Collection: Dorothea Handel (Schuhmacher) Family Letters

Author: Dorothea Handel (Schuhmacher)

Recipient: Gottfried Handel

Description: Letter from Dorothea Handel (Schuhmacher) to Gottfried Handel, May 1, 1872 [1 of 2]. See also the other letter Dorothea Schuhmacher wrote to her father the same day.

Dorothea Schuhmacher to Gottfried Handel, May 1, 1872 [1 of 2]

English Text

Rome, 1 May 1872

Dear Father and Grandfather,

Your so long wished for letter has finally arrived. It brought with it the sad news that our Cousin Ludwig lost his two sons and he himself has died. Now only you and your two sisters remain in Notingen. I am also sorry that Konrad Wals died and also Hoerd. We gave Konrad authority [power of attorney?] to take care of you as he would his own father and to give you everything you need. He wrote that you are selling your land in Hochberg and want to pay for emergency items, doctor, pharmacy, and household costs. Secondly, he wrote that you are auctioning your household goods and will keep only what you need and he wrote that he will help you where he can. And see to it as good as possible that all goes well.

To my and Peter’s horror no one took care of you, protected you, and took you, in word and deed, in hand. Pfui, the shame [scandal?]-dich jedem Schicksal preisgeben. I had trust in Konrad to take care of you as a brother. Peter and I would not have inquired about your wants as long as you had no needs and worries. I would not have asked what fell to me in the distribution [of a will; or, proceeds from sale of property?]. I wanted you to be the unlimited master as before.

I wrote you 4 ½ years ago that you should come to us [join us], we want to pick you up. Konrad Wals wrote back that the money we would need for the trip should be sent to you and we should stay at home; you wanted to spend your old days in peace and quiet.  So we were enraged and felt really [disturbed?]. Do you believe that is not painful. I, the only child, who wanted to do my duty toward you as is proper. And he wrote that you wanted to live your life in peace and quiet. Did you believe that we lead a colorful [in a negative sense] life and fight all day. No, and again, no – there are problems here and there but when a discussion [quarrel?] came up you would never have heard anything about it. And another thing you perhaps thought, that we could not support you. You are wrong there too [are mistaken?] We had it tough in the early years. Peter often worked from 3:00 am until 10:00 pm, but not for nothing. The dear Lord granted his blessings to all [every endeavor?]. What people say in Germany is not true, that you don’t have to work in America, the women not at all. Believe it, he who does not work has nothing and can go begging.

We have had to work hard as we would have had to do in Germany; naturally, our work was well paid. Its your own fault that you have had to put up with so much. Too often you listened to other people and didn’t trust us. I cried day and night with pain in my heart, it hurt so much that you didn’t want to come to me because Konrad wrote I should leave you in peace about coming to America. I thought you would get married again and I had no qualms with that, but to let you live alone in trouble and sorrow is not to be pardoned of Mr. Konrad Wals that he should have said, Go to your own people who will watch out for you and take care of you (instead he wrote that he would take care of you, some taking care of!)

Now we will have no peace until one of us is with you. If only you had written sooner. Employment for a worker last winter was bad. Father [i.e., Peter Schuhmacher] was out of work for four months. In October 1871 we got a little daughter. Luise was 6 ½ years old when the baby came, and our sons were full of joy. The child was baptized Mina. When I come I will bring the baby with me; however, I worry the child will get sick on the [ocean?].

Peter wouldnt be easily able to leave here because the hay harvest is coming. We could arrange everything, but to harvest 20 Morgen[1] of hay is no fun and since my last child I can’t work very much; my back hurts so much. And if I come, you may not do whatever you want-you may not-you must realize that you are mine-and go with me. Dont think you are coming to a foreign land, you can, indeed, come to us and everything would be fine. All your life you worry and dont believe that God is everywhere. You doubting Thomas; must you see everything before you believe it. Would I, as your child, ask you to join us if I knew you wouldn’t be [happy?] with us? Mother was stiff-necked – you must read Ruth. You shouldn’t always be [?] – we have churches and schools here. You wouldn’t lack for anything. Why do you cling to the earthly. God provides for the earth but also sends crosses for us to bear when necessary for our betterment.

So hurry up. You must travel. I wont come for nothing. When I have you in my arms. With God’s help I’ll bring you to my own. Our oldest sons and Peter will pick us up in New York. Look for someone to buy your things. You can arrange for payment over 5 years. But be certain either I will come or Peter. I will note all those who have been good to you.

We salute all your friends and acquaintances, give them my best and thanks for all they have done for you. Your loving daughter and son – Johann Georg – [Marie?] Luise, Mina  send their heartfelt best.

Peter Schumacher

Dorothea Schumacher

Heartfelt greetings to all

[1] About 13+ acres.