1863: Cynthia Hazeltin to Sallie Jenkins

I have not been able to confirm the identity of these correspondents who were apparently residents of Wayne County, Indiana. Cynthia wrote the letter from Peru, Indiana, where she claims to be visiting two married cousins.


Addressed to Miss Sallie Jenkins, Centerville, Wayne County, Indiana

Peru, Miami County, Indiana
Sunday morning
August 1st 1863

Friend Sallie,

I take the present [opportunity] of answering your very welcome [letter] which I have just received & was glad to hear from you. I had almost forgot that I had written to you but you may be sure that I was glad to hear from you. I was sorry to hear of grandmother’s death but still I was expecting it. I know that you all miss her very much for as you say, she was always there. Was she sick long and what was the matter with her? Well, I suppose that I will have to excuse your long delay in writing for I know that you have a very poor chance to write. Where was that gentleman & lady [from] that went to Centreville with you & where did you go to?  I hope that you enjoyed yourself well but I know that you don’t enjoy yourself any better than what I do here.

Sallie, this is one of the most beautiful countries I ever seen (& you know that I have seen a great deal). I have seen considerable since I have been here. I have seen the elephant too. I see more pleasure here than I do at Centreville. Oh Sallie, I do wish it was so that you could take one pleasant walk with us along the banks of the Wabash River. There is so many nice shells & it is so pleasant too. I can’t describe it to you how nice it is. I was at a sabbath school picnic. I wrote to you & I tell what I had — a gay time, I tell you. Sallie, the people here thinkI am some & I don’t let on but what I am. they have got it into their heads I am from New York — a city lady. Now ain’t that some[thing]. But oh dear, it can’t last much longer for I have to go home for I am getting so homesick.

I left Alley at home & I came here the 16th of April. Now don’t you think that I have stood it a long time. Now Sallie, I know how much you think of me. Just to think that I have been gone almost four months & you didn’t know but what I was in town. Didn’t you never go & see what had become of me, you good for nothing thing? I will make you wa__ better for it when I see you. Mind that now will you say you don’t see where people get such news about you going to marry. Don’t you know that hearing is believing, & seeing is the naked truth? I suppose that they see him hanging around yet & that is the way that they get the news. They judge from appearances. I will hurry & come home for I want to come to the wedding. Won’t you ask me? Now Sallie, if you don’t, when I get married, I won’t ask you.

You wished to know who I was visiting in Peru. It is a cousin. I have two cousins married here & one lives in Peru & the other in the country. I am in the country now just having the best time imaginable. Well, Sallie, I had one of the best old fashioned country beaus last Sunday night & him & I & some more went to meeting & he went on home after we came back so I expect that he will be over tonight. I think he will pay & I think he will make a mighty good husband & I intend to go for him & see if I can’t get him.

You said that you was expecting to hear of a wedding.  I expect it is sar____ now. I want you to tell me, won’t you? Well I have wrote enough for I have wrote more now that you did. Be sure & write soon as you get this. Oh, I like to forgot, I want you to send me one of your photographs, won’t you? I [don’t] have any of mine now or I would send old John Doddridge one to stick in his album for I think he needs me in it to help its looks. Oh Sallie, if I was sure that he did not know where I was & would never find out, I would write a letter to him. Now wouldn’t that be gay if it could be carried out? Well, tell me what you think of the arrangement. Write soon. — Cynthia Hazeltin

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