Luminary office St. Louis [St. Louis, Missouri]
January 29th/55 [Monday 1855-01-29]
My affectionate wife Elisabeth [Elizabeth Rebecca Ashby Snow 1831-1915]
Tis [It is] eight oclock [8:00 am o'clock] in the morning and unless I write and mail my letter tonight I cannot hope that it will leave Independence on the 1st Proxima [Thursday 1855-02-01] and if I do, there is still much uncertainty. But I will scratch a few lines to let you know that I am well as usual, except very weary in body & mind.
I received with much pleasure your letter of Nov. 26th & 30 [Sunday 1854-11-26 and Thursday 1854-11-30], and since its reception have written a long family letter directed via California, But if the mail should go through from Independence next month, this might reach you first.
The first half of this month [1855-01] has been exceedingly warm and beautiful weather but Saturday 20th [Saturday 1855-01-20] it began to rain, turn to snow during the night and Sunday [Sunday 1855-01-21] was a very severe, blustering day, & since then the weather has been extremely cold. On Monday evening [Monday 1855-01-22] at [?] When the river was nearly gorged with running ice, The Steamer Oceanna landed at the Levee from new Orleans [New Orleans Louisiana] with over 400 Saints. They were two weeks earlier than I had expected them, and I had not learned of their landing at New Orleans and what was worse, most of them were entirely destitute of means to help themselves, not even enough to pay a dray for hauling their luggage off the Levee, having expended all their means in reaching here. About a Dozen  were sick 2 of whom have since died.
You may well imagine that I have had a busy time providing for this load of all sorts of English, Scotch, & Welch But we have scattered them through the city as much as possible, but have still probably over 200, on our hands and My outer office, is full of the sick, The church overhead and the other two rooms of the Basement are full of men, women & children; Boxes, Barrels, Sacks, Beds, & filthiness. And they keep up a dreadful meelee [melee] and the Printing office & my editors office is only seperated [separated] from them by a board partition. The remains of W. W. May’s was consigned to me from Franklin [Elder Franklin Dewey Richards 1821-1899] and was on board this Steamer which I have committed to a [tanish ?] to await its transportation to Salt Lake.
Henry Phelps (son of Judge Phelps) is with this company. The Danish Com [Company] 996, lead [led] by O.P. Hansen was in Liverpool and to sail the first week in January [1855-01]. I have to provide for the passengers Buy [by] the “P.E. Fund” [Perpetual Emigrating Fund] who are to sail this month also and send them on to the valley [Salt Lake Valley, Utah] besides Franklin [Elder Franklin Dewey Richards 1821-1899] writes he shall find me the money to purchase the teams & Waggons [wagons] for all our European Emigration so you may guess that I shall not be homesick for want of something to do for the next four months. Well, I feel to do the best I can for them all, and if I can perform these many onerous duties exceptably [acceptably] to my heavenly Father and have also the aprobation [approbation] of my brethren who have sent me I shall be glad. By the way I went last evening direct from the general “hurley Burley” about 8 1/2 oclock [8:30 PM] and rested myself and my mind in a dance at Doctor Whites and should have enjoyed it first rate if I had been permitted to have danced with you. It was a small family gathering. The Doctor & Wife have lately been baptised [baptized]. He was the Doctor Who attended Elder Andrus when was sick in the fall, and first began to investigate Mormonism at that time. I have engaged Elder J. H. Hart late from the French mission to assist me in the Editorial Department so that I may have more time to do other business. I wish you and all my family a happy New Year. My love & blessing upon them all. I hope you are all well and enjoy yourselves this winter. I am faithfully yours, E. Snow [Elder Elder Erastus Snow 1818-1888]