With Mabel on tour, Bell feels ‘so misplaced’


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In our world of digital and digital communications, one wonders what proof of our day-to-day lives will exist for our descendants within the subsequent century. Trendy expertise has given us the power to be in nearly fixed contact with each other. However, will our emails and texts nonetheless exist 100 years from now? For many years, letter writing was typically an on a regular basis prevalence for most individuals. Retaining in contact meant sitting down with pen and paper. Receiving a letter was typically an thrilling occasion, particularly from somebody miles away. And, for a lot of, together with Alexander Graham Bell and his household, these letters have been one thing to be stored, not merely discarded as soon as learn. The Bells have been profuse writers and consequently, their story could be instructed right this moment by way of hundreds of letters.

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Born in Scotland in 1847, Alexander Graham Bell lived a novel life. Influenced by his father, Melville, a professor of elocution, and his deaf mom, Eliza; the lack of his brothers, Melville and Edward, to Consumption; and marriage to his deaf pupil, Mabel Hubbard, Bell left a legacy to the world that few might think about dwelling with out. How this got here to move is finest revealed by way of the letters between these people. Right here, we current these letters to you.

With Mabel en path to San Francisco, Alec wrote from Cambridge, Mass., giving his views on the election in the US and the situation of Mabel’s cousin, Willie. This being Mabel’s first time away from Alec since their engagement, he most actually missed her dreadfully.

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Boston Mass
Nov. ninth, 1876

My expensive little woman

I ponder the place you are actually – rushing away over the prairies of the nice west or comfortably having fun with your self in some Chicago resort?

I’ve been following you in my ideas over the route with which I’m acquainted however now I suppose you’re on terra incognita – at the least as far as I’m involved.

Your postal card from Rochester acquired this morning was most welcome. I’ve been in fixed dread of listening to that your practice had damaged down, or that your engine had blown up, or that Hayes had been elected, or that another horrible factor had occurred – however now suspense is at an finish! Nothing however excellent news is at hand – your practice is secure and Tilden is reported elected! Oh! I forgot! Democratic heresies should not journey by publish into your fingers – and I have to face about fairly shortly if I’m to stay in your good graces.

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Nicely I could as effectively be trustworthy whereas I’m about it and confess that I’m just a little bit sorry for the outcomes of the election as far as reported – and would fairly have had Hayes win than not. Nonetheless I don’t suppose that the nation will go to “wrack & damage” on account of the election – that “Commerce will probably be stopped” – “overseas credit score annihilated” – or “slavery re-established”.

I anticipate issues will go just about as they did earlier than – with maybe just a little grain of enchancment within the matter of corruption – at the least allow us to hope so.

The entire metropolis is aroused and anxious in regards to the elections. It’s tough to make our means by way of Washington St. – on account of the crowds awaiting information.

The newest accounts appear to point conclusively that Tilden has the election – though all kinds of untamed rumours are flying about in favour of Hayes. The entire Republican horizon is considerably “hazy” – and when the fog lifts I’m afraid we will discover ourselves at sea.

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Our experiment between Boston & Cambridge final evening was a failure as the person in Boston had made some mistake in our connections. He had switched on my wire to San Francisco or another equally distant place – at the least there was not connection between it and the observatory.

After making an attempt to determine communication for half-an-hour via the extraordinary devices on the road – we gave up in despair with out making an attempt our personal in any respect. Mr. Watson is to name on the Electrician’s tomorrow to establish the reason for the dearth of communication.

We’re to make one other experiment tomorrow night.

The place do you suppose I’m writing from? I’ve dated my letter from Boston from behavior – however right here I’m in quarantine – in Cambridge – in Harvard-College – Scarlet-Fever-Hospital – spending the evening with Willie. Willie is significantly better now and expects to be out in a couple of days when he can pay a go to to Miss Blatchford along with his mom. I hear that Miss Blatchford has a scolding in retailer for me as I uncared for to tell her of the time of your departure in order that she may need been on the depot to see you off. Willie calls out to me to ship his like to you and Gertrude – and Mrs. Hjortsberg wishes to ship hers additionally.

I really feel so misplaced with out you or Gertrude or your mom. I believe it by no means unlikely that I could discover my means out to Bradford once more tomorrow evening as a substitute of telegraphing to Cambridge – as I do wish to see your mom once more. I shall in any respect occasions spend Sunday in Bradford.

Please give my finest like to Gertrude & to your father – and settle for ever a lot darling for your self from

Your ever loving

Miss Mabel G. Hubbard
San Francisco.

The Bell Letters are annotated by Brian Wooden, curator, Bell Homestead Nationwide Historic Website.

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