November 18, 1866 letter to Sarah Keith from Prosper Crawford

November 18, 1866

To: Sarah Keith   

From: Prosper Crawford, Oshkosh, WI

There is no work for him this winter so he and mother can’t stay through the winter. She will go visit Aunt Jane for awhile. Mentions Robert. Didn’t know Lois’ husband had died.

1866-11-18 1866-11-18D 1866-11-18C1866-11-18D

Oshkosh, Nov 18th, 1866[1]

Sister Dear

It becomes my pleasant duty to again write you how we are getting along in this world of selfishness and record the various changes incident to ourselves of which I have no doubt will be interesting to you. Mother[2] has informed you that we intend to break up for the winter. Such, I am sorry to say, is the case for my Employers are not certain they can furnish me work this winter and as all other Lumber mills and Factories suspend Labor during the winter season it precludes the possibility of our remaning here this winter and again everything[3] . . . we consume is very dear . . . unless I have steady employment we could hardly keep up . . . at least it will cost . . . to break up in the . . . than it would could we remain. I am sorry on Mothers account and as Roberts[4] Family are going in the woods she would either be obliged to board out or live with some of the relation, however, she thinks of making Aunt Jane[5] a visit and will conclude what to do thereafter. Mother health is as good as it usualy is, though she complains of her stomach frequently and numerous other ailments common to her but on the whole I think she enjoys herself as well here as aney other place this side of Heaven. As for me I have excellent good health and when I set down to a meal of victuals I have not to . . . sup for a coming appetite . . . and as I furnish my own . . . have what I want to eat and . . . what I want and it taint not . . . your buisiness neither now. Robert . . . gone in the woods to build his Camp prepairatory to the moving of his Family and the commencement of buisines. They are all well. I intend to work for Robert. Mother has received her hood and she happy over that. I did not know that Lois’s[6] husband[7] was Dead untill lately. Mother told me. I was very much surprised. He was always so healthy but his ambition I fear led him to an untimely grave. Lois has my sympathy. It is a pretty hard row to hoe but I think she has the courage and ability to hoe it if she has her health. I cannot as I intended visit Mich this Fall or winter . . . circumstances done seem . . . aney such proceeding . . . I would go yet if mother . . . kneed money for I would . . . to see you all first rate. . . . would like it if Luke[8] would come out here and go in the woods with me and Rob. I think we could put some flesh on his old Bones by spring if he fats easy. Well Sarah Ime done. Pay my respects to my Friends when you see em. LPC

My Dear little Niece Nancy[9]

I am going to tell you that I think you are somebody worth writing to for I read all your nicely written and well composed letters to your Grandmother. I am very glad to learn you are taking Music lessons. I expect you and Ethen[10] will become expert Musicians. Well I hope you will. I cannot come to see you this Fall but when I do we will have an old time together. In the meantime I want you to learn all you can. Take good care of your health. Be an awful good girl and write me often. Tell my sweet Hannah[11] to write me a letter for a kiss when I see her.

From your Uncle L. P. Crawford

[1] It is believed this letter was written in 1866 as the 8-20-66 and 10-13-66 letters refer to the “hood,” which is referenced further down in this letter

[2] Nancy (Comfort) Crawford Betts

[3] The top corner of the letter was torn away, so words are missing. In all instances ellipses (. . .) are used to indicate missing portions

[4] Robert Crawford, Pros’ brother

[5] Jane (Comfort) Nelles Sunderlin, Nancy Betts’ sister

[6] Charles Luke Keith Jr.’s daughter by his first wife, Minerva Payson

[7] Byron Clark, who died December 25, 1865

[8] Charles Luke Keith Jr, Sarah’s husband

[9] Nancy Keith, Sarah’s daughter

[10] Ethan Keith, Sarah’s son

[11] Hannah Keith, Sarah’s daughter


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: November 18, 1866 letter to Sarah Keith from Pros Crawford – Letters & Diary Entries From the 1860s

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