Atascosa, Bexar Co. Texas Sunday P.M. June 28/85 My Dear Father, This is Horace's birthday, _three years old today; and we have decided to celebrate the event by coming to a grand decision. It may surprise you and it may not, but after much thought and deliberation we have concluded the best thing we can do is to go back home; consequently we have decided to sail from Galveston on the Alamo of the Mallory line one week from next Wednesday July 8th. We shall be due in New York the 15th and expect to arrive in Boston one or two days later by the Fall River Line. I know you will want to know what _______________________________________ 2 has brot about this decision. I can only write briefly now, but will tell all the many particulars when I see you. It has all been just one series of dis- appointments. We are disappointed in the climate, in the people and in our prospects. _I have said nothing about these matters in my letters, but have always put the best side out, hoping that still in some way we might remain and attain the objects of our coming; but I find it of no use and hence our conclusion. Aunt Clair's ideas of the country are greatly exagerrated. I have no doubt of her sincerity; but she has been so long in the country and matters have improved ever so very much over what they were 27 yrs. ago that it seems almost like a paradise to her _____________________________________ 3 now. As to the climate. First, there are as sudden changes here as in N.E. as Adah has written you; and in winter I am told that when the frequent northers come that the changes are even more sudden and severe. Again, it is _not a _dry climate but decidedly _damp. From the time of our arrival up to about four weeks ago it rained about half of the time, and the air was continually filled with moisture, so that when we slept out on the veranda we had to cover up our clothing during the night so they would not be soaked in the morning, as it was we would find them still damp from the presperation they retained. Since the dry season began it has been dry in the daytime, everything is burning up, but the nights are __________________________________ 4 damp. Of course during this very hot weather we all perspire very profusely, and although we hang our under clothing over the backs of chairs they are just as heavy with moisture in the morning as they were the night before, so we have to draw on wet clothing every morning except Sunday. As to our health. Adah has lost one lb., baby 3½ lbs. Horace has gained two lbs. and I three. If Adah had been at home during this time and could have rested there as she has here, I have no doubt that she would have been just as well off, and she insists that I would have gained just as much out of doors there as here. Her appetite was excellent at first, then changed to fair, and for two weeks past she eaten but very little. Mine still continues very good. For a time after we came she coughed less but raised more, lately she has coughed more again ______________________________________ 5 and she still raises some. She says her lungs pain her just as much as ever they did. Very strangely, during the first six weeks of our sojourn I raised but very little, hardly any at all, but since then I have gradually raised more until I now raise fully as much as I did last summer. As to our disappointments in the people, their laws, mode of living, lack of advantages etc, --they would have no influence alone by themselves, but with other and more potent reasons they have a share in hastening our departure for the north. I have many strange and interesting things to say under this head, but I will reserve them until I see you. Our prospects for the future would be anything but encouraging. It was a very great disappointment to me when Perry wrote me that he could not come, for I still _________________________________________ 6 feel certain that we could have done well in one of these growing towns along the new R.R. I also think that I could make the poultry business pay well had I the capital, but with the sum at hand I had rather not venture especially when I consider these other matters with it. When everything else failed, I intended to try in town for a situation, but Uncle has been in town lately, and he and others bring doleful stories of dull times in San Antonio, and offer anything but encouraging advice to me upon that line. Now what do I intend to do? I don't know. I certainly don't want to go back in the store again if I can help it, but I may be obliged to. I have already tasted the benefits of ________________________________________ 7 out-door life too well to wish to get back in close confinement again if I can avoid it. I don't expect I could do much towards getting into business before fall, anyway, and so think after staying a few days with you we will go up country for a while, and a short stay there will certainily benefit us all, and possibly I may find an opening in a business way. We shall see you so soon that I will reserve all other items until I see you. Our best love to "Jennie" and to yourself. From Your affct son Fred. W. Cheney.