Letters from Various Correspondents

to Emma Taylor


A Hanover student from His165 "The Family and the Modern West" (Fall 2015), taught by Sarah McNair Vosmeier, transcribed this letter. The original is available at the Duggan Library Archives, Hanover College (Hanover, Ind.).

For more on the people, places, and events discussed in the letters, see the Guide to the Elias Riggs Monfort Letter Collection.
Other transcriptions and page images from the Monfort collection are also available.


George Perkins to Emma A. Taylor, 29 April 1866, folder 9, box 1, Elias Riggs Monfort Collection, Duggan Library, Hanover College (Hanover, Ind.).
Transcription by Lia Springer, HC 2019, and Sarah McNair Vosmeier

Walnut Hills April 29th 1866

Miss Emma A Taylor

Dear Friend,

I suppose your heart beats with Joy as you think of the fue brief day until you will be again with friends at home But when you come it will be to find that another friend of the past has gone into the unknown night. Lizzie [Ballentine?] is dead.  Her spirit [strikeout: winged] commenced its eternal flight to those immortal realms where she shall take her place with kindred spirits of a spotless mould in mansions of perpetual day. at [7?] oclock Saturday night. Profits Poets & historians all tell us to keep our eyes steadily forward but when sweet memories cluster round our hearts & fierce reminders bring up friends of the past we feel we feel it a duty as well as a privilege to [strikeout: look] give them a fue last thoughts e'er their brighter images fade from the scroll of memory . Our mutual friend was one of those almost perfect characters [strike out: of love?] whose virtues blaze up with living lights as her spirit takes its flight. "None knew her but to love her" She has followed her old friend Mary Tracy.  Two Spirits that could not live apart.  Two of the three that that [sic] buckled on my sword & sent me forth to strike in freedom's name.  They bade me fair well trembling for my safety and yet the fierce spirit of the glass scythe came first to their door, and ruthlessly severed the vital cord.  [strike out: they took the flowers and left the rugged stump.]  How sad it is to see one so young cut down in the bloom of her beauty one whose character was so free [in?] design while thousands of Earth's vilest offsprings live in luxurious ease, poluting the very air we breath with their foul breath.

Tis sad to think the fairest flowers are first severed from the parent stem.  The most beautiful bud e'er it unfolds its truest beauty is snatched away only to droop & die.  I sometimes feel like I never would cultivate another new acquaintence.  I have lost so many by death in the last year.  and the more I see pass from 'death to life' with that child like purity that [supiness?] of simplest love the more perplexed I am the deeper I sink into the mine of hopeless unbelief or rather of disappointed hope of ever reaching that goal.

My dear friend the last year of my life has a [surcease?] of continual mental pains & heart aches.  I feel like Phillip Nolan (the man without a Country) a man without an aim.  I do not know but I am recovering and yet I some times think I enjoy Solitude & thought of sadness more than peace.  I am like the prisoner of Chillon "my prison is my home."  Oh it is a fearfull thing to be with out a religion and yet why should that all wise Creator Curse us with the power of reason and give us so many arguments against the true religion.

I go [out in company?] once or twice a week and I am the gayest of the gay.  In fact I revel in absurdities, the modern idea of social enjoyment and then betake me to my room to Curse the world and all thats in it.  They flattery [sic] me very much in the hill. the every [sic] say I am the life of their society, and perhaps I flatter them in return.  I do it with a vengence.  If they have any dogs I shoot them [or?] tell them. "for their death let Justice be accused"

Em I am some times afraid I shall go Crazy.  I have sat in my room at night or after I had retired letting my thoughts take their own direction until I became so excited that my pulse would throb painfully, and rest disturbed until from [meer?] fatigue I would give way to tired nature's sweet restorer balmy sleep and oh what a blessing sleep is to the wearied soul.  "God bless the man that first invented sleep" is my frequent prayer

Ike Spining will be married May 1st -- & Maggie will be a brides maid.  He has done well both pecuniarily & [strike out: for] matrimonialy.  Frank will go to St. Louis.  abut the 10th of May & from there to Kansas.

I have a notion this summer to sit down & write a novel of my past experience.  there are several little periods which if written properly would read well.  would you purchace a copy to help me support my self

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