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Boxing Review Magazine 1949    The Victorian 1859 - 1959 (Victoria College)   Mount Union College, Ohio

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                      letters (in chronological order)

1909 - 28th July Postmark Jersey City N.J. to Miss E. Alexander, Grahamsland, Castlefinn, Co. Donegal, Ireland from May, 10 Boyd Avenue, Jersey City, N.Y.
Dear Lizzie, Was very glad to get your letter but as usual I have been very long in answering, but I had the Baby's photo taken & they were so long getting them finished & I didn't want to write until I got them, also as you see by the above address we have been moving which is no joke with the Baby.  We have taken a nice little house & rented one room to an old gentleman & we never see him except to come in at 10 o'clock to sleep so you see we might just as well be alone & it makes our rent quite a little cheaper.  I have been wondering what you are going to do, if you decide to come to New York to stay you know I will be glad to have you stay with me & I think you would like it over here very much, it is a very nice location where we are now & I like our little house very much, but one thing I want to tell you, I don't want you to think I am too hard, but I got pretty badly burned with Jim's doings & although inside the last month he has turned over a new leaf & promises to keep it up, the selfishness is there & always will be & right after Father died he told Miss Harris in Siegels, that he was going home to see the farm & bring you & Martha out & he is very plausible so don't let him fool you into signing any papers or have anything to do with the business, as sure as you do you'll get burnt & anything that's there is yours, you have earned it hard, you had no easy job while my Father lived & as long as the boys got that money & spent it why I think they got their share, but I am just warning you, Sarah will tell you some tales when she gets there poor kid, I'm glad she is getting a vacation & going over, it will do her good I'm sure, I've no news to tell you as I go out very little with the Baby.  I'm going to send you with Sal a black crepe de chine dress that Maggie gave me, I fixed it up for myself but didn't wear it much as it was too hot, we are having scorching weather just now & we are trying to wear as little as we can, I had the Baby's picture taken in two styles & am sending you both as I didn't know which one you would like best, they are the same price picture but differently mounted.  Maggie likes the sitting one & Cas likes the standing one, so I am going to send the sitting one to M.B., now I guess I've nothing more to tell you, but I wish I was over there with you & Sal but maybe its just as well I might hate to come back & of course I would have to now, except Claude would buy a farm over there, he's always wishing he could buy a farm, but I'm afraid he wouldn't like it very much when it came down to doing the rough work.  Best love to all, write soon, your loving Sister May n.b. I forgot to tell you that Ethel was dead & buried today I think, I couldn't get over as Mrs. W. was away.

1910? - Postmark Castlefin to Miss L. Alexander, c/o Mrs. ? E. Stokes, 80 White Street, West End, Atlanta, G.A., U.S.A. - I rec'd your card last week, glad to hear that you like your new quarters, but hope you are not working too hard. We are having a very fine spring after the very severe winter. I am sending you the latest in P.C.'s of this place, quite a series of views. All here ? ? ? to be remembered to you, Hallo to Mrs. & Miss? M. Stokes?

1910 - 3rd July Postmark Bellarena, Co. Londonderry to Miss M. B. Hegarty, Castlefin, Co. Donegal from Tom?
This is a Photo of my troop grooming the horses after drill. I some times take a squnner? at them.  I had a smash up the other day, my mare broke his leg & ???? over me. See & call the ???? How is everyone & that was ?????

1911 - 27th March Postmark Castlefinn & Atlanta G.A. to Miss E. Alexander, Gen. Delivery, Atlanta, G.A. from Sessaugh
Dear Lizzie, You will be sorry too here of your Mum death which took place 20 March, she was very poorly when I last wrote, she was bad all the time. Your Uncle was ill she ???? herself about him. She had a cold in a bad ????? We got a bottle from the Doctor, she took about half of it then she would take no more, they pains had went into her Body, she suffered a great deal with her hips, it was a happy change for her, she had a sore mouth and were ready she was ready. Dear Lizzy I know you will feel bad for not seeing her everything was don for her that could be done I would have liked too have had you here. we had a good many people come out and in. Ezekiel Stewart was very kind he offered too go too country too look after they youre he went and don what was too be don, it seemed your Uncle has he unsent many too well. We miss her they house seemes lonely no one could wish her too like she was only skin and bones. She had no pains. (hard to make out)

1911? - July really hard to make out writing, letter to Elizabeth who is in Atlanta and Sarah who is in Sessaugh, Castlefin

1911 - 12th November from Atlanta G.A.
This is to Certify that Miss Elizabeth Alexander is a member in regular standing of the United Presbyterian Congregation of Atlanta, Georgia, and as such is hereby dismissed at her own request, and affectionately recommend to the fellowship of the Church of Christ wherever God in his Providence may order her lot.  By order of Session Rev. J. J. Thomsons, Moderator & Geo. Gordon, Clerk
1911 - 16th November 1911 from Muncie, Indiana
United Presbyterian Church, J. J. Thomson, Pastor - Miss Elizabeth Alexander, Castelfinn, Ireland - Dear Friend, Your kind favour of Sept. 20 has had to lie so long unanswered on account of certain changes that have occurred, which delayed the issuing of your church certificate until now.  First the Board of House Missions appointed me to preach in Muncie, Indiana, a few Sabbaths with a view to permanent appointment.  I came, accepted the appointment after the congregation had unanimously asked it.  I then went back to Atlanta, 600 miles, packed and shipped our household goods and on Isabelle's 11th birthday October 26 we all took the train for Muncie.  The afternoon of that day we spent on Lookout Mountains near Chattanooga and arrived here the next day.  We now occupy the nice large comfortable parsonage, which is 8 rooms besides, bath, attic, and in the basement a fine furnace and laundry room, we have city water and rain water, hot and cold, electric light, gas, telephone, etc., so we are comfortable.  The salary too is reasonable.  Last Sabbath morning the children were surprised and wild with enthusiasm over the fall of half an inch of snow.  They look for good times this winter.  They have 2 blocks to walk to school, and enjoy their school.  Mr. Gordon has just sent me your Certificate to sign and forward and since you are to remain in your native country I am glad to be able to commend you to the Christian fellowship of one of your home churches and may you be richly blessed in your Religious life.  I may add in closing that my health has been improving greatly since coming North and I feel like my own old self again.  We had the pleasure of our last Atlanta supper with your sister and her good husband.  With sincere good wishes, your former pastor, J. J. Thomson
1911 - 16th November Postmark Muncie to Miss Elizabeth Alexander, Castlefinn, Ireland
Dear Miss Alexander, You know of course that we are not in Atlanta any more.  We had such a nice dinner and evening with your sister the last evening we were there.  It was lovely of her to ask us and we certainly enjoyed it.  It was hard to leave some of the good people behind.  Some of them we would have liked to pack in and bring them along, but our packing was quite enough as it was.  We are much better located here and altho' colder we have every comfort.  The parsonage is wholly modern, in every way and all the room we can possibly use.  The people are nice , I think Mr. Thomson and I will both have better health here.  The children are in school and like it very much.  They seem much more contented here.  They never were satisfied in Atlanta.  We had a little snow this week and the children most went wild.  They had seen very little snow in their lives and that when they were very small.  This place is much smaller than Atlanta but I do not mind that.  Everything seems so different.  The town looks so much cleaner, the streets and alleys are paved with cement and so smooth and clean.  It is quite a task to get fixed up.  We have been in the house over a week and not all in order yet.  If you come to this country again, come and see us, we would be so glad to see you.  We were so glad to meet your brother.  Write when you can, Yours with love, Sadie J. Thomson

1914 - 12th February to Miss E. Alexander, Grahamsland, Castlefinn, Co. Donegal from St. John's Ambulance Association, St. John's Gate, Clerkenwell, London
Dear Madam, I am directed by the Chief Secretary to thank you for your letter of the 7th inst. enclosing a remittance of 2. 10. 2 a receipt for which is enclosed herewith.  There is no objection to your starting the Home Nursing course now that the result of the First Aid examination has been published.  Your questions regarding the Home Nursing class are answered on pages 4, 10 to 12, 17 and 18, and 19 to 21 of the enclosed pamphlet D/C.  The certificates of the successful candidates in your First Aid class will be forwarded to the examiner for signature in about a week's time.  There will be no objection to the member of the Castlefinn First Aid class who was prevented from taking the examination of that class attending the examination of the Convoy class, provided she attended the qualifying number of lectures given by a registered medical practitioner, that the latter is a female First Aid class, that the permission of the class secretary is first obtained and that the advent of the extra candidate does now increase the total number for examination to more than thirty.  Care must be taken by the class secretary, however, when form W.L. is forwarded to her after the examination to give the name of the lecturer to the Castlefinn class in respect of that candidate; otherwise the certificate will be wrongly made out.  Yours faithfully Duncan ?, Assistant Secretary

1914 - 23rd November to Miss Alexander, Grahamsland, Castlefinn from G. M. M. Walker? Summerhill, Ballybofey, Co. Donegal
Dear Miss Alexander, Mr. or Mrs. D. J. Tow??? Pai?, who has been organising these Voluntary Aid Detachments is coming to Stranorlar some day next week (not Monday) to see the Nurses of this Detachment., do you think you & Mrs. Darragh could bring your contingent? We have asked him to come on Tuesday as there is a suitable train for you that day but have not heard yet.  I'll let you know as soon as I hear.  We are going to wear our Ulster Uniforms.  I know you have all got it in readiness.  It's a long way to ask you to come but Stranorlar is more central for both.  I'll let you know what day is fixed on & where the meeting is to be held as soon as I know but had to give you notice at once.  We had no idea there would be such a meeting held. Excuse haste, Yours sincerely. etc.
Meeting is to be on Tuesday Dec. 1st in Young Men's Hall, Stranorlar (opposite Dr. Johnston's) all to wear our uniform

- 21st March - Letter received by Madame Grouitch from her husband, dated Nish, March 21st, 1915
"I am just back from seeing my sister who has been very ill since yesterday, with a high temperature.  We are very anxious lest it should be the dreaded typhus.  Be fore you receive this letter you will know by telegram if it has been fatal.  One lives from day to day in such a terrible anxiety for all those about one, and in precautions against it for oneself.  People are dying in such numbers that it is impossible to get coffins enough made or graves dug in time.  I will not sadden you with the list of all our friends who have passed away.  I will just mention, because you must know it, that Madame Loukovitch (President of the Circle of Serbian Sisters, the great women's organisation) died from typhus a few days ago, and was buried with all the honors that are given to a general.  Mirka (Madame Grouitch's sister-in-law) has been named to succeed her, and is now herself ill from overwork and exhaustion.  Another death that touches us all very much is that of Magazinovitch, who, you will remember, was Secretary of Legation at Vienna before the war.  He returned home to enter the army, and was on his way back to Nish stricken with typhus, arriving home only in time to die.  I have never seen anything so pathetic as his mother at the funeral.  He was her only son, and but a few weeks ago she lost her husband and her three brothers.  Owing to the precautions ordered by the police, no one was allowed to be pall-bearer.  The coffin was carried from the house directly to the cemetery, before even the grave was dug.  We all accompanied it on foot, and stood as near to her as we were allowed.  She, with the coffin at her feet, while the grave was being dug, addressed us in the most touching way, telling us that it was our duty to take care of ourselves for the sake of the country, for if all the educated people were to die what would be the use of these splendid victories.  She urged us all to take every precautionary measure to protect ourselves, and said that it was her intention to give her son's property to found (fund?) scholarships in medicine, as she felt this terrible calamity was due to the fact that we had not doctors enough to treat the disease when it first broke out.  Everyone was sobbing.  While we were in the cemetery at least a dozen other funerals arrived.  It was heart-breaking to see that poor woman, standing quite alone, with her dead son by her, no one allowed to go near her, addressing us without a tear in her eyes, and accepting this terrible sacrifice with such calm and resignation.   Everything possible is being done to fight the disease.  Thirty English army doctors sent by Lord Kitchener have just arrived.  One hundred are coming from France, and our greatest hopes are founded on the American Red Cross units and the sanitary commission sent by the Rockefeller Foundation.  The country has been divided into three zones of territory.  In one the French will work, in another the English, but fifteen departments in Macedonia will be given over to the Rockefeller Commission, which we are told will bring material for laboratorial research.  The success of their work will depend upon whether they bring the necessary material, for they can find nothing here, everything has been exhausted.  All the trains have been stopped for the weeks that a thorough fumigation of all the cars and sanitary wagons be made.  People have been ordered to wash the floors and even the walls of their houses with petroleum, and to carry naptholine in their pockets, and even in their shoes.  The street boys now sell it everywhere, crying out "Naptholine against the epidemic," as flower girls in London call out the sweet lavender.  With all this there are every day new cases reported, and it seems to be largely a matter of chance if anyone escapes.  The latest event of interest here was Sir Arthur Paget's return from Russia.  He seemed very satisfied with his visit there, and I heard he judged from it that England, France and Russia grow every day into a closer and more determined alliance.  I do not know if I have yet written you that when he passed through Serbia on his way out to Russia, he brought the Grand Order of the Bath to our Crown Prince, and several other high honors for our various officers and soldiers.  The British Minister officially stated that while it was the intention of King George to give orders only at the end of the war, in recognition of the conspicuous gallantry and brilliant achievements of the Serbian forces in the field, the King wished to express now his great admiration for what Serbia had accomplished all alone.  One hears English spoken on the streets now everywhere.  English and American surgeons, doctors, nurses, admirals, officers, blue jackets, are everywhere.  Our old friend Admiral Trowbridge is in Belgrade, commander of the Naval Mission.  It only remains for us to have dreadnoughts on the Save!"
This is not the letter I meant to enclose you, it was much more interesting, it was from a captain in the Serbian army & gave great descriptions of the battles.  This is a translation of letter received by Madame Grouitch from her husband who is Secretary for Foreign Affairs in Serbia.  It is mostly about the typhus, Madame Grouitch is herself an American & founded the Committee I am working for.  She is here lecturing on behalf of Serbian Government.

1916 - 2nd April (Somewhere in France) to Miss Elizabeth Alexander, Grahamsland, Castlefinn, Ireland from 'Your colonial cousin (illegible initials might be Hegarty)
Dear Elizabeth, That heading as to address is somewhat vague but it's all I can put and anyhow I've only a very vague idea as to my whereabouts.  We've been here only a few days after a most interesting cross county train trip extending over three nights.  Of course one got a little tired through being cramped in a carriage but the scenery, the people and the newness of it all were thoroughly enjoyable - especially after seven months of desert country.  About the first thing to cheer me up on arrival here was your letter of quite recent date followed almost immediately by the parcel you were good enough to send.  Thanks.  Both were appreciated, Eggs, however, Elizabeth, are apt to suffer in transit and only a portion arrived intact.  Apparently our letters are coming straight to us from England instead of going first to Egypt as I thought probable and it is very pleasant to feel so much nearer to one's friends.  Now that I've got as close as this who knows but what I shall be able to get across to dear old Ireland before the war is all over or at the close.  But leave is not likely to be granted.  Do you know that I've not had a day's leave from camp since leaving Gallipoli.  You can imagine it gets a bit irksome at times.  Now that we are once more on the warpath I suppose leave will be quite out of the question.  Our lot is billeted in a village over here.  It's quite a new experience; some have managed to get good places but most are merely in barns.  I'm with a crowd that occupies a stable.  It's neither comfortable or healthy.  Gave me the influenza which still worries me.  In fact life hasn't been worth living for a few days.  However that'll pass.  We don't rely on the villagers to feed us.  That is looked after by our own cooks.  All the people supply is the accommodation.  Did I tell you I had a little time out in the Sinai Peninsular.  Rather enjoyed it too.  Nothing of importance doing and it came more as a holiday than anything I've yet experienced in the army.  Now I'll have to stop.  I did intend to write a long letter but some work has to be put through so this will have to suffice.  Give my regards to Uncle and all the Castlefin folk and accept my best wishes for your welfare.

1918 - 4th February (no envelope) from Rosa, 5 Brunswick Place, Upper Norwood, London S.E. 19
Dear Elizabeth, I suppose you will think I am a terrible girl not writing for so long, but I am only just beginning to feel settled down again hear, we had a nice trip across, but it was the next afternoon before we got home, and we were both very tired.  I never got a chance at Straban to say good-bye to you and all the friends, I never thought the train was going to move out so quickly, and I felt very upset over it, I wish I had said Goodbye before I got in.  Baby caught a chill coming over, and has not been right since, I had the doctor to her, and he said it was bronchitis, and I am pleased to say she is alright  now.  I can hardly express my thanks to you for the pleasant holiday I had with you, I am sure you were more than kind to me, and indeed everyone was just lovely.  We have had several air-raids since we came back, and while they were on I sincerely wished I was back in Ireland again, the noise of the guns was terrifying, but fortunately Jim happened to be over for a few hours the first night they came, he gets over generally every Sunday afternoon.  He went before a Medical Board last Wednesday, and was told to carry on where he is, until he had his eyes examined again by an eye specialist, so Jim thinks that may not happen for a month or more, and that he may be hear yet for a good while, I sincerely hope so at any rate - Now dear Elizabeth, I hope you are keeping well, and all the friends as well, including Becky Davis, I hope she has not got any worse.  Are the cows giving plenty of milk now? And how is the dear little calf?  Does the wee duck still take a holiday to itself?  How I wish I had some of your nice fresh milk now, and some wee buns, things are terrible hard to get hear, as if you are not in line early in the morning you just don't get it, but we expect this will be remedied after Feby. 25th when the ration tickets will come into effect, and everyone will get their ration, no matter when you go for it, Now I will close Elizabeth with many thanks and much love, Tell Willie I was asking for him.  Yours aff. Sister Rosa.  P.S. I do hope Mrs. Stewart is still keeping well.

1918 - 6th February (no envelope) France from O. Hg? (possibly Hegarty)
My dear Elizabeth, I'm sorry you didn't know about the address. You see, we are not supposed to show our unit in letters & seeing I've been up in the forward area nearly all the time since getting back I didn't want to invite the ???sure of the ???son.  Anyway, your letter reached me alright. I'm still with the same old 24th Bn. No need to mention the Brigade as long as you show "A.S.F."  Back now at a R??? Training area after a ?????? time fighting mud & wet.  I've got a touch of 'flu' and am ??????? in a couple of days in bed.  What's this about my getting all the news?  Of course I'm always glad to get a letter from you & to hear all about the folk, you must know that Elizabeth, Jackie Stewart is good enough to write me once in a while but I don't rely on that to get me 'home' news.  So don't drop the good work of keeping me in touch with Castlefinn, on next leave I get you'll be in for the deuce of a scrap with me, so thanks!  How are things politically in the North?  I see Carson? has resigned so I take it that a crisis is approaching, I sincerely hope the Irish question? will soon be peaceably settled & the world generally get back to a sane way of living.  It's a topsy turvey place at the best, but at present chaos seems about the only way to ex???? the state of the world.  Even in far away Australia things seem to be in a very mixed and unsatisfactory state.  However, I'm hoping that 1918 will see a return to saner things. With best wishes, Yours O??

1918 - 27th June to Lizzie from Sarah, Y.M.C.A., American Expeditionary Forces, Paris
Dear Lizzie, Just a few lines to tell you that I have been assigned to work in Paris, and I am very glad about it because it will give me a chance to get settled down for a while.  We have been on the move so much lately that it will feel good to get settled down to work for awhile at least.  There was a possibility of my being sent off to some other city in France and I was mighty glad when they decided to keep me in the Paris office, especially as Martha will be coming on here in a month or so, and I shall have a place for her to come to when she arrives, so that she won't have the looking around to do that I had.  We are moving to-day from the hotel where we were sent by the Y.M. on our arrival in Paris, and our new location is within five walk from the office, and seems very nice.  We are to have breakfast and dinner there.  Address all mail, however, to the above address as there's no telling when we shall have to shift again.  This is my second day at work, and indeed I was really surprised that the conditions under which we have to work in Paris are as good as they are, we had been hearing so much about the things we would have to put up with while here.  The Y.M.C.A. Headquarters seems to be a new building, with a great many of the modern conveniences, and we have plenty of light in the offices, and I have a first-rate Underwood typewriter here.  The desks are not the mahogany ones I have been accustomed to in the Fifth Avenue Building but they are very much better than I had thought they would be.  There are two French girls in the office with me, and one of them surprised me just now by singing softly "When Irish eyes are Smiling."  They are both very nice indeed and it will be my fault if I am not able to speak a little French.  The work, too, is not as hard as I had been told it would be.  I am in the Hut Construction Department and the Manager is very very enthusiastic over his job, but does not rush us to death all the same.  I have not yet had time to see Paris, but from what I have seen of it I am sure I shall like it very much, and if we do not have to leave it I hope to see every nook and cranny of it.  I regret that I am so ignorant of French history, but I must get a book and read up some of it, for there are so many many places of historic interest here.  Last night we had our first experience of an air raid and it was very thrilling and exciting indeed.  The siren sounded just after we had gotten into bed and were about dropping off to sleep and we had to get up and dress and come down to the first floor.  Many of the people went down to the cellar but the greater part of us stood at the door and watched the barrage which was wonderful indeed.  Just as I was coming down the stairs the people were coming in from the door pell mell; there had been a great crash they said not very far away, and they had seen the explosion of a bomb.  It turned out, however, that the bomb had fallen quite a distance from us on the other side of the river and very little damage was done.  The barrage fire was kept up for some time, but we all went to bed when the "All Clear" call sounded and slept so well we were hardly able to get up this morning to come to work.  The French people are wonderfully calm about it all.  It was very exciting for us who were having it for the first time.  We were up on the fourth floor and as the electric light had been turned off we had to grope our way downstairs in the dark.  As we were coming down I passed an elderly woman with a candle in one hand and a basket in the other, and I made some remark to her in passing, and she said, "It is my cat I have here in the basket; I come down on her account, not on my own."  Well, I hurried on - on my own account!  I haven't received any mail since I have been here yet and they keep telling us not to expect any for some time yet, but I hope I'll be agreeably disappointed and get some very soon.  Write me as soon as you can and tell me what's going on over there.  I do hope I shall have a chance to get over there, and you can be sure it will be as soon as I can manage it.  The Y.M. people are very nice to work for and I believe if I keep on the job and do the right thing by then they will treat me all right in the matter of getting off to go home for a short time.  So, that will be a fine thing to look forward to, won't it!  I am feeling fine, in fact much better than I was feeling in New York.  The weather here is a little cold, but we have plenty of warm clothing and so can keep warm, and they tell us we shall have lovely weather here later on.  With much love to you and hoping to hear from you very soon.  Your affectionate sister Sarah

1918 - July (no envelope) from Martha in Hotel Wagram, 208 Rue Rivoli, Paris
Dear Lizzie, Just a line to let you know I have arrived safely in Paris after a pretty long trip.  Saw Sarah for a little while to-day, but I have to stay in this hotel until assigned by the Y.M.C.A. and after that if I am not sent out of Paris we shall probably be together.  As we are now a part of the American Exp. Forces, we cannot have mail addressed to our private address.  It must all be sent to 12, Rue d'Aguesseau, so that address will be permanent.  Sarah had just received your letter written July 2nd.  It had been sent to another Miss Alexander by mistake.  Sarah just told me to-night that British subjects will not be allowed out of France, so unless that ruling is changed our hopes of getting home for a short leave will be dashed to the ground, and as part of the Army we shall probably have to go back to the U.S.A. after the war, we will find out more about it later on, however, I had my passport made out for France and the United Kingdom and I think there must be some way of getting over later on.  I think this is a great work here and I am so glad to be here.  I can't tell you much about the trip across, but I enjoyed it thoroughly.  We came with a large convoy part way and spent a good part of our time trying to make things cheerful for the American Troops on board.  The last two days of the trip were rather exciting and we were mighty thankful to see land again.  To-night, unless there is a raid, I expect to have my first real sleep for three days.  The place where I am staying now is very nice, the windows of my room overlook the Tuileries (not sure about the spelling) From what I have seen of Paris so far it has got New York beaten altogether, and one seems to feel at home here right away.  I guess it is all right to say that we came across with some of the Chasseurs Alfains, the famous "Blue Devils" of France, who have done such magnificent fighting at Verdun and other places; they were literally covered with medals and had been on a visit to America and Canada, one or two of them gave me some souvenirs of themselves, and my cabin companion and I had great fun learning French from them.  To use the American boys' slang "this is a great life if you don't weaken"  Tell the co??? folks I'd like to hear from them once in a while.  Hope everybody home is well.  Haven't heard any news for ages, so write as soon as you can. Lovingly Martha

1918 - 5th August (no envelope) from Your loving Brother Jim
Dear Liz:- I received your letter some time ago and was glad to hear from you. Since I got your letter I have had letters from Ruth, Sarah, Martha & Tom Hegarty. I am getting along alright, and I have just written to him today again. I am in the best of health myself and good spirits, everybody feels better since the big push started, and we are getting along well and still going.  It is indeed a sight to see the evacuated territory with dead bodies of Germans, and horses strewed all around, with wagons and limbers & Ammunition covering the earth.  I was glad that Willie got that tobacco, as I had a big package from Ruth, and I get plenty, although not always the kind I like, but I have always something to smoke.  I hear from Rosa that she sent you some photos, she and baby are getting along very nicely - I suppose the harvest is about over with you now, was it difficult to get the workers this year. How is Ezekiel getting along, tell him I was asking for him, If you get Willie Hegarty's address out here for me I will drop him a line, by the way, when you mentioned the shortage of cigarettes I told Rosa to get some and send to Willie and she said she did, I wonder if he ever got them. Sarah and Martha seem to be getting along alright, they think Paris is just lovely and it is ever so much nicer for them to be together. If I am lucky I might have leave around Christmas or shortly after Sarah tells me there is no possibility of her getting over to Ireland on leave, I wonder why? Well, tell all the relatives and friends I was asking for them, and write soon you yourself, I have decided to give up asking Willie to write as its no use.

1919 - 21st January Postmark Illegible to Miss Elizabeth Alexander, Grahamsland, Castlefinn, Co. Donegal, Ireland from (S. Alexander - on envelope) Sincerely yours ? ? J.
No. 5 Australian Auxiliary Hospital, Digswell House, Welwyn - My Dear Coz, You'll see that I've been having quite a good rest in the country and feel a good deal better for it, though not quite as fit as I'd like to be.  However, next Monday I leave here to be medically examined and will try for a few weeks leave. Most likely they'll give me a fortnight during which I hope to visit some friends in Devon and also to come up and see you if possible. Even if it comes off, t'will only be a flying visit, but as it will almost certainly be the last chance before going back to Aussie I'll try hard to do it.  Anyway you will hear from me when on the way.  Since coming to this place, which is a very fine English home, I've done practically nothing but eat, sleep, read & exercise - the latter mostly in the form of walking.  A few motor trips to places of interest have raised the program and once or twice I've visited other homes for tea in the afternoon.  The number of other chaps in the house vary from 12 to 20 though its getting smaller each week as we bear the close of the home.  The owners also live here and have been wonderfully kind. It summer it must be great, but of course the winter makes outings not so enjoyable.  However, it has been a pleasant experience though my trip to the South of France would have been preferable.  No news from home to pass on. When you write again send to me (24th R) c/o Australian Base Post Office, London and I shall arrange for forwarding wherever I may be.  Regards to all in the village and best wishes for yourself.  Has the influenza all gone yet?

1919 - 22nd March from Sarah American Y.M.C.A. American Expeditionary Force in Paris
Dear Lizzie, I haven't had a letter from you in some time and am feeling rather worried as I know the "flu" is raging again.  I do hope I may hear from you very soon as I shall be getting more anxious until I do.  I hope everything is well with Uncle William, because I've been thinking if he should ever take it he couldn't stand against, so do hope he is well.  Write to me soon, won't you & let me know.  Martha & I are keeping in the best of health - both as busy as we can be & looking forward to our visit home in June.  I hope we shall have nice weather, we seem to have so few nice days here - the 10 days we had on leave stand out as very bright ones in my memory.  Since I last wrote you we have moved from Headquarters Bldg. & are now located on the top floor of a building which was once a private residence.  The exterior is very plain (which is the case with nearly all French homes) but the first & second and third floors are very grand indeed.  The walls of the second floor hall (on which floor is the drawing room) are "papered" with red plush.  The Y.M.C.A. has rented the whole house - the Legal Department ad other departments occupy the lower floors while we of the Hut Construction Dept. were put on the top floor - the servants' quarters.  When we first moved over there I thought it was going to be a quite hopeless place to work, but now that we have gotten things to rights somewhat, I find it isn't so bad after all.  We have a fire-place in our room and have a firewood fire going all the time & as I am sitting not very far from it - that pleases me very much indeed!  Our hut construction work is rapidly coming to a close.  At the present time my work consists principally of getting all our records together & leaving everything clear - which is not the least bit interesting but very necessary.  I think that by the middle of April we shall have closed down altogether and I have no idea in the world what I shall be called on to do next.  The two girls with whom we went on leave are going to Germany next Tuesday.  They are staying here in the house with us now, as they had intended leaving sooner & had notified their landlady & so their room was rented to someone else & they had to get out.  Rooms are terrifically hard to get here just now, so they brought  Army cots with them over here, and we have had quite a nice time of it all together.  However, as I say, next Tuesday they "part??" for Germany & I've told them to look up a good job for me & I might consider going up there for a month or two.  I'm not keen about it because we would be billeted with a German family & I have such a feeling of repulsion for them that I should hate to come in such close contact with them.  Besides, we are so comfortably located here in Paris that I hate the thought of moving away from here.  Mlle. is very good to us.  Besides I like Paris very much indeed and want to see what it looks like in the Springtime.  I suppose its beginning to be a little Spring like over there in Ireland now.  On Thursday of this week my chief asked me if I would like to go on an auto trip through the devastated regions.  He said that one of our construction men would take the two American girls in the office & me & also asked me if my sister would like to go!  I told him we would certainly be very pleased to, & so on Thursday morning we started off - four of us and Mr. Reed who drove the car.  e had a most wonderful trip up to Senlis, Soissons, Creby, Combiegne & a number of other places which have been knocked to pieces in the war.  I think I told you before that we had been to Chateau Thierry & that it was not at all like what I had imagined a battlefield would be like.  On this trip, however, it was everything I had imagined & some more.  I saw miles of trenches, & woods filled with dug-outs, fields with enormous shell holes, & graves everywhere.  When you see those places where the men have had to live as best they could for years, one wonders how they could have held out for so long, & how they even held out in the beginning against the Huns is more than we shall ever know.  We have often heard of Soissons, but you could never picture the ruin and destruction of that city.  We drove through street after street with houses levelled to the ground, you couldn't see where anyone could live & yet there were people around - but such a scene of desolation you could never imagine.  I think they should make the German prisoners rebuild everything they have destroyed.  In the town of Creby we went into a church which had been wrecked & afterwards spoke to an old woman who had lived there through the bombardment, she told us that at one time they had had nothing to eat for 15 days.  She had had a son killed in the war & the poor old thing was crying as she was telling us about it.  We can now understand most of what the people say.  It was after dark when we left Soissons and we had a very thrilling ride.  Our driver did not know the road very well & we had to ask our way many times.  We had all kinds of weather on that return drive - rain, hail, even snow but afterwards the moon came out and we got home safely at 2 a.m.  I am enclosing some more pictures of Tom's grave which Martha had made for Sarah Hegarty & will you kindly give them to her.  Am also enclosing you a picture of Rheims Cathedral which a friend of ours took of it.  I hope to get up there yet myself.  Must close now with best love to you & hoping to hear from you soon that all is going well with you.  Lovingly Sarah P.S. Have you heard from otto? lately?

1921 - 15th November Postmark London to Miss E. Alexander, Grahamsland, Castlefinn, Co. Donegal from Kennel Club, 84 Piccadilly, London W.1 Secretary E. W. Jacquet
Dear Madam, I am in receipt of your letter of the 10th instant, enclosing pedigree of four Setter Puppies, which I return herewith.  I enclose a supply of registration forms as requested.  I presume that you have the authority of Mr. Matthews to register the dogs on his behalf, and after writing his name in the space for the signature of the present owner, will you please sign your own in brackets.  If you are sending the dogs to America, and it is wished to escape the payment of duty when they are taken through the American Customs, a clear three generation Export Pedigree Certificate must be obtained in respect of each dog, for which a fee of 10/- will be payable for each Certificate.

1925 - 14th September Postmark Empire Exhibition, Wembley Park to Miss E. Alexander, Grahamsland, Castlefin, Co. Donegal, Ireland from W. - B.E.E. Monday, Enjoying myself & also the new girl? This place is well worth seeing & we are both going around in a circle trying everything. How's everybody?

1927 - 7th January Ulster Unionist Council

1934 - 20th August Postmark Toronto, Ontario to Miss E. Alexander, Sessaugh, Castlefinn from Your Bro Bill, 25 Bishop Street, Toronto, Ontario
Dear Liz:- I am writing you a few lines as I want you to do me a favor. I wrote to Elliott & Clarke a few months ago about the money coming to me and its the same as before, they don't answer my letters. Can you tell me why. Now I am in desperate need of money at the present time, could you see them & find out why the Interest is not sent on to me. I was expecting 9-10-0 last Jany. & then again in June but have got nothing as yet. I got put out of the house I was in for non-payment of Rent as I was waiting for this money & I had to apply to Sarah for help which she sent me, now I can't always be asking her for help when I should be getting my own.  As I have been unable to get any work I have only worked about 3 months in the last 26 months, you can see how things are. I wrote to Stewart & Wray before, neither of them thought worth while to answer my letter. Have they nothing more to do with it as executors, if they have not will you please find out for me what Department of the Irish Free State Govt. has charge of this money & I will write to them and find out who they pay the money to.  I have only got payments twice, one dated Nov 10th 1932, 9-10-0 and the other Dec 13th 1933 9-10-0 which was the last I got. I understand this was paid in Jany & June each year & I wrote E. & C. asking them had I not a payment on Jany & June this year but no reply from them. Now if I can't get this by Sept. 13th I will be put on the street again & if do I am going to ask the Dominion Group to deport me and my family to Ireland which I am sure they will be glad to do as they have so many unemployed here at present.  If you will please answer this by return post and let me know if you will look into it for me so as I will know where I am at and will have to act accordingly.  If I could get any work, I wouldn't bother about it but its impossible to get a days work here at present and as I say I am getting desperate & something must be done.  Be sure & let me know what Dept. of the Govt. I should write to as I want to get information from them, I need this for a lawyer who belongs to the Church I go to.  I am getting him to write for me now please let me know if you will do this. Now write me at once & let me know.  If you haven't the information you can send it on later as I don't want to ask Sarah for any more money, she has been more than good to me and I don't think its fair she should have to send me any more. Hope you are all well.

1934 - 1st October Postmark Coleraine to Miss Elizabeth Alexander, Sessaugh, Castlefinn, Co. Donegal from Wray & Baxter, Solicitors
Dear Madam, We have been instructed by your sister, Miss Sarah I Alexander of 250 Crown Street, Brooklyn, New York to investigate the payments of interest due to your brother Mr. William Alexander on the purchase money of the farm in Castlefinn which you purchased for 400 and we have written to Messrs. Elliott & Clark, Solicitors, Strabane on the matter.  It would facilitate us greatly if you would please let us have a copy of the Will of the late William Alexander and also particulars of his estate, etc., as unfortunately your sister when instructing us did not give us full particulars other than that your brother William Alexander was entitled to the farm or the purchase money of same for life.  we have mentioned to your sister that we have asked you for this information as it will save delay in waiting a reply from America.

1934 - 9th October Postmark Toronto, Ontario to Miss E. Alexander, Sessaugh, Castlefinn, Co. Donegal, Ireland from Your Bro Wm. Alexander
Dear L.:- Enclosed you will find a copy of letter which I am mailing today to Elliott & Clarke, Strabane and in future I wish you to collect this money for me from now on. I believe that there is 6 months due me so will you see if this is OK & collect same and send to me soon as you can. The only payments I have got so far are as follows Nov. 10th 1932 9-10-0; Dec 13th 1933 9-10-0; Septr. 1934 9-10-0; Now I should have received 19 each year but I understand you had one half years money to get to straighten you out.  I would like to get this squared up if you can manage it and in future you collect for me of course deduct your expenses from the bill. Let me know soon as you can as there is no work in sight yet and times are very bad. Hope you are all well.
* Until further notice, will you please pay to my sister, Elizabeth Alexander, Castlefinn, Co. Donegal, Irish Free State, any interest payments due me on the Trust Fund established for my benefit from the proceeds of sale of property bequeathed to me by my uncle, William Alexander, Yours most truly William Alexander

1935 - 17th January Postmark Toronto, Ontario to Miss E. Alexander, Castlefinn, Co. Donegal, Ireland from 'Your Loving Bro. Bill, 25 Bishop Street, Toronto, Ontario
Dear Liz:- Your letter rec'd the day after Christmas and thanks very much for the 10/-, we had a very nice Christmas here, much better than we have had in a good while, one of the ladies from the Church called & brought a lot of toys & games for the Kiddies, also brought two nice sets of blankets, she also gave me a weeks work at her house cleaning up and white-washing the cellar, she has a great big house on St. George Street & she told me she would need me again to do some painting so I am in hopes of another weeks work.  She is a Mrs. Morse, she & her daughter live in this big house & have three maids. Mrs Morse is a very plain woman, she came down to the cellar two or three times to see how I was getting on & seemed very pleased with the job I had done, there is about 9 rooms in the cellar & all had to be cleaned & white-washed.  I am expecting the Asst. Minister to call on me this week-end & they say he is very good at getting jobs so maybe he has something in view for me, I hope he has.  We are all keeping about the same & hope you are keeping OK & that the business will prosper.

1935 - 29th March Postmark Toronto, Ontario to Miss E. Alexander, Castlefinn, Co. Donegal, Ireland from 'Your Loving Bro. Bill, 25 Bishop Street, Mch 30/35
Dear L., Sorry I didn't answer your last letter sooner but I put it off from time to time & not having any good news just let it slide but I got the money alright and I'm telling you it comes in mighty handy to have it.  It keeps a house over our head.  I have only had one weeks work since the New Year, can't even get odd jobs, as nobody seems to have any money or don't want to spend it.  Although the papers here are saying things are on the mend, there is more people on City Relief here than ever before, so that doesn't look very much better to me.  The Mrs. gets 5 hours work every week cleaning up an apartment of Miss Moffatts, the Deaconess of St. Andrews Presbyterian Church, where I go to, she gets $1.25 for this. That's all the money we have coming in at present.  Now when you collect the interest money next July I wish you would take the 10/- out of it and buy me an Irish Sweep ticket with it and maybe I would be lucky, and send it on to me, put in my name and this address (25 Bishop Street, Toronto, Ontario) when I was working I always bought one but haven't been able to get any the last 3 years so I might have a bit of luck, you never can tell.  If you don't like to buy it yourself maybe E. J. or someone else could get it for you.  I hope you are making out alright with the store but I guess business will be a bit slow at first.  Very glad to hear that Jo Hegarty was getting alright again.  Do they ever come home at all, is Ruth keeping house for Uncle Tommy, how are they all getting on? I didn't hear of Archie McKinlay's death, I'm sure Alex won't be in any too good shape if he has much to pay the sisters as far as I can see by the papers there isn't anything for farm products.  I think De Valera is going to ruin Ireland, don't think it was so bad under Cosgrave.  How is Jas. Wray holding out, I s'pose E. J. is still running about as usual.  Hoping you are all well.  Remember me to all the friends & write soon & let me hear all the news of C'finn

1935 - 18th April Postmark (N.Y.) to Miss Elizabeth Alexander, Grahamsland, Castlefinn, Co. Donegal, Ireland from M. S. Alexander, 250 Crown Street, Brooklyn N.Y.
Dear Lizzie, I think this is your birthday, and I hope you will have many happier returns than this one.  Ruth telephoned us the sad news about W. B. the other night, and we just could hardly believe it.  If it had been Sarah or Maggie I would not have been surprised.  You must have had an awful time as I suppose they are all pretty helpless now and then it was so sudden.  Ruth has just had a letter from her a short time before and she wound up by saying "I suppose you will answer this is person"  Well, we never know, do we, and perhaps its just as well.  I suppose you can hardly wait until Ruth arrives, well it won't be long now, the times goes by so fast.  We will be pretty homesick when we see her off.  I wish that Sarah could go too.  I think she is pretty tired, and this modern civilisation of ours moves so fast that its hard to keep up with after 45, especially in a big city like this, and you just can't let yourself be a back? number or you're lost. I am glad Ruth has got everything fixed up to go.  I called the Irish Free State Consulate yesterday to ask what the financial requirements were.  She is an American citizen and therefore a "foreigner" in the Irish Free State.  They told me that each case was judged on its merits and that she will have to come in and talk it over.  I am sure she will be able to meet the requirements.  I asked about her furniture and they assured me there would be no duty entering the Free State if none of it has been bought within the past year.  So she is O.K. on that.  I am going to hold this letter for a couple of days until I get my sweepstakes tickets sold, and I will be very grateful if you will mail the enclosure for me again.  I enclose a dollar bill to cover postage, etc., and if I win anything I will make it a lot more.  I wish some one of us could get rich quick.  Maybe we will yet!  Easter is almost here and late as it is this year it is still very cold here - have not been able to discard the winter coat yet.  Hope it will warm up a little soon.  I wrote to Maggie - its rather hard to know what to say at a time like that - words don't seem to amount to much.  Must close now with love and Best Wishes for your birthday and for Easter, even though late. Your loving sister Martha

1936 - 22nd July Postmark Toronto Ont. to Miss E. Alexander, Castlefinn, Co. Donegal, Ireland from Your loving Bro Bill, 25 Bishop Street
Dear Liz:- Just a line or two to let you know we are all still alive & kicking.  I got a few weeks work with the Gas Co. this year, got May, June & half of July when we all got laid off again, nut they sent for me again & I am going back this week, I don't know for how long but am very glad to get it.  I have been expecting a letter from you with the cheque from Clark & E. this long time, did you forget to ask them for it or did the excitement of Sally & Martha being home put it out of your mind, I could use it just now & if you will please hurry it along I will be very much obliged, I expect S. & M. will be back here before you get this.  I guess they would have a good time while they were there after it was such a short time, I understand they are going right to the office from the boat.  How is Ruth liking Ireland, I'm sure she will think it awful quiet but maybe she is getting used to it by this time.  I see by the papers that biz is on the mend in Ireland, hope it continues, it doesn't seem to be much changed here altho the papers all claim that there is a great improvement.  Hope you are all well & that the store is doing a good biz.  Love to all.

1937 - 28th October Postmark Belfast to Miss Elizabeth Alexander, Castlefinn, Co. Donegal from Agnes B. Baird, Warboro, 14 Kincora Avenue, Belfast

1939 - 30th September Postmark Toronto, Ontario to Miss E. Alexander, Castlefinn, Co. Donegal, Ireland from 'Your Loving Bro. Bill, 109 Cumberland Street Sept 30/39
dear Liz:- Your very welcome letter arrived this morning and indeed was very glad to get it as we owed some rent and was glad to get squared up with that. You know I was waiting for the Landlord to say something for the last 2 or 3 weeks but he didn't say a word and when I paid him he said. "Oh I knew it was ok" but you know they have so many beating them out of rent that they can hardly trust anyone.  I was terribly sorry to hear of Maggie Hegarty having passed on, also Cass but we all have to go when our time comes, I am sure Sara will feel terrible lonesome now so I think it would be a good idea for you to go and live with her, she may be a bit hard to get along with but you must remember she is a very old woman and you will have to let a lot of things so with her.  I think both Aunt Maggie & Coz Sara are very lucky to have you and Ruth to keep an eye on them in their last days.  Well that war is on again & there is nothing doing here yet but if they start to make munitions here I guess we will be able to get some work and I will be very glad to get back to work again as I am tired of lying around doing nothing, you don't know how hard it is in the City to be around doing nothing.  In the Summer time I could always get a day or two now and then doing gardening or any thing I could get but in the fall there isn't anything at all until the snow begins.  Well we saw Sara & Martha this summer and did I enjoy their visit, well, maybe, they are the nicest pair of girls anywhere, at least my family thinks they are the salt of the earth.  To tell you the truth I couldn't get a talk with them in private as the Kids were after them everywhere, Jimmie is a big boy now, as tall as I am but not through school yet. He has been trying to get connected with a Military organisation as a bugler but we want him to finish school (line missing) to stop him if he insists, in my opinion he will be in the war soon enough.  He is now interested in flying but I don't think has Education enough for that yet but maybe they can use him if so. I have nothing to say.  We are all feeling pretty good at this time and hope you are all feeling the same at this time and hope everything will turn out to our advantage in this present trouble and that we will all be able to live in peace and happiness in the years to come.  Write soon again & let me know all the news from home.

1940 - 22nd March Postmark New York to Miss Elizabeth Alexander, Grahamsland, Castlefinn, Co. Donegal, Ireland from (Sarah) S. I. Alexander, 250 Crown Street, Brooklyn, N.Y.
Dear Lizzie, Received your letter a good little while ago and was so glad to hear from you.  I am sure you are glad to be rid of the shop but it is hard on you to have to go down to stay with Sarah every night and the more especially when she doesn't ever appreciate it.  Still, I suppose it's just one of those things that has to be done, and of course she's old.  I am wondering how the money matters turned out.  Is she still very sore at Isabel and does she not want them to get the money?  I am glad for her our sake that there was enough to take care of her during her life time anyway.  We have not seen Isabel since we heard from you so don't know whether she heard from Sarah or not.  It would have been so much easier if Maggie had made a will but I suppose she just didn't think she was going to go so soon herself.  It should be a lesson to all of us.  Well, now, I want to tell you about our trip to Canada.  I really thought I had told you about it but guess I didn't. Anyway, we were agreeably surprised.  We had not intended going by ourselves as we were a little fearful about taking such a long trip, being new drivers but the two people who were to have gone with us decided that they could not come, so Martha and I just made up our minds to go by ourselves, and I am glad to say that we didn't have the very slightest difficulty.  We had our route mapped out and were to do 265 miles the first day.  We made an early start that morning and arrived at our destination at 5.30, about an hour earlier than our schedule, and we feel so pleased with ourselves!  The next afternoon we arrived at Niagara Falls and spent some time seeing them, spent the night there, and went on to Toronto the next day, arriving on the outskirts early in the evening.  We had written Willie that we would arrive at their place around 8 o'clock that evening, and that was just about the time we arrived there.  We took turns at driving on the way up, but Martha drove through Toronto.  There was plenty of traffic but she did beautifully.  Well, we drove up in front of 109 Cumberland Street and were trying to get the car parked on the side of the street opposite their house, and when we finally got it parked Willie came across the street and was he surprised!  We had written him that we were coming up with our friends (which we had expected to do) and he had no idea that we had a car of our own or could drive even.  They had been looking out of the window and saw the car being parked across the street but Nellie said "Oh, No, that can't be them, there will be four people in the car"  Then the three children came forward.  Of course, it was 20 years since we had seen Willie, but considering the time he had not changed so much.  The three kids were crazy about the car and of course so was Willie.  Then we went over to the house and met Ellen.  We spent the evening with them and had a very nice time indeed.  We had tea, and of course Willie was asking about everybody and every thing.  Ellen is very thin but she looked very nice, and I must say for the three children that they couldn't be nicer.  They are nice looking and have good manners, and considering what she had to contend with in the way of Willie being out of work so much, I think she had done a good job with the children.  They all go to St. Andrews Presbyterian church, and Willie does not ????? at all.  They have a poor place but everything is just as clean as can be.  We have a friend living in Toronto ( a Miss Menagh who used to be Dr. Eaton's Secretary) and she asked us to stay her while we were in Toronto.  She had plenty of room and we were sure that Willie's place would be too crowded if we stayed with them.  So after having spent a very nice evening with them, Willie and the three children came back in the car with us to Miss Menagh's and then they walked home from there - it wasn't very far.  We had arranged to be back there the next day at 2.00 o'clock and go for a drive.  Ellen however decided she would not go along, but would stay home and prepare dinner, so off we went at 2 o'clock and Jim the oldest boy decided where we were to drive.  We went out to the airport, and to the recreation park and had quite a lovely time, getting back to the house about 6.30 where Ellen had a nice chicken dinner ready for us.  The next day we went for a drive away out on the outskirts of Toronto.  This time we had Mrs. Menagh & Ellen with us and Willie and two of the children stayed home.  When we came back we went to a restaurant and had dinner, and then we took them home.  It was a very nice evening and later we all went out and took a walk to the park and stayed there a while, and came back home.  There the children & Willie came down with us to Miss Menagh's.  We said Goodbye to Willie that evening as he was going to work the next morning early.  We were to leave Toronto the next morning about 9, and the children were down at Miss Menagh's bright and early to say goodbye to us.  Altogether, we were so glad to have made the trip.  They all seem to live very happily together.  Jim, the oldest boy (15) is extremely good looking, dark eyes like his mother and wavy black hair.  Ruth, aged 13, has straight hair, is a kind of a tomboy but promises to be quite nice looking, and Billy (12) has tight curly hair just like Willie and is an extremely likeable little chap.  We are planning to go up there again next August, and if all goes well go down to Georgia and see Jim and his children and grandchildren!  Distances don't mean a thing when you have a car and Martha and I haven't regretted getting it at all - just sorry we didn't get it long ago.  And so - the war still goes on.  I think the Allies are going to have a hard time of it, but I think they are determined to do the job they set out to do, and more power to them.  I see they are being rationed as to butter and bacon in Northern Ireland.  Well, Lizzie, dear, I do hope you are keeping well, and that things are going well with you, you said, if you had a million, you'd like to come out and visit us.  Well, maybe you can do that when the war is over and it won't take a million either!  Mother is settled in her new job now and likes it very much.  She gets Saturdays off all the year round and of course she likes that, but she has to work awfully hard the other days.  And now with lots of love to you and hoping to hear from you soon again, I am, Your loving sister Sarah.  P.S. What a thrill we got over the Queen Elizabeth coming in here!

1940 - 12th September Postmark Toronto, Ontario to Miss E. Alexander, Castlefinn, Co. Donegal, Ireland from 'Your Loving Bro. Bill, 109 Cumberland Street, Toronto, Ont.
Dear L. Your letter received and glad to hear you are all well. Thanks for the cheque, I just got started again at the Gas Works but don't know how long it will last, I hope it will last for a good while as for the last two years I have not being doing very much as the work was very scarce.  There is plenty of work now but mostly for skilled labor, mechanics, etc. but that will make work for others too, so I hope to be able to carry on now for a while.  Jim is taking a Commercial Course at the school, now I think he will have to take a two year course.  He went up North with a Gold Mining firm at the beginning of the Summer, he was to learn the Diamond drilling business but the mosquitos and black flies nearly ate him alive so he had to come home again.  The prospector who took him up is home for the winter (he lives near us) and wants Jim to go up with him next summer again.  He may go up there on his summer holidays next year.  The other two children are back at school again and all in good health.  Well the war seems to be getting a bit heavier but I think Hitler has just about shot his bolt. I think he is as far as he can get now and he will be on his way down and out, and this time I hope they finish them off so well that they wont ever be heard of again.  They got off too easy the last time or they wouldn't have started it again so soon.  We had a visit from Sarah & Martha in August, they came in their car from N.Y.  We enjoyed their visit very much, we all went to Niagara Falls when they were going back, S. & M. went on and we came back by boat to Toronto.  They were going on down South to Alabama to see Jim's daughter and then calling to see Jim and his family in Georgia, its a long drive for them but I think they enjoy it.  About that money, Yes I think it would be as well to invest it in War Bonds.  If I can get enough work to carry on I would be able to do without it.  The Mrs. was in a Knitting Marathon at the Exhibition, they had a Knitting Relay Marathon from 14 women's societies and she was in for the I.O.D.E. (Imperial Order Daughters of the Empire) and they came in third.  Well I think this is all the news I can think of now, hoping you are all well and that we will soon have Peace again, love to all.

1941 - 23rd April 1941 Postmark Belfast to Miss E. Alexander, Grahamsland, Castlefinn, Co. Donegal from Anna, Liscooly, Upper Greenisland, Co. Antrim
We were very much affected by your kind letter, this & your offer of housing for us. It is more than kind. The first night we stayed in bed, Wynne & Dorothy came down to us & Margaret sleeps in a bed in my room.  The second night was awful, we weren't in bed & we wakened Margaret & we all sat under the stairs from 11-15 until 5.  The windows rattled & the knocker on the door shook, & we heard everything.  Occasionally we went upstairs & saw Belfast ablaze, you may guess what we feel like.  Next day the telephone wasn't working, so after dinner Dorrie determined she w'd get to Winnie some way.  It took 2 hours, trains late, delays, & then no trains. (Wynne went with her) Dorothy saw a woman stop a limousine, so she decided to stop the first car & it took her to the arches & she only had 10 min walk then.  They are much nearer the Island.? Winnie & Rex were under stairs, safe.  The cap from one of our guns came through the roof, ceiling & landed on their bed, weighed about 2 lbs.  Jack was out at the Air Raid Post, he is Chief Warden, the roof was blown off the post, but he was all right.  The Wardens were very good, they came in often during the night & told Winnie that Jack was all right.  I went up on Thur. (also Sunday) & the place is a sight, up York Street. I did not see the Antrim Road.  The country is swarming with refugees, this railway is so congested, it is like a free fight to get into a train.  Daddy & I could go up to you, & feel (which is important) that we were very welcome, but I could not leave Dorothy.  Wynne is going on with his business & still gets stuff.  Dorothy is going to the College two days in the week, says she may as well earn the money when it comes easy.  That leaves me busy here, & the girl I had coming in, is off with a new baby, but I will try for another.  Dorothy is not quite better yet, as she took a sore arm.  However she is going to start to-morrow after the Easter holidays; she goes to the house for all day where the "Housekeepers' are in training, that is easier.  When things get quieter here & no fear of more raids, you may see us if you are still free & all well with you.  What about rations?, so far we get plenty to eat, although the meat ration is small.  Dorothy & W. meant to go to Donegal at Easter on bicycles but the uncertainty here & her arm & the cold weather prevented.  So they went off by train to Larne on Easter Monday, had dinner there & then by bus, along the coast to Carnlough, stayed the night there & had two lovely long walks & came home on Tues. in time for the nights vigil under the stairs.  London is getting it hard.  I wrote twice but have had no reply.  Constance's husband's Aunt Jessie is 91, is there, she lives with her niece & her husband & who are Ch. Scientists.  She visited me once (Aunt Jessie & Bobs father from Johannesburg) at Hampton Park & always writes to me since.  I lost three or four of Constances letters & then got two, & now another long interval.  Mrs. Pal?? writes regularly & cheers us up.  Glad to hear you are better & that Aunt Maggie is improving.  Wynne was in Coleraine today, Dorrie is going sometime for the day & paying Ruth a flying visit; but thought is too much today when she has to commence to-morrow.  Every house down here is full, 20 people in a wee hut & not a vacant house anywhere. Much love & many thanks Anna
Everyone expects another soon but I will send you a card next time. Telegrams were forbidden but the S.P.O. was crowded out - Police giving out forms on the street.

1942 - 5th January Postmark Toronto, Ontario to Miss E. Alexander, Grahamsland, Castlefinn, Co. Donegal, Ireland from Your loving Bill, 109 Cumberland Street (Toronto, Ontario)
Dear E, Your letter received a few days ago and was sorry to see they would not allow you to send the money, I really don't know what to do about it but I suppose there is nothing can be done.  As my wife has been sick since the first of November and has not been out of the house since the money would have come in very nicely just now.  I had a job in the summer with the National Yacht Club but they close up for the winter, they closed up at the end of November I was working the two jobs I held on to the Bank job as I knew the Club closed up in winter. Worked at the Club from 9 am until 5 and then I went from there to the bank where I usually got through about 8.30pm or 9.  I got my dinner at the Club every day so that done me until I got home at 9 when I had my dinner again.  The Bank raised me from 30 dollars to 40 dollars per Month, I am getting 50 dollars for the winter months as I have to look after the furnace in the winter.  I was asking the Asst. Mgr. of the Bank if there was any way I could get the money and he was surprised that they could not send it from the Free State as it was neutral.  Did you try sending it from there, if you could send the 9 Pounds and buy another war bond with the other ten it would do me just now and if you cant get them to send that you may put it in the Bank in my name, I suppose that is all that we can do about it.  So Sarah has gone too, that is the last of them, Sorry I never got the paper you sent, it never reached here, that is what I thought had happened to the check, I thot you had sent it and it had been lost on the way, I had a Xmas card from Ruth at Xmas, also had a letter from May and from Sarah and Martha, they all seem to be in good health. Sorry to hear that Tom Nelson shot himself but you say he is Ok again and will soon be able to go home. Where is his home, is he back with James again and couldn't they take care of him?  We are all pretty well here now although at the beginning of winter we were all laid up with colds, the wife was the worst, she was in bed for a month but she is able to be up now although she hasn't been able to go out yet, it has been a mild winter so far but we expect to get it before long we had no snow Xmas day but it snowed the day after and a little every day since.  Now if you will see if you can get me that 9 pounds I will be very glad to get it as I only have the Bank job at present and that is not enough to run a house on, the boys make some after school but they need it all for themselves, Jim buys his own clothes, you know they are all at High School, Jim makes 45 cents per hour when he works after school and Saturday and Billy works helping a dispatcher in a Taxi Office Friday from 6 pm until 2 am, he makes four or five dollars a week but they go to shows and skating and they need it. I expect Ruth will be through high school next June and she thinks she will try for a job in a Bank. The Banks don't pay so well but the experience will be very useful to her.  Now with best wishes to all the folks at home and wishing you all a prosperous and Victorious New Year.
N.B. I understand they don't recognize the Free State Coin here, I expect the same applies to the states, so there isn't much chance if they would allow you to send some on account of sickness, you might try that way.  Bill

1942 - 14th February Postmark Mineola N.Y. to Miss Elizabeth Alexander, Grahamsland, Castlefin, Ireland, Co. Donegal from Isabel - I. H. Keil, 187 E. Seaman Avenue, Freeport, L.I., N.Y., U.S.A.
Dear Elizabeth: Received your nice newsy and lengthy letter of January 10th.  Yes, we sold the house to Ezekiel, also the land.  After all, Elizabeth, what would be the sense of keeping it - we would have to have an agent take care of it and maybe in the long run, we would get nothing from it.  As to the furniture, I don't know what that sold for, but the lawyers said they would send me a final accounting of everything.  Of course, take the wrist watch.  I'm only too happy to give it to you, and as I siad (said) before, anything you want, just take, the same goes for Ruth too.  We appreciate very much your keeping the silver, etc., for us and I do hope in the not too distant future, we will be able to make a trip over.  This war is really awful and believe me it won't be long before we will all be feeling it.  It certainly is just awful, to think that after all these years we have to start all over again - and this time, worse than the one before.  I haven't seen Sarah or Martha for ever so long.  We manage to get together about once a year.  One would think we lived in another country, but they are busy with their friends and the same with us.  Now Elizabeth, thank you so much for your letter and remember, anything you or Ruth would like to have, just help yourself.  Bill, Babs and myself are all well and happy and hope you and Ruth have kept well too.  Much love to you both and many thanks again, Lovingly Isabel

1942 - 10th July Postmark Belfast to Miss E. Alexander, Grahamsland, Castlefinn, Co. Donegal from Agnes B. Baird, Warboro, 14 Kincora Avenue, Belfast

1942 - 7th August Postmark New York to Miss Elizabeth Alexander, "Grahamsland" Castlefinn, Co. Donegal, Ireland from Sarah S. I. Alexander, 250 Crown Street, Brooklyn
Dear Elizabeth, I thought I would drop you a line & tell you that Claude passed away on July 2nd.  It may be that May has written you about it but in case she hasn't I will tell you about it.  You know of course, that he was seriously ill about 3 years ago, but recovered so that he was able to go back to work, but he never really regained his strength the same as before.  He always had to rest as much as possible while at home.  Well, it seems that he had been having bad spells for about 2 months before he died, but he had always come around all right.  He went to work as usual on Wednesday July 1st, but had to telephone later in the day to May to send Frank??? over for him with the car.  He suffered a great deal on the way home & of course the doctor was called when he got home & he gave him something to relieve the pain, but he passed away in the early morning hours of Thursday July 2nd.  He was buried in Easton on the following Sunday.  There was a Masonic Service held on Saturday Evening and a lovely church service on Sunday at 1 o'clock just immediately after which we left for the cemetery.  It is about 60 miles from Crawford to Easton, but the boys were able to get us some emergency gasoline so we were able to go along with our car - we are rationed now as to sugar and gasoline you know.  They say it is going to be coffee and tea next.  Some of Claudes cousins were at the cemetery on our arrival, and after the burial they insisted on everyone coming to their house for something to eat, & I am glad we did for it was good for May to have that distraction, although I must say she has borne up very well indeed.  The boys want her to make a two family house out of the house & Frank & his wife would take two upper floors, or it could easily be rented to outsiders they think.  I don't know if she has decided on this or not.  The old lady is very helpless and the boys and the minister are trying to prevail on May to put her in a home where she would have every care.  She is 89 years of age, and her mind is not at all clear.  She did not seem to really comprehend that Claude was dead and sometimes she does not know May, and I am sure she never knows us when we go over.  Kenneth's wife has just had another baby, a boy, born July 20th and Frank's wife has one on the way.  Both the boys were very good to May during the ordeal, & I hope they keep on being good to her for she has sacrificed plenty for them in the past.  I wrote Isabel and told her about Claude and at the same time asked about the inheritance, she replied soon, and said that she and Margaret had each received 100 in October of last year and were to receive an additional 385 each in settlement as well as 32 that Maggie left them.  She said that Ezekiel had bought the house for 450 and Isabel apparently did not know that he had resold it so now she is sore that Ezekiel sold it at a profit and she is none too well pleased.  To me it seems a strange thing for Ezekiel to do, but you know Isabel signed some papers giving him power and that is perhaps what she should not have done, but it is hard to know what is best to be done at long distances and she had faith that Ezekiel would do the right thing.  I cannot imagine why he should have been so secretive about the whole matter, anyway why in the world should he not have told you what was going on and why on earth should he begrudge you the old piano?  You certainly did enough for Sarah before she died to entitle you to that at least, besides which Isabel had said you were to take some things if you wanted to.  Madge Thomson passed away about a couple of months ago.  She was living in New Rochelle and Bess had visited her one morning and spent the morning with her.  She had hardly arrived home where she had a telephone call to say that there had been an accident to Madge & she was to come right back.  She did so and found Madge terribly burnt on face, chest and hands.  It seems she kept a gas stove burning for heat and her robe had caught fire.  Bess telephones the New Rochelle Hospital to send an ambulance and Madge was taken right to the hospital.  She was there for about six weeks, and seemed to be getting along very nicely, but had a sudden turn for the worse and passed away.  We went up to see Bess a couple of Sundays ago & she was looking very well indeed.  Helen boys are great big fellows now and the older is going to join the Marines in the fall.  The younger is to go to College.  Martha and I are both in very good health I am glad to say.  We are going on vacation on August 8th for two weeks. We expect to go to the Catskills if we can manager to get the gasoline to take us as far as that.  Martha has been working very hard and is really looking forward to her vacation.  Her boss is really engaged in war work & he is a real worker.  I was so sorry to hear you had not been so well and do hope you are feeling all right again.  None of us is as young as we used to be and we just have to go a little slower on things.  This is pretty hard to do if you have been active all your life but it is very necessary.  I do hope you will try to take things a little easier now, you were under quite a strain running down to Rose Cottage all the time.  We had a letter from Ruth a couple of weeks ago and she said Aunt Maggie was very feeble now.  I have not sent Willie any money yet as you said there was a possibility you might be able to send his money.  I would be sending Ruth some of her money in September & unless I hear from you or Nellie in the meantime that you have been able to send it I will send the September money to Willie.  Sometimes we feel quite discouraged about the way the war is going - the Nazis seem to be going ahead in Russia, but we must have faith that our side will win out in the end.  Martha & I have just finished our First Aid Course and then we took the Advanced Course also, so we may be of some help in that line if we are needed.  I think this is about all the news I have for you at this time Elizabeth and I am sorry it is not more cheerful news - but good or bad we just have to put up with it.  With lots of love to you from both Martha and me and looking forward to hearing from you soon.  affectionately Sarah

1943 - 22nd October Postmark Caislean to Miss Alexander, Gramsland, Castlefinn (Grahamsland) from Edna Dunn & Robert M. Temple, The Demense, Castlefinn

1945 - 29th March Postmark Limavady? to Miss E. Alexander, Grahamsland, Castlefin, Co. Donegal - from Sgt. Alexander W., R293632, 59 Squadron, Ballykelly, Co. Derry
Dear Aunt Elizabeth, I arrived back two days ago and this is the first chance I have had to write you.  I must apologize for what I did when I was down there. If I had known what I know now the situation would have been quite different.  I'm very sorry about the whole thing and I hope you will forgive me for what I have done.  I had a good time at Aunt Ruth's and I hope I can see you at her place some time.  I must close now as I have to go for supper.  Your loving Nephew, Bill

1945 - 6th May Postmark Limavady to Miss E. Alexander, Grahamsland, Castlefinn, Co. Donegall from Sgt. Alexander  W., R.E.A.T.? R293632 59 Sqdn., Ballykelly
Dear Aunt Elizabeth, I received your letter and was very glad to hear from you.  I'm sorry to hear you had the flu, I hope by now it's gone and that you are back in good health again.  Aunt Ruth and myself may be down to see you on my next leave.  I really wish we could forget the last time and start all over again.  I'm awfully sorry about Mr. Sproules, I didn't know his address so I couldn't write and apologize. I had intended to ask for it but forgot about it.  Well I guess that's all for now.  Your loving Nephew, Bill

1945 - 21st October re Moneymore Day Fair - Dear Anna, Very many thanks for all your trouble, please convey my appreciation to Miss Alexander, so good of her to superintend the work, yours as always, Bob
Wednesday, Phone No. Whiteabbey 3293 (Dial 0) - Dear E., I am sorry you are not coming for the lecture.  A few of us members are going up for the Dublin lecture which I think is on the Tues. previous 3 May, think of going, but as I am still at the library almost every da7 & the "Indian Summe" is one, I have my doubts.  Do write me after the 23rd & let us know the result so the community know you are going.  It would be a good idea to get rid of the things you don't want.  What a job, I am glad it is not me.  Thanks for all the trouble.  I phoned Robert & asked for 2. 30/- for the man & 10/- for me.  I enclose his note - How can I send it to you, in a postal order or what?  We have no further word from Reg, he was at Rawalpindi & was to be posted from there.  Mr. Peck's son down the Station Road has been promoted Major & p liason officer at Kuala Lumour.  I was up at the R.R. to-day & had to come home in a gale of wind & rain.  Wynne saw a girl blown across York Street.  I hope it settles as I am going up to the meeting without fail as it is my job to sell the Literature.  Much love & good 'pickings' Anna

1948 (letter dated 19th February 1947, envelope dated 1948?) - Postmark New York to Miss Elizabeth Alexander, Grahamsland, Castlefin, Co. Donegal from Sarah, 250 Crown Street, Brooklyn 25, New York
Dear Elizabeth, We received your letter dated January 7th and were so glad to hear you received the package all right.  It was especially nice that it reached you just before Christmas, so you were able to make use of some of the things at Christmas.  It pleases us to think of you and Ruth spending Christmas together, so that neither of you will feel too lonesome.  We had our usual little Christmas party, but May was laid up with a severe cold and was not able to come. Then on the day after Christmas Martha went down with a cold and is really not quite over it yet.  Later I got it but not quite as severe but I had to stay home a day.  I suppose you've seen in the papers about the heavy fall of snow we had in New York the day after Christmas - we had a snowfall of 25 inches, and you would scarcely believe it but some of the snow is still lying on our street - Crown Street - and indeed on many other streets in Brooklyn.  We had several other snow storms after that first one and they simply couldn't get the streets cleared.  However, for three days we've had almost spring like weather so a great deal of the snow has melted away, but there is plenty lying there yet.  About the middle of December we were notified that we could no longer have the use of the garage where we had kept our car since we first got it over 9 years ago, so as it is simply impossible to get a garage now in Brooklyn we just had to leave it on the street in front of 250 Crown Street, and there it has been standing since December 15.  We have not been able to use it since the Sunday before Christmas as it has been surrounded by snow and ice.  However, we can get it out now and are going to use it next Saturday and hope it won't have suffered any damage.  I was very glad to hear you had been in to Strabane and got the 6 months interest from Clark, at least it is better than nothing if he continues to pay the interest.  I wrote Willie the other day and sent him a draft for the equivalent in Canadian dollars of the 9-10 so will you please give Ruth the 9-10 and I'll deduct from her dividends.  I am sure ? would be very glad to get that letter.  Well, the time won't be very long now until I retire, and indeed I shall be very glad.  The reason I would have to wait a year for my pension is that it is based on retirement at age 65, and it is not payable before then.  However, I have only one year to go and the company will pay me for that year the same amount that the insurance company will start to pay me at age 65, plus something additional - how much - I do not as yet know.  I am pretty sure, however, that I will have enough to take care of all expenses although I won't be able to save anything like the amount I could save when I was on salary.  It is an insurance company that takes care of the pension, and then there is life insurance along with it.  I am now insured for $6000 and this will be continued for six months after my retirement, for the following six months the life insurance will be reduced to $5500, and so on every six months until the life insurance is down to $3000 where it will remain for the rest of my life.  The company pays the premium on this insurance, that is one very good feature in connection with retirement - I mean the life insurance part of it.  It's very nice of you, Elizabeth dear, to say our home is over there and we are welcome any time.  However, you know I couldn't leave Martha alone here.  Also, she has rather a hard job and my being at home will, I hope, make it a bit easier for her.  She is hoping her boss will last out for the next four or five years when she will be ready to retire too.  Mr. Cobwin? is 65 years of age and when a man reaches that age he is beginning to think of retirement too.  Maybe, before that time (I mean before Martha retires) we might be able to pay a visit over there, but everything is so frightfully expensive now that I think it is better to wait a while, and conditions are so unsettled too in the carious countries.  The body of Helen Reynold's boy was brought home from France, and they had a private funeral.  Bess wrote us about it, and at the same time she said she hadn't had any word from either you or Ruth at Christmas, and that she missed hearing from you a lot.  She had her 80th birthday in the Fall of last year and really she is very wonderful for her age.  I sent Ruth the little note she sent us and asked her to forward it to you, so when you get it be sure and write her a line for I know she will be very pleased to hear from you.  Jim's daughter Sally got married just before Christmas. We met the young man in October last, he was here in New York getting ready to go odd to France to study at the Sorbonne.  He expected to work his way across on some boat, but there were some complications and when he finally for to Paris he was too late for the Sorbonne.  I hope the marriage turns out all right but neither Martha nor I were quite sure that he was very reliable.  Frank Nather? came in to see me the other day and said his Mother was all over her cold.  She generally comes over and spends Easter with us so I hope she will come this year.  It is very early this year - March 28th.  It will be very nice to see some Spring weather - it has been such a dreadful winter here - and they are forecasting more cold weather yet!  Thanks for your nice Christmas cards - and with loads of love to you from Martha and me and hoping to hear from you again soon - affectionately Sarah

1951 9th May Postmark Baile Atha Cliath addressed to Mrs. Ruth Stokes, 38 Alliance Avenue, Cliftonville, Belfast N.I.

instructions for keeping and rearing turkeys & how to make albumen water & Poultry rearing

no date to Miss Alexander, Grahamstown, Castlefinn (its Grahamsland) from Daisy Wagentruta? Inchenagh, Lifford, Co. Donegal
Dear Miss Alexander, Thank you very much for your kind letter, I am so glad we have all passed, D"lier? and you will be very pleased that we have done you credit.  I will be very glad to go on with the training when ever you are ready you might send me a line. I enclose 2/- subscription, I think an umbrella will be very nice & we ought to get a very good one for the amount.  With kind regards, very sincerely yours

no date - Dear Willie, I am sending you here with M.O. for 5. I have had to borrow the balance until the 15th when I will send it to you.  I hope you had a fine time & got over safely and are enjoying yourself now. You must write very soon if you haven't already written & tell me all the fun and what you thought of Castlefinn & everyone.  With love to all from Sarah

(page 1 missing, last page missing also)
Army and Navy Young Men's Christian Association
......immediately, and we had to promise to come down to the Y Casino that night and every night, and take the day trips with them.  Well, we couldn't do otherwise.  It just goes to your heart to see how glad the American boy is to see anyone from home, and the time they spend with us does a lot to keep them out of trouble.  This particular group were all nice boys too, mostly college men, so we really enjoyed it ourselves, we stayed in Cannes 6 days and then came to Nice - from there we took the trip to Monte Carlo, Monaco, Menton, and over the frontier a little ways into Italy.  It was a beautiful trip and I shall never forget those magnificent snow clad mountains.  We did not like Nice as much as Cannes - it is too much of a city and is full of American soldiers on leave.  We stayed 2 days in Nice and then decided we'd better be thinking about getting back to our jobs, we had heard about the beauty of Grenoble, an old French town near the Italian and Swiss borders, from where it was possible to see Mont Blanc, and in spite of the fact that our military orders called for return to Paris by the most direct route, we decided to come back by way of Grenoble, a 3 days journey from Nice.  All our transportation is furnished by the Army and costs us nothing, but we have the endless red tape of reporting to the military authorities every ten yards or so.  The only trouble we had was when we started off.  I walked through the station very brazenly, the other three behind me, all of us with one eye on the American Military Police, whom I tried to walk fast without seeing, and turned round very surprised like then he hailed me with "Have you registered in ??dam, let me see your papers."  Says I, "I'm on my way back to Paris" says he, "This is the opposite direction, you should go back to Paris by way of Marseilles,"  says I, "we're dying to see Grenoble and Mont Blanc," and then says he with a smile "All right" and past we went.  It was four o'clock in the afternoon when.....

date illegible Postmark Castlefin to Miss C. J. Hegarty, c/o W. U. Tel. Co., 195 Bivay, New York, America
Dear Cas, Thanks for Easter Card. This is our own old Church, do you recognize it. We are going to try to have it improved this summer.  Do you think any of the N. Y. millionaires would help. If so please let me know. I would like to do something myself as it needs it very badly. I will write you very soon. I know you are so busy you have not much time. Good-bye M. B.

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