1898, April 9 – Letter from Rosalie Bauwens to Lewis Hesse

Rosalie tells Lewis that the boys that flirt with her don’t have a chance, then details an awful dream she had that Lewis was married to another woman.  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


Transcript of letter:

St. Louis, Apr. 9, 1898

My dearest Lewis: –

Your very, very welcome letter of the 8 received and read and I will now answer.  Look here Lu dear you must not work too hard, for you must be careful of your health see?  But of course you know I like to see that you are working hard too, for you see that means that you will be able to have me with you so much sooner to take good care of you and make a little home so comfortable and pleasant for you dear, that it will be a pleasure for you to come to it after a hard days work.  But dearest, you must not work too hard and run down your constitution or our future happiness may be spoiled by sickness, you see I’m trying to take the bet of care of myself.  Now you dear old inquisitive boy you, don’t have any fear of any of the young men around here, they could not even hold a candle in comparison (in my estimation) to my own sonny.  As to their advances, they are nothing much to speak about, just a pleasant nod, a friendly word, and etc.  I wish you were here dear, I could satisfy you more fully on this subject.  Rest assured dear that I know what is right in every way, in regard to the treatment of young lady to gentlemen, when she is engaged to an absent one.  And I’m not a bit afraid of you becoming my daddy either, you dear old bughouse.  Well I guess I’ll wear my new dress to-morrow over to J’s house, for the boys and some of their friends and Ott will have some friends of his there, but Lu dear I’ll be with you in thought most of the time, and your last letter will find a resting place in my dress right over my heart so that I may have your last words to me always with me, now Lewis old boy, are you satisfied?  Lewis, somehow I don’t get one bit stouter, for the last month I haven’t gained a pound, I weigh 105, even by taking the best of care of myself.  If I have any pieces of the silk of my dress left large enough to make a tie I’ll send it to you in a letter and you will have to make it as best you can for I can’t send a ready made tie for it costs to much, see?  I’m saying too.  Well if you must hear that dream of mine, and will bear it, alright, but you must not feel bad, because I am not responsible for what I dream, see dear?  Well I dreamed Dan Obrine came to me and said he had some thing to say to me for a long time past, but that he had been afraid of hurting me, but that his conscience would not let him rest no longer.  I said well what is it?  And he said he knew you years ago, and then asked me if I knew if I was going with a married man.  I got angry and was hardly responsible for what I said.  But he asked me to please hear him and so I said go ahead.  He said you had married a graveyard-gate-keeper’s daughter about a little over 3 years ago, but that you were only married a month when you left her, and no one blamed you for doing so either, but that you had not sufficient cause in the eyes of the court to secure a divorce.  And that was the end of his story.  Well I told him to never show his face in our house again.  But if I found out he had told the truth that I’d hunt him up and thank him.  He went, and I went to momma and told her all.  She said, “child, that is one wrong I did you.  I knew it all along.”  Well dear I gave one scream and that was the end of it till I found myself getting together the money I had saved and coming right to you, to face you with your deceit.  The next thing plain to me in the dream was my knocking at a door at the end of a hall at the top of a flight of stairs and I opened the door without waiting for a “come in” You were at the other end of the room and fairly flew toward me, but I told you to stay where you were and not dare to touch me.  I told  you I had fuond you out, and as I spoke you turned white as a sheet and did not deny it.  Lewis, I never had such heart-ache in my life as I had in that dream.  You tried to explain yourself and pleaded with me to take you if you tried to get a divorce, but I told you I wouldn’t have you for a gift.  And asked you what you had taken me for all along.  Well I don’t know how the dream would have ended but mamma woke me, I had woke her by the way, I was sobbing and moaning.  But Lu dear I had such heart-ache even after I woke that I could scarcely go to sleep again.  I told ma the dream when she woke me.  Now darling, do you wonder why I did not ike to tell you my dream?  But it wasn’t my falt that I dreamed it, was it dear?  Are you satisfied now that I told you it?  Lewis you old darling, you send me so many kisses your letters I soon will have a big box full, and then I’ll send them all back to you with high interest see?  Well dear Friday night I crocheyed and entertained Jack & Edd’s friends including Dan for a while.  Today when work was over the girls and them went to confession, came home and amused the same crowd of boys again.  Oh, they pull me right along in all their fun.  To-morrow or rather this morning as it is after 12 now I will go to communion and pray for you dear.  Take good care of yourself in every way, please do dear, and I will think of you to-morrow and pray for you real hard, see dearest?  I wish I could tell you good night as I’d like to, but then good night any way dear with lots of kisses and ever so much true love, I remain your own loving Rosalie


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