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Klaas Schuiling, Manhattan? (Montana)

Sjouke Johannes Hoogland, St. Annaparochie

Engelse vertaling
Naamloos document

Frisian emigrants 6.
From the Schuiling family to the Hoogland family.

January 1st 1900.
A happy New Year.

Dear br[other] and s[ister],

I start to write a letter to you but it can last a week before it is sent to you, because you’ll know we don’t have as  much time as you do.
First of all thank you very much for your congratulations.
It was better this way because we rather have every week some news than everything in one [big] letter.
I cannot answer your first questions yet because the price of the barley is not yet known and I also have not sold the wheat yet.
I can tell you that we are not able to save money the next year.
Like I wrote to R. I’ve sent the barley to the east and received 269 dollars for it till now.
Of that [money] I’ve paid the interest on the land; 60 dollars to the physician and some to the shopkeeper and the butcher.
Now I have no other debts than 30 dollars for the threshing but the money is spent.
From the money I further will get for the barley and the wheat I have to pay interest to uncle and we have to live from it.
But you also have to realize that I had this year just 35 acres of land from which I could expect a good harvest.
If I can pay the 8 percent interest this year and save enough to make both ends meet next year then it will be a  good start isn’t it?
Next year we’ll get over 60 acres to sow I think.
Now some about Mr. Koning but don’t tell anyone because Koning is our best friend here; we get a lot of support from them.

[Upside down at the bottom of the page is written]
Klaaske, G[eertje] bakes spiced gingerbread which is delicious.

That Koning will move back to Holland within a few years I can believe, because Sophie rather likes to live in Holland.
If they should leave in 2 years (which I don’t believe) then they won’t be able to live upon the interest of the money Koning earned here; I know for sure that Koning put out 400 dollars last year from the money he saved here during that time and that he’ll save money again this year; and that he is calculating that he can save 500 dollars every year that he’ll manage his affairs well (not this year).
But he still cannot save enough in 2 years to go to live upon the interest of his money I think.
Imagine that he can sell his farm with accessories for 4000 dollars.
What should the inheritance of the old Hamstra [Sophie’s father] have been, I think it was a substantial capital.
When you add Sophie’s  belongings to the money Koning has then two saving people can maybe live on that and Koning became a very saving woman.

[Upside down at the bottom of the page is written]
At the moment it is freezing a lot.

Nevertheless it is always difficult to judge about other people’s affairs, I wrote my opinion now, but I am sure about it.
When someone asks me I don’t know nothing at all, even here people ask us about it because we are good friends.
With Christmas we got two hares from Koning.
The other day I told him that when he should go to Holland in about 4 years, I would like to have the first rights to buy his land, because I think someone [of you] will come soon to visit us.
To judge a physician is another difficulty, the more the other Dutch people use a different physician than we do.
As people say this must be an excellent physician but  I don’t think he is as good as [doctor] Sijbering.
He pleased us very well but it is very expensive here: 60 dollars or 150 guilders.
Stop, you’ll say, in America where one can earn 1 dollar easier than 1 guilder here you cannot change [a dollar] in ‘rijksdaalders’ [coin of 2½ guilders] when you have to spend them.
That’s right and I don’t  do that in common sense, but a farmer has to pay from the harvest.
Imagine that barley cost 1 dollar per 100 pounds then I have to pay the physician 6000 pound barley, that will be a lot isn’t it?
It is already paid and we’ll hope that we don’t need him again this year.
The public education here is on a very low level, children go to school only for half a year.
If there become to live more people here it also will be better.
With the Dutch people here they go to school for 8 months this year.
They have a

[Upside down at the bottom of the page is written]
Klaaske, G[eertje] can already bake nice tarts.

Married teacher, who has during the threshing time (then the  school was closed) gone round with the threshing machine then he could earn 2 dollars a day, because otherwise he cannot live from his salary while he is paid as a teacher only for 8 months a year of course. 
A lot of things here are less than with you but it is just a young settlement here, everything will become better.
Rome also was not build in one day.
Our ink became more black too and when someone is visiting us, they all tell us that our house also looks better than last Winter.
So everything will come right here because we earn enough when one not desires to become rich once.
I hope I can write to you on January 1st 1901 that we have paid off 505 dollars on the farm in 1900 which is ¼ of the mortgage.
Your brother Klaas.

[Upside down on top of the page is written]
Do you know that there was a stamp of 25 cents on your last letter?

B[rother] and s[ister]     10 days later.
Today I’ll go to Belgrade and send this letter away.
Yesterday I went onto the mountains with a couple of Dutch men, 4 hours driving from here, to buy some cows to slaughter  from a stock-farmer.
We succeeded. We got a cow per 4 of us for 30 dollars, which weights about 600 pounds.
The farmer where we bought it had to slaughter it immediately, but how quick this man was dealing with it you’ve never seen.
That cow walked in the east[ern meadows], the farmer jumped on a horse (because the cow was angry) with a rifle  in his hands, shut the cow dead and slaughtered it on the same place as where it felt.
Half an hour later we had it on the wagon in four parts, without exaggeration!

[Upside down on top of this page and on page 10 is written]
We received a nice letter from John Schuiling and Sjoukje how the wedding was and how she arranged her household and which presents they got from the relatives.

Page 8
The price of the barley is still not known, so I cannot write more about that.
I think I’ll dig the well next week when there comes no more snow, now there is too little [snow] to fetch wood from the forest.
These days I am looking forward to the field mail* because the time has already passed, they should have been here, I think.
It is 6 weeks ago that we received goods but it is also possible that they are now with Mr. Koning or in Manhattan.
The Winter evenings last long here because there is almost nothing to read and we live too far away from the Hollanders to make an evening talk.
We often say how pleasant it would be if a family member lived near by.
Yes really it would be too quiet for you sometimes.
Now I ran out of news and let the rest of the paper to Geertje.
Kindest regards from your brother Klaas.

Dear br[other] and s[ister],
Now I’ll write some.
Kl[aas] isn’t leaving much [paper] to me and he knows that I have not much news.
Now it is Wednesday morning a quarter to eleven and I am cooking a meal.
Turnip mixed with potatoes and some beef.
After that Kl[aas] will go to the town to do some shopping.
I don’t know what to write, I am not so quick at the moment, I’ve a headache.
I think it is caused by doing the laundry, yesterday I had alot of it, so yesterday evening I had pain in my back and now it went to my head I think.
Thijs was not well for a few days.

[Upside down on top of this page and on top of page 8 is written]
Father and Jaantje have to write soon because I am looking for it [a letter] every week and I am very anxious.

I think it was because of a cold.
Last Saturday evening his abdomen swell and it caused him troubles but it went away quickly.
Of course I had to cry for a moment and said if one could have an adviser that would give comfort for the moment.
We both don’t know anything about children so far.
I also said to Klaas if we were on ‘de Zijl’ [there former home] then I could quickly go to you for a minute.
After that we put him in a warm bath for the last 3 nights, after that in a woolen blanket and quickly in bed and then he was wet of sweat.
Now it is better, but he likes to hang on us, against my knee or on my lap.
Next Friday he will go to a school party, that will be fun.
Did you also go to a  comedy or so Klaasche and are they already skating [with you]?
How are John and Sjoukje doind.
She has to write me what she got from St. Nicolas.
Kindest regards, your s[ister] G[eertje] and nephew Thijs.

*Prior to the mid 1930’s, people who did not live in a town would not have their mail delivered to their home every day. Most of the time they would have to pick it up at the Post Office. If one went to town once a month, one would perhaps depend on neighbors to pick it up. In this case it looks like the post was delivered once in about 4 weeks.