Harrisburg Nov.[ember] 27th 1863
My Dear Clara,

I write this letter in haste, though I am afraid my advice will come too late. Father (1) received your letter this morning saying that the money he sent you would be quite sufficient for both your dress and furs. He intended it for the dress only, and he and Aunty Hamilton (2) and I all came to the same conclusion, that it would be so much better for you to wait until next winter, and get a good set. I expect you will differ from me, but I think it would be such a pity to get a common set and Marty (3) says she does not want them next winter. Don't you think you could get along with a scarf, and warm gloves? Cousin Mag (4) got a beautiful boucle-scarf with a black center. I think a red one would be pretty for you, and would always be useful even if you had furs. If you decide to get the scarf, get a good one. Cousin Mag's was about two yards long and a quarter of a yard of more wide. I can't imagine what kind of furs you could get for your money. Nothing decent looking I should think. I just traded off your old furs today to the china woman. They were full of moth and I did not know what else to do with them. Poor Marty is in great distress to day over a gangrened finger which I think she anticipates will have to be amputated or at last end in a fellen [sic] (5). She really looks quite miserable. We were all at Father's for dinner yesterday at one o'clock and at Mrs. McCormicks (6) at three. Of course we did not have much appetite for the last one. Father's eyes do not seem to be improving. I think the only writing he does is to you and Ham (7), and reads very little, but his spirits seem good. I don't think he has the least intention of going to boarding, and expects to remain where he is. Marty gets along much better than I supposed she would without you. She and Nancy (8) have disagreements sometimes but I think manage pretty well. Hermy (9) and Harry (10) both have dreadful colds at present, and poor Harm is very much troubled with that rash which is worse than ever. Cousin Sue Hoangler (11) is to be here in the morning at six o'clock on her way from Pittsburg where she has been for five weeks. Mary kerr (12) and Ranchel Pollock )13) were invited to the hop tonight at the Jones House and both are anxious to go. Their young gentlemen both intend to discard them if they do. The Butterworths (14) are boarding at Aunt Lizzie's (15) and the McConkey's (16) are going to Milwaukie [sic] to live. I suppose you have heard of the skating club. They are enclosing the pond and putting up a house for the accommodation of the skaters, and making a dam, and I don't know what else. They have raised about four hundred dollars to pay expenses, intend keeping a man and so on. Laura Brown (16) called to see me and tell us about you.

Your affectinate sister,
Mary McCormick

1. Herman Alricks (Alricks Family Genealogy, p. 83)
2. Rosanna Boyd Hamilton, married to Hugh Hamilton and mother of A. Boyd Hamilton. Hugh Hamilton was the brother of Martha Hamilton, the mother of Herman and Hamilton Alricks. (Hamilton Genealogy Chart)
3. Martha Alricks (Alricks Family Genealogy, p. 83)
4. May be the daughter of Catherine Spangler, widow of Jacob Spangler, W. Market and Center Square, York, Pennsylvania or the daughter of John Hamilton and Margaret Alexander (Hamilton Genealogy Chart)
5. A felon is an acute inflammation of the cuticle; the nail of the finger ruptures leading to a stumpy scar.
6. James McCormick's mother, Eliza Buehler McCormick. (Cameron/ McCormick Genealogy Chart)
7. Hamilton Alricks (Alricks Family Genealogy, p. 83)
8. Nancy was Herman Alrick's housekeeper. (Family letters from Manuscript #MG466)
9. Hermy and Harry were the infant sons of Mary and James McCormick. (Cameron/McCormick Genealogy Chart)
10. Cousin Sue Hoangler is thought to be the granddaughter of Martha Cummins Kerr and Dr. Edwin L. Orth (Kerr/Wilson Genealogy Chart) of N. Front and Cranberry Alley. (Harrisburg Business Directory 1863, p. 195)
11. May be the daughter of William M. Kerr, brother of Mary Elder Kerr, who lived at Front and Chestnut or it may be the daughter of J. Wallace Kerr, another brother of Mary Elder Kerr. I personally feel that it is Mary Kerr, daughter of J. Wallace Kerr, who would eventually marry Edwin Hickok. (Kerr/Wilson Genealogy Chart) Family letters reveal Mary Kerr, Ellie Forster, and Rachel Pollock as best girlfriends of Clara Alricks. (Manuscript #MG466)
12. Thought to be Rachel Pollock, daughter of Ephraim M. Pollock, bookseller/maker, of 9 Market Square. ( Harrisburg Business Directory 1863, p. 198)
13. The Butterworths may be the family of Benjamin Butterworth of 23 S. Second Street. (Harrisburg Business Directory 1863, p. 140)
14. May be Elizabeth Hummel Kerr, wife of William M. Kerr, the brother of Mary Kerr Alricks, or Elizabeth Harris Kerr wife of J. Wallace Kerr, another brother of Mary Kerr Alricks. (Kerr/Wilson Genealogy Chart)
15. Thought to be Eldrige McConkey of Battalion G, 43rd Regiment, 1st Artillery. (Bate's History of Pennsylvania Volunteers 1861-65, p. 1995)
16. Laura Brown not identified.


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