A New Haven Letter: 1864


The following letter was written in New Haven, Mitchell County, Iowa on March 1st 1864. We are posting it with the thought that perhaps it may be of value to someone, and perhaps someone can identify the writer for us.

The letter, (both the photos and transcription), was supplied to Mitchell IaGenWeb by Sister Mary Lauranne Lifka, the Archivist of the Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, with headquarters in Dubuque, Iowa.

Sr. Lifka says: "In addition to the writer and the addressee, 24 relatives, neighbors and soldiers are mentioned. I want to share this letter with anyone who could identify the writer. She may have been a member of my community. Please help. Thank you!"

You may contact her at:

Sr. Mary Lauranne Lifka
1100 Carmel Drive
Dubuque, IA 52003-7991

Email: mllifka@bvmcong.org


New Haven, March 1st, 1864

Dear Aunt,

We received your letter on the 24th of February and were glad to hear from you. You need not think it was a great secret because you did not let us know you were going to get married. Mamma guessed there was something up. Mamma is glad that Grandfather and Grandmother are well she says that she thinks Uncle James was real mean not to send the pictures she says he was saving the dollar more than anything else.

If grandfather and grandmother were here she says she would take a little more pains to send their pictures to you than you do to me.
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Mamma says she will send a picture out there some day that will make your eyes dazzle not to Uncle Jim but to you.

Mamma says she hopes you have not married any of your cousins. Collin's. she says to give her best respects to Mr. Collins if it is any of the Collin's from Briar Bridge. There is a good drop in him but is almost serving you right to have the baby cross you laughed at when I was a baby do you remember when Dora and I were baby's you would say if you get married you would never have any young ones. When you have two or three mamma says you will find out. Mamma is glad you have got a home and she hopes it is a good one. She will not be watching the hacks as they come up Raffe St. Now she has watched every hack for the last 2 years till it got out of sight. She has given up all hopes of your coming now. I hope you will not forget to send your husband's and the baby's picture. I want to see if he is a better looking man than Pa. I hope you did not take him in a hurry as Katie Mullagan did. She got married last week on Thursday to a soldier. I do not know his name. She did not know him but 1 day. All the girls here in New Haven are getting married to soldiers. Elizabeth Stanford got married to a soldier. Kate Healy is married to a soldier. On last Monday Johnnie Reily get fighting with some soldier and the soldier hit him with something and John Reily ran and the soldier stabbed him in the head and side and he
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ran into Malley's store and he died about 15 min. after he got into the store. I do not believe they will do anything to the soldier.

Mrs. Welch buried her baby. He was 11 months old. Garret Kennedy died one week after the baby in Miss Welch's so she had two funerals in one week.

Mrs. Teary was glad to hear from you and she sends her best respects and Peggy Colburt and Miss Welch Johnson. Pat Coleman is married. Mrs. Nolan sends her best respects to you. All are just as you left us. Miss Fitzgerald she wished she could send word to Joe when she heard that you were married. Lizzie is sick. She has been sick over a year. Mamma says she would like to be watching you when you were taking care of the baby. Mamma says your husband's name must be pat or Michael because you did not mention it. You could not make Pa believe that you are married. He wants to know if your husband has got a gentleman's nose like he has got. It is 2 years since Willie was buried.

Give mamma's best respects to grandfather and grandmother. She don't see how she can feel easy. Mamma says if any of hers were gone away site don't see how she could live. She says she guesses grandmother has lost all her good nature.


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