Undated postscript – Martha Haun to James Haun

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In an undated postscript to one of her many letters to her husband during the period of his absence from February 1853 – November 1855, Martha Haun relates the latest Georgetown news.

P.S. I forgot to tell you that Orval West and Mary Roy is to be married next Tuesday morning. They will go to Louisville and stay a few days. They will board with Keen Applegate until fall when they will go south. Mary Chambers and Ben left this morning for Texas, never to come back. They went with their sister who has been in from there. Mary has laid off the bloomery. The old lady says she is going next fall. Tom Othwell is here. Him and Jack Flowroy has bought land adjoining in Arkansas and will go to it in the fall. If every one leaves town that wants to there wont be any town here soon. Ben Bradley, D.H. Smith, Alvin Duvall, Dr Keene, Will Crockett and some three or four others are going to Chicago this month and if they are pleased will move there in the fall. This town will be left to the Wests yet. Cauly has sold his house to the widow Nutter for seven hundred dollars. He will leave soon.

Metadata: Sender’s location: Georgetown, KY | Recipient’s location: Nelson Creek, CA

undated (after March 1865) – Martha Haun to John J Haun


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Martha Haun writes to her son John of the difficult circumstances in which his cousin Lizzie Hurst Ward finds herself.

…to the fair. I have been over to see her. Poor thing, how I pity her. She is so confused and they have got nothing in the world. They will have to leave that place this fall. Fran has taken the insolent act. He does nothing in the world to make a living. I cannot see what they are going to do if she comes over. I will try and get her to stay with me this winter for I cannot see what she is to do. I did not go in the house at Ward’s but drove up to the gate and got her and the children and went to Mrs Chip’s and stayed all night and started home in the morning.

Your pa wrote a long letter to Lizzie’s pa telling him her situation. We did not know where to direct it and I wrote a few lines to Mr Moore and sent the letter to him, requesting him to send it to John. You can see them and hear what your pa wrote, but keep these things in the family. I felt it my duty to go and see for myself her situation.

Your pa and I have given you all the news worth relating, as he has written you a long letter. We get the papers and the Harbinger, which is a great pleasure to us indeed. Tell Sara H. West I will write to her as soon as the fair is over.

I have been better contented this year than I have ever been in California. I have got an agreeable girl living with me. I have more company and go about more than I ever have, and another reason is you are with the Negroes to take care of them and can enjoy yourself if you will.

You do not say a word…

Metadata: Sender’s location: Quincy, CA | Recipient’s location: Georgetown, KY

July 28 1867 – John J Haun to Mollie Burns


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John Haun writes to his sweetheart Mollie, currently traveling with her sister. This is the last of the surviving letters from before their marriage, which took place November 14 1867.

Georgetown, Kentucky

Sunday evening
July 28 1867

Miss Mollie,

Dearest one, after trying for a good many days to ascertain if possible your whereabouts without success, I have concluded to venture a letter at any rate, directed to Lexington. I received your letter dated July 10th1 stating your were about starting for C. Mr Jenkins received one last Thursday saying you was coming to Paris and then to Lexington. Do you see why I did not know where to write, not withstanding what you told me you would be in Lexington the next week. But I thought your nieces would prevail on you to stay with them longer than you calculated, which I think is perfectly right on your part. Stay with them awhile as you go so seldom to see them and probably it might be the last visit you will make them for sometime, as somebody expects to take a trip soon. But why did you not write to me while at Lexington, so as I could know where and when I could answer your letter? I am always glad to write to some people, even if they do not weight but little.

Town is very dull now. Warren Johnson was buried yesterday at 3:00 at the cemetery and Brad Rankin today—two deaths right together. Warren’s was a disease of the heart. Brad had been lingering for a long time. Warren was a clever boy. I suppose his mother takes it very hard, him being the youngest of the family, but such things will be.

I suppose you have enjoyed yourself finely at C.2 I know you found a new sweetheart in your rounds and have nearly for gotten the old one—but the old one has not forgotten Ruby. I was at your home a few nights ago and stayed until after eleven with your ma and talked about many things as you advised me to while you were gone. She told something of you that I was not aware of, something you told her concerning myself and Ruby. Now you told me you never said anything to her concerning it, never mind she said it had cost her several sleepless nights on account of it, but said it was all right now. So you see I took you at your word that time. I expect you will be afraid to come home anymore won’t you?

I have been pretty sick since you left for several days but am about well again. What is Dora doing and where is she gone to service? Some other county? Most everyone asks me when you are coming home, and if I ain’t lonesome while you are gone. I have been sitting to Julie. I have been to Fannie’s twice to see them. Fanny has been right sick for several days but is getting better, and the baby is getting sick. The boys have formed a brass band and are practicing every night or so.

I saw your cousin Fannie last week in a buggy on the other side of June Ward’s. I suppose she was coming to them to see her sister. I did not stop. It looked like Mrs Marvin with her. I suppose you heard Jim Long had a baby left at his door some time since—but you will hear all the news when you get home if you don’t stay too long. Emma Jenkins left yesterday to take a visit for a month to Louisville and she will get to see Porter, I suppose, while there. Your pa, Frank and I are going fishing Monday night out at T. Holding’s mill to catch cats.3 Don’t you wish you were here to help eat some if we get any.

I want to see Ruby so much. A dozen kisses would not be a circumstances for me to steal at one time. Write as soon as you get this and tell me when you are coming home. I want to see you so much but I don’t wish to hurry you home before you are ready to come, so goodbye till I see you. With a sweet kiss as ever, your lover, I subscribe myself your J…

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

March 24 1867 – John J Haun to Mollie Burns


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A love letter from John Haun to Mollie Burns, with a sprinkling of hometown news.

Sunday 
March 24th 1867

My own Dear Mollie,

This is a beautiful day and my thoughts are of you. Consequently I feel very much like talking to you, even if it is on paper. Oh how I would like to spend this sabbath evening in your company and listen to that voice and steal a glance at that bright sunny face of yours. Then the evening would glide away pleasantly to me. Perhaps you think I am going into conniptions over your charms, but I cannot express the half I feel for you, love.

I went to the reform church this morning and listened to Mr McGinn but it is such a pretty day I can hardly stay in the house. We have one case of small pox in town, or rather it has been moved out near Degarn’s mill last night. Mrs Jenkins said she got a letter from you and that you did not get the card I threw over until after I passed in my way home. I saw cousin Fannie at the window as I passed home but didn’t think I saw you. You were not up when I passed in the morning but I saw someone open the back door and look out through it–was it you or the house maid, love?

I did not think I would go Tuesday when I was over or I would have told you Dora will commence school in Edmenson’s house tomorrow morning. I set down the school desks for her. I have been to your house very often lately, Dora says, much oftener than when you were at home but I naturally love the place and its inmates. I had quite a game of marbles with Boots and Jim.

Bob Small has joined the Baptist Church at last and is the best man in the world. I am going down to see Mrs J. and swap a few lies with her and then I will finish my letter. The students are all farming and going up to be prayed for, girls and all. They will get a good harvest I expect, this time.

Well, I have seen Mrs Jenkins. She says she will not write to you tomorrow for you will be so glad to get my letter you will perhaps be unnoticed. I told her you was not that sort of lady, but she says she had sweethearts when she was young and knows how they do. So I suppose you will be home this week? Well I will be very glad, for you don’t know how much I want to see you. I am afraid you will sit too close to that doctor over there. I have spies to take items for me over there, so mind how you cut your capers while away.

Elgin Tom Barkley and myself took a walk out to Dick Thomkin’s this evening, and sat about an hour with him and old Frank Dayne. The Negroes had a baptizing this evening; they baptized about thirteen or fourteen. One woman got to shouting in the water and kicked very high for a girl and a man got happy also, so you see the town is growing decidedly better fast, love.

I don’t know of anything new to write you. This is the first pretty day we’ve had for a long time. I went up to see Dora about Church time but she had company from the country. She had been to Mr Moore’s and had just got home. I must bring this to a close as I shall retire early tonight. Write to me the last of the week if you do not come home, but I would rather see you in person. So goodbye you darling, sweet, lovely angel, till I see you. As ever your own devoted until death…

P.S. Please excuse the envelope.

– Hubby

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

March 2 1867 – Mollie Burns to John J Haun


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Mollie Burns writes John Haun a late night letter, telling of the winter weather, visits from friends, and his next visit.

Saturday Night
March 2nd 1867

Mr Haun, dear friend,

Allow me to commence by scolding a little, and perhaps I will grow a little more affectionate toward the close of this epistle as you did in yours. Love you know is a strange charmer, and a little jealous of slights, or at least imaginary slights. Now after such professions from you. It seems to me your address is exceedingly formal and stiff. But anyway I should like to see you so much tonight, and have a cozy little chat.

We had quite a snow storm this evening. It seems as thought old King Winter is loth to leave us yet a while. But as I am so cozy at present will not complain of weather’s decrees. I am sitting up in my room by a good hot fire, and have just tucked little Betty up in bed where she is snugly napping. Consequently all is quiet around me, and here am I, not sleepy but in a meditative mood, and somehow any thoughts will dwell on you. I can not account for it—do you think they are profitably employed?

Anyway I intend to drop you a few lines as, tomorrow is Sunday, and it is against my principles to write letters on the Sabbath, as I consider it Sabbath breaking, tending to our carnal duties on a day dedicated for holier things. But then I feel in the mood to talk to you, feel it to be a pleasing performance, and not writing merely according to promise, as you state in yours. I feel as though I had entirely forgotten how to write a letter. I think if I do not practice more I will have to quit entirely.

From the tenor of the preceding, you will think I am disposed to scold. Consequently I shall shall quit. I commenced in a formal style, like yourself. You, toward the last, grew affectionate. So likewise I shall do, to say nothing of the feelings I experienced all the way through, but for the proverbial trait in my character, contrariness, would not give my tender feelings scope, for the sake of a little retaliation. But happiest are those who condescend the most and I will take mine all back. For if I would see somebody tomorrow, not a thousand miles off, but here to pet me and call me loving names, I would not have it in my heart to do anything but love him more and more. Now don’t turn round and call this a Yankee way of apologizing, but rather let a milder term, one more gentle, be applied—just say she is writing this stuff merely for the sake of filling up her letter—

Although I have had bad weather I am enjoying myself, as I will do when I take a notion. You must let me know if you intend to come over tomorrow week. Write during the week, say Friday, and I will get it. Are all well at home? I wanted to write an answer to Mrs Jenkins’ letter tonight, but Betty’s snugly snoozing makes me feel like crawling in myself to succumb to the drowsy God, sleep.

Frank Korper was up this evening to see us. He treated us to lots of raisins and candy, which you know all the children, like myself, love. I wish you would please ask Johnnie Sheritt about my album.1 I never think of it when I see him and am afraid they have lost it. I have had not had it since last summer. Tell him I asked you to get it for me as I want some friends to write in it.

Well, I shall close with a good night kiss for you, and whole heaps and lots of love, in my letter, which I shall close, and seal up as I am sleepy. If you see Mrs J. just say that I will respond to her dear letter on Monday night.

Lovingly you own,

Mollie

P.S. Love to all at home.

– M.C.B.

Metadata: Postmark: Midway, KY | March 4

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

October 28 1865 – John J Haun to Mollie Burns


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In this conversational letter, John Haun tells Mollie of his everyday activities—the ride home from visiting her in Portland, attending a recent wedding, and the speculation the two of them have inspired among friends and family.

Saturday the 28th 1865

Dearest Mollie,

I received your very welcome but short letter last evening. How eager I was to see its contents, so much so I could hardly take time to eat my supper. It gave me great pleasure to learn you were well but plague take that obstreperous tooth. I just wish you would let me have my way with it for a little while. It wouldn’t bother you any more soon I know. I saw your sweetheart the other day, or rather my good looking rival. I have one consolation at any rate: if I am ousted it will be by a fine looking fellow. He was not dress ed as nicely as when he was at Midway.

I have just come from Ives’ wedding, and a nice time I had of it too. There was a large crowd to witness it. I had lots of fun. Dave Adams and Miss Coyle waited on them. They were married by McGinn. Everything was very well conducted. There was a fine table in the shape of a cross and some of the town boys were there: Frank. Will White, Dick Weeks, Pres West, J. Shermitt and Tingle had plenty to eat and drink. Tom L. was not there although her ma says Joe insisted on her being present to see the last of him. She promised Mrs Taylor she would accompany her home and of course had to do it. I saw a good many of my connections there. I did not attend the infare, it being a very disagreeable evening. Seeing them put me in the notion of doing so. For goodness sake, come home and lets get married. Or can’t you stand the press just now? Do not put the wrong construction on the above.

I called to see Dora and Cliff’s ma as I passed through town. Mollie, Mrs Webb has been quizzing me again in regard to yourself. She found out by some means I had been to Midway and everyone here has commenced anew about us. They just swear we are going to marry forth with, but I tell them it is all a mistake on purpose. Mr Webb says she told the person that informed her I had been to see you that I could not have gone to see a prettier or nicer girl but I only laughed at her and took it for what it was worth, as I thought she only wished to find out what I would say. She says you used to feel very solicitous for my welfare while in prison and that you used to tell her when you would hear from me, which was very kind of you indeed. She speaks very highly of you always to me, but I had a notion of telling her you did not  know Dick then, or else she wouldn’t of heard so often perhaps.

It was a pleasant evening when I came home, but my ride was anything else but pleasant as there was quite a ringing in my head all the way, being a very peculiar noise which made me very uneasy sounding all the time like Dick, Dick, Dick…

I left with a very heavy heart as I told Dora and evil forebodings. Do you you blame me for feeling sad and troubled in mind, but probably I will survive it as is said time over comes all things.

I met Mrs Jenkins and Mr Barbee at Cliff’s ma’s. She was sick in bed. When I told her I saw Cliff Mrs Jenkins said, “we can guess where he’s been.” I told Dora I was not going over to Midway any more as I was superseded completely. Give my regards to Mr and Mrs H and tell her I enjoyed my visit finely while at her house, that I shall never forget it and especially the treat she gave us. She treated me so well I will be apt to call again—but I do think she ought to have shown me that pretty picture before I left.

You spoke of being unworthy of my regard. Mollie, I think you worthy of the love of any m
an and more especially one that has known you as long as I have and has had the opportunity of knowing your many, yes, very many virtues. I know I do vex you sometimes and have done and said things I ought not to have done and of course it was my own fault if you were mad with me. I have always tried never to do or say anything calculated to wound your kind and sensitive heart, for I do think you posses such a one. On the other hand you have never said or acted otherwise than the perfect lady towards me. If so I have failed to discover it. That one thing has caused you to stand very high in my estimation: you are kind and courteous to all. I know you have as many friends as any lady of my acquaintance.

I must close Mollie. Write again when you feel like it and I assure you no one would be better to pleased to get your letters, not even Dick. I have not written home yet. I will take your advice and wait until I receive one from home.

Frank Kenney is dead. Ezra Offutt’s daughter is married to another Mundy they are similar to the Nutters they believe in Wests and the Offutts in Mundys. The town is void of all news but I suppose Dora keeps you pretty well posted in that particular. Tell me in your next when you are coming home. I told your pa I understood he was going to move to the country. He said he was afraid he would be disappointed. He said it looked like there was no way of separating you and Fannie Kershaw, you had taken such a liking to each other of late. Mr Will sends his regard to you. Write soon. May God protect you Mollie is my sincere wish from one that loves you devotedly until death.

J.J. Haun

P.S. Jimmie is at home sick with the measles. He has been very sick but is getting better. We thought he would die at one time. Ever thine.

Metadata: Postmark: Georgetown, KY
Sender’s location: Georgetown, KY | Recipient’s location: Midway, KY

October 26 1865 – Mollie Burns to John J Haun


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Mollie writes to John of her amusements, her gentleman callers, and her bad tooth.

Thursday Night
October 26th 1865

Mr Haun, my dear friend,

After you left Sunday evening, Cousin Fannie and I did a little primping and took a delightful stroll. We also called on some young ladies. You were going to stay such a short time that I would not leave you long enough to perform my toilet. You I may presume had a pleasant ride home as it was a pretty evening.

I received a letter from Dora tonight. She did not say anything about you calling by our house. She also sent me a letter form Mr King who is at present in Kentucky and will be at our house next month. Sallie McConell was here to see me yesterday evening. I went home with her and stayed all night. Mr Waits being away, she insisted on me going to stay with her all night and in the mean time he came, so you know that broke into my arrangements.

I received a card from Mr Woolman soliciting my company for church, after you left, so you see I don’t have much time to get lonesome. I received two letters yesterday, also two today. I wish you were here to answer them. I never slept two hours last night, and do not fell like writing to night, but I promised you a letter Saturday and we expect to spend the day out tomorrow if pleasant and then attend the society at the orphan school tomorrow night, and I you know, will never disappoint you when it is in my power to prevent it, for sometimes I feel that I am unworthy of the regard you bestow on me, and sometimes think that I am cross with you, but you generous heart will forgive me all offenses.

But I did not tell you what disturbed my rest. It was my tooth as usual, but it is now well and when I get home expect to make up for lost time. I have not seen Drack since you left, but received a letter. He says he is afraid he is like Caesar when he crossed the Rubicon—too late, alas too late. But I intend to tell him Madam Rumor is an vile dame and he must not listen to her tales. Don’t you think I am a bad girl. But you know girls must have some fun as long as they are misses. I am not saying that I intend to mistreat Drack at all, no, no.

I was just wondering if you could read this. Ed is up in my room writing his composition, as their is no fire in their room, and he is shaking the table all the time. But I must drop a few lines home so you will excuse this for the present.

From your Mollie in _______

P.S. Write soon and burn this up.

M.C.B.

Metadata: Postmark: Midway, KY | Oct 27
Sender’s location: Portland, KY | Georgetown, KY

October 12 1865 – Mollie Burns to John J Haun


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Mollie writes cheerfully of visits from young men and a bad tooth ache.

Thursday October 12th 1865

Mr J. J. Haun, dearest of friends,

As I cannot see you tonight, which I should like to do very much, I consequently have concluded to write, being desirous to know if you are convalescent or still an invalid. You must take better care of yourself for somebody’s sake, if not your own.

I have been attending church every night Mr Walk from Paris has been holding a protracted meeting at your church. He has made a good many additions to the church; they immerse them just below here and quite a number of the girls at the orphan school have joined. They come here to dress after being immersed, Clifford and some of the older girls came with them. I have been to see her often, and have a chat every night after church. She says if you should come down and do not come to see her she would never forgive you.

I entertain my beaus in regular country style, having accommodations for both man and beasts. Dick T. came in last Sunday evening, had his horse put up, took supper, and we then went to church, came home and he stayed till ten o’clock. I was not aware that you were criticizing me the night of the circus, or that I was exciting any feelings of admiration in the breast of the one I desired most to please on that occasion. You speak of one of the managers assisting me to a seat and putting his arm around my waist; the seats were very unsteady, which was the reason he did it. I intended to ask you if you noticed it but something prevented and it then slipped my memory. I did not know you noticed it. Did Joe and Millie see it, or did you speak of it to them? I would just have that show man to know, that my waist is not to be considered public property to be encircled by anybody that might choose to do so.

Cousin Fannie and myself will be over one day next week to spend the day, but do not know what day, as we are controlled by circumstances but I expect to return with her as I have given her my promise to stay, and help her quilt and do some of her fall sewing. I received a letter from home the same day yours came. Cousin Fannie is very nicely fixed down here, and if you choose to come down one day and stay till the next I think you would enjoy your visit very much. Cousin Fanny is a great hand for young folks and takes a great deal of pain to entertain my visitors. We both have our own fun together. She says she is going to inform you of my flirting with the country boys down here. I tell her that it would just please you to know I am enjoying myself.

I have been quite well but have another sore tooth. Cousin Fannie made me take a bottle of camphor, one of laudanum and a bottle of whiskey to my room one night to try the soothing influence of all, but to no effect. The pain still predominates. I seen stars for certain until, being worn out, after midnight I just concluded to drink whiskey until it put me to sleep. Cousin F. makes us all get up so soon, but that morning she said she felt so sorry for me. hearing one pace my floor, she let me sleep as long as I wanted to.

Sallie McConnell, now Mrs Waits, is at church every night. She is now living out in the country at her husband’s father’s home. I have become acquainted with her new brother and sisters, and like them very much. There is rather a large family and most of them grown. They seemed to be thought a great deal of here. 

But as I am getting sleepy I shall close, biding you good night. I shall simply reply verbatim to the signature of your missive,

Write soon and often,

Mollie

Metadata: Postmark: Midway, KY | October 13
Sender’s location: Portland, KY | Georgetown, KY

April 22 1865 – Mollie Burns to John J Haun


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Mollie describes a recent visit to Indiana, and writes to John of her family, and their opinions of the couple’s relationship.

Saturday Morning
April 22nd 1865

Dearest Friend,

You obey well, I was pleased to find Your letter awaiting my return, it arrived on Wednesday and myself, yesterday.

Jimmie C. has not called yet. Mollie will always treat your friends well and not only treat Jimmie well for your sake, but like him very much myself. Does he intend to stay in Louisville, or is he only passing through?

I was pleased to hear of your being with my sisters on Sunday last. What do you think of Mrs Jenkins, Charlie’s ma? I wish he was more like her. I believe I want to see Fannie’s three little ones and Charlie Boots worse than any of you all up there. But I want to see you mighty bad. I am getting a little homesick. I never could stay away very long at a time.

Such a blowing up—well, well, you know I could not get along without scolding a little, but we will let it all pass. I love to tease you so much, you don’t know how much I enjoy it or you would allow me the privilege, would you not? I never had any secrets from ma or pa, not that they were prying at tall, but I never do anything that I object to them knowing. I guess pa just took it for granted. You had heard from me I shall go and call on Cliff when I get to Midway. It was quite laughable what Mrs Lemon said indeed, but I think she was excusable under the circumstances.

Ruby is the name I like so well to hear you call me. It might not sound so well from anyone else, or other lips. I guess if Mrs Shelton should die Bob S. and Alice S. would marry.

The city here is still in mourning for Lincoln. We went down on the Morning Star, the boat you bad Rebels pressed into taking you over into Indiana. Captain Ballard told me you all like to have scared him to death. Blue River Island is just above where we got off, where Hines buried some of his men. I was delighted with the first Clerk, and had the pleasure of his attention down and up, in all my spare time. He was an acquaintance of my Cousin’s. We had a fine string band on board, some very pleasant young ladies, and a nice dance on our way back, but I did not care to be introduced to any stranger, consequently I held no conversation with any gentleman but the captain, the clerk and my cousin. We were on all night on our return, being delayed receiving freight. I slept very little, there was so much noise at the landings.

Cousin Sallie Hutchins and I went to two house parties. Their style of dress here I could better describe with my tongue, having more power to employ it to a better advantage than my pen, for instead light lawn dresses, they wore black skirts, bows of blue, red, and yellow ribbon in profusion, with no required to color or taste. Sallie and I being from the city had choice of the gentleman or course, if there was any choice. Of course WE put on all the style imaginable. We had our own fun. You, knowing girls’ vanity, will think our imagination had a great deal to do with it—but if we had been two live elephants we would not have been gazed at more. Now I know you all up there will say, yes just like her.

There is a great sensation in that portion of the country concerning oil, as they are boring for it have found some. But deliver me from Indiana, what little I seen of it. They told me on the boat what I might expect to see, but I told them on my return their descriptive powers failed to give me the least idea of the country till I had seen it. But there is a pretty good joke out on me. I have written home and told them about it. But I don’t believe I will tell you. Ask Dora if you would like to know—but I guess you are not that much interested.

Dora says she believes you love me, and you wish to know, what I think of it. Well I would not like to think otherwise. You can answer this letter. I may make a start for home the last of next week or the first of the following week. I have just commenced to make Cousin Mary a frame and will have it to finish. Cousin wants me to stay with her till the forth of June till her husband comes home like to be accommodating, but am getting a little home sick now.

I shall expect a letter. I may answer it with a letter, and I may answer it in person—which would you prefer? I know you would say in a letter just to be contrary, but I do not like to be teased if I do enjoy teasing myself. and especially from you. Cousin sends her well wishes, and says something else. I will not tell you what. I could not make out what was erased toward the last of your letter this time.

As ever your Friend,

M.C.B.

Your letter was open when Cousin got it out. Excuse the envelope.

– Mollie

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