Phil,a Pa Jan, 27th 1857

Dear Belinda,

Yours of Nov, 4th has just come to hand on yesterday. and also one from Kesiah. These two letters should have come some two weeks sooner when Eliz & Phebees came, but, for some reason it was not so. I think Br. Taylor overlooked them in his office.

I am in good health except colds; — Today my hand is swelled to that degree I can hardly write.

I wrote from Ioway, Nov, 14th & from St Louis early in Dec; I wrote from here just before Christmas after one your letters of Octobert 6th for those of the family.

I also wrote to Eliz, & to the family last week after receveing the letter of the Nov, Mail. Lest those letters may miss; I will repeat a few items of the news.

Ms. Sayers had a hard job indeed to get money to reach to Boston. She sojourned, in St, Louis, Cincinati, Phil,a etc, trying in each place to raise a few dollars to get to the next. I suppose she got through at last. But I have not heard one word from her although I have written to her.

Eleanor took Steamer early in th late in Nov, & arrived at her fathers in ten days.  her two Children are well were alive and well. In one week she took them by stratagem & cleared for Texas. She was well, on the 23d Dec, which is the last I have heard from her.

She expects to join a camp, of Saints there, & journey by land. She is under the Guidance of Elder Gimerk who is there on a mission.

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When we arrived in St, Louis it took me one month to raise funds enough to get decent clothes & travel, without paying my debts. except 25 dl, to Amy.

My Note of 131 dol, due Hooper & Co, is yet unpaid & like to be so far as I know. I also owe one hundred dollars besides. Which Br, Snow who lent it me for a few days is in great need of. I have now good clothes, & money enough to get from place <to place> with great prudence. I never spend a quarter in vain nor for things I can do decently without.

All the church agents & officers in this country & in Eng, are deeply invalued, & the calls for money are just that I hardly dare name the subject of my own wants to any body. Every knoock and cranee is sere searched out over & over for tythings, such, saiplicus, constitutions, loans, etc. so I say nothing about my own affairs. only I pray to God, who can hear in secret & reward me openly. In my whole sojourn in New York I lived on Br. Taylor, who was the only man who gave me any spending money or offered me a lodging. The Saints there are very poor. Elder Taylor is also much embarrassed to keep up expences in publishing.

Br, G. H. Smith has to [unreadable] his means of living trav traveling. etc. & brother Snow has thousands to meet as a public Agent, & nothing to meet it with, & this the same with the office at Liverpool. These facts you need not reveal to the public, I write them in confidence.

I have not the least visible prospect of bringing home any means or supplies whatever. nor do I know how I can get home unless I come on foot or in a <with> paired [unreadable]. I have the Mules & Carriage, but there are repairs & harness, & another span waiting, if I ride.

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I am intending to start from Winter Quarters the first of May, if the Lord will. I don’t intend the want of means shall detain me, I had rather come on foot, than stay in this dark & [unreadable] country. The lyeing & hatred lying & hatered exceeds all bounds. no tongue can describe it. The late apostisies from the valley, have stired up all hell in this country & in Eng. The Devil wages & this would [page creases make word unreadable] lets as if they could nash their teeth on the people of Utah. you can form no Idea of their hatred & rage.

The saints, are good & kind. & They long to be away. I have plenty of homes & all the kindness I can wish. I am visiting, preaching, writing for the Mormon, etc.

Means were so scarce & the winter so hard I have not ventured to Boston or New Hampshire; to your friends. Nor have I visited long Island either to Phebes friends or on the Bisiners to Hannah [unreadable]. I have to be careful & prudent as to where I go, or I would not have a dime to meet expenses. I have long been promising a visit to Nelson in Ohio. But the gate is shut down, the Rail Roads are closed by deep snows. We have had near a Month of very fierce weather; & the awfulest storms in the memory of man occurred on the last Sunday & Monday one week, say Jan 18 to 20th.

People perrished in the snow drifts in the very streets of Phil,a & other towns. I suffered severely in walking the sheeps a quarter of a mile from milking. So much so that my face was badly swelled next day. Frosted limbs are very common with both sexes hence, in the Wild climate of Phil,a. I seek warm houses & keep close to the fire.

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you speak of the Reformation in Utah, & of the preaching there. I rejoice <in> it. May God speed it till his people are sanctified & worthy of the power of God in their midst. You need not fear, nor any of my family who are trying to do the best they can.

I do the best I can every day, & I refrain from all sin so far as I know & understand. And I mean to do so while I live. I will serve the Lord the best I know how. & will trust him to be merciful to me for all [unreadable from creases in the paper]. He may do unto me as seemeth him good. you ask my forgiveness & so does Mary, & the others who have written. I frankly forgive, & ask you all to forgive me for any thing amiss during my life. But I have not remembered ought against either you or Mary or any of the others who have written on the subject except one, & I have answered her, & forgive her. You and my family in general are greatly blessed & those of you who have humbled yourselves & seen your weakness shall be made strong unto the [unreadable] me in the kingdom of God.  “Fear not little flock, for it is your fathers good pleasure to give you the kingdom.”

I feel well, & in a great measure resigned to suffering pilgrimage, poverty, & every thing Providence may see fit to try me with. I am wearied from the world, & the things thereof. I long to do my duty while here & then go to rest in the paradise of God. The world to me is a dreary, & empty waste. My heart and affections are by you the grace. I love my family & am willing to [unreadable] & do for them. I love the work of God and am willing to Stay & do it. But I neither desire nor fear death, But I anticipate changing worlds with joy inexpressible.

My very best love to yourself, & Mary, & Phebe & Kesiah. They must excuse me from writing seperate answers to their letters now, & consider this, as if written to them as well as to you.

My very best love also to Hannah, & Sarah, & Agatha, & Parley & Peter, & Alma & Nephi & Helaman & Julia, & Lucy, & Abinadi & Belinda, & Agatha Jun,r & Cornelia, & Lehi, & Malona, & —-

[Transcribed by Mauri Pratt and Suzanne Taysom; Sep. 2015]

“Parley P. Pratt letter, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to Belinda Marden Pratt, 1857 Januarly 27,” Nephi Pratt family papers 1867-1910; MS 5719, box 1, file 6, p. 1-4. ( : Retrieved 21 September 2015) Church History Library, Salt Lake City.

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