April 17 1855 – Annie to Martha Haun

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Family friend Annie writes with a description of her New Orleans home, discusses mutual acquaintances in Georgetown, and waxes philosophical about spiritual fortitude.

New Orleans
April 17th 1855

My dear friend,

Your kind letter should have been replied to long since, but a press of duties prevented. I cannot tell you how rejoiced I was to hear of you through Mary, who reached New Orleans a week ago. Ms Stuart and family left the day after their arrival, together with Ben; but I prevailed on them to leave Mary with me for a few weeks. I have been too happy since she came to think of anyone almost, and have talked so much about Georgetown that we are almost in the humor to bundle up and go back. I sometimes wish I could forget you all!

What is the reason we are almost invariably doomed to be separated from those we love best on earth? Forgive me, my precious friend, for complaining where I should console. I forgot that you were suffering the desolation of loneliness. Yet you, whose noble, true, heart beats ever responsive to your own, and with whom, in the interchange of thought and feeling, many a dark hour may be beguiled. Tis a blessed thing to feel that when the hurricane rages fiercest, there are strong and noble souls, unshaken by the storm, in whose faithful tranches the frightened, panting bird may find a refuge.

We have most delightful markets. There are millions of roses everywhere, all the markets are teeming with luscious watermelons, “new potatoes”, cabbages, and bouquets; not jumbled as I have them here, but neatly and temptingly arranged in tidy stalls to suit the taste of courtesan or sentimentalist.

In my little yard pansies and verbenas are blooming beneath the shade of arbor latices, and across the street in a busy, homely yard where are snugly coddled together a little house, a hen coop and two mule stalls–a swaying willow tree nods to me as I look from my balcony. Everything is spring-like and enchanting, but I think of the last gone spring and yearn to be again with those whose  presence was brighter to me than the sunshine and whose tones were dearer than the voice of birds.

Mary tells me you will come here in the fall to embark for California. You must come prepared to stay several weeks with me. I anticipate so much happiness, and with the summer time already ended.

Mary says I must give you her love, and get you to say to the home-folks that she is in a blissful state of stupidity. She saw Kate Cozzen at Carolton the other day. All was well.

Write to me soon, and believe me ever your devoted friend,


Postmark: New Orleans, LA | April 21
Sender’s location: New Orleans, LA | Recipient’s location: Georgetown, KY