The earliest surviving letters date to 1847 and contain descriptions of Jack’s adventures at sea and Jeanie’s activities in New York and Devasego. From the letters, we learn that towards the end of 1852, Jack and Jeanie confessed their feelings for one another, and the letters reveal the depth of their relationship.
1853 March 11 – Jack to Jeanie - reports on a “stormy talk” with his father, career plans uncertain
1853 March 13 – Jeanie to Jack - urges Jack to reconcile with his father, says Jack’s father loves her “almost as much as his own daughters.”
1853 May 21 – Jack to Jeanie -quarrel with father is past, “forgotten it never will be,"unsure about taking Jeanie to North Carolina
1853 May 23 – Jeanie to Jack, “I think of you always.” Jack’s career
1853 June 1 – Jack to Jeanie, retells how he fought a house fire, recalls grief at losing his mother
1853 June 2 – Jeanie to Jack - Jack’s prospects in “Carolina,” flirtatious talk about eating strawberries
Silhouette of John and Jeanie at the time of their engagement.