Letter 23

Date (sent): February 20, 1882
Writer: Harmen Jan te Selle
Place: Firth, Lancaster County, Nebraska
Addressee: Mrs. Dela ten Damme te Selle
Address (sent to): Fökkink, Winterswijk, Netherlands


  • Harmen Jan thinks the last letters between him and his mother have crossed in the mail.
  • All are in good health, except many children still with whooping cough.
  • Late snowfall; some people who already had sown their wheat were caught.
  • Some banks have failed, but HJ is not sure why.
  • HJ wants to know if his mother still receives newspapers from America.



Firth     February 20, 1882

Much Respected Mother and Brother with your Children.  We let you know that we are all in good health and we hope to hear the same from you. If this is not so we would deeply regret it. Moreover, from your last letter, we know that you were well and healthy.

I think the letter you wrote and the letter we wrote probably crossed in the mail, because then you didn’t write yet whether you got a letter or not.

As I do have some time to write since it is stiff snowing and I couldn’t do much outside, after all, I decided to write a letter to Holland and I am rather sure another letter would be very welcome in Holland. Over here also in this winter we were rather much mailing. We ourselves did with the cold and the children with whooping-cough. At Gerrit Jan’s the youngest ones have had the whooping-cough too and they are not yet done with it. Also at Jan Hendrik’s three of the youngest ones are ill and we had one very sick: the last but one, she had terrible lung fevers. But by now she is better again. But there are many people still suffering. But there are also rather many sudden deaths like happened last week. There was one Dutch lady who had eaten dinner very well but by two o’clock the next morning she was already dead. She had not been ill, she had just complained a little about dizziness. That’s what man is.

Except for a few cold days by now, the weather hasn’ t been too bad for us till now. And as I told you already we have snow today. It seems that winter is coming at the wrong time of year but we cannot complain because it can change very fast. There are some farmers here who already planted the wheat but some people thought it was too early to plant.

I wrote you more than one month ago and by this time you should have that letter. I wrote you then about the grain prices and so on, but now they are not that expensive. There must be some obstruction in trades because some of the banks went bankrupt.

We hope things change for the better and that there will be pretty soon the same brisk trade in all merchandise. Please let me know if you still receive those newspapers because I wrote the publisher and I haven’t heard back from him yet. So I don’t know whether you get them or not. But if you don’t get them then you have to let me know, then I myself can send them to you because I feel you might still want to read them.

This is all for now and I am going to stop writing because it has not been that long since my last letter. As far as I know, everything is fine with the families of Jan Hendrik and Gerrit Jan except for the little children with their whooping-cough. Let these words be enough this time. Write me back soon. As you have to respond now to three of my letters, you can fill a big letter in return.  God’s Blessings to you all.

Best wishes to the other brothers,

Farewell.   With regards

Yours sincerely  H. J. Te Selle