St. Louis Mo. March 15th 1857 [St. Louis, Missouri Sunday 1857-03-15]
My Beloved Artimesia [Artimesia Beman (Snow) 1819-1882]
Your letter of November 17th and 30th and the enclosed slip from Josephine reached me on the 10th inst. [instant – Tuesday 10 Mar 1857] being the first news direct from my family since the 30th Sept. [Tuesday 30 Sep 1856] I suppose the Salt Lake [Salt Lake City, Utah] mail for November [1856-11] may possibly arrive sometime during the spring or summer.
Bro. Shurtliffs letter arrived via California on the 23rd Feb [Monday 1857-02-23]. I am quite satisfied with your transactions in selling oxen or anything else for your bread.
I am not satisfied with Bro. Joe Pace and others who refuse to pay me their just dues inasmuch as they are able. But I do not expect you to quarrel with them about it. I hoped he and others would pay to the church what they owed me and that you might be able to turn in the same channel any cattle or goods which you could well spare, feeling as I do anxious to pay my own debts first to the church and then to each individual as far as the Lord gives me means to do so, whether anybody pays me or not.
The freight you speak of which I had not mentioned was 3 casks of pump [?] chairs, brass kettles and assorted Hardware which belonged to our old stock of goods and which I supposed Bro. Smoot took from Big Blue and I had written to Brother Beaty [Beatty] to settle with the church for the freight and sell it to them or others as best he could and pay the avails of it to the church. Should Bro. Beaty [Beatty] be about to leave Salt Lake [Salt Lake City, Utah] before I return I wish you to get from him a statement of his account of business he has done for us since Bro. Z. [Zerubbabel Snow] left – collections and disbursements – and also the letters I have sent him as they contain instructions about business in different parts of the Territory which though fresh when I wrote about it, has since measureably [measurably] gone from me and I have no copies of the letters I sent him. You will do well to take stock or produce at its cash value on any of the debts and what Bro. Shurtliff may require to complete the fence along the street which is ordered to be spared, had better be obtained if possible from those debts and not let the rest of your cattle go for fencing unless you fail in the other resources; in which case the cattle had better be applied to fencing than to do worse, but I would like to have you try and hold on to one pair of cattle and the mules or else two pair of cattle. You are however at liberty to let any thing go to the church which they will receive. You done [did] right in not contending for the land on Mill Creek which had been surveyed for me. Bro. Allen agreed that if I would have made a wide ditch to concentrate the water on the west line and drain the land I might have it. but I have no inclination to scramble any longer after land, for the Earth is the Lords and the fulness thereof. And he who has fed all our lives will continue to do so if we do his will.
The lots sold for taxes are mine, deeded by Allen to me. The deeds [are] in my desk. If there were taxes unpaid on them I knew it not and it was altogether unnecessary expense and unjust to sell them. I wish Bro. Shurtliff to hold them and if a Just or lawfull [lawful] tax exists against them let it be paid. If however there is to be any quarrelling [quarreling]about it you can defer it untill [until] [I] come home, which I hope by the grace of God will be about the month of Sept [Sep 1857].
I wish you to see Marshall Heywood and ask him if he has sent me the certificates necessary for me to draw my money on his drafts in Washington [DC]. If not request him to send them by first mail so if possible I may get my money and settle my debts before I start home.
Probably Bro. Beaty [Beatty] can with our store Books assist him to make them out.
I regret to learn that Mothers health is poor. She has nearly run her race and must soon leave us. I could wish that she with Bro. William [William Snow] or some other man of her choosing might finish her work before she depart. Whatever you can do for her comfort I trust you will do.
I feel thankfull [thankful] that Josephine is learning by her experience and rendering herself more comfortable and happy. I regret to hear from her that she is loosing [losing] the benefit of those excellent sermons and staying away from meeting on account of a lack of clothing. God looks not upon the outward appearance so much as the inward. She can appear as well as I can Provided she is clean in her spirit and her outward rainmant [raiment] be also clean. If the Lord favours [favors] me with means I may perhaps get the earrings and some other things for her, but as yet I have not got myself a coat and I still wore the same boots I wore away.
I know not how I shall come home, but believe that God will provide what seemeth him good for me and the rest of you, and I hope you will all learn therewith to be content.
And if I find you all alive and with you enjoying the Holy Ghost and the fellowship of the good people of God, I shall be happy though you have but one change of rainmant [raiment] and no house or land. The Death of Prest. [President Jedediah M. ?] Grant was a sudden and sorrowfull [sorrowful] bereavement for me but all is right. The reformation has reached us here and a furowing [furrowing] and overturning is going forward. Elder G. A. Smith [George A. Smith] is here, has a bad cold. I have been afflicted with a severe cold and other weaknesses for about 10 days but now feel better. This letter must suffice for you and Josephine and Bro. Shurtliff.
I shall send this via California and shall write again so soon as I learn that a mail will cross the plains. I hope you are all rebaptised [rebaptized] including the children. I have lead the way in this place. My hearty and abiding love to Minerva, Elisabeth [Elizabeth] and all the rest of the family. Praying God to bless and preserve you and me to meet again I remain your effectionate [affectionate]
Erastus Snow [Elder Erastus Snow 1818-1888]
P.P. Pratts [Parley P. Pratt] enemies seek his life. He has thus far evaded them.