The Emma B. Andrews Diary Project

search icon
jQuery UI Tabs - Default functionality jQuery UI Accordion - Collapse content
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
Steam Dahabeah "Serapis"
25th February 1908

Darling cute girl:
Yesterday I sent off a letter to the family just as soon as we arrived at Assouan. Not long after I met Abdalla on the front street. Looking more or less miserable as he always does with that familiar old shawl bundled around his head and shoulders and that tired listless smile and general bearing. He brightened up, however, and became quite animated and led me into the bazaar and in a few minutes Dowe came flying out of the mosque and was standing excitedly before me.
He was looking well in a light brown dress, well made, as all his garments are and he seemed prosperous.
We stood aside from the crowded little street opposite the mosque door and I went into a court and sat on the bench of a letter writer and talked with Dowe and Abdalla and others who quickly came from all sides. The letter writer came too and Dowe suggested I have a letter written to you which was done [enclosed] and all stood around and made suggestions, and approved, when it was done and the writer read aloud his sentences.
Dowe proudly assured the doubting assembled crowd that the sitt could not only read the letter but the Koran as well, and there was much wagging of heads at your attainments. Dowe reported a good season here, and particularly good for him as it has been a distinctly German invation this Winter, and Dowe and two other men are the only guides here speaking that tongue, so he has done well I expect.
Abdul Rackman, is on the 'Prince Abbas' running from Shellal to Halfa, and the other boys are all away working. Little Mohammed is in Assouan, but I haven't yet seen him.
Over opposite us on the sand bank at Elephantine is the old broken backed "Emis el Wuz" our dear old Ruby Anne in which old craft such happy months were spent by us - she makes me very very homesick for you darling.
Dowe says that the Newmans say they do not want to come out again next Winter and that their boat is for sale possibly to let but I cannot believe this. I will boldly ask them - because that would be just thing for us - if the price did not stand in the way.
The plan as at present formed is to go tomorrow to Shellal where the ship will be coaled, while we are seeing Philae and then the next day we expect to start off for Abu Simbel and they have arranged so that I shall have plenty of time for my painting there, as they all seem to feel that on no account must I miss having as much time as I need and they have brought a large tent so while they go up to Halfa I may camp out there and get that extra two or three days.
Gordon Gardner is a most attractive man, and most thoroughly amusing - we all get along beautifully together - there seems to be no Dahabeya Devil on board. The weather is very fine ad I feel splendidly well, as I always do in Egypt. John Phillips and his wife, are on a small Anglo American boat - the "Indiana" en route from Halfa and Kartoum - they dined with us last night and we had a rousing fantasia and later she sang, and I did 'stunts' - all the silly old ones - which still seem to be so acceptable and amusing - Mr Gardner gets to laughing so that he has to leave the room which is a tribute I rarely receive.
Asouan is full again with Greeks and Italians come to build the dam higher - and entirely submerge Philae - new shops abound, and the general appearance of the cute town so extremely prosperous, so it is light and gay - very different from Luxor - but Luxor is the place for me - another year we might go to Abu Simbel for December and take two or three weeks to float down to Luxor and have about two months there.
I find more and more subjects to paint in Luxor, and there is a wealth of untouched material [for me untouched] in the little painted tombs of Qurnah. Would you rather go to Japan, and spend the winter there or does Egypt tempt you more -
I hope to hear from you before we leave.
Lots and lots of love to all,
those dear cute kiddies - how I long to kiss and hug them and to kiss and hug you, my darling wife
I hope the dear old ones are all well
Your loving


3 page letter from Dahabeah Serapis in Assouan.


Joseph Lindon Smith


American Archives of Art, reel 5115




open source

Original Format




Joseph Lindon Smith, “1908-2-25 Letter by Joseph Lindon Smith to Corinna Smith,” The Emma B. Andrews Diary Project, accessed July 19, 2024,


Item Relations

Item: Lindon Smith, Joseph wrote This Item