July 15, 1843 -
It is sometime since I have written you,
and as long, I think, since you have favored me with a letter.
I now send you a sketch of East Florida, whereby you and all
the rest of the folks will see Thomas & my possition. It is roughly
drawn, as I had to reduce the scale from larger maps and do it
at different times as I had leisure. I have just returned from a visit
to Thomas - He is well and hearty and appears to be in good spirits.
He is living with Judge Steele and will do so probably until next winter -
They enjoy themselves in reading, and talking of future prospects & speculations.
Their quiet round is only broken by the arrival of vessels; when there
is an earnest inquiry for the news. I think I have got things in
such a train that Thomas will get into business there - in storing and
forwarding - which his father will understand. As for myself, I am
living as heretofore, boarding at a quiet place, when the only white
person is an old lady about 70 - She is very kind and motherly and
we get along in a quiet and easy way - no noise or interruption -
we sit down at the table, one at each end, as if we had nothing to
do with the rest of the world. But this quiet is very pleasing to me,
for my business is constantly increasing, and if I had as many
domestic cares as some folks I have seen, I should be in danger of
losing my senses - I presume your quiet round is not broken; although
you are not quite so lonesome since Warren's return. I sowed
some of the flower seed you gave me; but the dry weather and my not
being able to take care of them ruined the most of them. I hope you
cultivate your mind as well as your flower garden - Neither will shine
without cultivation. Most of the young ladies here can talk of nothing
else but dress and of neighborhood gossip and scandal.
[Editors Note: Running vertically along the same page]
I am afraid I shall live and die an old bachelor yet? Unless you can select
out a young lady you can recommend and who will marry without courtship
and take me like a pig in a poke I don't pretend to court the young ladies
here, but some of them court me a little; but it is "no go, or you can't come it"
as they say here -
July 19th I shall go to the Keys again in a day or two - The present
is an important time with Thomas and me - It is the tide of fortune which
must be taken at the flood, and I hope it may lead on to fortune in reality.
But I have learned to look at things a little more soberly and carefully than
I used to - and I think in this case I have had time enough to study
the matter over and over so as not to miss the mark very far if I do not hit the
center - As I have several letters to write this eve I must close this wishing
you plenty peace & happiness with out any experience of the changeable portions,
the expectations from friends and relatives, the hardships & trials to which I
have been subjected - Home home! How it sounds to the ear of one [---?]
off in a strange land, whatever may be his situation or prospects
My love to all
Your affectionate brother