July 21, 1895
TO CORRESPONDENTS -- When writing letters to Big Hat's department for publication, write on one side of the paper only. Printers never turn their copy, and the editor has no time to rewrite half, or even part, of your letters. Give your full name and address. Anonymous letters are never printed. These rules are imperative.
MAUD CARSON, Mount Vernon, Rowan Co., N. C. -- Mr. Big Hat and Cousins: I know Mr. Big Hat will frown when he opens this letter. I am like Bessie Bee: I can't stop writing until Mr. Big Hat tells me to. I know the cousins are wondering why I write so often and never have anything interesting to write about. I expect they call me a drone. Louise Martin, did you get my letter? B. S. Chandler, I don't know any of your relatives. I am only 13 years old and I think I am too young to write to boys. This is a beautiful morning. I am sitting out in the yard under a large rose bush full of roses. There is a little humming bird right over my head. It is the prettiest bird I ever saw. Oh, I think it is so mean to kill little innocent birds. My brother Willie shot a bird in the wing yesterday and it couldn't fly. It had little birds in the walnut tree right over our meat house. Sister Blanche and I brought it in the house and fed it, then we put it on the meat house, close to its nest. We put lots of bread up there for it to feed its little birds till its wing gets well. In the winter, when the snow was on the ground, a little bird came into the house. It was as tame as it could be. I stood right by it and fed it. Cousins, I guess you will think I am a bird preacher. If the world had no birds in it it certainly would be a dull one. Nothing is sweeter than to get up in the mornings and hear little birds singing. Mocking birds build in our honeysuckles at the end of our porch, every summer they sing to us morning and evening. Cousins, do any of you know what has become of Hazel Gray and Bessie Lakey? They haven't written in a long time. I would like to correspond with some of the girl cousins. Cousin Viola, I don't agree with you about telling the little 10-year-old cousins not to write. Did you ever read this little verse before:
deeds of kindness,
Mr. Big Hat, papa says he is going to educate me for a music teacher and Blanche for a school teacher. Sue Etta Young, I believe you said your father was going to educate you for a music teacher. Dora Bennett, if I knew what kind of goods you wanted to put in our quilt, I would send you a block. Do you want our full names on each block?
Hamilton, Hamilton Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: I have
again come to push at your door. We frequently see at the entrance
of a building the word "Push" on the door. It means
that if you want to enter you must push the door open. You are
not to ring a bell and wait till some one comes to let you in.
You must push your way in. That is the word that is on the door
of the house of success. If you would succeed in anything, you
must push your way to it. Look at the successful business man.
We all admire him. He is of some importance in the world. He
has something to do, and he does it. If things get in his way
he pushes them out. If the market is dull and his business comes
to a standstill, he pushes it along. He doesn't wait for luck
to come along and give him a lift. She doesn't easily give lifts
to those who stand back waiting for her. She helps those who
help themselves. Boys, if you have a hard lesson to learn, don't
sit and wait for some one to come along and help you. If you
do you will find the next one just as hard. Push your way through
it. Every push you give makes you stronger to push again. If
you want to occupy an honorable place in the world you must push
your way to it. Then you can look back over your life with satisfaction.
Cousins, we should try to do all we can to make our page interesting.
We ought also to try to do our best in writing and spelling on
Mr. Big Hat's account. We all know it is very hard to read sorry-written
letters. I know Mr. Big Hat wants us to do our best, and if we
will do that he will thank us for it. We ought to be very proud
of Mr. Big Hat for giving us our whole page. Cousins, I guess
you all know by this time that I am a farmer's boy. My age is
17. I live four miles from town. The town is not very large.
I think we will have a railroad running through it before long.
I see Mr. Big Hat is not ashamed of us farmer boys, for I see
he always prints our letters. And I thank him for it, too. Some
of the cousins might say: "Don't listen to him, he is only
a farmer's boy. I am only a farmer's boy, that is true, but why
should I be ashamed to own the fact? Did not the good Lord intend
for us to live on the farm as well as for you to live in town?
Then why should we not be content? Mr. Big Hat, a cousin wished
a remedy for chicken cholera. Here is the best one I know: Chicken
cholera can be cured by putting about two tablespoonsful of lime
into a half gallon of water. Set it where the chickens can drink
it, and do not give them any other water.
BARTON SCOGGINS, Roxboro, Person County, Co., N. C. -- Good evening, Mr. Big Hat. May I give the cousins a description of North Carolina, and what we raise, as some of them have never been here? I live in the little town of Roxboro, the county seat of Person county, about seventy-five miles from the capital, Raleigh, and about thirty miles from Durham, a large manufacturing town. Roxboro is a small town, but I have seen smaller. It is about three miles from Loch Lilly, a beautiful resort, especially for summer. There is a pond averaging one-half mile across and about two and a half miles long, and it is famed for its lillies and fish. It is most beautiful now. Mr. Big Hat, come and spend the summer with me, and we will have a nice time. There is but one railroad here, and it is on the east side. It is the Lynchburg and Durham railroad. We raise tobacco, corn, wheat, oats, rye, cane, potatoes, apples, and a small quantity of cotton. I will ask the cousins a few questions: Who was the first white child born in America? Who discovered the Mississippi river? Who gave the Indians their name, and why?
EDWIN McWILLIAMS, Crystal Falls, Stephens Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat: Here comes a little boy, knocking for admission into the charming circle. I am a little boy, 14 years old. This is my first attempt to write to the dear old News. Well, cousins, isn't this beautiful weather? We had a fine rain last night that we did not need. I wish some of you that need rain had it. Some of you describe your homes. Our house stands in a beautiful postoak grove, about two miles from the clear fork of the Brazos river and twelve miles from Crystal Falls, which is our postoffice. I am one of you that wants an education. If any one would offer one a million dollars or an education I would take the education. That could not be taken away from me and the money might. Well, Mr. Big Hat, come down here this summer and help us eat watermelons and we will go fishing. If you have a summer school I would like to join it.
HENRY ADAMS, Tilmon, Caldwell Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat: Hello! Here comes another little boy knocking for admittance to join your happy band. I was 8 years old the 26th of September. I have been to one school I can hoe and I have been hoeing this week, but it has rained and I don't have to hoe now. Mr. Big Hat, you ought to be down here to eat blackberries and play in the mud with me. Many of the cousins write about their pets, but I haven't any at all. I will give you a riddle: Goes all over the world and never moves.
TOMIE HORTON, Bazette, Navarro Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat: I am a little boy 7 years old. It has been raining here for about a week. I am going to school and like my teacher very well. I live three miles from the Trinity river. One time I went to the river fishing with my playmate, Felix Wall. We went with papa, but we did not catch anything. Felix and I went to Corsicana with our papas one day. We found a horned frog in the road and we put it in a shuck to carry to town, but it got away in a store when we left it to go upstairs to buy our hats.
FRANK ATCHESON, Terrell, Kaufman Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: We have been having heavy rains here lately. The intense heat before the rain and the refreshing shower that followed made me think of the mythological story of Phaeton, who wanted to drive the fiery horses of Helius, his father, so that the people of the earth would know that he came from the race of the undying gods. He was smitten from his father's chariot by the lightning of Jupiter. I will answer Walter H. Butler's questions: 1. Morse invented the telegraph. 2. Joseph Reed said, "I am not worth purchasing, but such as I am the king of England is not rich enough to buy me." 3. Burr was tried for treason. 4. Ireland governed Texas in 1884. 5. It was fought at Gonzales. 6. Patrick Henry said, "Give me liberty or give me death." 7. Austin secured a tract of land in Texas for colonization. 8. Taylor was called "Old Rough and Ready." 9. Greer county is claimed by both Texas and the United States. 10. Adams was president after Washington. 11. Lawrence said, "Don't give up the ship." 12. Van Buren was the eighth president. 13. Ericsson invented the Monitor. 14. The Alamo is in San Antonio. 15. Texas was admitted in 1845. 16. Oglethorpe settled a colony in Georgia. 17. Washington was never wounded in battle. If I have answered these questions correctly that popular young man (7) of Texas is Mr. Big Hat. Who said: "Ask nothing but what is right; submit to nothing that is wrong?" Who was called "Boiling Water?" What member of congress was called "King Josiah the First?" As Mr. Big Hat wishes to now the age of all the cousins I will tell mine. I am 14 years old. When will the summer school commence and what will be the subject? I will vote for United States history. Success to our young editor and his instructive paper.
[Mr. Big Hat's
NELL MORRIS, Corsicana, Navarro Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat: Vacation has come, but I am not a bit glad. It is so dull in the country through the summer, and it gets so warm. I lose all energy for anything but sleep, and the kids keep up such a racket I can not do that. I was lying in the hammock this evening looking at the blue sky. I never could look at the sky without making wishes, for it seems to me like a big blank page on which to write wishes with your thinker, just to have clouds come and cover them up. Well, I wished that I might travel and see all the world and know its people. Should I tell you all I wished I might make Mr. Big Hat tired, yet there is one more wish I will tell you of. I wish Mr. Big Hat would give prizes for the best letters, or have an honor roll and mention the best each week, or do something to encourage us to do our best. I am never successful, though I do enjoy entering a contest. I am better in elocution and music than anything else, and have repeatedly tried for medals, and as often "got left," but I am not easily discouraged. Florence Giddens, come again; I like you. Some letters make me feel as if I knew the writers. What has become of Jesse Harman? No one has answered his question about newsboy. Since (as it seems) no other newsboy has "made a mark in the world," Jesse ought to feel newly inspired in his undertakings to be a great man. I can recall no "bluestocking" who was once a farmer girl, but this does not discourage me at all. These words encourage me more than all the biographies in existence:
is no chance, no destiny, no fate,
Millie Barnes, I enjoyed your letter so much. Please write again and tell me of the things you have seen "across the ocean." Did you ever see the tower of Westminster abbey? I wish -- I wish I'd been somewhere and seen something -- here I am wishing again! I've never been out of the state, but Meg (my chum) and I are going to school in Alabama next September, then I'll tell you all about how I like boarding-school life. Some of you girls who have been to boarding-school, please write about it. I am sure that it would interest us. Mamma is always telling reminiscences of her school days, and I listen with eyes and ears open. Mr. Big Hat, sometimes I am so disappointed when I turn to the "Cozy Corner" and find so few long letters. When it is so short again, won't you write us a letter? I imagine you would write such an interesting one. What has become of our "funny boy?" I want to write more, but Bob and Jack have come in from the field and there's nothing to do now but give the house to them. Boys are a bother, and there's no making them behave themselves. When they are in the house it is: "Mamma, come to Bob! boo! boo-hoo!" and "Jack's in the jam!" And when they are not in the house mamma is always saying: "I wonder where the boys are. Go call Jack, Nell." I have ruined my vocal chords hallooing them up when they were not fifty steps away yoking the Jersey calves or eating the cream off the jars in the milk house. I challenge a boy to write such nice letters as Bessie Bee, Millie Barnes, Florence Giddens and a score of other girls. Leave the calves and "swimmin' hole" alone and come to the front. Who are going to make our lawyers, editors, statesmen? You have no time for so much foolishness in this busy world. I imagine you are all asleep by the side of some sluggish stream, with your fishing pole in your hands.
[Mr. Big Hat's
FLORENCE GIDDENS, Dundee, Archer Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat: I expect I ought to wait longer before writing, but as I told mamma, I did want to write so bad. "Well," said mamma, "I reckon Mr. Big Hat can't do anything but refuse." Excuse me, Cousin Evangel, for thinking you were a boy and that your mamma wrote your letters for you. But the idea of your thinking my mamma helps me with mine! I should think you could tell by my letters that no one helps me. Mamma never does help me with my letter writing, but sometimes I read my letters to her after I have written them. The other day I said, "Shall I read you my letter now mamma or wait until it is published?" "You better read it now, or I might never see it," replied mamma. Several of the cousins have answered my question about Washington and Houston. Of course I think they are wrong, for they sided with Washington. Of course I know he was a grander man in one sense of the word, but that was not what our debate was about. It was which did the most good. We know that the United States is larger than Texas of course, but that didn't make Washington do more for it. Nell Morris, come again; your play mate was certainly a queer little girl. The citizens met yesterday at this place, and the people of the surrounding counties are going to meet at Wichita Falls to-day to talk about the great question -- "Irrigation." I hope these meetings will not be in vain; then our little county will be the "garden spot of Texas." I saw a letter from Levi Bowman in a recent issue, which was very interesting. But the idea of his thinking it was such a grand thing to be a boy? I saw where Mr. Big Hat said he was so proud of the boys. I think he ought to be proud of the girls too, for they write more interesting letters than the boys. We have to stand up for ourselves, don't we cousins? Our school is out now, and we can have until September to improve our time. Our exhibition was a success in every way. I wish I had room to give you some of the programme, but it was so long. Friday night we had intended to have it, but it looked like rain, so it was put off until Saturday night. This time we succeeded. Mamma is thinking of going to Indiana, Kentucky and Maryland this summer, starting this month or next. Won't I be lonesome? We have had a rain for ever night for about a week. The grass is green, so are the trees, and I wish the cousins could see this country. On a creek, which we can see from Dundee, are large trees. Here is raised any amount of black berries. About two years ago the people came and camped around the trees so as to gather them. There are more plums this year than black berries though. I suppose those who are taking the Youths' Companion are reading "The Lottery Ticket." That shows what bad companions will do for any one. Why doesn't Bessie Bee write any more?
[Mr. Big Hat's
IDA PFEFFER, Kenney, Austin Co., Tex. -- Mr. Big Hat and cousins: After an absence of many days it again affords me pleasure to appear in your corner for a talk with you all. I expect you think that I have forgotten the dear old News, but notwithstanding I have not. I always tried to write, but never got a good opportunity. Looking from my window where I am writing, over the beautiful green landscape surrounding my home everything looks beautiful, while the cool, fresh air blowing over my face is agreeable to me. Don't you all think it is much nicer in summer than in winter? Everybody can enjoy a warm day better than a cold and fey one. We have had some awful rains, lasting over four weeks in all. Some days it stopped only to commence again. Now we have had sunshiny days for a while, but it is raining again this week. We are having nice crops and gardens. Corn is very nice. Cotton is not as good as it should be in June, but it is blooming. Mamma has lots of young chickens, turkeys, ducks and some geese. Cousins (girls) have any of you a pretty flower-garden? Ours is real pretty. I expect it would not be so pretty if it had not rained so much. I wish I could tell you the names of all our flowers, but that would be too much for Mr. Big Hat to print. I think we have nearly 100 kinds, if not more. There is nothing that I enjoy better than tending flowers and I think there is nothing that can beautify a home more than nice green trees and flowers. A few weeks ago we had a dance at our home. We surely had a fine time. When they all were here it started to rain. Some of the boys were a little bashful to come into the house, but then they had to come. There were forty-six guests. Mr. Big Hat, we have four little pet squirrels now. The other day one came up from the bottom to our house and I caught it in a little tree. It bit me three times on one of my fingers and in both thumbs -- but I held it tight till brother put it in a cage. I wonder how many of the cousins in the department are like Viola Staneart? I am not. I would not treat my brother like she says. I think boys should enjoy life just as well as the girls while they are young. I love to work. I will close by sending the cousins a remedy for chicken cholera: Dissolve one pound of copperas in a gallon of water with two ounces of sulphuric acid. For their drink to each gallon of water add the tablespoonful of this mixture and always clean your vessels. Put this every four days in the water. This is a very good remedy.
[Mr. Big Hat's
ALTA COTTON, Iola, Grimes Co., Tex. -- Little Mr. Big Hat and cousins: It has been quite a while since I visited your paper. We are having lots of rain in this part of the world. Some are about to lose their crops on account of it. We have all of our cotton chopped out. My school closed the 27th of May. I felt badly, for I love to go to school. I attended nearly seven months. Mr. Big Hat, I wish you would come and spend the summer with us. Such a nice time we would have! One of my chums and I are going to Huntsville to spend a few weeks. On my return I'll write about our trip. I went to Sunday school and singing last Sunday and stayed all day. I had a nice time, too, with plenty to eat, plenty to drink and plenty of good-looking folks to talk to. I went fishing this evening and I'll vow I never did get so wearied at a place in my life. I caught two little fish, and I never had the mosquitoes bite me so bad in all my days. I like to read interesting letters from the cousins. Where are you, Lillian Pope; picking dewberries? If so, think of me while eating them. We are going to have a great deal of fruit here (peaches) if they ever get ripe. I planted 85 hills of watermelons yesterday morning, and 8 rows of goobers. Wasn't I smart? I think so, anyhow, you know. Mr. Big Hat, when are you going to open your summer school? As my letter is getting rather long, and ink is poison, I will close for fear Peggy will get too much to eat. I will ask a few questions: Who said, "Crabbed age and youth can not live together?" How many British and how man Americans were lost at the battle of Bunker Hill? What was the direct cause of the revolutionary war? Why does one go to bed when he gets sleepy? Success to the Little Men and Women department and its editor.
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