Friday, March 18, 2011

An old-fashioned Proposal

In going through more of the photographs and paperwork from my Mom & Dad's house (they've moved into a lovely new retirement community, but had to downsize considerably), I made this beautiful discovery today.  It's the letter written by my grandfather to his prospective mother-in-law in 1917, asking for my grandmother's hand in marriage.

I was so touched by the old-fashioned sensibility of asking for a daughter's hand in marriage ... but upon closer inspection, it is clear that he is stating their intention to be married ... that same month ... and is basically just going through the formality of asking for her mother's consent.  His sentiments are obviously sincere and sweet, though, and I feel so lucky to have found this treasure.  I don't even think my mother remembered having it; at least I never heard her mention it, and I know I had never seen it before.

I even love the discolored and deteriorated condition of the pages!  Thank goodness for scanners and Photoshop, which allow us to preserve such ephemera even as they are slowly disintegrating.  I would urge anyone who has such treasures in their own family to do it now ... preserve copies in whatever way you can ... these precious memories won't last forever.


  1. Linda, this is a touching family treasure!! I have my great grandmother's autograph book, and my great grandfather had written in it --- before they had even dated. It is one of my treasures!

  2. Karen, being the "family historian", it is always exciting to find something so special. I'm glad you have safeguarded something equally as valuable, and I hope others will take the trouble to preserve their own family treasures.

  3. My mom has been gifting me with the family papers recently...I have all ikinds of odd things like a letter from my uncle to my grandmother when they thought dad had been killed in Korea, the receipt for my great great grandfathers funeral in 26 or so and my great grandmothers ripped up wedding certificate...she was divorced in 1904 or so...but someone saved the pieces!

  4. Maggie, you have a whole treasury! Luckily someone before you had the foresight to keep such meaningful documents, and to pass them on to your Mom and then you, who understand the value of them.

  5. What a treasure, Linda. Thank you for sharing with us. I'm sure this will appear in some form in your work!


  6. Wow, this is fabulous, Linda!
    I can hardly wait to see how you create with it (or should that be "what" you create with it?).

  7. that is quite a wonderful find!

  8. Karen;
    This letter really touched my heart too! I am a hopeless romantic and love that men used to be so proper in asking the parents permission. It is a lost art on todays generation. What a beautiful treasure you have here!
    Thanks for sharing.
    Welcome to the artist blog hop. If you have any questions please email me.
    Thank you
    Kelly Watts

  9. I just realized I called you Karen, sorry about that Linda! I think I was reading one of the comments when I did that. DUH!

  10. Thanks so much, Cathy, TC, and Kelly. I almost felt funny about sharing such a personal letter on-line, but the people are long gone, and it was too wonderful to keep all to myself.

  11. Linda - this is so wonderful! Now I really want to find where I put my father's letter to Santa that he wrote when he was 7 years old! I found it in his things after he passed, 1994, he was 74 then. Thanks for sharing!
    Carol - Frogg Falls Railroad Quilting Studio, NJ


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