Thomas James Massie’s letter to his father (December)

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Thomas James Massie’s letter to his father (December)


Thomas James Massie’s (HSC Class of 1836) letter to his father, William Massie.


Hampden-Sydney Archives & Special Collections




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Original Format



Thomas James Massie
11th December, 1833

Mr. William Massie
Tye River Mills
Nelson County,

Dear Father

I received your letter this morning, and was very much hurt, to see how you censured me, not deserving it so severely, or even atall with respect to my having acted so disoneable, and come skulking off without paying a debt. I have never committed such an act in my life, and I think that I can satisfy you with regard to it. I owed Machesney last Christmas $20 and rote to you for $10, pledging my honour that I would contract no more debts which I did not for more that one or two dollars (at the farthest) during the rest of that session. When I came away in the Spring I told Machesney that I did not have the money then but that I should certainly send it to him the first opportunity (which I did) he said that he was satisfied. I also told him I would write to him soon. I did write informing him that I had found no way of sending him his money, and that I would wait untill I went to School and then if I did not get an opportunity of sending it, I should send it by letter. I was thinking of doing so, when that cow-drover name Wilson, some relation of Machesneys came, and staid all knight at your house, and few days before we left there, for this place. I gave him the amount of the sum for Machesany and can prove it by Henry who was standing by when I gave it to him. I hope I have not acted to meanly as you thought I had. As to that thing Adams, he is a fool, talking about being so intimate with me, when I never spoke half dozen words to him in my life. MaChesney either acted meanly, or he never recv'd my letter, which I think may be so as he wrote me no answer when requested him. I wrote to him at Horslys. You wished to know what we were studing and how we were doing. I am studying Latin, Algebra, and Chemistry for which I have to pay $5 dollars extra and probable more for injury done to the apparatus in trying experiments. Henry is studying Latin, and Algebra. You also wished for a memorandum of our expences, which we have drawn off, as accurately as we can. You will see that we are deficient of $13 each and besides what is there I want $5 for letures in chemistry and $4 for our Society. Henry does not study chemistry therefore he does not want any more than $13. There are other things that I forgot to mention, that is one pencil, paper and note Book, you may not understand what for, I will explain it to you. You may know that I have to tend the Lectures on Chemistry, and have to write down his Lectures as fast as he speaks them on a sheat of paper, and then after he is done come to my Room and draw them off nicely in my note Book. The only extra vagant thing we got, was our table, but we could d8 no better. I beleive I have put down every thing now if not, I will say in my next what I will put down here what I shall want besides the $13.

for Lectures $5.00
one pencil 1.50
Note Book and paper 1.00
Society 4.00

We have been in good health, I have proceded tolerably well in our studies. Give my love to Ellen and Grandmama.

P.S. You write that my debt was of $16. You was deceived I was either, ten, twelve dollars, I am not certain which, but it was not more, he is as grand a rascal as ever lived.

Your Afft. Son
Thomas J. Massie '36




“Thomas James Massie’s letter to his father (December),” Hampden-Sydney College Digital Repository, accessed June 13, 2024,