Monday, April 24

A Letter to Henry

William Marshall Craig’s Itinerant Traders
of London in their Ordinary Costume…
1804. Chairs to Mend
22 April 1804

Dear Henry,

I haven’t heard from you in months and now you claim you’s been pressed by the Navy.   I tol you not to trust sailors, they always look for good fer nuthins like you with not a penny, booze em up and take em to sea.  Thank God that it was just the Navy and not one of them slave ships. His Majesty’s will have quite the job straightening you out, crooked as you are.  It’ll do ya more good than the cooper’s, that Mr. Wills always gave ya more liquor than coin, or so you says.

Lizzy outgrown most a her dresses, Tommy wore through the soles of his shoes, an we ain’t got enough old gowns for the twins... Mama’s helpin but her eyes are goin an can’t sew no more.  All I’s sayin is, just remember yer dear wife an dear children (& the one on the way) when you get them wages an prizes an all that they talk about down at the docks. We ain’t got no meat on the table neither, the little uns always beg for rabbit or tongue but we can barely get porridge. I reckon the Navy will give ya all the liquor ya should drink, so there’s nuthin to do but send those wages for your dear hungry children who ain’t got no clothes or shoes to wear.  Remember your wife too, who gave you children an a home an good meals even though you never did nuthin to deserve it.  Think of us at sea, you might be of use to us there.

Your dear wife,
Bessy Lumex

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