One by One Thy Griefs Shall Meet Thee: 1884–1885
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114 r Genie is very sick. Her medical treatments include blisters on her chest, which leave her with oozing wounds. Lulu sends her bandage linens and gloves from Washington. Genie’s cousin, Annie Purvis, leaves Washington in August to return to Philadelphia to care for her sick mother and for her grandmother Charlotte Vandine (Forten). Both die before the end of the year. Genie’s unmarried aunt dies at the end of August, and Lulu assumes the responsibility of notifying Genie’s other aunt in Washington. Genie’s cousin, Charlotte Forten (Grimké)—almost always ill with debilitating migraines—makes plans to move to Florida, and Lulu suggests that Genie accompany them. Lulu is holding down both her Howard teaching job and the canning business in an effort to save enough money to rent a little house for herself and her mother. Adding to Lulu’s burden, family friend Bailey Willis (1857–1949) and his wife ask to board with the Jacobses in the fall. “Bound by many ties,” the Jacobses feel they cannot say no. By the end of 1885, Willie Chew and former U.S. senator Joseph Rainey have become coal business partners and are boarding with the Jacobses. [From Louisa. Postmarked “Jan 6, 1884”; addressed to “Ferry Road above Vanhook St., Camden, NJ.” Enclosed in the following letter was a small piece of paper. On one side, it reads, “Genie this letter looks crazy. What you cannot read make into something complimentary to your dear self.” On the other side “Louisa M. Jacobs. / Howard University / Washington, D.C.”] Washington Jan. 5, 1883 [1884] My dear Genie I am sure you have looked for a line from me before this, and I intended dear child to have sent it sooner, but I know you will readily pardon me under One by One Thy Griefs Shall Meet Thee 1884–1885 One by One Thy Griefs Shall Meet Thee: 1884–1885 115 the circumstances. Well Mother and I did not meet until last Wednesday morning. On Tuesday I went to meet her but found she had not come. On Wednesday morning I went to a friends house where we have sometimes boarded, to see if she had been heard from. I found she had arrived late the night before and had gone out to telegraph to me, to learn why I had not met her. It seems she sent me two postal cards, one on Saturday the other on Monday, also a dispatch stating she would pass through Philadelphia Tuesday morning. As you know none of them had arrived when I left the city. In the meantime I was most anxious, anxious to know what detained her and also to get ready for the work. We are not settled yet. The weather is very cold, and the condition makes it so much more difficult to put things in good running order. I shall not be able to begin the sewing before Wednesday. We have been given very pleasant rooms. We have been obliged to remove our furniture which was stored in another building from the rooms first assigned us. I think we shall be very comfortable when we get to rights. I have been going back and forth each day to the University.1 On Monday we shall be so settled as to remain altogether. I wish dear you might be allowed to peep in upon us. Some day you will come Genie. Your precious flowers continue fresh and to speak of your dear loving kindness. I have not yet seen Lottie, in fact none of my friends. I suppose Fitzwater Street ended the holidays as merrily as they were begun. This is only a line Genie that you must know I am in the land of the living. I trust you continue to improve. Do all you can for yourself in the way of care taking. I want to know of you as a well woman, and a happy one too as far as possible. Give my love to the sisters. Write soon. Direct to Howard University. God bless you. Lovingly Lulu r [From Annie Purvis. Written along the right side “Annie Purvis.”] “Office Recorder of Deeds”2 August 3rd 1884 Wash’n D.C. My dear Genie, I fully intended my next or rather that this letter, should have been written from Phila, but I will change the old adage, and say that “Woman proposes and man disposes”3 and it will apply to my case. I thought to...



Subject Headings

  • Jacobs, Louisa Matilda, 1833-1917 -- Correspondence.
  • Purvis, Annie (Harriet Ann), 1848-1917 -- Correspondence.
  • Webb, Eugenie, 1856-1919 -- Correspondence.
  • African American women -- Correspondence.
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