February 4th 1888 The Lost Letter

Monday February 4th 1888 New Orleans Train Depot to Monroe, Louisiana

Georgiana Van Emburgh O’Kelly to her husband William A. O’Kelly Sr. and their children

Before boarding a train in New Orleans, Georgiana stopped to post a letter to her family in Monroe. The tone was hopeful when she wrote that she felt healthy and had even gained a bit of weight. Most of all she was looking forward to getting home to William and the children. It was the last letter that Georgiana wrote.

Her train stopped at Delta Point, Louisiana and that is where the train steward discovered that Georgiana had passed away in her seat. The train conductor sent a telegraph notifying William of the sad news. Her long anticipated arrival home was met by William and his friend Mr. Endom, whose covered carriage carried her body home. She was buried in St. Matthew’s Cemetery the following day.

My mom was given the letter and the story surrounding it as a teenager by her great Aunt Mary. She proudly displayed this momento of her great grandmother on the top of her chest of drawers. Over and over, Mom copied the letter by hand attempting to imitate Georgiana’s beautiful handwriting. Before she could become a master of Victorian script, the letter vanished. It has been hence known as the Lost Letter and the case of it’s mysterious disappearance has yet to be solved.


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Filed under Georgiana Dull Van Emburgh O'Kelly, Letters to Hotel Dieu, William Abram O'Kelly Sr.

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