Yours of Dec 23 came to hand at last. I confess that it appeared to be a great length of time from the date of my letter till yours was received. Yet I feel doubly thankful for the favor of your correspondence. First because I can write but little in return to interest you. You have no associations here local or personal to mingle with your feelings. All is blank and besides it is far away. Second for the pleasure your letters afford me. In them I see & hear my old companions as of yore: when we traded, sported, and spree'd together a period of my life but illy spent, though attended with many delightful rememberances.
I am glad to hear of your own health being amended as well as your wifes convalescence. I see you are still persuing the way of all flesh — well trot on: Laurance Sterne defines a good citizen, to be one, who has built a house, planted a tree and got a child. You are in my opinion a verry good citizen, for Scripture says ‘by their works ye shall know them.’ I perceive that your pecuniary affairs are in a creditable condition which combined with circumstances of a wife & children should render you comfortable. May you live long to enjoy it. Allow me to give you a synopsis of my life for the last two years and upwards. After my wifes death I continued house keeping a year at a great expense. I did this that I might keep my child with me but my house keepers were too young to attend to such buissness & I was constantly fearful of some accident happening to him, as the sickly season of 46 came on I removed him to my neighbor Mrs Black (a most worthy woman) where he still continues. In the fall I broke up and took another family into the house, with whom I boarded till spring. I then moved my bags & baggage into my new house and have boarded at various places since. Since I removed last spring I have had no family with me, I tread my halls alone, make my bed & sleep alone. My house cost me somewhat over 1600$. I built it to please myself and of course it took money to do it. I own 180 acres of land & shall put up another building next spring or summer to rent. Last summer a botanic physician stopped here; he did some buissness, but was taken in the fall with Typhoid Fever and died. Since then my old competitior has pulled up stakes. His health being in a declining condition unsuited to a laborious practice. He left a few days ago for Ohio. I alone am left for this large tract of country. I expect some one will speedily drop in but duty and interest requires me to stick well to my place. I expect my cousin Levi
65Rutherford in the spring; he is now attending Medical Lectures at Philad. Whether he will locate here or not is uncertain. I think I shall not be East the comming spring, besides it is probable that I may marry again; if so, like the guest bidden to the feast, cannot come. My youngest brother was out to see me in November. He did not stay but a couple of weeks. He was making protracted journey through the western states — he is probably at home by this time. His visit gratified me much. It has been a great consolation to me in my domestic affliction that my brothers as well as yourself have given me repeated proofs of affection. I shall appoint my brother John P Rutherford guardian for my son, with whom you will settle Lucindas account. I shall send him a bill of it which she brought with her. If John does not accept Abner probably will. My son is in excellent health. He has not taken a dose of medicine for more than a year. My own health is better than usual. This I attribute to the comfort of my lodging place. I occupy my best parlor and can go to sleep of a cold night with a comfortable fire blazing on the hearth. I lave taken some precautions to avoid the Quinsey (my old enemy). I wear a high heavy stock which I had of you but never used till the present winter. I have for the first time allowed the hair to grow unshaven on my throat and jaws. I feel well and you would find me if you were here as robust as I ever was. The winter has been mild. I hope your location in Millersburg will be agreeable and profitable to you. As you pledged yourself in your last to write soon again I shall close with the prayer that your wrath against our worthy Brother of the City may abate. Remember the greatest of virtues is Charity, and where much is
66needed much should be given — it covereth a multitude of sins.
My love to you & yours