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Washoe and Reese River, Part Deux*

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

All of these are from editions of this paper that I hadn't cataloged yet, and it did take a fair bit of work to uncover them. I hope you people appreciate what I do for you! These are not the only ads from Faith/Hope/Love (there are a lot - this correspondence lasts a year, after all), but these particular ones are from July 24, 29, and August 5!

Faith - You err in your belief. Where love is there can be no "dread of the future." Clergymen (of your own denomination) are among those who say "She should come to you." Does anything besides "lack of consent" cause you to neglect your promise? If consent was given, would you keep that promise? While separated there can be no "rest" for either of us. Love.

Love - Did you read the notice last Saturday? Please answer it. Also say what day you go away. Name of post office. Will you see Herald there? Faith.

Faith - July 24 and 29. Why no answers? Hope.

Oh lordy. I cannot wait till I write the book (fingers crossed!) so I can go nuts with these babies. Actually, I should be appreciating what you do for me. I didn't use this correspondence in my dissertation, so I didn't spend any time looking into Washoe and Reese River before I began working on yesterday's blog post. If I hadn't, I never, ever would have discovered that the two of them were carrying on multiple correspondences. These must be the same couple, because the dates match exactly, and the tone is similar. So I owe this wonderful discovery to my never-ending need to find new and entertaining ads for your enjoyment.

But so many questions!! First of all, why the two sets of pseudonyms? Why not just keep using Washoe and Reese River? It's not like those names could be remotely traceable, and in fact, they did continue using the first names simultaneously! Why bother? What could be said in these ads that couldn't be said with the other names? Even if they were trying to be even more secretive, if I can figure out the ties between the two sets of ads, so could contemporaries.

And the second more fascinating question is, are these ads even what they look like? In yesterday's series, Reese River seems to be indicating that there was a code, because he/she (I'm currently leaning toward "he") requests that Washoe send "words" that will be recognized. So that puts this whole group of ads in doubt - except, of course, that both seem to be dealing with the same exact problem. Perhaps the words are just the names to use - which means that the very unkind Washoe actually suggested using the words "Faith," "Hope" and "Love" and then ignored Reese River's messages. Poor Reese River! No matter what pseudonym he uses, Washoe continues to blow him off!

In any event, if they are really to be taken at face value, it's an interesting story. Reese River asked Washoe to marry him and she said yes, but either didn't tell her parents, or they refused to give their blessing. He seems to want her to elope, but she clearly won't do it, and even refused to send RR a picture of herself. And, apparently, in the end she simply stopped communicating. Two lovers, torn asunder! Oh the tragedy!

But, believe it or not, the story is still not over! Come back Thursday for the further adventures of Washoe and Reese River...

*I'm humiliated by all the grammar and spelling mistakes I've made lately. Please put it down to the massive amount of stress I'm under these days!

Having trouble reading the ads? Click one to enlarge!

©2009 Pam Epstein


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