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Klaas Schuiling, Manhattan (Montana)

Sjouke Johannes Hoogland, St. Annaparochie

Nederlandse transcriptie

Engelse vertaling
Naamloos document

Frisian emigrants 3.
Letter from the Schuiling family to the Hoogland family in het Bildt.

Manhattan Montana [at the end of October or early November 1899]

Dear brother and sister,
When you’ll get this letter November 8 is long past, the date I have to pay for the life insurance.
I am very sorry that I didn’t think of it before, or better, wrote about it.
Because of Thijs illness I forgot and also in the fuss of the threshing.
First I don’t know if you have enough money  for this year and 2nd I should like you to ask the agency if it is possible to change the date into January 1st.
We don’t get our money here before November, so I need to have the money one year before or have to borrow it for 2 months.
Now I thought there might be grounds which can grant a delay or a change.
When you should visit the agency I would like you to ask them about it.
And now you’ll be anxious to hear how the threshing went and if the first year turned out well or not.
Well there is no reason to complain, we still don’t know how it ended because I have a dispute with the owner of the threshing machine about the number of the bushels and because I didn’t sell it yet.
But I calculated that we’ll get 6 or 700 dollars after paying the threshing wages.
What was the amount of the threshing wages you’ll ask and I don’t know that precisely.
We have to pay 1 ½ cent per bushel to the owner of the machine.
The workers of the machine earn 20 cents an hour, with us there were 8 ½ men and we were threshing for 14 hours.
There also were the other farmers, each with a wagon and 2 horses and a man, they also got 20 cents an hour.
Because I helped them all with a wagon and 2 horses [while they were threshing] I don’t have to pay them.
After the threshing period we’ll clear this with each other.
From Jan Meijer I’ll get some and others I have to pay some but I’ll get more than I have to pay.
We were not very lucky with the threshing, when the machine came here it started to rain.
I sent them away but a week later the owner of the machine came back with some of the people and told me the others also should come and that he wanted to start threshing.
In my opinion it was still to wet but I had to agree otherwise they should leave to go to someone else.
The biggest part of the workers also stayed and I asked him if it was wise to get more people and lose time which is unprofitable, how quicker we should start how faster, better and cheaper it should be.
Now I’ve written a lot and still didn’t answer the questions.
Yes Jouke you are right, we yield to Friesland in the total results, beautiful cows you’ll see almost never here and not even those nice quick horses as in Friesland.
Here they don’t pay much attention to that but they look at the weight.
When one buys or sells a horse the first thing they ask is how heavy it is because the heaviest  horses can pull the most, anyone would like to have those.
Especially when you have to load hay the strongest horses are the best because the roads are bad then and you have to go up hill and there are always and everywhere muddy wagon tracks.
And when one lives 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6 hours distance from town you can understand that we need strong horses.
I own 5 horses, one of them is a gray mare which weight about 1500 pounds when she is fat. I’ll breed her to a brown, blazed stallion who weighs 1800 pound.
It was imported earlier for 1 dollar a pound.
It’s a beautiful horse, in Holland you won’t find a better one.

[written upside down at the top of the page] Thursday November 9 today I’ll go to town with a sample of barley to sell it.

I’ll go then with the farmers son, he is dealing in second hand I believe.
One has to pay 10 dollars of cover money when the mare becomes pregnant otherwise you don’t have to pay.
Prices vary greatly, sometimes you’ll find a big horse for a low price than you almost can get them for free but when you’ll go to a horse-breeder you have to pay at least 100 dollars for a good and tame young horse.
You’ll find no horse-fairs here, that is why one cannot make money with horse-breeding.
We are not doing well with the English language for that we hold to much conversations with Hollanders.
It is a great lack when one cannot speak English but come what may.
Now I have to stop otherwise there will be no room for Geertje.
Greetings Klaas.

Dear b[rother] and s[ister]!
The first thing I’ve to tell you is that Thijs and I both are healthy again.
We didn’t expect that our little Thijs should recover, but he did.
Because Kl[aas] and I gave up hope.
All of the sudden there was a change for the better.
In one week he almost totally recovered.
What can the change be quick with children isn’t it Klaaske?
It is hard to understand how it works.
Now I hope that your Johan also will recover soon and that it just will need more time, but when he will recover fully, we hope the best isn’t it?
Thijs had to learn to walk again, at first along the furniture and after that on his own.
He sometimes becomes very angry and then he bites on his hands.
Today all of us went to Sophie for a meal, it is a pity that they don’t have children because  she loves them.
We brought them some goods, I think last Saturday.
Now the seasonal pressure is over Klaaske I cleaned the house and set right, it is passable now.
There is a big laundry waiting for me, I have to do that this week.
Now Sjouke, Klaaske and children, I thank you for your congratulations!
You have to tell John Schuiling that he has to compensate the wedding card with a letter because we rather get a letter than a card.
A letter will help us more here in this far country.
Now I’ve to stop because I get tired.
Greetings to the other relatives and receive the greetings of your sister Geertje and Thijs.
Good night. Write soon. How is father’s head!