Thursday Jany 5" 1870
Yours of the 29" ult is at hand and owes this prompt answer to the fact that I am at present continued to the quietude of my own rooms for a week, owing to a surgical operation which was more painful than dangerous. It was performed Monday. since then until this morning I have been kept in bed. to-day & tomorrow I can sit up some and by next Monday hope to be able to go out again. Margie is in pretty good health and is the very best nurse you ever heard of. her presence is heavens sunshine in my room. I am glad your presents were what suited you at any rate. our minds were not in a condition to think of everthing at that time. Your church Christmas Tree must have been a very pleasant season. Our presents were for Margie - A Set of Ermine Furs very elegant and a large painting framed in Walnut & Gilt called "The Fond Delusion also a pair of jet earrings. I had a superb smoking Jacket worth about 35 dollars. To both of us were sent a large quarto Turkey Antique Album,- an Octavo Turkey Antique Booke of Illustrations of the parables, the pictures are hand colored and the Illuminated Texts exquisite. - two books of poems bound in Russia and beautifully illustrated, - a Box containing colls cuffs and chemisetts enough to last my wife for two years.- A fancy box of paper & envelopes - A fancy sett of boxes ............
(The rest of this letter is missing. However the torn-off bottom half of a sheet written by Margaret accompanies the letter.)
.............................not like to speak of it. It was for a fistula which is a sore which grows in the back passage and has to be cut out. It is very painful but not dangerous to life. The doctor says he will be out again as usual next week. His general health however is at present quite delicate. The Dr. tells me that I must be very careful of him ..................................... all ...... a while ago and says that there is no positive disease but that he is very delicate and that any sudden change or severe cold would go very hard with him, but he says that if I can only keep him from overworking or taking cold that he may live years & years. I always talk the hopeful side to him so you must not let him know for a moment
Sunday Jany 15" 70
I am up early this morning and down here in the store waiting to set some carpenters to work on something that they can not do in the other days of the week, so I take advantage of the time to write to you.
Let me see. it must be a long time since I wrote you last. I have been so busy that no time was left me for anything. I am glad that Oscar was pleased with his things and am also glad that they finally arrived before the New Year. I had intended getting him a nice fur cap for winter but during the few moments that I had to look arround I could see none to suit. Master must excuse me this time and expect something more some other time.
Did you ever see such a winter as this is, so warm. I have not had a sleigh ride since it commenced and we have not had four hours sleighing altogether. Warm open weather from the South near-ly all of the time and such a thing as even a smell of skating an unknown luxory not to be thought of. The streets are bare and dry and warm, more like a mild April than Dec. and Jan.
There the five carpenters have just come in and I have set them to work. such a racket as they are making is enough to drive one wild. We have had them work all night two or three times be-fore but never on Sunday.
I tho't that when the holiday rush was over I should have some more time for rest and leasure but we have taken on a new stock and I have to buy for it, so that I am kept going about as brisk as ever. The stock I refer to is books. we now keep a large assort-ment of them for sale.
You should have seen the store before Christmas. day after day from 9 A.M. until 9 P.M. there was not a half hour, except at meal hours, that we did not have from 12 to 16 hundred people in. the highest number at any one moment was about 17 hundred. just think of the worry and excitement of keeping run of the wants of all these people. I am about used up. so is my wife who sends her best regards.
My watchman who has been to breakfast has got back so now I will go and do likewise. Love to all
A. T. LaF.
Louis LaForge was born at 8 A.M. on May 14, 1870. There are no letters existing from mid-January until July of that year. It is possible that Susan LaForge Potter came to New York City to help out after the baby was born. That may be the reason there are no letters to her.
July 19" 1870
I am afraid that there must be, somewhere, a letter from you which is as yet unanswered; The fact is I have been quite under the weather with a bad cough And have had so much to do since I brought my family to this place to spend the summer that my time seems entirely filled and yet there is nothing to do. I was pretty sick for a few days got better of that and now go into the city twice a week to see that everything there is running right, and how long the days seem to me when I am not with my wife. The days that I spend with her here are very pleasant; we take our own time of course about getting up and breakfasting. you would consider us very lazy. Sometime in the forenoon the forenoon baby is put into his carriage and with his nurse to push him we go out walking. Af-ter we get started my wife and I always have mnore to do with being the motive power for the baby than the nurse does. The walks in the beautifully laid out grounds about here are perfectly delight-ful, the walk ends when I get tired or hot and being pretty weak and thin now I soon get both unless we often rest. Margie is tire-less and days when I am in the city she and the nurse go on wonder-ful voyages of discovery, and discover wonderful things. After lunch we read and nap until 4 O.C. when we usually take a long ride into the country. In all of my life I have never been in a place surrounded by such fine drives All of the roads for miles in all directions are lined with the summer cottages and grounds of the city aristocracy and it is almost like visiting Eden to drive thro' the tastefully decorated landscape. How I wish you were with us even for a few days there would be so manny nice things to show you. We get back in time for dinner at 7 OC. and spend our even-ings ad libitum.
Margie sends love and wants me to say that she intended to write you before this time but the change of air or something else made the baby fretful for some time after we came out here and he keeps her time nearly occupied now (she dont let the nurse do much for him about the house) but she is going to write soon nevertheless.
We both send love to all. How did grandma and Oscar spend the Fourth? (Louis fired off a torpedo and was considerably scared at it.) Ask Oscar if he remembers the time we had the fireworks there. Hope Joe has good crops and has met with no accident this season.
How is your side Susan. does it trouble you yet?
Your Loving Brother
Oct 20th 1870
My Dear Sister
Yours of the 19"is at hand and all of your remarkable accom-plishments in the way of help-meeting your husband read and ap-proved. I always knew you were smart and this additional proof is only confirmation.
Tell Joe if he is not more careful of himself I am afraid he will never get any body to insure his life. I hope he is well over his hurt by this time. Margie and I unite in sending our congratu-lations to Perry & Sally Ann on the happy event at thier house. Our boy is doing very well he and his ma were innoculated yester-day. this and the fact that he begins to cut his teeth already makes him somewhat fretful at times. We kiss him very often and if his Aunty wishes to claim that some of them are for her why all right.
Tell Oscar that he is ahead of us if he is trying his sleigh so soon altho' it looked very much like snow to day. I was out walking with a light overcoat on and found the weather disagreeably cold with that, so came back home; my wife had ordered a fire to be built in the parlor- which is a very cheerful room - and you have no idea how comfortable and cosey it was sitting there with wife and baby and thinking of my old bachelor days and how discon-tented and lonely I should have been on such an afternoon then. Now I could look out on the damp passers (it had commenced to rain) and and only feel the additional charm of home by seeing their dis-comfort in contrast with our pleasant surroundings. By all means wedded life is the natural state of mankind. Dont you think so.
A mutual friend was in the store the other day. One of the Misses Wells I dont know her first name but it is the one with the scar on her face. I guess she lives in the city for she said she saw me in the street cars some time ago. she knew it was me for she saw my initials on the handle of my umbrella. Among other things she informed me that Mr Tittsworth had left New Jersey and with his wife had taken up his residence in the far west somewhere. I forget the locality. I dont remember where I met this lady be-fore but it seems to me she used to keep the Post Office or to live where it was kept. A lady friend was with her Mrs Dr Something who lives in the City. this lady wanted me to give an order allowing to have some goods sent to her house to select from. as we do not do that kind of business I had to decline. we had quite a lengthly conversation and I hope she will call on me again.
Mr Macy has at last returned to the city and is at the store every day. he is now recovering his health very rapidly and looks somewhat like his old self. we are now right in the midst of the Fall Trade and our beautiful imported goods attract a great deal of attention. we have Singing Birds and moving figures that are so much like life that they excite universal wonder. I wish that you could see them. Love to all
From Maje & Margie.
Dec 11" 1870
At my wifes suggestion I write to learn what you think our little nephew would like for a Christmas present. has he got a sleigh or what would think would please him most as a visit from Santa Claus. you must let me know at once for it is getting pretty near the season for such things. our store is fearfully crowded now and every energy of which we are possessed has to be expended in accommodating our custommers. Last year Margie and I were so busy the last of the month that we could not get the things to you in time. Tell Joe that I am real sorry that he did not let me know about his wants a month ago for then Old suspenders were a drug in the market whereas they are now very scarce. I think it hardly possible that I could raise any for love or money; You see they were all bought up by the shoddy contractors for the French and Prussian soldiers.
I shall be a partner in this store after January 1", 71. Margie feels as happy over it as though something very nice was about to happen. The thing would not have happened until a year later only that a large Boston Publishing house offered me $5000ΕΕ a year to come to them. so I had a talk with Mr Macy and he makes me a partner if I remain with him. so if nothing prevents I shall stay here.
I was going to write you all of this last week but our baby was so sick that it drove every thing else out of my head. Louis was taken first with a bad cold which our doctor prescribed for and did not seem to think serious, but baby got worse very fast his cough distressed him very much and when he was not coughing or tak-ing his medicine or food he lay in a stupor from which we could scarcely rouse him; the doctor was at a loss. mustard baths and friction did not have the desired effect, and the poor little fel-lows eyes became set inward and upward and his left side became paralized; the little helpless right hand kept moving aimlessly and opened and shut continually. when his eyes did roll toward us we could see he did not know us. the pupils were greatly distend-ed. the loved little face had a set expression that went to our hearts with a fearful meaning and the occasional moanings each seemed to take part of our lives as well as his. The physician called in an eminent practioner Dr Sands. the two ex the suffering child and retired to consult. Margie held the baby and sat trem-blingly awaiting the result of their consultation. Dr Gay (our Dr) soon came into the room again and taking the baby told us to go in to Dr Sands. we knew our fate by his looks. he tried to tell us as delicately as possible that we must make up our minds to part with our darling, that he had water on the brain, a disease that he considered necessarily fatal; it might be a consolation for us to know that baby would be unconscious of any pain tho' his little body might be convulsed. all we could do was to keep him comfor-table until he died which might be at any moment or might not take place for some days. Oh how we suffered. poor Margaret, what could I say to console her when all we could do was to take each others hands and set down and watch the flame of life slowly die out of the face of our first born, our darling Louis. We could not find consolation in the holy words "He giveth and He taketh away" but continually before us we saw "Behold your house is left unto you desolate".
Last evening when Dr Gay was here he suggested calling in Dr Jacoby whom he seemed to consider the best informed man on infan-tile diseases in the city; their examination this time resulted in a very long consultation, but we had at its end a very carefully worded result that there was some hope, very, very slight indeed as the disease was of the most dangerous kind; but as long as we can hope we can pray, and perhaps the Lord will hear our prayer.
We almost think that our baby is better to day. there has been a trifling motion in the helpless left side and his eyes have been less set altho he evidently does not see the loving faces arround him.
I must go to him now.
Margie sends love.
A. T. LaForge
New York City
Thur Dec 15" 1870
Our treasure has been taken from us and we are childless again.
Dear Little Louis breathed his last about 5.30 this morning. a little less than one day more than seven months since he first gladdened us. Oh! how our hearts rebel. I cant write you now.
New York Dec 28" 70
Your letter of the 18" was duly received. your sympathy gave me some comfort but it seems to me that none but those who have lost a first born just as the little one was beginning to appre-ciate life, can feel the full depth of the misery which the loss occasions. The physician insisted that Margie should come into the store at once and there is no doubt but that the tremendous busi-ness which we were in the constant whirl of for the whole month is a most fortunate circumstance for my wife as her mind was almost constantly occupied and thereby keept from dwelling so much on her sorrow.
We had the Episcopal burial service performed at our house, and then Mr Macy and I accompanied the body to Greenwood. The day was bitter cold, and the wind blowing a perfect gale. so Margie was not allowed to go. Oh how cruel it did seem to put our little darling away in that cold joyless earth. Cold as it was no snow had jet fallen and while we were standing over the grave three doves lit near us. they seemed so bright and joyous and happy that I looked upon them almost as a messenger from or little boy in Hea-ven. I told Margie of it when I got home and the incident gave us both some comfort, but nothing can fill the great aching void in our hearts.
We sent the presents on the 21" & hope you got them before Christmas. we only sent presents to Oscar as we did not have time to do more. If the things fit him let him wear them and use them up this winter. You ask me if there is any thing I would like. I should like some Maple Syrup for cakes but that you will not have until March. send me some when your trees commence flowing, will you.
Margie joins me in sending sorrowfull love to all
We hope to be able to make you a call sometime this coming year.
New York January 17 1871
We received your letter on Saturday and the box came last night for which please accept our grateful thanks. Every thing in it came safely. Maj has recovered from the effects of his opera-tion and is now up and around every day. His general health is however still very delicate. We have a sensible and careful doctor and he is putting him through a course of treatment to build up his strength. His appetite is very good and he will appreciate the good things you sent us. We have had such a mild winter that he has got through it so far with only one slight cold from which he has entirely recovered.
He complains of not being able to sleep well nights. I think if he could only have sound regular rest every night that it would do him a world of good. My love to Oscar also yourself & husband from Your sister Margie.
My Dear Girl
My wife has described me pretty. I will tell you in strict confidence just what I think is the matter. I am getting to be an old woman; Please dont tell any body. Those things you sent were just right and are splendid. that straw did the business.
Many thanks for the things we think of you especially every time we have cakes.
Margie is one of the best of nurses and if loving attention could possibly set one on his feet I should be well at once.
By By for the present
Love to all Major.
You must not expect us to make so long a visit in the summer as you hoped. We can only get away for about two weeks and we were going 2to take a trip into Pennsylvania too, but we shall surely come your way in preference to anything else. Margie.
Washington D. C.
Feb 9" 1871
Margie and I concluded we were pretty tired and I pretty well run down with work and sickness, so we would try the effect of leaving all that behind us and running away from business and New York at the same time; The thing has worked splendidly. I am feeling much better & Margie is improved I know.
We do not travel nights but make our journey by easy daily stages; We stoped a couple of days in Philadelphia also a couple of days in Baltimore and have been running arround here for four days. we start back tomorrow and shall stop at Harrisburgh on the way.
If you see Green and O.L. Barney tell them that my mind ran back to the old time when I drove over our old camp ground on Meridian Hill. the place looks very different now from what we know of it in memory. Camp Destribution was difficult to find. I had to let down fences and drive accrost fields (Much to my wifes disgust) to get at the old place. the barracks of course have dis-apeared and in their place fertile fields; McKelvy's private Head Quarters stand yet however having been turned into a very comforta-ble farm house.
We have been favored with remarkably fine weather ever since starting. not a single interruption in fact. We should have got out your way only that it is such a bad place in winter and we wanted plenty of amusement and change without much trouble to our selves. we have had it. Margie was never here before so of course the Capitol with Congress, the Smithsonian, White House, Treasury, Post Ofice, Navy Yard Our old Camps & Forts & The Patent Office have all taken their turn. she was most taken with the last. We have driven & walked and eaten & slept until we are now ready to go back and sober down.
Tis Theatre time so I must close. M. sends love so do I. she will write to you I presume. Love to all
Letter written by Margaret to Susan.
June 27th 1871
Yes I do owe you a letter and I actually thought I had written to you till your letter came to us as a gentle reminder. The box that came to you did not contain any thing rare or valuable but I am glad if it will be of any use whatever to you. We often give away such things and if I was living in the country I should make my clothes over and make them last a good deal longer than they do in the city and if you can use such things let me know and I will send you a batch once in a while. I used to send my old dresses to my sister and she would make them over real nicely for the chil-dren. Maj is in good spirits and good health at present and if he don't work too hard this summer will get along nicely. He is get-ting more reasonable about his work and does not devote himself so persistently to business as he used to and I am rejoiced at it. I am in good health as can be expected. I am not in the store now but I run down a little while every morning and every night to see how things go on. I think Maj. wrote to father about two weeks ago and he often sens him newspapers. I am glad Oscar loves to go to school. I wish he could be here Fourth of July. He & Ida would have nice times together. (This presumably refers to Ida M. Pitts, the daughter of Margaret's sister Rebecca Getchell Pitts.) Don't you worry the least bit about not looking nice or fashionable when you come to visit. We are not fashionable people ourselves. We are home bodies. We do not give parties or go to parties and receive very little company. Maj. has made my home very pleasant to me and I am perfectly contented in it and if ever I want a little change or amusement he takes me out to an art gallery or theatre and he never goes off alone for he enjoys his home as much as I do.
If you have a black alpaca dress it will answer for every oc-casion. They are always neat and in good taste. Do not think that you must buy anything new or expensive to wear down here. Wear whatever shawl or bonnet you now have and if when you come here you think they are not just right I can alter anything to suit you in a minute. I am as handy as a milliner with my needle.
You will look splendid to me if you come without anything on * because you are my husband's only sister. I am anticipating a great deal of pleasure from your visit. We will have some delight-ful rambles up in Central Park. Maj says I must leave a little place for him so I'll close.
Your loving sister Margie.
* Dont follow that suggestion by any means. If Margie thinks she would like you that way, why you might gratify her sometime when you two are alone together. Major
Laurence LaForge was born at 11:55 P.M. on September 17, 1871 at 200 Sixth Avenue, New York City.
Sept 27" 71
Your favors of the 20" & 23" are received and and with plea-sure we note the contents all but that part which refers to your not coming down here this fall, that won't go down and we shall I foresee have some words about it.
How the duce Delos could tell you we had a boy at our house is more than I understand considering that the lad was not born until the Sunday after Delos was here. He must have got mixed up about Mar-gie's being sick and my speaking perhaps about the boy we lost, but he could not in any possible way have known about our new baby for he called on me the 13", 14" or 15" I dont know which and Margie was confined on the 17". Altho you have rec'd the letter I wrote you about the event, the absurdity Delos'es story does not seem to strike you; you look at the date and contents of my last letter again and see if you can understand how Delos could get from here out there and in that short distance get so much ahead of time as to be able to inform you of events a day or two before they happen here.
Margie sat up yesterday for quite a long time and feels none the worse for it now. she dont know that I am writing to you or she would be sending lots of messages and kind wishes. she will write in a few days I expect. Tell Joe I am glad he is around without damage from that cold he expected to have. Many thanks for your kind and please all of you to accept our best returns.
Love to all
A. T. LaForge
The following letter was evidently written to Sally Ann Potter, the wife of Perry, who was Joe Potter's brother. Their fifteen-year-old son John died on October 2, 1871 after being thrown from a horse. The letter exists in a copy which seems to be in the hand-writing of Rose LaForge Maxson. A note at the end says "A letter written by A. T. LaForge,- probably to a half sister of his."
Sun. Oct. 8 - "71
Your sad letter came to hand yesterday; it came at a moment when I was very busy so I put it in my jacket & did not read it until we closed the store & went home; just as we were sitting down to dinner at 6½ o'clock I remembered it & opened it, expecting to read of your coming visit. Margaret was looking over my shoul-der to find before me what day you were coming, but our faces sad-dened as we read and when we came to the death of my little nephew we both felt very badly. Margaret wanted me to tell her all about
him so I gave her a short history of him.
She feels the loss quite as much as I do. We can both appre-ciate the deep wound his death has inflicted and we know only too well how impossible is any earthly consolation under such an af-fliction; there is but one source to which we may go for comfort & even that source seems to fail at first.
We will not urge you to come to us now if you feel as if your part of duty was at home for a time. Later, however, we shall again open the subject, and we trust with better success.
Tomorrow I shall start for Concord, N.H. I have to go there on a little business and think it best to make it a resting trip, so shall stop for a day in Boston on the way east & shall return by the way of Albany & down the Hudson River so as to spend two or three days at Uncle Joe's & Uncle Tommy's.
This trip will be quite an event in my married life for it will be the first time since we were married that Margaret & I have slept under separate roofs.
Of course she can't go with me this time so soon after con-finement.
We send love & sympathy,
Maj. & Margie.
Nov 19" 71
Both of your letters were recd in due time; Your dreams have been in this last case remarkably prophetic of evil and behold their wonderful fulfillments you knew from them that some body was sick or going to and lo! Margie has been troubled for several days with a most bothersome neuralgia, who will now dare to doubt the inspired character of your sleeping visions. However as you see how slight an evil is preceded by a very bad dream, let this tho't comfort you. the dream must be most diabolcally outrageously unindurably unnatural before it means any thing worth mentioning.
You knew that Ducher who livered "over in west" did you not? who said his dog howled and howled one night, and he told his frow that somting happens sure, and sure enough when he got his weekley paper he found a man had died that same night in Boston. How tempus does fuggit. Nov 20" 71
I am addopting your plan of taking a week or less to write a let-ter. Your letter of the 18" saying that the butter was paid for is received I am mighty glad you have it I tell you; it would be so mighty easy to give you lot of trouble to get it. You did right in writing me at once for I should have felt mighty cheap to have went there with my dander riz, made a fuss, and find at the end that I had made a fool of my self for nothing.
Margaret has got up this morning better of her face ache. Baby is doing finely, he is a little over two months old and he weighs thirteen pounds, which is good weight. I am better in health this fall than I have been for two years before, so all together my mind is quite easy.
Margaret sends lots of good wishes and we both simpathize with your two boys with colds. We also had a small fall of snow on the 16" and as to rain enough has fallen has fallen to swamp the whole city. It has been a very rainy cold fall.
Love to all
Maj & Margie.
New York Nov 23" 71
My Dear Old Girl,
Your welcome box came in such an opportune moment that I must stop in the middle of my work to tell you about it.
I went down town this a.m. at 10 OC and had told my wife that I would be home at lunch which is usually at 1 P.M. Well if I am not back at that time or shortly after, my family understand that I remain down town to lunch, and so eat the meal without me. Well to-day I kept runing arround so busy that it was past 2 before my stomach let me know it was time to eat, my work among the whole-sale houses was so nearly compleated that I could not then eat and the result was that I came home as hungry as a bear just before three to find lunch cleared away and the necessity of waiting some few minutes before the cold chicken would reappear; while waiting your box came. it was in perfect apple-pie order. the butter as sweet as possible and everything perfect. We at first thot the Sirup was honey but the dear familiar maple soon routed that idea and my hungry stomach feasted.
Margie, Laurence and I all think this a lovely Thanksgiving present and appreciate it accordingly, in fact it is next to eating that meal with you. I do wish our two families could take that meal together; why cant we, won't you hitch up and drive down, you might just as well as not.
Many thanks & Love to all.
Maj & Margie
The latter will soon write on her own hook
Jany 12" 72
I have just had time to read carefully your letter of Dec 25 and will answer some of the points. (That pen wont write) Now I sent Oscar those skates so that he might learn to travel that way so if there is any chance near you for him to learn the art let him try. a few bumps are excellent teachers. Tell him that some of these winters when he comes down here to skate with me that I shall expect him to write his name on the Ice as well as the specimen on paper which he sent me. Tell Joe that the reason my clothes dont fit him is because he has not got his legs down to the fashionable size and not because I am so very much smaller than him.
My Holliday presents were as follows. A partnership in this business. The importance of which you will hardly be able to appreciate.
I also got a coral Scarfpin & Sleeve buttons worth $80ΕΕ. the pin I wear, the buttons I hade made into earrings and gave to Margie.
We also got one book worth $12.50 and one worth 6ΕΕ. Margie had a fine lace sett, a ditto embroidered, and a lot of Linen collars & cuffs. And what she liked most of all & I cared the least for was an Imperial rembrant Photo of myself framed in Gold Velvit & walnut; To see the girl sit pouring in front of that picture one would think she was very much in love or gone luny.
Baby unites with us in sending love his mother says he weighs 15½ lbs. LaForge
Feby 14" 72
Yours of the 12" came last night and I will answer my small half of it now. Margie will answer her better half at her conveni-ence I suppose; I am sorry you had no butter to spare but can readily understand that at this late day you have no more than will last you until calf-ing time; I would have given you New York prices if you had sent me what I wanted.
Now about the "partnership there are as many different de-grees of parnership as of religion; last year my name was not in the business and and my connection was as business manager with an interest in the profits, or in other words a "Trial Partner". This year my probation ceases, my name is in the biz as Mr. Co. we have partnership papers drawn up. I am known by all whom it concerns as to haveing assumed these relations; I am allowed a salary of $3500ΕΕ a year, and my interest in the profits of the business has been doubled besides my salary. in other words I am an "Open Partner".
The firm standing of partners, is farther known as Equal Part-ners, Silent Partners, 1/8, 1/4, 1/6 and all other fractions of Partners. So last year I was a partner, but this year was present-ed with a partnership, in the same business. Do you understand now. I guess dont it. eh!
Margie did go luny over my picture, but is better now; the last may also be said of her neuralgia, so you wont have the plea-sure of knowing she is taking the nasty old medicine you recom-mended.
Getting nice presents is very nice, but you must remember it is more blessed to give than to receive consequently by our accept-ing these presents we are conferring a great blessing on the givers.
You can of course imagine that we have also to be blessed our-selves in the matter of giving presents. and that too very fre-quently.
Laurie is doing finely. the Dr. vaccinated him Saturday. you would have been amused to see the little fellow wink when the man of medicine kept cutting his arm to put in the vaccine; he winked but never a cry. he is a hero. he looked sober for about a minute as if debating in what manner he could make the best impression then his face broke into its usual sunny smile and he crowed away in a right jolly manner.
Love to all of the folks.
Squeeze your hens.
Mac Crandall ought to be ashamed to have grown big enough to get married since I saw him last. Tell his pa and ma that I am afraid they will get lazy now that their family is all off of their hands.
Your Loving Bro & Sis
Maj & Margie
April 10" 72
Dont you wish all of your spring plowing was done and you could fold your hands and wait for the weeds and grain to grow. Or still better dont you wish you lived where all of these things came without your labor and all you had to do was to pay for them when you wanted them.
We have had lettuce all winter, the middle of Feby radishes became plenty. Tomatoes we have every day for a long time nice ripe ones they are too, Straw berries are plenty at $2.ΕΕ pr quart and for two weeks new potatoes have been $1ΕΕ a peck and are now getting cheaper. new green peas are plenty and cheap, oranges 16 for 25 cts, who would be a farmer under such circumstances. You ought to have had a good March for sugar tho. It was the coldest March we have had in seventeen years. We have been frozen up all of the month. Margaret has had so much neuralgia this winter that she has been practically confined to the house one half the time. The boy has been splendid in health and good nature however.
We have a boarding place engaged where I can go out and spend the Sabbath with wife and baby and if nothing happens expect to occupy it by the 1" of May or shortly thereafter. It is very rea-sonable for board in the vicinity of the city. They take wife, baby & nurse all of the week and myself from Saturday supper to Monday breakfast for $20ΕΕ pr week; this does not include washing of course. Would you keep a troublesome family for that amount? We have added another store to our establishment and this summer shall take three stories each of two houses for our additional accomoda-tion. These alterations will add to the store six floors of 20 x 40 ft and two floors of 20 x 75 ft. it looks now as if this would be all of the room we would want for a while.
If our floors were made into one long floor 20 ft wide it would reach from your house clear up past Perrys somewhere.
When are you all coming down to see us. Dont come after the house is shut up the middle of May.
Love to all. LaForge.
You can come any time, on due reflection I think our summer country boarding place has a barn or two for the accomodation of extra visitors.
April 29" 72
Yours of the 21" at hand. so is the syrup and both are splen-did. it carries me back about fifteen years to eat that syrup and puts me thro' the whole operation of Sugar-bushwhacking again; ah! Joe my boy I would like to be "real tired" every day at the same work again only I never could make it pay. it takes "genius" to do that. Well if you can make money at it and send us such an offer-ing of your "first fruits" we are very glad to know it. it strikes me after that canful was taken out there could not have been much left for second fruits.
Tell Oscar that we would not trust him to drive our horses if he drops the lines when he gets into a tight place; One of our teams with a wagon load of our costly goods would make some havoc if they had their own way once. Also if he comes down to see us with his team we will (if out in the country) give him the choice of house or barn both for himself and horses, that is provided he wont allow the horses to come to our table nor take himself to eat-ing hay & oats. there is not that fair?
Margaret wants to send you babys picture, but the little ras-cal wont sit still when he is awake long enough to wink; and as to going to sleep away from home, well you ask him about it. Just as soon as he gets old enough to understand my commanding voice (or in about 10 or 12 years) I shall be able to make him behave like a christian and have his picture taken for Auntie and uncle.
Margaret is all right now we were expecting to go into the country in a few days but the weather has been so cold and backward this spring that we shall postpone our exodus until the wilderness is more inviting.
Much obliged for your instruction about preserving molasses but we know of a better way than that to keep it; most of it will probably be kept our way.
With very many thanks and love to all
We Close as ever
Marge & Maj