1898, April 28 – Letter from Rosalie Bauwens to fiance Lewis Hesse

Rosalie & Lewis discuss the soldiers in Joliet & St. Louis.  Rosalie scolds Lewis & they both struggle with headaches.  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. 28, 1898

Derest Lewis:

Your most welcome letter fo the 26 just received and read, and I will answer right away.  You talk about soldiers in Joliet, well we have plenty here also, for this is to be the gathering place for all the Mo. volunteers, but that helps me nothing, for I don’t get to see any except I meet them walking in small groups when I come from work.  I might just as well be dead as far as seeing anything is concerned, for I won’t go with any young gentleman friend, although I could if I wanted, and go myself I can’t, and to go with E or Jack costs too much; so I might just crawl in a corner and hide, as far as getting around is concerned.  You maybe think its easy on me, well don’t fool yourself.  Now Lu, don’t get in the habit of promenading the main street in Joliet as the young men in St. Louis do Broadway looking at the girls, for I won’t allow it at all.  If you have any fun with the Joliet girls I promise you I’ll have my fun here see dear?  I intended to send G’s letters back to you piece by piece so it would not take extra postage but my letters here lately have always been so long, that there was no room for any extra pieces, that’s why you didn’t get them back so far.  see?  I am glad your thumb is getting along so nicely, but don’t neglect it, for in its tender state you may hurt it again.  Now dear you say if there is anything you can do for me to let you know what it is and you will do it.  Well there is something and that’s this:  The last 4 letters or so that you wrote you tell me all about how things go with  you; and that’s right dear, for I long to hear that very news, but you just get me good and interested and then stop, never answering except maybe by one sentence the letter I just sent you Lots of little things I write to you are just passed by as though you never received or read them.  I know dear that you have had very little time here lately to spare for me, and therefore I didn’t say anything, and I would not have written this way now, only you wrote that if you could do anything for me, I should say so.  Well dear then make answer to things asked or suggested to you in my letters.  Lewis darling don’t for a moment think I am trying to find fault with your letters, for  you don’t know how glad I am when I find a letter waiting for me when I come home.  But see dear it is just as though you were speaking to a person a while, and you’d stop to see if he would talk to you in return or make answer to what you said, and he’d set there as though you hadn’t said a word, and begin telling you about something else; now dearest, even if you longed to know what he was then telling you, don’t you think  you’d miss the acknowledgement or answer you expected first?  I guess dear, you think, “Rosa feels like taling this evening, I cans see that.”  Well if I had  you here I’d talk your arm off and then talk it on again, and that’s no lie.  Well I guess I’ve answered your letter now, so I am going to tell you about myself since Tuesday evening.  Wednesday I went to work as usual, and nothing in particular happened except that the headache I had had for the alst few days was still with me.  In the evening, I thought of your birthday and wrote you a congratulations letter, then I gave a lesson on the guitar to Willem, but you bet I didn’t feel one bit like it though.  When he went home I said my prayers and went to bed.  Today was spent much the same as usual except that at noon I went out and got those ties and powders, you see I have been having headache myself and I could sympathize with you.  Now do you like the ties Lu?  I picked the out all myself, and thought they were real nice.  They are the latest wear here.  I hope you will like them. When you wear them think of me.  And when you get those hard headaches take a powder and think that I am putting cold potatoes on your head, and then it will go away see?  Well when I came home from work I stopped at the Post Office and mailed that box.  I hope it gets there safe.  I had to pay letter rates on it because I sent a letter on the inside.  I hope you get it on your birthday.  This is the first evening it seems to me for about a week that I have no headache, I am going to get me some “sas frass” and make some tea, and take a cupful morning and evening for about 2 weeks, it clears the blood and is a fine Spring remedy.  You ought to take it too Lu.  You buy the “Sas frass” at the drug store, or if you can get it on the market by the nickle’s worth from seed pedlers or gardners, if you can get it from them its nice and fresh.  It’s a sort of red wood in short pieces.  You take a few pieces and not quite a quart of water and boil it and let it stand a while till the tea is kind a red then take a cup full morning and evening.  Well I guess if I don’t stop writing you’ll get tired of reading.  I’ll crochey a little before I go to bed as it is only 10 min. after mine and I’ll stay up till 10 or so.  Well dearest, write soon adn tell me all about yourself as usual, pray for me, and then I’ll always be a good girl too.  Well old boy even if there is another while page I could fill, I guess I’ll quite and give you a rest, see?  Oh yes, I musn’t forget to tell you our Tom Cat is missing since Monday noon, we will get out a search warrent, and if he can’t be found then, I guess the poor fellow is dead.  Well the Dicklemans send their best regards and so do the rest of my folks.  Well good night dearest, write soon, so with best love and kisses I will remain till next time

Your very own

Rosalie (see letter images for the little picture she drew)


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