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Klaas Schuiling, Manhattan (Montana)

Sjouke Johannes Hoogland, St. Annaparochie

Engelse vertaling
Naamloos document

Frisian emigrants 15.
Schuiling family to Hoogland family.

Manhattan, Montana, Dec[ember] 28, 1902.
Br[]other] and s[ister],

It is already the last Sunday of the year, so if we like to write it is about time.
Yes we should have done it before but because we still have not threshed it was putt off from one week to another.
Yes isn’t it terrible, we are the only one’s who have not threshed yet.
We would like to thresh with the Hollanders and because we still don’t have a share we had to come at the end.
Because here Winter came early too, we were to be left.
Everything stand still on the fields under the snow, so a bad year again.
So it’s not a miracle that we don’t write more often, for it is not pleasant to hear plaintive tones, I think.
At the end of January or early February Willem and Sophie will travel to Holland; he also could not speed up the work while the threshing goes against him.
Well they can better explain everything to you than I can write it.
Till what time did you order the ‘Friesche Courant’ [newspaper] Sjouke, when that year is over, pay it in advance for me till Koning arrives in Holland, he’ll pay it back to you.
Father has to wait till we have threshed and the life-insurance has to be restated.
It is a pity but we cannot change it, I cannot pay in sheaves  and we don’t have money, so there is no choice.
These days I transport wheat for other farmers to earn something.
I hear you say it seems it is rather more difficult than expected!
Don’t worry about us brother and sister; when there won’t be exceptional bad luck we’ll manage it once, that is for sure.
Even when the grains are still on the field it won’t be ruined totally; it is possible the wheat and flax become less but the oats won’t be hurt a lot, so we still can make money although it is getting a little late.
For now a happy New Year.
Klaas and Thijs.

Dear br[other] and s[ister],
It is already Sunday evening and now we sit down to write. It is about time!
What a hard job it is, isn’t it? At least to me!
Klaas can do it very quickly.
But when I have written a letter than it is like a stone felt of my heart.
At first I wish you a happy New Year, to all of you.
I also hope Sj[ouke] and Kl[aaske] that the next one will be a better year to us.
I should say less than this year is not possible.
Not even get money for the harvest of this year!
But without doubt I also can tell that we’ll thresh next year 2 times, so we also will get money twice.
This week we almost were ready to thresh, it was a nice thaw, but next morning when we got up, there was snow again all over the place.
It is a horrible thing when one has almost no money in a whole year.
Kl[aas] has to earn everything on his own.
He goes out to work almost every day from 6 in the morning till 7 or 8 in the evening, so I am home alone all days.
And the little money I earn from the butter melts soon in a household.
Till now I sold 40 pounds butter, for 25 cents each, in 2 months.
So that won’t bring in big money.
That is why we sold our young cow last week for 35 dollars and from that money we bought a slaughtered pig for 12  and 8 cents a pound, a nice pig.
Yesterday evening Kl[aas] came home with a sack full of gray peas, potatoes and buttermilk we have on our own, so we don’t have to starve Klaaske.
It doesn’t matter br[other] and s[ister], it is not pleasant when it goes like this.
And now we went to the physician with Ytje, but she is recovering well, we have been there 3 times and again this week and then it will be cured I think.
To have made our portraits [photo’s] won’t happen too this year, we don’t have money for it.
It was our intention to give them along with Koning.
Well Klaaske, you wrote about the sewing-machine, it became all right again and is sewing as good as before.
I made the dresses for the girls on it!
In the mean time there are some weeks I can sew some, but there are also a lot of weeks I don’t do much.
People don’t work here every week as they do in Holland, not yet awhile to scour the pavement, no scouring or polishing and also no rub furniture, which helps a lot, isn’t it?
Mrs. Koning will tell you how clean people are here.
You have to consider that her household is an exception, she has no children and Mr. Koning does not make it dirty.
Most people here have big households with 4, 5 or 6 children and no maid to do the work, doing everything themselves, so you can think yourself Klaaske.
I don’t have news, K[laas] and my household stays the same, the other day we bought 2 woolen blankets, a white one for 6 dollars and a brown one for 1.75, but not nearly like the Dutch ones.
My rheumatism has fully recovered, that was a strange trouble!
The farmer-generals [from South-Africa] won’t come here Ytje, they’ll stay in the big cities I think.
Well br[other] and s[ister] now I’ll stop, it is half past 9 p.m. and Klaas already went to bed, tomorrow morning at 4 we have to get up.
For now a lot of greetings, your sister Geertje and children.

Do Joh. And Sjoukje have 2 girls?