Mary McNeill McEachern (1847-1933) grew up near Fayetteville, N.C., and moved in 1894 to Red Springs, N.C. While attending school in the antebellum South, McEachern became friends with many transplanted northerners.
Primarily letters written by Mary McNeill McEachern during an 1876 visit to an old friend from the Episcopal Rectory School at Rockfish Factory, N.C., who was living in the Hudson River Valley in New York. Once McEachern arrived in Fishkill-on-Hudson, N.Y., she wrote to her family with details about her trip. She described traveling by train through Baltimore and New York City, explaining problems with the railroad and expressing her feelings about buildings and cities in the North. McEachern provided vivid pictures of life and customs in the post-war North as compared to those of the South, noting sectional differences in language, food, women's clothing, and the household. She also described visits to Vassar College, West Point, and George Washington's Revolutionary War headquarters in Newburgh, N.Y. Letters from one of McEachern's former teachers and one of her old classmates are also included.