Stonewall Jackson Papers. 1853 October 19

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Date: 1853 October 19
Item: Letter
To: Laura Jackson Arnold
From: Thomas J. Jackson
Place: Lexington, Virginia
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This letter contains references to Jackson's first wife, Elinor Junkin (Ellie), and to their honeymoon trip. They were married on August 4, 1853.

Lexington, Va.
October 19th, 1853
My Dear Sister,

Sometime since when Mr. Tanner the Daguerreian was passing through here on his way to Beverly, I availed myself of his kindness to send you and Grace and Thomas the little purchases which I made last summer and I hope that they reached you safely. I should have sent Father's miniature also, but upon reflection thought it would be better to defer doing so until a more favorable opportunity should present itself. I hope that Mr. Tanner called to see you, he is a very worthy person and one in whose integrity I have much confidence. The weather here is beautiful and I am enjoying like. To me my wife is a great source of happiness. She has those requisites of which I used to speak to you, and sends her love to you. Tell Mrs. [Hillie] that I have not yet learned the result of the application; but that it shall be followed up until some answer shall be obtained.

In my last letter, I spoke of being in Philadelphia. We remained there from Saturday until Monday, when we proceeded to West Point where I was delighted with my easy associations: The beautiful plains, the frowning ruins of Fort Putnam, the majestic river, and magnificent scenery all conspired to enhance my happiness which had already been of a high order. The ladies1 also were much pleased with it.

After remaining there until about 12 o'clock next day, we resumed out route for Niagara Falls. This of all natural curiosities is the most sublime and imposing which has ever come under my observation. We put up at the Cataract House, which is on the American side, and the next morning crossed over to Goat's Island which separates the Falls into two parts, that point on the East of the Island is called the American Falls and that on the West side the Canadian. The latter is much the larger, by reason of the greater quantity of water which passes down on this side of the island. The Canadian falls are called the horseshoe falls from their resemblance to a horseshoe, the toe being up stream. When looking at this wonder of nature I desired to be left to my own interrupted thoughts, it lulls the mind and forbids interruption, it calls on the mind for its entire and undivided contemplation. More of this in my next. Remember me very kindly to Mr. A. the family and all enquiring friends & relatives.

Your brother, Thomas

1Jackson and Elinor were accompanied on the wedding trip by Margaret "Maggie" Junkin, the bride's sister.

©Virginia Military Institute Archives, Lexington, VA 24450