Friday, June 27, 2008

DeEtte Bullen to Annie Carlisle Sept. 19, 1880

Poynette Wis Sept 19th 1880

My dear Cousin,

I am almost ashamed to write after waiting so long but will try to do my best we are well and hope you are enjoying good health. isent it strange every one think they have got the very best husband Ella and you both thinks you have the best and I would not trade with either of you.

Libbie has lost her little and only child little Hermia I shall

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miss her so much when I go down there she was my pet and she thought no one quite equal to her Auntie De as she called me she died of scarlet fever she would have been four years old tomorrow if she had lived. Emmitt has another girl they have named it Lulu Belle

We went to the state fair this fall at Madison and saw General Grant and son but I did not see that he looked any different from common men that people need go so near crazy over him.

Will is writing to Jen he has not written to any of them only Myrtle

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and they think he might write once in awhile so he has finely got it started but he is a rather poor hand to write he will get out of it if he can.

I have a new dress to make and you don’t know how I dread it I havent got a machine and I have always been used to having one to use and it seems like an endless job to make one by hand

We have been talking all summer of going to the place they call pine hollow it is a wild rocky place and I never saw many such places the girls (Wills sisters) was going with us if we

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went but it is getting to late to go now so if you will come here next summer we will take you with us. You wasent as lucky as I was getting over the Rheumatism for I have never felt it since. you ought to see Eune Wisner she is just as fat as fat can be she weighed 147 pounds before I came from home. I only weigh 129 now. I have been well all summer but I guess I have worked hard and worked the fat off well. as my sheet is full and my head empty I will close by saying good night. I remain your Cousin Deette

Hermia D. Belden, daughter of Ephraim and Elizabeth (Hall) Belden, died 27 July 1880 per the records of another researcher. In Ella's letter written on August 19th she made no mention of her death. Had Ella not received word of her niece's death or did she simply not think to mention it? It is very sad that Hermia died of a disease that is now treated with simple antibiotics.

Emmitt and Eva (Bangs) Hall's second daughter, Lulu Belle Hall was born 20 January 1880. I know very little about Emmitt's descendants.

I believe that Jen was Will Bullen's sister. I'm not certain who Myrtle was.

As a seamstress I feel DeEtte's pain at having to do all of her sewing by hand! Per my records DeEtte was eight months pregnant when she wrote this letter. Why was there no mention of the pregnancy? Is she making the dress to wear after the baby is born? Or are my unverified records incorrect?

For more see:
Carlisle - Wisner Letters
Family of William Wisner
Descendants of Maryetta Wisner
Descendants of Sarah Ann Wisner

Bullen, DeEtte Hall (Poynette, Wisconsin) to “My dear Cousin” [Sarah Ann Camfield Carlisle]. Letter. 19 September 1880. Digital Images 1-4. Privately held by Apple, [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE,] Snowville, New York. 2008. [Carlisle Family, Box #1, Correspondence, 1880, Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan]


Miriam Robbins said...

Apple, to attempt to answer your question: I'm not certain, but I believe the societal norm in those days was not to mention pregnancy at all, as it was an indirect reference to the taboo subject of sex. Also, in the days of high infant mortality as well as the very real danger of the mother dying in childbirth, I think many superstitious people thought it was tempting fate to mention the upcoming birth of a child.

I could be wrong on both counts, but I believe that I have read about both of these in articles about social history of those times.

These letters have been wonderful! I know it's a lot of work to transcribe them--and even more to do the research behind them to put things into context. Keep up the great job!


Thanks for the glimpse through the window to the past of early Poynette, Wi. Loved the remark about General Grant. My G.G.Great Grandfather's farm called "Woodside" was just about 1/3 mile to the East of Pine Hollow on the road South of Poynette. From the +/-1910's my grandmother would travel with her mom and siblings with their driver from Champaign, Illinois to Poynette in the summer to visit family. They would go down to Pine Hollow. I have a photo of my Grandmother in Pine Hollow there taken about 1917. Their family name was Baddeley from Champaign, and Williams from Portage, Wi. Best!,Phil