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Geertje de Jong, Manhattan (Montana)

Sjouke Johannes Hoogland, St. Annaparochie

Engelse vertaling
Naamloos document

Frisian emigrants 24.
Schuiling family to Hoogland family.

Manhattan Mont[ana] Jan[uary] 1st 1908.
Dear br[other] and s[ister],

Now it is more than time that we write you, again a year fades away, therefor a happy New Year.
Fourteen days ago I said now we must write to S[jouke] and K[laaske], then it [the letter] will arrive just on New Years day and at this very moment almost 24 hours of that year has gone, time goes by very quickly.
Pieter and Lo started to write yesterday evening and continued it this afternoon and now they end their letters so there will be a lot of news from America at the N[ieuwe] B[ildt] Dijk.
The old year ended, in a sense, not well for me.
Yesterday morning I wanted to go early to Belgrade with a wagon full of wheat.
I had 2 wagons behind each other and 4 horses for it, G[eertje] held a lantern to give me light so I could hitch the horses to the wagon.
Just past our house there is a little hill where I have to go down and there one of the hind horses started to walk to one side so that I, with the first wagon, lost the way and tipped over completely with the wagon.
Happily I got off well and the horses directly stood still but the wagon had broke down.
Then at dawn we borrowed a wagon from our neighbor.
Pieter helped me then to reload it [the wagon] and then to the town thus it was half past 8 in the evening when I came home.
Also during last month 2 of our young horses got entangled in the fence of barbed wire.
One was seriously hurt, the other had only a flesh-wound.
We have both of them in the stable now and will do our best to cure them, as you may be know most of the time we are our own veterinarians.
Last Summer we had a good mare who could not push down the placenta after she gave birth to a colt.
At least I removed it myself and the horse fully recovered, but if the colt will come right I don’t know, I guess it has a defect in the throat or nose, otherwise our live stock is well this year.
We had a good grain harvest this year and the prices are good too.
That comes in handy because this year we have to pay off 1000 dollars on our land.
Therefor I would ask if it is possible that we can use the money of uncle and the relatives for another year.
If not please write back soon, than we’ll take care that it comes to Holland quickly.
I ran out of news but G[eertje] says I also have to write that we got 9 young piglets in Dec[ember] from which 5 died, so at the moment we have left 4 of them.
Be kindly greeted by your brother Klaas.

Dear b[rother] and sister!
First of all: a happy New Year, so now I have a start which is difficult some times.
This morning the 3 of us went to the church, namely Pieter and Lieuwe and I, Kl[aas] was home with the children.
Little Jaantje was not well yesterday, the last day of the year, this morning it was a little better but not as well as we both could go to the church.
We are in a reasonable health these days.
The doctors-bill was not very high this year, 22½  dollars, we got it this week.
L[ieuwe] was in bed during the Christmas days, I guess about 5 days long, but he is recovered now.
He had the same illness as before he said.
Did you have a good St. Nicolas day Klaaske.
We didn’t get anything.
Yesterday the children got their presents.
Thijs received a musical box, he has to beat with a little hammer on it, the music is nice.
Pieter and I were busy playing with it this afternoon.
Now you’ll say to yourself Klaaske does Geertje have time for that!
Yes sister, Klaas absolutely don’t want me to sew or darn on Sunday.
Because he says it is my only resting day.
Most of the time things go in another way, always up at 5 in the morning, sometimes at 4 till 9 o’clock in the evening and on my feet all day, just sitting to eat or drink, the sewing I almost don’t get time to do it.
Sometimes I am having tempers of it Klaaske, sometimes it looks like the work grips me from all directions.
Concerning to that Kl[aaske], it was a lot easier for me in Holland!
A help is very expensive here, when we were threshing I had to pay 2 dollars a day.
A good maid earns 15, 20 or 25 dollars a month here, which is not a small thing, isn’t it?
Well I comfort myself that if we all live on and be healthy, then I soon will have support from the girls, they grow up nice and strong.
Especially Yt becomes fat, Sijtsche is more light in everything.
Both girls got a doll’s bed from their dad.
Their Dutch dolls are in it, it made them very happy.
Both little one’s have to play with the old toys.
Well br[other] and sister I don’t know what kind of news I’ll write from here, the most important things you know now, that we are alive and healthy and I hope you will write a lot of news from there.
So a lot of greetings from your sister and br[other].
Kl[aas], G[eertje] and children.

Manhattan Mont[ana] Dec[ember] 14th 1908.
Dear br[other] and s[ister],
Today we received a letter from P[ieter] that he arrived safely [at home].
These days he’ll be busy telling you everything so there is less left for us.
But there is something.
I sold 160 acres of land.
Our land started to be infertile so we have to raise clover, which brings a lot of work so we would have to hire more people.
And then G[eertje] would be more busy and you cannot get maids here so we thought it would be better to sell some part.
We sold it to Reintje Eisenga, P[ieter] knows him.
We also send you the interest for father and also a ‘rijksdaalder’ [2½ guilders] to buy an almond tart as a New Years present for father.
Please order it from Mr. Peisel.
At the moment I am busy with the transport of grain, it will last till January 1st.
The weather is nice for almost every day and then I like it.
Now I’ll stop because P[ieter] is telling you everything.
Kindest love, Klaas.

Manhattan dec[ember] 14, 1908.
Dear br[other] and sister!

I just read Piet’s letter and learned from it that you all are healthy and that they had a good trip.
We already were waiting for a letter and I had send Ytje to the mailbox, but there was nothing in it she said.
But Klaas made a fool of us, he had met the post-wagon and put the letter in his pocket and then he went to Belgrade with the seed-wagon, he came home just half past six this evening.
Everything went well, didn’t it?
I was very curious if the paintings would come over undamaged, glasswork is always dangerous.
Piet didn’t have to pay much tariff, did he?
It made me happy to hear that they had such a nice trip and tell them we got all their postcards, also the one of the ship we received last Thursday.
Then we went to Manhattan to have the farm explained to our new neighbor.
I have no friendship with our new neighbor’s wife, she looks such a proud arrogant woman.
Did John succeed in coming here for a while?
In that case he and Ytje must come and stay with us.
Your mother can manage without you for some time Ytje and then you nicely could help me to sew.
Today I  cut out new dresses for each of the girls.
A dark blue, trimmed with white, a design as a sailor suit, it is just for the holy days, to spare their new dresses, which are light gray and of expensive material.
I also have to make them a new woolen skirt with bodice [ a jumper] each and a cover [bedspread ?] and an upper garment and yes, too much to tell.
During the Summer one mostly sew nothing and then one has to make up for lost time during the Winter.
Jaantje got a white shaggy coat and a lot of little things for the children, it almost never stops Klaaske.
I got a black hat for 5,50 [dollars], simple but I even think it looks nice.
If I am wearing it, I almost don’t feel it on my head and that is good because otherwise I’ll get a headache.

[Upside down on top of the page is written] A happy New Year 1909.

Oh yes Klaaske, I also let my teeth remove except 2, so I don’t have teeth in my mouth for half a year, from which 3 months has gone.
But I feel so much better now, I am so healthy, but I also will be happy when I have my new teeth, then I can eat everything again.
Now the children eat all my bread-crusts.
Besides I look like an old woman, you hardly could recognize me when we should meet,
I am wearing glasses on my nose the entire day too.
I don’t have much news, I guess P[ieter] will tell  you everything.
Today Ytje stayed home from school.
One week ago they had to be vaccinated and now that arm

[Upside down on top of the page is written]
became swelled so they are not well.
Sijtsche was not well yesterday.
The boys are healthy.
Jaantje too and she is almost tidy.
Greetings from all of us your s[ister] Geertje.