Palfrey, John Carver 1865
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            Merrimack Man Company3
            Lowell4 Nov. 8th 1865

Dr. S.W. Driver

            My dear Doctor,

            I git your kind note
yesterday and it gave me
great pleasure.  I am very
glad you have such plea-
sant recollections of our
Ship Island Life.

            I have been here a fort-
night, hard at work, but a
good deal interested in the
beautiful machinery and
the regularity of the place.
I find myself in a very con-
spicuous and responsible
position, and my usual luck of
plenty of work follows me.  I
have a command of force

  1Transcribed by the University of Lowell, Center for Lowell History.
  2John Carver Palfrey b: 25 Dec 1833, Cambridge, MA d: 1906, 
    Belmont, MA; parents: John Gorham Palfrey and Mary Ann 
    Hammond; West Point engineer: Civil War served with Benjamin F. 
    Butler on Ship Island in Mississippi during the Civil War; Agent: 
    Merrimack Manufacturing Company cotton mill; married 21 Oct 
    1874 Adelaide Eliza Payson b: May 1838, Roxbury, MA; parents 
    Samuel and Hannah Payson.
  3Merrimack Manufacturing Company cotton mill.
  4Lowell, Massachusetts.

1800 people mostly women
who I consider about equivalent
to an Army Corps.  My duties
include the regulation & care
of these boardinghouses as
well as the Mills.  However I am
well paid, and the life, though
meritorious, promises to be
[unclear] and useful, and I
hope I did wisely in resigning.
My Army accounts are [unclear] and
unsettled, & my resignation is
not yet acted on, but is pro-
mised by Mr. Stanton [?]

            A fine house is one of my
prerequisites.  I have boundless
room & very little to put in it.
However I am going to move
in directly, & start a mess as soon
as I can get a cook.  After I
get unpacked & straighten
out, I shall insist in your
coming up to pass some Sun-
day with me.  I stole & brought
home my old Ship Island gun,
and I have also some stereoscopes 
f the sacred spot wh. will interest

           I had a little fever in August
after leaving Texas, but now am
very hearty once more.  I do not
pay much attention to the ra-
vings of people in transition
States.  If you were only unen-
gaged or married, your tesi-
mony would be entitled to
credit. One of my sisters will
generally be with me to look
after housekeeping, and I
am as far from the Temple

of Hymen as ever. I will main-
tain in confidence however
that the abundance of bloom
in young women here, & the un-
mistakeable love-making in
the streets is not favorable to
asceticism, & this or some
change of life had rather
affected my refiner
since my return.

            I have just gone up ano-
ther peg - brevet colonel, reg-
ular army for conduct at
Mobile City & Spanish Fort of
wh. I can be quite proud.

            I will see you some Sunday.
I cannot well tell when, as
I am unsettled in living & a
[unclear] deal tied down here.

           Ever Yours Truly,
           John C. Palfrey

[on cover]
Nov 8
Lowell Mass


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