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The electrical engineer and author sends affectionate letter to friend, signs name in black ink Autograph letter signed: "Will" in black ink, 12 pages integral leaf, 4½x6¾ (on 4 leaves; interior pages are 6¾x9). No place, 1896 November 21.

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The electrical engineer and author sends affectionate letter to friend, signs name in black ink
Autograph letter signed: "Will" in black ink, 12 pages integral leaf, 4½x6¾ (on 4 leaves; interior pages are 6¾x9). No place, 1896 November 21. "My little blue-eyed Darling: Will do as you did last week and write a few lines before Sunday. This has been what one would be justified in calling - 'a rotten day' - and tonight; well, words simply fail to describe it. The fact is. I value my life too highly and have too much sympathy for the Insurance Company to risk going out, so will spend the evening with you, love. Your answer to that conundrum I gave you, was correct. Allow me to congratulate you either on your brilliancy, or on having heard it before. The one you presented me with this week was 'Why was the campaign of the boy orator [Presidential candidate William Jennings Bryan] like the Platte River?' I should say because it was rather 'briny'. Is that de-fer-per or exactly the answer? Now my dear, let me give you another one for next time - tell me - What was the difference between Billy McKinley and Billy Bryan? I did not see that account in the paper of Mr Soper's experience in the pickle tank - think if he was a Democrat he got enough of 'brine' that time, anyway, don't you? So one week ago tonight you were discussing 'The Growth of the French Nation'. It must have been exceedingly interesting. How I would liked [sic] to have been there and heard my sister describe the sensations of a French - kiss, which no doubt came up for discussion. Really now, dear, do you suppose there was anyone present who could have done as much justice to that subject as you ...???????? I was not in Rhinebeck Monday evening so was not disappointed in not getting your letter, whereas if I had been, I would surely have looked for it. The fact is I did not get home till very late Tuesday night - had been in Poukeepsie - but did not retire till I 'held up' Father and got your letter and read it. I had been thinking of it all day and had to have it before I went to sleep. No, dear - I have not been out to Schenectady yet but mean to go before long - expect to stop over and see Gramp for a day or so when I do go; but, as you know, they have had a funeral up there (believe Mother wrote you concerning it) and so thought I would wait a bit before going. The funeral was that of Mr Schultz, the father of those girls you met here this summer. He was a fine old gent and had suffered a great deal. Father and Mother were both down to New York when this occurred. It was last week, and as they both wished to attend the funeral their trip was cut exceedingly short. Didn't even have time to attend the Horse Show, which I almost made them promise to do. Suppose you went, of course. It must have been quite a sight. I mean the people, not the horses, they of course were the lesser attraction. Still I would rather have seen the football game this afternoon between Princeton and Yale than ten Horse Shows. I thought the first part of the week I would go down and see it, but come to find out later I couldn't get a seat for less than $10.00, the lower priced seats being all gone. I immediately sent word back I didn't want it. The game i. e. the playing lasts on an average about one hour and I came to the conclusion it wouldn't pay especially since Harvard wasn't in it. Had I gone though, I would have 'rooted' for Princeton. Am almost positive they will win unless Yale has something up her sleeve she hasn't show yet, as she has been doing no better has Harvard on the 'gridiron' this year. So you got into another scrap about Harvard - did you Puss? Now let me tell you right here on the sly that if you are not bothered by Princeton people you have nothing to fear. Yale 'may have seen better days' but so far this year she has done nothing to distinguish herself. The Indians, by strict concordance with the rules, beat her, although the result of the game was 12 to 4 in Yale's favor. So, my dear, if Yale was beaten this P.M. those friends of yours will probably be Princeton girls the next time you see them. I can hardly wait to get hold of a Sunday paper but suppose I will have to - the wind is howling down these old chimneys to beat 'three of a kind' and together with the snow and rain that is coming down it is most hazardous to think of going out and even then doubt if I could learn anything as a result. Thank you right much, dear, for your kind invitation to visit you sometime during the holidays. I would like nothing better and if at all possible will surely be down to see you and yours. Are not your Father and Mother going to favor us with a visit? Hope they have not given the project up. You are able to keep house all alone, by this time, are you not, dear? And say - do not wait for me to come and see - tell me how you like it - tell me as you would dear, if you were reclining in Grandpa's lap with Grandpa's arm encircling your shapely waist. You know how confiding you would be there, darling, be so now. No one ever sees your letters and whatever you write I keep sacredly secret. I hope you can say the same, love. I believe you once promised me to that effect, or I should not write as I do, sometimes we understand each other, do we not? So why should anyone else have anything to do with it, and why should we not write to each other as we feel - dear little Blue Eyes - now that we are not with each other, is the time that we should do this. Well, dear Sister, will say 'Good night'. Will be with you tomorrow afternoon again, so ta ta for the present. 3"30 Sunday P.M. Well, my dear, having carefully read over several Sunday papers I now feel more easy - 24 to 6 - not half bad. I did not expect they would 'bathe them in the consommé' to that extent, although I was pretty certain Princeton would win. It seems, however, Princeton 'didn't do a thing to them'. The result of the other game was Pennsylvania 8; Harvard 6. This is the best showing Harvard has made against Penn for some time. I think about next year we may look for a victory. At any rate we will show them how to row next year - with our English Coach. This bright sunshine is a great improvement over yesterday, and although the wind is blowing rather strong it is not particularly cold. My paternal and maternal ancestors went up to Church this morning. I, of course, could not think of such a thing without knowing the details of the games, so quietly held down the large rocker all morning. Oh, you dear little Peach - you want me to let my 'tache' grow just a little before I show up. Well, sweetness, if you wish it, will put one on a a week or so before I come. Think that will be time enough if you only want - 'just a little'. Did you enjoy your Cousin Cornelia's 'at home'? You must indeed have been busy tying ribbons around fifty bouquets. 'Am I still enjoying the gymnasium and shower baths?' Yes, although not quite as often as at first. The novelty, you know, has worn off and then I was developing such a muscle that really - it was alarming. So now I just keep it up enough to keep me in good physical condition. How is that monogram fan progressing? Have you commenced operations on it as yet? I have collected a few more 'headings' which I will send in this letter, and by the way dear, it is very evident from your last letter or envelope, after what I said in my last, that you do not fancy the idea of having more than one stamp on an envelope. In that case will have to bring my letter to a close, as it has already reached alarming proportions. Before closing would like to ask if either you or your friend of Southold, L. I. was acquainted with that fellow who had his beard shaved by his class-mates in Lafayette College? The fellow's name was Henry M. Payne and was a resident of Southold. No doubt you have seen the account of his calamity in the papers. Thought perhaps you might know him, and say - how is Ralph Duryea getting along and how many times have you accompanied him to Prayer Meetings? Now, my darling, I must close. Give my love to your dear 'Mommy' also to your Cousin Cornelia and kindly remember me to your Father. Hoping you may post your next letter on time, and wishing you a pleasant Thanksgiving, I am As Ever, Your loving brother". William H. Radcliffe (b. 1873) graduated from Harvard University in May 1896, and worked as an electrical engineer and professor. Radcliffe wrote Telephone Instruments, Their Operation, Arrangement and Management in 1913 and Home Study Course in Practical Electricity in 1916. Normal mailing folds. Toned. Light surface creases. Slightly soiled. Otherwise, fine condition.

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