Ft. Vancouver, W.T.
Dec. 23rd 1859
My dear Sisters,
Your letters of the 30th Oct., Nov. 3rd & 13th came within the last few days. We have been [inbound?] for the last four weeks and consequently our mails are not the most regular, as you may perceive, by the arrival of your letters together—and our letters must go tonight before 12 o’clock or they will miss the steamer which has been unable to get up the river any higher than St. Helens.
I have no memorandum of what moneys I have rec’d from the estate. Jim made some assignment which I recollect [money?] entered in his account book of the moneys he came into possession of in ’53 or ’54, & this I suppose he has yet. I have only rec’d so far as I know, 400 and odd dollars, which I rec’d from Sam. It came from the sale of Ranger land I think—at all events I wish you to say to Jim, that if no account of the money he rec’d has been kept, __ it is quite time that it should be done, and if I come home next summer, I will take the trouble settle up the estate if he will only account for what he has received. It appears to me to be the most simple matter in the world, & why it should remain so long unsettled is indeed surprising.
I am getting settled here and hope to obtain a leave so as to be home next summer, tho’ I cannot say what time exactly. When I say I am getting settled I refer to my Company, for which I have had to have quarters, stables, &c. built and put in order, and a thousand & one things to do which no one can do so well as oneself.
I do not know how it will be about visiting Will & Becky at Honolulu. It will depend upon the season I get away from here. I should dislike very much indeed to leave without visiting them & if it should so happen that I cannot go east this summer, I shall certainly make a great effort to go to the Islands, whether or no.
The question you ask about the moneys you & Hal have in your keeping I do not know how to answer, but you had better take for yourselves some portion of them amounting to what Kate or Will has had, and use the interest as you want it. As for any that belongs to me, I have already told you to use it as if it were your own. Jim, I feel satisfied, must have some account of his stewardship which he should produce in justice to himself.
Our little excitement on this side of the continent has quietly settled down, while on your side I see [things?] rather increasing. I think if they could hang along with old Brown, Gerrit Smith, Wendell Phillips, & a few more of the abolition stripe, it would effectually [end] this agitation for a time, at least.
I must close this very hastily written scrawl as in fact most of my letters to you are. I scarcely sit down to write until the last moment & then have to hurry to be in time for the mail.
Love to all at home and believe me your affectionate Brother,
John F. Reynolds
Miss Ellie Reynolds,
My dear Sister, Ell told me to send this to you and as I have written you of our welfare have but little new this week. Am glad they did not go to Sam’s; such weather I [ … roads?]. ‘Tis bitter cold here today. While I was out yesterday with their cloak, no furs. Guess your children have as much snow as they had at Lucinda. By the bye ask M___ if she has yet found any place to equal Lucinda in her affections, and if Jack Black holds as much place in her memory as ever. Willie thinks if only they were here he would be so happy. I hope Jim read[s] this letter with profit. Love to all, ever your attached sister,