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[Letter from Young John Allen to Molly Houston, September 16, 1856]

Sept 16, 1856

My Dearest One,

Doubtless the torturing pangs of anxiety and suspense have already begun to lay hold on your heart, from my already too long delay; be assured, however, my procrastination proceeds from no vindictive feeling, or retributive motive, but alone from cir [deleted] circumstances over which I could exercise no control, circumstances too, which I have faithfully endeavored to out do, but alas, both time, strength and effort have recoiled exhausted and in vain and I am now forced to this dernier resort as a last alternative lest you should in over anxiety be constrained to interpret my delay as in retaliation, which by no means it could ever beI have been tortured, Dearest one, for the last night or two, the
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only time which I can properly claim for writing to you, as well as the best times, with a lingering, feverish dull headache, and as I before hinted, although I have attempted several times to reply to your sweet letter, I have utterly failed in consequence of what I am now suffering- the headache, confused mind & disturbed feelings, caused by debilitation of physical powers and energies. You know my, [deleted] My Dear Mollie, I am always punctual to respond to your letters, and from what I have stated above you see that I have earnestly striven to be this time, but have been over ruled in my endeavors by the circumstances mentioned. I know too, Dearest, it will cause you grief and sad disappointment again perhaps, to receive just such a
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letter as this, which must necessarily ex necessitate rei be so. Dear one, don't be disappointed, please don't let it disturb your mind. I regret that I am compelled to write to you this way- for surely this is all promised [unclear] but I do promise that just as soon as my feelings will admit, I will send you a letter, for I cannot, dare not call this one,- I am totally unfit, disqualified for the discharge of my duty; it is cold I reckon that's thus prostrating me- but I'll soon be restored again by sleep and prudence, when you shall hear from me gladly.

Do pardon me now My Dear One for not answering your letter, for I cannot do it- my mind will not trace a single thought nor prompt one.
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and there is much in your letter I desire to notice, man [added] y suggestions made I wish to notice but cannot in my present feelings.

So I just write you this as forerunner of what my intentions are and why I delay.

Give my love to those you love best and believe me faithfully, devotedly, ever thine own

Young Allen

Mollie, please write to me again, even before I write you a full answer; be assured it will be welcomed even next to your own beloved presence, which is sweeter, more blessed to me, than all other subcelestial considerations,Young.

My Dearest, I do hate to send this; How disappointed I am! But why should I complain? Nay I will not, I yield to fate's stern decree. Farewell tonight

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