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

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