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French Institute: Sansoucy - Harpin Family Archive

Sansoucy - Harpin Family Archive [1909-1937]


EXTENT: 1 document boxChristmas Card

LINEAR FEET: .5 linear feet

LANGUAGE: French, English

PROVENANCE/SOURCE OF ACQUISITION: The collection was donated by Jacqueline Lessard Finn, a member of the Sansoucy and Harpin families, in 2016.

OWNERSHIP AND LITERARY RIGHTS: The Sansoucy - Harpin Family Archive, 1909-1937, is the physical property of the French Institute, Assumption University. Literary rights, including copyright, belong to the authors or their legal heirs and assigns.

CITE AS: Sansoucy - Harpin Family Archive, 1909-1937, French Institute, Assumption University

RESTRICTIONS ON ACCESS: The collection is available to researchers and other interested parties. Permission for use or reproduction can be obtained from the director of the French Institute and is subject to the Institute’s user policies.


In the fall/early winter of 1909 Napoleon Sansoucy and Corinne Harpin moved from St. Ours, Canada, to Southbridge, Massachusetts with nine of their children. Upon their arrival correspondence started between them and their family members who remained in St. Ours- including their two daughters Anne Marie and Antoinette Sansoucy. Less than a year later, these two daughters joined the rest of the family in Massachusetts. Over the ensuing twenty years, correspondence flowed between the Sansoucy - Harpin family in Massachusetts, and their respective Sansoucy and Harpin relatives in Canada. The daughter Antoinette Sansoucy took over the bulk of the correspondence for the family in Massachusetts, and she/her family received extensive correspondence from relatives including Corinne’s sister Maria Harpin and her husband Philippe Sansoucy, Napoleon Sansoucy’s sisters Dorilla, Azilda, and Anna Sansoucy, and Corinne’s brother Adelard Harpin, otherwise known as Father Jourdain Harpin, OP. The latter’s correspondence is particularly interesting as it documents a focus on the religious wellbeing of the family, while also a financial support of the same.

The 88 letters document this transnational family as it maintains its Franco-Canadian familial connections while assimilating into American culture. Much of the earlier correspondence from Napoleon Sansoucy and Corinne Harpin, as well as the bulk of the correspondence from Canada, was written by unknown persons, as many of the family members were illiterate. Key family deaths, including Corinne Harpin, Isaac Sansoucy, Adelard Harpin (Father Jourdain Harpin), and Philippe Sansoucy are mentioned. Various marriages, details of professional lives, and important moves are also seen throughout these letters.

SERIES: This collection has one series.

Series 1: Correspondence

This series includes correspondence written by various members of the Sansoucy - Harpin family. Key correspondents include Maria Harpin and her husband Philippe Sansoucy, and Adelard Harpin. Correspondence is arranged chronologically; with undated letters appearing at the end of the series.

Full Finding Aid:

1909 Correspondence

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Letter, December 1909

Letter from Corinne Harpin and Napoleon Sansoucy to their daughters Antoinette and Anne Marie Sansoucy.

Letter 1909 DecLetter 1909 Dec

                                                                                                Southbridge, Mass. 1909

Dear little girls, 

I come to give you news. We arrived safely. We left Canada one week later than we were due to leave. We left Canada on the 23rd. We arrived here the eve of St. Catherine which here is one of the biggest holidays of the year, as is Christmas. We ate the holiday turkey as we have it on New Year’s Day.

We are all quite well. We are settled in Southbridge, Mass. The three men are working for a dollar and half a day. The weather is very mild. Eva will probably have a place to work this week. Maxime and the others go to a public school Uncle Pierre Harpin’s family is well as is the family of Jean-Baptiste Harpin. We are almost settled now. I do not like to move. We pay $2.45 in rent each week. We purchased a few necessities. The weather is very mild. The dust flies as on warm summer days.

I hope that you are well. Tell me everything that is new. I wrote to Mde. Durocher before leaving Canada. I don’t know if she received my letter or not. I will write again one of these days. If you need something, procure it at Mr. Lanoie’s. Little Irene is not yet at home. She always wants to go home. The others talk about it less. I will write your uncle, Father Harpin, one of these days as well as to Grandfather. You should write to them from time to time as they are our surrogates. All is very dear in the United States.

Do not delay in answering. It would please us to receive news. For New Years, if you wish, you could spend the vacation in St. Ours. Your uncle Joseph offered to go for you. This way, you could spend several days with him. You could come by train and take the one that goes to St. Ours. It is Mr. Giard who would take you right to the door.  Not much trouble. As for your uncle Philippe, your father spoke a little about this to your aunts. Antoinette, you could speak to them as to the sore feelings left when Mme. Durocher passed through St. Ours and did not stop to see them. The aunts read the letter.

Au revoir.  À bientôt. I hope that the winter will not be too much for you and for us.

                        Napoleon   C. Harpin                  Our address is 71 Worcester St.                                            

Letter, 25 December 1909

Letter from Corinne Harpin and Napoleon Sansoucy to their daughters Antoinette and Anne Marie Sansoucy.

1909 Dec 25 front1909 Dec 25 verso

                                                                                                            Southbridge, Mass. 25 December 1909

Dear little girls,

            I was very happy to receive your news.  I was a little worried.  I was eager to have a letter from St-Aimé.  I hope that you will not be sick this winter.  The illness of Mme. Durocher took me by surprise.  I wrote to her on the 24th of October.  She did not respond.  Her auction took place the 26th.  Perhaps she left as soon as she became ill, before answering me.  I am very sorry.  I will write again one of these days, to wish her a quick recovery and a Happy New Year as well because she is for us more than a good parent.

            We are all well enough except the three little ones who have the measles.  I hope that they will recover soon. Christmas day was very beautiful.  Here it is like New Year Year's Day at home among Canadians.  They give many Christmases to the little children and to the adults.  It's curious.  No one gave me any.

            We hope to see you during the new year.  We send you our best wishes, for good health especially.  I would be too far to take care of you.  I send you a little money for your small expenses.  It will help so that you can have something new for the new year.  You will go to Grandfather's but take to dress carefully for the cold.  Listen well, Antoinette and Anne Marie, so that you will not get sick and freeze your skin.  Uncle Joseph will expect you.  Arrange things so as to please both families.

            Maxime had the measles, but he is better now.  He will start to work this week.  Eva works at the eye-glass shop (American Optical).  She earns $4.80 now.  It is very clean work.  I received a letter from your uncle, Father Harpin, this week.  He writes only about the new year.  He does not seem to be very rich.  You would do well, both of you, to write him a nice little letter for New Year's Day and to ask for his blessing.  It is a bit of protection for the family.  Letters take 4 days to reach him.  Write as soon as you can, and also to Grandfather to tell him that you are coming.  I could write more, but I notice that I am out of paper.

I am writing to Mme. Durocher at the same time as I write to you and I will tell here that you would have liked to be hear her if you had the chance.  I had five teeth pulled recently.  I'm beginning to look prettier.  There are four working and Maxime will start this week.  That will suffice to meet the expenses with a little left over. Here is your uncle's address.  Father A. Harpin, Zurich, Kansas. We send you big kisses through the mail.  Without adding weight, you will receive them.  Au revoir.  Big, big hugs to you from Irene and Germaine.

                                         N. Sansoucy  C. Harpin

1910 Correspondence

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Letter, 16 January 1910

Letter from Napoleon Sansoucy and Corinne Harpin to their daughters Antoinette and Anne Marie Sansoucy. 

Letter, 1910 Jan 16    Letter, 1910 Jan 16

Southbridge, Mass   16 Jan 1910

Dear Antoinette and Anne Marie,

How are you. Well, I hope. During your vacation did they keep you well battened down?  I just received a letter from your aunt Maria. She tells me that Anne Marie remained with her because she had a big cold and that she had gone to Sorel with them and they had fitted her false teeth. Tell me how you got along, if you had enough money, and how much the dentist cost. (The aunt does not talk about this.)  Next, what I want to know is are you well, both of you. I wrote to Mde. Durocher the 26th of December and she wrote me on the 28th. She had barely time to receive my letter and I received hers. She told me that she was well but that she had not forgotten her beloved S-Aimé.

Tell me if you used your vacation time well and how you returned, and Anne Marie, tell me if your cold has passed and if you are pretty with your dentures? Tell me if you saw your uncle Sergius who is in Canada. As for us, we are all well enough. No big news. It is cold enough but there is not much snow. As I write, Irene is near me asking who I am writing to. She always thinks that you will arrive one of these days on the trains that pass in front of the post office. Germaine will go to the public school in March. They have all recovered from the measles.

Speak to me about all your aunts and about Grandfather as well as all that would interest us. Here, it is a matter of who will see the postman coming in order to receive the letters from Canada. First of all, tell us about your uncle. Quick. Write soon. Your parents who do not forget you.

Napoleon        Corine Sansoucy

Letter, 10 February 1910

Letter from Napoleon Sansoucy and Corinne Harpin to their daughters Antoinette and Anne Marie Sansoucy. 

Letter, 1910 Feb 10    Letter, 1910 Feb 10

Southbridge, Mass                 10 February 1910

Dear little girls,

You will perhaps find that I took too long before answering you, but I do not forget you. I am very angry toward Miss Antoinette who is too busy to answer me. Has she forgotten all her French in order to learn English? I suppose. We still speak French while we wait for a response.

I will say that we are all well enough except Horace who is out of work as of Monday. He is ill. He caught cold at work. He will get up tomorrow. The doctor arrived as I write this letter. He found Horace to be much better. I hope the others won’t get sick too. Irene and Germaine are near me. They tell me what to write. Irene asks often if Mihi has her new teeth. She knew that you had none. We told her that you had purchased beautiful new teeth.

Times have been very dull this winter. The men have hardly worked. The work will pick up again in March. I don’t have much news from here. The weather is very variable. Monday, it was very cold, Tuesday, very mild, and today, very cold. That’s the way it is here. The three little boys are learning English. Not a word of French. We are eager to see the springtime renew everything.

I wrote several letters this winter and received several as well. Antoinette, I hope that you will forgive my teasing and that you will write soon. Speak to me about Mme. Durocher and your trip to St. Denis. Also, if it was your uncle Philippe who drove you there. Tell me if grandfather spoke about us and if your uncle Pite talked to you as well. Did you know that Albert Sansoucy is in the United States since the beginning of February? He lives with your uncle, Pierre Arpin.  He hauls wood every day. He is off to not achieving very much.

Anne Marie, I thank you for your fine letter and write again. Tell me about Imelda too. Tell me if you aunts have written to you. Your parents who do not forget you.

 Napoleon Sansoucy          C. Harpin

Letter, 13 March 1910

Letter from Napoleon Sansoucy and Corinne Harpin to their daughter Antoinette Sansoucy. 

Letter, 1910 March 13    Letter, 1910 March 13

Southbridge, Mass 13 March 1910

Dear Antoinette,

How are you. Well, I hope. Voilà, it is already a long time since I have received news from you. I suspect a little that you are not well. I would not want you to overdo. I assure you that illness is not always entertaining. Better to lose a little time to regain strength for later on. Your health needs to be protected. Like Anne Marie. I assure you that I would like to have her near me. I would find the time shorter. It seems to me that she is very ill. As for us, we are all quite well now, but there isn’t much work. The cost of living is very dear here, but when there is work there is greater ease. I assure you that money is not common at this time. When work becomes more available at the end of March, everything will be better.

Eva asks if you are able to send her hat with embroidery on it. If you have not finished the embroidery, she will finish it. Send it by mail, well wrapped, well sealed, and addressed to Southbridge. Send it as soon as possible. Here it is no longer winter. Straw hats have been worn for several days now. I ordered a foot break for a sewing machine, six needles, and three bobbins from Canada, and the total cost me 8 cents. I do not know if you still have some money, but at this moment, I am unable to send you any for any reason. (Do not tell anyone about this.)

A word from Irene, I assure you that she is very eager to see you arrive with Anne Marie. She often talks to me about this. She likes to see the trains go by. She acts like a little one and it’s funny sometimes. She is very naughty at times…She often talks about Canada, of her grandfather and her aunts. She remembers all of that. I don’t know if you received my last letter. It is the second one that I have sent and I have had no news. I hope that you will write soon. Don’t wait until Easter. It is too long. Your parents who do not forget you.

 N. Sansoucy        C. Harpin

Letter, 14 April 1910

Letter from Napoleon Sansoucy and Corinne Harpin to their daughter Antoinette Sansoucy. 

Letter, 1910 April 14    Letter, 1910 April 14

                                                  Southbridge, Mass 14 April 1910                                        

Dear Antoinette,

I just received a letter from your uncle Joseph who says that if you do not feel very well, not to be shy, and not to wait too long before taking some rest. You would be just as well in his home as you would be with us.

Poor Anne Marie. Your uncle Sergius happened to be at uncle Philippe’s when she arrived. He says that she could hardly walk by herself. So, do not wait until that point. It’s too sad when people are sick. I have learned what that is since I have been here. Don’t wait too long. Anne Marie will be happy. It will be distracting for her. You can go to see them every now and then. Health comes before all else. It is what makes life enjoyable here below.

I wrote to your uncle yesterday to arrange things as best he can. As soon as we can come for you, we will. They will give Mme. news of you soon. Come and rest. If the trip were not so costly, your Papa would come to see how things are going. But that’s impossible for the moment. Three are working, Eva, Eucharist, and Horace, and we are going to make a change. In two weeks we are moving to Charlton, three miles from here. It is a quick change. We would have work there immediately, but we can’t move for two weeks. The boss of the place promises to take five hands on arrival. Horace apprenticed as a carpenter last winter and he will have work immediately. They are waiting for the movers. We will be with Erminegilde Potvin and Aunt Marie.

I hope that you will understand these matters and that you will come soon. Irene and Germaine save their Easter cards to show Mihi and to Imelda.

Your parents who do not forget you.

N. Sansoucy       C. Harpin

Letter, 2 May 1910

Letter from Napoleon Sansoucy and Corinne Harpin to their daughter Antoinette Sansoucy. 

Letter, 1910 May 2     Letter, 1910 May 2

                                                                             Charlton, Mass  2 May 1910

Dear Antoinette,

A word to give you some of our news. We are now in Charlton as of Thursday. We are all well. Today, the wallpaper hangers are wallpapering our flat. It is a little place. The three men work. Eva will start to work on Monday. Irene does not like the Irish. She is very uneasy when she cannot return what they do to her. Aunt Marie, Maman’s sister, came to visit yesterday. She is very good and very likeable.

We live in the same building as Erminegilde Potvin. We have several relatives here. We have a little piece of land to sow beautiful flowers from Canada. Eva asks if you could send her hat for Saturday. There is a nice play about Joan of Arc that will take place here in Southbridge the tenth. She reserved a ticket before leaving. If you could send the hat, she would need it.

Don’t wear too much rouge on your cheeks. Tell me about Anne Marie and all sorts of things. Irene is near me, making me move. She wants to write to you. She has much to say. There is a little girl here who drowned last week. This makes Irene very sad. She often cries. Our address is Charlton City, no number


1911 Correspondence

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Letter, 17 February 1911

Letter from Maria Harpin and Phillippe Sansoucy, to Corinne Harpin and Napoleon Sansoucy.

Letter, 1911 Feb 17

                        St-Ours 17 February 1911

Dear Sister and Brother-in-law,

Just a few words to tell you about M. Sansoucy. He is very weak. He had the last rites this noon. The doctor despairs. The end could come very quickly. This poor old man, he is very ready to leave for the grand voyage.

Your sister and brother,

 Maria & Philippe

P.S. I no longer suffers.

Letter, 7 March 1911

Letter from Maria Harpin and Phillippe Sansoucy, to Corinne Harpin and Napoleon Sansoucy.

                                   Letter, 1911 March 7    Letter, 1911 March 7                                                                                                                                                                                                 St-Ours     7 March 1911       

Dear Sister and Brother-in-law,

            We were pleased to receive your news. We were worried. We would say to each other: “Corinne is very ill. No, it is Napoleon.” I hope that you will not be ill very long and I hope that you will recover soon. Take very good care of yourselves. This excessive coughing demands much of us.

Philippe went to the notary, Mr. Richard and to the Curé of St. Roch for the baptismal certificates of the children. Our great regret is that they could not do anything. Philippe told them everything just as it was. They would have liked to age them, but the Curé says that one can never change the baptismal record. We can age them by months, but by someone’s signature, it is impossible. We would have been pleased to be able to render you this small service.

I am enclosing a letter that Adelard had inserted into my envelope to forward to you. He says that he has lost your address. I saw that he had forgotton to write “City.”

You ask us to tell you about the death of Mr. Sansoucy. He had a very gentle death, very consoling. It was, however, preceded by great physical and moral suffering. First, he always feared death. I don’t express myself well. It was not death itself, but more the judgment of God. He had such contrition that he called himself “miserable” and asked God for pardon. He was not, I dare say, for one minute without praying during the last four days before his death. He had several illnesses. The doctor had always said that his bladder illness was incurable despite the fact that he had considerable relief from pain. He also had eczema with insufferable itching. In addition, his heart was not functioning well. He had an insatiable thirst caused by diabetes. One would say that all his suffering in the end became a nervous shock. The doctor was called three times during one night. The doctor told him that all of this was caused by his advanced age. He did not have an agony. He fell into a coma (I don’t know if I write this well). It is a kind of sleep. He died that way, very gently. Not a single gasp. Nothing. He was very well cared for. We know that he is in Heaven. During his last sleep, we thought that he was in agony. He made the sign of the cross two times and asked god for forgiveness in a loud voice. He was happy to die. I truly believe that he did not pass through purgatory because his contrition was so perfect.

Oh well, au revoir my dear ones and be well.

      Maria & Philippe Sansoucy

Do not discuss this with Rosanna. She is so nervous. The girls are well. All they do since the death of their father is talk to me. In a few days, please telephone our home. We have the local telephone, each with a box in our house. Philippe is one of the promoters of the telephone.

Letter, 11 March 1911

Letter from Maria Harpin and Phillippe Sansoucy, to Corinne Harpin and Napoleon Sansoucy.

Letter, 1911 March 11Letter, 1911 March 11

                                           St-Ours     7 March 1911

Dear Sister and Brother-in-law,

We received your letter last evening and we answer immediately, today. Philippe has gone to the rectory this morning. The two baptismal certificates cost 50 cents and with the rest he thought that it would please you to request two low masses for our Mr. Sansoucy. He paid them to Mr. Cormier of St. Roch.

We are very happy that Napoleon is feeling better. I cannot write very long as the mail is about to leave. I hope that you and all the others are well. I came across the card from Germaine yesterday and as I was looking at the kittens, they reminded me of the stories that she used to invent. Au revoir, therefore, my very dear ones. Take good care of yourselves. I would have more to say, but the mail awaits.

 Maria and Philippe

Letter, 29 March 1911

Letter from Maria Harpin and Phillippe Sansoucy, to Corinne Harpin and Napoleon Sansoucy.

Letter, 1911 March 29    Letter, 1911 March 29

                                            St. Ours     29 March 1911

Dear Sister and Brother-in-law,

How are you, my dear ones? Corinne, your ears must have been ringing loudly today because we talked at length about you and our good Aunt Marie who is so close to you. I spent this morning with my aunt Trichon, or rather my aunt, “La Fille,” and you can imagine how much we talked. She has aged a little, but she has retained her lightheartedness.

We are very happy that Napoleon is getting better as well as Maxime. You Adrien, you will gain weight while waiting until you are old enough to work. Imagine, last Sunday while I was looking at my illustrated post cards I found a card addressed to Adrien, my godson, for last year’s New Year’s day. I was saying to Philippe, “It’s strange that Adrien did not respond.” You had a good reason for not answering.

The girls must have sent you a little souvenir of our dear lost one. He looks very natural, doesn’t he? Corinne, tell me about all the others in your family and about my little brothers. Here, the weather is fairly cold. There are only a few maples that have been tapped. The farmers are beginning to be impatient. There is still a lot of snow. It is very different from last year.

Someone told me that Rose Harpin was going to be married, possibly to Eucharist Chapdelaine. The girls were telling me that recently. The son of Aunt Delima, Arthur, also was supposed to be married in the winter, but he postponed the marriage because of illness.  He still isn’t very well. It is a girl from St.Louis.

We embrace you all, each one after the other. Affectionately, Maria and Philippe

Please excuse the ink stain. I have about twenty letters to write and I stained this one as I was putting it in the envelope. The girls tell me that they don’t have the souvenir of their father yet, but they will send it soon.

Letter, 3 May 1911

Letter from Maria Harpin and Phillippe Sansoucy, to Corinne Harpin and Napoleon Sansoucy.

Letter, 1911 May 3    Letter, 1911 May 3

St-Ours    May 3, 1911

Dear Sister and Brother-in-law,

It has already been several weeks since I wrote you. I hope that you are all well and that you stay well! I will tell you about the fine weather in St. Ours. Today we are comfortable in fur coats. Philippe wore his last night when he went into the country for the month of May prayers. The women wore their furs, that is, their stoles. Last week we wore woolen blouses, it was so warm. We have not yet begun to sow, but will begin this week. They made syrup during the month of April. I don’t have to tell Napoleon why they made syrup all month as I know very well that he used to follow the moons very closely and that at the end of April, we still have the March moon.

Oh, what a stain I just made. I ask that you excuse me. I don’t have the time to start over again….

Philippe Lariviere’s family is about to leave St-Ours for Worcester. Philippe is already there and is working. His family will leave shortly.

You don’t come to visit. We would be very happy to see you. It would be entertaining for me. When Mrs. Larose arrived, I was writing you. She asked me if Anne-Marie was well. When I told her that she weighed 125 pounds.  She was surprised…

Au revoir, therefore, my dear ones and be well. Maria and Philippe Sansoucy

Philippe tells me that he traded his horse for a better looking, younger one. He buys his hay from Mr. Lamothe of St. Denis. As for me, I kill flies all day. You remember, Anne-Marie, how I was master of this trade. Good-bye again. We embrace you, one after the other, not all together, you know.

Letter, 24 September 1911

Letter from Joseph Harpin and Victoria Poitevin, to Napoleon Sansoucy and Corinne Harpin.

Letter, 1911 Sept 24Letter, 1911 September 24

St. Ours, 24 Sept. 1911

Dear brother-in-law and sister-in-law,

You can’t imagine the number of ideas that come to me when I can write to you, all the beautiful evening get-togethers of old where we chatted with taste, but let’s hope that the future is preparing equally good ones for us.

I like to believe, cousine, that you have consulted your doctor and that you are feeling better and that all the others are in perfect health. Here we are all well. The little children are back in class. My youngest, Pierre, isn’t walking yet. I’m the one who walks. I haven’t sat down since the beginning of the month of August. I find that very good. Joseph is very well, especially since winning his election, but as for Napoléon, that doesn’t mean that those who lost theirs are sicker.

The work is partly finished. The autumn is very beautiful. We had a hard frost with ice, for example, last week. The cold lasted a couple of days. These days the weather is nice and warm. Today they pulled up the potatoes. I assure you they were not big, especially the little ones. Butter is selling pretty well. Last payday it was worth 25 3/8 cents.

A word about the golden anniversary. First, we didn’t miss this beautiful celebration. At the same time, it was Arthur’s silver anniversary. At nine o’clock in the morning a high mass was sung: deacon, subdeacon, a beautiful sermon by Rev. Father Foucher, master of novices of Joliette. During the mass they distributed the consecrated bread. Afterward we all left for Brûlé because that’s where we celebrated at the paternal homestead. How pretty it was to see the parade of thirty-five carriages. Everyone seemed content. At noontime, everyone took their place at the table. It was set for over 160 people served by the little children. Then came the speeches. The first ones were by six religious. They read a beautiful address, presented several pretty gifts with a purse filled with gold coins for my uncle and one filled with silver coins for Arthur. It was really a beautiful celebration. From time to time, tears mingled with joy. In the afternoon, they had us all pose for our portrait. In the evening, after supper, we had to clear the tables and the dancing began which almost lasted all night. We only stayed the next morning long enough to catch the train. I forgot to tell you that the church was decorated and the house, also the pavilions. I assure you they were not rare. The exhibit took place on the 11th . The weather was nice all the same. I contented myself with watching the carriages go by. Blanche and Joseph went.

I don’t know if we’re wrong, but we’re expecting to go to another wedding. Caroline Morin must begin tomorrow with a Mr. Cournoyer from Prescott, a boy of big Olivier Pierrotte, they have already published two banns. Even though I don’t take up much room, I’m sending you all a large portion of friendship. Joseph [and] Victoria.

You will tell me to whom to send money this autumn.


1912 Correspondence

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Letter, 18 April 1912

Letter from Adelard Harpin, to Corinne Harpin.

Letter, 1912 April 18

St. Anthony’s Church                                                                            

 Rampart and Conti Sts                                   

New Orleans, La                                18 April 1912

My very dear Corinne,

I come to give you a word telling you what has become of me. You will not be without a response. My trip went very well. There, with our good Dominican fathers, I am truly one of the family. I work with them and my work has a chance of being fruitful. Don’t worry, therefore. As for yourself, take care, as you should. I am happy to see that your children remain the same, fearing God, loving their parents, having at heart to do everything in their power for their family, remaining honest and hard-working. Now that the family is complete, do not remain under the conditions where certain incompetent doctors, or dishonest doctors have left you. The family needs you. Take your precautions. Baptiste [brother, Jean Baptiste] will speak for you when there is question of going to the hospital. There is a little money in the Bank of St. Ours, twenty-five dollars, to help with your hospital costs. Many good things to you and to Napoleon. I bless your good family and poor Jean who would so much like to remain.


When you will have seen Ovila, (brother of Adelard and Corinne) I would be relieved to know how he took things concerning the renunciation.

Letter, 16 May 1912

Letter from Adelard Harpin, to Antoinette Sansoucy. 

Letter, 1912 May 16   Letter, 1912 May 16

16 May 1912

Charlton, Mass., RFD No. 70

Very dear niece,

In response to your good letter that I just received telling me that your mother went to the hospital; I sympathize greatly with the pain that strikes us all, but let us hope, let us pray ceaselessly that good St. Anne and her daughter, our good mother, in this beautiful month of Mary, will come to her aid. She will not be unmoved by the good prayers of a brave family that recommends itself to her for their good mother. May the good Lord bring her back wholly joyful. Health first which is happiness that puts joy from the youngest to the oldest.

When I can, I will do everything in my power to go visit her if it is possible. I thank you very much for having alerted me, because one is always sensitive to one’s own. I desire wholeheartedly for you to be well and all of your family. As for me, I am not very strong these days. Mr. and Mrs. Allaire are pretty well, thank God, as is little Eveline who is pretty annoying. You will excuse my handwriting. I write in the evening. I am more at ease.

In finishing, I send you my most sincere friendship and embrace you wholeheartedly as well as the whole family. You will tell your mother that I haven’t forgotten her. I unite my prayers to yours so that the good Lord will bring her back to health. Let her hope, courage always heals.

From your affectionate aunt,

Marie Salva, Charlton, Mass. RFD No. 70

Our address

If you would be so good as to send me a word how your mother is doing as well as all of you. Goodbye. Mr. and Mrs. Allaire send you their friendship. Try to understand everything.

Letter, 21 May 1912

Letter from Adelard Harpin, to Antoinette Sansoucy. 

Letter, 1912 May 21    Letter, 1912 May 21

St. Anthony’s Church                           

Rampart and Conti Sts.                                      

New Orleans, La                 21 May 1912

My dear Antoinette,

Thank you for your letter and the news it gives me of one brave and very dear Corinne. I am answering immediately, without waiting for the opportunity for pen and ink. I pray you, tell me everything, at the risk of making me sad. Tell me the truth. I hope that she will be well through the love and care of her good children.

And you, Antoinette, who takes the mother’s place during her absence, you reveal your courage and Christianity and I am proud of you. I am equally proud of your brothers and sisters who have never failed their mother. Many warm greetings to all of you, and in a special way, to Papa Napoleon.

Tell Corinne that I recommend her to my guardian angel, praying that God will protect her and give her better health for a long time, for all those who love her.

Yours in Our Lord, Father A. Harpin

Letter, 3 August 1912

Letter from Maria Harpin and Philippe Sansoucy, to Napoleon Sansoucy.

Letter, 1912 August 3  Letter, 1912 August 3

                                                St-Ours    3 August 1912
Dear Brother-in-law,

     Your letter arrived yesterday, informing us of the relapse of our dear Corine. I was at Pite’s [Pierre Sansoucy, brother of Napoleon], in Montreal, when the news arrived and I returned this evening.

Our poor Corine, God has given her her share of suffering. You said on your card that she has improved, but that she was very weak. Evidently, she was not strong in the first place. We think about all of you, Napoleon. It is so sad when the mother is ill.

My dear Antoinette, it is you who has the joy of trying to comfort your mother. I know that she is well off with you. Tell her that if I am well, I will do all I possibly can to go to see her in the fall. Antoinette, tell me if the doctor has said that this hemorrhage could recur. It is so dangerous.

I don’t write very long. Rather, I will await news from you, that is, about Corine. Goodnight, my dear ones. I embrace all affectionately, especially our dear Corine. Maria and Philippe Sansoucy

Letter, 9 September 1912

Letter from Adelard Harpin, to Antoinette Sansoucy.

Letter, 1912 September 9  Letter, 1912 September 9

9 September 1912

My good Antoinette,

I wrote to Maria as I was sending you some photographs, and I have not yet had a reply. In other circumstances, I would not think anything of this, but knowing of the illness of my poor Corinne, I am alarmed at this silence. It is probably because the illness is unchanged, and fearing that there will be no recovery they do not want to communicate their worries to others.

May this good mother be preserved for a long time and for a long time be with her family. Guard your own health, Antoinette. You are more courageous than robust. If Maria is still there, tell her that she is naughty and that I will complain to Philippe because she did not answer me. However, she is not strong either, and I certainly have little reason to complain when others make such generous sacrifices.

My blessings on you all, Au revoir, Father Harpin

Letter, 2 October 1912

Letter from Adelard Harpin, to Corinne Harpin.

Letter, 1912 October 2  Letter, 1912 October 2

St. Anthony’s Church
Rampart and Conti Sts.
New Orleans, La.
2 October, 1912

My good and dear Corinne,

I was waiting for the “grasshopper” to give me news about you. I thought, even, that you were about to pack your bags for the next world. I was very worried, when the letter from our good little Antoinette arrived to reassure me. You must be very reasonable, for example, concerning treatments. A good treatment is one that does not worry you. If you are worried, the positive effect of the treatment will be lost.

I am sending you $25 to help you in view of the expenses of the illness. The expenses are nothing. More important is that you recover and that is a great favor for which we cannot sufficiently thank the Good Lord. I write to you the day of the feast of the Guardian Angels, and I pray that the kind angels of your family protect you all in a special manner. Au revoir.

All good things to Napoleon and to your brave children. Adelard

Letter, 7 October 1912

Letter from Maria Harpin and Philippe Sansoucy, to Corinne Harpin and Napoleon Sansoucy.

Letter, 1912 October 7  Letter, 1912 October 7

No translation currently available. 

Letter, 21 October 1912

Letter from Maria Harpin and Philippe Sansoucy, to Corinne Harpin and Napoleon Sansoucy.

Letter, 1912 October 21  Letter, 1912 October 21

St. Ours    21 October 1912

Dear Brother-in-law and sister,

Allow me to come and to chat with you. How are things going, Corine! Tell me. I hope that you continue to recover. Follow a regime. That is most important. I talked to Dr. Larose and he told me that you should follow a rigorous treatment as I discussed with to you at your home.

Now, I will tell you about Germaine. She made her first communion. She was very happy. As you see, I am telling you after her first communion as I did not know until the afternoon before. A Dominican father who was preaching a retreat questioned her and found her capable of communion. Sister St. Pius telephoned me immediately and the next morning I was assisting at mass without any solemn ceremony. It’s not like the old days. Today, the Pope does not want those ceremonies. In the month of May, for example, I think she will renew her first communion in a solemn way. I assure you that she was jumping with excitement and saying, “I was crazy. I didn’t want to come to the convent. Now, I don]t regret it. I made my first communion.” She thinks she is very smart, you know. “But,” she said, “When I think of it. I didn’t know anything in French when I left, and to see that I made my first communion!”

Sister St. Pius told me that you sent her a check for $25. Oh well! I tell you that you do not owe a cent except the six dollars and a half per month. Therefore, that means that you have already paid for nearly four months. As for the washing and ironing, my woman washes and I iron. It does not tire me at all.

I must end this letter and once more, don’t worry about Germaine. She is putting on weight. She has difficulty tying her shoes. Corinne, you must be saying that Maria doesn’t say anything about the five dollars that I gave her.  Did she lose it?  In another letter, I will tell you what I purchased with it.

Bonjour my very dear ones and we strongly embrace all of the family. 

Maria and Philippe

Letter, 20 November 1912

Letter from Adelard Harpin, to Corinne Harpin.

Letter, 1912 November 20

              St. Anthony’s Church
              Rampart and Conti Sts.
              20 November 1912

My very dear Corinne,

Having arranged my affairs, I see that I am able to send you $500 which I do with a big heart and regret that I cannot do more for my beloved sister whom God both tries and blesses. Try to rest and if that does not enough good go to Canada. Go. Maria will be so happy to care for you. As for me, I am in perfect health, and as a consequence I work hard. I thank God for this precious favor. Now, I say au revoir. Many good things to our brave Baptiste and his family. Give me some news about him, and of poor Ovila and Sergius (brothers). To Napoleon and to your children, and to you, my best wishes for good health and success. Adelard


1913 Correspondence

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Letter, 22 January 1913

Letter from Maria Harpin, to Corinne Harpin and Napoleon Sansoucy's children.

Letter, 1913 January 22  Letter, 1913 January 22

St. Ours   22 January 1913

To my very dear nieces and nephews,

I wrote you a few words last evening. There was not enough time before the departure of the mail.

How are you, my dear little girls? Your father tells me that you need rest. Take care of yourselves. I must tell you that I have often been in your midst to mourn with you, my dear ones, to mourn a mother and a sister.

Your uncle, Adelard, wrote that the graves were closing one after the other for us. But for you, this is the most difficult one to close. God has touched you where you are the most vulnerable. We could have said for a long time, “There is little hope. The sacrifice we must make is very great and the void that she leaves is difficult to fill.” On the other hand, my dear nieces and nephews, the consolations are also very great after a life of labor and sacrifice as was that of your mother, my little sister. Yes, we console ourselves. We shall see her in Heaven, near her mother who was mine as well.

Your father is well and will return in several days. Little Germaine is also well. She will return to the convent next Monday. Oh well, I will say goodnight, my dear nieces and nephews and I wish you courage. Your aunt who loves you, Maria

Letter, 24 January 1913

Letter from Adelard Harpin, to Napoleon Sansoucy.

Letter, 1913 January 24

St. Anthony’s Church
                                                                                    Rampart and Conti Sts.
                                                                                    New Orleans, La.
                                                                                    24 January 1913

Dear Napoleon,

Do not cry for Corinne. Heaven is for generous souls such as she. From above, she blesses you and all those that she leaves behind after having given them the finest examples of Christian virtue. Expecting her death, I began thirty days of prayer for her on the 20thConfidance and courage to all of you, my dear ones. Adelard

Letter, 27 December 1913

Letter from Adelard Harpin, to Antoinette Sansoucy.

Letter, 1913 December 27

No translation currently available.

Letter, 31 December 1913

Letter from Maria Harpin and Philippe Sansoucy, to Napoleon Sansoucy and his children.

Letter, 31 December 1913  Letter, 1913 December 31

                    St. Ours
                                31 December 1913

Dear Brother-in-law, nieces and nephews,

Another New Year has arrived! The time goes quickly. We shall soon arrive in the great beyond like those who have preceded us. May the year 1914 be a good year for you. I would like to be near you to give all of you together a big hug. I hope that my godson, Adrien, will not be such a tease with his father and will not anger him so each evening.

My little Germaine, what are you doing? I believe that you don’t think of your aunt, Maria, any more. I am happy to see that you are well at the orphanage where you are now. I was happy to learn that Isaac is learning well and that the sisters were pleased with him as well as Irene.

We were happy to see Horace arrive. You can be sure that we questioned him. This evening he went out in the village with Albert Bonin. They went for a shave. Philippe went to fetch them this evening at Joseph’s. I hope that you are always well, my dear Napoleon. I thank you for the affectionate invitation that you extended to go to visit all of you. Oh well, I shall say goodnight because I still have several letters to write. I would like to write to all my brothers tonight.

PS  Horace did not see Napoleon in passing through Montreal.

Again, goodnight. Maria and Philippe Sansoucy

Permit that Eucharist and his wife find here the expression of my most affectionate wishes. My dear little girls, I hope that you are well. You have more rest now that the children are boarding.

1914 Correspondence

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Letter, 14 January 1914

Letter from Albert Sansoucy, to Antoinette Sansoucy.

Letter, 1914 January 14  Letter, 1914 January 14

No translation currently available.

Letter, 20 April 1914

Letter from Adelard Harpin, to Antoinette Sansoucy.

Letter, 1914 April 20

St. Anthony’s Church
Rampart and Conti Sts.
New Orleans, La.
20 April 1914

My very dear Antoinette,

I thank you for your letter which is a faithful picture of this life with its mixture of good and bad news. I hope that the latter, especially the illness of the father, will become one day or the next the good news that he has recovered and has returned to work. It is well that Isaac is serving Mass. It would be even better if he could arrive at saying it, if that were possible. On the eve of leaving for our convent at Rosaryville for my retreat, I wanted to respond to your fine letter and your good wishes, even though it would be brief. My best compliments to all of you and I bless you all from the bottom of my heart.

Yours in Our Lord, Father Jourdain Harpin

Letter, 3 December 1914

Letter from Adelard Harpin, to Antoinette Sansoucy.

Letter, 1914 December 3

Sacred Heart Church
                                                                                                Fall River, Mass.
                                                                                                3 December 1914

My very dear Antoinette,

I wanted to write, but the disruption of moving did not permit me to find your address. However, you can write to me at the convent of the Dominicans, 818 Middle St., Fall River, Mass. You would be kind to notify Baptiste and the other relatives when you have the time. Please present to them my best wishes. I include a small check to help you.

Au revoir, dear Antoinette, Yours in Our Lord Father Jourdain Harpin, O.P.

Letter, 29 December 1914

Letter from Adelard Harpin, to Antoinette Sansoucy.

Letter, 1914 December 29

Fall River
                                                                                                            29 December 1914

My very dear Antoinette,

I am pleased with the good news that you write about the family. One would say that the regretted mother surrounds you with the same foresight and the same tenderness as on earth, with the difference that God permits her to do more for those whom she continues to love. She loves you even more.

I offer you my best wishes for the new year and I pray God that they may be realized in happiness for all of you. I send a word to Baptiste. You can forward it to his address as my memory fails me on this matter….. All good things to the father, to all the family, and to other relatives. Adelard

1915 Correspondence

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Letter, 31 July 1915

Letter from Adelard Harpin, to Antoinette Sansoucy.

Letter, 1915 July 31  Letter, 1915 July 31

444Convent of the Dominicans
818 Middle St.
Fall River, Mass.
31 July 1915

My good Antoinette,

I received your excellent letter with good news that you take care of the family and I thank you for that.

Adrien, however, is an exception. It is unfortunate, since you have already had your share of trials and borne them courageously. Perhaps that is why you have more. You do not talk about Marianne [Anne Marie], but I see that as reason to believe that she is doing well. And Germaine, does she still tell her stories? She would not want us to be bored. Tell me in you next letter, please, if Imelda still suffers from nerves.

I have just received good news about your father. They tell me that the fresh air in St. Ours was really good for him.

 Eucharist’s household seems very quiet, no? I hope to come to Worcester soon. I will write in advance. Tell my good and dear Aunt Marie that I pray for her during the Holy Mass, and will until I can no more. Many good things to all my relatives and especially to your family.

Au revoir, my good Antoinette. I am always Yours, Father J.A. Harpin, O.P.

Letter, 7 October 1915

Letter from Adelard Harpin, to Antoinette Sansoucy.

Letter, 1915 October 7  Letter, 1915 October 7

Convent of the Dominicans
                                                                                                818 Middle St.
                                                                                                Fall River, Mass.
                                                                                                7 October 1915

To Miss Antoinette Sansoucy,

My good Antoinette,

I send you the interest on your promissory notes. The check was endorsed by me. You have only to obtain the money. Now, tell Hector, please to hold his notes ready so that we can examine them together when I go to Worcester at Christmas time or New Years. I do not want to give these people the opportunity to cheat.

I hope that the health for all of you is good and that Canada revived our good Papa Napoleon. I will go to Canada in a few weeks. I will find out if he behaved. As far as I am concerned, my health is stable, which permits me to work as much as I can. Au revoir, my good Antoinette. Many good things to all my old friends in Worcester, without forgetting Baptiste and our venerable Aunt Marie.

Au revoir and believe me Yours in Our Lord Father Jourdain Harpin, O.P.

Letter, 23 December 1915

Letter from Maria Harpin and Philippe Sansoucy, to Napoleon Sansoucy and his children.

Letter, 1915 December 23  Letter, 1915 December 23

                        St. Ours
                                                                                                            23 Dec 1915

To my dear Brother-in-law Napoleon Sansoucy and his family.

My very dear ones,

I receive your card this evening and I respond immediately. We are very sorry that you received our letter only on Saturday evening. The Notary, Mr. Richard, delivered it to Philippe at eleven o’clock in the evening. He had someone in his office and it was when that person departed that he gave the letter to Philippe. Henri Marchessault does not deliver mail in the morning, so we gave it to Pite Giard on Thursday morning so that it would leave sooner. Often, they put our letters on the train. Perhaps he delayed in mailing it. When we saw that you did have news from him, I telephoned and they told me that he may have delayed by one day.

It is to Attorney Lefebvre, is it not, that you sent the message because it is he who informed us by telephone and Philippe sent him a check immediately. I assure you that Philippe did that. I hope that you are all well. It’s strange that you have no news of Napoleon Harpin. I thought he was in the United States, the poor child. I am happy that you see Ovila once in a while.

Finally, please accept our wishes for the New Year, that it may be good for all of you. Thank you for your Christmas greetings. New Year’s kisses to all.

Maria and Philippe

I send you a check as requested, for $200.00. You can sign it below and present it to the bank that you know. I don’t think they charge more than fifty cents to change it. You can sign one to my personal order and in return, I will send my check that you can cash for fifty cents.

Philippe Sansoucy

1916 Correspondence

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Letter, 5 June 1916

Letter from Maria Harpin and Philippe Sansoucy, to Napoleon Sansoucy.

Letter, 1915 June 5  Letter, 1916 June 5

St. Ours
5 June 1916

Dear Brother-in-law,

It has been a long time since I wrote. Illness and daily chores prevented me from writing until today. I hope that you are all well, my dears. As for me, I will not discuss my health. It is always the same. If I did not have a stomach ache, I would be well.

Since the death of J.-Baptiste, I lost a few pounds. It seems to me that I am regaining a little. I took many medications and I have a “broken stomach.” I weigh the same as I did when I was married.nMy dear Philippe is well. When you write, tell us if you have seen Ovila and Sergius. Poor Ovila, have him come to your house on Sundays once in a while and give him some good advice if you can.

Here it is often raining. The old fields are doing well, but in the new fields, there is absolutely nothing. People have not yet completed their sowing, it has rained so much. Joseph says that he will sow from a row boat in the black soil. He came today with Victoria. They are both well. I have no news of Napoleon Harpin for a long time. If you have news about him, please give me some. Oh well! Bonsoir my very dear ones. I embrace you all affectionately and don’t forget Eucharist and his wife.

Yours from the heart, Maria and Philippe

Letter, 14 October 1916

Letter from Adelard Harpin, to Antoinette Sansoucy.

Letter, 1916 October 14  Letter, 1916 October 14

14 October 1916

My dear Antoinette,

I want to verify that 15 Mildred Ave. is still your address before sending you a check for interest….

Many lovely things to all, Father Harpin

Letter, 19 October 1916

Letter from Adelard Harpin, to Antoinette Sansoucy.

Letter, 1916 October 19  Letter, 1916 October 19

Convent of the Dominicans
                                                                                    818 Middle St.
                                                                                    Fall River, MA
                                                                                    19 October 1916

My dear Antoinette,

I send you, endorsed, a check for your interest. Tell your father, please, to let me know one of these days the year when the promissory notes on the mortgage that he has at the bank become due.

I thank you for the good news that you give me of the family. Your piece of cultivated land and your brave cow who only dreams of rendering you her service, are new for you and most useful.

Many greetings from afar, Father Harpin

Letter, 23 December 1916

Letter from Adelard Harpin, to Antoinette Sansoucy.

Letter, 1916 December 23  Letter, 1916 December 23

                        Fall River
                                                                                                            23 December 1916

To Miss Antoinette Sansoucy

My dear Antoinette,

I am going to Canada to take care of my book on the Rosary which will appear soon. Time will not allow much of a visit to St. Ours, but despite the cold and the poor roads, I will spend New Years Day with our people. I will go by excursion train on the 29th.

I had a little money on deposit here to meet the initial expenses of my book, and voilà, the community saw fit to make a large payment and my deposit no longer was needed. Because it might cause the procurator a little embarrassment to return my funds at this time, I thought of asking you for the loan of one hundred dollars for a short time. In this manner, all will be settled without bothering anyone. If you can arrange this, please write to me sending the check to St. Ours where I will be on the 30th, 31st and 1st of January. I thank you in advance.

I thank you for the news you sent me which are, for the most part, good. Where is Adrien? He had talked about the West. I understood that to mean the prairies of Kansas.

I send my best wishes, dear Antoinette, beginning with your father who would be tempted to do without the good wishes, I suppose, since he has a farm, his orchard, the cows. We must admit that he has much of what can make him happy. On New Year’s Day I will say mass for my people. That will be the best way of fulfilling all my wishes for all those who are dear to me.

Many lovely things to all. Yours, Father Harpin


1917 Correspondence

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Letter, 27 February 1917

Letter from Adelard Harpin, to Antoinette Sansoucy.

Letter, 1917 February 27

Church of the Sacred Heart
235 Court Street
Brockton, Mass.
27 February, 1917

My dear Antoinette,

I am sending you by postal order, $75 on the $100 which you loaned me some time ago. The rest will come later. Please write me a word without delay, so that I know that you have received the money.

I am here for four weeks.

Address to

Reverend Father Harpin, O.P.
Care of Father Choquette
235 Court Street
Brockton, Mass.

My health is solid enough. I receive little news from St. Ours or from the rest of the family. I went there for the holidays, something I had not done since 1886, that is, for over thirty years. Many pleasant things for all the family and friends, and my good Antoinette, and believe me always yours in Our Lord

Father Harpin, O.P.

Letter, 22 May 1917

Letter from Adelard Harpin, to Antoinette Sansoucy.

Letter, 1917 May 22  Letter, 1917 May 22Letter, 1917 May 22

                                                                                                        22 May 1917

 To Mademoiselle Antoinette Sansoucy

My dear Antoinette,

I kept a few of the dollars in interest so that I could give a gratuity to the attorney who was kind enough to consult with me and to transfer my notes. I understood that this would properly interpret your intentions. If the money is not delivered to you now that the formalities have been fulfilled, please let me know.

Since the Community has permitted me to work for my family instead of working for them, it would please them to remit to them the funds that you expend for masses for the dead, even though there would not be very many. I say two masses each month for my family, but your masses give me further opportunities to pray for my dear ones.

There remains the small property of Pabev (?) but I wonder if you have a paper that would permit you to do something at this time. I went through Worcester the other day, but with no time to warn you I did not feel obligated to stop. It will be for another time.

Au revoir, my good Antoinette, and my best greetings to all Yours, Father J.A. Harpin, O.P.

Letter, 16 August 1917

Letter from Adelard Harpin, to Antoinette Sansoucy.

Letter, 1917 August 16

                                                 Fall River
                                                                                                16 August 1917

Dear Antoinette,

What you tell me about Horace and Maxime does not astound me, but is of such a nature as to upset the entire family. This miserable war has oppressed many and will oppress even more. No matter what happens, those two will know how to rise to the height of their duty, honor their adoptive country and their family. I bless them and all the others of the house. If I pass through Worcester one of these days, I will come to say “hello.”

Au revoir, my dear Antoinette and believe that I am always Yours in Our Lord Father J.A. Harpin, O.P.

Letter, 10 December 1917

Letter from Maria Harpin and Philippe Sansoucy, to Napoleon Sansoucy and his children.

Letter, 1917 December 10  Letter, 1917 December 10

St. Ours
10 Dec 1917

To my dear Brother-in-law Napoleon Sansoucy
and his family

My dear ones,

I delayed a little in writing because I waited from day to day to see how it would turn out regarding the road that Philippe gave to Georges Papillon [‘Ti-Pite]. JC sent us a letter from an attorney and then sent a second one, a type of suit. At that point, Philippe telephoned Landot and he must have sent him to the “bonhomme” because we didn’t hear any more about it. Philippe told the whole story to Landot, just as it was, and asked him to put him out when he returned.

We were very happy to know that you returned safely, Napoleon, and Irene, who must talk about her Uncle Philippe from time to time. We were pleased to know that all the children were well.

Napoleon, please note that Philippe is a candidate for town magistrate. There is more activity than ever. He has not purchased hay since you left. He is too expensive for Montreal. I believe that we will leave, Philippe and I, for Stanbridge where the Curé Laron is. Hay is not too expensive around there and I think there would be a few dollars to make. But, it won’t be until after the elections, that is in mid-January.

At Joseph’s they are all well. The girls [sisters of Philippe and Napoleon: Azilda, Dorilla, and Anna] are too, and Justina [niece, daughter of their sister, Alice, deceased at a young age].

Oh, well, I shall say bonjour and be well. Your sister and brother, Maria and Philippe

Sweet kisses to all; a pinch to our godson.

Letter, 21 December 1917

Letter from Adelard Harpin, to Antoinette Sansoucy.

Letter, 1917 December 21  Letter, 1917 December 21

Convent of the Dominicans
818 Middle St.
Fall River, Mass.
21 December 1917

My dear Antoinette,

Before going to preach for a few days, I want to take advantage of some moments of leisure to send you and all the family my best wishes for the New Year. I pray God to extend to all of you a special protection so that during these unfortunate times all of the members of the family will not suffer bad times and separation, or if this cross is inevitable that it be the will of God.

You have not told me any more about the enlistment of Horace and Adrien: this leaves me hoping that it is not yet in question. Au revoir by good Antoinette, and please be kind enough to extend to all the family, the expression of all my devotion.

Yours, always Father J.A. Harpin, O.P.

1918-1919 Correspondence

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Letter, 18 June 1918

Letter from Adelard Harpin, to Antoinette Sansoucy.

Letter, 1918 June 18  Letter, 1918 June 18

Fall River
18 June 1918

My good Antoinette,

I thank you for your good letter which brings new testimony of the pious souvenir that you keep for your good and much lamented mother.

I am sending you three miraculous medals for the three young men who are about to enlist. After Our Lady of Lourdes, it is the Miraculous Medal that obtains the most miracles. And the miracles for the protection of soldiers are particularly fruitful and numerous. This small souvenir will say to my nephews that the prayers of their uncle during mass will follow them wherever their duty calls. Their lives are beautiful given the noble and saintly cause that they will serve.

I am happy that you have purchased a farm, especially since it will provide you during this time of war with precious resources for the economic maintenance of the household.

Certainly I will come to see you when the opportunity permits. Meanwhile, I thank you for your pleasing invitation and please accept for you and all the family the sentiments of

Your very devoted in Our Lord, Father J. Harpin, O.P.

Letter, 1 January 1919

Letter from Adelard Harpin, to Antoinette Sansoucy.

Letter, 1919 January 1  Letter, 1919 January 1

Knights of Columbus
War Activities
Camp Cap Haitien
1 January 1919

To Miss Antoinette Sansoucy

My dear Antoinette,

I come to you from the Republic of Haiti to wish you all a happy and saintly New Year. We have not congratulated ourselves yet for the peace that dried so many tears and has relieved so many souls from deep worries. God be praised for having had mercy on us. After having extracted us from the war, did He unleash a flood of influenza? The news that we had of the United States was of the kind that made us worry a lot. I like to believe that you have been spared.

I was able to visit St. Ours briefly before coming here as Chaplain. I like this work that is beneficial to others and to me. These poor Marines have been here for three years and they have had no one who could talk to them in their language. This abandon had most unfortunate consequences, but finally, good things are happening now.

You have but good news from our boys, I suppose. Many good things to all. Yours,

Father Jourdain Harpin, O.P
United States Marine Station
Cap Haitien, Haiti [stamp 5c]

Letter, 20 July 1919

Letter from Maria Harpin and Philippe Sansoucy, to Antoinette Sansoucy.

Letter, 1919 July 20  Letter, 1919 July 20

St. Ours
20 July 1919

My dear Antoinette,

We received your letter and we are happy to see that you arrived safely. I hope that you found your family well and that there were no further changes since you left for Canada. We are well except Aunt Maria (wife of the writer) who must leave for the hospital on Thursday, the 24th. Her doctor will decide whether or not she will need an operation. I will give you news next week if the illness worsens. That is why I write myself as it tires her.

My dear Antoinette, I assure you that we found the house large since your departure. There is no way to know the future. I assure you that it is not good to walk in the dark this way.

Here, everything is the same. The Reverend Father Després* came to spend a day with me yesterday. Today, Alexandre and Justina [daughter of Alice, deceased sister of Philippe and Napoleon] are here on my porch. They will leave on Tuesday morning. We have not heard from Ernest since you left. I know that he is ….

I bought a little electric bath to bathe Aunt Maria’s feet. She thinks that’s funny. Our Aunt, the daughter of your grandmother, who is a nun [Bernadette, daughter of Edmund,] came to spend part of a day with your aunt [Maria]. She asked many questions about Ernest. She would have liked to see you. Now, please greet your brother and all the other relatives for us. The aunts [Anna, Dorilla, and Exilda,] are well. Aunt Exilda (sometimes spelled Azilda) is much better.

Write us often, Your uncle and aunt, Maria and Philippe Sansoucy  [written by Philippe]

Letter, 19 August 1919

Letter from Maria Harpin, to Antoinette Sansoucy.

Letter, 1919 August 19Letter, 1919 August 19Letter, 1919 August 19Letter, 1919 August 19

St. Ours
19 August 1919

My dear Antoinette,

I hope that you will forgive me my involuntary delay. Many things have happened since you left. First, I am quite well after having been ill for several days, or rather, several weeks. When I left for Montreal, I was feeling better. I went to see my specialist, Doctor Mercier, who received me well, especially when he told me that the operation was not urgent. It is a floating kidney that I have and that is not terminal. It is just that, for me, with the operation that I already had, it causes me greater concern than it might for another. However, I thank God that I am as well as I am. I hope that you and all our family are well.

This evening, I am alone. Your uncle has gone to George’s office. Justina is at the shop with Anna [hat shop] and the other aunts have gone to bed early. On top of that, it’s raining! Here, everyone in the household is well, as are all those at Uncle Joseph’s. We went there yesterday. Aimée-Rose (daughter of Joseph) remained there on vacation for an extra week and we took her back. Last Sunday, she met a handsome and polite young man, a young Pichette from Montreal, who came a little after dinner with his father and his grandmother and his young brother. They had the amiability to take us for a ride in their car. We went to the isle near the dike. When they arrived, my housework had been very well done, just as when I awaited Ernest. He passed through St. Ours on Sunday during mass. I recognized him because he stepped forward and looked onto my window. He must have left during mass as he did not come to greet us. He was with his three brothers. During the afternoon, Justina went to St. Hyacinthe with Bébé Leboeuf, Josephine Mathieu, Dolores, and Germaine, and imagine that Ernest’s car was at the side of the road, just this side of St. Hyacinthe.  

Then, they all spoke together for a few minutes. Could it be that Germaine gave of herself? In St. Aimé, at the orgination of young Gagné and she had seen him once again. He doesn't look like he's excited about her. Gertrude was also in St. Hyacinthe Sunday. She had left on Saturday.

Mr. and Mr.s Richard came to spend the day last Thursday, and during the afternoon, we went to the convent, and Sister St. Ephrosine who has just been named directress spoke of you at length. She likes you a lot. She told me she had rarely sympathized with a young girl as she did with you. She says that she forgives you for not having gone to see her before your departure. Above all, she prays for you.

Roch has not started going back to see Gertrude. Alexandre has come once since you left. François has come four or five times. Marc came once, with Jerome and Lev, engaged to Roberline. Little Joe is not settled anywhere.

I wore my little shirt of serge for the first time with beautiful little shoes. I tell you they are beautiful. Cartie J. L. Joseph H. Louis Sansoucy made them on demand. Uncle. It's your uncle who made them on demand for me. It's your uncle who had me buy them when I passed through Sorel.

The same day that you left, Mrs. Richard  telephoned me, and I told her you had left in the morning. Can you imagine, she had heard that you were going to marry Mr. Lavoie. It's for this reason, I suppose, that we didn't see Joseph-Louis Cartier. There is a rumor that Notary Dufault was going to marry his daughter from down there. Emile comes to chat with Nana from time to time. He is very calm. Your uncle Adelard has not yet arrived. I don't know if he will come soon. We are waiting for him. Our dear Philippe is still very gay and very good. He always comes home singing.

You will excuse my literary style I pray of you. To you and to the others in the house, our best caresses. Don't forget Euchariste and his family. You will speak to me about Serguis and Simonne and all the other relatives.

Maria and Philippe Sansoucy                                                        

Letter, 20 September 1919

Letter from Maria Harpin, to Antoinette Sansoucy.

Letter, 1919 September 20Letter, 1919 September 20

                         St. Ours
                                                             20 September 1919

My dear Antoinette,

We received your letter announcing the marriage of Horace with Miss Grenier. From what you tell us about her, we are very happy with the choice that he made. Now, you will tell your Papa that it is with regret that we are unable to accept his brotherly invitation for the wedding because I am not well enough to make the trip. Your uncle probably would have been able to go with Justina but he will be very busy during that time. He has loaded a barge with hay recently and was not fortunate, so he must monitor his business up close. He has competition.

Here, the weather is nice enough despite the fact that last week  the weather was poor. It rained almost every day. Imagine that yesterday we had visitors from St. Aimé. I would have liked to pump them about Mr. Lanoie, [Ernest] but we had guests here. These people ask me frequently if you correspond. I say, “yes.”

Elise Salvas (later married Edward Lamoureux) came to St. Ours but she did not come to see me. She came with Aunt Delima [sister of Grandfather Isaac] who came to visit with Marie-Anne. Elise went to see Philippe Larrivière.

Marc came to spend two weeks in St. Ours. Francois often comes to see Justina. “La Trude” is at anchor [has no boy friends]. Roch is well situated in Montreal in La Compagnie Transatlantique. He must earn about thirty dollars a week. It is Monsieur LaTouche, his godparent, who placed him. Monsieur is the president of Transatlantique.nYour uncle Joseph’s family and the aunts are well. Monsieur Després has been named the Curé of Frelighsburg, County of Missisquoi. He is very happy. I have no news from your uncle Adelard more recent than yours because he has not written for several weeks.

I am happy about the news that you give me about my little brothers. Bonjour my dear Antoinette and I wish you a good little husband like Ernest. When you think about it, it makes you want to eat the window that he went through in St. Hyacinthe. Oh, the little bonhomme!


Letter, 24 December 1919

Letter from Maria Harpin and Philippe Sansoucy, to Napoleon Sansoucy and his children.

Letter, 1919 December 24  Letter, 1919 December 24

St. Ours
24 December 1919

To our dear brother Napoleon Sansoucy and his family in Worcester

My very dear ones,

I cannot, nor can Philippe, let New Years Day pass without sending you directly our best wishes for happiness during the next year. May it be for you, dear brother-in-law, a year of joy and peace. May all your children, our dear nieces and nephews, find here the expression of our most tender and affectionate sentiments as well as our wishes for the new year.

Philippe asks me to tell you, Napoleon, that he has increased his business. He sells flour now, as well as fertilizer, and when he has free time, he goes as far as the store of Ernest Sansoucy, which Anna and Justina manage.

Au revoir, and don’t forget to transmit our greetings to the families of Eucharist and Horace. Maria and Philippe


1920 Correspondence

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Letter, 2 February 1920

Letter from James A. Hanley, to Napoleon Sansoucy.

Letter, 1920 February 20



Mr. Napoleon Sansoucy,

Dear Sir,    

 I wish to acknowledge with many thanks – receipt of twenty-five dollars from the family for Church Building Fund.  I have given you credit for the amount. For your goodwill and assistance believe me Gratefully Yours
                          James A Hanley
Feb. 2  1920

Letter, 16 June 2020

Letter from Maria Harpin and Philippe Sansoucy, to Antoinette Sansoucy.

Letter, 1920 June 16  Letter, 1920 June 16

16 June 1920

My dear Antoinette,

I delayed in answering but it was involuntary. As usual, I was ill. It is no longer news when I tell you that I have been sick. In any case, I had to spend 15 days in bed. I had something wrong in the intestines and the liver. I am getting better now. I hope that all the family is well. I thank you, my dear Antoinette, for the coat pattern that you kindly sent. It is very attractive.

Alexandre Podvin is getting married this week with a demoiselle from Montreal. François Morin came to see Justina last Sunday. He is in pharmacy. Emile Morin sees a demoiselle Chapdelaine, daughter of Louis, whom your father knew well. Almost all the others that you knew are at anchor except Germain Mathieu who last night had a visit from our Monsieur Henault, a tall young man, very smart. Yvonne and Marc will marry probably in August. Maria Sansoucy is not yet married. I assure you that it is funny to see her. Marie-Aimée bought another baby for herself, her sixth.

Uncle Joseph’s family is well. They are having repairs done to their house.

Here, they are celebrating the St. John the Baptist.

My letter is very unstitched, but on the other hand, it contains a lot of news.

Au revoir, my dear Antoinette. Embrace all the family for us and don’t forget the families of Eucharist and Horace.

Maria and Philippe

Letter, 20 June 1920

Letter from Maria Harpin and Philippe Sansoucy, to Antoinette Sansoucy.

Letter, 1920 June 20

                                        St. Ours
                                                                                                    20 June 1920

My dear Antoinette,

No sooner will you receive one of my letters when another will arrive because I do not want to delay my thanks for the magnificent gift which you amiably sent to your uncle and which, at the same time, will be very useful to me since I won’t have to scold him for letting ashes fall on the carpet. I will have the satisfaction of contemplating that. You knew how to please the two of us.

We had the pleasure of seeing the husband of Elise Lamoureux [the same Lamoureux who hired and trained Max Sansoucy] who came to spend several hours with us and who talked to us about you. He said that Sergius [brother of Maria and Corinne] is now in Worcester. Please tell me all about it.

I will not write at length because I have just written to all the family.

Kisses. Again, thanks.

Au revoir,

Maria and Philippe

Letter, 14 November 1920

Letter from Maria Harpin and Philippe Sansoucy, to Antoinette Sansoucy.

Letter, 1920 November 14

Transcription currently unavailable. 

Letter, 19 December 1920

Letter from Adelard Harpin, to Antoinette Sansoucy.

Letter, 1920 December 19  Letter, 1920 December 19

Convent of the Dominicans
818 Middle Street
Fall River, Mass.
19 December 1920

My dear Antoinette,

I am taking advantage of a free moment during my annual retreat in Fall River to offer you my best wishes as well as to all the family. We are so taken at the end of the year that often we can hardly find time to write to our families. Your news pleased me except what you told me about Adrien who is so brave. Corinne and I suffered earaches together with Isaac when we were grown.

I could talk to you about Kansas. Horace had a very good idea that could not have but pleased me. I thank him, hoping that his little Adelard [ son Horace Adelard] will not give him too many worries. Bless the woman who gives generously to her father and brothers; work so necessary to good health. You have sent me a souvenir of your mother, a saint. My good wishes to all of you without forgetting Eucharist or anyone else.

Yours, Adelard

Letter, 28 December 1920

Letter from Maria Harpin and Philippe Sansoucy, to Napoleon Sansoucy.

Letter, 1920 December 28  Letter, 1920 December 28

St. Ours

28 December 1920

Dear Brother-in-law,

We received your greetings for the New Year and we thank you very much. Please accept ours, no less sincere. We are well enough, Philippe and I and the girls. We hope that Eucharist and Horace will find here the expression of our best wishes for the year 1921. Tell Antoinette that Anna was very pleased with her Saint Rita. Philippe read her life and he says that he would not be able to do as much. I am writing tonight to all the relatives. That is the reason I must be brief.

Most affectionately to all,

Maria and Philippe

1921 Correspondence

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Letter, 25 May 1921

Letter from Maria Harpin and Philippe Sansoucy, to Antoinette Sansoucy.

Letter, 1921 May 25  Letter, 1921 May 25

St. Ours
25 May 1921

My dear Antoinette,

I would have liked to answer you earlier but I couldn’t because I was so occupied. You know that your uncle Philippe has been very sick; since the fifteenth of January he had not gone out, or hardly so. For only about a month now he has been able to go out alone without having us with him. He lost 35 pounds, but he is gaining. He has gained 5 pounds in the last month. His blood is improving and he says that he will be back to his business soon. I am always tired and I must prepare special meals as he and Aunt Anna follow a particular, rather severe regime. They are both under care of Doctor Dubé of Montreal.

Your uncle went to church for the first time for the marriage of Justina which took place at five o’clock, that is at the Angelus. Then, the reception at our aunt’s and they took the train at 6 o’clock. They came to see us last Saturday and left for Ste. Martine. Tuesday morning. Alexandre had work to do at his office. They were very wise the two of them. They will return probably by car shortly.

That handsome Ernest wrote you. What does he have to say? My aunt Safille [a nickname] tells me that there are rumors that his likes you better than Dolores Bonin. It was amusing to hear this old lady. She came to spend an afternoon with me last week. I hope that your father is not aging too much and that the others are all well.

Give them all a kiss and to the families of Horace and Eucharist as well.

Maria and Philippe

Letter, 29 July 1921

Letter from Adelard Harpin, to Antoinette Sansoucy.

Letter, 1921 July 29  Letter, 1921 July 29

                            Convent of the Dominicans
                                                                            818 Middle Street
                                                                            Fall River, Mass.
                                                                            29 July 1921

My dear Antoinette,

I received the appalling news. You would be very kind to give me some details if you know them, on the death that came so suddenly, so unexpected.

I said mass for the deceased on Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday. If he left a little money, I would advise you to offer some for prayers.

There would have been no question as to my saying the funeral mass, but I did not know when it took place. I thought of going to see you in about a week. I will take advantage of the occasion to see Sergius and Aunt Marie, as well as my other relatives.

I will write you in a few days so as to give you the exact date of my arrival. Or rather, let’s say that it will be August 8 in the afternoon if it is possible or the next morning.

You need only to tell me which car to take to Shrewsbury. Do not be concerned about a room to give me. If I sleep at your house, I claim the privilege of sleeping on a straw mat, which is the best in this heat.

Do not be concerned with answering the questions I pose at the beginning of the letter as you would have to write much to answer to the worries of our relatives. Au revoir, my good Antoinette, and please give to all of mine the homage of my best wishes.

Yours in Our Lord

Father J. Harpin, O.P.

Letter, 7 October 1921

Letter from Maria Harpin and Philippe Sansoucy, to Antoinette Sansoucy.

Letter, 1921 October 7  Letter, 1921 October 7

St. Ours
7 October 1921

My dear Antoinette,

Your uncle Adelard wrote to you yesterday from St. Ours where we have had him for three days because he came to preach a retreat near here. He returned this morning in good health. He asked that you forward the obituary for our dear Ovila, but you will not need to since we just received it from Sergius. I delayed in sending it because the curé was absent. We thank you because we know in advance that would have done this for us with pleasure.

Olivine is getting married to Albert Podvin. The scandal that they carry is appalling. If only she will take a name other than ours I would be relieved because each time I hear her called Mrs. Harpin, it hurts.

I do not know if anyone has told you that my wings are dragging again. My age is unfavorable. Your uncle is improving but he still does not have the color that he used to have. His kidney ails him. His regime will help him to heal. I also have been following a regime for two weeks now.

I hope that your father and all the others in the family are well. Your aunts, and Joseph are well. Philippe shook hands with handsome Ernest about a month ago. He went to St. Aimé with Azilda, Charlotte, and Dolores by car. I was supposed to go but I was not well.

Bonjour my dear Antoinette and embrace all the family for us.

Maria and Philippe

Letter, 22 December 1921

Letter from Adelard Harpin, to Antoinette Sansoucy.

Letter, 1921 December 22

Convent of the Dominicans
                             818 Middle Street
                             Fall River, Mass.
                             22 December 1921

My good Antoinette,

. T received your amiable letter and the mass intentions that you sent. Thanks. Your father, I hope, has gotten rid of the grippe and has returned to his daily occupations. I cannot be but happy to see the progress made by Maxime and Adrien. These two brave young men who deserved a truck, they who would have enough heart to give a ride to everyone.

So Sergius is working with you, that is news. The country air and his work will certainly be good for him. While his health seems better than it has ever been, you will be so very happy together that there will be no way to preach a little sermon on the Great Sacrament of Marriage. I fear that you will have to be on top of all this, a strong dose of endurance.

I did not see Mme. Edmond [cousin Charlotte]. It is true that she may have asked for me, but she was unable to see me due to by absence during several weeks.

Your little photos are very sweet and I thank you very much. Of all those on the photo, it is Normand [probably Normand Eisner, husband of Imelda] who is the most self-satisfied.

Isaac is making us wait a long time. I would be less concerned if, in our own family, our uncle, Cyrille Harpin, had not left home at 18 and stopped completely writing his family. I do not forget him at mass. I offer you all my best wishes for the New Year and may God send you his most precious blessings.

Cordially yours in Our Lord

Father J.A. Harpin, O.P.

You would be very kind to remit to Jeannette and to Sergius the notes enclosed in this envelope that I wrote to them.

1922 Correspondence

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Letter, 4 January 1922

Letter from Maria Harpin and Philippe Sansoucy, to Napoleon Sansoucy.

Letter, 1922 January 4  Letter, 1922 January 4

Translation currently unavailable.

Letter, 5 January 1922

Letter from Maria Harpin, to Johanna [surname unknown].

Letter, 1922 January 5  Letter, 1922 January 5

Translation currently unavailable.

Letter, 13 February 1922

Letter from Antoinette Sansoucy to her cousins Julienne, Anna, and Margaret Sansoucy.

Letter, 1922 February 13  Letter, 1922 February 13

Shrewsbury, Mass.
13 February 1922

Very dear cousins, [Julienne, Anna, and Margaret Sansoucy, Putnam, Ct.]

I take advantage of these few moments of leisure to come and chat with you. How are you? Without a doubt, very well, as it is with us. We were enchanted with our trip to Putnam. A big thank you for your kindness toward us. I hope that we will have the opportunity to reciprocate.

I am sending you some little jars of preserves from our fruit trees. The trees were damaged-very sad, no? Papa wants you to know that he sifted the corn with lime and that he was very successful. It is beautiful and very good. He invites you also to come to see his young, little lambs. They are so beautiful and so gentle.

Miss Julienne, I would like to be a little bird. I would go to see your lovely spring hats. They must be very good looking.

I end this letter hoping to read you and to see you soon. Many good things from Papa. My best “Bonjour” to all.


Letter, 2 September 1922

Letter from Maria Harpin, to Napoleon Sansoucy.

Letter, 1922 September 2  Letter, 1922 September 2

                        St. Ours
                                                                                                2 September 1922

Dear Brother-in-law,

We received Antoinette’s letter this evening telling us of your indisposition. I hope that it will not last long. Here, things are not going well, but the doctor does note that our dear Philippe is a little better. Someone told you that he had had the last rites. That’s false. The doctor hopes to keep him for us despite that his illness may be very prolonged. The doctor is permitting him to get up a little starting tomorrow so long as he does not walk. I would have written sooner, but I knew that Dorilla and Joseph were giving you news. For the last year, I have not had a single night of tranquility and my days are full.

I feel better now with my hope reborn. Philippe is on a very severe regime and on absolute rest. His legs cause him to suffer during the night. However, the pain is not as sharp as it was. I hope that you will recover perfectly from your indisposition so that you can go on your trip with Eucharist. Thank Johanna and Blanche for their empathy toward us.

Much affection to all


Letter, 17 December 1922

Letter from Maria Harpin, to Antoinette Sansoucy.

Letter, 1922 December 17  Letter, 1922 December 17

(Memorial Card) St. Ours      
17 December 1922

My dear Antoinette,

I do not want to delay longer before coming to thank you for your sympathetic act toward the soul of your uncle-he was so dear to all of us- in collecting a very nice sum for masses. I have only the address for Johanna and will write to her asking her to thank my nieces and nephews who so nobly contributed in amassing this fund. You have done things with a noble heart. I hope that your Papa returned safely with Amable and that he was not ill.

As for me, my dear Antoinette, the future is very sad and my life is broken. However, I want to bear my cross courageously and offer it to God for our dear Philippe who was my life.

Again, thank you and to all the others because I cannot do it myself not having their addresses.

Affectionately to all,


1923-1924 Correspondence

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Letter, 7 August 1923

Letter from Maria Harpin, to Napoleon Sansoucy and his family.

Letter, 1923 August 7Letter, 1923 August 7Letter, 1923 August 7

Translation currently unavailable. 

Letter, 20 December 1923

Letter from Adelard Harpin, to Antoinette Sansoucy. 

Letter, 1923 December 20Letter, 1923 December 20

Convent of the Dominicans
818 Middle Street
Fall River, Mass.
20 December 1923

To Miss Antoinette Sansoucy

My good Antoinette,

Are you still at home? I should have written, perhaps to Eva, who is now in charge of the responsibilities for the home. In any case, you will not be far away, either at Christmas or New Years Day.

When you see your pastor, tell him, please, that I have asked you to remit my wishes for the New Year, especially for success in getting his new church underway. He is courteous, this brave man, which is not always the rule with our friends, the Irish. It is only just and appropriate that we also try to please him.

I send to you and to all, my best wishes for the New Year. May it bring to all health, success, peace, happiness, at least in the measure that we can expect to find it here on earth. May God bless you now and for eternity.

I preached for fifteen days in Barton, Vermont, not far from where my uncle Pierre Mathieu, had placed me with an Irish family to learn English. Bad weather prevented me from visiting in that area, but I expect to return next summer.

Maxime continues to behave? Adrien is holding up his end? Emile Brulé comes to see you once in a while? And the brave boy of Imelda [ Normand Eisner], he is not as fearful now, I suppose. No. Catholic priests respect the convictions of everyone. They do not confound people nor batter them under the pretext of conversion.

It seems as though Aunt Maria [Harpin Sansoucy, widow of Philippe] is well with the climate and the work in Montreal, so that little by little, very slowly, she will recover. Au revoir, my dear ones and believe me to be

Always yours, Father Harpin, O.P.

Letter, 22 October 1924

Letter from Maria Harpin, to Antoinette Sansoucy.

Letter, 1924 October 22  Letter, 1924 October 22

22 October 1924

My dear Antoinette,

You will surely say that I delay too much in writing. As a matter of fact, I humbly admit my guilt. However, it is somewhat excusable because I have had much work at the bureau since my return from St-Ours, and in the evening I always have something to do. I take my letters to the post myself as I take a walk. It is two arpents from Albert’s. I end my day at 7 o’clock and then have supper and go to church for the month of the Holy Rosary. I come back at about 9 and prepare to go to bed because I have to go down to the store at 8:15 the next morning.

You are very kind to invite me to spend several days with you. I thank you very much but I regret that I cannot go at this time. Perhaps in the winter I will be able to go if the cold is not too severe. My health is good enough for me. My digestion is better and I eat more now.

I hope that your Papa is well and that his trip did not fatigue him too much. We were very happy to see him looking so well. He told us that you were coming to Canada around the time of All Saints Day by car. We would be pleased to see you. If Father Harpin writes and tells me that he will come through Montreal at the beginning of November there will be a day or two after going to St-Ours where he will come to Abbotsford to greet us. Dolores is still with me. Mr. Girouard still courts her.

Good health to all and give my affection to all of you who are so dear.

From your aunt,  Maria  

Christmas Card, 1924

Christmas card from Adelard Harpin, to Antoinette Sansoucy.

Christmas Card, 1924Christmas Card, 1924Christmas Card, 1924

Translation currently unavailable. 

Letter, 29 December 1924

Letter from Adelard Harpin, to Antoinette Sansoucy.

Letter, 1924 December 29  Letter, 1924 December 29

29 December 1924

My good Antoinette,

I anticipated so many letters and cards during the holiday season that in leaving for a week in Amesbury, I told my Superior not to forward the mail. I could not foresee that your kind greetings and letter asking me to come to say the funeral mass for Aunt Marie, something particularly important, would be there. I suppose that all is finished now.

I was very sorry that George and Albert left, even though for only one year. I will send you a word for each one in a few days.

Please give my best regards and wishes to Imelda and her good husband.

Father Harpin

Letter, 30 December 1924

Letter from Adelard Harpin, to Antoinette Sansoucy.

Letter, 1924 December 30  Letter, 1924 December 30

Convent of the Dominicans
818 Middle Street
Fall River, Mass.
30 December 1924

My dear Antoinette,

Martine had asked me for a photograph. You will find one enclosed. I would be obliged if you would forward it to her.

I would be greatly astounded to find that Aunt Marie is still alive. If that is the case, you can tell the Lamoureux family that they, if they judge it to be appropriate, to telephone the Curé Bellerose in Taftville, Connecticut, where I will be this week.

Au revoir, my good Antoinette, and kindly remember me to all my dear ones.

Yours in Our Lord,

Father J. Harpin, O.P.

1925 Correspondence

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Letter, 9 May 1925

Letter from Adelard Harpin, to Antoinette Sansoucy.

Letter, 1925 May 9  Letter, 1925 May 9

              Fall River, Mass.
                                                                          9 May 1925

My good Antoinette,

A word in response to your amiable letter. I will leave on May 15 for a two month trip to the island of Trinidad, 6 miles north of Venezuela, in view of preparing the way for a missionary territory that will be under the direction of the Canadian Dominicans. Travel is a little bit of a characteristic of the family, don’t you think, if we consider myself, Adrien and others. I will try to be home for the raspberries. I congratulate you on being in Shrewsbury.

Au revoir, my very dear ones, and you girls especially, pray for the success of my voyage.


Father Harpin

Letter, 13 May 1925

Letter from Dorilla, Azilda, and Anna Sansoucy, to Napoleon Sansoucy

Letter, 1925 May 13  Letter, 1925 May 13

                         St. Ours
                                                                                                 13 May 1925

Dear Brother,

Last week we received the letter from our dear Antoinette asking us to send seeds for French melons. We were not able to find any. This evening we are mailing two envelopes of a very good variety of melon. Oka. You can read the papers that we have included in each envelope. We took a little time in sending them as we ordered them from Montreal, from Déry’s. These melons have been improved at Oka, as they say on the little papers on the envelopes. We wish you much success even though it is late.

Here it is cold! The sowing will take place quite late. Antoinette tells us that you are in your new house. You must be happy. It feels so good to live with family. We are happy to hear, dear brother, that you are in good health and that your dear ones are as well.

You probably heard of the terrible accident that happened to Azilda in March. She slipped on ice and she displaced her leg. She hurt herself badly to the point of losing consciousness. We had Dr. Dragon come and he relocated her leg. She spent forty days in bed. She suffered during the first weeks. She is starting to walk with crutches. This accident has left her very weak. It happened just as the hat season was beginning. It was a little demoralizing for her and for us.

You saw in the newspapers about the automobile accident that happened to Pite’s  family (Pierre, brother of Napoleon). It was Rosaire who was badly injured, with his jaw fractured. He is at the hospital of St. Hyacinthe and under the care of Dr. Dragon. He is out of danger now. Pite has not been well for a while. He suffers from the kidneys. Justina came to see us two weeks ago with her husband and her little ones. She now has a little girl born in February, Thérèse. They came by car. Alexandre bought himself an enclosed car and he promises to come often.

Bonsoir, dear brother. Good health. Your sisters who think of you often.

Dorilla, Azilda, Anna

Letter, 19 July 1925

Letter from Adelard Harpin, to Antoinette Sansoucy.

Letter, 1925 July 19  Letter, 1925 July 19

Transcription currently unavailable. 

Letter, 22 September 1925

Letter from Adelard Harpin, to Antoinette Sansoucy.

Letter, 1925 September 22  Letter, 1925 September 22

 Convent of the Dominicans                                                   

818 Middle Street
                                                         Fall River, Mass.
                                                          22 September 1925

My very dear Antoinette,

Your photographs are perfectly natural and I congratulate myself for having confided my precious panama to someone who would use it so well. I thank you for this attention.

Our Mr. Tetreault gave signs of life and I imagine easily that his visit only added embarrassment as you were avoiding his choice. I continue to pray for you in a special way during the mass so that your decision will be for your happiness, you who deserve it so well.

My best wishes to all. When you see Calixte Gauthier, please treat him as one of your best friends.

Yours, P. Harpin

Tell my dear Adrien how happy I shall be to see him once again.

1926 Correspondence

Click on thumbnails for larger images

Letter, 3 January 1926

Letter from Adelard Harpin, to Antoinette Sansoucy.

Letter, 1926 January 3  Letter, 1926 January 3

Convent of the Dominicans
818 Middle Street
Fall River, Mass.
3 January 1926

My very dear Antoinette,

I bless your little shop from afar. I conclude by your father’s eagerness to visit that it will be well seen by the public and that your business will be good. Your relatives alone could keep it on its feet. Thank this handsome Albert for remembering me.

And Corporal Lessard, he makes his way. I do not need to have him tell me that he takes good care of his men. He has everything he needs to be a leader. Only, let’s give him the time to become one.

Greetings to all,

Father J. Harpin

Letter, 28 April 1926

Letter from Adelard Harpin, to Antoinette Sansoucy.

Letter, 1926 April 28  Letter, 1926 April 28

Convent of the Dominicans
818 Middle St.
Fall River, Mass.
28 April 1926

My dear Antoinette

            On 31,May I will be near Worcester.  I will say the mass for the marriage of a little cousin, the daughter of Olivine Aubuchon, who will be married on May 31 in Woonsocket.  The mother is the daughter of our uncle Joseph Mathieu. I will not have time to see you on this occasion because I must return for another marriage on June 2. I can easily imagine the regrets of M. Lessard and the dignified manner in which he keeps himself apart. It was the most beautiful compliment he could have made you. He is a beautiful soul and God will surely bless him. Since he has confidence in the future he will not lose his reward. Remember me to the good souvenirs of the father and all the family, including M. Lessard. 

                                                            Sincerely yours,

                                                                        Father Harpin, O.P.                                         

Letter, 14 June 1926

Letter from Aimée-Rose Harpin, to Antoinette Sansoucy.

Leter, 1926 June 14  Letter, 1926 June 14

                  St. Ours
               14 June 1926

Miss Antoinette Sansoucy
Shrewsbury, Mass.

Dear Antoinette,

You must find me negligent. Actually, it has been a long time since I gave you news from us. Not that we had forgotten, but I delayed and the time goes by so quickly. We are under the impression that you will enjoy perfect health, and that all is going well for the milliner. I think, dear Antoinette, that you will have all the success desired.

Pierre (a religious brother of the Clercs St-Viateur) should arrive from the college in Berthierville on Thursday the 17th of June for a two month vacation that he will spend here. When will you come for your vacation in the Basse [home of the Harpin family]. It is so pleasant to take walks in the summer. It is always a pleasure to see you in the Basse.

Aunt Maria came to spend a week with us since her arrival in St-Ours. Since then, she is with the Misses Sansoucy. She is the one who cares for Azilda. The others are very occupied with their hats. I went to see them on Sunday. They told me that their patient was gaining but I think that she is not strong because she is taking a long time to recover.

We will have, on June 29, the marriage of the daughter of the Lord [Seigneur of St-Ours], Miss M.M. Taschereau. It appears that the ceremony will be out of the ordinary. The nuptial blessing will be given to them by a bishop. They talk also about pages, matrons and many maids of honor, and many curious people. In St. Ours, we do not often see such preparations.

And with you, which one is preparing a trousseau?

I think I have written enough to make up for my negligence. Write often and give us news about all of you as that always interests us.

Au revoir and come, come to see us.  Many warm greetings from the family. Your little niece and cousin who always thinks of you.

Aimée-Rose [daughter of Joseph Harpin, brother of Corinne Harpin]

Letter, 8 November 1926

Letter from Dorilla, Azilda, and Anna Sansoucy, to Antoinette Sansoucy.

Letter, 1926 November 8

                  St. Ours
                  8 November 1926

My dear Antoinette,

We have just received your card inviting us to the wedding. We will take part in thought only, as it is impossible for us to attend this great day for our dear Antoinette whom we love so. We thank you very much. We admire the color of the dress for travel. This is a really lovely shade. No doubt that you will be charming in this little dress.

You ask where Aunt Maria is. She has gone to Montreal and lives at 1619 rue Amherst. Father Harpin is also in Montreal, at Cartierville, with the incurables. He is very ill. Your aunt was very pleased that they sent him to Montreal. She can go to see him more often. How is your dear father? Always well, we hope. Give him our good wishes.

I thank you for the hat styles and catalogs that you sent me. They were very useful to me. I am happy to tell you that you are the one who always sends the most beautiful models.

I am sending you the addresses you requested. Our dear Justina is not well. She is expecting again soon. She is not strong.

Bonjour, dear Antoinette. Affectionate kisses.

Your aunts who love you very much. Bonjour to your Father and all the other members of the family.

The aunts

Dorilla, Azilda, Anna

Letter, 13 November 1926

Letter from Joseph Harpin and Victoria Poitevin, to Antoinette Sansoucy. With postscript from Adelard Harpin, to Napoleon Sansoucy.

Letter, 1926 November 13Letter, 1926 November 13Letter, 1926 November 13

Head Office Toronto, Canada
            C.S. Macdonald
            General Manager Confederation
            Life Association

St-Ours 13 November 1926

Dear Brother-in-law, nephews and nieces,

We received a beautiful invitation today and we thank you very much. To tell you the truth, Antoinette, you have concerned me. I remember my promise and I would like to keep it, but under the circumstances I am obliged to give up. On the other hand, I console myself. I know that you will get married anyway.

You make an interesting proposition concerning insurance but I do not have the right to insure in the United States. However, if you had the bright idea of coming to Canada on your honeymoon, then I would arrange a considerable insurance. I would pay your travel.

All the family joins me in wishing you all the happiness that one can have in a marriage.

No doubt you know that Father Harpin [brother] is sick. He spent a month in Trois Rivières and I went to see him while he was there. He is a little paralyzed. He has no feeling in his right hand and he has no memory of this time. He is in Montreal and your Aunt Maria keeps me current as to his health. He is about the same, but does not improve. He spends part of each day up and around. I tell you honestly, Antoinette, that if his health were not such, I made you a promise and I would have kept it. I always hope for a sudden change. I hope that you will come so that we can meet your future husband.

Our best wishes for your happiness,

Your brother and sister-in-law

Joseph and Victoria

Napoleon, come for a spell in Canada. You see, we will smoke our pipes near the stove and we will tell each other as many lies as we can. I have things to tell you, Napoleon. I want to tell them to you, alone. I would not want Antoinette to know this and especially Eva. For five years now, I have implored St. Catherine to favor my nieces. She is a good saint and a patron Saint. I don’t remember what she is a patron for, but she has heard me, or rather, it will come on the 25th of this month. Excuse my silliness.

J. Harpin

1927-1928 Correspondence

Click on thumbnails for larger images

Letter, 10 February 1927

Letter from Dorilla, Azilda, and Anna Sansoucy, to Antoinette Sansoucy.

Letter, 1927 February 10  Letter, 1927 February 10

                               St. Ours
                                                                                                       10 February 1927

To Mme. Joseph Lessard

Our always-dear Antoinette,

We were pleased to receive your good letter. We are happy to know that you and your dear husband are well. We would have loved to see you arrive on your honeymoon, to see our dear Antoinette and to meet our new nephew.

How is it going, dear Antoinette, in your new little home. No doubt you spend happy days with your husband. We hope that these days of happiness will last.

You seem to be most encouraged with your hat shop. We have had to abandon ours. Our aunt Azilda was sick all winter and is still confined to her room. For her health, we have decided, if nothing happens, to leave in the month of May for Sainte Agathe, 60 miles north of Montreal, where many sick people go for convalescence. There is less humidity there than here and she needs fresh air. The mountain climate will favor her. Please inform your dear father [their brother] of our decision. I will write to him in a short while. We have much work to do before moving. Aunt Maria is in Montreal. She has not been well for some time. She was due to come to St-Ours, but was unable to come. Justina has not been to St-Ours for a year. She has a young baby, born the 14 of November. Already, four children. She is not strong. She has two good servants. She says that she will come before our departure for the mountains. We hope to have news from you and your father. Greet them all for us. And to you, an affectionate bonjour.

Your aunts,

Dorilla, Azilda, Anna

Letter, 29 March 1928

Letter from Adelard Harpin, to Antoinette Sansoucy and her husband Joseph Lessard.

Letter, 1928 March 29  Letter, 1928 March 29

Convent of the Dominicans
818 Middle Street
Fall River, Mass
29 March 1928

To Antoinette and Joseph Lessard

Welcome a thousand times to the gracious princess who has installed herself in your home and who will not cease to be a blessing.

My best wishes.

Very devoted in Our Lord, Father Jourdain Harpin, O.P.

Letter, 2 April 1928

Letter from Dorilla, Azilda, and Anna Sansoucy, to Antoinette Sansoucy and Joseph Lessard.

Letter, 1928 April 2  Letter, 1928 April 2

Sainte Agathe-des-Monts
                                                                        2 April 1928

Dear nephew and niece,

With pleasure we have received the announcement of the birth of your little girl “Thanks” with all our hearts. We congratulate you.

We hope that your health, dear Antoinette, is better and we wish you a quick recovery. We prayed St. Rita for you and we continue to invoke her so that she will return you to good health. That is what you desire.

As for us, our health is good enough. We are pleased in our new residence, despite the severe winter that we had. We still have a lot of snow. You could hardly tell that springtime has begun. It doesn’t discourage us, we have rented for another year, the climate here is better for our health.

We hope to read you before long. We are always anxious to have news from you.

Dorilla Azilda Anna

We wish you a Happy Easter.

Letter, 24 September 1928

Letter from Maria Harpin, to Antoinette Sansoucy.

Letter, 1928 September 24  Letter, 1928 September 24

                                                                                     24 September 1928

My dear niece Mme J. Lessard


My dear Antoinette,

I received your good letter which pleased me. I am always happy to know that you are well and to receive news of our dear family.

You have a praiseworthy idea to come and to have your little Jacqueline blessed by Uncle Adelard who would be happy to bless her with all his heart. It would be an event to call to memory for her later.

Maria and Dolores talked about the two of you with affection. They were enchanted to know such a gentle cousin.

I continue my letter which was interrupted by a visit from Uncle Joseph who seems to be well. He continues to sell insurance but he does not have much time to commit to it. Their farm has expanded through the purchase of a new farm that had belonged to Hermenegilde Morin. Meanwhile, they use the same equipment for the two farms which is economical for them. Everything there is expensive.

Maria and Dolores highly praised Germaine, which pleased me. Since you are very close to Blanche, I enclose a letter to her that you can remit to her since I have lost her address. Thank you.

Aunt Maria

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Leslie Choquette
Director of the French Institute
Professor of History

Translation Note

The translations that appear below are the work of the collection's donor, Jacqueline Lessard Finn, a descendant of the family; and Leslie Choquette, Director of the French Institute. 

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For reasons of preservation, French Institute collection materials do not circulate; however, non-rare materials are allowed to circulate through the d’Alzon Library or inter-library loan with the director’s permission.

It should be noted that the Institute’s collection includes a number of Franco-American newspapers from the New England region. Most consist of bound copies and nearly all have been microfilmed. To preserve the bound volumes, the Institute encourages scholars to consult the microfilm copies whenever they are available, for example, at the American Antiquarian Society or the Boston Public Library.