No. 1 Philadelphia Place
Hackney Road, NE
5 October 1860
My dear Alexander

I am very glad to have once in a while the sight of your handwriting & I beg to assure you that of all subjects "your own affairs" are to me the most interesting, and while occupying yourself with unsophisticated details of daily business and hourly occurrences you present to me a picture of American Society, manner and customs by which I can measure the amount of happiness enjoyed, which result, though probably not quite accurate, is still an approximation to the truth and therefore to me most valuable.

I particularly appreciate the intended hoisting of the glorious "two to one" as a symbol of your business, and considering the interest which you exact (terms justifiable in dangerous and difficult circumstances, such as that of a city besieged) it must be a profitable business - only think of 25 per cent a month - a sovereign "toppling over" in four months - that is doubling itself - why it is perfectly monstrous for the facility of making money to cover such profits must be amazing. Just the country for an industrious man to climb up "young ambitionís ladder", but a rising man must belong to the family of "Grab all" for in our homely phrase "Brag is a good dog, but Holdfast is a better."

We are both in good health and spirits and are doing well for our old exhausted country. Our Building Society has doubled itself in 6 months and will pay probably nearly 20 per cent this year. What think you of that? Why next year we may come up to the Yankee 25 per cent, only not every month.

Yes, we are getting on in the world of politics. Garibaldi has revolutionized Italy and within a month will have Victor Emanuel king over united Italy, and next year, by God's blessing, may be too strong to be attacked. In England, too, we have Volunteers and such as it would be no child's play to attack - young, active, strong, well instructed in military evolutions, and warlike practice; trained to hit the bull's eye at 1000 yards and with artillery doing fearful execution at 4 miles - moreover with the pluck of the Anglo Saxon breed to cross bayonet, if need be, with any assailant - this is your true Peace preserver - this is your true "Peace Society". Accordingly the French, notwithstanding their taunts of our being afraid, will not and do not seem at all solicitous to test our courage and in short, the prestige of England is rising and will do if our troops and sea forces are well handled.

You asked about registration. 'Tis steadily increasing though slowly for it takes 1000 people to give me £3 a year. Last year it was £90 and I expect will anon be £100, which with other things, for they all increase slowly, together will give me a fair living. But the great difference in our position is this - that we now duly serve the Living God, and therefore obtain His blessing. What errors and what "sad mistakes and dire mischances" we should have avoided had we discovered this in early life. Do not fancy, dear Alexander, that this is superstition, but that it is the result of sound thinking and heartfelt conviction and believe that Religion is a real, practical thing to be applied in every situation in life and its influence for good felt and acknowledged here and securing a happy hereafter, that is, it practically conduces to well being here and hereafter.

Permit me to congratulate you on the apparent mutual attachment of yourself and dear Andrea - 40 years' experience convinces me that domestic harmony springing from connubial love is the most enduring spring of happiness and will best promote peace in the Home because 'tis in the heart. Give my love and blessing to her and assure [her] that I shall be as proud to make her acquaintance as to see my long lost son.

I am, Dear Alexander

Your affectionate Father

James Murray

Mr. Alexander Murray