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16

Father was a rolling stone; never abiding long in one
place -- he occupied his leisure hours in the Study of
Natural History -- of insects chiefly; and chiefly of spiders;
he took long walks in the woods, armed with a light hatchet
for turning up the bark of dead trees, & vials for preserving
specimens --

Whilst at Chapel Hill, he took quite extended pedestrian
trips, during his vacations, for his health. I will copy
here, a letter written whilst on one of these expeditions.

Mason Hall - 10 miles beyond Hillsborough
June 1st, 1830
"My very dear Caroline -- You feel my absence, you say,
and I am sure you do; but I felt your, as I ever do; though
more forcibly, because it was to continue some days -- I
felt it before I had travelled many miles -- Yes, Caroline, I
felt, I feel more and more, that my happiness is in your hands;
that where you are not, I am deprived of those dear feelings
which alone can make a man happy, if that state can be experienced
in this evanescent world -- I want to see you, and
to hear your kind voice, and I want to be in that place, &
in no other, when you breathe, & watch over the lives of our
dear young ones. The tears come in my eyes as I think of
seeing you among them -- I long to see Thaddy & July, and
Charly, the last though not the least. I do not feel now as
if I could scold him for a day, however, mischievous he might

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