Sobieski, John. Three Letters Written to Women’s Rights Activist and Suffragist Leader Clara Bewick Colby (1846 – 1916) by Col. John Sobieski (1842 – 1927), a Polish-born American soldier, Union Army veteran and a lecturer. Sobieski was also active in the Prohibition Movement as well as a vocal male supporter of women’s suffrage. The two handwritten letters show an incomplete grasp of English grammar. Sobieski scribbled in haste, using phonetic spelling. In these autograph letters, he uses idioms from a language other than English.
TLS, from Jefferson, Oregon, January 8, 1908. “Mrs. Clara Colby, My Dear Friend:- I regret exceedingly that I was not able to call again before leaving the city. I found it impossible to do so as matters came up that kept me busy to the last moment before taking the train. But I sent my date that I am to be at Canby next week, and if it is possible I will go up to Portland and spend a few hours next Monday. So you can retain the calender [sic] until you hear from me again. Hoping to have the pleasure of meeting you before long and thanking you for all the kindness while in the city. Your friend, John Sobieski”
Autograph Letter Signed, from Modesto, California, 2 pages, 1 sheet, ink on paper. March 1st, 1908 Text: “My De[a]r Friend I wrote you some weeks ago am not certian [sic] you recei[ve]d my letter so I thought I should write you again. You think I am well down in Cal and within 360 miles of Los Angeles it seems to be good to be so near home again. I crave quiet well tho[ugh] I have a cough and have had it for more than a month and do not seem able to get rid of it so I trust all I can do will be all right when I get to Los Angeles and I will [be] there on the 25th of this month. How are you? Will ever as long as I live remember me [my] pleasant visit in your house [&] the kindness you showed me on all acation [sic]. I see that forty ministers in San Francisco are going to preach on women suffrage on the first Sunday in May so you must pray for that. How is [sic] all our Freinds [sic] in Portland [?] do you meet after I am going to [illegible] the Chapmans room. Remember me to all our Friends I had the pleasure of meeting in your office in Dec and Jan. Write me if you have time and to-day Brighten me [in] Los Angeles & with the highest esteem and regards your friend John Sobieski.”
Autograph Letter Signed, from Los Angeles, March 31, 1908, 3 pages, 3 sheets, ink on paper. “My Dear Friend, Was indeed glad in finding your letter among the letters waiting [for] me you see my letter something I had put them away that is you and a layer more to leed [sic] me and had forgot them for a man to forget letters when he gets them in his pocket. I am well and happy for I am home at last after being away from home 312 days and speak in that time had travel[le]d 30,000 miles and had lect[u]red 330 times doing you not think it was doing well for a young man? I am glad you are going to Holland in June it will [be] such a[n] insp[i]ration to you I am sure. Say she have a [illegible] brought the minister then the leading minister of the Christian Church who is a red hat in favor of woman suffrage man and his wife are very tall but shows who is oppose[d] to it. happy is that I will have now a good month rest and glad of it and I think I deser[ve]d it last year. Remember me to all good friends and in much love and [illegible] much of to yourself your friend John Sobieski PS Did not take the coast train home.”