The next scores or so of posts will be not my own writings, but correspondences of my Great-Grandfather Leon Gould. This letter is to his cousin, Alice, whom he later married! Great-Grandpa Leon had a large family (of 11 children), and journeyed as secretary to Presiding Patriarch Alexander Smith (son of Joseph & Emma) in the RLDS church before eventually joining the Church of Christ (TL) and becoming an Apostle. His descendants have been blessed with a rich spiritual heritage and many true family accounts of what can only be called miracles. If you read these letters and are interested in reading more of the Gould family history, look for a book titled "Trek of Faith" by Peggy Tucker. These letters contain the original spelling mistakes and have not been corrected. Feel free to print and keep these letters in your own family history files if you so wish. In the future, a book of Leon's writings will be made available. Enjoy!
Battle Lake, Minn.
July 30, 1899
Amongst loved ones and surrounded by the familiar scenes of the old home yet my joy is marred, all the brightness is turned into darkness, which even the present of pretended friends increases. I ought not to say “pretended” perhaps; but I am beginning to doubt almost every, at times.
What I said in my last letter in regards to your personal appearance was written with sincerity, other may not think as I do; if they do not I should retain the priveledge of forming my opinion in reguard to their judgement. It matters little what the other “girls I have seen” think or say. I have a right to my own opinion, if based upon facts.
I don’t know that I have any news to write in particular, about any of the “folks”. Perhaps others have written you all the gossip etc. so it will be useless for me to do so.
So you are in trouble, as to whether you should allow me to write to you?
Alice if my correspondence is distasteful to you and you wish it discontinued you have only to say the word. If it will relieve you of any anxiety and help to banish the ‘blues’ then perhaps it will be best to stop. It cannot hurt me much more.
And perhaps you would desire that our acquaintance should cease and let me henceforth be a stranger. Well, I guess it could not hurt me much more. You may have your wish.
I once had a great desire to amount to something in the world and make myself useful if possible, but, now I am devoid of ambition and bowed under such a load that I can make no effort. Some have urged me to leave that country, saying that I might have better opportunities elsewhere. But it seem to me that the few troubled years remaining to me may as well be passed there as anywhere. As for happiness, I doubt there being any such thing in this world.
I thank you for desiring to help me out of difficulties, but I fear there is no way for you to do so. There seems to be no help for me. A few more words before I close for fear I may not be permitted to address you again.
I have seen a few instances, even amongst relatives, where sorrow and regrets have followed them through their after-life from such cause that I feel like asking “Is it not a serious matter to throw away a man’s love?”
Hoping that heaven’s choicest blessing may rest upon your head and that sorrow may always be a seldom visitor I am your cousin.
In the midst of darkness without a ray of light or hope.