Henry and Mary Warner lived in Allegheny City, Pennsylvania, now part of Pittsburgh. They are the great-grandparents of poet Marianne Moore. By the 1860s they had three surviving children: John, Henry, and Anne. Their letters to John, a Presbyterian minister living in Gettysburg, are preserved as part of Marianne Moore’s family papers.
Allegheny City Wednesday January 21st 1863 11 A.M.
Our Dear Children—Your welcome letters from Harrisburgh & Gettysburgh reached us in due time—To Our Heavenly Father we return our sincere thanks for your safe arrival at home, and that on your arrival you found all well—Mother promised Liz Stevenson (now Mrs Ewing) that she would visit the family occasionally and help cheer her mother in her absence, accordingly last evening she staid there from 6 ¾ to 8 ¾ oclock, after she came home she chatted with me until time of retiring for bed—and I think I never saw her look better for the last twenty years, of which I told her in the course of conversation, this morning she seems quite lively, a heavy snow is falling at this moment, which I hope will be conducive to health, and also benefit the coming crop—We are all in excellent health—Tom Scott, Ex-president of the Merchts & Mfrs Bank died very sudden a few days ago—also John Cuits that lived at Miltenbergers Rolling Mill—Zug & Painters Nail factory was burnt last Sabbath morning at 3 oclock coss $30,000—insured for $10,000—we received a note from Henry last Saturday evening—he is very well but complains of monotony. I answered on Monday & direct some on the evil of discontent, stating how thankful he ought to be that he is not lying on the mud on the bank of the Rapahanock, that the most High has hid him, as in the cleft of the rock until this fearful judgment passes over us—When called on, I have no objection to him acting the patriot & soldier, but until then—thank the Lord for all his mercies—1 P.M. Dinner over; Now Dear John we wish you to understand, that if we do not use coffee, it is not to save money, nor is it because we cannot afford it, as far as I am concerned I would have it, if I felt that I wanted it, but when an article becomes extravagantly high such as coffee or tea, to me, it is a wonder if good milk, butter, or eggs are not better adapted to the human stomach—Oatmeal mush, & milk, what we were all fed upon when children, now that I am old my stomach yearns after the food I was accustomed to, when a funny little boy—often & often have I wondered in Pittsburgh, at country people coming in 10 or 12 miles on foot to sell good fresh butter and eggs and buy with the money coffee, tea, & sugar—If people will barter away nutritious food for what is the very reverse, let the please their fancy—If I was worth a million I would not give 34¢ per lb for the coffee, but if mother would like to have coffee, & it was 1$ per lb I would walk 5 miles to obtain it. but she seems to care as little for it as I do—I wonder the foolish people do not prefer chocolate, which is a nutritious beverage—I am in great hopes when you receive this, her little ‘ladyship’ will be in a laughing mood, and in the enjoyment of good health. We are glad to know the frock and shawl pleased Jennie;
Jennie talks about “so handsome a dress” she is worthy of a handsome dress—I hope the folks in Gettysburgh will not meet with any more ‘scares’—I wonder if the rebels have sent home that poor post master yet—kind remembrance to Jennie, & a kiss for our dear little Mary
Anne has purchased a cooking stove from Anshutz Kate Crissells man she is much pleased with it—cost $17.75 it is something like ours but a much better one, with a most excellent over in it
Your affectionate father & mother Henry & Mary Warner
Citation: Henry and Mary Warner, autograph letter signed to John Riddle Warner. Allegheny City [Pittsburgh], 21 January 1863. Moore VI:05:15