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Consider Yourself Kissed:
Excerpts from Letters of Sam Bowles
Rochester, Wednesday night
My dear wife:
We arrived here at 6 1/2 p.m. We had a pleasant journey. We are well. I hope you are. Ditto the babies. We start at 7,20 to morrow morning for Niagra Falls. I may write you thence. I may not till we get to Chicago. I am tired. Consider yourself kissed. I love you.
I am your husband Saml Bowles
Sam to his children, c. December, 1861
Tell grandma & aunt Allie to be jolly, & not to make you do too many proper things. - Mother sends kisses, and Papa two hugs a piece. - No candy this time -- it is bad for the teeth.-
Sam, the big one with the broken back
Sam to Charles Allen, March 21 
|Mary is pretty well, the children are ditto, and I am sciatic & dyspeptic, - but hopeful.-|
Charles -- You do not need to tell me, or try to tell me, how earnest & real & deep a friend you are to me. You have shown it through many years in ways better than words. Your love and faith are among the very greatest comforts of my life. They assure me of myself. There is a satisfaction in the friendship & faith of men beyond that of woman. The latter give without judgement or wisdom often. But the former consider them gifts, & a man who holds the love & confidence of such as you, may not always despise himself, at least. I only hope I may continue worthy & be able, in the long run, to repay what is given so freely & so richly.
But good-bye. Stay till I come back. I shall want you, and if I don't come back, I shall want you more.
P.S. Love to Lizzie [Allen's sister] & mother - & good-bye to all
Sam to Charles Allen, October 19, 1863
|Maria [Whitney] & Mary get on splendidly together, considering what two positevists they are. But poor me! I am not allowed to hold an independent opinion. It is fearful - how two women, agreed, can rule a weak man. -|
Sam to Mary on her birthday, August 14, 1870
|The day has been full of loving thoughts of you; I pray its sunshine symbolizes the peace & happiness that reign in your heart, & spread out from the motherly centre over all the household. I am glad you were born & have lived till today, I have thousands of reasons for joy in and over your existence; & I pray you may long be spared, with glowing health & increasing pleasure in life, to bless husband & children with your love. We shall all bear you in remembrance through the remaining part of the day. I shall drink an extra [wine] in your honor; & I shall thank God for you at the end. The children will write more of our travel than I can...|
Sam to Mary on their 22nd anniversary, September 6, 1870
Chamouny [Chamonix], Sept 6, My dearest Mollie, I have kept "our birthday" in early & constant & late thought of all that it began & has brought in our lives, - of all that it represents in years of love, & trial, & joy, & sickness, & health, of death & of life, - of children & their growth. It is a long & varied & rich record, - one that gives much of joy in the retrospect, some regret, but great comfort, & for all of which I am profoundly grateful to God & to you.-