September 3, 1876 letter to Sarah & Luke Keith from Nancy & Henry Brown

September 3, 1876

To:  Sarah & Luke Keith

From: Nancy & Henry Brown, Lawton, MI

Hank and Nancy have been struggling to make ends meet and have decided to move to Chicago where Hank will be able to find work. They have sold their cow and are thinking about selling their pig. They are currently $30 in debt. Hank believes that he will be able to double his income living in Chicago.

1876-09-03 1876-09-03B

Lawton, Michigan

September 3rd 1876

Dear ones at home

How do you all do to day. Claude[1] is not very well. His teeth are bothering him some. The rest are well as usual.

Grandma[2] left here yesterday for Dowagiac. She was feeling quite smart. Hank[3] goes to Chicago a week from tomorow morning. Grandma is going to wait and go with him. We hate to have him go awful bad and he dreads to go just as bad but cant do any better. He did not hear from that other man and we had got to do something and that was all the way we see opened for him. We will stay here a spell and if Hannah[4] dont have much to do we will fix things a little and come home and make a visit. I expect we will be lonesome and home sick and Claude will miss him to. Hank is going to work in the gallery till Wednesday night then move the things down here so that will stop a dollor a weeks rent. If we did not owe any thing we could stay here but it takes all we can earn to live and a little more and we owe abut thirty dollars here and you know that must be paid. Hank sold the cow. Could not get but $35.00 for her. We dont know how to get along without her _________ is going to sell the pig. I tell him it seemed as if we had just got to living with plenty of room in doors and out and a cow and a pig and now we must break up but I suppose it is all for the best. If we all keep well we ought not to grumble. He has bought him the cloth for two shirts. Will send you a piece. Paid $1.25 per yard. It takes a little over three yds. He thought they would be warmer that his white ones and he can save the price of them in washing in a little while.[5]

Monday morning

I will try and write a little this morning. We are well as usual. The girls have got most done washing. I have commenced tearing up this morning. I am going to pack up the most of the things in the gallery. I dont take in on an average over 4.00 per week here and I shall have $7.50 per week left after paying my board & washing in Chicago so I calculate that I will do at least twice as well to go there and maybe I can strike something better but dont expect it. Well I must close as I am in a hurry this morning so good by.

Henry Brown

[1] Nancy’s son, Claude Brown

[2] Nancy (Comfort) Crawford Betts

[3] Nancy’s husband, Henry Brown

[4] Nancy’s sister, Hannah Keith

[5] Unsigned, but it is Nancy (Keith) Brown’s handwriting


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