Letter written at Mr. Scarritt's by Mary Jane Peery, wife of Methodist Episcopal Church, South minister John Thompson Peery. Probably sent to her sister-in-law, Elizabeth Peery, wife of Archibald Peery. Includes references to local conditions for southern sympathizers after the Civil War with the resistance to the loyalty oath mentioned. Mentions railroad being completed through to Kansas City.
At Mr. Scarritt's Oct. 11, 1865
My dear Sister
So long a time has elapsed since I received your last that I scarcely know how to write[.] [I]t is not because I have not thought of you[.] [S]carcely a week has passed but I have thought I would write to you. We have been about as unsettled all summer as we were the summers we spent with you. We have written to some of the connexion occasionally through the summer but it has been some time since we wrote to any of them.
We left Cousin Mary's in the spring to stay with my Bro. Henry's children while they went to St. Louis[.] Soon after we left Mr. Bouton sold his place and moved his family to Cousin Mary's[.] We did not go back any more but still stay at my Brothers[.] [H]e was from home the greater part of the summer[.] [H]e has gone into business in St. Louis with a wealthy Mexican wished to go in partnership with him. [H]e moved his family down the first of September[.] [T]here is none of our family now in Kansas City for the first time tho his old business house is still going on, since it was a place. Mr. Scarritt moved back to his farm about a month ago and we have been staying with them the most of the time. They have all had the chills and Mr. S. is quite sick now[.] [H]e has been very sick several days but is some better today[.] Thompson and I have been sick[.] [H]e is quite unwell now but better[.] [H]e had a slight chill yesterday and the day before but he has been taking quinine and I am in hopes he will soon be well.
We are expecting to get our old place in a few weeks[.] [T]he family that has been staying there are going away and I think when we get a house again we will know how to appreciate it[.] I do wish you would sell out and move away from that country[.] Cousin Charley Witten stayed one night with us[.] We were very glad to hear directly from you[.] He said Archy was talking of coming over here to look out a situation if we get home[.] I hope he will come and bring you with him[.] I wish all of the family were away from there[.] Charley told us how they had abused Cousin Archy[.] [T]he first we knew of his being back there[.] A great many of the Confederates have returned here but we have not heard of their being molested[.]
We have quite a stirring time here now[.] [T]he railroad is just completed through to K. Cty[.] [P]roperty is very high both in town and in the country, and a good deal is changing hands. I suppose you saw from the papers that Thompson went to St. Louis to Conference[.] [H]e was elected to the Gen Conference[.] [H]e has not been preaching any since. He has not taken the ,oath and will not. [L]ast Sabbath he gave us a good long talk at the church but did not take a text[.] [A] great many of our preachers are preaching away and say they do not intend to take the oath[.] The Northerners still hold our church and parsonage in Independence and say they will not give it up[.] Our preacher appointed there has gone to St. Louis to see Gen Pope and if he does not succeed will go on to Washington to see the President. I suppose you have seen the Advocate. It come to us as an old friend at least we welcome it as such. Tell Vica I have been looking for a letter from her for a long time[.] I know she thinks it quite a task but we would be so glad to receive a letter from her[.] I received a letter from Juriah and Jane Tandy last week the first we have had in a long time[.] I will write to them before long. We were glad to hear Father and Mother still enjoy such good health. I hope when you get home again they will get to see us[.] My mother is still in New York. I expect she will be back this fall[.] William expects to move back to Chariton this fall[.] Pettus is in St. Louis with Henry[.] [H]is wife is still here[.] They have not lived together for two years and I hope never will again.
Lucy is still with us[.] She sends her best wishes and says tell her how all the darkies are getting along and tell Master Archy she is not married yet. Brice is still with Cousin Mary[.] Thompson is lying in the bed near me trying to keep off a chill and I think he will as he is talking pretty saucy and says he would like to send some sauce to Archie. Tell him I think he might write some times if he has not forgot how. Give our love to all of our friends and accept a large share for yourself and all the family.
Your affec Sister, MJP
Letter 2, Page 1, Letter 2, Page 2, Letter 2, Page 3, Letter 2, Page 4
Missouri Valley Special Collections, Kansas City Public Library, Kansas City, Missouri
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