On this Valentine’s Day, here is our most spectacular, and probably oldest (ca. 1850) appeal to the affections — in this case (we think) of one Mr. William Carson — from a “love sick Maid.” Measuring a full 12 inches in diameter, its verse begins on the outer edge with the lady’s decision to choose him “for my Vallentine,” then circles inward with dizzying entreaties to the gentleman not to “Refuse to be my love” — “for you are my chiefest hearts delight / you can my darkest hours make bright.”
As for all those handmade cutouts: There is Eight hearts Plain in your view / The ninth I lost when I saw you.
This valentine (and many more) can be found in the Manuscripts & Folklife Archives collections of WKU’s Department of Library Special Collections. Click here for a finding aid. For more, search TopSCHOLAR and KenCat.