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At long last, after a trip to the Iowa County Courthouse in Marengo, Iowa, in the summer of 2007, I found the original letter in Richard Williams' probate packet! And buried in the thick stack of documents, I also found a letter from the heretofore unknown brother, John Jones, which explained why this Richard Williams' letter was brought back to the place from which it originated.

The search goes on!

See the old version of this page:

Previous Richard Williams letter page

1860 Letter from Richard Williams (1814-1860) to his brother John Jones


Williamsburg, Iowa Co., Iowa
       May 29th, 1860.

Dear brother,
            We received your two letters safely, the first letter took a long time to arrive I received the second within three days after it. We were very pleased to hear from you, and that you were well. We by the great mercy of the Lord are fairly well at present, though I was quite ill a short time ago but my strength is being restored quickly at present. I would be very happy to see you and your family coming here to settle, I have intended for you to have land from me, and for a lower price than any one else might have it. Old Man's Creek goes through my farm and cuts 35 acres off it and 3 acres of that is wooded, it is very favourable for setting up home there near the Chapel and the day school, and getting water and wood on

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land on the great prairies of the West is extraordinarily valuable. William your (thy) brother desires very much for you to have it. The land you mentioned before is not available, the man wants to keep it for himself. You may have the 35 acres from me for 200 dollars if you decide on the place after seeing it for yourself, and if not your money will be returned safely. We received the Draft for a hundred dollars and I shall be answerable to you for it until something shall be decided. With a view to your friend that you mentioned, who would like land near you there are 40 acres of very good land within 1 mile that he could have, and there are 120 acres a little further away that can be bought for a very reasonable price.
We would like to hear from you again soon to learn something of your trouble. It was very worrying to read in your letter the

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news from the old country, no doubt the sufferings of our sisters are great, in the world of disappointments, and we can no less than sympathise deeply with them. We cannot but hope that their fiery experiences may be the means of bringing them nearer to the Lord and to throw their burden and turn their face towards him.
        We send our most loving regards to you all in the hope in the hope (sic) that we may see one another's faces this side of the grave.

William your brother sends his kind remembrances to you.

I am, your faithful brother

        Richard Williams.

[Kindly translated by Gwawr Jones, June 2002]