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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" inst.

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.

The Booneville Clippings -

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 much,


Booneville Miss., Feb "4", 1871

Miss Mattie Rogers

Dearest Friend,

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, H.L.Tynes

Booneville Miss., Mar "27" 1871

Miss Mattie Rogers

Esteemed friend

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 attention.

Booneville Miss., April "13" 1871

Miss Mattie Rogers.

(Dearest one)

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

Booneville, Miss., May 31, 1871

Dearest Mattie

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 dull.

The Episcopalians 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.

The Presbyterian 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 Mattie,

Henry L. Tynes

Booneville, Miss., June “5” 1871

Miss Mattie

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 church.

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 on that.

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

Henry Tynes

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. Henry

Booneville, Miss.  Aug 14, 1871

Miss Mattie

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.

Good by

Yours, Henry

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 "22" 1871

Dearest Mattie,

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 too.

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 only, Henry

Booneville, Miss Sept "30" 1871

Miss Mattie Rogers,

Dearest Mattie

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

Yours Henry

Booneville, Miss., Oct "15" 1871

Miss Mattie Rogers,

Dearest Mattie

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.

Circuit court 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 time.

If nothing prevents I will see you next Saturday. Write anyway.

Good by

Yours Henry L. Tynes

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