Without the communication options we have today, people in the 19th century depended upon paper and pen to share everything from political and business matters to health concerns and weather to, yes, most definitely, love and affection. And Judge Davis, with the busy political life he led, could not jump on a plane here and jet off to Washington, D.C., and be home for Saturday lunch with his wife, Sarah. So the two were often separated for long periods of time. Known to have been blessed with life-long affection and deep love for each other, David and Sarah kept the fires of the heart kindled during the long times apart with letters expressing how much they missed each other.
Many of the Davis Family letters have been transcribed by the Davis Mansion Foundation's Research Historian, Pat Schley, and can be accessed at http://tinyurl.com/Davis-Family-correspondence.
Below are but two of the hundreds of archived letters between David and Sarah and their family and friends.
"How my eyes dazzle and my heart jumps when I see your well known hand writing. I could sing praises to the mails and call down blessings on him who invented letter writing....I read it with all the eagerness & delight of a young lover. The truth is, Sarah, you are far dearer to me now than when we were married [29 yrs. ago]. Our lives are one now – all joys & sorrows are to be shared together. With my love is mixed my highest esteem – which long years has instilled in me...The snowstorm has been the severest ever known. Sleigh bells have been tingling night & day for several days and they remind me of my young days in Massttswhen it was bliss to get you in a sleigh and ride with you to the tintinnabulation [the ringing or sounding] of the bells....May angels guard those that I love....." Washington D.C. December 16 1867, David Davis to Sarah W. Davis (ALPL)
"How I do long to give you a fond wife’s kiss – to be with you to listen to your voice once more. I dare not trust myself to think of it. I am sure I did not anticipate your coming when we were to be united with as much warmth of feeling as I now do our reunion. I know your good qualities now, your love and forbearance and prize them, too....." Guilford CT July 29 1848 Sarah W. Davis to David Davis (ALPL)