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JAMES LOUIS PETIGRU.

Miniature by Fraser.

{47}

John, clever and witty, but the ne’er-do-well of the family.

Tom, who died a captain in the U. S. navy.

Charles, who graduated at West Point.

The daughters were:

Jane Gibert, who married John North.

Mary, who never married.

Louise, married Philip Johnston Porcher.

Adèle, married Robert Francis Withers Allston.

Harriet, married Henry Deas Lesesne.

The sisters were all women of rare beauty, but Mary. Outsiders never could decide which was the most beautiful, but, of course, each family thought their own mother entitled to the golden apple. My mother was painted by the artist Sully when she was twenty-two, just a year after the birth of her first child, Benjamin, when she was so ill that her hair was cut, so she appears in the portrait with short brown curls, and is very lovely. There is a portrait of her painted by Flagg, in middle life. When she died in her eighty-seventh year she was still beautiful, with brown, wavy hair only sprinkled with gray.

The tradition in my mother’s father’s family was that the Pettigrews had come from France{48} after the Revocation of the 长沙桑拿会所论坛 Edict of Nantes, and had gone to Scotland, when they had changed the spelling of the name from Petigru, and had eventually moved to Ireland. This idea was, of course, pleasant to the little Frenchwoman, and when her eldest son, James Louis, grew up and proposed to change the spelling of his name and revert to the French spelling she was delighted, and the father consented that the children should spell the name as they preferred,

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but he declined to change his. So on his and his wife’s tombstone in the most interesting little God’s acre at the old home in Abbeville, his name is William Pettigrew, while all his children are recorded as Petigru. My mother said to me not long before her death that she felt it had been a mistake, as there was no survivor of the Petigru name, all the sons having died. But I do not agree with her, 长沙桑拿最好最高端 for my uncle, James L. Petigru, was a great man—heart, soul, and mind—and left a mark in his State, having codified her laws with knowledge and wisdom. He was almost the only man in Charleston who was opposed to secession,—I may almost say the only man in the State.[2] But he was so revered{49} and beloved that, at a time when party feeling was intense, he walked out of his pew in St. Michael’s Church (which he never failed to

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occupy on Sunday) the first time the Prayer for the President of the United States was left out of the service, and no one ever said one word of criticism or disapproval. In a period when party politics ran high and bitter feeling was intense, it was a wonderful tribute to a man’s character and integrity that, even though running counter to the intense united feeling of the community, love and respect 长沙桑拿休闲会所 for him should have protected him from attack.

My mother always talked with great pleasure of her early life. She spoke with admiration and love which amounted to adoration of her “little mother.” Her father took second place always in her narrative, though he was a most delightful companion—very clever and full of wit, a great reader, and it was his habit to read aloud in the evenings, while the family sat around the fire, each one with some appointed task. The elder girls sewed, while all the children had their baskets of cotton to pick, for in those days the gin had not been invented and the seed had to be carefully picked from the cotton by hand! It would seem a weary task to us, but they regarded it as a{50} game, and ran races as to who should pick the most during the long winter evenings while my grandfather read Milton, 长沙桑拿论坛 Wordsworth, Shakespeare, and other masters of literature. When one contrasts those evenings, those influences on the minds of children, with the amusements and diversions deemed necessary to the young of the present day, one does not wonder at the pleasure-loving race we are becoming. Add to this that there were no little story-books to dissipate the minds of children. My mother’s ideal of a story-book was her beloved Plutarch’s “Lives,” and I remember still with intense regret her disappointment when, I having accomplished the task of learning to read fluently, she one morning placed in my lap a large volume with very good print, and turned to the Life of Themistocles, which she had so loved. Perhaps if it had not been for the long s’s which adorned this beautiful edition of Plutarch it might have been more of a success, but 长沙桑拿攻略2018 at the end of the half-hour I announced that I saw no pleasure in such a dull book…. I would gladly read to her from one of my story-books, and then she would see what a really nice book was. My dear mother was so pained. She had had the same experience with the older chil{51}dren, but she thought me very bright and felt sure that she would find a congenial mind in her “little Bessie.” Seeing how hurt she was and that she had set her heart on that special book, I did not insist on my book but came every day and read the Plutarch aloud; but I never enjoyed it, which she could never understand.

This thing of bringing all reading matter presented to a child down to its level is a great mistake; it lowers ideals and taste. Stories while you are a child, and then romances, novels, detective tales, corrupt the taste until it is so reduced that there are not many young people now who can read Scott’s novels with any more pleasure than I read Plutarch at ten. My mother’s school was the old field school of the long ago. The country was thinly settled and the schools widely separated, so that children had to make an all-day business of it. The nearest school to the family home was on Long Cane, three miles away, and mamma, at first accompanied by an older sister and brother, later alone, walked three miles to school every day. She took her little basket of lunch, a substantial one, for she did not get home again until late afternoon. It is quite surprising to find what excellent instruction was{52} given in these “old field schools.” Education was not so widely diversified, but it was more thorough and of a higher kind, as far as it went.

Mamma learned to prove sums by “casting out the nines” in a wonderful way, which no one else that I ever saw knew anything about. Her mind was stored with treasures of good poetry which she had been required to memorize in school. On her solitary walk home she was never lonely. The birds and the little inhabitants of the woods were her delight. At a big chestnut-tree about a mile from home she had special friends—two squirrels who ran down from their castle in the top of the tree when they heard her coming, and she always reserved some of her lunch for them. She sat at the root of the tree and played with them until she saw the sun about to sink below the horizon, when she picked up her little school-bag and started at a run for the last stretch of her way home.
CHAPTER V DADDY TOM AND DADDY PRINCE—DEATH OF LITTLE MOTHER SO BELOVED
THE farms of the up-country as a rule required few hands, and so each farmer owned only a few negroes, and, of course, the relations between master and slave were different from those in the low-country, where each plantation had a hundred or more negroes, which necessitated separate villages, where the negroes lived more or less to themselves. In the up-country it was more like one large family. In my mother’s home there were three quite remarkable, tall, fine-looking, and very intelligent Africans who had been bought by her grandfather from the ship which brought them to this country. Tom, Prince, and Maria—they occupied an important place in my mother’s recollections of her early childhood. They had been of a royal family in their own land, and had been taken in battle by an enemy tribe with which they were at war, and sold to a slave-ship. No one ever doubted their claim to royal blood, for they were so superior to the ordinary Africans brought out. They were{54} skilled in the arts of their own country, and had artistic tastes and clever hands. Daddy Tom and Daddy Prince told tales of their wild forests, which the children were never tired of hearing nor they of telling. Maum Maria made wonderful baskets and wove beautiful rugs from the rushes that grew along Long Cane Creek. One day as she sat on the ground weaving a rug which she had hung from a tree, and my mother was listening to her stories of her home in Africa, the little girl said in a voice of sympathy: “Maum ’Ria, you must be dreadfully sorry they took you away from all that, and brought you to a strange land to work for other people.” Maum Maria stopped her work, rose to her full height—she was very tall and straight—clasped her hands and said, dropping a deep courtesy as she spoke: “My chile, ebery night on my knees I tank my Hebenly Father that he brought me here, for without that I wud neber hev known my Saviour!” She remained, hands clasped, and a look of ecstasy on her face, for some time before she sat down and resumed her work, and the little girl, greatly impressed, asked no more questions that day. When grandmother died, she left these three free, with a little sum to be given them{55} yearly; not much, for she had little to leave. Daddy Tom took his freedom, but Daddy Prince and Maum Maria said they were grateful to their beloved mistress, but they would rather remain just as they were; they had all they needed and were happy and loved their white family, and they did not want to make any change.

My grandfather Pettigrew, with all his charming qualities of wit and good humor, had no power to make or keep money. And among the few sad memories my mother had of her childhood was that of seeing her beloved little mother sitting at the window looking out, while tears coursed down her cheeks, as she saw the sheriff taking off all their cattle, and two families of their negroes to be sold!… her husband having gone security for a worthless neighbor. My mother told it with tears, even when she was very old, the scene seemed to come so vividly before her of her mother’s silent grief.

It is curious to me that my paternal grandfather, Ben Allston, also lost his plantation for a security debt, having signed a paper when he was under age for a cousin who was in trouble pecuniarily. Grandfather was advised by a lawyer to contest the matter, as he had been a minor{56} and it was not valid, but he would not avail himself of that plea, I am thankful to say, and lost the beautiful and valuable plantation which he had inherited, Brook Green on the Waccamaw. That is the only point of similarity between my two grandfathers, however, as they were totally different types, one Scotch-Irish, the other pure English.

The little Frenchwoman, so beloved by her children, did not live to show any sign of age, and the memory remained with my mother of her beauty, her olive skin and black hair, in which no strands of white appeared, and her graceful, small, active figure and tiny hands and feet. She always spoke broken English, but, as her husband did not speak or understand French, she never spoke it with her children through courtesy to him, and none of them spoke French. Her illness was short and the family had no idea it was to be fatal, but evidently she recognized it, for she called my mother and kissed her, and said: “My child, I want to tell you that you have been my greatest comfort. I want you to remember that always.”
CHAPTER VI MARRIAGE
AFTER the mother’s death the home seemed very desolate; and when the eldest brother’s, James L. Petigru’s, wife proposed most generously to take the younger girls to live with them in Charleston, so that their education might be carried on, their father gladly consented, and my mother from that time lived with her brother in Charleston until her marriage, having the best teachers that the city afforded and enjoying the most charming and witty social surroundings. Aunt Petigru, though a beauty and belle, was a great invalid, so that the care of the house and her two young children came much on the sisters-in-law. Louise, two years older than my mother, married first and was established in her own home. After two years in society, which was very gay then, my mother became engaged to Robert Allston. When the family heard of the engagement they were greatly disturbed that my mother should contemplate burying her beauty and brilliant social gifts in the country, and her sister Louise thought fit to remonstrate, being a{58} matron properly established in her city residence. She made a formal visit and opened her batteries at once.