French Letter

I came across this French Letter in Theodore Roosevelt. It is 5 pages starting at the below, handwritten and is legible but I started to do it and found it a little beyond my French comprehension. Whoever would like to review it, it would be appreciated.


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  • Dear Ms. Brunsdon:

    Nice to meet you here. (I suspect that I may have seen a username for you at "FromThe Page" -- where I am "LIFrancophone" (I'm not French myself, and I started to learn French in my home region of New York known as "Long Island") . )

    I have not worked on anything at "CROWD"/"By The People" in a while, and while I think I finished reviewing 1 page of the letter that Henry (Rosenberg) mentioned, I have by no means completed the review.  (So if you could complete review, Ms. Brunsdon (or "Myriam", if you prefer), look at what I have done with the 2nd page, and feel free to complete the review.)

    It is a pretty densely-packed text, and a bit difficult for me to decipher (on the other hand, the subject matter is interesting as a glimpse of one man's thinking about the condition of the world a few years before World War I (I think he was (judging by the outbreak and awful impact of World War I and of the later World War II, among other evidence) too optimistic about the stability of world peace, but I have the advantage of having been born long after the letter was written) ; the name of the signer is one of the more-difficult parts for me to decipher (and to learn the identity of with the help of Google) -- I [i]think[/i] that he [i]may[/i] have been an inhabitant of the "Walloon" (French-dominant) province of Luxembourg in Belgium in the late 19th century whose name has been given in a few published sources which I have found via Google Books -- possibly a "curé"/parish priest of that name (and I have found a published document referring to the effects of the German Invasion on the Provinces of Namur and Luxembourg in World War I referring to a Madame "Cyrille Pierret-Claude"); I believe that the signature in the letter (which I recall appears twice) is "Pierret-Cyrill".

    Hi to Henry (Rosenberg), Diane (Estes), to any Library of Congress staffer of staffers who will read this post, and Best Wishes to all others (including Ms. Brunsdon/Myriam) who will read this post.

    Ethan Kent/"EthanFromBellmore" (Bellmore is my hometown on Long Island) -- in New York City. [Smile.]

  • Hello Ethan Kent

    [Myriam is just perfect to use]. Thank you for your kind words.. I will have a further look.

    I am mbrunsdon on 'From the Page' and I did spot your username on the Baron de Vioménil's correspondence [they had me hooked at 'Rochambeau' on this one].

    You may find the Joseph Holt letters in French enjoyable, the writing is not too difficult and fairly clear. May be because it is a woman's writing.

    Taking parts in those transcription projects brings a huge joy to me and I am in such awe of your wonderful Library of Congress.

  • Thanks, Myriam.

    I have done a tiny bit of work with Joseph Holt (who also held other important US "Federal" government positions before the United States Civil War of he 1860s -- he was the head of the US Patents office and then Postmaster General (then a "cabinet" position, and quite important) in the late 1850s -- while he was receiving some of his French-language correspondence), but I have done more with Hannah Arendt's correspondence (the 1950s to 1970s (I was born in 1961) were much closer to my own life and interests than the 1850s were/are).


    As for the Baron de Vioménil, he seems to have been a relatively-important Frenchman (no only as a high-ranking officer among the French soldiers who aided the Continental Army toward the end of the Revolutionary War, but as a steadfast supporter of King Louis XVI ("Seize", in French) who died of wounds trying to defend the then-still-living King (and his family) when a mob attacked the Tuileries palace in 1792 (someone in France should digitize the man's papers from his life in France, I think)  -- who has no yet gotten an article about him posted to English-language Wikipedia.


    I hope that Library of Congress staffers have seen your kind words about the Library of Congress.

    Au revoir,

    Ethan Kent/"EthanFromBellmore" in New York Ciy.