The Coming of Age Letters of Tristrim Lowther Skinner 1833-1849
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In these vividly written letters we follow Tristrim Lowther Skinner of Edenton, North Carolina, from the age of thirteen in boarding schools in North Carolina and Philadelphia, through two years at the College of William and Mary where he studied under the brightest minds of the South, to his practical education in the “lean decade” of the 1840s when he learned the “mysterious art of farming.” Guided by his father throughout – conducting business in the North and assuming state legislative responsibilities befitting his class – Tristrim evolved into a well-versed, honorable, Southern planter. He ignored his father’s attempts to steer him in the direction of several wealthy marriage prospects and – at the age of twenty-eight – married for love. These eloquent documents provide an unusually detailed portrait of a future Confederate officer.