Thanks to our partner Matthews Heritage Museum and funding from a North Carolina State Historical Records Advisory Board (SHRAB) grant, additional Massey family letters, papers, and photographs from the late 1800s and early 1900s are now available on our website.
The photographs in this batch are of several Massey family members at different ages including Daisy Massey, Edgar Herbert Massey, Mary E. Renfrow Massey, and Dr. Henry V. Massey. One interesting photograph shows what is believed to be Edgar Herbert Massey and Mary Renfrow Massey in a horse drawn carriage.
The letters, spanning from 1863 to 1904, are mainly addressed to Daisy and Mary Massey from other family members and friends. One letter in this batch stood out as particularly interesting (pages two and three of the letter are below).
On December 18, 1902, an individual named Jeb wrote a letter to Daisy Massey. From the letter, it appears that the two were courting or in a relationship. In the letter, Jeb begs Daisy to consider moving to Washington and becoming mistress of his house. He writes, “[…] I believe I could persuade you to come over here and be mistress of my house. Really I do believe I could keep you from getting home sick and fancy you would like Washington far better than the Sunny South. Will you please do give this subject your honest and careful thought and prayer. I can make no big promises for I have nor riches to boast of, but can promise you the very best and true happiness and peace. On my part for you should never hear a cross or unkind word from my lips.” In the final section of the letter, Jeb points out that they are approaching a crossroads where Daisy will have to decide whether they get married or end the relationship. Daisy Massey’s response to the letter is unknown.
To read the letter in its entirety, please click here.
To learn more about the Matthews Heritage Museum, please visit their website.
To view more materials from the Matthews Heritage Museum, please click here.