Document 11C: Lucy Woodcock to Harry E. Woodcock, 28 November 1863, Series 1, Subseries 2, Incoming 1859-1909, (transcription in Series IV, Box 5), Harry E. Woodcock Papers, Record Group 30/81, Oberlin College Archives.
Nov. 28, 1863
I did not send any letters home by last month's steamer because I had not the materials to write with. I sent to Kingston for some about six weeks since and I have not got them yet, so you will have a "so so" letter this time. I received your two Sept. letters and one from October for which I am very thankful. Last month's steamer brought me five. One from Wellsville, two from Hallsport, one from Oberlin and yours. All friends were well but many were sad after parting friends for the army. Miss Upson wrote me which the A.M.A.[A] were having their annual meeting in Oberlin. She says Prof. Monroe[B] is appointed as a minister to Brazil, South America and would probably leave Oberlin before long.
As for myself, there has nothing strange or new happened since I wrote you last. I feel that I am away off out of the turmoil and strife of war in fact it seems that I am on another planet all together. It is the rainy season, and there is no getting out on account of the roads and rivers. I have not been up to Eliot to chapel since first Sabbath in October and probably shall not get up there for some months to come. The mud is so deep in some places that it takes a horse up to its sides. I do not wish to try it, for I know it too well in days gone by.
Perhaps you may feel anxious about how I am getting along; I have enough to eat thus far and I trust I shall in time to come. Money is a scarce article with me just now. I have a little due to me which I am in hope to get in and that will help me along some. I have not had any thing from home since I came, but I must call for a little at the beginning of the New Year. I try to live as plain as possible. As for the article of butter, I have not had it since I have returned. I have lived on the school money and Government money. The people are very kind and send me in a good bit to live upon. Some days I hardly know where the next days food is to come but it always comes in time, so I have not gone hungry once.
Yesterday was Thanksgiving day with you all at Home. I thought of the loaded tables and the feastings as I sat down to my humble meal which was a vegetable soup made of greens and a little beef to season it with. Just at dusk I had a nice fat pigeon sent to me which served for my breakfast. It was real fat and nice. It reminded me of early days of yore. I only wish I have more of them for a good pigeon pot pie.
My school has been almost broken up for the past three weeks on account of the rain. I have only 35 this term; as it is coffee time every child that can be put into the coffee field has to go to pick it. It is just in its highth now the heavy rains have beat it off the bushes and have been washed away by the rain. Many will loose a good deal of their crop where it is on the mountain sides. The crop of coffee is very heavy this year, more than it has been for a good many years. It brings a good price in the market. The cane is also a good crop this year and also provisions, only this late rain has washed away a good many fields of yam where they were planted in the river flats and on the steep mountain side.
It is warm and pleasant today quite unlike your weather at home. The mango trees are putting on a outside dress of new leaves, so they look new and fresh. They will soon blossom. Sometimes we have two crops in a year. It does not seem as if winter was close at hand but you must realize it by this time.
We are looking for news anxiously in the next steamer which will be next week. Oh! how many more true sons of the North have been slain before the Moloch[C] of America. I fear many more will be made to pass through the fire before the Dagon[D] is fully destroyed, although Dagon has fallen on its face; but I fear that the head ones will try to put him up in his place again. I suppose you are all looking for the first of January. I am glad that the President has taken one step in the right direction. It would be greater rejoicing if all the slaves were to be set free. And when they are set free there is such a hatred feeling of the whites against the blacks it will require stringent laws to protect them in their rights. I cannot but help think that there is too many generals in the Northern army that are in sympathy with the South and I fear even the President is leaning too much that way. Things look dark. Even this Emancipation act has been wrung out of him by the true men of the North. I hope that the day is not far distant when all will be free and equal in their rights as citizens I am fearful that the war is not ended yet and it will be some time before it is closed. All things are in the hands of him that orders all right and when the Nation has humbled itself and put away its sins, then God will let his chastizing hand go of our beloved nation.
Give my kind regards to all kind friends of Mecklenburge and much love for your self and family.
Your affectionate Sister
A. American Missionary Association. Lucy was sent to Jamaica in 1853 on assignment by the A.M.A.
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B. James Monroe (1821-1898) graduated from the Theological Seminary in 1849 and became Professor of Rhetoric and Belles Lettres. In December 1862 he accepted the position of consul in Rio de Janeiro, where he stayed until 1870, when he returned to Oberlin and a political career.
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C. Moloch was the name of a Canaanite idol, to whom children were sacrificed as burnt offerings.
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D. Dagon was the national deity of the ancient Philistines, represented with the head, chest, and arms of a man, and the tail of a fish.
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