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These letters are primarily from Madeleine Edison to her mother, Mina Miller Edison. There are also letters by Mina Edison and by Madeleine's maternal grandparents, Lewis and Mary Valinda Miller. The six dated letters cover the period June 1895-September 1899. The sixteen undated and partially dated letters are probably from the same period. The three earliest letters were written by seven-year-old Madeleine while Mina was in Wellesley, Massachusetts, attending the graduation of her youngest sister, Grace Miller. A brief undated note by Mina, found with one of the letters, may be a response. A longer response, dated June 8, 1895, can be found in the Charles Edison Fund Collection. Three letters from Madeline to her mother were written in March 1897, while Mina was visiting her family in Akron, Ohio. The letters mention the death of the newborn baby of Mrs. Burr, a friend or acquaintance, and a visit by Mina to her sister-in-law, Marion Edison Page, who lived in Milan, Ohio. There is also a telegram from Lewis Miller, sent from Chautauqua, New York, in August 1897.
Two letters from July 1898 were written by Madeleine while she was vacationing at the New Jersey shore. One comments on the birth of Theodore Miller Edison (on July 10) and asks Mina not to name the baby until Madeleine returns home. Six letters by Madeleine from August 1898 (one addressed to Theodore and another to Mary Valinda) were written while Mina was in Akron attending the funeral of her brother, Theodore Westwood Miller, who was killed in action during the last days of the Spanish-American War. Two additional undated letters by Madeleine may also be from this period. The two letters from February 1899 were written while Mina was in New York City visiting her ailing father, who died on February 17three days after an operation at the Post-Graduate Hospital. The second letter comments on a notice of Lewis's death in the Newark News.
The last letter, dated September 28, 1899, was written by Madeleine's aunt, Mary Miller, on behalf of her mother, who was suffering from rheumatism and had difficulty writing. Among the topics discussed in the letter are the opening of Oak Place School, which was established by Grace Miller after the death of her father left the family in difficult financial straits. Included is an expression of Mary Valinda's hope that Madeleine and Charles would attend the school. (Madeleine was enrolled in 1905-1906.) Also included are comments about the illness of Madeleine and Theodore and about a parade in New York City in honor of Admiral George Dewey's victory at Manila Bay, which was attended by Mina's brother-in-law, Richard Pratt Marvin. Courtesy of David E. E. Sloane.