Letter from Abel to William typed from written transcription by Barbara Swansbro Fisher of original very fragile letter and typed by Bonnie Swansbrough Dunn. Paragraph breaks added to assist with ease of reading. There were no breaks in original letter.


April 3, 1867

From Richmond Canada

Braidwood near Wilmington [Illinois]

My dear Brother and Sister

I received your kind letter and was glad to hear from you likewise that you are well and am thankful that you are all safe and together in this country and that you both like it which you could not do otherwise if compared with the Old Country I have so often been thankful that a Devine Providence brought me here. You will find it so much better for to bring up your family, plenty of work and good pay.

I hope dear brother that your children will be a comfort to you. Bring them up in the fear of God and you and them will find that His ways are ways of blessedness and His paths are peace for we cannot serve God for nothing. I have found Him to be a good master and cannot but speak well of His Holy name.

I sent my likeness in a letter to Sister Martha in London and, 3 years after she sent me an answer scoulding me for not writing to them. I have wrote to them several times and they will not write to me and then I think they are removed to some other place and it is useless for me to send to them again. I tell you this that you may not be disappointed or surprised in not hearing from them yourself, you ask about this country. I have done very well here by the blessing of God and being industrious and careful but still we have a long winter here have to stall and feed own cattle 6 months of the year and it is a poor place for fruits. We can hardly grow apples, but as I settled here I have stuck to my past for I do not like moving from place to place.

This land here is mostly for cattle and sheep, the wheat and corn that you riase in such abundance is with us, an uncertain crop is mostly folow the Dairy Business.

I think that if you can get a footing in Illinois, I would advise you to make it your home. Do not be led away by the glowing accounts that is told of the West ad other places. If you take notice, there is always a good country at a distance but man may travel and discontent can travel to wherever. My dear brother, the lot of man is cast then we shall find joy & sorrow, pleasure & plain, bitter & sweet. Work away, therefore, and keep up your courage and you will be a rich man in a few years and when you are comfortably settled and can be spared we would be most happy to see you and Mrs. Swanborough.

Pay us a visit and we may do the same to you. I sent you a newspaper, when you write tell me if you got them and I will send you some more. I should like to hear from you soon. So write that you get this.

So now I will conclude with our kindest love to you all wishing at the same time that the Lord may bless and prosper you in all things from your efforts brother & sister.

Abel Swanborough

Please Direct Richmond Post Office

Canada East

(You don’t spell your name right)