As a follow-up to last weeks post, here is another letter the sisters sent to their brother in California. This one, written May 28, 1850, shows how badly they missed the adventurers.
My dear Brother
We received Father’s and Jesse’s letters. Father’s was written the 13th of March and Jesse’s the 4th. The first that we have heard from you since the last of December. We got them day before yesterday, It was the happiest day that we have had since you are gone. We have heard so many reports this spring so did not think we could have such good news. It was all good but one thing. Oh, Joseph, do give that up. Father wrote that you talked of staying and going round the oceans but if you do think of any such thing do come home first and then there will be time enough to travel all round the world and when you go I want to go with you. It would kill us to hear you have gone so much farther before you would come home. Do all come home together. Next fall we are going to look for you the last of October. Father wrote you would start the first of September he thought. We all feel happy now but Eliza she did not get a letter from William and not one of them mentioned him. When you write again be sure and tell us where he is. Uncle trumbo got a letter from Elisha how he said he had seen Dunavan in San Francisco but did not say when. David, Isabella, Nancy, Catherine and Mrs. Goodrich all got letters the 15th of this month. We all rejoiced with Mrs. Goodrich. We had heard that he was dead. She never expected to hear from him again. Now she says she is perfectly happy. We had a letter from Martha a few days ago. She said they had heard that Uncle William was going to appoint an agent to go in his place and he would come home but nothing certain.
We are all well. The friends are all [well]. There has been a good many deaths around this winter but none amongst our relatives. I think we are among the favored few. We have all enjoyed good health since you left. I will close and [give] Rebecca a chance. Give my love to all enquiring friends. Father, Jesse and yourself in particular. Your loving sister,
Dear Bro Joseph
I write you again feeling much better than when I wrote last Sunday from having such good news. For it was certainly much better than we had reason to hope for from the fact of our not hearing from you for 4 months and a half and the hearing of deaths in all letters received in Ottawa. Since you must know that our minds were ill at ease until we heard from you again but we now feel much relieved. Mrs. Goodrich in particular. She had no hope of ever seeing him from what Jesse had written to Richard Stadden. He told them not to let her hear of it but such things will leak out you know. We have a very good news carrier – Stickly stoped to hear our letters read and then reports accordingly.
Joseph you don’t know how we feel that you don’t get letters from us. We write once in 2 weeks without fail and very often once a week. If you don’t get them I beg of you not to lay the blame on us. David writes to you all and Rachel, Isaac and me write to you particularly every few weeks at farthest. It appears strange what the cause can be of your not receiving when the others do. But we will be particular and send them together hereafter. See if that will make any difference. We write so often that we many times send one at a time. We receive yours very irregular. Mrs. Snelling got hers of the same date some two or three days before we did and sometimes we receive one from one of you the middle of the month and another by the same steamer the middle of the next month so you see they are very uncertain but Joseph, do write often. You certainly know how much more good it would do us when we receive letters to get from you all. Elias Trumbo, Jonathan Stadden and Tom Jenkins write to you regularly, besides many others.
I do hope you will abandon the idea of going the journey Father speaks of till you come home first. Then we will give our consent for you to go see China and all the curiosities of the world if you promise not to be gone more than a year at a time.
We stood it pretty well till the first year you were gone but now time goes slowly. Folks told us after you started that our anxiety would soon wear off – it would get to be an old thing but, believe me instead of wearing off it increases daily. I know if you want to see us as bad as we want to see you you will not think of anything but coming home the quickest possible way. I hope you will find all the gold you want in the stream that you were turning till you are ready to start for home. Don’t too much. For we have considerable here – none of it wasted since you left. David does very good business both in the factory and mill and the farm is all let to good tenants. Daddy Hite still lives here. He is now hunting a farm but is rather hard to please. He has been around considerable but has now concluded to buy near here as he can find nothing to please him better. His money troubles him more, I expect, than your gold does among theives. He wants to get rid of it as soon as possible which I think is a good plan as I should hate to be in hot water as he is all the time.
You may think me particular in writing nonsense but I write so often that I can’t always talk sense. I would be glad to get a little nonsense from you once in a while and think probably you will from me if I have nothing else to write. If you were here a while I would have enough to say no doubt but writing is different. I must close by giving my love to all. Mother sends her love to you and says you must not think of staying longer than the rest. She don’t want to see any till she sees you all. So, Joseph, I again beg of you to come with them and travel after you have made us a long visit.
Rachel and me have our miniatures, very natural, I would like to send them to you but can’t very well. We take a great deal of comfort looking at yours. My love to all from your loving sister,