United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865; Forrer, Sarah Hastings Howard--Correspondence; United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Women
Dayton Feb 2nd 1862 Dear Augusta It is now afternoon and I was just beginning to write to thee I did intend to arise early and write to thee Sella and Frank but found myself with a bad headache which is now better, but by no means well and I fear Sella and Frank will have to wait a few days, for which I am very sorry, because it is a pleasure to talk to them on paper. Give my love to them and tell them so. I was engaged yesterday melting lard after Mrs. DeGraff's method. I like it much, and it is said to keep much better than the usual way and is firm and whiter. Mrs. DeGraff says she makes all her pastery with it and cake also. The rule is, to 50 lbs of lard put two gals of white ley, instead of water. I was frightened at first, for on getting hot it became like boiling thickened milk, It soon separated like sour milk from whey and became clear as spring water. All the *cracklin* put together was not more that a small mass of dirty looking stuff which I could grasp in two hands. Every impurity in the *haf* lard seemed collected in the dark looking mass. I merely mention this to let thee know what I have been doing, And if thee should ever live in a private way again, thee may remember it. It seems to me much purer than most of the butter we get. I am sorry for thy trouble with the girl. Did the get thy embroidered handkerchief? Thee did not say. I thought best to tell Koleda. She seems distressed about it, and blamed the cousins. I said she wished thee would take her back. She is sure she would behave herself now. I told her thee had another girl, and it would not be right to send her away, that I only mentioned it that she might tell her sister if she thought best, the true state of the case. I think I shall have to say to thee what Sister Mary once said to me. "I wish when thee is ready to write to me, thee would first take my last letter and read it once, that thee may answer all my questions, and attend to any directions or requests I may make" I see in Elizabeth's letter thee does not know what kind of a purse clasp I want for Howard, I mentioned in my letter if I am not much mistaken, that I wished it like thine, I will have it engraved here. Mrs. Aubert has tried to get me one in Cincinnati several times but cannot as I would not trouble thee, and do not wish thee to do it if it will be an inconvenience to thee. Your Cedar posts came up, at last, and Father had them put in the wood house. I think after thee gets home the walk from the *quit* will not seem so dark and lonely as thee thinks, and if it is desireable I think we will live with thee, I have no doubt we shall have to go some where before long, and I cannot build another new lot this year, I fear. We have a hope of selling half of the lot to Kinny the saddler. It may come to nothing, but he has fun thinking of it some times and a few days ago spoke to John about it, If he buys. *To* shall, I think be more likely to sell the rest, and I think Father would like to get out of the way of the building which Kinny would put up. The Jew says he will see Father about the first street house soon. Foster has not paid anything for nearly two months but hopes he will be able to before long. His wife is home. DeGraff is not at home. I do not believe he feels cross about the boundary. If it was mine I would make a trade, I think I could. I would give him all of the back entrance, leaving only sufficient to pass up wood and coal and would get from him in place of it more ground in front. His Stables are old and will have to be renewed before long. And the new fence in front might be put in the right place, That is, In the place he would give you for the land given him on the alley way, which is wider than is necessary for a mere alley, but to small for a garden, or to sell for a lot, Then your lot would look better in front and sell for more if you must sell it. But if we get clear of this we will have to rent some place and would rather rent of you than of another And I am sure would feel an interest in keeping it in order, greater than strangers would Dear child. I do not wish to annoy you, I mention this that you may think of it and take it for what it is worth. There has been nothing said about it and will not be unless you should request it. If my men at Columbus pay as they have agreed to I shall be out of debt this year and have something over for improvements, but all will not come in for three years more. So you see I cannot build for some time, without going in debt which I do not intend to do. I do not indulge much in Castle building these days, but I do sometimes see myself being comfortably out on the new lot with Father out of debt and *liking* his ease and the dear children and grandchildren with us, Even Luther I think will be able to spare some time to us, from war and wars alarms. I do not think this more of a Castle either but something likely to happen. #Dear Augusta I thought to write another sheet but my head still aches Give my best love to to Luther and the children I think Betty will have her letter finished this week sometime. She has not been well today or it would have gone with this. Sella and Frank shall be remembered. What papers would Luther like sent and how often. If you will tell me I will send ours every day if you like. Love to thee my dear from Mother and all. S.H.Forrer.
Catharine Mitchill '31 Collection of Family Letters, Wellesley College Library, Special Collections