St. Louis, Mo. Feb. 25th, 1857.
My Dear Agatha,
I am well. I arrived here in safety last evening at midnight, from Cincinnati, Ohio. All one night and half the next in the cars, distance near 400 miles, time 34 hours. We were hindered 10 hours by roads out of repair. Prest. G. A. Smith came with me. He is well. Prest. E. Snow is in good health and spirits. Here we learned of the death of Prest. J. M. Grant–so sudden–so unexpected– but he is through, has gone to his rest and all is well. How strange are the ways of providence!
I was so overjoyed to hear that all the family were alive and well, that I could hardly be thankful enough. E is well–she is in Texas with her two children. I have not seen her since Nov. last.
Mrs. Sayers is well. She is rejected by her aunt Vase and all her kinsfolks. I received a line from her today–she has just sent me one hundred dollars, for her passage last fall.
Belinde, I have a fiddle for Nephi.
I have written home often, to Parley, or to some of the family. I wrote, from Cincinnati, to him a few days ago. For fear things will miscarry I will sum up a few items of news concerning myself. I arrived in the States all well, in Nov. E soon went south, found her C…well. Staid at her fathers one week, and escaped with the C…to Texas. She may return to St. Louis, and may not. She may go by land a thousand miles northward, through Texas, Indian Territory, and Cansas to get to the Platte River. A Texas company of saints talk of coming that way. I staid in and about St. Louis, till middle of Dec. got some clothing and money and then went on. Spent Christmass in Philadelphia, and New Years in New York. I have since that time been gradually returning westward, till last evening when I arrived here. I spent one week with my Br. Nelson, in Ohio. He is an honest man, and has a good wife and 3 children. He has buried two wives. His children are nearly grown. His son is twenty, and his two daughters fourteen and [page break] twelve, very interesting young people, good looking, intelligent, and good singers. They are all favourable to the gospel, but careless and of little faith. He thinks of selling out and removing to “Garden Grove”, Iowa.
As to means, I have obtained sufficient for traveling expenses clothing, etc., and to pay a part of my St. Louis debt. All I owe here now is one hundred and thirty one dollars, viz. a note in favor of Hooper & Williams. My mules, (Dick and Batsy) are in good order, having been wintered in this vicinity. I am now going to work to prepare for home, and shall start as soon as the spring is sufficiently advanced. The winter has opened in all this country, and the rivers are being navigated. I have greatly enjoyed good health except had colds and my usual infirmities.
As to success in the ministry, I haven’t accomplished much apparent good; my preaching and influence has been mostly by the fireside and among the saints. I have done no harm, and have tried to set a good example, and to stir them up in the things of the spirit of the Lord. God has blessed me, with his spirit continually. I have felt no desposition to do anything but right, and to work righteousness. The saints feel well where ever I go, and they are kind and hospitable to me. I have part of the means to pay the debt here to Hooper & Williams, but have no means to fit out for home, or to bring any thing home to my family.
It may be the mules can bring the empty carriage and the necessaries for the journey–if we all walk. If not I shall either try it with a handcart, or get in as teamster with somebody.
You wished me to write you a good comforting letter, but what I write must be for the whole family.
I say then, in the name of Jesus Christ, and in the authority of the holy Priesthood, you, yourself, shall be blessed, and your sins forgiven; and I say the same in regard to all the family. So far as they are all trying to defend and do right, their sins are all forgiven, and they shall [page break] be mine in that day when the Lord shall make up his jewels–that is to say–if God will forgive me of all my sins, and count me worthy to stand. I feel as though I shall find forgiveness and stand–for I feel a fixed and unshaken determination to yield to no temptation, and I feel that I will never hereafter do any thing, displeasing to God. If he will assist me by his spirit I will keep his commandments, and walk in his pathes.
May God Allmighty bless you and Agatha Jun., and Malona, and Moroni and Evelyn our dear little one, whose name I tried in vain to remember till you wrote it to me. Give each of them a good harty kiss for me. May God bless each of you, and all my children, including Parley, and Peter, and Abish.
Please say to Phebe that I remember her, and rejoice in her letters, give little Phebe one kiss for me. Say to Belinda, Elizebeth, and Keziah that I am thankful for their letters, and remember them all with the very best affection. Say to Sarah and Hannah and Mary that I remember them also in the best affection. I find no fault with those who do not write, but take it for granted that a letter from one means a letter from all, and I hope each of you will so consider mine.
Give each of the children one good hard Baseta for me.
I am your own,
[Transcribed by Walt Morrell and Suzanne Taysom, Feb. 2014]
P. [Parley P. Pratt] to Agatha [Pratt], transcribed letter, 25 February 1857; MS 278, folder 1, document 17, p. 1-3, online images, Ann Agatha W. Pratt Reminiscences and Letters, 1847-1907 (https://dcms.lds.org/delivery/DeliveryManagerServlet?dps_pid=IE2090355&usedforsort=MS_278_f0001 : January 2014); Church History Library, Salt Lake City.