Juarez Chihuahua Mexico [Colonia Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico]
August 11th 1886 [Wednesday 11 Aug 1886]
Elder Edward H. Snow [Edward Hunter Snow, b. 1865]
St Paul Virginia [St. Paul, Virginia]
My Dear Son
Your long expected letter of the 26 ult [jultimate – Monday 26 Jul 1886] reached me yesterday [Tuesday 10 Aug 1886] as did also one from your mother [Julia Josephine Spencer Snow, b. 1837] and one from Willie [William Spencer Snow, b. 1867] at Manti [Manti, Sanpete, Utah]. The latter had returned from the City [Salt Lake City] considerably improved but Dr Pike of Provo [Provo, Utah] and Richards of Salt Lake [Salt Lake City] both advised him not to resume his former vocation of painting. That his constitution would not endure it. He was about to start home, and thought of engaging in the Mill, as I had previously recommended him to do. Your mother [Julia Josephine Spencer Snow, b. 1837] writes as though low spirited. Her letter bears date July 24th [Saturday 24 Jul 1886]. The weather was hot and I fear her health was not good, both from the tone and general spirit of her letter, though she reported all well. Of course the absence of yourself and Willie [William Spencer Snow, b. 1867] following so closey on the death of our dear Amelia [Amelia Snow, b. 1871] coupled with my long absence makes her naturally feel rather desolate. I hopt [hoped] that both Hannah and herself will be able to rise above all feelings of oppression and when they begin to get grapes and other ripe fruits which I suppose are ripening by this time their health and spirits will both improve. I was exceeding pleased to hear of your improved health and that Elder Morgan had assigned you a field of labor in that heavenly mountain district; and notwithstanding you are out of reach of medicines you are withing easy reach of the heavenly powers who will watch over you, and shield you from mobs; and heal you up and make you leap as an hart, and enable you to fill a good mission and enable you to return home a sounder and wise man. I had felt a little anxious on acount [account] of your past poor health and your concequent [consequent] low spirits indicated in your own letter, and in Minerva’s [Minerva White Snow, b. 1822], but you have constantly had her prayers as well as mine, and no doubt those of all your family and friends. I am glad to know that you have already learned that it is useless to attempt to preach unless the Spirit of the Lord comes to your aid. This is a very important lesson for every Elder to fully understand and another is to give God all the glory in your heart when His Spirit does come to your aid powerfully to the confounding of your enemies, and inspiring you to teach and bear witness of the truth for Satan is always on the steps of the pulpit or nearby to whisper in the ear of the young Elder “well done! You are getting smart” and if the idea should be entertained, the Lord will humble that Elder when he attempts to preach again, for his mouth will be closed.
My own health and that of all the family with me is good except weak eyes on my own part, which of late have prevented me from reading or writing much. Elder M. Thatcher [Apostle Moses Thatcher] is kindly writing this for me and he thinks you will scarcely be able to read it, as it is in the Horace Greely style of penmanship. He has lately arrived from Utah to counsel with and aid me in securing other lands, in this Republic, on which to colonize our hunted and persecuted brethren from Utah and surrounding territories, and in organizing and establishing the people here. We have met with diverse unforseen obstacles in the past, owing to great difference in the habits and customs of the Mexican people and the difficulties of a strange tongue and lack of properly understanding each other, difference in their land system which seems really more the want of than any different system. Some blunders have been made, but we are gradually overcoming these difficulties, but it will require some time yet to get our people permanently and comfortably located. We have a fine stock ranch upon this stream—the Piedras Verdes [Piedras Verdes River] with a limited amount of farming land. Have from 30 - 40 families here and room for as many more. Are establishing another settlement 4 miles south of Ascencion on Rio Casas Grande [Casas Grandes River] 25 miles north from here, and in the road to Deming New Mexico [Deming, New Mexico], which latter place is a hundred miles further North and is the junction of the S P [Southern Pacific Railroad Company] with the A T and S F Railways [Atchison Topeka and the Santa Fe Railroad].
Arthur [Arthur Eugene Snow, b. 1870] has just returned from there whither he went to meet Brother Thatcher [Apostle Moses Thatcher, b. ?] with conveyance for this place. The summer has been unusually hot and dry for this region, as also in Utah. The streams got very low here and the grass became exceedingly dry and both people and stock have suffered the natural result. But the country is now fresh and green and the rivers are increasing for the rainy season has come. Some chills and fever has developed among family poorly care for, but the change that commenced in the weather about three weeks ago [about Wednesday 21 Jul 1886] and will doubtless improve the health of the people and the condition of the stock. This is a delightful climate and I see no reason why it should not be healthful, when the people can be properly housed and otherwise cared for. The temperature runs from about 60 in winter to 95 in summer. We are camping out with tents wagons and a bowery around us, with a room also some 14 x 16 in which to sit and dine, and are quite comfortable. Plenty to eat and sufficient furniture suited to our surroundings. With kind regards to the Elders and Saints with you, in which Elders Teasdale [Apostle George Teasdale] and Thatcher [Apostle Moses Thatcher] join I remain your loving Father. Erastus Snow [Erastus Snow, b. 1818]