Thursday, July 20, 2006
Atkins Family Letters
What we have here are four old letters written to the Atkins family over a 34 year period starting from the Civil War era (1861), through the late 19th century (1895). It’s so bittersweet to read the old things... heartwarming letters that somebody treasured for all those years.
The oldest letter is without it’s envelope but was sent to Mr. Atkins somewhere in Delaware, probably Dover. The sender was Mollie A. Orr in Philadelphia Pennsylvania, and this letter is dated July 15, 1861. Mollie hopes to make the trip to Dover Delaware “by the Boat” and hopes to see Mr. Atkins while she is in town. She speaks a little of Mollie Tindal, who felt a little delicate about writing to Mr. Atkins for fear he may be married or engaged. She confided that Miss Tindal did not want to be challenged to a duel for writing to Mr. Atkins, should that be the case. Miss Orr planned to meet Miss Tindal at the Felton Station while down this way and she also mentions plans with Mr. Harrington. Miss Orr speaks of a question left unanswered and promises a reply in person.
The next letter was written by Cora and addressed to Miss Mary Atkins in Berlin Maryland. The date on the letter is May 5, 1887 and there is an envelope with this one, postmarked from Wilmington Delaware. The letter begins, “Dear Mamie” and both Cora and Mamie are discussing young men, school, religion, death, her painting and life around here in the 1880’s.
The third letter was written to Miss Eva Atkins on January 28, 1895 by Charlie from Seaford Delaware. Charlie worked at the Bank and mentions a friend Joe Baker as well as a challenger for Miss Eva's attentions, a Mr. Collins.
The final letter was sent to Miss Eva R. Atkins, Deals Island, Maryland. The envelope is postmarked from Seaford, Delaware on March 5, 1895. It begins, “My Darling Eva”, and was written by an infatuated young Charlie. This is a love letter, pure and simple. He complains a little about her long absence and about her plans to visit her sister in Berlin when she returns (most likely Mary Atkins from the previous letter). There’s more than a little jealousy obvious when he speaks of another young man she has met.
Whispers from the past, indeed.
Trust genealogy.com for more Atkins family history.