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Certain Books

1943 - 1953 Collection of Letters

1943 – 1953 Collection of Letters, Greeting Cards, Including Ephemeral Materials, Written to a Woman Veteran of the WWII Coast Guard SPARS

Americana - 20th Century - Manuscript - WWII - Home Front - Pennsylvania) Over 300 individual pieces of correspondence, sent to Betty I. Carvell, later Eckert, mostly from her parents and with a few from friends. A few of the letters are from women who served with her in the SPARS, the women's branch of the U.S. Coast Guard Reserve, established in 1942. Ms. (Carvell) Eckert's service career is documented by her mailing addresses: March of 1943 she attempted to join the USMC (there is an official letter from their office requesting information); by August she is a A.S. (W-10) billeted at the USCG women's training facility at the Palm Beach Biltmore Hotel, Florida; becomes S 2/c, advances to S 1/c and finally addressing her as Cox(swain). Her living & working "barracks" address throughout 1944-45 was at the Embassy Hotel 154 W 70th Street, NY. According to the official site, 978 women officers and 11,868 enlisted women served in the SPARs during World War II. Most letters are from her parents in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. They usually consist of a letter each from father & mother and detail the vicissitudes of living in poverty, their continuous and debilitating ill-health and their nearby relations and the struggle of finding work; having to buy expensive medicines required for their numerous maladies: rheumatism, pneumonia, high blood pressure, sciatica, nearly constant colds and bed-ridden bouts of collapse from various causes. Several letters written by the father go into great detail concerning meals that they occasionally are bought or can afford - the most basic of foods and preparation are appreciated as great important feasts. Occasionally having mashed potatoes are noteworthy as a luxurious culinary event. Local news is of great importance to Ms. Carvell, who asked for the 2 Williamsport newspapers to be sent. Her parents are so poor they have to ask for money from their daughter to pay for the newspapers, use the phone to call her and pay their rent as they move from place to place in the town. The father's writing is fairly literate and well-composed; the mother's is at an early grammar school level and still legible. Content includes local gossip, neighborly strife and griping, along with church, school and other news regarding the town. During and after wartime, there are concerns about brownouts due to the coal shortage, worries about another war and labor & strike fears. A couple of elderly aunts run a shop, rent out rooms and work until they die. At one point, while still in the USCG, Betty marries Robert Eckert and moves to Baltimore. Her parents are so poor they can't afford to attend. She also has a friend in Sheffield, England who writes several letters to her over the years, describing a pitiless, tedious, overworked life; a hard pregnancy; sick, blind, burned, bruised children, the telling of which hints at parental abuse; the injuries, while severe are always reported as 'accidental' because the children are 'clumsy.' The post-war situation in England is rife with poverty; the most basic amenities are scarce. It was worth reporting that someone had traveled and been able to gain 4 pounds due to better nutrition possibilities and who promptly lost on return to the daily grind. Many of the greeting cards for holidays or personal events are sent unsigned. Also, Betty's mom invariably signs her letters "Mother Carvell" not Mom or Mother; as if she may have been an adoptive parent; her father is always simply signed 'Dad'. A few SPARS-related items include a couple of decals and a one-stripe shoulder patch; also an official letter asking her to promote others to join the Coast Guard after her service commitment, with guidelines for prospects & requirements for enlistment. There are a couple of dozen loose greeting cards and loose (empty) envelopes (some of which may belong to the cards). There are a few news-clippings related to Williamsport news, a letter from France from a service friend with a one-franc coin taped-in and some Methodist church bulletin ephemera from the town. Condition: For convenience, the letters have been chronologically grouped by year and we will ship them thus. The first few years' envelopes are lacking stamps, as Betty's father was collecting them; later years have their stamps & cancellations intact. Some soiling, wear & tear to the envelopes; everything in very good condition. The content portrays small-town Pennsylvania American life in the 1940s and early 1950s, the importance of family support and connection in the face of economic uncertainty, ill-health and the struggle to start, support and maintain families at all stages of life, especially for women.
Circa 1931 - 1938 Photograph Album & Related Ephemera Tyler Texas Crawford Family.

Circa 1931 – 1938 Photograph Album & Related Ephemera Tyler Texas Crawford Family.

Americana - 20th Century - Photography - Tyler Texas) With over 110 photographic images, nearly every one of which is identified on the album page or on the edge of the photo; these are mounted to scrapbook album pages, on one side only. Including schoolchildren group & single photos, Tyler, Texas; Crawford family horses, animals, relations; family home in Dallas TX in 1931; 'Swanson Farm' South Dakota; travel images from visits to Salt Lake City, Boise, Idaho, various Texas locales - Houston, Dallas, Austin others, which are usually of the folks at these locations; also photos of ancestral homestead & graveyards in Carthage, Missouri. Ephemera included, either tipped-in or loosely laid-in: family-related newspaper clippings; a few greeting cards; several amateur 'portraits' and designs in pencil; Sunday School & grammar school diplomas; a 1938 Piano Recital program "by the Progressive Series Pupils of Mrs. Katherine Kilpatrick"; and a few genealogical notes.The photographs contained in a textured brown cloth side-string bound hardcover 'Scrap Book', approx. 10" x 13" size; the pages within are browned paper, crumbling at edges. most of the leaves now loose. The photographs are in various sizes, averaging approx. 4 " x 6", 3" x 5" and some small 'photobooth' size, with a few larger & smaller formats. Most of the images are pasted to the album paper, with a few having come loose of their moorings or just laid-in; the images are in good to very good condition.
Circa 1824 - 1830 Manuscript Georgetown Ledger

Circa 1824 – 1830 Manuscript Georgetown Ledger, Travel-log, Draft Legal Agreements for Tavern Properties, Banking & Investment, Personal & Family Correspondence

Americana - 19th Century - Manuscript - Georgetown) (36) pages with entries + 7 blank pages, kept by Robert and William McCleery of Georgetown,Washington and Frederick, MD. An interesting manuscript miscellany, geographically central to early Georgetown and Maryland. Partly a business ledger; a travel-log; a record of draft legal document & agreements, especially concerning the leasing of tavern properties in Georgetown and other properties; banking and investment; personal & family information, including: A cash accounting ledger, acting as a diary of business activities: travel expenses, wages, rental, mortgage, collection fees, money-lending, real estate and auction transactions of various kinds; purchases at auction, including books and other materials, which are identified and priced. Also listed are charitable contributions to several named institutions and individuals, including Samuel Wait at College Hill DC (eventual founder of Wake Institute, which later became Wake Forest Univ.) and monetary contribution to the "Greeks" and to the "Jews Society," and others. It also appears that Mr. McCleery leases out his owned labor, "Negro Bob" to others, for a fee. Auction purchases include several parcels of land, household goods, clothing, shoes and on several occasions, books. The auctions are dated, named and items listed, including the titles and prices of books purchased. McCleery leases out at least one tavern property in Georgetown for periods of one to three years; here are several draft agreements which detail the legal arrangements with the lessors. This business was situated on H St. in Georgetown; the lease verbiage make known the amenities found in the locations - bake oven, sheds, stairs, more. Another draft agreement refers to this tavern as being on the 'high street' of G'Town. McCleery also leases out rooms in a storehouse on the corner of Market Street. He describes a visit, in a draft letter to a relation, " Georgetown appeared to look better than on previous visits. They were painting & repairing every thing formerly seemed going to ruin, renting did not seem to be quite so bad. The City improves considerably, but that seemed to fluctuate from one part to another places that used to be lively quite dull & houses tenantless other parts that had been dull busy & improving. James McCleery said the Commercial Company of Georgetown had closed their concern with a deficit of $10,000 but that he did not think the stock-holders would ever be called on to any part of it. The Bank of Columbia I was informed had arranged its concerns with the Bank of the United States & transferred Banking house notes debts & all its property to it & was after settlement considerably in their debt "A section of (4) pages is titled an 1829 "Journal of Expenses to New York & Saratoga." Entries are chronologically given, in ledger form with running totals: " Left Frederick (MD) at 3 o'clock in the morning arrived at Washington 4 o'clock same day shoeing horse 12 ½ hire of carriage 2 days at 75 cts vs $1.50 hire of boy 2 days at 37 1/2p 75 2 Hats for boys $1.75 glasses lemonade cream of tartar recording two deeds (Wash.) $2.00 Hammetts Tavern bill $5.00 stage office $6.00 crackers wafers Left at 5 o'clock three o'clock reached Baltimore harbor Mr. Burts tavern bill in Baltimore 2 lodgings 2 suppers 2 breakfasts 2 dinners $2 half crackers 6 ¼ cash per Steam boat to New Castle $6 arrived 12 o'clock at night French town at 5 o'clock in the morning New Castle steam boat to Philadelphia oysters toll bridges Museum 50cts cakes and beer Barber cakes & beer segars (sic) crackers Wm. Reeves tavern steam boat to N. York Mr. Elisha Case Courtlandt Street ." Other taverns, steamboat passages, travel expenses listed, to Saratoga and for return to the Washington area. A 1824 (4 1/2) page draft or note-copy legal indenture involves the estate of Robert Kenege, for a piece of property, "Puzzlesome Corrected" in the Frederick, MD area; this is acknowledged by Abraham Shriver. Other family names mentioned are Beall, Nixdorf, Knox, Miller, Quinn, Medtart, Hane, Kleinhart, Neighbours, Stoner, Battzell, Col. Ritchie, W. Hanna, H. Thompson, Payne, B. Rutherford and many more. At back, kept in ledger-form, is a record of banking at various institutions during 1823: Hagerstown Bank, Bank of Westminster, Bank of Columbia, Frederick Co. Bank. In the same section are drafts or copies of legal documents, for deposits made on the Baltimore branch of the Bank of the United States. In addition, an indenture regarding a legal case on an estate, trustees and disputants (c. 2) pages, dated 1829. Miscellaneous entries in this ledger includes a letter regarding the status of properties held with others, details of yearly performance of farming assets and crop yields & future planning; a couple of legal disputes regarding properties and frustrated attempts at resolution; a recipe copied from the "New England Farmer" for pest control; a list of stocks held (on banks) and with pen-trials, notes pinned-in and a couple of small scraps with sums scattered on the pages, along with a list of building repair materials and expenses for the Presbyterian Church. Approx. 8" x 12 ½" size; no covers; side sewn. Ledger lines hand-drawn, on good quality paper; top page (mostly blank) with a hole & closed tear, no textual loss. Spotting, staining, foxing, pages darkened somewhat; generally, very legible and in good condition. A business, social and historical record of the nascent American capital district and surrounding area.