Letters From Henry
to Miss Mattie 1871
These letters were from Henry
Tynes of Booneville who was courting Miss Mattie Rogers of
Itawamba County. (They did get married - but these letters are
certainly interesting!) 1871 - 1872
Contributed by Louise Williams, found in a trunk of her
grandmother Carrie Tynes Wright who was the first child of Henry
and Mattie Rogers Tynes. (spelling is Henry’s)
Booneville Miss., Jan "8", 1870 (1871?)
Miss Mattie Rogers,
I am at this moment
in receipt of your more than thrice welcome letter dated the "8"
I am sorry indeed to
hear of your ill health. I hope it has improved by this time. I
also regret exceedingly that I did not see you Christmas while at
Mrs. Wright's. But circumstances rendered it impracticable for me
to leave town the evening that I heard you was there, and your
brother Hue said you would leave the next morning. You returned
thanks for the candies I sent by Mr. J. Wright. I hardly think the
present was worth thanking for, yet it was the best that I could
do in the way of a present at that time.
I will tell you what
presents I received on the Christmas tree (Viz) 1st. Two pipes,
one mercham; 2st one walking cane; 3th a watch pocket, which was
the most of any. We had a gay time, and Thursday night after we
had a storm party. I wish you could have been present.
Miss Julie Jorden has
been spending a few of her leisure hours with us, do not know
wheather she has gone home or not, though I guess not, for she
told me that she expects to remain until July.
Mr. R. D. Holly I
guess has quit clerking. At least he and his employer have been
quarreling for some time, and Robert went home Saturday night
without mentioning it to his merchant and Mr. Burqu... told me
this morning that he had quit! Variety you know of anything is the
spice of life in business as well as anything else, so Robert
thought clerk a while then do something else.
I received your
letter and was proud of it, have it in my hand now, have just read
where you signed your name saying "yours always, Mattie", and
thought to myself did she really mean what she said. I am willing
to believe it anyway. You must say in your next letter wheather
you did or not.
Your own H.L.T.
P.S. You must not let
your Ma read this letter, for you know she don't like love talk
Booneville Miss., Feb "4", 1871
Miss Mattie Rogers
Your letter of the
"3" ultimo met a hearty reception by me. It is now late at night.
Peacefully the sun has sank to rest, and beautiful tranquil
evening has deepened into night and left this mundane habitation
to the sway of Pluto. All things seem to be wrapped in the arms of
sweet morphys. Peace and tranquility reign. Yet the silver-like
moon is present with all of her modesty and lamb-like she performs
her revolutions around this globe of ours. The Stars too are
peeping forth with all of their brilliancy and splendor, witnessed
by the theatre of time as it gently glides away unknown to the
greater number of the population of Booneville, though I am one
that have not yet given up to the present task of sleep. Still
awake pondering over the past and contemplating the future. And in
so doing strange querries arise. Yes, even enigmas that I am not
able to solve, though I will not mention what they are at present,
will tell you some time. But in reverting back to the past and by
memories gentle hand: the time that I met you in Booneville seems
as fresh in my mind as on that day. The pleasure that I enjoyed
during that short period of time was almost supernatural. That
occasion is one that can never be erased from my memory, 'no
never'. Oh: if I knew that this was reciprocated the source of
pleasure that it would afford me would be unknown to all save that
of Deity alone.
But I will stop this
subject. I guess you are tired reading such. Will tell you about a
wedding that I attended last week in this place. Went to the
Methodist church to marry then to the residence of the bride's
father and eat supper, candies, raisons and everything, cakes in
abundance. All these four things besides a good deal more too
numerous to mention composed the supper. I've forgotten to mention
the syllabub. It was so nice and good the next day we all went out
with guests on a bridal toast, had another fresh supper awaiting
us and after supper dancing was the order of the night.
We continued this
untill next morning at sunrise. After breakfast we returned to
Booneville worn out and sick at heart, on account of so much mud
in Black land that we had to go through. But we all had buggies
and we did not mind that so much as the rain that we were exposed
in while comeing, though I attribute the greater portion of our
fatigue to dancing.
Your description of
your trip from Iuka is frightful indeed. I can not blame you for
being scared while crossing the deep watter. I do not think Dorn
Jr. & Hue did you justice in laughing. You say you had a gay time
attending the writing school. I only wish that I could have gone
to run horse races with you.
Good by, Yours,
Booneville Miss., Mar "27" 1871
Miss Mattie Rogers
I am just in receipt
of your brief note asking for your letters and Picture. Which I
must acknowledge was very surprising to me for I am sure that I
have done nothing knowingly to merit this treatment from you. And
if you have any reason for wishing to cut our further acquaintance
I hope your nobleness of mind, and generosity of spirit will be
ever ready and willing to give me a chance to vindicate my
character, or explain my actions
or correct any
misconstruction that might have been accidentally placed on any of
my letters. For I know that I am more than proud to retain you as
my friend, and be permitted if agreeable to further extend my
friendship by becomeing more intimately acquainted by visits and
through the medium of the pen also. Now as I have before stated, I
am not clear of faults, but if you are enough interested to make
any effort you can find out who I am, and what I am, by refering
to those who have known me all my life. I hope that I may be
permitted to continue my correspondence and also my visits.
With a wish for your happiness and my kindest respect to your
Mother & Father, I am very respectfully Your friend
Henry L. Tynes
P.S. If you can grant
me one more interview, answer this by Saturday next and I will be
out to see you on Sunday succeeding without fail. I will also take
with me your letters and Picture, but hope that we can arrange our
affares without having to exchange. Tell me whether we can or not.
I leave the whole matter with you. And I firmly believe if you was
well acquainted with all the circumstances you would not blame me
half so much as you do. Give this your earnest and thoughtful
Booneville Miss., April "13" 1871
Miss Mattie Rogers.
I have this evening
received your Sweet and thrice welcome letter, which proved quite
a source of pleasure, for I do not know of any thing that can
afford me more real enjoyment and more satisfaction than to hear
from you. I think you acted prudently in not letting them see my
letter, as I sometimes write things that I do not want any person
to see but yourself. I am sorry to hear that Hugh is in ill
health, hope that he may get well soon and bring you here to Mrs.
Wrights as you will not consent for me to go after you. Be certain
to let me know at what time you want to come, for I am more than
anxious to see you.
I went to Baldwyn again this week, though my trip was only to
attend to business, not for the purpose to see any lady, but I
made it convenient to see Miss Lucas the Belle of Baldwyn, had a
nice time with her. Carried my Album with me with the intention of
getting some of my gentlemen friends pictures and while at Mr.
Lucas' Miss Sametta stole one of my Pictures and I did not find it
out untill I returned to Booneville. The next day she sent me a
large Beauquet which was very nice indeed. I then to day wrote her
a short thesis on the beauquet and wound up by requesting her to
send me my picture. Excuse nonsense but I can't think of any thing
else to write.
Miss Mat I guess my
statement concerning Miss Sametta Lucas & myself interprets your
dream and I am exceedingly glad to say that I am not married
unless it was to a certain one. Will not tell you her name here.
Will leave you to guess at that. Who do you suppose it would be.
It would be as you said in your letter. The prettiest lady that
now exists in all the world. If you will remind me of this the
next time I see you I will tell you her name.
I think you are right
in your conjecture about not writing what we was talking about,
for fear one might take the letter. But you must excuse me for
asking you to have done so in my other letter, for I was so
anxious to know that I could not help it. And I am anxious yet but
oh! I shall have to wait untill I see you and the time will seem
so long. I sometimes wish I had never met a lady that I could
love, and again if I was deprived of the blessed privilige of not
seeing you I should be miserable. I consider it an honor to
correspond with you, and the time when you told me that you liked
me, I felt as though heaven had bestowed upon me its richest boon
in having even a friends place in your fond heart. I will close.
Write me soon for I do not know when I shall be able to see you.
Do not tell any person about this letter for my sake.
Yours, Henry Tynes
May 31, 1871
Your Sweet messenger
from Fulton was received this morning. I was very glad indeed to
receive it. I have thought that you did not like me only a little.
But since I was out to see you I think you like me much better
than I anticipated. Everything proves to me that you are the lady
that I first judged you to be. And I believe I will explain my
decision about you. At first sight I have met one of earth's
fairest ladies. She is far superior to any that I have ever saw,
pure as the climes of eternal bliss, possessed with a heart of
purity and in her
soul I see those qualities that are rare to be found and no one
else endeared with them, only persons like Miss Mattie. Never have
I met a lady before that I appreciated so fondly, one that I could
love so devotedly and one
that seamed so fair
as Miss Mattie. Yes, the prime factors of my heart belong to you.
It is you alone that I have promised and vowed to love, and ever
to continue to do so and in return you have promised to do the
same. Can you.
will you ever brake
this sacred promise? Be true and that is all that I ask.
Miss Phenie Wamac
seams to be very much interested concerning our affairs. Also your
neighbors that sing so prettily. I would not notice any thing that
they done or said. Always recollect that a person of refinement
and good manners every way will not act in that way. Just consider
the source from whence such reports come and let it go ---
You recollect I told
you in one of my former letters that the persons that you thought
were your friends would change like chameleons and be your enimies.
I would not say so but I know all about such people. The Allens
would have us be enimies if they knew any plan to accomplish their
finest desires. But no one on earth could persuade me to dislike
my Darling little Mattie. You said you had given Mr. Rhodes
one of your Pictures. Yet you said it was not because you loved
him. I hope you do not. But Miss Mattie I will allow you the
privilege to love any person that you choose and if you ever do
love any one better than you do me you must tell me so, for I do
not think it would be right for us to be engaged and you to love
some one better. Do not think That I am accusing you of loving Mr.
Rhodes, neither do I insinuate that you ever will. I only mean to
let you know my notions about such things. And would you not think
I was treating you with injustice to be engaged to you and to love
some one else, though you need not think that I will ever love any
one else but yourself, for I duely considered the matter before I
ever mentioned it to you. And I hope that you did the same before
accepting my ring. Any way I believe you did. I gave you my
notions about what to tell Mr. Rhodes in a letter that I wrote you
last Saturday night and if you coincide with me I would tell him,
if not do as you think best. I do not know as it is any harm to
give him your Picture, though I hope I will see you soon and we
will talk all about such things.
I will be out when I
promised if nothing happens. You said you wished that I was with
you, that I could have a nice time. I know I could enjoy myself
with you any where: Wish I could see you this evening. But it is a
vain wish for I cannot. Therefore I will be contented to think
that you have not forgotten me and that I am blessed with the
gracious gift of a letter from you and find consolation in
responding to your more than doubly appreciated favor. I know I am
too foolish about you, but cannot help it. Therefore I again ask
you to excuse me.
Will now try to write
you such news as we have in Booneville, though times are very
preached here last night. The Priest was dressed in a white robe
with black stripes in the bossome. We first prayed, then he went
all around the congregation and gave them a small Book apeice and
he would read
a part then the
congregation would all respond.
I was with some young
ladies and told them that I belonged to the Episcopalian church
and for them to read as I did. We had a fine time. I wished for
you very much.
meeting comes off Saturday and Sunday next. I told the pastor of
the church that I was going join on Sunday, he has been to see me
twice about it. I found that I had to tell him better. (Though I
believe I will get good if I can see you often enough) The
Examination at Baldwyn comes off the 25th of June. I suppose great
preparations are being made in order to make it entertaining.
I ought to have
waited untill next week before I answered your letter because you
will not get it untill Thursday the 8th. Then I could have told
whether I could come or not. But I will write again next week.
Good by my Dearest
Henry L. Tynes
June “5” 1871
I will write you a
few lines in order to let you know that I will be out next
Saturday. Nothing new has occurred since I wrote last. We had a
splendid meeting Saturday and Sunday last. But I did not Join the
Capt Walsh has been
here several days. He teases me considerable abut you. Says he is
going to your Pa’s next week and tell you not to let me go to see
you any more: unless I would assist him in getting an order for
Shoes + Boots. And we gave him an order this morning; so he says
he will interceed for me with you.
The piece of Cedar +
rose Bud were very nice indeed. They have good emblems. Thanks are
not sufficient to return to you for them. I will send you a small
piece of paper cut in the shape of a heart, which I intend to
represent mine. And I give it to you, and it shall ever remain
yours’ unless you see proper to get one that you like better,
which I hope you will never do. We have tow artists in town. One
of them is a splendid artist. I am going to have a picture taken
large size and put in a frame for you, (would you like it).
Do not engage your
company to Mr. Rhodes for Sunday for I am certain to be there; and
I would not like to be troubled with him. I would like for us to
be all alone as usual for I can enjoy it so much better to talk to
you and not have no one to trouble us. I guess you are getting
tiered of me writhing to you about Rhodes, though excuse me and I
I will promise not to mention his name any more in a letter to
you. What if Mr. Rhodes knew that he was such an important
character in our corrispondence. Don’t you think he ought to
consider himself honored if he only knew it. But you must not let
him know that I ever mentioned his name in a letter.
Miss Mollie Williams
sent me word that she would be in town next Saturday; and remain
next week. I sent her word to come, but I will not be here to see
her; as I am going out to see my D. Mattie. I showed her
the ring that I wrote to you about, and made her believe that you
did not have my ring; yet I did not say any thing to leave her
room to think that I loved her. I only talked to her in this way.
Told her that I loved no lady, and liked her as well as any of my
acquaintance, recollect that I did not consider you in that number
as I consider you something moore to me than a mere friend and I
was talking to her about friendship. Miss Mollie is a nice little
lady. But she don’t suit me in no respect; I believe she is liking
me too much, and I am going to tell her the next time that I have
an opportunity that I did not intend to impress her with the idea
that I intend to make love to her, and she is mistaken; I have no
desire to trifle with her affections, and I will not. I am like
the old woman that you wrote to me about, believe that flirting is
a sin. I do not know as to the scandal, cannot coincide with her
Tell Lee that I will
bring him some candy when I come; and that he must be large enough
to have a sweetheart by that time.
Good by, Yours only
Inclosed you will
find some folly.. P.S. Since writing this letter I feel very
unwell and if I do not come Saturday, you must write by next mail.
Aug 14, 1871
I am again
disappointed, made sure I would receive a letter from you this
week. I cannot imagine why you have not written. Several reasons
present themselves to account for your silence. Still I can not
arrive at any definite conclusion. Will not mention here my
notions about it for I might be wrong.
I have not since our
correspondence commenced failed to write to you at least one
letter every week. and you have treated me in this way several
times. Yet I am not offended because I deem it your privilege to
write to me whenever you choose and not mine to dictate for you. I
always give justice and then I want to receive the same. Do not
understand me to be accusing you of injustice, or that you are of
that disposition, for I have always thought that you are possessed
with that noble and generous disposition as to give justice and
equity to all. To be plain about it, I think you one of God's
choice creatures. Hope you have not again thought me deceptive and
will not write on that account. Surely if this is the case you
have no confidence in me - and unless you do have full confidence
you never can have the feeling for me that you ought to have. We
ought not to think of such a thing as fickleness, for as long
as we harbor their
little whims and do not try to cast them aside we never can
accomplish what we have promised. And for us to cut asunder the
ties, the vows, the solemn pledges would be almost death its self
to me; however I know
one thing and that is
this, I will always act the part that I have promised faithfully
and can only hope that you will do the same.
I have no news, but I
did not commence this letter to report news. I am going to Baldwyn
this eve. Guess I will see Laster. Now you must write to me
Saturday and say when I must come out. The reason that I make this
request is that you spoke of going to Eastport to meet Mrs.
Deseuchet and you might not be at home when I would be there. I
can go most any time now as business is dull and not much to do.
PS I saw Daniel
Wright Saturday. He told me that you had fine company the day you
went to Mr. Columbus Hare's. Andrew Wilson stayed with me Saturday
night. Said he was going to your Pa's Saturday next and was going
to tell you a great many things I said.
Booneville Miss, Aug
I arrived in
Booneville safe Though I was very much fatigued as yesterday was
so exceptively warm. I called at three different places. Mr.
Crouch's, Howell's and Capt. Carter's. Had a very nice time with
Miss Mattie Carter. She spoke of you being at Mrs. Wrights, and
said she expected you to call and see her before you went back to
home. (I think Miss Maggie Wright had promised to carry you down
to see her) I went to the P.O. this morning and found your very
dear letter awaiting me. It was appreciated as highly as though I
had not heard from you in a month. Yes I am always glad to hear
from you, and if it was possible for me to hear from you every
hour, my inclination would not be satisfied, for it is my wish to
be with you all the time, but such is impossible at present. Still
I can wait and be happy to think that one I love so well loves me
Please excuse the
length of this letter, I have no news, besides have been very busy
since my return and have written in a hurry. Yours truly and
Booneville, Miss Sept
Miss Mattie Rogers,
I have just finished
reading your letter of the "29" ins. and must say that I do not
know what to write, since reading of the death of your Sister
Carrie. I feel as though nothing that I can write will interest
you but let me say that I sympathise with you all most
Sincerely and know that it is almost heart breaking to think
that you can not see her again on earth, one that you loved so
well, one that you cherished and prized to the uttermost of your
heart's extent is gone to that land never to return again, to that
home where alone the blessed ones are permitted to enter, to that
delightful place where nothing but peace, bliss and tranquillity
reigns. I know it is hard for you to give her up though. These
things we can not help, and there is but one consolation (Viz) do
all that you can to make yourself happy and good, use all the
means that heaven has placed in your power to meet her in that
gorgeous region. Then if you accomplish these facts, you will get
to see your dear Sister Carrie again in Heaven.
This subject I know
is one that grieves you, therefore I will not say any thing more
about it, though try not let it trouble you too much as it might
prove injurious to your health.
I went to church this
morning, heard a splendid Sermon delivered by Rev. O. F. Rogers, a
Presbyterian preacher, he preaches again to night, but I did not
wish to be present as I wanted to answer your letter. Nothing new
has occurred this week, only our town has assumed a much livlyer
aspect since fall of the year set in. All of the clerks are busily
employed from morning untill night. Some of them speak of having a
party next Thursday night. Don't think I will attend as I have
promised myself to quit attending parties.
Excuse brevity. Will
write more next time. Hope I will hear from you soon. Good by
Oct "15" 1871
Miss Mattie Rogers,
Your very sweet
letter arrived here on the down train this evening. I assure you I
was glad to receive it, as it had been two weeks since I had heard
a word from you, though considering the circumstances I did not
blame you and only thank you to the dephths of my heart for the
precious favor sent me this week. Sorry to hear that you have
again been having the chills. It seames as though they have spite
at you, but hope that the medicine which you represent to be so
disagreeable to take will affect a permanent cure. Haiter's Tonic
has always proved to be very affectual, and will always cure the
chills when taken in accordance with directions, which you ought
to observe closely.
I received a letter
from my brother Lucius yesterday. He also stated that he saw you
at church. Guess he was with the Misses Gains as he spoke about
them in his letter though he did not say he was with them. Will
tell you what he said when I see you. I am again well and think
from this time forward will have good health as cold weather is
close at hand. I always have good health in winter.
commences here tomorrow. One or two very important cases will be
tried during this term of court. One man will be tried for his
life. Oh, can't you imagine his feelings. The charges against him
are for murder, and if it is proved that he is guilty then let him
receive his Just reward, which I think a fair Statement.
We had preaching here
this morning, but as the day had been so unfavorable there were
but a few out to hear the Sermon so ably delivered by the
distinguished Babtist preacher Mr. Smith of Columbus Miss. He is
an excelant preacher and I think will move to our town. If so he
is calculated to do much good in advancing the morality of the
people. I called to see Miss Bettie Hale this evening, but did not
enjoy my visit so well. Her little brother had climbed a tree some
thirty feet high and fell out, breaking his arm in two places,
also causing concussion of the brain. He is now in a State of
delirium, insensible of his misery. It is very doubtful whether he
will get well or not. They requested that I should remain with
them, but I refused as I wanted to write to you. Told them that I
would go back tomorrow night.
Will close my letter,
for I know that such as I have written does not interest you, but
I do not know anything else. Therefore excuse composition this
If nothing prevents I
will see you next Saturday. Write anyway.
Yours Henry L. Tynes