St. Louis March 19th 1852
Dear Father, Mother, Brothers, & Sisters,
We had a very pleasant ride on the cars, breakfasted at Xenia about 8 o’clock & arrived at Cincinnatti before 12. I walked around a few squares with Chittenden but did not see the handsome part of the city. It was about 2 miles from us & we went on board the boat that afternoon. I only saw the business part near the river. It was the dirtiest place I ever saw. We came down on the Clipper No. 2, a very good, & quite a fast boat. one lady on board said it was the quickest trip she ever made: We started Saturday just dark & got in here sometime Tuesday night. We expected to have been here Tuesday morning but in coming up the Mississippi we had a strong current & strong head wind against us all the way which made slow travelling. Coming down the Ohio we made 25 miles in 50 minutes by Chit—’s watch. I was sea sick all day Sunday but have been well ever since except laziness. If I could have a washboard & exercise awhile it would do me good. The men are very busy all day fixing and I am alone with the children in my room. Time hangs heavy on my hands but I have not been homesick in the least. They have bought their waggons & are out now buying the rest. I have not been in the street since I came here. It is very cold and dusty, & they have no time to go with me. It freezes all day in the shade. Kossuth left here the night we came in & the city was crowded with strangers. We took a carriage at the boat for the City Hotel & left the boys to take care of the baggage. When we got there it was full. Parker put the children and me back in the carriage and sent us to Scotts, while he waited for the boys as they would not know where to find us. I went in to the ladies parlor and waited till they came. we had hard work to get rooms but finally succeeded after Chit (Uncle Sam like) went to the landlord & (as he says stuffed him) told him he did not know how long we should stay, It would be for his interest to keep us &c &c. I wish you could heard C. tell of it and seen the look of droll cunning on his face. You would have laughed I know. Chit— says Dwight is his right hand man. he slept in his state room on the boat, & when we change from one place to another he take care of him, while James is very particular to take Guy without being asked, & Parker takes Clara, leaving me unincumbered. Noyce always offers too, & Parker took most all the care of the children on the boat. James & Chittenden wrote home today & Noyce will before we leave here. We expect now to go Monday if a boat starts then. Our passage down was 24 dollars. The boys 8 dollars each. Our board here is first rate, pay ditto 1 3 each per day. Chit and the children feast on all the milk they want. I dont like the fare on the steamboat. there is great variety but it is so seasoned and mussed up you can hardly tell what it is made of. The water is abominable. They just take it out of the river let a little of the mud settle to bottom & then use it. It is no better than out of a mud hole at home. Clara cries to go home & when she sees any thing that pleases her calls Willie to see too. Dwight has gone out with Parker & I asked Guy what I should write to Grandpa & Grandma he said (kiss me.) I have dreamed about you all several times. Dwight dreamed last night about playing with the boys & Parker dreamed about you all & that Sal was his wife. (how glad I am that she ’aint here) I told him I thought she would make a very good one but she was most too young. I am anxious to get long letters at St Jo with full particulars. To night will be prayer meeting how I would like to step in. Remember us all to Mother Germain, Morrows, Gears & all inquiring friends. Kiss little Willie for me & tell him Sister Ann, D, G, & Clara, all want to see him and all the rest of you. I have many things I would like to talk about. we are all very well. Give my love to Grandmothers, Uncles Aunts &c reserving a large portion for yourselves. Ever yours,
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Enclosed is a note for Mrs Prince from the chambermaid on the boat, a colored woman. She lived with Mrs P. when she was a girl.
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Be sure and write long letters to St Jo.