42 Islington Liverpool
November 15th 1861

Latter-Day Saints European Publishing and Emigration Office.

My Dear Sister Marion,

It is with much pleasure I sit down at this time to pen you a few lines in answer to your kind and welcome letter I received some time ago.  Truly can I say with Solomon:-“As cold water to a thirsty soul so is good news from a far country.”  I would have written you sooner but really owing to circumstances and having a good deal of business to attend to preclusive to the position I have hither to occupied I couldn’t divest my mind of the care and anxiety sufficient in order to admit of that composure required to write such a letter as the one I have now commenced.  However for this necessary neglect so to speak, I know there is room in your heart to forgive.  In perusing the contents of your letter it gave me much pleasure; and though the sound of your “dear familiar  through the lapse of years, had nearly died away.  Still in hearing it once more, memory long in silence awoke to life and brought the recollections of the past before my view in vivid colours.  From the time you bade me adieu in “Auld Scotia” up to the present time your name has always occupied a place in my thoughts consequently stamping it on the tablet of my memory with a freshness that is lasting.  In all your journeyings I have been with you.  In the festive circle I have been near you, and when in the chamber of reflective solitude- I have taken my seat by your side-and indulged with you in reflecting on the things of the past.  Yes, my dear sister, love’s cords had so bound me to you, that nothing could separate my feelings from you.  I love all my sisters-but without any flattery, I must say you occupied the chief position in my affections; and judging from the expressions made use of by you towards me on all occasions, I stand in the same position with you, for which I feel honored indeed and being so, as I fully appreciate your feelings of love, I

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will use my endeavours to the best of my ability in order to merit – a continuation of that love and friendship which you now entertain towards me.  The penning of these few lines to you the sentiments of my heart can be more easily imagined than expressed.  In reviewing our history as a family-and tracing the current of undulating circumstances which has carried us along from our earliest days up to the present; we can distinctly perceive the workings and interference of the kind fatherly, and beneficient hand of God has been manifested towards us so far as we have journeyed on the high-way of life.  As a dream I can remember the time when the family circle was complete, presided over, and cared for I fully believe by parental love and affection, by those whose right it was.  With our minds then divested of all care and anxiety-we enjoyed the satisfying pleasures of youth and the comforts and happiness of home.  This state of matters did exist for a time; but in the natural course of events and in keeping with the ever varying nature of human life there came a change.  The rude hands of death (directed by Heaven for the best) took from us our guardians.  As it is said, “Smite the Shepherd and the sheep will be scattered.”  The truth of this we know in our individual experiences. Like the first leaves in autumn we were scattered-one here and another there.  But in the midst of it all we can see that Heaven’s protection has been over us and in quality God’s promise has been fulfilled towards us as a family. “When Father and Mother forsake you I, the Lord will take you up.”  The incidents connected with the earlier history of the family you I make no doubt are more conversant with than I. Consequently there is little need of me relating the little I know. At the present time.  This I will reserve till the privilege is afforded me of seeing you face to face.  I may, however mention the present position of the family as far as I am acquainted with it.  I will begin with my brother Imus.  He is supposed to be in America, but whether he is or not we cannot positively say.  He has long occupied the position of a wonderer and in silence he still continues so.  Elizabeth or “Betty” is still living in Jochabas, (Scotland) with her husband, and I believe,

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getting on better than she used to do.  Her daughter when I saw her about 3 years ago, was quite a fine looking girl.  Iam is still living in Allad Rickie’s.  He has five children 3 boys and 2 girls.  Fine looking children indeed.  William for neglect  of duty was cut off from the church about 6 or 7 years ago.  He is still out and manifests no desire to return again.  However to his credit I will say he is an affectionate husband a kind father and one willing to do good to any who come within his power.  Margaret is still residing with Aunt May in Elqin.  Who requires her care and attention in life’s decline.  David white is here!  Among the Saints of God.  And you occupy a similar favorite postition..  Agrnes poor girl is still an outcast from us.  As yet there is no symptoms of reason resuming its seat within her.  Still hope with me is not altogether
extinguished.  I still hope for better times to come to her; and in hoping- leave the matter with God.  In relation to myself I am now in Liverpool.  From Edinburgh I was called to go to England on a Mission.  I laboured in the Essex Conference nearly two years.  President Cannon hearing that I was a compositor to profession requested me to come and labor in this office.  I came to this place in June last.  In this same position I enjoy myself very much.  President Cannon has the universal love of the Saints in the British Mission.  He has, in my estimation every qualification which characterizes a true gentleman.  I mustn’t say that since my arrival here he has acted very Kindly towards me.  He knows you and brother David well.  We often have a friendly chat together about you and the other good folks in Zion.  Your last letter I received a week or two ago.  I was much pleased to hear of your continued welfare and that of your family.  Long may it continue so.  I was also glad to learn that you had read the letters I sent to brother Holland.  If you read the one I sent to Charlotte you would see from it that I did send you the Scotch Plaid you so much desired, and that the Dress was in

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tended for Charlotte.  That this should be the case in her letter I particularly specified.  Consequently I wish it to be attended to.  That you have the Plaid and that she has the Dress.  I should like to favor you by taking the other things along with me which you mentioned.  I will do so if I have the means- Please tender my kind love to brother orson.  I should have liked very much to have seen him and more especially to have had the privilege to go home with him.  I had a letter a short time ago from David. I was pleased to hear from him.  Have the kindness to show him this letter and perhaps it will suffice as an answer to his for the present.  Give my kind love to brother T. Mc Intyer.  Tell him I have not forgotten him but will write him a long letter soon.  His mother in law was well the last time I heard.  Tell him I and his wife, too, that Caroline Feler is now the mother of a fine Boy.  They are all well. Of course you won’t forget to tender my kind love to brother Holland and all the other members of the family.  One more particularly of course.  I had a letter from him some time back which I will answer soon. When you write please do fill with news all the paper you send me-remembering the extent of the distance between us.  As regards myself I could sit I believe, a whole week, and write to you, did circumstances permit.

I needn’t say that I rejoice in having a name and a position in the church of God now established on the earth; and my desires are to progress in the Knowledge of Eternal life and keep face with the great and the good as they tread on in the march of God to Eternal exaltation.  I also wish to gather with the faithful to the Saints Mountain Home. But as you said I am willing to wait till I am told to go.  Give my kind love to brother I.D. Ross; Brother & sister Stewart.  Brother Penrose and Sister Stratford from Maldon, and all who know me in that goodly land.  I would send a newspaper to Brother orson regularly, did I know which one he would like best.  You might ask him to write me a few lines.

When you receive this letter please write me a long one in return.  Kiss your dear little ones for their uncle “Landy”.  I hope you will also send me the Portraits you spoke of .  Tell David also to send me his as I should like to see them all very much.  I hope brother Amus Sanders and Sister have arrived all right.  Give them my kind love please.  Accept of my kind love yourself .  I remain your affectionate Brother

Alex Ross

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[Transcribed by Verlie Brown and Erin McAllister; Dec. 2010]

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