Santa Clara, Cal. Nov. 17th, 1854.

My Dear Sister Agatha,

I am well. E. is so as to be about, but is never well. She is much troubled with spinal complaint. I am very lonesome here, but being very buisy I have very little time to think. When I do think, it is of my dear ones at home. I think of you, my dear sister, of our early acquaintance, of our first affection, of the heavenly principles of eternal sympathy and affinity which first drew us togather and made us one. I remember how you gave me your whole heart and soul, and confided your spirit and person to me with a confidence which nothing but the spirit of the Priesthood and the pure love of God could inspire.

And god rewarded our Union, and blessed it with most precious fruit in our dear little Aga, and Lony, and Marion, and Moroni. He sustained us in the wilderness, and fed us in the desert. For these many years we have toiled in poverty and weariness, and in much labour and care. I remember you in the Kanyon, and in the cave, in the tent, and in the storm without a tent. You have been a first rate sister to me, and a first rate mother to my children. And I feel to bless you with all my heart. And to say that God shall bless you forever and ever. I hope to be counted worthy to retain such jewels in my crown of rejoicing–such affectionate little ones in my bosom. You say in your letter of Sept. that you do not care for poverty and toil if you could only enjoy the society, and affection of those you love. Well, this is just the way I feel. 

We can live from day to day, and obtain food and clothing, and a few necessary things, and that which we cannot get we can do without and be happy. We will serve our God, and trust in him and he knows best what we need for our good. The greatest blessing we can have on the earth is a humble, meek, and quiet spirit, and the disposition of a child; with the love of God shead abroad in our hearts.

Agatha, I do think of you, when my heart is full of love, and I am just [page break] simple enough to believe that you think of me, and that we shall increase in mutual love till we die with old age, and then again, in distant worlds, the glorious theme renew. You ask for my history, as all my early letters have miscarried. I hate to dwell in the past. We reached S. Bernardino in 14 days from Iron County. I had to walk night and day on the desserts. I stayed three days at S. Bernardino, got a little help, say 50 dol in money and clothing. Then in a waggon 80 miles to San Padro. Here I lay 10 days at a hotel, no charge. I then took steamer and after being driven back 3 times and spending 5 days extra of the usual time I landed in S. Francisco. Here I lay 5 days without seeing E, who was in the San Jose vally. I was charged nothing for cabin passage, and was treated with great respect. But when I arrived among the professed saints I had not where to lay my head, except the widow Wenzer, where I would not live as she was over run and trampled on as it were with all goers and commers. I went to S. Jose valey and met E. at last, in a state of poor health.She hardly had where to lay her head, she had been a servant till her health was to poor to work, and then she had been insulted, or shunned by most, while a secret influence was afloat against her and me, and all who were governed by the holy order of God. She had about 50 dol. and I had about 50, so we spent all in renting a garret, and in some furniture and clothing. In process of time God raised us up some friends, and we began to obtain a little help. Snakes in the Grass continued to insinuate that I was allways a begging, etc. and that we were no better than whores, whoremongers, etc. A few old members stood by us, and God raised us up some new ones, and we lived, but we have to this day run in debt for most of our clothing and other expences. I now owe several hundred dollars more than I have means. 

A few weeks ago we removed to Santa Clara, where we have a good room, fewel and board free of expense, although we visit a good deal, and only board on our benefactors at the house we live in, a part of the time.

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The little branch here numbers some 15 members. We baptize a few now and then. I visit San Francisco, and also Santa Cruz, in both of which places I have friends. But I never go any more to San Jose valey. I would as soon go to hell. There are individuals there who are good, but I have told them to get out as soon as possible. The gospel is being preached in S. Francisco, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Sacramanto city and elsewhere. The church in this country now numbers between sixty and one hundred members who are trying to do good.

Santa Clara is appointed as a rendezvoux for all who wish to, and can go to Utah. The first of May is appointed as a time to start, from this place with waggons and mules, we shall go down country, and come the southern rout, but we make our outfit here instead of making it at S. Bernardino. Wagons are already being looked after, and mules are being bought. I think there will be 20 men or more in the company. It will take at least seven weeks to go from here to Salt Lake, as it is 4 or 5 hundred miles further than to go from S. B. I talk of going with the company to show them the way, and visit my family; but I have no prospect of the means as yet. I have some 2000 dollars worth of books shipped to me from Eng.d which will cost me several hundred dollars to pay duties. They will not sell in this country without there is an overturn.   

I have baptized one Spanish family, who live in Oakland, 10 ms. from the city. They will either gather to the Lake or to S. B.

I am in hopes there will be a goodly colony of 50 or one hundred souls in this springs emigration. The weather here is hot like summer—but the nights are cool. The rains have not come much yet, but they look for them. I devote my time in preaching, and visiting, and in writing my history. I have closed my history up to the beginning of the year 41. It is neatly revised and chapters and headings all finished up to that time ready for the press, or to leave to my children, or to the archives of the church; it [page break] consists of more than four hundred pages of my best manuscript hand: most of it is copied in a book.

Now, Agatha, you asked for a good long letter, I think this is long enough in all concience, but as to its goodness you will be the better judge. It has cost me a days work and I am now tired and nervous. I had rather have you in my arms and get the light of your eye, and one good sweet kiss than to write to you all day.

I cannot write more than one such letter in one month, so it must be accepted of by all the family as if written to themselves. If I write more they must necessarily be short. I have neglected Sarah heretofore, but I hope to write to her this mail. Tell her to be of good cheer whether I do or not, I love her and her children, and will bless them forever and do them all the good in my power. And the same to Hannah, and her children.

Letters are so liable to miscarry that I wish to say a few words in this to Belinda; although if she gets my long letters of last month she will not need the information I now write.

She entirely misunderstood all I said to her about a certain man in this country. I said to her that he had wounded me in a tender place. She, poor tenderhearted dove, thought I ment that she was included in the matter, but she was not except incidentally, as a member of the same family.

That man had wounded me by being a snake in the grass to injure me and Elizebeth in this country, and especially E, when she was a stranger alone here, and dependent. He did it by misrepresenting certain principles concerning our law of matrimony, by which E suffered much, and was almost deserted. He said nothing of Belinda only what I wrote to her.

The reason I wrote to her at all on the subject was because I thought she would want to know how he had turned out, and that he was no longer worthy of our friendship.

Belinda is a good a woman as ever was suffered to live in this fallen [page break] world, but she is almost to sensitive, to stand such a world. I feel sory for her, and were it possible I would clasp her in my bosom and hide her there; and my own heart should be her shield from every thing that would wound her feelings or disturb her peace.

Tell her to be of good cheer, she shall never be killed by the Indians, never be taken prisoner, never be injured by our enemies, never be forsaken of her God, nor deserted by her husband; she shall triumph over all her foes, and her name shal be handed down to a thousand generations, as a faithful, and noble mother in Israel. She shall live to see all lyings envying and strifes done away, and shall be clothed in white rayment and be crowned among the royal retinue of the queens of eternity.

This honor shall be hers and yours, and and Maries, and all the rest of the pure and wise virgins who are faithful to the bride groom.

Your own, — more than Brother,

P. P. Pratt.

[Transcribed by Dorrie Lee and Suzanne Taysom, Jan. 2014]

P. P. Pratt to Agatha Ann Walker, transcribed letter, 17 November 1854; MS 278, folder 1, document 12, p.1-5, online images, Ann Agatha W. Pratt Reminiscences and Letters, 1847-1907 ( : January 2014); Church History Library, Salt Lake City.

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