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Title: O'Donnell, Annie to Phelan, James, 1902
CollectionYour Fondest Annie_Letters from Annie O'Donnel to James P.Phelan [A. O'Donnell]
SenderO'Donnell, Annie
Sender Genderfemale
Sender Occupationchildren's maid
Sender Religionunknown
OriginPittsburgh, Penn., USA
DestinationIndianapolis, Indiana, USA
RecipientPhelan, James
Recipient Gendermale
Doc. No.
Partial Date
Doc. Type
Word Count552
Genreillness, possible visit, family
TranscriptPittsburgh, Pa.
Wednesday night
[23? April]

My dear Jim,
We arrived here from New York on Friday morning last after one of
the hardest nights I ever had on a train. I thought Ellen would
never live to see Pittsburgh. She was feeling fine till the day we left
New York when she complained on a pain in her side, but before we
were very long on the train, dysentery was running its course coming
to a pretty bad stage before morning. We had the doctor directly
we come home. Mrs. Mellon then got a trained hospital nurse as
Ellen seemed to be getting very weak and suffering actual agony.
I thought several times she was dying, but thank the good Lord
she is a little better tonight. It is hard while I write this to hear her
whom I dearly love moaning in the next room. It has taken all my
strength to keep up, for what shall I do if she leaves me? You know
it is most remarkable in my case, ever since I can remember, if I
have a happy time something is liable, in fact, bound to make turn
up that will shatter all that happiness away, but I look at things as sent by Heaven and they will in their own time turn out perhaps for the best…!
I have not seen any one my friends since I came home. Your
picture was the only consolation I have had and sick as poor Ellen
was, I showed it to her, but she said nothing. Tears spoke instead
She breaks down completely as soon as I enter her room.
Well, Jim, your picture is indeed fine. I am so pleased with it as
it does a good deal more justice to you than the first. You have
gotten very stout and look pretty near like 'that boy I addressed for
the first time on the deck of the tender.' If I get the other two I
won't promise to send them back, but I might give them to you
when you come here.
Now when this long promised visit is decided on, I am afraid
there must be promises on both sides in regard to our correspondence,
as your letters are presentable where mine are not I don't
care who sees yours, but please burn them, for I never think twice
and you get on paper exactly what I am. Still we will leave that aside
for further consideration.
I am glad to see by your letter that you at least think me
unchangeable. Looks have not altered for the better, but I am whom
time can never change and so few people understand, and if Ellen
should become worse, then I am alone.
I am sure the Brooklyn cousins will think I am not a lady of my
word. I am ashamed to think I had to give up going each time I
promised, but I cannot be blamed, for before I say a thing, [I] a m
pretty near sure of carrying it out, be it ever so small. I hope they
will understand.
Well, dear Jim, [I] must now say good night and hope you will
write me soon, for every letter is now appreciated to cheer me up
and as ever
I fondly remain Annie