Letter from Mary Carpenter, August 5, 1874

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Letters of Mary Carpenter
Minnesota Historical Society Manuscripts Collection P1487

Marshall, Aug 5. 1874

Dear Cousin Lucy,

The enclosed letter you will see by the date, was written nearly a month since. It was not convenient to mail it immediately, and I almost decided not to send it at all, but now think I will add a little and send it. If I don't send a letter soon I shall get to be thirty four years old before you hear from me, as my birthday comes Aug. 21. We have been married over fourteen years. Geo. is working at harvesting wheat, for a neighbor. He earns $2.00 a day. Has engaged to help him through binding and stacking.

[Page 2]

Geo. will do the stacking as Mr. Johnson does not understand it, and it takes an experienced hand. George has put up a great many stacks of grain. I hope we may have grain of our own before many years. He will probably earn between thirty and forty dollars in the whole. He has been obliged to spend some for provisions, for us already for we did not have even flour until after he commenced working there. He boards where he works, but comes home nights. We have new potatoes, now and cucumbers from our garden. We shall have sweet corn before many weeks.

[Page 3]

Our melons, tomatoes, and winter squashes and cabbages are promising. If we can only get a decently comfortable house before winter, I think we shall raise enough as we shall not suffer for food. Our broomcorn looks well but Geo. cannot make brooms till we have room in the house for the broom machine. He is working very hard and has so much on his mind, thinking of so much to be done before winter by his unaided arm, excepting what the children and I can do, that it wears on him much. Three short months and cold weather will be here and wo to him whom it finds unprepared. We are all pretty well.

[Page 4]

Mamie often complains of headache. Tell your little Laura our children often pick up buffalo's bones, teeth, &c. on our farm. I suppose this land was never before occupied excepting by Indians. There are wild geese and ducks & prairie hens here, but we have no gun so have not had any of them. There is also a very large bird, the sandy hill crane. There are many pretty wild flowers. Do you see my new style paper? It is fools cap cut in two lengthwise. Mother and Willie were both quite unwell when I heard last week. Baby nearly stands alone. We have constant reminders of you in the papers you send. Hoping you will send a card when unable to write a letter & a letter as often as you can. With much love to you all from us all, I remain

Affectionately your cousin, Mary E. L. C.

[Pages 2 and 3, along the side]

I send Mamie's letter to Laura just as she wrote it, first draft, without correction. She is only beginning so you must excuse mistakes.