[Mary Harvey?] to Ruth and Andrew Fletcher, 1860 January 19

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Neponset Bureau, Co Ills January 19th 1860Dear Uncle Aunt & Cousins

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I suppose that you are looking for a line from us about this time, well we are well and have been ever since we left home with the exception of sore eyes which we have all had about the thou worst kind but we can see to read now which we could not for a long time, this is the finest Country that I know of, and verry much healthier than Vermont. we have had the best of sleding for four weeks but in all, we have not had over 4 inches of snow have had a little rain which froze and there is a great deal of ice

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but we dont mind the ice; it is better than snow drifts the most of the time it is comfortably warm but there is more wind here, as we mind it more because there is but little Timber and no hills to break the force of it Mrs B, came home 3 months ago since which, we have hired a house in Town Not every Village here is called a Town, and what we have always heard called a town is here called a Township we have a cow and one Horse we intend to buy another Horse shortly and when we get Land of our own we intend to go to raising Pork nearly all of the People near here raise Grain for market but pork is the most sure pork is now from 4 to 6 cts according to [quality] Beef 3 to 4, butter has

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been as high as 20 cts this winter but is about 16 now Flour is 6 dollars a barrel corn is about 35 cts per Bushel, the way we have a fine crib of Corn, we think we shall have somewhere in the neighborhood of 1,000 bushels of shelled corn but cannot be sure until it is Threshed, the corn crop was not good there was frost in a great many places late in the Spring and early in the fall but ours was quite fortunate and with the exception of one field, it is the best that we have heard of we have Potatoes enough for ourselves and so we have squashes as nice as you ever see and finally we get just as much to eat as is for our good and if ever any of you should come to Ill,s you would see

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and know just how hungry every one is when they first come here, why I have been here 7 months and I think that I have eat more than I ever did before in one year, but you want to know the other side to; well the houses, are small and there are but few barns, and you will seldom see a Grainery and the [     ] are thick and, well; when it rains you should see peoples shoes; why; they are out of sight in mud and dont you think most people ride in 2 horse lumber wagons ho: ho: aint it funny

oh I like to forgot we have bought a wagon of that sort, a verry good one which got cheap for 64 dollars; we bought it in Chicago we have a good schoolhouse a and an excellent Teacher there is but one meeting house in this Village but there is 2 societies Congregational, and Methodist, have 2 or 3 sermons every Sabbath and have had for 2 months a