Charity chain letter. Published. For George Martin. Send a dime, 10 copies. Self-terminating. US, 1889.

MY DEAR MRS. _______ -I am a student in _________ college and am absolutely without a cent. Unless I receive aid I shall be compelled to abandon the ambition of my life -to enter the Christian ministry. I am an orphan and am solely dependent on myself. Will you kindly send me ten cents and mail a copy of this letter to ten friends, numbering each copy 2? Please request them to do the same, numbering their copies 3, and so on, stopping at number 10. Ten cents is very little, but ten dimes make a dollar, and a hundred dollars would be truly a godsend to me.

Very truly yours, GEORGE W. MARTIN

From the Denton (Maryland) Journal, June 18, 1892, P. 1, col. 4. Title: "EASIER THAN WORKING," subtitled: "A Clever Scamp in College Raises Money in an Ingenious Way. " Three years ago a sophomore college student started a letter to raise money to finish school. He sent it to ten women in a small western town. He got a 'very large sum of money' and letters of advice. Some ministers recommended it to their congregation. Some sent stamps, some dimes wrapped in paper, some sent fifty cents, a dollar, a few even five."  E. J. Barnes in the New York Press. Original probably had the number 1 at the top. "Three years ago" would mean the letter started in 1889, as many charity letters did. Article discovered around 1998 by Neal Coulter of Chattanooga, TN.


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