Howe Letters - 1861

Many things have happened up 'til now. Ike has built a house for his bride on Highland at the corner of Elm, represented Northfield in the legislature three terms, '57/'58, married Annie '59, and we learn in recent times, added a meeting hall below the Northfield church that is now known as Howe's Hall. He then leaves his family in Northfield and goes West to Clinton in the spring of '61. Ike is 34, Annie is 25; they are still newlyweds.

Return address says:
"Briggs House, corner of Randolph & Wells St., Chicago, Ills, Wm. F. Tucker & Co., Proprietors".
Written on envelope: "Mrs. I.B. Howe, Northfield, Vermont.
BriggsHouse Chicago, Wednesday Evening, May 22nd /61.
My Dear Wife!
I have seen plenty of dandelions in Michigan, so I think we shall have no trouble in finding them in Iowa!
I arrived here at six o'clock tonight. Trains do not make close connection at Toronto - waited there five hours. This has been a beautiful day and the country looks very pleasant -- apple & cherry trees in blossom, and some fields of winter grain nearly "knee high". Think I shall remain here, tomorrow and see Dr. Williams and Gault: and go to Clinton Friday and stay with Rogers Sunday.
I did not see father Howe or Martha when I left; but tell them I thought of them all the same. As I shall write again, soon, I will close so as to have this go tomorrow morning. I am feeling first rate!
As ever yours, Ike


Return address: "Iowa Central House, Clinton, Iowa, Wm. Rogers, Proprietor.
Addressed to: "Mrs. I.B. Howe, Northfield, Vermont
Clinton, Iowa, May 25th 1861
Dear Friends All!
I crossed the "Mississipp" yesterday morning and am now "at home" with Rogers at the "Iowa Central House". It is thought best for me to remain here at present, if not permanently, instead of going to Cedar Rapids, so you will direct to me here.
I can hear the click of the telegraph in the office where I am writing, and it is very pleasant to think that although many hundreds of miles from you all, these mysterious wires are capable of carrying our thoughts to each other in a few minutes. It would be a long walk home; but you might read the words I now write, before father gets this morning's Boston Journal. Five o'clock tea time comes about an hour and a quarter earlier with you than with us though. This morning we heard of the death of Judge Douglas and Col. Ellworth, and strange as it may seem, the death of Col. Ellworth creates the deepest sensation here. The Stars and Stripes are floating at half mast in front of the hotel. May God have mercy on Virginian secessionists when those New York Firemen get hold of them, for the "Zouaves" and Illinois men will have none. You will write me about the Vt. Regiments, I hope.
Sunday afternoon. I have seen an account of the Vermont regiment marching off with Gen. Butler. Perhaps the newspapers will tell us enough of the Green Mountain Boys. I am glad to learn that the reported death of Judge Douglas was premature. I spent one day in Chicago - mostly with Dr. Williams, saw Gault, and several other old acquaintances.
This Clinton is quite a comfortable place --half as large as "our" village, perhaps. The railroad and R.R. office, close to the river, then a "common", -then a big brick hotel, and the « town ». My room is very pleasant – fronting towards the river and the east! There are three or four other taverns in the village --small concerns --Two or three steam saw-mills and flouring mills etc. Three little churches I believe. I went to Episcapol this forenoon -it was "no great shakes." Of course I have not yet seen enough of the place to know much about it. One thing I am satisfied of however --there is a good, comfortable place here anytime, for my wife! So she need not wait on that account a single day. Tomorrow I shall go out on the Road with Mr. Smith, the Supt. & shall go to Cedar Rapids before I get back. Perhaps I shall be located there bye and bye. Mr. Smith looks like the picture of D.E. Fifield. (Annie's sister Harriett's husband)
Mr. Bodfish, who is to be the new Genl. Supt. is a larger man than we have in Northfield --a great heavy fellow, and he appears very pleasant. His wife looks like an enlarged edition of Betty Denny, so I hope we shall like her. I find many very pleasant people here. Major Bodfish was Capt. of a Maine Company in the Mexican War, and I am told was offered a regiment for this war; but thought he had seen service enough. I should think he was about fifty years old, now. His wife is younger --perhaps she is as much as nine years younger. (he jokes because Annie was 10 years younger than Ike)
My trunk came all right; but I would not again risk a thecommon trunk without boarding, and iron or leather binding it to prevent its being broken to pieces. For a passenger to come here direct, get check for baggage to Chicago --before you reach Chicago an agent goes through the cars and for twenty five cents gives you a check for your baggage and an omnibus [this is where the word "bus" came from] ticket for yourself from the depot you land in, to the Wells. St. Depot. Take the omnibus and when you reach the depot, present your check and call for one to Clinton. All right! You need not see your baggage between Northfield and here. Well, here I am, near the close of the sheet. --Write everything you think of and remember me to all the friends, so they will write.
Annie, darling, I will try to be contented until you think best to come, as I know that others feelings should be considered, as well as my own; but you will remember that I am ready for you now and always!
As ever, yours, Ike
P.S. My health is first rate --better than when I left home. I may not write again for a week. Weather is warm; but fresh breezes in afternoons and they say it is so all summer -cool breeze from the river every night, so one can sleep well. We have rheubarb pies & sauce -lettice, radishes, etc., etc. and I have seen dandelions here! Rogers was very glad to see me -I think his business is not very good.


Addressed to: Mrs. I.B. Howe, Care of D.E. Fifield, Esq., Janesville, Wis.
Clinton, Iowa Friday morning, May 29th 1861
Darling Wife!
Your letter dated a week ago was received last night. I had been waiting anxiously expecting to hear from you before writing.
I intended to go to Janesville Saturday night and take you home with me Monday: but if Mina goes away I think we must not leave Harriet alone. (Harriet was Annie's sister married to David Fifield in Janesville) The trains do not connect now so you can come directly through --must leave Janesville at 10 a.m. and wait at Junct. or Chicago for the night train – you may as well go into Chicago when you come and have a few hours there for buying dresses and other little fixings.
Write if you want me to go before "Saturday week." I had a pleasant trip and good visit down to Net & - Scott wears well - is a good fellow. (Ike's sister Net married George Washington Scott April 2, 1861 and had one child -Charles Howe Scott born Sept. 6, 1862) Will tell you all about them when I see you. Nothing new here -have time for no more this morning. Take the best of care of my family!
Yours ever - Ike


Clinton, Iowa, June 2, 1861

Addressed to: Mrs. IB Howe, Northfield, Vermont

My Own Darling Wife!
Another Sunday has arrived and here I am in my pleasant room, looking out onto the broad River and the green woods and fields beyond. I am looking at these but I am thinking of home! If I only knew that you were all well, I should feel quite contented, but since your letter came I have been troubled about Mother, besides the ordinary anxiety about you all.
Your letter of Monday morning reached me Thursday afternoon, from Chicago -- it is all I have yet received from Northfield. I should like a Vermont newspaper occasionally, and the Independent till I have it changed to this place. You may send me the Michigan S.?? R. R. pass in some of your letters. I believe the Railway Review paper is sent to the R. R. office here. I take the Chicago Daily Tribune, so we get the Eastern news, three days after date.
"The Mayor" wants me to remain in the office here and take full charge of the running of the Road and shops for the present, so I shall remain at Clinton unless other arrangements are made. Mayor Bodfish is said to be, and appears like a fine, jolly old fellow, and I like what I have seen of the men on the Road. This Road runs through the most splendid agricultured region I ever saw -- there is scarcely any wasteland inside of it and I am told that the county west of Cedar Rapids where the Road is now being extended is almost equal to this. No New England farmer who goes over this Road will buy a farm in Illinois. The majority of the people here are from New England and New York, shrewd, sharp fellows. I went to the Presbyterian Church -- this forenoon, and enjoyed it very well, but although the churches are all very small, not larger than good, large schoolhouses, there is plenty of room![not many go to church]
Wish I could send mother a bunch of wildflowers -- the dining tables are covered with them everyday -- Rogers keeps a very good hotel: but I do not believe that he saves a single dollar -- it costs too much to run such a house.
Well "Wifey", how do you get along there alone? I hope you are not very lonesome or uncomfortable. If you are, do not stay there another week, if you can get away. Let me know all about how you are feeling and how your health is. We never had a chance to do much courting till now. How are the flowers and the hot-bed and the blackberry bushes? It is rather pleasant to think of all those things and feel that we may all be there at home some time and enjoy them together. Tell Mary [Annie's sister was Mary Elizabeth, 29, but she went by Lib rather than Mary. Baby Mary wasn't born yet.] to be a good girl and I will make her a washing machine when I go home. Jim, [Jim Gould,20, Annie's brother] this is a land of fine horses and I have noticed several "Concord" wagons. Butter is very good and selling for 8 cts. per lb.. Cheese is scarce, none being made here, I am told. I believe corn is only about 17 cts. per bushel. The currency panic had prevented much business for a time: but now that the people generally have resolved to take no more "wildcat" bills, gold and good bank bills are being sent in and business will soon revive again. This seems a good time for Eastern Banks to circulate their bills.
Evening. Very warm, but pleasant. The weather has been pretty cool most of the time. Last evening, Judge Douglass was said to be more comfortable, but there is little hope for his recovery. Friday night it was thought he would not live till morning. Very likely the telegraph will tell you of his death before this reaches you.

Notes from history:
Stephen A. Douglas (1813-1861)
Known as "Little," Stephen A. Douglas was an Illinois Senator (1847-61, Democrat) and the leading proponent of "popular sovereignty" as the solution to slavery in U.S. territories. Douglas ran for President as candidate of Northern Democrats in 1860 but advocacy of "Freeport Doctrine" in his 1858 Senate race against Abraham Lincoln doomed any possibility of Southern Democrat support or Democratic victory. He narrowly won the Senate race after a series of seven famous debates. His 1860 nomination for President split the Democratic party; Douglas ran second in the popular vote but received only 12 Electoral College votes. "There had always been a feeling of friendship existing between Mr. Lincoln and Judge Douglas; and the manner in which the latter acted just prior to the Inauguration, and the gallant part he sustained at that time, as well as afterwards, served to increase their mutual regard and esteem.
The Daily Dispatch, Jun 6-11, 1861 Death of Hon. Stephen Arnold Douglas. This well known statesman died in Chicago on Monday last. His wife, wife's father and mother, and his own personal relatives, including Dr. Miller, of Washington city, were present with him during his last moments.--The remains were to be brought to Washington for interment. Senator Cameron has published an official obituary notice, speaking of him as a patriot, above all party considerations. He will have a public funeral. The Daily Dispatch: June 6, 1861

This afternoon, by invitation of Mr. Rogers, [hotel owner] I rode out into the country and we gathered about a bushel of wild prairie flowers -- many of them very beautiful and fragrant but nearly all were "strangers" to me. I do not yet understand their language as I do our violets, etc. Has Father gone to Mass. yet? Tell Adda that she can write just as often as she pleases, and Martha can add a word now and then. Tell Asa that I have not time to read more than one letter a week from him. [I think this iis a sarcastic reference to Asa writing rarely and briefly if at all.]
I see by New York Herald that Vermont Regiment, and its Chaplain are doing well. After the annual meeting of the owners of this Road, about the middle of this month, we will decide where I shall locate and if we please, we may conclude to "keep house" bye and bye, after you get rested.
With love to all, I remain, as ever, yours, Ike.

PS. Please write me when anything new is done with Bates matter. How goes the Slate business? I wish Prince was out here, and he could find much better game than mice. Jim -- there are plenty of rabbits, pigeons, quails and rats here!

Notes: Mary, his daughter, was not born yet. Not sure who that Mary is. Martha Jones [42] and Asa [45] were his siblings; Adda [17] was Adelaide, Martha's only child; would marry Geo Clark in 2 years. Reuben would have been the only baby; died in Feb. at 2 months. Jim Sawyer was only 11 so the Jim (on the train to Nevada) was Annie's brother, Jim Gould jr. -- Tana and Mark


Addressed to: Mrs. I.B. Howe, Northfield, Vt.
Clinton, June 16th 1861
Dear, Good Wife!
I have come into the office this pleasant Sunday morning to visit with you and think how pleasant it would be to have you with me. Last night I dreamed you was here, darling, and I was almost homesick when I awoke. When you come out, I think you had better come here first and then you can stay with Harriet awhile in the winter, when I shall need be away from "home" more than at present -or, if you please, we will first go to Janesville and make a short visit, then come here.
I am away from here, but very little and shall have no occasion to be out on the road or trains much excepting in the winter when snow storms or accidents may require me. If you came with father or any other boy, I will meet you in Chicago, if you write or telegraph me. If you do not come so, I shall go after you, if I can when you are ready to come. You will write me all about what you all think best, knowing that I am willing to do just what will be best for all of us.
I am not surprised that Bill Jones is done with Reed. Bill has too strong a desire to drink beer and I do not think he will ever amount to anything. If it was not for the care of Addie, who would now be able to take care of herself, if she had always been properly trained, Martha would be happier alone; but Bill would go to the devil. (Ike's sister Martha living in Northfield married William Jones (Bill) and their only child was Adelaide (Addie)). I have watched and advised Bill for years and he has usually minded my advice; but Northfield is such a cursed place that we cannot hope much from him, now, and we will not worry any more about it, either.
Afternoon. ---- I went to the little Methodist church this forenoon and did not like it exceedingly. The men sit on one side, and the women on the other like sheep and goats, and the men groan and the women sigh and the minister howls. 0: tell Nelly she must give you a cat-hole for that little cat, for we do not want to cut one in the door. They have a dog at the hotel as large as Boynton's but I shall never like him as I do Prince. Glad the hot-bed does so well. We get plenty of strawberries, peas, ect. and I enjoy them very well, for my health continues good. Dr. Noyes who sits by my side at the table, admits that they did have a little of the ague here a few years ago; but says it don't amount to much, anyway and there is none now, etc, etc.---I do not think it is much of an ague county; but I intend to be careful.

The letter ends here & part has been ripped off. This is Ike's writing.

Clinton, 17 June 1861
Addressed to: James Gould, Esq., Northfield, Vermont (Ike's father-in-law)

James Gould was a mill owner in Northfield. Must have been involved in the rail chair business with Ike. Slate quarry as well. Perhaps building a case for James to come west too [mill available]. Engine windlass -- power winch? Jim Gould 20, Elizabeth [Lib] 29.
Ike has newly gone West leaving Annie behind. Seems very well-connected already. "Howe Chair " is a piece of railroad equipment that splices rails, patented by Ike; see references to the « fish joint » in these letters. At this point apparently already in production and selling well.

Dear Father!
I have just received yours of the 13th. I think you are right and it was Vermont Valley instead of Sullivan that sent the piece of rail and wanted 500 chairs. Bill them to Bellvue Falls to Vt. Valley RR. Pay freight to Windows. I think there was a small bill for steel and blacksmith work for Slate Co. at R.R. ship. As it was not presented, I forgot it -- let them wait till you sell some of the old slate, if they will. I understand Quigly to be equal and joint partner in the slate contract. If he has not one third of the capital! and does not perform one third of the business, the matter should be settled between themselves. I should pay him one third, unless he agrees to take less. He understands quarrying as well as Mike and Pat do slate work.
Two of the three steam saw-mills here are trying to see which will cut out the most lumber in a day. One mill cut 30,000 feet one day and the owner offers to bet $50 that he can saw 40,000 feet in 10 hours if allowed to select his logs. I notice a large flouring mill standing idle on account of the failure of the owner just as it was nearly ready to run. It stands with the river on one side and R. R. track on the other, right in town here. It looks to be like good property; but I have made no inquiries.
We send 20 carloads of wheat to Chicago, and 15 or 20 carloads of lumber West from here in a day quite frequently. Three steam boats landed here today, so you see it is quite anos lovely as Northfield.
I want the stereoscope with its pictures and Hannah will want her "spy" glass when she comes. I wish you would ask Mr. Perkins to write me about that Engine Windlass. If the R.R. Co. has none, I wish he would tell me where to get one, and what it will cost, if he has not written me.
It is a beautiful evening and the river is smooth as glass -- pleasure boats are out on it; but all does not look so pleasant to me as a glimpse of home would. I am not homesick, however.
Truly your son, Ike

Chair business for Chicago & Milwaukee R.R. -- all right.


Addressed to: Mrs. I.B. Howe, Northfield, VT.
Chicago, Iowa & Nebraska Railroad,
Office of Engineer & Ass't Superintendent
Dear Friends!
Clinton, Iowa, June 23rd 1861
A letter & Independent came Friday night. A week seems almost too long to go without hearing from you; but I can get along by reading your letters twice. Nearly five days for a letter to come -only three for a woman! Clinton is 136 miles from Chicago. Mail train leaves Chicago at 9.15 morning, (from Wells Street Depot) and arrives here at 4 o'clock p.m. Another train with sleeping-car leaves at 9.30 night and gets here at 5.30 next morning --slow; but very comfortable.
Dr. Williams & wife will not let me stop at hotel when I am in Chicago. One of Mrs. Williams' brothers was shot in St. Louis last week by the soldiers who fired upon the mob. He was a policeman and was killed unintentionally. You may have seen an account of a secessionist being hung at Lane Station, between here and Chicago, last week. He was an old man, and had been about here two years or more, I think. He was suspected as the man who burned the ware-houses & grain there, a short time since. A Chicago detective was put upon his track who by representing himself as a rabid secessionist soon gained the old man's confidence and learned that he not only fired those buildings but had a plan to burn others there -shoot one man and also burn two other towns. On examination, these and various other crimes were proved against him by other evidence. He was seized by the mob, and with sixteen feet of rope to his neck, thrown from the window of third story of building.
We have no such work in Iowa -Annie. I don't believe you had better wait to bring out any beds. If we like well enough to want to keep house, they can be sent in a box at any time. We will "play" that we are only visiting here now, and when we get tired will go home. If you can be spared there, I wish you would come out with father. Cannot Elizabeth or some one stay with mother and James while father is out here? When mother is well enough to come I will go and get her.
You see I begin to fear being obliged to court you over again and have another siege to get you from the "old folks". On this account, I thought a "love letter" could do no harm, at any rate. If you or James do not come, can't you send Mary, or Prince or a few cigars? How is your hair? Remember me to Mrs. Kimball. Send me a Vermont paper, Jim. Give my love to Mrs. Cornwell! My best respects to the Italians.
I have received Mr. May's Detectors. If Portland & Washington RR wants large lots of chairs we will be glad to furnish them for cash, or if Vt. Central will take them for paymasters ----Of course I know nothing about their condition and in these war-times cannot do business on long credit. Any trade you think best to make with them, will be all right. I have not heard from Perkins, yet.
My health remains good and I like here very well. I am to remain at Clinton, and have charge of running the Road and shops, so I shall be "at home" nearly all the time. I shall not be surprised if the Road is leased to Golena & Chicago Union RR as they want it & need it very much; but if it is done, I can be employed this year if I please. I will post you on lumber business when I learn it. Pretty warm here -thermometer 96 degrees last Thursday. I can get Saratoga water in Chicago for $8 pr. box -it is $10. here.
As ever, yours Ike
P.S. Northfield Bank need expect nothing of Rogers, if he owes it.


Clinton, Iowa, 23 June 1861

Written by Isaac B. Howe to his wife after the death of their first child, Reuben. He had gone West and wanted her to join him. -- Pepa
Reubin died in February about two months old. This is the first year of his departure from Northfield. He built the Highland House in 1857; married in 1859.

Friend Hannah!
Although my acquaintance with you dates back only two or three years, you will pardon me for addressing you in this familiar manner, when assured that my motives are most honorable and the liberty here taken is induced by the heart, not the head.
A prairie plant called "The Indians Guide", was recently pointed out to me, the leaves of which invariably point North and South. Transplant where you will, -- crush down its leaves rudely as you may -- they revive only to point ever in the same direction. Lady! -- my heart is "The Indians Guide!" Need I name the mysterious magnet toward which it ever turns? Call me impertinent, if you will. Command me to be as a stranger to you hereafter, if you must; but now I have words of deep meaning to speak! Words of vast import to me; and yet, they are only three little words -- I love you!! Three simple words: but my hopes of happiness, and even life, depends upon the reception you give them.
Perhaps your cheek crimsons with indignation at the thought of my presumption! Perhaps you call me crazy or dreaming. Now -- it may be that it is a dream! Sometimes life seems all a dream, and even now my mind is filled with a vision of domestic life in which I seem to have been an important factor. It seems as though I once had a darling wife who was "all the world to me" -- kind, gentle, affectionate -- she came to me like a fairy being and with her wand of love changed the cold, selfish world in which I had lived into a fairy land of happiness and beauty. My companion in health, my comforter in sickness and sorrow, my good angel at all times. How swiftly the days and months passed over us. Never an unkind word! Never an unkind thought, or feeling of regret, as hand in hand we journeyed on through life together. -- can it be that it was all a dream? -- it must be so, for no wife is near me now! Active, exciting business, hotel life -- a bachelors seat at the table, a bachelor's habits in the office, a bachelor's room, furniture, whims and fancies, all the same for twelve years or more *?-- full of variations, yet all the same. But that "dream" is so vividly impressed upon my mind that I cannot forget it, therefore, I venture to tell it to you and hope that some time that dream may be realized.
I know it is asking much! You have friends with you and around you who love you as they do their very lives. You have a pleasant home surrounded with every comfort – your every want is anticipated and strong arms and affectionate hearts are there to protect you. In exchange for all these I can only offer an earnest, honest heart and the inconveniences and discomfort of hotel life in Iowa. The difference is great: but I venture to hope that you may yet look upon this proposal with favor, and that I may sometime really call you as I dreamed of doing -- my wife!!
Devotedly yours -- (his secret signature)

PS I will agree to add 6 quarts of peanuts and half a pound of spruce gum to the above offer if it will make any difference. The report that I am an old married man and have had children running around the streets in Northfield for years, is one of old Tom Courser's stories -- it a'nt so!
*12 years reference unknown??


Addressed to: Mrs. I.B. Howe, Northfield, Vt. (The following letter has the first page ripped off, so it starts in the middle. Someone later wrote on the envelope June 24, 1861. I am assuming this letter belongs in this envelope. Tana)

Continued from other sheet.

let some good fellow into the house, for small rent, to take good care of everything for a few months, and all come! Or father & mother can stop at Janesville, and then we shall be within visiting distance. And then, if we are all well, we will go back again, when we please, to the dear old Northfield home, and all be there again together. Mind you, I do not advise now -I merely suggest!
Let us not sacrifice health or domestic happiness for money or renown. We must live and enjoy life now, if ever. We are all travelling a road that we shall never pass over but once. Let us enjoy the journey, as we go along, hand in hand together, and when it is ended --satisfied with its pleasures, -wearied with its toils, remembered and loved for the good we may do by the wayside, we will lie down to rest. The real enjoyments of life seem to consist mostly of trifles. Just think of it now and say if it is not so. --A ride -a flower -a song -a loving word or look -mere trifles; but they fill our hearts with sunshine more beautiful than the grand castles in the air that we build for "bye and bye".
Where did I leave off? O, I went to a concert of vocal music last evening, and enjoyed it very much. About a dozen little girls sang like canaries, and men & women also sang --some of them very well -all citizens of Clinton. Annie! If you come out here, perhaps you will want my seraphine, and let Elizabeth have your organ --Do just as you please. If you do not want the seraphine and do not think you will want it sent out here, it is better to sell it than keep it even if obliged to sell for less than it is worth. I gave $50. in cash for it, some three years ago, and supposed it very cheep at that. Trade just as you please and I shall be perfectly satisfied. I would get butter of Tom Averill and pay what will satisfy him for he is a good fellow and his butter is good.
Well, how are you? Wife, mother, father, brothers, sisters, friends, all. How are you, and what are you doing? How is business? How are the churches? How is the academy? (Norwich University, in town, is the oldest private military academy in the US) How are the factories at the Falls? Where is Pinter Brown? How is the slate business? Do you sell any? Prince! Old Fellow! I am surprised to hear of the catastrape caused by you, and could shed a cat-aract of tears on account of this murder being added to the cat-alogue of your sins. Poor little kitten, just bursting into cat-hood, seized by the Prince of Darkness. -Well, the mice will be glad of it. Annie, darling! I hope to hear by next letter that you have concluded to come out with father or James. Perhaps James will conclude to come and father will wait a little and then take mother along.
Good night, dear ones all, from your Ike
Don't forget the opera glass and stereoscope. I would like the stereoscope pictures by the "first train".

No envelope or date on letter.

I see no reason why you may not be with me here, if mother is well enough to spare you.
If she is well enough to go to Janesville why not all come out and let Martha or some other family who will not injure the house, take care of it till father & mother get ready to go home again. If mother is not well, or it thought best for her not to come out, this summer, you can stay with her till father goes home from Janesville, and then I will go and get you. Or we will hire or build a cottage here, and all live together again; which I prefer to any other way even if it is only for a short time. We can get along without if you please -a great stock of furniture --sort of "camp out", and when we please, pull up stakes and go home. I cannot bear the idea of deserting you for a long time, and now I know you are thinking of me and longing to be with me. If I could feel that you was perfectly contented there, I might get along till fall, perhaps, without being homesick; but if you can be happier here, I say come, ---even if it does cost a little more --money is good for nothing if we do not enjoy it.
Now talk all these things over and see what is best and do what will be pleasantest for you. Net closed her letter to me by saying: "I do not know what I have written, but I love you, darling!"
Yours ever -Ike

Caution mother about walking too much.
I enclose a statement for Mrs. Davis which you can read to her or give her when convenient, -or let some one call and tell her what I say --put it in an envelope & send it to her, if you please.