1898, March 7 – Letter from Rosalie Bauwens to Lewis Hesse

Read a transcript of the letter below (original misspellings & all) or click on the image links to view the actual letter. As you read the transcript of the letter click on the links to view information & images about what they are discussing.


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Envelope Front     Envelope Back      Letter page 1     Letter page 2-3     Letter page 4     Letter page 5     Letter page 6-7     Letter page 8


Transcript of letter:

St. Louis, March 7, 1898

Dearest Louis:

I just finished supper and read your leter of the 6th.  I was anxious to get it too as I hadn’t had a word from you since Thursday evening.  Fri. Satur. Sun. & Monday, 4 whole days, no wonder I was anxious.  Do you know its very provoking to read a letter and just when it begins to get real interesting, to have it cut short and to be told to wait till the next time for the rest?  Your a bad boy, I don’t see how you can help but finish a letter, if you stay at it almost all day as you say you do.  I don’t doub tyour word dear, but I can’t understand it at all. Well I better get to answering your letter.  You had better be careful when you jerk and fool around on the utrning pole, not being used ot it, that you don’t hurt yourself.  Say Lewis, you say you didn’t know if you should send me this pen or wait a little longer and get me something better.  Let me tell you that had you remembered me with a mere picture card I would have valued it just as highly under the circumstances.  I am more than satisfied with my pen, and would have felt bad had you sent me a more expensive preasant.  You should save your money, I hardly thought for a moment it would be necessary to remind you of it.  According to your letter, the work is hard on you sometimes, especially when you have headache and don’t feel well.  take good care of yourself Lu.  Have you gained or last since you weighed last?  Say, how much are they paying you for your work?  I do hope you are getting along better up there than you would here.  For I might just as well tell you, if you couldn’t make a better living up there than you could here, there would be no use ever taking me up there.  it makes the the cold chill creep over me to only think of it.  Lewis dearest don’t feel discouraged at my writing this.  but I don’t want to deceive you as to my feeling about things either.  Lewis be open with me, I’m sure you think it my right to be dealt openly with, don’t you?  Lewis dear I would like to send you another powder (??) or two but I have only 2 left, for nausua had headache and used one, and i must be careful with my little ?? too. see? I hope to heaven you won’t have any more of those hard headaches.  I am glad if that “B.S.” did you good dear.  Lewis you say that you missed seeing George Sunday through writing to me, now dear if to see and speak to George is going to help you along in the line of work you should not let anything stand in the road, I am sure you can find plenty of time outside of that which is required for your good in the line of work, to write to me.  don’t you think so too?  Well I know you think I’m cross and ill-umbered (???) this evening, but I don’t think I’m exactly that, I’m only answering your letter as best I can to both your and my good, see darling? You are such a little sonny in some ways dear, I just wish I (your mamma) could be with you and tell you once in a while things that I now must write.  I know you would have no reason to think me cross then.  Well dear old bad boy I’ll now tell you about myself since Thursday evening.  I slept well that night and spent an alright day at work Friday.  Friday evening I made up my mind to take my crocheting and Jack & I were going over to J’s (Julie’s) for a while.  I wanted to rubber, for I heard that Otto was boarding with them while Willie has day work.  I found that I had heard right.  Well I was just ready to start for J’s when there’s a knock at the door and Julie steps in I wanted to stay home but she wouldn’t have it.  She said she didn’t care if she met Otto she would go with me.  When we came there Ott & Julie never spoke one word together and Julie went home early.  She is working but not at the same place.  She is staying someplace in the West end now but it is a hard place.  I staid at J’s till 10 o’clock playing with baby.  Lewis that child is so sweet, and knows me so well, It likes me too.  for it stretches its little arms out to me and laughs & goos so sweetly the minute it sees me.  We played roll about on J’s bed and the kid laughed aloud several times, she seemed to enjoy herself emensly, I know I did.  Otto was real good to me too, and what surprised me, he asked two or 3 times how you were getting along in a real friendly way.  Well I came home and had a good night’s rest.  Saturday I worked till 4 o’clock and then did some shoping.  In the evening I straightened my drawer, and J. came over with the baby a little while.  I slept well Saturday night and Sunday morning I got up at 9 o’clock, eat my breakfast, washed and dressed and went to church with Ida.  It was a lovely Spring day and it made one feel good to be out.  I came home did some mending, ate my dinner, and came and we went out together.  We took a walk and then down to her house  While down there we began talking abnd figuring and I tell you I know just about how I stand now.  I never did figure out black on white so closely as I did Sunday. Well I got home about 10 o’clock, I read the paper a little while and went to bed, after I said my prayers, and prayed for you. I slept well and spent a good day at work to-day.  This evening I received your letter and here I am sitting at the kitchen table answering it ever since.  I hope you will be able to read this letter for it is written so poorely.  This is the first time since you are away that I walked from work, and when I reached home I was so nervous from the walk that I coudl ahrdly eat any supper otherwise I felt good.  but my hand is nervous all evening, and that is why any writing is so bad.  My cough is awful much better, but I’m always afraid to say so for fear I’ll catch another cold.  When Julie was here she said she heard that Will Cook was dead.  I don’t know if it is true or not, but Julie said she read it in the papers.  He died on some sort of fever.  Here is another little piece of news.  Fred Frank, Emme’s brother is married, he married a girl by the name of Lice (sp??).  Well Lewis dear, I am getting real tired and must close my letter.  I told you all that I can think of for one evening..  All the folks send their very best wishes and regards. Well dear I’ll say good night.  Pray for me, be a good boy and answer my letters right dear.  Take good care of your self.  My lips are dry also Lewis, but I can’t tell why can you?  Well darling good night with best love and a kiss I shall always remain

Your very own true and loving


(write soon) By the way, in the letter before this one you said you would answer it more fully in your Sunday letter.


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