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.

I am,
Your own brother,
P.P. Pratt

[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]

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