Pepper-Hearst Expedition: Correspondence- Gilliland Collection (Includes Photocopies and Transcriptions of Originals). 1... ( A Guide to the Wells M. Sawyer Collection )

Material Information

Pepper-Hearst Expedition: Correspondence- Gilliland Collection (Includes Photocopies and Transcriptions of Originals). 1895-1896, Not dated
Physical Description:
Mixed Material
Sawyer, Wells, 1863-1960
Publication Date:
Physical Location:
Box: 1


Subjects / Keywords:
Archaeological expeditions -- Florida -- Gulf Coast
Cushing, Frank Hamilton, 1857-1900 -- Journeys -- Florida
Pepper-Hearst expedition
Sawyer, Wells, 1863-1960
Watercolorists -- New York (State)


Scope and Content:
This collection contains Wells M. Sawyer's personal correspondence, photographs, drawings (including sketches on several of the letters), watercolors, news clippings, and notes and other materials pertaining to the Pepper-Hearst Expedition of 1896. This collection is useful to researchers interested in the life and artistic career of Sawyer, particularly his role as a member of Pepper-Hearst Expedition. Although the collection spans his entire life and covers many important events, the collection is not comprehensive and has numerous gaps. For example, Sawyer's sketches primarily date from his later travels (circa 1920-1947), and there are only two examples of his watercolors. His personal correspondence includes photocopies and transcriptions of original and duplicate copies, and some pages are missing from the correspondence. The Pepper-Hearst Expedition papers primarily consist of Sawyer's own draft report on the expedition, as well as his correspondence, and field notes. The folders also include a few Frank Hamilton Cushing letters and newspaper clippings. One folder contains a catalog of the photographs that Sawyer took on the expedition (the actual negatives are kept at the Smithsonian Institute and are not present in the University of Florida collection). Additionally, some photographs mentioned in the Pepper-Hearst correspondence are not enclosed with the corresponding letter and are not in the collection. The papers are organized alphabetically by subject, and the sketches and watercolors are organized according to a numeric identification scheme.
Correspondence, drawings, and other papers related to Wells M. Sawyer's life, travels, and the 1895-1897 Pepper-Hearst Expedition in Florida.
Wells Moses Sawyer was born on January 31, 1863 to Moses Calvin Sawyer and Helen Jane Cass Sawyer in Keokuk, Iowa. Sawyer acquired a law degree in 1882, but he never practiced law. While studying law in Chicago, he began pursuing his career as an artist when he took art courses under John Vanderpoel at the Art Institute of Chicago. Sawyer had several types of employment throughout his life including working as an illustrator for leading newspapers such as the Chicago Daily News and the Chicago Tribune, and later in life he held the secretaryship of the Trustee Securities Company. Sawyer's position as a Paleontologic Draughtsman for the U.S. Geological Survey office in Washington D.C. enabled him to join Frank H. Cushing's Pepper-Hearst Expedition to Tarpon Springs and Key Marco in Florida in 1896. A controversial aspect of the expedition regarded the artifacts that the archeologists and diggers removed from the pre-historic mud mounds in the region. Upon their removal, the artifacts quickly faded and deteriorated in the sunlight. Consequently, Sawyer's original photographs and sketches of the artifacts made soon after the digging became even more important to the artifact documentation and historical significance of the expedition. Sawyer married Kathleen Bailey upon returning from Florida, and they subsequently had two children, Helen and Bailey (Bill). The family lived in New York, but later in life Sawyer retired due to health issues and moved to Spain with his wife. They traveled throughout Europe, as well as in Central and South America. Sawyer began to sketch and paint more in his retirement, and he had many exhibitions in both Spain and the U.S. Sawyer and his wife made a final move to Sarasota, Florida, in 1944. He continued to show his artwork in Spain, Mexico, England, and the United States, and was a member of the Art Students League, Salmagundi Club, and the American Watercolor Society. He died on March 21, 1960.
The collection is open for research. Some of the Pepper-Hearst Expedition notes and larger sketches are extremely fragile and need to be handled with care. Please consult a staff member for handling these fragile materials.
Identification of item, Wells M. Sawyer Collection, Special and Area Studies Collections, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida.
The Sawyer drawings were acquired from the Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art in 2007. Two folders of additional papers were donated by the Gilliland family.

Record Information

Source Institution:
P.K. Yonge Library of Florida History, UF
Holding Location:
P.K. Yonge Library of Florida History, UF
Rights Management:
All rights reserved by the submitter.
System ID:

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Charlotte Harbor, Fla. Wednesday night

Dear Kathleen,

We anchored here today about two oclock. Mr. Gushing took the boat south
a little ways from Marco and we got on a sand bar and pounded all xikj night. It
was quite safe however tho it cost us a day and a sail for our gib got awayplit
clear to the top and tten the anchor was cast and fortunatley the wind died
down for in a little while we were aground. This is in a few hours. Our boat
is very strong and did not even spring a leak tho she "tumped" for hours. No
one got any sleep and I was glad enough to get off.

J We have only two days work here according to Mr. Cushing's plans*- kp ho
I under other circumstances would gladly make a two months stop right here for
the purposes of study. Its the most beautiful spot I ever saw. That's first; then
it has such wonderful places all along its shores where once lived the Indians,
andIKathleen, they were a really great people who had things very good indeed.
Better by far than the 'cracker' who lives here now. Better than many a family
in the north, better than one can guess who has not been on the ground and found
their old things hidden away in the earth.

Why you will be surprised when you see the pictures I have taken of the
household and decorative bits we have found, and their cities, well they too are
marvels and I fear I must stop here.

I will just tire you to death when I get home with all this. Mr. Gushing
expects to get away in two days and I am very anxious he shall. I hope to have
a letter from you at Tarpon.

Yours with lots of love,


I shall probably have to come north via Clyde Line tho I hope I can come on the cars.
Will sail from here Sunday.

Hotel Metropole, Broadway, 41st and 42nd streets, New York
(No date, but postmarked New Y ork, Nec. 3)

My dearest Kathleen,

Here I am in New York this A.m. I stopped at the Culins for three hours and
saw the museum. It was really very good --wonderful. He and I had a long talk
and I feel more than ever sorry that I have undertaken the trip. But I will be
as happy as I can -- oh how I wish I was back in Washington drawing graptolites even.

There is too much sacrifice in this trip to please me and too little returns
promised. My evenings with you are more to me than the whole of Florida and if
I could get out of it now, honor bright, I would do so and give something besides.

There is nothing that I can say more than that I am homesick and it is the
first time I have known what that means.

Tomorrow we sail on the "Comanche" for Jacksonville. It will be a pretty
trip no dobut but I don't care for that.

Mrs. Culin was very anxious for you to come to Philadelphia and I hope you
may. during the winter.

You need not feel that you should in turn entertain her. She will be glad tc
seeyou and will give you a good time.

There is much to see in Philadelphia.

My dear girl do keep well and be as happy as you can. When I get to Jacksonville
I will write again or from the ship if I am not sea sick all the time. I am tired
tonight tho its only five oclock too tired to think very well so I will close.

With worlds of love and deepest regret that I am away from you, I am yours


(No date or heading, but postmarked New York, Dec. 4-95)

My dear little girl,

How strange it seems that I am really going, the boat sails at 3 and she is
a beauty too. It mkkes me sad this going awy nowbut between us I hardly think
the thing will last the full time and for my part I hope it does not.

Mr. Culin told me a good deal more than I knew when I committed myself to go.
Had I known so much I should certainly have been more guarded in my action but I
should have a good outing anyway and I certainly need it. When I get back I will
beamuch more sturdy fellow and)Kathleen we will have a long and happy life.

Oh my dear girl the picture is so bright on one side and so- silent on the
other that I look for something which will give a better outlook inthe matter of
money. You will laugh maybe and say its the same old story2 yet dear it is a story
which we, you and Imust face.

The day is perfect and I have attended to all of my business here. I only
wait the train with the other fellows. One of whom I shall meet for the first
time on its arrival.

,here isntt much time until then so I will not write a long letter.

From home I heat of Ida's ill health. She~poor girl) has been ill for four
days tho I hope she will be able to keep up her collegiate course.

Will write from the steamer.

With much love,

Your Wells

S.S. Comanche Friday
(No date, mailed from Charleston, S.C. Dec. 6, 1895)

My dear Kathleen,

We hae having a beautiful trip, the vessel is a very fine one and altho it
was quite rough yesterday I have not been a little bit ill. Many of the ladies
have kept their staterooms but just now when we passed the "Algonquin" our decks
were crowded.

How I wish you had been with me waving your handkerchief at those on the other

The trip has been devoid of incident. I was pleased with the other men of our
party and there are also many others aboard who are pleasant people. Had I known
we would stop at Charleston I should have said that you would next hear frot1here
but I did not knot it until we left New York,

Someway I feel that the outing is going to do me more good physically than
I at first thought. The last few years I have been so inactive that the exercise
out of doors and the sea air should benefit me not a little.

And you my dear little one)how are youI am anxious to as hear.

Write to me at Tarpon Springs, Fla. when you can. I don't know whether I
gave you my address or not.

We are just passing another vessel and the people on deck are waving as before.
The day is perfect and so comfortable. There is so little one can write about at
sea, only that I miss you very much, that my trip would be one of great pleasure
could you but be along.

When we reach Jacksonville I will write again.

Until then with much love I am

Yours, Wells


The Everett Hotel, Jacksonville, Fla.
(No date, postmarked Dec. 7, Jacksonville)

My dear Kathleen,

We arrived here a couple of hours ago and have had dinner, not a very good
one either. The trip was perfect.

I always tell you about the trip but there is so little else to write about.
I am very well, have been all the way down.

Our boat got in a whole day ahedd of the record which was most creditable and
as we left the steamer I proposed three cheers for our captain and the Comanche,
so this first station of our journey has been completed without any annoying

You are here in your picture and I certainly enjoy the presence of you dear
counterpart, tho it is but a poor substitute $for my dear little one at Washington.

The future I hope will always be bright to you$ $ou do not know how much I
appreciate your goodness to me. /

How I wish the three months had gone by and that I was again in Washington.
That's the time I look forward to, yet the three months will have much of variety
in them. I have met a number of men who have been over part of the land we are to
cover and thyy all say tkKxsx that the thing is wonderful. Well, the train
containing Cushing is due any moment so I will until tonmht say

Good bye

Your Wells

Tarpon Springs, Fla. Dec. 11-95

My dearest Kathleen,

How happy you have made me tonight. The postmaster has given me the first
word I have had from my dear little girl since I left you standing so lonely and
so unhappy in the hall on that night last week. Years are surely~as your poem said
of the heart and not the diurnal revolutions of our orb. Years of the heart are
the ones I have lived too. Aht me&I wish I was out of this whole business.

There are many/times when I have been a fool and they continue to turn up
every now and thenlhis trip isI fancylthe height of them and the last one too
I hope.

When I get back we will fight together the battle of life and dearestylet me
hope that we will always have courage to win; let me hope that the battle will
leave neither of us strength to go on and on hopefully to the end. There was such a
charm to me in your letter as I have never known before.

Do not be regretful that you let me know of your pain on our parting. I
love you'or it. Do not chide yourself that you have told me of your sadness. I
too am sad. am lonely tonight as I sit here in the land of the palmetto.I would
that the snows of a winter in Washington were mingling themselves with my hair,
I shall bring home trophies whichxxl will place at your feet. There are wonderful
birds here.

Maybe we can arrange it that I can come home earlier, tho I don't know how I
shall manage it now. Oh Kathleen9this is a dreary day a day of the heart.

We have accomplished a good deal today, we began after breakfast and have
been working all day opening a mound only a short distance from the house. We
have found some beautiful and stunning fragments of pottery with very find designs
on them. They are like South American designs and are much more beautiful than
any northern work I have ever seen. There is not much dohbt that the archaeological
side of the expedition wAll be a success.

As yet uncertain where we will actually go. I am obliged to Mr. Colonna for
the bit of information and should we be in that neighborhood I will try to capture
one of those beautiful birds for you.

The weather is pleasant and the air most agreeable.

I weigh 127-1/2 which is a gain for me and by the time I have had my weeks
of this I shall be as brown as a berry.

Thank you for the art notes. With congratulations that you are making such
a good showing with your music and reading I am

Your loving


Glad you like the Aspects of the Earth.

Tarpon Springs, Fla. Tuesday night
)Postmarked Dec. 11, 1895)

My dear Kathleen,

I went to the m'Ks office here hoping to get a word from you but failed to
find a letter. We have had a horrid trip today. Our stay at Sanford was prolonged
on account of some uncertainty about trains. This morning however we were up at
4:30 and went to the station in a bad rain. The train had to wait nearly 'lf an
hour because the crew had overslept themselves. How's that for a train? Then
we jogged along over here with an exasperating slowness and the train was so/so
slow- oh so slow. I never knew so stupid a trip. We had nothing to eat worthwhile'
At about three this p.m. we reached Tarpon Springs where we will be for some time
maybe ten days. You see I have been away a week last night/traveling most of the
time and I am pretty tired tonight.

How I wish that you were here to talk to me or sing. How I wish that the
horrid three months was over and I back again in the corner of the sofa which
Mr. Colona so kindly fixed for me, Out ah me. No sofa and no Kathleen either for
these days save the photo which is most carefully treasured.
and Mrs.
We are hicely housed in a pretty cottage. Mr./Cushing, Mr. Sayford of Philadelphia,
another man and myself.

The weather is bad and I am generally out of sorts tho a night's rest will
fix me up I guess.

Think of going from 4 a.m. till 3 p.m. with nothing fit to eat and on a
train as slow as a cable car and more "jerky."

WEll I'm going to bed--

Good night dear

Your Wells

St. Johns River Boat Monday
(No date received Washington Dec. 12
Cancellation date unreadable.)

My dearest Kathleen,

Now it is summer and the land of the palm is reached. The land of flowers
and low swinging moss. The land of the heron and eaglet.

I long to be with you and listen to your song. Oh! little one)how happy we
will be when I come home again.

The boat has left the landing and sends my pen shaking and drives ahead through
beds of water hyacinth which is in bloom. We have passed miles of these plants
this morning.

At one we will be in Sanford where we take a train for Tampa then to our boat.
Mrs. Gushing is with us. We have had a long talk. She likes your picture very
much. She would like you so much better.

This is only a bit of a note but I wanted to tell you that I was very well,
that I missed you very much and to send you my love by this poor sheet of paper.

I await a letter from you at Tarpon Springs with great impatience.




Tarpon Springs, Fla. Dec. 14- 95

My dear Kathleen,

Yesterday I intended to write to you~my dear -irl but so many things made
me put it aside that it has gone over until tonight. We have made considerable
progress regarding our work but our boat is still at sea dnd it will be some time
before we are aboard.

Yesterday Mr. Gushing and I had a long horse back ride 'dross country to the
shore of the Gulf. It was very pretty and very strange, we finally reached the
kralls where the sponge vessels discharge their cargoes and you wouldhave been
surprised to see the shore, covered with sponges which had been thrown aside.

They get a fine quality of sponge near here. 50q worth of them on the dock
would be worth many dollars in a drug store. I went into the Gulf with my
rubber boots and gathered some flint implements left by the Indians but it was
too cold for comfort and I guess I took a little cold.

Today we went out in a beautiful little sail boat for an hour or so and saw
many of the beautiful things which furnished George Inness wihh his "inspiration"'
for this is surely an excellent place to paint, tho I have not yet undone my /
package. We gave beeR7much :Lm occupied.

We have opened one mound and have found a good deal in it, of interest to
me principally is the character of decoration found on small fragments of pottery.
They are of a type similar ID that found in South America, and quite unlike the
design found in the north.

I was glad Ida wrote to you. She is a dear girl. In a letter from her
recently she said of you," I do hope the dear girl will write &e me." Ida likes
you very much and not half so much as I, nor nearly half, for I do love you most

I had a desperate case of homesickness since I wrotmy last letter to you.
Mr. Gushing noticed it and tried to brace me up telling of his three years in Ztfni
after he was only a few months engaged. Whew! I'm glad this isn't for 3 years, aren't
you? Well. little one it will soon be over and then I shall look into your eyes
again and we will plaA and plan for the future. For there is a future to be made.

There is a deal of interest down here and I guess I am learning that money
is not the only thinglittle one. Yonder in Washington all is so pretentious and
there is so much of a vain social life that I was maybe spoiled somewhat by it*
s ybe I cared too much for those things. Here all is rugged, the sad-faced fisherman
s ending by his hut, the happier captain by his small house. The merry old
"professor" with his wonderful tales have all in a way added to my pleasure in
your love.

Oh, that the days had flown, and the future here that we might comprehend
and solve, so much as is given to mortals, the problems of life, and of living
for strangely enough I even now fail to grasp the solution of the ways of life.
I mean how people 'get along\.k But there I am dropping again to the finanaal

How I should like to hear you sing again, and I know you will be singing
like a bird when I get home for you are getting your hand in again. When you
are singing sometimeljust for me sing that little lullaby and I will dream of
it way down here amongst the pine trees, while the wind sings its little swash
from its needles. Swash, swash, swash like the waves of the sea.

The pine needles too are very long and when you draw one through your
fingers they whisper softly of the far away ocean.,

There are not nearly so many snakes and things hereabouts as we thought.
In my ride of yesterday on a beautiful riding horse across miles of country we did
not see one tho I kept a sharp lookout. Ilo not much doubt that, should I turn
my mind to it seriously I could make a success as an anthroplogist/for my training
at observation has been quite severe and I could bring that to bear. However, I
hardly ZH care to take it up with that enthusiasm which would be necessary.
Besides that it would be hardly promising enough in its returns to make it

Well Kathleen I must go now its 11,10 and the train goes at 11,15. You
know I must catch the street car to make the station.

Good night dear. Keep well, and plan a little for your own dear boy.

Will write again soon

Yours with love


Do write to me. I stand on one foot then on the other at the post office until
the beastly slow post master is through his evening's work.

Con more


Tarpon Springs (No date, postmarked Dec. 18,1895)Y

My dear Kathleen,

Yesterday afternoon we made a beautiful trip up the Anclote River and were
rewarded by seeing much tropical life and foliage. It was a pretty trip and one
which you would have enjoyed. In the little Tarpon Springs folder you will see
a picture of a portion of the river.

Your dear letter reached me last night and made me feel better. I am so glad
you are quite well and you dontt know how much pleasure it gives me to hear that
your music goes so well.

I am pretty well and this weather is perfect.

Yours in HXaH haste


Camp Hope, Fla. (no date, postmarked Dec. 20)

My dear Kathleen,

Here we are in the midst of palmettps and sleeping under tents way out in
the woods. The weather is comfortable- t is in fact very warm. I am feeling well

Last night you should have seen our damp fire. It was like sleeping in the
botanical garden for all the world, only we had no sod-- all is sand.

Today we begin opening a mound near here, it is mall but some good things
are promised. As yet our boat has not arrived so we are detained maybe until
Christmas time. On one of the earlier days of the week I gathered some bay with
great bunches of beautiful berries and wanted to send it to you for Christmas
time. I think it a little brighter than holly but fear I cantt get it to the express
office which is miles away. There is not much to write out here as yet. Only
this litle one,thkt your photo the worn one1keeps me some company and hints to
me of a dear one thinking of me at Washington.

Well KathleenI will not try to write more now.

With allfmy heart

I am yours


Address Tarpon Springs.

By the way if you have the little folder look at the pictures on the Anclote.
That's where I got the berries.

Camp Hope Sunday, Bec. 22b95

My dear Kathleen,

We are still out here in the woods, cut off from everything, the only thiny[I
can say is that it is a very pretty place in its surroundings. Yesterday some of
the men went shooting and brought in a lot of game which our cook is preparing
for us.

This ought to reach you by Christmas so I send my merry Christmas to you and
to your mother and the rest of tkH your family.

I am sorry you are expected to sit in the choir on the evenings of the concerts.
When I get back to Washington I hope that will not be imposed upon youjlittle one,
for I want you should sit with me at least at one of the concerts. Washington
must be very gay now-I know that it is.

We have such poor facilities for getting back and forth that I have no word
from you since I left Tarpon.

My health is about the same, that is I have a little cold and cough, tho not
enough to bother me.

How I would like to get out of this.

Our boat has arrived add next week we will probably be bound for the south
tho not until after Christmas. Our delay here while productive of good results)
has put us back a good deal. I am =. in charge of the work here and Mr. Cushing
is very will pleased with the results so far.

It seems strange that this mid-winter. The days are very warm but the
nights are cool enough and there are very heavy dews.

Monday A.m.

It was a long day yesterday tho an old gentleman sent me the Washington
papers and another took me across the country to his orange grove where he showed
me a tree with a few ripe oranges on it, the only one I have seen in tt(qR state.

The morning is perfect and today I hope to get the work so far along that
we can break camp tomorrow p.m. Then I will get back to town for christmas.

Give my 'dear friend" Alene my love and Merry Christmas.

I send a world of love and my best wishes to you.


Camp Hope Dec. 24, 1895

Dear Kathleen,

This is Christmas Eve so some of the men are going to town. Last eve Mr.
and Mrs. Cashing came out and broug1 ) me your dear letter.

How very strange to have your letter last night. And it was ( like you.
You made me feel again my slight worth by your kindness. There never was another
such a letter I am sure.

Last evening we went across country lighted by torches of pitch pine. I
tell you it was picturesque. Finally we reached a sugar camp where they were
making sorgum and sugar. It was very novel and the various sweets were most

Well I suppose you have had a Merry Christmas Oe this reaches you. As for
me, I am goiig tramping in the woods with the "professor" and his dog. I have
not painted a thing yetevbmeway I can't get into the way of it.

Well my dear little one1good night


Camp Hope, Fla. Dec. 27-95

My death Kathleen,

Your lovely little bottle of snake bite medicine reached me Resterday night
when Mr. and Mrs. CsBhhing came o f from Tarpon Springs and I drank to your health
from it with the Cushings. They also brought your letter which told of your
mother's illness. I do hope she is much better long before this reaches you.
Do tell her that it pained me greatly to hear of her ill health. I hope she
recovered sufficiently that you had real cause to celebrate the nativity.

I am still in full charge of the work here and have seven men under me.
Mr. Cushing is immensely pleased with my progress. He said that never had he
seen such fine work at excavating mounds, and my results so far as I have told
him pleased him equally. Amongst other things I had read a pictograph he said
perfectly. But this is of little import anyway.

I am really very well having completely recovered from my bronchitis and my
cold. Our Christmas was a very strange one, we had a very hot day and took a
long tramp with tifle and shot gunjalso fishing tackle. I waded out into a
slough add got into the mire so deeply that when I had a good bite I went to
step back and landed in the water up to my waist. It was very funny and quite
equal to your mouse scare. The work here will probably be continued for 3 or 4
days. hen we will go back to Tarpon and fro there will sail fx on the day
after New Years for the south. Our boat, the Silver Spray, is the best nne on the
coast and is so everyone says2B a beauty. I have not seen her yet.

Mrs. Schayer's story was a pretty one and I am very glad youent it to me.
This may not get to town tomorrow tho I hope it will. There is2of courseno
news down here.

I am glad of the flattering comment your cousin received in Dublin. It
certainly was very nice.

Let me tell you)Little one)l fear that our delay here will make it
impossible for me to k leave before March 1st tho I have told Cushing that I
must get away so as to be back by that time. Your letter made me wish more than
ever to return, not the last but the one in which you opened your heart to me.

Oh, Kathleeen, I am it seems ,quite unworthyuch splendid affection as yours.
And I pray God that I may ever more deserve it. I have so little to recommend
me to you that it certainly seems strange, a veritable cosmical destiny which has
given you to me. May I be able to always have you feel as you now do. In the
years that are coming for us who can tell what there may be. You are very brave
little one and I admire it in you more than you know.

Well Kathleen good night dear. Be as happy as you can and I will come home
very soon. One month has gone alreadyHK ~fhat is, is nearly gone and the next
two will go too. In the meantime think for me and that means for you too.

Should you see me to my tent now you would hardly recognize me. I have not
shaved for over a week and my face looks as tho soot was smutted ovefit in spots
about as large as a dollar. So far I have not seen a snake outside of a case in
a store. The country hereabouts abounds in game and we have been eating duck,
squirrel and coon and plover all the time.

There are many chamelions hereabouts but I guess you do not care for such a
pet. And now I am going to say good night.

With lots of love and a kiss I am you.,


Sunday Camp Hope (Postmarked Dec. 30, 1895)

Dear Kathleen,

Today I have done my first painting since I left Washington. It is a little
picture (illustration) which will go into my exhibition with the gulf way off in
the distnace.

We will probably leave here by New Years for the boat tho I think we will
not get awgy for several days after that.,

I am going to paint more now that I have my kit in working order, o far it has
been next to impossible to get at it.

How I wish you could be here tonight -- all of today and all the time -
I am writing on our table under the palmettos and the sun is just going down with
a bright yellow glow at my back.

As for me, well, I guess you'd take me for a tramp. Its all very funny. My
beard is still growing and it certainly is a regular "hilly goat whiskers" that
I am raising. Yesterday we made a very good find. It was of an old ornament
of Indian manufacture made of copper and covered wt.h pearls, so you see these
old fellows had some pretty things. Their pottery too is beautiful, t~t is some
of it.

The work is wonderfully interesting and I amsure you would get right into it
as Mrs. Cusliing has should you see it in progress.

Mound II in the museum will all be my work. In it we have found many things
unknown hitherto in Florida.

I wonder how you found Marie and Mrs. Scott. Give my them my love.

You see the opportunities for writing have been so bad out here that I have
not written to anyone save you and my folks.

Well, Kathleen I guess that I would better write a note to Mother before it
gets dark and it very foon gets dark after sundown. Let me hope your mother
is better and give my. to her.

Yours with love,


New Years [1896]

My dear Kathleen,

I am in Tarpon for the day and had expected leisure to write you a long
letter but I am reall-y rushed to death.

I have a lot of funny things to tell you when I get the chance about last a negro "watch meetiAj,\ Let me wish you a happy new year, dear one.
1 am going back to the camp immediately so will have to say

Good-bye for today



Tarpon Springs, Fla. Jan 6-96

Dear Kathleen,

Your letter made me feel real sadckx 0ou poor girl, that you should have such
bad head-aches is certainly a shame. I hope you are well again you ought to take
good care of my little girl, you know. There, there/Il know you have been looking
out for her while I am away.

I am very well and am looking forward to consdierable results here, that is
in Florida out of our work.

Mrs. Gushing has often asked after you and was most solicitous when I told
her you were not well. Vo you know I half thought you were ill? Well it is so I
said, Kathleen is not well or her mother is much worse. I was sure of it.

So you found them all well at the house. Ah, Riverdalel How you have changed
my life. There is really much of a change in it. You would think me the happiest
and most contented of men if you could see me here in hur hall now. I am sure
all of the study and hard knocks have not been in vain. There is somewhere a place
for me. That is strange. Maybe it is the jewel of hope left captured in the box,
yet for reaching out into the future I feel impelled to journey toward a goal -
vanishing when Ieek too closely for it, yet now bright when I simply accepT r93
Kathleen I am less sure, less antagonistic to your ideas tha7Tthe great power behind
the throne does manage somewhat our affairs. I see more clearly ever.

Well little one, be happy 9- sing and play, learn somewhat of housekeeping
for tho we may be Bohemian~yet will we have some place to "keep" and you'little one)
fix shall manage it all. I know you, you are all right, I am happy without money
now.fybe I will be after a while too.

God bless youmy dear girl. You are better, you maybe well but be careful
not to lose your health for then)little one it would maybe go hard with you and
I would be sad so sad.

Good night dear


Tarpon Springs, Fla. Jan 10-96

My dear ones at home,
I am sending today a photograph of our camp at Hope Mound which will interest
you not a little. The palmetto trees back of it are beautiful. The mound itself
is only a short distance from the tents of which there were three. Mr. Sayford,
Mr. Bergmann and I occupied this tent while the boys had another and our cook and
his asstant a third,

Mr. and Mrs. Gushing were at the hotel here. He superintending this splendid
mound and I in charge under his direction of the one at Camp Hope.

Today we have made wonderful finds. One a rock crystal ornament beautifully
wrought into a shape like this (illustration) only much more symmetrical. It
was perfectly round and very clear. Some _!44 inches long. The boat is all ready
for us yet we do not sail. There is some more work to be done here and another
letter would reach me at this point. Later I think our address will be Marco
but of that I will inform you before our departure. I am quite well and most

Kathleen has not been very well tho not seriously ill I am sure.

With much love,


Tarpon Springs, Fla. Jan 10-96

Dear Kathleen,

Some way I fear that you are ill again for I have been so, in a way, disturbed
in my feelings for the last day or so that it suggests your bad health.

There is so much of exceptional interest being developed here that I am kept
up to the enthusiastic pitch all the time.

Tonight I am going to send you a photo of our tent at Camp Hope. There were
two others which do not get into the picture. My picture in it is pretty bad
but the surroundings are most picturesque and I think it a pretty place, don't you?

Today we gct a wonderful rock crystal plumbett.from this mound, also a couple
of other ones. All of them very perfect and beautifully worked-- Vou would-
get deeply interested in this sort of thing should you see it and take part in it.
I am fascinated by it. Indeed you know how much my thoughts always ran to subjects
of this nature and now I am more than ever into it.

I do hope you are not ill.

Now we are further delayed in leaving Tarpon, tho it has been a most profitable
place, and one which is as well very beautiful. I am however anxious to get off
to the south.

Mr. Gushing has spoken very rfcely about my work here and has praised me more
than any person who has prominence in that line of study, advising me to make it
my life work. Thus maybe the line I outlined to you regarding museum work may have
advanced a step or so. so.

On last Saturday they had the first yacht race here. It was a pretty sight
to see the boats going down the course and fighting away on their returrrlphere
were some five of them in the race and two or three others going along amongst them
our sharpie" in which I was sailing off for the schooner at the mouth of the river.

Well.little one I am very well and quite enthusiastic.

Yours with love,


Still address Tarpon Springs.

Tarpon Springs, Fla. (Postmarked Jan 10, 1896)

My dear Kathleen,

A couple of days have gone by and I am still in town tho today I had a long
ride way out into the country on horseback. It was a beautiful bright spring time,
with birds and beauty everywhere.

How often I thought of you as I went along the roads off into the forest
and said to myself, "Kathleen so much enjoys horseback riding. Wouldn't we have
a happy ride here if she were only with me." And once I almost could see you with
your riding skirt and boots galloping on the other path. But! ah me, -the vision
has faded and I aisitting here in our hall trying to say a word to you while the
others either sleep or are away somewhere.

I went to the schooner today and found that they have a new pet out there, a
little rolly polly 'coon, a young onethe light house keeper sent to one of the boys.
The men who do the diggingrby the way are all of them of good families here.
The bankers son and two or three schooner captain and that sort, no niggers.

We are, I hope, about ready to sail. How pleasant it wilibe to get aboard.

The work has been quite successful and I have given Mr. Gushing a good
impression of me on other lines than he had before known.

If we Kkifx only could get finished up heret--ieally it seems that we are
never going to get awgy and I am so anxious to get through so that I can get
back home again.

Well little one I hope you are well again. I am much better so well that
I feel like a school boy. May you be just as well too. There is only one fault
I have with this trip, for it is delightful, and that is that you are not with us.

But I guess I have told you that a lot of times. By the way, I have heard a
very pretty song which I think would fit your voice beautifully. It is called
the Persian Serenade.

Good night Kathleen. Give my love to all of the family.,

Yours, Wells

Tarpon Springs no date, postmarked Jan. 18, 1896

My dear Kathleen,

What in the world is the matter with you? I have only had one letter since
Christmas. Are you really ill? How I wonder why you don't write oftener to me.

Well well.let's see what I've been doing. Working away very hard -- collecting,
hunting over the country for remains of camp grounds in the days of long ago and
making a few* photographs axKdx or sketches. This week I sent one of our camp to
you. Tho camp it is no more. We are still at the hotel here tho we will probably
get awyy in a week or so for the south. I do not know how the time has been going
by. This week has really seemed but a few days yet it is Friday Someway I have
lost all count of time, AnywayI'm glad f of it for all unwittingly it brings,
me nearer to you and Washington.

EBast SAturday I went out to our boatthen I planned an expedition to one of
the keys near here but finally it fell through.and we have been so rushed here
that I am surprised to find all the time I had expected to take on our sea trip
has been exhausted.

There is some compensation in being delayed however in this beautiful
spot for when we really get into the south it is not going to be so easy, nor
so comfortable.

Do write and tell me that you are not so bad as I thought you. Why really2I
almost fear you have forgotten me entirely. Now what do you think of that?
Maybe I ought not be so mean as to write such a thing for you know I don't
mean it a bit, but my dear girl I have no end of time in which I think of you and
often say to myself'what a lucky dog you are Sawyer"(after Vanderlip).

You know George Innessxnx used to live here in the winter time, ,ell his
widow and little daughter are here now, they are with us at the hotel, tho I have
not met her yet. Their cottage is not far away, just across the yard and I have
been over J4is old studio and have seen his bright green paint daubed all
over the edges of his studio frames. There is somewhat of an inspiration in
even that yet I wish the great old man was here now, ow I should listen to his
talks, fdr he was a great talker and how I should light up with his enthusiasm*
Ait death is small respector of persons and Inness is no more, poor old fellow.
What Life he lived too. Yet in the end it was a blaze of glory. After his
death his old sketches brought$112,000.00 which.with what he had made besides!
left Mrs. Inness very well off. She is a rather retiring old lady, tho Commodore
Linsey said he wanted to introduce me to her. So I will chat of the old man and
learn somewhat of his life, let me hope from his widow.

Well, little one, good night. The sun is going down and night soon
follows daylight here. Short, beautiful sunsets, grand in color but so fleeting.

With love and hopes that you are well, I am Your Wells

No date Postmarked Tarpon Springs Jan. 23, 1896

My dear Kathleen,

Both of your good letters are at hand. Was very happy to get them.

We are still here and will probably be for a week longer.

How I wish you were here. Tell me your dreamIlittle one. I have just found
that the mail"at at 8,5 at night and its nearly that now. Used to go in the
early morn.

So I will say good nht. Will write tomorrow


Tappon Spgs Wednesday

Tarpon Springs Friday (Postmarked Jan. 24)

My dear Kathleen,

The first moment I have had today is at night again. Almost train time too,
but I am going to writ~eyou a little letter because I want to and because I said
that I would,

After the rain of yesterday it cleared off beautifully and we have been
rushing things to get them packed up tho the actual packing has not begun yet.
It is a great task and as I have had to see to the things from camp Hope you can guess
how I must have rushed.
The collection is going to be a gem in its entirety and it is now in pretty
good shape. I had thought to get something out of one or the other mounds as a
little keepsake but things that would be nice have not been of a character which
you would much care for so I have not put a thing aside. We have to make as
good a showing as possible. When we get afloat, next week I hope, I am going to
do some painting and from then on you may expect a good report of me.

My/how sorry I am that we have not gone south before this. I don't know
what Cushing's plans are, Iikact I doubt if he really does. but I certainly want
to get back to Washington before the first of March if possible, things may take
a better turn soon.but I am going to be much disappointed as to the extent of my
trip. A part of it which appealed kax= not a little to me.

I am very well and am feeling much better now that I know you are so well.
I am sre I don't know if Josie is to be married this winter.

Have the girls not called -or the Sewalls?

I have written Carl Weller some time ago but have not had a reply as yet.
A letter from home says Ida is about to write to you.

Yours with Love,


No date Postmarked "Sanford &
St. Petersburg R.P.O. Feb. I7

My dear Kathleen.

Your letter of a few days ago distressed me very much. How can you be so
poorly? Really, I thought you would be very well when I saw you again., that
you would be so rosy and fat and not a shadow. Why can't you be real wellir-
do try very hard%-- I know you have worried a good deal about me and we have
missed each other very much butKathleen dear, the future has in it maybe as
the outgrowth of this experience of mine, some good for both of us. It m is
really an opportunity. Don't be discouraged and unhappyffor I fear that is
responsible for much of your bad feeling. Come, little one, cheer up == and be

I know you think I'm horrid about not writing for so long"but really I have
just put and put it off at night because there was so little time after dinner
until mail time and then I would think to write a long letter in the morning
always 7but my mornings have been crowded and indeed if you could find five
minutes from morning till night that has not you could do better than I have.

I made the most splendid find the other day which has been found in Florida
and one of a few in AmericaN for the significance of the discovery was tremendous.
These were five beautiful pieces of pottery buried together and I got down into
the trench to show one of the men how to dig. I grew most interested and dug with
zeal right straight to this splendid find j ` as tho it attracted me. My how I
wiked and just at sunset when all was glorious I found this wonderful bunch of
pots buried just like this with another behind the upright one. (illustration)

By tonight's mail Mrs. Gushing sends you a little spoon from Tarpon Springs.

The weather has all day been perfect. We have been dressed for summer and it
is much like Junes eallyione can't realize that it is winter at all. They are
having a minstrel stow in town tonight but I declined to go. Mr. Cushing wanted
me to do so but I wouldn't.

I see the Wagner operas have been in Washington, How I would li'A to have
taken you to hear them. Nothing else so far as I have heard has been of much

Oh Kath1 wish you were domwn here. I almost think we would not go hack to W.

I am very often sorry to be away from you but if you could realize the
interest I have in the work and how much it may some day mean for both of us you
would not think me sorry. It is probably the best show I have ever had and I
hope that the future will bring something from it.

With love,


Yesterday was my birthday. [Must have been written Feb. 1]

[must have been written Feb. 1, 1896]
My dear folks at home,
Another week of hotel life. Another year begun for me. For yesterday

I was 33.

The week has been a good one for me. I made a simply stunning discovery in the

mound, the best ever made in North America from an ethnologic standpoint for it

ties up the links in a chain which hitherto have been disconnected. It now

welds 7 (big hole in paper) and practically establishes the ______

of culture and migration also the origin of the mound builder.

It was very stunning I tell you. During the day I felt a longing to get

down into the ditch and dig so I got one of the men to shovel and I took a trowel

and cut the bank away. It is sand and works very freely. The sand fell as fast as

he could take it away for three hours, then just at sunset on my birthday this

glorious discovery was made. Scraping away the sand I disclosed the side of a

vessel buried in the ground, another was soon found under it and then three more,

5 in all) each of them replete with story, decorated in the highest form of art,

beautiful in line and finish.

There's the train. Goodbye


Sunday evening.-Postmarked Feb.6, 1896

Dear Kathleen,

You darling girl, what a sweet letter you wrote. I was quite unhappy, indeed
I am now, nothing short of my return to Washington would give me much true pleasure
but there would always be a feeling of having thrown away an opportunity and at
my age I can not afford to do that.

Our delay here will make it necessary to extend the trip some longer how much
I can not say, several weeks at most. Mr. Gushing of course knows of our plans and
feels very much broken .p about the possibility of my leaving hinefore he is
through with the work, what BA shall I do? Give it up and reutrn to Washington
to draw "graptolites" or stick to it and try to reap the advantages which might
come of it?

Mr. Gushing has told me that, if we made a success of this thing, there was
little doubt in his mind, none in fact, that I could get into the museum. Now this
museum is very largely endowed, it is recently incorporated and it has back of it
more money than the national museum has had in its entire appropriations. This
is only in part available now but it has it for ultimate use. Culin is director
and he is, as you know very friendly tone. They have often spoken of having me
in the museum and thi is the chance I have bf making a hit. I mean of really
bringing myself before them in the proper way. The new buildings will be very
grand and if I could get in at this period of the organization the chances for my
ultimate success would be assured. You know the men who are on the ground when
a thing starts are the men who have the best chance.

So far as art is concerned I would also have better opportunities than I can
have in Washington and as for music you would find Philadelphia greatly in advance.
I have impressed Mr. Gushing very well on the trip and he will do what he can.

The boat is soon to sail and I will of course go with itbut as to my remaining
away longer than the first of March I want your real advice. You know that I both
want to and do not want to, personally I want to return but I hate the work at the
Survey. I can never get much promotion there, and there would always be a pretty
choose sail to get along. In Philadelphia tho I might not make so much more yet)the
associates and opportunities would make a great difference. Again I have always
wanted to be associated with a great univeristy and the museum would bring me
closely in touch with the University of Pennsylvania of which it is a department.
The library too would help me greatly and you can see that in a hundred ways it
would be better than being a paleontologic draughtsman in the Survey.

Of course this is not settled ven with all I do I may fail but if I do
there will be the survey to fall back upon with the uncertainty of its appropriations,
the possibility of being ousted for more than twenty causes for which I am not
in any way responsible. So you see dearest that I ought to make this effort,
and now for the Other side of it I know you are very lonesomeand that you have
my best interests at heart. So I am very lonesom2too -- the little one I love is
miles away and she has my hearty here are many weeks in a single evening sometimes
and when I see Mr. and Mrs. Cushing together I sometimes find my eyes filled with
water and I have to look away. So1 little one, I am, as you knowmaking a grave
sacrifice myself in this matter. The days do not pass without my thinking over and
over again of you and the idea of prolonging my stay has made me miserable indeed.

Still, Kathleen, you will see how useful I am aside froilihat I study, I
take the photographs, make the sketches, survey the mounds, assist in editing Mr.

Gushing's work, and am often in entire charge of the excavation. You see Mr.
Gushing's health is very poor. ,e is also very busy so I have been made an
assistant in a way.

He will pay me a fair salary which I will forward to you and tai it will

be useful too when I get back. He is disposed to do all he can and will do it too
I am sure.

This might mean that I will not leave Florida before the first week of April
tho I really can not say4Jmight only take two weeks or three, but these delays are
so exasperating that it would possibly be as long as that. The thing I wish is
that you were with me and then I would be happy tho you would be frightfully
inconvenienced on the trip. Never mind it will not be an age anyway and you will
have a lot of me after I get back.

I have been doing a little painting and am glad enough that we were in port
for the last few days for the Gulf has been very rough.

I did not send the photo the other day but I enclose one in this. It
pictures the find I made on my birthday.

Dearest, don't be discouraged and unhappy. Be sure that I love you very
dearly and that I will soon come home again when we will not be happy apart but
together. I am glad the Bakers called, that you like the song and that you're
not ill.

Don't write to Mrs. Culin about what I have said for I want to have a talk
with him regarding it when I4get back to the north. It might seem strange to him
that I had not mentioned it 'before but I didn't mention it event Mr. Cushing.
He mentioned it to me.

Kathleen, dear, I feel very mean to ask you to extend my time a few weeks but
I hope you will.

With lots of love and worlds of regret that the delay has
occurred, I am four own


Write me at Tarpon Springs.

Tarpon Springs, Fla. Postmarked Feb. 6 >' "

My dear Kathleen,

Long ePe) this had I expected to be in the southern waters. In fact, I was
greatly annoyed by the delay and only the fine things which we have found would
make me feel at all comfortable about it. The boat however is ready to sail and
the almost interminable job of packing the specimens continues. I think I wrote
about the very good find which I made on the occasion of my birthday. There
were five beautiful and wonderful vessels closely crowded together in one little
heap. The most fortune which anyone has had has fallen to my lot, in this matter,
and last night Mr. Gushing told me that he wanted to get me the very place which
I have unbeknown to him for a long time desired -- with Culin in the University
of Pa. Now if everything goes through it will be very good for us. What do you
think about it? You see the museum is a gEeat one in the futuremjt has already a
very large endowment and it has men of the highest ability in its employ. It
would be better than working in the Survey for several reasons, but all of this
is,to say the least, in the air, for as yet we have not gone far enough into the
work to know what may or may not come out of it.

I have been looking for a letter from you. It is very long between times.
That I am deeply interested in the work and that I am anxious that it be a great
success in no way turns me aside from you and when we are once more in Washington
there will be much to do and think about together.

Sunday next I suppose we will sail 'ho so many times a date has been fixed
and then postponed that I am not at all sure about that one. Indeed time is
something which we don't seem able to control at all.

How I wish you were with us. You would enjoy it I believe. Mrs. Gushing does.
Out of all the old and broken fragments which we collect we rebuild the beautiful
vessels which they, once made. After it gets well in the mind it is very easy to
pick out the fragments and then pot building is like'some great puzzle only at
the end of it you have not only worked it out but you have a gei\ to show for the
work. I will enclose a photo of one which we put together,,ow it is complete,
parts of it having been restored and it is a perfect beauty. Just see what a lovely
design they had about it!

For two or three days we have been having a heavy wind and a little rain
but that has cleared today and it is summer again. Did I tell you little one the
peach trees have been in bloom for 3 weeks or maybe more?

Professor Smeltz.the old fellow I told you of. has made us a mice little offer
which some day we ma/'avail ourselves of.

There isn't much news of course news isn't very common here even if I got
about.but I have been so busy that I have not even attended one of the parties
at the hotel or the picnics etc. which they are having how.

You will write to me sometimes, won't you? Of course you will. I guess
you'd better send it here for we may not be away for some days.

Yours with love,


Tarpon Springs, Fla. Feb. 9, 96

Dear folks at home,
I was exceeding glad to get your letters both Alberts and Motheri. The stay

here has been/prolonged that I hardly know what the outcome may be. At any rate

it has been very profitable to me, far more than any money which I could have made

out of it for money could not buy the knowledge which I have secured.

I say could not buy, for really unless one did just as I have done in the

matter they could never hale found out the things I have seen of the life of the

people who were mercilessly slaughtered hundreds of years ago.

Not that these were the same one' the Spaniards met, far from it--this mound

and the one at Hope's Grove were long before that time abandoned. These pots and

vases, these objects of stone and shell were used maybe a thousand years ago by

men who were as well adapted to their conditions as the white race here is adapted

to its environment.

I say as well, I should say better and I could show you points of great

superiority* ow to tell the long story is more than I can do this evening, for it is

only a few minutes from dinner to train time so I must be brief--and that is
the bother of the mail going at such an unearthly hour.

One likes to feel that a letter will soon be on its way and if I don't get

it in before 7:30 it will not go for 24 hours. I am very well and quite happy

sometimes, not alwayse- I fear that I can never reach that state where I can be

happy always.

The weather is still perfect and the outlook for a pleasant thod busy voyage

is promising. We will probably delay our sailing for another week. ,n the meantime)

AoweverI shall still be very busy. I do so hope to paint some too.

I enclose a photo of one of thexfkx finds which will show you a little of

the superior character of this work.

[end missing]

Aboard Silver Spray Anclote River
Feby 16, 1896 [envelope postmarked
Feb. 11, 1896]

My dear Kathleen,

Your dear letter came to me aboard ship last night and it made me very happy.
I have been all torn up about not coming back on March first but you are very
good, very sweet, and I love you for it. I always said you were the best natured
person in the world and I believe it too. Tho I don't intend to impose upon that
good nature one bit. Do go and make the visit if you can. It will do both you
and your friends good. And little one don't worry about me. I am very well
and am painting some ave one or two rather interesting sketches.

The boat does not get off very fast and I should not be surprised if another
letter from you would reach me here, f we should have left it would however, be
forwarded to Marco or St. James City and would get down there as soorfas we do
so write to Tarpon.

The weather continues warm and spring-like. I very much hope that the plan
outlined in my last letter may succeed and if you are willing as you say, I shall
bend every energy to make a go of it. Let us hope it will go through all right.

AndNKathleen if the mosquitoes do not eat me up I will be back quite soon to
Washington. I am so glad you are posing for Margy, and that you li Archie. She
is a lovely girl and I aiure I worship her quite as much as you do. We will
always count on the Sewalls and Carl.

So Nichols and Mrs. Nichols have a daughter. Wel I am glad to hear that,
tho Hobe has never mentioned it to me, but that is like him, he is so quiet.
Should have thought that he would have written me a letter but then he was not
sure that I would be in Tarpon Spgs and that is enough to furnish an excuse.

Well, Kathleen, there isntt much to write. Mrs. Inness has been very kind
to me (Mrs. George Inness), he made me a big bag and a table cdver and put a
cup and some paint rags in. She is a lovely old lady. How glad I am to have
met her.

When I leave here I will send a note with my new address in it. In the
meantime, Kathleen, send such word as you have to me here at Tarpon.

Goodnight, dear, keep well, and please don't worry that makes me
feel very sad you know.

With love and lots of it

I am your WeIs

Aboard the Silver Spray, Feby 20, 96

My dear Kathleen,

We are anchored now in the Gulf. It is the first time our boat has got so
far from town and I wonder when we are going. I am getting very impatient for
there is no longer much excuse for delay. Tomorrow morning we expect Mr. Gushing
aboard. If so, I will send this back by him. If not, the men who come out will
have to take it. I want to send my address to you so that when you write I will
get it. At present I do not know where to say and can not until C. comes aboard.
I have not heard from Washington as yet tho word may also come tomorrow. I hope
so for I do not want any hitch about my leave.

I have been painting a little and will have a few things to bring back
with me anyway.

Little one, I wish I was home again. Things are going slowly, and I am
consequently rather blue about it but tomorrow all may get under way and then, well
then it will be some different. You foolish girl to think I care more for my
work than for you. You are a great deal more to me than success would be in many
ways, but naturally I have a deep interest in my life's work "What shall I do
and how shall I do it" are questions which must be solved. So in another way I
have also a great enthusiasm for my work. It myst be so else I would fail, work
and affection, love for ones work and love for ones family are different in
character, and my affection for you is not decreased by my interest.,1 t rather
enhances the interest which I take in the work I am doing for I am now looking
out for the best not for one but for two.

Well, little one.I will say good night. It will soon be morning and then
I can send this to yoL.

Sweetest dreams,

No date postmarked St. James City, Feb. 20, 1896 .
Received in Washington Feb. 23, 1896


We have just anchored off Punta Rassa. It's a beautiful morning. The
trip was delightful. Had you been with me I would have been perfectly happy.
Maybe the future has instore some little outing which we'll much enjoy.

With love,

Your Wells

Address at. James City via Punta Rassa

Aboard the Silver Spray
Marco Harbor, Fla. March 1896

My dear Weller,

This evening as we are lying idly at anchor in this beautiful place my thoughts

turn to you and I wish that you were down here to .enjoy all these things with me,

the soft moonlight on the gulf, the mangrove fringe around the keys, the tropical trees,

coconut, date palm, and palmetto while all about the air plants and orchids hang

amid the moss upon the trees.

I have painted but little, the fact is my work is so dammed bad that I take

but little pleasure in it, I am so awefully disappointed in it that sometimes I say

to myself, "Sawyer you can't paint a little bit," but after a little while out come

the brushes again, and then I have it all over again. I very much fear that the

dreams I had as to my getting something better than the Survey out of this is not

going to materialize for there are things in the air which point that way altho

my work has been more than satisfactory to Mr. Cushing and will be to the University

as well, I am glad to feel the satisfaction that comes with this knowledge, even if

I should fail to reap any material immediate benefit from it. For Kathleen's sake

as well as my own I wish it might all come true, and maybe it will, who knows.

You might guess that I am trying my hand on the type-writer from the blunders

which I manage to get in but I want to get one some of these days so I thought best

to try to pick it up.

You ought to see our quarters aboard the Spray you would laugh real merrily and

would have a good story for the Walking Club out of it too. The boat is a beauty

tho, a 22 ton schooner with lots of sail, and it is a pretty sight to see her coming

down before the wind.

The iors are ravishing and the sunsets are something to remember throughout

one's life, gold and purple, its no use to try to tell of their beauty.

Well as most of the party has gone to bed its a beastly shame to keep up this

pegging so I will turn in as well, good night and God bless you. Byk the wyy I hope

you can arrange to go to Riverdale this summer there are lots worse places and I am

going to try to go there.
Wish best wishes to all my good friends I am yours as ever,

Silver Spray
Marco Ship Channel, March 1, 96

My dear Kathleen,-

The mail gods today and I am going to send you a little letter to tell you that
I am thinking of you and wondering how you are and what you are doing&- I have been
quite under the weather for a couple of days since I last wrote but now am well

Here everything is tropical enough, coconut groves and cacti and air plants
and orchids all about while the curious mangrove reaches the water with its fringe
of roots at the edge of all the keys. We have seen many curious things and have
developed a good deal an old village of the pre-Columbian time where we have found
really wonderful things. The hair pins are very pretty being of bone and finely
wrought. [illustration]-

This whole key was built by the ancient people, It has channels leading
into its interior where the boats used to run inland out and around the lagoon
with which they connectedfthe people once lived. I am very glad to have seen this
place, yt is a dew development in American archaeology and one which can not fail
to impress all time with its importance.

I am making a careful map of it and am also sketching some tropical bits of it.
The weather is delightful and the far famed Marco Mosquito has kept himself hidden
away in the depths of the mangrove swamps.

Last night the moon coming up over the water was most wonderful, a perfect
night. Where we are anchored the channel is somewhat near a mile wide and looking
three or four miles to the southeast are islands, indeed they are everywhere.

Well, Kathleen, the archaeological part of this thing is a success, whether
the museum will think so or not I do not knowbut if it does see the value of the
work then we will be successful, if it does not I am fearful of the results.

You were so good to let me e come down here. I shall never forget your
lovely letter which Ikead and reread fow remarkable that you should care so
much for me, what there is to secure auch\and love from so dear a little woman
as you is a puzzle to me. I am very happythat, whatever it is, it exists.

I am anxious to hear from Washingtong yet I have no word from the office.

You will direct a letter here and I will get it. The chances are we will be
here for some two weeks.

Yours with love,


No date postmarked March 4, 1895
received Washington March 9, 1896 3:30 a.m

My dear Kathleen,

Your letter with the photos in it was forwarded to me aboard the boat. The
pictures certainly are cute and as you say carry me back to the summer at Riverdale.
I hope that if you should care to we may spend this summer there. However, that is
of course as you please.

I am sorry it is so cold in Washington. Here it is real summer.

My painting is simply awful tho there is enough that's good about the keys to
make splendid studies, paintings of great beauty.

I am writing on top of a trunk on the sterm of the vessel and so you will have
to look very hard to make out what I sA&. The mail here at Marco comes only a
couple of times a week, maybe three times..

I hope you are planning for the spring. Arrange things to suit yourself about
everything. I wish that I was in Washington now for I should like to talk over
many things with you. However. there will be a little time when I get back before
it is real warm. As to permanent plans for residence it seems so much uncertainty
exists that we might do well to stop at R [Riverdale] for the summer at least. You
see if I do succeed in going to Philadelphia we would not want a place in Washington.

Well, little one, I hope you are very well. Don't hurt yourself skating.

Bye-bye Mon amie (sic)
Mon cher


No date Postmarked March 8, 1896 Marco

My dearest Kathleen,

This morning's mail brought me your paper. I was rather surprised that nothing
of mine was in the exhibition. Tho I failed to sign my name on the old trees
which I did out at R. [Riverdale probably]

I am probably returning by the first of Apl, thank God. It is a great joy
which fills me as I think the time is drawing near when I shall be with you again.

I do hope Mr. Denby will keep the negative of the painter. I should like to
have some of them printed to send home. The time is so filled with work and the
conveniences here so poor that it is next to impossible to collect one's thoughts
to write at all.

I do hope you are well. You don't say a word about your music. You have not
given it up, have you?

Kathleen dear, you are a sweet girl and just as good as you can be to write
such good letters to me down here in the land of the mosquito. When I get back to
Wahhington I will tell you all about our sleeping apartment which is very funny.

I haven't painted a thing worth doing. Some way I don't seem to be in it
at all.

Well, Kathleen, good day I will write a good letter when I get
where I can.



Marco Harbor March 17-96

My dearest little Kathleen,

I do hope your poor eyes are betterOfhat a shame that you should be so badly
off, fortunately I am very well and am just as tanned as I ever was. Last Sunday
I went down to the coast past the coconut grove and painted a rather better thing
than I have done for some time., It's a bit of the gulf with a little sunlight
effect. The whole thing is rather happy in color tho not as strong as I should
like it.

What a strange world this is, All day I have been working among the cacti
and Spanish bayonets with orchids and air plants on the trees and curious butterflies
ahd pretty yellow crOcus-like pWkkly pair blossoms--Its very beautiful here now--
And in a week or so there wilfbe such a wealth of flora that the state will warrant
its name. The wonders which this old key has given up are unique in N. American
archaeology and even the Peruvian culture is equaled here. The old people here
certainly had things which were very nice and artistic, that were really wonderful.

Their stamps for printing cloth are most beautiful so that their designs are
just as good as any which we have today and indeed they were much more rational.
' How I hope that this will bring me good fortune for then we would be so happy2
but we will be just as happy anyway.

My hair is frightfully long and vary curiously it is much more curly than it
ever has$ been.Kx I suppose it comes from this sea aired t any rate its real curly.

Tell your mother I have been down to the shell beach here and have gathered
some tho there is hardly a great variety of them. I mean of desirable ones.
There have been so many heavy storms that a great many are broken but the effect
of the shell covered sands are as lively as can be, bits of pearly color, of pinks
and creams and light greens and shnshine whew! but its color.

I am very anxious to return and have told Mr. C. that I must be back when my
leave expires and he says I shall, but I fear I will have to attend to a good many
things myself in order to do it, not that he will intentionally detain me longer
but he forgets how long it takes to get from here to Washington.

I may go via of Key West. The time would be about the same either way.

Well goodnight, my dear. When your eyes will let you, drop me a line.

As ever your


At anchor in Marco Ship Channel
Silver Spray (no date. Postmarked
March 17, 1895 but that is impossible.
Stamped Rec. in Washington March 22,

My dear Kathleen,
Mrs. Colonna's letter came in today's mail. You poor girl. Im awfully sorry
to hear this news about your eyes, seems to me you have not had very good health
this winter. I very much hope that you are quite well again, that you are not
suffering as I know you must, When you can not use your eyes. I wrote a few days
ago by the last mail I think. The mail here is very irregular and it takes a letter
a long while to get here, it having taken from the 5th when your sister's letter is
dated until today, the night of the 12th for it to reach me. Sometimes it is even

I shall return to Washington just as soon as I can, and that will be by about
the first of April, possibly the latter part of the first week tho I have to report
for duty on the 9th, and I will not be as late as that, however much they want me
to stay here in the south. I shall not ask for an extension of my leave.

So far my part in the plan has been very well carried out and indeed if everything
else had been so well done today we would be in Washington and everybody happy; as it
is the collections which are most splendid are the only things to fill us with joy.

Little one, don't bore yourself with Nordow. There is a good deal in the first
part of the book that is bright and much that is true but in its entirety I fear it
is neither wholesome nor, I am glad to say, true. It is easy to call people names,
to say they are weak and fools, that they are sensually unbalanced and God knows
there's truth enough z in all of it but the human race hasever in savagry,
Barbarism, in civilisation and even in enlightenment had much in it that was
degenerate, even base. We I fancy, are little worse than our ancestors, and indeed
how could we be? For are we not the last result of all that has been, from the
first thrill of animal life -- and have we not been pruned [?] and had many a
falsehood eliminated from us? That this is a decadent period in many ways I doubt-
that it is one of degeneration I deny. Dilitante in all times have been more or
less degenerate and in the present period.under the unsettled condition of both
the spiritual and moral, these have ofttimes gained the public ear. The beastly
fin de seacle epoch is RH a problem but Nordow has not solved it. Read little
oneltill you get weary of his scathing and unkind remarks, then shelve him with
his ideas for good and all.

Above all and over all there is a spirit of progress. We are marching Em to
an end of which we can but vaguely dream but the end is high and pure and all
shall be happy. Ours is but to o == the future shall give back the answer, y
their fruits ye shall know them and shall the vine say to the vine behold I am
fairer than thou1'fhe fruit cometh when the vine is dropping its leaves.

But here I go moralizing when I should be writing how sad it makes me to
hear of your trouble. I have sent several short letters from here. Hope ou
have had them tho they certainly contained little enough of interest. The fact
is our quarters are not very conducive to even letter writing and its the very
deuce to get a letter off. For the next ten days I shall be rushed to death for
I have really much more than I can do, after that I hope to be enroute for

Washington. I will see you very soon and I hope you can see me too. So do let
your eyes get real well. I hope you have a good voice this winter.

With worlds of love and the best wishes in the whole broad universe,

I am your$,

... < '.

Marco Ship Channel, Fla. March 18, 1896

My dearest little sister,

Its a very long time since I have written to you, a very long time-- and I have

been wandering about this state wondering at everything and trying to find out

somewhat of the nature which the men of the olden time found here.

And so it came that in my wanderings I have neglected you add that neglect

too involves more than mere letter writing for I had expected really and truly to help

you very much in your school expenses. This I am veryvery sorry not to have done,

for the last few months,as you know I have had no salary and I fear that I have been

rather selfish in taking this winter in the south instead of living in Washington add

saving a little money for my spring's plans. I am greatly pleased to learn from

Mother that you are well, and I hope you will always be. I too am very well, am in

good spirits and have done some creditable work. Not so much in painting as in

exact observation. I have gathered some shells which I will send to you from

Washington, tho I shall probably send them to Aurora instead of to the school.

Then too I have in mind gathering a few examples of the flora here which will

interest you, particularly of the curious growth of the mangrove. In its seeds. I

fear I can not get a blossom for you.

R hw There are no orange blossoms here but some limegrapefruit, alligator

pears, etc. There are also several varieties of cactus and many orchids and air

plants. These,however)would hardly bear transportation or would be of little or

no value when you received them. If you will .ask your professor of Botmy if he

cares for an example of the mangrove I will undertake to have a typical one cut

and shipped^-the University to bear the expense of shipment. The package would be

bulky and probably the expense of shipping would be considerable. I ,ould.,however,

prepare a section showing the trunk and one offshooting series of roots which

could be shipped much more cheaply. And the boxing would also be of less cost.

However) use your judgment in this matter My time is rather limited as I will

only be here a few weeks longer and yet if I can be of service to you in any way

I want to do it.


Our researches have been splendidly rewarded. Of them I shall tell you sometime

I hope. What is your pan or have you arranged one yet? You know one must plan

before they can execute and then it may miscarry.

My winter here hK is part of a plan which looks to my future very considerably

and I can but believe that it will bear upon it not a little. How I should like..

aye love, to see you successful. And how I deplore the lack of such an education as

you are gm now getting, tho I should like very much that you were in Ithaca instead

of Lake Forest. There are many things which I should like to talk to you of -- and

one of them is not to be afraid to be too broadin your views. There is a gEeat

study and it is one which bears upon life at every point. It is Anthropology. I

should liAg' that you proture from your library Tylor's Anthrop&logy (International

Scientific Series) You will hardly find all of it interesting but i in it

much that is fundamental. The arts of pleasure chapter is a mistake, it will in

the light of today have to be rewritten yet even it contains much that is of value*

Well, Ida, I am very sorry that I have not seen you for so long a time. I

hear you are doing well and progressing favorably in your studies.

Write to me~when you have the leisurepof your preferences and of your

present ideas, aybe I can help you some. Maybe I can give from out the varied

chronical that marks the last twelve)yes thirteen~years of my life some little

hint that may help you, n if sojI shall be gladfor to give pleasure is to enjoy

it for in giving to you anything I can I give to the world that which I have received

IxM: and not for the moment give I it, but for all time. Thus the giver is

really doubly blest.

Well, Ida, this is to you -- goodnight, sweet dreams,


Aboard Silver Spray

Ads. Marco, Fla.


Marco Ship Channel, Marco, Fla. Mch 24-96

My dear Kathleen,

I fear your eyes are still troubling you, for I have had he.word since Mrs.
Collona so kindly wrote to me. I am very sorry. That's a weak way to say; but
exceedingly pained to hear or think such annoyance or maybe more seriously
important affliction has overtaken you. What, little one, have you been doing to
give your eyes such strain?

I am glad the time will soon be here for my departure7 for then I will have
you tell me all about it. Last Sunday a boat load of us went up the country to
Palm Hammock which was indeed a wonderful place. I think you would have enjoyed it.
ho I confess you would have to dress in something besides runle percoline in such
a jungle, and besides I fear you would have been very tired and thought that life
wasn't worth the bother. In the first place after going for hours up through the
islands we came to a very narrow stream which by and by was a very shallow stream
so that we all had to get out and wade for three quarters of a mile in a little
channel/ where the branches met over our heads. Then we came to the mainland
and across a prairie we saw the beautiful royal palmsx trees, more than a hundred
feet high. It was a sight which I shall, never forget and it stands out alone
amongst the places I have visited this winter for its beauty. Could one but
eliminate the factor, mosquito, the thing would be perfect, but at last
that plague of Florida which you in a letter of months ago prayed should overtake
me, has come down in considerable numbers. Though m told not in any proportion
to later in the season.

But to recar, the palm trees were very beautiful. They were in the midst of
a perfect jungle, through which one could with difficulty make their way, in fact
we had to fight with nature very hard in order to get to them. Near where we
came out of the mangrove swamp onto the prairie were many large cranes feeding and the
whole thing was exceeding picturesque. Our time was limited or I should have
remained long enough to make at least a hasty sketch, as it is I have only what I
saw for my trip.

How I hope you are better and I look anxiously for a letter which shall
reassure me. Tomorrow night I hope to add something to this for the mail does
not go until the next day.

Again the mail brings me no news of you and my fears that you are seriously
troubled affects me not a little. I had so much hoped that you should be very well
when I returned, and while I was goneAfindfor that matter all the time. My return
will not be delayed beyond the date named in my letter from Tarpon Springs to you
tho I think Mr. Cushing wishes me to stay indefinitely.

Today I am going to make a big watercolor of a part of this key and with several
photos which I shall take very soon, I hope to pretty well finish up the work
hereabouts^o far I have made about twenty water color studies of the specimens
which have been collected here and they will certainly speak well for me at the
museum. I have a room here for a studio and peg away all day long. I hope
to have some reassuring news before my departure.

In returning I expect to go via of Key West, tho this is not positively assured.
It is a somewhat shorter trip so far as time is concerned and will also give a long
ocean voyage which will please me.
With love,


Aboard the Silver Spray
Marco Ship Channel,Fla. Mch 28-96

My dear Kathleen,

Tho maybe I would better write to Mrs. Colonna. The mails have brought no
word from you. You say in Mrs. Colonna's letter which is daed the 5th that you
have had no word from me since I left Punta Rassa. Oh my! ^he mails are certainly
very bad down here, and mother too writes that she has had no word for two weeks,
ell, have sent most always two letters or notes a week to you and if they have
not ve been received I am very aad with Uncle Sam about it. Tell Miss Minnie
that she should shake up the post office department, maybe that too is responsible
for my having no word from you.

How I hope you are well again. Mrs. Colonna says she hopes I am having a
good time. Well I have been working very hard, Ap at sunrise and pegging away until
dark every day. The work has counted tho and its going to make a fine portfolio when
it is finished. Then too it will furnish material for a superbly illustrated
publication, which I hope will give me the place I want so much.

Mr. Cushing has offered me my full office salary for the time I remained after
March first with all my expenses besides. o for nearly a month now I have been
making more than if I had been at home. As yet he has not given me the check,
suppose he will not until I leave for Washington which I had hoped to do in a
little over or about a week. There may be a short delayo tho I hope not. You
see all the things we find here/or most of thempare dug from a lagoon which is filleA
with salt water ,or was until it was hailed out so that when they are dry many of
them crack all to pieces or out of all recognition. Many of them are painted and
they, when dry, are shriveled up and so distorted that the deisgn is obliterated,
now just the moment I can get free, and for more than a week I have been working
nights too in order to accomplish itJI am going to come north to youO-fo abandon
the work would be to throw the whole winter away for the expedition must stand or
fall on the results of the collections, as the collection is in such a shape I have
to save so much as drawings, paintings and photographs will.

I am sick over the prospects of further delaya- ,ad I known it last November,
an eternity ago I would certainly have not come with it, but now that I am here
and that it is not possible to get someone else hereabouts who can do it I am in
a way bound to see it through. So far as my remaining, it will only be a few weeks?
not at most more than three, and I am going to work day and night to reduce it to
two if I can. If they were through with the digging I could get away in ten days
but at the lagoon there is yet work for maybe a week and if things gH of great
importance are brought forth thewtHxid would detain me the remaining time. Could I
but hear from you, that you are well and that you had not forgotten your far awyy
Sawyer it would add same relief to a work which at this season is none too
pleasant. There are mosquitoes and sand flies in legions now. Yesterday they
were frightful, and these pests think it great fun to light on a fellow's hand
when he is drawing or maybe on the back of one's neck. Today however we have a
strong wind from the southwest and the little devils have gone to the swamps.

There seem tope no snakes here tho for I have only seen one in the whole winter.
That a pretty little youngster about as large as a hat pin tho fatter. He was a
coach whip. The only rattler$I have seen are in the shops and they are the only
ones I care to see.

Do write to me or send some word about your health. I am in the blues up to
my neck about this delay and am nearly sick about it. But, little one, I am, I
hope not forgetful of you in the disappointment which is mutual.

With deepest love,

Your Wells


Aboard the Silver Spray
S Marco Ship Channel Mch 30-96

My dearest Kathleen,

How I loig to get aboard the boat today which goes north with this mail and
follow the course of this letter tiill it lands safely in Washington.

My continued absence greatly annoys me and if I ever was thoroughly disgusted
with anything it is the way I have been again and again detained. Not that it has not in
the end returns for both of us for this thing must bring me something in the way
of reputation and a certain strength of influence even in Washington which would
ensure an increase of my income which is satisfactoryjbut the idea of my being kept
away so long when we had such plans for the near future is really most exasperating.

Then again I have had ,a great annoyance about the studio which adds to my
being upset. You see I left my address with the agents who rented the place and
they did not send me any notice that the place was unoccupied so that the nent was
past dues soon as I heard of it by letter from Mr. Uhl I sent him a check for
Mr. Cushing had promised to pay the rent as part of my expenses. But they made
lots of trouble for Mr. Uhl and from him I have the only word which has reached me
from you since Mrs. Colonna's letter. I can not doubt that you have written and
feel sure that you are better or maybe well, but you can be sure I am very anxious
about you.

Since the mail does not reach me I can not be sure that my letters reach
you and again I am upset. So it is that everything serves to bother me excepting
only the work which I am pushing forward with all possible speed.

Mr. Cushing expects to finish the digging next week and I hope he may do so.
The packing boxes are being made and today the sharpie has gone up the coast to
get saw dust to use in packing the collection which is a splendid one. This
excavation marks a new era in American archaeology for it reveals a culture status
which was not dreamed of in the United Statese jt also throws side lights upon
many other regions and bohh Mr. Cushing and I are better equipped by far for
further research.

Mr. Uhl sends word that at Huitmullers they are going to have an exhibition
of local works and I am going to send my little Atlanta esposition picture. So
far I have maybe three of four or possibly more things which would go a little.
It seems strange that only the disagreeable letters should reach me down here for
I have had two or three downright annoying ones of late and to think that the last
world I had from you pictured you in black goggles and in bed or not good health.

Well, dear, I hope that tomorrows mail4if the boat gets in)will bring me
some good word.

With love
I am your
Wells M. Sawyer

Aboard the Silver Spray
Marco, Florida Apl 7/96

My dearest Kathleen,

Mail after mail brings me no word from my dear girl and I am sad. The
weight of this long and repeatedly drawn out winter falls on me and I am sick at
heart. Today the mail boat goes again and I shall send this up to you and shall
again ask that you send some word to me way off on the outedge of the United States.
If I could but hear fron~you it would make me more comfortable, hat is if I could
hear that your eyes are better and that you are well, or could hear at all.

Oh I am sm very blue so blue that my work is bad and tho I work very hard
it seems there is little accomplished -- all last week and the week before I
worked at the drawings and photographs until late each night. Saturday I was
played out and all day Sunday had to lie down, but yesterday and today I am better
again and have already got down to my drawings which constantly increase in numbers.
Maj. Powell came aboard ship this a.m. and he is very highly pleased with the
results of the work here. They are getting all the collections together now;
and packing will begin in a day or two I think It is possible that the major's
visit may delay that a little but think not.

He seems satisfied with everything and Mr. Gushing says that my work would
be all right or as Mr. Gushing put it that my getting into ethno 1ghc instead
of paleontologic work was practically assured, Of this, however I have no positive
information and I do not think Gushing has. He is inclined to jump at conclusions
too hastily, and that very thing is what bothers me so about going away. He, and
it is really so, depends upon me to save so much of this perishable collection
amd as possible and when I say that I am going, the whole question of the success
or failure oi this thing comes up.

Today M~j. Powell urged that the photographing, sketching etc. go ahead as
rapidly as possible. Now this has been going on.yet Mr. Gushing has held it
back somewhat as we were waiting for him to get time to help the work. Now I am
free to do as I wish and I will rush it through.
Well, Kathleen, I don't want to trouble/with things here,yet they are the ones
which oppress me. May I have the good fortune to get a letter from you. The
mail service seems to bring me only letters which I am not anxious to get,, I fear
you have not written for a very ic1 time. May you be well.

Good night with love,


Marco, Fla. [no date]
[envelope postmarked
My dear Kathleen--- Apr 9]

Today Mr. Cushing said we would close up the work here as soon as the things
could be packed. There is to be no more digging and the work is fortunately
closing up. I am very glad of it.

Little one, if you think I have not been keenly aware of the horrors of this
delay you are mistaken. I have been sick about it and have really much overworked
myself trying to get things into shape. Last night I worked until half past
twelve and for a long time I have been at it as pushingly as possible. I fear that
you are not giving me credit for any feeling in the matter but I pledge you my word
if I ever have been broken up in my life the last month represents that period.

Had it not seemed impossible for me to get away I should have been in Washington
last week. The collections here are so perishable that inside of a few days they
deteriorate terribly. They have been water soaked for alout a thousand years and
when they dry out they simply sliver up into shreds, or many of them do. I am
glad that Maj. Powell came for he is pushing Mr. C. to get back to the north.

Kathleen, it does seem too bad that you have not written to me of this
of course I am not sure but mail after mail brings me no letter and as I seem to
get all the other mail that comes from the north it makes it appear so. But
you are I hope.not angyy with mee o I can not believe that you are, for in your
last leLter, and a very sweet one it was, you said I should stay as long as it
seemed necessary.

Well, thank god it will all soon be over now and we will be together again.

The Philadelphia place may not materialize0 Jt may but what ever comes of it
I will be glad to have made the trial and will have something of value to refer to
in case of other opportunities arising.

The boat has just brought the mail and it goes again I have only waited
to see if perhaps it might bear some word from you. A letter from Mother only.

My love to the family and worlds of iKxR it to you,


Marco, Fla. April 12, 1896

My dear Kathleen,

I was very happy to hear of your recovered health and that your poor eyes are
so much improved as to permit you to write.

As to my place with the Survey I hope that will be in no wise jeopardised
by my remaining here. The outlook for the other place is not over bright yet
there are many sides to it and if the Bureau and the University get along all right
in their relations the chances are very good. So far kkH as the Survey is concerned
Maj. Powell was here last week and said he would look after that for me and that
it would be all right. He would assure me of this.

He was very anxious for me to remain until the boat sailed back for the north
and I was glad that he urged Mr. Gushing to sail as soon as possible. The latter
part of this week Cushing thinks but it hardly seems to me we can get everything
into boxes by that time.

After leaving here we are going to stop at Sanabee Island for two days where
I am to make some photographs and sketches. Then we sail directly to Tarpon
Springs and I will leave on our arrival there for Washington tho the others may
be longer delayed by repacking attending to freight and other details.

I hardly know what to say about the studio. When I get back to Washington therR
will be much work and many details regarding my report which would be better done
in the city than in the country yet I think it might be better to do as you
suggest regarding the room. At any rate it will be practical to make the best
arrangements we can looking to the necessities and best interests regarded from
all standpoints.

It may not be possible for me to get back as early as the 20th,.ndeed we will
not get away from Sanable before that date yet I shall return as soon as I can.
That is, I am doing all that anyone could do to facilitate our departure and the
prospects for a speedy return are excellent so I beg of you not to do any crying.
t don't put me into good spirits you know, and then there is nothing gained by it,
Ihat is dearest it don't help you tof ..el better about thing ou knowand it makes
me feel badly t{at you should seem so discouraged.

On the contrary I am doing the best work of my life so far, ft's the only
work of any distinction which I have ever done and it is going to do us both good.
But you know that its only the results of a desperate struggle, that it really
costs blood to accomplish anything worth the doing. The thing which is easily done
usually amounts to nothing and the result is as easily effaced as the dew from
the leaves in the morning. There are times when one has to test the meta in him
and this seems such a time, for the winter has had much in it which was at least
portentious of no good.

If I am ambitious for the success of this expedition it is ,that I am not less
so for Cushing than for myself~for should my part in it be a failure it would take
much from the work which in reality is a contribution to science. And One too in which
I have no small share. Should I fail in itp the work of the other side would be
discredited and the museum curse both of us. I do not fee4 discouraged now that I
have had a letter from you, but tis working against odds when one does not hear
from those whose interest he has most at heart, and it is considerably over a month
since I have had a letter, over a month since Mrs. Colonna wrote.

Do present my compliments to the family and write again to me addressing
at Tarpon Springs. Hold until called for. From there I may be able to go north
by rail. I hope so as I am anxious for no further delay.

With much love,


Do be cheerful and I beg of you dontt cry.

Marco, Fla. Sunday Apl 19-96

My dear Kathleen,

I amthank God going to sail from here tomorrow. Everything is packed
and. we are at last ready to get under way.

Today I have to go way up into the country to make some photographs and by
tomorrow at noon we will be under way. From here I hope oh so much that we will
go almost directly to Tarpon Springs.

There is to be a two days delay at Charlotte Harbor but I am trying not to
let it exceed that time. Mr. Cushing said today that he would get through in
the two days and that ___[?] or I could get north by the first tho I am a little
doubtful of that as I have to go by sea and I am swearing about it too, but
transportation has been secured via Clyde Line from Jacksonville.

Well, little one, God knows I will get back as soon as I can.

Goodbye I am off to the Keys--


Aboard the Silver Spray Gulf of Mexico

(Postmarked May 1 at Tarpon Springs)

My dear little girl,

We are now making our way toward Tarpon Springs where I pray no delay will
occur to keep -me for a single day. The trip from the Caloosehache up here has
been devoid of incident other than calms which were exasperating and then squalls
which forced us to seek or keep in harbors.

I have insisted so much on returning by May 1st that Mr. Gushing really has
been annoyed considerably by it and today has a headache from his worrying. He
wanted to stay for a couple of weeks longer or even a month but I said that I would
not ask for additional leave and Mrs. Gushing has been hurrying him up as much
as she could.

There is so -much to be done and we have seen so few placed compared with the
number existing that he is nearly heartbroken about it. Well, I'm more heartbroken
about the delays and the uncertainties with which this winter and spring have
been filled than he can be so I guess he ought not worry very much after all.
Much regarding the date of my departure from Tarpon Will depend on tjhe mail
from there.

If I am due at the office on the first of May then he will have to send me
by rail and I hope he will, but if not until the 9th of May thereI will have to
go by sea to New York as we have passes that way. Should my leave expire on the
first I will be a very happy fellow. And anyway I am getting back again thank
heaven and will soon see you how I hope you will be well.

It is a very age these five months and I do not know myself at all anymoreO
They have cost me a great deal, of patience and of self denial, and I know they
have cost you a great deal of disappointment and worry, but it will soon be over.

I have done what I could and if Mr. Cusliling is pleased with the result,and
the rest for whom it is done are pleased I shall be satisfied with the work but
if notrthen it is a serious win-e--. Let us hope that everything will turn out as
I trust it will. '- "

With much love ad hopes that I will see you soon,

lam yours


Will not be able to get back before the 9th. Letter just received.

Postmarked May 12 Washington 9:30 a.m. and
sent special delivery (2 postage, 10 spec. del.)


Come down to the shoe store at about twelve if you can arrange it. I will
come over to the store and hope to see you.

Yours. Wells

Last night I forgot to mention it again until after I was on the cars so I am
not sure when you expected to be downtown but I hope i4 will not inconvenience you
to make it as late as noon.

Western Union Telegram May 7, 1896 2:12 p.m.

Will arrive in the morning. Take dinner with you. Wells