[Date missing, but as Sarah wishes Alexander and Andrea a Happy New Year and talks of the death of the Prince Consort on 14 December 1861, the letter was clearly written in January 1862. SH]

- [torn] - my spirits were so - [torn] as the expectation of a war between England and America, that I scarcely knew what I said to you. Happily the prospect has changed in consequence of the president and the people having nobly and gracefully acknowledged the law of compliance with the requirement of our government and setting Mason and States free. I now hope that all angry feelings will subside, justice having been complied with. I hate war and so do many in this country - in such a beautiful country as your adopted one, where not a year ago all was prosperous; how sad is the present state of things; brother against brother - and debts and difficulty on all sides.

Thank God the prayers of numbers of the people of God here have - [torn] and to - [torn] to her sorrowing heart just now would have been cruel. I presume you have heard of the great loss she has sustained in the death of the Prince Consort. The nation has and does indeed mourn a Prince who was in every way worthy of their tears; taken off suddenly or at least after only a few days illness; in the prime of life. It is a source of happiness to know that amidst the grandeur of his position he had looked beyond it and "had made his peace with God". Oh! that you, my dearest Alexander, should you be called away as he was, be able to echo his words.

Our Christmas this year was gloomy. We two days buried the Prince consequently had not had time to recover from an event so universally deplored. - [torn] sons and daughters who are residing in this far famed Metropolis. We were very glad to hear from dear Walter. How much I should like to see his dear children. Indeed my heart yearns to see you all but I do not expect it as the sacrifice would be too great. I judge from his letters that he is both a fond husband and father, but when correction is necessary a little too severe for children at their tender years. I come to this conclusion from his own account of himself. Are you as fond of them as you used to be with Elijah?

You and your dear wife have no children to "cry for buttered toast", but are living similarly to your father, and I can only hope you are living as comfortably quite in the style. - [torn] - leave this world nearly at the same time. God has been very gracious to us. The last few years of our lives have been spent in much peacefulness and although not realizing money excepting through a Society or two, we maintain our position which is something in times as these, and I hope to be able to continue in this state until we are called to relinquish time for eternity. You and dear Walter's kind thoughts about us are duly appreciated, but my dear Alexander, I do hope and trust that it will not be necessary to become a burden to our children. Already you have both done too much as I fear you have felt the want of it when pressed with pecuniary difficulties. I have not yet purchased myself a dress or cloak with the sovereign you so kindly -

- [torn] - most affectionately to your dear wife. - [torn] is well. She looks very healthy and cheerful, deserving of a good husband. The marriage - [torn] - both has greatly tended to my happiness. - [torn] - and some one who loves you - [torn] - wants to attend to your comforts. Your newspaper - [torn] - to come do not make silver scarce.

We - [torn] - earliest intelligence through our London - [torn] - I like your religious one and a little intell - [torn] - the Southern States is desirable as it is - [torn] - here, but I am no friend to the South. A few - [torn] - merchants may be for the sake of trade but it is not general by any means. The peace - [torn] - has sent over delegates. Mr. Bright is of - [torn] - I hope he will accomplish his object.

- [torn] - to write to dear Walter in answer of one - [torn] -. I must conclude in wishing you and Andrea a happy New Year and close assuring you

I am

My dearest Alexander

Your ever affectionate mother

S. Murray