The attentions which you have so long and so assiduously shown to me have not escaped my notice; indeed how could they, since they were directed exclusively to met … I admit the truth, that pleased and flattered by such attentions, I fondly endeavored to persuade myself that attachment toward me had formed itself in your breast.
Judge then, what must have been my feelings on reading the contents of your letter, in which you propose to pay your addresses, in a manner, the object of which cannot be mistaken—that I may regard you as my acknowledged suitor, and that you have chosen me as the most likely to contribute to your happiness in the married state.
On consulting my parents, I find that they do not object to your proposal; therefore, I have only this to add—may we still entertain the same regard which we have hitherto cherished for each other, until it shall ripen into that affection which wedlock shall sanction, and which lapse of time will not allow to fade. Believe me to be,
Yours, sincerely attached.
Emily Thornwell, The Ladies’ Guide to Perfect Gentility, New York, 1859.
Reprinted in the Bulletin, Missouri Historical Society, July, 1959.