[5 August 1864]

My dearest Alexander and Andrea,

I address you both as one, as I find you are both one in heart. This unity in feeling delights my heart; would that I could in person express my feelings towards you both. I certainly was much pleased when I first heard of your marriage, but now that time has confirmed your experience of its being the most fortunate event of your life, I rejoice in the knowledge of it and hope towards the close of your earthly career your sentiments will remain the same.

I should indeed like above all things to see you both in England, but when I contemplate at how great a sacrifice it would be, I can only submit all to our Heavenly Father who so well knows what is best for his children and who has promised that the good and evil shall all work together for their good. I cannot but think how gracious He is to all His creatures, but he is in a more especial manner so to those who have faith in Him, and who believe in the testimony of his well-beloved Son.

In temporal matters, you seem to be much prospered. This is a great blessing as it enables you to provide for yourselves and to assist those who are less fortunate. For your letter received yesterday the 4th instant, accept our thanks. It and its contents came safely to hand. Fanny will I expect receive hers tomorrow. She will I am sure be much pleased at so nice a mark of affection towards her or her children. You will be pleased to hear that she and John [Kraushaar] (her husband) are coming to stop a week with us on about the 22nd of this month. This will be her first visit since she left London more than 5 years since. Of course she will bring her baby, who is now about 6 weeks old. [Grace Beatrice ("Tricie"), born 14 June 1864.] I quite reckon upon seeing her as she has had but a very few of joys of this life. Hers has been little else but the struggle of life. Her husband is so reserved a man that I am not admitted into his confidence about money matters. However he maintains his independence as far as we are concerned, for if he is poor, he does not come to us to beg or borrow. We occasionally help them and so does Anne with clothing for her children. I expect to see her much altered. I understand she has lost several of her teeth. She looked such a wreck of what she had been before she left. A more contented, persevering woman I scarcely ever met with and I believe she is a thorough Christian.

Your father is going to Cove Hall, Suffolk to his sister's, Mrs. William Everitt [Sophia Thurtell b. 1803 m. William Everitt.], on the 19th of this month [so] that I expect he will not be with Fanny & John more than one or two days. His sisters are expecting it will be their last family meeting in consequence of the age of the individuals.

Did I tell you in my last that your Uncle Alfred in Africa had lost his wife? Edward Browne, I expect, has joined by this time his brother in Africa. He first went to Canada. There he was very unfortunate, and I believe was assisted out to Africa where I hope he will be more successful. His wife has a little property of her own upon which I expect they are subsisting. Your sort of life would not, I think, suit Charles Manfred. He is all for a genteel life. I understood he was doing better. Henry, I expect, will come to England shortly. As soon as his time in the army expires he is to be married to a lady of some fortune and bring her with him to England. He writes of having cut off plenty of arms and legs.

Your uncle Hopwood drank tea with us yesterday. When I told him I had had a letter from you and delivered your message, he seemed pleased. His busy time is just over. The guest folks, who are many of them his customers, are leaving town, consequently he and his girls will leave for some watering place.

You and Walter are both mistaken respecting your father's sentiments. He is and always was for the emancipation of the slaves, but at the same time he is of the opinion that the South have a right if they please to withdraw from the North and to govern themselves and that it would be the better for England that they should, indeed for the world, as were it otherwise they would get too strong for the world's peace. I believe those to be his real sentiments. How can he wish for slavery? a man more favorable to freedom is not to be found. I think you have both mistaken him. I believe Anne is of the same opinion. Oh! what a horrible war it is. I see in today's paper a "Manifesto of the Congress of the Confederate States". I wish the North would be disposed to give up the South rather than continue this wholesale war. They have both showed that they are not cowards and now that they cannot conquer why not amicably settle the war. That would be acting nobly.

But ere I proceed further I must get your letter and take notice of your communication. In the first place, you have announced the death of dear Andrea's father. I had previously seen it in a newspaper that you sent. Poor old gentleman; I am glad to hear his end was peace. I hope his daughter was quite resigned and felt that it was the will of God and that however hard to part, it is a decree we must all submit to. I hope he is now "where the wicked cease from troubling and where the weary are at rest".

I hope your expectations will be realized respecting your mining speculations. It would indeed be very delightful for you and Walter to accumulate sufficient to retire upon and perhaps come to England. How nice it would be to see you all - Walter and his wife and his group of little ones. How goes on the heir? I expect Walter is very proud of him. [Walter Alexander b. 9 Jun 1864.] I had understood your dear wife was likely to have another but if in any way her life would be endangered by it, it is far better as it is.

You say you have received but a few numbers of Public Opinion. We have continued sending all the numbers up to this time without knowing it was necessary to put more stamps upon them. We shall enquire further and send them accordingly.

I am glad dear Andrea can trust you in your speculations. I think I remember when you had your head examined that the remark was that "you had a great desire to get money but that you were very cautious". I have the document somewhere and poor Josephine's too. [Sarah's second-last child Sarah Josephine b. 1832, who had died in 1852, aged 20.] Shall I send it to you?

I am very pleased with dear Andrea's kind feelings towards me and much wish that she resided near enough to me to occasion ---[torn]--- a little chat over the tea table. Oh! dear Alex it brings tears into my eyes when I think or write about it. Generally I feel that it is a happiness too great for me ever to experience. Let us then hope to meet in that "better land" where parting is unknown.

I have been very poorly lately. My head has been so bad, in fact, I went to a doctor. He appeared to think I required strengthening medicine more than any other. I do at times feel that my life will not be continued much longer. Can I expect it? consider that I shall be 71 on the 6th of October. Your father looks well a[s] an old gentleman. He never was a vain man but I sometimes tell my friends they will make him so if they state to him so much about his good looks.

I hope, my dear Alexander and Andrea, my ---[torn]--- when it will be our---[torn]--- will---[torn]--- be "Peace" - then shall we ---[torn]--- meet again to enjoy such a state of happiness as is unknown in this impure ---[torn]---. May God in his infinite mercy bring you to lovingly know Him and love Him. With our very best wishes for your continued health and happiness and with many thanks for the various proofs of your affection, believe me,

My dear Son and Daughter
Your ever affectionate mother
Sarah Murray
I fear your father will not reach home in time to write; nevertheless, he intended it when he left home. Were he here and could not write, he would say give my love to them all. He will write again soon I dare say.