June 10th, 1855 –
My Dear Wife - Your welcome & long expected letter of the 13th ult. was received yesterday – it was missent & forwarded at the same time I received the Advertiser of May 17 & 24, the last being only 16 days from date of publication – it seemed almost like being at home to read the news therein – I am very glad to hear from you & that you are prospering so well in point of health & business, but the tone of your letter is quite different from those of other mens wives which I have read – they seem cheerfully to acquiesce in the course determined to be best to come here or not – but you without any regard to my prospects of health improved or pecuniary success in business, will not give any encouragement of removal, although it would place you in a condition to be above want & care which is now the chief burden of your life –well, I never shall say you shall come here or go anywhere else. I shall suffer myself to remain in cold* Norway first & abide my time of earthly continuance, be it for weal or wo. I am now trying, as I have long anticipated to lay the foundation of future prosperity, as there is now a very encouraging opening. Providence seems to have ordered my stops thus far & Kept me in safety through hard labor & difficulties, for which I have daily reason to bless God. I have well recovered from my summer complaint, & feel very well now. The air is pure & bracing, & my appetite sharp--& my old complaints improved, how the coming month of July & August will affect me I cannot say, but time will prove, & I can hereafter better judge of the season.
Note* Cold in windy, social & natural position.
I am glad to hear of the good state of your meetings & Sab. School & hope they will continue to prosper. There has been preaching here in Isaacs Cabin to-day by Rev. Mr. Trafton from Alfred, Maine – 16 persons present- there are two other meetings 3 & 6 miles from here to-day. We are well supplied with ministers in this section. The first Sab. School was organized two weeks ago 6 miles off, & another one is expected to be formed on our city cite 3 miles off another Sabbath –The most of our community are Christian enterprising persons, & we seem now from all circumstances to be a prosperous & happy people in a short time, bound to enjoy a charming climate of great natural productions & beauty & of a moral community in truth, all particulars of which I shall not now write, but some of which you may soon see announced in a new paper which is about being established in our new City of Manhattan, of which I shall probably have the charge. It is expected a full history of our first settlement & present prospects will be published, & you will then, I hope, see them & judge for yourself. You will probably recollect what sister Mary-Ann wrote in her last letter about what Lyman wrote respecting milk sickness in Kansas –well I have taken special pains to ascertain the facts upon the subject, & from all that I can learn I cannot find the first or any case of the kind ever being Known in this whole Territory—Persons live here from Missouri & Illinois, & all I can learn is, that some cases are Known in some parts of those States in some localities --owing to bad water or something of eatable kind that the cattle get hold of—I have seen very handsome cows &
Cattle here, & eat very nice beef & veal, & the milk & butter now made here is of the richest quality in color & taste. Our prairie grass is beautiful to behold, & is called the richest Kind--& cows can make great quantities of milk. So much for that story. Well, your letter like others received here, expresses much anxiety about the state of affairs with us. In the first place the Missourians voted unlawfully & did as was reported in carrying the elections as they did, & Gov. Reeder has upset much of their unlawful doings, & the new elections are in favor of liberty—Two true liberty men were elected at the first election in this District out of the whole, & all of the unlawful proceedings had at that election will undoubtedly recoil upon the heads of the guilty parties. There has been a great emigration of liberty men this spring & I am fully persuaded that Kansas will be a free State. There has, it is true, been many chicken-hearted, unstable & unfit men returned from this Territory with doleful accounts of the country—of starvation, sickness, & prospects of famine & even death. I met persons before arriving here of this class, some of whom had merely been in the Territory merely one or two nights, or worked one day, & given up & were bound home to see their Papas, wives, or comfortable homes with feather beds & luxurious living. They could not find here the “Leaks of Egypt,” & therefore returned home to get them. The facts are too many come here that never ought to have started, poorly prepared with funds, or other qualifications that a new settler should have. They finding no houses to go into, & the country barren looking & weather
cold & windy, had wrong conclusions, & therefore would not stop long enough to form a correct judgment & their sayings & doings have tended to bring a false impression upon the minds of Eastern people—but have in fact tended to sift out much Chaff from the wheat, & thus perhaps do more actual & permanent good for this country than if they had tarried here. We have just received some letters from Ellen—she is at Colerain –has been to Whitingham—all in usual health, except Ann, who it is feared has got the scorfulous Consumption, & will not probably recover well the Lord bless her & fit her for his service in a better state –we all shall soon leave to try future realities – Good eve.
Monday 11th I have this P.M. returned from the city meeting—The mayor & other officers were elected last Saturday—The City Council is composed of 10 members, in this Council, one myself, C. H. Lovejoy former Methodist minister of N. Norway, & Rev Joseph Denison of Colerain, & a better body of men in point of personal appearance & moral worth are not often seen in any city. Our city cite is called the best & handsomest that can be found in the west. Vegetation is growing fast, & Isaac has Corn 6 feet high, tasseled & silked out, & squashes, peas, Beans, &c in the blow.—We have beautiful weather & every thing seems encouraging now for the new settlers, future prospects, I sent you a letter last week enclosing $5 –hope you will receive it.—How are all the tenants? Do they all pay well, & behave well?—When you receive any receipts from the American Mutual Life Insurance Co. for me, let me know by next mail & remit copy of the letter, or the original. You ought to have one now, & another this month. Are the taxes all paid? For the last year?
Wm E. Goodnow.
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W.B. You may present the order of U.Y. Hayes, Esq, to Adna C. Denison, who will probably pay it & understand it.
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I wish you to write me every two weeks without fail, if it is no more than one page.