Dec 12th 1870
My dear Mother
Your & Mildreds joint letter of the 5th inst reached me Friday. I was very glad to hear from it that you were nearly your self again & that you were so well suited in your svt Jane.
I would endeavor, since she is such a comfort to you, to make it an object with her to stay. I have not been to nor heard from the White House for two weeks. But F_ promised to write me as soon as any thing occurred. You must not think that I can not bear my slight burdens when I know of so many living cheerfully under ten times greater. It is all for the best I believe. I try to do my duty to myself & to my neighbor but am sure I do not try hard enough or I would succeed better. It is a great sorrow to me, & a cause of despising myself & my selfishness & weakness, when I find how much my father loved me how much he did for me & what an example of true manliness he set me all through his life; that I should have done so little for him, tried so little to follow in his footsteps & appreciated so slightly the blessing God gave me, in making me the son of such a father & such a mother.
I have tried & do try to do better, but it seems I always fail, preferring the world & the devil to all the blessings of belief & love in a Merciful God.
I will never give up attempting & striving for that peace the world can never give but I have never yet found it in the slightest degree.
I know in my reason what is right when I ought to do what I am besought to do. But my hard cold heart prefers its own wickedness & lusts. I don't know what my plans are about building of course I would like to be married & fixed comfortably. But I hate to take others means to set me up, when I deserve it so little. I hav'nt any thing myself & am very much behind hand. Indeed it will take another year's farming & a lucky one at that to put me straight. So perhaps I had better wait for if I can't support myself & keep up my farm I don't deserve a wife. Tell Mildred I'll answer her letter this week. I am very well.
Miss Lottie writes me she has caught a terrible cold which delays all operations on her throat so she will not be back before Feb if then & that is terrible to me, but I suppose I can stand it, as many others have before me.
I wanted to come & see you all Xmas very much. But many reasons will prevent. I have to be here 1st of Jan & then it takes 3 days now you know to reach you all & the same to return which would not give me any time to stay hardly. I shall be here all the time as far as I know being the first Xmas I have ever spent in King William.
My best love to all & believe me Dearest Mim