Monday, November 21, 2011

Dear Sister, Willie is very sick and inconsolable, Aug 10, 1880

Sophia Riley Gunn Moran

I found a postcard dated Aug. 10, 1880 from Sophia Gunn Moran to her sister-in-law, Mrs. James T. Gunn (Margaret Brown Gunn).  The postcard is about Willie, the third child and a daughter, of James and Margaret Gunn.  Willie was six years old and had been sent to stay with her Aunt Sophia's family in Dresden Tennessee due to sickness at her home.  Willie was homesick and wanted to go back home.  There was no way for Sophia to know just how grave the situation was at her brother's house.  James T. Gunn died the day after the postcard was written and Willie's younger sister, Hattie, died seven days later.  They could've died from any number of illnesses but there were at least two known plagues that occurred during 1880 in Davidson County, Tennessee: Typhoid and Yellow Fever.

Maggie Brown Gunn and
Carrie Maggie Gunn
ca. 1870, side 1
My Earthly Treasures!
Meet me in Heaven?
Maggie B. Gunn
Carrie Maggie Gunn
Side 2

This is a picture of Margaret (Maggie) B. Gunn with her firstborn, Caroline (Carrie) Maggie Gunn.  This picture dates from 1870/71 as that's when Carrie was born.

Dresden, Aug 10, 1880
Dear Sister:
Postcard From Sophia Gunn Moran
to her sister-in-law
Mrs James T. Gunn (Maggie)
side 1
Willie is very homesick and inconsolable.  Says she wants to go home day after tomorrow but I told her she would not go until I wrote to you to have some one to meet her in Nashville.  Robert Cowardin will stop off the road after this week.  I am very sorry indeed she is homesick and have done all I can to keep her.  Write me word immediately what day to send her up and have some one meet her at the Chatanooga (sic) depot. Bobbie will see her safe to Nashville.  How are the sick? Don't fail to write immediately for Willie will grieve herslef sick.  She has been very good indeed and no trouble only she wants to see her papa and mama so much.  Love to all.
Yours aff. (affectionately)
S.G. Moran

The Cowardins were cousins of the Gunns. Robert Cowardin was married to Carrie Cowardin and had children of their own.

I believe Willie's mother, Margaret, died four years later leaving her four children orphans:
Caroline M. Gunn age 15
Charles Augustus Hugh Gunn age 14
Willie M. Gunn age11
John Moran Gunn age 9
I don't know who the children stayed with after the death of their mother but it's possible they were with Sophia and John Moran in Dresden or possibly with their uncle Lyman Cephas Gunn and his wife Sallie Boyd or even their Cowardin cousins.

Side 2
Postcard from Sophia Gunn Moran to her sister-in-law
Mrs James T. Gunn

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