Himes, Charles Francis, to Helen Himes, St. Joseph, MO, 28 September 1857. MC 2000.1, Charles Francis Himes Family Papers, Archives and Special Collections, Dickinson College, Carlisle, PA.
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St. Joseph Sept 28th 1857
I think I have two of your letters and one of Pa’s to answer of Sept. 3rd and 16th. Last week was one year since I left you all at home to wander alone in this western world and a memorable year it has been, filled with strange incidents. I had almost ‘ere this expected to have seen you all and in fact such was my intention but "man proposes and God disposes." How evident the gap will be occasioned by the two vacancies that will have made ‘ere I see you a few more such and I could scarcely bring myself to go where I must experience their reality now I only conceive of it. However Grandma has completed a good old age and is willing to die.
Since I last wrote you I sat up at another wake of a small child. There is considerable sickness among the children in the neighborhood and it proves pretty fatal. I myself am enjoying my usual health and by careful diet hope to continue to do so.
My school is as usual although I am greatly tempted to close a month earlier than the engagement if I can get off, as to my coming home this winter it is extremely doubtful if I followed my own inclination merely I would certainly do so but we are to a great degree creatures of circumstances. It will cost at least $20 more to come home in winter than summer and be doubly disagreeable. If I read law, it must be in St. Joe as I want to acquire a practical and not theoretical knowledge. My expenses then will be about $20 per month. If I don’t come home in the Fall, I don’t know when I will but you may rest assured I will not do nothing anymore. I have taken to reading pretty attentively. I could not do so here – often for good reasons.
I hope Mary will reply to my letter herself and what is Lan. doing a boy of 12 he might drop a line or two. As to my collarsI may send you a pattern yet Pa’s won’t do. Hoops here are at the acme of their glory and all other silly fashions. Clothing is very high here, I will have spent next week $120 for that article alone since I left home.
Every person and thing is looking forward to and making preparation for the grand North West Agriculture fair, it will last four days and will be a grand affair if it opens on the 20th Oct. I’ll give a week holi-day.
McIlhenny has turned up at last, did he tell you of my condition? I recd four papers 3 stars and compiler last Saturday. Who are those racy Oxford farmers that have taken to scribbling for the newspapers.
The half quarter of land minus the N. W. five acres in which our lots I’ve sold for $ 1060. per acre by decree of court and contention for it at that bid a good price for 75 acres of land in a body it could here bear bought (the whole quarter) for $50 per acre seven years ago.
Kansas land can be bought now as I think at least cheaper than ever again, I’d like Pa to have a good quarter there. The excitement is getting up in regard to the Election but Missouri will not send any voters over you may rest assured of that there is nothing said about it here scarcely although in +54 and 55 they furnished a great amount of money and men. I have sent a number of papers lately and will send at every opportunity.
Tell Pa that if he learns of any kind of a situation in which I could learn business habits, either East or West to let me know as I am willing to engage at anything that remunerates. If I read law I’d like a good eastern partner to go in to the agency business for I will never practice a profession west it’s not the place for true merit to be appreciated.
Billy Barnitz wants me to get in with him at Hanover. Tell Mrs. Gitt to call the girl Minnehaha. Excuse this letter write very often. We have three or four sick here among them old Aunt Parmelia the (black) cook.
Your afft. Bro
Chas. F. Himes