Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 2 (1869 - 1875)


Lt 80, 1874

Walling, Mr.

Battle Creek, Michigan

July 24, 1874

Previously unpublished.

Mr. Walling

Dear Nephew:

We have not received a line from you for some time. We feel quite anxious in regard [to] some things. Lou writes me the most bitter letters in regard to her little girls. She charges us with kidnapping them. She says you are carrying out Uncle White’s advice to keep tight purse strings. You told her he thus advised you. She writes strange things. These letters worry me, although they are unreasonable. I now feel anxious that you and she should come to some understanding if we keep the children. What can we do? We cannot be thus annoyed with these unpleasant letters. We have tried to write her quite regularly, but since I have been at the different camp meetings, I have not written. 2LtMs, Lt 80, 1874, par. 1

If we take care of the children longer, we must have some written statement from you and her, or from you, that will relieve us of all blame in the matter. You know how cautious we felt in regard to this matter before we left Colorado. 2LtMs, Lt 80, 1874, par. 2

Will you write us immediately at Battle Creek? I expect Lucinda here next week with the children, and we desire to hear from you something definite. Write freely and explicitly, for we cannot be in suspense. What shall we do with the children, return them to you or keep them? We are ready to return them at any moment. You placed them in our charge; into your hands we are willing to give them up. But should you both be agreed, we would keep them till they were of any age you might decide upon, but we refuse to have the trouble of making their clothing and boarding them and educating them for nothing, you only finding the raw material for the clothing, and for what we pay out for them, and then have trouble come to us at last with them. This we cannot afford to do. Will you please make some definite statements what we shall do with your children? 2LtMs, Lt 80, 1874, par. 3

They are good children, we love them as our own, and will tenderly care for them while with us. But we cannot receive such miserable, impudent letters as Lou is capable of writing. 2LtMs, Lt 80, 1874, par. 4

My husband has written you in regard to money matters. He is [thinking] about investing means in California, and is in need of means. Can you not send him some money at once? He says he hears nothing from you. Perhaps you have not received his letters. Please write to our address at Battle Creek, and relieve us of suspense. 2LtMs, Lt 80, 1874, par. 5

A dispatch has just reached us from Oakland, California that my husband, Sister Hall, and the children, would leave California next Wednesday, the 29th. They will reach Cheyenne by the 31st. Meet them there, and receive your little girls if you possibly can. 2LtMs, Lt 80, 1874, par. 6