Letter from Genie Hathaway to Frank, February 23, 1880

In the first part of her February 23, 1880 letter to Frank, Genie Hathaway rapturously describes the luxuries of riding in a Pullman car on the way to Chicago. She mentions several of her fellow passengers, one of whom is female world traveler. The second part of her letter describes the vulgarity of the passengers traveling with her in a "common car". Part of the letter is damaged.

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Dear Frank,

We are on the prairie of Ill, have something new to look at every minute, a waiter to do our bidding, a table to eat from and write on, plenty of company, and looking glass between the windows, brussles carpeting on the floors and every thing lovely. We are just as quiet as if we were home and are having a good deal pleasanter time. We are in a Pullman sleeping car and it is nicer than the other even. I shall never want to travel second class again. A man is to occupy the upper berth, although we don't know which man it is yet. We enjoyed ourselves on the

We have had a chance to see a Nebraska wind but it has died down now. I am hoping to have a good time running out of doors. I am glad I have not got Jimmie Burke to deal with and wish Annie was as well off.

Yours truly,


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way to Chicago very much. The little girls that sat back of us had travelled with the father all the time for six years. They gave us some sardines and we returned the compliment with pickles. There was one lady aboard who in the last five years has been to Europe twice and to California seven times making fourteen trips on the Pacific road. She lives near Thousand Islands. When we reached Chicago the porter took the bag and we started for the waiting room on the way a gentleman stepped up, raised his hat, held out his hand and asked if this was Mrs. Hathaway. After inquiring about the length of time we were to remain in the City and regretting that our stay was to be no longer, he left us to

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eat lunch while he went to open his safe at the office and set his clerks to work. When he came back he brought me a basket of grapes, oranges and bananas and a box of the nicest french mixed candy - chocolates, caramels, nut candies and I don't know what else.

He is boarding now, though he spends his summers at his home up the river thirty miles. We talked awhile, and then he put us aboard the car, gave us the morning papers, told the porter to look out for us, gave us a very cordial invitation to return by way of Chicago and spend a few days, and then he left us and we started. I believe every berth, upper and lower in

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the car is taken. One man has just composed himself for a nap, four more are playing cards.Shenandoah, Miss

We are finally started on our last fifty miles in a common car and it smells for all the world like Annie's school only ten times worse. The men swear a perfect blue streak and all the women have babies and some as many as four. I have seen one log house and a prairie fire.Nebraska City.

We have arrived here all right and are staying with Mr. Reid who looks for all the world like Mr. Fairall. Uncle S. is coming for us this afternoon. The doctor and Mamma have been talking over the sickness. I have been dizzy ever since I came off of the train but feel a little better now. The people are very kind and have done everything they could for us, gave us a breakfast, dinner forthcoming and an invitation to a ball & banquet. Of course I always go to such places. You had better keep this for I want to see it when I come home.

About this Document

  • Source: Letter from Genie Hathaway to Frank
  • Extent: 4 pages
  • Citation: Nebraska State Historical Society, Sim Family, RG3435, Box 1, Folder 1
  • Date: February 23, 1880