1870s Letter from Annie (Hayden) Hyde (1841-1915), wife of Brig. Gen. Thomas Worcester Hyde (1841-1899), of Bath, Maine, to Ida Gertrude Mansir (1858-1943) of Pittston, Maine. Ida would marry Daniel W. Reed (1853-1925).
Images and transcriptions appear at the end of this post.
The letters are among a collection of letters to and from members and friends of the Mansir family of Pittston, Maine, which also include letters from:
- Ida's mother Martha A. (Murphy) Mansir (1831-1916)
- Ida's sister Ellen A. Mansir (1851-1878), "Nellie" or "Nell" - several letters, very descriptive of what women faced when working for others in the home
- Ida's sister Edith C. Mansir (1861-1929). "Eda", who would marry Harry O. Soper - Eda's letter of February 26, 1878 is an update on Nellie's condition, which appears to be better, although Nellie would die in March of 1878. Nellie added a few lines to the letter. Eda said the doctor said Nellie had "inflammation of the stomach and lungs".
- Ida's friend Amelia G. Torrence (1857-1929), a native of Norridgewock, Maine, who would marry Herman Hartung (1853-1934), a native of Manchester, Maine
- Charles A. Morton at Small Point, Maine, to Ida's brother Wesley E. Mansir (1853-1933)
- 1872 letter from the State of Maine Adjutant General's office acknowledging pension application No. 66 of Martha A. (Murphy) Mansir (1831-1916), based on Civil War service of her deceased husband Charles B. Mansir (1822-1864)
In one of the two letters featured in this post, Annie (Hayden) Hyde was writing to offer the position of "second girl" to Ida Gertrude Mansir, at the same wages as that of a higher paid "cook", the position originally offered. Annie was willing to pay more than usual due to the fact that the "second girl" spent more time with the family, and Ida was well-liked and would fit in. Annie asked Ida not to reveal details to the other employees.
In this same letter, Annie mentions that two of her children have been ill: John and "little Arthur". They were John Sedgwick Hyde (1867-1917) and Arthur Sewell Hyde (1875-1920).
In the other letter, Annie mentions that the family has arrived home and is at the hotel, waiting for Ida to arrive, before leaving for "the house".
Annie was the daughter of John Hayden and Martha Ann (Brown) Hayden) of Bath, Maine. In 1866, Annie married Thomas Worcester Hyde (1841-1899), a Brigadier General in the Civil War, who received the Medal of Honor for his actions at the Battle of Antietam. He later founded Bath Iron Works, a shipbuilding concern still in operation today, under General Dymanics.
Bath, February 23
I was very glad to get your letter and to know that you certainly intend to come back to us. With regard to your work, I suppose you would like as well to do second girl's work at the same wages, as to cook. Would you not?
Addie gets on very well with the cooking. Mr. Hyde seems to like it very much, so that, as he is willing to have the washing put out, I think we shall get on very well through the summer. With regard to your wages, please keep it a secret between you and me (I do not mind your family at home knowing) but I prefer that no one here should know it, for I cannot afford to give it forever, and of course if it became known, the next second girl I had could expect the same. I am willing to give it to you because I like you so much, and I must have some one who is personally agreeable to me because a second girl is so much with me and the children. I hope you will come as soon as possible. You can't come too soon for me, and I hope to see you the 1st day of March, if possible.
I am quite worn out, for I have had very little sleep the last four or five nights. John has been ill. He is quite well today, however, but little Arthur is sick in bed. He has had a high fever, and a great deal of head-ache. The Dr. thinks he is getting better today. I am too tired now to be writing, but I did not want to delay writing you, because we want you to come as soon as possible. Hoping to hear from you in a day or two that you are coming immediately.
Always your true friend,
Saturday, Aug 30th
We arrived home last Tuesday, and are at the Hotel, patiently awaiting your arrival, which we all hope will be on Thursday next. We shall moe up to the house on that day, feeling sure you will come, as agreed upon. Should anything prevent your coming, please send a dispatch to me in the morning, which of course I will pay for. Hoping you have enjoyed your visit home, and are quite refreshed, I am
Very truly your friend
A. H. Hyde
If you have more information on the Hyde family of Bath, Maine, or the Mansir family of Pittston, Maine, please leave a comment or contact me directly.