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Ford to Oscar E. Learnard

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Missouri City Nov 14 1860
My dear Learnard
Your letter of Oct 16th was received last week. It is the first letter I have had from Burlington since I left. I need not tell you how glad I was to hear from you nor how much I desire to get back to Kansas once more and settle down there for life. I think one summer spent in these mountains would effectually cure any one of a desire to remain in a gold country. What is life good for unless we can see some little peace and happiness in it, and I am quite sure that a person could enjoy more real comfort in one week in Burlington than he could here in a life time.
However I am here and am bound to remain somewhere in this region until I make enough to pay me for comeing here and some more if I can-- After that I shall make tracks for Kansas with all possible speed and if you ever find me in such a country as this again you may believe me to be crazy
I intend starting for Mexico in a few days with the intention of wintering there and trying some new mines which have just been discovered and which are said to be far superior to any thing in this part of the country. There is a great rush for

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those diggings now and probably will be all through the winter. T. L. Whitney with quite a number of Lawrence boys started last week. The Georgians which have thus far been the most successful miners here have nearly all gone.
The new mines are said to be in the San Juan Mountains, about one hundred and fifty miles south west from Taos and near the head waters of the Gila River.
Winter has come upon us here already and snow storms are of very frequent occurrence. Gultch mining is suspended for this year and many of the quartz mills have been obliged to lay up for want of water.
The idea of being frozen in here from now until the first of May is not at all agreeable to me and I hope to get into a warmer climate in the course of another month.
I know of little news here that would interest you. Townsend arrived some weeks ago. He has attached a small boiler to his engine and will be at work in a few days. Gibbs has traded his cattle for some claims on Russell Gultch and I think will do well another summer. Preacher Johnston is keeping a bakery at Canon City a small town near where the Arkansas emerges from the mountains. Pratt has gone to Mexico.

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We have received news from the States which indicates the election of Lincoln. We shall probably know certain in a few days. All we have yet heard was what was telegraphed to Fort Kearney By Wednesday morning
I should judge from what I hear that marrying was the order of the day in Burlington this summer and that it constituted the principal business of the town. Can you tell what possessed Burt to marry Lucy & wonder if he ever thought what he was coming to. If things go on much longer at the rate they have been going there will be a poor chance for me when I get back.
I will not ask you to answer this at present for I cannot tell you where to direct a letter.
When I get to Mexico I will write again and tell you the prospects there,
I learn that old Webster is in Taos at his old business
My health has been very good this summer. The ague still troubles me a little but not much
Remember me to all our friends
Most truly yours

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