Nov. 5th 1860
My dear sir
Inclosed: I send you some slips – which Mrs. Pomeroy has cut from our Territorial Papers. They may answer some of the lies that those tell who say that “there is no destitution in Kansas”.
Even Leavenworth & Lawrence have called Relief meetings!! Organised Committees!! Called a Territorial Convention!! Why all that if no destitution is feared?
But its too late to question – or cavil: The “hunger fiend,” you described some six weeks ago – has already actually come, and has passed many a threshold and sits today, on many a healthful cheek, grim and worn – as a pilgrim to death!
Today, like Saturday (as I wrote you) has been full of touching incidents!
Mr. John Roberts from Chelsea Butler Co. made his weary way here 140 miles! Fearing he should not get any thing (coming so early) Sold his stock before leaving home for 40$ - Today he spent his 40$ for clothing & medicines & groceries & I filled the balance of his Load.
And now his cheerful face is turned to the place of all others – the best – his home!
He shook my hand cordially – said “God bless you & those who help you remember the poor” “I shall be home in Ten days with my load.” – Just think of it. So happy as he appears to be – 2800 lbs to haul, Two slow yoke of oxen – and a 10 days Trip before him!! – I noticed this mans clothing was reduced to mere rags – Like Josephs it had “many colors,” unlike Josephs – it had many seams: Still he was uncomplaining and when load up seemed even delighted.
He assured me he should return within 20 days or send an order as he is chairman of a Committee who have a tract of country Embracing nearly half a County! I encouraged him to do so.
But worse than all – came a Widow Lady – Mrs. Johnson, all the way from Pardee – to see what could be done for her & her’s – Mrs. Johnsons story can be soon told – Eleven years ago – she married an excellent man in New England and until his health failed lived comfortably & happily – Three years ago his physicians pronounced him consumptive – said he must die!!
He was determined to make one Earnest Effort to prolong his life – and gathering up his infant children, took all he had on Earth – and planted himself in Kansas.
His health seemed to improve and for more than Two years he seemed a well – a prosperous & happy man! He paid for his claim – fenced 40 acres – built a house: dug a well: was surrounding himself with comforts – When lo – last spring his old diseas returned – and quicker than any one aapprehended, he was laid away in the long sleep of the Tomb! This widow (who visited me today) was then called upon to gather to herself her five children (under Eleven years) Four girls & one boy, and with them, meet lifes struggles alone! She rented her 40 acres of land – got nothing! She “worked as long as she could find work to do.” And at last, today, said she “must have help or her and the little ones would soon rest beside their father in the grave: The neighbors, and the church of which she was a member had , she said,”been very kind to her” But they were nearly destitute – like herself I supplied her – through the kindness of our Galesburg friends with a few beans – meal & flour – in all not over 5$ worth – and she seemed satisfied that she could go through the winter:
I thought how little it took to make some people happy – and how much many others had, and were still unhappy –
Another Car Load came this Evening, and still more will be here Tomorrow – as I have recd the “bills of lading” by Mail The weather has turned cold and freezing – for the first time this year—
The Rail Road, will not make any more “through contract” for Freights – The Boars will leave here soon –
By “through contracts” I mean through to Leavenworth & Kansas City—They will not agree to deliver goods farther than the “Atchison Depot” which means Winthrop. But our prospect is much better than in 1856 & 57, where we depended entirely on the River – and as you know – some of the Goods did not arrive until Spring.
I am pleased to see the organization, began East – I have a Telegram from my friend Foster – and then your letter No. 6 came today, which assures me all will be right – Arny is still in Ill. Our organisations in the Territory are doing well -- The machinery begins to work – I now have faith to believe. There will be bread for all – if we are diligent to the End –
Truly S. C. Pomeroy