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Cyrus Kurtz Holliday to Mary Dillon Holliday

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Topeka K. T. Dec 31, 1854
My Dear Mary –
The second service of to day having just been concluded I know of no better way to spend the remaining hour than to employ it in addressing you - Besides that I have resolved in my own mind that I would write to you at least once a week; and in carrying out this resolution I have written you every Sunday for the past five or Six Sundays –
Your second letter dated Dec. 15 – was handed me by the Revd. Lumm yesterday - It having come through very quick considering everything - A Letter from Mr Willson – and one also from my Brother – the Minister – also accompanied yours - of course I was overjoyed to hear from again & to learn that you were all well and

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doing well; but I must object to your lecturing me so much about my short letters – In fact, Mary, if you know the inconveniences under which I write you would almost excuse me from writing at all - I am now better situated for writing than I have been in, perhaps, any other occasion; and I am now sitting upon a trunk with a box (the one Ingram & I had our things in at Kansas City - He will recollect it) before me as my desk – at this moment the Minister who has just preached for us – and who is lying upon my bed, which consists of a handful of hay and a Buffalo Robe, by accident, has almost kicked my desk over - and while writing the last line I have removed twice – once to get out of our cooks way – and once to get nearer the door for light – our cabin having no windows in it - You will see

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from what I have said in the last few lines that writing is in no very desirable occupation - If it were I should long since have written to many of my friends; but as it is you, my dear wife, are the only one who has received anything from my pen – except Ingram & Drew – I have not even written to my Mother or Brothers –
But enough of this I will write to you weekly – oftener if possible – I will write as long letters as I can under the circumstances - I trust you, however, Mary, will not be governed by what I do in this respect, but write often, very often & give me good long letters at that - You have time & patience & convenience – and may depend upon it – a letter from you does me much – very much good indeed.

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I commenced a letter to Mr McFarland – the editor – the other day but have been unable to finish it from press of business - I am President of our city association and acting agent for the Mass – Emigrant Aid Co – These together with my own business give me as much as I can well attend to – But Mr. McFarland must & shall be attended to and that very soon - Please tell him so if you see him
My health keeps good – In fact I weigh more than I ever weighed-in my life before and 15 pounds more than when I left home –
Our living is very homely indeed – but no doubt is very healthy – at least I hope so

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You Pennsylvania people would be greatly surprised could you have a view of us as we find ourselves situated in this new Territory - In our new city - Where I now am - we number about 30 inhabitants all told – among whom there are no women or children - Our washing we get done as we can - For myself I am wearing to day a shirt that I put on two weeks ago and scarcely know when I will get a clean one. But this is all right. I would not exchange Kansas and its dirty shirt for Penna with all its elegance & refinement - Clean shirts & good living will come after awhile and then our territory will far eclipse

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anything you can find in the East. For instance take our Weather - The coldest weather we had when Ingram was here and we have had no snow since - Today there is not one particle of ice in our River or any of the creeks; and with a few days exception we have had no ice this winter - For the past 10 days it has been almost as pleasant as September- and this entire week we have gone about our work without our over coats and most of the time in shirt sleeves - Except to cook our vituals scarcely requiring fire - Thus it is in Kansas - Tis true we occasionally have a pretty severe wind

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but it does no more damage than to blow the dust a little around which makes us very dirty-
I cannot say yet when I will come home- I am trying to effect something that will be of some moment here before I come-
I cannot tell you what it is upon paper as it would take too long, but it will be all right if I can effect it and you will be the better pleased. If I [part has been cut from the letter]
turn yet from the position that I occupy

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in our city association
We are likely to have some trouble with some Missourians and it is necessary to stick together until all difficulty may be removed- We are in hopes of getting our Saw mill agoing soon – then we will get better houses - then I can write you better letters - I am hurrying through this as it is getting dark and Revd Lum by whose hands it will go leaves us before day tomorrow - You had better pay Mother a visit - You will find her [part cut out]
Direct to Lawrence, via Kansas City as usual - Love to all- From your loving husband

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