Thomas Gray Haile subcollection, cards 49, 69, 45, and 67
Madge in January, 1907. These next four cards all date from the latter third of January, 1907. At this time, Thomas was evidently either in Nashville or having his mail directed there–specifically to the Cumberland T&T for whom (I’m guessing) he worked. Maud sent three from Gainesboro, and one from Oneida.
First up, a couple by the seaside. They appear rather pleased with themselves (from my perspective).
Received your card tonight and was sure glad. Wish you could be here tonight have been waiting all the afternoon on [unclear] from being lonely. Wont be down the 22nd. Be good. Madge” [reverse] “I ‘spect we are the two it was made for–Remember me to George. Ans my letterMadge [unknown] to Thomas Haile, 19 January 1907
As you may recall from the previous album, senders invoked images in a variety of ways. For the most part, Madge’s choice of cards paralleled the overall romantic element of their correspondence. In this case, she invoked the image specifically. The caption reads that “The world was made for only two” and she puts the two of them in shoes of the people on the front.
As with the previous, Madge went with a romantic theme for this card. There are three main visual elements: the couple playing tennis, the couple under the tree, and the cupid in the tree aiming an arrow at the man.
Hello Boy[?] how are you guess you think I’m very prompt in answering your postals but you will have to pardon me for I’ve alway got toothache and you know how I am when I have the toothache dont you mamma[?] is away been gone scarecely two weeks[?] I am getting pretty[?] sick to see her Well be goodMadge [unknown] to Thomas Haile, 21 January 1907
First and foremost, this affirms clearly that these postcards are part of a regular correspondence by postcards (apart from letters) between them. His postcards to her either have not survived or are not easily locatable (due to the way postcards are typically collected), but they did exist. She has a toothache, and he’s evidently been around her before when she has had one (we won’t go into early 20th century dentistry here, but I suspect people were as or more reluctant to visit dentists as now). Her mother has been away for a while also. And, of course, she closes reminding him to “be good.”
Five days later, she sent him this card. Rather cheery–and a general style that is “timeless.” The message in this case is simple. He’s written her a letter and she will reply. Letters and postcards existed simultaneously, filling overlapping but not identical purposes. The reference to a shared acquaintance lacks information to identify them–and could be a joke since immediately following Madge avers she believes him about everything/anything.
Received your letter tonight will ans this week. Received a card from Mr Peale[?] and he is on his way to Brooklyn to join the Navy ofcourse I believe what you say about every”thing and any”thing- Hope your arm is better. Be good.Madge [unknown] to Thomas Haile, 26 January 1907
And then we have one of the cat cards again–but in this case one that explicitly implies inequity in feline lives–two cats are on the sunny side, happy together, while a third is on the other side of the fence. The outside, complete with trash.
Hello. your card came last night was so glad to get it I hope your arm is better and am very sorry George is so sick hope he’ll be better when I next hear from him. Let us hope you’ll not get sick. be good and take good care of your arm. let me hear from you often. Madge I’m uneasy about you do be careful write often [on front] Invitations have been [??] to a party to be given at mr & mrs J.E. Stafford[?] tonight dont you wish you was here to [??] not [??] carry [?? ??] goneMadge [unknown] to Thomas Haile, 30 January 1907
George was college friend of Thomas’s, given the one card from him (shared last month). Madge remained concerned about Thomas’s arm, without any note as to what has happened.
The overall impression of the cards is of a regular correspondence between them on two intertwining/overlapping levels: postcards for quick notes and updates on receipt of messages from the other and letters for more news/communications.
“The world was made for only two,” copyright 2021, Alea Henle.