Letter from Fanny to Frank Hall, from Plattsburgh, NY.
Plattsburgh, Feb. 21 1863
My own dearest one
I want to write to you a little tonight
before going to bed. I wish I knew just exactly how to word it or how to
write it. Let me see, I sent a letter to you yesterday & four others
Cousin Alfred, Liu, Ma & Mr., & Mrs., Eddy, Just before dinner I
heard that Mrs., Myers was sick, so as soon as I could, I went over, but
both Mr. & Mrs., Myers were both sleeping, so I did not see them, Called
at Mr. Foquet's & then with the aid of my rubber boots went down to call
at Julia's and of the slush! Julia read to me from Major letter about their
new orders, He feels terribly at being on sick duty.
Came home, read a little book. I wrote you Dr. Dewey lent me 13 mo. in rebel service. It was rather interesting particularly the fact that for some time they had excluded from their press any mention of blockade breakers in coming to them.
This morning went over to Mr. M.'s again & was to sit there awhile this afternoon, Nothing in the world for me to do. Mrs. M. not much sick, dressed & sitting up & resting on the sofa. Mr. Myers talking & reading, And now I come to the subject I want to write to you about.
Our talking of you and your not answering his letter. I do not want to trouble you needlessly and before this reaches you I am sure if not [sooner] you must have written. But I think I ought to tell you about it. Mr. M. said you were a business man and he did not see how it could be you did not answer. Then he went & got his letter to you dated January 28 and no answer.
God alone, dearest one, can keep this from doing you great injury. Mr. M. said even if I knew from you what your answer would be, he would not consider it expedient to give it as there had been such delay. Could you have misdirected the letter. Mr. M, suggested the idea of foul play at the post office even, for he seems to think you must have written [quickly]. I am at as great a loss as they, only I fear you have been dilatory & yet in a matter effecting our dearest interest (earthly, yes & spiritual, too), How is it possible you can do so, What can I. Mr. M. said, in is laughing, pleasant way, he should have to send to the Albany Presbytery to have you deposed. Why, why is it, Think how anxiously I await your answer, as well as others.
Dr, Dewey came down tonight to know if I heard. My position is a very embarrassing one, for I do not know (and it is well for me I do not) just how you will reply to Mr. Myers, And I must not allow anything I may say to compromise you, either way.
Do you wonder I feel a bit vague, bit troubled & disheartened. Dr. Dewey said he thought the feeling all right here, & Mr. Young's said so, too! If an assurance would come & some action could be taken now. You see, it is a long time to be in doubt.
Mr. Myers even suggested a telegram to you. So you see how important your reply is. God grant you have been led to make it & that it will be guided even in the wording by one who cannot err. You know my position is very delicate & I have tried to sound upon the question, but I cannot broach it openly, Oh how deeply I hope the letter to Mr. M. will come, for your sake, for mine & for the people. The delay in your answer to the sounding question leaves all quiet, and so none can be made. The idea is this after the committee receives an answer to their sounding letter, Mr. Myers (i.e. find how you feel on the subject). There comes a time for the committee to refer it to the ch[urch] & congregation for them to act upon. Oh, I feel as if I should fly a dozen times. It is so long that all talk about it, that it is quite generally known.
Dearly as I love my own one & anxious as I am for letters, I really was a bit troubled to find that it seemed to be from you, for it renders Mr. Myers not having any all the stronger & I am questioned so closely. I do not know what to do. Well, one is just a line, date 16, saying "all well, mail going". The other from Catherine outside, and Frank Hall, sure as fate, you have directed my birthday letter to me at Hartford. What in the world is the matter with you? That is being absent minded, with a witness. And as it came as a soldiers letter you must be minus post office stamps. Well, well, what has possessed you? The Maj. Col. projecting you into the five footer must have effected your brain. What a Franky.
I did not think, deary, amid all the confusion you would think of Wifey's birthday, but you did. I would, if I could, kiss my Franky for it, but you will have to give me one more, for I was 29, instead of 28. But I rather think you will not object to that or consider it an inflective, will you, hubby?
I've just quoted from your letter and with one addition from myself, will Monday, all being well, send it to Mother. I must not write more tonight, dearest. Take my daguerreotype and go to bed.
It is a magnificently beautiful winter's
morning. I must hurry with my letter as fast as ever I can. Yesterday I went
to ch[urch] morning & evening. Oh, how the prayers about the pastor made
me feel. Dearest, do you realize & feel the deep responsibility of Mr.
M.'s question. I am sure there must be some grand defect that you do not
reply & that promptly.
Oh, how deeply I pray you may have done it. When I say I do not know just what [your] answer would be, I mean it would be wild for me to attempt to answer for you & would do great injury. Think how very delicate my position is, own dearest one. Lucy Ann [Swetland] said to me yesterday, "I hear they have called Mr. Hall." Of course, I dodged it as well as I could. I am sorry such a rumor should have gone about, for I think I may say & not unjustly, that the episcopalians would not care to have an earnest, devoted worker in our church. And as the matter stands now, it ought not to be canvassed & talked about, but it cannot be helped now. So all we can do is just to pray earnestly that God will overrule all for good & direct the minds of the people, as well as your, my own one, in the right path.
Forgive me if I have written too strongly, but I feel most deeply, so it is not to be wondered at. At the same time, I feel a certain amount of distrust as regards the Post Office here. It may be wholly unfounded, but it exists.
Oh do, dearest one, destroy my letters; there is not any safety whatever in keeping them. Other eyes will perhaps see them and it worries me constantly & I really do not think it is wise. You know I will take it as a proof of love if you will. There are such quantities of things meant only for my husband. Fire is the safe guard & better than sending them home.
Your journal letter, the envelope was perhaps burst out on one side. I do not think any could have been extracted & read & the paper seen as it was, there was a bit not torn. But don't keep my letters, dearest one. I don't know as all this will do a bit of good, but I feel right strong about it. Love me, deary & bear with me lovingly. I will enclose to you some office stamps. I suppose I should have done it before for Mrs. Robertson said she was obliged to for her husband could not always procure them & I imagine that is the cause with you, own one.
I went yesterday again to Dr. Coit's bible class and it did me good. The subject was the first four verses in 6th Chapt. of Luke & the drift of the service was his views on the observance of the Sabbath. I was surprised & delighted to have him come out so clearly & fully on it & the sacredness of the day. It surprised me much that he should advocate it so strongly; it was so at variance with their idea upon it, generally. I do not believe any one will err in observing it so strictly. There is enough in the depressed & even in the renewed heart to bend away from a true observance of the day. [And] I am sure of this as far as my experience goes; those that are the most critical in the observance are those that lie nearest to God. So Dr. Coit said, too.
The Service there was of a real true use to my heart & I felt it was Just what I needed. A Mr. Thatcher from Peru preached in the [Presbyterian Church] all day. Evidently an earnest Christian, quite an old man
Franky, this is a long letter & after all does not contain much but love it & me. I trust your answer to Mr.. H.'s letter has been sent, and then we will be content, and wait patiently for anything further.
Richard has come home with the Monday mail & by inference I imagine Mr. Myers has not got any letter, for I have not. Oh, what can be the cause. What possible excuse can you present to him, my own darling one.
Richard is to take this up as I do not care to go up town till after dinner & then must make some calls on the bride, for one. Mrs. Averill, she has been living at Mr. Chase's & Reuben at Aunt Polly's, an odd index of their happiness. I must let this go as it is. Love me dearly, ever thine own devoted