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Cyrus Kurtz Holliday to Mary Dillon Holliday

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Direct as usual – to “Lawrence K.T.”


“Up the River” K.T.

Dec 10, 1854


My Dear Mary – I have thoughts that I could not spend this Sabbath morning in a more appropriate manner than in addressing another letter to you.  Consequently I will find myself at 11 o.clock A.M. seated on the lid of a trunk and writing upon the end of a half barrel keg – a little better fixture than where I wrote to  [XXXXX]  for there I had nothing better than the bottom of a pewter platter upon which I had just eaten my breakfast.  This will give you some idea of life in a New Territory.


I believe I addressed you last from Lawrence – I am near the city miles above Lawrence on the Kansas River assisting in starting a new town – We are just about in the central portion of the settled territory


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and with perhaps the best landing and the most eligible site for a city in the entire country – Governor Reeder stopped through our place day before yesterday and spoke very encouragingly of our enterprise – In hope all will go well – You can’t tell.  Mary, how glad I am that you are not with me.  What we have to endure is almost beyond belief and you never could have gone through it – It is a long time since I have seen anything in the shape of a bed – I have a Buffalo robe and two blankets in which I roll myself and lay down to rest upon the bare ground with boots, hat, overcoat and all our food is mush, molasses and bacon, mixed plentifully with dirt three times each day – That we live in Kansas – Let notwithstanding all this I have never had better health in my life – growing fatter


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and healthier each day.


A more lovely country, country I certainly never saw – and yet it looks worse now than at any other season – I am told by those who know that in the Spring and early Summer when the grass and mulberry and flowers appear it is beautiful beyond imagination.  So I think it must be – And in a few years when civilization by its magic influence shall have transformed this glorious country from what it now is to the brilliant destiny awaiting it, the sun in all his  [XXXXX]  will visit no land more truly lovely and desirable than this – Dear Mary, with Gods kind permission, it will make our home:  And I have every reason to believe a home it will truly be – I want you to tell Mr. Drew – Lowry and others the reason I have not written to


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them – That is the inconvenience of writing – and if you see Mr. McFarland  - the Editor – you may mention the same to him – I will try and write to them all before long – I do not know when I will return home, as yet.  As soon as things are so as not to require my attention here.  I will go back – but I find that it will be greatly to my advantage to be on the ground –


I have not had any letter from you yet – I hope, Mary, you will remember me often in writing.  You would appreciate this matter better if you could see how anxiously our men inquire for letters whenever a wagon approaches our cabin – Among others I inquire every time but as yet have had no favorable response – Please remember this – My love to all – Your loving husband wishes you much health and happiness.


C.K. Holliday

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