1898, April 7 – Letter from Rosalie Bauwens to Lewis Hesse with Newspaper Clipping

Rosalie talks of missing Lewis and wishing she could attend a lecture with him;  she also includes a clipping where there mayor of St. Louis asks for 1000 volunteers to fight in the Spanish American War.  It makes me so uncomfortable to type the various racial slurs they use in this letter & several others.  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     Newspaper clipping front     Newspaper clipping back


Transcript of letter:

St. Louis, Apr. 7, 1898

Dearest Lewis:

Your most welcome letter of the 6 just received and read with pleasure, I will try to answer it right away, if I can for Jack is cutting up and making such a racket one couldn’t hear it thunder if he tried ever so hard.  I want to answer it right away as I do & I want to visit several churches this evening as it is holy Thursday.  Jennie & little Myrtle are here and between the little one’s cuteness and Jack’s foolishness it’s a hard thing to write, do you believe me darling?  You wanted me to get your last letter on Monday dear, but I got it Tuesday anyway see?  I wish I had been with you to hear Mr. Cook talk even if I’d had to go up in “nigger heaven” with you.  Well Lewis I can’t write one letter to you here lately but what I am disturbed just now an uncle of mine from the country stepped in, a Mr. Neels, and so I’ll have to quit writing and that means no church visiting to-night see?  The boys have just left a few minutes before he come, and that means he’ll stay till they come back which may be very late, so so long.  till perhaps 11 or 12 o’clock.  But I’ll finish the letter to-night dear, see if I don’t. —–Well here I am again dear and it is just half past 11, we first had a good long talk about the country folks, until about half past 9 and then Jennie said we should go up to her house.  When we got there, Ott, had several friends up there and in a little while Jack and Edd came and we sang and played on the guitars and the crowd did not break up till just a few minutes ago.  Well dear i’ll now go on answering your letter. – Just here was another stop of 15 min.  I had to hunt for  your letter that I had slipped between my writing paper when my uncle came in – Just tell me exactly how you spend your time Lewis even if you do tell me every time you take a hot bath, if I told you every time I take a bath I’d shock you, for I take one every 2 years whether I need it or not see?  (aber nit).  You didn’t tell me what caused your hard heachaches so often, you know that?  You must not forget to answer questions Lewis, you hear, or I will play the same trick with you sometime.  You say you never get to bed till after 12 when you write to me during the week, well ditto, especially here lately.  The weather here is very changable.  One never can depend upon it.  You ask how we could change 3 letters for that many hours in each others company, but I don’t know.  But one thing I do know and that is that I’m getting heartily tired of this kind of business, and that’s no lie.  Irish is all right, I did not see him since day before yesterday evening.  Look here young man, I did not hint for that picture Dan said he’d give me, I did not even think of pictures, when suddenly he said he was going to give me one.  Of course I said alright, although you could have knocked me down with a feather.  There is nothing snap about anything nor neither is there my “dead sinch” about him either as far as I know.  You make me angry, after I write you just how everything happens and then you say I have “a snap way of getting his photo, and that he must be a dead sinch” I don’t think it’s right, It ooks very much as though you don’t read my letters over very carefully, for I never told him I wanted his picture “in order to fill up a place in my album.”  Say Lu, do they use very much coarse slang where you work?  Well Lewis we may have war before another letter of mine reaches you, as you will see by a clipping I send you, as to what should take palce in St. Louis Monday.  Well I can’t help it.  My home is peaceable since I told you of the last rumpus.  Wednesday evening I wen tto the dress makers with Mammie Pullen & Josie Miller and had a good time talking to the girls.  I got my umbrella again, Ida got it from the care companie’s office.  Now Lewis I will have to stop here for it is half past 12 o’clock and I wrote more than I thought I would by that time.  Well Lu think of me Easter Sunday I know I’ll be thinking of you, gee whis but I’m good and sick of this, all other girls have their fellow coming – and I – well I know I tired of it anyway, just staying at home, and if I go out any palce there is a hundred & one questions asked on all corners that I can’t answer.  And then to cap it all war is the next on the list.  Well good night, I’m so tired I can hardly sit up.  And I must work 9 1/2 hours to-morrow, I won’t get to sleep till 1 any way.  Pray for me, for to-night I can do very little of it.  Well good night dear, and even if you do think I have a “snap” way of getting “dead sinche’s” pictures I still remain Your very own “true” Rosalie.

Lewis dear I don’t want to scold you, but I can’t be judged wrong and I won’t be misunderstood when I tell you everything in plain English, so there’s a dear old fellow, with lots of kisses am still your own Dody.


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