Thursday, February 14, 2013

A Vintage Valentine

Addressed to Harriet Ward of Marietta, Ohio, this vintage Valentine from the Nahum Ward Collection is signed by an admirer named "Jonathan," and dated Thursday, February 14, 1850.  Harriet was the 25-year-old daughter of one of Marietta's most prominent citizens, Nahum Ward, and his late wife Sarah (Skinner) Ward.  Although Jonathan proclaimed in an awkward poem that he was "dead in love" with Harriet, she was not moved.  Instead, she married Goodrich Hollister Barbour, a Marietta College graduate, on November 27, 1851, at her home in Marietta.

Dear Harriet

I'm dead in love. Oh! What shall I do?
Your bright eyes have pierc'd me through & through.
I'm struck so bad, that
I'm blind as a bat.

I'll tell you what I did once before:
I fell in love, and I swore,
I'd hang myself up,
And I did -

Not by the neck.
No bless you no.
But by a button-hole,
Just to see how t'would go.

The rope broke,
And I fell:
The folks said,
I was dead:
But No.
Not so.
I wasn't hurt, 
Not a bit,
For I lit,
On my head!!

Now to save me from hanging again
Only, say yes, and ease me from pain.

     Till deth