Monday, October 16, 2006

Lives in Letters - Postcard to a Sanitorium

Bordentown Banking Co., Bordentown, NJ

February 11, 1932

Addressed to Mrs. Jean S------ at Christ Sanitorium in Midland Park, New Jersey

Dear Mrs. S------,
hope you are well.
Please excuse me for not
seeing you before I left,
but I was in such great
hurry when Miss C----
came for me so I forgot
everything. I am so happy
to be home with my dear
family they sure need
me. I often think of you
all over there, but I will
never forget all you did
for me dear friend. May God
bless you and give you
happiness in the future.
Please give my love
to Dorothy. I will write to her.
Love from Mrs. R---------

This postcard was written by a woman (Mrs. R) who had just suddenly left a sanitorium. I looked up the history of the hospital where she was staying -- it was a mental hospital for those who could not afford to pay.

I'm guessing then, that the addressee (Mrs. S) was a medical professional at the sanitorium.

Mrs. R mentions how much her family needs her at home. Given the times, this is probably very true. Here's a photo essay that will help describe the times.

I wonder why Mrs. R left the hospital so suddenly. Was she released, recovered? Was she needed so badly at home? Or was she just so happy to be getting out that she didn't want to stop for anything?

I cleaned up the spelling errors but the spelling was pretty bad. Here are two examples:
Please excause me for not seing you...
Me God bless you and give you happenes...

I mention this because I wonder if Mrs. R was undereducated for her time, or about average. When released the 1930 census records for a free viewing I spent some time looking for my relatives. The census forms were fascinating, especially with regards to how many children were out of school and how many were working as early as 12 years old.

No comments: