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Henry and Effie Osborn at home

Henry and Effie Osborn

Effie’s first letter was very brief, basically a note to let Harry know she would write more later. In the second, she complained about her mother’s boarders, whose visitors were taking up too many rooms, and spoke of her heart-to-heart with her friend Annie Wisner (who never did marry).

In Harry’s first letter, he revisited misunderstandings and congratulated Effie on attaining her “majority.” He also scolded her for withholding the date of her birthday until it was too late for him to recognize it appropriately. Later in the day, he wrote again to thank her more fully for the tobacco bag and revealed his one attempt at chewing tobacco. He also talked of his money management philosophy.

“…[M]amma has been on a rampage today.” Osborn, Effie 1885-3-12a

“Dear Annie I wish such happiness as mine could come to her.” Osborn, Effie 1885-3-12b

“My heart that is all I had to offer you & I hadn’t the cheek to think it was worth enough to you to be worth taking.” Osborn, Henry 1885-3-12a

“I smoke mainly for company & I object to it because it smells everything up so & sticks so to ones breath & clothes & every thing.” Osborn, Henry 1885-3-12b


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The Henry L. Osborn and Family Papers are owned by Hamline University and may not be published or extensively quoted without the written consent of the Hamline University Archives (Hamline University, 1356 Hewitt Avenue, Saint Paul, MN 55104;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