~Anne Nelson Page's diary ~

These thoughts Anne Nelson Page recorded in a diary she kept during 1873. Through her almost daily entries we are a century later privileged to witness the growth of their romance.

October 18: "I like Mr. Coleman so much and think he is very handsome indeed. He is not very young now, nearly 30, I suppose, but lively and full of fun. "

October 21: "While I was at the piano, Mr. Coleman walked in. , . spent the day and left late this evening . . . I think Mr. Coleman is ever so nice, he talks so agreeably and has so much sense. He and I had a splendid ride in the buggy this evening ... I think 'Uncle Nat' is a real nice fellow. "

October 26: "Saw Uncle Nat at church. He walked to the carriage with me and was as nice as ever. He is the handsomest man I ever saw. Has lovely eyes. I wonder if I will ever cease to be foolish."

November 2: "Saw Mr. Coleman at church. Said he came to make excuses for not coming Saturday. His sister was very ill and he had to stay with her. He helped me in and out the carriage, so I had a glimpse of his blue eyes! Oh, you little goose!"

November 3: "An old German man has been here all day tuning the piano ... Uncle Nat sent him down to tune it, at his expense, and that was very sweet of him. I heard he said he had it tuned expressly for Miss Annie, as he expected to hear her play on it often this winter. My head is quite turned by such a compliment! I hope I shall play for him often. I think if I was two people I could fall in love with him right easily."

November 11: "Mr. Coleman came about noon and spent the day. He brought me some sweet little rosebuds. They are the only ones I ever saw in November, so I'll put them in my journal."

November 30: went to church . . . Mr. Coleman was there and looking as handsome as ever. He and the Bruces helped us in the carriages and road by us till they had to turn off. Uncle Nat gave us some apples to keep us from starving."

December 24: "Mr. Coleman walked in about eleven o'clock ... brought me a box of French candy in the morning and had a splendid volume of Shakespeare on the tree for me . . . Uncle Nat is nicer than ever; I sure do like him."

December 25: "Tom Bruce bet me a book against a photograph that Mr. Coleman would address me before the season is out. Of course I know he won't, but I like and respect him so much am sorry I made the bet."

December 27: "Mr. Coleman and I took a delightful drive this morning, went around by Wolf Trap Depot ... Mr. Bruce's bet came true this evening. Oh, dear, I shall never forget how awfully I felt. He took me so entirely by surprise that I couldn't give any decided answer, and then he was so sweet, I felt more like crying than anything else. I wouldn't have had this happen for anything. We were such good friends before . . . "

December 28: "I am going to give Mr. Coleman a decided answer in the negative tomorrow; didn't have the courage to do it today. Weak little sinner! I do like him so very much, and wish I could love him, but I will be afraid to trust myself after this . . . Saw Mr. Bruce at church; he said he thought his bet was nearly won; of course I said he was entirely mistaken . . . "

December 29: "Mr. Clark got his buggy and sent Mr. Coleman and me to the mill after some flour. That was a very memorable drive; my resolutions of yesterday all vanished, & now I am engaged to him. He was so sweet I couldn't hold out any longer ... I do love Mr. Coleman but am afraid to write it down ... God help me to make him a good wife and be more worthy of his great love. I am so proud to think of his loving poor little me, and so happy, too, if it was not for one cloud-my faithlessness to my first love."