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Letters to Kate Newland

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Washington D. C.

March 11th, 1863


Miss Kate Newland,

Dear Kate,


We sympathize deeply with you in your affliction.  Sorrow has come early, but do not allow your heart to faint.  Cheer up dear Kate-”Behind the clouds is the sun still shining”-Write to me, and now that I will have more time, I will be punctual in corresponding   I will send you something to read, as soon as I hear of anything good _ _ _ I enclose a piece of poetry – it is very beautiful- Dear Kate, there are many left



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who love you-Everyone sympathizes with you in your affliction _ _ You have true friends left, and a guardian angel in Heaven _ Cheer up, and be hopeful_ There is a place where fond hearts are not separated _ There is no unalloyed happiness on this Earth.  I have seen none _ I expect to see none _ _ _ Let us all live for a future dear Kate_ this life is but a dream _ Our friends leave us-but it will not be long-We join them soon_ _ may their spirits watch over us_


It is very late _ I must stop now  _ Kiss your dear dear mother for me _ I send you and her a photograph of myself _ one is very bad -



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Resign yourself to your sorrow _ many more await you, but I pray that much happiness is in store for my little cousin _ You shall never want, or suffer _ Rest assured of that _ Be hopeful  _ cheer your dear Mother and better days will come.  “Thy lot is the common lot of all.  Into each life some rain must fall _ Some days must be dark and dreary”.


Well, good-night, and may the angels whisper comfort to you, and point you to a hopeful future _ _ You have those left who love you_ We must live for the living _ not for the dead- With much love to you dear Mother and yourself and prayers for your happiness

I am, as ever




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Rising Sun Kansas

May the 8th 1866


Miss Katie Newland

Lawrence Kansas

Respected Friend


Your letter of the 29th has been received & I hasten a reply.  I was very glad to hear from you once more. I had come to the conclusion that you had forgotten all of your old friends in this part of the country.  I suppose you are Enjoying your self very pleasantly in the city as Lawrence is a verry good place for amusements.  I suppose you had much rather live there than up Grasshopper.  Katie I hope you-



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are not offended at me for what I wrote in my last letter.  I shall Ever Respect and Esteem you as a Lady as you have told me heretofore that my friendship was all you could accept therefore I shall regard you as my friend and the past be forgotton.


I would like to see you once more but circumstances are such that I cannot soon Mother thinks of visiting you when she goes to Lawrence.  Cordelia is also going to Lawrence with her.  Mother sends her Regards to you & your Mother. 

I Remain Respectfully

Your Friend

Samuel Stephens

P.S. I will send your book home soon



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Fort Riley

June 1, 1/62


Miss Newland


Dear Friend

Your very kind favor of May 29th was received last evening.  It is not necessary to say to you that I perused it with pleasure, I had thought sometimes that you would scarcely find time to write to one so unworthy of your notices and who had so little claim in your friendship, as myself.  At such time a feeling of loneliness would creep over me, and sad thoughts would steal in to darken the bright future, like clouds in a summer sky.  But my dark thoughts vanished as I perused your kind letter, and left me penitent for the injustice I had done you; Yes Miss Newland that was a good letter, I thank you for it.  If I could always get such letters there would be no danger of falling into the many temptation which (as you so truthfully remarked) surround the soldiers life; you are mistaken when you think I would rather not go to Tennessee.



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I am aware that there is a great deal of sickness among the troops in the South, but still I would rather go.  Kansas is a pleasant place to live in and contains some pleasant faces to one at least I can testify which alone is sufficient to create in me a desire to stay were it not that I joined the army for the purpose of taken in the struggle for our good old [flag?], and now feel that my place is where the danger is most threatening and then to be called a home guard; I think it is to bad to keep this regiment here while all of the others are reaping imperishable laurels.  And when grim visaged war hath smoothed his wrinkled front”. When the dark clouds roll away and peace and plenty smile once more upon our happy land and the war worn veterans return claims the homage which friendship smiles and love bright flash will offer, then we must stand back, no smiles for us, they belong only to the brave.  Yes it is to bed, don't you think so Kate: well let it pass, my career as a soldier certainly does not seem destined to be a very brilliant one.  However I will make the best of it.


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I feel grateful for your kind feelings towards me, and I hope I shall never do any thing which will cause me to lose the proudest title I have, Kate Newland's, friend, and oh when the war is over and we have become better acquainted with each other, oh Kate May I not hope to call you by some nearer and dearer name than the cold word friend.  Do not scorn me Miss Newland, if it offends.  I will never say it again but since I first saw you I have felt that you are destined to influence all of my remaining years, but I will drop this subject for fear that you will get offended and never write to me again.  And now Kate good night.  Remember me kindly to your Mother and think of me as one whose dearest hope shall be for your happiness.


Ever your sincere friend  Wm. Nelson

Write soon and direct your letter to Wm Nelson

Com I 2nd Kansas Vol.

Com I 2nd K. V.

Fort Riley




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believe me and tell me that you love me and will be mine and you will fill my heart with happiness


(with Sproat to K. Newland Aug 11, 1866)



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Aug 11, /66


Miss K Newland

Dear Katie

it is utterly impossible to see you tomorrow but believe me Dear Katie although absent from you my heart is  ever with you will see you soon


[xxx] B  address Wamego

as ever yours

J Sproat

in Hast



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Tunnelton Ind

Jan 8th, 1867


Miss Newland

Doubtless you will be surprised at the reception of this note as I did not ask your permission to write, nor even intimate a desire to do so, but the reason I did not do so, was simply, that I expected to see you again before I left Bedford, and being disappointed in not seeing you again, I make bold to write you.


I am frank to confess that


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I am interested in you, more so perhaps than I ever was before, in any one, upon so short an acquaintance, hence my desire to corespond with you, and to hear from you, often.


Should my request meet with your approbation, I shall expect to hear from you soon, if not, I have confidence enough in your goodness of heart, to believe that you will at least, pardon me for troubling you, and return this note to me


Respectfully you friend

J. H. Malott



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Neosho Falls, Kansas

April 21st 1867


Dear Katie,


Your kind favor of 12th Ulto is received and I can assure you that it gives me great pleasure to hear from you and the more so to learn that you are well.  I am sorry to learn that your mother improves so slowly, the disease, however, is a tedious one and as a general thing the simptoms are more alarming than dangerous.  I think your Ma will recover her health, give her my kind regards, and tell her that I hope to learn very soon that her health is much better.



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I would like very much to see you to day.  I too would rather talk to you than to write, consequently will defer many things that I wish to say till I see you.


If your mother should not go to New York, why not make a visit here, as you remark, I am satisfied that a change would benefit her.  I believe nothing particularly interesting has transpired here since my last letter.  Your letter was much longer getting here than it should have been, in consequence of the mail being stopped by high water.  We will have a daily mail after the 1st of next month.  Hoping these hurried lines may find you quite well.  Also to hear from you by return mail.  I remain



Affectionately Yours


A. McCartney



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Sunday Sep 13 [1864?]



Dear Katie


I have got the blues staying around the house I would liked to have spent the afternoon with you.  I was all ready  horse saddeled & bridled and it commenced raining is it not enough to give a person the blues  I wanted to ask you one question and that was will you be my wife forgive



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me Katie if you think me to forward for I love you  please answer this when I come down will try and come on Thursday next have to go to Oskaloosa to morrow am deputized to help take Adams up there as his securities have given him up  Good by till I see you again from one who Loves you

Yours Truly

A.W. Johnston



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Tin Cup Colo

March 1st85


Dear Friend


Your letter was received yesterday  I will write today as I am going on the mountain to be gone two weeks  I wish in the first place to say that you are mistaken in regard to Mollie telling me anything in regard to your troubles for she never has told me a word except to say that she received letters from you.  I infered from your last letter before this one that you were free Had I not thought so



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I should not have written as I did  I hope you will pardon me if I offended you.  You seem to wonder that I have not long ago forgotten you.  I perhaps might have felt more at peace had I done so, but such is not the case  when I do cease to think of you it will be when my reason has altogether fled.  I must say that your letter written in Jan. caused me to hope for something which I fear alas I can never realise  I hope you will be candid with me and if such be the case it will be better for me to know all at once.  I had so hoped for a diferent letter to the one I got yesterday.



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Allow me to say that what ever may happen I always wish to be your friend if nothing more.  I think of      going to Aspen in three weeks for a short stay.


I will write you what I think of the place after I have seen it.  Hoping to hear from you again.


I am still yours

A. T. Herbert



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Tin Cup Colo

July 17, 85

My Dear Friend


Your letter was received last evening I have been up at the mine since the 4th Just came down last evening and found your letter awaiting me here.  My friends in Kansas are very few now at least I receive but very few letters from there of late years  I can assure you that  what your letters are



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doubly welcome to me partly from the fact of there being from my old home in Kas. but more from the fact of their being from your own dear self  Oh how often I think and ponder over what the future will be, could I shape my own future destiny I might come near foretelling what might be, but I have only to wait and build castles in the air.  I think I will be able to spend this winter in Kas. Our mine is still improving if we do not sell this fall I think I can ship ore enough when we get a


[the remainder of the letter is missing]



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Tin Cup Colo

Feby 4/89


My Dear Katie:


Perhaps you think by this time that I have forgotten you but such is not the case.  I got your first letter some time ago the one written the 23d of Jan I got yesterday.  I have not been in Tin Cup for the past 15 days, which accounts for my not getting your letter sooner.  I should have answered your first letter before I left – but through neglect I did not, hope you will excuse me this time and I will do better in the future.  This has been a beautiful winter so far



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it is prety cold but we dont have much snow not half so much as we usualy have in the winter, it has not snowed any for the last six weeks, which is something remarkable for this country.  I presume I will have to stay in Colo all this winter.  I have been thinking for the past six months that I would go to Kas this winter but I fear I shall have to deny myself that pleasure for a while longer you did not write to me for so long during the summer and fall that I was becoming very much discorraged you can not imagine how glad I was to get your last two letters  yes it is just about ten



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years since I saw you last it hardly seem possible but time waits for no one it seems to go slow enough here for me but all the years pass swiftly enough.


I have you pictured in my mind just as I used to see you long ago, you of course have grown older but I dont think you will ever look old to me.  I love you today dear Katie, just as I did long ago.  I hope the time is not far distant when I may have the pleasure of seeing you, and laying before you my whole heart.  With you I think I might go forth to do battle in this world with a braver heart, until that time I shall remain in terrible





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agony.  This eternal waiting suspense and hope defered is horrible to endure, the past ten years has been horrible for me.  Should the next ten be the same I should not want to live in fact I should be tempted to end my own existance.  I hope you will pardon this poor letter, my hand is sore I can hardly hold a pen, and am in a great hurry write me soon I will do better in the future.


Good night, god bless you

yours as ever

A T. Herbert



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Joplin Mo

May 27th 1890

Mrs Kate Sproat

Thompsonville Kans


Dear Kate


You will think me hasty in writing before getting an answer to my last and so I am for I answered yours verry hurridly my eyes at that time was troubling me so much that I had to get through with it as fast as possible my eyes are comparitively well but the old Dr says he wants to treat them a month yet there were many things that I could


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not write about so I will try to answer more fully now.  Kate you dont know how much good your last letter done me.  You say that you think more of the old letter of twenty four years ago than I ever gave you credit for and that you often thought of me as one of your best friends  I can truthfully say that Something stronger than friendship on my part has always existed notwithstanding these long years of Seperation and silence.  I had forgotten all about that old letter it was the one written in reply to your letter of refusal in which if I remember right, you said that you always respected me as a friend


[appears to be missing pages]



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[appears to be missing pages]


Thursday Morning


In refering to your sending your respects to me by Capt Tucker's wifes letter.  I could not account for you not writing to me, when it seems, you were kind enough to send your respects I hope no word in my letter will be construed as wanting in respect and love towards you.  I wrote, as I then felt and thought.  I am willing at all times to tell you my thoughts.  If I have done wrong in so doing, forgive and tell me so.


I shall waite with impatience untill you answer this.  If you deem it advisable to waite some time longer before we are married, I will in such an event remain in the army.


The weather is cool and pleasant as it is in Kansas at this time of year.  There are plenty of “Peaches” but not so good as those raised in Kansas.  I see by the late papers that the



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Secretary of war has decided not to receive any Negro Regt for any purpose into the Government service.  So far, so good.  It will spoil the calculations of Jim Lane, and his particular friends.  Hundreds of darkeys pass north, through this place.  I am still a member of the General Court Martial and have as easy a time soldiering as could be expected.  Remember me as ever your faithful friend and devoted lover


Lewis Stafford



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“My life is one long loving thought of thee.”  Oh that thought like light could traverse space I then could tell thee more.  Goodbye Kate, for this week, with the best wishes of him whose heart is a prisoner of time, ever.


Affectionately Yours

Lewis Stafford



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I hardly know were to stop when I am writing to you.  If my letters were only as good as they ought to be, then I should not endeavor to give an excuse.  When we leave this place I hope we shall go to Kansas.  But all we now can do is to await the future.  I am sure it has stores of rich blessings for you an me.  I only desire that the time may come when this war is closed and peaceful enjoyments take the place of the rude camp, the sword and musket.  With love for you ever upper most in my thoughts, by duties will be light, and easily performed; a power will be raised within more extensive than ever, to withstand the [imeasurable?] temptations attendant upon a soldiers life.  Write as soon as convenient, until which time, I will remain and forever, a faithful, truthful lover of___Kate Newland

Lewis Stafford




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[No Date]


Miss Katie Knowland


Not having the pleasure of seeing you the last time I was at your Mothers I take this way and oppertunity of addressing you a few lines to let you know what I came for it was to make you an offer of my Heart.  Hand. and Love.  I now make you that offer or in other words will you be my Wife.  Hopeing to get a favorable answer from you by the bearer of this I remain


Yours truly

Alex W. Johnston











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