Letter from Cordelia L. Bailey to Jennie Reed, November 3, 1867

In this letter from November 3, 1867, Cordelia L. Bailey writes to Jennie Reed, wife of Samuel Reed, inquiring why she has not written in so long. She asks if Mr. Reed will remain in the West throughout the winter, and if it would be alright to send her son Walter west even though "the season is so far advanced." Bailey states she believes it would be a good time for Walter to go west, given that "the Indians seem to have been awed, or coaxed into a more peaceful frame of mind."

Chire [sic] Amie

For some days past I have been quite unwell. The greater part of the time in bed, & as I lay there pondering over many things, I [sought] to explain to myself the cause of your silence, for you seldom leave my letters so long unanswered, & the idea occured to me that you were ill, perhaps the threatened evil had befallen you, so I could not rest until I arose & enquired [sic] concerning your health fully persuaded that if not too ill, you will write a line in reply to remove my anxiety.

You wrote that you were expecting many guests, who would naturally absorb your time & attentions & perhaps I should ascribe your silence to your indefatigable fulfilment [sic] of hospitable cares. I trust it is so, in which case you will steal away from them all & write just one line to reassure me, won't you?

I know full well, dear Jennie that you take an interest in all that concerns me, or mine. I must therefore tell you of my son John's late success: he has written a lyric opera, for the benefit of the School Library, of which he is the Librarian. It was performed 6 nights to immensely crowded houses, & the papers were spoke in the most complimentary language of the production. It was played one night for his benefit. This will probably prove the initiatory step to future & more brilliant success achievements. An author who has been successful has but to persevere & prosper.

My aching & swimming head admonishes me to [resign] my pen, but not until I enquire [sic] of you, chérie, if I may hope to see you this winter? For, alas, winter will soon be here. And again pray let me know if Mr. Reed will remain West, & if it would be well for Walter to go there now the season is so far advanced. I feel very desirous that he shd go, now that the Indians seem to have been awed, or coaxed into a more peaceful frame of mind.

I'll write no more at present save to reiterate my assurances of sincere affection.
C L [C] Bailey

My daughter & Mr. B. unite in kindest remembrances. Kiss the little ones for Aunty Bailey.

About this Document

  • Source: Letter from Cordelia L. Bailey to Jennie Reed
  • Extent: 3 pages
  • Citation: Yale University Library, Manuscripts and Archives, Samuel Reed Family Papers, Box 2, Folder 34
  • Date: November 3, 1867