Here is a letter I transcribed over the weekend. There are a few places that I either couldn’t make out the word or the discoloration on the paper is so bad it obscures the writing. If anyone has any suggestions let me know.
The letter was written to my paternal great-great grandmother, Lidia [Eliza] Cordelia Good (born July 20, 1869, died May 25, 1964) from her cousin Frank in Louisville, Kentucky. The letter was dated Ground Hog Day (February 2) 1888. Postmarked Feb 6 1888.
Frank writes about Moody & Sankey during their visit to Louisville in 1888. Moody was the famous revivalist preacher and Sankey was a famous American gospel hymn writer and singer. Everywhere they went they drew large crowds.
Also the little poem written at the end seems to have been a popular one in the 1880’s to write in autograph books and to those looking for love. I Google’d the poem and found many different variations of the same theme all written in the late 1800’s, so it was obviously personalized by the writer, like versus of “Roses are red, Violets are blue ….” .
Letter to Miss Eliza Good
(on lined paper that has the words CONGRESS over a building embossed on it)
Ground hog day, 88
Your letter came to hand and was read with care. I can answer with some better heart than before as mother is improving. I took the bed myself last Wednesday and was sick a day or so but they could not keep me in bed. I suppose it was from exhaustion from waiting on Ma.
I sang in a concert’s last Monday & Tuesday night they were given our church. I didn’t feel like taking a part but they insisted on me and I bore one of the ____ away. The concerts were good and we took in about 50$ the first night & the second night was free.
I wish you could have been here and of gone.
I suppose you have heard of the great revivalist Moody and Sanky. They are here holding a meeting and the town is wild over them. There is from 5 to 10 thousand people go to hear them twice a day. Some of the citizens here erected a tabernacle for them that cost $10 thousand. It is heat up with patent heaters and light up with electric light making it just grand. There is 500 voices in the choir. I was chosen to sing but have never got to yet. They have been here nearly a month. I suppose they will convert the town before they leave. I expect to attend from
now on. It has just struck 12 O’clock and here I am not done writing. I have written some other letters.
I was out to our old home Saturday and came back Monday. I went out for _____ and I got Charley and wife to stay with Ma. I saw my oldest brother William he still lives at Edwardsville. I know he has got the sweetest little boy you ever saw. He is so smart. We are looking for them to come Saturday. My sister will be here tomorrow.
You spoke of my picture in your letter. I am ashamed of waiting so long but I will have them taken right soon. I expect to take an office next week as book keeper if mother is well enough.
Have had a large sleet and snow it has been great sleighing here all the ________ Ma illness I could hear the sleigh bells. But I never got to enjoy a ride. It began to melt Saturday as I went out to the country and I had a splendid time wading mud. I don’t believe I could live in the country any more for the mud but I guess I could if I had too. I will bring my letter to a close by asking you to not take all your leisure time talking to that Dude that James was telling me about. But answer soon. Yours truly Frank.
Remember well and bear in mind,
That a true Dude is hard to find
But when you find one young and gay;
Hang to his coattail night & day
Has cousin James moved back he wrote his letter from Aunt Mag’s so I don’t know where to write to until you answer this. Please give this note to Aunt Mag. With love to all I remain your cousin Frank.