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Legare writes to his daughter about his travels through Washington, Baltimore and then Virginia, noting "this country is very beautiful." He also mentions some political matters, including the President and John C. Calhoun.



Charlottesville Aug. 6. 38

Albemarle Co. Va.

My dear Mary

I write to you from the mountains of Virginia. You will have learned from a letter to mamma dated some two weeks ago, that I arrived at my friend Rivers; a day or two before that Date on my way to the Springs. I remember that I wrote the weather was cool_ + so it continued from first to last about 72 or 80 hours when it relapsed into its former state of intolerable heat + for a week together the thermometer stood in Rivers corridor at 92 to 97 at 3 P.M. The nights were horrible I was bathed in perspiration whenever I happened to doze a few moments. The loss of sleep wore me out. This heat has been accompanied in this part of the country with as awful[?] a drought. The corn was perishing_ but a few [p2] days ago there was a change + a [?] full of rain. It has since been very delightful until today, when I find it very hot again. Take it all together I never in my life have suffered as I did for three weeks in Washington then in Baltimore + another [?] x. The weather in Charleston last July was as hot, but at home, I know not why, it overcame me less_ The truth is from my recent experience, I think the whole American continent excessively hot in the summer excepting some spots in the mountains + on the shore. The cities are untenable_ + were it not that our summer is so dismally long, I should pronounce Charleston more comfort[able?] to people situated as we are, than any other town on the Atlantic.

We set out tomorrow for the White Sulphur Springs which we hear over flowing with company, to such a degree that accommodations are scarcely to be had. Should that be the case I shall decamp very soon, for you know I love my ease dearly + hate too much control with the world. There are some people people there, or I hope


x[from above] The writer a Charlestonian, he missed the breeze of the “City by the Sea”

[p3]so, that I desire very much to see. Should I be fortunate in finding lodging to my taste, I shall probably remain there for a week or fortnight.

This country is very beautiful. I should[?] like it mainly as a summer residence. Mr. Jefferson’s [?] Monticello is about within sight of us.

There is a great gathering here today to a[?] courts. They gaped at me a good deal as I stood in the piazza a few moments, but I hate to be stared at, + so affected my retreat as soon as possible.

I will write to you from the White Sulphur Where I expect to get letters from Charleston which will determine my future movemnets. I do not wish to return before late in Sep[?] if I can be absent so long with the consent of my friends.

I forgot to mention that the President + his two sons passed a couple of days at River[?] when I was there. He is a civil man enough, but hes no[?] very[?] banked[?] social qualities + very little of the sort of information or the turn of mind[?] that pits one for shing in conversation__ He [p4] is cold and cautious. In company you know as Afne[?] Cheek in the play has it, a man might as well be “a Br[???] as a politician.”

I am very curious to hear from Caroline - which I have not done these two weeks past. I want to know Calhoun’s gang stood x my letter or how they cared[?] + roared on receiving it. It is [illegible]. It was high time somebody should hold that language.

My love to mama + Eliza

I travel in an Extra stage with the River[?]

God bless you

H.S. Legare

xLetter to Gov. Butler on “Instructions”

Creation Date





Albemarle County




United States

Creator Life Dates



Hugh S. Legare, Hugh Swinton Legare, Hugh Legare, Charlottesville, Virginia, 1838

Resource Identifier


Date Digital


Document Type



Cultural History | History | Political History | Social History | United States History


Wofford College



Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Letter from Hugh S. Legare to his daughter, Charlottesville, Virginia, August 6, 1838.

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