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Letter 1

Sept. 5th,1852 New York
Dear Mother, It is a source of much joy & consolation that I have the privilege of communication to you my good health and preservance of mind, also hope that you & the rest are enjoying the same.

I must now tell you of my journey so far as I have got. We stayed Mon. & Tues. nights in Phila. and there I seen for the first time the things that I so often heard tell of. That is the ships and the theatre. I was in the Walnut St. Theatre on Tues. night and on Wed. morning we left at 8 o'clock for New York where we now are. This place I have often heard of, but never that it was such tell. It beats all I ever witnessed. The streets are so full of wagons, carts, Drays, carriages, omnibusses that it is a very difficult matter to pass from one street to another, also the walks are so full of people that you can scarcely get along. And here I have been in Barnums Museum, Burtons Theatre, in Broadway Theatre & in Crystis Minstrels. We used to pay 25 cents to see a circus but they are only a nuicence to a theatre. How ignorant a great many people live and die with out knowing how things are going a few miles from home. I have been across the Hudson River and the place called Hoboken and away out in the country. I have been very much delighted with the portion of the world I have seen. Lewis & me have had our fortunes told by the great celebrated astrologer, and things that we have realized have been true. I believe that this woman knows something about it for she told us that we had come a journey & that we are going to go a journey. She told me of 2 or 3 persons that appears to be very interested in my welfare, that is men, and I think I know some of them. She told Lewis that he would be sick in a few days, and I suppose that will be where we get on board the Great Ohio on tomorrow at 2 o'clock. She will strike her colours. She bears a burstrue of 200 tons & she runs in connection with the Golden Gate. A little more about the fortune teller. She told me my prospects were bright where I am going. She told me I would never be immensely rich, but that I would have enough to keep me comfortable my life time. She told me I would get money, by the way she tells me, it must be from some of my uncles & she told me I was going to marry a Lady pretty stout with blue eyes ha, ha, ha, and I would get money with her & a great mang other things were favorable. I don't feel a bit homesick, I don't think a bit about coming home. They said I would go so far that I could not hear the dinner pot, then I would come back, but it is not so. I think of my good old Mammy who was very good to me. Since I have left home, I have bought myself a Gum Sack for $3.00, a Gum coat for #5.00 a revolving pistol for $17.00, a dirk knife for one dollar, a belt for $1.00 & a vest for $1.50 & a first rate one at that, and we have a great deal of information about Calif. I met a gentleman that told me I could get twice as much for my pistol as I paid, for it is an extra kind. We were over at Kobuck trying there and I hit the paper at 17 yds. with it. A gentleman told me that a man cannot help but make money in Calif. if he was industrious and saving. Another gentleman told Lewis that he was in Calif. but he had a wife here and she would write to him to come home & he said for that reason he could not make money but that there was money to be made. Yes & the old fortune teller told me that I was to have six children & that I would not pass away in early life & that I would be honorable & she told Lewis that he would have two wives O, show he don't want me to tell about matrimonial affairs. Well I guess I must finish my letter for I have got pretty near the end of the sheet. Only wishing luck to the boys that backed out from going along. No more at present but I remain
Your big Joe
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