Mary Harvey to Ruth and Andrew Fletcher, 1860 November 3

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Malcom Poweshiek Co IowaNovember 3rd 1860Dear Uncle & Aunt

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It is a long letter I owe you for the two we have received from you and as we left the Credit system in Vt I think you will have to read a long yarn this time we are all well and have been through the summer, but we have been so busy that there has been no chance for writing first we had to fix up the house a little for the summer then the cropps were to be attended to then the Breaking which has to be done while the grass is growing or the sod will not rot well; then the Harvest, we have had but little

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help Caleb cut the wheat with a Cradle and has worked out all but 7 dollars of the threshing by changeing with others we had two hundred and twenty nine bushels of excellent Wheat, we do not intend to sell any till after the first of Jan,y when we shal have to carry it only 9 miles to a Depot.

our Potatoes are verry good we have 43 bushels Pink Eyes and, 17 bushel [Carters] our Corn is not gathered yet. but we think we shal have 350 or 400 hundred bushels this is a great country for Gardens, you should be here to see for you cannot imagine unless you do see, what nice vegetables we can raise, we raised quite a variety this year we had Beets Turnips Carrots Cabbage parsnip

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onions, Tomatoes Ground Cherries Citrons pumpkins Squashes Beens Peas and such melons oh, I tell you there is some fun in eating wild Plum,s were plenty we had about 2 bushel and if we do not have Apples and Peaches yet we can get along very well without thinking the while if we live and are prospered we will have them in time we have got the Wigwam fixed up quite comfortable a small room on the back side for kitchen in summer and store room in winter we have also got the Stable in a little better shape than it was so that our Horses are kept as warm and comfortable as need be we have 2 cows and one calf and 3 Bay Mares to keep in it I have worked out

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and ran in the wind and sun shine till I am quite dark Caleb says that he shal go north instead of south on the account of my Complection, Lizzie has grown verry much since we came west her health is verry much better than it ever was in Vt still she is not quite well yet she has been to school the last summer the Teacher was a nice little Yanke girl her Father and Mother were old school mates of Caleb,s they came out here last fall their name is Clark, verry good People they are, we think ever so much of all our neighbors, and of the Country, oh it is beautiful, I wish you could be persuaded to come and see you could not help being pleased a man that has the Capital that you would have if you were to sell out and come West could make money very fast in stock, there is a great range for Cattle a great many Thousand acres in this County that arenot under improvement, of the best of Prairie

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and it is Pasture, and mow Field for any one, one of our neighbors has about 50 head of Cattle and will turn of as many as 30 this winter for Beef, and with the money received on them will be able to buy quite a number more for another year than he had this and so increas every year if we had the money to get the start I think we would do so but we have not now you could come out here and buy 160 (instead of 80) acres of excellent land, 5 acres of Timber get you a house built and then have money enough left to buy 50 head of Cattle now I dont want you to take my word for this but come and see, buy the first of Jan,y the Cars will run into Brooklyn

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only 9 miles East of us, and by the First of April they will it is confidently expected run into Grinnell 7 miles west of us passing us a little short of a mile south so that you would not be under the necessity of Traveling far on stages, it is an excellent time to buy Land now but it will probably double in value in one year good Prairie is offered for from 3.75 to 7 dollars according to location there was also a price set 16 dollars per acre on an improved farm only 1/2 mile from the College at Grinnell this fall, there was 120 acres, all enclosed a small house good water, and the Land nearly all broke. Grinnell is realy a flourishing Town, the inhabitance nearly all Yankee,s and the Iowa State College is permanently

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established there; they have a full Board of excellent Teachers all Eastern men altogether I do not think there are many Counties in the west where the society is better, or the educational priveliges greater than in this any way we are perfectly satisfied with our Location. we miss a great many comforts and conveniences still we enjoy good health and our prospects are good. if we had Capital we could money fast, but as it is we are quite contented with the prospect of a good liveing,

Levi is at the College in Grinnell he came here last June he has taken a school 4 miles from here for the winter, his health is verry good, Cornelius is in Ill,s he went to see Grandma

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last summer but did not stop long glad to hear that you have been to [   ] give my love to Aunt Lydia I should be verry glad to see you all, hope I shal sometime pleas tell Mr [Coddngs] Folks where we are and how well we like we wish they would come out here now is the time so as to be ahead of rairoad prices respects to all our Friends, maria and Mrs Lock in particular

Cousin Craig I was very glad to hear from you you have written twice and I have not answered you in particular but when I write I mean all so you will write again wont you and if I cant keep up writing why when you come west we will try it in Horse back riding we have a noble large bay which is to be the best and Fastest Troting Horse in the County and dont you think I can ride as fast as she can Trot dont you think I learn fast I had not been on a horse,s back since I was a little girl until last spring and I was at first afraid I would fall off when she walked, but I rather think that a run would not throw me now, oh this is a glorious Country such an air of freedom as these broad Prairies give one cannot be had in a Country like Vt, not that I would run down my native state by any means for I claim yankes yet I assure you write soon all of you and come and see us wont you

received a letter from Mrs French her little boy had been quite sick but is better,


received a letter from Ellen a while ago her health not very good had taken a school think the cause of her comeing west on account of disagrement with her Brothers Wife CC thiks she is in, consumption, have written to her telling her plainly of her Deceit and asking her to come and make a home with us and leave all Deceit behind I do realy think a great deal of her but dont want her to come and be good to my face and at the same time be writing to others that she is ill treated