These letters were in the possession of Georgia Lee Brown Fowler, daughter of Mary Emma Baird Brown and granddaughter of George Washington Baird and Mary Elizabeth Traughber. Photocopies were provided to me by Robert E. Fowler of Houston, Texas in 1971. In the transcripts below, punctuation has been added for readability, but spelling is left as in the originals.
#1 Letter to Mary Elizabeth Traughber of Springfield from J. J. Jenkins dated 11 March 1846 and postmarked Gallatin, Tennessee:
Mary Traughber’s father William Traughber had gone to Texas in 1846 leaving his children behind. This letter suggests that she was planning to join him.
March 11, 1846 Gallatin, Tennessee
Miss M. E. Traughber
With the deepest regret I now attempt to address you . My regret is caused from disappointment on the part of my friends which makes it out of my power to go to Texas at this time. Be assured that there is nothing that I regret more than this, believe me. It is not on account of that love, which I have so often professed, ceasing to exist, for I do asure you as an honest man if I could arrange my business in time there is nothing that would afford me so much pleasure as to go with the one whom I have so long fondly loved and can never cease to adore, but it is out of my power to go for a few months but I am determined to go as soon as I can. I have one request to make of you, will you grant it. I hope you will. That is to write to me when you get to Texas and let me know whare you reside. Will you write? The relationship existing between us will certainly garantee confidence. Let me ashure you I will never abuse the confidence you may repose in me.
Please write soon, excuse all mistakes and believe truly that I am your affectionate lover,
J. J. Jenkins
#2 An undated, unsigned letter from a rejected suitor to Mary Elizabeth Traughber of Springfield, Tennessee:
The handwriting appears to be that of J. J. Jenkins. This evidently a reaction to her choice of George W. Baird as a husband, whom she would marry on 7 October 1847. The date was evidently sometime in mid or late 1847.
For such I must call you.
Permit me thus to address you & I hope that you will forgive me for taking the liberty of so doing. Dear Liz could I but have been the object to have gained your affections, how happy should I have passed through this world of sorrow, but as it has pleased God to center your affections upon another who I hope is more deserving than my humble self I wish you peace, pleasure, and happiness. I wish it from the foundations of my heart. Cast your lot where you may, let circumstances bee as they may I shall ever love you for the heart that once and truly loves can never forget. How often it has been said that absence conkers love, but oh believe it not.