Box 4 Folder 4

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Letter 1 -~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~---

Flemington, N.J. [New Jersey]
Feb 7, 1882

My dear sister,
            I hope that Uncle is again on the mend.  It is hard to endure so much weakness & suffering -- But I believe that he endures patiently knowing it to be his Heavenly Father’s will. 
            How pleasant for him that his sister can be so much there. 
            How is Jane?  This Malarial Fever cannot be a very pleasant acquaintance.  He is so loath to leave & so ready always to return. 
            I feel sorry that Lucy gains so slowly  -- but how thankful should we be that the baby is healthy! 
            We think there would be no impropriety in saying that you do not care to have Caroline an appendage to this baby’s name -- that you would rather it should be reserved for the next -- Though of course you would be willing for them to do as they please about naming the next for you.
            I did receive Jan. No. Miss. Herald [Missionary Herald] from Boston. How good of you to send it.  I enjoy it & saw Mary reading quite a while in it on Sundays. The Feb. No. has also come.
            You will see that coz. Mary wished this letter sent to you -- but I do not wish you to burn it as she said -- but return it to me sometime.  You will see her address at the head of her letter. 
            I think the Ther. has not been below zero this winter -- if so it was only for a day. 
            A great deal of snow fell last Saturday.  It piled in drifts & much shoveling was necessary all around the house.
            Sophie came Sat. Jan 28 (week before last) & staid until last Thurs. She & the girls were invited to aunt Kates Tuesday P.M. William & I were invited to Mr. P.J. Nevins’ Before noon it commenced snowing & the storm increased so in fury that Mr. Anderson sent for the girls in sleigh -- So did Mr. Nevins send for William & self Dr. Mott Mr. Bullock Mr. Connet with their wives were there & we had a very pleasant evening -- we all came home as we went.
            Sophie made & sent Aletta for Birthday present a suit of underclothes -- night gown chemise & drawers -- The muslin trimming & making would have cost us seven dollars at least.
            Dont know when Aletta will be married -- possibly in the early summer -- perhaps not till fall.
            This is the second week of a two week’s vacation in school on account of scarlet fever -- So Mary & Carrie are at work on Aletta’s underclothes & Mary Dunn is to help 2 days & they hope to get the most difficult part & quite a share of them -- done.  Aunt Helly has made 2 pr. drawers -- but they do not offer to do any more -- though they know it would be a help of course. 
            There is no Spring vacation & will be none until school closes -- the last of June.  There never is but one vacation (in this school, beside the long one) & that is “Holiday week” Mary judges from the way the Aunties talk that they think that she & Aletta might sew after they come from school & office -- but they cannot -- Mary has to look over lessons for next day & they are too tired to do very much & she told them so.  I feel sorry for you to have so large a family & so much care. 
            You write when you are very sleepy.  I can tell by the way your pen made zig zag marks when you dozed.
            Love to uncle & all friends
            Your aff sister
            Mary B. Hill
            Will write two W. Burton about Uncle Collar -- Had though of doing so before.  Their address is Catskill Greene Co. New York Box 282. If coz Mary’s letter will make the postage 9 cts. it is to be left till another time soon or after hearing from you again.

Letter 2 -~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~---


Arkansas City, 2, 23, 83

My Dear Wife
            Yours of the 9 ins’t. was rec’d in due time.
            Intended to have answered it night before last but it was not convenient and last night impossible before 11 oclock when I went to bed.  I might as well have set up for I couldn’t sleep.  Now it is two oclock <P> A.M.
            I was hesitating about a piece of land when your letter came.  I was well aware judging from the experience of a pretty long life that whatever I did would be the wrong thing but was rather in favor of going east and comitting the wrong in that way than to commit it here but when I found by your letter that you were quite indifferent about my coming decided to stay here some longer. 
            I found 80 acres of land vacant one mile from town and have laid claim to it and am building a small house upon it. 
            It is not very good land.  If it had been it wouldn’t have been vacant for some knew that it was vacant who would have taken it if it was a good tract.  They were very careful not to tell of it tho for they though if they could keep it vacant till they were ready to take it, it would be so much good luck for them.  They are now sorry they did not taken it while there was a chance. 
            I believe I can make something out to fit as it is so near town.  Even the township assessor whose business it is to know what land is vacant and what is not was ignorant of it. 
            I recolect when I was in Norfolk one of the Kilbourn boys testified in court that he made some rough land he had pay him the interest of $100.00 per acre in pasture.  If I can make this pay half that I can make a good thing of it. 
            I intend to put about 50 acres in pasture.  I can easily get all the stock it will keep.  Some of it is very good land.  It is thought to be good land for grapes.  If it is that will pay.  I can rent the good land so that it will pay better than to cultivate it myself if I was able to cultivate it. 
            My health is better than before I went to Eureka Sprints but my strength is weakness yet.  I presume that a little hard work will bring back all the <hard> bad feelings I used to have.  I have not had any hard sickness since I have been in trade. 
            When I tried to farm was more or less sick every year.  I begin to feel sleepy Will finish some other time.
            There are springs within 10 miles of here that are becoming quite celebrated even more so than Eureka Springs.  They are called the [Guida?] Springs (Pronounced Goda).
            I don’t know what else to write about.  Perhaps a little on the weather will not be uninteresting.  I always like to have you tell about the weather in New England.
Feb. 24            I was Sleepy last night.  Last Sunday was a very stormy day.  Rain and snow.  Good sleighing Monday Tuesday and Wednesday but snow most all gone now.  Winter has been very warm and pleasant. 
            Vegetation had started considerable before this storm.  Probably the fruit is mostly killed.  I don’t know as I have told you who to write to if you want to wh.  I don’t expect you will.
            Ridenour and Thompson They are [juclers?] in this town and particular friends of mine. 
            My old partner Mr. Wm. [T?] Benedict with whom I stopped for a time after my return is dangerously sick.  His disease seems about the same as old age tho he isn’t quite so old as I am.
            Much very much love.
            Thine Entirely
            D. Grant [Daniel Grant]

Letter 3 -~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~---

309 Gale’s av.
  Brooklyn, N.Y.
March 8. ‘82

Dear Friend: --
            Your letter of the 3. was duly rec’d.  Accept many thanks.  I have been too much occupied to answer sooner.  I received a short letter from Aunt Sybil but with no particulars.  She was almost sick -- & her eyes troubled her and it was hard work for her to write.  Sometime when you have the leisure please give us a long letter of particulars about things that you know would interest us.  We should be glad to hear. 
            We have a German girl helping us now.  She has been with us little over a week.  She cannot talk or understand English very well but she is quick and willing and good natured and anxious to learn and wants to stay with us.  So we are fixed for the present but how long it may continue I cannot say.  We should like somebody that would relieve us more from the work and care but when she is taught our ways she would I think be a good servant.  Will you not be going to N.J. and give us a call?  By the time that you may be ready to come here we may need you and want you, so do not decide positively yet awhile not to come.  We had quite a little tea partly Sunday evening Shall I tell you about it?  It was not just the thing for the day but was rather unavoidable.  There were two families of three each who wished to visit us to-gether and when they could see Charlie and that seemed the only way as one of the gentlemen is quite feeble not going out evening only to business in the day -- hardly able for that.  It made considerable work for Sophie and me the last of the week to get everything in readiness for so many but it all went off pleasantly and we survived.  But we do not care to repeat it for next Sunday. 
            How is Jennie?  I rec’d the paper she sent.  Was glad to get it.  Our love to her.  Are you staying alone?  How lonely you must feel!  Please write soon.  Love from all to you.
            Hoping to hear soon,
            With much love
Fannie C.C.

Letter 4 -~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~---

Flemington NJ
Aug 15/82

Dear Uncle & Aunt
            I write to thank you for your real kindness in sending me that eight dollars. 
            I am just attempting to start a “dry plate” trade.  May be you dont know what that is, or rather what dry plates are.  They are an improvement over’ what photographer usually call “wet plates,” these plates either “wet” or “dry” are what are put in the camera and receive the impression of the image, before the camera, through the action of light: they are sensitive to light, the “dry plate” much more so than the “wet” so much more so that the picture can be taken in a fifth or sixth the time it takes with the “wet plate” The wet plate has to be made used and “developed” all with in a limited space of time (only a few minutes) but the dry plate will keep months, even years, and can be “exposed” now, and “developed” a month hence.  Photographers usually (they have not yet come into universal use, it is only two or three years, hardly that, that they have been brought to their present state of reliability) do not make their own “dry plates” even those that use them almost exclusively, as they require considerable experience and care in their manufacture.  They buy them of those who make it a business to make them.  As a great many are used <made>, and there are less than a dozen makers of them in this country who advertise them for sale I thought I would try to sell some, now that I am for the present out of employment. 
            Louis and I spent considerable time and money experimenting with them till we could make good ones and I thought I would try and make it turn me in something. 
            Last Thursday I went to Lambertville to try and sell some I had made, so as to get them introduced.  Sold what I had with me, but found when <when> I attempted to sell any more I ought to have printed directions for their use.  Having spent almost all my money I was wondering on my way home how I would raise enough to go on with what I had laid out for my self to do.  When I got home I found your check awaiting me, so you can see how opertunely it came. 
            I presume mother has told you about all the news.  We have just now several boarders, four of them small children.  I know about a little of what is going on at your house as though I lived in China, in fact I am not sure how many children to inquire after, though I think I have heard there are two.  Before our fire it had been my intention to come home by way of Carman and Norfolk and stop a few hours, but the fire and then right after it Aunt Kate’s death entirely changed my plans. 
            How are you getting along, and Ed and his family too.  When you were down to New Jersey Uncle Erastus, I was sorry I could not be home to see you.  I have just asked Minnie if you got as homesick as you did the time before.  She said she guessed not.  Thank you again, and for the present, good by
            Your aff nephew
            S.B. Hill [Samuel B. Hill]

Letter 5 -~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~---

[Addressed to:] Mrs. Carrie Grant
309 Gales av.
Brooklyn, N.Y.
Aug. 26. ’82.
Dear Friend: --
            Your letter received, for which accept many thanks.  I am alone and will write you a hurried note.  I am not quite alone because E. is up stairs but Sophie I mean is out and Charlie is away.  [S.?] has started with a friend for the “Beach” but they may decide to come back without going as it looks very, very much like a storm and it would not be pleasant to be caught down there in a storm.  But when it is pleasant weather it is delightful there.  You must come early enough to enjoy it with us.  I hope your first of Oct. means the very 1st if not sometime in September.  Bring it as early as possible, because we are waiting.  When will it be?  Please let me know as near as you can tell.
            Charlie is away now.  He spent one week at Asbury Park then came home and started for the mountains by way of Saratoga.  He spent eight or ten days there undecided what to do the weather being so cool.  Saturday we received a letter from Lake George and he said he might give up the mountain trip altogether if it did not get warmer in a day or two.  He had the Adirondacks in contemplation.  We are almost afraid to have him go to the mountains for he is not very well and takes cold so easily.  -- Charlie went away with the expectation that we would close the house and pack for the country the next week.  We had engaged board at a friend’s near Wyoming, Effie having said she would like to go.  We were making all preparation and arrangements -- which was not the easiest work in such hot weather as we were then having -- when E. said she should not go.  So of course everything had to be given up.  C. was very much disappointed when I wrote him the decision.  S & I will have to take a little vacation in the fall.  It is quite cool now.  Please let me hear from you very soon.
Love from S.
Yours Fanny C.C.

Letter 6 -~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~---

309 Gales av.
Brooklyn, N.Y.
Sept. 6. ’82.

Dear Mrs. G, --
            Your letter received.  Shall be ready for you at the earliest possible day than you can come.  If we had succeeded in getting to Western New York as Charlie was anxious we should we might have given you a little longer time as C. said we had better remain there through Oct. but as we did not go Sophie & I must have a little change before winter and we cannot have any release till you come and get established in our ways and doings.  Then perhaps we may.  I have invited Aunt Sybil to come when you do -- as she desires company in traveling <to> and make us a visit and she has answered that she thought she would come.  Will you please write to her and tell her the exact date when you are to come and make all arrangements with her.  Now in reply to your inquiry.  We consider it more economical and less trouble when we have a dress to be made to put it out instead of having a dressmaker at home.  A dressmaker here would charge from a dollar and a half to two dollars a day.  To get a suit made would be from six to tell dollars out of the house.
            Possibly you might get a very plain one made for five dollars.
            C. is now in the Adirondacks -- Lake St. Regis.
            Received a letter from him last evening.  He was to leave Mon. -- the last for another point. 
            I am thinking of going down to Manhattan to-morrow evening if the weather favors.  It is delightful there these pleasant days. 
            Please let me hear from you soon and come just as soon as you can -- the sooner the better.
            With love from Sophie -- she says she will be on the lookout for you. -- Ever yours
In haste
Fannie C.C.

You out to hear our Birdie sing -- our neighbor’s we are taking care of it while they are in the country. 

Letter 7 -~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~---

Aug. 6 -- 83.

Dear Aunt --
            Carrie told me the very first of last week to send back the letters you wished returned and I am sorry that I forgot to hunt them up I would think of them when here and forget them when at home
             I reached home two weeks ago Saturday after an absence of nearly four weeks  Spent one week in Oberlin and enjoyed every moment of the time in spite of the intensely hot weather.  (In your letter you asked them to send you some of mine written while away the truth is I wrote but one short letter Postals kept the family informed of my whereabouts and that was all I could afford to do) I met many old friends attended class meetings Called at Mrs. Shurteff twice and should have gone there to tea but there was no time. Called on Mrs. Malthy She seemed much as she did four years ago Both she and the daughter inquire particularly after you They did not seem to know how Uncle Collen left his property, and I did not know either as much as I should have
Tues. P.M.
Had so many interruptions yesterday was obliged to put the letter aside until today.  Mother told about Uncle’s will and I have written to Mrs. Malthy so her mind is at rest.
            While in O. of course went several times to Mr. Burr’s.  The family seem just as they used to Celin not very well.  Has not been teaching all of the last year.  Nettie is better than she has been but still not strong at all  Thought I should not see Almon [Almon Burr] at all He was continually going like every one else but I did see him for a little while and he showed me some inventions has made for keeping circulars and [seraps?] of paper essays etc. in order.  I advised him to patent and <hope> as he had the same advice before hope he will do so
            The baby was not yet named A. looks thin but counts on the sea shore to [...] in <three> a few weeks what ravages the year’s work has made
            I did not call on Mrs. Johnston much as I wished to because there was so much excitement and it was feared that it would be too much for her I saw her however for a few minutes at Chapel Prayers one Eve. also at Prayer meeting I attended at great many exercises Heard Ex Pres. Hayes, Lucy Stone Blackwell and many others called at Pres. Fairchild’s twice and was cordially received both times. Austin Burr was home but not his wife.
            I Called in a house right next the one where Abbie kept house on [Wes?] Lorain St. the same St. on which Mr. Burr lives
            I spent one night in Cleveland with Miss Betts before I went to Oberlin I went to Painesville with Helen Pepoon and was there ten days Mary Richards a classmate was also there we had a very pleasant time the weather changed and was cool and comfortable we were invited out four evenings in succession went down to the Lake went on a picnic to Chardon Ohio where I picked water lilies for the first time in my life Then Helen and I went to Austinburgh for four days visiting Frank Rydor and Mrs. McClelland whose husband is the minister there, So you see I went a great deal saw and enjoyed much Came home by way of Philadelphia and saw Sophie for a  few hours
            Am glad that I went and feel all the more like work because I have been Am trying to keep the money order accounts so that Father may have his vacation in October We have a young girl now and a woman comes to help with working and last week and this has helped iron also.  Mother walked to church Sunday the first for a long time The new church almost finished Chalmers has been sick for several days Has not eaten high fever but is more comfortable today and will be up in a few days the Doctor thinks
            Other members of the family well as usual By Dr. Parrish’s request I took his [little mind?] down to Coney Island on day last week Nora enjoyed it very much and I enjoyed the trip down New York way but did not enjoy Coney Island
            Possibly you may not be able to make this out very well as I have been obliged to write in a hurry
            If Uncle Daniel came on this Fall I suppose you will go to house keeping.  It is too bad that with his other misfortunes Uncle must have Bright’s disease However he may live comfortably [...] time we had corn from our own garden today also tomatoes Have made our own butter since the Aldervery came in
            Uncle William as usual He took mother riding Sunday Father to Sunday before and for a wonder [Diggier?] wrote Carrie last week
            Work to do must close give my love to Mr. and Mrs. Pinney I remember with much pleasure my visits at their house
            Affectionately William H.
            Love to Uncle E. Mary Ralph and his wife and Ed to Lucy when you see them Me. 

Letter 8 -~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~---

[Addressed to]             Mrs. Caroline Grant
                                    Mill Brook
                                    Conn. [Connecticut]
Cushing Me. [Maine] Aug 8th” /83

My dear Mother,
            We are here at the Captain’s again, and the delicious sea air is putting new life into us I hope.  Baby and I are improving slowly, but surely improving.  I am getting able to take most of the care of Arthur [Emmons?] when he is good.  He was baptized the Sunday before we left Hallowell and his middle name is for the Rev. [Wm?]. Emmons who has been a dear friend to us.  Prof. Shurtleff and his family are here with us for two or three weeks.  Mr. Shurtleff himself is very poorly and Mary is not at all strong, the little girls are very pretty and pleasant <and> I hope that their stay will do them all good though I doubt if they are prepared for our cool weather. 
            Our plans now are to stay here for a few weeks until fully recruited then go to Andover Mass. when we will rent rooms and keep house for a few months or a year.  Almon [Almon Burr] wishes time for rest and study, and as no work that he really wishes to engage in has opened this seems the best time
Auntie Burton is with Philander in Grinell is better in mind than she used to be, but is very feeble in body.  Philander is doing well and living comfortably.  William is in California has a wife and a little one.  Edward still in Lincoln Ills. Theodore Sawyer in Cleveland, quite successful.  Mary says that there is now an effort being made to have a life of Aunt Banista published a Miss Guilford who was a graduate of Mt. Holyoke Seminary [Mount Holyoke Female Seminary] who has been for 30 years a teacher in Cleveland O. has undertaken it.  She travelled around with Aunt was greatly interested in her and was one of her dear friends. Aunt spent several weeks with Miss Guilford when she was in Ohio in 1857.  Miss G. has been troubled that no life of Aunt B [Zilpah Polly Grant Banister] has ever been written and at first wrote some reminiscences of her for her own pleasure.  After awhile the idea of writing a life grew upon her, and She has been consulting with Friends of Aunt B upon the matter  Mary says that she came to Oberlin and read some of the introductory chapters to her. that they were very interesting, and that Miss Guilford is a lady in every way qualified to undertake such a task.  Miss G. does the writing as a labor of love, but she has not the means to publish it unless she can sell enough books to clear herself.  She has consulted with publishers and finds that she will have a pay five hundred dollars to have an edition of 400 volumes that is the least she can do. which would bring the books at $1.25 apiece.  Mary is very anxious that the relations should come forward and subscribe for as many as they can so that Miss G. shall feel that she can go forward with the work.  I believe that [Many?] hope that as many as 200 may be subscribed for among friends and relatives.  Mary is going to write to Uncle Marcus about it, but we thought perhaps you would be more likely to remember to mention it to the friends than he and see what could be down in Colebrook.
            Well I am too tired to write any more and must say good night. With much love to the friends with whom you are,
Your aff daughter
Abbie C.G. Burr [Abigail E. Grant Burr]

Letter 9 -~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~---

[Pokeipsie?] Dutchess Co. N.Y.
Dec. 23d 1883
Dear Cousin Carrie
            12-30. I am just home from morning service & here 3/4 of an hour before dinner.  I am determined to begin a letter to you trusting I may be allowed the time to finish it this year.   I have had you on my list of correspondents ever since Mr. B. wrote you in the summer or fall.  I do not know whether he answered your very agreeable letter in reply to his -- which is lying open before me.  I asked him to leave it with me as I wished to write to you.  He left us Sep. 17th for the West. He has been in my entire care for so long -- that when the parting came I felt I had nothing more to live for.  That my work was done.  He left on the 8-15 -- P.M. train. Took a Sleeper to Niagara (I urged him to stop at N. Though he might as well take all in he could as the [outlay?] was large to begin with) For days after he left I was miserable.  It did seem as if I could not suffer more had death caused the separation. When I heard from him from N. he too was suffering & the stop at Niagara in his distressed state of mind -- was a mistake.  He wrote very blue -- & said the roar of the Cataract sounded like a funeral dirgo.  He remained a week.  Then went to Racine Wisconsin to <see> visit an old classmate of William’s College Col. [McMynn?] who had been writing for him.  There -- to his surprise -- he met another classmate a D.D. & the three had eleven days of real enjoyment together.  From there he went to Chicago & visited my relatives.  I have three cousins very handsomely situated there -- One on Prairie Ave. and one on Indiana Ave. There also he had a delightful time.  The daughter of Cousin Morris Johnston was married a week ago & a full account of the wedding in the C. paper -- I sent it to Mr. B. or would sent it to you.  It was an elegant affair.  They are all very rich.  Are Baltimorians.  From there Mr. Burton struck out alone & for [himself?].  And then I trembled.  He went to Lincoln Nebraska stayed there some weeks & then went to Seward -- remained there awhile & went to Aurora Hamilton Co. Nebraska.  He is there now.  I expect him back in about 2 weeks.  It will be a sad [Christmas?] without him.  The first we have spent apart since we were married 18 years ago.  Mr. B. has kept well all the time.  Indeed his health has improved It has agreed with him.  The weather has been delightful & the climate out there very fine so far all has gone well.  He expects to turn his face homeward on the 26th unless my nephew -- Dr. Yarnall of Washington wishes him to attend to some more business out in Iowa for him. He has considerable land out there.  Mr. B will return to Chicago.  I want him to return by the way of St. Louis & Washington & Flemington.  I have only 8 gentlemen cousins in the first named place.  And my old home is in W. & his relations he would see at F. He says when he starts for us he doesn’t think he can stop any where.  I hope & pray he will get back safely.  You know we moved here the 25th of last June.  We were in our house in Hudson from the Middle of Aug. to the middle of last June.  Were indeed very sorry [Jim?] could not visit us.  Had I not been taken sick I intended writing for Mr. & Mrs. David Burton to visit us also -- but you know what an unhealthy winter it was & I took cold & was quite delicate for several weeks.  I was up & about -- but had to be very careful.  It was in some respects a very pleasant sojourn in the dear old home -- but O.’ so sad to me!  I could not go into that house where I had been so exquisitely happy -- after so many sad changes -- & take up the thread again & go on.  O’ No!  At every stop I missed the loved ones that had been with me & joined with me in my happiness.  My babes had died there.  My dear husband broke down & I nursed him 3 years there.  I missed him when I went back -- he was so changed.  But much better than I ever expected <him> at one time he ever would <so> be.  He wanted to return to that house & live out some of those pleasant days again.  I do think he enjoyed every day of it until Spring and then we had an offer for the whole place (home & office) & I urged his selling & leaving H. altogether. Like Mrs. Thomas Carlyle when they left Craigenpultock -- I wished to “burn our ships” and to prevent the possibility of return.  If Mr. B had been able to resume business -- I should have contented myself in H. but as it was the place has grown stupid & Mr. B would have gone into the old ruts again.  I saw plainly he could not resume the practice of law -- then why stay there?  Our choice lay between Albany & this place.  We finally decided in favor to the latter.  I wished Marie to have every advantage in the way of education.  I wished her to go to Vassar College and therefore Pokeipsie is the place to prepare.  She is now in Dr. [Height’s?] Academy.  He says she can be prepared in 2 years but I don’t wish any crowding, She can take 3 if necessary to health.  She is very well now is a tall fine looking girl -- I considered very bright -- is doing finely in Latin.  Takes to languages as a duck does to water -- Not a very elegant comparison I admit.  We have a delightful boarding place.  Many have called upon me here and I have had invitations to Receptions -- but I care very little for that kind of enjoyment now.  I love lectures & Concerts -- We are now enjoying the Lyceum season of 1883 & 1884.  They wind up Feb. 15th with a grand concert.  The next lecture Jan. 11th will be by Rev. Joseph Cook of Boston Subject “God in Natural Law...” we are to have Gough once more.  I do not rave over him. P. is a lovely place.  It is so much nearer to N.Y. which is an advantage.  We do talk of furnishing rooms & going with “light housekeeping take our breakfast as our home” & our dinners out.  If so we will be glad to have you visit us.  I am sorry you did not come to us in H.
Monday 2-30.             Our dear daughter is busy arranging her [Christmas?] Cards.  We Miss dear papa so much. I have just heard from him will be so glad to get him back.  It seems impossible that he is so far away from me.  My dear church will fill up the vacuum.  Service at seven a.m. than the carols at 9a.m.  Then full service at quarter to eleven when we are sad & lonely at the loss of our dear ones.  What a comfort to be able to attend such delightful services in our Mother Church.  There is every thing here to make it a pleasant [Christmas?] but his absence.  I hope dear Cousin Carrie we will some day -- not far distant meet & enjoy some long long talks.  You dont know how I miss Aunt Collar.  To feel she & Uncle C. are both gone!  They will spend their [Christmas?] in realms above.  Where is your home now?  Has Mr. Grant gone East as you thought he would & as he [...] in his letter to Mr. B?  I shall try & write soon to Flemington.  How are they all in N. Haven?  Has Mrs. Braley any child or children?  Not much happiness in this world without then.  I would rather have 2 dozen than none at all.  I had six.  Had Mr. B. kept his health I suppose I should have had 6 or 8 more.  As he lost his health & his business it was a blessing to the dear children that they were taken from him the troubles of this world.  I do not believe in having many children unless you can do well for them.  I do not believe in raising up paupers.  Have as many as you can do a good part by & no more.  ------
Dec 25th 3-15 --
            Marie is [...] by & sends love.  She has been enjoying her [Christmas?].  He have been to church Have had an elegant dinner.  Heard from my dear husband & he is well.  We have much to be thankful for.  Mr. has me wish you a very happy New Year I should love to hear from you.
 Your affectionate cousin
Mary H Benton

104. Montgomery [So-.?] Pokeipsie