I have not yet determined the identity of the lovestruck physician (first name Charles) who authored this letter to his “darling” Kate Case of Bradford, New Hampshire. Neither have I been able to learn anything of the recipient. The letter is not dated but the marking on the envelope and the content suggests it was written between 1865 and 1870.
Addressed to Miss Kate Case, Bradford, New Hampshire
[February 2X, 186X]
Dear, dear Kate,
When I want to write you the longest letters, I seem to have the least time for it. I have thought of you all day, darling, but this is the first opportunity I have had to write. It is about your dinner time. I can see you all plainly in my mind. You are in your cozy room I hope writing to me. I can almost hear Bet calling for you to come down. I suppose you have been to church and heard Mr. Lov. I hope you were as much interested as last Sunday. I have not been today but shall this evening to the Methodist. Two weeks from today Mr. Atwood will be at home. It will be much a treat to hear him again.
I had a new patient who came into my office about noon today. He is a tailor and works in this same building where my office is. I suppose that is the reason he called upon me. He is a Prussian and has been in this country about ten years. He is quite well educated and he told me he was an officer in the army through the whole of our war. It was while there that he contracted the disease he now has. I will tell you about it when I see you but can not write it so that you can understand. It seems to have taken a new form within a few days so that he is completely deaf in one ear. It baffles me to know just the nature of this case. I prescribed for him but I shall go to the library tomorrow and try to learn something more about it.
Darling, you don’t know what a stimulus it gives one for study to meet such cases in the profession and I am thankful that I am here where I can have such good opportunities for improvement. I heard today that Dr. Peirsons was sick. I am sorry not only on his account but my own for fear it may interfere with the meeting of the directors of the dispensary this week. I hope it will not. I shall write you just as soon as it is settled definitively. The next Field meeting is going to be at Plymouth. They will go by steamer starting from here in the morning. What a splendid time we should have if we could only go together. Don’t you wish we could, darling? I have always wanted to go there but shall not this time for I had rather come to Bradford to see you.
Darling, if you will not think me foolish, I will tell you of a plan for next summer although it is so far ahead. There are thousands of people who camp out on the beach at Marblehead Neck every summer. It is only a little way from here. What I want is this for Frank, Frank Mason, George Wilkins, and Fred Gould to make arrangements to come and “tent out” for awhile. You and your mother I should want to visit me at the same time. We could ride out to see them every day and have a splendid time, don’t you think we could? I will send you a paper that gives an account of how the thing is done.
You wrote me that you sent me the telegram immediately after dinner. I don’t see why I did not get it sooner. It was after eight in the evening before it came. My dear Kate, I never was more glad about anything than that you should like my sister so much. I know you will like her more when you are better acquainted. She must have had a splendid time with you. I shall look for a letter from her tomorrow. Yes, darling, I do think of those dear old rides every day that we used to have. How much I did enjoy it. I hope Helen will be sure to come here before she goes home and Will [too]. How glad I shall be to see him.
Darling, I have just been to West Salem to my Irish neighborhood so was interrupted in my letter. It was a new call and through the influence of my other patients. I will write you about it tomorrow and finish what I have not time to tonight. Good bye, darling. I would hug and kiss you a long time tonight if I could only be with you. I shall think of you all the time while I am in church this evening and wish you with me. If I am not too tired, I shall write a letter after I get back. Many kisses from the one who loves you best of all the world.
Your own, — Charles