United States of America

April 15th, 1898

Charleston, South Carolina

My Beloved Angee,

Have reached another stage since leaving Richmond last night where I left a letter for you to be accounted for by about the 24th I suppose. I had not much tooth for night travelling but felt I must try it and through mercy had a very comfortable night and slept soundly the greater part of it arriving here at 6 this morning. About half an hour later I was in a comfortable bedroom and in a few minutes inside the mosquito curtains for all the rest I could get between that and 8 when I had a warm bath and a clean shirt and was ready for the battle again about 10 not without some little victories thro' mercy in my business – it is a quaint old fashioned place but the dwellings of the coloured people are ramshackle huts indeed.

I heard from many of the grocers and the President of one of the banks where I had some business of Ernest Mead - he lost a very large sum and it is said entirely because he was ignorant of the business and yet thought he knew it all perfectly. The property he sunk his large sum in is now taken up by others who profit by his outlay – it is a phosphate works and it is said pays about 100% on its capital. The day has been fairly cool but they have had hot weather for a month or two past. Tomorrow D.V. I intend moving on to Savannah, about 130 miles further South. It is reported that the U.S. militia are all under orders to assemble around this coast so I shall soon be out of it. Have had quite a busy day calling with my samples carried by a nigger[1] and a nice fellow too upon every leading store.

Have written Emma's sister Mrs Norman this evening to let her know that I may call in for a few hours on my way up from the South. The people here are very homely and nice and I have had many special courtesies from one and another today which helps to sweeten the toil and calls for thanksgiving to the God of all grace and Father of mercies – the older dealers all remember the days when P.F.&Co.'s crackers were booming in this land but alas the goods have not been seen for a long time now. I hope they may come to the front again and then my labour will not be in vain – now beloved good night – D.V. shall add a little more from Savannah.

Savannah, April 17 Lord's day afternoon

A five hours' ride by a slow train landed me in this City last night at 8.30 – I had heard of a very fine hotel called the De Soto and magnificent it is – the company were just turning out of the dining hall as I entered to register my name – a rather imposing sight with gents in full dress and ladies in half ditto – Belshazzar's feast would hardly come up to it for grandeur. This city appears to be a good place for tourists going to Florida in the Winter and returning North again on the approach of the hot weather. I had refreshed myself on the journey with an orange, some Bannanas[sic] and apples but was quite ready for supper after a wash. Of course every delicacy awaited the visitors and those selected by the waiter were a little special – a pot of English breakfast tea – broiled ham and eggs with no other relish than a good appetite. A good night's rest thro' mercy and much refreshed thereby. I had the name of a brother residing a few miles in the country so started soon after breakfast before the sun became too fierce to seek him. I was told the street car would put me down near his door but I had about an hour's walk after getting off the car before I found him – the places had all been freshly numbered so that his which in my direction was 209 eleventh street was now 409 and my address did not give whether it was East or West of Eleventh Street. I went to 207 East where the numbers ended. A coloured woman of whom I enquired seemed particularly anxious to know what I wanted of him –she may have thought I was going to arrest him, as a white woman just before of whom I had enquired said that the people were scared by my making the enquiry and would not tell me where he lived thinking he had done something wrong – however my black friend was so anxious that I told her I wanted to see him because I heard that he loved the Lord Jesus Christ – she quickly answered that she loved him too and our talk soon interested the neighbours and she certainly gave some nice answers to my questions and very much wanted to know if I was going to preach anywhere in Savannah. Well in the end I found the brother and they were just commencing to break bread – two brothers in the flesh and in the Lord and the wife of one – I handed them my letter which was read and I was thankful indeed for the unexpected privilege of meeting with the few gathered ones. After the meeting I found the both of them were from Guernsey and knew many that I remembered – a brother is a builder the other a painter and home decorator and seem respectable men. I returned to the hotel and they are planning to call for me at 5 when I accompany them to their house to tea and for a reading in the evening. You can understand what a mutual cheer it was. Savannah seems a beautiful city and reminded me of some of the Indian towns – the beautiful tropical foliage is so abundant.

I received a mail from New York this morning but it is not the one arriving there y'day – I hope to get that with yours tomorrow. There is a very nice one from Cross & Blackwell in answer to my first from New York. It is a great comfort to my mind that they are pleased with my work for them.

Lord's day evening

The two brothers called this afternoon and I walked with them through a part of this city which is certainly a very beautiful place – parks – trees – fountains and all that sort of thing on a grand and extensive scale – had a nice meal at our brothers' house and we had a Scripture reading this evening so you see how good the Lord has been to me in a strange land. D.V. I have promised to be with them again tomorrow evening when he intends inviting some others to a reading – I want to send this letter off to New York tonight so that it may go across by Wednesday's mail and now my dearest Angee I shall hope that you have had the same grace and care minister to you today and we can lift our hearts in thanksgiving together – with much love to dear Arundel & Harry and their dear wives and children and our other home friends believe me with truest love.

Being very affectionate Husband


[1] We recognise that this is an offensive term today. However, Edward Petter used the term "Nigger" as a neutral term to refer to black people. It is clear from the context that no negative connotation is implied. The use of the term on this website does not condone the modern usage. See further here.

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