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Portland Seattle Tacoma Vancouver letters 1890 1896
previous: Railroads June 1890
June 21st 1890
Chas. E. Leland
My dear Son
Arrived this Morning three hours later than schedule time, but all the better for the delay gave me an opportunity to see some beautiful scenery, which we should have missed had we been on time. I do not feel anymore tired than after a trip to Phila or M'[iddle]town.
We rest here today and night. At 11 AM tomorrow we leave for Tacoma. Play there three nights, then the ride to Seattle is short, but after our week here, commencing the 30th we shall be on the train two nights going to San Francisco.
This Country is lovely. Should not mind having to live here. I telegraphed you and John on my arrival. I had written that which ever one I telegraphed to was to telegraph the other, but thinking the letters might not have reached you, I thought it best this Morning to telegraph to both.
You see I am living in a fine house and kept by Chas. Leland. All furnished in [Charles] Eastlake [Arts and Crafts] style and quite new. Will be able to tell you more about the City in a future letter. Love and Kisses to my darling children, Albert and Neppie from their loving Mother
TACOMA, Wash, June 23rd 1890
My dear Son.
Yes, I think there was an effort made by Mr. [H.C.] Jarrett to have the train stop at Middletown. I had told him, and also the conductor who helped Neppie up on the steps, that I was very anxious to see you as I was going so far away. He was the sleeping car conductor. I also spoke to the Passenger Conductor, or train conductor I suppose, would be the right name for him, and then again to Mr. Jarrett - so annoyed them all. I got my desire complied with, and was very glad I could.
We arrived here last Evening about 7. We passed through a fertile country and Industry flourishing on all sides. It is astonishing to see the many new villages being built up along the line of railroad from here to Portland. We have a beautiful Theatre to appear in.
I shall try to see something of the place tomorrow. They have street cars here worked by electricity. I shall see what I can through a side on these. There is a large Indian Reservation here that I hope to visit before leaving. I have addressed two of the Morning papers to you. I believe there is an afternoon paper published also, but I have not yet seen it.
Crane & Co played here last week and yesterday met them halfway between here and Portland. Both companies got out of the cars, and each greeted the other very warmly and ended in singing "Auld Lang Syne" in a very high key.
It was very funny, and was thoroughly enjoyed by ourselves, as well as the natives, the latter looking on in blank amazement, but I do not think there were a quarter of the number Mr. Jarrett gives in his interview with the newspaper reporter. I think 40 would be nearer the mark than 400.
Of Cranes Company whom I knew were Mr. & Mrs. [William Henry] Crane, Mrs. Foster, Mrs. Lizzie Hudson Collier, Mrs. Georgie Drew Barrymore, Mr. [George F.] DeVere and Mr. Herbert who was at the Chestnut St Theatre [Philadelphia] during my last season at that house.
This is a great country up here! And this is a very picturesque town. The cut of the hotel shows the front looking toward Puget Sound. The street and general entrances are on the other side, the building being alike on both sides. I have a very nice room with a view of the surrounding hills and valleys. Wish all my children were here to see it.
We give 4 performances here, then to Seattle for the rest of the week. We hear that the hotel there is better than this one, but the theatre will not be so comfortable. A new theatre is being built there, but will not be finished in time for us.
The climate here I think agrees with me better than that of San Francisco, and all the company are astonished at feeling so well. Will write again before going to Seattle. Until then with love to my dear children Albert & Neppie I remain their loving Mother
H E T A C O M A
June 25th 1890
My dear Son.
At breakfast was surprised by hearing from Miss [Ada] Dyas that we do not go to Seattle. Instead of Seattle we may go to Victoria, B.C., leaving here by boat tomorrow Morning at 8, arriving at Victoria at 4 PM. Eight hours ride by boat. I suppose I shall learn at Matinee whether this is a settled fact or not. And will leave this open until then.
The City Directory is billed for this place tomorrow night and will not be bought out or we could finish the week here. I wish we could. I do not like going by boat. I am afraid of being seasick.
Last night not being on the bill I went to bed at 9. Had an extended rest and sleep -- feel first class this Morning. On Monday night we had $1500 in the house. House fine last night and "take" good for both performances today. I will enclose you a Portland programme for next week. It is funny. Guess we will have to play in Chinese yet! With love and Kisses to my darling children, Albert & Neppie, from their loving Mother
Well we do go to Seattle for two nights -- returning and playing here on Saturday night. Do not take our hotel trunks with us.
Good Matinee for "Saints & Sinners". Last night house $1400. Big take tonight for "Capt Swift".
June 26th 1890
My dear Son.
Well I am in Seattle! at the above hotel which stands on a high hill overlooking Puget Sound -- the "Mediterranean of America". The view from my window is indeed very beautiful.
The City, like Tacoma, is built on a succession of hills, but I think the site is prettier than Tacoma. And I should think healthier. There is more swampland lying around Tacoma but the water is salt in the Sound so may not be aquish [malarial].
We left Tacoma at 8 this Morning by boat, only two hours ride by boat and less by rail. We were told last night that we played here two nights and returned to play S[aints] & S[inners] on Saturday night in Tacoma. The Seattle Morning papers say we play three nights and a matinee. They (the management) have got things nicely mixed up this week.
Did well in Tacoma though, 1st night, $1500, 2nd $1400. Matinee $800 and last night was certainly not less than $1400. Over $5000 in four performances -- not bad, eh!
Met a Mr. Bushbell on the boat this Morning who has been residing here a year. Says he wouldn't go back East to live for any consideration. He is a New York man too. Through his influence 41 persons have come out here to live. He is very enthusiastic over this part of the Country. The Climate is so even all the year round. I have been feeling well since my arrival anyway. Suppose it must be the Climate. Love and Kisses to Neppie and Albert from their loving Mother
Seattle map 1890 http://davidrumsey.artselect.com/perl/frChooseSize?artID=21656&collectionID=4709
July 1st 1890
My dear daughter Neppie.
Since I left Boston I have been on the move all the time, and the past two weeks have been spent on railroads & in theatres. We are here for a week, and although we are to give eight performances, still it seems a rest to be in one spot for even a week.
We give three Matinees, one tomorrow and another on Friday -- being the 4th of July -- and one on Saturday, but we do not play Saturday night, as we leave by 6 PM train for San Francisco where we will be stationed for five weeks.
I am afraid if the heat continues, that it will injure our business for the rest of the week. This is the only hot weather we have met since leaving New York, and therefore we ought not to complain. Perhaps this will be over before we leave for San Francisco -- if not we shall have a hot, dusty journey down the coast.
I was very glad to be able to say goodbye to you in passing Middletown. I was afraid they would not give me any satisfaction about it, and until we got there I was in doubt of even seeing you. I thought the train might rush past so quick that I would not be able to see you sufficiently to recognize you. But all turned out very nice. And the conductor was indeed very kind.
The company had a joke on me for Kissing Albert. Some said they thought the boiler had burst -- others that one of the big trunks had fallen off the train. But they were all very much interested in the train being stopped for me to see my son!
We have a very pleasant party indeed. There are 24 of us and when so many people are thrown together, there is usually some disagreeable element amongst them, but so far everyone is agreeable, and our railroad journeys have been quite pleasant and enjoyable.
I am of course delighted to hear from Albert that your health is as good as can be expected "under the circumstances". He tells me that your Mama does not yet know. I think when you have told her, you will learn that she has had very strong suspicions of it for sometime. We Mothers can read between the lines very accurately, and I do not think anyone could keep your Mama in the dark very long.
You have only about four months now, and will not have any too much time to get ready in. I fully appreciate your feelings for your Mama, but again she may feel badly at you for not telling her.
From Hattie you may expect one embroidered flannel shirt and several pairs of shoes. She will have plenty of time for fancy work while at Cape May. And in August will pay you a visit when she will give you the benefit of her experience.
You ought now to secure the services of a good monthly nurse. If you leave it too late, it may be difficult to find one that would be desirable to have around. I wish I could be nearer to you and look out for these things for you, but that cannot be at present. So I can only suggest & advise you. The last month you will not feel much like sewing, so you had better think about it now, and get it over. With love and Kisses to my dear children, Albert and Neppie, from their loving Mother
July 5th 1890
My dear Son.
We are to leave here today at 6PM and are due in S.F. on Monday at 7:45 AM. A long ride! two nights on the train.
Aunt Jack is the bill for this afternoon. The 4th was celebrated here in good old Yankee style. So many processions, fireworks &c were given that it rather interfered with our business, our Matinee being only $400.25. Last night I suppose, was more than double that amount, so not so bad for one days work. Hope we shall do as well in California as in Washington & Oregon.
The change of weather the past two days has given us all a little shaking up in the way of "Summer Complaint". I was quite queer yesterday and had two performances, but I am better today. The first taken was Miss [Ada] Dyas on Monday night. Fortunately she did not have to appear on Tuesday night, and was able to doctor herself up -- she was really very ill -- the worst case amongst us, but she is quite well now.
I hope your birthday gift reached you in time. Love and Kisses to my dear children, Albert and Neppie from their ever loving Mother
Summer Complaint seems to be gastrointestinal, judging by a Boston Globe ad of Sept 1887, saying that "Cholera Morbus, Cramps, Colic, Diarrhoea, Summer Complaints and Dysentery all cured by a teaspoonful of Perry Davis Pain Killer.
next; San Francisco
previous: Los Angeles 1896
H.C. Bowers, Manager
Sept 15th 1896
My dear Son,
Your letter gave me great pleasure to hear you had enjoyed the visit of your sister & her family. I am pleased to hear that you thought John had improved in health and appearance. I think you are quite right in saying John eats too many sweet things, That is, and has been the trouble with the whole family. John scarcely ever finished a meal at his own table, that he does not get up, go the cupboard and bring some preserves, no matter what he has eaten, to finish up with.
I felt pretty tired out on reaching this hotel yesterday 8:30 AM having been two nights on the train, but I pulled through last night all right, and had a refreshing night's rest. We had a splendid house last night. First night in ten weeks that the theatre has been open. The Public was hungry for a show I guess. I hope this and tomorrow night's will be as well attended.
Wish we were booked here for a week, Hotel and Theatre both comfortable, and only across the street from each other. We leave 9AM on Thursday for Tacoma, about 4 hours ride by rail. From there by boat to Victoria on Friday. On Saturday by boat to Vancouver, back by boat to Seattle for Monday and Tuesday next - and from there to Salt Lake another two nights on train.
From there to Kansas City. which will take two, if not three on train. But then the hardest part of the travel will be over, but by that time it will have been pretty severe. And I imagine rather exhaustive to the treasury. But we have our salaries up to date and have no right to criticise our management.
I hear that Chas Frohman is to be in St Louis while we are there. His Stock Co will be there also and it is to rehearse them in some new play that he goes there. I don't suppose he will bother much with us. Love and Kisses to Ted, Neppie and yourself from your loving Mother
Vancouver and Victoria
P.O. Box 572
Septr 19th 1896
My dear Son,
We arrived here by boat this Morning at 9 o'clock, but I did not get up here to this hotel until 10:30. We left Victoria at 2 AM having gone to the boat after performance and went to bed, but the boat did not leave until 2 AM. We return the same way tomorrow. Going from here to Victoria, change boat there and go through to Tacoma, or else we would have to get off the boat in Seattle at 4 AM, not a pleasant hour but by going through we get an undisturbed nights rest and leave for Seattle at 9. Ride two hours on the water and get there at 11 AM Monday. Play there Monday and Tuesday and then turn our faces homeward. By the time this reaches you we shall be about leaving for Kansas City. Then I shall be over 1500 miles nearer to you.
I suppose you are by this time keeping bachelor's hall? It will be lonesome for you, but I hope the change will do Neppie good. Had a letter from Hattie in which she says she has not yet heard when to expect Neppie, but hopes to see her soon.
We had a fine house last night in Victoria. Arrived there 5:30 PM and boarded the boat at 12. Boat started for this place at 2 AM. Did not give me much time to get an idea of Victoria.
I shall be glad when we reach Kansas City. Will have a few nights rest and hard travel will be over. Love and Kisses to Neppie and Ted and Albert from their loving Mother
This is the first (and only) telephone number to show up.
Seattle, Wash Septr 22nd 1896
My dear Son,
We arrived here yesterday about 11 AM. Had a foggy trip through Georgian Bay and Puget Sound. All the beautiful views of the scenery were lost. We have had fog ever since we reached Portland. We leave here at 4 AM for Portland, remain there for seven hours and then start for Salt Lake. Two nights or rather three, counting tonight on the train. I do not think the trains are as tiresome as the boat. We had to take three to get here from Vancouver, B.C. and all were propellers. And the pumping noise of the machinery was too tiresome for comfort.
Who are you going to vote for? And who will be the next President? Tell me all about it. I suppose John goes for McKinley. What is [Senator] D.B. Hill driving at? I think he is going to astonish us by and by. He is playing a deep game for something.
I suppose if I keep well, I shall not see any of you before December. Nearly five months since we parted, and what a lot of ground I have been over since then, and have still three thousand miles to cover before reaching you. Love and Kisses to you my dear Son from your loving Mother
Senator DB Hill NY State Democratic convention & platform controlled by his Friends Sept 19 1896; Presidential campaign of 1896, Free silver views July 9 NY Times
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Last revised Dec. 29, 2003
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