June 1st. -- The weather is cold as that of an October morning in New England. The stove, having been removed into the kitchen, as soon as the roof was on, we ate our breakfasts in a cold dining room, with large shawls and cloaks drawn around us. The wind was rising, and, as we attempted to accomplish necessary work by the stove; we found it almost impossible to keep any heat in it. We attempted to nail up buffalo-robes to break the wind, but they came down as fast as we could put them up. Some gentlemen, on the hill beyond us, newcomers looking upon the beauty of the country, seeing our efforts, came to our assistance; but their labors in curbing the wind were as futile as ours, and we only had the exercise and sport of seeing our plans fail. We were kept awake a long time, last night, by the barking of the wolves. They make a shrill, quick bark, and, when a number are together, the sound is deafening. They are harmless, however, always running from man. The most trouble they give us is in eating off the ropes with which we picquet out the horses at night. They eat them so smoothly as to look like being cut with a knife, and, what we have occasionally thought must be charged upon emigrants camping in the valley, in want of a rope, we find is wholly owing to the sharp teeth of the coyotes. Doctor returned yesterday from his tour west. Dr. P. heard of the death of his brother-in-law a few miles from here.
2nd. -- The first communion Sabbath since I have been here. As the table is spread, and the few members gather around, the promise of the Savior, "where two or three are gathered together in my name, there will I be in the midst of them," seems peculiarly significant and impressive. He knoweth those who seek to follow him, and with his strength will aid their weakness. We hide the promise in our hearts, with new lessons of humility, and go out from the "upper chambers," striving to learn aright the meek, suffering patience of Jesus, which will fit us to be his coworkers here. The gem of patience is among the greatest of the Christian virtues, and blessed is he who wears the jewel in his heart.
3d. -- Doctor has gone to a funeral some miles away. If he does not go himself, on all such occasions, his carriage does. The person now dead clung to her jewels. She wore bracelets, rings, etc., until her last breath. Life to her must have consisted in externals; and a weary home Kansas must have been, with its cotton-wood, "shake" cabins, bare floors, and general discomfort.
There has been a good deal of cholera a few miles from here, mostly among Missourians. They lived in most abject filth, and drank of the stagnant water in the bed of the Wakarusa, when the water was at the lowest, from ten months' drouth. One instance of sickness seems almost incredible among civilized people, but there is no doubt of its correctness. The father and mother were ill -- very ill. The cabin was very small, untidy, and would of itself almost breed disease. Dr. A. proposed that the children, who were adults, should occupy a tent near by, for their own safety, and yet attend upon the sick. The next morning, what a sight met the kind physician's eyes, as he entered the cabin! One of the parents was lying on the bed, dead; the other was still living, though with little breath left. A little water was standing by the bed; and no one had been in but once since the time of the doctor's leaving the day before. Thus forsaken of their children, they died. Such heartlessness, such barbarity, we can scarcely believe would exist among any people.
6th. -- With a friend, who has been several days with me, I visited one of the early pioneers. She lived three months in a cloth tent, and now resides in a log house, which she renders pleasant, by her tact hiding every rudeness. She talked gayly of their tent life, and we learned much of the roughness of pioneer life at the outset.
We staid so long, that E. was fearful we were lost on the prairie, and was just about setting lights in the windows for our guidance, as we reached home. Getting lost on the prairie in the darkness is an easy matter; and it has happened here, several times, that persons have wandered around nearly all night, trying to find the town, when at no time they were more than half a mile from it.
7th. -- Mr. H. was very ill with an attack of pleurisy. Doctor being absent, I felt anxious, yet did the best I could. A mustard plaster and some simples removed the difficulty of breathing, and he slept quietly. He said he never was as sick before, but I was thinking he imagined himself sicker than he was just before night, and as I was wondering where E. could be, she came in, pale and almost breathless, with just enough left of life to say, "O, that rattlesnake!" I laughed at her at first; but being convinced that seeing a snake of some kind was a reality to her, and not quite liking the idea of their making a home in our neighborhood, we started out with shovel and hatchet for a battle. The spot where she saw him was very easily found, as the pail she had in her hand, while coming up the path from the spring, she set down when she came upon him. She had heard a buzzing noise, like that made by a large grasshopper, for some minutes; but her attention was attracted by a small bird flying backward and forward across the path, and no great height above it, and did not, therefore, perceive the snake until she was within a foot of him. Hastily setting down the pail, as he lay there coiled ready to spring, she took another path to the house. We looked along both paths, above and below, and far out on the hill-side, but found nothing. His fright was undoubtedly equal to hers, not being particularly partial to the cold bath she gave him in getting down her pail so hastily.
9th. -- Leave home early to spend the day with a sick friend; find her quite ill, lying on a straw pallet on the floor. One small window and door, at the other end of the room, afforded all the air there was; and about everything there was a general look of discomfort. Many a person in health has bravely battled with the ills and privations of Kansas life; but when the pulse throbs with fevered heat, and disease is making a wreck of one's self and every energy, the mind turns sadly backward to the pleasant home, and yearns for the kind friends there with an irresistible longing. With baking for the family in the sun's glaring rays, and taking care of the invalid, I was weary, and thankful for our own home-roof, which has more of comfort.
10th. -- Was awakened by a little tree-toad on my pillow this morning. He must have climbed up the low roof of the ell part, and in at the window. I found a mouse in the tub, and a swallow came into the kitchen flapping his wings wildly, and seeming much frightened, as we were at breakfast. I am wondering if all the "four-footed beasts and creeping things " have appointed a place of rendezvous upon our premises; and suggest, laughingly, that "the rattlesnakes will come next." Scarcely had we finished breakfast, before the cry from near the wood-pile was, "Here's a snake!" It measured about eighteen inches in length, was ugly looking, and had four rattles.
The people are talking much of what shall be done in view of the oppression forced upon us. Men armed with guns, revolvers, and bowie-knives, from another state, have carried the elections, driving the actual settlers from the polls with threats of certain death. A memorial, stating these facts, has been sent on to Congress; but no relief comes -- no promise of any. This Legislature soon proposes to hold its session, and enact laws for the people of this territory. They, many of them residents of Missouri, and all of them elected by Missouri votes, ignorant and brutal men, having gained their election at the point of the bowie-knife, intend to enact laws to govern an enlightened and intelligent people. The question is, shall the laws, whatever they may be, be boldly repudiated as no laws for us, the makers being not of us; or shall the matter be delayed until the so-called Legislature meets? A few days will decide the course to be pursued by our people; and whatever is done will be done thoughtfully, and with a view to the greatest and most permanent good of the country.
12th. -- It rained gently all the morning. In the afternoon the clouds cleared away, and we took a pleasant tramp over the hills. We met a party of Indians. Scarcely a day passes that motley groups of Delawares are not in our streets. Instead of going to Missouri for their groceries and clothing, as formerly, they come to Lawrence. They are very friendly, and look upon the rapid growth of the little town near them with as much apparent surprise as we would upon actual creations like the brain- pictures in fairy tales.
Large stone buildings, which would be an ornament to any place, are fast being erected, while buildings of humble pretensions, of wood and stone, are springing up with a rapidity almost equaling the wonderful genius of Aladdin. We can count already fifty dwellings erected since we came; and the little city of less than a year's existence will, in intelligence, refinement, and moral worth, compare most favorably with many New England towns of six times its number of inhabitants.
Many people were in, in the evening. The wind was blowing, and I heard a rustling near me. I looked, but saw nothing. An hour later, as I relinquished my seat, and went to make arrangements for extra beds, a gentleman very positively said, "I hear a rattlesnake." Near where I had been sitting, the yellow-spotted reptile had crawled in between the last floor-board and the siding, and already his head had reached the window-casing. We had serious objections to his farther progress towards the chambers, or to his greater length of days. After a moment's more envenomed rattling, all was still. Like the other, he had four rattles, and was undoubtedly looking for his lost mate. One of the gentlemen, Judge Conway, to whom the front room had been appropriated as a sleeping apartment, the mattresses being removed each morning, felt nervous about such companions for bed-fellows, and, to be prepared against the possible contingency of another similar visit, turned his boot-tops into one another upon retiring.
15th. -- We heard at midnight the rapid approach of a horseman, and soon the loud halloa, with a western brogue, sounded at the door. A friend was very ill with cholera, and "the doctor must go immediately over." He hunted up his horse on the hillside, and went, first sending to another physician down street to be there as quickly as possible, as he had no medicine. Friends in the East know nothing of the evils which lie around the path of the new settler when sickness comes. Surrounded by the aids which science has brought to bear against disease, and by all the blessings of a thickly settled community, they cannot realize how death stares one in the face often in these isolated spots, when the case is urgent, and help far away.
In this instance the husband had left home, early in the evening, to attend a meeting in Lawrence, some two miles distant, leaving with his wife, who was but just recovering from illness, a young friend. Over-exertion during the day had somewhat prostrated her, and now cramps and the most urgent symptoms of cholera came upon her with fearful severity. What could be done? They were a full half-mile from any neighbor. It was night, and there was no one to send for help. Every remedy which the house afforded was tried, with poor success, the patient losing courage with her loss of strength. At ten o'clock her husband returned, and, seeing at a glance the need of instant relief, started for a neighbor, who went for a physician.
17th. -- The doctor brought up a nice side-saddle from town, and, upon my asking whose it was, he replied, "It is a present for Mrs. R." To my question, "From whom ?" he said, "From him who gets her the most of her things."
" Old Gray " was soon saddled, and I was on his back to find my way over the prairies to spend another day with sickness. Towards evening, as the horse was saddled, and I was ready to return home, we noticed some threatening clouds, and a shower just upon us. As it promised to be but slight, and of short duration, I concluded to remain until it had passed, in preference to a drenching, and two miles' ride in it. The shower once commenced, there seemed no end to it; and, when an hour had passed away, the wind was still blowing in unabated fury, the rain falling in "rivers of waters," while there was one incessant peal and crash of thunders and the whole heavens a perfect blaze of dazzling light. I abandoned all hope of seeing home that night; and the question now was, how could we avoid being wet by the rain, which came boisterously in from the north. For a while I sat and read, in the corner most removed from the exposed side; but the wind suddenly shifted, and by agility alone I escaped the deluge pouring in from the east. No place was now secure but the little corner where the straw pallet lay, with the sick lady, weak and nervous, tossing restlessly, and wishing the heavy shower would cease. To avoid cold and sickness, wrapping myself in blankets, I lay down upon the bed, which we supposed the rain would not reach. In all previous showers this had been the dry corner; but the rains were searching. Soon, buffalo robe upon the bed, and umbrella spread over our heads, so arranged that the water should run off on to the floor, was our only protection. Yet we slept at last, wearied out by the furious raging of the elements, and hearing, as the last thing, the pattering rain-drops upon the umbrella.
18th. -- The morning sun never shone more brightly than now. We found everything in the house damp, but had taken no cold. The cholera patient was doing well. The gentleman of the house assured me he slept well, but it was a mystery to me where he found a dry nook. Had a fine ride home in the early morning light, which gives to every object a double value. "Old Gray" nibbled at the "compass plant," which always points northward in these prairies, occasionally cropping its bright yellow flowers with a satisfied air as he trotted along. The rattlesnake weed was also blooming in profusion. Nature is ever mindful of the needs of her children, and provides an antidote against the bane of rattlesnakes, and a sure guide over the wide prairie in the compass plant. When I reached home, found the doctor gone to attend upon a broken limb. A man, in rafting logs down the river, had met with this misfortune. The doctor has many calls professionally, and, though he assures them all that he is not now a practicing physician, he looks in upon many to advise them.
19th. -- It was just eleven and a half by the clock when a carriage-load drove up from Kansas city. We completed our work at four, P.M. We had more company over night. We had arranged a cot bed to sleep on for the night in the dining-room, and I was just planning my morrow's work before I slept, when the window came in with a frightful crash. With a quick spring, we avoided the effects of broken glass, which fell on the bed and all over the floor. The window was not permanently cased, and the heavy wind of the Monday night previous had loosened the nails.
21st. -- A gentleman, just up from Kansas city, brought me some letters which I had long expected, and which have been lying there for weeks. He brought intelligence also of Stringfellow's attack upon Gov. Reeder for the maintenance of an honest opinion. Preparations are being made by our people to celebrate the coming Fourth of July. At this time, when Freedom is but a name; when three millions of human beings, created in the divine image, are sold as chattels in a country boasting of liberty; when the two hundred thousand slave holders are using every endeavor to enslave the twenty-five millions of our countrymen, and we in Kansas already feel the iron heel of the oppressor, making us truly white slaves,-we will celebrate it by a new Declaration of our Independence, and in the God of our fathers trust that he will lead us safely through this Red Sea of evil, until we plant our feet securely on freedom's bulwarks, having passed from this worse than Egyptian bondage.
July 4th. -- The morning of the Fourth came in cloudy, yet pleasant. Word had been sent to the people on the Wakarusa, and many were expected. Invitations also were sent to the Delaware and Shawnee Indians to mingle in our festivities. From the elevated position of our house we saw the people gathering from all quarters. Several teams, of oxen as well as horses, the roughness of the vehicles being hidden under garlands of green leaves and flowers, came in from the Wakarusa. A beautiful flag was presented by a Massachusetts lady to the military companies of Lawrence, in an appropriate speech, in behalf of the ladies of Lawrence. After its acceptance, the procession formed upon Massachusetts street and was escorted by the military to a fine grove about a mile from town. Here, in one of Nature's grand old forests, seats had been provided, and a platform raised for the orators and other speakers, for the singers and musical instruments. The number present was variously estimated from fifteen hundred to two thousand. It was a motley gathering. There were many people with eastern dress and manner, and settlers from Missouri, and other far western states, no less distinctly marked by theirs. The Delawares and Shawnees added no little to the interest of the occasion. After the reading of the Declaration of Independence, whose embodied truths seemed to have gained new vitality, new force, since we last listened to it, came the oration. It was, for the most part, a gathering together of the opinions of southern men upon the vexed question of slavery. There were confessions as to the relative value of free and slave labor by some of their best educated men. There was a most perfect condemnation of the whole system from their own mouths. Then the question of our own position, in regard to the encroachments of a neighboring state, was touched upon, with the firm determination to assert our rights, and maintain them.*
*The following is the conclusion of Dr. R.'s oration:
"Fellow-citizens, in conclusion, it is for us to choose for ourselves, and for those who shall come after us, what institutions shall bless or curse our beautiful Kansas. Shall we have freedom for all the people, and consequent prosperity, or slavery for a part, with the blight and mildew inseparable from it? Choose ye this day which you will serve, -- Slavery or Freedom, -- and then be true to your choice. If slavery is best for Kansas, then choose it; but, if liberty, then choose that.
There were speeches, songs, and sentiments. We received friendly words of welcome from the chiefs of the Delawares and Shawnees. They were glad to see us coming, not with the hatchet and sounds of war, but bringing with us the sweet fruits of peace and civilization. A long day was quickly passed -- the first Fourth of July in Kansas celebrated by its white settlers. In the evening a party of about one hundred was gathered, to strengthen yet more the bonds of social feeling, in our largest hall, which serves the purpose of church, school-room, and hall for all political and social meetings. We had refreshments of cakes and ice-creams, and our house full, as usual, at night.
5th. -- A little child is dead. The family took the small-pox while on the Missouri river, some two months since, and this child has never recovered from the effects of the disease. We carried a friend to her home on the prairie, and called for the minister to attend the funeral, leaving doctor asleep and alone. We heard at evening that Dr. Wood (who had previously attempted to cut down our house, and was afterwards appointed Probate Judge by the Shawnee Legislature -- who was continually with the enemy at the time of the fall invasion, and in the crowd which attacked and killed Barber, and, since removing to Lecompton, procured the indictments for treason) was very angry about the oration on the fourth; also young Andrews, a South Carolinian, and liquor-seller. They both threatened that they would take the doctor's life; but a person in this country soon gets accustomed to such assertions. They mean nothing when uttered by these men, and only prove their utter cowardice. They reported that the doctor was afraid to go down town, while in the simplicity of his heart he had been taking a most quiet nap upon the lounge, with windows and doors open, and alone in the house, not awaking, from the time I left for a two miles' drive, until my return.
7th. -- With a carriage-load of ladies I drove on to Dr. B.'s, four miles away. The last part of the way was rough and hilly, reminding one more of Massachusetts hills than anything I had seen since coming to Kansas. For a mile we made a gradual ascent up hills, which look so wondrously New England like, that we forgot we were strangers there. From the house we took a tramp of half a mile down to the lake, and were well repaid for all our labor and fatigue of descending and climbing hills by the beautiful views continually meeting our eyes at every turn in the winding path. There were high, conical-shaped hills, bearing on their tops forest trees, with dense, thick foliage; at the next moment a little shady nook, with silvery rivulet murmuring over its pebbly bed, would peep upon one's sight. A high ledge, with a cool spring gushing from its side, and flowers overhanging it, came next.
Our guide took longer steps than we, and seemed more used to traveling in the woods, for I had scarcely time to see all I wanted to, get over places dry-shod, and climb up the steep hills, before he would be far out of sight. However, if I kept the last straggling one of our party in view, I felt safe. When we all finally came together again, as they at last waited for me, our guide was coming from the lake with his hands full of most beautiful flowers. They were larger than a white pond-lily, and much more beautiful, with the same sweetness. The Indians call the flora "Yonkopen," and they live, at some seasons, upon the seeds of the plant, of which there some eight or ten, of a nut-like appearance, in each seed-vessel. The Kaw Indian women often wade into the water for them as food. Dr. B. informed us there were enough in this little lake for the subsistence of six or seven families for weeks.
Last night some of the gentlemen whose love for slavery was outraged by the out-spoken words for freedom, uttered on the fourth, with guns and pistols, and many muttered threats of revenge, started from town to give us a call. Their discretion was probably greater than their valor, and it might be that the effort of climbing this hill would at least give time for the cooling of their rage.
8th. -- Sunday we had company, but they all attended church. How I wish we could have one old-fashioned, New England Sunday, with the ringing of church bells to call us to service, and quiet at home! We are full of company at all times, not excepting even Sabbath day. We now have meetings every Sabbath at five o'clock, at the house, or, as the notice was given, "under the shadow of Dr. R.'s house." The ladies sit in the front room, the gentlemen outside on benches and in carriages, while the preacher stands in the doorway.
"Old Gray" was an attentive listener to-night. Just after the beginning of the service he came around the north side of the house, and took his station close by the speakers, where he remained until the last prayer was said, when he as quietly walked away.
10th. -- Yesterday the doctor, Mr. L., and G., went down to Kansas, stopping at Shawnee Mission and Westport. A gentleman at the former place, a pro-slavery resident of Lawrence, said to G., "Is the doctor going to Westport?"
Upon his replying in the affirmative, the gentleman said, "They are going to hang him there."
With characteristic naivete G. replied, "Is that all?" and his informant, turning on his heel, walked away.
The doctor, after looking in upon the grave legislators who hold their sessions at the Shawnee Mission School, but who ride over and back in omnibuses from their homes in Westport, to his satisfaction, pursued his way to Kansas city. There, friends informed him that Dr. Wood had been there attempting to arouse the bitterness of the pro-slavery men against him; that they might offer him some violence. Having completed his business at that place, he came again by Westport on the following day, stopping, as before, at the mission. He saw Dr. Wood there, who was complaining that the stage for Lawrence had gone, and he had no mode of conveyance home. The doctor said to him, "Here is a seat in my carriage, if you like; " at the same time jocosely adding, "but we may get to fighting."
To which the dignified Dr. Wood offered no reply, though his hand seemed to have a strange affinity to something in his coat pocket. The doctor came on to Lawrence without fear or molestation, and wholly alone.
19th. -- We rode into the country some miles, to dine. We had vegetables, peas, etc., with pumpkin pies for the second course. They were veritable pumpkins, -- such as make a New Englander think of home and Thanksgiving holidays, -- ripened this year. On our way home we called at another friend's, and, to shorten distances, went across the prairie where there was no road. We found several deep ravines, difficult to cross, but with no actual danger save at one point. There was a deep ravine, with a natural path, or bridge, over it, which was exceedingly narrow, while the chasm below looked frightful, and the bank before us very steep. The doctor thought he could drive safely over. I calculated the chances of broken limbs. should we go off the ledge, and the frightened horse, with an extra pull and a creaking of the carriage, took us again on to safer ground. A short time after, we were passing along quite gaily upon a side hill, thinking the perils of the way were over, the carriage suddenly slipped down against the lower wheels, but we arrived home safely and in good time.
20th. -- We heard of the illness of some acquaintances over at Wakarusa, and I accompanied the doctor to see them. We had a pleasant drive over, though the crossing at the Wakarusa is steep. The little dry ravines beyond are more trying to springs. Our friends live upon the top of "Lone Tree Mound," a high elevation, the "lone tree" and house for many miles being distinctly visible. It is a difficult matter to reach the summit of the hill, and was accomplished by winding around a circuitous way upon the side hill, with the carriage, while the doctor climbed up upon foot. We at length reached the house, and found our friends glad to see us. So far as they are from neighbors, and so difficult of access when sickness has been upon them, one or both, the times have indeed looked dark, and life's road dreary. They sent for the doctor several days since, but the word had but just reached him.
Hoping to find a better road home, we turned into another, but found it infinitely worse. In the bottom of one ravine "Old Gray" made a false step, and fell, breaking both shafts. Yankee ingenuity was brought into requisition, and after tying on poles with anything in the shape of strings which could be produced for the emergency of the hour, and a good deal of merriment, we were en route again. Before the cutting of the poles, there was a most amusing silence. The horse, having been led up to the top of the hill, was looking meekly for further orders. The doctor was standing near by, with his hands upon his sides, and looking the very image of patience, and poor little me, feeling like laughing, and yet feeling sober in view of remaining all night with the prairie wolves, in such a place as this, sat demurely in the carriage. Finally I said, "Shall I get out of the carriage?" And the image of patience came forward, saying "Yes," and assisted me out. I knew then that in some corner of his brain there was a plan for new shafts, and a sure prospect for our return to luxury. Within two miles of Lawrence we called at the place where we got our weekly supply of butter, which is of the best quality. While the lady of the little log cabin was weighing it out, her husband came to the carriage, and, after talking a moment, went in again to play us some tunes. His fondness for music amounts to a passion, and while living in Ohio he often taught music. He has a large dairy here.
About a mile further on our way home, two gentlemen on horseback, coming from the direction of Lawrence, rode hastily up, and, with a good deal of excitement in their manner, informed us that a large body of Missourians were encamped near Hickory Point; that they threatened to drive off the free-state settlers; and, lastly, that a fight was expected. They desired the doctor to use his influence with the people of Lawrence, to have a force sent out immediately to aid their neighbors at Hickory Point. He said to them he had thought it was a ruse, and promised to do nothing until more reliable information should come. One of the gentlemen, who has always been famous here for his words of bravado, and want of bravery in action, said, on parting, "I will send an express every hour."
22nd. -- The military companies are on drill today. A friend sent us a basket of mandrakes. They have a pleasant flavor, but are quite medicinal. The gentleman's "express" is not yet heard from.
A gentleman, living nine miles distant, sent to the doctor this morning to come and see him. He found him quite ill with fever, in a little cabin, alone, with no one to take care of him. So, placing the bed in the carriage, he brought him home with him.
23nd. -- The patient was not injured by his ride, but his nervousness exceeded all bounds. We had a quantity of delicious apples. Apples were first brought into market here on the fourth of this month. A large pailful of grapes was also sent in. These are smaller, and not as sweet as those which ripen in October. We had rain with furious wind beforehand. Such clouds of dust arose as to hide the town from our sight. Several panes of glass blew out, and, in attempting to put boards at the window, to keep out the pouring rain, we were thoroughly drenched. The little calf in the pen seems frightened too, breaks his rope, leaps the fence, and scuds before the wind like a frightened hare. We have a general hubbub. Mr. C., a lawyer here, was assaulted by Dr. Wood, this afternoon. Dr. Wood invited Mr. C. to his house, saying he wanted to talk with him. On reaching the house, however, he declined to go into it, and took Mr. C. around on the east side of it, and there they sat down. Dr. Wood then asked him if he thought so and so in regard to the settlement of the city property, making his own action in the affair fair and honorable. Mr. C. said he thought not; whereupon Dr. Wood struck Mr. C., with a piece of iron, or a slung shot, upon his head, cutting a deep gash in it. He then ran. Mr. C. soon came into the street, and, as the brave doctor was picking up a stone to throw at the wounded man, several of the citizens gathered around and put an end to it.
24th. -- We were scarcely up this morning before word came that Mrs. L. was dead or dying. She was taken ill last evening. Two of the children are also dead. It is thought their deaths were occasioned by eating very freely of mandrakes yesterday - a disease like cholera being the result. Remembering her as I saw her in the little, pent-up cabin, I can but think the change a glorious one, for now there must be room, room for the freed spirit, earth's fetters broken. There are now two motherless little girls. The mother and youngest two are buried in one grave.
28th. -- As a relaxation, being wearied with constant company and continued care of so large a family, with want of quiet, the doctor proposed a ride to Fish's. With a full carriage load, we made the proposed visit. Fish's is a sort of stopping-place by the way, nine miles from Lawrence, and between thirty and forty miles from Kansas city. Entertainment for man and beast is found there. The building is of wood, two stories in height. Upon the lower floor are a dining-room, which is also used for a general reception-room, and a store of groceries, dry goods, and the etcetera, needful to supply the Indians in this region, while the upper rooms serve for sleeping apartments. The worn traveler, after a ride of thirty-five miles, in the broiling sun, or in the piercing winds, is glad of a rest, even in a building so unhomelike as this.
Mr. Fish, who owns the establishment, is a Shawnee Indian, of education and principle. He is a firm believer in the assertion of the Declaration of Independence, that "all men are born free and equal," and gladly extends the right hand of fellowship to those who come desiring to plant the seeds of truth and freedom in this new country. He would, with us, joyfully welcome the hour, when, grown into a mighty tree, its spreading branches should cover the whole land. Two gentlemen connected with Fish are from Boston. Mr. F., who superintends the culinary department is from Massachusetts, and our appetites attest to his skill in that line. Some Indian women, who came to the store to trade, sit at the table with us. We talk of their dress and ornaments, not supposing they can understand us, while they gravely listen. When we have ceased commenting, they repeat to Mr. Fish, in Shawnee, what we have said, as he tells us; they seem much amused and laugh heartily. They have the advantage of us, being able to speak English as well as Delaware and Shawnee.
July 31st. -- We have had rain as often as every alternate day, for the last week, in gentle showers mostly, and often at night, the days being clear and pleasant. A part of our guests left a few days since, and on the next day, on a short half hour's notice, we had six gentlemen and a lady to dine. We have now very nice melons. The melons, cantaloupes, tomatoes, etc., are finer than any I have ever seen elsewhere. Four more strangers were in, in the afternoon, and we were not able to finish our day's work until sundown. Today the doctor and I took a short ride on horseback, to get away from care. We found other company, on our return, just returned from the regions of Fort Riley. The cholera is making terrible havoc there, among the men principally engaged on the government works. They are said to have exposed themselves most wilfully, by drinking of poor water, when at a little distance the best was to be had. Major Ogden, a most estimable man, has fallen a victim to the dread disease, also some families of the officers. This afternoon I have been off upon the prairie alone. I was two miles from home at sun-down, and, before I reached it, could not see the path for the darkness, but trusted to "Old Gray." The sick man is so far recovered as to leave.