Citation
Davis, Varina Jefferson to Etta A. Anderson – 1906 – New York, NY

Material Information

Title:
Davis, Varina Jefferson to Etta A. Anderson – 1906 – New York, NY
Creator:
Davis, Varina Jefferson
Baker, Christopher A. ( Transcriber )
Publication Date:
Language:
English

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Civil War
Spatial Coverage:
North America -- New York -- New York
North America -- United States of America -- Florida
North America -- United States of America -- Tennessee
North America -- United States of America

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
147jc

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My dear Mrs. Anderson,
Thanks for your dear letter my heart is very warm is very warm towards the
dear friends of the "days which are no more." I shall always take a [missing] the dear
little Minnie of whom you tell me such sweet things and I heartily wish I had some of the
many relics of my precious child, little ornaments of which she had many, but strangers
and everyone, it seemed to me, seemed to think they could not amount to much and urged
me daily to give them away and I have not one left except a little silver-topped emery
bad, which I will send the dear little namesake tomorrow with thanks to her good parents
for the respect they paid to my precious dear child, and my prayers shall ascend for her
future happiness here and hereafter. The news you give me of your deep heartsorrows
which have settled over you. Your son first and then the chosen daughter of your heart
born of your love and choice grieves me greatly. I have buried four sons and my precious
daughter and can understand how the woman of old "could not be comforted because"
her children were not. In my old age I am alone and in failing health. My daughter of
course must be with her dear husband who cannot live away from Colorado Springs. I
cannot live near them because the altitude is so great my doctors say I would die before
the first day had passed as I have heart trouble to which a high altitude is fatal. So we are
"so near and yet so far" that my life is a weary waiting one however I try to interest
myself in the outer world, try to have sympathy for everyone and reach, in a vague way,
after the Heaven I hope to gain but for which I know I am all unworthy. I remember so
well your strong honorable patriotic husband and what a pall his death spread over
Memphis, the "brave fighting men of past" of the community and and how the
sympathy of the community went out to you his disconsolate crushed widow. There is
however a consolation in the grief of a man's contemporaries to his widow and children.
They have "called him worthy to be loved" and it is a happy memory in after years. I
cannot imagine what could have ailed your daughter in law. If it had been heart trouble
her pulse would have shown it. Could it have been paralysis of the spinal nerves? The
son and daughter! I can offer no consolation under these blows to you that it is God's
will makes us know it was best for the dear ones gone to rest their hopes for heaven
strongly implanted in their mind, but for you who are left behind my sympathy is intense
and tender. Thank God however that you are able to live among your own people. I
cannot one hot day and my pulse does not beat, it only flickers. However I shall be
eighty on the 7th of May, and I must soon "be blotted from the things that be" and then
shall meet all I have lost below. One joyous feature of your life must be that you have
your children's children near you mine are all separated from me by thousands of miles,
but they are sweet young people. Varina the eldest is married to a right sweet hearted
young Englishman who while performing a surgical operation pricked the finger of his
left hand and blood poison supervened and he is with his wife and lovely baby visiting
his mother in England until he gets back the use of his arm which I am happy to say he is
recovering. Lucy White Hayes the other daughter is engaged to a fine young grandson of
Hamilton Fish. Jeff is in his last year at Princeton and Billie the youngest, is at the
preparatory school at Lawrenceville for Princeton which is about four miles from there.
Mr. and Mrs. Hayes and Lucy are at Catalina Island off the coast of California and they
are I hope enjoying it greatly. The difference in our mental state from that of animals
when our children have us is that through God's loving dispositions for our happiness we
know and remember our children and can follow them with love and prayers so we have









many comforts and solaces here below. I am very glad to have heard from you and shall
certainly send the emery bag tomorrow and a little card to the dear Minnie. Believe dear
old friend
Always faithfully yours,
Varina Jefferson Davis
Feb. 26th, 1906. Today is the anniversary of my 61st wedding day.

Transcribed by Christopher A. Baker, University of Florida, 2008.




Full Text

PAGE 1

My dear Mrs. Anderson, Thanks for your dear letter my heart is very warm is very warm towards the dear friends of the days which are no more. I shall always take a [missing] the dear little Minnie of whom you tell me such sweet things and I heartily wish I had some of the many relics of my precious ch ild, little ornaments of which she had many, but strangers and everyone, it seemed to me, seemed to th ink they could not amount to much and urged me daily to give them away and I have not one left except a little silver-topped emery bad, which I will send the dear little namesake tomorrow with thanks to her good parents for the respect they paid to my precious d ear child, and my prayers shall ascend for her future happiness here and her eafter. The news you give me of your deep heartsorrows which have settled over you. Your son first and then the chosen daughter of your heart born of your love and choice grieves me greatly. I have buried four sons and my precious daughter and can understand how the woman of old could not be comforted because her children were not. In my old age I am alone and in failing health. My daughter of course must be with her dear husband who cannot live away from Colorado Springs. I cannot live near them because the altitude is so great my doctors say I would die before the first day had passed as I have heart trouble to which a high altitude is fatal. So we are so near and yet so far that my life is a weary waiting one however I try to interest myself in the outer world, try to have sy mpathy for everyone and reach, in a vague way, after the Heaven I hope to gain but for whic h I know I am all unworthy. I remember so well your strong honorable patriotic husband and what a pall his death spread over Memphis, the brave fighting men of past of the community and and how the sympathy of the community went out to you hi s disconsolate crushed widow. There is however a consolation in the grief of a man s contemporaries to his widow and children. They have called him worthy to be loved and it is a happy memory in after years. I cannot imagine what could have ailed your daught er in law. If it ha d been heart trouble her pulse would have shown it. Could it have been paralysis of the spinal nerves? The son and daughter! I can offer no consolation under these blows to you that it is Gods will makes us know it was best for the dear ones gone to rest their hopes for heaven strongly implanted in their mind, but for you who are left behind my sympathy is intense and tender. Thank God however that you ar e able to live among your own people. I cannot one hot day and my pulse does not be at, it only flickers. However I shall be eighty on the 7th of May, and I must soon be blotted from the things that be and then shall meet all I have lost below. One joyous feature of your life must be that you have your childrens children near you mine are all separated fro m me by thousands of miles, but they are sweet young people. Varina the eldest is married to a right sweet hearted young Englishman who while performing a surgi cal operation pricked the finger of his left hand and blood poison supervened and he is with his wife a nd lovely baby visiting his mother in England until he gets back the use of his arm which I am happy to say he is recovering. Lucy White Hayes the other daught er is engaged to a fine young grandson of Hamilton Fish. Jeff is in his last year at Princeton and Billie the youngest, is at the preparatory school at Lawrencevi lle for Princeton which is about four miles from there. Mr. and Mrs. Hayes and Lucy are at Catalina Island off the coast of California and they are I hope enjoying it greatly. The difference in our mental state from that of animals when our children have us is that through Gods loving dispositions for our happiness we know and remember our children and can follow them with love and prayers so we have

PAGE 2

many comforts and solaces here below. I am very glad to have heard from you and shall certainly send the emery bag tomorrow and a lit tle card to the dear Mi nnie. Believe dear old friend Always faithfully yours, Varina Jefferson Davis Feb. 26th, 1906. Today is the anniversary of my 61st wedding day. Transcribed by Christopher A. Baker, University of Florida, 2008.