Letter from Samuel B. Reed to Jennie Reed, October 25, 1863

In this letter from October 25, 1863, Samuel Reed writes to his wife describing his journey from Eddyville, Iowa to Albia, Iowa via stage coach as reminiscent of "old times." He states that stage coaches "are like the wild indians [sic] soon to be banished from the land to b [sic] known no more." Reed comments on crop prices and states he intends to come home for the winter unless "the work on the new road is commenced." He also notes that he has been reading William Howard Russell's My Diary, North and South, and finds it highly amusing.

Dearest Jennie

I arrived in this place Friday evening by stage from Eddyvill [sic] , the first time for years I hav [sic] rode in an old fashined [sic] stage coach. It reminded me of old times before rail roads [sic] had banished them from the more civilized and better settled portions of the country. They are like the wild indians [sic] soon to be banished from the land to b [sic] known no more. Mrs. Lawnsberry has a fine boy a few days old they are living at Eddyville. He is stage agent. I have two days work to do here yet and then a night ride to Chariton to do a week's work there before returning to Burlington. Your letters may be sent out if not I hope to find two or three from you on my return to Burlington. Do not disapoint [sic] me in not writing often. I hope to be with you two weeks from to day [sic] . How long the weeks seem when absent from home wife and children. I am glad to hear that the thrashing is all done, and hope Chs will not sell one bushel of oats until spring. They will surely be worth 75 cents per bushel then if not more. Corn is very scarce all over this country and scarcely any oats, or hay. Farmers are selling all their stock that they can get rid of fearing they can't winter them on act of scarcity of hay and grain. Corn is selling for sixty to seventy five cents per bushel and all other kinds of produce in proportion. Every body [sic] is predicting very hard times for the next year.

I shall know when I get back to Burlington wheather [sic] I can get away for the winter or not but intend to unless the work on the new road is commenced.

I wish the work at Chariton was done so that I could go home this week instead of next as I now propose to do. My eyes are much better than when I was last at home perhaps they are getting well. Did you ever read Russel's [sic] (North & South) they are really worth reading. Such laughable discriptions [sic] as he gives of promment [sic] men at the head of our government and throughout the whole country will I am sure cure Oct 25 1863the dispepsia [sic] at least. I will try and get the book for you when I come home.

Mr. Beaty a young man of my party loaned me the book and I have been reading it evenings while in the country and have laughed more over it then any thing [sic] I have read for some time.

It is now bed time and I must bid you good night and good by [sic] as Anne says when she goes to bed. Kiss the dear little ones and remember me to all.

Yours Very Affectionately
Saml. B. Reed

About this Document

  • Source: Letter from Samuel B. Reed to Jennie Reed
  • Extent: 4 pages
  • Citation: Yale University Library, Manuscripts and Archives, Samuel Reed Family Papers, Box 2, Folder 30
  • Date: October 25, 1863