To: Miss Annie Kennedy February 14, 1866
A Annie is a charming girl, an editress, a writer
N Nor could you find in all the world a better nor a brighter
N Now if fair Annie would be mine, take me for her intended
I I would not wish for greater bliss
This little valentine acrostic is printed in What Makes a Man: The Annie Kennedy-John Bidwell Letters 1866-1868, edited by Chad L. Hoopes. But it almost certainly is not by John Bidwell. He arrived in Washington, D.C. in December 1865 to take his place in the U.S. Congress. He met Annie sometime in the winter or spring of 1866, but they did not begin corresponding until December 1866. The poem does not appear in Dear General, edited by Linda Rawlings, which is a more complete version of their letters.
John Rudderow has seen this poem in the State Library and thinks it was from someone at the Presbyterian Church that Annie attended. I’d like to go looking for it and see if I can pin down the author. In the meantime, enjoy the valentine and maybe try your hand at an acrostic on your own sweetheart’s name.