Letter from Asbury Coward to his future wife Elise, March 5, 1856


Letter from Asbury Coward to his future wife Elise, March 5, 1856


Letter from Asbury to his future wife Elise while he is at King's Mountain. He talks about dreams that they have both had and their future together. He also tells her about Jenkins illness, a nightly serenade and a church gala.


A2009.6, Box 2 Folder 1


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York (S. C.)


[Page 1]

Yorkville March 5th 1856

My Sweet, Sweeter Sweetest Elise

Do not be surprised at my a proper mode of addressing you, for my Grammar Class recited on the comparison of adjectives this morning; and I am now quite [illegible] at it. Besides, it appears from the nature of your dream, that some such assurance as is expressed in those epithets, is really necessary. It is a great satisfaction to me, that the general rule concerning dreams, is that are to be interpreted by contraries. Let me interpret for you. Your dream is significant of more than ordinary intensity of love, at the time it transpired. You dreamed that I was cold - had in fact discarded you; - while I was raging with the fire your daguerreotype had kindled. I have been wrapt up in selfish thoughts, and morose to all, for more than a week. I cannot bear that my thoughts should be disturbed. You know I am always dreaming of the future, and consequently, sleeping to the present. I have been planning a thousand things, only to find fault with all in turn. A beautiful home is to be ready for you; - a home around which breathes a classic air. Handsome and rich furniture; rare and costly ornaments; all that can gratify the cultivated soul; - all selected and arranged with attic taste, is to conduce to your comfort and happiness. While warm with all these fancies, my thoughts go farther, portrays sweet scenes, enchanting communions, and [illegible] of uninterrupted soul-bliss. But alas! The word money, breaks the charm - it leaves the joys that are  

[Page 2]

soul-born, for Death alone can take away those; all else melts into a humdrum, homespun affair. Of course I feel desperately cross; and wish I was rich, as soon as my dreams are dispelled. I hope folks will be generous with silver when we marry; if you have no objection, I will ask about a dozen or more friends to wait on me. I really congratulate Miss Lizzie - more however, on her silver, than on her weddding.

Jenkins is sick this evening - not very seriously, but sufficiently so to be in bed, and take medicine. His brother was in here all the evening - until ten o'clock, and of course I could not write before he went. It is doubtful therefore whether you receive this on Friday. Yours came this afternoon instead of yesterday.

What do you think we have just had a serenade from some ladies. They came in a carriage; and sang a few pieces accompanied by a violin. The music was horrid. They would not come before our window; but went to the south side of the building. When they drove off, the boys who were all up at the windows clapped them sufficiently loud to be heard all over town. What think you of that, as a specimen of leap year license?

The ladies of our church contemplate getting up a soiree on Tuesday night, for the purpose of paying the debt of the church. They are to make a sort of compound of Concert - Fair - and Supper party. Of course I have been solicited to assist them. They have not seen Jenkins; - and of course we will assist them with our - good will. Mr. Gibson is very much put out about it

[Page 3]

His sermon last Friday afternoon related to the deportment of the congregation during the present season of lent. He says he enjoined them to fast, and they are about to have a feast. He is very much mortified. I do not think he will have anything to do with it. They chose next Friday, as next week will be [illegible] Week, and the town will be filled with visitors. They will not have a similar opportunity before next November.

I was greatly rejoiced to learn that your grandmother suffers so little. Give my love to her - she will forget me, for soon her memory will date back hours.

Your quotation was [illegible] that nothing but the quotation marks convinced me it was not original. I cannot better reply to it than by mentioning the verse, on the card I used as a boquet-holder [sic] long ago, beginning

"There's not an hour of day,  or dreamy
night but I am with thee"; &c

Give my love to all, and excuse the carelessness of this letter.

God keep you -
Your devoted Asbury -


Coward, Asbury, 1835-1925, “Letter from Asbury Coward to his future wife Elise, March 5, 1856,” The Citadel Archives Digital Collections, accessed June 21, 2024, https://citadeldigitalarchives.omeka.net/items/show/1583.