March 23, 1897
From: William A Gray
To: Ruth Barrell, % Mr James Myrick, 279 Gates Ave, Brooklyn, New York
My own dear Ruth:
Your letter was not awaiting me tonight at home, but I was so sure you had written that
after supper I went down to Summit, and sure enough my expectations were rewarded. Of course,
Papa would have brought it to me, but I really could not wait.
I am very sorry to know of your having a head ache on Monday and it makes me feel worse
still to know that your thinking of me as I looked when I left you Sunday aggravated it. Did I look
sad? Honestly, Ruth, I didn’t mean to. I might, however, have felt a little so, because I was leaving
you, not to see you again for perhaps a whole week, and because I may have felt my own
insignificance more keenly than for some time before. I do not want this letter to indicate, like my
face on Sunday, that I am sad tonight. I was overjoyed to hear from you as I have told you before
Ruth. I cannot be sad when I think how greatly I am loved by so noble a girl as you.
I am very sorry to hear of Austin’s threatened illness and sincerely hope that nothing
serious will develop. Like you, Ruth, I have contracted a very great attachment for the manly little
fellow and cannot bear the thought if anything happening to him. Being near his father’s place of
business, I shall go in to see him tomorrow and inquire after Austin’s condition.
I don’t think you could derive much benefit from a visit to Brooklyn for the purpose of quilt
making, and for that reason shall be glad when you return home. Feeding chickens even, is
preferable, I think, to working indoors all day. If every day had been Saturday, you wouldn’t have
completed many quilts, but what is a great deal better, the likelihood of head aches would have
been dispensed with. I am cultivating a great dislike for quilts, especially those made out of
season, when mosquito netting should be the consideration, if people will insist on caring for
others comfort so far in advance. I cannot ever tolerate anything that detracts from my Ruth’s
Hessie went to Vermont on Tuesday. We were all sorry to have her go, but her former
employers in Burlington offered inducements that she did not feel disposed to overlook. She
promised however, to return without delay, if she found her health was not benefited by the
I shall take pleasure in seeing you Saturday Ruth, as of old if nothing prevents and to be
sure nothing will prevent unless its something very serious. It seems like an age since we played a
duet, and I feel as though I would never get my fingers to act in harmony again.
Saturday evening next promises to be a very happy one for me.
I cannot forget your headache and the part I took in making it worse and humbly ask your
pardon for giving you that impression.
Do not do so much work Ruth and try to take sufficient outdoor exercise to prevent head
aches; also think of me as being the most extreme opposite of sad. My Darling Ruth, there is no
room for sadness in a heart so occupied with thoughts of you and any little feelings of that kind I
ever have, do not stay long.
I love you Ruth, more than words can express and am perfectly happy to know that my
love is more than returned by you and I should like if you must ever be unwell that thinking of me
would be a source of relief, rather than anything else.
I bid you good bye and good night until Saturday Dear, and hope and pray you will avoid all
illness and that every thing will contribute to make your life a most happy one.
Think of me always as,