I was happy indeed on Wednesday last whilst passing through Springfield to receive your so long welcome letter. It was so pleasing after so much time intervening to hear from yourself as well as from Owego. Oh I have so many things to tell you, and then but such a brief time this evening to say anything. You will notice that we are about 200 miles out of Indianapolis slowly moving toward our destination. I had not formed much of an idea of a travellers life in the way we are going and could hardly have imagined it as pleasant as the trip has proved thus far. We have two very large covered waggons, one for the family (Br Goodes) and one for the furniture especial bedding, trunks full of clothes &c. We seldom ever try to stop at a house but every evening pitch our tent near some convenient place for wood and water, build a large fire take care of our horses whilst the ladies are preparing our supper. after family evening prayer we gather around our frugal board, and with appetites sharpened by the exercise of the day eat with a relish that a King might covet. I wish you could only look in upon us as we fall upon the large pile of sweet potatoes we have just raked
from the ashes of our welcome fire. These with the excellent “pone” baked apples. toasted bread, and a number of other frequent yet favorite dishes. cause us to be very fond of our migratory life. and then when at noon we stop near some brook in the best grove we can find, spread out our tidy cloth on the smooth grass, and gather around for our rich repast. I know were it not for our big waggons and our unshaven face you would mistake us for some picnic party, the long thickly interspersed grape vines serve in the place of ropes and scarce a noon passes but what the younger part of the company must have quite a glee and seem to feel quite at home. I never had an idea that so large a family of children could be taken from their pleasant home and be carried so great a distance travelling from early sun until it reaches its most western limits and manifests no impatient dissatisfied disposition – I like the family very much as I become acquainted with them – last Thursday morning he left us and went on to Hannibal Missouri Conference to which we now both belong. Yesterday he returned and brought our appointments. Mine is to be the Wakarusa Mission Kansas River. Covering an area of a great many miles. I was expecting to go to Omahas Mission nearly opposite Council Bluffs but the Bishop made the change in order that I might be in the vicinity of Bro. Goode with whose kind family I shall probably make my home –
Monday Morn. We have concluded not to travel today, it is very pleasant, and the Ladies wish to wash
and here I am sitting on the washboard by the side of an Elm, ready to bring water help hang out the clothes and finish my letter to you – Miss Martha, Clara and Sister Goode are very busy near ringing the clothes. The children are all busy out at the tent fire cracking hazelnuts. Bro Goode has gone to a large farm house over the river to get some eggs, chickens, cheese, butter &c. Here he comes with two large chickens, what a feast we will have – John Wilson & Bro. Goode must go to preparing the chickens whilst I help wash – This afternoon we go out in the Prairie with our shot gun to see if we can kill any wild geese, as many are reported to be there. Nothing of especial imports has happened on the way – I have charge of one team a large pair of cream colored horses, came very near tipping over the second day out – passing a bad place. We have been troubled along to get a sufficient supply of good water for ourselves and teams. Some has been truly indifferent.
Oct Sunday 25th A whole week has passed since I last tried to write I ought to have sent this before. I have been truly very busy. The young man with us in charge of one of the teams has been sick the whole week, and has thrown the burden of all the work on myself and Bro. Goode which is no inconsiderable. The routine of the day is something like the following. Arise at 4 oclock, feed the horses, water & curry them, roll up the bed clothes tie them. Make preparations for breakfast, have baked sweet potatoes, corn dodgers have fried ham sometimes baked apples, and occasionally have an extra good meal. Eat heartily then take down our tent. Stow away all our things and journey on. stop under some refreshing shade to wait for dinner
have feed troughs attached to the hind end of our wagons so that we can buy oats, or corn of the people, and feed at any time. stop near sun down, near some stream or watering place, where wood is convenient and try to be near some good farm house. So far most of the journey has passed very pleasantly. The past week sickness among ourselves and horses has tended to mar the pleasure of our trip in a measure and then last night we were very late in finding a good camping place. And Providence overruled it to our good as we stopped at last in an unoccupied log house in the suburbs of the village and almost before we could arrange our things one of the most tedious thunder storms I almost ever met with passed over had we arrived at our camping place earlier we should probably have pitched our tent and been greatly exposed. We can but say “The Lord doeth all things well,” To day Bro Goode preached a most excellent discourse in the meeting house in this small village (Milton Randolph Co. Missouri), how much I like this most excellent bro. How very often he reminds me of my own dear departed father, his voice, his disposition, his kind fatherly heart, all attach me to him very much. Besides he is so very kind. I know you will greatly love him when you come to form his acquaintance. You could hardly believe what great numbers are continually flocking to the new territories provisions are reported very scarce this fall, so that I am afraid many will suffer. It is my intention to enter immideately upon my work, preaching about in the territory, wherever the way opens -- I am looking for hardships. I expect the Lord favoring to lay a claim of the very finest 160 acres I can find along on the Kansas river, and if I like the land and country first rate. If you would not disapprove I would sell my land in Ill. and buy what I could adjacent Bro. Goode who has been all through the country says that the country is most delightful there. Hither most are migrating. I would be glad to have your Bro. James come there if he comes west. I almost know he will like it. I believe thousands from the East will locate on this Eden-like-river—I want if I conclude to live there to get just as many of my friends as possible. What say you? Pardon the penciled letter written on my knee. and please write me soon as possible. I wish I knew how and where you are to day. The Lord bless you
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Please write soon as you receive this. Direct to Westport Jackson Co. Missouri give all the news from home