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Ellen Douglas Denison Goodnow to Harriet Goodnow

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Shannon May 18th, 1856
My Dear Sister Harriet.
In answer to your inquiry Why do not my sisters write! I would say that we or I have written you, and sent it in a letter with your husband just before we received your letters to us, and knowing that your husband writes every week I feel that we have but little more to add that would interest. Still I feel your loneliness, and have spoken of it often, and thought I should have written before. Your dear mothers death must have been a great trial for you to pass through alone, and your loneliness great, But the consolations of the gospel of Christ can take away the sting, and you have proved that no trial is without its accompaning support. So it is with us here, where we have poor houses, and filled to over flowing, many very many vexations that we never had before, and I can say that out of them all the Lord keeps my spirit free, and I can say truly that I enjoy life as well here as I ever did any where, but not religious privelages and intellectual as I used to for which I pine. Lucinda just came in and says give my love and says I shall write if ever I get time. She has had two of Mr P’s brothers boarding with her for five weeks past, and probably will have all summer. They are getting in their crops and then intend to build. We all feel the need of their house very much. Perhaps it is as well for L. to be here at [xxx]

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as she is a little scarey about the war. and would not like to be alone. You need not worry any about us, for we are to far from Missouri and to near Ft Rily to suit their taste. I do not suffer near as much here as I should east with fear, for I think that it will be settled without much bloodshed, and if they do fight the eastern people must come to their, or our help. I don’t know but my husbands sickness saved him from going down to the call for help, and I hope he will be able to be about now if he dont work much. We have made first rate farmers thus far if we are slender, though he has been very well through the winter. I have barely been able to do what we find necessary to do without helping Lucinda any only taking care of the children, which are very troublesome
I find my washing and some of my work a full match for me, but have not been laid by but one a few day since I got over the ague. We should admire to have you visit us, and eat some of our new fashioned peas or Osage plumbs as they are called. We find them plentifull and as good as string beans or esparigus by the first of May. I think you would be enraptured with the splendid wild flowers, as well as the country and if it becomes a free state, and our city worthy of you, we shall some day have you for a neighbor. But what you gain there will not more than balance the novelty, and excitement of our new pioneer life which is not so despisable after all. I assure you we have our joys as well as sorrows. Now if you please just tell us whether you receive this, and answer if you think worth it.

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