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

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Corrections and/or Additions | Crawford/Comfort Family Letters

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