San Francisco

Thursday, October 4, 1855

My Dear Father & Mother,

I scarcely know how to commence this letter.  I must apologize & explain matters.  In the first place soon  after writing my last, I changed business & occupation.  I sold my diggings for the sum of sixteen hundred dollars.  I went to Springfield & bought in the grocery business.  I felt anxious to see how it would turn out.  For no sooner had I entered in co-partnership than I began to suspect my partner of being guilty of that awful crime (mainly of being without money-for it is almost a crime these days to be without money.  This is in the eye of the world.).  Well every day demonstrated the suspicion, but he not only was short of money, but he is an (estrangeant-astringent) man & too much at my experience.  I put in what little money I had & I was afraid I would not get half of it back.  I have now lost two hundred dollars beside my time.  We did a good business (   ) average sales amounted six hundred dollars per week.  My friends think I am foolish but I know better.  I am or not I am satisfied if I have lost a couple of hundred for I know I have stayed.  I should not have had a (dollar)

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in six months & I know if I had had a good partner I could have made two thousand dollars per year, but it is all over & talking (   ) writing is of no use.  I have just got to the city & (    ) a passage to Melbourne in the Clipper Ship (Fair Wind) of (Boston). I have paid $150.00 dollars for a first class cabin passage.  We shall sail on the 5th or sixth of  this month.  I suppose you will use the old adage (a roll stone & __ ) well so be it it I believe though I shall stop when I get in a mossy place if I can do it peaceably. I have nothing to complain of in this country only that I am not so much at home as I  think I shall be in Australia.  This is the best country I have seen.  I don’t expect to see a better if I can find one as good I will not leave it I assure you.  I hope (     ) will suffice.  I am sending my (miniature) to you by post.  Friend Haslam & me (    ) taken together.  I have left a check here with some friends if any thing should happen me.  You  will get them.  They are on (Roth Childs) Friend Haslam has gone to Sandwich Islands. I suppose he will go from there to Australia.  You must answer this  to Melbourne. I will attend to the (setting) of it.  I must conclude as time is short.

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Get my baggage on (home).  I (might) write you more in particular when I get to Melbourne (if I don’t go in the grocery business).  Remember me to all. My sisters & brothers, Uncles & Aunts, & all (inquiring) friends & believe me your affectionate son,
William Kirkman

N B you must excuse my (    ) as I have not time to (    ) it over to _____ ______.
Wm Kirkman
I have taken the draft (on) (London) with me to Australia the one (left) with (my) friend is the (second).
WK

 

When You Visit

The museum is open on Wednesday through Saturday from 10 am to 4 pm and on Sunday from 10 am to 2 pm. It is also open by appointment.

Admission is $7 per person or $25 for a household. Admission is free to all NARM and ROAM members. Kirkman House is also a Blue Star Museum that welcomes current servicemen, armed forces veterans and their families.