May 27, 1863 letter to Sarah Keith from Edwin Crawford

May 27, 1863

To: Sarah Keith, Galesburg, MI

From: Edwin Crawford, Burlington, IA

Edwin is telling his sister, Sarah, that he has written their Mother and sent a five dollar note, which he hopes will arrive before she departs for Canada. He is now living in East Burlington, Illinois, where he has accepted a position as foreman of the locomotive shops for the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad. There were some strange faces and whispering among the men in the shop when he first arrived, but he seems to be gaining their good will.

Burlington Iowa May 27th – 1863

Dr Sister[1]

I received your letter with Mothers[2] Likeness and was glad to hear from you and Luke[3]. I mailed a letter to Mother the Day befour I received yours with a Five Dollar note[4] in it. I hope Mother will get it before she leaves for Canada.[5] I will send my Likeness as soon as I have an oppertunity. I cant send it to Mother for I dont know what part of Canada she will stop in so if I have no further Notice I will send it to you.  I received a Dispatch in march to come hear and Drive an engine. As soon as I arrived hear the Master Machinist wanted me to take the Foremanship of the Locomotive Shops at East Burlington, Illinois, the termination of the CB.&.Q RR.[6] I hesiteated for a while but finely concluded I would take it. So he gave me my passes and I started for Est. Burlington, my new home. When I arrived their I see nothing but strange faces. I heard some whipsering thats our new Boss and evry boddy was gaping at me – but still I carried a stiff upper lip, and read my letter of introduction and instructions to those I have in charge witch seemed to be satisfactory, and since that time I have started to please and gain the good will of all the men witch I believe I have accomplished and they have an idea that I know more than they Do. It is verry Dry hear, and quite sickly. I was very sick for a Week with the Billious Fever. I have gained strength since my illness. So I feel quite well at present. If you get any track of Hiram[7] give me his address. 

Sister I send my Love to you and Mr Keith. No more at present. Direct your letters to Burlington, Iowa.

From your Brother E. W. Crawford
Foreman – at
East Burlington – Illinois
Locomotive Shops


[1] Sarah (Crawford) Keith, Edwin’s older sister

[2] Nancy (Comfort) Crawford Betts

[3] Charles Luke Keith Jr., Sarah’s husband

[4] $98 in 2017 dollars

[5] Nancy was most likely going to Canada, where she grew up, to visit relatives

[6] Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad

[7] Their brother, Hiram Crawford Jr.

3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: May 27, 1863 letter to Sarah Keith from Edwin Crawford – Letters & Diary Entries From the 1860s
  2. Trackback: Additions | Crawford/Comfort Family Letters
  3. Trackback: Additions – Letters & Diary Entries From the 1860s

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