Friday, February 25, 2011

1856 Jan. 27 Letter to Sarah Blain (3705) from Anna Bell (3703)

The letter is written in ink on paper. It covers four pages on a single folded sheet. It is sent from Anna Bell (3703) to Sarah C. Blain (3705). The date is January 27, 1856. It is written in Pleasant Plain, Jefferson County, Iowa.

1st month, 27th day, 1856
Pleasant Plain, Jefferson County, Iowa

Respected Cousin,

I take my pen in hand to inform thee that we are in usual health at present. Hoping these few lines may find you all enjoying the same blessing. Brother John’s (3698) youngest child (3963) was sick last week. The Doctor called it the fever. But she has got so she can go a visiting. Health is pretty good in this settlement at present and has been all winter I believe.

I am going to school now. We have a pretty good school. We have had some pretty tall times at play time, for we are a mischievous sort. I would like to be in your school a little while and see if it seems anything like ours. I don’t presume it would.

I received a letter from thee bearing date December 10th 1855. It was so satisfactory to hear that you are all enjoying usual health.

It has been cold weather for the last five weeks if I remember right. It commenced snowing five weeks ago tonight and there has been snow on the ground ever since. I was at Brother John’s (3698) at a quilting that night and came home, which makes me remember. For if it was not cold and stormy I don’t know anything about it.

Sister Martha (3700) says to send that old Bachelor on. She would give five cents to see him. But thee must send him pretty soon or some of the neighbors are going to have her married in a short time.

I believe thee will have to send a description of what sort of beaux thee wants. There is a widower here that is said to have offered a girl 5 cents to get to hug her. He is going now on a peddling expedition out west. I think he had better stay at home while it is such cold weather for fear he may freeze out there. But he has a gone after furs, and if he is like to freeze perhaps he may be thoughtful enough to wrap up if there is any danger.

Sister Achsah (3701) says to pick one up for her. But for my part I believe I would rather chase for myself, for two persons scarce ever chase alike. But I fear thee has put off coming so long that thee has let thine get away. But send a description and I will look around and see if I can find any that will answer it. If I can I will send thee word, for I would not have thee miss the chance for 5 cents.

We have been having spelling school here this winter and one night there was somewhere in sixty there. That makes almost too many for one small house. When we have another we will not let so many know it. There was some who came for a sleigh ride that did not take part in the school. Have not had but one sleigh ride this winter. There were seven of us got in a sled one night and went a visiting . We had a pretty good time of it.

We had company New Years night and the night after. We have had a great deal of company this winter and I am getting tired of it. We have not had but one first day to ourselves this winter I believe.

After writing such a thing of nonsensicalness I believe I should talk on something of more importance, or something that interests Uncle (3562). More than this, for I suppose he will hear it.

There had been a great many hogs fattened in this country this winter and driven to Burlington on the Mississippi river. There were several droves taken through here and one stopped about one and a half miles from us. They heard that they were so throng at the river that they could not take any more until they got rid of some that they had. It was said that the cars did not come in fast enough to take them all. I cannot tell the price of pork just now but will ask Father and then tell you. As it is getting late and I am cold, I shall quit for the night. Brother James (3704) has been writing by the same light but has quit and gone to bed The wind is howling around and the snow fast falling and I am in the kitchen by myself and I fell quite lonesome, so good night.

It is first day evening and half past six o’clock and I am seated by the stand writing. The most of the family are seated around the fire, and some of our boarders. It is still snowing and blowing yet. The snow was drifted considerable in some places. If it keeps on snowing and drifting, I think we will not have a very nice time getting to school in the morning.

Pork has been selling from four to five dollars. Steak is mostly high this winter.

There was one of our neighbor women got crippled last week. Her and her husband was in a carriage when their horse got scared at some saw logs by the road. She thought the carriage was a going to upset, and attempted to jump out, when the wheel turned and knocked her over. But it happened not to hurt her so as to confine her to her bed, though she cannot bear any weight on it as it was her leg. They had moved from Indiana last fall. She is a teacher of our society.

There is a great talk of war in Kansas. The papers state that in one place they are fortifying their town and have dug a trench to put their families in in time of war - should they have any. Some of the people around here are talking of going to look at the country in the Spring. I have been reading in a book called “Journey Through Kansas” which makes it out to be the garden spot of the West. It describes it as having a well watered country with a great many springs and a great deal of stone and stone coal. But I hear they have only given the good if it. If it is as fine a place as is reported I should like to go there. For I don’t believe there would be so much danger of fighting. For to tell the truth, there was several of the scholars who got their feet pretty badly used up.

Well, I have written over almost a sheet of paper and what have I written I fear that it is nothing that will be interesting to thee. But I hate to send so much paper without anything on it. Please write when this comes to hand if thee thinks it is worth answering.

From Anna Bell ((3703) to Sarah C Blain (3705)

Post Script. Mother (3559) wishes her love given to you all. She says she would like to come and see you, but Father’s health is so poor that she does not think it hardly likely she will ever get there. But if any of you can come and see us, do so. We will be glad to see you.

Nothing more at present, but remain thy affectionate cousin. Farewell

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