Mr Thaddeus Hyatt
In obedience to your request I sit down to write you a few lines – Things look worse and worse and the croakers have finally joined the general cry of “hard times” Since you were here, business of all kinds has changed greatly. It is now impossible to continue any kind of business after a living manner The meeting of last Saturday at which so many attended and at which so much alarming testimony was adduced has given birth to a new era in our history and a change as great as the contrast between light and darkness is everywhere perceptible
In this neighborhood all the corn crop which looked in the least promising at the time of your visit is being destroyed by worms and there is now but little left us beside the insignificant amount of old corn we have left us
But bad as is this state of things it could be worse and in Chase Co. situated west and adjoining Breckenridge I am this day assured much of the population is in a condition bordering upon starvation A worthy Citizen of that County residing in Toledo Township to day informs me that the corn crop of Chase Co. will not on the average yield one bushel to fifty acres All crops have failed and the entire population must either leave be aided or must starve
On this morning he informed me that six families left, some without money and all in very straitened circumstances
Well why do you not all leave at once, was my inquiry – Because said he It is hard to leave our homes, as those of us who have pre-empted our lands leave all behind and those who have not pre-empted risk all. As their claims are forfeited in case of the claimants absence. The Committee appointed in this town to canvass are now at work and one of them has just informed me that out of Sixteen families lately called on but three were in comfortable circumstances
Mr. Hyatt allow me to speak a word relative to the matter of clothing and then I will close
In consequence of the necessity of securing their lands and other causes our people have been unable to purchase much clothing within the past year nearly all are destitute in this respect and the people are unable to make more purchases—But if you design doing anything in this way I would suggest the sending of raw material in part at least as our Kansas women are not lazy and will have abundent opportunity to make up during the long winter evenings – Excuse this rapid writing for when I began I was told that the mail would close in half an hour – next week I attend court at Americus when I can spare time and will write more. I send you the “Americus Sentinel” and “Topeka State Record” James W. Randall
Write me and if I can serve you I will.
J. W. R.