Transcribed by Kendrah Justesen- Origianls in possesion of Jean Graham
Transcription of a letter from Sylvanus Foster to Elizabeth Foster in Mt. Erie
Clay City, Ills 1st, 24, 1875
Dear Mother, Brothers, & Sisters,
I seat myself to write you a few lines to let you know that we are well. I recieved Cassas card. Was glad to hear from you Cassa write again. Well I am going out west to travel for my health. I have made a fortune. Tilda has Invented a combined tool comprising the Following articles namely towit viz ss), 1st needle to sew without thread 2nd needle to rip sewed work, 3rd Buttonhole cutter, 4th twine cutter for merchants, 5th pushing peg, 6th thread cutter for sewing machines, 7th Finger nail cleaner, 8th pencil sharpener, 9th an eraser, 10th Envelope opener, all for the small sum of 25 cents. cost to make them 2c[cents]. Wholesale $15.00 per 100, $125.00 per 1000, now Henry, Marion or Clifton is your chance to make money. Say nothing about it and I will let you have them for 5cents apiece. I have applied for a patent. I make them myself. Henry can come and help me make them and Cliff and Marion can peddle them. They sell like Hotcakes. I also keep sewing machine supplies to sell cheaper than anybody can buy them. Tilda sold 10 doz needles in one day and 1 shuttle, besides oil and c[cents]. She made about $3.25 a day clear.
Well Mother and All, come down soon, the steel in 96 needles costs $1.00 and retail fo 24 dollars how is that for money. I can, when I get started make 500 needles a day I have come to the conclusion that I am going to Europe or some other seaport in the Spring
Well Mother come to see me as soon as you can and stay awhile we are lonesome although Mattie(?) is here yet we miss Claudy. Let Henry or Cassa come and stay with us awhile. Tell Cliff to come too and bring their babies we want to see them too.
Well come as soon as you can. let us know a day or so before you come so we can be looking for you.
From You Affectionate Children
Syl and Tilda.
PS That piece of Blue Cloth is some of Claudy's burial suit.
The white is his waist. he looked as natural as life and had a smile on
his lip he looked so sweet, poor fellow. it was the scarlet fever
and Inflammation of the bowels. The Dr had the fever broke when the inflamation
set in then it was too late. we give him some medicine about 30 minutes
before he died. he said it was "no use to give it it wouldn't do any good".
I am going to have his picture painted life size on canvas
write soon - Syl & Tilda Foster
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