Feb. 19, 1862
My dear Brother
My dear, A fortnight ago I sent off a parcel for you & Walter. I sent it by the brother of a friend of mine, a Mr. Davenport who lives at San Francisco. He came here selling wool, was very successful & has returned to raise more. He knows Walter by report. Pacheco's brother came to England in the same ship with him. I sent some likenesses which you & Walter will not quarrel about. I must send duplicates by post on card or cloth as I could not send more now on account of the size of the parcel. Mr. D. complained as it was, but we promised to pay any expense he might be put to, so it went. There are two Spanish Bibles from me to my two sisters-in-law, which I must ask you to present to them with my love. Also some little Spanish books which, as I cannot read Spanish, I do not know what they are, whether for children or grown up persons. Andrea & Mercedes must read them & see if they are children's books or no. If so perhaps they will do for Eliza. If not as there are so many Spanish in St. Luis they can give them away or keep them. There is also a book for Eliza from Aunt Anne.
This horrid war! when will it end? If I had been President you would never have had one. I should have let the South go their own way & welcome. There is enough territory in the States for half a dozen Republics & tho' I am not in love with that form of government - yet if friendly they would have been much more powerful than one. However give me old England with all the difficulty of getting a living rather than a country where "the scum is uppermost" & where there is only freedom for the majority. I shall be very glad when you have settled your little quarrel for it makes trade very bad with us. We have some thousand pounds worth of cloth unsold & my husband worried thro' want of ready money while if we could sell, we should be in a very good position. However good times will come again I hope & we must have our share of the trouble as well as other folks.
I am much obliged to you & Andrea for the magazine newspapers etc. which you send us from time to time. I can assure you the youngsters look out for the pictures very eagerly.
We have nearly passed throu' another dreary winter to our great delight. I have not been very well. Papa & Mama, I believe are weathering the storm bravely. My husband sees them about every month. Mama writes me now very seldom. I suppose her sight gets bad & she finds writing a burden. If there was anything the matter I should hear fast enough. We are all well. The children growing into great boys & girls. My youngest is 2 years old & I am not likely to have another. Elijah is going on well at school. We intend him to leave at Xmas & be apprenticed as he will then be 14. His likeness does not do him credit. He is much better looking than that, but he was just going off to school & did not look happy. He is a very interesting lad, full of fun, sharp as a needle, - he is a favourite everywhere & I hope & believe will do well & be a comfort to me.
I am glad you are getting along so well & hope this war will not do you harm. We should be so glad if you & Andrea could come over to see us. With love to her, Walter, & his wife & children,
I am dear Alex
Your affectionate sister