1898, February 1 – Letter from Rosalie Bauwens to Lewis Hesse

Rosalie writes to Lewis about bickering with the family, the “medicine” she gets from the doctor & flirts a bit of course.  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.


Click on a link to view the image: (some images can be further enlarged by clicking on them once they open)

Envelope Front     Envelope Back      Letter Page 1      Letter Page 2-3      Letter Page 4-5     Letter Page 6


Transcript of letter:

St. Louis, Feb. 1, 1898

Dearest Lewis:

When I got home from work this evening I asked, is there a letter for me?  I did not expect one, for I had gotten one yesterday, and it wasn’t stingy one bit you old darling – don’t think I’m sill Lu, I mean what I say, even if it sounds foolish.  Well mamma handed me your letter that was full of the Monday blues, but I did not read it then.  I only tore it open and looked at it, and sat right down to eat, but I was I believe too tired to eat, I had such back pain that I could hardly stay up.  After supper I washed and combed my self as usual and got the big chair ready with pillows so that I might read and answer your letter in a little comfort.  I asked Ida if she would please get me some writing paper envelopes and stamps, Ida didn’t feel right well and didn’t like to go, but she finally went and when she comes back she has no stamps, I ask her to please take them back, but she says go yourself and gets so mean; If she had said I don’t feel well, and it won’t take you long, I’d think poor kid, and there would have been no hard feelings but goodness she stirred up the whole house and the boys are both of them mean as they can possibly be, and they both chimed in – oh what is the use of complaining, the only one treates me right is mamma, and goodness knows how ong that lasts.  And I can’t say, as I used to when there was trouble, “just let it blow over.  Lu will be here soon.”  I can’t turn to Lu now.  Jennie and W. are mean also, they played me a nasty trick Sunday afternoon.  and I have not seen them since, and I don’t care either, gee whiss I got the blues over it all.  so lets drop it, I’ll tell you about the trick some other time.  Dear Lewis don’t lose courage and do take good care of yourself for my sake Lusy.  I know it’s hard, and you say you long for me and you would not be lonesome if I was with you, well Lewis, there is only one way of curing that complaint, you know what that is, so don’t lose courage dear, rest assured that when my Lewis is ready for me, I’m ready for him, if I live.  Just remember dear that if you are lonesome, so am I, even if the family are around.  Tomorrow evening is another lonely one, Wednesday you know.  oh goodness.  Lewis if you find a remedy for loneliness, don’t forget to send me some.  Well let’s change the subject, do you know that the doctor makes me take to drink?  Well he does, he wants me to drink lots of beer.  not the commone beer, but bottle beer that costs $10 a bottle and is real dark in color, they call it Obert’s brown beer.  Well I don’t get much chance to drink except in the evening, then I take one glass and go to bed.  but Dr. wants me to take it at least 3 times a day.  but I must work and therefore can’t.  At work so far I get along alright except in the afternoon I get so terrible tired.  I guess that’s because I’m weak.  I hope I’ll soon get strong again, and be able to help myself more than I can now  Well dear I could keep on writing to you about this, that and the other little things that comes to one’s mind, but I’m so tired and I have lots to do before I’m so tired and I have lots to do before I get to bed  Well one thing more then I close this letter.  I want to tell you I have a bad cough it’s loose and I spit up a good deal, but when I get a coughing spell it gives me such side-pain, yesterday evening I asked of the Dr. about it, but after he examined me he said my lung was all right and that the pain would leave again, but somehow I wish I didn’t have it.  But don’t worry dear, I feel I’m getting well even if it is very slowly.  I promised to tell you if I could read between the lines of your letter, well Lu, I don’t hink you give me much chance to so far.  Well dear old dear – bad boy I mean, it is 9 oclock and I must go to bed and sleep while my Lewis is working.  I don’t like that a bit..  Well good night don’t let no harm or accident happen to you.  be a good boy and be good to yourself, pray for me & I’ll pray for you.  Do you read your little book?  I do.  I send you 3 kisses, and Lewis dear if you were here now you wouldn’t find me a bit stingy, as you sometimes would complain.  Well goodnight dear, with best love I remain

Your own loving


excuse writing please.  The folks send their love and best wishes.


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