Letter 2/10/1854
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Letter 6
Empire Ranch Feb. 10,1854
Dear Mother: I again seat myself taking advantage of this rainy day to answer your kind and interesting letter I rec'd Jan about the 25th dated Sept. the 11th. I do not know where it was detoured so long but it did not come amiss; there is still a letter that David wrote that I have not received that contained particulars of Uncles death.

I received a letter from Cousin Lewis the same time I did yours dated Sept. he stated that he is well and is doing very well. He says the mines there are very much like these in Calif. and he thought the difference would not be worth coming after. I state this because I intended going if he gave me any encouragement. But I shall never go for it is too long a voyage and also a great risk. I am now working in Blacks Ranch, he is from Mechanicsburg. We have seeded about 45 acres of barley and wheat and intend putting out about 20 more in oats and barley. I intended staying about a month and a half yet, then they want me to work in a soda factory at Gold Spring which is about 12 miles from here. They say they will give me the highest wages. I don't think I will mine much more because it is very hard work and very uncertain business with out I could get into such a claim as I had. I think I told you in my other letter that I sold my claim. I think I done very well by doing so. You state that Samuel Spees was to see you and that he gave you a ring but did not say whether he gave you the specimen I sent David and Mary Ellen. You said that Uncle Issac gave David $7.50 back and that Uncle intended taking all the interest off; I think they are very generous that is the fruits of having good and confidential friends, because had I not gotten it from them I might have had to give one half of what I made for 18 months, which I would have done before I would have staid at home. When I made up my mind to go, you said I should prepare myself a warm bed. This winter I have a very good bed it is composed of 2 1/2 pairs of blankets, a thin mattress and a good solid floor for a bed cord, pantaloons, coats, etc. For the counterpane. I have now been almost a year and a half from home. It does not seem more than 6 months. If I have luck till that much more time has passed I will find mgself in old York County. You said I had better come home next summer, I should like very well to be there, but cannot quite accomplish my ends till that time and if time slips away as fast as it has, it will not seem long to me. Grand Pap wants to know what I do with my money. I have the greatest part of it at interest at 2 1/2 per cent per month which would be $30.00 on a hundred a year and what I have not at interest I have deposited in Adams and Co. Ex. so that I am at no loss for a place to put it. You state that I should give ------- Book some directions. I expect this letter not get there in time, but if it does tell him not to take many clothes with him, not more than he can carry with him where he goes. If I was him I would not buy my ticket till the day of sailing. He may possibly get it cheaper. There is not much danger that the vessel will be overloaded. When he gets to San Fransisco not to eat too hearty. Not to eat any fruit or very little. If he wants to come see me to go to Sonora take the stage for Columbia inquire for the soda factory at Gold Spring. If I am not there they will tell him where to find me. When you write to me tell me how the neighbours are getting along for you have never said anything about Adam Zims Dietz Hart, Jonathan Lutes and others. Give my respects to Uncle John Umberger and tell him I expect a long letter from him when it comes.
Your ever true and obedient Son Joseph Barton