Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 4 (1883 - 1886)


Lt 22, 1883


Laramie, Wyoming

August 15, 1883

Portions of this letter are published in 11MR 68-70.

Dear Children:

We have had another good night’s rest. We are near Laramie. The journey thus far has been the most pleasant of any we have had in crossing the plains. In the last car the seat opposite us was occupied by only one man. We used it a good share of the time. Yesterday we changed at Ogden and there was no one in the opposite section. We had the entire command of our own section and the one opposite us, so we have not been crowded at all. We have an excellent sleeping-car conductor and on both trains good accommodating porters. 4LtMs, Lt 22, 1883, par. 1

The weather has been rather hot in midday, but it might be worse. We feel deeply grateful for the protection we are assured we have from God. I feel cheerful and happy. I have a good time to think and to pray. I am stronger than when I left Oakland. I feel the need of special help from God for I know we are indeed exposed to Satan’s temptations and to his malice. We need the guardianship of angels day by day, hour by hour. 4LtMs, Lt 22, 1883, par. 2

We need your prayers daily that the Lord would prepare me to do His work and give me largely of His Spirit, for without this grace and His special assistance I cannot do anything. Oh, I long, I thirst for salvation, for special help from God, to know for myself that my life is hid with Christ in God. I do know that there is nothing on earth I desire beside Him. He is the crown of my rejoicing. Separated from Jesus, I should be indeed miserable. 4LtMs, Lt 22, 1883, par. 3

I am seated next to that large man, a Frenchman, who was in the depot when we entered it. He is a theater manager. He has a little woman with short-cut hair—an actress. We have become quite well acquainted. She is not, I should judge, like the general class. She has been on the stage three years. Louise Lester—you may have seen the name. I have thought, Here are two actors in life, but what a contrast! I have not the slightest desire for her life, but I do feel deeply anxious to act my part in my lifework with unswerving fidelity. 4LtMs, Lt 22, 1883, par. 4

This party are very kind and courteous, but the raid they make upon bottles of champagne and wines is to me a marvel. The lady takes her glass with us as much ease as the gentleman. I have been courteously invited to join them but frankly told them I never in my life tasted the article and had no need for anything of the kind. They opened their eyes with astonishment. I see every gentleman on the train has his liquor flask and the eyes of some testify that they drink brandy and considerable of it; but I find the lemon you kindly provided for us fully meets all my wants as far as drinking is concerned. I treat the different parties with my precious fruit, and they try hard to make some exchange, but fail. I have all of the kind of food that I would at all accept from them. They feel disturbed to think they are in my debt. 4LtMs, Lt 22, 1883, par. 5

There is a family from India on their way to England, soldiers. They complain of the heat here—worse, they say, than in India. They were in the healthful part of the country. They have a nurse for the little boy. She is a native, curiously dressed and curious in appearance. Her hands are tattooed completely. She wears a pink calico dress nearly straight as a bag, with a short sack of the same, then a pink figured calico mantle which crosses before, fastened behind. She is indeed a curious specimen, but is really a good nurse. 4LtMs, Lt 22, 1883, par. 6

Yesterday while the cars stopped at a small station a young man came into the cars. Said he had eaten nothing for twenty-four hours. Sara gave him provisions to supply present wants. He was about eighteen years old. Said he had no money to buy anything to eat. 4LtMs, Lt 22, 1883, par. 7

We have just finished breakfast. It is now five minutes past eight o’clock. We are about ten miles from Laramie. We shall not be able to make way with our provisions. Sara bought a bottle of milk and some warm water this morning. I put ginger in it and it went well. 4LtMs, Lt 22, 1883, par. 8