Monday, December 12, 2016

Henry and Eleanor Bowen to Louisa Bowen Johnston, November 19, 1818

[Henry Rees (aka Reese) Bowen and Eleanor Tate Bowen at [probably Maiden Spring, Tazewell, Virginia] to Louisa Smith at Abingdon, Virginia, November 19, 1818, anonymous typescript copy, folder 39, Trigg-Floyd Collection, Special Collections, John Cook Wyllie Library, The University of Virginia's College at Wise (formerly Clinch Valley College), Wise, Virginia.] 

Nov. 19th 1818

My dear Child,

We read your letter dated the 13th of this instant on last evening which from your statement you appear to think we have forgotten you; we should be sorry if any length of time should ever make us forget a Child that is so near and Dear to us; we generally can hear from you every two or three weeks which is a great satisfaction to us, we are all well, and your little Sister can say almost anything. We would be glad when the Doctor returns if the weather is not too cold that you and him could come over that we might get a sight of little Henry[.] Your Mother and myself Did think of coming over about Christmas but if the weather Should be Coald and Eleanor so heavy to carry it may be Doubtful weather we Come or nor this from your Affectionate Parents

H. Bowen
E. S. Bowen

[Henry Rees (aka Reese) Bowen (1770-1850)
Eleanor Stuart Tate Bowen (1778-1833)
Louisa Smith Bowen Johnston (1800-1873), eighteen going on nineteen years old at the time of this letter. 
The Doctor = Dr. John Warfield Johnston (December 14, 1790-December 10, 1818), died within weeks (not sure of the details of his death at this juncture, but he was just shy of twenty-eight years old).
"Little Henry" = Henry (Henry Johnston) must have been the original given name of John Warfield Johnston (September 9, 1818-February 27, 1889), undoubtedly renamed for his father after the latter's sudden death. Henry would have been in honor of Louisa's father.
Your little Sister/Eleanor = Ellen Eleanor Bowen (January 8, 1817-circa 1850?)]

[Many thanks to William Myers, Mary Davy and Sally Young for their ongoing research collaboration.] 

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