Yours of Sept 4th came to hand in due time. The news therein contained, interested us much. Every peice of news rec'd from Lykens, has its peculiar interest for us, and this letter would probably have a much more lively one in your mind, if it came from Lucinda, than as it is from me. I have been urging her for 2 weeks to the work, but she still pleads want of time and as you requested a speedy answer this epistle must suffice, till she can write to you herself.
We did not begin housekeeping till the beginning of July; and as our Boxes had not come to hand, we had as the old saying is, to shift like new beginners. We passed the warm months of July & August on a straw bed, with borrowed clothes, pretty comfortably.
Our cooking utensils were few indeed, but provisions, fortunately, were in abundance. During this time it appeared as if we were never to hear more of our Boxes. I wrote to the towns on the Wabash, & Evansville on the Ohio, to no effect. At last I wrote to Pittsburgh & there they were, safe enough. They were immediately sent down the river to Evansville, where I sent a waggon & team for them (distance 145 miles). We finaly recd them on the 9th of Sept. Everything was safe, nothing was broken or spoiled, even Mrs Wises bag of Snitz was in perfect preservation. While I am writing the stove is full blast, and our Archer Lamp throws its brilliant light over the paper. We have now 2 feather beds up, with every thing else necessary for living, & nearly every thing we want. The necessity for keeping up caste in this country is but slight: but few peoples, however wealthy, furnish their homes with anything they can do without. We had a boy 10 or 12 years old for a couple of months, when he left us. We did not find that his assistance lessend Lucinda's daily duties, & since his exit we have declined receiving any other in his stead. We find that the trouble of overseeing an eye servant, is equal to the performance of his work.
Sickness has been pretty abundant. I have never done so much in one summer before, & yet I have lost but 2 patients in all my practice since my return. In August I booked about $250. I have had good health. Lucinda has had several shakes of the ague, and in August while attending a camp meeting she took cold, and had the fever for two or 3 days, most reverendly.
You may wish to know how she is satisfied with Illenois. As to that, she will probably speak for herself, when she writes; but I flatter myself, that she is nearly as well contented, as I am with the West. We want for but little, except the friends we left behind.
We recd a letter from Mary Jackson a few days after yours came to hand.
Vegetation has been abundant. I never saw the prairies present so gorgeous an appearance as they have the past summer. They are now on fire, & the sky in all points of the horizon, is illumin'd by the glare of their fires. Wheat failed this year, corn & oats were good. Our nearest market is Layfeette, Indiana, about 80 miles distance. In 2 years it will be less than 40 from us. Wheat there is worth 66, corn 28. Salt $1.60 per barrel. Coffee here is worth 12 1/2 per lb. Sugar 8 1/3. Starch 6 1/4. Tow Linnen 10 cts per yard. Dry goods are much cheaper than a few years since, [and] are all sold for cash. Our currency [is nearly] all specie, but little paper is seen. [What paper] is current is held by the merchants, [word missing] to specie. In conclusion, we live in the best house in the place, have the best water, and the best horses & cows in these diggins. Remember us to your own family, Levi, Josiah, Mother, Emeline, &c.
Please write to us soon again: & I'll engage that Lucinda will answer your next. We are in good sperits, cheer up yourself, and conceive the Boetia you live in, a verry Athens itself. The pleasures of the Imagination are unlimited.