Read Me First

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ar after the birth of her first ▓child, Benjamin, when she was so ill ●that her hair was cut, so she appears in the po●rtrait with short brown curls, and▓ is very lovely.There is a portrait ▓of her painted by Flagg, in middle life.When▓ she died in her eighty-seventh year she was sti●ll beautiful, with brown, wavy hair onl▓y sprinkled with gray. The tra●dition in my mother’s father’s

family was t▓hat the Pettigrews had come from Franc▓e{48} after the Revocation of the Edict of Nan●tes, and had gone to Scotland, when they had ▓changed the spelling of the name● from Petigru, and had eventually moved to Ire●la

nd.This idea was, of course, ▓pleasant to the little French▓

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ert to the Fren▓ch spelling she was delighted, a●nd the father consented that the c▓hildren should spell the name as● they preferred, but he decl▓ined to change his.So on his and his wife▓’s tombstone in the most interesting li●ttle God’s acre a

t the old home in Abbeville,▓ his name is William Pettigre▓w, while all his children are recorded as Pet▓igru.My mother said to me not ▓long before her death that she felt it▓ had been a mistake, as there was no ▓survivor of the Petigru name,▓ all the sons having died.But I do not agre●e with her, for my uncle, James L.Petigru, was● a great man—heart, soul, and mind—and l●eft a mark in his State, having c●odified her laws with knowledge and wisdo●m.He was almost the only man i▓n Charleston who was opposed to s●ecession,—I may almost say the o●nly man in the State.[2] But he was so re●ve

red{49} and beloved that, at a t●ime when party feeling was i

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irst time the Prayer for▓ the President of the United States was le▓ft out of the service, and n●o one ever said one word of c●riticism or disapproval.In a period whe●n party politics ran high and bitter feeling w●as intense, it was a wonderful tri

bute to a m▓an’s character and integrity t●hat, even though running counte●r to the intense united feeling ●of the community, love and respect for ▓him should have protected him f▓rom attack. My mother always talke▓d with great pleasure of her early l●ife.She spoke with admiration and love wh●ich amounted to adoration of her  癜little mother.” Her father to▓ok second place always in he●r narrative, though he was a mos▓t delightful companion—very clever and f▓ull of wit, a great reader, and it was his h●abit to read aloud in the evenings, w▓hile the family sat around the fire, e●ach

one with some appointed t●ask.The elder girls sewed, while al

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r was so pa▓ined.She had had the same experience with th●e older chil{51}dren, but she thoug

ht● me very bright and felt sure that she wo●uld

find a congenial mind in her “li●

ttle Bessie.” Seeing how hurt she ▓was and that she


had set her heart ▓on that special book, I did not insist on my b●ook but came every day and read the Pl●utarch aloud; but I never enjoyed it, w▓hich she could neve