Compiled by Kimberli Faulkner Hull
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A letter from Richard Leighton Clapp (1851-1932) written to his father was purchased with a bundle of Clapp family letters in Plymouth, Massachusetts in December 2022.
Richard Clapp letter, 7 August 1871, Montague, Massachusetts
Montague Aug. 7th 1871
As I am not at work this afternoon on account of a slight cut from a [?eythe] under my arm which I got while whetting my [?eythe].
We have got the brush mowed out about even with the north end of the grove. It was quite a job to pull all over that old mow lot but it makes things look better.
Mr. Fay had four lambs and the calf last week.
My mind has been occupied with little else than the subject of business of some kind.
I do not care to go to school any more for I could not study if I did. I don’t know why it is so for I wanted and expected to go until very lately.
But if you are willing to let me have the same money that I should use at school and let me go out west for three months at least I should like it.
Now I have thought this all over deliberately and talked it all over with Cornelia have said nothing to mother.
I have got [?] [?] sometime if not known one year from now if alive & well.
I presume you will laugh but I never [?] made serious I didn’t sleep a half hour last night from thinking about it.
I should like to know your opinion and decision as soon as convenient.
If you dare trust it in my hands under your guidance I should be glad to clear off that lot out [?] [?] next winter.
I think I have written all the news and all my troubles and still remain your [?] son.
Richard Leighton Clapp
Richard Leighton Clapp was born 21 March 1851 in Montague, Franklin County, Massachusetts to Richard Clapp and Eunice Amelia Slate.1 Richard had six known siblings, his older sister, Cornelia Maria, and four younger siblings, Harriet “Hattie,” Mary Elizabeth, Walter, who died as an infant, and Charles.2
Richard Leighton Clapp died on 20 November 1932 in Montague and his wife, Jennie Clapp, died on 15 January 1950 in Springfield, Massachusetts.5
It is unknown if Richard’s father provided the funds for Richard to travel west in 1871. However, in 1882, the family moved to Nebraska. Richard’s obituary states the family returned to Massachusetts in 1883; this is possibly a typographical error as their daughter appears to have died in 1887 and is buried in Nebraska; perhaps the “1883” should have been an “1888.”
Additional information concerning the Richard and Eunice Clapp family can be found at Clapp Family letters, 1871-1902, Montague, Massachusetts.
Item Description and Acquisition
Item: 7 Aug 1871 Letter from Richard Clapp (1851-1932) to his father, Deacon Richard Clapp (1819-1907) from group of Clapp family letters.
Item acquisition: Plymouth, Massachusetts antique mall, December 2022
Relationship: None known.
1. Montague, Franklin County, Massachusetts, Births Register, p. 246, no. 18, Richard Leighton Clapp, male, 21 Mar 1851.
Place of birth: Montague. Parents: Richard and Eunice A. Clapp of Montague. Father born in Montague; mother born in. Bernardston. Father’s occupation: Farmer.
2. Kimberli Faulkner Hull, compiler, “Clapp Family letters, 1871-1902, Montague, Massachusetts,”
Cool Adventures (https://cooladventures.com/collection/clapp-family-letters-1871-1902-montague-massachusetts/ : published 2023); privately held by the Faulkner–Hull Collection.
3. Montague, Franklin County, Massachusetts, Marriage Register 1876, p. 302, no. 220, 12 Oct 1876, Richard L. Clapp and Jennie A. Clapp.
4. Richard Harold Clapp
Montague, Franklin County, Massachusetts, 1877 Births Register, p. 338, no. 111, Clapp, male, 12 Nov 1877.
Parents: Richard L. and Jennie A. Father’s occupation: Grocer.
“Rev. Richard H. Clapp,” obituary, The Burlington Free Press (Burlington, Vermont), 27 Jan 1967, p. 17, col. 4.
Cornelia M. Clapp
Montague, Franklin County, Massachusetts, 1880 Births Register, p. 352, no. 23, Cornelia M. Clapp, female, 28 Mar 1880.Parents: Richard L. and Jennie (Clapp). Father’s occupation: Farmer.
Headstone reads: May / Dau of / Jennie A. & / Richard L. Clapp / Died / Aug. 31, 1887 / Aged / 7 Y’s 5 M’s 3 D’s / Clapp.
Find A Grave, memorial 140407669, May Clapp (1880–1887), Ewing Cemetery, Ewing, Holt County, Nebraska with headstone photo.
John Theodore Clapp
Montague, Franklin County, Massachusetts, 1881 Births Register, p. 369, no. 55, John Theodore Clapp, male, 20 Sept 1881.
“John T. Clapp,” obituary, Recorder-Gazette (Greenfield, Massachusetts), 19 May 1959, p. 4, col. 3.
5. “Richard Clapp, Montague Dies” obituary, The Brattleboro Reformer (Brattleboro, Vermont), 22 Nov 1932, p. 5, col. 6.
“Mrs. Jennie Clapp,” obituary, Recorder-Gazette (Greenfield, Massachusetts), 16 Jan 1950, p. 6, col. 2.
Citing this page: Kimberli Faulkner Hull, compiler, “Richard Clapp letter to father, 7 Aug 1871, Montague, MA,”
Cool Adventures (https://cooladventures.com/iwan-and-eva-carlson-photograph-1905-denmark/: published 2022); privately held by the Faulkner–Hull Collection.