Burton family collection  1888-1940
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Collection Scope and Content Note

This collection consists of letters Fred Bach wrote to his family in Delaware while he lived in Havana, Cuba, where he worked with the assistant auditor of customs accounts. He wrote most frequently to his wife Anna, and also wrote to his daughters, Ethel, Barbara, and Winifred. In February 1899, he travelled to South Carolina prior to his departure for Cuba, and shared his impressions of the local people and scenery in Charleston and Orangeburg. Throughout August 1899, he composed a lengthy composite letter in which he described his journey to Havana, and after his arrival he concentrated on his daily activities, which frequently included reading and listening to music. He also wrote of the foods he ate and of the local buildings and culture. One letter from 1892 documents Bach's request for a transfer to the United States Post Office Department, where he had worked before leaving for Cuba. Also included is a public letter of recommendation for Mr. Abraham L. Lawshe for the position of first assistant postmaster general, addressed to the editor of the Star in Washington D.C. (August 21, 1900). In another letter, addressed to Joseph L. Bristow, the fourth assistant to the postmaster general, Bach provided examples of how partisan politics affected his position, and in the same letter he shared his desire to leave Cuba (September 21, 1900), though he did not submit a formal transfer request until April 15, 1902. The collection additionally holds several undated letter fragments, a short poem, and an essay entitled "In Perpetua," about the longevity of republics. Anna Bach also wrote two letters to her husband, dated February 14, 1899, and August 12, 1899.

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