Tuesday, March 17, 2009

my sweet letter

Oh I knew that I wasn't the only one who loved reading others old letters! I bought about 20 of them the next day too! It's so funny to read them. I also found some lovely old Christmas cards and a few neat postcards. The letter is from Hattie to Spencer and she refers to 5 years, so I think it's been a long engagement.

So the letter... you can almost read it in the pictures but I'll type it too.Mr. T.S. Miller
#11 to 23 S. Jefferson Street Chicago, IL
No. 26 West Street
Worcester Aug. 10, 1884
My Dear Spencer,
Father has invited me to go to church with him to-night: so I am going out to Piedmont Church. Your last few letters have talked so awfully of financial difficulties; I am beginning to fear. I wonder what I am going into.

If it is so hard to take care of one, how much more so will it be to care for two. We won't think of being married till about Christmas time. This will give you a month longer, and you won't have to feel that you must rush so dreadfully. I can't understand why your finances are thus. I've had not half the salary you've had. I have paid my board, clothed my self and paid all expenses and in addition have saved enough for my trousseau. This is why I can't understand the reason why, in all these five years. I can't see the need of feeling anxious at this late day-

Have two pretty suits - Full dress and half dress - best suit. You've common suits enough.
Dress over-coat with a seal-skin collar to match your cap. Gloves, you will need several pairs. White of course; brown and the like. You should be getting things gradually, that is the way I am doing it.
**A nice warm comfortable winter over-coat*** (She squeezed in the side margin spaces)
A linen out-fit for one under set would be nice. Wish I was where I could get your underclothes made for you. I think you might get a shirt pattern and an A.G. Pattern cut, and then send them to me, then I might get the cloth and have them cut and made for you much less than you could get it done. Do you like this plan?

We can certainly save money if you have a good salary. Have you received a little book from
me? In what condition did the forget-me-nots arrive?

Good bye dear,
Hattie

I typed it exactly as she wrote it. I love how they folded letters back then. The paper was folded and started on the side with the fold to the left. Then they either used the inside as two sheets, or turned it and wrote down the whole length, then to the back page...and the envelopes were so small!
I love how she ran out of room and had to write the last sentence along the side, then turned over the page and wrote her name upside down in the top margin.

So after reading this, then reading it to hubby about 4 times, I knew I was going back the next day. I was compelled. I HAD to find more letters. Did they get married after all? I went right back, dropped my purse on the floor between my feet, took off my sweater, and stood there for about 2 hours! I touched every note in that box and finally after I was almost to the back...I see..

Mrs. Spencer Miller...New Jersey. Postmarked June 3rd, 1908. My heart leap out of my chest and I grabbed that envelope!

And that was it. No letter inside...just the envelope!! I almost died! I looked again all through the back of the box. I knew I didn't miss anything. It just wasn't there. but I do at least know they got married. Since the weren't to marry until after Christmas... by 1908 they had been married 23 years. Good for them. The letter was mailed from Morcan Park, IL and on the back it has a Chicago postmark too. So maybe she was away visiting. Or maybe they moved to NJ and an old friend was writing to her.

I got letters from ladies inquiring about teaching jobs from about 1894 to 1905 or so going to the head of a school in NC. Letters from a soldier writing to his sweetheart about trying to get into a commissioned officer school, I think, and about how desperately he misses her. I'll take some pictures of the Christmas cards and post cards later.

15 comments:

Andee said...

Got a kick out of this letter and your joy in finding it...you might be able to do some genealogical searches online and find out more..if they had kids and such. Can't wait to learn more about it! SMILE!

Carla said...

Fascinating. I really wonder about those years in between now. Yes, put their names in a google search!

Yvonne said...

I love old things like that....what a treasure. My son lives in Worcester.

Carol said...

How very, very sweet! Thank you so much for sharing this treasure with us...a glimpse into the past.

Sew Create It - Jane said...

Wow - She sounded peeved in that first letter...very politely peeved, I might add...but she couldn't understand what he was doing with his money! (sounds like many a conversation in today's world!) I wonder if they quarrelled about that in the future...and just to throw a spanner in the works...was the letter addressed to Mrs. Spencer Miller actually Hattie? Maybe he married someone different...

Sharon said...

Some things never change, marriage and money issues. This sounds like a letter that could be written today! Thanks for sharing.

Diana said...

I wonder if she was able to manage his finances after they were married. It's so interesting to have this little peek into someone else's life.

Thimbleanna said...

What fun! I'm surprised he married her -- it sure sounded like she was nagging him LOL!

Quilt Hollow said...

More.....I want to hear more. Times haven't changed really have they?

C. C. said...

What neat letters! I have never seen any for sale like that. I really like your blog; I like to quilt, too. Your little "Cheddar" doll quilt is so very sweet. You just can't go wrong with such a lovely piece!

Linda said...

Well, that was pretty exciting just reading about how you researched whether she married or not. It's almost like a time travel movie. There are so many of them. That is very cool. Thanks for posting.
Linda

Karen said...

This was a very interesting post. What a treasure you found!

Kim said...

Very cool finds! I just love anything that has to do with history, and with these letters, history really comes alive, doesn't it?! I made a little stop at Goodwill yesterday, and although I didn't find anything quite THAT cool, I found something I thought was fun--I'll probably write about it in the next couple days. I sure can't blame you for going back the next day either--I would have done the same thing!

Libby said...

I'm so glad you shared . . . and that there is a happy ending *s*

Quilts And Pieces said...

Oh my gosh! That letter is great! Doesn't it just leave you wanting to know more though! No wonder you went back for 2 hours to dig thru!