Jackson Co. Mo.
Nov 16, 1854
Dear Rev Jocelyn
I wrote you on my arival at this place. That letter you have doubtless ere this received, as the Missionary addressed to mine here has just come. When I wrote I was sick & had been for a week. I hoped however then to be well in a few days. I was able to be around a little for a few days until we got a house, a few things together & got into it. But all the time my dysentery continued. I grew weaker & weaker until at length we succeded in checking, & changing the character of the disease from a dysentery to a diarehea. In this form it seemed stubborn for some days.
About this time my wife was taken very sick. Some of her symptoms seemed rather alarming. At this crisis the Lord sent in a physician who had just landed from a boat-He had come out along with a [xxx]com He proscribed for us
& left some medicine which has in a great measure relieved me. My wife also is better, but is still unable to sit up but a little while at a time.
It was on Sabbath last that that physician called. He has been up into the territory & this morn returned & made us a call & has proscribed still farther for Mrs. A. He seems to be a very intelligent physician, a fine man-has been connected as physician with the U. S. Army. Is from Maryland, owns slaves; but is opposed to Slavery’s cursing any more territory. Says he wants to get rid of his slaves. Has offered to send them to Liberia but says they do not want to go there to sell them-he cannot do it & will not. He does not want to bring them to Kansas-thinks he will soon return to Maryland & take them to some colored settlement in some free state & make provision for them as good as he can & then let them shift for themselves. So much, by the way about this stranger, physician, & slaveholder who says he has fully made up his mind to emancipate his slaves.
Bro. Jocelyn the greater portion of those whom come & visit the territory are
much pleased. But there are hundreds who are disappointed & return or go some where else. But the worst features are vast portions of those now in the territory have as yet no shelter but tents-timber to make cabins of in most places is very scarce. Their food of the plainest kind, & hundreds have nothing to buy any thing with, having spent their all in getting here. Great multitudes find that it cost them about double what they supposed it would before they started. Hence they expect to sufficiency for themselves & families until they could raise something next year, now find themselves objects of charity. Diarhea is very common among the emigrants on ariving here-several persons, some adults, but especially children have with it in this place.
Provisions a high; and many have not the means to obtain it at any price. I
see not how there can help but be much suffering & sickness in the territory
this winter & next Spring.
We had a snow storm here on the 10th which was unexpected & severe. Hundreds of emigrants camped near us-some building fires where they could get wood, others spending the night- women & children in their [xxx] without fire. The
[xxx] fell so as to be about two inches deep, & continued on the ground some two or three days. Such is our first tast of winter here.
Our goods have arrived, & the fare on them was far more than I expected. There is such an immense amount of freight coming west, & every one endeavoring to push his through at whatever expense has raised the price. Our sickness had so reduced us that I have had to borrow $25.00 in order to get our food. I borrowed until I could have time to write to you & get a draft. I hope I shall not be disappointed in receiving a draft of one Hundred dollars immediately in this time of our sickness & need.
If you can send immediately to our relief, address me Kansas City, Jackson Co., Mo. I think I would find no difficulty in disposing of your drafts here.
We live in strong hope of soon being well. And as soon as health is restored, D. V. I design going into the territory & visiting the more prominent settlements. And if I take my family into the territory in the spring, I see not, as everything is so high, that I can get a house built – my family & effects moved, & supplies for the summer, without $200, or $250, in the spring. After that-less [xxx] answer.