1886-87 - USA, Canada, Hawaii, Samoa, New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, Egypt
November 14th, 1886
The Bates House, Indianapolis
My Beloved Angee,
I received your letter sent to Chicago on arrival here last night, having asked them at the Grand Paciﬁc and the P.O to send on any letters that may come for me. Reason for sending the cable after the accident was fearing that reports might get into the English papers that I was among those who were burnt to death and indeed some in Chicago thought so. It was a very great deliverance indeed for me, which has called for the thanksgiving from many hearts among the saints here as well as from those at home. Received a very nice letter from dear Mr. Pollock yesterday - also Mr. Rubie and a specially kind one from dear Mr. Mead and from the ﬁrm, who have sent me a fresh lot of samples. I left Kansas City on Tuesday morning last for St. Louis and for 2 days tried hard for business but was not successful in getting hold of any. It was a different state of things to the busy West and North West cities. Had a nice time with the saints there and left on Friday morning for Springﬁeld, Illinois where I remained the night, spending the evening with a dear brother, a grain merchant and his family who were very kind and hospitable. Called on a large concern and had a very interesting time with the principal, a Mr. Conniolly who will get a supply of our goods through one of our Chicago customers well known to him. Mr. C. did not want one to leave his shop but kept me there a long time. At last I found out he had been recently converted among the Presbyterians and when I spoke to him of God's love in the gift of His dear son - he turned his back upon me and wept and buried his face for a few moments - his heart seemed broken - now and then some one would come over wanting to see him but he put up his hand saying, "engaged", and would not move away - he begged me to come in and see him again before leaving the place in the morning, which I did and he was in the same spirit. The dear brother Mr. Ulrich at whose home I spent the evening was very much interested about it and I hope will see him. Left Springﬁeld at 10 am for this city, arriving at 6 pm - at the depot I noticed before starting a group of coloured children walking to the train with a little coloured woman, I supposed to be the mother, I was struck with them and counted them up as they passed me. We had to change cars at some junction and I then found my little black friends sitting in the next seats, in the same car with me. The 2 eldest were boys 14 and 12 and ranged down to one in arms. They were all nicely dressed and well shod and looked as if they had a good mother. Feeling much interested I began to talk with the boys and then discovered from the woman, that they had just lost their mother and that she (her sister) was taking them all down to Louisville to their grandmother who was going to take care of them for a little while. Well we spent the day together – the dear lads learnt John III.16, which they were able to read nicely out of my testament and we all sang together - "Jesus loves me" and "Just as I am" and it would have done your heart good to have seen one of the little girls about Olive's age singing and another of them I had upon my knee. They behaved so nicely and did not give their aunt a bit of trouble - the dear mother was a Christian and her sister says much loved and esteemed by white as well as coloured people. I am going to send the lads a small Bible each and they have promised to write me when they receive them I related the tale of the gypsy lad to them and made the boys repeat it after - it was so touching to see their interest in it. We have had a very happy meeting here this morning only about 8 or 9 at a brothers house, but precious I am sure to God, who loves His son. Am proposing to preach this evening and we are to have a reading again tomorrow evening. A very hearty letter just in from Henry referring to his having met you and kissed each other. Well, if ever any family proved what the face of God can accomplish surely we have. To Him be all the praise. We have decided to return by Etruria from New York December 4 and I expect shall have Mr. Mead's son with us. I wired him last night to Charleston, South Carolina, by his father's request saying when I proposed returning as he would like to return at same time. He is gone over there with some thought of settling in that country. My time is drawing to a close, and I shall soon reach New York and see the old country once more. Among the delicacies I have taken a great fancy to since my sojourn and which I fear you will have need to continue at home is Oatmeal porridge - not a very expensive one you will say, but I have found a very serviceable one. Weather is still very ﬁne, only cold; at St. Louis we had very heavy snow the morning I left but ran out of it about 40 miles away.
You will have received the bundle of papers I sent from Chicago relating to the accident. Now my beloved Angee with much love to you and all our dear ones at Barnstaple and Ilfracombe, hoping to see all your dear faces again in a few weeks in the goodness and mercy of God believe me.
Love to dear Eliza who directed my letter I see.
Being very affectionate Husband
Since writing the enclosed the mail has brought a letter from P.F. Co. which is rather startling. I copy a few lines –
"Dear Sir, Your success in Canada, combined with the reports we have received of the opening up of a fresh country in the Gold mining districts of Western Australia has suggested the possible desirability of your extending your journey round the world".
What do you think of that?