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Welcome to the Kenneth Spencer Research Library blog! As the special collections and archives library at the University of Kansas, Spencer is home to remarkable and diverse collections of rare and unique items. Explore the blog to learn about the work we do and the materials we collect.

Civil War Valentine

February 13th, 2013

Written at a time of great bloodshed and uncertainty, this valentine poem’s tone is more self-reflective and, perhaps, morbid, than you are likely to find in a card in the drugstore rack in 2013. The choice of stationery heightens the war-time effect.

The year on the first page of the poem might read either /64 or /66. What do you think it says? Was this valentine poem written during or just after the Civil War?

Photograph of poem manuscript, "A Valentine" (1 of 2) Photograph of poem manuscript, "A Valentine" (2 of 2)

“A Valentine” Addressed to Mr. Stephen Jones, [Kerney?] City, Colorado Territory. [1864 or 1866?] Amory K. Chambers Collection. Call number: RH MS 531, Box 1, Folder 7. Click images to enlarge (poem transcribed below).

A Valentine

When years have wrought their changes
Up on the human heart
When lifes bright hopes have vanished
And early friends depart
And would some voice attend
I think that mine for one would say
I truly am thy friend

When time has parted us on earth
And years have taken flight
Lets not forget our friendship here
That hope hath made so bright
Let us oft think of how we met
[page 2]
Our voices raised in prayer
And let our lives be pure on earth
That we may meet him there

When shared each others griefs and joys
We know each others hearts
But years will make great changes
For we will have to part
Yet let our friendship ere be true
While earth life here has given
And we if live as God requires
We will meet again in heaven

Whitney Baker
Head, Conservation Services