A Negative on the Grounds of a Pre-Engagement
(yep, we're still doing versions of Letter I: 'A young Lady, in Answer to the Proposal of a Gentleman who had met her the previous Evening')
Chicago, January 15, 18--
While confessing myself honored by the preference avowed for me by one whom I have every reason to respect as a gentleman, I feel that it would be dishonorable in me to keep you in any suspense, where the answer must be unfavorable.
For some time past, I have been engaged to a gentleman, from whom I have every reason to expect happiness and comfort. I must, therefore, hope that you will henceforth regard me only in the light of a friend; and, with the sincere wish that such a partner as you deserve may speedily fall to your lot,
Your sincere well-wisher,