Elizabeth Neff letter to her mother (Anna Bitner), 21 August 1848, in Musser family letters, 1847-1849; 1877.
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Dear Mother B [-] (Interesting turn)
As there is foalks going back I embrace the opertunity of sending you A line[.] We are well with the exception of colds[,] Martha has had A bad Cold[.] she is getting better[,] she is very naughty girll[,] she wontt let a strange person peak to her[.] We are now at the head of sweet river and shall be at the place of destination in a few weeks[,] I hope. The weather is groing Cold[.] We can see snow on the mountains[.] We have not got to it yet. We expect it will come to us evry day[.] We have got along pretty well and we would have got along faster but we have lost a great many Cattle sience we got on the black hills[.] the first night we got to this place there was 10 head died[.] I have not heard
how of any sience[.] we think of staying here a week in order to send back teams that were borrowed[.] And there is 100 wagons and 900 yoak of oxen expected by that time <from valey>[.] We have lost one of our cows and an ox[.] they were perfectly well in the evening[,] in the morning lying dead[,] it is the way they all at some [time] drop Dead in the yoak folks. Got to examining there cattle and found there was A great many had A kind of it hollow bone[.] They Do not appear sick untill they die[.] it is a good thing to rub cattle with a little turpintine to keep off desezes [diseases] and if they appear sick little tobacko and taken givin inwardly is good. We sent men to the valley some time ago[.] they returned a few days ago and bring very good news[.] foalks there say they think they will have plenty for themselves and to spare[.] I know of nothing more that would be interresting[.] I should love to here frome you if it were possible but I hope you are well and enjoying yourselves if I could wish you here you would be here but by next seson you can come more comfortable than you could this if you get your meens[.] get evry thing you need to make you happy[.] you need not bring much seleratus you can get plenty on the way[.] there is a particular place to get it[.] it is not all good[.] I must close[.] I send this by our Captain hundred Brother Taylor[.] Except of our love[.] Martha says she would love to see her little Aunt and Uncle. She could laugh and play with you now if she could see you. Give my love to Arnos and Benjin no more at preasent.