Two Letters from J. Somers Smith to his Mother from Rhode Island, Possibly in August 1888

The following two letters were both in the same envelope addressed to Mrs. J. Somers Smith, Springbank, Germantown, Philadelphia, Penn. The postmark for the Rhode Island post office is dated August 30, and that for the Philadelphia post office is dated August 31. The year is shown, but is not clear. Based on the calendars for that era and the information in the letters, I believe the year likely was 1888, when J. Somers Smith Jr. was 22 years old. Here is the text of the two letters, both of which are written on stationery of Narragansett Casino:                                                        

Saturday aft.

Dear Mother

                Here I am now, and you may expect me out in the 2:35 either Friday or Saturday next.

I came over here this morning and am settled at “Taylor’s.” I have subscribed my $5. to this place, which is very fine. I go to the Smith’s to tea tonight and then here for the last ball of the season. It is rainy today. Last night I rode out to “Pen Craig,” and walked back. They were alone and well. The tennis in the morning was very fine. I went bathing with Gus in the aft. tho misty.

Thursday night I went sailing with a party from where Minnie [?] was. I see Sam has begun cricket again.

Tuesday, Helen Elwyn and I went over for the night to York tho’ pouring. We had a very good time. While waiting at the depot for her to go, three four-horse stages and two two -horse wagons ran off: no one in them. But as it is such hard work writing with this fine a pen, I will leave particulars till I see you.

Miiss Maria has written you I suppose well – we shall have to drive over and see how they all are there.—If you are well enough.

I got a letter from Betty. C. Biddle had seen me at Mt. D. The Smith’s go to “Malvern” in October. Is Junior coming to us? I must stop and post this now. If I have time I shall write soon again before I leave, but I have Mr. Wentworth to thank.

                                                                                                Your loving son



Dear Mother

                I have a stateroom on the “Pilgrim” for Friday night. I shall take a morning train through to town – but shall be out in the 2:35 at the latest on Saturday. I go with Miss Maria you know.

Thank Grandpa for his letter. Today is said to be very hot, but I don’t suffer, except from sunburn.

I am getting into finer condition than ever here. I spend about two hours in my bathing suit, sunning on the beach, lying in the sand or swimming, play tennis & pool, read, sleep and go to bed early, no wines or stimulants, no tobacco (except today). How does that suit you?

Have a carriage at Upsal for the 2:35. I can walk if I come sooner and leave my traps at the station. I am with the Smith’s & Willard Lapsley [?] most of the time.

                                                                                In health

                                                                                Your loving son