J.R. Baird Collection

Transcribed by: Wanda Ray

Transcription Date: 2.9.2006 



Beauty’s Retreat

March 20, 1866


Dear Nannie:

Another long, long week has almost gone and tis nearly time for another “sweet messenger” to cheer my lonesome lot, making for awhile my log cabin a splendid palace.  You need never fear my trying your patience by deferring one of my notes, the interest of which is the only real profit of my life and so far they have never failed to make me a hundred per cent better off, both in sense and principle.  Besides all this, the dread alone of your trying a similar remedy upon mine, would make my fond heart not only trouble for the consequence, but too cowardly to act.

Knowing your extreme fondness to attend church, I cannot class your “preference to write to me” simply a compliment, but a stinking mark of “woman’s constant love.”  No indeed I have no objection whatever, (except I do not get one for every Sunday) though by some, with much more piety than myself, it may be considered wrong.  But religion is happiness; your letters give me happiness therefore make me religious and to make others so, is equal to being so yourself, hence tis a good act, please continue it.  A very convenient syllogism this.  The sadness of your Father’s family, is easily imagined, from that experienced by mine, which I naturally suppose is even less, as a son is more independent than a daughter.  Ask their endeavors to dismiss those gloomy, heartrending thoughts Our Creator designed, that we should at some time leave our Parents.  We are both sincere, neither too young and I can see no earthly reason why we cannot be as happy and contented as any couple living, do you?  I know we can be, and trust will be.  Positively, my heart is entirely fixed upon you now and to form decisions or conclusions different at this date would wreck my life’s happiness forever.  So you can plainly read, how delighted I must have been, with decisions perfectly satisfactorily.  Give the, (the family) again the assurance that even energy shall be give to aims for the completion of your joy and contentment, that I love you better than tis possible for them, that no pleasure or gratification within my power shall be denied and better than all this; as you expressed it “we will make them double blessed by both loving them more than ever.”  Heaven bless and reward a parents’ love.  How lamentable it is, we never appreciate their unalloyed affection until too late.  It sometimes appears to me that tis a rash, ungrateful step for me to get married.  That my life properly ought to be devoted to them, for the care and kindness they have heaped upon me.  But then comes stronger arguments, outweighing all and I cling more closely than ever to my “Darling” ever first and fondest.  Tis unnatural and a pleasure they would deny undoubtedly, in order to obtain such a magnificent addition as yourself.

Pas has just returned from the boat and brings me no letter from you.  Knowing that my life is stimulated always by your favors, “tis cruel” to torment one in this way, but very well if you wish to kill me, go ahead.  Have nothing to dispel my “pensive feelings” this week can only;

Page Two March 20, 1866


“Sigh at fate and sing woe’s me”

This sounds a little like injustice to you, after your great kindness and punctually, but believe me, it is not thus meant.  I fully appreciate your “loving kindness,” therefore will not be selfish in the least, but write every trip, as long as tis a pleasure to peruse this scratching, whether yours arrives or not.  (unless they stay too long).  A letter from the Dr. to Pa came this evening, which I read as eagerly as tho’ from you and seeing your name alone was a moments sweet.  His gave me genuine delight telling of his improvement in health, do ardently hope it will continue, until he is himself again, hale and hearty.  Am both proud and happy to feel that he has confidence in me.  Ma and Pa both sick today.  They think of leaving very shortly.  I expect will go as well.  My health since deserting my team, has grown somewhat better.  Mrs. Murphy has measles and is quite unwell.  Our Swamp remains unchanged, as the “bright eyes” are missing still.

All are glad to be remembered and tender much respect


Love to Miss M and others

Very affectionately yours

Until otherwise,




The Dr.’s letter spoke also of your expecting to see me.  Have never sent a letter to that effect.  I wrote in my last that I was not aware of the necessity of my coming, but if absolutely so, I can, tho’ I’ve commenced planting and am quite busy just now.

Write often.


Devotedly &c