Jan 29, 1903
My own darling children,
I received your very welcome letters & was delighted to hear from you & to know that you are well. We are all sick with colds & cousin Mary has been very sick, but is better again. Bettie please send me brother's address when you write again, he never writes to me & I am so anxious to hear from him & to know how he is getting along. Bettie please burn my letters as soon as you read them. I never feel like writing any more & am ashamed for anyone to see my letters. I have been sick ever since summer & am now very weak & nervous, but I think I will be better soon.
I am going to send Cousin Mary's picture, but you must not mention it in your letters for she does not want me to send it & would not like it, but I just think it is cute. The baby is much prettier than this picture. He is very interesting.
You have both improved a great deal in your writing.
Try to do the best you can children & God will do the rest & answer our prayers some day. He has seen best to separate us for a while.
Good bye darling ones. Pray often for help & comfort & all things will work around for our good some day. Write again soon to your devoted Mother.
Boy, am I thankful that Bettie didn't burn her mother's letters!
This letter leads me to believe that Bettie & Jeannette are together at least. I wish I had more of the envelopes from the letters. I'm assuming that the girls are still in Belfast, NY just 20 days after Alice wrote to Bettie there (see the blog post that includes letter #3). I still don't know who they were living with at that time - maybe Uncle Eddie. The living situations will unfold some more in the coming letters, but never become entirely clear.
Wouldn't it be fun to see the photo of Mary & the baby? I need to go through all of the photos I have in Viola's collection to see if there is anything that looks like it could be of Mary & baby Clinton Swift...
Here is one photo that I think could definitely be of Mary Swift. I have seen a photo of Mary later in life (I posted it on a previous entry), which was added to Ancestry.com by Mary's great-grandson, and so this one compares very favorably, and seems to be a photo of Mary in her younger years. It's just a hunch though.How sad it must've been for Alice to spend so much time with her niece Mary & great-nephew Clinton and not be able to see her own children... It really does bother me, and I wish I knew the reason & the outcome...