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Monday, April 9, 2012

Letter From Eliza Cunningham Greeley Smart 1897

Transcription of Letter from Grandma Greeley Smart
to Frances Maude Greeley Crabb
Owned by my mother-in-law

Swanville Feb 20 1897

My Dear Maude,

I was glad indeed to receive your nice long letter telling me of you all.  It was a real treat.  You and your brothers must be enjoying life very much.  Was sorry to learn of you mothers accident.  She must have suffered a great deal.  I suppose you are having rainy weather now while we have been have it very cold indeed and some terrible storms the worst for years we did not get to the post office for three days neither did the mail get through in that times.

There were a number of lives lost.  Six from Belfast two from Searsport were drowned.  One your father new, a school mate I think.  George Richards.  A great had their limbs frozen it was awful.  The New Year was ushered in with thunder and lightning, snow, hail and rain.  We have had a very singular winter so far and finally our season have been unusual for the last two years.

[along the side:  Hugsley Heard died last month you father well knew]

The east is having rather a hard time just now as it is impossible for them to compete with the west.  Mr. L. gets only seven dollars a ton for his hay.  Would have got nine if he had sold early in the season.  There were not many that raised any potatoes about here and they do not get a big price for them as they have shipped them from the west it is so with everything.  Think all of our beef comes from the west or the most of it.  Farmers cannot raise it with any profit.  And they are building cotton mills in the South so that the Cotton Mills in our New England states cannot compete with them and are cutting down prices ensuring strikes and shut downs.  What is coming out of it all no one can tell.  But I cannot help thinking that if the Republicans can only remain in power long enough we shall see things adjusted all right.

You will think this is a queer letter.  It just I thought your Father might like to know some things of the condition of affaires this way if he is not interested in us enough to write.  The pensions the soldiers get helps them out and there are quite a number in this town.  Our family are well and getting along very well.  Work hard keep a number of cows to sell butter and cream in Belfast.  Mable is visiting at summers at present.  Margret is a smart girl.  Milk cows plays the organ does almost anything that comes along.  Yes I think Phillip will make a very good doctor.  A surgeon as he is very much interested in his business like the most of the Greeleys.

Your grandmother Bartlett family have had quite a good deal of sickness in the family the last year.  Rufus’s wife has been sick about all the time.  He has two nice boys.

Your father may have taken the wisest course in going west but I do wish I could see you all.  You wrote a nice letter.  It shows that you are a good schooler.  Think your mother must have been have been quite a help to you.  I do not think that I have written correct sentence and do not dare look this over for fear that I shall find so many misspelled words that I shall put it into the fire.  But I know you will have charity for your grandmother when I tell you my Father died when I was a little girl, in Havana Cuba leaving my mother with four little girls and we did not have many school privileges.  But the dear lord has blessed with good children and nice grandchildren. 

[along the side: You father’s Aunt Margaret and Uncle Nemiah are in California]

Your Aunt Carrie is still at work in the Public Library in Boston.  Nellie is in New York.  Nellie was in Washington DC a few days this winter.  Hope you will write again soon and would be very glad to have you mother write.  It has been a great treat to hear from you all.  Tell your father he must not forget his old mother but try and take time to write her once in a while.

Yours with love,
Grandma Greeley Smart

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