1889 ORIGINAL HANDWRITTEN LETTER FROM A RECENT TRANSPLANT TO SELMA, ALABAMA, A CIVIL ENGINEER AND SURVEYOR WHO DETAILS HIS NEW LIFE IN THE DEEP SOUTH AND THE KINDNESS OF HIS NEW NEIGHBORS9105
On offer are four lovely pages of heartfelt thank you from George H. Clark, a recent transplant to the Selma, Alabama area, to Richard Smith, a lawyer and friend, dated January 15, 1889. In gorgeous handwriting and flowery language, Mr. Clark thanks Mr. Smith for “the generosity and heartyness of the assistance rendered me in my difficulties here,” and for his “expressed sympathy for my ventures and belief in its success.” “There are already plenty of poor Engineers in the state,” Mr. Clark states, “and the success of a newcomer will depend on his living mark of a totally better character.” In his new position in Selma, George talks about the kindness of his new neighbors (“the business men of Selma have shown themselves exceedingly friendly and have given me valuable assistance.”), his new surroundings (“I have already gotten a Park to lay out with...Title to the property is not yet acquired but if negotiations succeed I shall go about it at once...), and the politics of Selma (“I am deeply interested in in the Northern misconceptions of Southern sentiment and Southern political method as far at least as its true purpose and results are concerning. Were I a resident here I could be nothing but a solid Southern Democrat as things now are.) Finally he speaks to his friend of recent engineering news from back up north. He speaks of the contract of the “Buffalo and Williamsville R.R. is let to Pearson McIntyre and Company. So this is what our Cahaba Valley friends have been doing these past months.” The letter ends with pleasantries to Mr. Smith and his family, “with most sincere thanks for your kindness in helping me at this time and for your hearty sympathy and confidence I am Yours Respectfully, George H. Clark.” The letter is 4 pages long, unbound but numbered at the top. It is written on stationery that reads, “George H. Clark, C.E., Civil Engineer and Surveyor” at the top and shows his office to at the “Baker Building, Opposite Board of Trade Room, Selma, Alabama.” The handwriting is easy to read and legible throughout, showing almost no fading. The pages themselves show very little wear from age or use, especially on the written sides of the pages. Slight discoloration around the creases on the blank back of the pages. This is a unique and very interesting document, and would make an excellent addition to rounding out a collection dealing with engineering and surveyor in the Deep South, or the history of Selma, Alabama.
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