May 3 1855
Rev. S. S. Jocelyn
Your letter of the 13th ult came to hand to day. Accept of our most sincere thanks for it-its kind words of advice, encouragement & sympathy; and for the Drft of $100 it contained. We feel relieved. Shall first pay what I owe; then make the remainder of the hundred dollars last as long as possible in meeting our real wants. If God in his Providence smiles we think we can get along comfortable till next fall without further help, or aid from the A. M. A. Shall try. My wife now takes in sewing & washing- will continue to do so if we find it necessary. Please omit this last fact, if you publish any thing from this letter in the paper. My son is quite a help-works well. We have taken pains to get a garden started. It was very dry for a time. Spring here, it is said, is some six weeks later than usual. The weather generally was, untill about a fortnight since, cold, windy, & dry. Since then it has been warmer. Grass is now up
so that there is an abundance of feed for cattle & horses. We had no rain until the last day of April. Yet the grass was quite green on most of the prairies. Such is the nature of the soil here, that the grass greens although there had been almost no rain for nearly a year. On the first of May we had a first rain. My garden was made in fresh loose soil. Potatoes & other things are coming up before the rain. They now look well. This, to my family, who have had no vegitables scarely since we left Ohio, is very cheering. All are in good health, cheerful & happy.
Our Sunday School is to be organized sabbeth after next. We need books much-shall contribute among ourselves what we can for the purpose of procuring a library. On account of the absence of one or two of our principle men we have not yet organized a church. Shall do it as soon as circumstances will admit. I expect to preach here, & in this vicinity about one half of the time. 12 miles from here once in four weeks-The remainder of the time in destitute places wherever I shall find them. Expect occasionally to take several weeks together & make longer tours searching out the destitute places.
Brother Finch lives near me. I have not yet had the pleasure of hearing him
preach, but had frequent interviews with him-esteem him as a christian brother
& minister- his
spirit seems good. We held a consultation today with regard to the best method of introducing the gospel & establishing a Sunday School in a destitute settlement- part Missourians- some of them free soilers- part from Ohio, Indiana, Ill, Iowa, with a sprinkling of Eastern men.- Most of them rather of the poorer & more ignorant class. We have each preached once there- were well received & we now think of making regular appointments & trying to start a Sunday School. We have had three deaths in our neighborhood within a short time. Two of them were ladies- died soon after confinement- both left a number of children. One was a campbellite- the other did not, so far as I could learn ever profess religion- both were from Iowa. The other person that died was a child, only a few months old- The family were but recently from Utica N. Y. The child was sick when they arrived here. One lady now lies low with consumption-is from Indiana- is a professing christian- a congregationalist. Her mind has been somewhat dark- her family lies heavy on her mind- her husband is not pious- she has two little children. I recently, at her request, preached at her house,- though suffering great pain She gave good attention during the discourse. Said as I left she felt much refreshed by it. I hope to see her again on the morrow. The husband, though a very wicked man, seems kind to her, & urges me to come & see his wife & talk & pray with her as often as I can.
Emigrants still come in large numbers. Settlements are fast faring throughout all this region. While by far the largest portion of the Emigrants are from the free-States, yet many are coming from the Slave States. Only a few, however, will yet venture to bring their slaves- and those that do, so far as I know, have brought but one, or two at the most. They manifestly feel that it is not safe. Some from the Slave States are also anti Slavery. Among the Eastern men- more of them than any other class, for some reason- get discouraged & go back disheartened & dissatisfied. I fear too many of them have come here under the pressure of wrong motives. They either come to speculate, to stay if all things right or easy- etc- But not to toil on & to make sacrifices for the gospel & for the slaves. But do not understand me to all, or to larger portion that come from the East. Many of our most firm, reliable & self-sacrificing men are from the East.- Men who have enlisted for life, or during the war. They do not expect to turn back. This is the kind of men we want. Those that turn the back are not the kind of men we want. I would not, if I could, persuade such men to stay here-- they would discourage us in the day of battle. Those who would come from more monied considerations, or who are fearful or faint-hearted, had better not come & would do us a favor to stay away.
I have received a circular from you or Bro. Tappan. Shall endeavor to do what I can for the Association & the paper.
Please send one copy of the Amer-Mis- to O. C. Brown, Kansas City, Jackson Co, Mo. I have not yet received the April no. of the Amer. Mis. My interest in the A. M. A. and its objects strenghtens from time to time.
Yours as ever,
S. L. Adair