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?


[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


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