Aug. 7, 1862
My dear Brother Alexander
At last, evening - children all in bed - not busy for a wonder, so I sit me down to converse with my two dear brothers so far away.
You will see from Walter's letter what I think of your "little domestic difficulty", so no more of that.
Did I give you a list of what I sent? In case I have not I give it here. Likenesses - Father & Mother, self, Annie, Walter, Elijah, Arthur, Teddy, two Spanish Bibles for Mercedes & Andrea, "Streaks of Light" for Eliza & a number of small Spanish books. I don't recollect anything else. Let me know if you have received all.
We only wanted you & Walter with your belongings, to have been perfectly happy, for we went to the Exhibition & visited all our relatives. Your old friend Kennedy is quite a gentleman. He has retired from [the] shop & travels for a firm on the continent. He can be all things to all men. Before me he was a most pious man! & talked of his son Peter's death in a most Godly strain. But I know that old pose well. Poor Peter died of consumption - kept up to the last & died on the platform of the railway station in Germany on his way to some baths. Kennedy's daughter is governess to the young Prince of Saxony & was sent in the Royal carriage to her brother's funeral - such is his tale. Well, he longs to see your faces once more before he dies etc etc. Father & Mother entertained us & we enjoyed ourselves much.
This exhibition far exceeds the other [i.e. the Great Exhibition of 1851]- it is very much larger & grander, but not so beautiful a building, while its contents surpass everything. The jewels - the gold - the objects of art - such as pictures, statues, china etc are magnificent & the new & varied discoveries show that the world has indeed taken vast strides during the last 10 years. I looked with much interest on a statue of a woman called "California", by your great sculptor Hiram Power. It is very beautiful. I believe he carries off the prize again. America has sent some wonderful domestic machines but she has been too busy with this horrid war worthily to represent herself. The crowds of people of all nations are well worth seeing too. The Royal family go in & out daily, no one knowing them from other people. The poor Queen too has been in her weeds & no one knows her so she passed unnoticed. We miss the master mind of her Husband in so many things in this Exhibition. We trust that he sees something better than "his eyes behold the King in his beauty" and in the "fair distant land" that all who trust in Jesus go to. There is very much evidence that he died in Christ.
As for your Methodist Preacher, I don't like him nor any of his. The Methodists do a good work tho' in breaking up fallow ground but they are too excitable for me, dwell too much on their feelings and are very unscriptural in some of their doctrines. Their adherence to slavery too is very bad. Still, if you have nothing better, I suppose he is better than nothing. If I were in California & were a man I should take my Bible, open my door to anyone who would come in, pray and expound as God gave me ability and so have a meeting for worship in all the simplicity of the New Testament.
Tell Andrea with my love that I will write to her next time. I hope this war will drive you home. If the conscription should take place & you will be drawn what will you do? I trust peace will soon be brought about & then you will have nothing to do but pay for the war.
Your nephews & nieces send their love. My husband unites with me in love to you, Walter, your wives & children. Believe me, dear Alex
Your loving sister