Letter 1 -~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~---
Boston Apl 23, 85 Thurs. PM.
Your letter containing the check lay in the office from Sat. night till Tues. morning after the Express had gone <So I wrote to> I usually get them in proper time which is next day after being mailed from your place or rather evening but this time it happened not to be handed out. So I wrote immediately to the Charles Town Bank asking if the business could be done by writing & told them I had the check & would send it if I knew it would be right. I also asked if it was necessary for some one to go with it. If I should write underneath the order you gave me Pay to Mrs. Mary Glayrus L.J. Wattis & the answer was I could mail it and by endorsing on the back pay to the order of Ano. Thom Treasurer of the C. Bank & he would send me the Bank book by mail or I could send the Order by my daughter endorsing it. I told him of the delay of the letter in the P. Office & asked if I sent it the 23 if it would not go on in trust as though it were there the day before. His answer was it would not. I will send you the letter. I don’t know now whether this Book would be made out in my name or yours. I had supposed that when the first deposit was made the person must be there to sign their name to some article &c but after words could make any additions.
The Franklin Bank is the only Bank in Boston I think that deposits commence drawing interest after the third Wed in April until July. If deposits are made by the first day of May, they will draw interest from that time. Dividend days first day of August & February at four percent. It nearly $4,000 000 on deposit & is considered a sound Bank. There are only two Banks in Boston that those are the Charles Town which has over $2 500 000 on deposit & the Eliot which has over 1,600 000 on deposit, The Provident has over 25,000 000 & Pays but 3 percent. The Suffolk has nearly 18,000 000 & pays 3 ½ per cent. Thre are 168 Savings Banks in Mass & only 20 pay 5 percent the highest they are allowed to pay by law. The amount of Deposits in the [S. Ben] Mass is $262. 720. 147. I see by the Commissioners report on Savings Bank that the Springfield Institution for Savings has over eight million on deposit & pays 2 per cent semiannually was incorporated in 1827, dividends declared in Jan. & July. It does not mention what days.
I write you about the Springfield Insti for Savings thinking you might prefer to have me endorse the check back to you & you send it to the Spring. & have the Book made out to you direct. Now there is time for you to write & tell what I shall do under the circumstances. We will be sure & send to the office morning & evening.
We have money in the Banks in Boston I have mentioned $ consider them safe. Now if you still wish to have the check sent to the Charles town S.B. & have it go on interest the third Weds in July I will either send it by mail or Mary will go in with it & will give you the four dollars for the loss of interest for the three months. If you wish to have it deposited in the Franklin in just one week from today we will get it there if possible. The Banks that pay the best interest are considered the safest, generally Franklin pays 4 percent. It was quite unexpected to receive a check to be deposited in a Bank. Now I will give the reasons for net getting it in due time. It was delayed in the office so long that we should have to start the next morning as we were not sure that it could be done by writing. I wrote by return mail hoping that one day would make no difference. I was not feeling very well & it seemed to me that I could not go to Boston that particular Wednesday. Amory’s father’s and mother’s Golden Wedding occurred. Mr. W. & myself were invited & all other family & they staid till after 11 Oclock at night. I did not feel like going up there, I felt great langor & lay on the bed a good deal. Mr. W. concluded not to go & so happened that particular night our evng mail was left in Boston. So if the Treasurer had written that we could make the deposit on the 23 instead of the 22 could not have got the letter in time to send it in the morning as the evng mail was left behind & did not arrive till too late to go or send. I am sorry things worked round so. Now I think there will be time for you to write & say what is best to be done. You will recollect that that the last day for depositing in the Franklin B is the first day of May. Now after all I have written invest your money as you think best ,
I meant to have got this in the afternoon mail but failed. Perhaps I can have time to give you some reasons for my lack of confidence in Western investments from our experience. Edwin came on from the West in the summer of .39 with the purpose of collecting up what was due him in Milford & vicinity & intended to go West the next spring but he found it very slow work to collect & could not & did not collect any considerable. He was not well but was able to attend to business till about two weeks of his death. He left out in Illinois or Indiana with a man he used to be acquainted with & in whom he had confidence $200.0. & over I think I do not now remember just the amount & took the note of two men in partnership doing a large business & living in good style & left $30.0. or more with another in business & in good standing. Mr. W. went on from Mass. To collect it. Sheets & Grover were worth nothing. They were doing business but had no property of their own. He could not get one cent nor even a nights lodging or meal of victuals. I think he made out to get $100. of the $300. Edwin lent $500 & took a mortgage on some property New York State which a Lawyer professing to know all about assured him was perfectly good. We could not get one cent of it.
He lent $2000 or more to a very clever industrious man who had a rich partner & had a right to give a partnership note & beside a well off father & father-in-law. He died but I think he settled up with his partner making provision to have that note paid. That partner went to scheming how he could get out of paying. It was quite expensive to us but he got somebody to go & testify wrongly & he managed around so that he got out of paying of f & that man united with the church at the same time I did. Mr. W. left some [demand] with a man we considered perfectly honest to collect as he had opportunity as he was in a store & would be in the way of seeing people & he was to have the use of the money without interest for doing it. Mr. Went clear up from Maryland to settle up what he could & to get what was collected. That man had money collected but would not pay it over to him without a bonus. I don’t remember how much . He was Deacon of the Church to which I belonged. I know you will say it was not on real estate security, but to have real estate securities collected costs & it has to pass through various hands who don’t work for nothing. I don’t suppose I have given everything exact.
Letter 2 -~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~---
Boston Apl 29, 1885, Wed. P.M.
I received your letter mailed 28 this morning desiring me to endorse & send the check to Edward & I have done so & directed it just as you said & I showed it to Mary to see that it was all right & she pronounced it rightly done according to your directions. I hope he will received it safely & in due time. I attended to that special business immediately so as to be sure & have it go by return mail. That was all I had time to do after receiving it before dinner. Now I am writing very hurriedly endeavoring to get this to the office in time to go out by the same mail which closes I think by half past two. You need not worry that you gave me any trouble about depositing what you sent for I would gladly have done it, but did any thing ever happen so? If I had received the letter in proper time I should have got the money in the Bank. If I had known certainly that the Bank would not have yielded one day, I would have gone and if I had known that it could have been done by writing I should have sent it. Perhaps it is just as well as it is. I don’t see why you cannot send money to the Charlestown bank or any other & have it put to your account & have the Book sent you by mail. When ever I have taken out a Bank Book I have had to sigh something so I supposed the person must be there to do it. I don’t know any thing about the Western Bonds you speak of I hope they are all safe. With my present opinion I prefer to have what little I have in the good safe Banks of Boston of long standing if I don’t get but 3-3 ½ 4 & the highest 5 <wh> I do not deposit in the small Banks around here, they may not be sound.
I should not be afraid of the Springfield Institution which was incorporated in 1827 & has $8 000 000 on deposit in it. After the experience we had had in collecting in the West & elsewhere I felt it to be my duty to caution you about investing way off where it might be very expensive collecting it even if you should eventually succeed in getting some of it, which I consider very doubtful. My advice still is put it into the substantial Savings Banks of this state Provident, Suffolk, Warren, & others. Now I feel that I have done my duty & I expect you to act on your own judgement & perhaps you will have enough to carry you through life. From all I read I have no faith in Western investments. We read yesterday that the Banks had a great amount of money on deposit & they don’t choose to go into land speculation or grain speculations & that is one cause of the dull times, I presume Charlestown was not at all anxious to have that deposit made as they probably had all they knew what to do with. Some Banks have said to me “I would rather you would take out rather than put in.” This is what keeps interest in them so low. It is so hard to invest it safely. They of course must know about the want of money in the West & elsewhere. I have not time write more not to look over what I have written cannot send photograph this time. Sam went to Boston Monday but don’t know how long he will stay. The cousin who thought he should want him concluded not to enlarge his business as he expected to as business continues to dull. Don’t worry about me I am feeling pretty well. It is rainy day a week ago was very warm & a faint feeling day for me & I did not feel like making the effort to go to the Golden Wedding besides I do not think very highly of them. It all passed off pleasantly.
With much love & in great haste Write often thank you for the letter you sent from the niece as well as your own.
Letter 3 -~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~---
[Attached envelope addressed to:] Mrs. Daniel Grant
Boston, May 9, .85 (Sat. morning)
My Dear Carrie, I was very glad to know of the timely receipt of my <to> letter & what it contained to Edwd & it was thoughtful in him to desire you to inform me of it, which I presume you would have done had he not have mentioned it. I was rather glad on the whole not to have the responsibility of depositing it. Especially as you could not make up your mind to have less than 5 prct interest. I mentioned the Charlestown Bank among the good ones & I think it is so considered.
Mr. Wallis said before I thought of writing you that he thought Charlestown bank one of the best Banks & he has considerable in it & Mary & I have more than $300. in it. But the very fact of its giving 5 prct interest & only one other in the city gives as much lessens our confidence in it. Still it may be perfectly sound & we let ours remain it, but add no more to it. A few years ago there was a “run” upon it & it was feared it might not stand it. It did but skipped three dividends & it may now be endeavoring to make up for the losses then sustained to the depositors. Now I have written all this so that if here after you choose to deposit in this Bank on account of the 5 prct you will do it on your own responsibility & not on mine. The Boston Banks are in good standing now. A few years ago there was quite a commotion among some of them especially those that had been paying the highest interest but there never was any fear about the Provident, Suffolk, Warren, Institution for Savings & some others & more of these skipped dividends while quite a number skipped dividends some of them thru which would be a year & a half interest. None failed in those trying times, but interest has not been so high since then I think. I used to get 6 & 7 percent in some of the Banks but now they are not allowed by law to give over 5 prct. But they can declare an extra dividend once in 3 or 5 years I think, & the Provident has which brings the interest considerable in the long run although yearly it pays the least interest of any Bank 1 ½ prct semiannually but it is considered the very safest & has the the greatest amount on Deposit $25,000,000.
In regards to Western investments in order to get higher interest it does seem to me to be running a great risk even with a guarantee. I suppose if there were any delinquency in the payment, it would be necessary for you to attend to it at once & use all legal means to secure it or your guarantee would avail nothing & it would be attended with great expense perhaps. An endorser of a note is sometimes exempted from responsibility because there was lack of promt & leagal means taken to collect the note. I have no doubt but there is something to be made by some in Western investments who understand about it but you have got to do business through others which is expensive. Now it seems to me as there are so many good sound Savings Banks in Mass. It would be the easiest & safest way to deposit in different ones of the soundest & take the little interest they give all free of expense & if that is not enough to supply your wants use some of the Principal why not? You have labored to get it to use why not use it? & not risk it in Western speculations. I should rather have something than nothing & you are not sure of getting anything after it has once got out there. I don’t <mean to> advise to put it into the little Banks around the country but where they have several millions on deposit and can stand a loss & not break them. Springfield Institution for Savings with over $8,000000 on deposit Incorporated 1827 John B. Thibbins Pres. Henry S. Lee Treasurer Div. Days Jan. & July. Springfield Five Cent S Bank Incorporated 1854 with less than two millions on deposit. I should not have so much confidence in that as in the one with $8 000 000 & it no more interest. The Hampden S.B. in Springfield Incorporated 1852 has less than $ 2 000 000 on deposit & gives 2 prct sem<m>i annually as the others do. Div. Days 15 Feb & August.
Great Barrington S.B. Incorporated 1869 with less than 272,000 ^ rather small Bank on deposit 2 prct semi annually Div. Jan. & July. I have undertaken to write a list of some of the substantial Banks in Boston. I have not mentioned all of them but I guess enough. I didn’t know but Edward took up his Bonds you might be thinking about depositing in some S. Banks so I thought I would do my duty & write this once more & then stop whatever course you take in any of the large S. B. you can get the money any time and without delay of collecting any amount you would be likely to put into one. $1.000 is the largest amount that can be deposited in any one S.B. & it can remain till amounts to $1600. I hope now I shall stop writing about your investments & deposits but I did hate to have your hard earned & savings go in a similar way to much of brother Edwins. There is a place in Boston where loans are offered on real estate in Kansas at 6 prct interest & other investments in railroads & all sorts of things. I should as soon throw my money in the fire as to put it there. If you want to risk it you must remember I don’t advise you to deposit in any of the small S. Banks. It is where they have several millions on deposit.
Perhaps I have said more than I need to in favor of Saving’s Banks but we find it the easiest & safest way for us to do. We may loose but we are afraid to invest in any other way. We rather get along on less & feel easier. I am glad we have not a farm on our hands to labor over.
List of Savings B. in Boston
Boston Five Cent Savings Bank, Boston Incorporated in 1854
President Alonso H. Evans
Curtis C. Nichols Treasurer
Deposits $11,742 372.42
Rate & amount of each semiannual dividend for 1884, 2 prcnt 2 prcnt
Dividend days Second Wed. in Apl & Oct. I suppose money deposited 3 months before dividend days will draw interest from that time as is the rule with all the Banks I think
Charlestown Five Cent Savings Bank Boston, Incorporated in 1854 P. G. stone President
Amos Stone Treasurer.
Deposits $2 631,546.68
Rate of each semi annual dividend for 1884 2 ½ 2 ½ pr cent Dividend days 3d weds in Apl & Oct.
Warren Institution for Savings
Boston. Incorporated in 1829
Timothy T. Sawyer Pres.
George F. Tufts, Treasurer
Deposits $5,343 358.73
Rate of semi annual div. For 1884 2 – 2 prct
Times for dividends 3re Wed Apl & Oct.
Eliot Five Cent Savings Bank. Boston
Incorporated Feb 4, 1864
Wm C. Appleton, Pres. George C. Leach Treas.
Rate each semiannual div. 1884 2 ½ 2 ½
Dividend days second Wed Apl & Oct.
Institution for Savings in Roxbury Boston
Arthur W. Tufts, President
Edward Richards Treas. Incorporated 1825 Deposits $3,311,823.56 Semiannual div 1884, 2. 2. prct Div. Days 3d Wed in Ap & Oct.
Other Banks in Boston
Franklin Incor 1861 Henry Whittimore nearly $4,000 000 on deposit div days <Fi>Feb 1st & Augst
There 16 S.B. in Boston but I guess I have mentioned enough.
Letter 4 -~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~---
[printed letterhead] The Connecticut Mutual Life Insurance Co.
Hartford, July 3 18 85
Alfred T. Richards
Daniel Grant Esq.
New Marlborough Mass
Before your payment in 1886 comes due we will inform you what the company will [d …] relating to your policy.
Letter 5 -~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~---
[printed letterhead] Connecticut Mutual Life Insurance Co.,
Hartford, July 15th 18 8[?]
Alfred T. Richards, Genl. Agent
Room 16 Company’s Building
Mr. Danl Grant
New Marlboro, Mass.
Your favor of the 13th has just been received. In reply to same beg to say that the Compy. will give you a “Paid up Policy” (which will be a Participating one) for $851. and return your note also for $84. Your payment this year is $38.78, as per card enclosed. Less, somewhat than last year. As to your point about compound interest on your money, that is beside the question altogether. The company undertook to run the risk of your dying at any moment. You did not die bur scores of men who went in at the same time as you have died, long before they had paid in anything like the sum of money their families drew out. Now, if you had been so unfortunate as they, we should have had to have done the same thing by your family. If you had known you were going to live 25 years you would not have insured. But there is just where Insurance comes in. It is to protect somebody against your untimely death. Not to compound your money. The man who insures his buildings every year, if he knew they would not burn, would put his money at compound interest. The Compy. Has kept your life protected for 25 years and now offer you a paid up policy for about the whole money you have paid in, i.e. less the Dividends. My advice would be to hold on to as good and cheap Insurance as any in this world.
Very truly yours
Alfred T. Richards
Letter 6 -~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~---
[Printed letterhead] Beloit College
Beloit, Wis. [Wisconsin], Apr 8 188 5
I have just read your letter. It came while I was away last week, and I did not know until a day or so ago that it was here. It had been opened and then put away. You know Carrie puts every thing away so faithfully!
I expected to spend the spring vacation of two weeks here, but heard that Uncle Harmon & wife who lives at Morrison, Ill. about 100 miles from here, were very sick.
I went last week Monday and spent most of the week. I found them just beginning to mend. My visit seemed to cheer them up a good deal. Uncle Harmon is father’s <B> youngest brother.
While there Cousin Harmon told me a good deal about Southern Kansas. He has been living for three years near Wichita. From his account of the hail storms, hot winds and dust, I do not think that country can be a paradise. The bad water must be very trying also. He could not have been more than forty or fifty miles from where father was.
We have all been in pretty good health so far. I have not felt so well at this time of year for a long time. Nor do I think Abbie has ever been so well as she is now. Harry has been ailing in one way and another most of the winter. Has been to school very little indeed. Has kept up part<t>ly by studying at home.
I have done nothing with my “Pamphlet cases” since I came here. Have been too busy with other things. I may give some attention to the matter next summer. I enjoy my work here very much My associates also are very enjoyable and helpful. I have been doing also a good deal outside work in the way of preaching here and in the neighboring city of Janesville.
I have not had the time for extra study this winter that I hoped to have. The severe cold weather has taken a good deal of my time, running my fires etc.
I am glad that you and father have had a comfortable winter. I should like very much to pay you both a visit next summer, but do not see much prospect of it now. I was very glad to have father write when he did, and expected to have written in return at once, but the press of winter crowded it out. I ought to have done better. With affectionate regard both for yourself & father,
I remain your son
[Written in pencil at head of letter] Please return when you write a few weeks hence.
Letter 7 -~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~---
[Attached envelope addressed to]
Mr. Daniel Grant
Millbrook Apl 12 /85
Yours of the 6th came direct. The decision of the Hyde family was not a surprise or unexpected entirely – all for the best perhaps though it is not always easy to know what is good for a man in this life which he spendeth as a shadow and a shadow it seems to me in looking back.
Our present helpers we think will leave the first of next month when we suppose we are to have Mr. & Mrs. Meade who have been at Horace Phelps’ the last few years, relatives of the Phelps family. They are both somewhat advanced and now much of the work they will do is yet to be seen but we think they will be trusty and steady and we mean to be satisfied to have them take all the profits of the farm and more.
Got a few lines or words from John C. Grant yesterday, a pattern of brevity as is his custom. Merely saying he had learned from cousin Caroline that our farm was being offered for sale and that he hoped the price would be held so high that no one would buy till he had made us one more visit.
We expect to miss the John Phelps family exceedingly but they have gone and the new comers take the place. Have forgotten whether I told you of this in my former writing.
Hope you will enjoy keeping your chickens and make them a source of profit as well. We think we have lost quite a number during the winter, can only count 40 not besides the crowers. Sold the eggs yesterday for 18cts. doz. and think it will do to eat freely now of them as the price is gone down. We are doing nothing in the way of maple sugar nor are our neighbors.
Your flattering compliment in regard to my capacity for letter writing I regard as entirely unmerited as also your own underestimate of yourself. But let that pass—please don’t repeat. Allow me now to thank you for the interest you have taken in our affairs and I close as ever, Yours most truly,
Letter 8 -~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~---
[in pencil at top] to Caroline Grant?
Oberlin, O. [Ohio] May 15th ‘85
My Dear Aunt,
Your good letter of the 3rd was truly welcome. Its words of sympathy have comforted my heart. I have long known that you appreciated mother’s excellencies, and felt for her in her sorrows. The same too, was true of Abbie, and Mother and all the rest of us enjoyed having her with the family both in Austinburg and out on the farm near Grinnell. It was kind and generous in you both that you were willing to give the time when mother was so low spirited, and could not make it very pleasant for Abbie, when she was with her near Grinnell. Abbie had the satisfaction of knowing that she did what she could to help her aunt out of her depressed state of mind, and I hope she has not had occasion to regret it. If, as a family, we had our lives to live over again, that move to the west would not be repeated. The recollection of its effect upon mother will make us very careful, I think, what changes we make, after reaching middle life.
The Jones’ family were never sorry they moved west. Mr. J. has not made a prosperous farmer. I think he would not succeed in any business, which he was left to carry on, in his own way. His oldest son graduated from College, and is becoming somewhat prominent as a naturalist especially in the department of Botany. He married a classmate--a lovely woman, I am told—and resides in Salt Lake City, Utah. -- Charles and Edward are not scholars, but are industrious and take to farming. Lucien is not so strong, and is learning the shoemaker’s trade. The three youngest Lynds, Burton and Arthur, give fair promise of being scholars. The daughter Carrie married a kind and industrious young man by the name of Morse. They rent Phil’s farm, two miles east of Grinnell and are doing well, both for hire themselves.
Phil’s oldest boy, Frank, is now 14. Arthur two years younger. Katie 9 and Grace not quite 7.
Edward’s children, Grace and Mary are thirteen and eight respectively, both bright and beautiful girls, but Grace is lame and delicate in health, and will never be better, I fear.
Yes, the aunt Banister [Zilpah Polly Grant Banister] book [The Use of a Life: Memorials of Mrs. Z. P. Grant Banister by Linda Thayer Guilford(American Tract Society, 1885)] is soon to be published! Miss Guilford came here with the entire manuscript last Monday, and I have read it, page by page with her at my side, to question in regard to anything I did not understand. We finished, at noon, today. (Friday) I am sure all the relatives will enjoy it, it goes through the whole life and will be interesting and valuable to a wide circle outside her immediate friends. There are 374 pages of manuscript, and the book will <be> have very nearly as many. It will go to N.Y. next week, and the book is promised as early as Aug. and perhaps earlier. Mrs. E.C. Cowles of Ipswich, has taken charge of the matter, has ordered 1000 copies, and is to have it stereotyped beside.
She has made herself responsible to the publishers, for the entire first cost, and desires us to send our money to her, soon as convenient, drafts <to be> or postal orders, to be made in favor of Eunice C. Cowles. I suppose your books would be sent to West Winsted with those to be distributed by Uncle Marcus and Mrs. Phillips, and perhaps, to avoid sending too many drafts and orders to Mrs. Cowles, it will be best to send your money with theirs. Of course we all have the book at cost, which Mrs. C. thinks will be $1.-- If any of us do not care for so many books as our money would call for, we can leave them in the hands of the Tract Soc. [American Tract Society] to dispose of for Miss Guilford who is not likely to have any adequate return for her labor of love. So you will need to specify whether you wish the full value of the money in books.
If I do not make myself quite clear it will not be strange, as it is late in the evening and I am weary.
Mr. Shurtleff joins me in kind regards to yourself and uncle. We should much like to see you both.
Your affectionate niece
Mary B. Shurtleff
[Note: Papers of Zilpah P. Grant Banister, L.T. Guilford, and Eunice C. Cowles are all at Mount Holyoke College in the Archives and Special Collections.]
Letter 9 -~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~---
Bittersweet Sept 21/’85
For fear of forgetting about Honeysuckle I have sat down right after dinner to say that you can possibly raise them from cuttings but the best & easiest way is to lay down a shoot and cover it lightly with dirt pegging it down with a stick – so that it will stay in place. Ours takes root itself whenever a shoot runs on the ground and we can find one or more rooted most any time. It also grows freely from seed, as we have two or 3 that have come up under the trees where the birds have carried the seeds.
Wish you could have had some of the nice Bartlett pears that we had hard time to give away and eat up. Had 1 ¾ Bushels off of our own trees and John [Cafones?] gave us nearly ½ Bu. They ripened so rapidly that we could not use them all & so gave some away -- & canned all we wanted. All gone now – Some [seakels?] that are good now. We have had some beautiful weather lately and Oh what dust the peach wagons make. The dust fly thickly every afternoon.
I have been pretty [well?] most all summer, was a little out of sorts while Mrs. was away, but not so but that could attend to P.O. had to be there more hours because Carrie could not send out afternoon mail. Chalmers helps [D?] some early mornings and in the evening. We have lost of extra mail in peach time, both letters and circulars –
We expect Mrs. Blair back this afternoon, how long she will stay do not know. Mrs. Brown & Emma are still with us
We had help by the day considerable while Mrs. was away – and got along quite comfortably most of the time. Mrs. Brown seems fond of Sophie and would watch her on the lawn often for Abbie. She is a dear little child very fond of flowers and out door life. We let her run out as much as we can in fine weather.
Has been remarkably cool all summer for a [ …]
Our fair (Agricultural) comes of this week but I fear it will not be large as it is so dusty.
Sorry you do not feel able to care for a cow. We get so much good from ours. For 2 or 3 weeks we sold six dollars worth of cream besides what we used ourselves. Last week churned about 18 lb butter. We milk 3 –2 of them had calves 6 mo ago about. We are raising 2 calves on the skim milk and some cake mean added. Cos. John Capner gave one to Chalmers. The other is Daisy’s 3rd calf. She has given us 3 heifer calves at which we are greatly pleased.
Our crop of Lima Beans has been excellent and we have enough to use daily for some days yet. Raised in garden about 8 or 9 Bu. Potatoes & has several Bu of good apples so that we have bought but 1 Bu since Red Astrachan began to ripen.
Hope Uncle Erastus will not have much Rheumatism as it is hard to bear. I had quite some Sciatica last winter and have a twinge now & then this fall but hope it will not stay by me.
Sorry Uncle E. Can do so little work. Do not know how I could stand it to be so that I could not work considerable out of doors, have always loved garden work and flowers. Have some very pretty roses now and verbenas – Heliotrope China Asters – will be sorry when Jack Frost lays them low.
You report quite a crop of hay. Hay crop here very short. We had 2 ½ acres of Hungarian grass that was good but our old sods were very short & thin. Sophie got into Pantry & stole & eat more than half a Peach this morning before her mother knew it. She has had little tastes before when they were beaching for tea – Min enjoyed her trip to Phila – Cousin T’s people were getting ready to move into a house he has recently purchased.
We had nice visit from Sophie Hill some days ago. We always enjoy having her with us. She is so kind, thoughtful & helpful, and the baby does not seem to forget her from one time to another. Think if you look sharply about the roots of your Honeysuckle you will find some of it rooten.
Now I think this will be enough of an infliction for one time and I will go for some weeds that ought to have been dug up long ago.
Expect some will have twice enough on hand for all such things as no doubt when my time expires in Dec or before. President Cleveland will appoint some good [ …] Democrat in my place.
What then, do not know.
Love from all to both of you and hope you will be comfortable & happy longtime to come.
Don’t you enjoy 1 ounce letters for 2 cents.
Letter 10 -~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~---
Oct. 14th 1885
My dear Mother & Father
Please excuse the red ink, it is so much handier for me to use just now. We have all been pretty well this summer. I did not get over a < …ry> full so as to amount to much till a few weeks ago, and now I am not as strong as I was before. We have had a girl in the kitchen since about the middle of July, a German, has done very well.
Uncle Harmon Burr his wife < f…> Morrison [Ill]?. And Aunt Charlotte Ransom and her husband from Unionville, CT. visited here two or three days in the summer. Uncle Porter also spent a night and part of two days with us. Mr. Bacon who came to be one of Almon’s assistants this year was here a week at the beginning of the term. We have had other people once or twice to stay over night or to means. I have invited company in to supper twice since the term opened, not counting Mr. Bacon who has been in more than that. So you see I don’t have a chance to be lonely. Aunt Ann Burr, Uncle Harmon’s wife is visiting me now she is to stay several weeks. She doesn’t make any trouble at all and helps me a great deal. Carrie is in the High school this year and seems to be getting along easily. Harry is going to school pretty steadily so far. Baby Arthur is pretty well and happy. Almon also is able to do a good deal besides his regular duties, he writes and delivers a lecture every week before the normal class in the academy, and carries on a large Bible study or instruction meeting every Sunday morning with the College students, it really amounts to a little sermon, he did have a Sabbath school class of < … > from 30 to 40 members beside, but he gave that up two or three weeks ago, because he could not stand the strain of quite so much.
I have made a great deal of crabapple jelley, canned some, made some marmalade, put up a good many plums in various ways, and am now putting up some apples and quinces. It does take lots of time. Aunt Ann has helped me with them to-day.
Almon is enjoying his school very much this term. I heard him say not long ago that he had never had a pleasanter school, he enjoys his associates too very much. Mr. Wright we like better and better, and Mr. Bacon is delightful. The man whose place Mr. Bacon takes was not a help.
I have been down town this afternoon and bought some warm red flannels so when it comes cold again, I shall be ready. I have shirts and drawers both.
I don’t believe that I have written a letter this summer since the one I wrote you before except one to Carrie when she was at Lake Geneva. She spent ten days at Lake Geneva with Prof. Whitney’s family.
How have you all been during the summer? And how are Edward’s people? I think of you all often if I don’t write. Those dear little girls how I would love to see them.
I was greatly interested in the plan of your house which you sent. Thank you very much Father for your trouble in making it, and you Mother for your description of furniture &c.
We have bought but little new furniture here a rocking chair or two, some new dining room chairs (cherry) a carpet for the dining room and one for Carrie’s room, table and chair for Almons study and some stoves. I am interested to hear from the Flemington people, hope that I shall get around to write to them some time before long.
Give my love to Edward & Lucy when you see them. I hope that they are enjoying their new home, with much love to you both
Your aff daughter
[In pencil] Please return Ohio letters.
Letter 11 -~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~---
Jan 5, 1886,
Dear cousin Carrie,
We thank you for the Christmas card you sent us, we all think it is very pretty indeed and we like the one you sent grandpa and grandma. We had among us thirty five Christmas cards this year. When I promised to write to you before you went away from our house I did not think I should be two years in redeeming my promise but I hear of you from grandma and I am very sure you hear of us all from her. She says she has told you about the two Christmas entertainments here. I was very glad to be able to go to one of them. I am quite well now and Friday night went to a little reading at Mrs. Rud’s and again last night. Saturday night I went to a Spelling Match at the Hall. Sue, Molly and I with some others go over to Mrs. Ruds once a fortnight to sew for destitute children in Boston, we work about three hours and each one gives five cents once a month. I am knitting a rug now for “take up work” I knit it with twine <on> and use two coarse steel needles—every other row I knit in little pieces of cloth. I have just finished the third strip and shall begin the border. I get on with it so slowly that they sometimes say they do laugh at me and say I shall never be out of “take up work” – it has been on hand a year but I really think we shall be using it before another year. We still belong to the Magazine Club here – there are five members and it only cost two dollars and seventy five cents to belong to the club – we have the Century, Harper’s Monthly, Popular Science and St. Nicholas A <gread>great deal of good reading for that sum we think. I am taking charge of the hens now. I began late this Fall—they have a better place than formerly and are doing unusually well. I get thirty three cents a dozen for eggs. I have not begun to pay for the food yet so of course it is very profitable for me—may not find it so when papa stops supplying. I have twenty one hens and two roosters and hope I can make it profitable as so many people say they do. I tried keeping them once before and got discouraged but perhaps I shall succeed this time as I think the conditions are rather more favorable. I suppose you know that Sam is away from home—we all miss him very much but are glad he is so favorably situated—he keeps in good health and spirits. We think of you very often and wish we could have another visit from you. If you are not too busy please write to me some time.
With much love from all and best wishes for a Happy New Year
Ever your aff. cousin
Letter 12 -~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~---
[envelope addressed to]
Mrs. Caroline Grant
Bolton, Jan 5 ‘86
My Dear Niece, -- As Bessie has written you I will also write and thank you for the very pretty card you sent husband & myself. I intend to send you some Womans Journals before long. I lend them to Mrs. Reed & the Baptist Minister & he don’t return them as I have him liberty to pass them to any one he thought would read them.
I think this year I will have them returned me & I will send some to you if you would like them and perhaps you can get [so … thon?] to read them & get interested in the subject. There is not much enthusiasm on the subject but our two ministers & their families are in favor of Woman Suffrage as are many other<s> intelligent people of both sexes. We had a very interesting lecture in the Hall by a woman that very coldest night of the season thus far. I don’t blame you for not having that address read at your sociable as the cause is not popular in that section & the address would not have been appreciated by the many I presume. What I want is that women should have a better chance in the world & if suffrage will better her condition I am in favor of it. I cannot see why she should not have a voice in the making the laws she is obliged to obey as well as man.
How are the Flemington friends now Have they lost the Post Office?
It is quite late in the night & I must stop writing.
S. J. W.
Letter 13 -~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~---
Beloit Wis. [Wisconsin]
Feb 3rd 1886
My dear Father & Mother,
You are doubtless wondering why you do not hear from us after your good letters, but we have been fully occupied for the past three weeks. Almon has been very <illsy> ill with a low fever seeming somewhat malarial accompanied by nervous prostration brought on the Dr. says by overdoing. He is not able to sit up or move himself much, neither to take much nourishment.
It seems probable that it will take him a long time to recover.
I will attend to sending the check for the interest if Almon is able to sign it. Tomorrow Feb 4th is the anniversary of our marriage., seventeen years.
I have the old red chest for which you have inquired several times. I am sorry that I have forgotten to answer the question before.
I was glad to hear of Edwards family, and feel a great deal of sympathy for Lucy and her people for the loss of their dear son and brother.
I am keeping remarkably well during this sickness. Everyone is kind, and Mr. Bacon is like a son to me in helpfulness and sympathy. I do hope that I may be able to send you word before many days that Almon is better.
With much love to you both,
Your aff daugh.
Abby E.G. Burr
[in pencil] Please return
Letter 14 -~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~---
May 23nd 1886
I am pretty bad about writing to you am I not? My conscience has been troubling me for some time for not writing but I am so lazy about letter-writing that I just let the days go by without doing it.
We are very busy house-cleaning now. Have the third & second stories nearly done. Aunt Hettie’s room is cleaned too. She bought a new carpet for her room and we are going to put the old one in the room over the parlor and in the little dressing room. Chalmers is going to kalsomine & paint his room so it will be some little time before we can get that room to right. Mrs. West is helping with cleaning.
When we are through cleaning Min hopes to go to Waterbury and then to see you if possible.
You did not mention in your letter anything about my money. Will you please tell next time you write what has been done with it. Thank you very much for the trouble you have taken in attending to it for me.
When we looked over the closet in Allies room we found the skirt you spoke about and Min will take it to you when she goes. Allie whishes me to impress it upon your mind that Sophie is, and has been for some time wearing boughten stockings, because we wear all our stockings so closely that even the legs wear out.
Papa intends to write to you soon. Is not feeling well now. Has dyspepsia quite badly.
Sophie went to Church today. She behaved very well, so well that several persons spoke about it. Maggie Mott said to Allie coming out of Church, “Why I didn’t know there was a baby back there. You are bringing her up aren’t you!” Allie said she was trying to.
Sophie is getting to be quite a big girl, goes up and down stairs by herself, and has fed herself at the table for some time. She is full of mischief too.
Will is a real good boy laughs a great deal more than Sophie ever did and sits in his carriage for a long time without fretting. Buttercup, one of the Adderneys, has been sick for over a week. We were very much afraid she would die but she is getting better now. Little Charlie Hyde is growing nicely. Lizzie brought him down the other day. We weighed him and he weighs six pounds and eleven ounces. Give my love to Uncle Daniel and save a large portion for yourself,
Letter 15 -~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~---
Bolton Dec 22 .86
My Dear Niece,
I received yours dated 16th Ins. The next morning after it was mailed. I was very glad to hear from you once more. I had wondered what was the reason you did not write. I feared you might be sick but am glad to know you are able to write & you & husband are in tolerable health. Mary & Bessie were in Boston all last week & did not get home till this week Monday night. There was a Woman Suffrage Bazaar gotten up to raise funds for the cause & to arouse more interest on the subject &c. & there were addresses & speaking & it was quite an interesting occasion & they are glad they went although came home pretty tired especially Mary but she is getting rested. They had some errands, & shopping to do & the stores were crowded (just before Christmas you know).
It was difficult to get to the counters & had to wait a long time for the parcels & the change. They got materials for each of the girls a dress & Bessie a hat & various other things. The Bazaar was open from Monday evng [ … ] Sat evng inclusive. I have seen it stated they netted about $5000. which was doing very well. Sue & Mollie kept house while their mother was gone <b …> but their father & grandma were about & lent a helping hand. They attended school all the time. Sue plays the organ in the High School & she also plays the organ for the Unitarian Church Sundays and she goes to Clinton once a week to take lessons on the Piano. She learns quite easily & is praised. I presume she will go only once more this winter as that will end the quarter.
Amory Bessie Sue & Mollie are down to the Hall this evening. The Baptist Society give an entertainment to get funds for something I don’t know just what. I am glad you could get around & visit your friends & I am very glad to hear of them through you. I thank you for sending the letter from Minnie. I am sorry for them
It cost $4 for you & husband to make your weeks visit. It cost Mary Bessie to go & return from Boston $2.20<4.12> the fare is only 55 cents now. They of course had to pay for board besides. They had a good visit with Sam. He likes them. We expect he will come home to spend Christmas & return Mon. morning. Mr. Wallis has not wholly recovered from his lameness & does not labor at all & I doubt if he ever will be able to do much more . He’s better than he was a month or two ago. He keeps pretty [ …]. If he even goes to the Post Office it makes him worse. He is pretty comfortably sick if he keeps still. I don’t know what is the matter with him. He calls it rheumatism. It is different from any I ever knew about. I guess it is nothing very alarming. He is very careful of himself & is comfortable & has a good appetite but does not eat as much as he might for fear it might not be good for him. He takes Hood’s Sarsaparilla & thinks it is going to purify the blood & cure him. I presume it is as good & harmless as anything he could take. I am unusually well so far this winter. I feel very much better in winter weather. The air is so invigorating to me. Mary’s family are well. In getting out the mittens a month or more ago I found three pairs that our children had outgrown, two pairs I had mended very much but I did not know but they might come right for Edwards children to wear some time so I did them up & when I went to the office I found it would cost but two cents to send them but I concluded I would wait till I got a letter from you & when I answered it I would send them.
I think Mary & children are going to send you some Christmas cards but they are so busy I don’t know as they will get them ready in time but I guess they will. They are to go up to “Grand Pa Haynes’” Christmas. It is nearly 12oclock [mid]night & I must stop writing. I see I have written crookedly. I have written hurredly & cannot see the lines. Write again as soon as you can. I shall be glad to see the book you speak of sending. Thurs. P.M. Bessie [ … ] invited by a friend she met at the Bazaar to go out to Watertown & spend the night with and she went. Had a pleasant time. From there she went to Waltham & spent the day & had a pleasant visit. I furnished the means of this expedition. I want them to have some of the good of my savings while I live & as they need it. They hired a room near Sam’s boarding house for $2.00 a week, & took their meals part of the time at Sam’s boarding place & some times at restaurants & got along comfortably. They also patronized the Bazaar tables which were very nice. Now Mary & the children & meself intend to send you some cards to go out tomorrow morning & Bessie sends some poetry which Sam gave them <it> the covers had become soiled in the store where he is & it was cast aside & Sam saved it. Bessie took off the soiled covers & put on a new cover & painted the ferns & flowers on it but while she was painting it accidentally got laid down on a wet blue brush & made a daub on it but nevertheless as the poetry was so good she decides to send it with the blemish. It probably wan not less than .50 cents when fresh. Now please don’t take the trouble to send us any thing for Christmas or New Years. We would rather you would save yourself the trouble.
Mary & Bessie send a great deal of love. No one else knows of my writing.
S. J. Wallis
Letter 16 -~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~---
Bittersweet Dec 24/ 86
A Merry Christmas to you both if not too late, if so a Happy New Year – Yea both. We are having a spell of damp weather with so little frost in the ground that it was easy to dig up a mess of salsify for dinner this morning.
I have often thought of you & yours since my pleasant visit last fall. Have been in so much better health since my return that there has been no need to take any of that medicine I brought with me. It seems strange that my digestion should become so much better immediately after my return.
The girls have been very busy for several nights and at odd times through the day making picture scrap books on colored muslin for some of the young relations of the family – finished them late last night.
Monday I took a long tramp to get a cedar tree for a Christmas tree for the little folks. Sophie talks a good’eal about a Xmas tree and says St. Nicholas is to bring her a doll. My walk was about 5 miles long, arrived at home about dinner time nearly fagged out but had a nice little tree which will be decorated to night and give great pleasure to Sophie we hope.
Tuesday cut all the Ivy that we could spare on request of Rev. E.K. Smith to trim Episcopal Church at Lambertville.
Yesterday was at the P Office all day in Mr. Poulson [ … ] place while we went to N.Y. Felt quite at home there but was a little green in somethings.
Min’s glasses have not relieved her from headache very much. Does not use them as much as she ought to, but I think her trouble is not altogether with her eyes, fatigue & over exertion has something to do with them. She sometimes worries to carry out her ideal and perseveres beyond her strength of body suffering therefore.
Hope that you are better than when Min left you and that you may have a comfortable winter.
Will has grown very nicely lately and can stand in a corner of the room alone but will not venture to take a step alone. Backward about talking only saying a word or two occasionally and only when it suits him to make the effort.
Chalmer and Allie send you the stockings and the girls the apron. Al says the stockings were the smallest he could get and if do not fit can be changed. Sends her love saying she has not time to write. These little folks take a deal of care and the house work is considerable. We hoped to have help for day to day but could not get any one.
Had a letter from Sam lately in which he speaks of developing a large number of negatives for a Miss Hayden of Waterbury. They were taken by her on a trip to Labrador last summer, and required care & skill in the development as some were not exposed long enough & others too much, having to be developed accordingly. He does it evenings after his regular work is over, will be useful experience for him besides paying him something for his trouble. He says he enjoys sleeping in a comfortable room and not feeling afraid of suffocation from coal gas. When Min was up there she determined to have him sleep in the Prichard House and not in the Lewis gallery.
Sam has recently sent some very good pictures of Carrie taken on his last visit home.
I had a letter from Mrs. Earl lately. She and her sister are keeping house in three rooms in Paris getting their own meals except dinner which they have sent in. Sent us some small photos of some churches &c in her last. She had been to call on a friend living in good style and says sometimes the desire to enjoy the luxuries of byegone days is strong but it soon gives way to contentment ( says ( I was born happy and inte[n?]d to live happy & die so. And I hope it may be so.
Aunt Soct[ . . .] is better of her sore eyes that she brought home form Vineland but has had a severe cold for a few days [that?] is better now. Is expecting to make another visit to Vineland in February on account of an expected event in Charles’s family.
I miss regular employment now that there is so little that can be done out of doors, and get weary sometimes of enforced idleness. Have been so used for so many years of regular daily work that it worries me not to have it to do.
Chores are pretty plentiful part of the time. We have now 7 cows to take care of (expect to sell one next month) and one calf, give them warm water and keep in stable most of the time. Milk four one fresh, just bought and we think a good one gives 12 qt.milk a day – sell 4 ½ qt milk daily for 6 c. qt and lately have been selling most of our cream for 18 ct qt. Sold 15 qt yesterday for ice cream and will sell all we have this week, after the holiday the demand for cream will fall off, but the cream now is worth about the same to churn as best butter is 32c. We have nice turkey in cellar for tomorrow and are looking forward to a pleas feast. Hope you & Edward’s family will have a pleasant day together. We are going to have but little present giving, except to the children. Not feeling able to spend much money except on necessities. Lately bought a Bbl of sugar (granulated, for 6 ¼ c per pound. The cheapest Bbl of sugar we ever bought.
Allie has made some very nice cream candies and some fruit & nut candies, also chocolate creams. We do not give candy except just a taste to Sophie and she has had very little so far in her life. Tell Ed’s wife that we have enjoyed maple sirup on Jersey buckwheat cakes made from the block of sugar she gave Min. We have not had any good Sleighing this winter so far. Just finished covering my strawberries with leaves the day before first snow fell. We have one Cala Lily just opening and our Mexican vines are reaching towards to window tops.
Love from all