Early Letters

The earliest surviving letters date to 1847 and contain descriptions of Jack’s adventures at sea and Jeanie’s activities in New York and Devasego.  From the letters, we learn that towards the end of 1852, Jack and Jeanie confessed their  feelings for one another, and the letters reveal the depth of their relationship
1853 March 11 –Jack to Jeanie
  • reports on a “stormy talk” with his father
  • career plans uncertain

1853 March 13 – Jeanie to Jack

  • urges reconciliation
  • says Jack’s father loves her “almost as much as his own daughters.”

1853 May 21 – Jack to Jeanie

  • quarrel with father is past
  • “forgotten it never will be”
  • unsure about taking Jeanie to Carolina
1853 May 23 – Jeanie to Jack
  • “I think of you always.” 
  • Jack’s career

1853 June 1 – Jack to Jeanie

  • retells how he fought a house fire
  • recalls grief at losing his mother

1853 June 2 – Jeanie to Jack

  • Jack’s prospects in “Carolina”
  • flirtatious talk about eating strawberries


Parts of this Exhibit: The Intertwined Ancestries of John and Jane Wilkes      
  Jack and Jeanie's Early Years  
  Courtship, Wedding, and Relocation to Charlotte  
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