Letter from L.C. Dillaway to Jennie Reed, April 1860

In this letter from April 1860, L.C. Dillaway writes to Jennie Reed discussing family news and some of the latest women's fashions available in Baltimore stores.

Mrs. Reed

  • "Dear Friend - between friend and friend
  • Prose answers every common end;
  • Serves in a plain and homely way,
  • To express the occurence of the day,
  • Our health, the weather, and the news,
  • What journeys we take, what fashions we choose,
  • And all the floating thoughts we find
  • Upon the surface of the mind".
  • Cowper.

I have a thousand and one apologies for not answering your very kind and interesting letter. My dear friend I little thought when I was reading your letter with so much pleasure, that so long a time would elapse, before I should answer it, but "procrastination is the thief of time" and we have had so many changes of late traveled so many hundred miles and seeing so many of my dear friends and relatives, that, really, I would not be surprised if I should neglect writing to my own husband.

Amidst all the many changes I can assure you, that you and yours are not forgotton [sic] , and my earnest wish for you is that you have entirely recovered your health and you may be spared to us all, for I anticipate a great many happy hours in store for us yet.

A torrent of emotion rushes throught my mind pleasure mingled with pain, pleasure, in having my dear mother and sister with me, and pain, at the thoughts of parting and the long time that will probably intervene before I shall see them again, but, I must turn from the sad musings to the scene around me. I have so much to say to you that I find writing a poor substitute for talking with you. Our darling Willie is now recovering from the measels, he was quite sick for a few days. What would I not have given to have had Dr Bisley with us then. We have every reason to be thankful that he is getting along so well.

We had a delightful visit of four weeks in Boston and found all well and of course delighted to see us. How much I should have enjoyed your company with us. I really would like to see you on the farm, and I may possibly make you a very short visit, but cannot tell for a certainty yet.

I have been interrupted a great many times since I began this, with calls.

When I see you I have many an amusing story to relate. If there is any thing you would like to have purchased in my line I am at your service madam. The stores are full of every thing pretty. The bonnets are very large, and very becoming I think. The hoops are shaped like a bell. They are called floating bells. The silk dresses are ruffled up to the waist & c & c. When I see you I will give you a more accurate description of the fashions of Boston, New York and Baltimore.

Now how is dear little Annie? Lue and Willie send a great deal of love, in when they get settled at home once more. Lue [says] she will answer Annie's letter it. Of course you know that the Dr and wife are housekeeping and my good husband is with them. I have every reason to believe now that my husband will make somebody yet under Mrs. Bisleys training. Please remember me to your husband and friends.

Willie is asking his mamma to take him and I must obey. Please write soon a good long letter and direct to N. Noyes Box 1088 Baltimore Md. I shall probably remain here three or four week. Mother, and sister send their kindest regards to you and yours.

And with much love I remain your friend
L.C. Dillaway.

About this Document

  • Source: Letter from L.C. Dillaway to Jennie Reed
  • Extent: 4 pages
  • Citation: Yale University Library, Manuscripts and Archives, Samuel Reed Family Papers, Box 2, Folder 25
  • Date: 1860