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I did not think to tell the girls that I was about to write to you if I had they wuld have written at this time. Our girls are growing up to be little women almost faster than we wish I almost dread to have them get to be young women.
They are very fond of going to School Mary particularly is a wonderful student. She studies half a day regularly without a word of encouragement. Indeed we have to hold her back instead of encouraging her to study. Both of them are dilligent scholars & I think favorites of teacher & pupils. Our Boys are marvels too (did you even know any that were not). Willey has a heavy look but is unusually smart with Books. Charley dont care much about Books but he is the sharpest kind of an urchin.
[in left margin:]
All our love to all Farewell dear Sister
very affectionately your Bro.
Leavenworth, Kansas Nov. 20, 1861.
My Dear Sister Rachel,
Timothy is absent from home so I have not just now any excuse for not writing to you. He is such a capital correspondent that I have excused my self so long that I got into a very bad habit of neglect.
Timmothy has gone with a small train of waggons with provisions to Ft. Riley, distant 130 miles I expect his return this week. He will not sleep in a house during his absence but he will have a waggon double covered for his lodging place. He wished to go & try life on the plains. All young men in this country almost have been to Utah or New Mexico
He is a noble young man, and if I stay here, as I suppose I shall, I hope things will take such a turn, that I shall be able to get him a place worth $[35?] per month, and if we both stay permanently, in time, I hope he may get a better situation than that. But all depends on the officers at the Fort.
We all like our situation here first rate I greatly marvel that I was able to get so desirable situation. If we are permitted to stay four years we shall be able to live comfortably elswhere. But I should not be disappointed if we were displaced within the year tho' I do not think that, that event is very probable. Still I am ready to go at any time.
The leading officers at the fort are old democrats & if they could I suppose they would like to dispossess all Republicans. I am inclined to think they will not suceed.
I got the Montpelier papers for Timothy last night. I suppose when he returns he will be full of matter for letters home. I was much pleased to see that he took a copy of the New Testament with him. He is a good boy & will do well.
Elizabeth is in very feeble health just now. We have had a hard storm & that is unfavorable for her. it is pleasant again & I hope she will improve. She is better to day. The rest of us are enjoying an accustomed health.