Letter from Samuel B. Reed to Jennie Reed, April 28, 1863

In this letter from April 28, 1863, Samuel Reed writes to his wife after a visit home telling her that he does not enjoy life away from his family and that "want of money is the only thing that keeps me from resigning my place here and going home." He offers his advice on some family financial matters, and notes that their purchase of land in Oskaloosa, Iowa will soon be worth "all we paid for it." Reed also requests information on the Hayer trial, stating that "even the war news are not looked for with more anxiety than the testimony in the Hayer trial."

Dearest Jennie

I arrived in B the morning after leaving you and immediately went out on the road. And did not get back in time to write to you before Sunday which I intended to do but after going to church in the morning I felt like taking nap and laid down and was not concicous [sic] of any thing [sic] until dark I slept all the after noon [sic] .

Yesterday morning (Monday) I was compelled to go to Ottumwa and now I am seated to send you a message of love and affection. The want of money is the only thing that keeps me from resigning my place here and going home. For I assure you that there is no pleasure in living as I do absent from my wife & children. The hotel where I board is going down as fast as posable [sic] . Since I have been here last there is no cook sometimes the chamber girls cooks [sic] & sometimes the watchman and such cooking you would laugh could you see me seated at dinner. I have not the least fear that I shall eat too much while the present administration lasts. And I only stay thinking that the house must soon change hands.

Mr. Thielsen has been sick some days he is better now and has resumed business again. I sent Marthys [sic] letter to the office but have not seen or heard of her since my return.

You had better put the little money you have in the bank I think it will be safer there than in the house.

While waiting for the cars in Joliet, I called at the court house [sic] and find that the time of redemption on the land of uncle's estate is in June instead of May as. It will be necessary to have the deed made by the sheriff not to Aunt Ann or Adda but to some third person and for them to make a quick claim to Aunty or Adda or whoever the title goes to. For this reason. If I am to be indebted and let my land be sold for taxes and but [sic] it in and get a deed in my name it would not release the property from the liability in consequence of my indebtedness so with that if the land is not redeemed by the administrator and a deed made to Aunt Ann or any of the heirs to the estate the property would be holden [sic] for the debts. But if the deed is made to a third person, they can deed to whome [sic] they please and the title would be good and free from all incumbrance as far as the indebtedness of the estate goes.

Vegitation is not any more favored here than in Joliet. Peach trees on the south side of buildings are in blosom [sic] . The prospect is good for an abundant crop of fruit of all kinds addapted [sic] to this climate. Unless late frost kills it. Those lima beans I planted in the garden should be covered with leaves or paper if they came up and there is a prospect for frost to kill them.

It is time to plant early corn squashes & coucumbers [sic] . Have you red [sic] Mrs. White's testimony in the Hayer trial from that there is no doubt of his guilt. The trial is the great theme. Even the war news are not looked for with more anxiety than the testimony in the Hayer trial.

When I commenced this I intended to write a letter to Anne but have not time and must defer it until the next letter to you. For two days I have had a slight cold and some sore throat.

Mr. Weed was here from Muscatine Saturday he examined our land at Oskuloosa [sic] and find the taxes all paid and every thing [sic] right about it. He thinks it will be worht [sic] all we paid for it before long. Remember me to all.

Yours Affectionately
Saml B. Reed

About this Document

  • Source: Letter from Samuel B. Reed to Jennie Reed
  • Extent: 3 pages
  • Citation: Yale University Library, Manuscripts and Archives, Samuel Reed Family Papers, Box 2, Folder 29
  • Date: April 28, 1863