December 22 1854

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 Sender: Martha Haun
Sender Location: Iowa
Recipient: James Haun
Recipient Location: Nelson Creek, CA

 

I this knight received
your letter of date the 12th & where do you think I now am
why sitting by WG Hauns fire side in Iowa
I will now tell you how I came to be here. in
the first place I wrote you that I had given up all
idea of going to cala. you have I dout not received
that letter. in that I gave you my reasons–
well this fall I thought I could come here & it
would cost me no more than to stay at home
as every thing was so scarce & so high & I would
pass of my time faster so I left Sam & bet and
there children in the kitchen & locked up the house
& the man that boarded with me Dr Handl has
his office where Alain Duval had his law of
fice adjoining the house he will see that every
thing goes on right. I attend to them & write me
every two weeks how they are doing. I have been
here three weeks or nearly so & got one letter
from him saying every thing was going on well
I wish you could see this poor little deformed Dr
[torn] boarded
with me & befriended me in little matters
I want you to see him I know him. you said to
me in one of your letters that you hoped I would not
fall that letter was the first one I received after I wrote
you I had gone to house keeping & that he was boar
ding with me. I know my sweet husband what
you thought & did not blame you but loved you for
it for that reason I want you to see him & know
him he is dreadfully deformed in the first place
& if he was ever so much inclided has not attraction
for any woman on earth. & more my dear husband
my heart has ever been two sad since you left
me to look upon any man living & have an evil
thought. had he not have been in the situation
he was I would not have taken him to board for
no one could or would think there was any impru
dence in it. my dear I have said this because I owe
it to you. but it has always been so delicate a subject
I shrank from it. but as long as I had to speak of
him I have at last said what I have long wanted to–
so now drop it–
now I will tell you a bout my trip & a bout
the Iowa folks- I left home on monday morning at
seven o clo & went on the stage to Paris eat my
dinner there & got on the cars for cincinnatti I
got there give o clo & stayed there until two the
next evening when I took the cars for Chicago I
got to Galena thursday & the sickest creature you
ever saw a vomiting every ten or fifteen minutes
riding on the cars made me sick like sea sickness
I did get intitely well for a week after I got off of the cars
I felt dizzy & stupid- I had to stay at Galena until
Saturday morning as there was no conveyance on fri
day. I then got in an open veighicle & went down
the river thirty miles to a little town called
Savannah. I never had such a ride in my life it
was so cold & the thing jolted me so much & the
keenest coldest winds I thought I should freeze be
fore I would get to savannah. I did not though I
suffered considerably I crossed over the mississippi
on a ferry boat between sundown & dark & when
out in the middle of the river I thought of how of
ten you & I had crossed that same stream to gether
& I wondered where & how you & my boy was & wiped
a way a tear. the snow falling thick & fast
on me the while. I landed at dusk on the Iowa side
at a little town called Sabuld six miles from W
G Hauns it was dark & cold & we had to stay until
Sunday morning when I got in to an open buggy & by the
time I got there I was chilled through. thy have the
coldest winds here I ever felt. I found them all at
home but WG he had gone to Lyons but come home in
the evening. they had just got into their new house
a large two story brick with fourteen rooms. but you
& I my sweet husband have lived more comfortable & much
nicer in a log cabin. they all seemed so glad to see me
Samy would look at me & then hug & kiss me a dozzen
times & said she was so glad I had come & Sant was so
kind to me & was as glad to see me as any of them-
Sant has broken very much he looks much older than
billy or you. he is the oldest looking haun I know of
GW shed tears when he met me & mads me so well
come Graves & Timy lives a bout a hundred & fifty yards
from the others & lives neat & comfortable Tim is industrious
& neat & a good housekeeper but has very poor health
I went over to Janes that evening Pauline Sant & me as
Nany & her had not visited for sometime but I had
them make up & they now visit. John Haun was lying
in the lounge at Janes with the ear ache & bad cold
he looks very badly. Will has paid John his money
or rather paid him what he owed him in lots in a
town called Lyons 12 miles from Wills he have him
20 lots for what he owed him & John stays in Lyons
the same John yet cannot live with any one in peace–
Sant is not in partnership with any of them he rents out
his farm & stays at Wills & putters a bout there
& helps when he feels like it he looks like an old man
& is very careless in his dress. they have laid a side all
their particular notions they used to have & get a long the
best they can every fellow has to wait on there selves-
Will has got up a new mill house frame & wants to it to
runing by spring. he says he is a good deal in det yet &
cannot attend to all his business himself. Graves will leave
there in spring I think from the way they talk they in
tend to settle in Lyons. Graves has undoutedly done well
by going there Will has given him a first rate chance
WG says he put in nothing when he can & he does
nothing compared to what bil does & his family is
furnished bountifully with every thing & they can & have
set as fine a table as I ever sat down to loaded with
every luxury–
Pauline has the hardest time of any one of the kin
I have seen out here. I feel sorry for the poor thing she
acts in the capacity of house keeper & cook I never saw
a better girl than she is & she is very smart she often
talks a bout John & will say Aunt do you think John would
love me if he was to see me. tell John of this Nany
has an easier time than any house keeper I know of
I do not know what bil would do with out her Pauline he would
have no comfort in his house with out her & she feels
keenly her situation but canot well help her self–
bil has a tolerably pretty place here. but they live back
woods fashion & the roughest looking set of people
the women all go in two hors waggons when they
visit. tell John I went a cross the road one knight
with all the kin to a ball & of all the dancing & dress
ed people & doings I never saw only a mong the
negroes in Ky & even they some of look & act as well
or better I know Calafornia is no worse it cant
be– now my dear husband my eyes are
red & swelled form crying for how can I read
a letter from you & not weep & to knight I feel
so disappointed since I read in your letter that you
did not intend to com home this spring now my
dear husband remember that I am getting a little
old & it is a critical time of life with me & that is so
long & hazzardous a journey for me to undertake a lone
or with out you with me to take care of me should
I get sick & I know from the way the cars make
me sick that I could not well stand a sea voyage
taking all things into consideration I think it would
be best for me to stay & try & wait patiently
your return. I cannot sumon up fortitude to
start that journey with you with me I do not believe
I would ever reach there since the cars made me so
sick. yet I mite but it would be expensive &
unsafe we were determined to make that our home
I think it would be better for me to stay here-
you must make allowances in my letters to
you for a show of my feelings for they frequently
get the better of my judgement. I sometimes
think that I must & will see you at all hazzards
though it would cost me my life & I express my
self so in my letters to you forI think I can
to you express every feeling of my heart & you
will understand it. that is the great trial I
have to encounter. my feelings getting the uper
hand of my Judgement. some times I get
a long very well & think it is all for the best
what we have done & look forward to the time
when we will all meet a gain & feel cheerful &
satisfied & a gain I get so anxious to see you that
I feel like I canot stand it any longer & some
times write when I feel that way & write just
as I feel at the time. now you know my dis
position or ought to as well as I do my self you
know my strong love for you & my child & at the
sametime you know my ambition & pride there
lies the struggle some times one has the supremacy
& sometimes the other. now I will say this to
you. to do what you think best. Wg thinks you
ought to stay a while longer if you are making
money & I ought to stay & take care of what we
have here- if you think you would like to live
there come home & make your arraingments & take
me with you or go any where else you may like so
you take me with you. I did not think hard of
you as you seem to think I did by asking you to tell
me what you had rather I would do- but I have
made up my mind no to go & unless you write
me that you expect to stay two or three years
longer I will not think of going so you can
know what to depend on & know how to make your
calculations. I think it would be sinful in me for
the love of money to expose my health & under go
what I would have to do in going to Cal when
I have but one child in the world & am getting old
so I will say to you to do what you think best
but do not look for me out there- you will
not my dear husband blame me I know you canot
from shrinking from the undertaking so make
your arrangements to suit your self & I will
abid then with out a murmer if I can & if
I should in my letters sometimes give way
to my feelings do not think hard of it. it is because
I love you & want to see you. tell my boy not
to forget his mother & to write to me occasion
ally– tell him Pauline wants to see him
very much I showed her his likeness & she
thought him very hansom & tell him I love
him as dearly as I do my life & want to see him
but I want him to do the best he can for himself
& if he is not contented & satisfied there
not to stay but come home & not to make
himself miserable & ruin all his happiness for
the sake of money unless he wants to do as he is
doing & it is his choice interely not to stay for
he can make his living almost any where but
I do not now in his young days want him to
distroy or make him self miserable on account
of money but if he prefers doing as he is doing
it is all right- continue to direct
your letters to Georgetown as I expect to be
there by the time I can get an answer to this
they all here send their love to you Will is not
at home nor wont be for two or three ays yet
do not suffer your mind to be worried a
bout me but do as you think best–
bet will have an other child this spring
if nothing hapins everything is joging on
in Georgetown as usual no news of interest
tell John I will write to him in a few
days now farewell my sweet husband &
sweet chid & think how lonely I feel when 
I say farewell to you but I must close I remain you
faithful wife- M Haun

[around the outside of the page] oh yes tell John bet Holtzclau & two or three other girls dressed up in mens cloths & promenaded the streets one knight just before left

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