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 Annie. Their letters to John, a Presbyterian minister living in Gettysburg, are preserved as part of Marianne Moore’s family papers.
Allegheny City Wednesday May 29th, 1861
Back Kitchen 2 P.M.
Our Dear Children—We are all in excellent health & spirits—Jonnie at school, Lissie amusing herself sometimes in the house at other times in the yard, Mother & Anne plying the needle—Weather cold & clear—fire in the stove feel comfortable. Do not visit the Office of Z. & P. Folks not disposed to investigate old affairs these exciting times, no extra interesting news every thing interesting is all in, & around, the City of Washington. Have not heard from Henry since the last letter of his that I sent you; Anne says, did not feel alarmed but thought twas better move in time for fear of the worst. Robert came with her to Nashville, from that had a quiet travel to Louisville but as she drove near to Louisville fugitives like herself began to accumulate– & on her arrival in Louisville crowds were gathered to cross the river and on their arrival in Jeffersonville Indiana (free state) rejoicing became unanimous—One old gentleman who sat near her said “now I’ll take a long breath” & from that to her arrival in Pittsburgh U.S. flags were streaming every where—Anne left on Tuesday morning & arrived in Allegheny City on Thursday evening—800 miles by R.R. Of course was very tired but seems at this moment quite lively—she says, if the Union people done come out boldly—thinks the Union majority would be powerful—things there is no danger of insurrection, but at the same time says the negroes are well watched night & day by patroles, which never was the case hithertoo—While the blacks themselves seem to be perfectly indifferent & do not utter a word on the present existing state of affairs. Woe to the negro male or female found absent from their homes after Nine at night—every one in Shelbyville take turn to patrole at night—Archy told Anne the squad he was with went into the negro houses, search every corner for arms, ammunition, knives, hatchets &c look under the beds—open trunks, boxes of clothes & in many cases some of the poor things had valuable silk drapes neatly folded—opened them up for knives &c then left them all rumpled & left the house—these things have cured Archy of secession, but he has to keep very quiet—We think you folks ought to have a few more regiments along the Northern C.R.R. We were well hoaxed here on Sabbath last. Boys selling extras at 5¢ each about 300 rebels being killed at Sewells point = did not buy an extra= A company of volunteers occupied the first front pews on the middle aisle on Sabbath—10 seats—50 men the scene was quite imposing—paid good attention—congregation remained in their seats until they marched out—from the time they left their seats until the were in the streets was about 2 minutes—
Kind Remembrance to Jennie
Your Affectionate father & mother
Henry & Mary Warner
Citation: Henry and Mary Warner, autograph letter signed to John and Jennie Warner. Allegheny City [Pittsburgh], 29 May 1861. Moore VI:04:18