Covington, Kenty.
6th December 1860
Dear Cousin

I must hurry up my cakes or 1861 will be inaugurated before I acknowledge your welcome letter of 1st of October. I have since received your likeness from San Francisco; it arrived safely and we are very much pleased to have so good a representation of you. When you have an opportunity send us Walter's in the same shape. I should not have known you. You are so much altered. Henry and I will send you in a day or 2 our own likenesses and I suppose you will see an equal alteration in us.

The newspapers you have sent also are at hand and I have been reciprocating with the New York Weekly Herald which I trust you also receive.

Your acct of yourself and doings interested me much & you seem to have made more money than any of us in this land of wooden nutmegs. I cannot brag of what I have made and the doctor who has been steady at one thing all the time and is more prudent than I am has not yet struck a gold mine. It is very difficult and requires many requisites in this section of country to make money tho' we are surrounded & enjoy perhaps more of the comforts of life than you do.

Long before you receive this you will learn of the election of the Republican candidate Abraham Lincoln of Illinois. The southern states are kicking up a great fuss acct [about? on account of?] it. South Carolina says she will secede from the Union and is endeavoring to take Georgia & the other cotton states with her. The president has delivered his message. It is an ordinary document & not calculated much to allay the excitement. We are now anxiously waiting to see what action Congress will take in the matter and whether a compromise can be effected. Lincoln is fairly & constitutionally elected tonight to be supported by the people, irrespective of party, until he violates his oath of office or the Constitution. All over the south the excitement is very great and unreasonable. Several of the Cincinatti [sic] merchants, wholesale grocers & produce dealers have returned from New Orleans as it was unsafe for them to remain and in the inland towns, in the cotton states; if they catch a northern man there, unless he has substantial friends to vouch for him he is pretty sure of a coat of tar and feathers gratis.

Every one has been much pleased by the visit of the Prince of Wales. He is arrived safely in England and the people seem flattered at the friendly reception given him by the Yankees. I see the American Minister, soon after his arrival, was invited to dine with the Queen at Windsor. All the English papers seem pleased and compliment the Americans. The Doctor and I both saw him when he was in Cincinatti [sic].

Now you are married I expect we may consider you are a fixture in California and the longer you remain the more ties you will have to prevent your rambling. I am at present out of business, not yet made any new arrangement & not yet settled up with my old partner so you will have to wait till my next letter for further acct. of myself. The doctor is still at the old thing, dealing with the sick & afflicted. He wishes me to present his kind regards to you & Walter.

Received a letter some time ago from my sisters in London. They make a favorable report of themselves and the family generally. The girls are now alone by themselves as we lost our mother quite suddenly on the 28th of July last. I am sorry some of us are not a little nearer to them but it cannot now be remedied.

Nathan Barlow is in England working there and endeavoring to fix up the family property but I expect he finds it a slow business & pretty expensive. He does not care about it himself but he wants his sisters to have the benefit of it. Our cousins in Canada, we hear & see nothing of. They are mostly complete rustics. You do not say whether you or Walter have any family or not.

In consequence of the political excitement, business is at a standstill and a panic to a certain extent prevails. The banks in Maryland, Virginia, Tennessee, Illinois, Pennsylvania, North & South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama & Missouri have suspended specie payments and in the south they are in bad straits. Cotton is down to 8¢ & no buyers. At present Negroes who were unprecedentedly high are coming down fast. Matters, I must confess, look rather gloomy but I hope when 1861 comes in they will regulate themselves to assume a more cheerful aspect - if they do not, I shall pack up stakes and be off somewhere.

What do you think of Garibaldi's career in Italy? He is certainly a wonderful man. His moderation and disinterestedness are beyond all praise. The reconciliation between Victor Emanuel & Garibaldi was a happy event - [pages lost] - Italian freedom, the papers in a bad fire and will have to resign his temporal dominion unless they leave him Rome to himself under special assurances of his good behavior.

I must conclude this desultory letter, We shall recollect you at Xmas & will doubtless mutually reciprocate good wishes.

Remember me kindly to Walter and believe me with the most friendly feelings your cousin

Charles Manfred