[The top of this letter is torn and the date is therefore missing. Sukie Hunter comments that it must be midsummer 1859. The war Sarah is talking about is the one that culminated in the battle of Solferino on 24 June. The peace had clearly only just been signed. Edward Manfred died in the third quarter of the year, so this letter can't be later than September. The date '15th' that appears in the middle of the letter must therefore be 15 July, August or September 1859.]

- [torn] - your letter dated 20th May put into my hand. It had been long expected as your brother on his arrival at Sacramento informed us of your intention to write.

It affords me more pleasure (I mean to say happiness) than I can express to find that you continue so happy in married life. I am glad that you have found a suitable companion; one that can sympathise with you in your trials and rejoice with you in your mercies. I do indeed congratulate you both that there seems to be no cause of regret about your union as it is sad when it is so and but too often is the cause of bitter reverses.

Indeed my beloved Alexander, if we would but look back into the history of the past bygone days, there is but too much - [torn] - erred - [torn] I have often wished you had not gone out to California, as I fear through it you have, my dear son, experienced many hardships which you would not have done at home. You certainly would in all probability, had you been here, been confined to some office and perhaps under some hard "taskmaster" but as a compensation for it would have had civilization and many, many comforts, and privileges which you cannot have there. The greatest in my estimation would have been the opportunity of hearing the Gospel preached in its purity; "faith cometh by hearing" and St. Paul says "by the foolishness of preaching many become wise unto selection" but I must not despair of you or your dear partner. God can convert through the Holy Gospel even in California, and how earnestly do I hope that in that distant part of the globe men's - [torn] - in this the Metropolis of the world many prayers are offered up for such an event.

You will be sorry to hear that Edward Manfred is not likely to live many weeks. He is now suffering from dropsy. He has been once tapped but is filling again rapidly, and all this is brought on through the habit of intemperance. His poor wife is made miserable by it and he seems brought to a premature grave and what is worse he is an infidel. He, I believe, hates religion and all who profess it. His friends are exceedingly anxious about him, but he is such an extraordinary young man that they are at a loss to know who they shall get to converse with him upon the subject of religion. I hope, my dear Alexander, he will serve as a warning to others.

I fear your - [torn] - young - [torn] - they are amongst the pleasures of the world, but the Bible tells us to come out from the world, and to be separate from it. Business compels us to mix with the world but although in it we are warned not to be of it. Cannot you do some good for your fellows on a Sunday? have you Sunday schools? but I presume that as Catholicism is the religion of that part a Protestant would not be heard. Read your Bible; remember David the great King of Israel "served God well in his day and generation"; what are you doing for Him? ask yourself the question and then ask yourself what He is doing for you. Shall I tell you? 1st - he has given you life, health, food, clothing, protection and what I am sure you prize - a good wife and he has promised to with-hold no good things from those who love him. Do you love Him? if you have given your heart to Him He will bestow upon you His best gifts; His spiritual gifts. The best is the gift of his dear and well beloved Son who died upon the cross to redeem and save you. He gives His "Holy spirit to sanctify you; His righteousness to justify you and His blood to cleanse you from all sin". Oh! what a Saviour. He can save to the very uttermost.

I was very pleased to receive dear Walter's and his wife's and children's likenesses. I think Mrs. Walter not unlike Mrs. Alexander; a little difference in age that is all. She looks affectionate; the dear children I am delighted with, particularly the dear baby. She has such a nice intelligent countenance. You must have missed them very much during their residence in Sacramento. I fear Walter's sojourn there will not benefit him so much as he expected but after all if it does not put money into his pocket it may in the Providence of God have been productive of good in some better way. He has no doubt had the opportunity afforded him of attending the means of Grace which I hope has not been lost upon him. I am encouraged to hope from an expression he used that he is really desirous of knowing the truth as it is in Christ Jesus.

I met Mrs. Tisley who lived next door to us in the Oval. She tells me Sophia is married, I believe the 3 eldest of her girls and her son. Also I read a nice letter from Edward Thurtell, the other day, the one who is a farmer in America. After much toil and some money left him he succeeded very well until the panic when his wheat stock sold for a mere nothing but he hopes that the times will revive. His older son is 16. He sends him to district school. He can read and write as well as he could when he left school. He has seven children.

I am glad you think of business before pleasure but I fear you have scarcely sufficient scope where you are so that half your time is wasted. I shall send your letter to poor Fanny. She is now living in Rutland. I fear she has a great struggle to get through with a partner who is gloomy and unfeeling towards her and I fear he prevents her giving us any information about herself as she scarcely tells me anything. She writes and writes and says nothing. Her last baby is such a poor little creature and says nothing [this must be a mistaken repetition, as the baby was only about 7-8 months old] , and yet it lives or rather exists. She and John went off in good spirits but I fear they are disappointed. I am afraid John is not equal to what he has undertaken, but he has an excellent knowledge of the Scripture, but something now [new?] is wanted; the gift of preaching and prayer, but I never heard him so do not know.


Again I resume my pen. Napoleon and the Emperor of Austria have made peace. God grant it may be permanent for to read the horrors of war is dreadful. Napoleon is an uncertain, wiley fellow. There is no being aware of him. We are looking very closely to the defences of the country as it is believed he would like to be revenged on the battle of Waterloo. Thousands of lives have been plunged into eternity with sins unrepented of through the late war and the sufferings of the poor soldiers have been beyond description. I expect to hear it has [been?] settled in Paris with all due honours.

I am glad you sent me a copy of your business as it gives me a better idea of what you are doing. How goes on Walter's business during his absence? I presume you cannot act for him as Attorney of the District. I presume your removing more into the town will improve your business, I am glad to find you are a little "ahead of the world". It is very nice to have a friend in store in this world but how much better to lay up a "treasure in Heaven".

I scarcely expected the Christian Cabinet would have reached you. I do not wonder at your "not appreciating them". I expect you have no pleasure in reading anything of a scriptural nature; such is our state until we are born of the spirit of God, then what a change. Oh! for that change in you and yours and then I will say with old Simeon of old "Lord lettest now thy servant depart in peace"; for salvation has entered the families of my two sons. This is all I do live for.

I wish to write a few lines to your dear wife that I can only add my best thanks for your nice letter and wishing you every happiness,

Believe me
My dear Alexander
Your ever affectionate Mother
S Murray
Mr. Alexander Murray