Publication: Written by Joseph Glaspey 1870, Marshall County, Iowa
Interesting Marshall County, Iowa, letter written by Iowa farmer Joseph Holliday Glaspey (1819-1900) and with a fourth page letter written by Jennie Glaspey (1857-1927) his 13-year old daughter. Autograph Letter Signed by Iowa farmer, Joseph Glaspey, writing about the Women’s Rights Movement in Iowa, his corn fields, prices for agricultural produce, joking about his wife's weight and quoting his son's "Scalawagerous" poem about spanking. Also contains a single page letter written from 13-year old daughter Jennie Glaspey (1857-1927) who is writing about school, farm work and growing sweet potatoes. An interesting humorous lengthy letter giving insight into the life of an Iowa farmer in the second half of the 19th century. Joseph Holliday Glaspey was a major landowner and farmer in Marshall County (Iowa), residing there since 1861; his farm measured 120 acres and was valued at $3000. Glaspey's brief biography was published among others in the "Directory of Marshall County" (see: The History of Marshall County, Iowa… Chicago, 1878, p. 674; the biographical information is taken from there). In this letter addressed to his sisters, Glaspey discusses his farm and family affairs, talks about his wife Mary Glaspey (b. 1820), and teenage son Ward P. Glaspey (b. 1856). Very interesting are his remarks about the women suffrage movement in Iowa, which he calls a "foolish enterprise" and describes arguments about it with his teenage daughter Lucy B. Glaspey (b. 1854) who "chiefly for the sake of being on the contrary side, pretends to approve of the enterprise…" (see more details in the letter's excerpts below). Joseph Glaspey’s letter is supplemented by a shorter letter written by his younger daughter Jennie, then still a schoolgirl of thirteen years old. Overall an interesting original letter related to the history of women’s rights in the 19th-century American Midwest. Letter In Full Without Grammar and Spelling Corrections Follows. Marshall County, Iowa June 4th, AD 1870 Mrs. Sarah G. ____, & Emma M Glaspey Dear Sisters Not knowing Exactly whose hands this may fall into first I will dedicate it to you both. Sarah is decidedly the most reliable as A correspondent and I must try to keep on good terms with her for I clearly Prize A good letter and I receive So many afsurances of good will from Emma that I ought not to be indifferent to her I do hope however She will finish up that Letter and Send it on Sun I shall Send with this A mortgage an the family ____ to Secure to you the payment of A Sum of money Named therein. Also, A Note of hand for 50 dollars, I received of Ephraim the first of June A Draft for $99 34/100 as A balance due me from mothers Estate I have twice to you Signified my wish that the matter be turned over to you but very unexpectedly to myself it came and I infer from that fact that you approved of its coming. I do not particularly Need it but I have applied 40 dollars on A Note that would be due in October & Stoped that much interest and have got A little to keep for an Emergency If there is any misunderstanding, about the matter & you need the money Sooner than I have made the Note to Come due Let me know and I will return it to you after harvest I have made the Note to accommodate my Own convenience, but Still I will try to Suit your wishes I am now A little more hurried than usual as corn tending is now in full Operation. I am going through my Corn the Second time my corn looks very well but One Piece of it Looks Rather unpromising at a distance I planted it On Stalk ground without So much as cutting the Stalks and did not Even get time to harrow the Stalks down as I Expected to do. So when I came to plow my Corn I had decidedly a hard Show A heavy Stand of Dead Stalks and A very abundant undergrowth of weeds and grafs Enough to make A Jerseyman Ashamed to be caught in Such A Scrap. But Necefsity knows no rules of Sincerity I shall doubtlefs get A good crop of corn So it need not matter about things all being done by rule. I Shall have to give you A Specimen of my Boy Wards Poetry or rather it is it very prety Sunday School piece that he has presented to his other scalawagerous notions. I want to Spank My Mother. She Spanked me long ago. There is on Earth no Other That Ever Spanked me So. Mary was in town A few weeks Since and Some of her friends tried to get her on the big Scales to weigh her but She would not do that but did get on A Smaller Scale and was weighed. She does not allow me to tell her weight and I Shall not do it but if the Scales had not had A weighting capacity of Over 205 pounds they would not have told her weight. Speaking of Scales reminds me of One of my adventures the last time I went to mill Some boys were Experimenting how much they could pull down on Scales by Setting on the Scale and taking hold under them & pulling down they were anxious for me to Show my Strength & to gratify them I made A demonstration A very little Experiment Satisfied me that there was Strength Enough in my arms to lift a weight of 300 pounds this might have flattered me A little at the time but after A few minutes the thought began to down on my mind that perhaps my arms might be Stronger than my Back when my grist was put in to the wagon I had it So arranged as to have A Bag to my back as I rode home. At home I found an Excuse which I thought justified me in asking a Neighbor to carry my flour into the house I then concluded to do up A few little Jobs about the house for A few days instead of Some Jobs that required Some Back Bone. The female woman of the Strong Minded Persuasion are now having A great time holding conventions to Secure to themselves the right to vote the Matter comes before the People this fall and I am afraid the foolish Enterprise will Succeed. I hope the people of N Jersey will keep their heads Straight on that Point. Lucy, Chiefly for the Sake of being, on the Contrary Side Pretends to approve of the Enterprise She quotes with apparent approval the Statements of Susan B. Anthony, that her Tomb Shall bear the name of Susan B. Anthony and Not Susan B. Wife or Widow for Some fool or Brute of A man I have not herd anything from any of the ____ fraternity in the west for months. Things begin to look more prosperous here wheat is now worth 75 and 80 cents per bushel Corn 50 and Potatoes $1.00. Crops of all kinds are all looking very well wheat will be thin on account of the Seed being bad when any of you get your minds up to the Sticking Point to make us A visit Let us know So that we can have the Cats fat. The female Persuasion are now about to have A new rag carpet to receive and Entertain their Company On But for fear of Exhausting you Patience as I have my ideas I will quit I intended to write Only A half Sheet but by mistake I wrote on One side of both half Sheets and not Liking to Send you two Blank pages I have filled another page with trash. Please write Soon your Brother, Joseph H. Glaspey. LETTER ON 4TH PAGE Dear Aunt Sarah. Received a letter from you a short time ago and was Very glad to hear from you. It rained some today but is clearing up now we have a sunday school at our school house and preaching every other sunday. We only have three months school this summer the school is only one third out You said you had 400 chickens & I think that is a good many. You wanted to know if it did not make my hedache to drop corn it does some time but not very often father got a few sweet potatoes and planted them they are some of them coming up we have never had any since we came to marshall County & had just as leave have irish potatoes but mother had not. I would be glad if you Could come out here this summer and stay a long while if Aunt Emma comes out here dont you think you will come out with her tell aunt Emma that I would like to hear from her very much indeed and that she owes me a letter no more at present from Jennie. Dear Cousin lucy I thought I would write you a few lines I was glad to hear from you. You said you was going to write to Cousin Bell I would like to hear from her I dont know whether I owe her a letter or not I get to school this summer and I like my teacher Ward does not go this summer he has to stay at home and work is your school out yet I wish you was out here to go to school with me no more at present write Soon. from your Cousin Jennie Glaspey.
Inventory Number: 48767