Santa Barbara, Cal.
Aug. 11th 1875

My dear Anita -

I was pleased to receive your letter of August 1st. You should never have left your trunks on the wharf. Don't do that again. It is just like the thoughtlessness of all my children. I do not believe in the new studies you talk about. What good will Geometry, Anatomy and Chemistry ever do you, unless merely to learn the first rudiments, which you can acquire yourself, as I did, from reading and lectures! I wish you to perfect yourself as nearly as you can in Music, Grammar, Reading, Composition, History, Geography, Elocution; the French and Spanish languages, and Drawing. The rest does not bother me. I left out arithmetic, but not intentionally. The same remarks apply to Mercedes.

I refer you to my letter of today to Mercedes for particulars as to my health and that of Eliza, who is here with me. She is better, but I am afraid only temporarily. She is well treated here by Da Tuna and leads a very easy life. How would you and Mercedes like to try the Santa Barbara College next term? Let me know. Quite a number of children have gone down from San Luis Obispo, and the principal is very anxious I should send you.

I shall go next Sunday to San Buenaventura, to stay for a few days, and may take Eliza with me. Your mother wants me to have Fanny sent down here for a while. She seems to be always anxious to have her children spread all around the country.

I am just going to the beach to have a bathe with Eliza. She is learning to swim. Everybody goes there, and many ladies. Santa Barbara is fast building up and it will be a fine large place when you see it, if you ever do.

I am pretty sure of election now as my principal opponent has withdrawn.

Do not forget to write to me, and get Mercedes to do the same. During August you can direct here. In September to San Luis Obispo.

I am in a hurry just now and will conclude.

I remain, your affectionate father,

Walter Murray

PS Give me respects to Mr. & Mrs. Harmon.

[D. Bilodeau comments:

Judge Murray was in Santa Barbara holding court. His two daughters, Anita and Mercedes were at Washington College in Irvington. Anita was 15 years of age. The college was run by Mr. & Mrs. Harmon.

The letter was written on letterhead paper as follows:

Office of the
H.P. Stone
County Clerk and Recorder]