February 1 1853 – Annie to Martha Haun

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A letter from a friend of the family to Martha Haun coinciding closely with her husband and son’s departure for California.

New Orleans
February 1, 1853

My kind friend,

I have not forgotten my sincere promise to write to you, though a letter from Mary received this evening rather startlingly reminded me of the length of time which has elapsed since I left Georgetown. For two weeks after our arrival I was busy preparing for housekeeping, and since we have been domiciled, I have been so occupied fitting up my little bird’s nest I have had no time to write, with one exception, which covered a letter I addressed to Mary about a week since.

We have had a most delightful winter. I say have had, for today, February introduces to our upturning hearts and faces, the smiling, gentle Southern Spring. The residents tell me the season has been unusually cold, particularly since my arrival, but it has been so much milder than the Kentucky cold I left that it has seemed like April weather to me.

The children seem perfectly happy to be at home again. Nora is going to school, and seems much pleased. I live so remote from the heart of the city, with its great public eye and worldly bustle, I feel almost as if we were in the country. It is very quiet in our street, and very pleasant, for we have all the advantages, without the discomfort, of a more interior residence.

Will you do me the kindness today to dear Sarah Wampler West, I certainly should have gone to see her if I had had time before my departure. You know I had barely time to arrange my baggage after Mr. Bradford arrived, without a moment to devote to anyone.

We had a very pleasant passage down the river. I have not seen Mrs. Bozzens since we parted at the veranda. We went up to Carrollton yesterday to look for her, but it was so late when we arrived we had no time to find her and had to return disappointed.

I have had the satisfaction of seeing the notorious Lola Moulez in her own drama of “Lola Moulez in Barana” She is a little, round shouldered, weazen faced woman, full of spirit, sarcasm and self conceit, but of course, an extraordinary and very original person. She is so beset by woman’s weakness, vanity, she makes herself ridiculous in her attempt to ape a sinking, spoilt girl of sixteen; and you know such “airs and graces” become mere monkey tricks in a woman of forty, badly kept.

Nanny tells me Parson Smith has been lecturing you stray sheep for permitting the poor young folk to dance. Has any one reminded him of the fortuneteller and the circus, patronized by his daughters last summer? I very much fear “the sect called the Pharisees” has forsaken Jewry.

But I must indeed bid you goodbye, dear friend, for I have many letters to write, and much else to do tonight. Write to me very soon. Remember me to Mr Haun and John. If you should stray to New Orleans, do not fail to seek me out. We are living on the corner of Hercules and Euterpe streets. Present my kind regards to all who love me, and believe me,

Your sincere friend,

Annie

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Postmark: New Orleans, Louisiana | February 3