Creator

Date Original

1872-1874

Description

This "letter" was written by Virginia L. Gray from Little Rock, Arkansas, to her brother Raymond C. Davis of Cushing, Maine. It was written over period of two years, from November 1872 to August 1874. Evidence suggests that the serial letter was not mailed sequentially, but kept together and mailed as one. This collection contests of three bound volumes in gilt-edged brown crushed morocco.

Transcription

November.
To my Brother,
Dear R,
I am
about to write you a
Long Letter, I am
sorry that day has
not come, (which is
sure to come,) when one can sit down to
a household telegraphic
instrument and click
a letter as quickly as
I can sew a tuck on
my sewing machine;
that happy day when
an electrie wire will
enter every house,
when minds and
hearts will be so
universally humanized that no clashing
sentements will meet
upon the steel net
work that will canopy
the earth.
As it is I must
do slower work, and
setting, pen in hand,
I see you smile at
the absurdity of my
enterprise, as if there
was not much
promise in it. It
comes of your surround-
ings, indeed! When you
look south you see
the Altantic, if human
vision was not limited
you would behold
nothing else tell the
South American coast
came greenly in your, way; there are winding bays and coves on
either hand, and one
rocky point sit with-
his lonely pines
beneath which the
juniperus prostrata
his ____ and sea urchins bleach in
the sun and the wind.
If I were thus located
I might count it
madness to dream of
writing a Long Letter
from a modern
uneventful, no longer frontier, and still
benighted western town. But my dear,
it is not madness at all, it is a

Physical Description

Letter, three volumes

Subjects

Women; Correspondence

Contributor

Virginia Gray

Geographical Area

Little Rock, Pulaski County (Ark.); Cushing, Knox County (Maine)

Language

English

Identifier

MS.000113

Resource Type

Text

Collection

Virginia L. Gray letter, MS.000113

Publisher

Arkansas State Archives

Contributing Entity

Arkansas State Archives

Recommended Citation

Virginia Gray letter, Virginia L. Gray letter, Arkansas State Archives, Little Rock, Arkansas.

Rights

Use and reproduction of images held by the Arkansas State Archives without prior written permission is prohibited. For information on reproducing images held by the Arkansas State Archives, please call 501-682-6900 or email at state.archives@arkansas.gov.

Disciplines

United States History

Comments

In the first part of Mrs. Gray's letter, she talks about a form of communication that was 89 years away from creation. She describes a method of letter writing that was developed in 1961 by Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) called Compatible Time-Sharing System (CTSS) or, as we call it today, E-mail. She writes, "I am about to write you a Long Letter, I am sorry that day has not come, (which is sure to come,) when one can sit down to a household telegraphic instrument and click a letter as quickly as I can sew a tuck on my sewing machine." Mrs. Gray's foresight about the advancement of technology astounded me when I first read it. She writes about the future with such optimism and joy, which is why I picked this particular passage. - Crystal Shurley

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Virginia Gray letter

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