August 24, 1878 letter to Hannah Keith from Louese Keith

August 24, 1878

To:  Hannah Keith, Galesburg, MI

From: Louese Keith, Chicago, IL

A general discussion about Louese’s wardrobe. Aunt Bell has gone to Wisconsin.

1878-08-24 1878-08-24B 1878-08-24C 1878-08-24D 1878-08-24E 1878-08-24F 1878-08-24x

Chicago     Aug 24/78

Miss Hannah Keith

Business Letter

Dear Sister

As this is Saturday Evening and the house is quiet I will take my pen in hand to address a few lines to you. Aunt Kate & Uncle Hi[1] have gone to Choir meeting & the children are in bed so you see there is nothing to hinder me from doing so. Of course, you observed at the beginning of this letter that it was a “business” that prompted me to write as soon as this. The door bell has rung.

Sunday Afternoon. I went down & opened the door. The caller was Maurice. He had been here about 5 minutes when Misses Jessie & Lillie Murphy, John Perry & Walter Pritkin came. “They staid until the gentleman & lady came home.” Walter Pritkin’s sister made a birthday surprise party for him a week ago last Monday Evening. I went, enjoyed my self hugely. The dress I wore was muslin made with elbow sleeves & of course with my arms painted & Aunt Kates bracelets on I looked fine. Uncle Hi gave me a dollar to get my ribbons with. I got six yards of red. The dress looks fine (trimmed in embroidery ruffles & tucks). It is only overskirt & basque. Of course that is all very fine but when a person has not got a pair of drawers to wear it is not quite so fine. Uncle Hi & Jessie[2] are going to Galesburg next month & if Ma[3] can scare up a yard & a half of something to make me a pair of drawers I wish she would do so. Then if you have got an old pair of corset that you have thrown in the rag bag please wash them & send the two articles by Uncle Hi. My flannel drawers I wore out before the winter was over & I have worn the other ones every since then. I can take one pair & mend the other then wear them til you send me the new ones & I will wear those until I come home. Gloves are something else but I can get along with them. Aunt Kate has not got me a pair since March & their being light of course they are not fit to be seen. She has had 4 pair that I know of but then it is not to be wondered at as she has got a bay window in front of her which will open in Dec. Then perhaps things will be different but I doubt it. She is as cross as a bear & wont do a thing. I have to do all the work & then sit down & run the machine (she has got a new one) & make her babys clothes. She says that she wants twins. I asked her who would take care of them. She said you, of course. I will learn you to change them & wash their squares. I told her that I did not know how & I would not learn. She said all right (hope she will remember it).

Now Hannah I have written this to you while you are at Nancys[4] so that Ma will not see it for it will make her feel bad & she has enough to think of now. Dont you tell grandma[5] about Aunt K’s condition[6] until after Uncle Hi has been there for she would speak of it & of course he would tell his wife just as soon as he got back then she would take my head right off. If you & Nancy think best to let Ma see this (& Lois[7] excuse me for leaving you out) tell her not to say a word to Uncle Hi about my clothes for the letter she wrote to him last winder made a stiff breeze here although I have never said any thing about it before. I will tell you all about it at some future day.

Aunt Bell[8] as gone to Wis. I helped her the last three days she was here. I have not seen Gene[9] in two weeks but will see him as soon as possible & ask him. Ed Smiths Father was killed in New York a week ago last Wed. Was buried one week ago to day.

Now remember corset & drawers if you possibly can send them to me. Aunt Kate is a sight worth seeing (better come up & see the show).

[Unsigned, but it is Louese Keith’s handwriting]


[1] Hiram and Katherine (Atchinson) Crawford

[2] Jessie Crawford, Hiram and Kate’s second child

[3] Sarah (Crawford) Keith

[4] Nancy (Keith) Brown, Louese’s sister

[5] Nancy (Comfort) Crawford Betts

[6] Kate was pregnant with her youngest child, Blanche, who was born in 1879

[7] Louese’s stepsister Lois (Keith) Clark Skinner, daughter of Charles Luke Keith Jr. by his first wife, Minerva Payson

[8] Isabella (Steele) Crawford, wife of Louese’s uncle Lucius Prosper Crawford

[9] Louese’s cousin, Eugene Crawford, son of Louese’s uncle Edwin Crawford

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June 10, 1878 letter to Hannah Keith from Louese Keith

June 10, 1878

To:  Hannah Keith

From: Louese Keith, Chicago, IL

A general discussion about Louese’s wardrobe.

Chicago     June 10, [1878?][1]

Dear Sister Hannah

I recieved Mas[2] letter two weeks ago to day. Thought then that I would sit right down & write to you but something happened to prevent me from doing so at the time. So I kept putting it off thinking well when night comes I will write but then the boys & girls would come for me to go some where & of course I would not think of writing or any thing else as long as I was going (on a tear) so I have made up my mind that if you ever hear from me I will have to take time to write to you and as I am going to the dressmakers this morning I take this opportunity of writing so that I can mail it to day. Uncle Hi[3] rec’d a letter from Grandma[4] last Saturday saying that Aunt Patty[5] was at our house. Give her my love & tell her she must not leave until I get there to see her. Also that you looked for me home most any day now. Well I can not say positively when I will leave Chicago. Miss Kemper, the dressmaker, is sick & can do no work for me until next week but as I have got considerable sewing to do yet in the way of underclothes & calico dresses I presume she will have my other things done by the time I am through with my work so she will not detain me. There is one thing I would like & that is to be in C–[6] until after the 4th for us young folks will have a high time then if nothing happens & they are all very anxious that I should stay until then (say nothing to Uncle Hi about it). Now Hannah I am going to talk trunk again. Tell Ma that I do not know what to do. The trunk I have will not hold one quarter of my things & if I go to South Bend & Dowagiac I will have to have a larger trunk any way so now what shall I do? I do not want Ma to say any thing to Uncle Hi about it because he is getting me lots of things now & is so good that it would be mean to ask him for any thing. She spoke of borrowing Aunt Kates[7] trunk but she has got her furs & winter clothes packed away in there so I would not want to ask her for it. Ma said that I could take yours if there was any way of getting it to me. Now I do not know as you could do this but if there was any one coming here from the Burg[8] could’nt you send it by them. I just speak of this but I do not know as it could be done.

[Unsigned, but it is Louese Keith’s handwriting]

[1] This is believed to have been written while Louese was living with Hiram and Kate Crawford in 1878

[2] Sarah (Crawford) Keith

[3] Hiram Crawford Jr.

[4] Nancy (Comfort) Crawford Betts

[5] Martha “Patty” (Keith) Sprague, sister of Louese’s father Charles Luke Keith Jr.

[6] Chicago, Illinois

[7] Katherine (Atchinson) Crawford, Hiram’s wife

[8] Galesburg, Michigan

February 21, 1878 letter to Nancy Brown from Louese Keith

February 21, 1878

To:  Nancy Brown

From: Louese Keith

Louese is describing life in the Hiram Crawford household as well as the challenges of maintaining an appropriate wardrobe with limited resources.

1878-02-21 1878-02-21B 1878-02-21C 1878-02-21D

Thursday Morning [February] 21 [1878?][1]

Dear Sister — And Family

As I have got all the work done I will take an hour now and answer your letter that I rec’d week before last. Well to begin with Harry and Jessie[2] are down stairs in the kitchen raising ____. Aunt Kate[3] is in the back parlor lying on the couch (and of course most dead) but is going to prayer meeting this afternoon, and I am up stairs in my room sitting by the east window (writing to you) but if I could only see you I could tell you in 5 minutes what it will take me an hour to write but as I can not I must be satisfied with the pen. Ma[4] wrote to me last week and asked me about my clothes and told me to write to you all about them and she would see the letter. (I suppose the reason she wanted me to do that was so that Grandma[5] would not know any thing about it.) I wrote to Ma 4 weeks ago all about them and how Aunt Kate was but after I read the letter a second time I threw it in the stove for I knew she could not help me any and it would not make her feel any better, but as she has asked me to let her know I will do so. I will say, “to commence with” that she has never given me a thing since I came back “with the exceptions of what I got Christmas” and I dont hear any thing more about dress or any thing else and my cashmere sack looks ridiculous. The silk is all worn thread bare. It had commenced to wear off when Ma was here so you can imagine what it is now. Ma asked about my shoes. No they have’nt got me any but I had 75 cts and Uncle Hi[6] gave me 25 so the next time I went down town I got me a pair of $1.00 shoes but it was the next two or three days after Ma left & I have had to wear them every since then and they are pretty bad now, but I wear my rubbers when I go out so they are not seen. Now dont think by this that she is ugly & cross for she is not but is pleasing, hears me recite my lessons and seems to want me to go out and have the young folks come here but I cant go very much longer unless something turns up (about the size of a binder). There is one thing that grinds me pretty bad and that is I have every bit of the work to do. She does’nt lift her hand to do a single thing excepting to make some fried cakes and sweep the parlors once a week. Making her bed and emptying her slops is something she dont pretend to do. But she is gone every afternoon nearly and then the worst of it is when Uncle Hi comes home at night. He has to carry her up stairs almost and she will carry the idea to him that she has been to work. She has got a new black cashmere trimmed in silk and a new cloak $7.00 a yard trimmed in $3.00 silk & her brother sent her a $10.00 hat, Jessie a set of furs with cap and lots of little things but then she has them just the same. I will tell you on an other piece of paper what is all or will be the rage here this summer.

They are going to wear black & white plaided gingham or such goods as that plaid of Jules that she has trimmed in silk. I saw the pattern of one made for girls “from 14 to 18 yrs” the other day. The back is just like a breton polonaise like that picture in Hannahs[7] book that she made my overskirt by. The front is out loose like a wrapper. On the bottom of the front is a double box plaited ruffle about a foot wide. It opens in front way down to the ruffle and there is plaiting about an inch wide goes down in front. A collarette is made for the neck just like the one to my old dress only not quite as high. The sleeves are trimmed with plaiting 3 inches wide and the pockets have plaiting across the top. It is just as pretty as can be and only takes 8 yds for it is not a long dress. If Aunt Kate would only get me one I would not ask for another one (short any way).

Still if I got it I dont know how it could be made unless she would let me go up to Aunt Bell’s[8] & use her machine & that I dont think she wold let me do so I must be contented.

Dont let any one see this besides our folks.

Eugene[9] started of Mich last Tuesday. Will be at your place before long.

Harry Jessie & I went out to Graceland[10] Saturday. It is only the second time I have been there & Aunt Kate has’nt been there but once & Aunt Bell feels awful. She told me Saturday that if you only lived on Clark Street it would be all she would ask for she would have some place to go to then. So Nancy you was not treated any worse than Aunt Bell is now.

Well I must close.

Love to all.

Lou

I rec’d a handsome box valentine the 14th. Write soon.


[1] This letter appears to be written in 1878, when Louese was staying with Hiram and Kate Crawford

[2] Harry and Jessie Crawford, Hiram and Kate’s children

[3] Katherine (Atchinson) Crawford, Hiram’s wife

[4] Sarah (Crawford) Keith

[5] Nancy (Comfort) Crawford Betts

[6] Hiram Crawford Jr.

[7] Hannah Keith, Louese’s sister

[8] Isabella (Steele) Crawford, wife of Louese’s uncle, Prosper Crawford

[9] Louese’s cousin, Eugene Crawford, son of Lousese’s uncle, Edwin Crawford

[10] Perhaps she is referring to Graceland Cemetery which is located at 4001 North Clark Street in Chicago

May 25, 1877 letter to Sarah Keith from P. T. Johns

May 25, 1877

To: Sarah Keith

From: P. T. Johns, Kalamazoo, MI

Between the handwriting and the poor spelling, it was hard to transcribe this letter, but it appears that Sarah had written to Mr./Dr. Johns to obtain some relief for her mother’s health problems.

1877-05-25 1877-05-25B 1877-05-25C

Kalamazoo

May 25 77

Mrs S.C.K.

Yours of 21 is before me contents noted, Requsting a dignoces of your mothers[1] case. I require lock of Hair one or more of the leading cimptoms _______ and _____ go to exam but will do the best I can under the circstances.

As it shows its self to me thare is goodeal of _____ _____ Deseas of lim and stomach _____ Bad with tendency to Poralacis considerable catarahol affects with Pluretic affects Blood in Bad state considerable iritation of throat and Trachoteal inflamation Kidneys and urinary organs are considerable beset with General debility and _____ bad feelings in _______ small of Back thigh left-side and head & regin of Blade with Rhematism Pains all through the _____ restless nights besides torpid urine high _____ and coldness of extremities which arose from the lim and stomach and kidneys.

If so can help her. Will cost $.8.00 for_____________________________________________ or $5.00 for one will take me two or three months to restor here to eny permency of helth.

Respectfully Yrs

P. T. Jones Jr

P.S. I will go to B.C.[2] Saturdy and remen to next weak Thursday so if you want to send do so _____ or else send to Battle Creek untill next thursdy weak the 5 of June I return to ______  iIremen untill the 9 and the return here as I have settled here.

P.T.J.

[1] Nancy (Comfort) Crawford Betts

[2] Battle Creek, Michigan

April 6, 1877 letter to Sarah Keith from Hiram Crawford

April 6, 1877

To:  Sarah Keith

From: Hiram Crawford Jr., Chicago, IL

Henry and family are well and Louese Keith, who was living in Chicago with Hiram and Kate, weighs 139 pounds. “Gaining on her mother aint she.” Sends $4.00.

1877-04-06

Chicago, Apr 6, 1877[1]

My Dear Sister

I have written to Mother[2] about evrything of information concerning things around here. Henry[3] and family are well and Louisa[4] weighs one hundred & thirty nine pounds (139). Gaining on her mother aint she. Enclosed find four (4) dolls[5].

Affectionately Your Bro

H. Crawford

[1] On North Chicago City Railway Company stationary showing V. C. Turner as President and H. Crawford as Treasurer

[2] Nancy (Comfort) Crawford Betts

[3] Henry Clay Crawford, Hiram’s brother

[4] Sarah’s daughter, Louese Keith. It appears from this letter and the next three letters from Louese that she was living for a time with Hiram and Kate Crawford and helping with the care of their two children

[5] Dollars

March 23, 1877 letter to Sarah Keith from D.C. Crawford

March 23, 1877

To:  Sarah Keith, Galesburg, MI

From: D.C. Crawford, Denver, CO

D.C. is writing to inform Sarah about the death of his daughter, Allie. There had been a great deal of scarlet fever and diphtheria and he feels that the doctors did not appreciate the seriousness of Allie’s case until it was too late. He then writes about the difficulties that people encounter when they “go away from old and tried Friends and places made dear by associations for new and untried Fields & Friends.” Many do well but thousands lose all they have and have to endure many hardships. Many who have tried farming in Colorado are so poor and hundreds are flocking to the Black Hills. If he had not been elected Auditor, he probably would have “gone on a wild goose chase somewhere either to California or Black Hills.”

1877-03-23 1877-03-23B 1877-03-23C 1877-03-23D 1877-03-23env

D.C. Crawford
State of Colorado
Auditor’s Office

Denver, March 23d 1877

Dear Sister

Your most welcome leter reached me in conjuntion with Mothers[1]. You may be assured we were very happy to receiv them as they brought words of consolation from those whom we knew wrote them in no meaningless way, but emenated from hearts brim full of heartfelt feeling and sympathy in this our time of sore tribulation and great trial. Still we feel that Providence knows best how to deal with His Earthly Children for their good and therefore we bow in submission in this affliction that He has seen fit to bring upon us. Trusting in His Wisdem and Goodness for consolation in this our seemingly irreparable loss our little darling Allie[2]. She was a sweet child and just beginning to be so interesting. She was very pretty and affectionate, always with me evenings and of course I miss her very much. With her mother[3] of course she is in her thoughts all of the time as she is reminded of her all of the time as she was in her mind continually being with her all of the time. Our little Ida[4] keeps speaking about her little sister having gone to Heaven and is now a little angel. There has been a great deal of sickness about here with children Scarlet Fever & Diptheria prevaile alarmingly. I presume however you have such diseases with you only in a more aggravated State our Diseases of such a character are generally handled by our physicians but in the case of our Baby it seems as though they did not understand her case or did not think she was so sick until it was to late. I never have been sick to speak of since I had the Typhoid Fever at Galesburgh[5] when a boy. Except sick head ache I have been troubled with that for years. I sometimes I think I inherited it from Mother as she has been more or less troubled with her stomach for years. Dear Sister I deeply feel for poor Ethen[6]. Poor boy. He must be very miserable with such poor health & Luke[7] also. I am so sorry for both of them and you to. You must have it hard at times. I hardly know how to advise. I know Luke and you must feel greatly discouraged but the question arises where can you go to better yourselves. Most every man that has tried Farming in Colorado has made a loosing thing of it. The great majority of them are so poor that they cannot get away and are ekeing out a miserable exestince. Hundreds are flocking to the “Black Hills” country. No doubt some will do well but Thousands will loose all they have in the world and all will have to suffer many hardships. Many will be murdered and hundreds will be killed by Indians. With me I am inclined to the opinion that as a general thing People are foolish to go away from old and tried Friends and places made dear by associations for new and untried Fields & Friends. I have witnessed it in this county so much where People have come amongst us seemingly well to do and after several years having elapsed they have become disheartened living out in some by way place trying to farm. “Hoppers”[8] eat them out of house & home. No neighbors near for generally sickness & misfortune overtake them an after having exhausted their means are obliged to leav the country and not an uncomm thing have to procur means from friends at home to get away. This of course is not so in every case because some do well anywhere but the great majority are living from hand to mouth in this country and especially during the past few years as it has been extremely dull. We hear of rich strikes now and then in the mines but when you go there its a “humbug” often. (Not always) as there are some rich mines here. I have a friend visiting with me for a few days from the mines that has lived in this country as long as I have & mined all of the time & cannot pay his debts today & been in a good Mining District all of the time & so it goes. I used to think I would be well off sometime but have about given that up as the time for making money is gone past here. That is to make it big speculation as this country has assumed something like the condition of the states when I lived there & of course you know about how things are here. If I had not been elected[9] I should have gone on a wild goose chase somewhere either to California or “Black Hills.” Love to you all in which we all join. Pleas say to Mother I shall write soon.

Your Bro. D.C. Crawford

[1] Nancy (Comfort) Crawford Betts

[2] Allie Crawford, who was about two years old

[3] Amanda (Thornton) Crawford

[4] D.C.’s eldest child, who was approximately four years old at the time

[5] D.C. was born in Canada. The family left Canada in the early 1840s with the intention of settling in the Grand Rapids area, but were forced to stop in Galesburg, Michigan when D.C. developed Typhoid Fever

[6] The eldest son of Sarah and Luke Keith

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

[8] Grasshoppers

[9] D.C. was the first Auditor of the newly formed State of Colorado. His picture now hangs in the State Capitol building

January 19, 1877 letter to Sarah Keith and Nancy Betts from Henry Crawford

January 19, 1877

To:  Sarah Keith & Nancy Betts, Galesburg, MI

From: Henry Crawford, South Bend, IN

Henry is sending a brief note along with $2.50. The shop reopened on the 2nd, but it was so cold during the first week that not much was done. The children have not been well. Henry hopes to visit his mother in the spring.

1877-01-19 1877-01-19B 1877-01-19env

South Bend, Ind.     Jan 19 1877

Sister & Mother

You will pleas except a few lines written with my thumless hand. I cant write with my pen as yet but I guess you can read this for it wont be very long. Every thing is about the same with us as when I was with you. The children are not well. The factory started up the 2d of this month. It was so cold the first week that we did not do much but I have order for thre hundred set wheels per week & more if I can mak them. Mother as soon as spring comes I am going to send for you & as long as you feel like staying we will mak it pleasant for you.

$2.50

You will find two ___

Our love to all

H.C.C.

November 29, 1876 letter to Luke Keith from Nancy Brown

November 29, 1876

To:  Luke Keith

From: Nancy Brown, Chicago, IL

Arrived at Chicago Friday evening. Hank got on at 22nd Street and rode down to the depot. They stayed one night in Dowagiac. Edna came with them. They all went up to Uncle Hi’s and stayed Friday night. Saturday morning Louese came down to help get them get settled. She stayed until Sunday night. Eugene, Edna & Uncle Hi were all there Sunday. Gene was there almost all day. Edna went home Monday afternoon. Enclosed Martin Keith’s death notice.

1876-11-29 1876-11-29B 1876-11-29C

Chicago, Illinois

Nov 29, 1876

Dear Pa

We arrived at Chicago Friday Evening as we expected. Hank[1] got on at 22nd Street and rode down to the depot with us. We stayed one night in Dowagiac. Edna[2] came here with us. We all went up to Uncle His[3] and stayed Friday night. Saturday morning Louese[4] came down here with us to help get settled. She stayed untill Sunday night. Eugene[5] Edna & Uncle Hi were all here Sunday. Gene was here most all day. Edna went home Monday afternoon. Saturday she got herself a silk velvet cloak. Paid $85.00 for it and a dress for $38.00. She is going to Detroit this winter to study painting. Uncle His folks are all well. Louese has not changed any, only perhaps a little larger. I like it here quite well. Street cars pass here constantly. Hank passes here every 42 minutes. He went to work this morning at six worked till half after twelve then off till four thirty five. Went on then and works till after eleven. Then tomorrow works from six in the morning till six at night. Has an hours nooning. Has tomorrow night to himself and next forenoon, then goes on and works till nearly midnight and so on. I dont like to have him gone so much nights but he has to be so we must stand it. We have been invited out to dinner tomorrow but dont think we shall go for Louese said perhaps she would come down. There is going to be a surprise party for one of the clerks in the office tomorrow night. We have had an invitation. There was quite a fire Monday night on the corner of Canal & Madison Streets. There were eight persons burned to death.

Thursday Eve Dec 7th

You will see I began this aweek ago and am just finishing it. I rec’d your postal Tuesday. We had a letter from home the other day. Ma[6] said they had not got any letter from you so you see it is probly in the office at the Burg. Ethen[7] has had two severe attacks of the P. Aunt Fleda[8] has been very sick. When we came to unpack our goods we found only a few of our dishes so we had to send for them. Our letter laid in the office abut a week so the things did not come till to day. Fathers[9] folks have killed their hogs so they send us lots of meat – sausage and two chickens. I like it here real well. Claude[10] is quite worrisome a good deal of the time. He talks of you all evey day. He calls you grandpa Bill. Think he means bill horse. He will put his wagon and wheal behind a chair and then go to your picture and tell you he has put bill in the barn. He talks to that a good many times a day just as if it was you. He talks quite a good deal more than when we came from home. He is writting to you now sits in his high chair here by the table. It was Hanks night off last night so he and Claude and I were going to hear Moody[11] and Sanky[12] but he worked for an other man and so George (the young fellow that roomed with Hank) went with us. He boards here. I dont think they are any smarter than common people. I like Sankys singing better than Moodies preaching. George is going to be married next Tuesday. He seems like a nice young man. Neither smokes, drinks, chews or sweres and is most always home by six or a little after. He has gone to his fathers to night at Evanston  twelve miles from here. He says there is a family lives there by the name of Keith. I thought it might be Almer. I seen the death of Martin Keith. Will send it to you[13]. Dont know as it is any of our folks. Write wen you can. Our love to all. I am going to ______ home tonight.

Nancy

[1] Henry Brown, Nancy’s husband

[2] Nancy’s cousin, Edna Crawford, the daughter of Edwin & Mary (Hamilton) Crawford

[3] Hiram Crawford Jr., Nancy’s uncle

[4] Louese Keith, Nancy’s sister

[5] Nancy’s cousin, Eugene Crawford, Edna’s half brother, the son of Edwin & Laura (Hall) Crawford

[6] Sarah (Crawford) Keith

[7] Ethan Keith, Nancy’s brother

[8] Nancy’s aunt, Alfleda (Starr) Keith

[9] Henry’s father, Ambrose Brown

[10] Claude Brown, Nancy’s son

[11] Dwight L. Moody, the American evangelist and founder of Moody Bible Institute

[12] Ira Sankey, who worked with D. L. Moody

[13] MARTIN KEITH. At about 2 o’clock yesterday afternoon, an old gentleman 76 years of age, named Martin Keith, residing at No. 981 Indiana avenue, got aboard of a Cottage Grove avenue car at the corner of Twentieth and State streets, and after riding a short distance fell suddenly dead in the car. He was carried into a drug-store at 472 State street, and attended by Dr. Kishlein, but he was already past all medical skill. Heart disease is the supposed cause. Deceased was the father of the Keith brothers doing business in this city. (Chicago Daily Tribune, 12-3-1876)

November 24, 1876 letter to Nancy Betts and Sarah Keith from Henry Crawford

November 24, 1876

To:  Nancy Betts & Sarah Keith

From: Henry Crawford, South Bend, IN

Henry is using his left hand to write the letter because his right hand was caught in a machine and he lost his thumb. He wasn’t able to send any money to support his mother but hopes to start again soon.

1876-11-24 1876-11-24B

South Bend Nov 24th[1]

Dear Mother & Sister,

I will try to write you with my left hand. Clara[2] said she would write for me but I thought I would try it myself. The 12th of October I came very near loosing my right hand by getting it in a machine. I lost my thumb. The other side of the hand was badly bruised. It is all doing well now & patly heald up. I have been able to look after my work for two weeks. I am not able to work but I can earn something.

Sarah the morning I was hurt I was going to send you a few dollars but as my incum was cut of I could not but I will soone be able to do so & will send you some every month for mother support. Emma[3] has been sick about six weeks. She was taken with St Vitus danse[4]. She is better now. The rest of the family is as well usuel. The shops will close som time in Desember to invoise then I intend to drop down on you for a day. My love to all good night. Dont you think I do well with my left hand?

Henry

[1] While not included, the year was 1876

[2] Clara Crawford, Henry’s daughter

[3] Emma Crawford, Henry’s daughter

[4] Chorea, a disease of the nerves characterized by irregular and involuntary movements of the muscles of the limbs and face; sometimes associated with rheumatic fever

October 31, 1876 letter to Sarah Keith from Clara Crawford

October 31, 1876

To:  Sarah Keith

From: Clara Crawford, South Bend, IN

Her father’s hand was caught in a piece of machinery. His thumb was amputated close to the hand and the hand was badly bruised. He has suffered a great deal of pain and it is not known how long it will keep him from business. Johnny came home Monday night with a felon on his hand and was in very bad condition but is better now. Both Clara and Emma have been sick.

1876-10-31 1876-10-31B

South Bend Oct 31/76

Dear Aunt

Pa[1] received your kind letter Saterday and was veary glad to hear from you. The Doctor thinks Pa’s hand is better. He has suffereed a grate deal of pain and is in a veary bad condition yet. The thumb was amputated close to the hand and the hand was badly bruised. We dont know how long it will keep Pa from his buisness. Johnny[2] came home Monday night from his work with a felon[3] on his hand and was veary bad but is better now. And I was taken sick Thursday with simtons of Dipthereor but an better now. And Emma[4] was taken out of school with a veary bad desies and I think we ar having more then our share. Well I guess I will stop now as I am getting weak. Aunt S excuse this writing. The ink was so bad that I am a shamed to sent it but it is better then now. Come and see us all.

Love to all from

Clara Crawford[5]

[1] Henry Clay Crawford, who was Sarah’s brother

[2] Clara’s older brother

[3] A painful infection at the end of a finger or toe, near the nail

[4] Clara’s sister

[5] Henry’s daughter

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