Letter 1 -~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~---
Hamilton [California], Dec. 23, 1853
My Dear Caroline [Caroline Burr Grant],
Sometime since I wrote to you, but did not answer all your letter, & I have put off till now partly for want of time, & partly or more particularly because I wrote to Mother a letter that did not go till the last mail.
I have been writing letters all this week what time I could get evenings, & have another weeks writing on hand. You must know that with my days work out, and my washing, mending, cooking &c. with in, that I can get but little time for other duties, but the nigts are so long now that I can spend an hour or two if I am pretty saving of what time I have.
I have no news to write. Know nothing of either Marcus [Marcus Grant] or Ralph [Ralph E. Burr]. Have <he> not heard from either of them for months nor don’t know there to direct a letter so that M. [Marcus Grant] can find it.
I live entirely alone & sometimes don’t see anyone within speaking distance for several days. I sometimes get very lonesome, but generally enjoy myself as well I think, as though I had company.
Dec. 24. Christmas eve; are you doing anything to celebrate this anniversary? I think not. It seems that I can nearly imagine how you are sitting round the fire with your books if you are well perhaps studyin a lesson for tomorrow & that you scarcely think of christmas. I have celebrated christmas to day, no doubt you would be pleased to know how & why I choose the day before so I will tell you all about it.
A few days ago I caught a fat squirell, last night I boiled it & this morning had a fine soup for breakfast, <&> that, I thought as christmas was so near I would call my Christmas dinner, & as there was enough left for supper I would celebrate the evening with a soup for supper. I chose the day before because I had my squirel cooked & knew it would be as good now as ever.
But O! how the snow is piled up around you, & how the wind boo-oo-ooz through the cracks & crevices.
There is plenty of Snow in sight here, but it is a long way off, on the high mts. It is to be seen to the east on the Sierra Nevada, & to the west on the coast mts. The nights are cold, almost every morn, the ground is white with frost & two or three times the ground has frozen a little, <on the> on the surface, perhaps half an inch deep. I think I feel the cold almost as keenly here as I should if I was on the Green Mts. of New England.
In <refference> refering to your letter I see you think it very strange that I don’t work for wages. Because R. [Ralph E. Burr] & some others do so, & send home money, you think I am very much to blame because I don’t. It seems to me that I have said enough on this subject before, but as I have not I will try to explain again.
I have been trying to get a situation Similar to R’s [Ralph E. Burr] ever since I have been in Cal. & concequently know more about such matters than you or R. [Ralph E. Burr] either. R. [Ralph E. Burr] obtained his place soon after he came here, & has been in the same place ever since & is not aware that there are at least four applicants for <all> such places to one wanted. There are more men in Cal. [California] that don’t like work than in any other place I know of in proportion to the number. Probably if I had been more resolute, & tryed hard enough, I should have been more successful, but I have seen fit if I could not get employment at what I thought would suit me, to try something else, & not lie around till people would employ me just to get what I was in debt to them or because I was in debt to them. Many take that course & don’t pay their debts after all. You can’t help but know that the same star don’t guide Ralph’s [Ralph E. Burr] fortune & mine. This I have said before & it is unnecessary to repeat it.
There are some necessary qualifications, to be successful in getting such employment, & R. [Ralph E. Burr] has these qualifications most admirably combined. If a man is not young & handsome or black, boarding house keepers in particular will hire some one who is in debt to them before they will him. The qualifycations are activity combined with youth & beauty, or a black skin.
I have several times been told that I was “not black enough,” which is considered a polite way of saying, you are not handsome enough, or not young enough or both. but enough of this I must take some other subject.
All that has been expended in the N.Y. Co.[New York claim?] is considered of but little value. The claim is though[t] to be as good, but it is property that is not immediately available, & people do not consider such property worth having in this country. Shares will sell now for about $100, dollars. They have sold as high as $1000,
The Co. did not work last <year> season, & I fear they they won’t next, if there is reason to feel sure of accomplishing anything we shall work, but if not we shall not go to any expense.
A man who is saving of his money would make money faster at home, working for 20 dollars per month, than here at $40, this you must remember when you think of high prices of labor. I saw not long since in an eastern paper hay quoted at $60, per ton in Cal. Where hay is worth $60, the actual expence of taking it to market, exclusive of time & team is not less than $20, & often twice that amount.
I would write more but I have not time I have a letter to copy & they must go to the office tomorrow or be to late for the mail.
Give my respects to father mother Erastus & wife, &c,
Yours in sincerity,
Letter 2 -~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~---
[Addressed to] Mrs. Grant [Caroline Burr Grant]
Will you dear Carrie please accept this collar from Hetty and myself
March 14th, 1854.
[On reverse] from Mother Grant Apr. ‘54
Millbrook [Connecticut] April 27 1854
My Dear Dear Daughter [Caroline Burr Grant]
I have long been expecting to see or hear from you but as I don’t I take my pen to enquire why it is so—I am about as well as usual and I have no news to write only that Edward commenced going to school yesterday he is in perfect health and has been since you left other friends well for ought I know. I think about you and Abbie a great deal I will say to you that if A feels unwilling to be left I would wish you not to leave her at present you know that my time is short and that I shall not be able to do anything for her very long and then if she would spend some time with her Aunt I should enjoy the anticipation very much I cannot bear the thought of having her left feeling as she did when you left her to go to Flemington [New Jersey] the first time yet I would not wish anything but what would be for her good and in reference to that I would wish you to decide Eddie often speaks of mother and Abbie wonders they donot come I have feared that some accident or sickness had befallen you but hope not let me know soon much love to Abbie may she remember her Creator in the days of her youth may you forbid that we should sin against the Lord in ceasing to pray for our dear friends may the Lord bbless us and keep us is the prayer of your affectionate
Mother E Grant [Elizabeth Grant]
Much love to Mary [Mary Burr Hill]
Letter 3 -~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~---
Hamilton [California] May 20/ 54
Dear Wife [Caroline Burr Grant]
I received your letter dated at Flemington [New Jersey] March 17 two weeks since & thank you much for it. It is the only one received since Christmas mailed Nov. 4 but it cannot be all you have written I have not written directly to you since I can’t tell when but I think in answer to your Nov. letter at any rate about that time principally because you wrote that you were intending a visit to F. [Flemington, New Jersey] & I was not sure where to direct.
Thank you exceedingly for the kind tone of your letters & for the greatness of soul you exibit in our separation. I have been gone long from you, altogether too long but it seems that you take about the same view of the propriety of my staying <of . . . > that I do. I could make something here if I could be permited but the continued series of bad luck that has marked my course hitherto it seems is enough to discourage <stoughter> stouter hearts than mine. But yet I cannot entirely give up though at times I think I will.
For some months my luck has not been particular discouraging & perhaps that is the reason I am not completely discouraged yet, though there are some spots that look bright there is a dark cloud hanging off yonder of which I am continually in some fear. The cloud seems to be growing somewhat less angry but it is not altogether certain but it may yet gether new fury & burst fourth with violence. The law suit I so much feared a few months ago I fear no longer.
In my last letter to you I made a remark that you might not take as I meant that is a man can save more to work at home at $20, per month than to come here to work for $40, I would be understood to include the time & money spent coming & returning & we will set the term at five years.
It does me good to have you write so particularly about the children. I have for a long time been intending to write to Abby but you know I have no small talk for children & it has been more than I have done to get time to write all I wish of more importance.
You will learn before the receipt of this that I am in the dairy busi at present making butter but soon expect to make cheese. Marcus [Marcus Grant] is with me we have 12 cows If <you> we were a little more advanced with our farm we would have 20. I[t] is a very pretty business I like it & shall probably make it my business while I stay here Shall come home as soon as I <co . . .> can sell this place whether it is soon or not at least I think so now.
Is there any work published upon butter & cheese making? if there is & you can posibly get it I wish you would send it to me by mail I can beat anybody making butter but I can’t say so of cheese.
I feel quite slighted that Ralph [Ralph E. Burr] did not call on me before going [below] I have received <one of> no letters from him for so long a time that if there was nothing else to keep him in remembrance I should have forgotten him long ago. I will write to him soon.
M. [Marcus Grant] is going to write some & I must give him a little room. How I long to be with you.
Your affectionate husband
May 21, ‘54
Dear Sister [Caroline Burr Grant],
As Daniel has left a few lines I will try to fill them. I received a few lines from you, written nearly a year ago about six weeks ago & I feel very much obliged to you for the few lines you wrote stating that the grape vine was alive and various common place things that our people at home never think about except John and he is in a part of the country that I know nothing about and is not able to write of things about home much.
I expect if things do not take such a turn as to show very plainly that I should stay longer to return home this fall
Letter 4 -~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~---
Flemington [New Jersey] June 29th, 1854
My dear Mrs. Grant [Caroline Burr Grant],
Knowing the anxiety you must feel concerning your sister & as William [William Hill] is very much engaged through the day & too tired at night to write, I have offered to send you a few lines in his stead.
Mary [Mary Burr Hill] is certainly improving tho. [though] very slowly, she is now able to walk about a little & can use her hands sufficiently to feed her self. Last Monday afternoon William [William Hill] brought Mary [Mary Burr Hill] round to our house in the carriage, as we thought it would be much easier for us to take care of her here than at her own house, and as the house cleaning is not yet entirely finished, we intend to have it completed while she is with us. Abby & the two children stay here too, Abby & Sammie sleep together in the cotbed in our room and Laura in her little crib by the side of our bed, She has been very fretful for a day or two, (perhaps because of the heat) but is very good at night. She can stand alone for a few moments, & is quite active in getting about by the chairs, indeed I think will soon walk. You must not feel badly when I tell you that she seems to possess almost as strong an affection for her aunt Kate as she did for aunt Carrie in the winter. Mary [Mary Burr Hill] put on her short dresses the day after you left & she never took any cold from the change.
Mary [Mary Burr Hill] had a colored woman for three weeks, who nursed her very nicely she felt obliged to leave last Sunday & as we can get no one to take her place, suppose M. [Mary Burr Hill] will have to remain some time yet with us. Her appetite is much improved, but the Dr. will not allow her any stimulating food. She enjoys bread & milk, Farina, Raspberries, and some kinds of vegetables.
Today Hetty went to help Ann clean Mary’s bedroom & the front entry & there is yet one day’s cleaning to be done, for which we have engaged a colored women next week.
Mother was quite sick for a day or two, about a fortnight since, & though better now, is not right strong, the warm weather debilitates her. Father is as well as usual, not very stout & has to work rather too hard now that our people are haying.
Yesterday morning Hetty & I attended the wedding of Mary Capner She was married at eight o’clock in the morning, Christiana & Mr. Nevins, were bridesmaid & groomsman. Soon after the ceremony the bridal party changed their dresses & started for Washington. The wedding was not large, only the brothers & sisters, with ourselves and aunt Capner’s family were invited.
William expects a pretty tiresone fourth of July, the band is going to attend a celebration at Somerville on that day.
Will bid you good night, as it is bedtime, if I have time will add a little in the morning, if not I hope you will excuse all blunders, as I have written in haste. I hope you will write as soon as you can.
Friday morning) Mary [Mary Burr Hill] passed a comfortable night & is about the same as yesterday. The soreness, & stiffness is now confined chiefly to her neck & shoulders.
Abbie is well, went to church & Sunday School with me last Sabbath. You will be surprised to hear that we have had her hair cut, the barber came up last week & cut it, the long locks were saved for you. She now looks very nice with it fastened back with her comb, after her aunt was taken sick there was no one there to take care of it, & she could not keep it in order herself, so we had it cut. With kind regards to your parents & love for yourself, I remain yours Sincerely Kate Hill
[written up the side of the page] Mary [Mary Burr Hill] sends love to all & thought she could write a few words, but it is mail time & if the letter remains until tomorrow you will not get it this week.
Letter 5 -~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~---
[Addressed to] Mrs. Caroline Grant
[Postmarked] Marysville Cal. [California]
Hamilton [California] Sep. 11 1854
My Dear Carrie [Caroline Burr Grant]
I have no excuse for not writing to you by the last mail. I will do my best towards making it up now, though it cannot be fully made up.
I received your letter of July 2nd some time since, & it is only negligence that I have not answered it.
Your letter & one from John are all from home for a long time. I have nothing of interest to write but will answer some of your questions.
By the way why is it <you> Joel or someone don’t write something about the Milwaukee [Wisconsin] place. You stated that you thought it sold, but that is all I hear Marcus [Marcus Grant] has attended to the cows for a few weeks past, but will brobably leave me tomorrow. I shall soon give them up, for they are nearly dry. We have had all we could do to attend to the cows, & fix up the house, & farm, so as to make things convenient for the dairy.
Prices of farmers produce is low now in this country & I think we have done about as well as any & even better for the capital invested. We have made but little, very little, but yet we have made a little.
We are selling butter at 15 cts. per lb, & cheese at 30 cts., We have sole butter at 40 cts. but not much. We dont have very good luck making cheese, but no body can beat us in butter.
I was just in time taking up land to meet the low prices, just as I expected, I should have taken land sooner but every year I thought prices would be down, till I ascertained that farmers produce could not be imported so as to make it cheap, & I thought it would be a few years before Cal. [California] could supply itself, but Cal. [California] is not only to supply itself, but is to have a large suppluss & no foreigh market. <as I> I am not disappointed at the result, < > It is the most natural thing in existance, that I should be just in time to make nothing, but rather strange that I have not about a thousand dollars to <loose> lose in the concern. Well I have one hope yet, though faint, that is my river claim. We expect to work next season, & if there is anything there take it out, so you will not look for me home for more than a year yet.
My place is still valuable for something. I think it will fetch a $1000,00 but dont know, I know that it is well worth twice that sum, as land has been selling, but dont know what it will fetch now.
I have not raised my crops atall. Cut about 6 tons hay, took one [load?] to the Mts. & exchanged it for lu[ . . . ] I have neighbors in sight.
Don’t live in fear of being killed, can’t tell whether my complexion has changed much or not, but suppose I look pretty old.
My beard is not quite five inches long, think I shall trim it before long.
Have my hair cut occasionally. Think it is not turning <gray>grey.
I don’t keep my <teath>teeth in any order.
Carter & wife are still in the neighborhood believe Carter is troubled with the <feaver> fever some this fall. Believe Julia is well. Don’t see them often.
Wrote to R. [Ralph E. Burr] day before yesterday. had a letter from him a few days ago well I believe
[written up the side of the front page] The 15 of Sept. is at hand I shall commence reading the first chapter of Romans at that time. You will if you have received my letter If you do not commence count<ing> the chapters & days that you are behind. Thus you will know where I am reading continue through the New Testament.
[written up the side of the last page] think some of mining a little this winter
Letter 6 -~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~---
Hamilton [California] Sep 24, 1854
My Dear Friends
I cannot on the present occasion write to you as I wish, for various reasons, but partly for want of time.
You can bring every means of consolation before yourselves, that it is in my power to bring before you, relating to the melancholy accident, that has led us to mourn. Long before this reaches you, you will learn the sad inteligence, but how long after the occurrence before you can know. You may even now be writing for the next mail, to one who is in his grave. I have received a letter from him & written one to him, since he died. How I often tremble when I write home with the thought that time enough has passed since I have heard, for more than one of those to whom I am writing to be laid in the toom. Last Tuesday just as the sun was setting I took from the office a letter with the sup<p>erscription in an unknown hand. I did not open it till I reached home when I learned of what seems to us the untimely death of brother Ralph [Ralph E. Burr]. It is hard for us to at all times reconcile ourselves to the ways of Providence. How can we see any wisdom in taking away a promising young man from us. Here is a mystery.
Do you feel that you cannot reconcile yourself to the calamity that has befallen you or do you take a beter view of the case & think it is as the Lord would have it that your children have been spared to you for a long time & now the Lord wants your youngest perhaps to make him more happy & perhaps for more weighty reasons. We can often reason better for others than for ourselves for our feelings often get the better of our reasoning faculties & lead us astray.
Try not to let it be so in your case I would be very glad to comfort you in this trial but you can do it better yourself.
Dear Father [Ebenezer Burr]
How is it with you? Do you feel that a pillar is gone that was one of your principal supports? It is even so but it was found to be a support that was necessary to be removed or was not needed in the place where it stood.
It seems to me that it will be hard for you to reconcile yourself to the removal but you will succeed.
My Dear Wife [Caroline Burr Grant],
What shall I say to you Our brother is gone a journey from which he will not return We shall go to him we know not how soon but we shall never see his smiling face again on earth.
How I want to be with you now. Rs. [Ralph E. Burr] letter showed that he felt cheerfull when he wrote it. He spoke of going home I mentioned to him that M. [Marcus Grant] thought of going home in the fall. He says “So Marcus is going home lucky hombra (umbra) “lets all go, what do you say to it.”
Mr. Pendleton did not mention any remarks of his during his last hours, perhaps he did not make any. I have anticipated great pleasure in the hope of meeting him this fall but it was not to be.
Mr. Pendleton wrote that he would settle the business & send the money <to> home. perhaps that is the best way
Sept. 25 I fell asleep last night writing & was obliged to go to bed before I had done
The letter must go in a few minutes & I must close.
We have good health,
Letter 7 -~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~---
[Addressed to] Mrs. Caroline Grant
Hamilton [California], Apr. 14, ‘55
My Dear Wife [Caroline Burr Grant],
It is some time since I received the letter containing the news of your fathers [Ebenezer Burr] death. I have no excuse for permitting so long a time to pass without writing & I believe It is not best for me to make any calculations about writing often. I wish I was with you to comfort you in your afflictions, but it is not to be you know the true source of comfort. If the Lord spares us a few months longer we shall meet again on earth.
You wish me to come soon as my interests will not be sacrificed here. I will just mention that that time will never come, my worldly interest will be sacrificed when I leave this country, & are now impaired by the fact that this is not my home.
For the first time in my life there is an opportunity now open for me to provide, not only the necessaries of life, but many of its comforts, yet I suppose that I should not be permited this chance if It was my home, & I was so situated as to make it available.
I do not mention this to disharten you but thoug I know it is foolish for me to feel so I am not quite willing you should think I can leave here without a sacrifice when it is not so.
It is not to late yet for matters to take a different turn from what present appearances indicate but it will not be my fault if they do
I have laid your last letter where I can’t find it & don’t know as I shall answer it as thoroughly as you wish. I think your fathers will is wise <It is not the> I do not desire to be enriched by the property of my deceased relatives but our friends must die & their property must pass into other hands & it is propper that it should fall to the legitamate heirs & that they should lookout for it the same as though they had bought it with their own money therefore I must take an interest in such things when it falls to my lot to do so
I have nothing of importance to write and should not have written but for the fact that a long time has passed since I wrote.
I saw J. Allen a few days since he is troubled with the ague some. He told me that Marcus [Marcus Grant] was also troubled in the same way I told J. that I should like to have him try to persuade M. [Marcus Grant] to go home this spring it will not do for me to meddle with the matter for if I should he will be sure not to go
I will try & give some historical facts relating to Cal. [California] to have some thing to write from time to time & first I will hit upon the aboriginals or natives of this country Of their origine history has been deficient but there is reason to suppose that the natives of China and the Pacific Islands carried on a commerce with this continent some 800 years ago & the complexions of the natives is strong proof that they are decendants of those eastern countries or we might here say with more propriety western countries
How their knowledge was lost or how their commerce was alowed to cease must be a matter of speculation
It seems that not more than 25 years ago the indians were pretty numerous in this valley. <Tthe> The old sites of indian vilages here shows to some extent that such was the case I saw a statement in a M.ville [Maryville, California] paper in 1851 purporting to come from an old Californian He said he traveled through this country from the south part to Oregon in the summer of –4[2?] & returned in –43 When he went up the valley was thickly populated with indians but there was very high water that winter wh. [which] caused it to be very unhealthy the following season & great very great numbers died so that when he returned the valey was almost depopulated & dead bodies lay st[. . .]d over the surface of the ground The account I thought was not to be credited & it was but about a year ago that I succeeded in getting any clue to the matter. At last I learnt that at that time or rather 10 years before for it was in –33 instead of –43 the Columbia fur company were trapping here & the indians being troublesome they inoculated two or three with the smallpox & it came near exterminating the whole race but they are fast dwindling away now & the same ratio followed back for 25 years would find a pretty large population
[some very faint writing in another hand vertically at the top of the page: Dear Mother, I recd these Sat. last and feel so much relieved. All well here. If Abbie has a first reader & does not need it will you pleas send it. ]
Hamilton [California], May 2nd, 1855
My Dear Carrie [Caroline Burr Grant],
I have done wrong very worng, I do not deserve forgivness. You see by this that more than two weeks hav passed since I wrote the other sheet, but I have suffered a mail to go without it & it was then a long time since I had written.
I am sorry but that does not remedy the evil. I can give no other reason for such conduct that the U.S. surveyors have just passsed through our neighborhood surveying. As was of course expected it caused a gooddeal of excitement, & the excitement must be my only excuse. I did not forget, but by some unaccountable cause I neglected to send the letter.
I cannot now give you any deffinite, or at any certain knowledge about my [preemption?] but shall doubtless be able the next mail or the first of June. Things are favorable. My health pretty good.
There is certainly a difference in my luck from formerly. It is strange that anything beyond my control should shape itself to my advantage, but I will not crow to soon, it may yet be dashed from me, still I am thankfull for present appearances.
Somebody says “never say die” “never dispair” but is a man to endure forever especially when every effort is a perfect failure & only sinks him deeper in the gulf of misery <an> Occasional success will enspire hope & if this my last effort in Cal. [California] is destined to prove successfull I shall have some reason to hope on but if it fail but it will not fail I will not give up.
“When ruin hangs grim o’er our passion tossed bark,
And the future approaches all cheerless & dark,
Or the past is o’ershadowed by errors & crimes,
Resolve still to conquer & hope better times”
This verse does not all apply to me for just at present the future is not as dark as frequently it is or as it is generally even nor am I aware of any crime that that o’ershadows my path however many errors I may have committed except my neglect to write home which has indeed amounted to a crime.
“When vices allure us or evils assail,
And good resolutions repeatedly fail,
<Resolutions repe> Resolve still to conquer & nobly declare
Independence of spirit, & “never despair”.
This verse is very good & applicable to anyone. You wrote me once that brother Ralph [Ralph E. Burr] thought me persevereing. I thought then he was not as well acquainted with me as he would be some time. but alas! he was, unless his spirit is making acquaintance without my knowledge but I never thought I was very persevereing yet I now think he had more reason to think so than I thought he had then. But adieu.
Thine, Dear Wife,
Letter 8 -~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~---
[Addressed to] Mrs. Caroline Grant
Bartons Bar [California] July 7th 1855
My Dear Carry [Caroline Burr Grant]
You will see by this date that I am again at the awful New York claim
I expect this seasons opperations will seal my doom. I shall either be stripped of what I have or add a little to it
The chances for selling are so poor that I had rather run the risk of <loos>loseing expences & what the share will fetch than sell as by <runing> running the risk I stand certainly as good a chance to make as to lose
I have to charge myself with blame again for not writing I dont know as it will ever be any different I have no news to communicate nor am I very well able to write though I am not sick You will therefore excuse a short letter
Marcus [Marcus Grant] was here yesterday He is pretty well makes a little in his claim has not heard from home for a long time. He brought me a letter from Joel the first for a very long time I had a letter from mother about a month ago Yours the last date of which was May 3 came by the same mail
James Allen is about 50 miles from me don’t know of his situation or prospects
I don’t know hardly what I can say more of my health than you know I am able to work considerable but not as much as I wish I am generally able to wait upon myself & very seldom without help when I cannot
I cannot yet enter my land nor don’t know when <it> I shall be able to do it
I want you to send me a power of attorney to sign a deed not one deed or any particular <deed> one but any deed that I may wish to convey in this country
A purchaser will be better satisfied than without your name
I have secured a valuable quarter section but some of my neighbors are dissatisfied & “the d-m-d yankee” is very much their way
There is a prospect that by the end of this month we shall know something <deffinight> definite respecting our claim in the river
We are now working on the dam.
I shall doubtless come home next spring but life is uncertain.
I am growing more anxious the longer I stay I hope to hear from you as often as once a month
Kiss the children for me
Give my love to mother I intend to write to my mother before long
I don’t much expect I can ever endure a N. England climate again but perhaps I can
Before I received your letter stating that you commenced reading at Mat. [Matthew] I had written to have you commence again at Romans & thinking you w[oul]d probably do so I commenced at Romans & the chap. for today is the eighth of Rev. As we shall soon be through again we will if you please commence the New testament next time
As Rev has 22 chap. the 21 day of the month will finish it therefore on the 22 inst. I will com. with the first of Mat. When you receive this if you are not reading with me you can find the place & we will read together
Ever my dearest
Your aff [affectionate] husband
P.S. I feel better than when I commenced writing