1860-11-00, Hugh W. Wilson

Dublin Core


1860-11-00, Hugh W. Wilson


[November 1860], Wheeling

My dear Uncle[1]

Jim[2] wrote the other day that you had sprained your knee, but I had no idea that were seriously hurt until this morning when a letter from Aunt Blaine[3] tells me that you have been in bed almost every since. […][4]

What do you do to amuse yourself? Read the WORLD[5] and abuse the South? You must want somebody to tease you terribly. Don’t you wish I was back? The election here came off on Monday. Clem and Hubbard, Union men were elected. There was more excitement than at any election I ever saw here. However, I breathe freely now, our liberties are safe. Sherrard[6] said in his speech at the Athenaeum, ‘My spear has struck the leviathan of disunion. Virginia and I will save the Union.’ That’s a fact.

When you get better you will have nothing to do but to write letters to us – in the mean time get Jim to write immediately, I feel uneasy to know the truth. […]

Take my love for yourself dear Uncle.

Did anybody remind you that it is the wicked who stand in slippery places. That joke is as old as King David so I hope you’ll respect it.


1. Hugh W. Wilson had been widowed since September 1856 and was raising his five children.

2. James Blaine Wilson, RHD’s cousin.

3. Rebecca Leet Wilson Blaine (1789-1866).

4. Ellipses in the text were in Shaeffer’s text. No originals of the complete letter are available. Most of the letters reprinted in Shaeffer included no closings.

5. The New York World began publication in 1860.

6. John B. Sherrard (1822-1912) would become a major in the Confederate Army.


Helen Woodward Shaeffer, “RHD: Pioneer Realist,” unpublished dissertation, University of Pennsylvania, 1947.


S. M. Harris


“1860-11-00, Hugh W. Wilson,” Rebecca Harding Davis: Complete Works, accessed June 6, 2023, https://rebeccahardingdaviscompleteworks.com/items/show/167.

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