Overseas Communication and the Birth of Frank Cheney Farley, 1881

From Penny Pelham Williams we recently received a fascinating set of photos and letters surrounding the 142nd anniversary of her grandfather Frank Cheney Farley’s birth in Yokohama.  His mother Katharine S. Cheney was the eldest child of Frank Cheney, the youngest of the eight “original” Cheney brothers, who founded Cheney Brothers Silk in Manchester, CT. Here is a letter from Katherine (Kitty) Cheney to her mother just before the birth of Frank C. Farley in 1880. Imagine how long it took to send and receive communications in 1880.

Yokohama, November 25, 1880
My letter had just left the house, when Gus sent me a note with the word that had come in the telegram from Manchester, and you can imagine how happy I felt, when I looked it up in the code and found that you were all well, it was a real Thanksgiving message and I am sure you thought it would be, when you sent it.  It has done me ever so much good, for it is a great comfort to hear you are all right.  The world does not seem so very big after all, when a message comes so soon from one side to the other.

With love to all, your affectionate daughter, Katharine (Kitty)

Baby Frank with his father, his amah and his mother, 1881

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