May the 29th 1870
now i am a going to write some to you you are the first that i write to except father we are all well at presant and hope this may find you all the same, excuse me for not writing be fore you remember that i told you that we would see hard times when we came west i was not disapointed, i found it so, but there is good prospects. every thing i have put in the ground bidds fair for a bigg yeald. we are living on faith now, soon we will have enough of every thing.
i have had some bad luck one of my horses died that takes 70 dollars i need an other but i can’t began the account of keeping out ded and big interest. every thing here is at 10 percent interest here. maria, here is the plaice to make money if a man has got money to commence with. maria, let the folks talk about thiss bad country all they are a mind to you come and see, i will have enough to eat and to drink thiss fall if nothing hapens, now come this fall sure, you tell charley that there is not mutch hunting here only in the spring and fall if he comes tell him to fetch his shotgun by all means and he can have all the fun he wants. give my respects to him. if he comes out i will go with him and take up a homestead with him this fall.
maria, i believe i have got as nice a little farm as you ever see, give my respects to john hurg and Aide and tell them to write i want to hear from all when you write you tell me all the news. you tell George to write and tell me what he is a doing. you tell father that i can go out any time here and catch a mess of bull heads and pickerel. i can shoot ducks right here by the dore but they are a sitting now, you tell george that i will write him a loud letter by and by. maria write often and not wait for me for i tell you it is a tight rub for me to get money to pay postage. I haint a shamed to write but i cant write it takes every cent i can rake and scrape to live on until i can raise some thing. you tell me what father is a doing. Thiss is all for thiss time write soon we send our love to you all direct o
you tell me how judge gets along this summer and what he is a doing
and now for my happy family
my mare has got a good colt
my cow has got a good calf
my sow has got 7 pigg
my cat has got 3 kittens
we have got lotts of chickens
they are all well and in good order.
good by beet it if you can
Maria, my big brother morg haint paid me yet. he said he would pay when he took the things. it is 19 dollars.
Thoughts: You can almost hear Orlando shoring himself up with all of his hopes. He alternates between boasting his luck with his beautiful, soon-to-be bountiful farm and the cold reality that "oh by the way" my horse is dead and I can't afford postage. He is excited but he is homesick. And, in the end, he really is the youngest brother trying to make everyone proud of him. He needs the $19 from his brother but the point is made quietly off in the margin to get Maria on the case. Something tells me Maria (Anna) wouldn't let such a debt go unpaid.