CAMPBELL COUSINS CORRESPONDENCE
New York City.
June 20, 1923.
COUSINS CORRESPONDENCE COMMENTS"
‑ By The Secretary ‑
Dear Cousins, One and All:-
I am proud of you! I
simply knew you could and would do it. You have just
finished reading as fine a lot of letters between Cousins as
ever were written. What a pity that some of us did not think
out this plan long ago, so that by this time we would have
had enough data to have written a good‑sized volume.
However, better late than never,‑ so let us hope that what
we have started will be continued indefinitely by our
children and children’s children.
Your Secretary has
tried to whip our first letter into as good shape as
possible and I feel very sure that every Cousin receiving
the first report will be very much pleased with it. You have
it in the form of a loose leaf binder. I believe that the
leather binder will hold four reports, which would make one
volume per year,‑ so that you will receive each June a new
As time goes on I
propose that we shall dig rather deeply into the matter of
genealogy. Please, therefore, do not mislay your family
Bible. You may need it to be very sure of the year of your
birth and the date of your marriage. You will note that the
genealogy for the first and second generation so far as
births, marriages, and deaths is concerned is fairly
complete. Of the third generation, however, there were
thirty of us first Cousins and about next March I want to
compile a complete record of these first Cousins, and would
ask that in the meantime you make careful memorandums of
dates so as to be ready to report accurately when asked to
do so. Then after the third generation has been completed,
we must go further on and make a careful compilation
covering the fourth and fifth generations.
As near as I can estimate, there are between sixty‑five and seventy of the second Cousins. Surely out of this fine brainy lot of second Cousins there ought to be some twenty or twenty-five who would be willing to take hold of our Correspondence scheme and thus help to perpetuate it. A few of the names which come to me offhand are as follows:‑ Lena Goodrich, George Buck, Emily Blanchard, Georgia Congdon, Bernice Congdon, Florence Bosard, Ford Owlett, Mabel Shaw, Helen Wilson, Frank Horton, Mary Campbell [that's probably who Will referred to], Edna Wright, Hugh Ellison, Mahlon Crandall, Sam Seely, Mary Snavely, Mary Shewman, Ross VanDeusen [sic], Leah Deats, Mary Hughey,
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Harry Campbell, Clifford Young, Edward Young, Isabelle Hoyt, Treva Hazlett, Joseph Buck, Pearl Wise, Nellie Kimball, Henry Campbell, Ruth Mitchell, and Doris Selph. There are several others that might be mentioned but from the thirty second Cousins just mentioned what a fine library could be worked up out of their reports. Think of it! Some of these thirty are High School graduates, teachers, ministers, musicians, men of affairs, etc., and could very easily carry on the work. Right now I have in mind such ones as Florence Bosard and Mabel Shaw who would be very good representatives of the fourth generation to help perpetuate this work, and act as secretaries.
Just a word about the binder itself. You will notice that it is of genuine leather and with ordinary usage should last a life time. By simply pressing on the thumb pieces at the top and bottom of the book, you will find that the rings fly open. To close the book simply press the top and bottom rings when they will immediately snap together. To make the sheets more firm, we have attached linen eyelets at the top and bottom so that the sheets will last longer. It is suggested that pages be not taken from the folio as they are liable to become soiled, mutilated, or even lost. Additional reports should be filed on top so that your last report will be at the top and not at the bottom. You will also find a little pocket in the binder which could contain your Campbell Cousins Correspondence paper and envelopes, as well as photographs and various memorandums of interest which you will use from time to time in your future reports. You see, I have tried to think the thing out so that it will not be necessary to make changes all the time. You will also notice that the letters have been mimeographed so that each copy has come out exactly the same.
I have tried to picture in my mind that within twelve months, we will have at least a dozen or fifteen of the second Cousins whose names are mentioned above who will be so much interested in our plan that they will become regular contributors to our quarterly report. I have therefore anticipated this pleasure and have had fifty copies of each page mimeographed. However, only twenty‑six complete sets will go out for the present and I shall hold in reserve the twenty‑four additional sets and they may only be obtained upon the positive assurance from our second Cousins that they will cooperate in our plan. Will you please, therefore, as a first Cousin or a representative of the third generation, get in touch with your sons and daughters and explain to them carefully just what we are trying to accomplish and you can assure them in advance that a complete set of Report Number One, as well as the future reports, will be in readiness for them
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just the moment I hear favorably from them? It seems to me that for the sake of our children and grandchildren that this proposition ought to take well and that every one will become deeply interested in it. The thirty second Cousins mentioned above, comprise every single branch of the original twelve children and what a nice thing it would be if these second Cousins could carry on the work!
Another word as to photographs. I have suggested that you take the trouble to have some snapshots taken of yourself and family during the coming summer season and to have at least thirty prints made from each film and send them to me so that I will receive same by September 10th. To give you an idea of what I had in mind, I have pasted on the last page a photograph of my own family. How nice it will be later on to peruse our next report which will be out about October 1st and to look at the photographs of so many relatives, many of whom we have never seen. May I suggest that you preserve the films of all these photographs as it is quite likely that additional copies may be needed before one year has passed. Write full details on back of all photographs.
I am sure the second report will come much easier for some of you as you will have so many nice things to tell us. It is after all only a matter of habit to become a real good letter writer and the more you do it the more proficient you will all become.
Of the total of twenty‑six first‑cousin families to be represented, I am very happy to report that twenty‑three, have responded in time for Report Number One. As a matter of fact, Osceola and Nelson with nine reports stands 100%. In fact, Tioga County with a total of fourteen reports is absolutely complete with the exception of Cousin Laura Maurie, who is in very poor health and our hearts go out for her. The only other reports that we had hoped to have in time for this report are from Cousins Charlie Congdon and Grace Buck Carey. In the case of Charlie Congdon, I understand he is in California and I fear that my mail to him is still at his hotel in Near York. However, I am sure the Cousins not reporting this time will have a real good letter for us for our September 15th report. To take the place of the few reports which did not come to hand in time to be included in this report, I have included some preliminary letters, approving of our Correspondence scheme, which were so very nice and interesting that I wanted you to have them. These preliminary letters are from Cousins Kate C. Horton, M. B. Seely, Jud Seely, Tommy Campbell, Florence Bosard and Stella Wilbur,‑ and I know you will enjoy reading them as they are full of suggestions.
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My good wife, Edith, has promised to write an original poem to appear in one of our later reports. After she has visited up in Tioga County this summer, she will have gained more inspiration for a good poem. She has become quite interested in the "Campbell Cousins Correspondence" proposition and is now thinking of enlisting the co‑operation of L. B. Shaw and a few others and starting an "In‑Laws‑Bureau". This is not a bad scheme. In fact, most anything which will wake us up and keep us closer together will be heartily welcomed.
We shall, of course, expect a fine poem from Mabel Shaw later on, and possibly some of our other Cousins who are gifted along poetic lines, will be willing to help.
Let us one and all take a personal pride in our Correspondence and be ready to suggest. anything which will be unique and interesting.
We hope Cousin Stella will come back from Elmira all mended up and able to resume her tasks. Cousin Stella is a jewel and we all know the burdens she has had to bear for many years.
For Cousin Herbert Hughey’s wife, and Cousin Carrie Campbell, Cousin Mary Shipman and Cousin Emma Buck, we extend our heartfelt sympathies. From all their letters, you will note that their faith is very well grounded and we know that they all have the necessary strength to bear up under their burdens.
It is very gratifying to note that for the most part all of the Cousins and their families are enjoying good health. There are but few exceptions to this rule and we sincerely hope that you may all pass a very pleasant summer, free from sickness or cares of any kind.
The "Campbell Cousins Correspondence" is sent to you with the compliments of the Secretary and is coupled with the hope that each one of you will enjoy to the fullest extent what has been prepared for you. I do not mind saying that it has taken considerable time and thought. I have always enjoyed tackling hard propositions and solving them.
A number of Cousins have been insisting on sharing in the expense. After our Correspondence has been going for one year and your Volume Number One has by that time been completed, I may
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decide to let you in on the expense, but let us wait and see how the thing works out. In any event, the actual cost for each one would be very slight.
Our Number One Report, including pages of contents makes just fifty sheets. This is indeed a fine‑start.
I am, of course, anxious to know that your copy of the Correspondence reaches you in good condition and wish you would be good enough to drop me a line, letting me know just how the book arrives.
With much love to you all and hoping to see more of the Tioga County folks between July 15th and July 25th, I am,
Yours very truly,
COUSIN WILLIAM SELPH
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(Julia Campbell Family)