I've included this letter as an example of the writing style and manners of the time. If such an incident were to pass today, there probably would have been no letter, let alone an apology.
The letter is addressed to Nathan R. England Esq., Logan, Ohio
May 7, 1881
I hope you will permit me to make a statement concerning our interview on Rochester corner last week. Have looked at the matter on all sides since I met you this afternoon, in fact have not thought of much else and it is now 10 o'clock. The conversation is all fresh in my mind now in ghostly form, and it is enough to frighten me, and hurt your feeling which I feel it did. In the first place I am given to say a good many things in way of a joke and cheap talk which I don't mean. Some times making things very ridiculous and unreasonable that it might be seen that I did not mean it, a fault which I have not yet overcome. Just on the assumption that you would take me like those who have had a chance to know me better I spoke very unthoughtedly. Forgetting that I was speaking to a man of your years. For I always felt as free to talk to you as a a schoolmate.
Well now you will recollect I mean just what I say. First to go back of all I had no reason or inclination in the world to make any personal allusions which you would not like. 2nd I don't recollect of ever hearing any one say that you were a candidate or ever electioneered any body. I only saw by the Logan Republican that you would be nominated for Representative. 3rd I am aware that you know my political sentiments, consequently could not vote at convention, and you would not look after me to vote for you there if you were a candidate.
Why I told you that a man would not better enquire too closely after people's behavior when they were looking after office I don't know. The idea must have arisen from it being unlike one who electioneers to enquire after one's conduct, for they generally give taffy before they ask a favor.
Now Mr. England like a child ought to do the his parents I confess that I have made many thoughtless indifferent remarks for which I was afterward sorry. but you are the first person to whom I have ever undertaken to pen an explanation or apology. and you are the last man in Hocking Co. who I would intentionally in any way treat with any disrespect or pleasure mar as a friend I value you too highly to sell so cheap. Don't know of any man I would speak so to in earnest.
Hoping you may get the true idea of this I am going to quit with one sheet. While it is a lesson for me of the costly kind I hope it shall not cost you an unpleasant thought hereafter. I am so much ashamed of it that I have kept my own counsel and nobody knows any thing of this note or I guess I may say long letter. No answer is required . I take you at your word in town. Please excuse this mixed up sheet with the rest
Most respectfully yours,
Robt. B. Longstreth