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His Family History

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L. C. Earle (young)

L. C. Earle undated

L. C. Earle - Studio

Helen Harmon (young)

Helen C. Harmon (wife)

Ray & Larry Earle (sons)

John Edward Earle (father)

Mary Melvina Dorset (mother)

Painting of L. C.'s Mother
Mary Melvina (Dorset) Earle

LETTER: John E. Earle
to his wife, Mary - 1842


Interesting Associations

Grand Rapids Home

Montclair, NJ Home

Earle Family Gravesite

Edward Earle Gravestone
(Grandfather of Lawrence)


 [Letter written by John E. Earle to his wife in New York City - transcribed by E. E. Beske]

Letter from Norfolk, December 11, 1842 (Sunday):
My dear Mary,

On my arrival at this place last evening I had the pleasure to learn that although you and Edward had been unwell yet you were both better and that all the rest of the family were well, and I humbly trust that you and all may be entirely well on my return, which providence permitting will be on Thursday next.  What a thrill of delight it gives me to be enabled to name the day when I expect to hold to my bosom again the object of my heart's dearest affections.  And oh may it afford her an equal pleasure, that it will I have no doubts or at least it will take a good deal to make me doubt.  My anxiety increases just in proportion as the distance diminishes.  A restless eagerness seems to take entire possession of me and even the steam boats and railroad cars seem to mock me by their slow motion although moving at the rate of 20 miles an hour and when I go to bed at night, I long for the morning's dawn.
You my Mary are ever present to my mind, imagination picturing you to me now doing this now that, now thinking of me and now forgetting me, now wishing me home and then being reconciled to my absence.  Oh what a selfish thing is love.  To love is misery.  To be beloved happiness, to love and be beloved by the object you love is Bliss.  Such my dear Mary as I fervently hope we both may be in the possession of.  This depends on a great degree on ourselves.  This being so let us strive to live so as to render each other happy.  This is the last letter I expect to write home as you will receive it but one day in advance of my return, and it is written in compliance with my Mary's request and an expectation on my part that it will afford you pleasure to know what day I expect to return.  Thursday next at 4 or 5 OC P.M. you may expect your fatherful and devoted husband.
Keep my dear children for me and tell them Pa hopes to see them at the time named above and hopes they have been good children.  Tell Ella Pa can't bring a dog or cat what can bite, as they might bite Pa and then Ella would be sorry.  And tell Mary Sophia Pa can't get any sister baby's here but that Ma must get her one.  My love to Mother.

Family letter graciously provided by E. E. Beske

*Thanks to Dr. J. Gray Sweeney for permission to use material from
Artists of Grand Rapids 1840-1980, J. Gray Sweeney; Grand Rapids, 1981:
The Grand Rapids Art Museum, The Grand Rapids Public Museum

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