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Original Autograph Manuscript Letter Signed by One “Claude” in San Francisco and Addressed to “Dear Uncle,” Talking about Being Depressed over Her Brother’s Failing Health and Sharing News about Financial & Family Matters. San Francisco: 26 December 1885.



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Quarto bifolium (20,2x12,5 cm. or 8x5 in). 4 pp. Brown ink on yellowish wove paper. Fold marks, but overall a very good letter, written in a legible hand.

Historically interesting private letter from a young woman in San Francisco to “Dear Uncle” Jas. A. Bradley. In the letter, one “Claude” shares news about her brother’s poor health, talking about his inability to leave the room or continue working as a teacher. She also mentions sending him a Christmas cake and writes about "Charlie's wife" being unhappy with his stay at their house. In the rest of the letter, Claude thanks the addressee for financial & moral support and discusses common acquaintances, cold weather, her improving health & finances, etc. Overall, historically interesting early California private letter.

The text of the letter:

Your most kind letter with remittance reached me on Tuesday night, and I went next day into Alexandria to get it cashed, which I succeeded in doing without any difficulty. I scarce know how to thank you for all your goodness to me. It is not merely the gift itself for which I feel grateful, but also for the moral support which comes with it; the evidence to others that I have some one to care for me. I sent Henry Cornelius – my poor sick brother – a part of the money at once, which will reach him today or tomorrow; the rest I have put away. I had already sent him a box, timed to reach him on Kmas eve, full of cake which he could not eat, but which I thought he might, like to give away. I don’t know whether I mentioned in my last that he had undergone a successful examination and recd a position as teacher. He held it about three months, and then was taken sick again had to go to Charlie’s where he has been for the last month, too ill to leave his room or even to answer my letters; which Charlie has done for him from time to time. I feel much depressed on his account as Charlie writes me that he don’t think he will ever be able to do any continuous work again, and that he looks very feeble. A letter from H himself reached me in the same mail with yours – it made me feel ever so sad: he is replying now on a promise of the superintendent to get him a letter situation as soon as he gets about again - letter inasmuch as the other was in the country, and the daily walk a long one, in bad weather; in fact too long for one so weak, at any time. His boarding place was two miles from the school. His exposure in bad weather was what made him ill this time. I feel very proud of the effort he has made, and very sorry that he could not have gone on teaching, as I know that Charlie’s wife is not well pleased at his presence in their home, and that but for Charlie’s brotherly kindness he would not remain true.

While he was at work, I got ahead a little, financially, and not having drawn anything from any employees on my own acct am better prepared to aid him in case of necessity. Your kind gift added to what I have saved makes me feel well able to do so; and this as you will readily understand in the greatest comfort I can have. I can only hope that you had as happy a Xmas as mine was; a feeling of contentment and of peace, with no ungratified desire so far as concerned myself alone, and above all, a profound sentiment of gratitude to friends whose kindness and love left me nothing to wish for, - the chief of whom was yourself.

I am sure that I was not the only one whose heart you made light at this happy season, and I earnestly hope each joy bestowed on others may return to yourself, multiplied a thousand fold to gladden the years which remain of your useful and honorable life.

Let me add in closing, that my health seems to have much improved since the cold weather set in. Give best love to my dear Nuck Henry and family and let me hear from you all now and then when you can spare the time. I have no letter from Aunt Lucy since last summer. Nothing from – since several months. Have written myself but they don’t answer. I know it is not indifference, his children love me dearly – but Ed is not his own man, and his wife works hard trying to help him, and I know myself that it is not easy to – up correspondence when one is very busy. Say to Nuck – I did not fail to think of you all, and to wish you every joy for yourselves and those you love. Does he remember a little shawl with Guiness embroidery and silk fringe which he gave me on his last visit to New Orleans – Say that I still wear it very often and never fail to think of him whenever I touch it. Among other mementos I have with me here the illustrated Thompson’s Seasons which you sent me one Xmas even longer ago than that. I could only bring a few books with me here.

Item #MA70/2
Price: $650.00