Gold Rush Era Letters

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Josephine J. Crawford

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5 pg is in excellent health and writes she has had a most delightful winter. She is very smart and active to get around for one of her years. She has never had to do any hard work but had on easy life. She is very active in Church work and looking to the needs of the poor. Her only child Eddie is engaged for a St Orphon Asylum in looking out for the helpless ones. Old Uncle Brayton is very smart. Preaches two sermons every Sunday and works every day through the week in having The Bible The New Testament translated and printed in their language. Aunty Mary died five years ago last Dec Her daughter Mary Rose (she married a missionary of that name) lives there with her father. Her husband is in very poor health with heart disease. My bro Brayton is in business with his Son in Belmond Iowa near Garlion's All were well only a few days ago and they have had a light winter for that place. Only one of Sister Mary's children still lives. She, Ruth Von Husen lives in Sioux City Iowa. She is married but is a teacher there. Is an educated

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highly cultivated woman. Her father lives in St Louis, Mo. Is by trade a jeweler Brayton writes his children have all married well, and a settled except the youngest Son who is still single. Gulion's daughter Ada is very sweet Singer. I so wish that I could meet you again here that I some times feel dissatisfied that it is so I cannot do it I love and cling in memory to my dear old kindred and childhood friends They, and the places I knew in those days live fresh and green in my memory. The pieces of Calico given me when I was last there for an Album quilt I often look at it. Tis a dear treasured relic. I have kept it bright and clean. I have bits of dresses of nearly all the old friends in it and many of my cousins and other friends the young men gave me bits also to put in it. It has escaped fires and floods and was not taken by the Mexicans and Indians when they carried off most of our things and all of Mr Crowford carpenter tools. Allie and I talk of you every time we meet. I hope this will find you all in comfortable health and enjoying much of life Dear Auntie I know when age brings pain and feebleness we cany enjoy as in days gone by and then our old friends are so many of them gone that we feel left almost alone. Soon we too will be gone Much love to all from both Allie and I and do please write if you are able. if not I wish some of Cousin Oscar's family would. Do you know anything about Cous Wm Fuller? Lovingly you niece Josephine Crawford

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San Jose, Santa Clara Co, California 196 Montgomery St. June 23 1896 My dear Aunt C I was more glad than I can find words to express and feelings too [ ] to get another letter from you, for I feared you were not able to write. Since it came we have been to Sister Allie's and spend a week. I would have done you good could you seen us read that letter and enjoy it together. We called to mind when you used to card spin and weave in the long ago. We delight in bringing to mind many of the scenes of child-hood's days. Among other things we remember your father had some pieces of bearskin on his harness that used to excite our childish wonder & fancy as it was something others did not have. We love our friends and wish we could see them or hear from them more frequently. In summer Alphonsine has boarders a {in margin} Where is cousin Jane Pond and daughter? How is Oramel and family?

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a large house to take care of and milk & butter to attend to besides much fruit of all kinds, of which she puts up a large quantity and fills orders for eastern firms, so she hasd no time to spend in writing to her friends when not at work is too tired to write. She wished me to write you for her as I have more time, although I too, have a busy life & do not write as often as I would like to for I am conscious that it will not be long before we shall not have the privilege and pleasure and I wish to improve it. Our brothers are well, Brayton had lately lost a grand child [Sain's] little Grace Pond. She was a delicate child, went into spasms and died. In writing of Sister Allie I forgot to mention her little tots. Both of her sons are married and live in little cottages near by the old folks and work the farm. The one married first has Leslie & Grace, the last has a little boy they call Guilan Brayton after both of their Uncles. Allie's daughter Annie is here in San Jose with Miss Dr. Goss, assisting in Office work, which she enjoys and they

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hire s stronger girl to take her place at home. Sister hasd two girls during the time of the [ ]. She thinks little Leslie the first one just the the smartest and best child that ever lived and he thinks his Grandma very nice She is his special favorite I have just rec'd a letter from Cousin Abbie Pon of Ann Arborm, Mich, daughter of Nathan Pond. She writes that one brother and herself are all that are left of their family. She has remained single and taught there thirty three years and is still teaching. She enjoys her work and hopes to be take to her heavenly home when she gets so she can do it no longer. Old Uncle Durlin Brayton is very smart and active. he preached two sermons every Sunday and works every week day on translation of the New Testament into their languare. This is the second edition he is now working on. His daughter Mary assists him. Her husband Elder Rose is in poor health, has heart trouble that they think will prove fatal. Their children are all married and settled near Hartford, Ct. They have two sons & two daughters.

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This country is looking beautiful. We went with our horse and buggy to Allie's and it was a most delightful trip. The hay was cut and being secured and the grain was standing so even and nice fence-top high almost ready for harvest - hundreds of acres of vineyards and orchards, acres of onions, raised for seed and wild and cultivated flower in endless profusion - and with all this plenty and beauty - we find the cry of hard times and of want - in this land of plenty. The rich own large tracts of land and use machinery to do the work that men used to do - and so it requires few to do it and many can't find work to do - some don't want to find any but want to live off from those who do. I don't know what will become of our country if some things and times do not change for the better. We are sorry to hear that Cousin Oscar has not fully recovered for without health the struggle in this life is so much harder. I wish his wife or girls would write to me. Uncle will attend to the wood just as long as he can. We, Allie & I, often laugh over some of Uncle Asahel's tricks - he used to delight in teasing us and it did not take much to do it either. We have all known much trial and sorrow since then. The hardships and privations of pioneer life amid dangers of many kinds - with Indians and renegade white men who were just as bad away from from friends all new wild and unlike our old home - but we were spared and I hope will die a natural death but there have been many times I did not expect it. Let us hear from you when you have the time and can do so. Remember our love to all - with best wishes I am as ever yours [Affectionaly] Josephine J. Crawford

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San Jose, Santa Clara Co, Calif 196 Montgomery St. Mar 12 - 1872 Very dear Aunt C I have not heard from you since I last wrote, but have been thinking of you, and the dear friends east until I think I must write Tis late bed time but only thoughts of you and "days long Syne" have driven sleep from my eyes so I will take a short time to let you know I think of, and long to see you. Have just rec'd a photo of the old Elm tree, and the School house and Pond Hill, sent by Cousin Carrie. Parker from Colo, taken by her daughter last sason while on their visit there. I wish the old home had been included but I suppose it tooks like a "relic of fallen greatness" tis so gone to rack

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and ruin. Well! when you, and a few of those I used to know are gone, it will not greive one that the dear old house (that in memory I often revisit) has become among "the things that were". I dream of going there to your home, Uncle Fuller's and other places. Some of them, must look desolate now from what I hear of them. Had an interruption How are you getting along this winter Have you much snow and cold bad weather? How is Cousin Oscar and family? Has he recovered from that hurt? Did you receive the letter with the poppy seed that I sent you? How is Cousin Julia Ann and all that you know anything about of our dear old friends? How few remain! Haver you had a pleasant wnter, and all the Snow you wish? We have had a fine one, with rain sufficient to please the farmers and give fair promise of a fruitful harvest. The frost has not injured the Call lillies and they are in full bloom

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with roses and many other kinds of flowers. Also the Almond, Apricot and Loquat trees are in their dainty whote and pink bloom. The grain is growing fast and vegetables doing well. Have green peas and new potatoes in the market. This State produces almost everything by maple sugar. I know of none being made in any portion of it but large quantites of beet sugar is and soon the largest establishment of the kind in the United Sates will be completed 200 hundred men are employed upon it and it is only fairly begun. It is not far from us in an adjoining Co. Bro Brayton came here in Nov from Iowa to see us girls and get away from the cold weather back there and he is so well-pleased with the climate he says he don't think he will ever go back to stay. He has gone into business introducing "Ponds Fountain Wind Mill Oiler" which was invented by his son L.C. THIS SOn is of quite and inventive turn of mind and withal quite a genius. He and family live in Belmond Wright Co near bro Gulion's. [Gurlie] & family are well. Have a nice new house, with modern improvements, and ice house and good out building all very handy and complete His daughtere Ada is teaching there, ad boards at home. Is a lovely girl, and very sweet Singer. Gulion is deacon of their church and his wife is a worker in it Allier and her family are pretty well at the "Retreat" but Annie, the daughter, is here

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taking treatment at the Drs. She has been in poor health for some time and they fear she is going onto a decline. Her mother was in consumption (and soon died) after her birth. She is a very lovely young lady and has many friends Allie will miss her very much - as she was the life of the home. Singing around with her sweet cheeful voice Allie is pretty well and does much work, more than any other girl, she has yet Hired to help her. She puts out much Fruit for Eastern Market. We always talk much of you when we meet. Have just got a letter from Aunt S Savage who is well and happy. She had just rec'd a letter from Uncle Durlin Braytoon who is past ninety and smart as he writes from Six to 7 hours per day translating the Bible into their language He preaches every Sunday - He is a very remarkable man he is very spry and active. You, dear Auntie and they, are all that are left us of the large number of Uncles and Aunts that we had and on both sides we had a goodly number. Well, I hope you are in comfortable health and will be spared [rs] until your work is done and you wish to go to the "Better home" If I could sit by you I could say so much that I can't in this slow tedious way. but since that can't be I am glad for this means of communication, slow and poor as it is.

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