My Dear Wife,
It is morning, four o’clock, and I have swept up a place before the fire and swept the ashes and litter all into the fire so that it looks kind of comfortable around and before me. As to the appearance of things back in the interior of the cabin I have nothing to say. I am writing with a board in my lap that serves as a desk. We have a table but I can’t sit by that and be close to the fire. Three days since I received a letter from you, dated November 2nd and last evening another, bearing the date of Sept. 30th also the first no. of the R.I. Advertiser. I am much obliged for the addresses of Willets and of Beardsley. But the letters, Oh! what a medicine for drooping spirits. I had a letter written but did not like to post it and now I am right glad I did not, for it is too lugubrious to be of any good. You may judge of what it is like when I tell you that at the time of writing, which was last Sunday, Nov 29, I had not received any communication from home, or any other place since the first week in Kansas, except a letter from Barclay and his epistle was one of business. By the way, if you see him, say that I will write him as soon as I have an opportunity to make the necessary inquiry in regard to the trees. As to the notes for his cow and calf, I think they were all given in my name and if he wants to sell the note it can be sold as it is as well as tho it was made payable to him. Since thinking about it I believe the notes for those particular animals was given
by different persons and each of them had made other purchases to considerable
amount. By referring to the sale book the amount can be ascertained and then
take any other note to that amount and dispose of it. Well, that little item
of business has lead me quite away from the track upon which I started. I was
speaking of those letters, so full of love and tenderness, and disenterested
feeling why they have not only set me on my feet but fairly up on tiptoe. I
never felt so much like starting “right straight off” for home as I do now yet I feel immensely better than I did a week ago. We have had such bad weather ever since our arrival here that it has been quite discouraging. So much rain that we could not keep our work going along to advantage and about two weeks ago we had a real cold snap, the murcury getting down to 10o one morning that was an extreme, but many days it was 18o and 20o scarcely thawing all day. All this week the weather has been good enough, mostly warm, sunny days and some nights not cold enough to freeze any. Have had no snow to lay on the ground more than a few hours and all the stock is yet doing well on the low prairies, there being plenty of grass that is some green yet. I say all the stock because I don’t know if one stable in the country and the animals are necessarily exposed to the weather just as it comes along.
Ell starts this morning for Kansas City, if the boats are yet running, will go on to St. Louis to bring up some machinery, the chief of which is a corn mill which bids fair to be a very profitable investment as flour here is worth six dollars per hundred. We bought a lot when the machinery was brot
down which we sold at five & quarter. There is a small affair for grinding corn, a few miles from here which has been doing as such mills generally do in a country, taking enormous toll and selling meal high. They manage to get one third for toll and sell the meal at one dollar per bushel. So the people are bound that we shall bring on a corn mill as we talked of doing. I find that I will have to close soon for there is so much stir and getting ready to start to the mill–we have breakfast so as to get the hands off to work before sunrise having two miles to go–and I want Ell to carry this to St. Louis with him so you can get it direct. I will write again soon when I have more time and nobody to interrupt. Do send the Daguerreotypes if practicable. I think I won’t be able to touch the ground at all when I get them. The dear little girls, there is many an evening that I wish I could have them around me.
They have such a good mother that I feel much less anxiety on their account but it yet seems as tho it would be an awful long time before I can expect to return to you. You had better believe it has been a sorry place in Bachelor’s hall sometimes. In the letter I’ve received first you say you have concluded not to go east and in the next, which was written before, you want to know what I think of it.
I want you to do just what you think will make the winter pass over with you the pleasantly as your happiness is mine also. Tell Kate that I am glad she feels so proud about going to school, and plenty of apples for her and Eleanor and little Helen. And tell her there is a little girl in a house close by where Luther lives, that is sick and her mother is sick too
and she cannot sit up in bed but I think she will be better soon and the little girl will be well enough in a few days to eat some apples which her aunt sent her.
Now my love I shall have to close for the present as the company are ready to start to the mill.
I am as ever you affect. husband.