James writes from Forest Hill to soon to be wife Mary Frances Bowis. Forest Hill, located in King and Queen County, Virginia, is the home of brother-in-law William Dew Gresham and sister Harriet Campbell Gresham.
Forest Hill Thursday
Although I have but a few moments to spare this morning, I embrace them to address you a few lines, but must necessarily be brief, as I have promised to spend the day out to day, which I have done at different places every day since I left Richmond. You see I date this letter from Forest Hill, which is the residence of my brother-in-law, Mr. Wm. D. Gresham, which place I have made my head-quarters since I came down. On Saturday I expect to go to Essex and return to King and Queen on Sunday evening, as I wish to be in Richmond Monday night, if possible. Dearest, I hope to hear from you on Saturday, as you promised to write to me. I don’t suppose you will get this in time to answer it, but I hope to hear from you by the same mail which brings you this. I have showed your likeness to my sisters, which I hope you will not be displeased at, as you did not object to my doing it. You need not consider it flattery when I tell you that they were very complimentary, and passed the highest encomiums on the original. Forgive my imprudence, if it is so. I love to speak of her who is uppermost in my thoughts, and I love to hear her praised by others. Although they have never seen you, they have seen the picture; and actually want to keep it, one of them, for fear that they might never see you, but I would not part with it. I have been offered by each of my sisters5 a party in case I should get married in the Fall, but I tell them many a slip “twixt cup and lip” for they may get too sanguine. Oh I long to be with you again, and receive from your lips again and again the repeated proof of your confidence and affection. You said something of going in the country yourself before the summer was over, but I hope you will not go before I return, as I shall be very much disappointed if I do not see you when I return.
Dear Fannie, I am very sorry that I cannot write more now, but they are hurrying me every moment to ride, and I am not sure if you will receive this any how, before my return, as the mails are so uncertain. So adieu for the present. Yours, Harvey.
P.S. Please excuse my bad writing, as I have a very inferior pen. H.