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Romance Historical Fiction Happy

Dear Mother,

I am waiting to board the packet boat in Syracuse and I thought I would write you my first letter to reassure you that I will be writing to you as much as I can. I am very excited to board the boat and start my new endeavor in Wisconsin. The boat travel on the canal seems simple enough and I am sure that it will be pleasant. I will only be on it for a few days, I hope, before reaching Buffalo. I hope from there that travel will not be too uncomfortable over the Great Lakes. And after that, only God knows at this time. I heard in a tavern here people talking about a skirmish in Utah. These people called the Mormons were causing trouble out there and troops were sent out there to make sure that they don’t cause any more. So, you see, the government does have some interest in maintaining order in the western territories. At least there is no slavery in the territories. I don’t want to live among people that think it is right to own another human being. I hope to live among good people that share my values and will work hard. It will be hard to do this alone. Perhaps I will find community. Love, John

Dear Momma, 

We are stopped in Syracuse to pick up more passengers and cargo. I only have a few more days until I reach Buffalo. It has been such an adventure so far! I heard that salt is produced in abundance here, and that is what they are transporting. I am learning all kinds of things on my journey to see my cousins. The boat is comfortable enough. I have a small little room with a bed, though most people sleep in their seats at night. They turn down as a bed when needed. I can see a huge, ornate building from the canal, and they say it is the courthouse. The city looks beautiful from the canal, but I can not travel to see it. I so long to see more of this city, and this world! I will write as much as I can to tell you every sight and sound! Love, Helen

Dear Mother, 

We are in Rochester now. I have stayed to myself mostly during this trip as the weather is not inspiring. I learned that Frederick Douglas lives in this city. I had words with one of the passengers regarding Douglas’s character and ideals. It nearly came to blows. I stepped away and left the boat as it was staying overnight and took refuge in a tavern. Yes, Mother, I know I need to calm my temper. Perhaps a woman could assuage my temperament. You were always good at doing so with Father and I, though, sorrowfully, you were not always successful. Love, John

Dear Momma, 

We are stopped in Rochester and it is so pretty out here on the deck, even if the weather isn’t. I heard that there is an indoor shopping plaza in this city! With a glass roof! I caught a glimpse of the arcade that a crew member pointed out to me. Would it not be so lovely to go shopping there? Oh, I heard shouting from the main room in the night time! No worries I am safe in my cocoon of a room. I was not scared at all. I assume some people are just not used to travel so close to one another. I also heard that here in this city, there will be a Free Soil Convention, to oppose the expansion of slavery into the western territories. I hope they are successful in stopping that horror from seeping into the rest of the country. The Western territories sound so exciting! Perhaps, one day I could visit. Maybe even live there and pioneer! Love, Helen

Dear Mother, 

Tonight was a magical evening! We had passed by Brockport, (with all of the flour mills) and some of us stepped outside to view the full moon. The Genesee River passes directly next to the Erie Canal. The moon had transformed the river and the canal into a mirror and the deck was lighted like a stage. I saw a young woman on the deck admiring the view. It was an inviting scene so I introduced myself. Her name was Helen. She was on her way to see her cousins in Buffalo. I thought her brave to travel in such a way as a young woman, and I told her so. I told her that she had a pioneering spirit. She told me that she begged her family to allow her to come on this journey alone. Brave and headstrong! I asked if I could meet with her the next night to take in the view and she agreed. Love, John

Dear Momma, 

I met a nice young man tonight, named John. We met while I was taking in the view on the boat deck. The moon was bright, there was a river nearby and the sound of the water lapping against the boat made me feel as if I was in a Van Gogh painting. He was on his way to Wisconsin. He had heard that work was plentiful and decided to make a go of it. He is a brick mason and there is work out in the frontier where there is so much building going on. The financial panic last year made him think that he should look for work in the frontier. I asked him endless questions because I was so intrigued. He asked me if I would see him tomorrow night to take in the view and I said yes. Don’t worry, Momma. Love, Helen

Dear Mother, 

Though there was no magical moon or inspiring summer breeze (it was stifling hot, actually) , this night was more magical than last night. I feel like I am in love. Yes, I know, Mother, I am a “ladies man”. I can see you rolling your eyes in my mind! I do think, however, that this lady would meet with your approval. She is a lady, but she has an interest in the frontier and she is a hard worker. She is a picture to look at, as well, standing in the moonlight or standing in the sunlight. Love, John

Momma, Momma, Momma!

What a night we had last night! The weather was dreary and cloudy, and there was no magical vista of the river meandering next to the canal this night, but it was beautiful nonetheless! John and I talked for hours and hours. We could have been sitting in a garbage heap and it still would have been the best night of my life. I love his ideas about the life he would like to lead. He has strong opinions, I can tell, but luckily our opinions are the same. I hope (hope, hope, hope!) That we will see each other more. Love, Helen

Dear Mother, 

I am sorry that I haven’t written in the past few days, but I have been spending all of my time with Helen. She’s a dream! Love, John

Dear Momma, 

I think I want to live in the frontier! Love, Helen

May 27, 2023 02:01

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