Letter 27

Date (sent): August 15, 1883
Writer: Harmen Jan te Selle
Place: Firth, Lancaster County, Nebraska
Addressee: Derk Willem te Selle
Address (sent to): Fökkink, Winterswijk, Netherlands


Harmen Jan te Selle mentions that Derk has not written since he sent news of Mother Dela's death. HJ asks for some news from home.

  • What about brother Tobias. Is he feeling well now? Is he still a weaver?
  • Gerrit Jan keeps busy with a lot of additional work and makes good extra money.
  • Gerrit's son Jan Albert also makes money tending to horses.
  • Willem Jonkers (brother in law of GJ) is in Wisconsin. He may be going back to the Netherlands. Harmen Jan thinks he is a dope!
  • HJ will be going to visit his brothers next Friday.
  • HJ give a report of agricultural prices and weather conditions.

Firth,  Nebr   August 15,  1883

Dear Respected Brother!

I take the liberty to write you a letter, as we have not heard from you since Mother’s death. Brother G.J. did write a letter to you, but received no answer. Whether you got that letter we don’t know.

We are now very healthy and hope to hear the same from you, because health is a big treasure, which cannot be appreciated enough!

How is brother Tobias? Is he healthy again? You wrote a while ago that he was very ill. We hope for the best. What is he doing now?  Is he still working at the weaving plant or is he on a day to day job? Please write us something. Then you have subjects to write on and we know what’s going on with brothers and friends.  Also, here brother Gerrit Jan still goes out to work a lot, if he is not too busy with his land. Albert, his son, does the horses and so he earns many a dollar, which other people don’t make, because it happens all too often that there is not too much work on the land, because there is no production of fertilizer and litter for the stable, etc.

If there is one person handling the horses there is a lot of empty time for the others. And that two dollars a day as Gerrit Jan earns helps a lot.

His brother‑in‑law Willem Jonker is now also in America as we learned, in Wisconsin. He must be thinking a lot of Holland, to consider going back. His wife’s mother and brothers, who also were in America, have gone back to the Netherlands, truly fools to leave a good country again!

But labor here is different than with you, and besides that, many think that they don’t have to work in America, and that’s completely wrong. Also, Willem, that dope, why doesn’t he come to Nebraska? He could get lots of work with Gerrit Jan in the carpentry business and have a good life!

But let it be, let me inform you about the weather, drought, and rain. Let’s start with spring. Spring was very cold and wet in the beginning. And as we were very busy keeping the weeds out of the corn crop, we had a lot of difficulty with that. We as well as Jan Hendrik kept enough corn on the land to have seeds for another year. Whether G.J. did better, we’ll see next Friday when we go visit him.

But it was the wetness which caused it all, so corn is much later than other years.

After the wet weather, we got a drought and the land became hard and unsuitable for any growth. At the moment we have pretty good weather and as the corn has a good color and if we don’t get an early frost, we probably still get pretty good corn. Last week we had a hailstorm. I have never seen anything like that in my life. This caused quite some damage to our corn; however, Jan Hendrik and Gerrit Jan did not have damage.

Wheat is good this year, oats also. Haygrass is abundant, but we have not harvested it yet. We will start soon.

Pork is not as expensive as in spring when it was $650 to $700. Now it is $425‑450 per 100 lbs. Butter is 10 cents. Eggs are 1 cent per each.

H.J. Te Selle