Placerville, Col Dec 8th 1861
Mr Geo W Gregg
When the Missourian got a letter he expressed himself thus “Byme By I got a letter from my kind brother Ike it came from old Missouri ___ the way from Pike _____.
I must say my feelings were somewhat like his’n. Tis said that disappointment is the common lot of mankind so I thought after reading your letter for before opening it I expected that you wanted a ____ to aid you in your heavy business. But alas! it contained the offal news. Bust again by thunder! I have nothing to say for I can’t buy cattle there. But I made $13 on one little trade here. You want to come here I see. Well I want you to But if you should kick the bucket on the road a cold corpus would haunt me forever.
Now sir I want you to look around & find someone that is going to cross next year…
Don’t agree to pay more than $50 half down + when they get here I will pay the other half. (that is if we don’t cheat them out of it) Perhaps Dick Gray the mason will come. If you come with a private family you ought to have a horse to ride 2 pair of blankets 2 pair pants 2 pair under and overshirts 2 pair boots a good navy coat and stockings. Anything more than you absolutely need will be a cuss to you.
Were I to cross again I would not take a sag only on my back. Once in awhile I would take off my shirts & shake off the “Lime backs” & put them on tother end up.
After you get here you are bound to do well if you try. You will have to let cards whisky & Chinawomen alone or they will skunk you as they have many & many a one in this state.
I tell you George it is one of the best climates to live in you ever dreamt of. It is a young heaven compared to Wis. There is a great many young men doing well here & again there is a great many that had better be at home or in their graves.
Perhaps you remember the boy that used to work in Livingston’s grocery. He came to G. Valley when I was there dead broke & bootless. He could get nothing to do there neither could he go farther without money so I gave him $5 & told him to vamoose. Now if you cross the plains you will see the time that you will cuss ______ Col & everything else up hill & down.
The rightest fix I was in was at C Bluffs. I went up on the bluffs at sunset & looked across the river to the west. Thinks I to go ahead is sure death, to turn back is to be laughed at 7 years. I was puzzled between which to choose but I concluded to take the chances.
I must say that I have never been sorry for it. I want you to answer right off let me know whether you can find any one to come with also if Mr. Warren received any lumber from Mick last fall. Uncle Charley is anxious to sell the Dodge farm I guess. It could be bought for $2000 cash or approved paper. Is there anything done in real estate these times. Now young man save all you get and get all you can. This you will have to do here or anywhere else in order to do well. Tell Helen I will answer hers before new years. Jeff, Sarah & yourself must write & Oblige your brother Harry Gregg.