Disappearance of Henry Thomas Smart - son of William Smart
My mother was told that her great grandfather was a remittance man. He disappeared in Baltimore, Maryland, USA in the spring of 1895. His son then about 16 years old, wrote a letter to his grandfather in England asking for help. This is the letter:
I write to you on peculiar circumstances. Daddy left home early Friday morning without letting us know where he was going, and has not returned or wrote to us up to the time I write this letter. We are very much worried concerning him, and we do not know what to think. Dear Grandfather I am the oldest child in this country, and am going to find out what has become of him or whether he has met with foul play or not. Daddy has left me and brother without means, and we would be very greatful to you if you would help us along.
Tell Lizzie if she cares anything about the welfare of her father she will send us the means to find out what has become of him, for without money it is hard to do anything at all in this country. Of course I do not ask her to give me the money if she does not care for his welfare. She can furnish the money and I can do the work and look after things. Please tell me if you sent that one hundred pounds, and if you did please tell me where it was directed too. For if you sent it and he has got it, there has been foul play done.
Daddy would not tell me any of his business or anything about himself until here lately, and what he told me was very little. Three weeks ago Daddy lost his situation through some mean trick of his partner. And since he has been out of work he has been drinking, and has told a good many people about his money and when he was going to get it. Which was very wrong for people in Baltimore to know, because there has been such hard times here all this winter, and people would do almost anything here for money hence comes any idea for there being foul play.
Being done I close with respect to you and Lizzie.
Henry T. Smart, Jr.
P.S. Please send a cablegram telling us whether you have sent the one hundred pounds to Daddy or not so I will know what to do right away. Please address me as Henry T. Smart Jr.
34 First Street
something I can't read
The envelope was addressed to: Wm. Smart, Esq
#291 ______ St. (postmarked over the word...looks like K(P) N (U) ,A (E), G (Q) )
Portsmouth, England G.B.
It was postmarked May 5, 1895
Sent on from Portsmouth May 18
The letter was opened by M.W. Smart of 29 Frog..ing (smeared) who notes "not for him". Stamped May 15 in Portsmouth, May 20th in London and says Returned to office
We have his marriage certificate for a marriage in Baltimore where he lists himself as a widower, so obviously he was married in England and had at least one child/daughter who stayed in England. He married Ellen Ensor who was a widow and previously married to William Fenton. There were 4 children from Ellen's first marriage who were living with Henry in Baltimore in 1880. Ellen and Henry had two children together. I don't know what happened to Ellen either. Henry Jr. seems to be left with no one to turn to for help. When asked about his childhood, he would say, "It is better to let sleeping dogs lie"