What We’re Reading
Huntersville History – Your Affectionate Daughter, Isabella by Ann Williams North Carolina Author
I love reading books about local North Carolina history. Especially cities I drive through everyday, like Huntersville history. When I do, and the author knows how to paint a picture with words, it is like having a view into the past from above, like a silent bird, watching what transpires in your surroundings.
Think you know the history of Huntersville in the 1800’s? How many working plantations there were? How long it actually took to ride to Salisbury on a horse? The Torance family of Huntersville kept meticulous records of their lives through letters, receipts, and other paperwork now held in the Rare Book and Manuscript Collection of the J. Murrey Atkins Library at UNCC. Author Ann Williams scoured over those letters and paperwork and wrote, “Your Affectionate Daughter, Isabella”.
This is the story of Isabella Torance starting at age of 7 when she was sent off to boarding school after the death of her mother, to coming home at the age of 9 to a new mother and siblings and then growing up on a large farm quickly turned into a plantation. She married early, against her father’s wishes, and traveled to Mississippi with her husband, baby, and two brothers with the hopes that Mississippi was the new frontier. Unfortunately, Isabella’s husband died in Mississippi leaving a magnitude of debt. Eventually Isabella moved back to North Carolina. It is clear in this book, life in the 1800’s was not easy. There was sickness and death, travel was long and hard and you could only hope letters would reach your loved ones. Ms. Williams wrote this book not with her own story with supporting documents, but rather used the existing historical paperwork to weave the story.
I would highly recommend this book, as not only is it entertaining, the history of Huntersville included in this book is fascinating. Ms. Williams did such a good job writing this book, I could actually envision the painting Ms. Williams was writing with her words.
Purchase “Your Affectionate Daughter, Isabella” on Amazon.
I actually purchased this book when I took a tour of the Hugh Torance House and Store in Huntersville.