1872 Letters

August 5, 1872 letter to Frank Tomlinson from Henry Keith

August 5, 1872

To: Frank Tomlinson

From: Henry Keith, Buffalo, NY

He has made up his mind to strike out on his own. He will be going home for two weeks and then will leave for Utah. He expects to have some rough times but is willing to put up with whatever comes.

Scan of 1872-08-05 Henry Keith to Frank Tomlinson

Buffalo Aug 5th 72

Dear Coz

I wrote a letter to your father[1] and also sent him a bill of goods some _____. I have rec’d no word acknowledging the receipt of goods. I thought perhapps you would favor me with a line after your return home but as yet no letter from you. I received a letter from Nellie[2] today she writes that she is having a very fine time enjoying herself very much. Says she has been but very little homesick. Good for her.

Well I have fully made up my mind to strike out for myself. I dread it but I am going to sink or swim. I am going to start for home the first of next week and I am going to remain at home about two weeks and then I have a friend here that is comming along and we go together from Mich to Denver City via St Louis, Kansas City and Denver to Utah. I donot think we will go further than Utah and I doubt if we will go beyond Colorado althoug our tickets will be from Chicago to Salt Lake. I am going with simply with my tools and a will to do the best I can. I have written home to our folks about going. They seem quite willing and I am sure I am quite willing too go. I expect to see some ruff times but let the worst come. I am fully prepaired to put up with it. I am bent on going. I am tired working for other folks. I want to try my hand at something. The fellow that is going with me is a tiptop fellow he is one of my best friends. I should like to visit you before going but as I have but very little time to stay at home I feel anxious to get home as soon as I can.

Yours Henry L Keith

Direct to Galesburg
Care of Jos Flanders[3] Mich

George[4] says you owe him a letter


[1] George Tomlinson

[2] Frank’s sister, Nellie Tomlinson

[3] Henry was the son of Charles “Luke” Keith Jr. and his first wife, Minerva (Payson) Keith. When she died just nine days after Henry’s birth, Joseph & Amanda (Hobbs) Flanders took Henry in and raised him even after Luke remarried. The Flanders wanted to adopt Henry but Luke said no; however, it looks like Henry lived with them throughout his youth. This seems to be corroborated by the 1860 census showing “Henry L Flanders” (who I believe was actually Henry L. Keith) age 16, living with Joseph & Amanda

[4] His friend, George, who he refers to in many of his letters

*Thanks to Leigh Terrass, great-granddaughter of John Frank Tomlinson, for sharing this letter with me and allowing me to post it. In order to keep the letters chronological in the https://lettersfromthe1860s.wordpress.com/ blog post, it was given a posting date of 03-20-2018 even though it wasn’t until September of 2021 that I received the letters from Leigh

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s