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Samuel Clarke Pomeroy to Thaddeus Hyatt

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Atchison K. T. Oct 10 [1860]
Dear Hyatt
To day like yesterday is full of sad reports – Mr. Arny will send you copies of some of the letters from which you can learn their general character.
To day a man by the name of Budd came over from Grasshopper Fall – begging for work! Said he left at home a wife and four children, with only a half bushel of meal in the world! And no money to buy more.
I loaned him one bushel of your meal and he took it joyfully upon his back! To walk with it 26 miles. He said he would not have the meal as a gift, but would pay for it some time no work – From Topek-Shawnee came a man today – and is now stopping here all night (as he could not pay Hotel fare) He offers to work for one dollar pr day with his team! A good span of horses! I have encouraged him to start in the morning for Buffalo meat. They are very fat & fine now just above Fort. Riley.
I suppose 100 teams will start in a few day for Buffalo meat – The weather is so cold now, the meat can be easily cured –
I have to give them some meal to bake bread of on the Road and they feel quite well off – I am satisfied that there will be a tolerable supply of meat in Kansas – The “surplus cattle” as Seward called them – are the Buffalo’s!

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If I had not bought that lot of old corn with your money – I should now have been obliged to see & hear of all this distress without the means of relieving it – I can make these poor people no promises for the future. I tell them you furnished what little I now bestow. And you have gone East to see if others will combine their efforts with yours. Thousands of Gods poor are to night asking Gods blessing upon you – and hoping you will be abundantly successful – But be assured, that not less than 500,000 bushels of corn will meet the demands of this winter. Which at 20 cent pr bushel will cost $100,000, and it will take 150,000$ more to pay the expenses of Freight & carriage!!
You see the work of Relief is a great work and well may you say “Who is sufficient for these things.” I should despair, but for the fact – that our people have responded one and again – even the voice of Ireland was not left to pass unheaded! And the hands of our brethren shall not be stretched out in vain.
In Shawnee County Judge Elmore had the good sense to adjourn his court until next spring, he said they were too poor to pay costs and all judgments must be suspended. Your friend Hogeland has written me a letter of the same character of the one you sent to the N. Y. Tribune – but more gloomy & desponding –

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I hear of meetings in the western part of this County, where the distress ones are being looked after by their more fortunate neighbors.
Mrs. Pomery rode out 10 miles west today and reports same destitution in near prospect Mr. Servoss – an excellent family from N. Y. home we have known for years – and who suffered much during “border Ruffians” times – and never desponded – has a family – but all his large fields of corn have not yielded one bushel. He will have about 20 bushels of late potatoes and some squashes, and that is the winter supply, of a family who are every way worthy of good moral & religious character. And have been distinguished for industry & temperance!
A [xxx] [xxx] in the same neighborhood – has 9 children – and all bearfoot & destitute – But the good mother of this family said “She would not beg, until she saw they must die!” She will resort to every expedient, and “eat the bread of carefulness.” O how I feel, to see little white headed healthy boys like those, asking for Corn bread – or some “mush & milk.” And think of nothing better! And yet hear the mother say they “had not a weeks provision in the world.”
These cases are occuring in this Section of Kansas, where I told you, they could get along without aid. What shall we hear – when the Committee came up from Humbolt – LeRoy – Mound City – etc etc etc

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Even the papers at Leavenworth – that ridiculed your early effort begin to be alarmed – and say “Something must be done” – O I dread this long dreary despairing winter – But I must not, I will not leave, unless it be only for a few days to get aid for others – I shall be obliged to part with the last dollar I can raise – or see those who are coming to me for help actually die! And be no more! How can I do otherwise! But encourage them by dividing among them the corn meal on hand – and biding them trust God – and be of good cheer –
It has done a world of good to make the beginning you made by the few hundred bushels of corn you bought – They see the beginning of what they hope will be increased No one family has even asked for more than one dollars worth.
I am hoping soon to hear from you –
Truly S. C. Pomeroy

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