1863-01-10, Annie Adams Fields

Dublin Core


1863-01-10, Annie Adams Fields


January 10, [1863], Wheeling

Only last night dear Annie your Christmas greeting came—too late, too, for me to say to you then how glad I was you had remembered me. It was such a beautiful gift, in conception and reality, just such as I like to receive from you. Turning over the faces it was like glancing at the index to a volume—because not only that they were of the few, the immortal “Truth” seekers—but I confess for a more womanish reason because they reminded me of your beautiful home and the first evening I was there. You never knew did you Annie how downrightly scared and lonesome I felt that night and how your cordial greeting took it all away. You met me at the door you know, it was good in you to do that, it is [ ] fashion. Looking at those faces last night too I had another fancy that you will hardly understand until I tell you something I have wished to for a good while—only—well, the truth is I am a little scared again.

Ma said “This and this should be framed in—such a way.” And then I began thinking of some beautiful frames I saw at Earle’s and how these would look in a certain cozery which I never saw but which I’m afraid I think of a great deal. It is all ready for me you know Annie—in Philadelphia—and I’m going there in a few weeks now. Are you glad Annie? It is’nt easy for me to tell you this I don’t know why. I would rather tell other women’s stories than my own. But you, who are so happy in your married life, will know how to ask for a blessing in mine.

I want to tell you a great deal of some one else but it is harder than ever to talk about myself. When you know him you won’t think much of me in comparison. There—I cannot tell you about him. You will see for yourselves when you come to see me. Our marriage was to have been the first of the winter, but I had to defer it until March the 5th and then, owning to the illness of mother’s brother who is not expected to live from day to day, it will be strictly private.

We will board at first, but in my parlours I have a fancy to have some little gift from every one I love. So now Annie you understand how the sight of the pictures made my heart beat faster last night. I will not have anything in that room that has not been chosen for me by loving hands so that I can carry into my new life all the fragrance and colour of the old—so when ever I lift my eyes I will think of Annie.

I cannot answer your letter tonight dear, only to say how touched I was that you should think of me on New Year’s night. I will not speak of the other subjects at the close of a note. Will you please dear Annie not to speak of this to any one just now but Mr. Fields? No one here knows it except ourselves. Am I not foolish[?] I never told you what my name would be—Davis.[1] But I never had such trouble to write a letter before I do think.

Good bye now my dear loving friend. You are that so I want you to send me a kiss right out from your heart. My summer days are coming now. My mother and sister[2] send their love and say to tell Mrs and Mr Fields that if I do chance to go away you owe them a visit and must surely come if ever you are west of the mountains. But I will be near you now won’t I? and the very day when I have my own home you and your “Jamie” are coming to me and we’ll have a picnic on the Wissahickon[3] which will remind of Nahant[4]--in an inland way

Remember me to Mr Fields and be sure and write soon—

Yours always


1. RHD was preparing to marry L. Clarke Davis (1835-1904), a Philadelphia lawyer.

2. Rachel Leet Wilson Harding (1808-1884) and Emilie Mary Harding (Gow) (1842-1904).

3. River that runs through Philadelphia.

4. Where the Fieldses often summered.


S. M. Harris


Richard Harding Davis Papers, Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library, University of Virginia



S. M. Harris, “1863-01-10, Annie Adams Fields,” Rebecca Harding Davis: Complete Works, accessed August 4, 2020, http://rebeccahardingdaviscompleteworks.com/items/show/99.

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