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A Letter Home

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A Letter Home

A Letter Home

Form the West

James A. Alston

US History 102, Online

January 08, 2012

To My Dearest Wife Jessica, May 16, 1877

​My sweat wife, as you know I have been apart from you and the children since 1875. I have seen so much here in California. The land is so much different than that of piedmont area of North Carolina. I really miss the pine trees and that sweet life of sitting on the front porch. How are the youngins doing? Well I have some new news to tell you about my latest travel. When I left Texas last year, I was herding a head of steers with Mr. Watson from San Antonio to Dodge City, Kansas. It was a great time spent with the guys. I have a young mustang horse named Trigger. He is all mines now. The boss gave him to me after I gathered a few strays that wondered of and almost got killed by coyotes. This was the largest cattle drive there has ever been. We drove over 30,000 heads of cattle that year. I was told on our ride that this was a newly formed trail and normally farmers feared that if we drove the cattle toward their land the farms would be trampled and destroyed. Pete told me that his brother was shot by one when they headed out in 1866. Mr Watson had lost a huge profit that year because he couldn't get his herd to the railroad. Well on my journey to Kansas, I saw the railroad for the first time and it was amazing. Many people had stopped by the saloons for a break until the train was ready to depart. In conversation with many, they told me about the gold and silver mines in California. This sounded so tempting but



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