Charles Henry Manship, Jr. Call Number Z/1129.000 MDAH Collection

Charles Henry Manship, Jr. left Mississippi after the Civil War and settled in St. Paul, Minnesota.  Charles, his wife Mary Etta, and their seven children lived comfortably in St. Paul, occasionally making the long journey home to visit family in Mississippi.  The early fall was the time to make all the necessary preparations for the coming winter months.  Coal had to be purchased to heat homes, and a variety of vegetables put away for use throughout the winter.  In a letter home to his brother Luther in 1879, Charles writes of his concern for the recent outbreak of Yellow Fever, or “Yellow Jack,” in Mississippi, and of his preparations for putting up food for the winter.

“…I am glad to see that in all probability you will not be troubled with the fever this year.  Your fear that it would break up your business and blast your bright prospects – I am happy to see, and believe, will not be realized.  New Orleans has fortunately escaped – so far – and as a consequence those towns dealing largely with her will also be free from fever.  It is always the case that N. O. infects the towns north of it on the N. O. J. & NRR.

If you were certain of frost, as you are, on or about the 15th or 20th of Sept – Yellow Jack would not inspire the fear it does.  We had frost 8 or 10 days ago and it looks and feels very much like snow today though I have never seen snow in Sept.

     This is a trying month on Minnesota households.  Coal has to be put in for the winter with some wood then the vegetables for winter use, such as potatoes, cabbage, parsnips, beets, onions, turnips, celery & squash, have all to be in the cellar before hard freezing weather comes – I will put in for our crowd for use this winter about 40 bushels potatoes, 100 head of cabbage, 2 bushels parsnips, 2 of beets & turnips, 1 of onions, 100 stalks of celery & 1 doz squash, – this will carry us through to first of next July – when we will begin getting the new vegetables – so you can see it costs a little something to get through September in good shape…”