Tuesday, March 1, 2011

1865 Jan. 8 Letter to Sarah Blain (3705) from Stephen Slane

Letter written in ink on two sheets of paper, multiple pages. Dated January 8, 1865. From Stephen Slane in Sharonville to Sarah Blain (3705).

Miss Sarah Blain (3705)

Dear Sallie,

I beg the liberty of addressing you a few lines as it is impossible for me to communicate verbally with you this evening. And I feel vary much disappointed as I had my arrangements all made to spend yesterday evening and today with you. But Fate was against me and I suppose I will have to make the best of it. But Sarah, rest assured that though absent from you, you have the uppermost seat in my heart. I never knew what true enjoyment was until I met you at your home and declared my Love for you. And oh the response I got completely electrified me. That was really the first time that I ever felt true happiness. And I know and feel that there is still greater enjoyments to be attained, that I may be permitted to drink deeper and deeper from that blissful cup that fortune has deigned to place to my life. That I may be permitted to spend the remnant of my days with the only being on this Earth that ever made an impression on my Heart.

Sarah, I speak the truth when I say I never loved until I met you. And ever since, my love has grown stronger and stronger until it has become a living fire burning upon the alter of my heart, consuming all others, leaving you to reign supreme.

Oh how slowly rolls the wheels of Time. It appears as though the coming week was treble its length. But time will wear it out, and when it does I hope to be found in the enjoyment of your society. There is nothing but sickness or death that will prevent me from seeing you next Saturday evening. I anticipate staying over Sunday. How I long for the time to roll around, the time when I can claim you as my bride. Why should we defer that happy period? We are sufficiently acquainted with each other to defer with a long courtship.

Let us consider the matter so that when we next meet we can have a perfect understanding with each other. For my part I am tired of this my mode of living. I long for something more substantial, more lasting, and something worth living for.

Oh Sarah, I hardly know how to appreciate this, my happy condition. It is beyond expression. It almost exceeds hope. Yet I feel that it is real. Oh that I could properly appreciate it. Oh that I could (and I hope to) realize the full extent of your love. I know it is as pure as the dove from Heaven, as constant and true as time, and as lasting as life.

Sarah, did I for one moment doubt your love for me, it would make me the most miserable of men. But I am happy in knowing the same to be wholly mine, mine I hope forever. And I hope to prove myself worthy.

I know that I like the rest of the human family have my faults, but with you to guide my erring ways I hope to make a man of myself - one worthy at least of you, and one that you will not be ashamed of. I hope thus to conduct myself through life. And with your aid I can accomplish it. But without it I feel it is worthless even to make a trial.

Well, Sallie, I will now give you a slight description of the manner in which I spent New Years Eve. Well, we the youngsters of Sharon and vicinity concluded that we was not quite dead and that we would make a demonstration on Mr. C. Foster’s. I saw Will Princake and got him to bring a sleigh. And about four p.m. we began to collect the Sharon girls and succeeded in getting all of them into the sleigh (some 10) and we lit out for St. Catherine’s Island where we arrived in good time to partake of a fine turkey. After supper we concluded to have a little dance, and play as suited our convenience. We had the hardest kind of work to get up the first set. We could only get three girls that would make the attempt. So I took a gent for a partner. After the first set was over we had no trouble in getting up a set, and we had a very pleasant time. We did not play much. We had a game of Blind Man’s Buff, Old Willen, & Opossum Pie. Playing, we concluded, was too dry and we dried it up and went to dancing again - which we kept up until half past eleven when we concluded to quit and return Home.

We had a very pleasant but rather cool ride. There was some in the sleigh that did not enjoy themselves. I know of a certain young fellow that would of enjoyed himself better had he been differently situated. That young fellow was your Humble Servant.

Well, Sallie, I guess I have detained you quite long enough for this time. Oh, I came very near forgetting. I suppose you was at the wedding of Miss Lide and Claypool, and I have no doubt you had a fine time. At least I hope you enjoyed yourself in the highest degree.

Sallie, here’s a Kiss and a goodbye until Saturday evening. Then I hope to meet you and enjoy your sweet smiles again. How I long for the opportunity of again clasping you to my heart and feel and know that I am thine and that thou art mine forever.

My love to your Mother (3565) and Uncle (3562). And reserve a portion for Sallie. I remain as ever yours in love and truth.


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