Howe Letters - 1889

Envelope: George A. Howe, Northampton, Mass 101 King St.
In pencil at top of letter "1889" [apparently winter and George is at Mr. Bridgman's school in Northampton; Mama and girls in NY]
Saturday Morning
Dear Son,
I have just come up from breakfast and not a very good one at that we do not have as good meals as we did at first, but we like Mr. Tarbell all the same he is so nice. We blame the cook. I am so thankful you come to me with your secrets that is the only thing I was worried about your going away from me for fear you would not come to me as you do at home now I feel that I have your confidence it is such a comfort and I am so proud you seem so noble and manly to me, when we can have confidential talks together. it is just as it should be. I was pleased to hear you had called on Lilly Leroyed and I think it would be nice for you to call on Miss Barker. and if it is good sleighing some Saturday or when it is convenient for you, take them sleighriding and if you need more money to pay the bill tell me. but the girles you speak of sliding down hill with I would be a little careful about going with, I do not think they are our kind and you never have done anything to my knowledge to mar or make a blot on your character and I want you to leave Mr. Bridgemans school as sure as you enter it. besides I do not think you can make much difference with Rob and advise him. I am afraid he is destined to be bad. I do not like the idea of a young man out nights walking with girles and a girl that will do it is not what she aught to be and is a dangerous creature. besides study is what you are there for and all outside influences detract from your lesson and Mr. B. will soon find it out, now please ask Heavenly father to give you strength to withstand all temptations, and sin, and go to him and trust him, and he will surely take you through life safely, and honorably, is the prayer of your mother. I think if Papa was here how proud he would be to know he had such a noble son. Aim high it is for you, you will reach it. I wish I could see you this morning, I could talk so much easier than I can write. When is the March vacation, and how many days, do we have. Margaret had a good cry when she got her letter from Perl saying if she has her name changed it has to be published three weeks in the Mirror. She hates to think of that, says she does not want to go back to D (Daisy) I think we will stay here some time yet - Mrs. Dunham is going to Washington Monday. I think the girles enjoy New York ever so much, they are so nice everyone speaks of them Miss Wood is very fond of them. Mr. Sibleys father is a judge in Vt. he is from a nice family. We like Mr. McCowen ever so much. I will close with a kiss.


Clinton Apr. 12th 1889
Dear dainty Darling,
I am going to begin this letter that I have written "tomorrow" every day for a month. I hear that you are all thinking of coming West and I want to know if we may hope to see you here. I imagine you are at your home by this time and I hope your winter's rest has done you all lots of good. How often I imagined just what you were all doing, what clothes you had on, what you were talking about. Are you feeling pretty well this Spring? I do hope so. But I guess none of you feel as happy as Walter (George Alonzo's cousin, 27 - son of Hannah, 66, & Roys Jones, long deceased, living in Clinton) does since Mamma gave him that five hundred (loaned it to him I mean) I think it was real good in her to let him have it and if he works and saves as he thinks, he will, it may be the making of a man as well as a musician of him, the musician I am sure he is capable of being.
Aunt Han's ankle is much better still she has to be very careful or it reminds her that she has an ankle. Bert (Herbert was Walter's younger brother, 22) was pretty well the last they heard. Uncle Geo. is so that he has been out and worked on his grape vines a little. Cha's has gone to town with butter today and I thought if he waited for it to stop raining I could get my letter done before he went but he did not wait. (George & Charles were Aunt Net's husband and son; 67 & 27, Nett is 59) We have had very little water fall for a long time but last night it began raining in earnest and we hope for a big rain. Walter Bridgeman was at Mattie's (Herbert & Walter's half-sister Martha I am guessing, who was 39, married to Jim Leslie, a grocer & living in Clinton) a week ago last Sunday. He was visiting his friend Rev. Burrell in C. (Chicago)about the merits of the different colleges I suppose Mrs. Noah would be as well informed as I. [Walter Jones's middle name was Howe, Herbert Jones's was Bridgeman; could she have been confused? Or a different Bridgman cousin altogether?]
In past ages I used to hear that Yale was tainted a little with infidelity, which I should not like. But I know nothing of the schools of the present age. Shall I ever see the boy? George? Kiss him forty times for me. How does Judge White (I guess Perl was a judge now, not a lawyer anymore) bear his honors? Give my love to my nephew Perley and dear little Alden. (Alden was 4, son of Mary & Perl, always referred to as little Alden.) Tell Mamma she cannot imagine how I do want one of those pictures of her and Alden. Perhaps she has heard that Delia Blackburn [daughter by second wife of Wm Rice Tucker, Armena Simons. The Blackburns went west for her health to Denver, maybe Nevada, and eventually Salt Lake. John was a lawyer and judge.] is very sick. John takes care of her. They had broken up housekeeping and were boarding at a hotel when she was taken sick. I presume you know that Cora (41, the other half-sister of Walter Jones, etc.; married to Lee Browning) has broken up housekeeping and is going to move to Minneapolis (she dies there in 1893). Margaret and Gertrude have been spending a week or two in Ill. with Dessie H??. How is that girl Oda now? I look at some little sacgnes [scarves?] and dresses upstairs, but where are the little twins that wore them.
With much love to all.
Aunt Net
[Could Nett&Geo have moved into the house left by Ike&Annie in Clinton? Census 1880 & 1900 show them living in Lincoln township, Clinton, with Geo widowed by 1900 & Charles married to Angelina Mead with a 5yr old son Harold.]

Envelope: George A. Howe, Northampton, Mass
stamped from: New York April 19, 1889
The letterhead is from when I.B. Howe was in the quarry business with G.F. Kirby, etc. it says:

G.F. KIRBY, President I.B. HOWE, Vice-President. H.J. HOWE, Sec'y and Treas.
Office of the Le Grand Quarry Co.
Marshalltown, Ia._________ 187
Printed on the top left reads:
"The stone from these quarries has been in use nearly twenty years, and so thoroughly tested that we can confidently recommend it to architects, builders and other dealers in stone and marble. With railway tracks to our quarries, stonesawing mill and marble shop, and with new and improved machinery, and experienced mechanics, we are prepared to fill all orders promptly and on reasonable terms for wallrock, foundation and dimension stone, window and door-caps and sills, water table, bases, columns, ashlar fronts, engine beds, floors of public buildings, etc. These are the only quarries furnishing the "IOWA MARBLE," so celebrated for its beautiful, variegated colors, high polish and great durability, from which we manufacture monument, mantel, table bureau, sink, wash-stand, and counter-tops, etc. Sawed blocks and slabs furnished to other manufacturers, on short notice. All kinds of work executed to order in any desired style. For prices and further particulars, address: Geo. A Gregg, Supt. LeGrand Quarry Co. Quarry, Marshall Co., Iowa."

Thursday evening. [19 Apr '89]
[letter begun by Daisy/Margaret, 19, and finished by Mama. They are apparently in New York for some cultural schooling in music and dance.]
Dear George,
I suppose you think I am dreadful and no wonder but you see I have been finishing up my dancing lessons & my "Beacon Lights" and have therefore been very busy. There I am trying to learn all I can on my banjo before I go away from here and have been writing off one of Mr. Sibleys pieces. We are having regular April weather. I have been to dancing school today, have only one more lesson. Danced the schottische with Mr. Trenor and he said I did it very nicely! My twins name is Miss Davis. I told her what I called her and she said she and her sister called me Miss Boston because I came from there. I do like them so much. We think Mr. Plimpton may call tonight, he has not been here yet. Bertie has not decided about her camera yet. Will you please send back that letter of Perls, we want to show it to Nat. We all think you had better join the Endeavor Society* and as an active member. That seems the only honest way and although it is hard sometimes it is a great help for you. How is Myron. he almost always comes back sick doesn't he?
Oda has not given up the Northampton plan yet and will probably come to you a week from next Thursday. Bertie was over this P.M. and brought some figs and fruit cake that came in her birthday box. She had some nice handkerchiefs, a beautiful ring 3 saphires & two diamonds, and her brothers sent her a large check. (The handwriting changes here with no indication from Margaret's to Mama's) It is warm as July today. We had a terrible accident down here on sixth avenue opposite the fruit stand they were cutting down telegraph poles and two men were in a high building holding a rope and it pulled them both together out of the window and they went smash on the sidewalk and was a mass of jelly just think how quick he was rushed into eternity. How little we know what a day or an hour will bring forth. Oda & Margaret have gone up to the Park to see the riding but I have been having my nap and I want to get this letter off to you. Mr. Sibley got me a steamer trunk, and we have been making them some black bibs to wear over their white bosens? with their dress suits. I wish you could have a glass of this nice milk. Margaret got me a new bottle this morning. Love and kisses my own darling son.
* The Young People's Society of Christian Endeavour was a nondenominational evangelical society founded in Portland, Maine, in 1881. It was very popular among youth and expanded rapidly.

Mr. George A. Howe [age 17]
Northampton, Mass
New York, April 22nd /89
Dear Son:
This is a lovely morning but a little cooler than it has been. I did enjoy your letter so much last night. I am so thankful you have that lovely woman to talk with, I know what a comfort and help she is to you, and how hard it is for you to have to stand alone. When Myron & Robert seem so indifferent, and determined to go back, but I beg of you to keep up good courage pray for strength of mind and it will be given you. Take up the cross, under the cross, his the crown. You will always find the nearer you keep to Jesus the more happiness and peace you have. Do not be afraid of becoming deacanish, [recall they tho't of Han as being "deaconish"; must mean preachy] that feeling will all pass of after awhile. I would not care about practising my dancing steps there it may have some influence over the boys, to dampen their spirits. You can have a chance when you get home with Margaret. I do not think after she leaves New York she will care so much about it.
I think Oda [22] will go to Northampton Wednesday or Thursday of next week rite after the centennial we will write to you so you can know just when to expect her. I did not want to go west till I see Perl (son-in-law married to Mary Howe before she died, a lawyer, guardian and custodian for the affairs of the family - Alden Perley White, 34. Little Alden would be 4) so he is coming here, to see me I rather do that than go home myself. Margaret [19] & I will go to Chicago from here perhaps stay with Mr. Campbell overnight - and go to Janesville next day. I think your old overcoat must be small for you. If you need a light overcoat you better get one. Not ? to have that fixed. I do not think Perl will stay very long. I hardly know what to do about Mr. Putnam. I would like him while we are at home but do not want to keep him from a summers job in case he could get one. Miss Morris and the girls are out this morning shopping yesterday they went to a fair everything was so high they did not buy anything but some peanuts in lace bags. Phebe wrote Margaret that Gertrude Spring was to be married to a Mr. Philips of Boston. Frank Dawson & Miss Johnson are to be married I believe soon.
Letters to Charles from Europe – June 1889-May 1890
George & family are traveling in Europe and George is writing to Charles in Northampton

George is 17, has been at a school in Northampton and is now on a year tour with family in Europe. After his return he will attend Andover prior to going to Harvard.

On Board S.S. Westernland
Sat. June 29, 10th day out
My dear Charles:
I am out on the ocean wide and almost at the end of my voyage but still out of sight of land although we have passed a number of islands. Now you mustn't feel bad because I haven't written you in the early part of the voyage for really I have been quite busy and also quite lazy.
I found your letter waiting for me on board the boat with a number of others and they have given me a regular feast. First let me tell you a few of the things I did while home. Thursday, the day after I arrived I helped pack. In the afternoon I played tennis & after supper Mr. White & I took a horseback ride with a very nice young lady. Friday night I had some more tennis. Saturday morning the above mentioned girl & myself took a 20 mile ride, starting at 8 o'clock & not getting home until 1. We had just a beautiful time. Saturday afternoon my mother & sister's & self made a call. Sunday we went to church, & in the afternoon I had a call from a young fellow whose acquaintance I made 4 or 5 years ago. Monday was the start & of course we all felt a little homesick.
We left Danvers at 1.46, at Boston we cit'shanged & went to Fall River where we took the steamer for New York. After doing some shopping we went over to Jersey City where we spent the night & next morning went on board the steamer Westernland. The first day we were all right but the second day all of us but mother felt rather uncomfortable though that has been the extent of it.
I have had a sharp appetite all the time & they have fed us finely. We shall probably land sometime tomorrow morning.
There are lots of real nice people & we have met some from whom it will be very hard to be separated. There is one couple of Wash. people whom we like very much, also a young German minister (Meisner?), a young Swede, a man from Guatemala & numerous others.
Two nights we have had entertainment in the saloon consisting of vocal & instrumental music & reading. One night they took up a collection for the Poor Seamen & raised $33.18. This morning or noon rather, the pilot came on board who is to take us through the channel.
* * *
I am in Antwerp now at Hotel des Flandres. It is Sunday afternoon. This morning most of us got up at three o'clock because we expected to get into Antwerp early & we wanted to see the sights as we sailed along, but alas it became very foggy and as the channel is quite narrow it was very hard to steer the boat straight & do you know that great big ship ran right up on the bank & stuck.
The captain did his best to get her out into deep water but as the tide was going out she was soon left high & dry on those mud flats. We got lots of fun & excitement out of it and most of us enjoyed it immensely. Finally a big steam tug came to our assistance & took on all the passengers taking them up to Antwerp. While some more tugs took a way the cargo & so lightened the ship that it could be floated.
Our hotel here is right in the shadow of the cathedral. And now old man I must close thanking you again for your letters, sending lots of love to you & kindest regards to your people. And so I will close, remaining ever your friend, Geo. A. Howe,
49a Friedrich Strasse, Berlin, Germany.

July 28, 1889
[Front pages missing]
...... so silly I was ashamed of it just soon as it was done. But you needn't shrink nor she either but I'm going to keep up a correspondence with her. And please don't say anything about this to anyone especially to her. I have visited so many great museums & art galleries & seen Oh! so many beautiful paintings that I have used up all my adjectives & wish someone would inhe is he is avent new ones. Have seen the royal palace & palace & relics of Frederick the Great, Emperors William & Frederick & Empress Louise. This morning I went to a German church & afterwards to the American Chapel. Don't you think I did well?
And now I must tell you about something that is troubling me. It is what I am to do between now & next Spring. I can either settle down here in Berlin & have a private tutor & go along with my studies nearly as well as at home & then go back to America, take another year preparing & enter college at 18 or -- I can travel around & sightsee with my folks, have a very pleasant time & get stronger & healthier too perhaps & then in the Spring go back or wait until Fall & go into a good Academy or school & spend two years fitting & enter college at 19. The latter plan my folks approve of & want me to follow but I can have my say about it. Those two paths lie before me. What shall I take? Will you please give me your private & candid opinion. Another thing. I don't but I will go to Harvard instead of Yale. I have been talking with a Harvard man lately who knows & he advises me to go. Of course I haven't decided yet & shan't for a long time only I have thought better of Harvard lately as a college.
Tomorrow this whole pension (boardinghouse) is going on a picnic & expect to have a grand time. I know I shall if Bertha goes & I am pretty certain she will go. Please don't worry for Bertha & I are real good friends.
And now I must close this epistle. If you happen to meet E.S. on the street just cut her for me, will you please. I am studying German grammar & taking a lesson a day so you see I'm not idle. My sister would like to be remembered to you & you know I send love & kind remembrances to you & yours.
Goodbye & write soon to,
George A. Howe
A piece of a leaf is enclosed with the note: Only a leaf from San Sochi the summer home of Frederick the Great. Damaged by being carried in my card case. G.

Berlin, Sept. 26, 1889.
My dear Boy:
You have been decidedly neglected but please remember it has been perfectly unintentional. And you mustn't think because I do not write that I do not think of you. I have taken up something new. It is riding lessons. I have taken 2 & am to take another this afternoon. It is great fun & grand exercise. Yesterday morning I went at 6:00 a.m. which gets me up pretty early you see. I am now learning the German trot which is different from the English trot in that you do not rise in the stirrups but just sit in the saddle & bob, bob, bob. It is very hard & awfully uncomfortable.
Since we have come back to Berlin we haven't done very much sightseeing but have put our minds down upon German. I am also studying up ancient mythology which is very interesting.
As for the photographs of a certain Northampton young lady I think they are very good likenesses. I am so glad you enjoyed your vacation so much & am very glad you have seen Plymouth.
You see by my letter heading I am again in Berlin. I believe you haven't heard anything about Dresden yet. It is the pleasantest German town we have been in yet I think. Having but 270,000 inhabitants it is much quieter than Berlin. There are a great many English speaking people there & nearly all the shop keepers speak English. The picture gallery is the finest in Germany & one of the finest in the world. The Sistine Madonna is here & is wonderful. There are so many magnificent paintings here I wish you could see them.
One day we went to a German funeral. The deceased was the manager of the theater & therefore a great many actors & actresses were there. It was a grand chance to see them as they really are. While we were there the Kaiser paid a visit to the King Saxony. He took his wife with him & we got a very good view of them all as they rode to the station. It is great fun to try to catch glimpses of Royalty in a crowd.
One day we went to Meisson, visited a castle & went through the manufactory where the Royal Dresden china is made. It was about as interesting a sight as I ever saw to see the manufacture of the china from clay to dish table mirror frame or whatever it was destined to be. Dresden is a great place for China & Margaret and I went through a beautiful collection of it. There were about 1,000,000 pieces. Another day we saw a collection of bronze ivory jewelry &c. The diamonds & rubies were some thing wonderful. While we were there in Dresden Mama gave me a lovely cane & umbrella.
And now my dear boy I must close though I wish I could write you a longer letter. So with kind regards to your family & much love for your self I am, Your traveler, Geo. A. Howe
Care of Baring Bro's. & Co., 8 Bishopsgate St. (within) London, Eng.

Berlin, Oct. 1889
Dear Partner:
Ah! Good morning Charles. Down early aren't you? Ah well in another month we won't be as busy & can extend our morning naps another hour or so.
By the way did I tell you Jay Gould deposited $50,000 yesterday. Yes. And I've heard the L.S.& M.C. has gone up to 12%.
Imagine the above conversation ensuing between two prosperous young bankers in one of the largest cities "out west". It is nine o'clock Thursday night and I am in my room all alone. I have been in that condition all the evening for all of the folks have gone to a concert given by Strauss, the noted composer of dance music. I went last night. I have been to two Philharmony concerts. In America it costs about 75¢ to hear corresponding music while here it is only 12¢.
I don't think I have seen a single sight since I last wrote to you. I have studied German, a little Latin & Greek, read and ridden horseback, and that's about all. I think I am getting awfully lazy for I don't seem to be accomplishing much. Just having a grand good time & no work to speak of.
I am also trying to get up some muscle with a pair of dumbbells, but it is rather slow work.
I wish there was an accessible English library where I could study up the country I am seeing. Everything here is German.
Can you suggest any profitable occupation which I could take up?
Our plan now, which isn't yet decided upon is to stay here in Berlin till about January then go to France & stay about two months. At the end of which time we will go to Italy & spend a month & a half or two months there, then come up through Switzerland. Probably about that time I will leave for home but if not we will continue on to England.
Have you seen the Century Magazine for August. I borrowed the one of a boarder here & read the article entitled Wood engravers in camp. It describes Hocanum & the country around Northampton, and tells about Hocanum Ferry & the old horn, probably the one you blew that memorable day we went over to Mount Holyoke. I think you would be interested in reading it.

Berlin, Dec. 15, 1889
My dear Boy:
How shamefully you have been neglected! But really I have had no time for writing for the last month. One spell I was sick & had to keep in for 4 or 5 days. The disease was nothing serious, only rather disagreeable. It was a kind of influence of which has spread itself all over Berlin & everyone is having it. My two sisters are having it today.
Did I tell you that I am taking Cicero with the professor in the house. Yes, & I like it very much.
I have been to a number of operas and have seen Faust & William Tell played. I never dissipated so much in my life as I do here, seldom getting to bed before 11 & often it is 12 or 1. But I'm having lots of fun.
There are about 20 of us, all real nice people whom we like ever so much & a great many are young people. Nearly every evening when there is nothing outside going on we get together & sing or play games or talk or something & get lots of fun out of it. Some of us gentlemen have gotten up a secret society which affords us a good deal of amusement. Another thing we are doing is writing a novel. One of the gentlemen boarders wrote a plot & divided it into chapters. Each one of us is to take a chapter & enlarge it. I think it will be lots of fun.
We had a grand time here Thanksgiving. In the morning one of the ministers in the house preached us a nice sermon, then we had a bang up dinner, the dining room being decorated with flags, & lastly in the evening we went to a kind of ball given or originated by the American consul. Our dinner there was wholly American & included turkey, mince & pumpkin pie, celery, sweet potatoes cranberry sauce &c. &c.
Between courses we had speeches by Count Herbert Bismarck, Minister Phelps and music by Alvary & Mme. Carano. After dinner we had dancing which I didn't partake much of. The thing was a grand success.
I don't know whether I'll be able to call on your aunt or not, but I will if I can get time. In your letter you mentioned F. Bridgman's marriage. Is it a fact? I haven't heard from Myron yet. Poor, poor, lad he has lost his dearest friend on earth. We must pray for him poor boy. I tried to find you something for Christmas but the only thing I could conveniently send was that picture of the Kaiser which is a good likeness.
Please give my regards to your folks. Perhaps I've forgotten to send them before but you know how thoughtless I am. But I often think of the pleasant times I have spent in your cozy domicile.
With love I am, Your friend, G.A.H.
49a Friedrich Strasse, Berlin, Care of Baring Bro's.