The letter below was sent to me by Lydia Wiley in Philadelphia, in August 2016. She also sent me letters from Alice Welsh and Ellen Welsh, which also appear at this site. Edward Welsh, a son of John Welsh, was born in 1839 and died in April 1859, not long after the letters included at this site were written. Here is the text of the earliest of these Edward Welsh letters:
Charleston Nov. 29th 58
My dearest sister
I was highly delighted upon coming down this morning to find your very pleasant letter of 21st with Willie’s of same date enclosed. I was surprised at Willie’s it was so very well written. I wrote you three pages last evening, but address you again tonight partly in answer to yours & partly to tell you that I expect to leave here tomorrow morning in the Str [steamer?] for Savannah. I am not quite decided whether to stop at Savannah or continue on in the boat which runs direct hence to within 20 miles of St. Augustine. This boat takes what they call the inside passage, not going out to sea at all during the trip, so you see you could easily make the passage without discomfort, if as they say, it is very smooth water.
I fear from your letter you will have expected of me a different course from the one I have chosen (Now this you know is private). I would gladly have spent a week more at Dr. Eppes, but in the first place the air except on 1st day when it was delightful was not much warmer than at home. We had ice nearly every night. In the second place & this is a delicate subject, tho’ the Dr. & cousin Lizzie were as kind to me as they could be, in fact the Dr. was like a father, I thought they treated me too much as an invalid not letting me go out in threatening weather &c. & thirdly I wanted having heard so much of it to enjoy as much of the Florida air as possible & my time being for Dec. 19 I must cut off the other end to do it.
Now my reason for not visiting Mr. Burgwyn was Dr. Eppes says the difference between his climate & that of Mr. B. is very slight indeed, so my first reason for leaving the Dr. would apply as also my 3d. Tho’ had I been able I should have been delighted to visit Mr. B. & I should have been glad to see Miss Minnie whom I remember as being in Phila.
If either [of] the Misses B. are in Phila. give them my warmest thanks for the invitation & please explain my reasons for not accepting it. Please give my love to Uncle Wm’s family, Aunt Mary especially, & tell them I was very sorry I could not see them to bid them goodbye but my notice was too short to go out there.
Tell Mary she had better join me here about the 17th Dec. & take a second look at Cuba. Do you know I hope you will do that thing as you saw in my letters to Father & Lilli. I asked them to induce you.
This eve’g’s mail has come in & nothing for me. Although an answer ought to be here to my 1st letter from here. I thought perhaps Father would telegraph but no. I told Father to direct care Uncle Alfred two or three day since & I hope it will be all right there. No letter is a great trial especially when alone but [?] here it is my fault.
With much love to all my dear sister I am yr affec bro. Ned.
Tell Willie I will answer his letter in a few days – when I next write —