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Brick School House
Jan. 13th 1857
As Mr Reed is going to town tomorrow I will answer your last. I am becoming better reconciled to the West and experiencing the realities of life. I have obtained my certificate as teacher so that my salary is sure after my hard work mentally and physically I went to Keokuk yesterday (Monday) on foot ad returned, the Mississippi is frozen over and is now a convenient highway for carrying provisions there. There was only about enough wood at the school house to last until about 3 o’clock and then I would have [illegible] the necessity of burning rails so I concluded to let them see what would be done in [illegible] wood was bright and seized the opportunity to pay a long anticipated visit to Keokuk (I have plenty of wood a day) I [illegible] Lynch, he is now editing the daily and weekly Post in part and has abandoned the law officer for the “Sanctuaries” but still speculating. He loans no money at less than 3 percent which is about the average rate. He said he [illegible] about $150 bonus could be gotten on a loan of $1000 but not case. $100 coin could he thinks easily be procured, that would be about 22.5 percent for [illegible] They can’t give [illegible] notes in Iowa but what is equivalent as “deed of trust” to [illegible] often ten days notice according to condition of deed. It would not be safe to take the property at more than about the nominal value. The Elmerwoods addition lots which I saw sold and if I could have sold again would have bough one, are now in demand at increased prices. The new turn of Drealion which a company Mr Lynch in included have layed off on the g_______ side opposite the Keokuk will be ready for sale about July 1st. There appears to be more business and building in Keokuk than ever but I think Westwood is the land of promise. Nebraska territory is all laid out in town lots and for sale in Keokuk—Kansas has not yet been reached and claim titles are not so good there on account of the Indian reservation but I think that Kansas is decidedly the best location from all I have [illegible] and I have in a great degree made up my mind to steer in that direction early in the spring to anticipate the great tide of emigration that will [illegible] [illegible] Mr Lynch has about made up his mind to go as he is is not particularly engaged at Keokuk just not and thinks he’ll try to get away there if so we go together. I am going to K. next Saturday to talk with him over the matter and made some arrangement if any can be made. As to buying land warrants they are not available in Kansas in Indian lands but Iowa is now open and I think they could be [illegible] located there but the money is worth more in Kansas as the city of Leavenworth is to be sold for cash! I will land there. Perhaps if I [illegible] to go and see Weiser and Lilbert about the Slaymaker matter they could be [illegible] or given in payment of the lands [illegible] on time. Minnesote is in some respects preferable to Iowa. But perhaps we will go through Iowa to Nebraska in the Spring.—Sharing paper to [illegible] knowing men here would [illegible] now, money command anything you choose to ask in Warsaw and they have just started another bank. The leading business man has had his rate shared $375 in 3 ms. for $275 best of personal security [Illegible] says he is sharing his own papers one of the finest men and one doing a big business merchandize a pork packing died last week of typhoid fever—name—Robert Miller of Cumberland Co. Pa. came west in 1835—wonder if he’s related to [illegible] Miller of Carlisle. His death cast a gloom over the whole city and [illegible]. I don’t suppose Mr Lynch will be out in the Spring if Elias does not get better and if he gets worse what region does Mr Elias intend going to? I am in the ninth week kof my quarter and don’t think it probably that I shall continue any longer for I would not wish to engage for another whole quarter. I would willingly keep to my books and wait for something to turn up but I can not study with any degree of satisfaction to myself, close application for a length of time affects my eyes just now but I think they will improve in a few years when I intend resuming study as I now can transplant my affection for the scenery anywhere else.—Some rascal stole my beautiful specimens of geology of this region. Uncle Alex ought to come out here to sport a little I saw thousands of prairie chickens on the prairie the other day, they are a beautiful shot with a rifle on the trees in the bottom wild geese plenty too.—I want to send my watch home the first opportunity. I measure the stars regularly and am occasionally [illegible] with an interesting editorial. I have sent several papers home. Mails are very regular now.—As to Mr. Baker I will write him again if you have not heard of him in the next letter I receive from you. Tell Maggie I intend giving some of her present to the Lynches two little girls.
Write soon on [illegible]