December 8, 1880 letter to Sarah Keith from Hiram Crawford Jr.

December 8, 1880

To: Sarah Keith, Galesburg, MI

From: Hiram Crawford, Jr., Chicago, IL

Hiram is writing in response to a letter from his sister, Sarah, that their Mother’s general health has declined further. Although not surprised, he had hoped that his mother’s mind would remain clear to the end, but this seems to not be the case. He is also telling Sarah that if their Mother must remain in her home until the end, that “we must and will help you in every way that is feasible.” He would like to visit, but doesn’t feel that he can afford it at the moment unless it becomes necessary. He is also acknowledging Sarah’s anxiousness over some issue involving her daughter, Nancy.

chgo city railway

Chicago, Dec 8th 1880                                                          

Dear Sister

Your and Lou’s[1] letters reached me yesterday. I need not assure you that I was much pained to learn the unfortunate condition of Mothers[2] health, and the additional burdens which are thrown on you. It is not wholly unexpected for it was something which I knew was sooner or later to come, that is in fact. I was in hopes that her mind would keep clear to the end. Now Sarah if Mother has broken down so that she will have to stay with you until all is over, we must and will help you in every way that is feasible. I appreciate your position and burden in part, but am not on the ground and don’t know how to act, and I appeal to you frankly to state your view of what should and could be done to help you along with this trouble. Whether to hire someone to take care of her or any other way which you may think best, and I as far as I can will do my best to see your wishes carried out. I would like to come out and see Mother & you but in view of what may happen I don’t feel as if I can spare the mony, unless it should become necessary. I have just made the last payment on my house, but am in debt to other parties about three hundred dollars.[3] Nancy’s[4] case must be a peculiar one, and I don’t wonder that you feel anxious about her. The poor girl must suffer very much.[5] I presume Mr Browns[6] death had a bad effect on her. I trust she will come through all right. Please remember me in love to her.

Our family and LP[7] and family are as well as usual, nothing more than colds.

I shall expect to hear from you right off, and just as you think, plain and frank. As Mother might want to read this, probably you hadn’t better let her know anything about it. With love to all, I am

Your Broth

H Crawford

Please accept the enclosed $5


[1] Sarah’s daughter, Louese Keith

[2] Nancy (Comfort) Crawford Betts

[3] This is $7,556 in 2017 dollars

[4] Sarah’s daughter, Nancy (Keith) Brown

[5] Nancy was pregnant at the time; her daughter, Bess, was born February 7, 1881, so perhaps she was having a difficult pregnancy

[6] Ambrose Brown, Nancy’s father-in-law, who died October 27, 1880

[7] Lucius Prosper Crawford, Hiram’s younger brother

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Additions | Crawford/Comfort Family Letters
  2. Trackback: December 8, 1880 letter to Sarah Keith from Hiram Crawford Jr. – Letters & Diary Entries From the 1860s through the 1890s

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