Mattie W. Burgess
Bina, C. P. India

July 7, 1925

My dear Cousin Mary,

Your letter of May 17th was received June 21 st. I was so glad to hear from you. I thank you very much for the picture of Tommie. How handsome and manly he looks. I know that your heart thrills with pride because of his good work in school and because he is so, good. I am sure that Nancy will have enjoyed her school work in Hamilton.

I think of the little girls who are growing bigger and bigger every day. The twins are now five years old. I hope that Floy and Anne like Kemp and that there is a good school there for them.

I do not get much Fort Worth news. I have heard only from Lily this year. am so sorry that Cousin Annie is not well. I hope that she will get well without an operation. Are you still dieting and are you better than you were when I left Fort Worth?

No one has ever written to me about Lennie's new building. I presume that it was finished a long time ago.

We have had our hot weather and now we are in the midst of the rainy season, Our hot season was not too long this year. The rains began early and are good up to date. This hot season I had to do my cooking most of the time. This is not as easy as it is at home with a gas stove so near at hand. Years ago the kitchens were built a long ways from the rest of the house. My kitchen is about 70 feet from the back veranda. That means a great many steps on a hot day. We have no bakeries or grocery stores from which we can buy ready-to-eat food. If there were not other work calling, it would not be so bad, but I have not the strength to do several hours' mission work and then come home and cook. We now have a cook and I hope that he will stay.

The spring and hot weather is the wedding season in India. The rains began so early this year that there have been a great many weddings after the rains began. Their wedding days are not chosen as are ours. Horoscopes of both bride-elect and bridegroom elect must be compared and a favorable day, according to the planets, chosen by the astrologers.

Child marriage is still practiced around here. 'A little girl about six or seven years old was married a few weeks ago. She had to go to spend a few days in her mother-in-law's house. She cried so much that they sent for a younger sister to come to be company for her. She still mourned so for her own home and refused to eat, so they had to send word to her father to come and get her. They were afraid that she would get sick. There must be many such cases. I know this little girl and her family. A very rich man in Jabalpur has just spend more than $100,000 on the marriage of his daughter. I do not know the particulars.

I shall not be coming home for a while. I shall be glad to come some day and expect to see you all. My love to you and the children and your good man.
Mattie W. Burgess

Mattie W. Burgess
Bina, C. P. India

Oct. 27, 1925
My dear Cousin Mary,
Your letter of Aug. 24th was received just a month ago. I am always so glad to hear from you. You are the only one who has written me anything about Van Zandt's death. In one of our church papers was a brief notice of the accident. I can not tell you how badly I felt. Day and night I saw his bright happy face.

I feel as so sorry for his whole family and for all the aunts and uncles and cousins, my self included.

So the idea of moving to Corpus Christi is growing more and more attractive. No doubt you will be there when I come home. May be I shall land at New Orleans or Galveston. Then I shall not be very far from my Texas cousins.

Mary, it is very kind of your husband to ask me to come live with you. I feel truly highly flattered and I should really like to do it. All your children are very dear to me and I should like to be with them. I am sure that we could have a happy time together and be helpful to each other.

I have now been in India a year. I have 4 1/2 more years, if I keep well. I want to keep well, otherwise my company would not be very desirable.

I have just finished with repairing and whitewashing and cleaning up. Most of our house looks very nice. I left a little work for next year. I am going to-night to Lucknow to see a dentist. Just think of having to travel over 300 miles in order to see a dentist. I shall be gone four or five days. I hope to find some good picture postcards there. Lucknow is a very interesting place. There are many imposing buildings. The Methodist Church has a very large work there, a college for men, one for women, a printing press and publishing house, a church for Europeans and Anglo-Indians, also a large Church for indian Christians.

Floy and Anne must enjoy going about with their father. In a few more years the twins will be taking their turn. My love to everyone. I think of you very very often.

Lovingly your cousin Mattie


Bina, Central Provinces, India

April 14, 1927

My dear Mary,

I had a letter from Lily on Saturday and she told me that you had a little son. I know how happy you all are and my best wishes and my love I send to you all and to the little boy. Lily did not tell me when the baby was born.

I hope to hear from you some day. The twins had a birthday while I was with you and it is hard to realize that they have had thrice more birthdays since then and are now of school age. I hope both are well and are enjoying school. It may be vacation time when this letter reaches you.

I do not know whether schools close early in the South or not. I hope Floy and Anne are keeping well and getting along fine in school. Is Nancy with you? Let me know about Tommie. Boys, as a rule, do not care for letter-writing but I would like so much to hear from Tommie.

We had a fine cold season, invigorating the body and making work easy and pleasant. The hot weather has now begun, it is really spring time. Many of the trees prove it by putting on new green dresses and by blossoming. Other trees have shed their leaves and will be bare until the rains begin in June.

The wheat is being harvested and threshing is in full swing. It is a busy happy time for the farmers and for many who live in the towns but go to the harvest fields to earn extra money, Many women and girls go to help cut the grain with little grass hooks.

The teaching of the Gospel goes on in all kinds of weather. People listen better than ever but they need courage to come out openly for Christ. It is hard to leave caste fellows. I know many poor interesting women, and some very nice young girls. My love to you, dear cousin, and to Mr. Perry and the children.
Ever yours, Mattie W. Burgess


Mattie W. Burgess
Bina, C. P. India
July 6, 1927

My dear Nancy,

I thank you so much for the announcement card of your Commencement exercises. I am so gad that you have persevered and finished high school.

It took a long time for me to get the news of your baby brother. Mrs. Jarvis was the first to tell me that he had actually come. Lily told me that he was going to come. I am sure that he is fine and he has five sisters to entertain him and spoil him. I am sure that your father is very proud of him.

I should like to see you all and hope to do so sometime, but it will probably be two years more before I come home.

I have been pretty well this summer and have enjoyed my work very much. There are so many interesting things going on but it is not easy to write about them. It takes so much time. There are a lot of simple people out here but they are also wise about some things. I visit a woman who is devout but superstitious. She is very fond of our hymns. One day when I went to see her she said, I shall not let you go until you have sung four hymns. There were several neighbor women present and they also seemed to enjoy the hymns. After that, for four weeks, she made some pretext for not visiting with me.

I had made up my mind to go just once more. I went and she invited me in. Her husband was home and he invited me to sing. In a few minutes he went away and then his wife said: "You remember the day I asked you to sing four hymns? When you left one of these women said, 'Yes, the lady will make a Christian of you and take you to her house and you will have to work for her.' So I was afraid and would not let you come in. Finally I told my husband and he said that I was very foolish, that I should learn all I could from you." How I wished that I could make her see that being a Christian was the finest thing in the world.

One woman said to me, "Not many of us will become Christians but the next generation will be Christian." I hope that she is a true prophet.

I wrote to your mother a long time ago. The letter has just come back to me and, without opening it, I send it to her again.

With much love to each and every one ("each and every one" is a favorite expression with many Indians) of you. I am your loving cousin,


Mattie W. Burgess





MATTIE W. BURGESS was the daughter of Thomas Jefferson Burgess, whose brother John William Burgess m. Susan Innes.

Her sister Ida married a son of Moses Lard, the famous preacher. They were divorced and she changed her named to "Laird".


Some of the children of John William Burgess were:
a.Lydia Burgess (LILY)
b.John Innes Burgess m. LENNIE Jarvis
cANNIE Dora Burgess m. Van Zandt Jarvis, a brother of LENNIE Jarvis. One of their children was Isaac Van Zandt Jarvis who died in an accident in 1925 (VAN ZANDT).
d.MARY Estill Burgess
m.1st Thomas Mayben Alexander:
1.Thomas Mayben Alexander, Jr. (TOMMIE)
2. NANCY Elizabeth Alexander
m. 2nd Guy Stockton Perry (MR. PERRY)
1. FLOY Burgess Perry
2. Mary ANNE Perry
3 & 4. Edna and Augusta Perry (TWINS) b Jan. 1, 1920
5. Guy Stockton Perry, Jr., born Sept. 1, 1926 (BABY BOY)
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