1875 Letters

September 6, 1875 letter to James Keith from Nancy & Henry Brown

September 6, 1875

To: James Keith

From: Nancy & Henry Brown, Lawton, MI

Nancy and Henry were writing to her brother Jimmie to tell him all about their baby, Claude, and how cute he was and the fun things he did. Nancy had been working on sewing her dress, but it had been so warm she couldn’t do much sewing. Hannah had been staying with them and they did not know when she would be going home, but Nancy said Jim should ask her father-in-law’s Indian spirit guide to tell the family if she and Hank would be coming home with her.

Monday Evening

Lawton September 6th

Dear brother Jimmie

We got your letter tonight. I was going to write tonight or tomorrow if we had not heard from you but after I got your letter concluded to write tonight for I thought you would be over to the office tomorrow. Hank[1] is down town. Hannah[2] is writting to Ann McClellen and Claude[3] is a sleep. I have had to take him up, he is on my lap now. He is getting to be a great nice baby, weighs eighteen pounds. He tries to do most every thing he sees us do. Will say bass bass[?] and patty cake and bubble and lots of other things. I wish you could all see him for he is awfull cute. I put a quilt on the table and raise the leaf and put him on it. He sits there and plays a good deal of the time. Mrs McKinney[4] has got home. Her oldest sister came home with them. We have been there and they were up here last evening. Clyde[5] is nearly as large as Claude. If he keeps growing will be a good deal larger at Claudes age. Hank took the machine home tonight. We have got the stitching all done on my dress. Have got the dress pretty well along. Would had it done but it was so awful warm last week we could not sew very steady. All Claude wers these warm days was his dress and diaper and a good deal of the time had his diaper off and then we had to fan him a good deal of the time to keep him from ___ing. I tell you if you want to see some fun you had just ought to see him in the dish pan full of water with nothing on. He just kicks and spatter the water all over, and when we take him out we have to sit the pan right out of sight or he will cry like a good fellow. Hannah says this picture is for all of you. She wants you should write a tell us what you think of them. I dont know when she will go home but not in two or three yet. Ask Chee Chee[6] if Claude and I are going home with her. Is Louese[7] to Aunt Kates[8] yet. Hank has just come with a mess of nigger toes[9] and is cracking them so I must stop and eat a few. We have got to do our hair up tonight for we are going over to the ____ ____ night. You can let the rest read this for I cant write only this one tonight.

Tuesday Morning 9-7-75

Dr Bro James

I am holding Claude so I will try and write you a little. He has got so that if we put him down (Hannah has got him now) where he can reach any thing he will pull himself up and stand on his feet. He is getting some new tricks every day now. I guess that if he should come home and stay a few days you and all the rest would hate to see him come back worse than before.


Henry A. Brown

I see Hank has been writting some so I will not write any more this time. Give our love to all and write again to us.

Your sister



[1] Her husband, Henry Brown

[2] Their sister, Hannah Keith

[3] Her son, Claude Keith Brown

[4] Mary (Stephenson) McKinney

[5] Mary (Stephenson) McKinney’s son, Don Clyde McKinney, who was born in Lawton on May 30, 1875

[6] Both the Brown and Keith families were believers in Spiritualism and participated in seances. Chee Chee was Ambrose Brown’s spirit guide

[7] Their sister, Louese Keith

[8] Catharine (Keith) Bradley Lee

[9] Derogatory slang for brazil nuts

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