Post Box 3957
New York City, N.Y. [New York City, New York]
February 20th 1861 [Wednesday 1861-02-20]
My Beloved and Faithful Artimesia [Artimesia Beman (Snow) 1819-1882]
I wrote you about ten days ago enclosing a letter from your Brother Alva [Alva P. Beman] and my reply. Shortly after that was mailed, yours of the 16th January [1861-01-16] came to hand and was perused with much satisfaction. Yet with co-mingled emotions. While the reference to your past trials as well as your present grievances, information, awaked [awakened] feelings of tender regret and deep sympathy, yet your patient forbearance, long suffering, charity, your prayers for me and devotions to my welfare your faith and hope in the promises of God to yourself and determination to triumph, gave me great joy. My fervent prayer to God for you is that you may as far regain your health and strength that you may be able to watch over guide and instruct your children. And rest [wrest] a rich harvest of affection from them and your numerous friends for many years to come and to make yourself continually useful and happy in the great and glorious work of our God upon Earth, not in those physical labors of life which have heretofore preyed about your constitution, but in directing the energies of the more youthful and inexperienced, and diffusing life, light, joy and wisdom all around you.
I have felt ever since I left home that your burdens should be lightened in some way so as to give your nervous system an opportunity to recruit its energies. Whether it is to be by taking a tour to visit your friends in this state by realizing the fulfillment of your dream in crafting [drafting ?] the sea with me, or in some other way, be it according to the will of God. I pray that he will design to give us council [counsel] in this matter as in all other for our best good and glory and that we may learn his councils [counsels] either through Brother Brigham [Young] or otherwise as seemeth him good.
I would advise you to endeavor to secure the services of Sister Beckstrom [Anna Beckstrom Snow 1825-1911] or some other good steady woman to live with you and take the care of your kitchen off you shoulders. One who will command respect from the children, and ever counsel your feelings and interest, who you can feel free to counsel and control in control in household affairs. I believe the Lord will provide the means of paying such help and you will certainly need it if another responsibility is to be added to your present number, which however not left for your own sake than for little Orson's [Orson Snow], I can almost join in your unwillingness to believe. Possibly nature is undergoing in you a change which puts a period those laborer of woman be that as the Lords will, I pray that your grace and strength may be equal to your day and that not one jot or tittle [title] shall foil of all that has been promised you. If in the promises and of God it should be admissible for you to leave a portion of your children in care of Sarah or any of the rest of my family still they would need such a woman’s help. Julia would then be left free to spin if she choose, or go where and do as she pleases. I am aware that she is subject to poor spells and at such times her mind is unstable, her nerves unstrung and she is not that kind of help which can at all times be relied upon- such as you ought to have. I hope however that you will feel at liberty to advise and counsel her, suffice she is with you, or if she were your daughter or younger sister and inasmuch as she need admonition and correction in her habits, strive to impart it into her with frankness and motherly care, if she will receive it which she will if she live humble enough to understand her own true interest. How does Elisabeth do? I have only received one letter from her. I have written her certainly twice. I will do so again soon. I wish to learn her condition and prospects. I suppose when you get this, Minerva will be post her confinement. I hope you will let me have the earliest news possible in relation to her. May the Lord give his strength according to her day and repair her former lap [?]. I did not get your first letter directed to St. Louis. I hardly think I shall feel at liberty to come home, nor yet to craft [draft ?] the sea next summer unless I hear something more definite from Brother Brigham [Young] on the subject. I cannot tell however what a day or month may bring forth. Perhaps a month or six months hence I can say something more definite to you. I should like to hear where your oxen are and how they have wintered and whether the cattle do will that remain at home and on the farm. Whether the steer has yet been found: keep a look out for the advertisement of strays taken up or perhaps you had her advertise him in the “news”
I wish you to engage Bro. Hanks or Miller Atwood to cut the hay or hath [?] lots I bought of Broth [Brother] Zera [Zerubbabel Snow] Hanks if he will. Put them into their care to look after and keep cattle out and cut the hay. Homer does it well. If George moves down or wishes it you had better rent to him the rest part of the garden so that Father Coupe and the boys can till the rest without hiring or rent it to anybody else who will plant it to sugar cane and give you a share of the molasses after paying for it. I wish Miller Atwood to plant for he is careful of the trees. Perhaps he will rat [rake ?] it. I hope your leather will come from Sanpete and help you in buying other necessities. I have written to the Bishop where Nelson lives in relation to it. I am sorrow [sorry] you were unable to get a beef last fall. I thought you would be able to turn old Bush or Pink into one with a little store pay added. Perhaps your leather and a fur weather from Miller will exchange with some butcher for a lot beef you may need during Spring and Summer so as to have Bush to kill in the Fall and probably Brouane [?] also. If any Paler [?] are left of the old fence or my five acre lot on the State road, They may be need to repair my half of fence on the West and South of the Scence [?] lot. Mahonri [Snow] will know. If Doc [Doctor] Hughs and Wilson wishes to join in overhauling and renewing that fence I should like George to see to it that it will [be] done. I am as well as usual for me but do not enjoy very good health. My liver and kidneys are effected and I have scarcely seen a well day since I reached Loupe Fork the first November . I hope to improve oormen [as warmer ?] weather approaches. Jacob was just in to see me. He also is quite poorly and has been most ever since he arrived here. We have very good meetings and much liberty in preaching and hope to see good results of our labors. The President elect ([Abraham] Lincoln) is now in this city or his way to Washington [Washington, DC]. There is no prospect of a settlement of the political troubles of the Nation as yet. I find I am too late to get this in for today’s mail and probably it may mail to reach St. Joseph [St. Joseph, Missouri] in time for next week mail from there. Write all—I will come and see [you ?] one these days.
Love your affectionate husband
Erastus Snow [Elder Erastus Snow 1818-1882]