Date Original

1877 October 22


This is a handwritten love letter from William Copeland to his wife, Annie Copeland.

Biographical/Historical Note

Annie M. Rector was born in July 1855, the daughter of W.A. (William) Rector of Little Rock, Arkansas, and Martha Hinston, who died in 1858. W.A. Rector was born a slave of Chester Ashley, United States Senator from Arkansas, 1844-1848. During Reconstruction, W.A. Rector was elected city collector, city marshal, and constable. He was also a member of the famed Ashley Band of Little Rock. Annie married William L. Copeland on October 22, 1874, in Pulaski County. Copeland, a lawyer, was born in 1845 in Oberlin, Ohio, and served in the Union Army during the Civil War. He also served in the Arkansas Legislature from 1873-1875, representing Crittenden County. The family moved back to Little Rock at the end of his legislative career. Copeland worked for the postal service before becoming a Little Rock policeman. He died in the line of duty on December 30, 1885, from wounds received in an attempt to apprehend a convict. Annie Rector Copeland died on May 12, 1915, in Hot Springs, Arkansas. She is buried with members of the Rector family in Fraternal Cemetery, Little Rock, Arkansas.


Mrs. Annie M. Copeland
Little Rock,
Care of
Wm. A Rector
My dear loving wife,
Its with
A feeling of pleasure that I this
Beautiful morning write my
dear sweet wife to let her know that
It makes no difference whether it
Is my waking or sleeping thoughts
They are of you dear wife and
Longing and wishing that I was
with you It has been like
Winter for a day or two but this
Morning is like spring[,] I suppose
That the fair opens this morning
And the city will be full of people
O dear wife sweet and lovely wife do you
Remember 3 years ago a day that
You were fixing to be married and
What are your feeling today although
I can't say that they have been hurt
All your life I can truly and
Honestly say that you have
Spent part of the time happily and
I know dear wife that I have
Spent it as happily as could
Be expected and I would not change
Now for nothing in this world
For I have the proud satisfaction
If it is the will of God that we will
Have a sweet little treasure and
What can make the hear[sic] of the
parents to rejoice more than
The presence of his dear wife with
Her sweet little one My dear
I want you not to get despondent
For I will succeed so as to have
Some money for you. Miss
Roberts and all of your friends
Send you much love and
They all tell me to be sure
And write and also you
To make haste back Grandma
and Anderson Robert and Dunby and all of

Family say make haste and come
Home for they miss you so much
They all send love. The Methodist
Baptize 4 in the Languille
At the landing yesterday you
Did not know any of them[.] Court
Meets on Monday week[.] Most all
Of the white people we got to
See them baptize. Albert Jones
He was baptize I didn't know
But Ella told Mrs. Roberts
She and charly was to get marr-
ied on the 20th. I don't know
Whether it came off or not. I don't
Feel like going out and
I stay at home. Mrs. Roberts
Says make hast and come on
so she can have someone to
Laugh and talk to and write when
You can and may God
Bless you and carry you
Through safe and sound
Is my prayer.

Accept abundance of huggs[sic] and
Kisses and give my love to the
Family and write when
You can and may God
Bless you and I remain
Your affectionate husband
Willie to Annie

Physical Description

Letter with envelope, 1 page, front and back


Correspondence; Love; Marriage


William Copeland

Geographical Area

Marianna, Lee County (Ark.); Little Rock, Pulaski County (Ark.)




MS.000541, Box 1, Folder 5

Resource Type



Rector-Copeland family collection, MS.000541


Arkansas State Archives

Contributing Entity

Arkansas State Archives

Recommended Citation

Letter, William Copeland to Annie Copeland, Rector-Copeland family collection, Arkansas State Archives, Little Rock, Arkansas.


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Letter, William Copeland to Annie Copeland