Rhode Island Stamp Issues and Covers 1846 to 1900
1880 Cover from Clarks Falls, Connecticut to Centerville, RI
with Letter from Mother to Son - Society of Friends

At Left: Westerly, RI
Transit Cancel on Reverse

Above: Centerville, RI
Receiving Star Cancel on Reverse Dtd. Sep 20, 1880

At Right: First Page of Letter
(The Complete Letter is
Reproduced Below)

Rhode Island was a refuge for many different religious sects; including Quakers, Jews and others. Westerly was the largest town in the area of Clarks Falls, Connecticut and a market for the farmers in the area. The letter below was written by a Quaker lady to her son in Centerville, RI. It is apparent from the letter that the family were farmers and members of the Society of Friends living in the Clarksville area. I have reproduced the letter as written with misspellings and colloquialisms intact. 

(Clarks Falls to Westerly is 5.7 Miles)

Clarks Falls, Connecticut.
17th of 9th Mo, 1880 
(Sept 17, 1880)

My Ever Precious Child,

This week has nearly passed without my writing to thee, not but that I have thought about it very often. In the first place, we have been very busy. Thy father gathered some wild grapes, cooked sifted & helped boil down & I drove to the store for the sugar & it is nice & stiff. (Grape Jelly)

Did the washing & had all of the ironing done 4th day eve. Fifth day thy father & I went to meeting, only four of us, but we had an excellent mtg. Four (????) and two sermons. Thy father said we had a good meeting.

Harriette D. Collins came home with us. We took dinner in Francis' room as we had made lamb soup that as I furnished half the meat, all the rice and Alice or Sarah did the cooking. I furnished pie, biscuits, tea & sugar soon after dinner. 

I went with Harriette to make calls. Went to Tyler & Lisa Stuarts, the widow Dolly Hair & from there went to see Susan Ann Eccleston who is sick. She raised a little blood & she said it frightened her almost to death for her father & mother had raised blood & she had expected to have the consumption (Tuberculosis) & I suppose she thought now it had come. We found her sitting up. She had rode out twice.

Lizzie Dalton was not as well that morning, had had a run of her heart fluttering. That brought me back as far as the town & then found the Perry children had got home, I went in and made them a call. Vira seemed to think it rather short, but then I had to come home and get supper.

Had a letter from Beckie today, she could not tell when they should get away, there are so many under brother's care and more coming, her sister Lizzie had lost her baby daughter. Beckie had written for her parents to go to GT. B. (Could not identify place-Possibly Great Britain) now so as to be at the fair. Beckie was not well.

Richard Berdin had engaged two rooms at the Collins home & sent to Germany for Angie & their daughter, too bad that he did not bring them with him.

Today thy father sold 112 lbs of pork at 9 Ĺ a lb. Yesterday he & I dressed the chickens. Alice said they got mad at him, she called him Zekiel. Francis took them to Westerly & sold half of them & I meant to have taken some hens your father had dressed but forgot it then & when Abel got back with the pork and with the poultry not sold, he fed Jettie, ate his own dinner & took them to Westerly & got $3.00 for six hens. I think we did well for our day. They have sold the three lambs and are to go next second day (Monday). He saw Carmichael today &  he says he will have forty cts a lb for the wool.

Good Night my darling boy. Sweet be thy sleep & dreams

Ever lovingly,

thy Mother

(At this point, Electra stopped writing for the night to continue again the next morning.)

Itís a glorious morning, perfectly lovely. All as well as usual. The enclosed is to pay for 9 pounds of the muttons which we are to have. Francis said he would credit his part to thee. He has someone at work for him today.

All Join in love to thee.
Ever lovingly thy mother

Electra Jane Collins

Hope thee will get this all right,  E

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