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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 Count831
Genrenostalgia, becoming independent
Transcript[Bayard Avenue,
Pittsburg, Pa.]
Sunday night
Oct. 12th 1902

My dear Jim,
A long, lonely week has come and gone since that dreary morn at
the Station.11 stood where you last saw me for a few minutes after
your train had gone, for I hated to face the city which had nothing
for me. Then, at last bracing up, I hurried to the car too much
occupied with my own thoughts to consider anything utterly
regardless of the rain which came down in torrents. Got home,
went up to my room, brave as if nothing had happened, donned my
uniform and took up my duties with 'smiles that could easily have
been tears'. What a long day it seemed to be, and how I longed for
night that I might rest, but when it came I laid my head down only
to realize more fully that good-bye is a very hard thing to say. Sunday came but the memories of that previous morning were
too much to be forgotten, and my head, how it did ache! Still I bore
it all and said nothing but tried my hardest to appear my old self.
The girls never ceased talking about you, Jim. They like you and
expressed a great desire of seeing you again and wish to be always
remembered to you. Talk about wishing you joy. They had me teased
here, each one wondering what would be nicest in the line of gifts
for me and were very anxious to know when is Jim going to send for
you? It was indeed laughable. Mary teased me more than anyone.
She was afraid I had gone with you. My only answer was, 'He is
coming back!'
Your letter, Jim, was like talking to you again, and poor fellow,
you did have a mean time getting in so late. I hope your cold is
better. I know that morning you left here didn't help it any, and
such has been the weather since then. The sun really condescended
to shine a little while today. Is it still raining? I often wonder if it will ever clear up.
Mary left us on Thursday and we all felt so bad. We had been
such a happy little crowd those 3 years past, and she was so good to
me. I appreciated kindness all the more because when I came here
the cool way I was treated when 1 came to Pittsburgh was still fresh
in my mind. My sisters and their people were under the impression
that I came out here from school to depend solely on them.
Penniless I was and independent I wanted to be, and far from being
strong, as you know, my ambition was to find work as soon as
possible before I should depend on cold charity. Long before I was
able, I inquired of everyone about work till Heaven sent me to that
big stone house I showed you. I surprised them all, for I was not so
much of a city lassie with foolish notions after all.
I often wonder if I can ever forget, and now they all run with
presents to me at different times, but when I needed help not one
said, 'Here is a dollar, Annie.' Oh, why should I dwell on such a painful subject. I know I had and still have someone's good prayers.
God has always been good to me in all things and I shall pray to
Him, Jim, for you.
I miss you so much. Am alone and lonely tonight. Our new cook
is sitting here with me. The other girls are out enjoying themselves.
She is a County Mayo woman and appears to be so nice.
When have you heard from Lena? I guess by this time you have
given all your friends a good description of the Smoky City. I hope
you have remembered me kindly to your aunt and cousins. Try to
persuade Lena to come here if she makes a change from where she
is, for I think she would get along all right. I know when I did, most
anyone can.
Well, I have not had the pleasure of a streetcar ride since then,
but that 'Ding-ding' doesn't pass my notice though. I guess you are
working as hard as ever now, but don't forget poor me. Consult that
wegte [Ouija] board. This not spelled right, but you know, at your
leisure, and if it says we will not meet again Just break it, for I had a
very funny dream last night. Though not superstitious, I don't like
it, but Heaven is our guide and in it are centered all my hopes.
Well, Jim dear, I must be finishing up hoping to have a letter
from you as soon as you possibly can as a letter from you means so
much to poor lonely me. So good night and believe me to always
remain your own fondest Annie