August 26th 1875
Miss M. A. Murray,
My dear daughter:
Yours of -22 inst just received, and I was glad to hear from you. Fanny is not here. I did not like to split up the family more than it is at present. I am much better than I was in San Luis Obispo, but have not regained my appetite, and as soon as I get back to San Luis will put myself under the doctor's charge.
Miss McKeeby and her brother are very good people, and so are their parents. They are very good friends of mine. I do not know why you should imagine that I have spoken ill of you to them. I should not do so if you did not deserve it; and I should not do so if you did.
I shall not be in San Luis until about the tenth of next month. Then you can mail me Harper's Weeklys in one package, and thereafter send each week. I cannot understand why you did not get them before.
Eliza is better, but has an attack once in a while. She is engaged to be married to a young man here, who I think will make her a good husband. He is mayor domo for Mr. John Bell, who is a rich man and has plenty of land and sheep. That is, Mr. Bell has, not the young man. I have given my consent. They will have to wait some months before marriage.
I shall write to Anita today. I got her letter with yours. My election is nearly certain.
I think I shall take Eliza home with me, but am not certain just yet. Da Tuna, wife of Mr. Judart, has seen you in Santa Barbara, and I gave her one of your pictures. Give my respects to Miss Mamie and her brother. Do not let any one know that I have any intention of removing you or Anita from Mrs. Harmon's, as I am by no means determined in regard to the matter. I may have to remove to Santa Barbara, in which case I could have you with me. But this is not to be mentioned, either, to any one. It would injure me to have it known in San Luis. Both places are improving greatly. In Santa Barbara there have been many large houses built since you were here; among others, a new hotel, beyond the College, with 300 rooms.
I remain with much love,
[D. Bilodeau comments:
Your affectionate father,
The original of this letter to Mercedes Anita Murray is in the Bancroft Library in Berkeley, California ]