1898, April 16 – Letter from Rosalie Bauwens to fiance Lewis Hesse with pressed flower

Rosalie sounds lonlier than ever without Lewis and expresses her belief that the U.S. did not move quickly enough to make the war end quickly.  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     Pressed flower


Transcript of letter:

St. Louis Apr. 16, 1898

Dearest Lewis:

Your letter of the 15 just read, and I hope I’ll get it answered before some of Jack’s friends come and interrupt me.  You say if I had let you make my dress it would not have been made as the dressmaker has made it, and you would not have charged me either, well Lu one thing I know, that you could not possible have made it any worse, for I must rip every stitch and I am afraid some of the silk I won’t be able to use again.  I do wish you were here to rip the old thing for you would save me lots of anger.  It is very seldom that I don’t think of you Lu, that’s the trouble I’m always thinking of you, so it was hardly necessary to ask me to think of you while ripping that waist.  Gee whiss, I’m not feeling a bit well this whole week and tonight I feel as weak as a kitten, just good for nothing.  Will Deckleman is home from work, sick for the last few days and when I went to Dr. Hinchy with them yesterday evening, I saw the doctor about myself again.  He gave me some medicine and told me something I won’t tell you, but what I’d like to have slapped him for.  It’s discouraging, I can’t get well at al, just from one trouble into the other, sometimes I almost get sick of living, and that’s no lie.  I’d like to bet you that by next week this time Geo. H. won’t have anything to  complain of in regard to inaction on the war question.  The war won’t amount to much in my estimation if the U.S. win the first few battles, but if we lose, as it is only too likely we will, because the U.S. is too slow, and give Spain too much chance to get stationed and fixed just so, then Lewis there is no telling when it will end and it will take most every man in the U.S. to put a stop to it.  I think Uncle Sam ought to be on his guard for surprises of some kind, for Spain is keeping kind of quiet the last few days, and they are a sneaky set to deal with.  Well lets drop it, it all makes me tired.  Lulu did not complain when she was down last, and her dress is made nice.  You say “it takes a Rosalie Bauwens”, then you go on and leave a blank to be filled, I guess you want me to fill it like this, “or a Rosalie Hesse, to be” to get 3 letters from you, now isn’t that the way you wanted me to supply the blank space?  As for the extra hug & kiss as a reward, I’ll exchange a whole dry goods box full of them, for I have two boxes of them now, for an evening’s walk, or your company once in a while.  I’m getting so tired of never seeing you and never leaving the house without going with the kids, I’m just miserably sick of it.  Yesterday Mr. Muldner came up at the office, he had a friend working in the second floor and he wanted to show him a relic of the “Maine” he got from a friend in Key West, and when he was told that a young lady up stairs had one he wanted to that lady.  So he came up and met me and we found out we got our relic from the same party.  The only difference in the shells is that his is a six pounder and mine is a one pounder, and consequently his is a great deal larger.  He wanted me to come to his house to-morrow, but I forgot to ask where he lives and as they moved since we were there, I can’t go.  Well Lu I am not feeling well and am terribly tired so tired and gracious, I’m blue to dear, so I will close for this time hoping you feel better than I, both in mind & person.  Pray for me dear and I’ll pray for you, I’m so lonely sometimes dear so lonely you can hardly believe it.  Well good night Lewis with a hearty kiss I will always remain your own true and just now most lonely


Put these blossoms in water, perhaps the will bloom up for you again.  I got them from Edd & Jack – Dody


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