Sunday, April 26, 2015

An Actual Letter from 1885 Asking for Silk and Satin Pieces for a Crazy Cushion

An Actual Letter from 1885

I came across the letter recently of a young woman named Emma V. Gordon  writing to her  dear cousins about her life in Trenton, NJ.  In it she mentions working in a mill, getting ready to start ‘keeping company’ and some of her latest apparel purchases.  At the end she states she is working on a crazy cushion and requests pieces of silk and satin for her project – something to have as a remembrance while looking at her cushion.

I have typed out the contents of the letters – not much in the way of punctuation or sentence structure.  It was a challenge since spell check kept trying to correct everything.  I was not able to find out much on the writer, Emma.  I did find an Emma V. Gordon who was 2 years old in the 1870 census, making her about 17 when this letter was written – but I have no proof that  she is THE Emma that wrote the letter.
Here is the letter:
Trenton March 11th 1885
Dear Cousins
I now take my pen in hand to write you a few lines letting you know how we are getting along I havent been very well myself I have had a very bad cough and it is a hard matter to get rid of it before one cold gets well i get another one somehow and I am very carefull of my self I don’t go out in the night air very much once in a while I go to Church of an evening the Doctors says it nothing but a bad cold i have caught I told them I thought I was getting the Consumption they told me no they said my lungh was all right I fell well enough only the cough Grandpa is about middling, I supose you heard that

grandma was dead it was very suddent to us all and we fell her loss very much she was taking ill on the day that Aunt Amanda was married it was on a sunday  and on a tusday at 5 oclock she died she had been complaing for quite a while she had the Catareah so very bad she died on the 30 of September 1884. I havent been working now for three months on account of the mill getting burned down but we will have work again in a week or so i heard  If I had achance I wouldent like to have come on account of getting more cold but if it had been in the summer time i would like to come there but I havent any chance now but if I do in the summer I will try to get down I hope you all are well

I supose Howard is married by this time and you thinking of getting married  I and just thinging of getting a mash I dont keep company yet I supose Mary Parent is a splendid player on her Organ by this time I dress a great deal better now than I did when i was down to your house I got a splendid newmarket coat this winter it was a seal brown nice an fine an I have a pair of bracelets I had a bonnet this winter they was worn a good deal I am making a crazy cushion but i havent enough pieces of silk an satin to finish it I supose you have some pieces you would give me if I could only get them i would like to have some to remember you by when I would look at the pieces I would always think of you I guess you have

seen the crazy cushions they are very stylish and there is crazy tidies some has both on a chair they look very nice I must bring my letter to a close it is getting late you must excuse me for not writing sooner but i had kept putting it off an i thought i wouldent put it off any longer I send my love to all and a large share for yourself write as soon as you get this letter so I will know that you got it good bye

From your loving Cousin
Emma V Gordon
No 64 Clark Street
New Jersey

Excuse the poor writing and mistakes


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