Nov 6, 1896
From: William A Gray
To: Ruth Barrell, New Providence, NJ
I have just finished supper, and by way of desert I am going to write to you.
By some reason, most likely forgetfulness of my father, I did not receive your note of
Wednesday until this morning when I found it on the breakfast table. The delay however
was of no serious consequence as the contents were not of a perishable nature, and
proved just as sweet to my mind as though no delay had occurred.
I had it in mind to see you for a few short minutes tonight but upon second thought,
and in humble submission to your advice, perhaps it is best for me to forego the visit
tonight and place all anticipation on Sunday, which I shall be very glad to spend with you,
if you will permit.
Thanks for your loving solicitation, my head ache, as is usually the case, departed
with the night and I awoke Wednesday morning with a head which was perfectly clear, and
not a bit swollen, a fact which certainly is not true of all who recover consciousness on the
morning following eventful Tuesday.
You said “Hurrah for McKinley,” permit me to reecho those words with all my heart.
May he live long and be reelected many times.
What a glorious display of the integrity and wisdom of the people of this truly great
nation, who are not to be bamboozled or humbugged when it comes to questions of bread
and butter and common honesty. It is certainly very gratifying to note that the country is so
full of level headed people who can not be blinded to the heresy of a cause, however
gifted its champion may be in setting it forth as true law and gospel.
I have very little sympathy for Mr Bryan, because it seems to me he should have
known better than to have stirred up a discordant current in the sentiments of our people,
and I am now convinced that he, himself, had no faith in his own doctrine, except as a
means of gaining a livelihood for No 1. There is now nothing left for him to do but to start in
search of some bottomless pit, and spend the remainder of his days, when he finds it, in
looking for the bottom. He will no doubt have more success in finding it than in securing
the Presidency of these United States. Perhaps the oblivion into which his defeat has cast
him is appropriately described in the 20th chapter of Job 7th and 8th versus, which read:
He shall fly away as a dream, and shall not be found: Yea, he shall be chased away
as a vision of the night!
The eye also which saw him shall see him no more; neither shall his place any more
Pardon me for bringing politics into this letter, Ruth. I can’t offer any reason for
having done so except that I accidentally entered into it, and of necessity, had to see it to a
conclusion, the attainment of what was just as painful to me in reaching as it certainly will
be for you to read.
I learned from Gardie tonight with much sorrow of the death of Mr and Mrs Lovel’s
infant child and of the hopelessness in the case of Abe’s.
My sorrow grows to anger when I think of the carelessness due to ignorance on the
part of that thrice branded consummate “quack” Dr A M Cory whose license should be
revoked, and a penalty imposed even for practicing on dogs.
I am referring now to his treatment of the original case, the one which as far as I can
understand, has done all the harm. Perhaps I am rather hard on the old doctor, of whom,
by reason of his age I should speak more respectfully, and I will retract some of the
preceding hard words, if you think it best. I can only say that I would not have Dr Cory treat
a sick dog of mine except that I might become so heartless as to wish for that creature
I sincerely hope that the disease has reached its limit and that the strictest care and
vigilance will be exercised by all to prevent it from spreading further.
Perhaps it is time for me to stop writing as all sensible thought has melted away and
my mind seems wearied of seriousness and fain would turn to nonsense.
In my estimation this letter is a very awkward mixed up affair, and it is really not
right of me to inflict it upon you. However, there are a few clauses such as refer to yourself,
that are offered in all sincerity, and the remainder, if you choose, you can cancel with that
So, my dear Ruth, I will say good night for now and carry a good morning in my
mind, the two being separated by about 3 hours of fleeting time which I shall not notice
going, as any leisure I will leave during that interval will be filled by thoughts of you.
Take good care of yourself, especially so at this season of fickle thermometers, and
accept the best wishes and deepest affection of
Yours for all time