I.B. Letters from Natica I. Bates to Oric Bates and Arlo Bates, circa 1913-1916

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Series I.B. Letters from Natica Inches Bates to Oric Bates and Arlo Bates, predominantly includes letters sent from Natica to husband Oric Bates from Boston while Oric was working as an archeologist overseas. The letters tell of Natica Bates’ life in Boston during her husband’s absence and include her commentary on her social and home activities, particularly in regard to caring for the couple’s infant first son, Mandon Bates (1915-2001). Other social and familial topics include accounts regarding the Bates’ dog, “Pickles”; the family car, “Fordy”; and the comings and goings of family friends. Writing during World War I, Natica also wrote of the censorship wall in Europe, as well as “the German’s sinking submarines in the Mediterranean.” Many of these letters were posted from the Bates’ home at 31 Lime Street, Boston, and were addressed to the American Consulates at Alexandria, Egypt and later Yokohama, Japan, both near Oric Bates’ archeological digging sites. The series also includes six undated letters written by Natica Bates to her father-in-law, Arlo Bates, and sent from Cairo, Egypt where she had accompanied her husband on an expedition, probably in 1913. Most of these letters were written by Natica on the stationery of the Ghezirah Palace in Cairo, Egypt, where she was laid up with a mild case of diphtheria but still seemingly in good spirits, writing of learning Arabic and enjoying views from the hotel balcony.


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