Charity chain letter. Send 10+ used stamps. Children's ward. No. 173 - terminates at 180. Copy quota 3. US/Australia, 1900.

173 .

                                                                                     Pleasant Garden N.C.
                                                                                               Sept. 12, 1900.

Dear Friend.
                       I desire to provide a small ward for children in a hospital at St. George which accommodates the sick and wounded of Krilville Beedlers [?] near Sidney New South Wales.
     At present children can only be admitted when there is room in the men's or woman's wards.
     Their practice is determined to their other patients.

     A philosophical friend has agreed that if one million stamps are sent him by such a time as the Gov. gives, it will be sufficient to build such a ward.
      I have availed in keeping the chain of letters going and your assistance is needed. All you have to do is to make three copies of this letter as I have done only placing the next higher number at the top of the page letter, in all alike, sign your name, and send to three of your friends and they in return will do the same.

     A friend you think will not mind the trouble involved.

     Then send this letter to Mrs. Griffin, Walgros Mills, New South Wales. Enclose ten or more stamps that have been used, also the address of the three friends to whom you sent copies. Any one not wishing to perform this charitable act is asked to return this to Mrs. Griffin that she may know that the chain is broken.
     Although this may seem a small thing to you, yet the broken chain involves serious loss to the undertakings.

     The person receiving no 180 will return it to Mrs. Griffin without further copies as that ends the chain.
                                                                    Your friend,
                                                                        Annie Ross.

Hand written letter on ruled 7.9" by 10" paper. Folded, written on three sides (landscape format).  Paragraphs preserved, original lines much shorter. This letter is mentioned in The Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd edition, under the entry for "Chain letter." Obtained on ebay ( lot # 20929493) from Gary L. Bates, Phoenix, AZ by  D. VanArsdale, 7/29/2000. See later continuation letter - 1910.


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