Friend Nell

Elmira Oct 8th 163 (ed: I am assuming this is 1863)

Friend Nell
If it does not reign nor snow tomorrow (?) Briester folks intend to leave my humble roof joy go with them(?) If you Father can spare you to come tomorrow as we talked I would like very much to have you as soon as they get their things out we can go tow ork

Your friend
Mrs. H.H. Holmes

Ed: DON'T FREAK OUT! I am pretty sure that this H.H. Holmes is not this H.H. Holmes.

Found in "Life Among The Savages" by Shirley Jackson, published by Farrar, Straus and Young, 1953.


  1. Hm. If that 6 is actually a 9, it could be that Holmes.

    Oct 8th, 1893 would have placed this during the last month of the Chicago World's Fair. (World's Columbian Exposition)

    By then, he had purchased the lot on 63rd street and built the "castle." He and Myrta (wife 2, per the 1893 date) had been renting out apartments all year.

    Offering the Briesler's apartment to Nell wouldn't be strange. Even if there wasn't a super-dwelling to rent out rooms in, a married woman with a toddler (Lucy would have been 3-ish) inviting a single young woman on an extended visit was within propriety.

    I was hoping to find a handwriting sample from Myrta online somewhere. Alas, no luck so far.

    But that handwriting, the signature especially, does look a lot like samples of Holmes's. Since he was such an unscrupulous swindler (collecting money through insurance fraud and more), I can't help but wonder if he wrote letters and signed them know, for propriety-sake and all that.

    That said, why would a letter from 1893 turn up in a 1950's book? That makes me question the authenticity more than any thing IN the letter. Then, again, looking at the blog from 2015 back to now, not much is surprising, is it?? LOL!

    I'm really digging this "bookmark" and am going to give it a few more rounds of research. Fun stuff!! Do you still have it?