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

Rosalie writes another serious love letter, but after the subtle previous hints from Mamma and Jennie about dating someone in the city, suddenly there is another suitor in the mix!  But Rosalie, true to form, doesn’t stray her from her “very own Lewis”.

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 March 25, 1898

Dearest Lewis:

Your welcome letter of the 24 recived and read.  I was glad to get it, for Lewis, I’m so lonesome sometimes, you can’t possibly understand, “but what’s the use” everything goes contrary with me as far back as I can think.  Honest dear when I begin to think deeply about our affairs and all that, nd then the war, which must come and will come, and it will take a good deal more than a handful of men to put it down too surely I sometimes wonder how much longer my brain will stay balanced.  And then most all the girls I know are happy and content and satisfied, and I’m so lonely & miserable at times, surely dearsest it’s almost crazing.  I know dear I should not write this way, but if I did not unburden my over ful heart to some one I’d choke, and could not, write of anything else.  I’ll try and change the subject and answer your letter.  Lewis you ask how that “Lewis, Rosalie Bauwens. Hesse” got on the large envelope, well I’ll tell you.  That envelope was in my writing paper box when I first got my pretty pen, and it being the first thing handy I tried the writing qualities of the pen on it; those four words are the first I ever wrote with the pen.  I wrote them without thinking what I was writing.  They were written in thoughts, that’s all dear.  Gerges mustache looks swell don’t it a tleast it seems as though he thinks it does, by the way he looks on the picture.  I wrote to Mr. Cook the 23, that was my I. A. H. birthday.  I wish I could go with you to hear him lecture when he is in Joliet.  I don’t like my side pain either, how often must I tell you that.  I can’t help it.  Being entirely free from a cold, having peace of mind and perfect regularity in each and everything is the only cure for that side pain.  The circumstances required to produce the above affects are financially beyond reach.  That’s why I’m not rid of it.  Lewis you are gone two months now, but do you believe if I think of the time you left it seems about 2 years to me?  That’s true Lu.  Say, you write about – “before a right long time” – Lewis.  I’d like to know what the dickens you call a “right long time” Lucy?  Say do you know the letters you receive from me on Monday mornings I hardly even get an answer on, you could make mention of them any how when you answer other letters.  I know you think I’m in a bad humor don’t you?  But I don’t want to be cross dear, I’ll try to be a good girl now.  Don’t feel bad at my harshness dear, I can’t help it, I feel so bitter sometimes.  I’ll try and tell you about myself now since Tuesday evening.  Wednesday evening I croched a little and then my scholar came and say Lewis I’m so proud of him.  he does splendidly, I wish you picked up music as nicely as he does.  Well I said my prayers and went to bed as soon as he left.  We had sleet and snow and cold weather all Wednesday and Wednesday night, but I didn’t catch a new cold this time.  Thursday morning, it was a little damp, cold & foggy in the early morning, but that soon cleared away and it was a lovely day, without a cloud, yes J & S. and Will G. had a lovely wedding day.  It was sloppy but otherwise the day was fine.  In the evening I went to the church with Jennie & Myrtle.  The folks were married at 8 o’clock.  The whole church was lit up and the choir sang and the organ played and the church was packed.  Joe looked splendid I must say, and she braced up splendidly, but Lu, Will G. looked so manly and happy it was a pleasure to see him, I always did like Will, and it did one good to see him so happy.  It was a solemn marriage, and was all in German.  Well after they were man & wife we went to Joe’s house and congratulated them, we stayed about 20 min.  They both send their best regards.  I passed J’s and saw that she got home alright and then Ott took me home.  Did I ever mention an Irish friend of Jack’s to you, by the name of Dane Obrine, well he calls quite frequently here lately, and makes ever so many dates with Jack, and when I came home from the wedding he was here and begun to talke to me at once.  That fellow is highly entertaining, but he don’t know when to go home.  He looked at the clock and found it was 11, and before he went home he told Jack, Mamma & I at least three times, that it was my fault he stayed so late.  For he said – “When I look at Miss Rose and hear her speak and speak to her, it is impossible for me to go home.” – ha.ha.  how do you like that?  Look out.  Well when Dan finally left I said my prayers and went to bed.  To-day I felt passibly well, and I think I’d pick up fast if I could get rid of those terrible blues and heavy thoughts that take complete possession of me and make me so miserable.  Well its 15 min to 10 now and I must stop writing as I am real tired.  I’m glad to-morrow is a short day at work, I think I’ll go to Aunt Mamie’s for a short while after work to-morrow.  Well Lewis stay good and well and keep out of harm’s way pray for us both and be good to me dear for I love you dearly even if I am a little exacting.  Write to me soon again, good night Lewis, I wish I could say come soon again, it might help me feel better sometimes.  Well good night.  With best love and a kiss I remain your own true & loving



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