Letter from Asbury Coward to his future wife Elise, June 22, 1856


Letter from Asbury Coward to his future wife Elise, June 22, 1856


Letter from Asbury to his future wife Elise while he is at King's Mountain. He talks about being depressed and not having received her letter. He also mentions the doctor leaving and going to visit Limestone Springs to look at their cooking equipment.


A2009.6, Box 2 Folder 1


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York (S. C.)


[Page 1]

Yorkville June 22d 1856

Dearest Elise

With a heart full of nothing but disappointment, which not even the thought of conversing with you can at all surplant [sic], I muster force to commence this letter. To gratify my now feelings, I should fill these pages with one continued petulent [sic], patientless, complaining moan. Did not my respect for your feeling forbid my doing this, my manliness should: and I must therefore, discourse as well I as I can, upon themes, in which I hold, comparatively, but little sympathy. You wish to know the cause of my being so hors de moi: of course you do. Well, can you beleive [sic] it, I have not yet received your letter?

[Page 2]

Though you may not have been made intimately acquainted by experience with the doubts, conjectures and anxiety which the disappointment of a letter never fails of producing, yet sympathy, will, undoubtedly, make you appreciate them. I will not, then, recapitulate what I have suffered, and still do suffer. You cannot be sick, since I have not heard it from your Mother or through John. You cannot be absent from the City, for you would have advised me of it in your last letter; and my Elise is not one to trifle with my feelings to gratify a whim. No the fault is in the mail. What adds poignancy to my distresses is that I may not hear from you until Tuesday afternoon. We think of going to Limestone Springs tomorrow, in order to examine the Culinary arrangements of that Institution. We wish to get an idea of their cooking apparatus before purchasing our kitchen furniture.

[Page 3]

We will return on Tuesday, as the distance requires but half a day’s travel. Our examination commences the next day, and will end on Friday. John will leave on Monday and probably reach Charleston Tuesday morning. He seems quite averse to delaying one night in Columbia; though I think it better that he should do so, as we will then be able to travel as far as Orangeburg together.

Tomorrow the Doctor leaves us, and oh! how sad will the parting be. Again I feel come over me, those shadows that so often oppress me. I fear, love, you will find me overmuch given to depressions. I believe it a peculiarity of my nature; a peculiarity acquired by my solitary situation. Most persons are cheered through every misfortunes, by kindred sympathy. As when the full moon in her undimmed

[Page 4]

azure field, is assisted by bright planets, when she illumes the grateful earth, so do the wives, and betrothed ones of of other men, find help in relatives, to cheer him. But my moon shines alone; it is true she shines the brighter; all the sky for me is cold and leadened, except one planet - my Uncle - who like the one which follows the skirts of twilight, will soon set. But sadness is contagious, and I will not infect you.

Remember me to the loved ones and may God keep and bless you.

Your devoted Asbury


Coward, Asbury, 1835-1925, “Letter from Asbury Coward to his future wife Elise, June 22, 1856,” The Citadel Archives Digital Collections, accessed July 15, 2024, https://citadeldigitalarchives.omeka.net/items/show/1577.