1898, February 25 – Letter from Rosalie Bauwens to Lewis Hesse

Rosalie is nursing yet another cold with doctor-prescribed booze & funny little pills.  She shares rumors of George deserting from the Navy and encourages Lewis to serve if it comes to war.  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     Letter Page 8-9     Letter Page 10


Transcript of letter:

St. Louis, Feb. 25, 1898

Dearest Lewis:

Your letter of the 24, received and read, and, you poor darling, I’m so sorry you suffer with such fearful headaches.  I have four of those powders left and can easily spare you one to take the place of the one you used.  Lewis dear you should take good care of your stomach and keep it in good order, and if the pills  you take act as though they were so much candy there is such a thing as taking a teaspoon or tablespoon full of “bitter salt” in a little water, you will have no need of complaining of it acting as though it were so much candy.  Now dear don’t laugh at my advice.  I mean it good.  Lewis dear don’t let me stand between you and probably service for the U. S. for in such a case I know it is my duty to take a second place in regard to you.  According to the papers here, it seems that by this time next week or perhaps a day later we will be fighting with those Spanish wretches.  Now Lewis you seem to have felt hurt in regard to the remark I made about you shouldn’t tell fibs about lonesomness.  Lulu you know that I could feel no other way but glad about your gaining and I hope you will keep on gaining, you know that don’t you?  Well the evening I answered that letter in which I made that remark I felt mean and ready to find fault with every thing, I didn’t feel a bit well in fact, because I had caught a new cold.  But when I wrote that, I didn’t mean to hurt your feeling, indeed I didn’t old fellow, and I don’t doubt your word in the least, it was only contrariness with the whole world that made me write it I believe.  Sometimes when I get thoroughly disgusted with everything I get in such a coutrary mood.  So dear don’t worry or think that I don’t believe and fully trust you, because I certainly do.  Lewis when Julie was here she said there were rumers among your folks about them having news of a certain man who knows George H. of having seem him in Tennessee or Kentucky, I forget which, and they say he deserted.  I person don’t know whether it is true or not, but it might be so, and as he wrote to Otto some time ago asking for your address, he might have had an idea of troubling you, and that is the only reason why I wrote you this information, thinking you ought to know.  Lewis, if George should come here and ask me for your address, shall I give it to him?  He might nont come and all that, but he might to, and I’d like to be on the safe side of the road, see?  Well I’ll tell you about myself now.  Tuesday evening I took a hot whisky punch and went to bed, but did not sleep well after about 1 o’clock.  Wednesday night I did the same thing but in the morning Thursday morning my cold had settled to my breast in spite of all I did to prevent it.  All day Thursday I coughed constantly and in the evening I had such headache and was so sore from coughing I didn’t know what to do.  So Jack & I went to the doctor and he gave me such strong medicine to stop my hard coughing (which he said I was lucky had not, during the day, caused a hemerage, considering I was not strong) that it caused me to feel awful funny to-day.  You see dear he told me to take a small white pill when I was in his office, and one just like it when I went to bed, and he said they were awful strong, then I had to take 1 small chocklet coated pill and 4 large chocklet coated quinine pills and then take a hot whiskey punch, all when I wen tto bed.  Well Lewis my cold is broken and I don’t cough much but I didn’t have my right sense most part of the day, I’m not fooling, I felt all right only nervous, but the effects of all that medicine must have grasped my brain at times, I really was afraid of myself, so although the doctor said I should do the same thing this evening as last, I’ll not take the little white pill at all and only take 3 quinine pills.  But my cold is broken and I cough but little.  I guess y ou notice that I skipped Wednesday in my letter so far.  well I spent that day in sneezing and blowing my nose again.  In the evening I gave one of Edd’s friends a lesson the guitar, and I just got through when W. J. & the baby come and spend the evening.  We had a real nice time.  Will & J will be married the 24 of next month, they both seem so happy and full of hope for the future.  They send their best regards.  They will give their wedding at her house, and although I got an invitation, it was not very pressing and I don’t think I’ll go.  Well they went hoe with the Decklemenn’s and I said my prayers and went to bed wishing I could look toward the future with as much confidence and hope as Josie does, but I try hard enough but to tell you the open truth dear, I can’t do it.  Well I must stop writing as I am tired and it’s half past 9 o’clock so hoping you won’t have any more of those headaches, and wishing you lots of luck, I remain

With best love



The folks all send their best regards and good wishes, J. & Will included.  Ida is well again and lively as a crickeet but thin as a rail.  I didn’t go to theater with Edd as I said I would, but I might go Saturday night or Sunday afternoon, of sometime soon, just according to now I feel.  Well good night, with a kis

from your Dody

I folded the wrapper of the powder longer so that it would lay flatter in the letter.


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