James Johnston to Hannah Suffel, 27th April 1851
The honour of a devoted heart now beating with hope now trembling with anxiety is offered to you – is yours. Reject it; scorn it, it is yours – I do not write to tell you that I can love you that I wish to love you that I ask the privilege to love you, I write simply to tell you that I do love you and that which a passion so ardent a feeling so profound that in spite of all the obstacles which interpose, I have been compelled to venture this declaration.
To say that you are beautiful, graceful, accomplished – that you are fair and lovely – that you are admirable in all that makes women admired is but to echo the words or embody the thoughts of all around you – All acknowledge your attractions but I feel them and I cannot be so false to my own heart as to conceal the emotions from the object to which they tend.
Lady my position is humble but not so are my aspirations and my hopes for I have dared to love you – I have not the gift of fortune yet I am seeking what the wealth of the universe could purchase from me – Your love let it be still as it has been the bright star of my destiny. Let it be the goal of my ambition and you shall see how bravely I will endeavor to deserve what I will aspire to the favour that can give unbounded happiness to.
Your devoted admirer
They were married eight months later.
James hand wrote this himself, in startlingly good penmanship. The letter is frequently on display at [Upper Canada Village](http://www.uppercanadavillage.com/home.htm) — ‘Upper Canada’ is an old name for the province of Ontario Canada.
They were my great-great-great-grandparents (maybe another great in there). I have no real information beyond that, other than, I suppose, they had at least one child :-)