Monday, December 10, 2012

1922 Bert Brown letter to Lucie Ballantyne - Dec.

Letter from Bert Brown, uncle to the newborn Jean Ballantyne, to his sister Lucie Brown Ballantyne.  The letterhead is from the Judiciary Committee of the House of Delegates, State of West Virginia, with [Robert Morrow] R.M. Brown listed as a member of the Committee.  The letter is undated but from the subject matter we can infer that it was written shortly after Jean's birth.  Transcription follows.

My dear Lucie:

We were all very proud of the new arrival in the way of another daughter in your congenial and happy family and I am delighted to be an uncle once again.  Well, Santa Claus has been wonderfully good to you and I hope you and babe will get along nicely.

I would like to have seen the happy expressions on the faces of Robert [then 12] and Virginia [8] when they were told that they had a little sister.  Scott [Bert and Leora Scott Brown's son, then age 11] was delighted and can't understand why he hasn't a sister.  Last night when I reached home Scott met me and said: "Daddy did you hear that Robert has a little baby sister," he was brimming with smiles and said, "I can't see why I don't have a sister."

We are all so anxious to see "Sister" and Mother.  Do not take any chances on getting up too soon.*  Do not worry about Christmas.  You have made us all very happy and your Christmas gift to the entire relationship is one that we hope will bring great joy and happiness to her mother and father, as I know she will, and little companion to Virginia and Robert.  Congratulate the proud father and wish a world of love to you, Robert, Virginia and baby.  I remain
Devotedly yours,
- - - - - - -
*Bert may have had good reason to be concerned about Lucie's health since their own mother had passed away at the age of 32, and Lucie, born in 1880, was 42 when Jean was born.  This family had too many early deaths, with Robert, Jean's brother, passing away at the age of 46; Aunt Virginia in 1983 at the age of 68.  Bert died in 1946 at the age of 68.  His only son, John "Scott" Brown died in 1956 at the age of 44.

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