brought a trunk from Mother containing things for cousin Sally, cousin Martha and myself. There were 25 pairs of shoes in the trunk and about twenty dresses and many other things too numerous to mention We sent mother lists of what we most needed last summer and she has just been able to get us the things. She sent Nannie Belle a Christmas gift of the most beautiful crying doll I ever saw. It was dressed in white with red ribbon trimmings and red shoes and a red riding hood on.

Judge Hallyburton has allowed Will two thousand dollars for his services as Receiver while he was in Fredericksburg. It is a great comfort to feel that we have that much ahead and owe no man anything.

We see through the Yankee papers that Papa and Matsy have reached England in safety. I miss Papa so much. I miss his [crossed out: presence] guiding influence and advice in the family even though we were not always with him.

Cousin Lewis, and several other Navy officers have been sent to England, we believe to take command of the vessels that our Government is fitting out there.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - January 30, 1863

January 30th [1863]

Mama and the children are boarding at the Old Mansion with Mr. White. Cousin Sally [crossed out: and the children] is there too.

I’ve been very busy lately getting some of Mama’s furniture down from Fredericksburg and trying to fix up our room more comfortably. We have the back parlour and cousin Hite had no chamber furniture to put in it except a bedstead and washstand. I have added a bureau, wardrobe, lounge and some other little things which make it look much more comfortable and home like.

If I live until next May I expect to have another little baby. Cousin Hite has been very kind in expressing her willingness to have me here then and to do what she can for me. I told her how grateful I felt and how highly I appreciated her kindness.

Our board here is two hundred dollars a month!! but that is less than we would have to pay at any boarding house in town.

I do not know where the money is to come from to meet all our additional expenses in the spring. But the Lord will provide I feel sure. Will gets a little employment here sometimes through his friend Mr. Ould but nothing permanent or constant.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Diary of Betty Herndon Maury - January 27, 1863

January 27th 1863

After repeating her prayers last night, Nannie Belle said “Mama does God make the angels stop singing and playing on their harps to listen to me?”

Her aunt Eliza told her the other day that we were all made of dust. She wanted to know this morning if God kept shapes of children and babies to put the dust in and make them.

She is the most singularly nervous child I ever saw. A band of music is a perfect terror to her. She shrinks from going out and is afraid to go to sleep for fear of dreaming bad dreams. God bless my precious child and make her strong and well soon. I see more and more plainly every day by how slender a thread her life hangs.