I know that you are overwhelmed by the news that I am engaged. I thought that I would write a joint letter to
father and yourself in order to break the news more gently. Now, however, I wish to let you know personally
what a charming young lady I have captured. I sincerely hope that you will like her and am sure that she
cannot help loving you.
I suppose that we appear like mere children just out of school, without the knowledge or experience to
guide us through this world, but be that as it may, for myself, I am absolutely gone heart and soul and think
only of our coming marriage.
Of course, I will not be able to live in the style to which I am accustomed at first, but I think that the mere
fact of our starting in on a small scale will make us appreciate far more the time when I can afford to live
I am working hard at the law office and in a few years, ought to be able to be making enough money to live,
if not in luxury, at least in absolute comfort.
I dined with Aunt Jessie and Uncle George tonight and spent a very pleasant evening. A week or two ago,
Aunt Nannie invited me to dinner, and I have been asked out by several of my friends. Outside of this, I have
not been indulging in gayety, as my whole time is taken up with my work.
I read about you time and again in the papers, which portray you as adding new laurels daily to your social
achievements. My engagement was written up quite a bit in the papers, Town Topics of January 12th
cracking a joke at the expense of the Lexington young ladies.
Give my love to Margaret, and kiss her for me for sending me that lovely Christmas token.
I have had the grippe and been busy with pressing matters or would have answered sooner.
Arthur J. Draper
The engagement Arthur refers to was to Lily Duncan Voorhies of Lexington, Kentucky. He was the son of
General William F. and Lydia (Lilla) Draper. From the context of this letter, it would seem that Sunie must be
Arthur's step-mother, Susan. (General Draper's second wife) It was typed so it's not a matter of mistaking an
s for an n. Also, I can't imagine that he would be calling her Susie, although Sunie seems a bit odd, too,
considering how formal they were in some ways, such as their signatures. Jessie was Susan's sister and
George was George Albert Draper, the general's brother. Nannie was Nancy Bristow Draper, wife of Eben
Draper. Margaret, later Princess Boncompagne, was the daughter of Susan and the general.
Next letter (Arthur's brother, Clare, announces his engagement.)
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