23 August 2010

Letters from Ford to McNeill

Dear Hattie,

Well, I have not much time to write as the wagon train will be moving soon and writing while the wagon is moving is quite impossible. We have covered such a long distance, or so it seems. Caleb tells me we have to travel for 2 weeks before we get to the plot of land and cabin we have bought. I hope I can bear 2 more weeks of being jolted about in this small space my dearest Hattie! We received a letter just before we left from the last owners of the cabin and plot, telling us they had lately found a spring nearer the cabin, and had dug it out before they moved to Dakota. I was so overjoyed! The other spring they had previously been using was a good 90 feet away; I had told Caleb when I learned of the distance of the spring from the cabin, “Caleb, if I have to walk that distance everytime you would like a cup of coffee I’d very soon walk my poor feet off.”
But now my feet shall be all the better for their finding that blessed spring! I don’t know if we shall have any neighbours, Hattie. So writing to you will save me from becoming some kind of a wild hermit. The land I have seen so far has been dry and dusty, and there is no kind of vegetation whatsoever to be seen anywhere, but perhaps those dots on the hills are something of some sort.I must not make any assumptions for the wrong, Caleb says.
There are quite a number a ladies in this wagon train, but it seems that they are all above the age of 40, and talking to the likes of a a young girl such as me would be altogether outrageous. So Caleb and I talk amongst ourselves! But we always have so much to talk about, Cay is so excited about this move, he is like a little boy waiting for Christmas…Oh, Cay is calling me and it seems as though our ‘rest’ is over, so I must finish off this letter.
I miss you more than you can know my dearest friend. Please do write back and tell me how all is at home.

Your friend forever,

Sadie Ford

Dearest Hattie,

Well! It has been so long now since I have written to you, or maybe that is just my imagination. We had a delay as one of our friend’s wagons’ wheel was found one evening by Caleb, to be near breaking point. So it caused us to have to wait for an extra 2 days. But if it saved any lives then I am grateful.
We have another three days before we arrive at Long Lake town. The name is quite…well, is sounds almost Indian! But Caleb assures me there are no Indians close to where we shall be living. That was quite a relief I can tell you, Hattie. Not that I don’t like the Indians, but to be sure I know nothing of them, and that itself is my fear I think.
I am quite weary of this journey now, and I shall be so glad when I can lay my head down under a roof and have a real stove again. And have the blanket my mother made me out of it’s chest, and have your beautiful apron that you made me wrapped around myself again. Those things make a house a home. And having ones family and friends about you. I am so glad that Sally is finally getting married, it is about time too! I know I can trust you to help her arrange the wedding. Give her my most sincere best wishes. Please do send all my love to my dear friend, and tell her how I miss her! I can just imagine poor Ben Johnson’s face when Sally said she wanted the wedding for May, she doesn’t plan on waiting that’s plain to see.
I remember you and I arranging my wedding; poor Caleb was beside himself with all the talk of dresses, and cakes and sewing! You were such a constant help to me for those ‘arranging months’ as mother called them. And then! You, Hattie Williams, on the wedding day were such a sight to be seen, bawling your eyes out all the way to the front seat. Yes, I can just see you laughing as you read what I have just written.
Well, I must tell you before I finish, that I can see hills and some, however little, trees and vegetation in the distance. Though, the wagons make so much dust along the way, I can hardly see past the end of my nose!
Thank you for your last letter, I hope this one finds you well.

Yours Truly,

Sadie Ford


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