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Friday, April 13, 2012

Letter From Philip Greeley 1941

Letter from Phillip Greeley MD
to Frances Maude Greeley Crabb
Photocopy kept by my mother-in-law

Jan 19, 1941
517 Columbia Drive
Davis Island
Tampa Florida

Dear Niece,

I was very much please to get letter in spite of the fact that traveled a lot it did not seem to detract from its value.  We were at Ocean Grove a few week and decided to go to Ocean City about ten miles below Atlantic City.  I went to P.O. before left my forwarding address and for a few weeks we got our mail all right and then the little mail that came by way of Ocean City began to get into the dead letter office.  Naturally I have a lot of mail from Portsmouth N.H. and always keep that office informed of my whereabouts and they never have failed to do their duty by me yet so if anyone is not sure of my location I usually tell them to address me at Portsmouth N.H.

I guess I feel about the same [unknown word] be the new deal as you do.  I hard know what I am.  If I can find the name of an intelligent man on the ticket he might get my vote whether he belongs to a party or not. There are some good men in office I am thankful to [unknown] and plenty that are too cheap to mention.

Maine and Vermont are the only States that are still on the gold standard.  You might mention to your children that their Grand-father was born in Maine.

I met a man who had been to Wash. and western Canada.  I said I had relatives in Wash.  He learned what place and at once was enthusiastic.  “I went there to an apple festival once” said he “and it is the great apple county in the world”.  I think your father made no mistake when he picked out that county in which to settle.  There seems to be no ideal place in the U.S.A. to live the whole but I have often wondered if in Wash., Oregon, and Vancouver Canada did not come the nearest to it.  Fruit and vegetables are fast coming to the front as food and people are just beginning to find out there value as life savers and health promoters.  Improvement in the process of canning had helped as you know. 

I think I shall have to confine my writing to your fathers ancestors until I get more data on the Bartlett and Walls .On mother’s side the Cunninghams, Browns, and Nickersons are in the picture.  Sometime the latter part of the 18th century John Cunningham went from Edgartown Martha’s Vinyard to Cape Cod and married the daughter of Slathiel Nickerson.

Two sons were all that resulted from this marriage.  William who lived in Belfast Maine.  The two brothers married sisters.  I think they were Scotch and belonged to that gang that England induced to go to Northern Ireland and made great promises for their prosperity and never kept them.  It is said that they stayed in Ireland long enough to learn the art of making corn liquer otherwise known  as moonshine or kill me quick.  It was very populare during prohibition days.  They settled in the Appalation system which extends from Canada to Fla.

In northern states a law was passed fifty years ago more or less obliging them to send their children to school.  Consequently the mountains are about uninhabited except for people who go there to visit during the summer.  This applies to Maine, NH, Vermont, Mass, Conn, NY, NJ, and part of Penn. I think they have no such law (if they do they don’t enforce) in Maryland, Vir, W. Vir., the Carolinas, Knetucky, Tennessee, and Georgia.  There is a school in Berea Kentucky for Mountaineers.  Supported by northern Money.  The president is brohter to the president of Chicago University who a few years ago was in the lime light.

The other son of John Cunningham was James who was you great grandfather. His home was in Belfast Maine.  [unknown] he reached the age of 10 yr when he went to sea with his mother’s brother, a Nickerson of course.  I have been told that it is an abbreviation for son of old nick. Nixon is an abbreviation for Nickerson.

Aforesaid James went around the world twice before he was 12 and continued to sail the seven seas till his death aged 40.  When he was 18 an uncle fitted out a schooner for him after which time he was Capt. Cunningham.  When about 40 he made a trip to Havana Cuba where he contracted yellow fever recovered started for N.Y. had a relapse died buried at sea.

This was near 1840.  As near as can size him up he was very decent man.  No he was “hard boiled” but if he was a pirate or shipped slaves or shanghaied his crew if he had done these things is come afters would have had happy time bragging about him.  As it was all they could say was that any man who had ever sailed with him once was delighted to go again if they got the chance.  We have no record that he was ever wrecked.

I am sure this will be all you will care translate for a while.  The psot office in Ocean Grove Is think was a little careless.  The above address will be my abode for the next three months.

Your Uncle Phillip

Image: mikebaird via photopin cc

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