Letter from John R. Boyle to Samuel B. Reed, November 8, 1860

In this letter from November 8, 1860, John R. Boyle writes to Samuel Reed informing him that he has just finished his work, is "settling" with his men, and will therefore be unable to visit Reed in Joliet, Illinois. He asks Reed to inquire about the nature and pay of some winter railroad work for them both, telling him not to take if for less than 15 cents as he believes "work will be plenty in the spring" and not to "touch it at any price...if they have no money."

Washington Iowa

S.B. Reed Esqr
Dear Sir

I just got home, and my wife sent your letter to Iowa City to me. I am now going over to the city. I have just finished and am settling with my men and cannot possibly get up to your place. I think you had better go and look at the work and if there is good light work and they not in a hurry with it; (light work cannot be done for a trifle in winter) take it for 15 or 16 cents don't take it for less than 15 as I think work will be plenty in the spring. They are now talking of pushing west to [Jont] Des Moines and they are talking of letting from Cedar Rapids to Marshall [?] 70 miles.

If they have no money don't touch it at any price. We would only get involved and into trouble. I am bound not to take work where there is no money. I may go to Cedar Rapids before I return home and see what they are going to do. I have received your two bhls of potatoes but have not cooked any of them as yet. I thank you very much for them. You will know what good light work can be done for if cash is in question and use your own judgement and I will go in with you. My wife recieved Mrs. Reed's very kind and welcome letter; but both she and I are very sorry for her bereavement in the loss of her mother. But we must reconcile ourselves to it knowing that it is appointed unto all to die; we are but poor frail beings unable to do any thing of ourselves. I think Mrs. Boyle and myself may go to your place and Chicago this winter. I will drop you a line about the 20th and would like to hear from you after the letting go [over] and see what it goes for.

Yours Very Respectfully
John R. Boyle

About this Document

  • Source: Letter from John R. Boyle to Samuel B. Reed
  • Extent: 3 pages
  • Citation: Yale University Library, Manuscripts and Archives, Samuel Reed Family Papers, Box 2, Folder 26
  • Date: November 8, 1860