A force you could scarce resist
This happy, affectionate letter dated June 17, 1904 was written by Carrie Gray Orr, a young Mississippi woman corresponding with her fiancé, Edwin Wilcox Simpson, a Presbyterian missionary in Kolhapur, India. Carrie was a teacher who had graduated from the Mississippi Synodical College in Holly Springs in 1898.
June 17, 1904
It is eight months since you received that promise for which you had waited so long, and you have been brave and patient and very thoughtful all the time. I am glad you are what you are and that you love me. I thank you for telling me, in your last letter, that my love drew you to America with a force you could scarce resist. Ah! I am happy since I read that! I have wanted you to say just those words for so long. I have often wondered if you did not long to come home to me and now you have confessed that you do.
… I have stopped drinking coffee altogether, have not touched it since New Year. Do I not deserve a little praise for giving up my favorite drink to please you?
The 29th of June [her birthday] is nearly here and I can scarcely wait for the day to come I am so anxious to know in what way I’ll be remembered by those who love me. It is eight oclock and we all have on our dressing sacques and yonder comes Mr. Richardson. I could wring his neck for coming so early to call or spend the day. I’ll have to stop and dress, to entertain the “Little Minister” for the sake of my minister.
With much love
Carrie eventually married Edwin and joined him in India, working as a teacher and missionary for 42 years. Edwin died in India in 1933 and was buried there. Carrie died in Houston in 1961 and was buried in Byhalia, Mississippi.
(Thomas H. Smith postal collection)