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Untitled Document In Our Log Cabin at Sugar Mound Oct 16th /57

My Dear Wife,

I did not think I would have deferred writing you so long as this. It has been three weeks, and a few days over perhaps, since I wrote you from Kansas City, the day of our departure from that place. I will say, right here, that I will write as often as I want you to, in future, and that will
be once every week. Just think of being away here among strangers during a whole cold winter thinking all the time about wife & little ones, and I find myself thinking harder of late than is comfortable. Ed and self come near taking the ‘blues’ to-day; but it will do no good to repine so I will try be more cheerful and not send you a gloomy letter that will make you feel as tho’ you would rather not read any more such. We hired a teamster in Kansas C. to bring us and our baggage down to the Mound. We expected to stop, on the way, at public houses, as the road is an old military road leading to Fort Scott, consequently we made no preparations much for camping out; but in this we were disappointed, for the driver would stop every night on the open prairie, so his mules could feed close to the wagon and our only chance for eating was to lay in a heavy dinner where ever we came to a cabin where we could get some- there being no regular places for accomodating travellers on the route and go to bed on the ground–without any supper, We had some coffee, mornings, & a few crackers would do us very well untill about noon of each day that we were on the way, when we either stopped at a cabin

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while the driver would go on to a feeding place or, if he was at a good pasture about noon and no cabin near we would go ahead and order a dinner which was always the same, fat pork corn- bread, fried butter and coffee, followed with peach pie without sweetening. We saw several farms where they had a great abundance of peaches. The road out from the river is on the state line and for nearly a days journey it is fenced all up on one side with old and well improved farms as far east as we could see, while to the right -in the territory, owned by Indians some of it- it is open wild prairie. When we arrived at home we found the family yet in the house, but they began at once to pick up there plunder and move it into the still smaller cabin that was first put up here to make the claim. It is not fit to live in only in good weather. They have since erected a new cabin on their claim, which we helped them lay up and which they are now living in. They are very clever folks and as pleasant as they can be, but they are of the “Hoosier” stripe and of course not company for us. They came from Missouri opposite the Ohio and are proslavery, but the subject has not mentioned between us yet. we have it from free-state neighbors, and seeing a slave to work for one of the family who lives on another claim. The brother of whom we bot this place has lived here longer, was present last summer during the war and this fall voted the free state ticket. We boarded for a week or two after our arrival, as our provisions had not yet arrived from St. Louis when we left Kansas, tho, as soon as we could get rested and Mr. Chidester had time to see around and conclude to take an interest in the town, he and I started, with a driver, back to Kansas, he return home and I to buy a stove and

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other fixings to keep house with. It was the hardest job I ever had. In consequence of a rainy spell which came on after we started home with the load we were much longer on the road, and then the nights, oh dismal! We were wet all the time day & night and my boots were so tight on my feet after the first day’s walk in the mud that I was afraid to pull them off lest I couldn’t get them on again. On a Sunday night Oct 4th we were over taken by night on a prairie and as hard a rain as I ever saw about, the wind too, blew hard all night which drove the wet thro the muslin cover of the wagon till the driver was nearly drowned. I fared better because I had the large buffalo robe around me with the hair side out which kept me getting any wetter than I was by walking in the rain thro the day, which we were obliged to do all the time on account of the deep mud. There were two teams in Company and the drivers had to each one hire teams to finish up their journey, there own teams being completely done for, soon after crossing the Marais des Cygnes, only about fifteen miles from home. Since that time we have had good weather, and warm untill yesterday, which was a cold blustering day and this morning we had enough frost to nip pumpkin vines &c.

We have our things arranged for living now & have been getting things ready to go on with the work. We made beadsteads by putting together some poles and swinging the fabric from the
joice by means of ropes. This was to get our roost where the inhabitants cant bore us with their company, and there are several large families hanging ‘round. Some day when I have time I think I will take a sketch of the interior and send it along and, also, of the travellers and their rigg as they appeared the

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day the teams gave out. We were out hunting one day since we have been here–often go into the wood to shoot squirrels–and brot home a turkey. I prepared it for cooking, and all right too, but the stuffing, which we couldn’t come, for want of bread.

It went very well and lasted us several days, but–but I guess I won’t eat any more turkey this winter– we gathered some hops and if we had a little yeast to start with I think I could make bread. Will get some when we go up to Kansas again after the mill. When at Kansas I bot a small wash tub & a wash-board, and two flat irons, so we could do some of our washing. We tried it one day and done up a pile of socks, and some towels, the shirts we concluded to leave awhile, since that we employed a neat kind of woman to do our washing for the winter. I think tho’ we will continue to wash towels, & socks as we have to day 10cts a piece–I forgot to say that I receved your favor of Sept 19th. I hope the pocket book is safe in your possession long ere this; the man I left it with was a stranger to me but was an acquaintance of Chidester’s who recommended him as a safe person. They would be of no use to anyone as they cannot be collected if notice is given that they are lost; but let me know what has become of them. I had enough shirts and they all fitted good. Have received but one letter from you yet but suppose another is close at hand. I will be much disappointed if I don’t get one this week yet. We have three mails per week. We have had an abundance of the best kind of water mellons. When travelling between here & river could hook plenty of fine ones by the road, in the state. I am getting cold too and wood is scarce in the cabin as we have to carry from the grove all we burn, having no team yet, but I feel as tho I could write all night it seems so much like talking to you, for I have been writing now a long time, with your likeness on the paper and every time I stop to dip my pen in the ink I see your sweet face; how glad I am that I have it, guess the case will be pretty well worn for I carry it all the time. Ed and myself were making ourselves rather miserable this afternoon over the necessities of our fate and if it was practical we would have you and Fanny here yet this winter. He says that Fanny is

[letter is incomplete]

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

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This file was last modified September 12 2013 04:09:26 PM.