Saturday, October 29, 2011

* "Charlie," Washington, D.C. (The 1902 letters: Absolutely zero reference to McKinley assassination of September, 1901)

Washington  DC
Jan 30
10 AM

Mr. J. Walter Bassett
Mount Carmel, Conn.

(ans.2 /2/02) written on envelope

10l8 12th St. N.W.
Washington D.C.
Jan. 29, 1902

My dear Walter : ----

 I enjoyed your Christmas letter greatly and thought I would answer it right –away [sic], but all this time has gone by before I knew it. I am busy all the time and yet don’t accomplish half what I want to. I suppose it is so with almost every one. I was glad indeed of your health being so good, only hope it will continue so. Think it must be owing to the young lady assistant. It is my opinion that Miss C better look out.  What a delightful Christmas you must have had. I spent a pleasant one too at my counsin’s [sic].
Do not know what I should do without them.
Before saying anything more, I want to thank you for the lovely care you sent me(“me” crossed out) which expressed just as much to me as a thing more [?] expressive.
I still have the dear “Wizpah” [?] card hanging where I can see it daily, and your picture in a lovely little gilt-frame on my dresser, as you see I couldn’t forget you if I would.
Am still holding my position but with fear and trembling, as they are now dismissing clerks right and left, one and two hundred a week. Am more anxious than ever to stay just now, as you may have read of a bill now pending to make the “Census Office”  a permanent bureau. How it will end, and if permanent (side “5” on  2nd page )how many will be retained ? is the great question many of us are anxious to have settled. It would be too good to be true to find myself permanently fixed. I hardly dare hope for such a thing. I am glad two of your sisters have such nice positions at home; hope your sister Ella is now better.
I went to a brilliant reception at the “White House”  last week and enjoyed it very much with one exception, and that was, I lost the dear handkerchief you gave me one birthday, which I have always prized so much, and only carried it on state occasions. I can’t get over it. Was foolish enough to weep after I got home. You see I am not growing a bit more sensible in my old age.
Have recently seen “John and Hat.” They stopped over on their way to Southern Pines and Pinehurst.  They looked and appeared just the same. They have gone down there to stay until spring. I hear from Mrs. Grover [?] quite often, as she sends for me to do some of her shopping. She seems to be better this winter. Believe I wrote you that she has rented her house and is now living in two or three rooms. She never says much about Lawrence, so I don’t know how she is getting along. Neither do I hear from Mrs. Clark, as I have long been owing her a letter. My health was never better. Washington seems to be just the place for me. I go to the theatre quite often. The last thing I heard were the “Bostonians” in Maid Marian, and this week I am going to see Willard in the “Cardinal”. He is a favorite of mine.
I saw your cousin tonight, shovel – [page turn] ling off his sidewalk, as we had quite a snowstorm to-day. He said he and his wife were well, and he inquired for you, if I had heard lately, etc. My cousins are also well and would wish to be remembered if they knew I was writing. I still live quite near them directly opposite where I was last winter. The table is only fair but otherwise is a very pleasant boarding place. I enjoy the people in the house very much.
How about your prospects? Do write me a good long letter when you can, all about yourself and plans. I sent you just a remembrance at Christmas.  Did you receive it?
It is getting late, so must say good night, with kind regards to all.

Very sincerely,


Calling card attached:
Mrs. Florence O. Quimby
Handwritten on the back: "With every good wish."

Editor's note:

McKinley assassinated September 6 1901; dies September 12, 1901. Theodore Roosevelt becomes president.

Postmark: Washington DC April 21, 1902
Handwritten on envelope “Ans. 5/-7-‘02”                                                                                              
Mr. J. Walter Bassett
Mount Carmel, Conn.
                                                                           1018 12th St., N.W.
                                                                              Washington, D.C.
                                                                                         April 20, 1902

My dear Walter,

   My letter writing is all behind, so shall not be able to talk with you very long, just want to let you know you are not forgotten. The fact is, I don’t know where the time goes to. Lately I have hardly had a moment to myself outside of the office, as Mrs. White, (whom you met at Southern Pines with her little boy Warren) has been here with her daughter, eighteen years old, and I have been trying to entertain them. They left for Boston last Monday. Speaking of the office, I am still there, but do not expect to be much longer, as they are reducing the force very rapidly, and only a few, who have a bigger “pull” than I have, will be retained in the permanent Census bureau [sic] which you may have read, will be organized July 1st. I am really fortunate to have stayed even this long.  While things are so unsettled I can make no plans for the summer, but shall probably go north about June or July, and board at reading with Mrs. Danforth, as I always feel so much at home there, but intend returning to Washington in the fall.  My cousins are well and would want to be remembered if they knew I was writing. I met your cousin only a few days ago, they ar4e also well.
It is strange do not hear from Mrs. Powell. I hope it doesn’t mean that things are not flourishing with him. The next time I write to Mrs. Seaver [Grover ?] I will try and think to ask her about him. Although  I doubt if I will get an answer , as she takes no notice of half of my questions. She hasn’t spoken of Mrs. Clark for a long time.
I am anxious to hear how you like your new position. I do hope it will prove to be easier and more remunerative than the other, and that you will be able to marry before long, for I know you will be much happier to have a home of your own, and you have certainly waited long enough.
I hope your sister Ella’s health is better by this time, and that yours continues good. I am feeling a little tired just now but otherwise  I am quite well. Have been to the theatre considerable.  The other night cast Henry Walden in “D’Arcy of the Gerardo,” a very pretty play, and I think he is a fine actor.
Possibly one reason you do not hear oftener from the Gregorys is because he has been having trouble with his eyes. They were afraid at one time it might prove to be serious, but he went to a specialist in Philadelphia about them, and I hope he was able to help him. I haven’t heard lately, and it was only through friends of theirs living here that I gained the information. I believe you had a birthday this month, I hope it was a happy one.
My talks with you are always prone to be pretty long ones after all. Please let me hear from  you soon. With kind regards to all, I am

Your friend always,


“Charlie” Postmark  May 24, 1902

Mr. J. Walter Bassett
Mount Carmel

                                                                          1018 12th St. N.W.


Dear Walter,
   This will be just a note to congratulate you on the coming event, which I hope with all my heart will bring you nothing but happiness the rest of your life.  I am glad you succeeded in  getting such comfortable quarters so near your work. I have just lost my position and unless I succeed in getting into something else by the first of July, I shall probably go north about that time, so you needn’t trouble to send me the watch, you can give it to me than, that is, if I go by the way of New Haven. I will let you hear from me again before then, provided  your wife won’t object to an old aunt writing you occasionally. I can imagine just how busy you must be, but when one has as much to look forward to they don’t mind being rushed.
 I asked Mrs. Grover about John Powell, and have just heard from her saying she knew nothing about him excepting that he seemed to be well . Lawrence’s [Lavinia’s] address you may already know is Barre, Vt. She wrote me of old Mr. Edwards’ death. He will be greatly missed. I believe his wife intends returning to Southern Pines next winter.  Did you know Mrs. Grover had sold her house? Is now trying to dispose of her vineyard. I am going to Baltimore to-dy to stay over Sunday so must close and get ready. I will ask you to send me just a few lines when convenient as to Miss Cunningham’s full name and address. You will be married at her home, will you not? In which case I want to send my little gift to her as I believe that is the proper way. If you had rather I would send it to you at Mount Carmel, I will do so. Please let me know the day you intend taking that important step, and I wish you would give me some idea what you would rather have. Do you expect much in the way of silver?

           Good-by for to-day,
                           Your friend,


May 24, 1902

“Charlie” Postmark June 4, 1902 Washington DC

Mr. J. Walter Bassett
Mount Carmel

                                                     1018 12th St. N.W.
                                                                 Washington, D.C.

                                                                                June 3, ‘02

My dear Walter,

Yours just received. You may send announcements to the above address, as I expect to be here until July 1st, and any time after that anything would reach me directed here, as my mail will be forwarded.



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