April 6 1865 – John J Haun to Mollie Burns

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A love letter from John to Mollie, interspersed with bits of Georgetown news.

April 6th 1865

My dearest Friend,

Your letter of the 3rd is before me and I will answer immediately. It took me somewhat by surprise as I was hardly looking for it so soon, but I assure you the surprise was such as I like—very agreeable indeed. It found me well and still at cousin Jack Crumbaugh’s. I go to town very seldom—only on business or to the post office, as town has but few charms for me at this time.

Ruby, you are getting quite pretty of late. Your cousin’s yard must be beautiful and the description you give of it is very refreshing to one that has had the blues as long as I have. So you must excuse me. As I said before, if I do talk a little at random sometimes. I am certain you would if you only knew how unhappy I have been for sometimes.

Ruby, you ask me to burn your letter. This too is rather singular as it the first request you ever made of that kind and the first you ever made that I have any reluctance in granting to you. Somehow I have always felt bound to grant any request you might ask of me, excepting this. Please give me a little time to consider, it but in the meantime if you desire it I pledge my honor no mortal eye but my own shall ever scan its sacred pages, will that do in the place of burning it?

Story’s wife is not dead but Rum Payne is. He dead yesterday and the funeral is to be preached today at 10:00. I have not received a letter from home since I have been. I here am uneasy about my parents. Clay Brewitt marries this week to a Miss Stone. He is the youngest son of Levi Brewitt and not of age yet. Her father is opposed to the match his father gives him a splendid infair.

I will probably see Dora Sunday evening and will show her your letter—excuse me I mean I will deliver your message. Ruby this is the first time you have ever displayed your colors by word, to use a military phrase. It is true I have not been so blind as not to see you had some little regard for your friend, but thought, as you did, that you never cared as much for me as I did for you. You could not help knowing I loved you. The thought of possessing the love of one so pure and angelic as Mollie is truly gratifying. Do not think I am trying to flatter you, for I am not. I am very glad you are enjoying yourself so hugely. I only hope it may continue through life, that no shadows may ever cross your path to mar for one moment your enjoyment is my sincere wish. Would that I could add one more flower to that wreath in your life which is call ed pleasure. How gladly would I do it, Ruby be sure you know my sentiments before you commit yourself further. Men are very uncertain in these times. I shall not leave without seeing you. You have such a cute way of giving me a gentle rebuke. I deserve it I suppose. In regard to Dora quizzing me about an engagement I know I have been talking at random but I know you will forgive me wont you?

I visited a cousin of mine last Sunday, a sister of Lizzie Hurst, the youngest one. She says she wants to got California with me to see her sister. Jim Crumbaugh also says he will got to California with me this summer, also Jim Beatty—won’t I have plenty of company? I have not started yet. Jim Crumbaugh has joined the baptist church.

You say city life has too many fascinations for you. True, it is a great place for wickedness and apt to corrupt the young and innocent like yourself, but I think Mollie can resist everything of that kind and will yet anchor in that harbor of safety. Going to a circus I think no harm but not a very suitable place for ladies. The company at such places is generally of inferior quality. Just so long as you do no worse than go to a circus I think your chances for heaven pretty good. You used to make out you were so very conscientious you never would go with me but to one, and that not exactly a circus, but I think it was only put on. You wanted me to think you were very pious. I told Dora you threw open your arms and came running to embrace me. She says when you get to plaguing her she will say well “I thought you would kiss without embracing him.” If you did not your pa did. He thinks more of me anyhow than you do.

I am primping my mouth for a sweet kiss when you return. Can I have it or not? I know you are opposed to it. Somethings I can resist, but I cannot resist those sweet pouting rosy lips. I imagine I hear you say, “you imprudent rascal of Ruby’s.”

I must close; I cannot write a long letter every time. Answer this soon and tell me when you are coming home. Goodbye as ever, your friend, &c &c &c &c &c &c,


Please excuse envelop

Metadata: Sender’s location: Georgetown, KY | Recipient’s location: Portland, KY