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[Letter from Mollie's cousin Matt. to Mollie Houston, June 11, 1858]

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June 11th 1858

My dear, dear Mollie,

Often have I thought of writing to my sweet cousin Mollie, but I have been so confused for the last two months that I couldn't write to anyone. I thought I would write you before I left Barnesville, but I couldn't be composed long enough. You will infer from my remarks that I have had some trouble - well, dearest Mollie, I have. I can't undertake a full detail of the facts now, but when you come home, I'll unfold to you the utmost [unclear] secrets of my poor heart. Mollie, I am an unfortunate being truly. I always thought that I wouldn't be as [added] happy as others. but the
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shadows fall longer & darker than I ever expected. The bright, genial sunshine doesn't often cross my path- all now is dark, but I trust, I pray that my heavenly father will guide me safely through all these earth-trials to the haven of eternal bliss. Hitherto I have been easily influenced by others, but henceforth firmness & decisions shall be two of my most prominent characteristics. I shall give myself entirely to God, pray to him for guidance, and act according to the honest connections of my heart - then all will be well. May God strengthen me me [sic] in my resolution. Mollie, dear Mollie, pray earnestly for your true, your sincere friend.

I have spent several hours with Young. Very pleasantly indeed did they pass away. And, dear Mollie, you'll soon be entirely his. You are happy Mollie. Would I were too. There's rest for me in heaven. Thank God. But self must not be the chief topic. It is human nature to take care of number one. Mollie, it is Young's intention to have your engagement sonsummated befre you cme home, and he thought that I could perhaps have some influence with you, if you felt disposed to object to such a course, so he asked me to write you on the subject. Pa says he thinks it would be the best plan to have the ceremony performed in Oxford and come home as "one" . If I were you, I wouldn't object - Mollie, and when you weight all the circumstances, I think your good sense will sanction Young's proposition. I can't write any more.

Yours most affly


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