[Part of letter, undated. Perhaps mid-1868.]
--John who is now ill, I can find out a Christian, somewhat bigoted but he will get over that. He has an excellent knowledge of the Scriptures for so young a lad. Addy seems very happy in her marriage. She has no family [n]or is there any prospect of any. Her husband has entered into business for himself and appears to have met with success. I believe the Brethern all cling to each other and I think Mr. Roberts is a young man much respected by them and clever as a man of business.
I am much obliged to you for the Pioneer. I am very glad to see that dear Walter has two appointments. I hope he will be prospered. He seems to have a nice family and to take great interest in them. I hope as they grow up they will reward him for his care.
You appear in the Pioneer as a man of business. It gives me a nice idea of St. Luis Obispo. The population appears to be much increasing. This will give you more business unless you get opponents. One great thing is that you have only your two selves that will not require so large a sum to retire you a[s] many, but perhaps in that country you never think of retiring to your residence as the people do here. Why, even the shopkeepers in the Hackney Road have a country house in the Park.
Considering the care I have had upon my mind, my health is pretty good. Anne wants me to go on a visit to her but I am so tied to these cottages that I fear I shall not feel a[t] liberty. I expect Anne told you that your dear father left a will. It was sworn under £600 but I think that was far too much. At any rate much will depend on how the property is managed in the Building Society. Out of this money I have had a deal to pay into the Eagle Insurance Company and likewise into the Phoenix, besides other debts, but thank God they are all now paid. Of course circumstances occur, for instance Ground Rent Taxes upon the houses besides £8 per month until they are redeemed and whether it be advisable to redeem them or not I do not know - consequently it occasions me much anxiety. Oh! I often think had I but one of my sons here but ere you could reach it might all be settled.
I hope, my dear Andrea and Alexander, you are both well. You have given me an account of yourselves. I have no doubt I should be very pleased with dear Andrea - she having already displayed the love of a daughter in her willingness that you should assist me. Accept both of you my best love and ever believe that I am
Your affectionate mother