maandag 1 augustus 2016

Frances Woolfolk Wallace -- 2 augustus 1864

• De Amerikaanse Frances Woolfolk Wallace (1835-?) hield van maart-augustus 1864 een reisdagboek bij van haar reis van het zuiden van de VS naar Canada (waar ze naartoe verbannen was), dat bekend is onder de titel A Trip to Dixie.

August 2, 1864.
Busy packing and while packing Capt. Leake and Leslie Browne came. Capt. Leake tells me it is best not to go to Paducah until he returns, he will see if it is safe for me to go. That I might be arrested. Most of my friends have been sent out of the United States. What a state of affairs! Was such tyranny ever exercised over a people! Surely the demons of the lower regions have been set loose. This man Payne is surely a devil on earth. But there is a home in Heaven for us if we hold out faithful. What is the envy and hate of poor insignificant men if we have the love of God! Capt. Leake has gone and I am disappointed in going but I am used to disappointment. Mr. Hatchett is very kind.

Wednesday, August 3, 1864.
Busy downtown making purchases preparatory for my banishment to Canada with the rest of my friends. Where my dear Mother and Brother is I don't know, hope I will join them soon.

Thursday, August 4, 1864.
This is Lincoln's fast day. Seems quite quiet except for the negroes who have possession of the town. The Confederates are killing off the while soldiers so fast it is well to favor the blacks as much as possible to make them fight. The negro is better than these uncivilized, cruel, brutish Yankees. But enough! I dislike to soil my book by mentioning such butchers in it. I feel very unwell. The weather is so sultry and warm it weakens me.

Friday, August 5, 1864.
None can imagine the anxiety with which I await news from my friends and you, my dear Husband, could you but know the condition of things how much harder could you fight and with what a feeling of revenge would meet the persecutors of your loved ones. I spoke kindly of them, told you to have mercy and believe that many were conscientious in their belief, little thinking they were battling with women and children instead of meeting the enemy face to face and fighting like soldiers for their country. No! gain is their object and theft is their business.

Saturday, August 6, 1864.
Downtown all morning shopping. As I returned I called at the postoffice and got a letter from Cousin Coleman Woolfolk. He informed me that my dear Mother was well and in Paducah, I am thankful to hear that. My brother is in Vincennes but what are his arrangements and where his family is I don't know. Capt. Leake has not yet returned. Have been going at night to hear Mr. Miller, a Baptist minister who is a fine speaker, I hope I may profit by his teaching.

Sunday, August 7, 1864.
Went again this morning to hear Mr. Miller preach, Georgie went to Sunday School with Mr. Hatchett. He behaved very well at church. Went again at night to hear Mr. Miller who says he met Brother Robert on the boat and Nannie in Owensboro. I can't imagine what Nannie is doing there, but my family are so scattered I am not surprised to hear anything. Poor Ma! to think of tearing her from her children in her old age when she has lived only for them. If they have banished Brother Robert, it is, I fear, a final farewell between my dear Mother and her oldest child. She is 69 years old and cannot expect to be long on this earth.

Tuesday, August 9, 1864.
I did not get off on the "City Alton." Capt. Leake has not yet returned. Am getting very impatient.

August 10, 1864.
Hope to hear from home. Feel very badly--have a cold in my head. Quite an excitement in this neighborhood. The dogkiller has been around, and the horse that carries the dead dogs gave out, and they have been whipping him and killing dogs until I am sick at the sight of so much cruelty and heartlessness. He is certainly one of the most cruel wretches I have seen. My hand trembles now from excitement. I wonder what news Mr. Hatchett will bring now for me.

Thursday, August 11, 1864.
Felt some better this morning, but about noon felt so badly I had to go to bed. I fear I am going to be sick.

August 12, 1864.
Spent a restless night. Am out of bed but don't know how long I will be able to keep up. Have heard nothing more from home. Home! Oh, where is home? Friends and relatives gone, home taken. There is no security from such tyrants. This suspense is terrible. I know nothing of any of my family except that they are sent from Paducah. My Mother is in Paducah but whether she will be permitted to stay I don't know.

Saturday, August 13, 1864.
Capt. Leake has returned. Gives me little satisfaction. Says there is only military despotism in Paducah. Friends dare not recognize a friend on the street. He could do nothing for me. He saw my dearest Mother and Mary and the children when they left Paducah. They were allowed to take only their wearing clothes. They left with proud bearing, not a tear was shed though their hearts were heavy, they did not allow the monster Payne to witness their distress, though he came down to the wharfboat to see them depart, hoping no doubt to see tears and distress and to be pleaded with to be allowed to remain. Thank God! they bore it bravely as every true Southern woman does. I read this morning an article from the Cairo paper speaking of their departure. The writer must have been some poor, low, unprincipled creature whose standing heretofore has been doubtful. As I read, I became so indignant I felt as if I were a man how quickly would I join the Southern army and how savagely would I fight.

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