Somewhere in Time


We have four original letters from John Watt Johnston to his future wife, Ann Bauld in 1845. John Watt is a decendant of James Watt; inventor of the Steam Engine and the ancestor of a resident of the Westcliffe, Colorado community who shared the original letter with us.

Have fun going back 152 years!

Lots of love, AVB

Liverpool, England August 27, 1845

To Miss Ann Bauld
care of Mrs. Bauld
383 Gallowgate St.
Glasgow, Scotland

Most respected Friend,

You will no doubt feel a little astonished to receive this from one who has
never had the pleasure of addressing you before on this all important
subject, which I feel duty bound to acquaint you of since the happy night I
spent in your company at the wedding. I have been impressed with feelings of
the strongest desire to enjoy your society again. You may perhaps think I am
speaking from the impulse of the moment and acting rashly. It is decidedly
the reverse, for I have been thinking of you by night and by day and can come
to no conclusion but acquaint you of the same. Previous to my leaving
Glasgow, I possessed the same respect for you, but not being aware of
learning so soon was the reason of me not making my mind knowing to you on
the matter.

When I was at sea and coming off duty at 19 o'clock at night
when the rest went to bed, I preferred a solitary walk on deck where nothing
is to be seen but sea and sky. There I would walk up and down and many a
long conversation I had with you and enjoying myself to the utmost the same
as I was in your company. But when drawn near home and seeing all hands
rejoicing, some to meet parents, some wives, and others sweethearts I thought
them the happiest men alive. But when I looked on my own forlorn condition,
it renders me miserable. To go home to a landlady, to the best of them ,is
but a cold reception. Now to make a long story short, I am determined to
change my life. As soon as circumstances will permit, so there is more I
could take by the hand to lead a life of happiness, as I would wish to live,
and could prefer to yourself. Therefore, I shall give you the preference to
all other Lasses.

There is none in my eyes like my own country women. The
English women I cannot endure them, and Yankees they are worse. There is
nothing like something homely experience has taught me. Now I shall conclude
by requesting of you a decided answer whether you shall be inclined to keep a
correspondence to such time as we can make arrangements more congenial to our

If it be the case that you feel so inclined, let me know as soon
as possible for it is upon your answer that my future happiness depends.
Hoping you won't disappoint me to crush my spirits under the bright
prospects I have built myself upon since I saw you. If you have any
objection, let me know them and if possible I shall rectify them be no way
delicate on the subject for the correspondence is entirely between ourselves
and won't go farther on my part.

Therefore, I hope you will excuse this
letter, its rather confused. This is the first I ever attempted on the
subject so I conclude by sending my best respects to Miss Quill and many
thanks to her for her attention to my request. I shall wait for your answer
with the utmost impatience and am,

Madam yours till death

John Johnston

Direct to me
803 Wellington Buildings
New Main Street
Liverpool, England

Don't delay your answer.