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October 22, 2011

Letter from Katherine Donnelly to her husband re: coming home – October 22, 1861

Filed under: Civil War Daybook — Lori Williamson @ 9:00 am

Letter from Katherine Donnelley (“wifey”) to Ignatius Donnelly (“hubby”).

My dear hubby – I rec’d your letter to day and am right vexed that you are not coming. if Ramsey should leave Washington on Saturday or Sunday, he could not possibly reach here under 10 days so if he leaves on Sunday (as there is a doubt about it he may even leave later) he would not reach here before Tuesday week.
I wanted to see you very  bad about the fur business.  To make me comfortable and for appearances also I need a cloak more than fur and if you really meant to get me a fur and could afford it, I would rather spend $25 in a cloak.  I could not bear to wear mean fur and I would rather go without, and I know for any the prices named I could not get what I would wear.  I sent the money home for my dress and told Mem to delay sending for a couple of days as I might possibly want a cloak, and your staying away upsets my business.  I expected you would be home and I might talk the matter over with you and if you agree with me and could afford it.  you could buy a draft for $25 and send it down by the Wednesday noon mail from Hastings to our Lib.
If you cannot come and can positively spare the money, enclose a draft in a letter to Lib telling her it is for the cloak, and “wifey says” “if the cloak would not cost as much as that to use the balance in any article she thinks she might need – such as a couple yards fine cumbrie for Spencer and some 10 or so of yds of a good narrow imitation valenciennes lace for little collars or trimmings”.
You see the kind of Cloak I want costs $30. last winter so Louis tells me and I think might be got for $25 now as it will not be so much in demand, and maybe Lib might manage by getting the stuff and having it made if she has time to get it for a dollar or two less.  They call the stuff “frosted beaver”.  I told her whatever she thought best, good and warm and fashionable. [...]“

See complete letter: 1861-10-22_full_text

Citation:  October 22, 1861 Letter from Katherine Donnelley to Ignatius Donnelly, Correspondence Sept-Oct. 1861. Ignatius Donnelly and family papers, 1812-1973. Minnesota Historical Society

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