Office of Commissioner of Public Schools,
Providence, Oct. 11 1855
Dear Bro. & Sis. Goodnow.
If any body had told me when your letter came that it would be two weeks before I had answered it I should simply have told him that he didnt know any thing about the matter. But here it is now two months and I am only beginning to write to you. We were glad enough I assure you to hear from you and especially so because we learned how well you are pleased with your situation. Everything is quite as prosperous here as usual though we have had a dry August and September and of course the county is quite burnt. I believe the neighbors are all well and especially the school is doing as well as could be expected. There are not as many students as there were but a pretty goodly number. Br. Q. gets on well but not quite as well as he did. Mrs K’s “goings on” injured him a great deal without doubt. She is now in the West and we hope for mercy sake she will keep there a long while. The cellar of the new academy is actually dry out and most of the basement [xxx]. No more will be done this fall. The building [xxx] 56 by 80 feet – three stories and basement [xxx] think it will be a good thing. Elizabeth [xxx] taking music lessons of Miss McLellan [xxx] teacher. She is well & doing finely.
Mary has been gone two weeks and more to Lyden – and all the children are away – the two older in Conn. The younger in Mass – So I am alone with Elizabeth keeping house for me.
We find the papers are full of dreadful things about you horrid abolitionists in Kanzas. How do you contrive to live under the Missouri laws? Can you set them at defiance or do you undertake to keep them? What will you do with your elected to Congress Mr Whitefield? Can you in any way dispose of his claims? Is he not properly elected according to the laws of Congress and must not the House of Representatives accept him whether or no?
We are looking on with considerable anxiety to see how these matters will turn. My own opinion is however not yet changed. I still reckon that you will make Kanzas a free state – But only by an act abolishing slavery not by excluding it. I think the present administration and the Congress about to meet will give the Missourians full sweep, and that they will establish slavery but that they will not dare to drive away the free state men. And when you [xxx] for admission into the Union [xxx] the majority. The fact is slaveho[xxx], unsettled as the question, is to [xxx] them & next year if you [xxx] keep up
your paper and discussion, and get up a few villages and free schools, there will be a great rush from the Northern States. Business is getting to be very good here – and every thing is prospering so well in N England that you need not look out for a great crowd this fall – But in about a year if things go on as they are going I reckon on a great many to come out.
That is my opinion about that. I am not by any means disposed however myself to come out though if I emigrate I shall think of Kanzas. How did Blair like? Or didnt he reach you? Your Bro. Who came on a while ago seemed wonderfully enthusiastic. Has he returned? Has Woodbury been out to see you? He told me the 1st of Sept. that he intended to see you at your home this fall. How came off the corn crops? Can you raise good potatoes? Sweet Potatoes? Hemp? or [wheat?]? Will cotton grow at all?
I never was a gossip to collect the news and therefore cannot tell you one word about the folks in Greenwich – save Br. Bemis & Wife are well and so are the Greens now. Susan has had a fever. All else are so-so—
Tell Bro. Joseph that I mean to write to him soon – at least as soon as my teachers; Institutes are over. They will be done about the 9th of Nov. I believe school matters are going
on successfully - &c
Has Bro. Atwater reached you?
My folks all would send their best and kindest love to you and wife and to Joseph and family, as I do - Elizabeth sends all you can imagine in this line –
Write to me – I know you must have more time to write than I have –
Yours &c truly
P. S. I send a bundle of the R. I. Schoolmaster, and a copy of the School Laws