Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 3 (1876 - 1882)

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Lt 28, 1879

Walling, Mr.

Battle Creek, Michigan

October 26, 1879

Previously unpublished.

Mr. Walling

Dear Nephew:

I received your letter stating that you had written to Willie in reference to your children. No letter has come, and we are paying their board as we have done. We have been very much cramped for means. We are in debt to the office of publication three thousand dollars. We were disappointed in selling property we hoped to sell. Now is it just or right for you to leave the support of your children upon us? We get them boarded and pay the board ourselves, and that is the only way. No one will board and care for two children for less than four dollars per week. This we have paid. But we do not feel that we can pay their school bills longer. 3LtMs, Lt 28, 1879, par. 1

Only upon one condition can I care for your children, and that is that you give me a legal writing that I may have the charge of them until they are eighteen. If you will not do this, I will not longer be responsible for your children. If you will do this, I will do as I have done, care for them as if they were my own. I love the children, but there is a consistency in all things. They need shoes for winter, hats, and clothing. Our credit is good; we can get these things for them on credit, but cannot consent to do this unless you shall give us a writing in regard to the children. We shall spend our winter, a portion of it, here. The children need care and education for some years to come. They have been learning well, but I have not sent them the last term of school. 3LtMs, Lt 28, 1879, par. 2

I wish to hear from you at once, for I have a chance next month to send the children, accompanied by a reliable person. We can send them to some of our friends at Boulder City. They both feel very bad about leaving me. They want I should continue to care for them, and they cling to me as children to their mother. 3LtMs, Lt 28, 1879, par. 3

My request is reasonable, just, and right. I will be responsible for all their expense of schooling, food, and clothing, if I can have the charge of them till they are eighteen. If I cannot have this, I cannot be responsible. The children are well. In haste. 3LtMs, Lt 28, 1879, par. 4

I thought this letter was sent; by mistake it was not. If you will comply with my request, I will give the children a thorough education, but no one will take charge of them without pay from us when due. 3LtMs, Lt 28, 1879, par. 5