Valentines from the Vault: Love Letters in the Archives
Love is in the air! Get to know “Hotty” and Ann’s whirlwind romance through their swoon-worthy love letters.
by J Blomqvist
While processing a recent acquisition, I came across a treasure trove of love letters. Since it’s the season of Cupid, I thought I’d share a sampling of the letters here. The letters cover a span of about ten years; I’ve selected some from a span of about five years. The writers, Ann and N.B. (also signed as “Hotty”) were, at times of the writing, an engaged couple and then later, married. I’ve copied passages as opposed to entire letters. Call or email me to make an appointment to come see the whole collection for yourself. And be romanced! Accession #2021.31, Albert Martin collection.
Beginning in March 1928, we find Ann writing to her “Darling.”
“Each letter from you seems sweeter… the thrill of your special this morning. I have read it so many times and each time it seems sweeter and more beautiful. What would I have given to be with you on that trip to enjoy the beauty of everything with you and listen to you say something pretty about every little thing… When you grabbed my hand on the rocks and saved me from a terrible fall wasn’t the only time I’ve thought of you as being brave and strong. You’re always that to me and more…”
I could find no March 1928 reply from Hotty, but the letters continue in November 1928 with this passage from Ann.
“Hotty darling, Have just now given up hopes of your getting in today and right now I’m not feeling very ambitious about your career as a ‘traveling salesman’. I hate to think of another whole week without you… how indispensable you are to my happiness.”
Later in November 1928, there is a letter from Hotty.
“Baby, The hour is wee… and full of romance to me for I cannot sleep thinking of the magic of your voice…I gasp with amazement when I think of our courtship. I wonder to think that there could be anyone so sweet- I revel in memories of you… I do know tho that I shudder with emotion…”
This excerpt is taken from a letter written by Ann in March 1929.
“Your letter was so sweet tonight I almost cried. How could you be so silly as to ask if it bored me for you to tell me that you love me when that is what I live for. Oh, Darling, you’ll never be able to tell me enough that you love me…I want to always make you smile, and forget everything but that I love you more than anything in the world and nothing seems right without you.”
From Hotty, in December 1929, written while he was staying at the Hotel Hermitage, a fireproof hotel in Nashville, Tennessee.
“Dear Baby, very big hurry, am catching train… Thanks will write later. Hope I have a letter from you when I reach Knoxville…”
And to close this peek into their romance, a section from Hotty’s letter from August 1933.
“The hour is near midnight and I am alone and unable to sleep for sheer longing for you. I get up and pace the floor… the world is without and only you are within (I would to God that you were within my reach). You readily see how much I miss you. To be away from you for a few days is really taking red letter days from my life and as my days are numbered I don’t feel I can spare them. I love to think of the prospect of growing old with you.”