1898, April 26 – Letter from Rosalie Bauwens to finace Lewis Hesse

Rosalie frets over the relationship of Otto Miller and Julie, along with her roll in it.  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. 26, 1898

Dearest Lewis:

Your welcome letter of the 24, received this evening and read with pleasure.  I will not try and answer it, although it is half past 9 o’clock, and I am real tired.  I’ve got a good headache and I took a quinine pill a while ago, and I’m tormented with those terrible hives or itch or whatever you want to call them, just as I itched the evening I was so sick, you remember?  Well Sunday when I came home from Muldner’s where I had a pretty good time, having been asked how you were getting along and when we were going to get married and a hundred and one other questions, and then I was told to send you their very best regards, well as I said before when I came home I found J. Will the baby and Ott there and we got to talking about Myrtle and J. said how happy she was with her, then Ott said how he wished he was married and had a little family.  I told him to wait till he met a lady he really loved.  Then he’d know how to treat her; but until he met such a one he should never marry for he’d never treat a wife right unless he truely loved her.  Lewis dear, that started Ott, you see he tumbled right away for what I was hitting him.  Well one word caught the other and before you know it I was taking up for Julie & then Ott begun to cry like a baby, and then, in a gentlemanly way of putting it, he defends himself, but oh Lewis, then it was my time for feeling bad, for I saw that all the while I was thinking Ott had shamefully misused my friendship, it was Julie that was doing it.  You see dear I didn’t only take Ott’s word of the truth of what he said, but lots of little incidents that came from Julie herself, correspnded just so, only in a far different light from what Julie put them in.  Then too Ott told his side of it right in front of ma and that counted for a little too.  And Lu, I’m sorry for Ott, and he was so sorry he left himself tell what he did tell, but he said he could not let himself be run down so that people he knew had friendship for him could be brought to call him a dog.  Then dearest, I feel so heartily sorry for July, because her mamma was taken from her so young and example to do good she had none, but she had plenty to pull her the other way.  But what gets me is that she can act so innocent and lie so easily.  That Ott speaks the truth Lu, he can prove, he says not only by facing her, but by showing her own words in her own writing.  Well Lu, this Otto & July affair just knocked me clean out and I’ve got the headache ever since.  Sometimes it’s terribly hard and then again it is to be stood.  But you see dear, if I don’t tell July just what I know, I’ll always have to act two-faced and false, and if I tell her there will not only be a big rumpus, but I may lose her friendship altogether and I would hate that for I feel sorry for the girl and mean to help her do right in the future if I can do so without injury to myself.  Lewis dear you must not ask me to tell you what Ott’s story was, for I can not tell you, some day I may, in almost the very words Ott told it to us folks at home; let it be sufficient to say that I think Ott was imposed upon, and I am sorry for him.  Ott may have been in fault by caring for the girl too much, and letting drink get the better of him after he made up his mind to give her up.  Lewis dearest my writing to you this way, well dear you know all I would say, it makes you feel terribly bad but Lu I had to write it.  I couldn’t keep it to myself.  I keep nothing from you dear that I can tell you, and this was worrying me so.  You can’t help for the rest Lu dear so please don’t grieve, please don’t, for my sake, see dear?  Well Monday I went to work but that awful headache had come, and it’s with me still.  When I came home in the evening I got 2 letters from George H. a copy of both you will find on seperate paper in this letter.  Well although my head was paining me awfully I answered his letters last night, and he got a nice letter too, even if I do say it myself, George has nothing to complain of as far as I’m concerned.  The Muldner’s heaven’t heard from Hot Springs for 2 months or more, so I can’t give you no news from there, well I had a little rest from the pain in my head this morning but it was not all gone.  but I have it all evening again.  Yesterday evening it was raining and I couldn’t go to the dress maker with my wrappers, so I went to-night, and that is why it was so late before I commenced writing to you dear.  Well I will now answer your letter.  Lewis I wish I could help you with your accounts for I am good at figures and should just glory in a little practice of that kind, I should be so glad to help you if I only had the chance.  You mustn’t work too hard dear you hear?  I am glad you did not work Sunday and I would gladly have waited another day for a letter if I knew you were taking a much needed rest you see Lu?  It makes me feel bad dear when I think that you must miss enjoying the fresh air and sunshine on a Sunday just because you must write to me, take your time and write the next day.  but don’t forget me.  I’m so glad dear that your finger or thumb is getting better again, take good care of yourself now.  I will give your regards to all of your friends dear.  Well Lu it is now 11 o’clock and I’m mortally tired, so good night my own, yes very own dear Lewis, pray for me dear that I may get good and well again, and I’ll pray for you.  Please Lewis, now don’t worry about anything at all, I’ll get well soon, and always remember that I love my Lewis truly and will always be as now your own, true & loving


A kiss for my sonny.  Dody

I’m over that itch now.  Best wishes from all the folks.  Dody.


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