Dear wife and children and grandchildren,
I wish to see you very much and we must trust in God that we will see each other one day.
We have the most incouraging news from California that cannot be doubted. Mr. Cutting is here on his way out. Among the thousands that I have saw then is not one that I knew but our neighbors. ? check on
Mr. Trescot and Smith Seward are here they are starting out on the plains with their mule teams carry feed. I could write a great deal about the number and other things but you will get it in the papers perhaps more correct than I can give it.
I saw and conversed with one man this morning from Lexington, KY by the name of Miller that has lived near Nicholson that told me a goodeal (good deal) about our old acquaintances which was a great satisfaction.
Of all the sights that ever I saw in my life of people wagons oxen and some horses they are crossing every day from 30 (to) 40 teams to go out on the plains 6 or 8 miles to graze their teams a week or 10 days.
Before starting we will go over as soon as our teams come and we all get together. I am very anxious to get away from here as quick as possible on account of sickness and expenses.
Flour is $2.00 per hundred (?), bacon for sides $5.00, hams $4.50, corn 50 cts from store, 20 cts (if you go outside the city for) 15 or 20 miles. I will write again before we start.
Now Dear wife and children try and live in peace and may God bless you all.
Dear Son do the best you can on the farm and for the family and if I live to return you shall be rewarded and if I do not I hope that God will give my best wishes to all the dear children and inquiring (?) friends and may
God Almighty bless dear little Luke and Rebecca Ellin.
Your affectionate husband
Notes: From the letters, it appears that John's son Henry is married and has children of his own, and is caring for his farm and his father's and mother's farm as well. I think perhaps John had some younger children left at home with his wife, Mary, also.
Later on, Henry could be found in the Sumner County, Kansas Census.
Part Three - The Postscript - coming soon.