Friday, November 4, 1864
My Dear Father & Mother,
I wrote you a letter last January when in San Francisco promising you another by May with one hundred dollars. I sold half of my ranch to a friend the ( ) to (permit) the money to Haslam ( ) ( ) the same to you but as Haslam did ( ) (promise) to money of ( ) he did not forward ( ) he may have ( ) it by the time if (so) he will send it to you. I enclose a check for $50 as fifty dollars (h ) so that if you don’t get the hundred you will not be so badly (disappointed) & you shall have the other $50 in a short time. I left San Francisco and told you I (would) in any letter for ____________ by stage (six) hundred mile over abroad part of which I would think impossible for a man it was a very _____ the stage run night and day this is a fast country. Every body is in a hurry here. We traveled six hundred miles in 8 days in the depth of winter over mountains and plains over ____ 20 feet deep that is on the mountains. However I (got) (there) safe and commenced bringing (cattle) myself and partner brought in 375 head at a cost of $6500 six thousand five hundred dollars had to drive them 600 miles to get to this _______ (Crops) (Rivers) put them on steam boats in fact (the)
( ) ( ) how as I think it will out last this country & I feel move at home (where) I am satisfied if I had ( ) the cattle there instead of here. I have done better I learned there heads that may once but was (dis___) from it by a friend who I thought knew better than I did. However I never fret over spilt milk if I have my health. I shall come out right side up yet though it ( ) (sum) to take me a long time to prove it. There is one thing I can tell you that if I don’t hurry up I shall be an old man. The ( ) tells an awful tale since I left home when you said I should not go as I was but a lad yet. Yet it seems but as yesterday. I can almost hear the sound of your voice as you spoke though it ( ) ten years ago that I could sit by your fireside and tell you of my ups and downs of my hopes and disappointments expectations in fact I know I could tell a man things that would interest you and my ( ) (it) may be that I shall drop in some day to do all this how I would like to see you & talk to you but I must (content) myself at present by saying my love to Brothers & Sisters, Uncles & Aunts, Cousins. Remember me to Mr ( ) ( ) family, Mr ( ) and particular to ( ) (Fanny) tell her I should like to hear how she ( )
(task) of ( ) (cattle) in these countries are anything but pleasant. I took 3 months from the time she left the (pl ) we bought to get here and everyday of this time we had to sit on a house 8 or 9 hours. I bought a shop & am butchering and have a good (easy) time of now my partner out with the cattle and drives in when we want to kill. My work is to attend the books and receive the money. The money comes rather slow yet we think we are doing well at (last) as well as our neighbors. We have some 250 head of cattle on hand and if the winter is mild I think my ____ is better than it ever was. This country you must have heard of it, it is known as the (Boyse) country It lies about 800 miles North East of San Francisco discovered about 2 years ago as a gold field. The (diggings) has been very good and yet are a little over average not ( ) than sixty or seventy-five thousand men have visited then this year may have done well while the ( ) have not done any thing over expenses. It is American Territory ( ) has never been ( ) than six dollars per day board, 14 dollars per week. We feel no (effects) of the (war) here as yet but I feel we shall if it lasts much longer it (does) I shall leave for British Columbia In fact I think I shall go back next
My (pious) regards to B.F. Haslam, Mr. ( ) Anderson Mr T. Billingston, Tell Brother Joseph to write ( ) love to all ( ) friends& believe me your affectionate son,
( ) PS I think you had better write to San Francisco care of Haslamas he can always forward to me.