I feel myself most happy for your favor of May last. I had almost despaired of ever receiving farther intelligence from you, being well aware that the profit of the correspondence was all on my own side; whilst you had nothing to gain by soiling paper for my gratification — I could tell you nothing of particular interest in return; for, notwithstanding the mind will naturally glow, at a mental or corporeal view of this green land with all its fruits and flowers, yet without the associations of human affection, it is almost as dreary as the Solitude of Selkirk — ergo having never breathed the air of the West, nor gazed upon the blue dome above, from its rolling mounds, nor having neither kindred nor friends under its starry vault, with whom the associations of love might hallow its precincts — it cannot be expected that you should feel any thing but a passive indifference to its locality. But with me the case is reversed. The East is the land of my birth — it is the home of my fathers. Amongst its rugged hills and winding streams, I have spent my early days. In close communion lives nearly all that is dear to me from the ties of blood. In one church yard is buried all my kindred, whom God has pleased to call away; and to the same enclosure, the hand of time beckons the remainder home. Whether I shall lie down in that place with them. God only knows; but it has always
25been my fervent prayer that my dust might nestle by its kindreds ashes.
Apart from home the next place which holds in my affections is Lykens Valley. I do not mean to embrace the entire region of country comprehended by that name; but allude to a few sperits which breathe in its shade. Amongst the most prized of those, permit me to name yourself. The recollections connected with your section of country, has many green spots in my memory. For this I value much your correspondence; I can assure you that no day or night passes over my head, but what the recollections of old Millersburg have a place in my thoughts. Your correspondence therefore is a great gratification to me, although I am of course incapacitated from making you a like return.
You mention your being in an invalid state. My dear fellow follow my prescription, and take a trip to the West — it would cure you as sound as a trout. I am in excellent health at present — Whether this is due to the recuperative powers of the constitution, or to the virtues of the Washingtonian temperance pledge is not material. I feel just as well as I ever did in my life.
Your hypothetical conjecture, with respect to which member of your family I had written, was correct: but I cannot agree with you as to the cause of my receiving no answer to my letters. The qualities of Delicacy and Timidity I know her to be possessed of in an exalted degree. But they would not have been wounded by writing to me, if she regarded me as she once did. We corresponded by letter before I left the East, and we parted in Philad. with a vow to write to each other, as soon as she should return to Millersburg. But now my dear friend I hope you will pardon, and look with a feeling of compassion upon me, when I make the unworthy confession, that when I solicited your correspondence, an all prominent motive was, that I might hear of her, and learn her whereabouts. I touched through delicacy, the subject lightly, but you never seemed to take the hint. I only learnt by you that she had returned. To her I then wrote, and wrote, but no answer ever came. I cannot tell you with what feelings I saw the mail arrive, week after week, and yet nothing came for me. It was then and not till then, that I ventured to be
26more explicit to yourself, and now immodest as it is, I have ventured to unfold my feelings to your view. But I have one consolation; I know that I can do it confidentially. I could not write to any body else, because I felt an insurmountable repugnance to exposing the secret wish of my soul to the public gaze, especially to have our connection discussed, & critisized by some of the bipeds of Millersburg.
I will not enter upon the reasons why Lucinda and I did not marry before I left the East — one was I was poor; but I hoped that when 3 years would have rolled over, that I could return and reclaim her; and, with becomming honor offer her a home with me in the West. I know that her sentiments have not changed with regard to me. I judge of them from what I know other, and also from my own feelings; ‘Time but the impression deeper makes,’ and mine are impressed on a basis, as immutable as the iron granite of your mountains. But O John why will you not solicit her confidence on this subject. You are her favorite brother. She has often told me so, and answer, why she never wrote. I can hardly think that my letters miscarried, because none of my others have.
On looking over what I have written, I sensibly feel the delicacy of the Subject. I feel that it might look to some, like a childish complaint; and unsatisfied as I feel, in my mind of the propriety of what I have committed to paper I will yet rest on your goodness of heart, for a charitable interpretation of my motives.
I remain Yours &c.
N.B. Times are bad enough. The whole West is now groaning under the cut throat policy of Capt Tyler. Wheat will not bring 25 cts a bushel at our best markets. Corn will be worth about 10 or 12 cents. I shall look for an answer soon; pray do not disappoint me & I shall ever remain your obliged &c H. Rutherford.