The world changes in the blink of an eye. In the 21st century, we have the luxury of visiting scenes from history in books, film, and documents, with the safety and conveniences of modern life. Join me to examine the lives of our ancestors, imagine their experiences, and connect with their struggles and triumphs.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Live On Even If You Had Rather Die

Letter from a woman to her friend about family illness and the death of her child

Friendville, Nebraska
April 29th, 1880

Dear Friend Hattie

I have thought about writing you a number of times, but have neglected it for some unknown reason until the present time. Now as Emma is visiting will ins___ the opportunity of sending a note in her letter. She has been visiting me this afternoon and we enjoyed the visit as well as could be expected under the circumstances. She just rec’d your letter informing her of Chas(?) illness, and of course she feels very very bad, has cried all the afternoon. And to say I am very sorry is but half expressing the sentiments of my mind. And Hattie [and I abbreviated] suppose you have herd [sic] that my little darling Bertha is gone. I can never tell you what I have suffered the two short months she has been gone. It was so very sudden only sick four days. Hattie only thinks what if your darling should be tourn [sic] from you, what would you do? You would have to bear it just as I do, and live on even if you had rather die. She was such a dear little one. It seems as though part of my life has gone out. You do not know anything about it and God grant you never may. Hattie [and I] hope you will return to this place again in time. Do you not think of coming back some time. Write me please, and kiss your mother & Lett__ for me also the children, not forgetting to remember me to your husband. I received your card, enclosed also find mine. I shall expect to hear from you soon.

Ever Your true friend

Julia Thompson
Image courtesy of Simon Howden at

1 comment:

  1. It's always interesting to see the pacing of these old writings. such a different sense of the flow of thought.