The Fassett Letters - Letter #12

Dates: 5/13/1853, 5/20/1853, 5/22/1853

Place: Placerville
From: Ann 
To: Mother

Placerville May 13th /53
Dear Mother
                       Perhaps I have put off writing rather long this time, & so made my month too long, but we thought of leaving here & I waited till we conclude what to do. Parker had an offer of 1.50 or 2.00 dollars a month & board in a saw mill 10 miles beyond Mokelumne (pronounced Makaluma accent on the second syllable) he thought best to go over first & see if he would like it, & has now been gone almost 4 weeks. I have worked hard as I could all the time, baked 2 barrels of flour & part of a third one. Your letters all come safe. I recd one dated March 10th since Parker left. It was the first letter that made me feel bad. I shed many tears over it as I knew my next would make you grieve so, & instead of "rejoicing" you would mourn together. 

Jane's letters come too & glad I am that she writes as often as she does. If I knew she would be in Columbus all summer I would direct there, but I have so much to do I cannot write very much, & no difference who they are sent to they are intended for all. May 20. The day I commenced this I heard Parker was hurt by the mill. Mr. Huff accidentally heard it & came & told me, but said it happened several days before & he was not dangerous. The next day Parker came home, badly bruised, and quite stiff but no serious hurt, although it was a very narrow escape. He had the engineer shut off the steam so he could take a large band off from a pulley 8 feet in diameter. he stood on a block and tried to push it off with a stick. in doing so his foot slipped, his hand was caught and he carried around the pulley. if the mill had been under full headway nothing could have saved him. they carried him in & for 26 hours he could not help himself at all. he says it makes him shudder now to think of it. his neck was badly strained. I think as near broke as could be & miss it. 

    May 22 Willie's birthday. Dear little brother, how I would like a sweet kiss this morning. Sister Ann thinks he is a big boy by now he is 4 years old. he must come here & let me see if he is larger than Guy. I dont write for any of you to come here because I want to go down on the bay first. I think the country very healthy, & could I have all my friends here would prefer this to Ohio. & then a person sees & learns so much coming. If I had the money I would like to take another trip. It costs a great deal to live here but then there is a great chance to make money. In a little over 2 months I let Chit have 253 dollars worth of bread, pies, & cakes. yesterday I baked 41 pies, 15 loaves bread, gingercake biscuit &c, with Parkers help. I bake every day except Sunday & get so tired I cannot write much. as I must sew a little to keep the children decently clothed. We have had a large share of sickness & misfortune since we left home but nothing we could blame the country for. I have never been sorry I came although I think as much of you all as ever, or perhaps more, I sometimes wonder if I could ever be as well contented there again, it is so dull. Here you see Chinese, Chilones, (from Chili) Indians, Sandwich Islanders, English, French, Spanish, Swiss, German, Mexicans, one from Calcutta, &c, &c almost every hour of the day, I never get tired of looking at the Chinese & hearing them talk. When they want to know how many pounds they can buy for a dollar they say 'one dollar how much a pound.' how many times I wish & wish you were all here to see the strange sights. If it were not for the small pox I should wish one of the girls were with me now, but I dont want them to have it too. I have just been to see a girl about John's age that has it very bad. poor thing she suffers so much. Chit is very well, never has been sick abed a day since he left home. we moved out of his house the other day because it was too small, live only a few rods off. I do his cooking & washing. Parker is most well, the children very well. I hope you will get this soon enough so you wont be uneasy. Mary Ann & family are very well. write often & as much as you can. dont blame me for not writing more. I have no idle moments. Yours in haste, best love to all. 

 [The following is upside down at the top of the first page.]

You know what Mary Chittendens situation was when I left home I have never heard a hint. where is Tuller & family. My best love to poor Margaret. I have never seen Williams or heard of him. 

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