1898, May 26 – Letter from Rosalie Bauwens to fiance Lewis Hesse

Rosalie writes to Lewis of his plans to quit his job & come home.  She also teases him relentlessly throughout the letter about how she wants him to keep his moustache & side-whiskers.  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


Transcript of letter:

St. Louis May 26, 1898

Dearest Lewis: –

I received  you most welcome letter of the 24, and I will answer it as best I can, as Dan Obrine is here and I must answer his talk and at the same time write to you dear.  I am so glad you hand is so much better Lewis.  Now dearest you must let me know when you are coming to St. Louis.  did you say anything to Geo. V. about quiting?  Lulu, tell me when you suppose to come, you hear?  Lewis I’m at least glad of one thing and that is that I know just how far your liking for me reaches; not even that you will grow side-whiskers when I ask you to, now Lu, I’m not fooling; if you come to me with out side-whiskers and a mustache you’ll be sorry, I bet you, you hear?  If you don’t grow them to please me, you better grow them to please yourself, for I’ll keep you way on the other side of the room if you are a bad boy.  You had better be a good boy dear or i’ll get even on your bad head see?  Little Myrtle is getting thin and don’t feel just well, but no wonder; when she was 7 months, she had not a tooth in her mouth, now she is 8 months and a week, well in other words in 6 weeks the little dear cut 6 teeth, for she has 6 teeth now, I think.  She bites for teeth are generally bade for the purpose of lasting, but I’m not sure she bites for I never asked her.  Come back and put your finger in her mouth and see if she bites for yourself, see?  Lewis, you will find enclosed a letter from Geo. H. to me, I have a splendid picture (full length) of George, and he sent me 3 other pictures of his comrads.  Say Lu, I bet a dollar George told you about half dozen fibs in his last letter to you, don’t you think so to dear?  Well Lu I’ll now tell you about myself since Monday evening.  Well Tuesday evening I went right from work to Clara S. and had supper, Tony came a little later and first we had a good talk and then we had some beer & bread and raddish and Clara & tony began trying on each others shoes and they made it so pleasant for me that I stayed until near half past 10, when they took me home.  Clara gave me some silk for a tie for you, but I guess I’ll keep it till  your come here see?  They both send their very best regards.  Well Wednesday evening I answered Geo H’s letter and this evening I am answering yours.  I see they made another call for 75,000 men for Uncle Sam; I wonder what they want with them, they don’t half feed those that they got so far.  Say but you didn’t want much when you aksed Geo. to give you another shell where did you get all the nerve all of a sudden.  The names of the originals of the pictures that Geo. sent me are Anderson on th picture with Geo., Dorr, Selevan, & Moore.  Dorr & Selevan & Anderson look as though they were thorough sea men, Geo looks handsome, I tell you.  & Mr. Moore is a splendid looking fellow.  Well Lewis it is going on to 11 o’clock lively (??) and I am getting dreadfully tired.  Dan left about 15 min ago.  Your a bad boy for being so contrary about your mustache and side-whiskers, you know it?  Well your contrariness to my wish will fit some other time see if it don’t.  Well “besser dich” for “do hast es neutich” see?  Take good care of your hand and also of yourself.  Be sure you don’t forget your prayers and pray for me.  Good night dear, write soon again.  With best love and – I would send you a kiss if you had a mustache & side-whiskers, but with out the mustache it would taste like eating soup without salt anyway, so “I guess I’ll keep it longer, don’t you know.”  Well write soon again.

Your own true


P.S. I am feeling a little better these last  days, Dody

Send Geo’s letter back to me


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