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Title: O'Donnell, Annie to Phelan, James, 1903
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 Count695
GenreXmas, gifts, family, correspondence
Transcript[28th Dec 1903]
[Darlington Road & Forbes St.
Pittsburgh, Pa.]

My dear Jim,
'Many thanks' for your very nice gift is all I can say, but if I could
express my thoughts sufficiently, it would give you at least a little
idea of the pleasure you gave me on Christmas Day. The ring is
awfully pretty, Jim, and I wouldn't have it exchanged for the world,
but how you guessed my size is something I cannot understand. It
fits just as though you had taken my measure. You would be actually
surprised if you could but see how nicely it fits. I was in such haste
to wear it that on Xmas morning I got up at 3: 30 and put it on.
Then we got ready and went to early mass at the cathedral. It was a
Pontifical High Mass and most beautiful.
It was a decided white Xmas. Till about 4 in the afternoon it was
like a June day when suddenly the thermometer dropped and before
8 PM there was a foot of snow. Since then we have been having zero
weather, but today is the worst of all. We are nearly snowed in. I
had an awful time going to and coming from Church, so I decided
to stay home for the rest of the day and look over my treasures
which all my friends gave me for Xmas. Before doing so, I want to
write you which to me is the greatest pleasure. I think it was so nice
of Polly to have remembered me. I am sure you all had a good time
if your Uncle was home.
Mrs. Mellon and the children as usual remembered us, but this
year more generously than ever (a nice cheque and from the children,
some very useful things). Ellen, Rose, Mary and Mrs. Walters'
gifts were really too much, so I can not thank them enough. Some
day when you will see them, Jim, you certainly will think I have a
few nice friends. Their gifts I cannot wear, but some day they will
be very useful. I got so many nice things. I just can't tell you all, and
thanks to my friends, I had the happiest Xmas Day of any since I came to Pittsburgh. I only hope yours was equally so. Oh, how often
during that day did my thoughts stray to Indianapolis, and there is
but one who can tell what those thoughts were. I felt quite bad
about your trouble but am glad it was over then. I knew there was
something wrong with you, and the dream I had, but, of course, I
give no credit. I am not superstitious in any thing. There is only one
thing I do believe, and I believe it firmly, 'that what's to be, will be'
in spite of all. I felt so worried, for I answered your letter the very day
I got ours. Then I got no answer till the one you sent with the ring.
I do want to know if you got your things in good time and how
you liked them. Of course, I expect a letter very soon and give a
little account of how you are doing in the Saloon. Jim, I have one
request to ask you and wonder if you will grant it. It is one that will
bring more happiness to me than anything you could do for me. I
hardly think you will refuse me, but anyhow I will consider it a
favour and, in return, I will give you anything you ask considering
it is within my reach. Now my request is that you will write to me
every Sunday unless sickness or anything likely to prevent your
doing so should occur. If you do that, Jim, it will be something I
shall always thank you for.
Well, now hoping this long letter will not weary you, I must
bring it to a close and hoping it will find you real well, I will finish
and again thanking you for your nice gift and the happiness it
brought with it. I remain, dear Jim
your fond Annie