1901 Letter to Wilhelmina from Bess
Contributed by Kathleen Haynes
Contact Myrtle Bridges July 13, 2011
[Post mark is 18 Oct 1901 - Written on 17 Oct 1901]
My dearest Wilhelmina.
I guess "Loverboy" is about now arriving in C & soon you'll see him & what he will have to tell you about the situation
of things in *"Dunvegan" will fill a book. My dear, I have never missed you quit as much as I have (pg-1b) lately since
"Tommys" resignation of our church. I long to "talk over" with you the past present & future of the "little brown Church
around the corner"- Wilhelmina, the old town is tumbled up side down. I can't do justice to the state of affairs here on
paper. I wish I could (pg-2a) see you to tell you all the inside workings of this Church business. Of course you've heard
of the petition sent to Mr Jacobs asking him to preach twice a month for us until we get a preacher. Well, it was signed by
every one except the Erwins, Moores, Isaac Avery & wife (pg-2b) Mama & Myself. of course you can easily guess why I didn't
I simply care entirely too much for him to want him to stay here where the leaders of our Church dis-like him so & who have
ever been so unjust & un-grateful to him. The great majority (pg-3a) of our people are truly distressed over his leaving, as
for Me I have no regrets I am truly thankful he is going. We will surely have a "hot time" getting another preacher
Who ever that interesting in[-]dividual may prove to be he can never do (pg-3b) the great things here that "Our Parson" has
done. I expect to keep that fact fresh ever in the minds of our hymn book friends (?) across the way. Sudie. Irene. Mr
Johnson, Mr Jacobs & My self were invited to supper with Kate Ross Tuesday night (pg-4a) Kate intended to send you & Weeta
a card to it but for some reason She didn't I longed so for you particularly when the old old story of the dear "Junior Aid"
was brought up. I guess with out saying that the Parson & I had a free & fierce battle of words on the subject- I accusing
him (pg-4b) of being a traitor to us & he of course denying it is usual Sude & Irene agreed with him & I had only Kate to
side with me- I surely needed you pardner with your ready tongue & free flow of words- Johnson looked & listened in blank
bewilderment & (pg-5a) & of course "he never could know & never could understand". We had a lovely evening however
in spite of the fight. Last night was the last Prayer meeting service that Mr. J as our Pastor will ever conduct. It was a
beautiful but most doleful affair you can (pg-5b) imagine- Well, my dear you & I had an interesting & stormy career with our
Parson **"Some of him lived" "but most of us died" (See Kiplings "Vampire"). He has gone out of my life & into yours more fully
& entirely I hope this second (pg-6a) encounter with him will prove more profitable to you than your experience with him here.
Wilhelmina when he came back from C- & I was asking him a thousand questions about you- it surely did please me to hear him
say so many lovely things (pg-6b) about you - he said so much in praise of your work & of your voice- he said nothing of your
friend. Between you & I do you think she is going back after xmas? Sude is not particu-larly confidential & I keep My own
comment (pg-7a) I don't think she quite understands why I didn't show her your letter. I simply said you wrote me about what
you had written to you home folks previously. I intend to go to Charleston in Jan. & I fully expect to come up to Clinton Sat
& (pg-7b) stay until Monday & I can then tell you all I would like to write but which I find difficult to express on paper.
Every body than [sic-that] can leave town is going away for the winter. Write me some thing about Mollie Has she ever returned?
(pg-8a) Has Mrs Baileys "tea party" taken place yet? I do hope to get a glimpse of her if I come to SC. What kind of girl was
that girl who married a short time? I mean "Loverboys" old sweet heart. Have you seen any thing of "Isabella"? (pg-8b) Wilhelmina
please write me on the dead quick just what is your opinion about Dr Jacobs health & do you think it necessary for Thornwell
Jacobs to assist him? Everything is in such a muddle. I can't get things straightened out (pg-9a)in my mind. Please write me
if you are happy and contented Is that life "all you fancy painted it"? I want to know the truth & if you tell me I promise
it will be strictly "under the nose" ___________ (pg-9b) Well My dear, I'm afraid this is rather a stuped letter I've written
nothing except about the Parson but thought perhaps I could write more freely on the subject than Irene & I know you want to know.
Don't ever give him the knife- when he comes (pg-10a) don't forget the many things you have stored away in your mind to say to him
& to ask him and don't forget all you & I want to have said to him about the J.A. of our work & of his treachery to us ect. ect. &
do be careful(pg-10b) when you talk of Mr L. & remember of some things he must never know. Write me soon - I think of you so very
often & I miss you more than you'll ever know. There is no one here to take your place with me. I'll write particulars (pg-11a)
concerning every thing about getting a new preacher. Please write me before Mr J gets back from Synod Sunday week. He was perfectly
crazy to know what you last wrote Me- he begged me to show him your letter he wanted to (pg-11b) know what you said about his visit
I had him nearly over his head with a heart full of love hoping you are happy & content Always.
Much fondly Yours
Give my best love to Weeta
*The name Dunvegan is scottish Gaelic for "small castle".
** From the poem: Rudyard Kipling : "The Vampire" (1897)
Back to Messages From A Hidden Past