March 9 / 55
Dear Bro. Hale
I have telegraphed to Mr Rice. There is a great difference in the safety of boats – and the cheap boats may carry you safely a number of times but there is great danger. If a contract is made for $10 on a first class boat it will be favorable –and I think it can be done.
For Humanity’s sake do something to prevent the fleecing of your emigrants through the inexperience of their leaders. You must listen to experienced Western men if you do not want to pay two prices
The agents of the E. A. Company have so far been green as grass and the emigrants have suffered accordingly. Poetry is a very good thing in its place but I assure you by the time the Emigrants arrive here they have got all over their ringing enthusiasm, and too generally they have been detained and fined hard because your eastern Agents know absolutely nothing about western travel Your emigrants lose most of the railroad connections – they are put to needless hotel expenses and then to
cap the climax they are carried forty-six miles out of their way to give the levee –sharks of St Louis a last chance at their pockets – and our slavery friends point at these things as Abolition philanthropy Now my dear Hale these things are all wrong and all needless. If proper arrangements are made your emigrants need not be detained four hours on the way. Hence your friends in Buffalo Toledo-Chicago & Alton advised of the movement of
the company – let us here have authority to make the necessary contracts for boats – and instead of being detained twenty four hours for a boat they shall not be detained more than three. If you will let western men cooperate with you we can save money time & vexation.
As to the Unitarian [xxx] I would be glad to have them pay my expenses for our explorating tour to Kansas. I propose to organise a church and “lay the pipes” for some good earnest man to settle. I would
go to remain but have a duty here which I must discharge. If the board can pay for supplying my pulpit & expenses I shall be grateful. Let us have a well balanced man for Kansas. How would Ball formerly of Alton do?
Please write as soon as you can – as if my pulpit can be supplied I shall have to write to Barry of Chicago (formerly of Lowell) and I want to be off early in April.
Wm. D. Haley