Letter 1-b

Letters From America

Date (sent): 6 June 1865
Writer: G. W. Bloemers
Place: Gibbsville, Wisconsin
Addressee: Derk Willem te Selle
Address (sent to): Winterswijk
Date (received): July 19, 1865
Remarks: Letter 1-a was returned to Bloemers by the messenger, so was sent again with Letter 1-b


In the first letter (1-a) Gerrit Willem mentioned that he was sending a book along with the letter. Unfortunately, the messenger got robbed in New York and had to return to Wisconsin. He gave the book and the letter back to Gerrit Willem, who will try again to send them along with this Letter 1-b.

Apparently, Gerrit Willem and his wife Janna had received two letters from Dela ten Dollen with some good news and bad, but the details are unclear.

Gerrit Willem provides some more insights into the Civil War, and how it is affecting rural Wisconsin in the North. The South has now surrendered, and Lincoln has been assassinated.

Gerrit Willem also provides a brief weather report, always important to farmers. It has been very hot and dry for two weeks!

The 6th of June 1865

I also let you know that my first intention to send the book was crossed. That man got as far as New York and there he was robbed of his money and had to go home again and I received the book and the letter back. I think I have another opportunity now.

We have received the two letters, the one to our joy and the other to our grief about the things she wrote. We cannot comply with that request for the time being, because due to the war we have to pay a lot here as well.

The clothing materials and all other things are equally expensive. Gold and silver is not to be seen anymore; it is all paper money which cannot help you here, even if she were here. She could be helped as far as food is concerned. Just tell this to Dela ten Dollen and give her our regards. Furthermore I let you know that Gerrit Jan ten Dollen has also been drawn for military service, but he has bought (himself out?) for seven hundred and ten dollars and that for just one year. Aleida’s brother is also in military service, but those drawn for the army will soon be back home, because the South has surrendered and they have captured the southern president and they have also got the assassins of the northern president, so that it now seems there will soon be peace. That war has taken an awful lot of human lives, because the bitterness was great. For like they write and testify, thousands and thousands who were in captivity there in the South have perished due to starvation.

And you cannot imagine just how much that war has cost and this setback will not be overcome in the next few years, because the South had prepared itself, whereas the North had yet to collect and gather everything first at the time. Besides, the northern president had a kind nature so that at first he wanted to spare a lot of things and the rage got fiercer still and they started setting fire to and destroying things. And thus it has pleased the Lord to put an end to all that. Now I should remind you that 4 months have gone by between (the) first and the last letter, because the first letter and then yours (book) came back and since writing is so difficult for me, I have decided to send it off anyway.

So should the book come into your hands, please let me know how you liked it, after you have read it closely and looked over the bible texts.

I also let you know that it was extremely hot here for fourteen days and we had a persistent drought, but now while I am writing this, it is raining a little and the fruits promise well. Please remember us to old brother Konings and give our regards to all friends and acquaintances.
Received the 19th of July

address: To Mr. D.W.te Selle at Winterswijk