Collection: Schweitzer-Guggenheimer Letter Collection

Author: Isaac Schweitzer


Hirsch Schweitzer

Louise Schweitzer (Durlacher)

Marie “Malchen” Bernheimer (Schweitzer)

Ernestine Schweitzer

Description: Letter from Isaac Schweitzer to the Schweitzer family, October 24, 1869.

Isaac Schweitzer to Schweitzer family, October 24, 1869

English Text

Fincastle, Va., October 24, 1869 Dear esteemed parents and dear sisters: I started to read your dear [letter] from September 23 in the best mood and was delighted to read in it about your wellbeing. However, I am sorry, dear mother, that you still have to complain about your hips. Please ask a good physician about it, the costs are secondary. Whatever they might be, I would like to send you the money for it. I had a letter ready to be mailed out to you already 8 days ago, but business was urgent, since I had in mind to go away on October 20 and I was already ready. But as I had previously noted - since neither uncle nor Simon are businessmen and therefore do not know how to talk properly with customers, such [illegible], that if I went away from here the business would already decrease with Uncle alone. For this reason Uncle talked to Madame Guggenheimer the night before I wanted to leave in order to ask me not to go away since he and Simon cannot take care of the business. Mad. Guggenheimer pleaded with me and told me to better stay here since I have my money still here. Besides, Uncle and Simon cannot handle customers and thus cannot sell as much as I can do. I promised Mad. Gugg. that I will talk to Uncle since I sold out and I don’t want to be in [Hebrew] with Uncle. I will try it, however, in order not to harm Uncle. I went to Uncle and even he himself asked me not to go away and that Simon and he are not able to take care of the business as well as I do it. I told him the clear cause why I separated in the first place. He told me that I should tell him how much I would request so that I won’t have any damage. I agreed that I request 10% from all what will be sold and he agreed so that I don’t have to pay for any of the merchandise and that he has to carry the risk for debts. Business is pretty good, much better than during the summer. This week we made 311 ½ Dollars in cash of which 31 ¼ dollars belong to me just within a week. If we sell commodities for $12,000 per year I will own $1,200 that I can take monthly or weekly by myself, that is our contract. I have merely to pay board and lodging, $120 a year. I think that this is a very good plan. This way I cannot be cheated with anything, since I remain in control of the money and the books. But this is also [good] for Uncle for whom I did this in in order not to abandon him since he and Simon are not popular here among the people. The inhabitants in this county gave me honors that even the (brother) Guggenheimer who lives in Philad. has not received. I am about to start a business with a friend of mine. Uncle has nothing to do with it, he asked me if I would give him a share, but I answered him briefly that I don’t want to have [Hebrew] with him any longer. My future partner is a fine, honest American, he is already in this business for 7 years and a partner for a year. The other partner is no longer able to do the business and I bought him out. In about 8 days you will see what it is. I want to surprise you with it. For the time being, however, I can say that it is a very good business and I hope that I can make $1,000 profit with my share within a year. I will also surprise Rothschild in Bretten with it. I don’t know to write anything else this time. Uncle in Lexington does pretty good business but he does seem to get nowhere as long as he is in [Hebrew C] with Heilbroner. Uncle Joseph is also doing fine, I will write him soon. The Guggenheimer family sends their best regards, they are glad that I will still stay with them. Guggenheimer [in] Philad wrote to his brother here if I wanted to start as a partner [Hebrew D] in the business, but I have promised Uncle Sal. to stay with him for another year until August 1870. After that I will see what I will do. I also trade with clocks and make some money with it. Best regards from your son and brother Isaac Sweitzer Greetings to dear Bertha, Isak [?], Aunt, Wertheim, Konigsbach, and all who ask about me. Send me a letter soon.

Original text