Bridge St Wineanton Somerset
January 19, 1857

Dear President Pratt

I hope that you will excuse me for taking the liberty to trouble you.  But I hope by reading this lines you will be able to understand that I am constrained to open to you the feelings of my present state.

I am more then 9 years a Member and an Elder in the church, and I and my wife and family have served the Lord according the Councils that has been given us by them that has been and are over us here in the south Conference:  please do inquire by any of the Elders or saints about Elder Barnet Giles the Converted fee few in the south Conference lett they tell you – – –

in the Month of May 1856, I and my wife went to Bristol and Bath [page break] and my president Elder Thomas Phillips and Pastor Martin gave us cocil council that we shall send our son Aaron 15 years old to the valley, and I went and found things and I went with him to Liverpool and paid £9 to the Emigrating office and I placed him on the ship Horizon under the care of Elder John Toone from the valley that was on a Mission here in this land and he promised me in the name of Israels God to be as a Father to the Boy = and now Dear president and Brother be so kind to read the inclosed copy of a letter which I have received from my boy last week how he has been treated by the children of God what do you think about it.

If I have taken a wrong step by writting to you at present I ask you to for give me my boldness

[page break]

I know by your writtings which I have in my house that you are a man of feellings and of Judgement and a Father of children – you can judge what the feelings of a Father and Mother must be in a case like that – be so kind to answer me upon that subject – as I enclose here a stamp & my adress — hopping that you are well

I am your Brother in Christ

B. Giles

Mr. O. Pratt

if you think proper: please to publish in the star the copy of that Counsel

B. G.

[page break]

Letter        Jan 19 183

B. Giles

To. O Pratt

About Elder Barnet Giles a converted Jew also about the treatment of his son.

[Transcribed by Nora Fowers , Sylvia Hill, Julia Winfield and Heather Hoyt; Mar 2010]

Enclosed letter from Aaron Giles:

FortLevenworth December 3rd 1856  [Notation:  “Rec’d January 21”]

My Dear Father, Mother—Brother and sisters.  I take the pleasure of writing you these few lines to let you know that I am well, and hopping this will find you all well—My Dear Father, Mother and Brother and sisters and what I have suffered and how I have been served by those who pretend to call themselves Brothers and sisters—I left Liverpool on May 23 for Boston.  I had a very good time on the sea and I was sick but 2 days and we arrived in Boston on June the 3rd  which makes 5 weeks all but one day.  We stayed in Boston 2 days then we went to Iowa City on the Railroad which is 1 thousand Miles from Boston it took us a week to go to Iowa City.  When we came there we had to camp there for 2 weeks.  While we was there the 2 sisters behaved very unkind to me.  The first night we came to the camp ground we had to sleep where we could get a place to sleep.  The next day we went and cut sticks and stuck them in the ground and made a tent of sheets—when night came the 2 sisters Jemime Cook, & Hanna Wordell, and John Toone gave me one of my sheets and they sent me to sleep under a waggon or any where I could get a place, and they served me so all the time we was there—we had to make our own hand carts, and when the hand carts were finished we started for Council bluffs which is about 360 miles from Iowa City.  I had to sleep in the wagon by night we had our Rations served out to us which was very little: the 2 sisters never gave me food enough and never gave me my full [page break] Rations of provision. so when I found out that they served me so, I left them and drawed my Rations with another man. for never gave enough to keep my body up = before I have got half way from Iowa City to Council bluffs I took sick with a very bad cold which brought on the agu fever which I had to suffer for 3 months.  I had to work and travel all the time I was sick which was a hard trial, and now I do know what a Father and mother and what a home is.  I had to lay out all my mony to buy things for to strengthen me up all the while I was sick.  when we came to Council bluffs we stayed there a week and we had fresh provisions to last from there to salt Lake City which is 1000 miles from Council bluffs so I bought a little provision extra for myself because the Rations were not enough for us: so by that time I got to Elk horn ferry I had but a ½ Doler.  I was so sick that I could not walk, but I was oblidged to walk, for the president of the company would not let any one ride in the waggons = to 600 persons there was but 9 waggons to carry provisions: we travelled every till we got about 100 Miles this side Fort Larame, and I was Driving beef cattle and I was so sick that I was oblidged to lie down for I could not walk any further and they would not let me ride in the waggon so I was oblidged to stop.  I was so sick that I fell down by the road side.  they travelled on and left me and I fell asleep and when I awoke I found that I was alone.  so I tryed to get up and to over take them but I could not move. so I set up and begun to think what I should do out in the open plains no house no where to go to and to be among the wolves and among the Indians to be killed.  some time in the afternoon I got very thirsty so I tried to go towards the plate river which was about 1 Mile from the Road and in about an hour I got there.  when I got there I drank as much I wanted and I wanted to walk to go further but I could not.  so I set down to think what I should do.  so while I was thinking I fell asleep and before I slept long I heard some trampling of horses so I awoke and saw a man on horse [page break] give it to me because I would not go with them.  for I know if I (am) sent on with them I should not be able to reach the valley— I have got my fiddel and am taking great care of it and do  practise it—the captain and Lutenant of the Company likes me very much and would not like to part with me and all the other officers Do like me and I am getting an first-mate and have plenty of clothes any mony in no less than 2 weeks I was able to save 6 dollers in mony and I have got it put away—I have been here 5 weeks and am getting quite fat the officers keeps up a map and there was from fifheen to 20 officers and I has to waite on them every meal—I know how to waite on them for if there was forty I would waite on them myself—mother would have a good place here to earn from 20 to 25 dolers per Month by Cooking for the officersDear Father Mother Brother and sisters be not in troubel about me for I am in a good place and have a very good Master.  if I ask for clouthes or mony he gives it to me Directly.  when I get mony anough I will go to salt Lake with a Waggon Company if I live to get there.  so do not trouble.  and please to send back an answer directly—having no more to write to you I send my Kind love and the Lutenants love to you all and all enquiering friends give my Kind love to Brother and sister afford in Bounty

I am your beloved son Aaron B giles

Direct to Mr Aaron B. giles at Mr E Ingraham

Fort Levenworth Kansas Territory North america

[Transcribed by Kristen Birkeland, Brett Bolton, Barbara Manning, Sylvia Kuhn, and Julia Pratt, Mar. 2010]

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