Christmas Celebrations in Wilkesboro, N.C., As Described in 1848 Letter
Staff Person: Martha Elmore
Dr. A. A. Scroggs of Wilkesboro, N.C. in Wilkes County, wrote to his future partner in medical practice Dr. Robert Franklin “Frank” Hackett on December 26, 1848. Dr. Hackett was then at Jefferson College in Philadelphia finishing his medical degree, which he received in 1849. Below is an excerpt from page two of the letter that depicts the celebration of Christmas among prominent families in Wilkesboro. The C. Gordon mentioned in the letter refers to Dr. Hackett’s future wife, Caroline Louise Gordon.
A transcription of the excerpt:
Yesterday (Christmas) passed of very quietly here. They had a “Fox Chase” in the morning which resulted in the Chasing of a Deer till they lost it and then the treeing of an illustrious old “buck rabbit.” This made the “Grand finale” of the day. They returned to Drink a few wash=bowlfuls of egg=nogg & rest during the day. “Mine host” gave us a Dinner at which were invited all the Episcopal brethern [sic] & Dr. Greis together with His Hon Wesley Reynolds; who is now an Episcopalian. We had a “Turkey” done up brown & Miss Lemirah [?] & Kate to set [?] off the table. Dr. Greis had services & Mr. Purvis had prayer=meeting at the old academy. We had a very good meeting–it was a very wet day. At night They danced at the Hotel till 11 O’clock. Lemirah [?] Kate, C. Gordon Laura Hackett & the little girls were their[sic] Dancing. The little Boys bursted Balls of Twine, shot pistols, etc. till our village seemed quite city=like and thus passed the day.
For more information see the Hackett Family Papers (#176) in the Special Collections Department of ECU’s Joyner Library at http://digital.lib.ecu.edu/special/ead/findingaids/0176. For further information on the Hackett family, see the Gordon and Hackett Family Papers in the Manuscripts Department of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Library at http://www.lib.unc.edu/mss/inv/g/Gordon_and_Hackett_Family.html.