“ ... the Bar Room of a dirty Public House ...
... a Dozen Snoring Countrymen ...”

Shelby County Tennessee
~ 1837 ~

© 2004, Frederick Smoot. All Rights Reserved.

Memphis TN FLS

Black Circular Postmark:
       Memphis Te. Jul
Manuscript Date:
Manuscript Rate:
       Miss Catherine L. S. Shinn
       Care of Haseltine, Haddock & Co

Memphis Tenn July 7th 1837
Dear Catherine
It affords me the most exalted pleasure to acknowledge your dear letters of 3d & 18th June, which I found in waiting on my arrival here the contents were sent to me indeed, Am much pleased to hear of your determination to visit the country immediately and hope this will meet you in an improved state of health, __ a plenty of exercise and change of air cannot but be beneficial to you, hope your Dear Ma has __ __recovered entirely from her late indisposition! I beg Dearest Kate that you will not hereafter be so uncharitable as to think that I am so acrimonious as to wait for your letter before writing to you, had I conveniences for writing it would afford me a great pleasures to address every three days a letter to you flattering myself at the same time, they would always - acceptable, I am frequently compelled to write in the Bar Room of a dirty Public House, or in my Room after night with 10 or a dozen snoring countrymen or those that are not asleep, are perhaps drunk and Noisy! there are nothing like the comforts in this Country either in Sleeping, Eating, or drinking. I am home Sick and would give anything I had in the world was my business settled and I ready to start home and most my Kate, I should be the most miserable creature in existence, where it not for the lovely anticipation of clasping her, er long in whom all my earthly joys and comforts depend upon it I shall not remain found here one moment longer than I can possibly avoid. Shall use my utmost exertions to see you at the earliest moment __ my ___, and I wish it may be sooner than I can at present give myself good reasons to hope, do not despair Kate, I will soon have those 100 kisses you were kind enough to promise me. How I should like to have a dozen of them now it makes my mouth water to think of it: only think of a hundred and I can’t even get one, we have one consolation though if we were soon separated that is: while we were courting we lost no time every moment we were together was well improved, what has become of that to be remembered Arm Chair in which our first vows of love were imparted. You know we both promised to treat that as a Memento of our Engagement ---
The Rose you sent me as an emblem of love was red but had become So dry that in kissing it frequently, I have completely used it up, there is not even a stem of it remaining it was nearest to a kiss of any I have had Since kissing you. I was punctual to my promise on drinking yours and Marg’s health on the Night of the - of June at 9 O’Clk. What do you think I drank it in, would you believe it, the worst of all liquor Whisky! Could get nothing better but was determined not be Cheated out of it; as for Brandy I have Not Seen any fit to drink but once, and that was at Nashville. I have become one of the most temperate Men in the World, from absolute necessity, therefore do Not suppose you will give me any Credit for abstaining, in fact, do not think I am deserving of any. I was Much Surprised to learn that Abby was again Engaged, the Match was a Sadden one to be Sure, I do not know him Mr Hersey, but hope if he is deserving of her. Nothing may intervene to prevent their Marriage. She is a good girl and it would afford me infinite pleasure to hear from her doing well, but She is so fickle “as you say” ! it is not unlikely she may change her mind. Tell her when you answer her letter, that Uncle Danl has heard of the circumstances and that he hopes Mr Hersey will prove to be clever fellow and deserving of her hand and heart, and that She has our best wishes for health and happiness, give my love to her, and say to her also, that She will Please Postpone the Wedding until you & I arrive at Harr---. I wrote home some 8 or 10 days ago, So they have the whole history of our engagement. I did not say at what particular time we should pay them a visit, but told them they might expect us in the Course of a Winter; don’t be surprised if you Should receive a letter from some one of the Sisters, they will all be anxious to see you: Am pleased to hear Helen looks so well, Mr Guynet is very kind to write her So often, is he not Kate’s: -- I hope you will not have cause to envy her, her letters hereafter for depend upon it. I shall do as you direct me. I will write if I have nothing more to say, than Dear Kate, I am well, Yours, Dan --- What has become of John Wheelan I do not know, have not seen or heard from him, he must have got lost in the woods, or carried down some of the Big Streams, or have to swim our Horses through in this Wooden Country. I Should like much to see him and talk over a little of olde times, does the babe really look like Mr. just give a kiss for me the next time you see it. I took tea and passed the Evening with Mr. & Mrs Watkins, at Somerville,* on the 3rd of July. She look very well. Much more fleshly than when she lived in Philada they live in a very snugg looking log House, have a very fine Garden, and she appears to be as happy as circumstances will permit. She is very anxious to visit Philada to see her friends. She requests me to give her love to Mr. Haselline, which you will be go enough to do for me.
I recd a letter from Mr. H. saying Ward was about Starting for St Louis. I am now waiting for a boat for that place, and if I have good luck Shall be there in 5 or 6 days and am in hopes to get a letter there from you. I wrote you 17th June from Huntsville, directing you to write me at St Louis --- Which hope you have done, on recpt of this please write me at Memphis, and a few days after at Nashville, Shall write again from St Louis, give my love to your Ma, Elizabeth, Mary &c, be particularly Careful of your health. Weigh those 140 pounds Soon as practicable, have not time to say more the Mail is about closing and I have ½ mile to go to the P. Office. Write me as often as you can, you’ll have plenty of --- in the Country. Good bye. May the God protect you ---
Yours Affectionately

*Somerville, Fayette County, is east of Memphis.

From the Collection of Fred Smoot
Provenance: Brad Sheff, Northfield, VT, 2004

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