• 19th Century Letters Reveal Storms, Shipwrecks, Asylum Visit, Harness Making Difficulties, Musical Teaching

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    Offering approximately 30 letters, multi-page, various sizes, beginning in 1867, sent between Ann Arbor and Chicago and involving an immigrant family in America.  Discussion of music throughout, indicating that several writers were musicians or taught music.  Some signed with only first names, but last names include Schaffer, Schaeberle, Barton, Brewster.


    “...There is no chance for a journeyman harness maker here at present...Business is very dull and many are out of work...As to California, I would not advise a harness maker to go. I am acquainted with two of them here who have been there and they say that harness making is very poorly there...”


    “...The Malhalla Society gets along just as it always did, getting new members & old ones leaving. Schmidt has left us. Benjenberg is going to leave...The Mechanic Aid Society from Detroit consisting of one hundred and 80 or 90 men with the Bright Guard Band is coming up here tomorrow to give a Grand Concert & Ball...”


    “Business is quite lively with me as I have received a number of new scholars lately mostly on Piano and Cabinet Organ.  Piano tuning there is little to do as the Detroit tuners are constantly going around...”


    “I read in the Michigan Journal that the devil was master in Chicago, as there [were] more than 10 accidents happened in one week...”


    “...Politeness is a nice treat of these folks...when meeting them on the road, they will most always...take off their hats...[design of a wagon included]...”


    “...I visited the Deaf & Dumb asylum and was well repaid for my trouble. The teachers are most all deaf & dumb and my communications were all carried out in writing. The buildings are very large and everything is calculated to give the pupils ease & comfort. There are at present namely 200 of them attending the school...”


    “...I left Chicago on the Steamer Comet and after a fine ride on the Great Lakes of about ten hours, I landed...[and]stopped til Monday morning and then took the Railroad to this place [Grand Rapids, Michigan]...This place has more than twice the number of stores than Ann Arbor has and many nice 4 story brick blocks, paved streets & 200 miles of street railway or horse cars, which I was glad to see as it has more the appearance of state street in Chicago, where I worked...They had a great time here on the 4th, a procession of firemen, Zouaves & Finnigans [and] in the evening fireworks...”


    “...O.M Martin was re-elected for City Mayor [Oliver Martin, Republcian]...”


    “...On the [Great] Lakes, there are nothing by shipwrecks. We had an awful storm...Many ships went under. 10 miles north of Chicago one went to pieces and the sailors were washed ashore dead. Last Monday night there was a ship on fire. It could be seen from here...The papers say that all along the shores of Lake Michigan & Huron nothing but stranded & wrecked ships are to be seen...Every day, the papers tell of three or more ships that run ashore...”


    Mostly in good condition, with some soiling, expected toning.  One letter is tattered. A couple of the letters are in a foreign language.


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