Letter from Samuel B. Reed to Jennie Reed, August 3, 1863

In this letter from August 3, 1863, Samuel Reed writes to his wife apologizing for the fact that he has been unable to get a position on the railroad closer to home. He expects to learn more regarding the extension of the road very soon, as one of the railroad's primary investors, a Mr. Forks, has returned from Europe. Reed notes the consequences of the drought in Iowa, detailing the resultant success of the stage coach business along the Mississippi. He assures his wife that she "need not fear on account of my politics [as] I have not spoken to a single person about government policy since my return to Iowa."

Dearest Jennie

Your welcome letter of 24th was duly received I was very glad to hear from you and am very sorry that I did not get a situation nearer home. I have not heard one word from the men I wrote to yet and begin to fear my letters have been consigned to the waste paper basket. If I can't get what I want I suppose we must be content with what we can get.

There is yet nothing definite in regard to the extension of the road. Mr. Forks has just returned from Europe and we expect to hear something definite soon. How I would like to be with you and our dear children today. When I have all the work I can posably [sic] do I have not time to think much of absent loved wife and children but the long nights and days that there is not much to be done are lonely indeed.

I hope Anne will send me a letter this week and Mary will not forget her papa.

There has been a fine rain this morning which refreshes everything very much. But too Aug 3 1863 S B Reed late to make a crop of corn in Iowa I have not seen so poor a prospect for corn since I have been in the west as the present indicates and from all I can learn the drouth is quite extensive. The Mississippi is almost dried up nothing but the smallest class of boats pretend to run and they are very uncertain. Stages run regularly up and down the river and appear to have quite a business in the passenger line. And you know that people now a days [sic] will not choose a stage coach if there is any reasonable probability of getting steamboat or cars. Blackberries such as they are are very abundant. Pleenty [sic] at 5 per quart. I wish I could send you some. You need not fear on acct of my politics I have not spoken to a single person about government policy since my return to Iowa. There is a military force established here said to be arranginge [sic] to establish a hospital here but I think it is to enforce the draft if necessary when it takes place. Write very soon Jenny. Remember me to all.

Affectionately your husband
Samuel B. Reed

About this Document

  • Source: Letter from Samuel B. Reed to Jennie Reed
  • Extent: 2 pages
  • Citation: Yale University Library, Manuscripts and Archives, Samuel Reed Family Papers, Box 2, Folder 30
  • Date: August 3, 1863