Letter #9 from Henry S. Davids to his mother-in-law Mrs. Calvin Brown
Preserved and loaned for this album by Bill and Sherry Jandt
digital transcription by Tom L. McFarland in August 2001

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Letter No.9
U.S.S. "Monongahela""
Yokohama, Jan 15th, 1879

To "the dear ones at home",

I am not positive that this is the right number for this letter. Sufficient to know that only one has been sent by each mail. As you see, I have commenced my letter without having anything about which to write. Everything is very quiet, especially with me; seldom going ashore, and then only to walk, generally with Mr. Loring. We have had a beautiful winter so far. I have been unusually free from colds, scarcely feeling the cold weather at all. 'Tis said, February brings colder and more disagreeable weather. I feel a little anxious about Charlie's (Charlotte's)cold when she left here. Lou did not say anything about it. I suppose it was because she had entirely recovered. In fact she was almost well when she left, Otherwise Mrs. Hubbard would not have started.

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Tis hoped your letters will say a great deal about her, for I am very anxious to know all about that little mind and body. I am most happy about the improvement in her little bowels - everything seems to have prepared her for the taking away of her devoted mother. I have often thought, how the grief which she used to express when her mother would but leave her for a few minutes, was provided for in the shock she received at the sight of her dying mother. If I do not mistake, I wrote you how she did not wish to go back to the room to sleep that night, and sent the amah for her night clothes. The only real grief she experienced was on the following day and not exceeding a half hour. Do you not think the provision was wise? Even the money which our darling brought out with her seems to have been one of the preparations for her death. I think for us all that I should not write any more tonight. Tis a subject of which I could never cease to write and grieve. If her spirit is made happier, I will never cease to write of her.

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The Shanghai mail came today but brought nothing from Mr. Jansen; from that, it is to be presumed that everything is all right. I hope so, rest assured. I wrote to Mrs. Hubbard today, thanking her for all she has done for me. I will give her daughter the letter to direct; as I do not know where she is - She wrote me how our little Charlie treater her when Frank came on board that morning. I feel sorry for her, for she took good care of our little girl. I will try to make it up when she returns to Japan. I trust you will thank Aunt Sarah for her kind telegram. Of course it is looking too far ahead to say what is best to be done after I return from this cruise. My great object is to do what is best for my child. For a year or two longer, I can't help feeling that Mare Island is the best place for one of her age. She has climate, food, and everything else in her favor. However, should I be ordered to duty in the East, I fear I could not have her so far away unless the conditions were strongly against it. For my part I can only wait for events.

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That little girl's future is constantly before me. I only hope it is as happy as I sometimes picture it, but I constantly fear the continuation of the past few year's disappointment, commencing with the losses in bank stock and ending with the death of our darling - Well! I can only do the best in my power, so let it rest now.

I am very much oblige for the News papers which you send. I read and reread them and always find something new. I suppose Hattie sends them, for which I thank her very much for the charitable part she takes. Any expense you incur from whatever cause don't hesitate to take it out of the money you receive from time to time. I saw an old acquaintance the other day, but did not speak to her at the distance, in the form of her who was Miss Mattie Love, now Mrs. Foster; wife of the Pacific Mail agent here, She may not remember me, I will not seek to renew the acquaintence - I written a great deal, but as you will see have said very little. So good night, with love

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Later.         4

I had felt a little anxious about Charlie's health - from the fact that you said nothing about it in your previous letters. It is a great relief to know that she is well again. Her weight (33 lbs.) is less than it was at any time in China. She must be very thin. I fear she was much sicker in Yokohama than Mrs. Hubbard thought, and had not entirely recovered on her arrival home. Addie told me that when Charlie left home last Spring, she weighed thirty-five pounds. Taking in consideration her growth in that time for one of her age, she must be very poor. I hope you will tell me everything, but do not think that I am unnecessarily alarmed. She should recover very rapidly when once fairly started in that climate. She must look very pretty in her blue dresses - I did not like that horrid dress which Mrs. Hubbard bought for her to travel in. There was no reason in the world why my little girl did not have handsome clothes. I felt very badly about her

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appearance when I returned here to see her safely started. Well, it is all over now, and I feel thankful for what has been done. Today the cruise is half up and I am looking forward with some consolation to its end. Before it escapes my memory, let me say here, that the charges for transporting our darling's remains to San Francisco are all paid in full, and Mr. Jansen has sent father a bill-of-lading showing the same (90 "Taels"). Mother makes a mistake about Addie's wedding ring. I have the wedding ring with the inscription : "H. to A. Dec. 12th 1872". and the blue enamaled-ring with the inscription : "?ezpah", both before my eyes at this moment of writing. I sent the small engagement-ring home - fearing it would be lost. I regret very much that I did not think to send the things home in Camphor-wood chests insted of trunks. I will bring at least a pair when I return. I trust mother and Hattie will soon be able to use the most of our darling's things. It is not probable

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they can all be preserved for Charlie, but in such matters, you must be left to your own feelings and not mine. I hope to see my little girl wear her dear mother's jewels some day, but it is a long time to look forward to. Do you think she has grown much?

It is now eleven o'clock and something more than my time to go to bed. I am feeling very tired after my days work and excitement. After I return from the "Tokio" tomorrow, I will try to give you a few more lines ["wether" crossed out] whether of importance or not. I do not go about enough, or see the people, to write anything of my own observation or experience. Say to Hattie, that I have received all the papers, and thank her very much for the trouble she is put to for my happiness. I keep them from one mail to the next, and read them at odd times. I don't think that any of their contents escape me, even to advertisements.Good night for the present, With love to all

Very affectionately, Henry

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Grand Hotel - Yokohama

I am having much anxiety and trouble about our darling's remains. It appears that I must have a certificate from the attending physician, stating circumstances of death and unquestionable safety against contagion before they can go further. I can't say how I am to get out of the trouble, but hope for the best. I am now looking for Mr. Bogert, who is on shore, hoping he can do something for me. This is all I can do as the mail will close in an hour. I hope, however, somebody will be on hand, should I be successful. I am sick with anxiety and work, Love and God bless you all -


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