United States of America
April 12th, 1898
My Beloved Angee,
I left a letter at Baltimore for you this morning and had only time to add a few hurried lines at the close saying your letter and enclosures of April 1st has been received but not read. On reaching the Depot as they call the station in this country I had a few minutes to wait for the train and read yours and then had a quiet hour in the carriage to read them all – I was thankful and made happy I assure you to find that my scribbles were any comfort to you. I went out with Dr Wylie at Baltimore last night for a reading with a gentleman he knows and who is interested in the truth and soon after we were seated another person and his daughter dropped in – the person was once with open brethren in England but is now a Baptist minister in Baltimore – we read at Dr W's suggestion Ephesians 2nd and had a good time – the gentleman at whose house we were was a Christian among Presbyterians and evidently the spirit of God has kindled some interest in the truth. Neither Dr. W. nor myself cared much for the other – I could have told he was an open brother if I had not been informed of it but a very singular circumstance transpired and that was that some few years ago prior to Mr Stone's being connected with Mr Kelly he used to keep a large mission room going in the neighbourhood of Blackheath and Greenwich and this person was maintained by Mr Stone to preach the Gospel in it. I expect it was the place we had tea with Mr & Miss Stone and the Jubilee singers – Lazarus was with us too if you remember. Have been the round among the merchants of this City since arrival about 11.30 today and have actually taken two orders from the largest of them, so I get a little encouragement and pass on to Richmond tomorrow D.V. where I shall leave the letter from Saturday's mail. This is a splendid city and the weather is like mid-summer and hear that it is very hot in Florida. Have had a nice carriage all the afternoon as the distances were rather great. Martha's matter is a very disagreeable kind of thing but there is no help for it but to pay the demand – you will be able to let her have the sum I owe if she needs it. I will write to her by the next mail.
Dear Daisy – well done my child it is very creditable work and especially under the many disadvantages she has had to pull against. I expect her dear brother and sisters feel very proud of her to say nothing of what Father and mother feel. Well she must keep plodding away and go in for yet higher standards. It will encourage dear Angie too who I am sure will rejoice to hear of Daisy's success. Am sorry to hear Eliza has been poorly again – she soon rallies again that is a comfort, Very thankful to hear that all goes on peacefully at the meeting – I can quite understand how they all feel about it and shall be rejoiced to hear that Henry has pondered the seriousness of what he has been doing for a long time.
Richmond, Virginia April 13
You see I am getting South as they call it in this country and I have a pretty clear proof of getting nearer the equator from the increased heat. I had a comfortable ride here today from Washington in a Pullman parlor car, about 4 hours and came in time to call on leading grocers with whom I have made appointments for the morning and hope I may have some business to report – the appearances look favourable for the best of them but I must not reckon the chicken before they are hatched. The hotel I am staying at is one of the most gorgeous buildings think I have ever seen in all my travels – if I commenced a description of it the tale would be a long one, but I am told that it was built a few years ago – it is called the Jefferson by a millionaire a bachelor at an immense cost and he has also given to Trustees an enormous sum as a kind of endowment so that in the event of its not paying as a commercial undertaking it must be kept up and going as a first class hotel and any losses arising are met out of this fund he has left. There was a great hubbub y'day at Washington over the return from Havannah of General Lee – I see by the papers that thousands received him with great ovation and it is thought his presence and counsel are not making for peace but for war – I was amused when I read the account in the paper this morning that I should be staying in the very centre of the city at the Ebbett Hotel close to the Whit's House and like our dear old friend Betsy Holt I could say "never heard a word" – I went to my room after supper about 7 and did not come out of it until about 8 this morning. There is every appearance of war and I hardly know how it will affect my business. I am expecting here in the South to sell from London for shipment to some of the Gulf of Mexico ports, but in the event of war with Spain the war risks for insurance would be high and they are not absolutely safe in an English vessel as it appears Spain will have right of search and so America will have the same and destroy or confiscate the goods of either nation at War with each other. However, I go on by the day – I am hoping to leave here tomorrow night for Charlestown where Ernest Mead[?] made a grave for a few thousand of his Father's money – from there I visit Savannah and then Jacksonville in Florida and God willing shall hope to reach New Orleans by the end of another week unless any of these places should be marks for attack by the Spanish fleet in which case I should go North pretty quickly. The Americans are very proud and delighted to have the sympathy of England just now as they judge they have – I hear the cruelty and oppression borne by these poor Cubans for years has been beyond all description only it appears very doubtful whether the insurgents are capable of forming a government and hence America appears disposed to intervene by force if necessary so as to give the Cubans an opportunity of forming a government under the guidance of America who seem to be determined upon one thing and that is that it shall cease to be ruled by Spain any longer. It is said that McKinley is a Christian and has been much in prayer over the matter desiring to avert the horrors of war, of which it appears he has seen something.
I shall post this letter tonight as I hope to be busy tomorrow, so it will get to New York in good time for Saturday's boat. Well I have nearly filled up my paper so must conclude – much love to all our dear children and their loved ones – you must send them a little money for me now and then as you are the banker. The Lord be with you and believe me my dearest Angee with truest love.
Being very affectionate Husband