This is an original envelope from 1881, sent to Mrs. Eddy in Lynn, by her son, George W. Glover, Jr., from his home in Lead City, Dakota Territory. The envelope was mailed on April 12, 1881, and was received in Lynn twelve days later.
The Mary Baker Eddy Library for the Betterment of Humanity does not have the letter that was sent on this date in this envelope, but it does have the later letter sent to Mrs. Eddy on April 24, 1881. It was to the later letter that Mrs. Eddy referred in her missive on May 4, 1881, in which she said that she regretted to hear of his new mining failure, and wanted to know what ever happened to the $400 that she sent him.
Both George Glover and his wife Nellie were illiterate, so the nice script of the envelope must have come from a local friend. (Glover had to have others write letters for him. I have been told that the writing on the envelope is similar to the writing on the letter of April 24.)
The envelope was purchased on the online auction website, eBay. The dealer from North Dakota who had it wrote to me that he found this when he was going through a large collection of material he had purchased twenty years earlier, which is approximately the time that George Glover III passed away. One always wonders how some of these things were saved and then later made available. It is possible that somehow this envelope later made its way back to the Glover family (by Mrs. Eddy or from her estate) and was sold off after George Glover III passed away. (I have hypothesized that when two of Mrs. Eddy’s grandsons visited her in 1910 that she gave them this envelope as a souvenir, but that is mere speculation.)
By the way, Lead City (now, Lead, South Dakota) is pronounced “Leed,” and it comes from a geological term used in mining. Many years later Mrs. Eddy provided her son there a nice home, and here are some photos taken of that home on a family vacation there:
The message on the sign in front of the house (from the mid-1990s) reads as follows: “The Glover House at 11 Glendale Drive, was built in 1899 as a Christmas gift from Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of the Christian Science Church, to her son George Washington Glover II. At the time of construction, the site was located outside of the city boundaries, but with the rapid growth of the community, the town soon surrounded the house. The garage was originally a carriage house and the stable was behind the garage. Glover, president of the Glover Gold Mining Company, lived in the house for nineteen years, and his widow remained there until 1947. The Homestake Mining Company eventually purchased the house and used it as a residence for company officials. The home was sold to a private family in 1980.”