It's not often you find a letter that begins, "I was just chasing & trying to catch three sparrows that flew into the Reading Room ...." The letter was written on November 11, 1900 by a Harvard student working in the Boston Athenaeum. The student was Edwin DeTurck Bechtel (1880-1957) who later became an attorney and an authority on roses. The letter is a personal letter written on Boston Athenaeum letterhead to Bechtel's family in South Evansville, PA. The first paragraph of Bechtel's letter continues, "I overheated myself, but did not get the birds, and they are now sitting on a molding near the ceiling poking fun at me." A nice addition to my postal librariana collection.
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