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William Masterson, Pike County (Part III)

William Masterson's letters give me a view of the children that letters to the Asylum can never equal. Letters to the Asylum were calculated to please the Asylum and meet its expectations. At times, William's letters to Ida are full of emotion and his true, raw feelings.

Willie's longing for family connections only grew during 1889. He had asked his sister to seek out their mother and to tell him where other family members lived in May, but apparently Ida did not send him what he wanted. In December he wrote to Ida again:

"Well, Ida, the next time you see Aunt Rose I want you to tell her where I am and tell her I want her to write to me. . . . I don't see why you don't tell me where our folks are but I guess you think I will write to them and always be thinking of them you always tell me something about Aunt Rose but you will not tell me where she lives or where to write and I think if she knew whereabouts I am she would write to me(.)"

After castigating his sister, William mentioned that it is "pretty near to Christmas" and asked for a pair of skates because his were too small. He also thanked her for the books that she sent to him and reported that his scrapbook was full of pictures. His feelings, like any young boy, were full of contradictions and he clung to his sister.

Once again, he closed with a drawing and poem:

On February 27 1890 William wrote a very angry letter to his sister in response to her letter, apparently criticizing him. Apparently she had threatened take some action with the Asylum that would hurt him.:

Well Ida you think because I don't write to you every two or three weeks I don't think anything of you I don't think that I have said anything wrong toward you and I don't think that you ought to get quit (sic) so mad as you are you said in one of your letters that if I ever wrote to mother that you would never write another line to me if you don't want to well alright and if you want to go to the Asylum why go ahead well Ida I think them skates are very nice but if you want them back you can have them. So if you want to get mad then you can but I've never done anything to you. And if you think that you can have me put back in the Asylum and be boss of me too you left for when I was there you would not come to see me or write to me . . . well Ida I don't want you to write to me any more so you will find out that your fuss did not amont (sic) to much after all.

Would this letter and hers sunder the love between brother and sister? Would the breach ever be healed between them?


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