Letter 1 ~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~---
Beloit Wis. [Wisconsin]
Jan 1. 1888.
My dear Grandma:
This is the very first letter I have written in the year eighteen hundred & eighty eight.
How we all hope you & Grandpa & all those dear ones you love will have a "Happy Happy New Year." I have just come home from dinner, over to Miss Holmer & now am so full of their great turkey and other good things. Miss H. slipped a dainty handkerchief into my pocket before I came home. so you see things have not stopped coming yet. Grandma we are indeed blessed with such good neighbors to help us on while the "Lights" from home are gone.
Oh Grandma! what a nice warm quilt. It was the largest present I received & how I do prize & enjoy it. Often it is used now on my little bed which is down stairs. I pretend sleeping down here is to keep off burglars but really because it is so much easier for me to get up in the morning & light the fire & get things started for breakfast. Once in a while a friend of mine comes down to sleep with me, & then to do honor to the occasion I bring out my wonderful quilt. & after it has been duly admired we cuddle up under it as "warm and snug as two bugs in a rug."
Grandma I thank you so so much for that & the antique box, I like those old boxes inlaid in that way. Hal has not seen his things for Mamma did not wish the barrel to be opened till she came home. but he sends thanks just the same for he knows tis something nice if you sent it.
That old wrapper was just what I wanted to put on in the morning. although it trails behind & it trails before.
Everything is going on well here, to be sure I don't keep it half as clean as it ought to be or as I want to, nor am I a success in the cooking line or the wash line, the mending line or the study line but my forte lies in the nothing accomplished line.
Grandma I am fairly scared when I think that I am getting so near being a young lady. I do my hair up on the top of my head & my dresses are getting constantly longer.
Mrs. Prof. Emerson had a Freshman Party to which I was invited Grandma she is such a beautiful woman in all ways. She has taken me under her wing & does much for me. I am asked to all her companies, to all lectures given at her home by her self & others. Now by her kind invitation I have joined a Browning Club. & though every one in them is a great deal older than myself. yet I enjoy the meetings exceedingly. She has sent up some of her delicious preserves & is always doing those little pleasant things that make life so much easier & happier to others. They have been in Chicago for the Holidays, & I have had their bird & Grandma on top of all her other goodnesses she brings me a Christmas remembrance from Chicago.
We do hope those shoes will be just what you wished for, & that they will keep your feet just as warm -- as -- warm as -- toast, the right kind of toast of course. It has snowed & snowed & still snows and blows. We hope the picture we sent Aunt Lucy did not get all smashed up.
Santa Claus showered his gifts upon us as usual. I did not make much this time but ordered some photographs from Boston & then mounted them, giving those instead: to all my friends. You would have laughed however if you could have seen the big tinker a<r>pron I made Papa. & the monkey wrench Hal gave him to go in one of the good sized pockets.
Grandma dear I would like to write lots more but I have so many others who have been waiting a long while to hear from me among others my mother. How are Aunt Lucy & the Babies? do you see them very often? & do you & Grandpa manage to keep wa[r]m and comfortable this cold winter weather?
With love to yourself & Grandpa. I am
C. Lynette Burr
Letter 2 -~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~---
[Addressed to:] Mrs. Daniel Grant
Riverton Conn. [Connecticut]
May 17th 1888.
My dear Mrs. Grant.
Your letter was duly received. I was truly glad to hear from you. I suppose you have seen Mrs. Hyde before this and learned something of our troubles. It was four weeks ago to-day that Mr [Nute?] was taken down sick. and it is impossible for him to go down stairs yet. Although he is better, and is dressed to-day, lying down and sitting up as he feels best. In the mean time after getting worn out with constant care by day and by night I was taken down very sick with sore throat and severe pain throughout my whole system. I was unable to sit up had severe pain in my throat, and violent headache. had no faith or courage to resist the disease consequently when the Dr. came in let him prescribe for me, and took his medicine without feeling in the least condemmed for so doing.
Next Frank came down with it, and all the children have had a time of it. Josephine is still very badly off. her neck is badly swollen, and she is a sick looking child. the Doctor says it is a disease that is epidemic all around here. We have had no sickness before this winter and it has all come inside of the time of Mrs. Hyde's being here Lizzie's confinement and all, she is doing well now, but her babe is very cross. cries a great deal.
I hope Mr. [Nute?] will be able for us to go home next week, but he gains so slowly I do not know. We need your prayers -- I have not been able to remember your son at the appointed hour since Mr. [Nute?] was sick. but will at different times as I may have opportunity. Remember Mr. [Nute?] in your prayers. My son seems to have the continual presence of the Holy Spirit. and especially when he preaches. God has and is greatly blessing him with peace and joy. May he be led out in just the way the Lord chooses to lead him is my desire. He is inclined to the Evangelistic work. feels God is calling him to it. We have a woman come in and work by the hour some days. and everything along as well as we can. Miss Mrs. Hyde. remember us kindly to her if you see her Frank did not have time to call on you the day he carried her home got home that eve -- about 9'oclock? in the heavy rain storm.
Mr. [Nute?] sends much love to you and Mr Grant. all the family unite with me in sending love. It is growing warmer here to-day. I think the weather has much to do with the feelings of an invalid like Mr. [Nute?]. cloudy weather is rather depressing.
We have not seen any arbutus this Spring. They say it does not grow around here. Should like to see you both before we go home, but hope to hear from you soon, and write us what success you have in getting a minister.
Letter 3 -~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~---
Beloit Wis. [Wisconsin ]
June 12th 1888.
My dear Mother,
I never felt certain that I was bennefitted. since returning home I find that I am no better than I was before I went away. The rest & quiet did me good. but I came home too soon. I could not have stayed longer for Carrie was giving out & Henry needed me. We now have a good girl & I hope that she will stay with us.
I have just been having quite a sick time, which is my excuse for not sending Uncles letter before.
The summer thus far is cold, but not very wet we are needing rain very much.
I am very sorry that you are so lame, hope that your arm is well by this time. It is too bad that you & father suffer so much from rheumatism. I think of you often. hope that your foot wont get worse.
The barrel was not unpacked until I came home. every thing in good order. not a thing broken or cracked by the journey. they are all very much pleased with the blue ware.
Almon seems better than usual this year. His department had just had it graduating exercises this evening. They report that the boys did very well. We are hoping to get Carrie off to school somewhere this next year. Where has not been absolutely determined upon yet. Carrie is very miserable this summer. so is Harold. Arthur is well & happy as usual.
Please remember me to Mrs Richardson & Mrs. Ticknor. also Mrs. Howell. Was glad to hear of Edward's people. Hope that this year will be a better one for them. Just a few things to day, that were Arthurs.
With love to you both,
Your aff daughter
Abby E.G. Burr.
Letter 4 -~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~---
Bolton, June 19, .88 (Tues a.m.
My very Dear Carrie,
I received your most welcome letter & letters last Sat. evening. I should be most happy to accept your cordial & urgent invitation to visit you & meet the New Haven friends. I should love to see you all, but it would seem a great undertaking if it were expedient but I rather think I could do it in present health & strength if it were best.
The addition to Mary's part is now being built which of course brings care & labor & with that & all the rest we have to do & see to we have just as much as we all can attend to. Tomorrow the 20th of June the (anniversary of Mary's & my marriage) the Unitarian society have a strawberry festival in which Sue <& Mother> takes part in a comedy in the evening which is one of the attraction, entitled "Snow Bound" There will be Select Readings Banjo Solos & songs, There will be strawberries Ice cream & cake. In conclusion there will be a social dance, which Sue & Mollie will enjoy most of all, as will most of the young people. Bessie never dances. We all expect to go & hope to have an enjoyable time. I like to see dancing & hear the Violin & always did. except a time when I thought it was wicked to dance which I do not think so now any more than parties where they play the "needle's eye" &c or games & the like A white dress has got to be finished for Sue for tomorrow evening besides many other things to be done, Sam came home Sat. Eveng 17th of June being a Holiday in Boston & coming on Sunday this year Monday was observed. We had quite a good visit with him He returned this morning, He likes & is liked & I think has no longing to get back into the country to live but he likes to come home on a visit & has not missed of coming every Holiday but one, Expects to come home the Fourth, We are all invited up to "Grand La Haynes' the Fourth. I presume if the weather is favorable we shall all or some of us go from there to Clinton in the evening or some part of the day to see the display there. Our addition is 20 by 22 feet which gives a good sized kitchen & pantry in which the kitchen there will be a pump & cupboards the upper part is to be done off in one large sleeping room & a clothes room. We are all much pleased with it. It will cost considerable. The children all like it & want it. It is built at Mary's & my expense & we have the planning of it & feel that it is planned to as good advantage as possible considering the location of our main building & grounds.
I have thought of you many times <this> long back & imagined you were having repairs made on your building & knew it must be hard for you both with your not very good health but I had no idea you were both suffering so much with rhuematism. I trust you will get better fast as the warm weather increases, I am very well & have no pain to speak of but I find as the warm weather comes on it tires me very much to excercise. We are all very well but have enough to do to keep us tired
Thurs. morning before six oclock. The strawberry Festival passed off nicely. I wish you could have seen how prettily Sue looked & did her part in the comedy & how pretty she looked dancing. The white dress was finished, but it showered in the afternoon & was cool in evening she concluded not to wear it & wore another dress which was very becoming. We all went & staid through it all & got home about 12 oclock. The Hall was filled Mollie was dressed in white & danced. No one in the house is up but myself. Mary told me to send a great deal of love from her to you & the New Haven friends <give> I am glad they can visit you if I cannot which I should be, most happy to do if constant & all have a good visit together, I am glad Cornelia feels able to undertake the visit Please give my love to them all & accept much for your self. I hope to get this in office this morng,
Letter 5 -~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~---
[Addressed to:] Mrs. Daniel Grant
July 19th 1888.
My dear Mrs. Grant.
Your most welcome letter came to hand to-day, noon. I've been thinking a good deal about you of late, and yesterday you came before me very vividly while alone with God, also your husband and son. my mind went back to last winter when I met your son at your home, and I wondered if he had not yet become a christian. It is sad to think of his suffering and of the afflictions of his nearest and dearest friends on account of his illness. This passage came to me forcibly yesterday, "In all their affliction he was afflicted and the Angel of his presence saved them: in his love and in his pity he redeemed them; &c." Isaiah. 63:9.
It was very comforting to me to think that if God sees it best to permit afflictions to come to us to refine and purify and santify us. Still he is with us in those afflictions and is himself afflicted, showing how dear we are to him. Even as the apple of his eye. Yes! "he sits as a refiner and purifier of silver." I've read an illustration of this passage in Malachi. 3.3. The refiner of silver or gold sits watching while it is in process of refining, till he can see his face reflected in it as in a mirrorr. then he know the fire has purged away the dross.
How often I've thought of this when God has sent some severe trial or affliction upon me, that he must see much in me that is like the dross in the lump of gold or silver, and of late I've been made to feel it: for one thing after another has come to lay me low beneath the chastening rod. During the last few months I have been greatly afflicted in my health. I got very much exhausted during Mr [Nute's?] illness and came home in a low state of health my head troubled me, and I was not able to do much then after a few weeks just as I began to gain my usual strength and to feel like myself I had a fall which proved to be a serious injury to my spine. I got upon a chair one night just before retiring, to kill musquitoes on the wall with my slipper and as I was getting down I must have let go the back of the chair too soon it tipped forward and the back of it came with such force against my chest as to cause me to fall backward and the chair followed me. I screamed, but was unable to get up. Mr [Nute?] had just gone to be and jumped and took me up. I could hardly breathe and was so sore for three weeks I could not draw a breath without feeling it hurt me across my chest. Now it has located in the spine of my back opposite and I can assure you I've suffered exceedingly. There is no return of my former local trouble of which I was healed in New. M-- I believe the Lord permitted this to come to me for some wise purpose. I been severely tested you know. Hannah Whitehall Smith says "there are no second causes God's hand is in every event of our lives. If he chose he could so surround us, and envelope us by his presence that nothing could touch us, but he chooses to stand aside to let the trial of affliction come to us."
So looking at it in this light whatever he chooses to send us, or permit to come to us he designs for our good, and we should submissively bow beneath the rod, and cheerfully bear the crosses, as our dear saviour bore his cross for us. I have sought thus to do, and to bear patiently all the afflictions that have come to me, feeling that, "He knows best," and I want to be wholly sanctified, and made for the masters use meet.
In relation to your dear son you and others had been praying for him and can you not see, and do you not feel that this is God's way of answering prayer for him? Read Deuteronomy 7.9. He that hath promised is faithful he is not slack concerning his promises
2nd) Our prayers are often answered in a way so different from what we expect that we are surprised. God has heard and treasured up every prayer that has come from his dear Mothers burdened heart, Yes they have come up as sweet incense upon his alter, and every tear which you have shed has been bottled up. Psalms 56.8.
I remember your son said last winter when I told him how you and I had often prayed together for his conversion he said "Well, you say you have prayed for me and that God answers prayer, then why am I not a Christian?" Oh! may he give his heart to Jesus now without further delay. I trust he has, but God alone can assure him of the state of his heart. If he does fully trust in Jesus, the Spirit will witness with his spirit that he is accepted. I will pray for this I am glad you wrote me that so many have been praying for him for when a soul is to be converted I believe God stirs up the hearts of several to offer prayer. I believe a few hearts have been burdened a long time, and I have felt that God would answer your prayers.
Oh! that my husband would give himself to the Lord. Pray that he may, you and Mr. Grant. I do hope that your son may soon recover and come out a bright decided Christian. July 23. I did not close my letter last Sat. so I will write a few lines today. We just rec- a letter from our Son and wife. they think they will come to N.H. next month, she will visit her folks in Goshen, then come here. Frank will spend the most of his time here with Marrion and Sammie. The committees of both churches have given Frank a call to stay another year if Rev. Mr. [Irvis?] whom they called soon after <we came> he resigned does not accept, but Frank has only engaged to supply for awhile till they get some one, he says the spiritual interest is increasing in Riverton. and more are coming out to the pr- meetings and taking part. I have felt that his prayers for that place would be answered in Gods time and way. Mr. Nute's health is pretty good he has not much appetite and is not able to do anything only a few chores, lies down often and feels weak. I have a good girl that I brought from Lynn with me, a Nova. Scotia girl. I hope my health will be better soon. Give our regards to Mr. Grant we should like to see you both. We shall feel anxious to hear how your dear son gets along. I truly <sympathize> sympathise with you and Mr. Grant also with your son and family. Please give my love to Mrs. Hyde tell her I Shall not forget how kind she was to make broths for Mr. Nute. My kind remembrances to Amy and all who may inquire. May you have the gifts of the Holy Spirit to sustain you during these trying scenes and the joy of yet seeing your dear boy a consecrated Christian is my earnest prayer.
(Mrs.) S. F. Nute
P.S. Shall be pleased to hear from you any time, and hope you will inform us soon how your son is. I shall feel very anxious. I know how your hearts are burdened for him, but trust in God. All will be well.. I send this leaflet for your son.
Letter 6 -~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~---
[Addressed to:] Daniel Grant Esq.
Oberlin. Ohio. Aug. 14. '88.
Dear Uncle and Aunt,
It is a very short time before our evening mail closes, but I will try to write a short letter, that you may learn as early as possible of our safe arrival. It was not a mistake to leave in the rain, for we suffered almost no inconvenience from it, and the driver said the roads were improved. Before we reached Great Barrington the sun peeped out a little. We changed cars, without delay, at Van Deusen, waited for forty minutes at State Line, and reached Albany at one o'clock, where we were delayed till the express train left, at 3 o'clock. This brought us home very rapidly, without stopping any where more than 15 minutes. We took a sleeping berth <at> from Syracuse to Cleveland. The lunch you put up so nicely, relished well. We did not need a great deal beside it, for the entire journey.
We could not have had a pleasanter day for a ride on the cars. There was no heat and no dust, as the rain had been abundant along the whole line.
Mr. Shurtleff has not yet returned, and a letter, just received, informs us that we must not expect him before the last of the week. I shall not forget the business with which uncle charged me.
Laura is well, and glad to see us and come home again. May bore the journey well. She and Laura both send love.
My thoughts often turn to Edward, and I shall hope to hear from you at your convenience, in regard to his health -- and also that the strong desire of your hearts that his long illness may be blessed to his spiritual good, has been realized.
I have no time to write nicely, but will you please excuse, and believe me ever
Your affectionate niece
Mary B. Shurtleff.
Letter 7 -~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~---
[Addressed to:] Daniel Grant Esq.
Oberlin. O. [Ohio] Sep. 26th '88.
Dear Uncle and Aunt,
You will be interested to know of Theodore's nomination to Congress from the 21st district, last Saturday. I send you a Cleveland paper containing a notice of it. I am mailing to Uncle Marcus another, containing a sketch, not altogether accurate, of his life. I had only the one copy of either paper, but if you think it worthwhile, you and Uncle M. can exchange, as I have suggested to him.
Our daughter Laura is passing through the ordeal which Edward has been called to endure. She is having typhoid fever. The fever has now run its course, the end of the third week having been reached on Sabbath, but her condition is still extremely critical, as she is very weak, and has no relish for nourishment. We fear also a recurrence of the bowel trouble, which has been kept in check by injections of laudanum, but is liable, I suppose, to wear her out, before it is cured. Since the fever left her, she has been more wandering in mind than before, and to me the most pitiful feature of the case is her utter lack of understanding her condition. Do pray for us, that we may be prepared for what is before us.
We have used every human agency for her recovery. Dr. Allen has been in constant attendance, and had the counsel of Dr. Noble for a week, when the fever was highest. We have had five and six calls a day, sometimes, and uniformly four. Dr. Allen thinks she is better now, but is anxious she should show less nervousness and wandering of mind.
May and Mr. Shurtleff have both been ill with bowel trouble, but are better. In fact the house is a good deal of a hospital, and we are doing nothing, thinking of nothing, but the care of the sick, Please tell Abbie when you write, of our condition. I am owing her for a good letter, and she ought to know what hinders my writing, since I came home.
A daughter of Libbie Grant Hurford has just been married to a Mr. Nichols of this place, and the bridal pair are expected at the home of the bridegroom's parents about this time.
Excuse want of care in writing. I am sitting up into the "wee small hours", with Laura, while the nurse gets some rest.
I was sorry to hear that Edward had had a relapse. Give my love to him and family, and tell him that I know now, better than when I saw him, what typhoid fever means!
Your affectionate niece
Mary B. Shurtleff.
[written across first page in pencil] Wednesday morn.
The Doctor pronounces Laura's symptoms favorable, and she is more nearly rational.
Letter 8 -~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~---
[Addressed to:] Mrs Daniel Grant
Flemington NJ [New Jersey] Oct 30 1888
Your last letter made me feel somewhat ashamed of my long silence but I thought you were getting most of the news from the others -- I have been for a little over a month here in McEmery's office looking after the collection of the accounts on the Books amounting to something over 14,000 Dollars. Have sent out last week over 200 statements, and people have been coming in lately to pay, and see about their accounts. It feels like old times to be writing and adding up the accounts --
Have a very pleasant office, and a man they have here looks after the fires. sweep out &c-
I get 35 Dollars a Month for my services and come here at 1/2 past nine, have an hour or a little more for dinner and quit at 1/2 past 4 At first came up evenings for an hour but since selling out the Lumber Yard, only come occasionally when one of the Executors want to see me. My health has been quite good this fall and rheumatism much less than last spring & summer and am feeling the good effect of my long rest last July. How I did enjoy it and would very much liked to have made it two months instead of one --
Allie came home from Phila Monday -- was there about 2 weeks having a good rest and visit. Did not have the children with her as we thought the rest would be better if she had not them to care for --
Chalmers went down Saturday noon taking the two children with him and they returned as stated - Al was also in N York for a week some time ago and Sophie with her --
We get along comfortably with the [Sulphin's?] thus far -- though we cannot find any regular help. we can get good help by the day -- for ironing cleaning sweeping &c -- Have had to churn 3 o 4 times a week lately until this week, this week we have sold 30 or more quarts of cream --
The apple crop has been very good here this fall -- one man near town had about 2000 bushels and Mr [Hulsizer?] went up home and picked apples for us. we get them for 40 c a bushel and his Father gave him 2 o 3 bl for the children --
Politics are the chief excitement here at present and we will all be glad when it is over -- The Democrats in this County are very much divided on County Officer, and, 2 o 3 times lately we have beaten them -- we have some hopes of Harrison & Mortons election but can bear the disappointment if it comes --
Have had a very unusually wet fall and it has been hard work to do anything on the ground, We are almost through with fall cleaning, and Aunt H is looking forward to a visit to Vineland to see the new boy baby there. Will probably be away several weeks --
Am sorry to hear of Edwards long continued sickness. It must be a great trial and loss to him Hope he will have no more fall backs and eventually be able to make up the lost time. was glad to hear that he had some pecuniary help from some source -- When you see any of them give them my love & sympathy -- We are all sorry that we are to lose Mrs Anne Pierce, as a neighbor. She goes to New York with her sister Julia, and there will be more of the family at the old homestead. Of late years she has been a very fine and pleasant woman -- Her knee is still somewhat weak & stiff yet so that it is some trouble to go up & down stairs --
We picked some pretty roses this morning and our Chrysanthemum are just opening nicely
All Mr Emerys children will Miss the old home. They came here every summer to put up their fruit and they are packing now barrel after barrel of canned fruit for the different families They will divide most of the household foods so that there will be but little of it sold at public sale --
Am sorry to hear that you are so weak & miserable and advise you to take life as easily as possible as you have earned the right to rest and should do as much as you can --
Our new Furnace works very nicely and it is very little trouble to take care of the main thing is the ashes -- Do you still keep your cow or have you decided that it was more of a chore than a luxury -- Tell Uncle D, to take care of himself and not to forget to keep the stove warm this winter
Laye Democrat meeting to be here this afternoon & Fred Douglas speaks here tomorrow evening --
[written at head of first page]All the folks except myself were at church entertainment to raise Missionary funds -- Gleaners were the active parties and the attendance was good. Have not heard how much they took in --