Mrs Mary Ann Pratt
Nauvoo, Illinois

Wheeling Virginia
Dec. 18th 1844

Dear Mary,
Upwards of two weeks have now past away since we parted; or since I took leave of Home and friends, and I now sit down to Improve an Opertunity of sending you a hasty word or two in regard to my journey; and when it is completed I will write more particulars.

After our last kiss I started with a heavy heart; and after a long and tegious Days ride arrived at Quincy about nine o. c. at evening.

We put up with Bishop Heywood, a Merchant of Quincy, who was Ordained a Bishop over that Branch at Our Conference Last fall.

He treated us with every kindness.  Next day we took a boat for St. Louis paid double price for Passage and were three days in going to St. Louis, being frequently aground.

At St. Louis we Removed from one Boat to another and Commenced Boarding on the Cobhin and Thus Lived from friday evening till Tuesday Morning and all the expense of the Boat, as it did not go according to promise.  On Sunday Elders Brown and Benson preached in St Louis and Raised a Collection of 7 or 8 dol.

I did not go to meeting But kept a little still.

But I think there was no danger <even> if I had been publicly known.  As I am not ones unrighteous, and Sinners Love their own.

We sailed Tuesday Morning, and arrived here in one week and am now awaiting the Stage.

By request I gave a lecture on board which was well received.  we all Labored dayly in Conversation but the Lord had no people there except his servants and so we caught nothing

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Smoking, Gambling, politics, and speculation, together with Reading Romances, ocupied the Soul attention of most of the passengers.  And if news were to be announced from Heaven; the first and last and only enquiry would be; “House & Trade?” at Louisville a man was drownd in the Looks of the Canal while Our Boat lay in their next bay a man droped overboard from our Boat.  The allarm was given and we all scampered aloft to see.  I saw his head above the water but it sank to rise no more in this life.  He left a wife and six Children at St. Louis.  in less than ten minutes after this Sudden and awful accident Cards, dice, and naules[1] had again absorbed the entire attention of most of the passengers.

This is most of the news.  as to myself, I have been quite “poorly” for a week past.  I have had little or no apetite and considerable pain and fever.  and very Restless, Long and Lonesome nights, Sometimes I have gone to bed and got up three times before nine o clock because I could not rest.  I am now more comfortable but not yet well.

I expect to Reach New York Next Monday, the 23rd inst.

My Dear, I suppose you have long ere this had to pass through a trial which I would fain never had you endure without my presence but we have a God who is able to be more to us than earthly help or comfort.  To <him>.  I have often Cried in your behalf while silently reflecting on your trials.  I firmly hope you  are now safe and comfortable and rejoicing in additional gifts of God, that is in a little Moroni; — Bless him.

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I never left home with more intense feelings<page break> nor under more trying circumstances than the present, except the time I went to prison and to death leaving you sick of a fever with a babe 3 months old and to the mercy of savages with scarce a shelter or food.  I was sorry to go and your tears quite overcame me.  But I tore myself away and here I am.  And where I go I hope you will soon be also.  I shall then be happy; so cheer up the time will soon pass with your surroundings as you are with Mother, Children and friends.  But with me it is far different I not only have part with one but all.  Time drags slowly and sollitude is sickening to me.  But my God is so good I must serve him.  Give my —e to Mother Pratt whose farewell g—- I missed because of the early start of that morn.  I hope she will live to greet me yet again.  My love to Mother Frost and Sister O. and little kind sister Huldah.  Bless her.

Now comes my warmest love to the children.  Little Mary Ann.  The Lord bless you and also Little Parley and Little Rogish Polly with her red cheeks laughing eyes and frizled hair.

To Sister Wood and Others I will send a letter soon.  My love to them and God bless them and he knows what is in my big heart though only expressed in those few words.

Now my Dear, what shall I say to you, you shall ever be with me and all I have is thine and I am thine for ever and you shall forever reign in Glory and in a fulness of Joy with those you love.  So be of good cheer and you shall not after have trials hereafter but shall be blessed; for you have sacrificed enough and a day of blessing awaits you.

Write to me to New York immediately.  and accept my warmest affection.  Yours forever. P. P. P.

[Transcribed by Julia Winfield and Pete Pratt, Mar. 2010.]

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