# Chapter 4 - Letters between William M. Wheatley and Mildred Humes, 1857-58 - Documents

## I. Courtship at Val de Moulin (Aug.-Oct. 1857)

### II.C.b.24. William to Mildred, “Saturday Night”

Saturday Night

My dearest Miss Mildred

I cannot refrain from expressing my feelings to you: my own love: my hearts fondest idol; I have waited in vain for an opportunity to talk with you, and it gives me pain to think that I must pass you so often, and dare not give scarcely a kind look, much less a kind word. I had much rather we could meet in some lone place, aside from this cold—calculating world, and there commune with each other, but this seems almost impossible, and must embrace the only alternative.

Do you often think how dearly I love you? believe me, my dearest, that my soul and heart is wholly devoted to you: there is no joy but what I wish for you, no thought <p.2> but what dreams of \your/ happiness. I know my own heart: I have studied it will, and have prayed for guidance, and now again assure you that my affection is pure, and holy and my love unalterable, as the author of our being. I know you believe that I love you truly and sincerely, and have every confidence in me, and now my whole aim in life, is to make you happy. You love me truly, and have given me your hearts best affection, and I will prove myself worthy of the trust. Oh, my dearest one, how shall I pass the weary hours that must elapse before I shall see you? to pass you coldly by, as I am compelled to do, makes my heart sick, and I cannot endure it. Can you not take a little stroll unobserved—anywhere you may suggest—so that I can speak a few words? I will endeavor to act prudently so as to prevent any suspicion.

To morrow please write me, and deposit it where you get this, it will be perfectly safe. I <p.3> shall be so happy to hear from you. Lay aside all reserve, and speak as to one who loves you, dearer than life—yes, dear than his own soul.

Affectionately & devotedly

William

### VII.B.b.6. Mildred to William, Val de Moulin, “Sunday Morning”

Val de Moulin

Sunday Morning

Mr Wheatley,

You ask me if I “often think how dearly you love me”—I would say in return that there is not a thought but what is of you and to doubt you would be impossible.

’Tis said that love conceals a number of faults—so I see none—but believe that you are entirely devoted to me—and will do all in your power to promote my happiness, which with kindness from you will not be a very difficult task.

I promised you that I would not think of anything but <p.2> happiness—but do you think that I can be happy when you are gone?

It will seem like an age from the time of your departure till your return. Would that I could spend a while in communion with you—but how this is to be I cannot say, without you and Jose will walk up to Mr Allens this evening. Mary & I are going up directly after dinner. It will not make any difference about Jose for he knows it all.

We are going to live in an atmosphere of love are we not?

I love you very much dearest, and would not live without you—Yours, Mildred.

### II.C.b.18. William to Mildred, “Wednesday Eve.”

Wednesday Eve.

My own dear One,

Yes, you are very, very dear to me: joy of my heart, hope of my life, my “sunlight, starlight, moonlight”. I must thank you for your affectionate note, it was all love, indeed I have read it over almost a thousand times, so you know how dearly I prize it.

“Such bliss divine
To see thee; hear thee, call thee mine”

Oh how delightfull it is to think of the happiness that is in store for us. O we will live in an atmosphere of love, we will build an earthly heaven of our own, where love, true love will reign reme. Will not our flowers bloom more beautiful than other’s? I sometimes think that the sun will shine brighter over us, than elsewhere. We will have evergreens planted <p.2> around, emblematick of \our/ love, and then I will be so kind to you, and love you so much.

This afternoon I felt so happy with you, those sweet smiles I know I will not forget.

The thought of leaving you for a short time gives me much pain now, and how I shall endure it when the time comes for us to part awhile, a short while, I do not know; we will think of the joy when we meet again, this will soften the pain of absence.

“There’s not a breeze that fans the flower, Or wakes the sombre tree, There’s not a wind that kiss the wave, That whispers not of thee;

There’<s> not a single bud or flower, That opes to bird of bee, There’<s> not a line in wood or bower But sweetly smiles of thee.

<p.3> At morning bright, at stilly noon, At evenings tranquil hour, My soul is filled with dreams of love And owns its magic power”

Good night, my sweet one, may heaven guard your slumber, and bless you. Will you write me another little note to morrow? one full of love like the other. I will look for it in the port-folio.

affectionately,

William

To Miss Mildred }

### II.C.a.10. Mildred to William, dated “Thursday Night”

Thursday Night

Mr Wheatley

Circumstances which I need not mention prevented me from writing this morning. I realize more fully each day that my heart is yours, yes, entirely yours—and I now consider it in such safe keeping that I would not take it back for worlds. Yes, I love you dear one, as you will never find another capable of loving you again. From the time I saw you first you have haunted me in my walking [sic] thoughts spite of all my struggles, and in my dreams—you have been alone all the joy, and all the sorrow of my existence. <p.2> I do passionately with my whole heart, fondly love you, and my constant wish is that I may indeed be the “sunlight, starlight, and moonlight”, of your heart. Our home will be a paradise pure and holy, where we will hold converse sweet and should the sun refuse to shine more brightly there than elsewhere—it will be made brighter by the love light your eyes emit.

The time is fast approaching when we must part for a short time—though every moment will be an age of misery, when you are gone.—yet it \is/ right that you should go and I will try and not be so selfish as to wish you not to go.

You will return I know as soon <p.3> as possible—and then each smile and word will will be double sweet, for having been deprived of it a while.

I am a little inclined to doubt the number of times you say you have read my note.

May you awake with a light heart and a face radiant with smiles, is the wish of

[Mildred’s signature has been cut out]

### II.C.b.17. William to Mildred, “Monday Eve.”

Monday Eve

My beloved one,

Words are inadequate to express the feelings of joy, I experienced upon reading your affectionate note of Thursday Eve. O, my precious angel, my heart is unutterably full of love for you: every thought, every wish is absorbed in your happiness. Upon my heart you have set a seal, to keep its waters pure, and chasten \each/ desire and thought. I know you feel that I love you, but O, my dearest one, you have no conception of the depth and fervor of my affection. I have given you a faithful, true heart: its first, its best, its only love.

I feel that we are joined inseperably, and our souls will blend in sweetest communion: our happy life will glide on like an <p.2> unruffled stream, and no cloud shall ever rise over our pathway.

You remember the beautiful lines I read from Lalla Rookh,2 the other day. I sometimes fancy they were written for me, as they express the first dawn of love so beautifully.

Oh there are looks and tones that dart An instant sunshine though the heart,— As if it had that moment caught The treasure it through life had sought.3

Is it not expressive? Yes my sweet one, the first moment I beheld you, my heart seemed to leap with joy, and my only thought was, “how shall I make myself worthy of her love?” Many, many hours through the silent night, when the world was wrapt in slumber, have I passed thinking of you, and in my daily walks, those sweet blue eyes followed me continually.

At first, I deemed it impossible to love you \any/ more than I then did! but I <p.3> find that I love you dearer every day, and I now feel that my life is yours. Yes! I had rather leave this beautiful joy-giving world, to night than live without you. This, this is love.

How often I think of our happy home, where sunshine and love will ever smile. Where flowers will bloom unceasingly, and gladness and joy eternally reign.

You are so much engaged through the day, I cannot ask you to write me to morrow, but will you write to morrow night? I know you will, and I shall be so happy to hear from you, for it will be all glowing with love. Good night, slumber sweetly:

William

To Miss Mildred

### II.C.a.9. Mildred to William, dated “Night”

Night

Mr Wheatley

Allow me to thank you for your many expressions of love for me, which seem to overbrim my cup of happiness. My king! my idol, my paragon of love and perfection! To know that you love me—that I am precious in your sight—is worth worlds to me.

I know you will be true to me—that all your tenderest thoughts are centred in the blue eyed girl of your choice that loves you so unutterably. I have never before been able to discriminate between love and friendship—but now I am convinced that <p.2> never loved before—for my feelings for you are different to wha any I ever experience<d> before.

My heart goes out to you with all the resistless might of my nature.

In this language of Moore would that we could select a home aside from the wor<l>d,

“Where the bright eyes of angels only Should come around us to behold A paradise so pure and lonely,”4

where I could forever bask in the sunlight of your smiles. I feel so sad about you leaving, and if it were not for the loved ones that await your coming, I should plead with you to stay—but I know they all love you and will prize the visit very much—therefore I say go but while there you <p.3> must not forget that there is a heart in the west that yearns for the mere tones of your voice the touch of your hand or one glance from out those eyes of tenderness.

Good-night, and may blessings attend you.

Affectionately

Millie

### II.C.b.20. William to Mildred, “Wednesday Eve.”

Wednesday Eve.

My own dear one,

Like the true christian devotee, I cannot retire to night without paying my vows. To morrow I shall be absent and will miss your smiles, but my thoughts will be with you as they ever are. Yes, my beloved, there is not a moment but what I am thinking of you, and it is misery to be from your presence.

Oh, how much I will prize the miniature—and the lock of hair, when I get them! though your image is contained in the very tendrils of my heart, it will be a sweet satisfaction to see your lovely features reflected before me. I know I shall be kissing it constantly, <p.2> when far from you, how my soul will pant for those heavenly smiles which bless me now. Will I not watch the last rays of the setting sun, and think of my sun, in the far distant west, whose beams shall never fade? Yes my love, I know you will love me truly and tenderly, whether absent or at your side. Absence makes the heart grow fonder, and when I return, happy in presence—Oh, my darling angel, how I will love you, my precious one.

By this time to morrow night, the “Rubicon” will be passed when I trust we can say that we have our mothers sanction and good wishes.

I may not have an opportunity of seeing you before Friday, (a long time to a lover) Will you write me to morrow night so I can get it after our interview? do my love, I shall be happy to hear from you, those sweet assurances.—Sweet dreams attend you. Your devoted William.

### II.C.a.11. Mildred to William, dated “At Home”

At Home

Mr Wheatley:

I have been so constantly employed that I have not had time to write sooner. My love for you is as boundless as the waters that encompass the earth, love thee! Yes, with all my hearts fond devotion, not a thought—but what is of thee—whether absent or present, and I know that years will weave the threads of our two lives together—and the love in our hearts shall grow brighter with the dawn of each day.

The moments I spend with you are like sun glimpse<d> through a shower—a bright ray that is sun but an instant from between <p.2> the closing clouds.

Please write me one more note—a good long one. I will read it over till I get one from Peoria.

Good night, my hearts dear love. May sweet repose and rest attend thee.

Affectionately

Millie

### II.C.b.19. William to Mildred, “Saturday Night”, beginning “How can I sufficiently”, with an envelope containing a card tucked inside

Saturday Night

My precious love,

How can I sufficiently thank you for the many manifestations and assurances of love expressed in your affectionate notes: when I read them, my soul is filled with a sweet delirium of delight.

I have tried in vain, to express my love for you; words cannot tell it, such deep, fervent, inexhaustible love; as well might I try to trace the orbits of the planets, with the naked eye, or count the myriad stars that shine so brightly above us.

Some poet, (Tupper I think) beautifully <p.2> defines love as “an ocean in a tear, a whirlwind in a sigh, a heaven at a glance”

What inexpressible joy it is, to be in the presence of those we love? A place at once holy, where none but holy thoughts can intrude; to hear the tender accents breathe fresh from the heart, which lingers on the ear like the melody of richest music; to see the soft, tender eyes, lit by truth and love, and feel the soft touch of the hand, which thrills the soul with sweetest emotion.

My sweet angel, ours is no common love: there is something heavenly in its nature. We did not learn to love. Oh, no, it was the spontaneous gushing of the soul, like waters in the earth, which seek a natural outlet, a love weaved by truth, which death alone can ____.

The showers of April come, go, and are <p.3> forgotten: flowers bloom, wither and decay, and their beauty fades from the sight; not so with the heart, it knows no change, and will love on unceasingly—and love on forever.

A few more short hours, and I shall leave scenes rendered sacred and dear to me: the place where the sunshine of love burst upon my soul, and will I not cherish in my heart each loved scene? The memory of each happy hour, spent with you?

I thought I would leave with a light heart, but spite of all, a feeling of sadness comes over me which I cannot suppress, the thought of being so long from your smiles I cannot bear, to be parted from all that is dear to me on earth, my hearts own love, my guardian angel, my hope, my joy, my life!

<p.4> The word, Farewell, for trembling lips, Falls heavy on my heart. And sadness fills my aching breast, For loved ones now must part. The cloud that flits across the sky, Is like this transient sorrow. The sun that sets in gloom to day, Will brightly shine to morrow.

Yes I will soon return. I know there is an eye to mark my coming and a kiss to greet me when I come, and oh! then how I will prize each look and word.

May God bless you, my darling one, and keep his guardian hand over you.

You must not fail to write soon as you return from the fair, will you? I will be so anxious to hear from you.

William

To Miss Mildred

[Enclosed card:]

My precious love—

With this I send you a copy of Willis’ Poems to beguile some of the weary hours that must pass during my absence.

I leave to night—May God bless you, my dear, darling angel. Farewell—devotedly

William

## II. William’s Trip to Northumberland (Oct.-Dec. 1857)

### VII.B.b.7. Mildred to William, Val de Moulin, “Sunday Evening” [11 Oct. 1857]

Val de Moulin

Sunday Evening. \Oct/

Mr Wheatley.

As every letter adds a new link to the chain of affection, I think it not amiss to write to you the earliest opportunity. But a few days have passed away since your departure, yet it seems like a month since last I looked into those mild loving eyes, or heard the music of the voice that echoed so pleasantly to my ear. Though fate has placed a barrier of many miles between us—and we are denied the sweets of social intercourse, the language of the pen may still penetrate its distance, and forms in some <p.2> measure a substitute for the absence of a loved one.

Please accept many thanks for for [sic] the present you sent by Joseph. I read it through as I came home Saturday—and was very much pleased.

I never realized half how much I loved you till before—my soul and heart are entirely devoted to you—I “have given you my hearts best affection”—and I know you are more than worthy—for I feel that you love me—truly and devotedly. I cannot imagine how I am to pass the time during your absence—so as to avoid the blues I intend to only think of your return—not of the long lonely days that must elapse before I see you again.

I prize your likeness so much—it is such a solace to have your <p.3> features reflected before me.

Joseph has received ever so many letters from your friends—all satisfactory I suppose but I did not read any of them.

I am beginning to not thing so well of Mrs Smith, as you would have me—for I think she has treated you rather unkindly.

I believe there is no gossip afloat about us—everything is quiet.

Please write to <me> often and tell me when you think you will return. I would write more but it is very late.

Goodbye love—my heart’s fondest idol May you have a pleasant visit and a speedy return

God bless you dearest.

Affectionately

Mildred

### II.C.b.26. William to Mildred, “Peoria Ill., Monday Morning” [12 Oct. 1857]

Peoria Ill.

Monday Morning

My beloved one,

This bright beautiful morning seems in mockery of my feelings, for I am sad and lonely. Oh, my sweet angel, without your smiles, this world is all a blank to me. I think of you constantly. I would give anything could I but see your dear face again. When we parted, I tried in vain to stifle my feelings, As I passed out <of> the hall, spite of all my efforts, a tear drop<p>ed for you—the silent language of a heart overflowing with love.

I arrived here Saturday afternoon about 6 o’clock, and indeed very <p.2> unexpectedly. I ascertained at St. Louis that should the trains connect at Alton, the trip could be made—and luckily they did. I was very glad indeed, for it is much better to spend a Sabbath among friends that [=than] be with strangers.

I had the satisfaction of hearing a good Presbyterian sermon, and good singing—Oh! how I wished that you were here to enjoy it with me, (for I have no joy or pleasure but what I share with you) Could you have heard the 148th Psalm sung by the choir, and the deep swelling tones of the organ: what happiness it would have afforded \me/ for I know that you have a soul to appreciate them.

Mrs Smith and the girls seemed very glad to see me again and insist upon me remaining some <p.3> time with them, but I must <go> on and get through with my business, for I long to get back to you. Mrs. S. says that she wrote me some ten days since, and <it> is doubtless now at the P.O. She was prompt in responding to my note, and handed it to her son John to send me, but neglected to send it owing to press of business. This will account for not receiving an earlier answer. I think they are most excellent folks. Mrs. S. knows Mr Painter of Boonville intimately, and made many inquiries about him and the church. I know not what she wrote to your Ma. I have not asked her or John, but I am very willing for you to open the letter and see yourself, for I want you to know all. You can also show it to your Ma, it is due her.

<p.4> In some unaccountable \way/ I have lost the lock of hair you gave me. I put it safely away, as I thought, but could not find it anywhere when I looked again for it—Do not think me careless—will you? I know I highly prized it—Please send me another braid when you next write, it will be a great satisfaction to me.

I will start this morning for home via Philadelphia, from which place you will hear again from me. I will write you often, and you must write me at least twice a week. I shall be so happy to hear from you—My precious jewel, for you are far dearer to me than life.

I said to Jose’s address two papers for you, good Presbyterian news.

Good bye, my sweet love, may God bless and protect you—is my fervent prayer.

Truly & devotedly

To Miss Mildred }

### II.C.a.1. Mildred to William, Val de Moulin, [Sat.] 17 Oct. 1857

Val de Moulin

Oct 17th 1857

Mr Wheatley.

I flattered myself all last week that its close would bring news of my beloved William, and I thank you most heartily for not disappointing me.

Thou art the sunlight of my soul—what balm—what bliss is in each ray—would that I were permitted to enjoy just one this evening. My soul is filled with thy image, my every thought is of thee.

“I love thee—I dream of thee:
I sing of thee, by day
And all the night I hear the<e> talk:
And yet thou’rt far away!
I love \thee,/ I trust in thee:
Thou trusteth me alone:
And so the time flies happily
Though thou’rt far away”

<p.2> I am so glad you had to go away for had you always been near—I never should have known how much I loved you.

I love you dearly—devotedly—with every feeling and passion and hope of my heart—I feel that you love me truly and devotedly—and that our life will be one sweet dream of happiness.

I am grateful for the tear you let fall when we parted, a pang of grief and loneliness more bitter than I ever felt before wrung my heart and I wept in all the abandonment of bitter grief.

It is my hearts fondest desire that we may never part again.

If I am real glad to see you when you return you will never leave me again will you?

I opened your mother’s and Sister’s miniatures as you directed—I love them both—your Mother especially <p.3> you know I would love a face so like your own—were it not your Mothers.

I have seven letters for you, one of which is from your friend Mr Smith.

Now for news in general. Mr Allen has returned and from the way he treats me I think he believes you gone for good.

It is generally understood that you are not to return. I was jesting with Mr Bradford the other day about not liking Pash, and he said very emphatically that if he had an interest in the family he might pet the dog.

Every time I try to talk with <him> he says something like this, so I shall not trouble him any more—for I believe him a perfect woman hater.

I want to see you so much—but would not hasten you to return—for I know that there are dear ones that <p.4> it will be a sore trial for them to give you up entirely.

But I am going to be very kind if you don’t make me afraid of you again.

I seems like an age since I saw you, yet it has only been ten days. I know my heart will long for one glance of love, long, long before I see you again.

It would hardly be prudent for me to write to you oftener than once a week.

Many thanks for the papers you sent me. I shall read them next week.

God bless thee—my hearts fondest idol May peace and happiness abide with \you/ is the wish of

Mildred.

### II.C.b.1. William to Mildred, Northumberland, [Tues.] 20 Oct. 1857

Northumberland Pa.

October 20th 1857

My own sweet Love,

I know you will be glad to learn of my safe arrival at home. “Home, sweet home”. I came here Saturday last, and certainly intended writing you on Sunday, according to promise; some of my Shamokin friends were here awaiting my return, and insisted on my going with them home—I did so, and returned only this morning: this prevented me from writing sooner. Be assured, my sweet darling, that I will write you often. In my letter from Peoria, I told you that I would write from Philadelphia. I arrived there <p.2> late in the night, weary and fatigued from travel, and left next morning early, for home.

I am here, my dearest angel, surrounded by those who love me, but it seems not home without you. I love them all very much, but I long to be with you, for I am miserable <away> from you presence, and all seems dark and dreary, where your smiles are not. I will soon return and then I will be so happy to see your dear face again, and hear your sweet voice. In all my wanderings, dearest one my thoughts have not for a moment turned from you, and my constant wish is that I may soon be with you again.

I often think of you all, at home, seated around the “Ingle side”, and I know it must make you feel sad to see my chair vacant—there is a voice you miss, but I am with you <p.3> always.

It affords me much pleasure to say that father, mother, and sisters are all very well—they hoped that I was going to remain with them, but are now entirely reconciled to my leaving them again.

Soon after I came, I laid your ambrotype upon the centre table, without saying a word to any about it. Sister soon discovered the stranger and of course there was a great wondering who it was, and where it came from. All declared that they knew nothing about it, and none had ever seen any person it resembled. You can imagine the scene when I told them that I would introduce \soon/ that person to them as daughter and sister. They already love you very much, and I know you will love them when you see and know them. Mother and sisters say that we must soon <p.4> come in, they are exceedingly anxious to see more of you. I think we must gratify them. Father is a very reserved man, and don’t talk much, but he paid you a great compliment. I assure you that it requires an extraordinary occasion to bring any encomiums from him, so you can have an idea how you stand in his estimation.

There are doubtless several letters for me, also some ambrotypes. Please take all of them in charge for me untill I come back. There has been a number of testimonials sent Josie for me. My friends thought that I would leave before the letters could reach me, so were sent to Josie. I know not what they re, but trust they will be satisfactory.

I told you to open the letter from Peoria, in which is Mrs Smith’s note. When she wrote it, she had no idea what my object was, supposing it was for ordinary business <p.5> matters. I told her all about it, for with her our secret is safe. Had she known what my object was in writing her, she said that she would <have> been pleased to have addressed a note to you. She looks upon the whole matter as entirely providential, and says we should bless the Lord for his goodness in bringing about so much happiness for us.

During our stay at Boonville, I ascertained all about Josie’s affair with Mary S. I know his real feelings about it—for he told me without reserve all in connection with it—without any solicitation whatever. When I next write, I will tell you all.

I expected a letter from you to day, but am disappointed. I am so anxious to hear from you. You must not fail to write twice a week while I am here.

Good bye—my precious one—you are <p.6> the best and kindest of creatures, and I love you so truly and tenderly—Remember me kindly to Ma. Hoping to hear from you soon I am with truest affection your devoted

William

To Miss Mildred }

### II.C.a.2. Mildred to William, Val de Moulin, [Fri.] 23 Oct. 1857

Val de Moulin

Oct. 23rd 1857

Mr Wheatley.

Good morning! How fares it with you now? Was the heart of the absent son and brother made glad upon his return with the heart-beaming smiles of affection that greeted him? Dearest you are all the world to me—I live but in your presence. I have twined the tendrils of my heart’s best affection around you as my hearts dearest earth<l>y treasure. It was all a delusion about me having loved another—then it was a calm sober common place kind of feeling, while now it is raging in my breast like a mighty tempest—(sweet, heavenly love) with such strength that I am almost over powered. If this be not love <p.2> tell me what is? But I know that it \is/ love—yes deep unalterable love, that will never cease—but “live on through all ills and live till we die” Will we not be very happy? for as you have said “ours is no common love”, and it seems that it we were intended for each other.

I live but to love, and be beloved and I thank heaven for that it has given \me/ such a priceless treasure as thy love.

Our County Fair comes off this week the exhibitions are as good as could be expected.

Capt Ean’s daughter is up—left here this morning. Her husband made very particular inquiry about that Mr Wheatley that was here last summer—but I was not able to give him any information.

You remember about us teasing Mary about Alex Farris? Well to <p.3> complete the joke the old man was in Boonville last week and went to see Mary.

I expect to go to spend part and likely \all/ of next week with Mrs Williamson. Will you not send one pitying thought to me? I know I shall be very closely questioned. Mr Stapleton has lately got in a great phiz (I can call it nothing else) to marry—has been down near Jefferson to see a lady, before he went he had a very nice suit of clothes made and after he had dressed up in he said he presumed that was the finest suit that had ever been seen about there, meaning the lady’s residence.

I have given you all the news except a little that I have reserved with the hope of soon having an opportunity to tell you verbally.

You will scarcely expect a very long letter this time, since I have written two before this, and received but one. I know you have written though and hope to get a letter the next time I hear from the office

Good-bye, my dearest love, may heaven’s choicest blessing rest upon thee.

Don’t forget that you are remember<ed> each lone hour by

Mildred.

### II.C.b.23. William to Mildred, “At Home, Sunday Evening” [25 Oct. 1857]

At Home

Sunday Evening

My precious Love,

Your affectionate letter of Sunday Eve has reached its destination safely, and is now before me.

I am very thankful for your kindness in writing so soon, for I was very anxious to hear from you. I am looking for another message from you in answer to mine from Peoria—perhaps you are writing this very night—I hope so.

To know that you love me, that I am dear to you, fills my cup of happiness—yea, overflowing—Oh! my dearest angel, how can I repay you for such love, such devotedness! All <p.2> that my poor heart can bestow is inadequate, and I feel so utterly unworthy. I do love you, dearest, truly, tenderly and devotedly, though far, far away from the object of its affection, that heart beats truly, and warmly. Yes it beats for you only, and years will strengthen our love, and unite more closely together. How I long for the time when I can clasp your hand in mine, and, looking in those eyes of love and tenderness, call you, My own sweet Millie, this will fill my soul with ecstacy—with inexpressible joy.

I carry your likeness with me constantly and would not be without it for the world. When I kiss the inanimate glass, I sometimes really wonder why you don’t smile.

Absence from you falls so heavily on me, I know I shall never leave you <p.3> again, and what would I not give to be this moment transported to you—there by your side, feast my eyes with a glance at that dear face.

Mildred, Mildred,—how I love to ponder on that dear name, name in which is centred all my joy, hope, and life; it sounds like the whispering of some angel spirit far away, calling me—and will I not respond? I know there is a hand that beckons me back—a smile that waits my coming, and a heart that loves me well.

You must be cheerful while I am away, and not think of my absence, but of my return. Mother and sisters sometimes seem quite vexed because I am not more contented, and say, that if I don’t improve, they will have to send me back.

I long to be with you again, but can<p.4>not yet say to any certainty when I shall start. It will be sometime next month at least. I will advise you in time, for I want to get back the very evening you expect me.

To morrow I send a “Presbyterian” to Josie’s address for you. Joseph must not fail to write to me. Do write often—you know how anxious I am to hear from you—Kindest _____ to Ma, and all—

Good-bye my sweet darling, my own precious love! May God bless, and protect you, is the fervent prayer of

William

### II.C.a.3. Mildred to William, Val de Moulin, [Wed.] 28 Oct. 1857

Val de Moulin

Oct 28th 1857.

Mr Wheatley.

Many thanks for your long looked for letter which came in safely this afternoon—and to show you how grateful I am for your attention, I respond immediately—”if not sooner”. I think of you continually all through the long day, and at night I dream of you.

When you return—your presence will indeed be happiness—your smile the sunlight that will bring into existence the bursting buds of affection, that will bloom on without ceasing—and bloom on forever. Like light to my eye, like life to my heart, is the thought of your return. You will soon return, love, and <p.2> make glad the heart of one that loves you too truly, to know how well.

I am proud of a place in your Mother’s and Sister’s affections—and I hope to be able to \deserve/ repay it by making your fireside one of the dearest places on earth. I also place an inestimable value upon your Father’s “compliment”.

You will not be gone very much longer will you? It seems that you have been gone an age already.

I think very kindly of Mrs Smith for speaking so well of you, in her note to Ma—and I do heartily indorse every word that she says relative to ourselves.

You remember the little lady I spoke to when we went in the arena (I suppose) at the Fair. Well she has been out to Versailles, and her and Tommy carried on a real flirtation.

Thos was telling me this evening, that he didn’t know how he succeeded—but that he tried to look loving. Bud says she exults in the <p.3> conquest, but that he told her “she had better not be too sure, for Tommy loved a dozen more just as well \as/ he did her.”

I did not go to Mrs Williamson’s this week as I expected—have been trying to beg off but Ma says I must go next week. Ma has visited her since you left, gave a long lecture on girls marrying strangers, thinks there should be a law to prohibit it. Oh I do dread going so much.

Received a letter from Sister a few days since—says she is delighted, and loves Mrs Bell very much—almost as well as Mr Sutherland.

Jose told me as we came home that he came very near speaking to Mary Smith about old times, but some trifling occurrence prevented, and I am not sorry, for it would not have availed him anything. I will give you Mary’s heart history some of these days.

I have sought to drown unpleasant thoughts in the performance of daily duties and <p.4> I think I have succeeded admirably so far—but I am fearful that I shall yet have the blues before you get home. Please write me when you expect to start back, so that I may not begin to look too soon, for I expect I shall be disappointed many times, at best.

How I do wish you was here this evening. I would listen so attentively to every word that would fall from your lips—and I would tell you so many things that would be too simple to write so far. May God bless and guide thee, my heart’s own love.

Good-bye, may bright stars shine around you—yea even the brightest.

Write soon,

Devotedly

Mildred.

### II.C.b.2. William to Mildred, Northumberland, [Sun.] 1 Nov. 1857

Northumberland Pa.

November 1st 1857

My own sweet Love

Please accept my heart-felt thanks for your kind and affectionate letter of 17th ult. I am truly grateful for your manifold kindness and am happy with the thought that I am precious in your sight.

To be blest with your love, so pure and holy, is all I desire in this world, and to live in the sunlight of your smiles, and hear the whisperings of love from your sweet, silvery voice, is the perfection of happiness. Yes, my precious jewel, with you, I am happy, and had I a thousand hearts, I would devote them all to you.

<p.2> My soul glows with deep, fervent and undying love for you, and every thought, feeling and wish of my heart is of you. You are the light and joy of my life, the hope of my existence

In this desert world, it is sweet to know that there is one bright spot, to look upon, where verdure ever smiles and flowers bloom unceasingly. ’Tis there my love dwells, whose smiles are lovelier than the morning beams, and whose voice is sweeter than richest music.

Oh! that I could tell you the depth of my love! My whole heart and soul, every feeling and affection of my nature, I devote to you. I know you feel that I love you devotedly, and am only happy with you.

I will be true and faithful to you, my darling—Oh, I will love you so much and be so kind to you! The close of each day <p.3> will find us more firmly united; our hopes, our joys, our lives will be one, and in the rich depths of our love, we shall share the boundless stores of bliss.

How often I think of our home—our paradise, whose joy and happiness will ever reign—you do not know how kind I will be to you, how I will study your every want, and anticipate every desire, and with my love and devotion, with my smiles, my kindness, and my caresses, I know you will never be afraid of me again, will you?

You must be real glad to see me when I return, and I never will leave you again. No, my sweet one, I will never leave you any more, but be always with you, your true, faithful, and devoted William.

Please retain the letters addressed to me, untill I return, none of them require immediate attention.

<p.4> I am very glad that you are pleased with the likeness of Mother and Sister. I know they will love you very much, and you will love them when you know them.

Please tell me how Mr. A—n treats you—and what he says of me to you—since I would not buy his farm, perhaps he may not think so well of me—his friendship at best, is not very reliable—

As for Mr B—d, I have great sympathy for his imbecility—and think him an object more of pity, than censure—though what he says is not very flattering—In truth I think him a mankind hater, and there is no more feeling or affection about him than there is in a gate post.

Please write me often as you can, you are lost to sight, yet dear to my heart.

Good night, my sweet angel, that God may bless you—is the prayer of your devoted

William

### II.C.b.22. William to Mildred, “At Home, Sunday Evening” [Northumberland, 8 Nov. 1857]

At home

Sunday Evening

My beloved One,

I have just returned from a visit to my friends in Mountour and Union Counties, and found your affectionate letter awaiting my arrival. I intended writing you while absent from home, but could get no opportunity, so I defered it until now. Will my sweet one pardon me for neglecting her so long?

You do not know how much I prize your sweet letters. They are so kind and affectionate, and so full of love, pure and heavenly love. How I think of the loving eyes that glanced over the pages, and the dear hand that traced the lines. <p.2> Yes, dearest, I think of you always, and every wish and feeling of my heart turns to the one, whom I love so much. I have but one theme to dwell upon—love for my sweet Mildred. The hope and joy of my life.

I feel that the love we have for each other is sincere and pure, and will never fade. I know we will live happily together, and time will only serve to strengthen our affection. My chief delight will be to make you happy, and when you are happy, I shall be. You will love me, and I will love you—so our lives will pass sweetly along.

If I were blest with but one smile from your dear face, or could hear but one word from your sweet voice to night I could retire with a light heart, and dream fondly of my absent one—Oh! how many days must pass be<p.3>fore I see you—Time passes wearily along, but I must take it philosophically and endure it with patience.

Before this reaches you, you will have made your visit to Mrs Williamson. Pray when you next write, tell me all about it. I suppose she had a great deal to say about me: if not I will be agreeably disappointed. She is something of a Meg-Merriles, and if you are not cautious will pry out the last secret. But I have great faith in you, and believe you can manage the matter admirably—

How do you and Mr Bradford come along? I think he ought to take larger doses of his favorite narcotic, perhaps he would be more liberal, and like cash better.

I was going to tell you about Josie’s matter with Mary Smith, but I had better wait untill I see you. I think it will admit of a good deal of talking. <p.4> He writes me that he made an effort at a reconciliation, or a better understanding, but failed entirely.

This week I intend to do all my visiting out of town, and I shall be heartily glad when it is over, for some I am compelled to visit, & do so more from propriety than inclination, for instance my baptist cousins.

Please tell me the news, reserved untill I come—will you not forget it? tell me in your next—

I hope this will reach you in better time than its predecessors—this is the fifth one I have sent since I left you.

The town clock has just struck two & I must say good-night to you—my sweet darling, my precious love—may God bless you, and protect you—and grant me the blessing of of [sic] seeing you soon is the heart felt wish of

William

To Miss Mildred }

Val-de-Moulin }

### II.C.b.3. William to Mildred, “Sunday Evening”, 15 Nov. 1857

Sunday Evening

November 15th 1857

My dearest One,

I have the pleasure of announcing the arrival of another of your very affectionate letters, for which please accept my sincere thanks.

If thoughts could recognise each other, what meetings and greetings there would be on the way between Val-de-Moulin and this. I think of \you/ constantly, and my earnest wish is that I may soon be restored to my beloved Mildred. My love for you increases every day, and the flame of devotion kindled in my breast will burn unceasingly and grow brighter and brighter.

I have cherished in my heart each fond look and smile, and each work spoken yet lingers on my ear. Were I with you now, <p.2> my sweet one, I would tell you the depth of my heart’s devotion, of a love pure as the crystal fountain, fresh as the morning rose just colored, and unchangeable as the true christian’s faith.

Time passes wearily with me, and I am heartily tired of town life, and long to be back to you. It seems an age since I left, yet, I know the close of each day brings me nearer you. You will be happy to see me again, will you not? I know you love me truly and devotedly, and long to hear the word of one that loves you dearer than his own life—yea dearer than his own soul.

I wrote you than I would start back some time this month, and I will endeavor to make my promise good. I know, dearest, you will not think that I would stay a moment longer than I could help.

Soon as I make my appearance, all the gossips will be busy—and the news will fly <p.3> from “Dan to Bar-sheba”,5 to your great annoyance, and this troubles me very much: but how is <it> to be avoided? I suppose the best way is to go right along, and not notice any of their croakings.

Mother would like me to stay at home longer, this is very natural, for I have always known that I was her favorite. I read part of your last letter to her—(that which speaks of her) she feels now, that you love me and will be very kind to me. Rest assured, my darling, that you will be beloved by her, and all my brothers and sisters.

I have yielded to brother John’s wishes and sent your likeness for him and sister Mary to see.

I have my things all packed, ready to start, and am only waiting for an address from Joseph, that there may <be> no danger of loosing them.

Josie writes me very unfavorable news about <p.3> Caltner’s place. I was in hopes that I could get it, it would be very pleasant to be so near home. I still hope I can get a place without going far from home. I am negotiating for some land in Pettis County in case I cannot do better. The land can be had at a low price, and think it will be of great value soon. It is about twenty five miles from home. Joseph has advised me to buy it, and I think well of it. Should I fail to get a place nearer, would you be willing to live there? Will you say like loving Minnehaha, “I will follow thee”—wherever fate may place us I will love and protect you and cling to you with all the fervor of my soul.

I have a ring for you—which you must wear for me, as a pledge of my love and devotion. I purchased two, lest I might miss your taste, one I would like to give Miss Mary, for I love her with true brotherly affection. If I thought it safe I would send them to you, for fear of accident would it not be better to retain them <p.5> until I see you. I will also have many presents for you from Mother, and all at home. Write me often, love. Your sweet letters seem to bring me nearer you. “My love will grow intenser in our absence, and again burn with a tender glow when I return.”

Good night dearest. May the giver of all good bless you.

Truly & devotedly

### II.C.a.4. Mildred to William, Val de Moulin, [Sat.] 21 Nov. 1857

Val de Moulin

Nov 21st 1857

Mr Wheatley,

Two of your letters with contents duly considered are before me—for which I thank you most heartily, and to show you that I am not insensible to such kindness I forfeit my word and write to you again. To think of you, is my first my last (you might) say my only occupation—at morning—and at night—waking or sleeping, my thoughts rest on you—and the hope of seeing you soon, fills my heart with delight that words cannot express. “The love we have for each other <p.2> is sincere and pure”, and will never fade”.6 No, never—but love on till we die.

Yes, we will be happy, and I know, or believe, that you will be very kind to me—at lest I hope to never deserve any harsh words, or frowns. It seems to me that an unkind word from you would inflict an incurable wound. But you will never be unkind if I act my part well, will you? Say no, and then I \will/ say I will never be afraid of you any more.

Part of the news I reserved till your return, is too simple to write so far, and the other is that I have received two letters from the gentleman that I spoke of to you, and Ma has received one. Ma has responded, but I don’t intend to <p.3> without you should advise to the contrary. I saw him at the Fair but only said “Good morning John”. Ma says I am not treating you right, but I cannot see why, for you know all about the affair and I have done nothing without consulting you. Do you feel that I am not acting right? If so you must not feel and delicacy in telling me—for if I have done amiss it was not intentional, and you must not feel hurt.

Mr Allen does not treat me amiss—but very distantly as though he had some cause—has forgotten you I presume—as he has never mentioned your name to any of the family. When you come back and he begins tries to be friendly—I believe I shall be a little obstinate.

For the last two weeks Mr Bradford has been staying with Mr Caltner. I did not mean to censure him for I pity him very much. I expect his heart’s history would be a sad one.

I expect he is equally as fond of whiskey as opium—as he was very much intoxicated last Saturday.

I did forget the lock of hair the first letter—and afterwards I thought you would soon be back, and didn’t suppose you would be very particular about it.

Good-night my heart’s own love—may God bless you, and protect you, and grant you a safe and speedy return to the heart that would be desolate without you.

Mildred

### II.C.b.4. William to Mildred, Northumberland, [Mon.] 23 Nov. 1857

Northumberland Pa.

November 23d 1857

My Sweet Love,

I had set apart last evening to write you but defered it until to night, hoping to hear from you, but am disappointed.

“I miss thee each lone hour, Star of my heart! No other voice hath power Joy to impart. Voices, the true and kind, Strange are to me; I have lost heart and mind, Thinking of thee.”

I hope, dearest, that it will not be long before I see you, for I am miserable <p.2> without you. I know, this very hour, that I love you more than I ever have—Oh! it is perfect idolatry, and without you life would be a blank. Romeo climbed the garden walls to see his beloved Juliet, Leander swam the dark Hellespont to meet his faithful Hero, and William would go to the farthest corner of creation to greet his darling Mildred—to see one sweet smile, or hear one single word from her lips.

Winter is here in earnest, and we are having excessively cold weather. The streams are all frozen, and the chill November wind whether mournfully past the door. As we sit by our comfortable fire side, let us “remember the poor”. There is much distress in this section of country in consequence of the “hard times”, and hardly a \day/ passes but what we are called upon for charity. The winter has just commenced, and, how <p.3> the great number who can find no employment is going to survive it, heaven only knows. You may think very strangely of me writing of such things, but I cannot help thinking of them.

Next Thursday will be observed generally, as a day of thanksgiving throughout this state. All the business houses will be closed, and service in all the churches. Mother is going to give a family dinner, and how I wish you could be here. I will think you are here.

Some of the folk here begin to suspect that something unusual is going on, and I have a hard time to lead them astray. Some of the old gentleman [sic] from whom I got letters, knew at once, mighty well what I wanted of them, and have asked me about the matter, but I do my best to evade their questions, as yet <p.4> it is all conjecture with them, but I think many of them will not let their suspicions be known.

Mother tells me that the synod meets here this week, and three or four preachers will be at our house several days, so I shall have to be very circumspect. They are all good, sensible preachers, and I shall be very glad to see them.

I trust the next time I write I will be able to say when I will start for home, were it possible I would go tomorrow—but I have many things to arrange previous to my departure, which is all for our good, so you must bear with me, my sweet one, if I am detained a few days longer than I anticipated at first. I will write you this week again. Please write soon dearest, just think of it, ten days \since/ I heard from you—I hope Ma is well ere this—May God bless you, my sweet angel.

Truly & affectionately

### VII.B.b.3. Mildred to William, Val de Moulin, [Fri.] 27 Nov. 1857

Val de Moulin

Nov 27th 1857.

Mr. Wheatley,

Yours of the 15th came, safely, to hand on the 23rd, and was read with feelings of inexpressible delight.

I have learned to expect a letter, every Monday, and it is so kind of you to not disappoint me.

I have been sitting here alone, thinking, till I feel real sad—my thoughts were with you, (as they always are) but from some unaccountable cause, they were of a more gloomy nature than usual.

But away with melancholy. I would not be sad when writing to you.

I will be happy with the thought that I am beloved by one that is my beau-ideal <p.2> of all that is good and noble, and if I knew myself I am capable of appreciating such devotion.

You know I “will be happy to see you again”7—when the time draws near for your arrival, I shall start at every foot-fall till you make your appearance, and when basking in the sunlight of your love, these long lonely days will be forgotten.

Act as your superior judgement may dictate, as regards the Pettis land—”I will follow thee” and beneath the sunshine of my dear William’s smile my heart will expand to happiness like a flower stretching forth its petals to the sun. It would be very pleasant to live nearer home, but 25 miles you know is not very far.

Ma and Jose are both decidedly in favor of it, think it would be a much <p.3> better purchase, than any you could make here.

Your Mother must not think anything else, but that I love you devotedly and mean to be very kind—should I never know the dear ones of your home personally, I will love them for your sake. I feel that I know them all, and they feel very near—especially your Mother.

You will not consider my love worthless now you possess it, will you? though I love you dearer than life, yet if you were to abuse my confidence, there8 is not a feeling but what my pride would overcome.

We will turn a deaf ear to the gossip, that will necessarily follow your arrival, and you must not feel bad on my account, for I intend to stay very closely at home, and will not <p.4> \give them/ any reason to talk, and if they do anyhow I will not hear it.

I will see you before very long, will I not? the time passes so slowly, but when once you are back you are not going to leave me anymore. You must certainly retain the rings till you come. I will wear the one you select—your taste will be mine.

As you are going to start home in this month I suppose it would be best to not write any more. Will you disappoint me if I look for you in about two weeks.

If possible please reply to this in person. Good night dearest, may kind \Heaven/ bless, and protect you is the prayer of

Mildred.

### II.C.b.5. William to Mildred, Northumberland, [Mon.] 30 Nov. 1857

Northumberland Pa.

November 30th 1857

My dearly beloved

I am very grateful for your affectionate letter of 21st inst. I have been looking anxiously for tidings from you and thought that you could not possibly leave me much longer without hearing from you, although you said I should not look for anything more.

Dearest you can hardly imagine how anxious I am to be back again, with you. Indeed I could not live without you. I have tried every enjoyment and employment and can find no pleasure here. In every thing my thoughts turn to you: the joy and hope of my life. A few more weary days will enable me to realize the <p.2> which has supported me during my long absence.

My love for you is as boundless as the air above us. You are far dearer to me than all this world. Our love and lives will sweetly blend together, and like the commingling of drops of water, once united—inseperable. Oh, my dear, darling Mildred, can you ever think, that I who love you so dearly and tenderly could ever be unkind, could say a harsh word to you, or cast a frown upon your dear face?—oh—no: no, never. I know your kind, and affectionate heart, and gentle, loving disposition, and know that you will always be true and kind to me. Now dearest in the presence of yonder worlds that shine so brightly to night, let me again assure you of my undying love, and constant devotion, and when these lips utter an unkind word to you, my “my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth”, and when these eyes cast a <p.3> frown upon you, may they be forever sealed from the light of heaven. If I did not feel what I say, I should not speak so.

I am exceedingly sorry that the gentleman you speak of has annoyed you again, and under the circumstances I should not hesitate a moment as to what course to pursue. Considering your former relation, you should not, by any means reply to his letters, but enclose them to him at once without saying a word. This would express more than you could by words. I think justice to him requires this to be done at once, the sooner, the better; all communication should cease, should you write you might, unconsciously, say something that would raise hopes—to be blasted, one word would bring another, and so on untill you would get so inveigled, that it might be troublesome to get extricated. If I could only see you instead of writing it would be so much more <p.4> satisfactory. If you prefer, let the matter remain untill I come, but what I said before, is the proper course. I trust Ma’s letter to him was decided—one that will not admit of any equivocation.

I will leave here for home (for the home where the heart is) 14th of Dec. and if there is any virtue in rail-road wheels I shall see you soon after, and oh! what a joyful hour it will be for me, to see your dear face again.

I will expect one more letter from you before my departure. Remember me kindly to Ma, and all. Good-bye dearest, for a short while. May God bless, and protect you, is the prayer of

William

To Miss Mildred M. Humes }
Val-de-Moulin, Mo. }

### II.C.b.6. William to Mildred, Northumberland, [Tues.] 8 Dec. 1857, and II.C.b.21, apparently the last page of the same letter

Northumberland Pa.

December 8th 1857

My own sweet Love,

I intended writing you Monday last, but was absent from here, and only returned this morning, so you must pardon my apparent delinquency. Were I to follow my inclination, I should be writing to you always, for there is not a moment but what I am thinking of you.

My love for you increases every day, and the flame of love first kindled in my bosom, is now like a raging volcano, consuming every other feeling and passion.

Oh dearest, if you knew how unhappy and miserable I am, from you, you could <p.2> not think that I would remain here a moment longer than possible. There can be no day without a sun; so \to/ my soul all seems darkness, without the smile of my sweet Mildred. I will soon be back and then you will be to me, the “sunlight, moonlight, starlight” of my life.

Were if possible for angels to visit this earth, I would think that Heaven had sent one, in the image of Mildred, to bless me, and brighten my pathway through life.

I know that you will feel impatient and uneasy, as I said that I would not start untill 14th. This, you know is two weeks later that [=than] I intended staying. It were better, perhaps, that I should stay untill the 20th, but my promise to \you/ is paramount to all others, and would sacrifice everything, rather than disappoint my <p.3> beloved one, so I will leave here Monday morning next, and will be at home Saturday night. I suppose the roads will be very muddy, and it will be late before the stage reaches Versailles, but I can easily walk out from there if it is late, and dark. Will you wait for me, darling? If you do, I will come Saturday night. You must give me a sweet kiss, and then I will tell you, how dearly I love you, and how often I have thought of you and longed to be back.

I will never leave you again—no, never.

Lest you may think strangely of not starting at the time promised, I will tell you the cause of my delay, and why I wished to remain untill the 20th. I have an engagement to meet Mr Mcconkey at Pottsville 16th.—the man that owns the Pettis County land—I was exceedingly anxious <p.4> to have an interview with hem, but I can arrange the matter by writing. I have letters from him saying that I can have what land I want at a very reasonable rate. I trust the land will meet our expectation. If it is as good as I think—it will be an excellent investment.

Sister Kate is making some worsted fixing (I don’t know what to call it) to put on a large rocking chair for you, and cannot have it finished before the last of next week. It would afford her much pleasure to send it to you, but will send something in its place. I know she loves you very much, to me she is a very dear sister and I love her dearly. Brother Chas will come out next summer and build a house for us, and make any other improvements we may wish. He is a very neat workman, and will take great pride in fixing everything very nicely for us.

<II.C.b.21> I shipped my boxes last week and hope they will be at Jefferson City by the time I come.

I have some of my young <relatives(?)> here in just such a scrape, as Mr Allen is about the horse.

I have many things to tell, but will keep them all untill I come.

I shall look anxiously for a letter by to night’s mail.

Good-bye, dearest for a short time. May God bless and protect you is the fervent prayer of

and devoted

William

To Miss M. M. Humes }
Val-de-Moulin Mo. }

## III. Engagement; A Farm in Johnson County (Mar.-Sept. 1858)

### VII.B.b. 16 Poem, William to Mildred, Val-de-Moulin, 4 Feb. 1858

Impromptu to Miss Mildred

’Tis sweet to see, at twilight’s hour,
The twinkling starts appear:
’Tis sweet to feel the evening breeze,
Steal softly on the ear.

——— // ———

’Tis sweet to see in early spring
The violet’s purple hue;
’Tis sweet to see the crimson rose,
Blush with the morning dew.

——— // ———

’Tis sweeter far, for me to gaze
On those bright orbs of thine:
For ’neath their pure and radiant blaze,
Beams truth and love divine.

——— // ———

W.M.W.

Val-de-Moulin }
Feb. 4th 1858 }

Miss Mildred M. Humes
At-Home.

### II.C.b.7. William to Mildred, Val-de-Moulin, 7 Mar. 1858

Val-de-Moulin Mar. 7th 1858.

My own sweet Darling,

I finished my business in Johnson Co. much sooner than I anticipated, and am home earlier than I expected. I would have waited until Monday according to promise, but by coming to town early, I thought I would meet you on your way thither. Bud says that some of your lady acquaintances are coming home with you: in this event I think I had better sacrifice the pleasure of accompanying you home, and send Bud in my stead. Mr L. has not been here.

Do hasten home, dearest, it is so lonely without you. I listen for your voice, but hear it not. come love, come.

W.

### II.C.b.25. William to Mildred, “At Home, Wednesday Night” [31 Mar. 1858?]

At Home.

Wednesday Night.

My own sweet Love,

We arrived here to day, after a tedious trip, and feel much fatigued, but not to<o> weary to send my beloved Mildred a few lines.

Thos is still here, but cannot now tell whether he will go home with Bud of not—I handed him the letter you gave me. The Virginia letter seemed to strike him very particularly.

Bud will give you a history of our trip, & tell how we encamped on Flat-creek, how we chased Julia all night, how we made coffee & who got sick.

I send the books I promised with Bud—please read Ivanho (have I spelled it correctly?) next the Betrothed & then the Tallisman. You will find them all <p.2> very good.

I write this very hurriedly, dearest, & will promise more in a day or two.

I think of you always, my precious darling, and know that my love \grows/ purer and brighter each day—Do write soon love, for I shall feel so lonely—

With a heart overflowing with love I will say good night. May God in his kindness bless and protect you is the prayer of your devoted & affectionate

William

### II.C.b.8. William to Mildred, “Sunday Evening” [Easter], 4 Apr. 1858

Sunday Evening
April 4th 1858

My own sweet Darling

I had promised myself the pleasure of writing you this evening, and have, for several days, longed for the time. You have doubtless often wondered how your absent one is progressing in his solitary abode! Oh: dearest Mildred you have no conception how lonely it is here. I often speak, but hear nothing but the echo of my own voice, and it almost frightens me.

Two weeks have just elapsed since my departure, and to me is seems like so many years, how I am to pass all these weary, lonely days, heaven only knows, but I will bear up, like <a> faithful Christian, with my heavy load and endure it with all the <p.2> meekness and fortitude I am possessed of.

I have one thing to support me: the love I feel for my dearly beloved. Indeed it is a sweet consolation to me, and through the long, tiresome days, through my labor and toil, one single thought of my blessed angel revives me, and makes my burden light.

The lock \of hair/ you gave me I have entwined round your minature. That I may look upon them at once, and feast my eyes every evening when I return from work.

I will try to take your advice, and not work to hard though I find a great deal to do, and often wish I could do more, but I will take it patiently, and get things fixed as fast as I can.

I am well pleased with my purchase and I think you will like it when you see it. There are many improvements that I will not make untill I get your advice in regard to them, though I shall have a great <p.3> deal done this summer.

I am very well pleased with some of the neighbors for they manifest a good deal of kindness towards me, and I think from pure motives. Mr Walls has been very kind in loaning me his wagon and other things. Last night he came over and invited <me> to his house to remain over Sunday, which I was pleased to do. Mrs Walls (daughter of Mr Holmes) seems well disposed and treated me with great kindness and urbanity. Mr Holmes tries to be clever, but I will wait awhile before I accept of any of his kindness.

I am under many obligations to Mr. Davis for many favors and will try to repay them.

The people here are all mighty well posted up in the matters relating to ourselves, and fully expected you to come with me, indeed it was so generally understood that Thos asked me when I came, where you was. Miss Nancy questioned me pretty closely, and really was compelled <p.4> to tell her that you would be up to see them this summer.

I must insist upon thanking you and ma again for your kindness in fixing up so many eatables, for me, though they are disappearing very fast before a good appetite.

We will be very, very happy love: to me our home will be a perfect paradise, then you will always be near me, and I shall not have to say good-bye anymore. Yes precious, the time will soon come when we will part no more, when you will be my dear, dear loving Millie, and I will will [sic] be your devoted and faithful William.

The day is just closing, and with it will close my letter. I will write soon again. You must write me often dearest, for you know <how> lonely I am here.

Oh! that I could press your hand in mine as I am accustomed to, and say good-night love good-night. May heaven bless you, and protect you, my hearts fondest idol.

Yours devotedly and affectionately,

William

### II.C.a.5. Mildred to William, Val de Moulin, [Mon.] 12 Apr. 1858 (answering his of 31 March[?])

Val-de-Moulin

April 12th 1858

Mr Wheatley,

I would return many thanks, for the note you sent by Ed, and it should have been responded to ere this, but I thought it would be best to write at regular intervals, so that you may never be disappointed.

Ed gave me a full description of your trip—I think it is dangerous for you to make your own coffee—I fear you will become so much addicted to drinking, that you will never reform. But I dont know that I ought to censure you, for I have no doubt but what it is a very <p.2> delicious beverage, when taken without either sugar or cream.

I hope the hours pass by more cheerily than you anticipated, and that you don’t sigh half so often (from a sense of your loneliness) as I do. I think it very probable though, that you keep so constantly employed, that you scarcely know you are alone.

Did you feel my presence last sabbath dearest? you know that was the day I was to dine with you, and yesterday, was the day you was to have dined with me, but seeing your seat vacant made me feel so sad that I did not relish anything before me, yet I was happy with the thought that you would have been here had it have been possible for you to come.

<p.3> “Tommy Farris” was married last Thursday sure enough, and you may be sure “Jose” had his own fun, how I wished for you to be here sometimes to have enjoyed it with us. He was here Friday night, and was serenaded in regular style. I expect from what “Jose” told me, he could give you a very amusing account of the wedding. Just think of Tommy F—’s great sinewy arms encircling the waist of a littl lady of moderate dimension, for the greater part of the evening, before two hundred persons.

Will you not praise me a little when I tell you I have read Ivanhoe the Betrothed and the Talisman: found them all very interesting, some of the characters are not be surpassed, but they were all good.

<p.4> Although you promised that you would not work yourself sick, yet I cannot help feeling a little uneasy. You must remember, that should you get sick, you will have not one that will wait on you like I would. If you will take right good care of Mr Wheatley (for about five months) I will reward you for your trouble. We received a letter from Mr Murfee a few days since, sent kind regards to you, and some advice to me. Will not visit untill July or Aug. How do you and Nan get on? You must not take any exceptions at her singularities, for they all like you very much, especially Uncle Davis.

I came very near forgetting to tell you that we had lettuce for dinner. Have you had any yet?

[incomplete?]

### VII.B.b.8. William to Mildred, Wall’s Store P.O., Mon. [26 Apr.] or [Tues.] 27 Apr. 1858

Wall’s Store P.O. Johnson Co. Mo

Monday Evening.

April 27th 1858

My dearly beloved Mildred,

Your very welcome letter of the 27th ultimo was handed me on Saturday last, and you cannot imagine how happy I was to hear from you once more. A month has just elapsed since I left you, but to me it seems so much longer, that I feel antiquated.

I think of you, dearest, all the day long, and my heart is always with you. I kiss your miniature so often every evening, as I set by my lonely fireside, sometimes I feel that it is impossible for me to remain so long from the idol of my heart, but I do not despond. I know you love me with all the fervor of a true, warm heart, and that I am remembered, though far away. <p.2> This is in reality, home, but I cannot realize it as such. Oh! no, it will not be home to me, untill I hear the sweet music of my beloved’<s> voice, and coruscate in the glowing beauties of her smile. We will be so happy at our new home. I feel that I only live to love and adore my dear, dear Millie and that our lives will be a long sweet dream of happiness. When Ma first comes to see us, I am going to have her say, “I never have seen a person so much devoted to another in all my life, as Mr Wheatley is to Mildred”. I sometimes think that she does not know how good and kind I am going to be to you: she has been a good Mother to me, and I am going to remember her kindness with gratitude and affection. I say mother, for she does not seem anything else to me.

I did not receive an invitation to Mr Monroe’s(?) party and am better satisfied than if I had been solicited for I don’t like Mrs M no how. I am glad that you were not there, for I think you would not have enjoyed it much.

<p.3> Saturday evening and Sunday I spent at Mr Davis and Mr Dyer’s, and very pleasantly to<o>. I go to the former place once a week. I have many demands for the flower seeds I have, but only give some to Mrs Davis and Mr Dyer, reserving enough for myself, not for myself but for you. I will try to have some to greet you.

I have planted most of the garden seed, but I will not be able to have much of a garden this year, though I will give it all the attention I can.

To day I received a letter from sister Kate, all at home join in sending much love to you. she is not busily engaged with her flowers &c, and says this fall she will send you a quantity of seeds.

I shall in a week or two look for bro. Chas. I do wish he will come now, though it may be the 20th of next month before he will be here.

I expect it would be better to send all letters to this post office, as they pass by here and go to Warrensburg. (Walls’ Store. P.O.) The post master told me that a letter had passed through his hands for <p.4> me, and he might as well know about them first as last.

Please write me soon, dearest, for I am always so happy when I hear from you.

If there is a spot on this beautiful earth, where the smiles of the almighty beam brightly, or where angels love to dwell, Heaven grant that that spot may be around my \beloved/ Mildred.

William

### VII.B.b.9. William to Mildred, Walls’ Store P.O., [Sun.] 2 May 1858 (answering hers of 12 Apr.)

Wall’s Store P. Office

Johnson County Mo.

May 2d 1858.

My own dear, dear, precious Mildred,

I often thank the Almighty for implanting in our bosoms the sacred feeling of love, a tie that bonds us so inseperably together, a hallowed flame which burns brightly and truly on through all the varied events of life. <p.3> It is this feeling that supports me during my long absence from my beloved Millie. I know each pulse of my heart beats for her only, each wish is for her happiness, and I would wander the wide world over for a single smile or look from her. I sometimes think there never was such love and devotion as I have for you. I would freely give my hearts life blood if it would add it [sic] in the least to your welfare and happiness. But you will be happy without that sacrifice, for I will live for you only, to love and cherish the idol of my bosom.

I would gladly come to see you soon, but in my present situation, cannot untill the 22d, of the month. I will then have my crop in and some other necessary work done. I will start from Mr Davis’ early on that day, and will ride through the day. I will be late when I get home, say ten o’clock, please wait for that evening Darling: will you. I will <p.4> come. How long I can stay I do not now know, untill I hear from Bro Chas.

Mrs and Mr Walls are very kind to me. I often go there, and Mr Walls comes to see <me>. Mrs. W frequently send<s> me biscuits, pies and bread, for which I am very thankful. She is a mighty fine woman, and I think you will like her. Mrs Caldwell is another neighbor, and says she was your school mate at Boonville. She is also a daughter of Mr Holmes.

Mr Davis’ folks & I get on finely.

My beans, peas, raddishes are doing well, but have no lettuce yet., it is backward. I think about six of the cedars are growing, the rest seem wilted and dead.

The sabbath you speak of, I was at Mr Davis’, setting by the fire with my face hid in my hands, thinking of you. Mrs. Davis asked what was the matter. I told her I felt so sad and lonely, that I was almost sick. I know you will repay me for all these lonesome days: when the sunshine of \your/ smile shall brighten <p.5> and make glad this heart, they will all be forgotten.

Enclosed I send a beautiful little song I clipped from a newspaper. I think it so pretty. ’Tis thus, dearest, my heart sings of you.

“May God in his goodness watch over you always”, is my constant prayer. Please write soon, love, farewell for a short while.

With truest devotion

### II.C.b.9. William to Mildred, Walls Store P.O., Johnson Co. MO, [Sun.] 16 May 1858 (answering hers of 2 May [lost])

Walls’ Store P. Office

Johnson Co. Missouri

May 16th 1858

My own beloved Millie,

You cannot conceive the rapture I felt on reading your truly affectionate letter of 2d inst; which came to hand Thursday last. Though I expect to see my precious darling before this reaches her, yet I write at the first moment possible.

You must not despond, beloved, if my messages are long on the way. I write you often, and you are never absent from my thoughts.

<p.2> This is a bright, beautiful morning, and every thing about seems to inspire one with love. The locusts around the house are in full bloom, and the prarie is like a sea of green. Innumerable flowers of great beauty are blooming on every side, and the larks and blue-birds are making delightful music! Since my stay here, I <have> not seen such a lovely morning, amidst all this beauty, do you wonder where my delights are? Oh my own sweet, precious love, they are with you, as they ever are. There is not a breeze that blows, but whispers your name, and every flower reflects your sweet smile.

It was such happiness to me to read the expressions of love and tenderness in your last letter, you must reveal your warm, affectionate heart to your own William, who loves you so devotedly, and can appreciate your love. Those sweet words of love cheer <p.3> many a lonely, weary hour.

I have many happy dreams, both waking and sleeping, and the happiest of them will ere long be realized, for with such love as we have for each other, we must be the happiest mortals on earth. Each succeeding day will ad new joys to our lives, and thus our existence will be one dream of love and delight.

When I come home again, I know I cannot bear to have you <out> of my sight during my stay. I will have so many thing to unfold to you—how much I love you, and how I have wished to be at your side, to hear your sweet voice once more, then you will have many things to tell me. This day, a week hence I expect to dine with you.

You have been very industrious to have read the books so soon, they are very interesting, and when once a person begins <p.4> one, it is hard to give it up untill finished. You will, doubtless, long remember the noble Roisend, the faithful Jewess Rebecca, and the combat between the Disinherited Knight and De-Bois Gilbert. I consider that the most graphic description of a conflict I have ever read. Did you not admire the fortitude of Rebecca as she stood on the pinacle of the tower, threatening self destruction should De-Bois-Gilbert advance one step farther.

When we set by our own happy fireside, I will read many books I have, to you. It is so delightful to think that I can always be by the side of my own sweet angel, who has made me so inexpressibly happy, that I may show my appreciation of that love by my kindness, devotion & constancy. Good-bye—dearest—my love—my hope—my joy—my life. May the God of heaven bless you—Please write often, ever truly and devotedly

William

### II.C.b.10. William to Mildred, Walls Store P.O. MO, [Sun.] 30 May 1858

Walls’ Store P. Office Mo.

May 30th 1858.

My own precious Millie,

I am again at my lonely habitation, and it seems more dreary than ever. But how else could it be, after being blest with your dear presence. It is lonely here, but it would be so any-where, to me, could I not see my beloved Mildred’s smile.

Did I not seem happy with you? Oh, my precious darling, I was happy, and I know you feel that my love for you is increasing each day. It is this that makes me so sad when I leave you, to have you from my presence, is so painful. <p.2> You cannot imagine how rejoiced I was to hear you say, that you are a member of the Presbyterian Church. I knew your predilections were that way, but did not know you were connected with the Church.

I am trying to be better every day, will you pray for me darling? I know Heaven will answer prayers from your pure heart.

Ma will not know that was so distressed at the though<t> of being parted from you so long. Perhaps it was wrong to act thus, but the thought of being deprived of your smiles so long I could not endure. If she thinks strangely of me for acting thus, this is all the apology I can make. I cannot suppress my feelings.

Mr & Mrs Davis made many inquiries for your health &c, and I made a good report, not one case on the sick list. They were much surprised when I told them that I had been to Morgan Co. <p.3> I started without them knowing anything about it.

The papers you sent me have all come to hand, and am much ob<l>iged for your kindness. I am going to subscribe for the “Presbyterian” for you, and if these Babtists will not let us alone, we will worship under our own vine and fig tree.9

I am happy to say that bro. Chas. is here at last. I was so glad to see him. Mother, father, and all are well at home, and send much love to you. As Chas. Is here I can promise you many conveniences. He will be very good to you and will take the greatest pleasure in making anything you may want.

It is hardly probable that this will reach you, before I return to Morgan. I will be with you on the 11th of June. How happy I shall be.

<p.4> I will have an opportunity of sending this to the office, and will close, with Good-bye, my dear, precious love. May God bless you always. I know you will write often, write such as your last, it was so full of love and affection, you know how they are appreciated.

With truest devotion

William

To Miss M. M. Humes }
Versailles, Mo. }

### II.C.b.11. William to Mildred, Walls Store P.O., Johnson Co. MO, [Sun.] 20 June 1858

Walls’ Store P.O.

Johnson County, Mo.

June 20th 1858.

My own precious, darling Millie,

In no way can I devote this beautiful, holy evening more appropriately, than by writing to my beloved Mildred

I am so happy with your love, that I never get sad any more, during my lonely stay here, though such sudden transitions are enough to sadden one’s thoughts. Leaving our smiles, and sweet voice, for this—now, uninviting spot, is to me like going from light into darkness. But it is a matter of duty, which I owe to you, and to myself. Could it be so, you know I would never leave you for a moment, for I see no pleasure, no joy where you are not. Yes my darling Millie I do love you, were I to leave this world this night, I could lay my hand on my heart, and before God say, that I love you only, truly and fervently, and with my whole heart and soul, and so long as I live, will I love you, & be kind and affectionate. Never will I utter an unkind word, and I will be as true and faithful to you as the sun is to the earth, as the star is to the heaven. Your smiles will be the sunlight of my life, your voice the music that shall gladden my soul.

We will make our home a model for the world, every thing about us shall bear the impress of contentment and happiness, and the indifferent passer-by—shall say—”there is a happy home.”

Will you wonder why I do not get sad any more, dearest?—My heart sings of you all the day long. Your image is always before <me>—constantly, those mild eyes follow me, and every thought is blended with your love.

I must thank you again for your very <p.3> affectionate letter, such expression of love and tenderness could only eminate from a heart like yours. Will you always call me your own William? It makes me so happy to think I am so dear to you, and I will repay that love and devotion. Yes! My precious angel I will always love you with all the fervor and tenderness of my nature.

We are are [sic] so happily constituted, in our nature, that we must necessarily be happy, our feelings and disposition, our thoughts and wishes, all seem to flow in the same channel

With this I send you two papers, which Mr Linconton was so kind to send me, they are addressed to Josie. Please send me some of your papers occasionally, that I may send to Mr L. I know he will be glad to get them from me. He has always been a good friend to me, and I will remember him.

The can I opened, and \found/ its contents in good preservation, so good that most all is devoured.

This week we will have peas, if we can only manage to cook them properly.

<p.4> I have been very unfortunate with cabbage I sowed, what I supposed to be cabbage seed and replanted some eighty plants, and they all turned out to be Kale, some sort of greens, but have now put romaine(?) in their place.

Our little family are all well—Charlie, myself, Jerry and the kitten.

I have asked Josie to be my attendant during our marriage, which I hope he will do, as I do not wish to go out of the family. You can confer with him in reference to it, as he will want some advice, &c.

You must apologize to Ma for my leaving so abruptly. Thos seemed so out of humor with the world generally, that I though it best to go without much ceremony.

Remember me to Miss Mary, with all the love you can spare from me.

Write to me soon dearest, write me as you did before, I have many more things to say to you, but must close this time.

May God ever bless you, my hearts own love.

Ever truly & affectionately

William

### II.C.b.12. William to Mildred, “At Davis’”, Sun. 4 July 1858

At Davis’.

Sunday July 4th 1858.

My own precious darling

I expected that yesterday’s mail would bring a letter from my dear Millie, but am disappointed. Though I could hardly look for one so soon, as the mail is so tardy and uncertain. I know you have written me, for you would not leave your own William so long without a word of love to direct him.

I think of you constantly, dearest, through the long bright hours of the summer’s day, and through the “stilly night”10 my thoughts are always with you, the darling of my heart, the joy of my life. You cannot imagine how I long to see you again, and it makes me feel sad when I think how long a time must elapse before I shall be blest with your dear smiles. O, my blessed angel, you are far dearer than all this world to me. Yes, love, you are my life, my existence.

I have our future life pictured in my mind, as if we had already realized it. We will be so kind and loving to each other, and nothing shall ever enter our blissful abode to mar our happiness. I will always have my Millie’<s> smile to cheer and encourage me <p.2> and with that, there will be no obstacle than [=that] I cannot overcome.

I know you will give me a sweet kiss when I next come: you said that you would not, though I think you intended recalling it. If you knew what happiness it is to me to receive a kiss from your sweet lips—the lips that utter “my own William”, you will not withhold it. I esteem a kiss, a pledge of confidence, a seal of pure and holy love. Will you bless me again with one?

How it makes my heart rejoice to think how happy we will be, when I will always be at your side, with sweetest words of love, and fondest caresses.

As near as I can now say, I will be with you, about the 24th proximo, though hope it will be sooner.

Mrs Davis says that it will be impossible for Misses Nancy and Mary Jane to come down this summer, so you need not look for them. She is willing for them to go but your uncle thinks they had better stay. I would be glad to have them go down.

I have just recd a letter from brother John, he <and> sister Mary, her two brothers, and brother Thornt are now at home in Pa. And will remain untill 1st of September, what a pleasant time they will have. How I wish we could be there with them. My apology for this sheet in that I am not at home.11

You must remember me with much love to Ma, and Sis Mary. Good-bye my beloved. May the good spirit ever bless and protect you. Please write me soon, love.

William

[The sheet has been folded to make its own envelope, and is addressed on the back:]

Miss Mildred M. Humes
Val-de-Moulin.
Kindness of } Versailles.
Jos. G. Humes Esq. } Missouri

### VII.B.b.5. Mildred to William, Val du Moulin, “Sunday Eve. 1858”, and II.C.a.8. Mildred to William, last page only, beginning “brothers interest in you.” (answering his of 20 June and one other)

Val de Moulin

Sunday Eve. 1858

My own dear William,

Two of your letters are before me, for which I thank you most heartily.

“I kissed your letter o’er and o’er
And pressed it to my heart.
But oh! it was so sad to know
We were so far apart.
But fancy flies to thee dear one
And nestles by thy side.
For neither time nor distance can
Two faithful hearts divide.”

Yes, I think of my noble William always. I believe there is not a <p.2> minute through the day, but what my thoughts are with you, and then I am so happy.

I know that you love me truly and devotedly, and I would not exchange your love for all the world. I know you will always be as good and kind as now, if an difference, a little more so, for I intend to be so much better that you will hardly think me the same Millie.

I wish I could say I did not get sad, for it is so much better, to be happy. But I began could not help feeling sad after you left, the time seems so long till I am to see you again. But can’t you arrange matters so that I will not have to tell you good-bye any more. Say yes, dearest.

<p.3> I went to town and found every body mighty glad to see me. Saturday, I heard an excellent lecture upon masonry, and Sunday a real good sermon, how I wished you could have heard it too.

I came very near having to pay very dear for disobeying your kind injunctions. I w rode Bonnie, and as we went in to town Sunday morning, (I stayed with Mrs Tull) she ran off with me. After the fright was all over, and no harm done, Mr Tull caught his breath and asked me if I was much frightened, and upon me replying in the negative he said that I certainly did deserve credit for not falling in the mud. I was frightened a little though, for I was fearful that she might run into town, and you <p.4> know I would have prefered falling in the mud several times over, to exhibiting myself in that way. I expect I ought to tell you that Tommy feels a little out of humor towards you, but we will not take any notice of it, and it will all be right after <a> while. He has some mighty queer notions sometimes, and owing to some of these I wish you would not ask any favors of “Jose”, not even the most trifling, nor accept of any more that are offered, than courtesy demands. I would tell you my reason for making this request, but I am afraid that you might not understand me.

If you desire it, I expect Jose could get some one to take up some of your lumber, remember he feels a <p.5> brothers interest in you, and would like to do any thing for you that lay in his power.

Mary is at home, and it would amuse you, to hear her tell how about Jose and Miss Phillips, and I believe myself that he is about half in love, with one of them. I do wish he would love her sure enough, \&/ I believe he would if he was to see her often enough.

You must not allow Charlie to get home-sick. I expect you will both become proficients in the delightful science of cooking, and I flatter myself that your experience will assist me vastly.

You must receive many thanks for the papers you sent me. I will send you one, with this.

If the time seems long before you receive this, you must not complain for (excepting one) I have not had an opportunity. But I know my dear noble William, knows to<o> well how much I love \him/ to ever feel that I would neglect him.

You must say a great many kind things to Charlie, for me, and give my kind regards to Jerry and the kitten.

I know you will have written to me again before you receive this, and I will write again soon.

May heaven bless my dear William is the prayer of

Millie

Joseph will write to you this week.

### II.C.a.6. Mildred to William, Val de Moulin, [Sat.] 17 July 1858

Val de Moulin

July 17th 1858

My own dear William,

It would never do for you, to receive a letter from Jose without a word from Millie too?

You cannot know how much I was disappointed last evening when Tommy came from town without a letter for me. I have not received but one from you since you left. I know they are some-where on the way, perhaps in New York, or Sacramento, no knowing where.

I send you a papper [sic] from some of your friends in Rome. <p.2> It seems like an age since I saw you, so much so that I would forego the pleasure of seeing every one else, to just see you for a little while, but I expect it is best that we should be parted, as we would never have known how much we loved each other. I am loving you so much more than I used to, that I sometimes almost think I did not love you before.

My dear William you must write to me soon. I feel so anxious to hear from you, if it was only a line to tell me you were well I would be contented. There is considerable sickness on the prairie. The Doctors are going constantly.

<p.3> I think of you always dear William, and my constant prayer is for your preservation. I was over to see Mrs Stanley a few days since and met with a fortune teller, and you <would> be surprised to hear how near she guessed at mine. She said we were to be as happy as mortals could desire. We know this much is true.

This will suffice for the present as I am in haste. Good-bye dearest. May all that is good attend you is the wish of

Millie

### VII.B.b.4. Mildred to William, Versailles, [Mon.] 26 July 1858 with inserted page dated 27 July

Versailles Missouri

July 26th 1858

My own dear William,

The letter I have been waiting and looking for so anxiously has come at last, and I was so happy when I read I was to see you so soon, but when the day came, and only brought me a letter that said my William was not coming, I was so disappointed and miserable. As Tommy had got over his childish whim, I did hope that you would not receive my letter, for Oh! I do want to see you so much, and I wonder, if my dear <p.2> good William will not humor his Millie with a visit when he is assured that she desires it? I would be so happy if you could come.

You must not think too unkindly of Tommy. He seems to think that when I am married I will be lost lost to him forever. Ma has talked a good deal to him, and he has finally become pacified.

I can not tell you anything \to a certainty/ about the arrangements for our marriage, as regards company, I do not think we will have a great deal, for I only want those that I feel kindly towards.

I attended church in Versailles yesterday, only conversed with Mrs Crook & Williams and some of the girls. Mrs W— was very pointed in her remarks of you. Bettie Anderson starts for Tenn. Soon, and Mrs Crook thinks of accompanying her.

<p.3> My dear William, I think of you, continually, and how very often I wish I could see you, if only for an hour, and could you not gratify me? I know you will if you can leave, and I hope you can. Come, dearest William and once more make glad the heart that has been so sad, and then I will try and not be sad any more.

I cannot promise you that I will not ride any more, for were I to refuse, they would all consider it contraryness in me, but I will promise you that I will not ride anything but what is perfectly safe, so you must not suffer any uneasiness on my account. Ma wanted me to ride Bant(?) the other day and upon me refusing upon the plea that I was afraid of him, she said it was a strange thing for me to be getting <p.4> timid, when I had always been so fearless.

I never knew how sweet life was till I knew and loved my darling William and now ’tis worth something to live.

I have written this in haste so that I might not miss an opportunity of sending it to the office.

I am going to look for you about the 7th or 8th of August, and if you do not come, I will try and not feel disappointed, but if you should come, I will be so very happy.

Jose is surely getting in earnest about Miss Phillips, he is out there now.

Mary will not act as my attendant.

I have not received the papers yet but am as much obliged as if I had. I will send you one with this. I will write again in a few days.

May Heavens riches blessings rest upon thee my own William, is the prayer of

Millie

[Postscript, written crossways on p.1]

I had forgotten to tell you when to come, provided about 6 o’clock I expect, or perhaps it would be best to come sooner in the day, for you know from what little you have seen of them attending parties that there is no attention paid to the hour specified. Act as your superior judgement may dictate, and I will be glad to see you let you come when you may, you must tell me when you will, though, and the way you are coming, so I may not look too soon & that I may look the right way.

Millie

[Enclosed in this letter, a note dated the following day:]

July 27th 1858

Not having an opportunity to mail this as I expected, I thought I would send you a few more lines.

I wish you to know my reason for not wishing you to accept of any favors from Jose. Tommy has got an idea that Jose thinks more of you and would do more to accommodate you than him, and I did not want you to be the cause of any unkind feeling between <them>. You know Jose feels as kindly towards you as a brother could, and would like to assist you in any way he could, yet owing to Tommy’s foolish notions I think it best you should not receive any from him.

Ma tells me that Tommy does not feel unkindly towards you, and that his former displeasure all arose from his brooding over me leaving. He has always been a mighty good brother, and I ought to over look a great deal. I dont think he knows anything about <p.2> Jose’s hauling for you. He was making preperations to start with it this week, but will desist now.

I wish I could see you and then I would know that I was understood as I wished to be. If you can co<n>v<en>iently come down I will be so glad, and then we can arrange every thing so much better.

Jose has not written to Mr Bell yet but I will tell him what you said when he returns. He has been gone since Friday. How I wish I had it in my power to tease him.

You must make brother Charlie feel that I love him with all the fervor of a good Sister’s heart.

Good-bye, but do not forget that I will almost expect you to answer this presently.

Millie

### II.C.b.13. William to Mildred, Walls Store, Johnson Co. MO, [Wed.] 28 July 1858

Walls’ Store Johnson Co. Mo

July 28th 1858.

My own dear precious Millie,

Accept my thanks for your very kind and affectionate letter which reached me a few days since.

Oh! my sweet angel, how my heart aches to see you. I sit by my lonely door and sigh for my absent one, and tears often start from my eyes, involuntarily, at the thought of my loneliness, and I cannot suppress them. Yes, darling there is not a moment but what I am thinking of you. You are my heart, the very pulse that imparts life, hope, joy and happiness. I have looked into the deepest chambers of my soul, and <p.2> Oh what an inexhaus<t>ible fountain of love is there for you, a fountain which shall flow on increasingly and forever.

I live only to love and adore my Millie, in whom I see blended, all the beauties and perfections of our nature, to make her happy, to gratify every wish, to show my love and devotion by constant kindness, and tenderness, is my only desire. Yes love, ours will be a happy, dear home. Your faithful William will always be near you with fondest words and caresses, and nothing on earth will be half so dear to him as Millie’s smile, smiles that shall be the sunlight of his existence.

You must not, dearest, be so solicitous about the domestic duties, that you \will/ direct. I know that there is not one of your experience that is as competent as yourself, and we shall do finely, though no doubt Ma <p.3> would smile at us sometimes, when attending to things our own way: though what we may lack we will soon acquire by experience. I flatter myself that I shall be of great service in the culinary line, and you must bring me into requisition when needed, but I know we will do finely. I do honestly think that we will be models for this neighbourhood, in point of neatness and order. I feel the weight of my responsibility. I know my Millie loves me, her smiles are for me, these shall strengthen my arm, and enable me to overcome any obstacle.

You must make out a programe [sic] for us by the time I come down: where we must go, and what we shall do before we go to our own home, ought we not to celebrate our first anniversary at the cave, the spot where I first breathed my first, my fondest love? I loved you then, my darling, I loved <p.4> you when you pressed my hand under the sycamore, but I love you better now. I have told you my love a thousand times, yet were I with you now I would tell you of a love in richer strains than you ever heard, of my souls deep, fervent and boundless love for you.

I was much afraid that Miss Mary would not be your attendant, but hoped that she would lay aside everything and wait on you. Jos said that there was some doubt whether he could serve with me, as he expected to need a groomsman shortly himself and would have to ask me or some one else. He seems to be much in love with Miss Mary Phillips and wants to marry her instantly, but in the same sentence says that he knows nothing definite as yet. I would be glad to hear of such an event. I suppose you know how he is progressing.

As regards our attendants, I would suggest <p.5> that if Miss Mary declines, you ask one of your female friends in Versailles, to act with Jos. If he declines brother Charles will act in his place, if this is not agreeable to your lady friend, let us dispence with that part of the ceremony, at all events untill the time comes, and if we wish, we can select a couple from the company, if you conclude to have any, soon as Jos has determined what he will do, he will make it known to you, perhaps when the time comes Miss Mary & Jos will both act—but will say nothing more about it to them as it is a matter in which persons ought not to insist.

Oh how I wish I could talk with you a little while. I would be so happy, but this is denied me, and must be content with expressing myself in these unsatisfactory sentences.

When I come you must be prepared to <p.6> see a happy man, and you cannot realize my joyful anticipation, untill you see me. As the rose is the queen of flowers, so is my sweet Millie the best and purest of all this earth. Will she not wear one in her hair for me, to represent her loveliness and purity? and a leaf of evergreen emblematic of her unfading love? do darling, wear them for me. I will preserve and treasure them above all, except my own peerless jewel, that wore them.

Miss Nancy would like to be with us, but they will not leave her or any of them go. I will tell the reason when I see you. It is of a financial nature. I have been at Mr Davis’ for the last week, mowing and helping him in with his hay, he is short of hands and done it as a matter of accommodation.

I expect that Mr Murphee will soon be with you. When he comes, please present my warmest regards. Towards the close of next month I will go to Lexington to purchase some articles for us. I will from there go to Boonville, from there to Versailles. Perhaps an answer to this will not reach me, but you will answer it to me by your own dear lips, with words of love and fresh from the heart. I will write soon again love. May God bless and protect you is the constant prayer of

William

### II.C.b.14. William to Mildred, “Sunday Morning”, 1 Aug. 1858

Sunday Morning

August 1st 1858.

My own dear, dear Millie

Your message of love reached me before I had an opportunity of mailing the enclosed letter, and will add a few more lines before sending it. I am so sorry that my letters are so long on the way. I have written you every other mail and hoped that they would reach you in good time. My beloved Millie knows I love her to<o> well ever to neglect her. No, I would sacrifice every thing in this world for her.

I have been very lonely for the last three weeks. Charlie has been working for Mr Hart and only is with me on Sundays. He is now about done, and this week he will begin to make some conveniences for Millie. I have my lumber all here and will have everything fixed before I leave, though I will leave some <p.2> things to be made as my Darling may wish.

My precious Millie knows that I love her truly and devotedly, and that I will always be good and kind to her, but I will be more kind & loving than she can imagine. It will take years to realize it, and at each anniversary of our marriage she will say that my love increases with the years.

This morning I have blessed your miniature so often, and smothed the hair on you forehead, untill I really thought you smiled. I know that you are thinking of me now, this very moment.

Upon reflection: if Jos & Miss Mary will not assist us would it not be better to not ask any others, at least untill the time comes.

I will write again, dearest, by next mail and trust it will reach you. Remember me to all. You will not be able to answer this in time to reach me, but please write at your regular times and keep them untill I come. I will then read them to you. My only thought is of our happiness. We will be so happy, the happiest mortals in this world. May Heaven bless you, my sweet, precious love, is my earnest prayer. Ever truly & devotedly

William.

### II.C.a.7. Mildred to William, Val de Moulin, [Wed.] 4 Aug. 1858

Val-de-Moulin

Aug. 4th 1858

My own dear good William,

It is such a pleasure to write to you that I take advantange [sic] of opportunity, and should they come faster than you can conveniently dispose of them, just lay them by, and give me warning. I know that every letter makes at least one happie hour, and consequently wish to make as many as possible.

I wonder if my dear William knows how entirely he possesses one devoted heart, and how fondly <p.2> it yearns to once more welcome its idol home, and do sincerely hope that long e’er this reaches you that its yearnings may be satisfied.

I think of you constantly, and am loving you so much.

I have nothing to do these long summer days, but sew and think of my William \&/ I sometimes sit from morning till noon without uttering a word, except when addressed by some of the family.

I think of your love and kindness and how happ\il/y we are going to live. Time will fail to chill our hearts affection, that makes us one in purest sympathy. The world will envy us, and our residence shall be a home <p.3> in the fullest sense of the word.

I had such a pleasant dream the other night. I thought you was by my side and called me your Millie. Indeed it seemed so plain, that when I awoke I felt like it was a reality, and was happy if it was all a dream.

“Jose” is to be married on the 14th of Sept. And would like for us to defer ours till that time, say she is going to try and get Mary Jane to consent to have it a week sooner, and I think she will for Mr Bell’s school commences on the 12 and he cannot leave then.

Jose’s marrying engrosses Marys whole attention, she hardly thinks about us, and she gets <p.4> almost sick every time he goes to see her.

I cannot write any more now. Please write to me some and write me a good long letter. Good night my dearest William may heaven bless you is the prayer of

Millie

### II.C.b.15. William to Mildred, “Sunday Evening”, 8 Aug. 1858

Sunday Evening

August 8th 1858.

My own precious Millie

I was very happy to hear from you again, and am glad to learn that my letters have arrived at last.

You cannot think, my darling how I long to see you. Indeed I can do nothing but think of my absent one. I know that my long absence has strengthened our love, and feel, this evening that my love is more fervent and strong than I have ever have [sic] before.

When I read your letter, the first impulse was to start immediately to see my dear Millie, from whom I have been absent so long, but a moments reflection brought so many <p.2> impediments that I found it impossible to go before next week. The time for our happy union being so near then, I thought it better to forego the pleasure of seeing my beloved and wait untill Sept. 1st. My dear, sweet Millie knows how dearly I love her, and that it would gladden my heart to see her beyond measure, but in my present situation I could not go without neglecting some things that ought to be attended to—Will dear Millie pardon me if she looks to day and sees me not? say yes, love. I will love you so much more when I come.

The happiest thoughts I have, is that my darling Millie loves me, and will be so good and kind to me, and Oh! I will repay that love. I will be so good and loving to her; nothing on \earth/ will be \so/ dear to me as her smile, <p.3> nothing will sound so sweet to me as her voice. This is something that I wish I could explain to you: there is a something in your voice that fills my soul with inexpressible delight, to sit by your side and hear you converse, to feast my soul with the rich, silvery music of your voice, is the greatest joy I can feel. I am so happy then. Oh! If I could have that joy just for a few moments, but I will soon be near you. Yes, my beloved, a few more days, and your own William will bless you with his presence, and what a happy meeting! meet to part no more.

I was much gratified to hear that Thomas has gotten straight again. I do not <think> that he ought to treat me badly as I have done nothing to deserve it. I hope nothing of the kind will ever occur again. <P.4> I did hope that Jos would write to Mr Bell for me. I am unacquainted with him, and this makes it a very delicate matter for me. to do it. I would do anything in the world I can for him if he would.

You must ask what company you wish. I would as son appear before a hundred as ten, so you must consult your own feelings. If you invite any married friends, will it \not/ be hard to know where to stop?

Mother is going to give a large dinner party to my friends the day of our marriage, and they have a great time to decide who shall have your miniature. I have decided that mother is entitled to it, was that right.

The northern friends leave the last of this month and regret much that we could <not> have been at home with them.

I have a thousand things to talk about but must leave them, until I see you. Do not forget to remember me with much love to Ma.

I will come by Versailles and will get home about 6 o’clock, and Oh! How my heart will leap with joy when I see my own dear Millie. M<a>y God bless you my hearts own love, is my fervent prayer.

[Postscript, written in the margin of p.4]

You must write and keep the letter untill I come. I will then read them, as they would not in all probability reach me here. W.

[Another postscript, written crosswise on p.1]

P.S. Don’t forget to invite Misses Nancy and Mary Davis, though they won’t or can’t come.

W.

### II.C.b.16. William to Mildred, “Sunday Evening”, 22 Aug. 1858

Sunday Evening

August 22d 1858.

My own dear, precious Millie,

I write you this evening with the hope that it may reach you before my return. I know this is very doubtful, but I have been thinking of you all day, and thought I <would> give you some of my thoughts.

The longer I live, the more am I convinced that there never was such love as I feel for my darling Millie, without \it/ is the love of her pure, warm heart for her own William, for I know you love me truly and devotedly, with all the fervor and strength of woman’s love. I am sad often, but am <p.2.> happy even in my saddest moments. You must not wonder at my being sad sometimes, were I blest with your dear smiles more often, it would not be so, indeed it is the most painful trial I have ever felt, that of being parted so long from my dear, dear Millie, the idol of my heart. Do you know how dearly I love you? how my heart beats for you only? how I cherish each word spoken? each look and smile? Yes, Millie dear, you are my very life, and I know from my feelings that I could not live without you. The happiest of my thoughts is that I am to see you soon, a few more days and my beloved’s smiles will bless me, yes, forever. Is not this a happy thought? the thought of being for ever near the dear object of my love, to bless, yes to worship here, to be kind, loving, <p.3> and faithful.

I know you have been looking for me, my feelings were to go at once but then thought of my duty toward my precious one, and concluded to stay. We will be so much more happy to see each other.

I have received a letter from Mr Bell and says that nothing but “Providential interposition” will prevent him from being present. He seems to be very happy to have the pleasure of being with us, & we can depend on him to a certainty. I told him to come at 6 o’clock on the appointed day, as he wanted to know the hour precisely.

Do not forget the rose and the evergreen, these you know you wear for me. I am anxious to hear how Jos and Miss Mary are doing. I am inclined to think that they will be married this winter, and would not be surprised <p.4> if sooner. I can only say, if they love each other half as much as we do, “God speed”—such an event would be almost death to sis Mary, but some one will love her and then she can give Josie up.

Charlie is getting anxious to see you and is looking forward with great \pleasure/ to his visit to Val-de-Moulin. He loves you, and will be ever so good & kind to you.

It has been a good while since I heard from you, but I know the next mail will bring me a letter from my absent one, certain.

I cannot close without telling my precious angel, again of my heart’s deep, fervent, undying love, of my soul’s devotion. May God bless her, and may his smiles ever beam brightly on us is my earnest prayer.

Farewell darling—once more—farewell.

Ever truly and devotedly

William

## IV. Appendix

Nov 15th 1853

Mildred M. Humes

### I.C.a. John Redfield to Mildred, Normal, 24 Feb. 1855.

Normal, Feb. 24th, /55.

Miss M

I hope that I am not intruding,—if so—pardon me.

St. Valentine’s day has, to me, proved rather unfortunate. Tis my nature however, so I consider it as a single exemplification of what fate has in store for me.

It is said that a man is absent-minded when he walks all night in a shower of rain with an umbrella under his arm. I think that a boy is absent-minded when he directs a comic valentine to a lady that he knows nothing of.

Such was the case with your humble servant when a young man requested me to direct a package <p.2> to you which I accordingly did not thinking that my hand-writing on the back would lead to a supposition against me

Your familiar response a few days ago awoke me, or I should have forgotten all about it.

I give you my word (only) that I did not send you that valentine, although I directed it.

At home my word is good, but here (in No 3) I do not know how it stands.

Believe as your superior judgement may dictate.

I have the honor to be

John Redfield

Miss Millie Humes }
Pleasant Retreat Seminary }

### I.IJ.d. 4 Memorandum of allotment of slaves belonging to the estate of William Humes, and of the sale of real estate, June 1860.

June 1860

L.E. Williamson, W. Pennybaker & W.W. Salmon, coms appointed by the Probate Court of Morgan Co. Mo allotted the negroes belonging to the Est. of Wm Humes as folls.

Mahala $700.00 Alexander$90000 & Andrew $55000 to J.R. & J.G. Humes, jointly$2150.00

Margaret, to E.S. Humes. 900.00

George to James E. Humes 1200.00

Emiline $70000 & Lizzy 20000 to Mary E. Humes. 900.00 Dan 700 & Harriet$35000 to W.M. Wheatley 1050.00

Total 6 / 16200.00

Each share being $1033.33 1/3 In the preceding allotment, W.M. Wheatley paid E.S. Humes$16.67/100 due from him. J.R. & J.G. Humes pd E.S. Humes $83.34/100 and James E. Humes paid E.S. Humes$33 33/100 & Mary A Humes $133 33/100, the shares then being equal. The real Est. of W Humes decd. Was sold by order of Circuit Court Oct. 15th 1857 on the following terms—Widow entitled to dower & 6 of 6 absolute. Each heir 5 of balance, date of sale second Monday in April 1858—E.S. Humes purchaser, at$550000. ¼ in six mos, ¼ in 12 mos, and bal. In two years, all with interest at six percent from date of sale.

W.M. Wheatley’s share, according to the above sale is $[blank] [blank] interest on same until [blank] amount ford ### I.IJ.d. 3 Pages 34-35 cut from William’s day-book, May-June 1860 May 2d 1860 34 98.22 Amt. for^d.^ 98.22 .25 8 Expense a/c to J.R. & J.G. Humes For ½ Gall. Whiskey (Ross) 12 .25 ——June 4th—— 9.56 8 Expense a/c to Sundries Cash.—— 16 1.80 For syrup Rhubarb. 20 ” Crackers 20 ” oranges 20 ” servant 25 ” ” 25 ” 2 yds truck 45 ” Dinner 25 Jas. Livingston —— 11 7.76 For Peppermint 10 ” Pins10 Muslin^1.50^ Calico^1.00^ 2.60 ” 3 yds stuff 56 Linen &c^1.30^ 1.86 ” Turpentine10 Sundries^1.85^ 1.95 ” Calico for Mrs Humes 1.25 1.25 16 Cash to 8 1.25 Expense a/c for amt from Mrs Humes & chgd to my account at Livingston for ____ 1.75 11 Jas Livingston to Expense a/c For coat 8 1.75 1.50 8 T.R. & J.G. Humes cr. to Expense a/c For 2 ½ Bus meal & ½ Bus meal 12 1.50 112.53 112.53 35 June 7th 1860 112.53 Amount ford 112.53 My stock is increased this day by part of Estate of my wife—as follows. 235.75 14 Bills Receivable to stock For T.G. Humes note to cure(?) balance in his hands as guardian 15 235.75 Sundries to stock 15 2070.00 20.00 16 Cash— For amt from T.G. Humes guardian 2050.00 15 Negroes— For girl Mary$1000 ” “ Harriet 350 ” boy Dan 700
L.E. Williamson, W. Pennybaker & W.W. Salmon commissioners appointed by the Probate Court of Morgan Co. Missouri, allotted the negroes of the Estate of Wm Humes as folls.
Mahala700, Alexander900 & Andy550, to T.R. & J.G. Humes jointly $2150 Margaret, Mrs E.S. Humes 900 George, Ed. Humes 1200 Emeline700 & Lizzy200 Mary E. Humes 900 Dan700 & Harriett350. W.M. Wheatley. 1050 Total$6200
Each share being 1/3 $1033.33 2418.28 2418.28 ### I.IJ.d. 2 Memorandum of final settlement of estate of William Humes, Eliza S. Humes, and Mary Ada Humes [1873?] We the undersigned heirs of Wm Humes \decd/ have this day made a final settlement of the Estates of Wm Humes, Eliza S. Humes and Mary A. Humes. all now deceaced \and W.M. Wheatley & Mildred M.’s interest in the dower of E. S. Humes/, and find a balance due Wm M. & Mildred M. Wheatley from J.R. J.G. and J.E. Humes$1582.00
Deduct amt. claimed on the part of Thos R. Jos G. & James E. Humes, as advantage recd by Mildred M. Wheatley, in Education, and allowed by W.M. Wheatley - $570.00 Amount voluntarily allowed by W.M. Wheatley to Jos G. Humes Thos R. Humes & James E. Humes. in consideration of loss sustained by them in the purchase of negroes from said Wheatley 512.00 amount due Thos R. Jos G. & Jas. E. Humes in final settlement of all individual claims and accounts to this date. from W.M. Wheatley 25.00 Deduct amount assumed by Thos R. Jos G. & Jas. E. Humes for W.M. Wheatley, in favor of James P. Ross 25.00 1132.00 Shewing a balance due W.M. Wheatley of$450.00

for which Thos R. Jos G. & James E. Humes have given said Wheatley their Joint notes of this date as follows.

One note dated Jany 30th, 1873 for \$22500 due Oct. 1st 1873, with interest at ten perct from date, and another note of same date and amt. & rate prct from date, said notes when paid in full with the interest thereon, will be in full of all accounts, claims or demands against \the said/ Thos R. Jos G. & Jas. E. Humes \the aforesaid Estates/ by said Wheatley, & in consideration of the above notes, W.M. Wheatley has given Jos G. Humes his rect. in full - this date.

## Notes

1. There are some ink blots on the first page.

2. Thomas Moore, Lalla Rookh. Copy in Jean’s box.

3. Thomas Moore, Lalla Rookh, in The Poetical Works (Boston: Phillips, Sampson and Co.; New York: James C. Derby, 1855), p.454; in William’s copy, p.264, where the first line of this stanza is marked with two pencil strokes.

4. Thomas Moore, Lalla Rookh, p.415; p.159 in William’s copy, where the whole passage is marked in pencil.

5. Judges 20:1; 1 Sam. 3:20; 2 Sam. 3:10, 17:11, 24:2, 24:15; 1 Kings 4:25.

6. Quotation from II.C.b.22. William to Mildred [Northumberland, 8 Nov. 1857] above.

7. Quotation from II.C.b.3. William to Mildred 15 Nov. 1857 above.

8. “there” is possibly corrected from “that” (or vice versa?).

9. 1 Kings 4:25.

10. Thomas Moore, in National Airs, a “Scotch air” beginning: “Oft, in the stilly night, | Ere Slumber’s chain has bound me, | Fond memory brings the light | Of other days around me; …” (1855 ed., p.269).

11. The letter is written on a large blue sheet, folded to make its own envelope, and was sealed with a wax seal.