Collection: Kamp Family Letters

Author: Hermann Kamp

Recipient: Bernard Kamp

Description: Letter from Hermann Kamp to Bernard Kamp, May 19, 1884.

Hermann Kamp to Bernard Kamp, May 19, 1884

English Text

Emsdetten, May 19, 1884

Dear Brother and Sister-in-Law,

We received your letter and saw that you sent us a picture of yourselves.  We are quite healthy and hope the same of you.  My youngest daughter Helene received her first communion on May 4th on the festival of Saint Ludgerus.  Hand-weaving[1] has almost completely died out here, everything is made in the factories, we now have 7 factories here and all of them with weavers, there they even make the rough sack-cloth.  The merchants here are all getting rich, because they’re building themselves houses like they’ll live forever.  Dear brother, you would be amazed

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if you came back to Emsdetten because Emsdetten is now a big city, it has 4 suburbs and is probably 4 times bigger than when you left here.  I can’t write much news.  We have a good harvest, but from our view it could still be taken from us – everything depends on Heaven above.  You wrote me, only one of my children should come, but I have none left.  There is one in the neighborhood, it is a good youth, a factory worker – a weaver – who wants to go to America.  Write me again, whether it would be good for him, then he might come this fall, but write me as soon as you can because he doesn’t have anyone in America who he can write.  You don’t need to worry about him becoming a burden

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to you because he seems to have money.  Write me about this as fast as you can.  I’ll end my letter here and hope that my letter will find you in the best of health,

Your loving brother, Hermann.

Greetings from me and my 3 children.

Dear Brother Gerhard

I can’t help but to write you because I haven’t heard from you for a long time whether you are still alive or not I and my 3 children are still healthy but the worst thing is I am old and can not do my work any more but one must give oneself to the will of God because without God we can do nothing.  Write me how it is with you and religion, whether you still have the Christian religion or not.  In Emsdetten we have

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a strict religion.  We have 4 priests and a hospital, our church is getting too small for us.  In Emsdetten we have 11 schools, you wouldn’t believe it, but it’s true.  Dear brother Gerhard write me please whether you are married or not and how it is with your children.  Here I’ll close my letter.

H. Kamp

Greetings to Gerhard and your children

Greetings to Bernhard and your wife and children

Greetings to your daughter and their husbands


[1] A popular way to earn extra money in Emsdetten at the time was to weave at home on a large loom.

Original text