Dear Uncle Hiram,
I feel half ashamed to address you, it has been so long since you left, & I suppose you have not had a line direct from us, since you left. But the habit of procrastination is a dangerous one let it be indulged as it may. A variety of causes among which were the backward spring, and our territorial troubles, & prevented my husband from getting your house done as soon as the first of May & he kept putting off writing untill he could have all ready for a settlement &c. We have since gone onto a claim about 3 ½ miles west of Lawrence, & the labor & trouble of building a house ploughing, fencing, & getting in crops, moving, getting settled &c. has kept him very busy, & he has kept putting off untill now he hardly spends any time at home only to eat & sleep. He had
taken some jobs early in the spring, & as soon as those were finished he commenced on the congregational church, where he is now at work. He has gone into partnership with Dea. Lowes son from Australia. The people here all say that, that church is the best piece of stone work in Lawrence. He does some chores at home eats breakfast &c., & gets into Lawrence at 7 o clock every morning, He then works untill 6, then perhaps does some errands, comes home, eats supper, does his chores, & by that time you may judge he does not feel much like writing. I have not thought as I could write myself or I should have written you long ago. One our family are all well & comfortable, but we have a man with us sick with the ague. He is one of the boarders we had last spring. He has been out on an (expedition) & was very much exposed to wet, & damp, which brought it on I suppose. We enjoy living on our claim very much. I would
not go back to Lawrence on any consideration. Perhaps I shall not like here so well in the winter, especially if we have such a winter as we did last We have 8 or 10 acres of corn, some potatoes which I fear are spoiled by the drought, (as they are planted late) & plenty of vines of all descriptions If you will drop in here, some evening with aunt, we will treat you with musk & watermelons. Our stock consists of 2 horses, two cows, two yearlings, 12 calves, 2 pigs, & about 40 hens & chickens. We make our own butter, cheese, raise our own vegetables, milk, eggs, poultry &c. so that we are in a measure independent. We have not been personally disturbed since we came into the territory. & I think are very fortunate. We moved onto our claim the week before the sacking of Lawrence. We live in sight (1/2 mile from) the California road, & saw the ruffians as they went down to destroy the
hotel &c. They camped the night before about ½ mile from us. & the next day we saw three of them as they rifled Mr. Nutes house of what they pleased. My husband immediately loaded his guns & revolver so as to give them a warm reception if they made us a visit, but they have not molested us. I shall not write you much about the troubles in the territory as I suppose you read the New York Tribune & will get all the news as soon as this letter will reach you. But at present the free state people, are quite elated, have recovered their cannon, & got possession of another although it was at the expense of the life of one of our party & several were wounded. On the day of the fight the people generally turned out, as soon as the report of the cannon & fire arms gave evidence of what was gone on. My husband & others fitted themselves out with arms & ammunition at one house & repaired to the spot, but victory had decided in favor of the free state men. You will learn more particulars than I can give you from the Tribune. The rubbish of the hotel has been cleared away & I expect some one will commence building next Monday Mr Whitney & Mr Lowe may do it.
I am not sorry yet that I came to Kansas. If we are to become martyrs to freedom, we never can die in a juster cause. And there is such an opportunity of doing good here, if a
person only has the disposition.
We have a little sabbath school at our house at 4 o clock in the afternoon. We usually go down town in the morning & stop at sabbath school in Lawrence & then are home in season for our own. We are owing my brother Henry $88 I think, I wrote him some time since that he could call on you for the money, & it would save the trouble of sending it to him. I do not know that he has. I fogot to tell you that we have sold our house in Lawrence for $700, to a [Broter?] man. I think my husband will have time to give you a sketch of the business affares between you & him, so I shall say nothing about it. Will you please hand this letter to mother if she is in W-- & tell her I want to hear from her very much & Samuel also, they must concider the letters I send to them, through friends as directed to them. Give my love to aunt Rowena, aunt Lucretia, aunt Philena
& all other friends who take the trouble to enquire for us. We should like to hear from you soon, Please do not follow our example. Are you not coming to Kansas this summer. We should be very happy to see you.
24th Sab eve, Have to day heard a funeral sermon by Mr. Lumn, from the words of David in 1 Kings a chapter & a verse, on the occasion of the death of one of our settlers It was very appropriate indeed. Next sabbath Mr. Nutes preaches a funeral sermon for his brother in law, who was killed a few days since in Leavenworth, where he had gone to take back a buggy which he procured to take his wife to Lawrence. His murderer told some of his friends a short time previous that he should bring back an abolitionists scalp before he returned & probably this was the first free state man he found, as he (Mr Nutes brother in law) had but just come into the territory & had not identifyed himself at all with its troubles. I went into see the wounded a day or two since It was a melancholy sight, to see the noble fellows, streched, on beds of languishing by the violence of his brother war, One has lost an arm, another is wounded in the lungs & fears are entertained for his recovery, some are wounded in the head, some in the foot.
Please write us soon & I will engage not to be so neglectful for the future.
E. S. Whitney