Dear Brothers and Sisters, through the mercy of God I am blessed with the opportunity of writing you a few lines to let you know that I and (my)family are all well at this time, thank God for it. Hoping that these few lines may find you all enjoying the same blessing. I received your letter yesterday, to my great satisfaction and surprise. I had often thought of you and had despaired of ever hearing from any of you again.
I learned from my newpaper that the Mormons were driven from their homes and some killed, and never hearing from you, I thought that you were killed, or had taken the pilgrim route through the wilderness to California. I learned that many had started and suffered on their way by famine.
I saw also in some of my papers the name of Capt. Brown in California, and the writer made mention that the Mormons were good soldiers, ‘Let folks say what they might about them’, he said that Capt. Brown sent to him if he lacked any assistance, to let him know, and he would come to his assistance, for his company was ready at any call. This was the time of the Mexican War. I took it for granted and said that you were the Capt. Brown that the officer had been speaking about. I don’t now recollect the officer’s name. It was one of the head officers in California. About that time I took a great deal of time in reading the news. I felt a deep interest in perusing all my papers.
I also hear from (of) the poor afflicted Mormons in almost every paper here; of their afflictions and distress, knowing that almost all of my family connection was sharing in that great calamity and distress and not them alone. I think I felt for those whom I (had) never heard of, with sorrow to my heart.
I could hear from our poor soldiers in Mexico, and the many battles fought there, which I took deep interest (in) why my countrymen were there. My countrymen were there, my son was there. I will inform you that my son, Alexander was in the Mexican War. He wrote to me after peace was made that he had been in all the battles from Vera Cruz, to Mexico City. We never heard from him from the time he left, until the war ended, some two years after peace was made.
The company came within 300 miles of home, then wrote to us and sent some money for me to take care of until he got discharged. The letter (said) he was about 1,000 miles off, on his way to California. I suppose that he enlisted for five years. His time was more than half out. We don’t expect to see him, if we all live, until he serves his time.
Jerome has got his health, he is nearly as stout as myself. He looks red and hardy as I ever did with his red whiskers, like a four year old goate. London is hearty, and is the most intelligent boy of his age I most ever saw, and is said to be so of all that know him.
We all have enjoyed as good health as we could expect, ever since you left us. I am making out very well as yet, though my Black family is increasing very fast, which gives me all I can well do, to support them well, as they are all small and not able to do anything yet, but if I live and keep my health, I hope that we will not suffer. I would say something about the troubles and trials that I have undergone, but I consider since I have seen your letter, that my troubles are light when compared with yours. This is the second letter I have received from you since you left.
O dear Brother, don’t neglect to write as of (often) as you well can and I will try to do the same. I hardly can bare the thoughts of closing this letter when I think of the withered breast where we all drew our first sustenance from, now separated so far from each other, never to see each other again in time, nor to hear each other’s voices in time now left to view. The cold earth where those withered faces are laid, that gave us birth. To him that begat us, but their dust is watched and will rise again. O how happy for us if we with them can never to part no more.
Dear Brother, I now must come to a close for this time, hoping that these lines may reach you. I want to be remembered to all of my family connection. My mind if full, but I can’t express. I can grasp you all in my affections, Brothers and Sisters, pray for us, and I will try to pray for you all too, that we all may meet where parting is no more. Finally, Farewell to Capt. James Brown.