New York, United States, January 2, 1857
Dear Brother Orson—
I received your kind letter on the 30th December, 1856. I was thereby glad to hear from you, and of your welfare.
I am well; I spent about a month in St. Louis; I then came on to Cincinnati, and stayed four days, drawing full houses. I arrived in Philadelphia the day before Christmas; was present next day at a grand party in that city, in Washington Hall. It was a fine time; Sunday last, I preached three times to a full house.
I arrived here on Wednesday last; found Presidents Taylor and Smith as well as usual.
Yesterday I attended a party here, in the Saints’ Hall; it was an interesting affair; some 400 persons being present. We were entertained with songs, prayers, preaching, praying, recitations, eating, drinking, &c., &c.
In the midst of our evening’s enjoyments, the news arrived of the arrival of the Columbia, with a ship load of Saints from England. Today we accompanied brother Taylor to see them. All well, but a rough passage; no deaths. The weather is mild here, and the winter so far very fine.
I have not yet seen the Pratt family, of which you speak, but I think I will visit them in a day or two.
You ask how long I will stay in the States. I answer, till spring. I will then go home, if God will, if I have to go with a handcart. This country is no place for me; the darkness is so thick I can literally feel it. I cannot obtain the least assistance here for my family; a tight match to obtain traveling expenses.
I have heard nothing from home since October 1st, but I hope to hear soon. I congratulate you on the marriage of your first-born, and hope you will soon become a grandfather.
Now, Dear Brother Orson, be of good courage, our pilgrimage will soon be over, and our personal history in this world will naturally come to the word—FINIS.
As to my history, I have it now complete from my birth up to today. It will contain much more reading than the Book of Mormon. I would publish it, in part or in full, if gold was plentiful; but there is no prospect whatsoever, in a pecuniary line; only I stay from day to day, and so do my family; but to improve our circumstances is entirely out of the question.
I have written to Nelson Pratt, and received an answer; he is well. I am going there soon, if all is well.
I am to start from St. Louis for home just as early in the Spring as the weather will permit. Farwell, God bless you.
Your own brother,
[Millennial Star, 19:455]
[Journal History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Jan. 2, 1857, 1]
[transcribed and proofread by David Grow, Aug. 2006]