Merry Christmas! After a rash of technical difficulties followed by seasonal busy-ness, I'm back into the 72 scrapbooks of Sarah Eva Howe. Today we look at a few of the Christmas cards Sarah pasted into her earliest scrapbooks.
1. Possibly the earliest Christmas card in the collection – and the most unusual – is this one from the Cadet Engineers of the U.S. Naval Academy, Class of 1882. The holiday greeting doubled as an invitation to a ball and several "hops" scheduled throughout 1882, so this card likely was mailed in time for Christmas 1881. I wish I knew who sent it and which Howe family member received it. Sarah wasn't yet born, so it could have been addressed to someone in her parents' generation.
2. The verse on this card takes a whimsical approach:
3. The front of this card presents a drawing of an impressive home, with RosLea (the name of the estate?) written in one corner of the image.
Inside the card is a greeting and the name of the sender, Mrs. Thomas W. Graydon. A physician named Thomas W. Graydon (1850-1900) lived in Cincinnati with his wife and nine children. Because the Howes of Carrollton, Kentucky, had family and business connections in Cincinnati, and because the doctor, like the Howes, had roots in Ireland, it's not a huge stretch to think this card is from the doctor's widow. (By the way, I think Sarah cut her parents' names from the envelope and pasted it on the card.)
4. Grace L. Perry sent the Howes a Santa-themed card.
5. This card arrived at the Howe house from Mrs. Frank P. Giltner, who was indirectly related to the man who later became Sarah's husband.
6. Margaret Goslee was probably related to Sallie Goslee, who married Sarah's uncle Joseph Brown Howe in Carrollton in 1889.
7. Based on the "hope you are well" phrase they wrote on their card, I assume that Mr. and Mrs. P. J. Clark lived someplace other than Carrollton and did not see the Howes often.
8 & 9. A few cards, like these two with Santas, were geared to children. The first is from Emma Masterson. The second, after some cutting and assembly, becomes a toy.
10. Last but not least is this charmer, which I found in a scrapbook compiled by grown-up Sarah Eva Howe Salyers for the youngest of her four children. That child, David Hillis Salyers II, probably received this card circa 1918, when he was about 3 years old.
I enjoyed gathering these holiday images and getting a sense of Christmas customs during Sarah's youth and young-adulthood. I hope they brought you some holiday cheer, too.