Jackson County, Illinois

Holly Springs, Miss. August 28, 1855

Dear Uncle Henry,

I have thought for some time of writing to you, but until now have failed, I am as yet a stranger to you, and if I have never seen you, I have heard my dear Mother speak of you so often that I almost know you without seeing, and I feel that to know is to love and esteem. I do not suppose you have heard of my coming South. Shortly after Ma's death brother Will came to visit us and finding out our situation he proposed to Pa to let him bring me home with him to which proposal Pa assented. on the 24th of Oct. started for the South. We arrived here on the 29th, and. on the 11th of Nov. found myself in the Female Institute in this place where I expect to finish my education. I can never repay brother Will for his kindness. Pa is still at home with the two little brothers Jo and Stephen and Brother Bob who is of age and as I suppose doing for himself. Sister Susan is staying with Brother Frank and Sister Ann with Uncle Walton and Aunt Serena. Oh! Uncle Henry, people may think I should he thankful for the superior advantages I enjoy but give me back my dear kind Pa and Ma and Brothers and Sisters and my one happy home, and I would care little for the inferior advantages, but still I am thankful for the superiors and hope I may make the best use of them all my to repay my kind friends.

I suppose Uncle R. (Robert Walker) wrote you that Aunt Sarah (Robert Walker’s wife) had taken a Va. trip. She and Miss Lizzie McEwen (her niece) went on to Va. to pay a visit to their friends. Uncle Bob is at home by himself I have been spending a very pleasant vacation with Mrs...McEwen, a sister of Aunt's. Uncle is putting up a new brick house and has a good many hands hired. He would not let me keep house for him but he said there was not any one to keep me company and it was so lonely out there, he would not consent.

My school begins next Monday and I suppose I will have to go to the Institute and board. I have been very busy this vacation making ready for school again, and finished last Saturday so I have one week’ s holiday.

Uncle Henry, do please pay us a visit this fall and bring Aunt Fanny if you can prevail on her to accompany you. You would be so much pleased with the South and the people here too. You don’t know how much Uncle and Brother and all the rest us want you. I want to see you and Aunt Fanny and cousins so much. I don’t remember what two of my Cousins names are. Aunt Sally Moore used to tell me about them but I was a mere thoughtless child and did not treasure up such things. Do come Uncle and come to live here too for it would be so beneficial to your health. This climate is so pleasant. I shall write again if you will condescend to notice my scrawl so much as to answer it. You would excuse the bad writing if you knew how much I was suffering from a boil on my nose and one on my cheek. Uncle Bob and Will are well. My best love to Aunt Fanny, yourself and Cousins,

Your affectionate niece,

Fanny Eakin

Note: Sarah Frances Eakin, b. 16 Mar 1842, was the 7th child of Stephen and Martha Walker Eakin. She married Jefferson Jenkins and raised their family near Murphysboro in Jackson County. This is written when she was 13 to the same Dr. Henry Walker to which the other letters were written. He is her uncle and living in Kentucky. She is in Mississippi after her mother's death on Sept. 6, 1854. (donated by Lee Eakin)

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