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Letter No. 1

Twenty miles east of Ft. Laramie, June 20, 1852.

I embrace the opportunity to let you know how we are getting along. On the fifteenth of this month, we came up with Stuart Richey, Jas. Atkin and Jas. Ingram, encamped near the Platte, being the first we had seen or heard of them since we crossed the Missouri River, which we did on the 21st of May.

We found Louisa Richey at the point of death. She departed this life on the morning of the 16th of June—died of diarrhoea or cholera morbus. The rest of the company are in reasonable health, except Stuart—his health is poor—he took cold at the Missouri and has a pain in his breast. We had a good deal of sickness on the plains. John Newell has been very low with lung fever, but has got up. Wm. Howe has had the diarrhoea, but is better. Alice and the children have all been sick. There is a great deal of diarrhoea and cholera on the plains. We have seen hundreds of graves, and it is said we are in advance of the greater portion of the emigration and sickness. Emigration is large. I think it a poor place to get health or keep it. Emigrants should use no water out of sloughs or wells, as the emigrants have dug hundreds of them, being from 3 to 4 feet deep. The Platte River is the healthiest water we can get, having a less portion of alkali in it. My teams are all alive and seem to be doing well.

I paid $20 for crossing the Missouri. We crossed on the Robt. Campbell. There were two steamboats ferrying, the other the Elpaco. They came up with provisions and found they could get almost any price for ferrying, as the ferryboats could not cross near all the emigration.

We are now in sight of Laramie Peak, among the Black hills, a snow-capped mountain. I would not advise father to start to Oregon by land, but by water. I would be glad to see you and Hannah in Oregon if I get there; and you can come if you have your health; but I will not advise you to come by land. I have seen but little game since I started. I have killed one deer—have seen no buffalo—the first emigration scared them off the road. We have seen no Indians for three or four hundred miles.

From your brother and sister,



To Lafayette Richey and Hannah Richey, Salem, Iowa.

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