1. my great grandmother Zulieka Phillips Swasey
2. my grandmother's Uncle Chauncey Granger Sweet (see post about him yesterday HERE)
3. Uncle Chauncey Sweet's cousin Ada Phillips
4. their childhood during and after the Civil War in Texas.
5. mention of a piano owned by Zulieka and Ada Phillip's mother, Mary Granger Phillips. So I am posting this under the theme (meme?) mentioned on Sepia Saturday this week, come over and see many more interesting stories HERE.
The following copies are transcribed below the photos.
Transcription of above copies of letter:
Sabine Pass June 29, 1872
I am having a nice time all your cousins Aunt and Uncle are well. Issy I will tell you something but you must not tell anyone that is if you have not walked a lone yet I want you to hurry up and walk.
Minnie has got a Mockingbird & I expect you had it your would be playing with in and when there was no one looking you would eat the things out of its cage.
You ough (sic) to see us play croquet we have a splendid time & have a little kitten to play with us & her name is Dolly
(page 2 of 2)
Sister has learned Chauncey his keys on the piano. He also sends you a sweet kiss.
Lucy says that she wants you to come over that she wants to see you. I am sorry you have got the hoopin (sic) cough.
We send love to all
(added in pencil) “now Mrs. C. G. Sweet”
Note: The author, Ada Pulsipher Phillips was born 9.15.1860, so she wrote this as an eleven year old. Her sister, Zulieka Granger Phillips, was born July 30, 1858, who is noted in this letter to have taught the piano to their cousin Chauncey G. Sweet b. 2.6.1865, whose sister Lucy A. Sweet was b. 1868. And Ada, the young author, married Chauncey Sweet many years later.
I'm not sure yet who Issy might have been. She didn't seem to live in the same home, but perhaps was in the same town, or maybe another one, but under whooping cough quaranteen.
Ada and Zulieka Phillips mother was Mary Granger Phillips. Her sister was Elizabeth Granger, Lizzie, in her frequent correspondence. One such letter talked (pre Civil War) of receiving her piano in their home somewhere near Beaumont, Texas on Town Bluff.
transcribed it reads:
Town Bluff June 10th, 1860
It is some time since your last letter but I waited to write about the Piano knowing you would be deeply interested to hear about it. It was obliged to stay at Weisse’s Store a few weeks as the river was so low the Boats could not come up this far and William was so busy with all the mules he could not spare them to go for it. William fixed up last Tuesday a team and himself and a black boy started to bring. It arrived Wed. night and all hands White and Black sat up till midnight so great was the excitement. It is a splendid Piano and no mistake most-beautiful tone & action.
(envelope depicted here, addressed to other sister, Lucy, but letter is to Elizabeth ie. Lizzie)
(Upper left corner:) Town Bluf, TX M (…? obscured by stamp of Three Cents)
(Middle of envelope:) Mrs. Lucy E. Granger.
(letter continued page 2)
It is one of Gales made Rose Wood with a beautiful inlade (sic) front carved music rack Iron (?) frame and carving all around the moulding (sic) but not quite seven octaves two pedals the shape of the Pedal is the hansomist (sic) I ever saw very large and shiney. The tone is brilliant and clear not at all muffled. It is splendid and you will say so far superior to Margrit Sweets I think I am almost beside myself I am so satisfied with the choice Mr. Hinsbly (?) has been very kind seems to have exerted himself to the ultermost (sic) and I could not have done as well myself. The Stool cost twelve dollars and it is Rose W. too has a screw top and plane and plush very much larger and prettier every way than yours. It was packed with in the most manner closely sealed over all the seams on the
(back of envelope pictured here, nothing written on it)
(letter contined page 3)
outside and right pretty (written above in margin) picture
in the bottom of the box all framed with a view of house in which it was manufactured in N. J. I have hung it up it is so pretty. Oh! I do so want to have you see it and try it. I would enclose the money if I had it for you to come. You can imagine me just as happy as a being ever gets to be. I believe I feel just as I did when Father first bought one for me. Just think our Piano was the first ever in Sabine Pass The first ever in Beaumont and now the first ever in Town Bluff and is causing equally as much excitement about the county up here as it had elsewhere. I find I am in need of much practice but every day gain what I have lost. I play a heap having nothing else to do and who would not with so elegant
(letter continued page 4)
an instrument to play upon in such perfect tune and order. It is this I regret – the detention I soon shall have and I have only three months more I get very tired sitting at the Piano but William is so good rubs my back until I am rested at night which keeps me up. Zulie is very much pleased calls it the big baby and says here is the little baby pointing to herself – she talks very cunning you would laugh to hear her sleeps by herself now in a nice trundle bed all ready now you see for the next. I must close I wrote to Lucy sometime since. Write me soon. Love to Mother and all.
Yours with love,
(another hand writing now)
The Baby beats her mother talking.
(this letter was not written to her other sister, Lucy, but mentions that she had written her, so perhaps that is why the envelope was copied on the same sheet. Lizzie was her sister Elizabeth Granger)
This was east Texas life on the frontier just before a war which changed everyone's lives from what they imagined their futures would be.