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.
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?
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.
“Be sure to send me
back by next letter
Osgood [sic] lines, as I like them very much and have not another copy.”