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Chapter 23. Letter Perfect > Drop Me a Line - Pg. 262

Letter Perfect 262 Write Angles You could argue that personal e-mail is essentially the same as a personal letter. However, since e-mail isn't accessible to everyone, letters are still the socially correct form of personal written communication. "Of course," you say, "all those letters the bigwigs write to each other get into the history books." That's certainly true, but even personal letters can influence the course of events. For example, Abigail Adams (1744­1818), the wife of John Adams, America's second president, was an untiring letter writer. After John left their Massachusetts home to serve in the First Continental Congress in Philadelphia, the couple saw each other only intermittently for the next 10 years. While raising the children and managing the family's business affairs, Abigail also became an untiring advocate for women's rights. From her letter of March 31, 1776, came the famous phrase "Remember the ladies!": Remember the Ladies, and be more generous and favourable to them than your ancestors. Do not put such unlimited power into the hands of the Husbands. Remember all Men would be tyrants if they could. If particular care and attention is not paid to the Ladies we are determined to foment a Rebellion, and will not hold ourselves bound by any Laws in which we have no voice, or Representation. Keep this in mind the next time you write a letter to your spouse or lover. You could be making history. Dear Mr. Postman September 28, 1909 Dear Mrs. Coney, Your second card just reached me and I am plumb glad because, although I answered your other, I was wishing I could write to you, for I have had the most charming adventure. I was awakened by a pebble striking my cheek. Something prowling on the bluff above us had dislodged it and it struck me. It was four o'clock, so I arose and spitted my rabbit. The logs had left such a big bed of coals, but some ends were still burning in such a manner that the heat would go both under and over my rabbit. So I put plenty of bacon grease over him and hung him up to roast. Then I went back to bed. I didn't want to start early because the air is too keen for comfort early in the morning .... --Elinore Rupert Stewart Personal letters are written for several important and intriguing reasons. These include an urge to record an experience, the desire to respond to a situation, the craving to maintain contact, a wish to offer congratulations or comfort, and the longing to be creative. Elinore Rupert Stewart, a pioneer trekking west at the turn of the century, wrote for all these reasons. Today, letters such as hers offer us a fascinating record of the westward expansion. Signed, Sealed, Delivered Let's look a little more closely at the reasons why people write personal letters. See which items match your reasons for writing letters to friends and family. (Or why you should start writing them!)