Friday, December 26, 2008

letter on canvas

This is another part of my "antique/family heritage" room. I have a copy of a letter that my Great Grandfather wrote to his parents while he was stationed in the Phillipines as an Army Doctor in 1900 during the Philippine–American War.

There's a local scrapbook store that is going out of business so I bought a few canvases from there. I made copies of the letter on yellow paper and then got out my modge podge.

That's the entire letter and the envelope. I have the date and the letterhead blown up on the last small canvas.
This is the actual text of the letter:
Angelus, PI, Dec 17th, 1900

Dear Mother and Father,
I have been looking for a letter from some of you for some time; have received two from Johny in which he stated that Jessie was writing to me - this was in August. I received the letter yesterday it had been misspent to Pikin, China, and therefore did not reach me. I sent you the envelope which shows the stamps of the different mailing stations. I have learned that at the time the 9th Infantry left here for China, I was under orders to join the third Regiment upon the request of quite a number of the Officers, but being in the hospital sick at the time and Gen Grant also requested that I remain here as it would take some time to get anyone to know the business of the office as I did. So, I am still here at the headquarters.

There is a quite a number of changes going on account of the Volunteer Regiments leaving for the States very soon. I am certainly glad they are going home as few of them have done anything here but many of them have been a disgrace to the Army. They want the credit for the work done by the Regulars and have truly earned the credit as deadbeats and especially Hospital beats. -- I have a small house or “Cassa”, as it is called in Spanish, all to myself just opposite the headquarters building and have it fixed it up very comfortably, the present indications are that I will remain at this place for some time on account of being familiar with all the towns and the stations in the district and can speak the native language very well that I have to do considerable interpreting. I have seen circulars issued by the insurgents giving what was or supposed to be Bryans speeches and extracts from letters by Americans which had eluded many of the natives into believing that they would given 40 acres and a mule if Bryan was elected. We heard the election news here about as soon as you did as the Cable Bulletins were sent all over the island to the different Telegraph and Telephone stations. We are having a few hangings of the natives here for Murder and it is having a good moralizing effect on the insurgent bands. Nearly every day some of the insurgents are captured they are being slowly taken and growing fewer in numbers.

I have a small garden connected with my house and would like for you to send me by mail some seeds. Tomato, cucumber, lettuce, celery, peas, beats, cantaloupe, and watermelon. Also some flower seed. Vines such morning glory, medina ___ . I have a watch which I will send to PaPa sometime soon to keep for me. It strikes the hour and the quarter of an hour all you have to do is to press a spring and it strikes the hour the hands on the face represent. Will send it by registered mail.

Will close at this time

You son, Gordon

I received the pictures. Will send you some in a few days.


  1. You have such great ideas. Thanks for sharing the letter with us. I look forward to seeing the whole project finished.

  2. This is SO cool! I wish I had old letters from my family. Thanks for sharing this with us! SO neat!

  3. I really hope you have copies of the originals (letters, pictures, genealogy list, etc) in a safe place so that if, God forbid, your place went up in flames you won't lose all of these treasures.

  4. I don't even own the originals - all I have is copies -but, yes, I have a fire-proof box for the "original copies"

  5. the project looks great, nicole..i'm glad uncle hunny had the letter and got us copies of it. once again, a job well done.