Davidella Golladay's letter from Niagara Falls 

When the Mississippi Central Railroad was completed in 1860, the Board of Directors took a celebratory trip to Niagara Falls. Apparently Davidella received an invitation and wrote this letter during the trip:


Niagara Falls, N.Y. August 9, 1860

My Dear Mama,

This is the third time I have seated myself to write you a few lines and have had to lay it aside each time without finishing it. I shall now try and get through. I got up soon this morning for that purpose. We got here night before last and yesterday morning we went to the Falls and saw everything that was to be seen. It is the most beautiful sight you ever saw. I do wish you were here.

I shall not try to give you a description of this until I get home for I have not time. It will take me a week to tell what I saw in one day. We saw the rain, how on the falls all day and the sun was shining bright. I spent yesterday in Canada and when we returned to the Northern States, they wanted us to pay duty on all we have bought in Canada.

A great many of our party dressed in India rubber clothes and went under the falls, but I could not think of going. They have to take off everything they have on and put on clothes for the occasion. They even took off their shoes and stockings. Aunt Amanda and Uncle went and Mr. & Mrs. Aldridge and Mr. Buffalow. But they looked so horrid ugly, I could not think of going.

We went down a stairway that was one hundred and ninety six feet high to the falls. It is called the Cave of the Wind. It is enough to kill any lady to go up and down them. Maj. Neal went with me and he was so uneasy for fear I would fall.

We are going to Buffalo tomorrow and from there to Chicago again and then to Milwaukee and St. Paul. When we get to Buffalo they are going to meet and give us an invitation to Cincinnati, but we will not accept. You can not imagine how delighted I am with my trip. I would be perfectly delighted if we did not have to dress so much, we take most of our time dressing. We have to dress for breakfast - and then for going on the street- and then for dinner and supper and then for a dance. I have been to a party most every night since I left home. I was at a dance here last night.

Well Mama, Mr. Buffalow has come for us to go to breakfast- and I must close. Give my love to Papa & George, Sammie, and Harper. Tell George if I have time I will write to him before I go home. So good bye, your daughter,

Affectionately. Davidella

Original letter in Mississippi Department of Archives and History


Note: paragraph breaks and punctuation has been added to the above letter for readability. However, they were not in the original letter


This page last updated on January 23, 2010