is 5½ x3 inches, has a three-cent stamp and a postmark "SALINA
KANS May 11" and is addressed to Mr. Robert Muir, Sparta, Randolph
Co., Ill. On the envelope is penciled Mar and May 1866, dates that appear
on the enclosed letters.]
18 March 1866 Salina
[Written on the top
margin of letter] I am short of paper tell father I am well pleased with
the mare. Nancy and the boy joins me in sending their Grandmother and
Grandfather & all the rest of the friends our love Your son R. Muir
I sit down to answer your letter and inform you that we have got a fine
big boy at our house. Twelve days old today. He is a remarkable fine looking
boy, at least Nancy and I think so. He is doing first rate and getting
quite fat chubby and able to make considerable noise when he likes. I
suppose he must take that after me as Nancy is naturally very quite [sic].
You can tell father it is another namesake for him and I would like first
rate if you were living close enough to come and see him. Nancy is up
and going about again and feeling pretty stout better than I expected.
She felt quite proud over the presents you and Ellen sent out by Johnny.
Well, Mother, I was glad to hear from John that you had got such a comfortable
house and was getting along so well in every other respect. I think you
ought to take things very easy now. I see no necessity in you and father
working away as hard as ever when you are just about out of debt. But
I expect you will work away the old way as long as you enjoy good health
and are able. John seems to be right well pleased with the country and
has bought a man's right to a claim close to the rest of us. He pays him
$500 dollars which is a pretty big pile, but all things considered I believe
it was the best thing he could do. I call it a good claim both on account
of the land location and the timber that is on it. He was down at the
land office and filed on it under the preemption act and intends to prove
it right away with a land warrant which he bought yesterday for 130 dollars.
He thinks it is the surest way for him to do since he cannot live on it
nor improve it much this summer and the homestead law when strictly enforced
required a man to either live on his claim or be improving it right along.
You may wonder where all the money is to come from. He turned his King
mare in at 150 dollars and I turned my sucking colt in at 100 and Willie
1 yoke of steers at 100 and I intend giving him all the money I can spare.
The price of the mare he brought me and his wages for 1 month will amount
to 140 dollars. Will try and make it 200. The rest he will get some other
way. There is close to 500 dollars of Mr. W. Addison's money here in Mr.
Camble's (Campbell's?) hands that he intends sending back soon. John would
like father to see Mr. Addison and try and get 150 dollars of it for him.
He can get all the security he wants. It will not make any difference
to Mr. Camble. Willie had a talk with him about it, write right of[f]
and let him know. Spring has opened and we are busy. We are all well.