The News and Observer, (Raleigh, NC) March 06, 1886; Issue 95; col C

The Head of a Large Family Elopes with a Widow - Rockingham Rocket

The neighborhood three miles north of Rockingham is astir over the disappearance of Nathaniel Thomas Covington, Esq., 
one of its well known citizens and proprietor of a family of a wife and seven children.  Nat, as his neighbors called 
him, left home two weeks ago with the ostensible purpose of going to Moore county, where he was to engage temporarily 
in business with a Mr. McNair. His family not hearing from him, a messenger went last Friday to Moore county to ascertain 
his whereabouts and welfare, but found he was not, and had not been, in that section. Meantime rumor was afloat that Nat 
had been known for some time past to be a constant visitor at the house of widow Sallie Bristow, who was living near the 
Pee Dee Mill.  This widow, accompanied by her four-year-old boy, boarded the Charlotte bound train at 3 o'clock on Tuesday 
morning of last week with the purpose of going-nobody knew where. It has developed since that preliminary to her departure 
she was the recipient of a letter postmarked Charlotte, and signed Thomas Covington, beginning with the very sweet and 
endearing words, "My dear wife," appointing to meet her at Monroe on the C.C.R.R. Whether the devoted twain have located at, 
or in proximity to, Monroe-as one report has it, or about Charlotte-another version of the story-our reporter can't testify. 
But that Nat had deserted his wife and seven children and eloped with the woman in question, is the settled opinion among 
his neighbors.

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