1898, February 28 – 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 4-5     Letter Page 6-7     Letter Page 8     Newspaper Page 1 with notes      Newspaper Page 2 with notes     Fabric Swatch for Dress


Transcript of letter:

St. Louis. Feb. 28, 1898

Dearest Lewis:

Your Sunday letter received, and i tore it open and looked it over before I took off my coat & hat.  I counted the pages, and thought, “well Lewis’ Sunday letters are growing smaller every time,” am I right, or am I wrong?  But then maybe your getting better acquainted now and consquently haven’t as much time to spare for me as at first.  Well when I first opened your letter, thrree little chips of orange peeling fell out and I thought you’d say something in the letter about them, but you didn’t say a word about them and I put them away.  Now I want to know – why you sent them, or how did they get in there if you didn’t sent them, in fact, I want to know why they were in there.  I wish I could write some more about the orange peeling and make it stretch as far as possible, but I guess this is enough.  Well I finally got off my boat and hat and ate my supper, and read your letter, and here I am sitting at the kitchen table answering it.  Did you join The Club Lu?  There’s one thing I want to tell you old boy if Rodger’s goes to Mormond meetings or cares for that kind of people, I don’t  like him.  You stay away from Mormon meetings, that is if you care for my friendship.  You might think I’m awful short and straight about telling it, but I can’t help it;  if there is any thin I decidedly don’t like, I genearlly am short, you know that.  You say you go to church every week, Lewis that’s right, you couldn’t be any place better, as long as it’s a Christian church, and when you go pray for me, for I need it, my courage gives out completely sometimes, so much so that I sometiems get afraid of myself.  Yes pray for me when you go to church, but don’t go to a M—-n church, you hear me?  I havn’t gone to church once since you’re gone, the first 2 Sundays I was too weak adn sick, but I might have gone the Sunday following, the fact is Lewis I haven’t enough get up in me since I’ve been sick, for anything.  the courage is lacking, I’m not strong either.  the last cold I had leaves me weaker again and brings my weight again to not quite 103, so you see for yourself.  The papers still have a good deal in them about the war, public opinion still pretty well strung, nothing new these last 2 days, I saw Otto yesterday evening but he did not have George’s add with him, as soon as I get it I’ll let you have it.  Well now I’ll tell you about myself Friday night I slept well and Saturday has a passably good day at work.  4 o’clock Saturday afternoon I went shoping I wanted to get me another nice dress skirt, but instead of just the skirt I got me good for a whole new dress.  It’s awful fine so nice looking, and if it’s made up it will look rich.  I send you a sample piece of it.  but you can’t tell how pretty the whole piece is by theis little scrap, and it looks much prettier at night than in the day-time.  Saturday evening Edd made a cerenade with his boy friends, and Jack & I went to Hopkins.  I enjoyed passably well.  I send you the program and you can see my opinion and also the names of the things I saw.  We slept late Sunday morning, when we got up I packed some more things away in my boxes and washed and dressed.  In the afternoon, Eddie Deckleman and Annie Deckleman’s fellow spent the afternoon with our boys and I joined in once in a while, and read the papers the rest of the time.  In the evening the 4 boys went to theatre.  Goodness dearest, it’s only 5 weeks since you are gone and I feel so lost at times I just don’t know what to do.  Heaven knows how long this sort of thing will continue, and if I must sit all along longing for your company and see other young ladies enjoying themselves and all that I sometimes feel that I can’t be responsbile for myself.  If I knew mroe and could see an out way it would be different, one could work toward it with decision, but everything being so indefinite and uncertain makes me just sick.  Lewis dear I hope I’m not discouraging you, but I can’t help it, I can’t write different I feel wretched and discouraged.  Well about half past 8 Sunday evening Jennie Willie, Otto and his friend came and they stayed till 10 o’clock.  I read my little book said my prayers prayed for you, felt a little bit encouraged and went to bed.  Went to work this morning and worked till nearly 10 o’clock again without fire, I’m coughing again, but not so much, but that’s how it goes I do the best I ca for myself but I’m bound to work, and I’m just about on my feet when I’m bound to work in the cold and the consequences are I can take my hard earned money to the doctor, and I keep on wearing out my constitution.  Oh darn it I’ve got the blues.  But it is disgusting.  If God would but give me good strong confidence and health I think I could battle along.  Pray for me Lu.  You sa Rodgers has a girl in East St. Louis.  I wonder if she is as discouraged as I am.  I don’t know the Lamberts so personally as to answer you in regard to R’s girl I’ll ask Jennie about it as soon as I can, and then let you know.  Well Lewis dear, I’m tired and sleepy so I close my letter hoping it finds you better spirited than I am.  Well good night dear pray for me, I’ll pray for you, take care of yourself don’t let no harm or accident happen to you.  write to me soon good night darling with a kiss I still remain

Your very won



One response to “1898, February 28 – Letter from Rosalie Bauwens to Lewis Hesse

  1. Pingback: 1898, March 22 – Letter from Rosalie Bauwens to Lewis Hesse with rose petals & newspaper clippings & theater program with notes | Our Wonderful Family History·

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