Letter from Captain John Murphrey to Drewry Aldridge, Sr.
Bearegarden 30 September. 1768


My son John informs me that he has been so fortunate as to have
gain'd the affection of your Daughter Polly & that he expects to be
married to her. It gives his Mother & myself much pleasure in his
most prudent choice. We can not have the least objection to a young
Lady of Miss Polly's amiable good Character, she having been brought
up under the care of so genteel and Worthy Parents as Madam Aldridge
and yourself. You may depend that Mrs. Murphrey & myself shall do
every thing that is in our power towards their living in ease and to
prmoting their general happiness. To further this aim we doubt not
but that you & your Lady will most cheerfully contribute. It is my
intent to settle upon my son my Plantation known by the name Musquettoe
containing upwards of 100 acres of River low lands, leaving the
furniture in the house standing there - except for some few articles -
the Stock and mills thereunto with 6 or 8 working slaves which is all
that can be spared at present, I having lost a good many to the Ague.
He shall also have my Clark's place which is worth in most years upwards
to b300. Our respectful Compliments & Praises attend both your Lady
and yourself & family.

I am Sir with very Great respect, yr Obdt Servt

Capt. John Murphrey


Letter from Drewry Aldridge, Sr. to Captain John Murphrey
Capt. John Murphrey


Your letter of yesterday is now before me. I have no Objections
either to your son or to his connections - I have sincere regard Sr
for both yourself & Family & of consequence thereof I welcome a union
betwixt our two Houses. I propose to give an absolute Estate to my
daughter of those things which I shall here after mention - Vizt. 250
acres of unseated Forrest lands in Craven, 4 or five negroes and some
stock & furniture. Myself and Lady present our Compliments.

Your very Hum Servt

D. Aldridge Esq.

Myrtle Bluffs
Octr 1, 1768

Letter from Gale Murphrey, daughter of Captain John Murphrey, to her brother John Murphrey

The Beare Garden 14 Sept. 1769

Dear Brother

We received yours of the 9th inst. by cozin Dixon when he returned
from down the countrie and we was right glad to here from you. We
have had a frightful time of it here. Mama, Jethra, & me went down
to Tower Hill to see sister Caswell who had been brought to bed of a
fine new son. All are or were well there; we not hering from them
since the gale, God only knows how they are. We was going to stay
the night at Mrs. Shepards but made good time owning to the rds
being firm & the chariott having no problems we got to Contentney &
took the ferry on home. And good we did. The winds rose in the
evening & becoming more violente begun to rattle the hole house.
Mama was quite stricken with fright & would not be consold. Papa
gatherd us together & set us all in the hall as it was the most
inner place. In the early morning it stopped but came up again &
lasted the better part of the day. Two of the biggest oak trees in
the yard are down - one right on the barn. All the chimneys are
knocked down and the negra houses gone. Most of the contents of the
houses are now in the yard. Papa is much upset & swears he is ruind
most of the tobacca being destroied & the store also. Cozin
Holliday at Hawlanding faired bad also not a single house left
standing on his planta. Dixon says Newbern is much destroied also
and the country round abouts. Most of the roads are not passable
owning to the high water and fallen trees and he said he had a rough
go of it getting up the river. Please take cear of yourself there &
hurry home.

Your loving Sister


Mr. John Murphry
at Mr. Oliver's
Newbern, N. C.

Care of Francis Harper
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Letter of agreement to build the Little Goshen Chapel.

Little Goshen Chapel
pp. 92 -93

At the Vestry held for St. Patrick Parish the 3 day of May 1770 -
The revd Willm Miller
Simon Bright, Drew Aldrige, William Bell, Robert
Williams, Martin Caswell, Major Croom, John Tilmon,
Thomas Edwards

To the Hon. Abraham Shepherd & Capt. John Murphrey Trustees

It is agreed that a Chapel should be built on some part of the old
field belonging to the said Shepherd & Murphry called Little Goshen
to be 60 foot long & 30 foot wide in the Clear, the Foundations to
be begun 5 bricks thick & so continued to the surface of the earth
& from thence 4 bricks thick to the water table which is to be 4
foot above the top of the earth. The walls are to be well framed
of Pine or Cypress timbers well seesoned to 25 foot pitch from the
surface of the earth. The Doors in the North & South sides to be
12 foot high & 6 foot wide to be glazed with best London crown and
to contain 32 lights in the square part and 2 windows in the West
End convenent to the Gallery. The flooring of the pews & Isles to
be laid with well seasoned quarter pine plank cleared of sap on
good White Oak sleepers, the wainscot for the pews to be well
seasoned pine or sypress plank raised on one Diameter at the bottom
of the Sharft to be fluted & the capitals of a good Order. A
Gallery to be at the West End 10 foot wide to be divided into sets
of pews with stairs to go up on each side. The roof to be well
framed with Pine or Cypress, the girders to be 12 inches squared
the summers 12 inches squared, the joists to be 12 by 3 the
principal rafters to be 10 inches by 3, the purloines to be 10 by
8 & the smaller rafters to be 10 by 4, to be covered over with
plank cyphered & lapped 1 1/2 inches & covered with shingles of
good cypress 20 inches long 3/4 inch thick & not to show more than
6 inches. The Chapel to have a neat Madilioned cornick on the
sides & each end, the pews to be the same height as them now in the
present Parish Church to be primed with white lead & to be painted
with a wainscot colour. All the outside of the doors & windows &
cornish to be primed or painted four times over with a neat straw
colour and the walls all about primed or painted with white lead.
A neat altar piece of walnut with handrails & banisters of the same
with a neat pulpit and desks. The Church is to be compleatly
finished by the last of May 1772. One hundred pounds to be paid to
the undertakers on the last of May next. Two hundred pounds to be
paid on May last 1772. Jesse Jones and William Mackenny are
herewith appointed to see that the said work is forward &
faithfully done with good materials. It is also agreed by the
Vestry that Abraham Sheppard & John Murphrey shall underwrite with
Thomas Edwards for the building of the aforementioned chapel
according to the plain & that they shall pay 200 pounds current
money for same.

Truly recorded Jas. Lindsay, V. Clk.

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Letter from Gale Murphrey, daughter of Captain John Murphrey, to her brother John Murphrey

at Beare Garden June 1, 1770

Dearest Brother,

I hope this finds you & yours in good health & spirits. All
here are fine. Papa is quite busy. He has given sister Mary
and Robin the Hurricanes plantation and he and Robin are building
a new house there. They have enlarged the Hunting lodge at the
quarters there by putting on a second floor and little short
rooms to each side. It is a lovely home & Sister is excited
beyond belief to get a new home of her own. Brother Hill has
sent into Virginia for new furnishings for he says the makers
there have it all over ours her and Mother has already sent her
gardner Cato over with some cuttings to get the grounds in order.
The box garden there will be larger and more modern than ours but
I think will never surpass the beauty of mamas garden. Papa is
planning ajourney into Virginia to visit the cousins and finish
some tobacco business next month. Mama will probably go along
for some shopping & visiting & I hope to go also. It is been so
long since I've seen any of the relations. Tell Mary her parents
& family are all fine. They were here for several days last week
to hunt & were in high spirits.

All my love


Mr. John Murphry
at Mr. Cox's
At New Bern, N. Co.

Care of Mr. Caswell
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Letter from Captain John Murphrey to his nephew, Murphrey Dickson

June 2, 1770

Dear Couzin,

As you have no doubt already heard the Vestry has authorized
the construction of our chapel at Little Goshen for the use of
our neighborhood. It is to be compleated for use in the early
part of 1772 or earlier. Shepheard & I are to underwrite the
cost of the same & Edwards will undertake most of the building
himself with but small cost to the Parish. We have need of two
chairs, of good proporsion larger than table chairs and a large
square table and readers desk. They are to be of walnut or
cherry wood finished off in the best english manner not too
plain but of a richness befitting their use. We desire also
that the creed & the prayer be carved & gilded on planks to be
used above the alter. The members of the Vestry spoke well of
your work & feel your fee to be more reasonable than Thippen and
the quality beter. If possible also it is the desire of the bord
that you undertake the pulpit & bord. I will be home in the week
& look forward to hearing from you then. Elizabeth sends her
greetings to Mrs. Dickson and desires me to thank her for the
rose bushes that she sent us. They are a most beautiful addition
to our arbor and will be greatly enjoyed. The races here have
not been of much account because of the freshes which have kept
all but those with court business away. Exum had an adventure
day before when his canoe was sunk by the current & he near
drowned. All his deeds & papers to be registered at the Court
are by now floated to the sea & all will have to be rewritten
and signed much to his worry & that of his clients. Mine to all
at your place.

Yr. Obedt. Servant,

J. Murphry

Mr. M. Dickson
Grampon Hills

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Letter from Murphrey Dickson to Captain John Murphrey

10 June 1770

Dear Jacky

I have your leter in hand and will be more than glad to
undertk the chirs and table you spoke of. I have on hand at
presint a set of comb back chirs of cherry which I think
would do nice for the chancil. I take it that the table you
wish dun in the stile of a silver table much as the one I made
Pope some time back. If this is not of your mind let me now.
I will have to waite on the pulpit for the church to be well
up afore I commence work on it in that I will need the exack
measures for it. All I will undertk for no fee in that it is
for the Church & not for sum privet person. I will be coming
up river to deliver some goods to Mr. More in a day or so and
will stop to yr house to make shure of all this work and its
nature. You may be ashured that I will do my best to satisfie
bout yrself & the Vestry.

Muffery Dixson

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Letter from Captain John Murphrey to his son John Murphrey

Muskettoe Quarter Septr. 9, 1770

Dear Son,

You will receive this of Dick Caswell who is accompanying 6
hhds. my tobo. to Newberne. All are properly marked. You are to
see Mr. Olliver as to the disposal of the same. Have him hold the
note for I will settle debts & orders when I arrive which will be
on or about the 2d. Your mother will be accompanying me as will
your sister Gale & little Jethra. Mr. Blackledge has offered us
the hospitality of his home so you need not worry to engage us
rooms. Send the enclosed list to Mr. Cornell to be fill'd & the
goods loaded upon the Betsey after Olliver has removed the hhds.
Cousin Murphry will have other instructions for you also. We will
take the perangue down after the canopy and rigging is refetted &
return at the end of the festivities. You will keep the perangue
for your return trip at Christmas tide. Remember me to all in that

Your Loving Father

N. B. You may take the price of your picture out of the tobo.
notes. If your painter be good, I may have my picture drawn for
your mother's Christmas.

Mr. John Murphry
At Wm. Coxs
Near Newbern

care of Mr. Caswell

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Letter from Gale Murphrey, daughter of Captain John Murphrey, to her brother John Murphrey

the Beare Garden Sept. 10, 1770

Dear Brother
We got here last evening & are in good health altho' much
fatigued. The season has started off better than any I can
remember. Papa allowed us to go to the festivities at Walnut Creek
for the opening of the courts & we did have a high ole time. A
dinner & ball were held at the courthouse - about 40 or 50
attending - a sparkling company. Madame Sasser as usual outdid all
there. Papa entered his horse Marc Anthony in the heats but lost
to Major Crooms filly Royal Flush. Abe Shepard's horse Donegale
won the second heat and Billy Sutton's Jupitar the last. The track
was some muddy which Pa accounts for Marc's bad showing. Went home
with Lam Hardy for two days of marryment & then came home. Mary
Mewborn & sister Caswell & family came with us to attend church.
Revd Miller also accompanied us and on Monday Papa threw a Birth
Day ball for Mama. A real tearing Ball it was too. Papa felt his
Spirits and he & Billy Hooker play'd their fiddles most of the
night. I danced till I was out winded and Justice Speight lost his
wig during a reel with Mama. Oh, how she was aback and how we
laughed at his little crop'd head. Then we were off again to the
hunts at White House where no fox was got but two fine staggs. A
shall shower caused dinner to be moved inside but didn't slack the
dancing on the lawn. Justice Taylor got tipsy off Arrack and fell
from his horse (which was stoke still at the time) & broke his
collar bone. He had to be brot back in a cart. His lady was fit
to tie and berated him much for a lack of dignity. If I were a
lawyer I would be hard put not to laugh while at the bar from all
the carrying on of our Justices. This morning came Mr. Dick
Caswell & invited Papa to go down to Newbern for the opening of the
Government House because he is the Surveyor and one of the chiefist
men in these parts. I am so excited - Papa is allowing me to go
along & meet the Governor. Mama says she does not much care for
Him but that His Lady is quite a charming person. Lany & Sally are
to stay here with Bill & His wife But Jethra & Mr. Duncan are to go
down also to look into Mr. Thom (torn) school there. What are the
ladies of Newbern wearing this season. I do not wish to appear the
Rustick Mouse amongst my City Cozins. I know I will not be able to
out shine any of them but I would like to make at least some
showing. My fondest wishes to my little sisterinlaw & friends
Bryan & Cox.

Your loveing Sister
Mr. John Murphry
At Mr. Cox's
At New Bern, N.C.
Care of Mr. Caswell

Notes from James Creech:
"The house mentioned above is the Old Best House, known also as the
White House. The Walnut Creek, was the Old Dobbs County
Courthouse, located there. Lam Hardy lived at Jason and Mary
Mewborn, was the widow of George Mewborn & Dick Caswell was Richard
Caswell. Justice Taylor was William Taylor."

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Letter from Gale Murphrey, daughter of Captain John Murphrey, to her brother William Murphrey

New Berne 10 Decr. 1770

Dear Billy,

We arrived here all safe & sound of Body. The weather has
been pleasant and warm. The gods must surely smile on our
festivities. We are not at Mr. Blackladges as was planned
because of fever amongst his people but are instead with Mr.
Coor. I have rooms at the top of the house with Sally and can
see from river to river and well up the neck from this high
point. This is such a bustling busy place after the solitude
of our forest clearing. We have done much shopping and
visiting abouts. There are so many old friends and acquantenses
here and a great number of Dobbs folks are down. Saw many of
them at Church a Sunday. We shared a pew with old Hannah Hill
and Spyrs Singleton and family. On Celebration day the town
was decked out as to appear a fair. Everyone in their finery
& entertainments at every corner. We went with Mr. Green &
Brother Caswell to the setting of the Govournment in their new
Chambers but could naught but stand below windows such was the
press. Papa was made door keeper for the Assemblage in that
the regular keeper was a bed with the ague. The Government
closed business for the day when the point guns saluted and
everyone repaired to prepare for the ball. The Govournment
House is indeed grand. Mama says that it is even grander
that the gouvernors house in Virginia. I heard it said by a
gentleman who is much travelled that it is an English house in
the finest London taste. Oh, I wish you could have seen the
ball. It dazled the eyes & mind of the beholder. Such finery
& jewels. Mother never looked younger or in more health. She
wore the blue spittlefelds gown Papa brought for her and
Grandmother B's diamonds set her off to perfection. And you
should have seen our little Polly all in green & yellow satin
with plumes and turban. She has become quite the city lady.
When presented to the Governour & Lady he spoke at some length
with Mother his having met her cousins while in Virginia. We
danced and danced the long part of the evening and ate a great
number of delicasys which we have only for weddings & funerals.
The lawn before the house was set to form a large feast for the
general public who were not at the ball and the whole night
ended with a great fire show. Parson Reed danced with me three
times & the dear old gentleman would make to have great
liberties of speech with Mother who laughed like a girl at such
flirtations. Papa played the part of the jealous husband quite
well to the merryment of all. On the day after the ball we
walked over to Reed's & set upon porch for a while until he
took Jethra & Papa to view the school and talk of tuition with
Thomason. We drank tea with Mrs. Reed and later came Mrs.
Frank, Mrs. Roads and young Mrs. King a relation of Mrs. Roads
from down the country. We supped at Cornell's to a large
company and afterwards i played the harpsichord for all and
Mother lost 4 L. to Mrs. Cornell at quadrille which caused
Papa's blood to rise. The town is still in a festive mood,
We have seen two horseraces and a concert by the young men of
the town. We are to be home in less than a weeks time to
prepare for the holydays. We have all or most of the items
you wished, papa at present still haggling with Old Hard Money
over credit and goods. Tell (torn) the bolts of cloth she
wanted and the set of Chinia. Tell her the ladies are wearing
the most charming knots and over skits and ribbons this season.
Mama has found the most charming irish seamstress and you
really must bring (torn) to town that she may make up dresses
for her also. I really must close now (torn) is having a
dance tonight & I have to begin (torn)t. Love to all.

Your Sister


Mr. Willm. Murphrey Esqu.at Mr. Cox's
the Newfields

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Letter from Jethro Murphrey, son of Captain John Murphrey, to his father and mother

New Berne 10 Decr. 1770

Dear Father and Mother,

I am doing quite well and hope you are fine also. I am enjoying
my schooling and the life here in New Bern. Mr. Tomlinson keeps
a good house and is pleasant and kind. He has one other border
who is also a student named Baker from near Edonton. Mr.
Tomlinson sees to it that we have our lessons done each evening
and that is the only problem of living with a schoolmaster.
Other wise it is alright. Parson Reed comes often to the school
to check on our progress and is greatly pleased with all that is
done here. He has dined with us once and asked to be remembered
to you both. He says the clippings Mother gave him are
flourishing in his garden & he hopes you will both visit soon to
view at first hand their progress. There is always so much
going on here it is hard to keep one's mind on lessons. We saw
a great horse race Thursday last. Mr. Singlton was there and
invited me to dinner with him at Bryans. He asked me much about
my lessons and I think my answers much pleased him for he said
that I was pleasant companie and would someday be a joy and
assett to my family. Brot. Johnny has taken a small house near
the Pallace. I am sure you know the house it being near the
brickill. They have just gotten settled in good so I have not
been avisiting. I do see them at Church & have gotten dinner
invitations but with us both busy in our separate ways we have
not been able to get together. All here send best wishes and
await your next visit.

I am your son


Capt. John Murphrey

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Letter from Michael Murphrey to his father, Captain John Murphrey

Michl's Delight Augt. 10, 1772

Dear Father,

The desire for keeping up a fillial love inclines me to give
you a line or Two which I hope will be acceptable. I have
lately been put out by a bad fever but by taking the Bark am as
well & sound of wind & Limb as before. Our friend Randle & his
Lady and daughter went from here Friday last and col Hardies
coach met them at Crowne point which conveyed them to his home
that night. Mistress Randle is a fine plump Girl with a great
deal of since & vivasity and behaves her self quite well. I hear
nothing of sister Patsey tho' I hear they were to Church in N Bern
on Sunday and all were fine. Reports from my oversere at the Cedar
Stand say we have had such rains that the Taback fires & takes much
damage in the house. No doubt we shall have a fresh to carry off
what is left. I am afraid I shall make a poor showin all round this
year. But what can I expect from absent planting when I cant keep
a personal eye on my property. I hope to move down the country for
good in the near future if the times do not forbid it. Saw Harvey
last Wednesday in Wilmingtown. He was purchasing a new spinnet
for his middle girl who is recently married. He says poor Tindol
has lost both his girls and a son to the ague. For more news I
will have to refer you to a better authority. My Kind Love to
Mother & any of my brothers and sisters who might be about.

Your very affectionate Son


Capt. John Murphry esqu
the beare Garden
Newbern, N. C.
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Letter from Elizabeth Murphrey to her husband, Captain John Murphrey

Beare Garden Aug 7, 1774

My dearest Husband

The heavy rains here & the great rise of contentny must no
doubt make you eager for news from this place. All the low
grounds here at the Meadows & Panther sw. quarters are completely
covered over save for some few high spots. It has drained some
but the river is not yet in its banks. The tobakha I feel is all
but lost & the corn too I fear. All is covered with mud but there
is now a rain afalling which I hope may wash it clean to give at
least a more chereful contenance to the view. The upland crops
have suffered some from the wet but have mostly shed it. Johnnie's
losses will I am afraid be most calamitous. Not only the crops
on his place but the lower floor of his house is also covered up.
We had little time to take out the furnishings and most of what
was there is lost. Betwixt the 2 of us we will nothing like
clear expenses this year. Only the new rice field & Robin's
rice crop are standing in this part of the country. Hooker and
Sheppard have been by to visit and talk of nothing but high waters
and ruin. We are all otherwise well except Mr Duncan who has not
yet entirely recovered but is so much better. I will be so glad
to see you again dearist. Please let me know of you. My deepest
love to you & best wishes to all at that place.

Thy Most Loving & Obdt Wife


Captain J. Murphrey

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Letter from Elizabeth Murphrey, wife of Captain John Murphrey, to her daughter-in-law Mary (Polly)Murphrey

Hurricanes April 12, 1776

My Dearest Daughter

I had a safe and very pleasant journey home to find all the
jasamine & fruit trees in bloom. And have been devoting much
time to the garden no doubt to the better ment of both my health
& attitude. Mary has asked for help preparing her garden. As
you know she is but a midling gardner. At your mothers urging
she has written for seeds from Simpson. Your Mother has already
sent over several packets of spring peas and lilac. I am in as
fine a health & strength as could be expected at my time of age.
I ride or walk about the plantation twice a day morning and
evening according to the weather. I would love to have you with
me occasionally in these excursions. I am much drawn to you for
your resemblence to myself at that age. I am so lonely these
times. Most of my chicks have fled the nest & the old cock has
gone on. It is hard to have built almost 50 years of life
around one man only to be left alone in old age. it seems that
even despite ourselves life is still no more than a brief song
on the wind that lingers for a bit and is no more. I see the
children frequently but they all have their own lives to live
and very little time to spend on an old tit like myself tho the
love between us all is strong and binding. Sohee ran off from
me a fortnight ago & is now lurking about God knows where. He
greatly offended Patsey when she came visiting & she threatened
him with a beating. He ran off to avoid it& so has left me with
no one to wait table. If it were not for the economy & the need
to have Negras to maintain ones position in life I would rid
myself of them this moment. It is so hard sometimes to care for
the every need of both a white & black family. I am often
stifled by the burden it places on my scant patience & wisdom.
But for old Titch I would run off myself sometimes. I bless the
day Papa gave her to me. I am with Patsey at present. She had
a miscarriage this friday will be most a week. She was
delivered of a fine boy tho stillborn. She is quite well but
distraught as any mother who looses a small one is. Health
wise she glows. She attributes the misfortune to a very bad
trip by charriott last week to visit Nancy at Chelsea. Please
write more. These old ears pine for news of you & yours.

Your loveing Mother


Mrs. Mary Murphry
Mr. Cox
at New Bern
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Letter from Mary Murphrey, daughter-in-law of Captain John Murphrey, to her mother-in-law, Elizabeth

Belare near Newbern 19 Octr. 1776

Dear Madam

I am greatly saddened by the news of the fever on Contentny.
William brot the news when he came to this place with his family.
Johnnie was so much affected by the death of his dear Sister Gail
as to be unable to eat or sleep for near a forte night. Both his
health & his business have suffered from this condition. She
above all others in this world was his true soul mate & confidant.
He prays greatly that Lanie and Jethra recovered & were not taken
also. I am quite well tho fat with child yet. John has removed me
to this place for fear of the outbreak of fever in the town and to
escape the Heats there which are greater than any I can remember
for this season of the Year. The countrie round bouts is very
pleasant & healthie and the house elegant and new. Mr. Blount is
quite nice and much the tease and his Lady indeed an ornament to
his house. Taken seperately they are accomplished and enjoyable
company but the friction that exist between them as man and wife
can make them quite uncomfortable to be with at times. They were
kind enough to prepare for me a room below stairs. I am so plumb
now that I can hardly rise from my chair let alone try to walk
stairs. But it is only a small inconvenience when one thinks of
the great pleasure god grants us by children. And yet, when
thinking on Gail it is hard to understand why god should grant
us such a gift only to take it so shortly from us. Everyone
about town is up for freedom. John is still of two minds. This
independency is sweet indeed but he fears war will destroy our
trade or at least cripple it to the extent of economic ruin for
the Province. I can but wonder what condition the world will be
in when my child enters it. Johnnie has spoken of sending to
the Northward for a stone marker for Gail and swears he will do
so if matters do not worsen. Madam, I pray god to protect you &
family & deliver them from future pain and sickness.
My wishes and prayers to all.

Your Loving daughter,


Mrs Elizabeth Murphrey
the Beare Garden
Dobbs, N. C.

!From Ancestral File (TM), data as of 5 JAN 1998.
John Murphrey was registered as a taxpayer in Dobbs County, NC in 1769 and
died in 1776.
DAR records of Ima Mew
Quote from a letter dated June 1, 1770, to John Murphey, Jr. from hissister,
Gale Murphrey, at Bear Garden, Dobbs County, NC: "Dearest Brother: I hope
this note finds you and yours in good health and spirits. All here arefine.
Papa (John Murphrey, Sr.) is quite busy. He has given Robin (Robert Hill,
Jr.) and sister Martha (Martha Murphrey) the Hurricaines Plantation, andhe
and Robin are building a new house there. They have enlarge the HuntingLodge
at the Quarters there by putting on a second floor and little short roomsto
each side. It is lovely house and sister is excited beyond relief, toget a
new house of her own. Brother Hill has sent into Virginia for new
furnishings, for he says the makers there have it all over ours here.Mother
has already sent over her gardner, Cato, with some clippings to get the
grounds in order. The Box Garden there will be larger and more modern than
ours, but I think it will never surpass the beauty of Mama's (Elizabeth
"Betsy" Harrison Murphrey) garden. (Martha Sugg Dixon Papers 1827-1904 in
possession of Wm L. Murphy, Jr. of Raleigh, NC) "The main walk ended in a
large evergreen maze that was delight to us all, both young and old."
FUNERAL OF CAPTAIN MURPHREY: Captain John Murphrey was killed across
Contentnea from his home plantation when he was thrown from his shay.
According to his manservant, a covey of birds spooked the horse, and helost
control. When the shay turned over, he was thrown clear, but the Captainwas
thrown against a fence post and cracked his skull. Grandma Nancy (NancyHill
Sugg) who was a young girl, at the time, remembered going to the funeral,
which she said, was an elegant affair. The Priest went before the coffin
carried by six slaves who held it on white napkins. A pall was held overthe
coffin by four of his gentlemen friends, and his wife and family, camenext
followed by friends and other relatives. It was indeed a high stylefuneral.
Everyone had gathered that morning for tea and cakes and to sit with the
corpse and after the service and burial, all went back to the house for a
large dinner and great bouts of drinking, in what Grandma called theVirginia
style." (MSD)

"The Murphrey Line" by Eleanor Casey 1993, Goldsboro Public Library.
"John Murphrey was a large plantation owner. He was a Captain ofMilitia, a
merchant, a magistrate, and a surveyor. He and Elizabeth, with daughterGale,
attended the opening of Government House (later called Tryon Palace) atNew
Bern. Elizabeth danced and chatted with Governor Tryon with whom sheshared
many mutual acquaintances from her stay at Williamsburg, Virginia."
All of John's sons served in the Revolution.