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Letter from Joseph Lindon Smith to Corinna Putnam Smith, pages 1, 2 and envelope
Letter from Joseph Lindon Smith to Corinna Putnam Smith, Page 3
Luxor, 12th February 1908

Dearest Corinna,
Last night I left Cairo, in the eight o'clock train and had a compartment to myself all the way after Wasta and this morning at 9.30 arrived in Luxor and Arthur there to meet me - I had telegraphed him I was coming.
I woke up through the night at some of the various towns so well known to us now. Beni Suef. Feschn (?) where we missed Ticking (?). Abu Girgeh - where you all met me once. Siut and Nag Hamadi where I joined you for Christmas - all the dear old familiar little Nile towns with every one of which we have so many associations.
I cannot get it out of my head that you and the nest are not somewhere on the river - slowly coming up to meet me and a dozen times to-day I have noticed that a good sailing breeze was blowing from the North and have found myself saying 'they'll come along well to-day'.
Arthur's welcome and Hortense's was real and warm and has made me feel very gay and cheerful and when I get to work tomorrow morning I shall not be realizing so much how mich I miss you.
Luxor is much the same - a picket fence has been built all along the river bank on the edge from the Mission School past the Post Office to the Anglo American steps and then on again to the Cook's Landing.
Davis has gone up to Assouan - Ayerton found some beautiful jewelry 18th Dynasty and Davis is greatly set up and pleased.
Dal. has left also for Assouan, with the Tiffany's. I'm afraid I shall miss her.
Arthur's mother is her here - she is very nice and the baby is a nice little man. Hortense thinks she will send him back to England with Arthur's mother when she goes in about two weeks from now. All the servants here and the temple guards and the antiquity men and boys ask after you and the others. They all seem delighted to see me, as I certainly am to see them.
Not a single dahabeyah at Luxor.
Prof. Sayce left yesterday for Cairo, his old boat looking badly - Lord and Lady Carnarvon have just arrived and have begun work - Arthur went over to see them this afternoon - they are just as wild and exotic as ever.
Tyndale is over at Deir el Bahri doing some painting and Curelli (?) has been here but there is no excavation being done there this year - nor at Abydos either. "Wretched Jones" is with Lythgoe at Licht I believe.
Carter has been here all through the Summer - and is far from well, and in low spirits again Arthur says - they gave him the 'Service' home - where the Quibells were. He has been doing some of 'my subjects' as Henry Newman would say - but I'm afraid he can't do the trick yet. It don't come in a years work - or five either. Tyndale has written a very readable book on Egyptian subjects and well illustrated it. He devotes an interesting chapter to the discovery of Queen Tii's tomb, and puts in the item that Mr J. Lindon Smith, the American artist, was engaged to paint etc. etc. and was in the tomb once a week before others were admitted - and that he stopped daily at their camp at Bahri on his way home to Luxor, and whetted their curiosity by his descriptions - tho entombed in a death chamber for so many long hours, his spirits were not terribly affected and he remained one of the most amusing companions I ever met, etc etc.
I shall stay on here working until the Cuttings turn up and then on with them to Assouan and Abu Simbel.
Arthur is wild to have me make a camel trip with him to some wonderful remove place little visited - he wants me to go with him when I return from Nubia.
Nothing is to prevent me from painting at least ten good pictures, and then if there is a chance I might think of it. There might be lecture material forthcoming.
The season has been only moderately successful this year, a great scarcity of American visitors being noticed - but people are plentiful here in Luxor - and tho a short one they think it will be successful.
Mr and Mrs Ayer of Chicago are on a Nile steamer coming up.
I have been through the Antikas shops and there is nothing in quality (mi...)table (?) which is a comfort.
Arthur has grown a little fat. He says not and his mother thinks not but he looks so to me - he is looking very well however. They wanted to know all I could tell them about you and wished me to send you their best love and also to Grandma and Grandpa.
No more now - I am crazy to get one from you. There may be a letter to-day but it has been a long time to wait - from the 25th of Jan to February 12th - you I expect had to wait about 16 days for my first communication.
Lots and lots of love, dearest little Mama,


3 page letter on Service d'Antiquités D'Égypte headed letterpaper.


Joseph Lindon Smith


American Archives of Art, reel 5115




open source

Original Format




Joseph Lindon Smith, “1908-2-12 Letter by Joseph Lindon Smith to Corinna Smith,” The Emma B. Andrews Diary Project, accessed May 22, 2024,


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Item: Lindon Smith, Joseph wrote This Item