1898, March 15 – Letter from Rosalie Bauwens to Lewis Hesse

Rosalie is discouraged by the wages Lewis is getting while away & feels farther than ever from the possibility of marriage.   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 3-4     Letter Page 5     Letter Page 6


Transcript of letter:

St. Louis. March 15, 1898

Dearest Lewis:

I just got through reading your letter fo the 13 and 14th, and I tell  you, you need not have been afraid of giving me the blues, for I had them almost an hour before I read it.  I was hoping your letter would drive them away, but of course Lu, you know that it didn’t.  Lewis I would have laughed at any other time at your getting lost but my heart feels so heavy that I guess I’ll get up and get out of here for a while or mamma will want to know all about it.  Well Lu take care of yourself and don’t get lost any more.  Lewis it’s awful hard for me to write to you this evening for I can’t write encouraging as I would like to and as you should be written to for I haven’t got one spark of courage myself.  But for my sake you must not lose courage.  You see you’re a man and ought to have twice the courage I have.  I guess I’ll try to tell you about myself since the last time I wrote to you which was Saturday night after I did get to bed and went to church Sunday morning and prayed for us both but it seems as though the Lord is angry with us.  In the afternoon Jennie & Myrtle came over, Willie was at work and Otto was out with some of his friends but he called for Jennie & Willie in the evening.  The baby was so sweet and it likes me so well.  I played with Myrtle and read the papers and that is all I did Sunday till I went to bed, then I couldn’t sleep till nearly 12 o’clock for all thinking.  Monday I worked hard and had a scrap with that sausy mouthed Besse up at work I came home, croched till 10 o’clock and went to bed.  Slept well, only it was almost midnight again before I got to sleep.  I didn’t feel very well at work to-day, but I didn’t feel sick either.  This evening as I came home mamma said there were 2 letters for me to-day.  1 I found out was from you, and by the way, next time you send such a heavy letter you put 4 cent stamps on it catch on?  The other letter was from the Youth’s Companion.  I told you that Willie Potthoff sent it to me for years in fact 13 years or more, now I get a letter from a collector asking me when would it be the most convinient for him to call in order that I might pay him whenever I had it.  The bill was $5.25.  I tell you Lu it never rains but what it pours.  I don’t think I’ll pay that I think I’ll send him to Will P. I can’t afford it.  After I had read that letter I ate my supper and mamma said Jennie had found rooms to move.  You remember those flats that were built on 12th and Soulard streets called “Cate’s Flats” well in one of those pretty places Jennie intends to move.   Right in our neighborhood, Lewis dear do you wonder why my heart aches when I hear it?  Well that isn’t all that isn’t what gave me the blues, but mamma and I got to talking about Jennie and she said that Jennie said I ought to go with some one that was here in the city.  Well I asked mamma why she told me that.  Well her answer is what gave me the blues.  I won’t tell you what it was dear, just be satisfied that I am yours as long as you are my own Lewis and that’s the end of it.  Lewis, your wages is awfully discouraging and the outlook anything but encouraging I’m thinking.  But for heaven’s sake, if it was steady work and here in the city and we had a start, I’d know how to encourage you, but way over there without trusty friends, such a situation wouldn’t go unless there would be an encouraging outlook and a good start, would it Lu?  Well to cap the climax here comes Edd & Jack with three young men, and I’ll have to smile and play guitar and perhaps sing to help things along, they are calling for me already.  I’ll try and make the best of it.  Do the best you can and don’t lose courage.  But if you gain any encouragement at all at any time, Lewis let me know for I need it too.  Well I must close now, till next time.  God bless you Lu, good night.  pray for me, I’ll pray for you.  Be good to yourself and to me too.  So with best love I remain your own true Rosalie.

I do hope you can read this letter Lu, I can’t help that it’s written so bad.  Dody


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