Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 1 (1844 - 1868)


Lt 4, 1856

Friends at Home

Volney, Iowa

December 24, 1856

Portions of this letter are published in 1Bio 347-348. See also Annotations.

Dear friends at home:

Here we are 14 miles this side of Waukon. We are all quite well. Have had rather a tedious time getting thus far. Yesterday for miles there was no track. Our horses had to plough through snow, very deep, but on we came. O such fare as we have had on this journey. Last Monday we could get no decent food and tasted not a morsel, with the exception of a small apple, from morn until night. We have most of the time kept very comfortable, but it is the bitterest cold weather we ever experienced. 1LtMs, Lt 4, 1856, par. 1

We introduce our faith at every hotel we enter, and have some two or three invitations to hold meetings on our return. One landlord was the first class of society. A man of sense and influence told us our entertainment should cost us nothing if we would hold meetings there. There seems to be an interest awakened at every place we stop. We think we shall have some meetings in this place next first day. 1LtMs, Lt 4, 1856, par. 2

Well how are my dear children? Jenny, keep little Willie quite close at home this bitter cold weather. Don’t let my children expose themselves. Watch their clothing. Don’t let them be warm and sweating in the house and when they go out dress them very warm. Keep their stockings patched up warm. Have each of the children learn every day a lesson. Encourage them to learn every way you can. 1LtMs, Lt 4, 1856, par. 3

Have had some bad dreams about little Willie. O how thankful shall I be to see home, sweet home, again and my dear little boys, Henry, Edson and Willie. 1LtMs, Lt 4, 1856, par. 4

Children, be good and love the Lord and as Jenny wishes you to mind what she tells you, as you would your mother. Be kind to each other, loving, yielding and don’t be foolish and unsteady. Be sober, read the precious Word of God. Children, be thankful for your comfortable home. We often suffer with cold, [and] cannot keep warm [even] sitting before the stove. Their houses are so cold and your mother suffers with cold in her head and teeth all the time. Wear two dresses all the time. 1LtMs, Lt 4, 1856, par. 5

Right about here there seems to be a better class of people and better houses than back, but last night we slept in an unfinished chamber, the pipe running through the top of the house, and it was entirely open, a large space, big enough for a couple of cats to jump out of. 1LtMs, Lt 4, 1856, par. 6

Had a long time, the brethren did, with a Presbyterian minister, dignified enough, I assure you. He had no evidence for first day and if Uriah had been here he would have laughed in his sleeve. 1LtMs, Lt 4, 1856, par. 7

Pray for us. We are near the scene of conflict. I say pray for us, for God to open the way for our return, or we may be blocked in and remain all winter. Pray for the Lord to give us success. 1LtMs, Lt 4, 1856, par. 8

In love. 1LtMs, Lt 4, 1856, par. 9