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Henry and Effie Osborn at home

Henry and Effie Osborn

Harry’s first letter today was all about love. In the second, he filled Effie in on what he had been doing (a visit with Mrs. Barnes, a talk with Mr. Golden, leading the Scientific Society, reading Through the Looking Glass). The pictures he was drawing for a paper were of a sea snail.

In Effie’s first letter, she responded to a number of topics in Harry’s recent letters. She also warned him against telling his family about his planned stop in Baltimore and hinted at a plan put forth by her Uncle Ten Eyck. She expanded on both the plan and her feelings for Harry’s friend Belle in her second letter.

“Last year I used at times to get half frantic I longed so for some tender tender message from you & to have you tell me something of the way you felt.” Osborn, Henry 1885-11-15a

“She never would amount to as much as you for the reason that she has never become as independent as you have.” Osborn, Henry 1885-11-15b

“My advice is, that if you haven’t already told them of the plan, to keep quiet about it till the last moment, and a day or two before you leave, write a letter home, and say that you have decided to come by Balt[imore]….” Osborn, Effie 1885-11-15a

“I wonder if you are going to scratch my cheek all up again as you did then. Osborn, Effie 1885-11-15b



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The Henry L. Osborn and Family Papers are owned by Hamline University and may not be published or extensively quoted without the written consent of the Hamline University Archives (Hamline University, 1536 Hewitt Avenue, Saint Paul, MN 55104; 651-523-2080; archives@hamline.edu).