Narcissa October 1847Crystal Calhoun
Oct. 12th, 1847.
Two men are at this place on their way to the States. One of them, Mr. Glenday, intends to return to this country next spring with his family. I have importuned him, and made an arrangement to have you accompany them to Waiilatpu. Now Jane, will you do it? I know you will not refuse to come. At least I feel that you must and will come. I wrote you last spring and told you that I was expecting you and E. this fall, and I have been looking for you in every company that have passed. But I have not seen you nor received any letter from either of you. But a week or two ago when I was on the Utilla river, I saw an individual that told me that he had seen a brother of mine that was near Independence with his family, that he was intending to come to Oregon this season, but could not get ready, but would come next year. He furthermore told him that he wished to send a package to us, and would go to his house and get it, which was five miles distant, if he would bring it. This individual said he promised to bring it and would have waited for it had it been possible, but the company with whom he traveled started before he expected and he was obliged to leave before he returned with the package. From his description, I was confident that it was Brother Harvey, and you can better imagine than I can describe, the joy I felt on receiving such intelligence. I have also received a letter from father and Brother J.G. They tell me that H. was in the West and that you were with him. Mr. Glenday tells me that there is a teacher in Monticello Seminary of the name of Prentiss, and he thinks it must be you. I am at a loss to know where you are. I write you every spring, but I am not informed if you ever receive my letters.
I will not give you the arrangements we have made with Mr. Glenday to have you come immediately and directly to us. He says when you receive this letter, he wishes you to get into a boat or stage and go directly to St. Charles and see Mrs. Glenday and make her acquaintance. She is a pious woman and he is highly pleased with the idea of your accompanying them to be company for her on the way. He says he will bring you free of all expense. Of course we shall satisfy him when you arrive. We are confident that you could not have so good an opportunity to come to this country in any other way as with Mr. G. he is accustomed to travel in an Indian country, and knows how perfectly. I am satisfied that if Brother H. and his family and E. and yourself would make the arrangement to come with him and would submit to be controlled by him (as he is coming in a small party by himself), you would be the gainers by it in the end. Perhaps you would think that for so small a party it would be dangerous traveling through the Indian country. It would be for persons entirely unacquainted with the Indians and with traveling in the Indian country. But you may rely upon Mr. Glenday; that he knows how to travel and can escort you here quicker and safer and with less annoyance from dust and fatigue and worn out cattle and with half the expense that you would be at to come any other way. You will always hear it said by every one who knows anything about the way, “Bring as few things as possible.” I would advise you and my brothers and Sister L. to be governed by Mr. G.’s advice about what you bring, as well as the amount. I will add however, that I would prefer you would not encumber yourself with anything except what you need on the way, and to bring your minds to need as little as possible. I consider Mr. G. capable of giving you directions upon this subject, and such, too, as will meet my mind more fully than I can express by writing. We have enough to supply you when you get here; and if we have not we can get it here.
You know not how much you are all needed here this present moment; yes, I may say, we are suffering and shall suffer for the want of your assistance and presence here this winter.
Dear Jane, I have written in great haste, as I have but a moment to write, and a hurried one at that; for it is all confusion as usual when immigrants are about us. I would write Brothers H. and E. and Sister L., but Mr. G. wishes to be burdened with as little as possible, for he may have to go on snow shoes a part of the way. He wishes to return next spring, and about the last of August encourages me to think that, if spared and prospered, he will set you down at our door. I cannot help feeling rejoiced that Providence has opened up a way, to appearance so favorable, for the safe, easy and speedy transport of my dear Jane to my arms. I long to see you all, and should much prefer to have you all come with him if you felt it best. But he seems to think that my brothers would not be willing to come with him on account of traveling in so small a party.
Wednesday morn-Dear Jane and Edward:-I have been talking this morning to Mr. Glenday about you coming with him. I am at a loss how to direct him to find you. I do not know where Brother Harvey is. Father says he is in Quincy and that you are with him and that Edward is in Hazel Green, Wisconsin. He is confident, however, that He will find you all and Brother H. as he goes in, especially if he is anywhere in the vicinity of Independence. I expect husband will write Harvey if he gets away from his cares long enough; but lest he should not, I will suppose you all together and talk to you en masse, for it is impossible to write separate letters. We, that is husband and self, think it best for you all to come with him; and he is willing, provided you all would be willing to submit to his laws. He is a rigid mountaineer, and the principal laws in an Indian country are to be particular in guarding your animals lest you be robbed of them and left on foot. You cannot imagine the distress such an event would occasion. Many events of that kind have happened to the immigrants of the present year. It is hard work to cross the Rocky Mountains in the easiest way it can be arranged. If I had the journey to make, and knew as much as I now do about traveling, I should by all means, prefer to travel in the camp of such a man as Mr. Glenday. If E. comes as a single man he will employ him and pay him wages to assist in driving sheep; consequently he could come without its costing him anything. If he has a wife in view, he had better marry (that is if he has found a good one)-let his motto be “a good one or none.” Mr. G. says he will be to the expense of Jane’s outfit, and I think you may rely upon it. When you get this letter you must write him and direct to St. Charles post office, then he will write you and invite you to come.
It may not be strange for you to be a little unbelieving and think it not true that we have sent for you, but when you see the big mule that we have sent for you, Jane, your heart may faint within you, and you will feel that it is, indeed, so. The name of the big mule is Uncle Sam. He was left here by Fremont when he was here on business for Uncle Sam. Mr. Rodgers is expecting a brother-in-law, sister and parents, some time next summer.
Jane, there will be no use in your going home to see ma and pa before you come here-it will only make the matter worse with your heart. I want to see her as much as you. If you will all come here it will not be long before they will be climbing over the Rocky Mountains to see us. The love of parents for their children is very great. I see already in their movements, indications that they will ere long come this way, for father is becoming quite a traveler. Believe me, dear Jane, and come without fail, when you have so good an opportunity.