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 August 28th 1861. 2 ½ P.M.
Our Dear Children—A gloomy, murky, looking day, streets seemingly deserted, nothing to interrupt the monotony of the scene, all in good health here, and if Anne was cheerful I would say we were all in good spirits. As usual have no strange news to communicate.
On last friday received a telegram from Robert, he is well and striving to work off his stock of dry goods, we answered, by sending him another, giving him to know the state of Annes health, all letter communication is now cut off, and we think it is well we can telegraph, it seems this mode is permitted by the belligerent parties as all communication of this sort is open to both parties. Joe & Sam Chambers are off to the war, & Mrs Chambers tell us that Tom has joined the rebel army in Missouri; We received a letter from Henry yesterday stating his safe arrival in Titusville, & that Joe & him had commenced boring, says it is pretty cold and that they keep a good wood fire crakling in the stove; Sam Chambers while here, told his mother he say you in Camp at Chambersburgh and that you slept in their camp one night, that you gave them good advice &c you never let us know the result of Mr Craig’s sickness, or has our old friend McDowell got over his last sad freak; Surely, Surely, Our Dear John, The times forbode sadness, such as neither you or your father have ever seen in the country where we dwell, and in this country above all other countries on the globe, where all seemed to be prosperous & happy, while we have an abundant harvest, immense wealth, & not even the shadow of epidemic or sickness amongst us, yet we look forward as though something portentous is about to happen that will involve our beloved country in sad, sad calamity, all I can say now, or has to say, is, kind remembrance to Jennie and
Remain your Affectionate father & mother
Henry & Mary Warner
P.S. Your pamphlets, one I took to Aunt B. the other I read carefully, for which we are very grateful, & consider the production a credit to both you and our family
Citation: Henry and Mary Warner, autograph letter signed to John Riddle Warner. Allegheny City [Pittsburgh], 28 August 1861. Moore VI:04:21