Sunday, February 28, 2010

St. Louis 1841

St. Louis Steam Boat EMILIE, Mar 21-22 1841, from Henry to his lady friend, Sarah E. Hodgen. The content reads, in part, as follows: Has been impatiently awaiting for her arrival, writing, "I do declare it almost seems to have been a month since I have been watching every Ohio River Boat that may chance to come to the landing and so soon as they touch at the wharf I take to the boats and soon travel all over them in search of you. I have sometimes thought I should be sorry to have you see me running about the boat looking in the ladies cabin, lest you should think me very rude, for I know everyone else who may observe me thinks me so, but methinks I should now be willing to be termed rude by half the world (provided you were not on that side) could that secure me the pleasure of seeing my dear Sarah E. before I leave for Columbia [Missouri], which must be tomorrow, as business of an imperative character demands that I should return this week. But ... my heart takes comfort ... that in four short weeks Pittsfield [Illinois] will again be my home and then we shall meet, never more to be separated in the cruel manner which has kept land and sea between us ever since the 30th ... Jul last. I have not heard from you since I was in Pittsfield in Jan last, but knowing that you were always well, I have managed to convince myself that you were still enjoying your usual health. I have just been interrupted to go and look over another boat, the GIRARD has just landed, but no friends there for me, and I have again to board board with bitter and unavailing regret over my repeated and continued disappointments all the way down ... I yesterday heard the celebrated John Newland Moffit preach in the Methodist Church of this city. My opinion of him is that he is a man of splendid talents, but a consuming hypocrite. He is the greatest fop I ever saw in a pulpit. An elder opened the service, and while he was praying and singing, Moffit was fixing his hair, his stock, his collar, brushing his clothes and taking all the airs of a dandy ... [Mar 22 1841] this day I must start home. I shall lock up shop in Columbia in a week or ten days and shall be engaged about a week or ten days in making settlements, and I think in three weeks I shall be ready to leave for Illinois, and if ever I was thankful ... to leave any place, that place is Columbia ... I shall be very anxious to hear from you and hope that you will write soon as you safely reach St. Louis. I have seen no friends from Illinois since I have been here. I saw Amos Goodin yesterday. He is filling the Honorable Station of Second Steward on board of the Stam Boat ELIZA ... breakfast is ready and as soon as I get that, I must turn out to lay some goods to send up the Illinois River. I want to send them on a boat which will leave today ... [signed} Henry.

This fantastic letter is for sale on Ebay Item number:260557350563

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