Holmes, Addie 1873 04 04
 
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UNIVERSITY OF MASSACHUSETTS LOWELL
CENTER FOR LOWELL HISTORY
 LOWELL, MASSACHUSETTS

WRITTEN BY ADDIE HOLMES1
TO SISTER LILLA

                        Lowell Mass. April 14th 1873
                        Sunday Afternoon

No. 21 Lowell Corp.2
Lowell Mass.

Dear Sister Lilla-

      I was so glad to hear from you
again. I am sure I don’t know when I heard
from your own self, last, it was such a very
long time ago; but I heard, last summer
by way of friends that you were in Canada 
and I sometimes wondered if you were
still there. What you would do next and
I ought to write to Mrs. Sinclair-
but I have so much to do and many 
letters to write. If you see her
give her my love, and if you like,
you can read her as much of this
letter, as you choose. I should
like a talk with her, but that’s
“out of the question”, and I’ve too
much, to say to attempt to writing
it.

      I hope you will be prospered
in your plans, if they are best,
and I see no reason to doubt it.

      Is it babyish? – I wish I
could feel your arms about
me, and one of your well remem-

  1 Addie Lydia Holmes b: 1851, Strafford, NH; parents: 
     Daniel J. Homes and Eliza J. Foye.
  2 Lowell Carpet Company, Market Street.
 

bered kisses on my lips. Please 
write soon – very soon. Sister Addie

      I’ve had a letter from Persie – I wish
you and I were there tonight shall
we ever meet again?

      Let’s see – “what’s the 
news from Strafford.3 You knew Bill
Clark and Emma Hazeltine were married
did you not? And Calvin Roberts,
Herbert Caswell, Nettie Prescott also.
Albertus Wood has let his place to
Mr. Caswell, and has gone to Bridge-
water (VT)  Frank Quimby is here
in Lowell, working at stone-cutting.
He went to church, with me yesterday
A.M. – I think that is about
all that I can tell you about S-

      Thanks for the kind remembrances
from “Grand-Mother” and “Uncle Darius”.

Please say to them that I am glad
to be remembered; and am sure I shall
never forget the Mother and brother, of one who was so dear to me.

      When you write 
to Geo. –Tell him
I am so glad to
know that he is
trying to follow
in the Master’s
foot-steps. “Press on”,
dear brother, a little
while, to struggle,
and then – love,
rest, home and 
Mother. Dearest
Lilla, do not be so
long silent again.

      Write often, will
you not?
had you entirely forgotten your “one time”

  3 Stafford, New Hampshire.
 
 
sister Addie. Your letter put such musings
to flight -  and my source of wondering
since then, has been, when and what,
will I write to Lilla.

      I realized, fully, I think, when
I read your letter that you are no longer
the Lilla of nine years ago! I remember
how you looked that first autumn that
I ever saw you. The many strange sayings
and doings you said and did, and
how you have changed, little by little,
since, until – suddenly - before I
had thought of such a thing, - I find
the impulsive, loving little girl,
metamorphosed into an enthusiastic,
cultured, young woman. Great-indeed,
has been that change from then, till 
now!

      Your letter did me good, I 
think, and yet it roused such a
conflict of desires and hopes and old
unsatisfied longings after knowledge
that my mind is no clearer yet than
our mountain streams during an April
freshet.

      I do wish I didn’t find it so hard
finding out what duty, is. I read of
of people who seem to see two roads
ahead. The one, duty, the other inclination
but, alas; who ever heard of five or six
roads converging from one joint,
and all of them, or at least, two or three,
looking as though each was duty?

      I am not
to come to New Hampton this spring
if ever. Almost every one I have ever
talked with about it, favor my going
to school. I wish to go so much; but
on the other hand, - if I take my money
and go to school, and then live to see
my mother taken from me, killed
by work, care, and anxiety, just as I
 
 
“was going to” to be able to help her;
and my brothers confirmed in a
course of careless unconcern if not
in actual “badness”; shall I not
then bitterly regret that I had not
given up the long -cherished and
much-loved plan of going to school?

      I have spoken of only
two of the “roads”; - they seem to be
the chief ones. A year ago or a
little more, there was another
road running beside these, but
I turned my eyes from it, and
now it lies stretching back into
the past only. My feet may not
walk there in again.

      I am nearly sick, today. I went
to church this A.M. and to s. School;
but remained at home this P.M. and
have read a little, and written a
little, as you see. But I must go 
to meeting this evening I guess, so
will finish this another time.

Monday Evening

      I am too tired for anything tonight
but I ought to finish this, so will say
something, and if it smacks too
strongly of the “dolefuls”, you must
make due allowance for the state
of body and mind in which it is
written, Upon the whole,
I think I will not write about
myself tonight; I should be sorry
tomorrow, for whatever I should
Mother does not wish me to. She
and my brothers and sister want me
and need me. That is, provided
I became to them, what I might, God
helping me. Mother is very much
broken to pieces for a woman of her
years, has bought a farm, and partly
paid for it and now is worried
 
 
and worked far beyond her strength 
in the vain endeavor to pay for it.

      She has Grand-mother to take care
of and she , nearly helpless. My brothers 
both at home, and anxious to be doing
something for themselves, and wishing
the farm had never been purchased. 
Susie is married---“For love”, on
her part at least. I do not certainly
know, but fear that love will be 
ere long  about all she will have 
to live upon. –Perhaps I am on
the wrong side of the picture, and
see only the “shady side”, but it is
real to me, at least.

      If I put what money I have
saved to go to school with into the
farm (and I have already put in over a
hundred dollars) and then go home
and devote myself to that. –Mother
would be relieved of the care and worry,
and would probably have a home after
a time.

      I might have more influence
over my brothers, if I was with them, than
any one else. Friends, here, say “don’t you
do it”. The money will be only thrown
away, and ever thing like that.
 
 

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