Collection: Geschwind Papers
Author: Leopold Haase [of Reval]
Description: These pages represent a fragment of a longer letter sent from Leopold Haase in Reval to his cousin Charles Haase in Richmond.
... Krollik(?) or Muskrat, either genuine or in various imitations, are very popular. We also have to stock cheap goods. Karakul, the China as well as the Persian ware, have gotten much more expensive this year. I buy all my men's hats ready made in Petersburg or Moscow. I also buy the cheaper ladies' items ready-made, as we can't make them ourselves for the price you can get them for. But we make all the better pieces, repairs and the like ourselves. We don't make Jackets, fur coats and such.- We don't venture beyond caps, collars, boas and muffs.- I just recently bought 6 bundles (60 pieces) of cheap & better Persian skins. We don't need the best and most expensive China skins for our purposes. I don't go over 10-12 Rubles in buying (10 Rubles are about 19 Marks). I do buy Xall-Xall [?] at 5 Rubles and up. Poor quality goods for 4 Rubles per skin (40 Rubles per bundle). Karakul has become about 15% more expensive than last year, better quality even more! [written sideways in margin] Devil take it, things are beginning to get uneasy again. They're expecting rebellious agitation again. Yesterday large numbers of mounted Cossacks again rode through the streets here. [new page] I am to extend greetings to all the kinfolks there from my wife.- She has really been showing off in great style, with the beautiful Mink Boa and Muff made from the skins you gave her!- I'd certainly appreciate it if you would send me, 4th Class, your own or any other illustrated catalogue, or any booklet or pamphlet you no longer need, with fashion illustrations. Then we'd be able to show our customers some "genuine American" items, direct from America, and brush up our image a bit! - I've always had the finest and largest fashion and accessories business here. We manufacture and sell, and also deal in, considerable amounts of fur items for ladies, such as hats, muffs and collars. We also sell many men's fur hats. Karakul is the best seller, but also Kottik [?]. [3rd page; "17" written in corner] So,- now I really must put down my pen, otherwise I'll fill up another 16 pages, and that would in the end be too much even for you to read.- But it really was nice to be able to talk so long with you! Where has Richard gotten off to? I was really sorry about what you wrote in your last letter. Or has everything straightened itself out again? If so, give him my regards! How I'd love to sell everything here and move away! But the uncertain situation makes it difficult to find a buyer, although sometimes these things work out faster than one thinks.- then I'd really rejoice! Here at present, things are just too uncertain. An awful lot of assassinations are taking place, terror is on the loose, and anyone with enemies can expect the worst. These people have become so brutalized that they no longer fear any kind of punishment; they can hardly be distinguished from animals. Since I'm still a citizen of the German Empire, my interests count for nothing politically. I have no voice in what goes on, and have to consider everything that's happening from that viewpoint. I'd be so happy if I could spend my declining years in a bit more peace and quiet than is possible now or in the forseeable future. Enough now, Farewell! and let me hear from you again soon. [4th page] With this long epistle I hope to make up for all my neglect, especially to you and Beckh, who have sent me so many nice long letters. Hopefully all are well, this is my greatest wish. Just a few days ago I received a photograph of Willy's attractive children. I was really delighted with it. The children look charming. By now I have a whole gallery of photographs from Richmond. All the children of Beckh, Henry and Willy are beautiful young people! And now we're about to see what John can do! It looks like I'm going to fill up this page too, - after all, why pay the Post something for nothing?- Since this is such a thick letter, I'm sending it "Registered"; please send me a card to say that it arrived. This means I should hear from you in about 4 weeks. Good Health! [written sideways in the margin] I've gotten completely flummoxed, and have no idea any more as to exactly how many letters I still owe.-