18 December 1878, Letter from Johann Peter Frautschi to his brother Christian Frautschi

University of Wisconsin-Madison. Max Kade Institute. Frautschi Letters (MKI/Frautschi3/JP1878E)

Electronic version: http://frautschi-letters.mki.wisc.edu/let/JP1878/JohannPeter1878.html

Elisabeth, December 18, 1878

Dear Brother,

We did receive your letter of November 28, in which you notified us of the death of your little child. As much as the loss of small children pains the parents, such children nevertheless have a great privilege, for they are delivered from the danger and toil of all mortal life and instead can be where suffering and crying are no more, only bliss.

Diphtheria is a disease that leaves whomever has had it at one time with some hypersensitivity and it returns easily. My wife also had it as a girl, and since then she has often had the beginnings of it again, but she has always suppressed it with __________ and Carmelite water, and she must often keep her throat and ears covered up, particularly in the colder seasons. Here in America she made herself a gargle of vinegar, _________, salt and saltpeter and also another type of medicine which we cannot obtain now. Now she takes only sulfur, burns it over coals or a hot oven and lets the smoky vapor enter her mouth, as much as she can stand, several times a day.

But this year we are especially obliged to thank God, for we all miraculously enjoy relatively good health. On May 6, 1870 our oldest son was born and baptized Albert, Elise on June 12, 1871 and Herman on February 18, 1875.

Our harvest was a blessed one this year although the grain prices up here are not high. We had a fertile year and much rain, so that the crops lay on the ground too early in some parts of Minnesota. And shortly before the harvest there was a terrible head wave which ripened the grain too fast, so that some people had a very poor harvest despite their effort and work. Up here in the high hills the crops where fairly good.

This fall I also bought 108 acres of land for $600. It is all prairie, with no undergrowth. 25 acres on it are beautiful plowed land, and little stony hills and also much land for hay, but also swamps (but they can be dug out), all mixed up together. For the time being I will use it only as grazing pasture and for growing hay. However, there are another 40 acres between my land and the land I just purchased, which I could buy too, but I do not like it and so I only bought a piece of it four rods wide.

Warm greetings and New Year's wishes from me and my family,

Jo Peter Frautschi