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Alice's Letters

This hastily-written five-page letter is the first in a series of letters from Alice to Lizzie in December 1937. This particular letter sheds some light on the topics of family and death during the Depression. While little is known about the particular family involved, a portion of the letter focuses on the payment for the arrangements - highlighting the importance of economic downtown for many families and industries.

In this follow-up letter, Alice attempts to alleviate some of the tension by explaining how the previous letter's contents were based upon a misunderstanding. It is claimed that Lelia, the "she" referenced in both this letter and the previous one, does not want her husband Charlie to spend any money on his family - including the funeral for Uncle August. Money was tight for many families of the time, but as noted by Alice in her letters - they did what they could, even if it was just paying for obituaries in the newspapers or portions of the funeral expenses.

In this final letter from Alice to Lizzie, dated December 17, 1937, the financial issues surrounding the arrangements for Uncle August's expenses have been settled. Just as a reference point, today's equivalent for the $10.00 check given to Alice by Charles would be $151.51.*

* This amount was calculated using the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics CPI Inflation Calculator.