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I am looking for some help reading these two dates, one at the opening of the letter saying that parents' letter was received, and the other at the closing of the letter from Konrad Gradl. (Peculiar "K") enter image description here

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The funny looking capital "D"? with a bar occurs elsewhere in the letter:

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  • If it helps, this 4 page letter was written by Konrad and Sarah Gradl of Newport, Perry County, Pennsylvania (Northamerica). If the funny letter in the closing is a "D" then this would have to have been written the 14th of Dec., 1848. But it's a strange abbreviation here and also another strange abbreviation in the opening. I don't have any other writing samples from this time period to compare it to
    – widsith
    Commented Mar 9, 2023 at 19:28

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As a first note, this would actually be Kurrentschrift rather than Seutterlin based on the time it was written.

From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:D%C3%A4nische_Kurrentschrift.png, the capital D with the cross was common in Danish script. So high probability that folks in PA may have adopted that (especially if they were from northern Germany, as there is a fair amount of cross-pollination there).

December would usually be abbreviated Dez., so this would be a non-standard usage (looks like Dcbl or possibly Ddl [based on the "d" and "dl" of the signature]) but that is certainly possible. That would need to be judged against other writings perhaps from the area and timeframe to see if they used similar non-standard abbreviations (niederländisch uses "December", not sure about PA Dutch as this would be close to that community).

I think the bottom clip is Deu[t]s[c]he Leute (German people), assuming the couple of "missing" letters are due to poor handwriting. Pretty sure the one above is "Damk..." but without more context not sure what that would actually be as the full word.

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  • Thanks, that's very helpful. I didn't even consider Danish Kurrentschrift. The letter is written in German, but there are some odd spellings like "Deushe Leute" which I believe may be a regional dialect perhaps. Writing about needing a general counsel in Baltimore, Baltimore is spelled "Baldiemor". Maybe he's spelling some things as they sound? In additon to the peculiar 'K', the writing sample also uses a peculiar 'O' with a loop at the bottom much like an English capital 'D'. So it does indeed look like the writer borrowed some letters from the Danish Kurrent.
    – widsith
    Commented Mar 10, 2023 at 12:53

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