San Luis Obispo, Cal
April 12th 1861 [=1862] My dear sister Annie

Your letter of September 16th arrived safely. I have to apologize to you for the length of time that I have taken to answer it. But the old motto says "better late than never" so I now do so.

Our little domestic difficulty, if hard to settle, is now in a fair way to be settled. The Union troops fired & sustained by the justice of their cause are going on from victory to victory & will continue so to do until there is not one man left in arms to battle against the best government the world ever saw. I say the best, because I feel it to [be] the best, I experience its benefits, and I would not willingly exchange it for any other. There are peculiarities in some of the people that are not agreeable, but that is weighed down in the scale by their many good qualities.

What you say about a store business in England is made a note of, but I do not think I shall ever undertake it. By the time I get in a position to move from here I shall be too old to learn new ways & I understand the art of getting money here pretty well. I expect when I do remove it will be to the neighborhood of San Francisco.

Your parcel for Walter arrived safely. I have written to Mr. Davenport to thank him for the favor he has done us in bringing it out. I expect when my brother goes up to the city he will call on Mr. D. Many thanks for the Bible you sent to Andrea. She reads invariably in English, but still she will read this, as an exception, for your sake.

We have an itinerant preacher here who preaches about once a month here. He belongs to the Methodist Church South & of course endorses slavery as a holy institution. He is an ignorant fellow & I believe I could deliver a better sermon myself.

My wife has promised to write you a short letter herself so I shall leave a portion of this sheet for her if she has time to do so.

I have a great wish to visit England once more, & see the old folks again & all the little relations that have appeared since I left, but I expect I shall not be able to do so yet. I am doing very well, but my business needs my immediate supervision all the time or it would go to wreck at once & it would take me years to build up another one as good, so that I really can't afford to take the trip.

With best love to the children, particularly Elijah, my pet, as also best respects to your husband believe me to be

Your affectionate brother

Alexander Murray

Mrs Philip Evans