Mrs. Phillips wrote this letter to Lee Meriwether to give her condolences on the death of Avery. Her letter expresses both her impression of Avery as a wonderful young man and her concern for Elizabeth Merriwether's grief over the loss of her son. Phillips also asks about Lee's other brother, Rivers, and wants to know that he is doing well. She closes the letter by asking Lee to write when he has time. This letter is representative of the cult of domesticity because it shows just how important Elizabeth still was to her sons. Phillip's letter represents some of the hallmarks of the "cult of domesticity" prevalent in the 19th century. Phillips focues on Elizabeth Merriwether's status as a mother who had raised her sons and prepared them for the world. She was the first teacher they had.
Phillips, F. M.
Mississippi Valley Collection
University of Memphis Libraries
August 1, 1883
Digital Image ©2015, University of Memphis Libraries Preservation and Special Collections Department. All rights reserved.
Hist4851, Spring 2015
Phillips, F. M., “Mother's Love,” Making an Impact: The Lives of Tennessee Women, accessed September 21, 2018, https://umhist4851.omeka.net/items/show/88.