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The Autobiography of William Jessie McMullan


Chapter 1: "William Jessie McMullan"

Chapter 2: "School Days"

Chapter 3: "Church Activities"

Chapter 4: "An Organized Farmer"

Chapter 5: "Girl Associates"

Chapter 6: "Sarah Jackson Freeman"

Chapter 7: "Sallie Freeman"

Chapter 8: "Letters from Sallie"

Chapter 9: "Golden Wedding"


Combined from Versions 1 & 2, Chapter 8:  “Letters from Miss Sallie”

Compliments to W J McMullan.  Compliments returned.  Will accept a call from you tomorrow afternoon, May 17th 1884.   Sallie Freeman

(ed. alternate version of above note reads “Compliments received.  Will accept a call from you tomorrow afternoon.  May 17th 1884, Sallie Freeman.”)

Compliments of S J Freeman, in return to Mr Willie McMullan, and accepts of your company Sabbath eve, June 1st 1884.

Return compliments of Sallie Freeman to Mr Willie McMullan, and will accept his company Sunday eve, June 15th 1884. 

September 15th 1884. 

Compliments of Sallie Freeman in return to Mr Willie McMullan, and ask to be excused as I am compeled to go to Georgias and remain over week, am to start in the morning.

October 25th 1885

Compliments of Sallie Freeman in return to Mr McMullan, and will have to ask to be excused, as I have promised sister Kate to go there tomorrow.  There will be preaching at the school house down there Sabbath.

(put flowers in this note)

Jan 10th 1886. 

My dear Mr Willie.  I guess you know the reason of my not answering your note last week.  There was not any school Friday and I had no way to send a reply.  I have thawed a little today for the first time since Friday.  I be­lieve it was the coldest weather I ever saw.  I will quit.  I am most frozen.  I remain Sallie.

February 15th 1886

Mr Willie McMullan.  My dear sir, When I came home yesterday from school I found Uncle Jack Smiths family here.  Jennie came with them and therefore I decline going to Decatur today, provided you will excuse me.  You know I feel a delicacy in going, and leaving Jennie.  I hope it will not debar you from going.  Go by all means.  I know you will see lots of prettie girls.  If you do not go, you may call this evening if you wish to.  Verry respect­fully and truly yours, Sallie Freeman.

Dec Miss, March 3 1886 Wednesday.

Mr McMullan.  Many thanks to you for the candy you sent me.  I divided it with my friends, especially with Jennie.  Profesor Corbet, and daughter Miss Emma are our teachers names.  I think prof. Corbet an exclent teacher.  We had in attendance today 86 scholars.  Prof Corbet hasent made any ruls abot us talking to the boys.  We talk when we wish to.  He has not much if any rules but behave, and get your lesson.  We study at night, and recite nearly all day.  If we dont know them, he is sure to let us know it before we leave the class.  Jennie does not stay at Georgias.  I go with Lula Johnson.  It is nearly eleven oclock.  I will quit for tonight as I am getting cold.  Sallie.

March 6th.

It is raining today.  Did not attend school.  I forgot to tell you who was my deskmate.  Jennie, of course.  We took seat togather the first morning and Lula J. and Florance Clark in front of us, and Lucy Harper, and Bettie McCune back of us.  We dont have much time for laughing.  Dr Hinton came home last Saturday.  Someone said he was coming to at Decatur.  Fred Russell and Jim Mann are coming to school.  Lucy Harper and Bettie McCune sends their best regards to you.  I divided candy with them.  Excuse bad writing and spelling.  I am in an awful hurry.  I remain, Sallie.

Decatur April 11 1886.

Mr McMullan.  I believe I am in somewhat better spirits than when I last wrote.  I guess I learn slowly.  I am quite shure I do not learn fast.  You asked me where I would be Sabbath.  I guess I will be at Georgias.  I don’t expect I will attend church Sabbath.  If you wish to you can go to church, and come home with who ever goes to church.  You may call if you wish to.  The people talking are organizing a Sabbath school Sunday eve.  If they do I shall certainly go.  You may go to if you wish to.  I will quit.  It is nearly eleven oclock and I dont quite know my lesson yet.  Last night I went to sleep studding and let the lamp burn nearly all night.  Good night.  Yours, Sallie Freeman

Thursday April 29 1886

Willie.  We will not have our picknick tomorrow.  The swamp will be to wet.  We were all sadly disappointed.  I believe they have put it off untill it dries off.  I am staying at home this week, or part of the week.  We started home Monday evening but could not cross the creek above D., so we came back to D. and stayed at Dr. Penington part of the time.  Lula and myself stayed at her maws both nights.  I came home yesterday morning with Walter Coursey.  I dont expect I will go home untill Sabbath eve.  I have not been to school this week.  I heard in D. that Jennie sick, but I hope not seriously.  I f you see any of sisters folks tell them we will not have the picknic.  I hope you have a nice time this week.  It has been gloomy to me.  I will close.  I remain yours as ever, Sallie.

May 13th 1886 Decatur Miss.

Mr McMullan.  I received your letter last week.  I feared Mr Speed did not enjoy himself.  Lula said she wished he had seen her fore he saw Sallie (untill he had seen her).  I had a nice time last Sunday.  Went to Sabbath School at half past nine.  Staid untill after preaching.  Maud and Mr Thomas went home with us.  Anna and Virginia Carle­ton came in the eve.  Lula and Madison came also.  We all walked to High Hill Sunday night, except Maud and Mr Thomas.  We will have our picknick Friday if not raining.  We all expect a nice time.  How could we expect any­thing else.  We solisit you to come Mr Speed, to be certain to bring Mr Speed!  Lucy puts in her solisitude also.  I remain yours, Sallie.

N.B. I dont know what you mean by that card, therefore I will keep it untill I see you.  I will go home Saturday if not hindered.  Thursday you had better come if you like beef.  I expect it will be all we have for dinner.  If you see any of sisters folks tell them abot the picknick.  They may want to come.  I will close.  I have been verry lengthy as ever, Sallie Freeman.

May 23 1886 Decatur Miss.

Dear Willie, I am just back from Sabbath School, had a tolerable large croud.  I am in bible class, and some of the answers are no little trouble to find.  You asked me to tell you about the picknick.  It has been so long since then, I have nearly forgotten about it.  We had a verry nice time.  I think I had a nice enough time for you and myself to.  We had one swing, two jumping ropes, and we jumped a vine, too.  We had one croquet set.  I know I started half dozen games, but did not finish but one.  Two young men were up from Hickory.  Mr McDonal and Mr Joe Todd.  Mr Ralf Adams was my escort most of the day.  We had a nice party at Mr Carletons at night.  We are going to have another picknick Saturday before the third Sabbath.  It will be a Sabbath School picknick.  We have a nice time swinging everry day.  The boys swing us part of the time.  School is decreasing.  I would like to quit, but have no excuse only I am tired of going.  I will be glad when school is out so I can go when I get ready.  I started yester­day, but was interfered by Mr William coming.  Brother and family came Saturday.  I think its time I am quiting.  I have been so dull.

I anticipate going to the show if I can get enough to go on my bond.  Several of us said we would play negro, go and see the street parade.  We thought some one would take pity on us and take us in.  If you will go on my bond let me know.  I remain yours as ever, Sallie Freeman.

(P. S. we went in the show togather)

Decatur Miss May 31st 1886.

Willie I guess you think I never intended to answer your letter.  It was almost impossible for me to write last week, and I went out to sister Finnies Saturday, and did not get back untill this evening (Monday).  Many thanks for the box of envelopes and paper pencil, especially the box, I think it prettie.  I hope you have a pleasant time at Newton.  I think sometimes I had better quit school.  I dont think I learn a thing.

I think I shall quit latin.  I did not go to the negro exibition.  I thought awhile I woud go.  I guess you heard of the death of Mrs McAlpin.  She died last Wednesday.  Prof. let us school children out a little after nine to go to burial.  The corps did not come untill nearly twelve.  We all staid untill after the funeral and we lacked to caught it when we got back.  Sallie.

It rained terrible hard last night.  I thought the wind would blow the house away.  The creek is so high I could not get to school today, and I fear will not get to go tomorrow.  You asked me about my cold.  It is better.  It seems like a month since I received your letter.  I have waited so long.  Hear you think I did not appreciate your present, but you may rest assured I do.  I think I will have to quit myself.  Pen and ink wont write.  I think it is myself.  Sallie


Mr Barrette brought us to school this morning.  The creek was still high.  I guess it will run down as it has quit raining.  I guess the mail comes up today, and I will try to mail my letter today.  I will close.  I have made a real diary of this letter.

Excuse this I am writing during school.  If he sees me I expect he will read it to the school.  I remain as ever, Sallie Freeman.

Decatur Miss, June 16 1886.

Mr McMullan.  I received your letter today and am answering it tonight so I can send it by mail tomorrow.  School ends tomorrow, and you may rest assured I am glad of it.  The weather is getting to hot.  They thought best to quit.  Mr McMullan, I suppose I will have to inform you about the picknick.  It has rained so much the people have de­cided not to have it.  It will be to wet down on the creek.  I hope you will not be disappointed much.  I was invited to attend a party at Mr Martins tomorrow night.  I dont know whether I go or not.  The school closes at Union Fri­day.  Examination in the day, exibition at night.  We are verry anxious to go, but dont expect we can get a way to go.

I will come home Saturday to stay, I guess.  I expect to sleep a week or two before I get my right senses.  Georgia says she believes I am crazy.  This week, I expect some of the D. girls will be at Midway Sunday, Lula Johnson, Miss Emma and Miss Mary. 

It has rained terable hard today.  The wind liked to blew all of the corn down.  Bro F I am sure will carrie us to school this evening.  I know most the creek is up.  I think I will have to call in all the neighbors when I get home to help me rejoice.  As I have written all I know, I guess it is best to quit.  Sallie Freeman.

N.B.  Excuse all mistakes, and those beauty spots, as I have already told you, I was crazy this week.  You can ac­count for it.  I left out part of sentences also.

June 25th 1886.

Willie, I believe I have quite recovered from my ailments, tho I dont know wether I have my right senses yet or not.  I hope I will soon.  You asked when you might call.  I cannot set any definite time.  You said you was going to Newton Sabbath.  I intend going to Crossroads if I can get off.  Mr Pope insisted much on my coming the first.  I do not know where I will be untill the time comes.  I may go down to sisters if I do I will (ed: a word seems to be  missing here) a week or two.  You may call while I am there, provided I get there.  I would have gone last Sabbath, but I thought I had company that would spend the night with me, but was mistaken.  Now that school is out, I dont know what to be at.  I dont know how to work.  I sleep a little, work a lttle and run about and eat green fruit more than a little.  Pleas to excuse my wandering talk.  Pleas to excuse my paper.  I remain yours, Sallie.

July 5th 1886.

Dear Mr McMullan, Please to excuse my delay in not answering yours of the 3rd instant.  We have had company nearly all the time I have been at home.  Since then Jennie spent the night with me.  I carried her to Decatur yes­terday morning.  I saw Callie while I was there, and asked her about taking lessons.  Her price is $4.00.  She gives one lesson everry day.  Pleas tell me what you think about it Sunday.  I will be at home Sunday all day.  Without it is to church at Midway.  You can come anytime you wish to.  You may come in the morning, and go with us to church or any time that suits you.  Excuse such writing.  I have not written any since I quit school.  Yours, Sallie Freeman.

July 17th 1886.

Dear Willie, You must have thought I was at Decatur by sending your letter up there.  I got out of staying with Georgia this time.  I am verry sorry you did not enjoy the Union.  I was really sorry I had to leave.  I appreciate your kind offer very much, but alas I had to decline it.  You know I could not leave Jennie.  I dont know whether I can go to church Sunday or not.  If  I dont go to church, you may come in the evening, and I pray you not to forget to bring that grand picture.  I know I am a perfect scare crow.  Dont kiss the picture all away by that time.  I dont think I would like to kiss pictures much.  I will quit, my old pen wont write.  Lovingly, Sallie F.

August 1st Sunday 1886.

Dear Mr McMullan, I accept your company Sabbath evening with pleasure.  Preaching broke last night.  I think the preachers thought us bad cases.  I will tell you how I got into it when you come.  As ever, Sallie Freeman.

N.B. Pleas to excuse pencil, Sallie Freeman. (a flower in this note)

Nov 6th 1886.

Dear Willie, I received your letter in due time, and read it all with perfect ease.  I think the children carried the night at the party.  I did not have a verry lively time.  There was not any of my fellows there.  I went to see Jennie Sunday and to church.  If you had come you would not have found me at home.  I guess I will be at home from now on on the first Sunday.  Miss Lida has not said anything about us going with the boys.  Therefore you may call the first Sunday if I dont forget it before the time comes.  I must be verry sweet if I am as sweet as you say I am, but you are the only one (provided these are your sentiments) that thinks that.  Everryone else think to the reverse.  I remain as ever, Sarah Jane Freeman.

December 9th 1886.

Mr McMullan.  Dear sir, I received yours of the 5th, and of course I will forgive you for not calling.  I did not look for you.  It was to cold to go anywhare.  I will accept your company to Decatur if it is a prettie day.  If you think it not fit to go to church, you may call in the eve.  I have the blues today.  There are so many weddings tonight, and I cannot go to any.  I think Ida treated me real mean.  I think I missed the fun in not going to the partie.  Willie said there were ever so many boys there, Mr Guss, to.  Papa married Ida.  I will close as ever, Sallie J Freeman

N.B.  Please to excuse me for waiting so long to answer.  It was Wednesday before I got yours and the mail rider did not stop to get mine as he promised.  I will go to Decatur if it is a fit day.  If you do come, come as early as you can, so we wont be late.  Yours, Sallie Freeman.

Dec 1886. 

Mr McMullan.  I received your note late yesterday eve, and did not have time to answer.  I started down to sisters.  It rained so hard I stoped at Cornelia Doolittles.  Will stay here untill Willie returns.  I thought I would go to Christmas tree if the weather was suitable.  I started this morning.  Come tomorrow and spend the day with us.  I will spend the day at home.  They are hurrying me to death.  Lovingly, Sallie Freeman.


Dear Mr McMullan, I accept your company tomorrow eve with the greatest felicity and also to church, but you know I detest walking, altho I will walk if there is no other way.  Yours sincerely, Sallie Freeman.


Dear Willie, I give you permission to call tomorrow evening Sabbath.  You know you have my permission anytime.  As ever, Sallie Freeman.

October 21st 1887.

Dear Mr McMullan, I would be verry glad to go to Crossroads.  Willie is looking for company Saturday night.  If he does not come I will go.  If I dont go, by all means you go yourself, and carry Arrette.  I will go if I posibly can.  Perhaps I can get Willie and Velps (ed: name not clear) both to go.  Very respectfully, Sallie Freeman.

November 13th 1887.

Mr McMullan.  I will accept your company to church Sabbath at D. with pleasure, provided the waeather is not to bad.  Verry truly and respectfully, Sallie Freeman.

December 11th 1887.

Dear Willie, I will go to Decatur Sabbath if the weather is prettie.  If to bad I will not go.  If you do come, come early so that we will not be to late, provided I am ready when you come.  I will be at home in the eve.  Come if not in the morning.  Do bring all of your life with you.  I have the blues so bad I am afraid I shall expire soon.  As ever yours, Sallie Freeman.

N.B. Frank Cross married this eve to Callie Thames.

November 13 1888.

Mr McMullan.  I will accept your company to church Sabbath at D. with pleasure, provided the weather is not to bad.  Verry truly and respectfully, Sallie Freeman.

Dec 1888.

Mr McMullan.  I received your note late yesterday eve and did not have time to answer.  I started down to sisters.  It rained so hard I stoped at Cornelia Doolittles.  Will stay here untill Willie returns.  I thought I would go to Christmas tree if the weather was suitable.  I started this morning.  Come tomorrow and spend the day with us.  I will spend the day at home.  They are hurrying me to death.  Lovingly, Sallie Freeman.

This is a facsimile of Mrs McMullans last note to me while in Canida at Niagra falls July 24th 1939:

I am at Niagara falls having a grand time.  Will be home this week, Sallie.

When we started to the marriage alter when Miss Sallie taken my arm she gave a shudder, in an undertone said oh.  Then I said if you ever expect to quit, now is the time.  I am doing this for keeps.  In 1945 while in hospital she said to Dr Simmons there stands a good looking man pointing to me, then laughed heartily.  She was in the hospi­tal 66 days.  After coming home as I was standing by her bed entertaining her she said to me, you used to have prettie teeth, bright sparklin brown eyes, and nice smooth face.  You know I never did go back on you.


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