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Henry and Effie Osborn at home

Henry and Effie Osborn

Harry and Effie outdid themselves today, writing two letters apiece.

Harry’s first was a response to Effie’s excitement about the election. In the second, he elaborated on that topic, providing his thoughts on free trade and the Republican and Democratic parties. He also lamented that he was still waiting to hear about the trouble at home and that she was staying up so late writing to him.

Effie’s first letter was an aborted effort and she started over in her second. In it she covered the election, her failed attempts to express her love for him, “the state of affairs at Madison” and the possibility that she might see Henry Irving & Ellen Terry in “Much Ado About Nothing.” She also talked about a youthful admirer, Francis “Frank” Sanford.

“I am by no means so sure that the democrats would completely ruin the country but I do think they would probably ruin themselves.” Osborn, Henry 1884-11-9a

“I prefer the name of Effie & if I dont see that name at the end of a letter I actually suffer.” Osborn, Henry 1884-11-9b

“I never got so wild over politics before, but I cant see how any one who lives here in N.Y. can help being enthusiastic & excited this time.” Osborn, Effie 1884-11-9a

“I have ceased to hesitate about telling you frankly and plainly about what I think & feel.” Osborn, Effie 1884-11-9b


The University Archives at Hamline University collects and preserves university records, publications, photographs, audio recording, moving images, artifacts, and other materials from the university’s early days in Red Wing to its present in Saint Paul, Minnesota.

The Henry L. Osborn and Family Papers are owned by Hamline University and may not be published or extensively quoted without the written consent of the Hamline University Archives (Hamline University, 1356 Hewitt Avenue, Saint Paul, MN 55104; 651-523-2080; archives@hamline.edu).