Tuesday, April 12, 2011

1896 Letter of Inquiry

Since you are reading this post online, that may well mean you also have e-mail. And, because you get e-mails, I can almost guess you have received at least one scam-type letter asking for at least $2,000 to be sent somewhere within the United States to help a friend of a friend, or if you provide your name, address, social security, etc., you will receive 2 gazillion (insert coin), or, well, you get my drift.

Well, these are not all that original.

As I have culled through all the research accumulated on Fowlerville, I came across a letter Postmaster Curtis shared with the local editor in 1896. Here is the article and letter:

The following letter was received by Postmaster Curtis one day last week and fully explains itself. If anyone knows the lady they will kindly communicate with Mr. Curtis. We publish the letter verbatim:

Dear Sir:

Did any lady in that town get over a million dollars. If so you know who the lady name is and what her name was before she was maried and her ancesters and what estate did she draw her money from. I am trying to get a fortune if the lady give her generation I could tell that we was any relation.

John Quail,
Merwin, Mo.

The following shows how it was printed in the newspaper, with all of the wonderful misspellings, no punctuation, and very interesting grammar:

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