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 (Note: For over 100 years, the original letters (about 80) of William Hill and Mary Carnes Hill were stored in a small box at the home of their son and my grandfather, Dr. William Walter Hill. They have remained in remarkably good condition. In transcribing them, I have attempted to faithfully retain the original spelling and wording throughout although on a few occasions I have added words or letters in parentheses for clarification. In a number of places, I have inserted blank spaces to indicate my inability to make out wording. I cannot guarantee that I have been able to find all of my typographical errors even though I have made a concerted effort to do so. Charles Massey)

Crystal Sloan has invested considerable time and expense in photographing these letters and installing them on her web page at Roane County, TN Family History Project. Thank you, Crystal, for preserving these letters in their original form.


About 1850, William Hill and Mary Carnes first met when they were students at Burritt College in Spencer, Tennessee. They both completed the course at college in 1852. William went back to his home in White County and began working in a bank, but Mary stayed at the college where her father, William Davis Carnes, was president. She began teaching at the school and continued to study music and other courses. Click on the links below to read the remarkable and historic love letters of William J. Hill and Mary Carnes.

 I. EARLY COURTSHIP (Jan. 8, 1853-Mar. 1854)

II. PLANS FOR MARRIAGE (Mar. 1854-Jul. 1854)

III. EARLY MARRIAGE - (July 1854-June 1856)


V.  THE TEXAS LETTERS (March-June 1861)

VI. THE WAR (Nov. 1861-Feb. 1862)

VII. SURVIVAL (1862-1881)

Note: An identification of many of the principle characters mentioned in these letters can be found by clicking here. Also, as you read the letters you will find links to help identify the people mentioned.


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