East New Market


12 February 1848

Robert F. Thompson to Anthony L. Manning

(Collection of Karen Nicholson, Arlington, VA)

Dickinson College Feby, 12th 1848 

Carlisle Cumberland County

Beloved friend

Sir: I now seat myself to write you an answer to your letter, from one whom I have always respected, and when I opened your letter and found it was from you, I felt tight glad, that I had received a letter from my dear and friendly chum. But when I commenced reading its contents, Oh! you do not know what a gloom it cast over my head, to think about the consequences of such a letter from an always respected friend.

You know for the last three or four years that I have been acquainted with you, we never even had a cross word, we really appeared as brothers and treated each other as such.

If ever I had any respect for any person that person was you, and I esteem you as my friend yet from the contents of your letter you appear as though you were affronted with me and that you doubted my veracity as being a true friend of yours.

Well dear friend, I can assure you are laboring under a mistake, for, as I have before stated if I ever esteemed any person with my respect, it is you, most assuredly.

You know when father gave me permission to come here, I was not satisfied unless you were with me, and in order that you might come with me I persuaded my father to ask your father towards letting you come ?, And when he consented to let you come, you saw how patiently I waited for you, and what was this for?

Nothing but the pure love I had for you and that I wanted you as a companion.

But I cannot help thinking about your letter, concerning that part, stating that "These persons who acted the dogged and even worse than the doggish disposition"

Well now dear Anthony, if I must tell you my thought, I think that, that was a strange expression for you to say about one who has always been your friends, but you say that I have not been your friend But sir: I did all in my power to comfort you while you were here.

You must acknowledge that while Sweet James was persuading you to go home, I was consoling or was trying to console you but when I found you were getting worse I advised you to go home and I always thought I was acting the part of charity.

I want you to tell me who those persons are to whom you refer in your letter to me. Give my love to all the young ladies and respect me as your friend.

Write again Robert F. Thompson