Santa Barbara, California
Aug. 11th 1875
My dear daughter:
I duly received yours of 2 inst. I was sick off and on during most of the month of July. I am much better now, and at work all the time, but my stomach is out of order, and I cannot eat heartily. I am taking medicine, and hope soon to be well. Eliza is here with me, and is much better, but it is only temporary relief, and I do not know how soon her symptoms may return.
I wish you would devote your whole energy toward such studies as Geography, Grammar and History. I do not see what use Physiology and Rhetoric will be to you, except the mere rudiments. The studies I have first named it would be as well for you to exhaust.
I am glad you are getting the Weeklys. If they do not come readily, I tell you again to write to Harper Brothers, New York, complaining of their irregularity.
Have an understanding as soon as possible with Mr. Harmon about that bill. I am glad the teachers are to be more strict with you. You need it. I reached here on Monday, August 2d. I shall go next Sunday to San Buenaventura, and shall, perhaps, take Eliza with me. Shall only stay there three days. I shall then return here, and stay until the end of the month.
I am now nearly certain of my election turning out favorably, as my opponent, Mr. Fawcett, is about to withdraw from the contest. I hope you will advance all you can during the coming six months, as I am not sure that I can let you return to school.
I understand from your mother that Fanny is not well. Espiridiona has been sick, but is better. Eliza is leading a lazy life here, and I shall take her home with me on my return. She has a sea bath nearly every day. I have been teaching her to swim. She is improving in the art, and if she tried hard, will before long to able to swim well. She can float on her back now, and is not at all afraid of the water.
It is very hot here, but with cold nights. Last evening I went to hear Mr. Houghton and others make some political speeches in the open air, and was compelled to return before it was over, for want of my overcoat.
Goodby for the present,
[D. Bilodeau comments:
Your affectionate father,
The letter was written on stationery headed:
Office of the
County Clerk of Santa Barbara County
County Clerk and Recorder]