1 Alexandra Cottages
Fairfield Road
10th February 1870

My very dear Alexander

It seems a very, very long time since I received a letter from you. I think your last is dated July 69. I have, I think written 2 or 3 since but I have met with no response. I hope I have not outgrown your remembrance, at any rate, your affection but this is a thing I do not like to dwell upon.

I will proceed to relate my adventures since I last wrote to you, which I believe was in Sept. I had then removed to Park Rd., Bow. Since then I have removed here but now I think of it, I wrote to you about my previous residence, but to that letter I have had no answer. You will be glad to hear that I have redeemed the Cottages and have got the Deeds in my possession. I expect this spring I will decide whether I shall sell or keep them. Your advice is to sell, but if I do they will not at the very most fetch more than 4 or 5 hundred pounds. Then there are the chances of whether the seller be a competent person. However, I must await the events patiently and watchfully. Every now and then am meeting with defaulters but this is very usual amongst landlords. If I had not been upon the spot this Christmas, I believe I should have lost 7£ by a tenant whom I had had such great confidence in. I shall be obliged to have them painted outside this Spring under any circumstance. Otherwise they will decrease in value.

How are you getting on with your business. Are you at all likely to sell it and visit England? I seem to know very little about either of you now. I did hope from what you said you would have been more voluminous in your communications. It would have been cheering to me in my widowhood. I am afraid that "absence makes the heart grow colder"; is it not so dear Alex? If I say this to you what can I not say to Walter? I fear as we have not had any newspapers, that he was disappointed in his expectation in being nominated as a Judge. It is very characteristic of him to be silent when he is disappointed in his expectations. However I hope it is not so. I wish him all the success he can desire himself. Do write and give me some particulars respecting him and yourself. I want to hear how your wives are and Walter's children. But this time you ought to have a great deal to tell me.

Poor Fanny is sadly tried just now, her eldest daughter Mrs. Roberts being in consumption. The doctor gives a very unfavourable account of her. Her husband has not succeeded in business that the poor thing has had a deal of care upon her mind. John Kraushaar, the son, is considered consumptive. He is now in a situation in Surrey but he is not able to keep it, but I think it is his misfortune more than his fault. He is the very counterpart of his father - sluggish - absent in mind - bad memory but a good pious boy. I wish I could afford to keep him. I would not hesitate if he were a smart active boy likely to keep a situation. His father paid me a visit in November. He is looking well - as young as ever, whilst poor Fanny is a wreck, but I expect as kind-hearted and unselfish as ever.

Elijah Davies frequently comes over from London St. Fitzroy Square, where he lodges, on a Sunday. He belongs to the Middlesex Hospital Oxford Society. Your sister Anne is about having the last of the first family married in May next, Sarah Ann. She will then be left with only her own which will be a great comfort to her. She paid me a visit last November and was then looking as well and almost as young as I ever saw her. Her sons Walter and Arthur are growing up to be nice looking youths, fast approaching to manhood. Walter is in the business. Philip, the eldest of the family, who ought to be his father's right hand has entered into partnership with a gentleman (whilst being with his father and receiving 500£ annually) which is considered not nice of him, his father wanting his undivided attention. I expect he will live to regret the step.

I never hear of your writing to Anne. Mr. Evans will, I expect, be in London about the 17th of this month, looking after the wool sales. He seems to be prospering but with so large a family to provide for, he needs it.

How is your health? Have you been troubled with worms since? Do let me know - all particulars. Does St. Luis Obispo continue to increase in population? I expect you have heard the rage there is now in England for emigration. I expect thousands will be sent from our shores next spring. Several rich gentlemen have offered 10/ per head on 1000. This is private but it will, I expect, be taken up by the government. It is considered right in a religious point of view, us being one of the means of spreading the Gospel of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

How are you off for Missionaries in St. Luis? Are you still amongst the unconverted? I was in great hopes my prayers would have been answered ere now and that the welcome intelligence would have reached me that both you and dear Andrea were brought into the fold of Christ. Surely the subject occupies your thoughts sometimes. The profession of Christianity is wonderfuly spreading and I hope the reality but each must answer for himself and herself. It is blessed, dear Alexander, to feel that you are safe for time or eternity but I forbear to say more as I am quite sure whenever your conversion takes place you will be but too happy to tell me the joyful news. I expect your temporal affairs are prospering. Be careful that they do not prove a snare. The Bible says "Seek first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness and all other things shall be added thereto."

I spend my time very much alone - my leisure is devoted to reading. You cannot imagine what a comfort it is to me, particularly as I have not ventured out alone during the winter. This is a great privation as I have been so long accustomed to go twice on a Sunday to Chapel and once or twice during the week. I often wonder what my next change will be, if the houses are sold. You must not be surprised at my going to live in the neighbourhood of the Cemetery, but I perhaps may really be there in the grave with your dear father. It was so much his wish that we should mingle our dust together that I would not have it otherwise for a great deal.

Present my very affectionate love to dear Andrea and accept the same from

Your ever affectionate mother

Sarah Murray