November 18 1865 – John J Haun to Mollie Burns

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John Haun writes to Mollie about an encounter with an acquaintance of hers, a visit to her family, and a letter from his own.

Saturday Night
November 18th

Miss Burns, my own Mollie dear,

Yours of the 16th1 has just been received, but unlike my friend I will give it immediate notice.

You tell me not to scold but I cannot refrain for I think you deserve a good scolding and if you will be candid you will say so yourself, for your know you have treated me very badly and then you try to blarney2 me into a good humor by saying your beau prevented you from writing one whole week. You know very well no one could cause me to neglect you that way. Probably you think it is right to treat me as you please. I could not imagine what was the matter; I was afraid you were sick. In fact I imagined a thousand and one things. I would have started over to see you today but it looked so unfavorable I gave it up. You don’t know how uneasy I have been because I could not hear from Mollie. I will forgive you on condition you tell me all of your dreams when I see you. Speaking of dreams, I have one to tell you concerning you and myself.

I was in Frankfort yesterday and met with Mr B.J. Laughlin a fine looking gentleman, I suppose, of your acquaintance. He asked me if I was not the sweetheart of Miss Burns which I was unprepared to answer, and left me standing there astounded at first, but I told him I had visited the lady. He said he recollected seeing me gallant the prettiest woman he ever saw once at the Catholic church, or rather chapel. I told him I was there only once in my life and I thought I had the prettiest one in the house at least. So we became friends and of course took a very small drink together to the health of Miss Mollie B. He said you bragged a great deal on me but I told him he certainly was mistaken in that particular. He lives near the chapel, so he says said. He had not seen you for six months. I will tell you more about him when I see you.

Gabby F. says I had better wait for her. I told her Billy looked too much like he would live a long time yet. She said not more than four or five years.

Mollie, I have received a letter from home—would you like to see it or not? And what I wrote back?3 It seems you are getting very negligent wherein I am concerned. I shall not give your love to the red headed girl. What you say is true in one respect: I don’t love her half as well as I do you, although you treat me so mean, I love you still. If somebody loved somebody as much as they pretend somebody would treat somebody a little better, don’t you think so, love.

I was at Papa Burns’ last Sunday and had quite a chat with sister Dora. I told her you was in love with another fellow and I was going to set to her now as I had always had a fancy for fat girls—they looked so good and clever. Your pa says he will give me the authority to bring you home if you don’t come soon. I told him just to fix it up in writing and I would bring you in a hurry. He said he would. Dora says your ma and Fannie and her were talking about us marrying. Your Ma and Fannie came to the conclusion we would not, while Dora thought we would. Quite interesting wasn’t it?

I dislike the idea of you going persimmon hunting with those fellows and not here. I’ll just tell you what: I am jealous sure enough. I already believe you love somebody else better than somebody. How is it?

Do you want all the news? Well, don’t hide your face when I tell you Matt Long has a small responsibility. Whether it is a girl or boy child the letter never said. My regards to C.F. and tell her she has my best wishes.

Mollie, I do you want to see you right bad. Probably I will come over next week, maybe Saturday. Write with pencil again if you choose, if it is more convenient. It will suit me, one that loves Mollie truly and devotedly. How bad I want one of your honeyed kisses.

Goodbye, sweetest of all things!

P.S. Matt’s baby is a girl.

Metadata: Sender’s location: Georgetown, KY | Portland, KY
  1. This letter has been preserved and is available here.
  2. Contemporary slang, meaning “sweet talk.”
  3. Not included in this collection, although it may possibly be one of several undated letters from Martha Haun to her son written after his release from prison.