Columbia, CA

Sunday, February 8, 1857

My Dear Father & Mother,

I (scarcely) know how to commence writing after such careless negligence.  However I will not go into lengthy apologies, (but) frankly confess my self at fault & as your forbearance with a promise that hereafter I will not necessitate my self to crave that indulgence.  I was very glad to hear of your general good health at the time of writing.  I deeply sympathize with you for the loss of your fine daughter.  I hope that (   ) this the healing hand of time has taught you to (    ) no more for the past.  I have (an    ) answered letter from Uncle with a few (   ) from yourself also from Bro’s Joseph & James.  I was somewhat surprised to hear of Bro Joseph’s position.  I was (unspeakably) glad to see Bro James (    ) (such) a decision of character.  I hope you (might)

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Let (naught) impede his progress.  I also hope that Bro John is being attended to the best you know how.  I will make arrangements by next letter to pay schooling and books for the children.  I suppose James (Holden) is the best teacher in your vicinity. I should therefore recommend that you send your children to him.  I would wish to say a few words here in reference to Bro James in particular.  I do not care what (his) wages are.  I am willing to say the same.  I will appoint Uncle Joseph & have him pay the (     ) every two weeks if he (James) goes to school regular. It is not my wish that he should go to school just for the name of going if he goes I want that.  He should go to study & study hard & I would suggest for your consideration that he go to Bury or some place out of Ramsbottom not that I think there are not men smart enough to teach him at home but I have

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a peculiar idea that boys learn more from homes.  It is a common practice in the states & I can say from experience, I believe it acts well.  It fits a young man for the task..  He is likely to be called upon to (perform). I shall wait for an answer in this subject.  I hope You will be definite on this point.  I am aware it will meet with some objections.  I know you will reason that he is young & inexperienced but had I time & space I could overturn all your objections for I tell you experience is the best teacher & if you want experience you must go out into the world.  If you desire your son James to excel send him from home.  Now Father I hope you will comply with the above if you possibly can. For I could tell you how deeply I have felt my lack of information & experience though in (form). I had a common school experience as you know but God save my Brother from a similar one. I will now leave this subject & tell you how I am feeling.  I am in excellent health & comfortable. I have not worked any for two months for want of matter.  We have now got plenty however

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I will soon make the old Earth give up her treasure.  We are having a wet winter. It has rained for 4 days now in torrents, But I am happy to say that Friend Haslam & my self are well shielded from the blast. That we have plenty of good food & (rament). We conduct our own household & enjoy ourselves well in these mild & far off regions.  We spend many a hour in pleasing chit chat of home, relations & friends.  I suppose that you would like to know a little of my (pecu    ) affairs.  Well I have struggling hard to shake a heavy debt with heavy interest. I have just about paid for my claim & shall now commence to save up money.  I should realize a good thing of the kind as I expect to do well for some time out of the claim.  I must now conclude. Haslam wishes to be kindly remembered to you and family.  Give my love to all Sisters & Brothers, Uncles & Aunts & Cousins. ______________.  I remain your affectionate son,
William Kirkman

 

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.