This letter was written by 12 year-old Franklin (“Frank”) Rogers (1852-1934), the son of James M. Rogers (1813-Aft1900) and Margaret Maxwell (1818-1880) of Nashville, Washington county, Illinois.
Knoxville [Washington county, Illinois]
December 27th 1864
I am well and I hope this finds you the same. We had first rate sleighing week before last and part of last week but the snow is all gone now. We had no rain but it came off warm and it all melted off and it has been some muddy today but it has been growing cold all the afternoon and I suppose by morning it will be cold enough to freeze two dry rags together.
I am fixing to go away to school. I don’t know hardly where I shall go yet. I have not made up my mind. I got a watch for a Christmas present worth about $50 dollars. Mother got a sewing machine. The children got new dresses and various other things.
I am getting confounded lazy but I have not forgot how to work yet. I have got the salt rheum is my left hand. What will cure it? Do you know? Father is well and all the rest of the folks, I believe—at least they ate their supper well and that is a pretty good sign.
I have not heard any of the Iowa folks lately. They never write to me. There is 3 or 4 cases of small pox in town. There was a child died in that large house opposite the school house if you remember it and the son of Doctor Baily has got it. There was one of the [Washington] Seminary died last week with the typhoid fever. Hellen had it very hard but is getting well now. I am as stout and hearty as a buck. Weight about 115 pounds,
Jimmy got a pair of skates for Christmas and has been trying to break his neck today. Tell Annie that I wish her a Happy New Year. Have you got old wool yet? If you have, give him a good supper for me. There is 8 or 10 fellows sitting around talking so loud that I can hardly hear myself think so I guess that I will stop. Good night.
Your truly, — Frank C. Rogers