1

 

Philadelphia Friday Aug. 23. 1839

 

Fl. Al. M. Lc. a jour […] pins.[1]

            Called on M. S.  I was a good deal agitated having him treated as Wednesday evening with gruff[2] rudeness by J.W.[3] and apprehending that he may have taken some strong measures to prevent visits which I know are disagreeable to him. Smiles and sweetness[4] granted[5] me ample[6] apologies and sincere regrets for his conduct. – hoped I would not notice him +c[7] If all this be only friendship it is certainly a good deal more ardent than I have ever seen except between the sexes. And yet I cannot think it Love.[8] Women are so singularly inexplicable that we never can reason about them or their conduct, with any reasonable[9] degree of certainly. I, at least, do not understand them. I hardly think I understand my own feelings in this matter. Still, when I ask the question – how would I feel toward a rival? It at once convinces me that I am warmly attached. I fear no rival! Such is self-esteem. I dread my loss but can not for another gain – for no other one can gain, if I fail.

            Answered advertisement in the World of a person who wants instruction in belle letters literature offering my services for a reasonable compensation.

Bought Baum[10] Essays for M.S.  To morrow when I give her the books I may gain some information about what now gives me so much uneasiness.[11] I cannot, however, at least until her sister recovers,[12] bring the matter to a conclusion. Will I then?

 

2

   Saturday Aug. 24. 1839.

I am analyzing Stephens on Pleading[13] and cm at the 240 th page.

   To day I gave M.S. Bacon[14] – I could not see any thing particularly important in her manner.  […][15] it frankly and willingly – without the slightest hesitation or entrampment.  I said nothing particular.

   In afternoon went to see Henry Clay.[16]

   In evening went to M. S.   K - better. About 9 J. W. came in who treated me so rudely that I abruptly left.     Sick to day.

 

    Sunday 25 Aug.

Church in Springs[17] in morning. Mr. […][18] – very good sermon.

Afternoon sick – took medicine and in bed.

Thought much all day of M.S. and whether it is better to bring matter to an issue.[19]

 

   Monday, 26 Aug.

            I am quite unwell this morning and am suffering occassionally[20] with pain.

About ½ past 11 called on M.S.  She took a short walk with me.  I found myself unable to say directly and specifically what I intended.

I however told her that I felt that I placed her in a most unpleasant situation and offered to omit my visits if they were not agreeable.  She said no, she would always be glad to see me.  I then told her

 

 

3

 

that […][21] in my visits, as I did, notice [22]the tawdry the conduct of her uncle was evidence of the […][23] more than ordinary regard which I entertained for her – that my present situation precluded me from saying just what I thought and wished to say – but that I hoped we understood each other – that if she smiled approvingly and kindly I did not regard the rudeness of her uncle.+c.  She made not reply. This I must consider approval.  I then mentioned my having prepared a note for Mr W. asking the reason of his strange conduct – asked her whether I had better send it to him or speak to him, or omit my evening visits – in short I told her I placed the whole matter in her hands and would do whatever she suggested. M finally agreed that I had better suspend my visits of an evening.

            When we got home I went in – Repeated to her that we understood each other +c. In leaving I paused and kissed her hand.   She was during the whole interview the same sweet and good girl that she always is – I have proposed + am accepted.

            I am, by all that is sacred, indissolubly bound to her who is, and will deserve to be, the very idol of my heart –the kindest and the best woman that ever lived. O it is happiness too great to think I have blessed glorious privilege – the privilege of knowing that she loves me! – It seems indeed[24] that I am not worthy of the regard + favor of one so sweet and gentle and pure[25] and good. I am overwhelmed by gratitude and love, as pure as permanent.

 

4

 

Mauch Chunk Leigh Co.[26] Pa.  31 August 1839

 

My dear Mary,

            I wrote you to care of Miss Dolby in accordance with your wishes on Monday + Thursday last – Since which time our course has been as follows. On Friday morning we left Pottsville having spent the preceding day in examining some of the most curious matters in the […][27] – viz the coal mines which were under the […][28] + […][29] in every direction in a manner the most extra –ordinary. It is impossible without extending my letter to a length altogether too great to give you any definite idea of these stupendous […][30] but when we again see each other and hear the thousand […][31] which I anticipate with a perception so vivid, I hope to tell you all this a great deal more.

            But even now if I have not room nor time to tell you of things I can at least […][32] of thoughts, for but a single sentence is […][33] for that. My thoughts are of you. At all times, in all situations, in all company my mind transports me to Phil., [34] call up your image before me and giving life to it, inanimation, makes it the sphere of all that is attraction,[35] the concentration of all that is good, the source of love and the center is it power. My I hope, may I believe that you too sometimes think of me? And yet this seems to be bliss[36] now here human – and yet that bliss I trust is mine.

 

5

 

But I am forgetting our journey as what is then which I do not forget when I think of you? We left Pottsville yesterday – went 10 miles on the most extraordinary R.R. that I ever saw or you can ever thought of. It was as rough as a […][37] + the country through which it passed was as hilly as Switzerland. However after staying it for 10 or 15 miles after we left the R.R. in […][38] the town of […][39] which consists of 3 taverns,[40] 3 tailor shops and 1 […][41] – no blacksmith’s shop nor a dwelling house which is certainly singular.  <insert: Here we dined – infamously> Ten[42] miles were of staging[43] foundry at the Lehigh[44] Coal mines. They are wonderful. But as I cannot now discuss[45] I can only tell you to ask me about them when I come home. We then took the Rail Road 9 miles to this place – We came at a rapid rate without […][46] power, altogether  […][47] the power[48] of gravitation.

            This town is beautifully situated. It is the center of an natural amphitheater[49] formed by nature on the grandest scale. The walks in the neighborhood are numerous and beautiful. Our party which is now Hallin[50]  + self + Mr + Mrs M Johnson[51] went trout fishing this morning  – In  how fishermen link,[52] that is never at all in the way of fish – but we had a charming walk- and saw a thousand <insert: many[53]>  objects of interest – which I cannot venture to [….][54]

            On Monday I shall be at Eastern where I certainly expect to hear from you

 

6 

 

We will remain here to morrow morning + go to the Methodist Church. In the afternoon we will walk 12 or 15 miles down the Lehigh[55] which is beautiful beyond description. On Monday morning we will take the stage for Gorton[56] from some point on the Canal and on Wednesday afternoon next I will be in Philadl.[57] I will endeavor if possible to see you on that afternoon but at any rate the next morning.

            In all the different situations that I have been in I have continually thought of you + whenever in an agreeable situation and am particularly when looking at beautiful scenery I have ardently desired that you could be with me. Will you next summer? Please remember me very affectionately to your family and believe me

                        Your very devotedly + truly  

                                                            W.A.S.

Sunday Morning. Late last night I wrote the forgoing,[58] and about 11 O’Clock went to the Post Office to send it. A very disobliging fellow argued[59] to let me pay the postage because as he said it was “so late”. I pressed him with entreaty[60] argument and money but he was inexorable. So as I could not take such a liberty with Miss[61] D as to send it sans ceremonies[62] I am compelled to wait until this afternoon. Last night I dreamed but I will not tell you of whom or what. Do you think you can guess? – This morning was up with the lark and am yet dreaming for […][63] still <insert: but> continues what sleeping[64] […]. I have suceeded[65] admirably

 

7

 

in forgetting books and business, law and logic[66] and all the wearing[67] pains and pleasures of my profession. But when I return I hope with increased ardor and diligence to pursue the broad and honorable path that leads to fame and fortune. I am now far more anxious than ever for at least that moderate success  which will give me a tolerable income; for I have now far more inducement to anxiety in this point. I do not fear however nor doubt at all. I feel and know that I have the elements of success within me and I know that they shall be called out and exerted.[68] Do you recollect what Mackintosh[69] says about this?

            Good bye, may I say my dear Mary? The hours drag their[70] slow length along “at each remove a lengthened chain”[71] until I see you. God bless you

                        Faithfully and forever Yours

                                                            W.A.S.

 

 

8

 

Sep. 24. 1839   As usual when I have attempted to keep a journal I find myself forgetting it and neglecting for a long time to add thing to my memorandums.[72]

            The time of this omission too has been ever in which a number of most important matters have ocurred.[73]

            On Wednesday Sept. […][74] I got home from my little tour and found that during my absence Dr. Conper[75] + my Uncle Black[76] of Delaware had died. […][77] + the family were quite well. She received me very kindly but not with as much warmth as I had hoped for. On Thursday I went to Matte[78] to the funeral of Uncle and on Friday returned.

            I began[79] more and more to fear that I stood in a false position in regard to Mary and that I either had not or she thought I had not made a proposal. And yet I thought that I must have done so. What to think. I did not know and was agitated and annoyed beyond measure. My fears suggested every thing dreadful – perhaps she cared not for me – perhaps she would suggest me – I know that I was not worthy of her regard and I could not feel assured of her favour.

            I at last determined that all events I would make a regular and formal declaration. I felt apprehensive however of

 

9

 

being unable to go through with it. So I wrote out and committed to memory what I thought sufficient. On Saturday morning 7 September I went to see her resolved to dare every thing for every thing. I saw her with emotion and feeling greater than ever before. I asked to walk. She consented and out we went to Rinuldrom[80] Burying Ground which I had determined to make the scene of my avowal. We walked round and round the garden in almost total silence. I could not summon sufficient courage. My heart failed me at every effort + I feared that I could never commence. We went out of the place – along 10 th St to Chestnut to beyond Blights house in commenced returning – Still I had said nothing We were both almost entirely silent – by Portico now I determined that speak I would whatever might ensue. I said in faltering and tremulous tones – “Miss Mary, I asked you in our […][81] my letters whether I might hope that I was not altogether an object of indifference to you – I entertain for you an attachment the most sincere. May I ask this question now? – She made no reply. After a few minutes I said “that I hoped she was prepared to give me an answer as frank as kind” She said “I cannot answer so awful a question”  I replied that if it was painful I did not wish her to answer it but asked her if I might put what construction[82] I pleased

 

10

 

upon her silence” -  She said “yes” -  I then intimated to her what meaning I gave to it and expressed my gratitude for her kindness told her it would be my future […][83] and study to make her happy as was my duty +c. We went home. I kissed her hand and bid her adieu. The whole interview was one of the greatest embarrassment- I was very much affected as was she – poor dear girl.  I would hardly be willing to go through with it again for any thing earthly;  for our fears are awful when in hope and doubt about what in believe[84] to be essential to our happiness and almost to our existence –

            After this interview which placed the matter beyond a doubt and decided specifically that I was to be the husband of the very best woman in the whole world I felt my happy but by no means gay – I felt that I had assumed a responsibility of the most serious character – I felt gladly solemn in the anxiousness of success where I had no hope of success. It is my pleasure now and it will always be I hope and believe my pleasure as well as my duty to endeavour in every way to make my Mary happy – to shield her from all the harm which the world offers even to the good – to cherish love and honor her in life and if it be necessary to die for her as I hope to live with her. She is I know all that a woman can be - indeed almost too good for this world

 

11

 

and without exaggeration more an angel then a woman.

            My heart is […][85] and wholly – Poor as is the offering it is all that I have to give and I give  it most freely – most gladly – She is Queen supreme within her poor little empire O! how I wish it was more worthy of her!

            The next day (Sunday) I went to church with her. She is sincerely pious. Although of a Church differing from the one in which I was educated.[86] I hope I can appreciate the sincerity and consistency of her faith and conduct –

            “For modes of faith  let senseless zealots fight

            He can’t be wrong, when life is in the right”[87]

 is in some measure my sentiment – I am now glad that I have no peculiar vices in […][88] to cards of religion, but can respect[89]  and propriety whenever it is found – I will not attempt to influence her religious feelings for I know that it would not be right that I who have no particular belief should interfere with one who believes her Church can alone at least in her case lead to that eternal happiness for which we all hope.

            On the contrary I will endeavor to think her Church right in all things as I know they are in the great essential of the Christian religion.

 

12

 

On Monday 9 Sep 1839  I called on Mr Walker by consent of Mary and had a long interview – At times during the conversation he was very much excited and at other times calm. He said that the family had deceived him and treated him as a fool and a puppet that Mary + Kitty had positively denied there was any ground for suspicion, that they must have know that this declaration was false – that we were in no […][90] adapted for each other + more particularly that our […][91]  and feelings are at variance and that our religious views were dissimilar – he said that I had no idea of the pertinacious[92] bigotry of the Catholics – that if I am thought of the matter seriously as I probably would I would be violently opposed to Mary’s religion and that my profession was one in which I could not expect to make money for some years and that Mary was far from being a young girl and that it was inexpedient that at her age She should be embarrassed by any engagement – However others had […][93] that I had behaved with honor +c +c. I defended the family and the whole matter to my best ability and he finally said that though he would not oppose he would not approve the matter – that he should always be glad to see me or a friend and would me with politeness - [94] I left him + in the afternoon communicated the whole matter to Mary.

 

 

13

 

On Wednesday Sep 11. Argued the question at the Law Academy[95] in the Negative. Miss Williams  + Sherswood[96] present – This was the question of the Negroes captured on board L’Amistad + in […][97] that they were neither slaves nor criminals but freemen acting in self defense. The debate was a very good one.

 

On Sunday went to Church with my dear Mary. She is a delicate fragile timid sensitive little creature and is I really believe afraid of being kissed. In this as in a thousand other things she is certainly unlike her sex usually are. Her peculiarity in this particular arises I fancy from her inexperience for strange as it may seem I am convinced that she has never received those salutations from any gentleman before. By consequence they are doubly valuable to me: and will be to her too when habit reconciles her to them. It is my duty both as a man + a lover to induce this habit, though it is really hard work. She looks so unapproachable so shrouded in a sort of propriety which is almost prudery. That I hesitate to draw aside the veil,[98] though I know both for her sake and my own I should do so. Her conduct would indicate in any other woman a coldness unbecoming her situation but I will not believe her cold.

 

14

 

Saturday 21 Sep 1839. Took mother this morning to see my dear Mary. She behaved admirably well and mother was very much pleased with her and she I hope was agreeably disappointed in mother. It was however somewhat awkward. It had been my intention to introduce her to mother with some ceremony. Mary good sense prevented this and I now think fortunately; for every thing went on + terminated without this as not as would have been desired. When I went home mother said that Mary was actually very pretty when she talked and that she smiled most sweetly. Still she would not agree with me that she is supremely beautiful. Can I be mistaken in thinking that she is remarkably handsome? If I am wrong in this I know that all events[99] I am right in the intimate I make of her head and heart – her good sense and her good feeling.[100]

            In the afternoon went with her + her sister to the Horticultural exhibition. Amidst all the  herbal beauties , she was fairest flower of the whole! Attractive as the exhibition may have been to others she was its sole attraction to me and […][101] never was nay woman more calculated to attract. I feel that I am not worthy of that […][102] which I hope and believe she has for me. But I can at last endeavor to make myself every day more worthy of her regard. Improve as I may I can never equal her.

 

15

 

Sunday 22d. In morning went to Church with Mary and her sister.

On last evening a made a very successful speech at a Town Meeting of Democratic citizens held in front of Mr Aram[103] garden on Market St. Evening and afternoon of Sunday was with Mary she grows in grace apace and I am every day more and more fascinated those substantial + real charm, which first attracted my admiration and arrested[104] my attention. She is certainly on among Ten Thousand and altogether lovely. She is as beautiful as a Gazelle as gentle and as timid too. She is afraid of me in some measure yet and this I really cannot account for. I am sure she should not be and yet I am sure she is. I would not for worlds[105] hurt a hair of her head. But I hope would die for her if I could not live with her. Her feelings are not so ardent as mine and herein she differs from most women who usually in such affairs have the greater share of affection. I trust however that in her care if the current be smooth and placid that is also deep and clear – what she does not display I hope she feel, but designedly[106] […].[107]

            How anxious and fearful is true love! I cannot but be anxious to know her feelings – I cannot but fear that she feel with too much unseen and caution.

 

16

 

Wednesday evening – Spoke in Broad St. like a gentleman and was respectfully listened to.

            I am very much distressed about Mary and her conduct. I love her so much that even trifles produce a considerable effect. But is this trifle? Certainly in its-self, but by no means so if it indicate a state of feeling radically wrong. And these little things are the surest and the best indications of then greater matters usually hidden and not otherwise revealed. Still, she is so artless that I cannot suspect her of designed by giving cause for offence and I should not regard that which is undesigned.[108]

            I had kissed her once or twice during our interview and when about bidding her adieu I indicated the intention of repeating this. In a manner the most cold and decided, indeed almost indication indignation and perhaps  some disgust she told me there had been “enough of such folly”. I at once desisted – I said nothing but felt and recollected; and now memory makes the matter more serious than it at first struck me as being. Was it folly? Does she really think so? I will not believe it – for if these questions are to be answered in the negative I am laboring under a […][109] mistake – one to which my happiness for life now perhaps hers too  […] the […] – a sacrifice to that will propitiate nothing.

            Are either of us […][110] ourselves? – I know she is not – for I love her with an ardor + intensity which words cannot express – she is the very idol

 

17

 

of my heart and more precious than all other earthly possessions.[111]  But am I mistaken? Can I love? – I should think not, and yet how am I to account for this repulse and its manners so cold and so indignant – Could any woman who loved as one should in her situation should, could any such one do as she did? I do not know – Lost in a sea of conjecture,[112] without knowledge in skill, I am tossed about by doubts and fears of this most painful nature.[113]

            I know that she would not voluntarily deceive me. Can she deceive herself? But for this one single sentence and its manner I should at once[114] repudiate such an idea. But how else am I to answer for this?

            Perhaps she may know enough, (although not very experienced) to think that an occassional [115] repulse will […][116] to increase the exhibition of my feelings. She forgets that this is a very dangerous scheme in its self and besides it is a game at which two can play. I will do it. I will be as reserved as she is and as she wants me to be more dignified I will give enough dignity to make her tired of it forever.

            Up to this time I have resorted to none of these common tricks of lovers. I have shewn[117] her my heart without reserve, excepting so far as words failed to express feelings – And now she attempts to play the wise lady at my cost! –

            Even now, although, I fear she has done wrong,

 

19[118]

I think W. A. Stokes[119] might have passed his time more profitably. M.S.[120]

W.A.S. will […][121] his duty to act on the prying[122] notion whether it be […][123] envious and in future think not unnecessarily[124] of M.S.

October[125] 5. 1839. This is Saturday morning and I am sitting in the back parlour of Mrs. S- house talking with my little angel of light + love –

 

Wednesday evening Oct 30. This has be the sadd last day that I have passed for some time, a day of the middle of which was brighten than either the dawn or ending. when I returned from school I found W.S.[126] who came to meet me looking so happy it made me sick at heart to drive away his sunny smiles by communicating the unpleasant intelligence on which I had been brooding all day poor fellow! I seldom have any thing pleasant to tell him. I am seriously afraid he thought [127]I did not feel it as much as I shou<insert: l>d and have reproached myself for it, but […][128] I was so gald[129] to see him his presence all most almost banished now from my breast. though what I had to say was any thing but agreeable I know he would rather hear it and esteem it a mark[130] of confidence. I hope has made a successful speech, which I know he has and the evening has <insert: most> rapidly than he expected. I cannot help contrasting with others. I confidently hope to spend many more as felicitously and even more so if possible. God bless you William I trust you may sleep soundly and forget all care.[131]

 

[p. 20][132]

 

                       

 



[1] Best guess

[2] Best guess

[3] Best guess

[4] Best guess

[5] Best guess

[6] Best guess

[7] Presumably “etc cera”

[8] Best guess

[9] Best guess

[10] Best guess

[11] Best guess

[12] Best guess

[13] Stephen, Henry John, 1787-1864. A treatise on the principles of pleading in civil actions; comprising a summary view of the whole proceedings in a suit at law. Philadelphia, Abraham Small, 1824. 463pp. On spine: Stephen on Pleading in Civil Actions.

[14] Possible philosopher Francis Bacon

[15] Indecipherable word

[16] Possibly Henry Clay, 1877-1852 <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Clay>

[17] Best guess

[18] Indecipherable word

[19] Best guess

[20] Presumably meant “occasionally”

[21] Indecipherable word

[22] Best guess

[23] Indecipherable word

[24] Best guess

[25] Best guess

[26] Possibly located in Mauch Chunk (Pa.) <http://www.mauchchunkhistory.com/>

[27] Indecipherable word

[28] Indecipherable word

[29] Indecipherable word

[30] Indecipherable word

[31] Indecipherable 2 words

[32] Indecipherable word

[33] Indecipherable word

[34] Best guess; Possibly “Philadelphia, (Pa.

[35] Best guess

[36] Best guess

[37] Indecipherable word

[38] Indecipherable word

[39] Indecipherable word

[40] Best guess

[41] Best guess

[42] Best guess

[43] Best guess

[44] Lehigh, (Pa.)

[45] Best guess

[46] Indecipherable word

[47] Indecipherable word

[48] Best guess

[49] Best guess personal name

[50] Best guess personal name

[51] Best guess personal name

[52] Best guess

[53] Best guess

[54] Indecipherable 2 words

[55] Probably the Lehigh River

[56] Best guess, Possibly Gorton, (Pa.)

[57] Best guess, Possibly Philadelphia, (Pa.)

[58] Best guess

[59] Best guess

[60] Best guess

[61] Best guess

[62] Best guess

[63] Indecipherable word

[64] Best guess

[65] Best guess

[66] Best guess

[67] Best guess

[68] Best guess

[69] Best guess personal name

[70] Best guess

[71] Possibly Byron <http://books.google.com/books?id=PZsgAAAAMAAJ&pg=PA197&lpg=PA197&dq=%22a+lengthened+chain%22&source=web&ots=KXUpft_bmN&sig=BK0FhZ1QhLw3AWxaVkgB2PygGjU&hl=en&ei=xymcSbaRA4-ctwevjNDpBA&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=4&ct=result#PPA198,M1>

[72] Best guess

[73] Best guess

[74] Indecipherable word

[75] Best guess personal name

[76] Best guess personal name

[77] Indecipherable 2 words

[78] Best guess

[79] Best guess

[80] Best guess ; maybe this book may have some listing in Philadelphia

<http://books.google.com/books?id=8uYkAAAAYAAJ&pg=RA1-PA2361&lpg=RA1-PA2361&dq=%22Burying+Ground%22+philadelphia+chestnut&source=web&ots=6r6jt8-vw8&sig=Z8MBoicZKhzA3GpjVtI_MJXoQ0k&hl=en&ei=vTScSfGxJJPHtgf42r3eBA&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=3&ct=result#PRA1-PA2355,M1>

[81] Indecipherable word

[82] Best guess

[83] Indecipherable word

[84] Best guess

[85] Best guess

[86] Best guess

[87] Possibly Alexander Pope <http://www.archive.org/stream/lecturesonbritis01reeduoft/lecturesonbritis01reeduoft_djvu.txt>

[88] Indecipherable word

[89] Best guess

[90] Indecipherable word

[91] Indecipherable word

[92] Best guess

[93] Indecipherable word

[94] Best guess

[95] Best guess

[96] Best guess personal name

[97] Indecipherable word

[98] Best guess

[99] Best guess

[100] Best guess

[101] Indecipherable word

[102] Indecipherable word

[103] Best guess personal name

[104] Best guess

[105] Best guess

[106] Best guess

[107] Indecipherable word

[108] Best guess

[109] Indecipherable word

[110] Indecipherable word

[111] Best guess

[112] Best guess

[113] Best guess

[114] Best guess

[115] Presumably meant “occasionally”

[116] Best guess

[117] Archaic use of ‘shown’

[118] No pg 18

[119] Author of journal

[120] Penciled in presumably by Mary Stokes.

[121] Indecipherable word

[122] Best guess

[123] Indecipherable word

[124] Best guess

[125] Best guess; appears to be different handwriting, possibly author

[126] Best guess

[127] Either strike out or the dashed T over word

[128] Indecipherable word

[129] Presumably meant “glad”

[130] Maybe mask

[131] Presumably written by Mary Stokes

[132] Blank