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Dearest Jeanie, Dearest Jack

 In 1854, a young couple stepped off a train in Charlotte, North Carolina. Their names were Jane Renwick Smedberg and John Wilkes. Family and friends called them Jeanie and Jack. The bride had grown up in New York City, and the groom had grown up in Washington, DC, until he joined the Navy in his teens. 

Their story is told in family letters that were donated to the Robinson-Spangler Carolina Room by their granddaughter, Julia Settle Wilkes Black. It is a story of four families and the love of a young American couple set against the backdrop of one of the most fascinating times in United States history.   

Above is an example of a "crossed" letter. Read the full text of this 1853 letter from Jack to Jeanie and find out about this style of correspondence here.

Parts of this Exhibit:

The Intertwined Ancestries of John and Jane Wilkes     

Jack and Jeanie's Early Years  Courtship,

Wedding, and Relocation to Charlotte