1898, February 22 – Letter from Rosalie Bauwens to Lewis Hesse

Rosalie writes of the war question & what details more about how St. Louis is reacting to the news;  Lewis dreams they are already married.  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 6-7


Transcript of letter:

St. Louis, Feb. 22, 1898

George Washington’s birthday

Dearest Lewis:

I just received your promised Tuesday letter, ate my supper, and here I am seated at the center table in the large arm chair answering it.  The weather here is still very cold though somewhat warmer than a few days ago.  Lewis dear fellow, you say you don’t believe in the war question.  Well dear this is what I think after I have been reading the papers for the past week.  If the United States don’t fight, or at least make Spain crawl in the dust and pay dearly for her doings, I’ll almost be ashamed I am an American.  If we has Spain alone to settle it with, the war would last from 12 o’clock till dinner in our favor.  But there is serious talk about other powers siding with her.  Lewis dear it is my opinion that were 5 nations to fight against us on our own land we’d finally whip them; but if we are supposed to fight even 2 nations on water or on their land we would have a somewhat harder time to gain a full victory.  You see if we declare war against another country we are supposed to fight them on their ground and if they declar it they are bound to come here and fight perhaps that is the reason the President munkies about it as he does.  But to read how Spain throws insult after insult and sneer after sneer, it makes one sick, and wish they were a man and had the power to run things for a while.  But war, Lewis, I think we will eventuall have, I don’t see any way out of it.  But darling if war should be declared I wish I was a man for as long as it lasted.  And if it comes dear, remember you were an American before you were my intended husband and an American you are still.  Don’t think darling that my heart don’t almost break at only the thought of giving the dirty Spaniards a chance to harm you; Oh God, Lewis it costs me a good deal to write this believe me.  But should war come and you be a soldier, darling, I couldn’t give you up without seeing you once more and having the chance to ask the heavenly Father to keep you safe and bring  you back to me.  Do you hear dear?  Well enough of things, for I am making myself unspeakably miserable.  Lewis dear, you write about dreaming we were married, look here, bad boy, you musn’t dream that way it isn’t fare see.  Do y ou mean by “precious things come in small quantity”, that the dream was precious because it was too short?  You ask if I catch on, I don’t quite understand.  You write that you did not touch beer since you left, well as long as you are getting fat on pump water I don’t see any necessity for beer, see?  Well here comes Julie looking quite happy and I must stop writing till she goes.  Well it is 15 mins after nine and Julie has just gone.  She sends her love and best wishes.  She is working since the 19, in a family of 5, father, mother, and 3 little girls, she is real satisfied so far, although the lady is a little hard on a girl she says.  Lewis I took a real hot tody before I went to bed last night and this morning my cold was somewhat brokern, but my nose troubled me so much, my whole upper lip is almost raw from blowing my nose.  I am doing my best to kill this cold before it sinks to the chest.  I hope I’ll succeed.  I’ll take another hot tody this evening.  I’ll have to quit writing now dear and get ready to go to bed.  I think I’ll go to theater with our Edd Thursday evening if I am well enough, if not, I’ll go some other evening this week.  I’d like to keep on talking to you till morning dear, but I need my good night’s rest so I’ll be able to work to-morrow.  So good night precious old dear, and take good care of yourself, do the best you can and leave the rest to God.  Goodnight dear pray for me, I’m going to pray for you as usual.  Wishing my Lewis the best luck in every way I remain with a kiss, his own true sweetheart


answer soon dear


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