My wonderful friend, erinGoBrogh, has a terrific website filled with Stuart's letters from his school years up to his death. Her website is: http//6whitehorses.com/cw/jebs/jebs.htm. I urge everyone to check out this wonderful website the all the letters she has made available. Great job!!!
The first letter I am going to post is one that Stuart wrote to his parents during his years at Emory and Henry College. There is no date, so Stuart could be anywhere between 15 and 17.
I received your letter today, was so glad to hear from you. I stood on my Sacred History Examination today but if I have passed it is by the nape of the neck. I was fooling with a boy before dinner and he accidentally hit me on the nose and made it bleed, I lost nearly a half-an-hour by this, and the consequence was that I was so hurried that I had to pass over a good many questions I might have said something about. I won’t grumble any more about poor fare. My finger has healed up at last but is still stiff, and my hand is well. It seems to me I get sick, or something gets the matter with me every year, just as the Examination of the most important of my studies commence. You know last year I had the mumps just as my Latin came off. I don’t know why it is, but it seems to me I have the afflictions of Job, and a good share besides. I brought my Bible up to my desk yesterday I’ll see if it will do me any good. I gained some on my columns last week, but not enough to do any good. I received your letter Saturday, thanks for the 25c. Please don’t ask me any more to do better than I have done, for it makes me feel like a sheep-killing-dog. I might have made the course in 3 years, but these fool demerits bothered me so I couldn’t think of much else besides.
I’ve written a long letter but its full of grumbling from one end to the other please excuse all you can and don’t pay any attention to the rest. Love to Sister and all others.
Your Loving Son