Intimate wartime messages, pragmatic marriage proposals and scandalous notes from secret admirers are a few of the amorous correspondences stowed in the archives of History Colorado. The annual “My Dear Sweetheart" exhibit runs this month at the museum's Stephen H. Hart Library and Research Center in Denver.
Sarah Gilmor is a reference librarian at the center. She spoke with Colorado Matters host Nathan Heffel.
The longer I don’t hear from you the more I love you, darling why don’t you write to me, It was rather unfortunate that we could not see each other the last time I was in Denver, I have seen you in Denver and could not speak to you I was so sad. You went on the other side of the street and did not notice me, babe did you receive my letter? If you did, why don’t you answer?
- Letter to Baby Doe Tabor. Signed by "Jake." Courtesy History Colorado, Tabor Collection (MSS 614)
A polite request for "benediction:"
My dear General,
Your charming daughter, Julia, and myself have made the interesting discovery that we have long mutually and absolutely loved one another. Having no doubt of the entire fidelity of each to the other, we resolve to marry.
- Letter to General Bernard Pratte from William Gilpin, the first governor of the Colorado Territory. Courtesy History Colorado, William Gilpin collection (MSS 268)
At night I lay and dream of you and that keeps me from going completely nuts. And I also strive to work that much harder the next day. I hope that my mental telepathy works enough, so that you know I still love you with all my heart.
- From the wartime diary of World War II soldier Ahrend “Ben” Turban of Denver. He wrote the diary for his wife, Eris "Jerry," and gave it to her after he returned from combat. Courtesy History Colorado, Ben Turban collection (Mss.02648)