Independence, Mo. [Independence, Missouri] August 25, 1854 [Friday 25 Aug 1854]
My Dear Elizabeth[Elizabeth Rebecca Ashby Snow, b. 1831], May God Bless you and your little charge [Elizabeth Ashby Snow Ivins, b. 1854].
At last I am over the plains with the little party who started with me viz. O. Spencer [Orson Spencer], H. Lunt, & Wm. W. Rust [William W. Rust] and Son. The last time I wrote home was I think about 6th August [Sunday 6 Aug 1854] from the South Fork of Platt [Platte River, Nebraska] which I sent by Bro. Kesler. I have heard nothing yet from home since I left but expect that this month’s mail [Aug 1854] will bring me letters and they will probably reach me in about a week after landing in St. Louis [St. Louis, Missouri]. I expect to leave this place for St. Louis in a few hours, perhaps sooner, on a Steamer which is expected this afternoon and it is now 3 oclock [o'clock – 3 PM] so you see I have but little time to write. I had intended to have written a long letter or several short ones. But I am hardly able to get up today. I was quite sick through the night. I am at Nolands Hotel where we landed on the evening of the 22nd [Tuesday 22 Aug 1854] being 75 days from G.S.L.C. [Great Salt Lake City, Utah]
My health was pretty good when I arrived, but the high living here added to the melons and green sauce and apples scarcely ripe, Just when I stoped [stopped] to rest and ceased my exercise; was more than any man should expect to dispose of without feeling the effects afterwards [afterward]. Well if you had been here to have quarreled 3/4 I eat away from me it would doubtless have saved me from a wonderfull [wonderful] delivery of sour filthy matter [throwing up]. But I feel so much better now I will learn wisdom by the things I suffer.
I have written several letters since I arrived to different places and was preparing yesterday to write some good letters home about our journey and everything I could think of which would comfort or interest my family and friends, but I have felt so poorly that I did not do and now time will not permit, but if I can I will yet try to write again after I get on board the boat if I find I can send it back to this place before the first of Sept [Friday 1 Sep 1854]. This is the starting point of Salt Lake mail. By the way mail agent here says he thinks the contractor will pay me for bringing the mail through and has promised to write to them and get it for me.
Already now the Omnibus has come to take us to the Boat and I must close. It is half past 3 P.M. How is your health and how is little Elizabeth [Elizabeth Ashby Snow Ivins, b. 1854]. How I should like to know. And Artimesia [Artimesia Beman Snow, b. 1819], I Pray God to strengthen her to bear her burdens and bring forth [Franklin Richards Snow, b. 1854] with joy and rejoiceing [rejoicing]. I suppose her time of joy or sorrow and the case maybe will be nigh at hand if not past before this reaches you. Bro. S.W. Richard passed us on the 8th inst. [instant – Tuesday 8 Aug 1854] And he has born you the latest news from us. Since then we passed Aaron Farr and his company, Robert Campbell and Wm. Empey [William Empey] and their companies, the last only 200 miles west of here and that about the middle of August and they have 1000 miles yet to go. They will have cold fingers before they go [**********] We held meetings with all the [**********] or we passed and found them genera [**********] although many have died of Cholera [******] complaints on the rivers and Fronteers [Frontiers] [********] Tell mother [Lucina Streeter Snow, b. 1785] that I could not go [******] and Lydia [Lydia Mason Snow, b. 1823] on account of the mail [*******] a man who told me he thought [**********] moved to Kainsville [Kanesville – Council Bluffs, Iowa] and was going into [********]
I must close by saing [saying] goodbye [********] you all. May Peace abide with [***********]
Your effectionate [affectionate] husband
Erastus Snow [Elder Erastus Snow, b. 1818]