Gertrude Thomas
Witness Letters



832 Hillson Ave.
Oct 18 bef 1909 (WST)

Forgive me my Sweetheart for not answering your message sooner - but it has seemed impossible to do so. I have hunted through the archives - but find very little of any general interest- Nothing in fact that I think Mrs. Lansing wrote xx. I xx send you one little :Rebus" however, on the name of "Nanny Crooke" Afterward Mrs. Broom, (Aunty Broom we called her - the mother of Mrs Judge Ruggles, whom you all remember. I always heard that "Nanny Crook" was a great beauty in her day. And our grandfather makes assurance doubly sure. In regard to the Night Before Christmas- I really know nothing more than I have told you. Cousin Jeannie Hubbard xx I have been visiting this autumn - says she has heard her father tell of just where his father sat when he wrote this famous poem, and after it was finished, of his emerging from his retirement, and reading it to the assembled family. She also remembers the old Poughkeepsie paper in which it was printed- and how often her father would bring it out with pride, and read it to a circle of friends assembled in their cozy parlor. She feels pride - as sure of the authorship of the poem, as she does of her own existence- Still there is nothing to prove it in a court of justice.

As for any pleasant incidents regarding the old home- I think you know every thing which might be of interest in the xx. Of course you told him how your great-grandmother fell down that deep cold well [at Locust Grove], when a little child, was bouyed up by a butter firken lid which had been lost down the well the day before)- And was finally saved by Sally-- a strong, tenderhearted servant woman, who strode the well, picking her way down by the projecting stones and finally saved the little darling. Had the cold waters swallowed her up that day, where would you all have been? here is a deep problem for you to solve. We have heard from Alice within a few days. She has changed her plans regarding the flat and has taken board at 23 Gramercy Park. She hopes to have her children early next month. I do indeed Nellie dear, deeply regret the step which Alice has taken. Poor child my heart aches for her; I feel sometimes as if I must prevent it in some way but it ends in my "whirling my sword about, then thrusting it in the sheath again." I can do nothing. Will is ordered to Governor's Island - is now there - Allie has seen him a number of times; and thinks he will visit her almost every day this winter. I should think her heart would have failed her many a time- but she is "a brave lady" very very brave I think. Though I wish she could have found it possible to remain quietly in her own home, even though all was not sunshine there. It is growing late Sweetheart - and you and I must Good night. Good night to each member of the dear home circle. Not leaving out the beloved Grandma- One of Earth's rarest and loveliest ones- Whose memory is xx a real presence among us. And who, though dwelling in Paradise, has her dwelling place still in our hearts!

Goodnight again Nellie dear - if you and I wander in xx - why may we not wander together?

I embrace you lovingly.

Thomas Collection


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