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Henry and Effie Osborn at home

Henry and Effie Osborn

Reading Harry and Effie’s letters on the dates that they were written emphasizes the dissonance between what they were feeling at the time. Harry’s letters today were         lighthearted and full of details about his teaching. Effie, on the other hand, reacting to Harry’s letter of December 7, wrestled with whether to give him up for his own good.

“I hate so to keep them down to the mere stupid facts when they are so full of meaning when properly viewed & so I sail out into this open sea & they immediately get lost & when I find them they are almost sinking.” Osborn, Henry 1884-12-10a

“Do you not think that I have great improved in my hand writing?” Osborn, Henry 1884-12-10b

“This attack I will not get over as I did the last one, nor do I mean to try.” Osborn, Effie 1884-12-10


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The Henry L. Osborn and Family Papers are owned by Hamline University and may not be published or extensively quoted without the written consent of the Hamline University Archives (Hamline University, 1356 Hewitt Avenue, Saint Paul, MN 55104;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