From Imogene to Phil

 

Letter was donated for use on the Glynn County History & Genealogy website by Ms. Anna Watson Beverly.

This letter was found in the bible of JoAnna Leonard (Baker) Whitehead, along with a memorial written by her half brother-in-law George Franklin Bullard.

JoAnna was born 14 February 1863 to Mary Georgia Dunham and John Leonard Baker, both of McIntosh County, Georgia.

Mary (Dunham) Baker's parents were George C. and Martha (Pilcher) Dunham, and she had two known sisters, Anna Virginia and Martha Cornelia.

It is unknown by me, or Ms. Beverly, who Imogene and Phil were.  Anna has no record of people with these names in her family file.  The author of the letter signed her name as "Imogene" in quotations marks.  Would this suggest that Imogene was a pet name, or maybe just the style of signing a letter during that time period?

There was only one instance that Ms. Beverly has found coming close to this couple and that was a record of a Philander Pease married to an Emma Cornelia Powell.  However, Ms. Beverly does not know how or if these folks are related to her, or if, in fact, the letter recipient or author is related.

If you can help, email me, and I will pass the info along to Ms. Beverly.

Recently, Ms. Beverly, has found a marriage record for Anna Virginia to a P. Small in Chatham County, Georgia.  They were married on 28 February 1856.  Could this be Imogene and Phil?

Brunswick Jan. 4th 1853

Mon Ami Phil--
     How shall I manage to place on this small sheet of paper the numerous replies I have to make to the many interesting communications contained in your two last letters? In all truth, my ideas have not been particularly bright since my illness, and I sometimes fear that you will tire in the perusal of the long epistles I dispatch to you from time to time. Yet I hardly know how I should set to work to correct the fault for resolve as I may [sic] to be economical with my space and communications. I always find on reaching the last line that I have left unsaid many things equally as important as anything else I have written.
     I am sorry to hear that you are suffering from a cough, it is most disagreeable I know, yet I trust yours may not prove so serious as to render a visit to Cuba indispensable. As for myself, I should be particularly delighted to visit the Island and have sometimes entertained a vague idea of doing so, yet fear I should never be able to prevail on any elderly lady of my acquaintance to act as chaperon on the occasion in such fear and utter abhorrence is the present government held by all good, and peace loving citizens.
     Of speaking of your cough, you will find Ayer’s cherry Pectorate a pleasant and most efficient remedy. I persisted in ??? and can recommend it’s excellence, because I have tried it many times with success, and think you will find it very good in your case, and by no means a disagreeable medicine.
     Relative to your presentiment about my coming to Savh. What shall I tell you? It would certainly not be impossible for me to do so, at present. Yet I think it would hardly be right while the weather continues so disagreeable and my health so indifferent. I think you would not desire to have me come if you thought I should suffer by the trip, yet I confess, I should like much to fulfill your presentiment and at the same time gratify my own very natural curiosity for a glimpse of my soi disant Cavalier servante [unsure of spelling]. I fancy I should greatly enjoy a ride with you to Bonaventure, the beauties of which I am familiar with, yet I think even you might possibly find pleasure in a quite ramble through my own favorite and ever green walks around which there rests an eternal shadow & where “A leaf never falls, in the still blooming bowers.
     And the bee banquets on through a whole year of flowers! But jesting aside. Since my recent illness, I dare not mention Savannah, or indeed any other place, as my friends are determined not to lose sight of me for the present and I do not well see how I am to be your companion in either a walk or a ride, certainly not before spring, unless as you proposed, in your last, you take an interest in the Brunswick R.R. Canal & as though I can not answer for the safety of such stock, as much interested as I am therein.
     Tell me truly--Did you know that I myself was a Catholic when you wrote expressing a preference of that church and do so merely by way of gratifying my taste that way, or was your predilections really in favour thereof? Either supposition would be gratifying, but the latter by far the most so, for though I have been reared a Protestant, I have always been at heart, a Catholic, and to find another, and intelligent mind, that have been subjected to the same influences as my own, turning of itself to the truths that are now so apparent to my own judgment, is indeed more than I had hoped for. I never seek to influence the religious beliefs of any one (however dear to me) as I do not consider myself justified in so doing. Yet if your views of such matters have actually a tendency the same way as my own, it must give you a peculiar claim to my sympathy and consideration, that might have slumbered otherwise. Yet, I think we should hardly quarrel about religion, even were the case different, and I hope to have the pleasure of giving you, some day, in propera persona an account of the perseverance and untiring energy I exercised in collecting for myself evidences of the greatness and consistency of those rules and regulations, that have undergone not the slightest change for so many hundred years.
     Thank you for expressing so much gratification in the perusal of the lines I sent you, though to say you were proud of them I must tell you, was an exquisitely piece? of flattery. It implied an interest in the authoress, most gratifying to one’s amity?, and enchantingly fresh to the sympathies.
     I forwarded to you last Tuesday, a cigar case with a likeness of my favorite dog thereon, as I did not consider myself altogether out of your debt, the book mark being too insignificant a souvenir to satisfy my conscience. I enclose you a few lines from the person of Mrs. Osgood. How do you like them? I shall be pleased to hear from you as early as convenient, that is, next mail.
                                                 “Imogene”
P.S.
     “Be sure to send me back by next letter Mrs. Osgood [sic] lines, as I like them very much and have not another copy.”

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