Correspondence (incoming): begging letters, O

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Fredonia N.Y. Dec 20 - 1901

Dear Mrs

This is such a strange thing to do, my writing to you, asking you to help me now in my [extremity?], and a thing I never thought of doing before, but in yesterdays paper I read a little article telling of your great generosity in giving to many things and of your emense [sic] wealth. Speaking of millions of dollars which I can hardly comprehend, when I think that only four or five thousand would make my little family comfortable and happy for life, and the thought came to me that if I were in your place and you in my humble position and I knew of your need

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even if you were a stranger I should be glad to help you and then the thought came to me. How should I know of your need if you did not tell me and something prompted me to write you. I am a married woman and work in a store in town for [$2.50? $2.00?] pr week. My husband has lost his health and is not able to work but does manage to do enough to just about take care of himself. He has some kind of nervous trouble, has been sick more or less for over two years and the Dr does not give me much encouragement that he will be better very soon.

My Father and Mother live with me and they are getting quite old, 73 years. They have always worked very hard and been prudent and have managed to get enough together to nearly pay for our little humble home

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but Father is a watchmaker by trade and his eyesight is failing him and he can not do the work he used to so cannot earn much and we owe a mortgage of $200, on our home and we also owe about $200, other debts and I do not see how we can ever pay it all and it would nearly kill my Father and Mother to be obliged to give up their little home in their old age and it almost breaks my heart to see my Father looking so haggard and worried and to know that my Mother is having many sleepless nights thinking and worrying over our trouble and I often wake in the night and get to thinking it all over and I find myself first cold and then the perspiration will start out all over me and it seems as though I would go crazy over it all, I often turn

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to my bible?] and read the precious promises and try so hard to trust but oh if I could only do something more. I am very willing to work hard, and expect to while I live but a little woman can earn so little with only two hands to work with, and then I thought if out of your abundant wealth you could feel to help me a little for the sake of my dead old Father and Mother and sick husband oh I would be so thankful and happy and will prey [sic] the dear Lord to bless and prosper you whether you help me or not and give you many kind friends and a Happy Chrismastime., No one knows of my writing this letter and I earnestly beg of you never make this letter or my name public, and if you can not feel to help me please distroy [sic]this and forget all about it. I am so ashamed to send it and never would but for my dear old father and mother. Yours hopefully Celia E Oakes Fredonia N.Y.

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[debossed] TRILBY [/debossed]

#314. E. High St. Charlottesville, Va. Nov. 26th 1900

Mrs Leland Stanford, Dear Madam.

I hear you are interested in relics of antiquity, so I write to tell you of some articles I have.

I have a letter of Gen. Geo. Washington to his brother Charles dated [sometime ?] Jan 1771. This is genuine, also a [delicate ?] piece of lace from his cavalry saddle, a sword from the cause - of this I am not sure was his, but it came to me with the other things, and

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I believe it to have been his, but will not say positively, but of the letter I am positive.

I have also the hose, slippers, and dress worn at a ball given by Thomas Jefferson to Lafayette when the latter was in this country, the slippers are of white satin, the hose, flesh color silk, with the top of feet and instep of open work embroidery. The dress is old gold sequined silk, it is just as it was worn then. I have also books - two volumes containing letters of Henry VIII, Cromwell, Elizabeth etc. There were

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printed in 1774. Bound in leather, and in a perfect state of preservation. These are things, which I prize very highly, but I have been left a widow, and circumstances are such that I will have to part with them, and hearing of your interest in such things, write to ask if you would not like to purchase them. I have also cut glass used at a wedding more than one hundred and ten years ago, 8 wine glasses and & six salt stands, these are very heavy and very [illegible].

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