8th Sep. 1855
Rev. S. S. Jocelyn
Sec. A. M. A.
I wrote you on the 17th ult- received a Form for Miss. Report on the 24th- & your letter of the 7th on the 30th. My letter of the 17th contained much of the information sought for by the blank Form: and also answers to some of the inquiries made in your letter of the 7th though it had not then come to hand. The Form came to hand as I was about leaving home for a few days. I filled it, & sent it on as soon as I could after my return. I now notice some things refered to in your letter, & may repeat in substance some things spoken of in my letter of the 17th.
The Amer. Miss. comes to hand, but often long after date. So of all our papers & many of our letters.
A Post Rout has been established through this part K. T. Osawatomie is made a point. We have a post master who discharges the duties of the office as far as he can without a commission from Washington. We have petioned that he be regularly appointed; but have not yet received a reply. We have a weekly Stage running to Kansas City which carries the mail, the expense of which is borne by voluntary contribution; and it is supposed with have to be thus borne until contacts are made next January.
Our mail matter mostly comes addressed Osawatomie, Kansas Territory. You will please address me thus hereafter.
The Sabbath School Library spoken of has just arrived. There being no Express Line farther than St. Louis, the freight on it could not be paid farther than that place. The remaining charge (75 cts) I have paid; it will probably be refunded to me by the School here. From Kansas City have I obtained it brought without charge. It will, I trust add much to the interest of our school. I shall soon write a letter to the donors as you suggested.
Salary & the last $100- received. So far as I know, no definite sum was ever specified in any of your letters, nor was any formal commission ever received specifying the time at which the year was to commence. So much was said, however, in regard to the amount that I expected $400- for the year, & possibly $500, if it was found in this new & untried field a less sum would not be
sufficient to meet the necessary expenses of my family. I am sorry that my statements were so ambiguous, or so expressed, as to occasion you any embarrassment in relation to the last $100. It must have arisen, I think from my trying to be very particular & at the same time very brief. There were three reasons why I hesitated in relation to the last $100 asked. The first two had their influence on my mind when my first letter refering to it was written. Another was added by the receit of the Amer. Miss. prior to the writing of the second in which the subject was spoken of.
1. I did not know certainly whether the Association were calculating on giving me more than $400 for the entire year, yet felt that it was an open question.
2. I had all along been receiving in advance, & it would it would now be asking the last $100-(even if $500 was considerd the salary),- long before the close of the year.
3. The third- learned from the paper-was the smallness of the monthly receits,
which led me to fear that your Treasury was already over-drawn in meeting current
With regard to the claim I bought with some improvement on it- why I bought it- & why I bought a “full claim”, & why I paid money received from the A. M. A. for it, I will most readily answered if desired. But for the present will only say, that I did at the time what seemed to me best, and this judgment has been confirmed by observation & experience since. Again, it was but in part refunding money, expended freely last fall & winter in meeting our absolute wants, which was furnished my wife by her father, & which she wished to have laid out in procuring some thing of rather a permanent character.
I am not sure that I understand the exact grounds of your embarrassment; but think from what I have now said that you will be able to understand what my intentions were, & how I regarded the whole matter. And now if you see anything wrong in me in the whole transaction I would esteem it as a favor to have it faithfully pointed out.
As to the time where my year was to commence, I filled the blank in the form
with Oct. 1. 1854. Now if the Ex-committee think this is too early a date, I
submit to their judgment, & you are authorized to alter it. And if this
is done, please inform me. And here, permit me to express a feeling in relation
to money received & dis-
bursed by the A.M.A., a feeling which I cannot shake off if I would. Every dollar of seems to be consecrated money-peculiarly consecrated to [xxx] & the good of souls. And also that great responsibility rests upon the officers of the Assoc- who control the fund, & upon every man who consents to receive it. Hence I wish to be scanned closely, & would not have them appropriate one dollar more to me than they think Christ & the donors of the fund would approve.
The people here I have no doubt will do something-what they think under their circumstances they can, or ought, to do for the support of the gospel- or for the A. M. A. I spoke of circulating a subscription some time since. It was approved of by some of the most prominent men. But immediately almost sickness commenced; our meetings have been broken up in a measure & nothing yet has been done. Now, many are not only sick but are out of funds & feel much discouraged. Shall try & watch for the first favorable opportunity & improve it. A similar feeling & state of things in main exists where I preach on Pottawatomie creek.
About organizing a Church, I have written you in other communications somewhat fully. Shall add but little now. In this place there is no disposition manifested for organizing a union church. Congregationalist here are few, and yesterday we followed to the grave one more good brother. He was from Vermont- a graduate of Dartmouth college- had been for a few years afflicted with palsy & was taken with fever, lingered a few days & died. He lived nearby, & I was with him much in his sickness- he was a single man & living with a brother who was also sick at the same time- at times he suffered great pain, but bore all with great patience, manifesting a sweet spirit & great confidence in God. The talk now is that as soon as sickness abates we must organize, & make an effort to build a meeting house. Messors. Pomeroy & O. C. Brown have each profered to give $100 towards it, and Brown has written to Ward, another proprietor in the town of Osawatomie, to learn whether he will give another $100. The Baptist-(anti-slavery) & Wesleyan Methodists talk of uniting in building the house, provided they can each have it for a few years a certain portion of the time. The Anti-Slavery element perfectly harmonizes now. Hope it may long continue so. Indeed this feeling manifested by most, has seemed to have some influence in retarding seperate organizations, & in making all more afraid of an
organized union. All unite in our meeting on the Sabbath at present, & in our Sabbath School, & will probably continue to do so for some time to come.
With regard to another year’s support- I shall need aid from some source. And must look to the Amer-Mis. Association. And as things now are, a bid fair to be for months to come, I see not how I can support my family comfortable, & give my chief attention to the ministry, or missionary work in spiritual things, short of five hundred dollars. Strange as it may seem to you, flour, meal, & meat, are higher now in Kansas City than they were last fall & winter. And there is but little hope that the price of flour can be reduced much.
Missouri has the advantage of us & the border counties especially are determined to make the most of it. The Missouri river is our only means of navigation, by which prices are regulated or can be reduced. And that river is very low now & bid fair to continue so this fall. The chief cause of this is that almost no snow fell on the mountains, & its sources last winter. Rains too have failed there this season, & the springs have dried up. Consequently the rises in the river this season have been of but short duration. Kansas lacks bread; freight is high; how now shall missouri be brought to terms even though there be thousands of provisions in the country? Can it be done by railroad? Slavery cuts the very sinews of the iron horse? Shall we then mention teaming with oxen, horses, & mules? Freight in this way from Kansas City here, adds one dollar per [cwt?] to the price of every thing brought from there here. And seldom can provisions be obtained in any other part of the State & brought here at a lower figure. Kansas has raised considerable corn, some potatoes, but has nothing like a supply. In looking over the prices current as given in the N. Y. Independent, I find provisions of allmost all kinds are higher here than in N. Y. City. Fresh beef & butter are here a little lower than there. Flour is now $12 per bar. corn meal $1.50 per bush.- we think it may come down to $1.00- potatoes are now $1.00 per bush.- will probably be higher. Salt 3 cts per lb. & tending upwards. All store goods, clothing, groceries, hardware, medicines, etc etc, are held at a high figure. Lumber & labor here are also high. Those of us who have log cabins do not have rent to pay Hay & firewood are cheap. In these last items we here, have the advantage of our Eastern brethren.
Please write me soon- tell me when the Assoc. considered my year as commencing- whether they considered $500 as salary for the year, & the result of the present application. There are several other things I have noted about which I wish to say something, but shall defer them for a few days. Our slave law, so called, goes into effect one week from tomorrow. Gov. Shannon says he will enforce the laws or the Legislature with all the force he can command. If he attempts it- I simply say, he “knows not what he does.”
S. L. Adair