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.
Front Bedroom 2 ½ P.M.
Allegheny City Wednesday September 25th 1861
Our Dear Children—Alone in this room, in peace & quietness, while the busy world outside are variously employed, I take pleasure in writing to those I love. I suppose in about two weeks hence, we shall have the pleasure of seeing one of you, if not both, it is hard to say what will transpire in that two weeks, owing to the distracted state of our beloved country. Kenty & Missouri now seem to be the centre of popular attraction, while the troops on each side of the Potomac look at each other, with deadly hatred—Henry is not home yet, we have not heard from him, since the letter sent you, Robert is still with us, has not heard from Archy since he arrived, is afraid to leave for Tene as the prospect of ‘war to the knife’ between us & Shelbyville, seems to be, more & more probable every day—we are all in excellent health & spirits, tomorrow will be our national fast and also, with us, our preparation day for a communion Sabbath. As I have no news that would interest you, must tell of the getting in of our supply of coal for the coming year, on monday (day before yesterday) washday at 9 A.M. 85 Bushel came – in two loads a 40 & a 45 Bushel load—in the afternoon the same complement—amt 170 Bushels on tuesday 3 loads—45, 45, & 40—130/300 Bushels as we saw there would be room in the cellar for 40 more it was brought, that was 340 Bushel I paid the man at 5 ½– $18.70 When that was in, concluded to get 40 more bushels, while the pavement was dirty, sent word to the man, could not see him, so the pavement was scrubbed & washed off completely, when lo! I behold! the other forty bushels came, making 380 Bushels, Mother said ‘dump it down,’ in went the coal, which with about 70 Bushels of the old stock leaves us 450 Bushels on hand 380 @ 5 ½ $20.90/100 putting in sam 1 ½$– 22.40
So today, the pavement is as clean & fine as a fiddle, & no sign of coal any where, only in the cellar, the weather was delightful Monday, Tuesday & today, and we all consider it a good job over—Weather here is quite cool, provisions good & cheap, and general health good, do not hear of any cases of sickness any where about.
Kind remembrance to Jennie
Must close this short & uninteresting missive, for want of something to write about, — your affectionate father & mother
Henry & Mary Warner
Citation: Henry and Mary Warner, autograph letter signed to John Riddle Warner. Allegheny City [Pittsburgh], 25 September 1861. Moore VI:04:22