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Henry and Effie Osborn at home

Henry and Effie Osborn

Harry and Effie tried to comfort themselves and each other by writing.

In his first two letters, Harry described his journey and, in the third, announced his arrival. The “shippo” he mentions in the last letter was a Japanese vase.

Effie’s very emotional first letter recounted her feelings after Harry’s departure. The second returned to daily life and told of a visit with her cousin, Nellie Bacon, who had filled her in on the latest news of the nefarious Cousin Gus.

“We don’t seem to have any great curiosities on this train.” Osborn, Henry 1886-1-4a

“I am afraid I shall not be able to honestly say that I am glad to be back when asked….” Osborn, Henry 1886-1-4b

“Here I am back in the familiar room.” Osborn, Henry 1886-1-4c

“I have been afraid of myself for several days.” Osborn, Effie 1886-1-4a

“There are many terrible things that could happen during such a long ride, but the chances are that nothing has, or will happen.” Osborn, Effie 1886-1-4b



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The Henry L. Osborn and Family Papers are owned by Hamline University and may not be published or extensively quoted without the written consent of the Hamline University Archives (Hamline University, 1536 Hewitt Avenue, Saint Paul, MN 55104;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