Thursday, September 3, 2009

Dec 21, 1854

Before you begin to read this letter I want to explain that this is the oldest of all the letters in my possession. I am not sure as to how the writer or the receiver of this letter are related to me. My best guess at this time that this is my great grandmother"s (Margaret Shull) mother's (Emma Lowe) uncle is the writer, but I can not be certain.

The paper is very thin and there are spots where the writing is not ledgible. I tried my best:

N. York University
Dec 21, 1854

My dear Sister Martha,
I was so fortunate to receive a letter from Sister Claudia not long since from whom I learned you and family were well and comfortably situated which news relieves me from much anxiety have had concerning you. And for this reason I have delayed writing you hoping and wishing I might be able to send you some of the necessary evil. But I have had a miserable time of it. Been sick all summer and fall could earn no money and spent all my ________. My health now however is ________ more ____ than I have been for years and could earn a pretty good living now if the ______ were not so very bad. People feel little like spending money for pictures. But I think I shall manage to live the winter through if I am _____. I have just finished a head for which I expect to get $250.00 I wish you could see it. The subject is the “_____ ______” and is said to be very beautiful. Perhaps you would like to know how I am _______, Very comfortably I can tell you. Have a ___ large room decently furnished and have the friendship and acquaintances of many excellent people some (distinguished ones) too and to make a long story short expect some morning to wake up and find myself famous. I have the pleasure to tell you I now _____ _____ no mean reputation as an artist. I wish to ________________ you on your recovery of your property and only hope you will beget on ______ will now, and educate your children. How I should like to see you all and those young Lady nieces. I mean to go and see you all some future time and hope soon. Why did you not say something about Brother Leonard and family? I heard he had gone to California you are _______ ___ ______ . I _______ and how are they all and Passay.
Monday Morning I have just finished my coffee and rolls my simple breakfast in my room. A regular old Bachelor you say I remain at the easel until dark then ______ out and got a good dinner (when I have the money)
Well I have to finish two portraits today to be ready for the New Years’ calls I shall paint all day as usual never notice any holy day myself so now I must wish a Merry Christmas and a happy New Year and all sorts of success. Think of ______ nothing more to say that will interest you do write very soon and I would be happy to receive letters from those young misses tell them to __________ acquaintance with their ______ uncle. ____________ ___________ kindly to it and family and all others.
Your Loving brother,

Mrs. M (unable to read the last name)