Carrie V. McKnew Day Cramblitt Letter

It is a mystery to me that a small bunch of documents remain together through who-knows-what-all turbulence and upheaval to be found by me in an antique store. I mean, I know how it happens, technically: someone dies; someone wants to dispose of unwanted possessions; someone performs the service of removing that stuff; someone tries to make a buck buy selling it to me. The mystery is that of all the documents associated with a life, these few somehow come through. Whatever fates made it possible, I’m glad to have spent a few hours looking back at Carrie’s world 83 years ago.

When Mrs. Carrie V. McKnew Day Cramblitt (1866-1937) wrote her step-daughter, Mrs Hilda May Cramblitt Klages (1896-1970) on 25 August 1933 it was a little over three months after the death of her husband and Hilda’s father, Arthur T. Cramblitt (1861-1933) and two days after a horrific hurricane struck the Maryland and Virginia coasts.

Letter 1

Leonard Walton Cramblitt (1884-1942) and Walter Dewitt Cramblitt (1888-1948) were Hilda’s brothers. Another brother, here unmentioned, was Robert Moore Cramblitt (1888-1865). Carrie was not the biological mother of these Cramblitt children, having married Arthur T. Cramblitt in 1918. The children’s mother, Molly/Mollie Moore, died in 1899. Arthur, Mollie, and Carrie are buried together in Mount Olivet Cemetery, memorials 34413134, 34413140, and 34413135.

Letter 2

Arthur T. Cramblitt was a carpenter. It is easy to imagine that their house in Cedarhurst on the Bay was filled with “the work of his hands.”

Letter 3

Carrie’s description of the storm might seem exaggerated but contemporary descriptions in the Baltimore Sun prove it was quite severe. An editorial on 24 August said, “A wind of violence unequaled in recent memory tore into the beach resorts of Maryland and Virginia and immobilized all water traffic inside the Capes.” A 4 September story reported that MD Governor Ritchie had tasked State Conservation Commissioner Swepson Earle (his obit) to assess the damage. Earle reported hundreds of Chincoteague Island ponies had drowned, leaving only three, and that erosion caused by the storm resulted in the loss of about 1200 acres of land.

I don’t know who Pauline is, probably a neighbor. Shady Side would have been the location of the nearest post office.

Carrie listed her address on the back of the envelope. In the 1930 Census she and Arthur were listed as residents there and her biological son, Milton R. Day, was the head of household.

The other documents in this small batch were associated with Hilda:

  1. A certificate of the marriage of Hilda May Cramblitt to Vernon Charles Klages (1894-1945) on 6 June 1918.
  2. A certificate attesting to Hilda’s confirmation by John G. Murray, Bishop of Maryland.
  3. A couple of letters and documents pertaining to Vernon’s death and burial. Vernon died on 16 August 1945 after the E.H. Koester Baking Company truck he was driving struck a streetcar on Hanover Street in south Baltimore. Hilda tried to sue the E. H. Koester Bakery and the Baltimore Transit Authority for damages. Hilda’s lawyer dropped her case after George Pollar, a passenger on the streetcar, lost his own suit on appeal in 1947 because the court found that Vernon was responsible for the crash.
Carrie V. McKnew Day Cramblitt Letter

Letter: Moul Family of New York

The following letter is one of two I bought on The Avenue in Baltimore at Millbrook Antiques & Prints in October 2015. I did a little genealogical research on the family. Please contact me if you’re interested in further information, or if you would like to own the original letter.

The Moul family was very prominent in Rensselaer County, NY.

The town of Cato Four Corners is now known as Meridian and is located in Cayuga County, NY.

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Here is my transcript of the letter:

[Address on the front]

Mr. Frederick Moul
Cato Four Corners
Cayuga Co., NY

Sand Lake, NY

[Page 1]

January the 1, 1836, Sand Lake

Dear Cousin,

I take this opportunity to write to you that I am well at present and hoping these few lines will find you enjoying the same blessing. I have just left aft working for Mr. Hillard yesterday. Now I am uncle Henry and expected our folks after me but has been so stormy they did not come. I am now going to work about the neighborhood. I should be very much pleased to see you all but if I never see you on earth I hope to meet you in a better world than this.

Eliza Moul
Margaret Moul

Dear Cousins,

It is with much pleasure that I embrace this opportunity of writing a few lines to you on this storm New Years evening, being very comfortably situated in our room and thinking you had forgotten us. We would remind you of what you promised when last we parted. My health with the rest of our cousins is good at present. Hoping these few lines through the goodness of God will find you enjoying the same blessing. Dear cousins, I should be pleased to see you all yet we re at some distance from one another so that we cannot visit as we once did although we can recollect the past enjoyments we have had together, but know not that we shall ever enjoy them again on the shores of time. How important it is that if we meet no more on earth that we be prepared to meet in heaven. My best respects to you all.

Mother sends her best respects to your mother and says she would be pleased to see her. Her health has been very good this summer. Write to us as soon as you can.

Your Affection Friend,

Abigail Moul

[Page 2]

Sand Lake, January the 1 1837
Thomas M. Moul

Dear Uncle,

On this ((snowy)) day being new years day I take this opportunity to inform you that we through the goodness and mercies of god are enjoying tolerable good health which I think is the greatest temporal blessing on earth and hoping these few and broken lines will find you enjoying the same blessing. We have not heard from you since we received your letter. Your mother has been very unwell this last fall so that they sent up word father and uncle Peter and Jacob went down, but she has recovered her health again. Also, ((Mary)) has been sick but has gotten better. I have been down since and grand mother has been very much grieved thinking that you did not come and see her before you removed to the west. Grandma Measick is very sick the last that we heard from her. I suppose that you have heard that Sally is married. Cousin Frederick has bought a farm not far from the lower aqua duct. Father says that you must come down and he will go with you to Rhynebeck [Rhinebeck]. You must write us a letter how the prospects are there and how your crops were last summer and whether you think we had better sell yet or not. Thomas Measick offered us 50 dollars an acre for our farm. Charles and Hannah has been down and stayed with us one night and were all well. The rest of our friends are well as far as I know of. The snow fell about 15 inches on new years day.

I remain your humble servant until death.

Frederick Moul, Cato

Letter: Moul Family of New York