Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Love Letters 1836

Two love letters written by John Cooley to his wife Lucina in 1836. John is on board the brig Sampson under the leadership of Captain Purkis. Lucina is staying at John H. Purkis’s house in Providence Rhode Island while John is away.

The first letter is two pages long and finds him at Brunswick in a frantic state because he has not received any letters from Lucina and is terribly worried because of it. The second letter, which is 3 pages long is written 3 months later, and shows that he has finally received a letter. In this one he recites poetry to her and in both letters you can see how much he loves and misses her and the children.

A few excerpts from each letter……

“Brig Sampson at Bruswick, 15 miles below Wilmington

January 19th, 1836

Dear Wife,

I with pleasure inform you that I enjoy very good health and hope that you and all of the family enjoy the same blessings. If you ever lived or died on suspense or ever knew anybody else to, consider my anxiety. 23 days ago I wrote a letter to you from this place and one from Havana on the 10th of last month and I have not received an answer from neither of them yet. What can be the reason of it I cannot imagine unless it is because you have not wrote to me. Capt. Purkis has received answers from his and our letters all were sent at the same time and by the same mail. You must suppose that it causes a great uneasiness and an anxiety that I cannot express. I cannot believe that you would neglect writing to me when you know how earnestly I entreated you before I left Providence and in my two last letters I made the request; and directed you how to proceed to get an answer to me in this place. Capt. Purkis went to Wilmington yesterday and as soon as he gets on board again (we expecting him every moment) we shall sail for Havana and if he does not bring me a letter from you------and if you did not write by Capt. Chambers, altho I have not seen him yet------what shall I do or what is to be done. I left a vessel last winter and came after a letter myself but I did not expect to do it this. If I accuse you wrongfully I humbly beg your forgiveness but I assure you that I am very uneasy about you all. I hear the winter is very severe in the North and I am anxious to know how you and the family fare…….Capt Purkis has come from Wilmington and he has not any letters for me. I am very sorry that it is so for it has disappointed me and increased my anxiety very much. We are under sail and shall leave the pilot in a few minutes. If you have an opportunity of writing to Havana as soon as the 8th of February write and you will unburden me of a load of uneasiness which is hard to carry…….Dear Lucina, I remain yours until death, John Cooley.”

“Havana, April 26th, 1836

Dear Wife,

I with pleasure sit down to inform you that we have commenced taking in cargo to sail for Boston on the first day of May. I received your kind letter of the 24th of March on the 23rd of this month and am very happy to hear that the family are all alive and well. It is a great disappointment to all that we cannot come to Providence with the Brig first as going to Boston deprives us of bringing home fruit and other necessaries which would be of some benefit…..I do assure you that there is no one in the family that wishes me at home half so much as I wish to be there myself for I might say with the poet, “How oft in the visions of night I desire thee, thy countenance attends thy form bent with grief with the fondest affections, endeavors to sooth thee but all my exertions trust fail of relief. Though for distant from thee perhaps at this moment, thy thoughts may arise with affections sincere and though cruel fortune so long keeps me distant, I still will be with thee and still will be dear.” For there is no telling how I long to see you all since I have heard the glad tidings that you wrote in your letter of our family and sister Mary. It is the greatest consolation message you could have ever sent me…..It is getting late and I have not time to say half so much as I wish to. Give my love to sisters Bowen and Mary and their children. Congratulate them for me on the happy changes that has taken place among you. I hope soon to be with you myself and then we can say more about it. Give the children all a father’s kiss for me. I hope they will not have long to look for papa……I remain your affectionate until death, John Cooley.”

Bid on this Item

Letters & Postcards on E-Bay