Feb. 6, 1853
Sister Caroline: It is with affection I take this present opportunity to let you know that I am well at present hoping these few lines will find you all enjoying the same blessings. I rec'd your letters dated Dec 2nd on the 3rd day of Jan. and I was so overwhelmed with joy that I began to read the first place that my eyes struck the initials and read at two or three places before I got to the beginning. You stated that you had a crib full of corn and lived fat on Johnny Cake. I am able to let you know that I don't live poor. If I don't have the variety you do you may think that I have not been starving myself when I gained 20 lbs. since I left home. You wished to know about the climate on the Isthmus. Here in Calif. is one of most pleasant climates that I have ever passed through. But the Isthmus of Darien was very warm and sultry. I believe if I had stayed four or five days longer there-I would have taken the fever. I had nothing left but my Sunday pantaloons, Linen coat, fine boots, shirt and hat. My coat and boots I threw away the day we arrived in Panama. My new coat, pantaloons and shirt and boots I left in my India rubber valise. I read over the fashions and among them were Emanuel Shetrone and Elizabeth Yencel ha ha ha and some of the greens are married ha ha ha well joy go with them. I am still working on my claim and am doing pretty well since provision has gotten lower & the weather better I can clear $25 to $35 per week besides having to pay $15 to $20 per week expenses. You stated that you had your likeness taken and would send it to me if I would risk it. There is no danger of it getting lost: Just put it up well in paper and direct to Columbia postoffice Tuolumne County Calif. and it will come straight. You did not tell me how the grain looked last fall, nor how Aunt Ester was getting along. Ask Uncle Issac whether he wants the gold dust. If he does I will send it by Adams & Compnay Ex. to Harrisburg for I will be ready to send it by the time I get an answer to this letter. If I have no bad luck.
You stated that you were at the Spirit rappers in Harrisburg & he called Lewis Martins spirit. Lewis is here as fat & hearty as a buck. Them Spiritual Rappers is nothing but a humbug, it is doing nothing but filling up the hospitals with crazy people. I have nothing particular to write this time, I must now close my letter and prepare to take my turn in cooking this week, which I get along very well with. I think till I get ready to come home I will be able to give you girls in old York County a few lessons in cooking. No more at present but I remain Your Brother David said he only hired 2 days in husking corn. I expect Mother has been out all the time. Tell Mother she must not work so hard for she can live without it. Write to me often for I have plenty of time to read.