Letter written by Harrison Young
January 22, 1861
January 22, 1861
Your communication of Jan. 6 arrived here by due course of mail—its contents were carefully analyzed and now I reply. First, I will acknowledge the receipt of your letter, bearing the date of Dec. 12, 1860, which made its way to Boston in eight days. I should have replied to that, had it not been that I mailed you a letter a few days prior to its reception. Land Warrants are drill here at this time. All have been anticipating the passage of the Home Stead Bill. This seems to have effected the buying and selling of Warrants, much. I am not certain that they have been sold here at 50 cents per acre--but they have been sold as low as 62, in some instances. I find it impossible to ascertain the least price that would purchase a 120 acre Warrant, in a few weeks as the prices are continually fluctuating. One man told men that he expected he could furnish them for something in the neighborhood of 65 cents but that he could make no promises for the future.
The quotations which you observe in the N.Y. Tribune, I presume, are advertising agents that are buying Warrants for speculation. Hence, you could not always form a correct estimation of the real value of Warrants from that. General Rule—The larger the Warrant, the less per acre. The smaller the Warrant, the higher per acre. If there is no great change, I think they can be purchased in a few weeks for 65 or 70 cents.
I send you a Bill that one man made out, with prices. After conversing with a number of the leading merchants, I am convinced that it would be very difficult to exchange said farm, in Ill. for goods. They tell me that they are making no heavy trades at the present time--that their business was never so dull in Boston, before. The "impending crisis" has stifled all trade, and they do not expect to do much til things take a change.
Today, I received a letter from Matilda, dated Jan. 16. They were all well, with the exception of "colds." Father was favorly. Hannibal was teaching at Rat's schoolhouse. They had a school teacher boarding with them. A number of weddings had occurred among those with whom we have been aquatinted. I am still "working out my own salvation." Times are very chase. Labor scare, and beggers often seen. But I cannot be discouraged, while God gives me health, and a half chance. But "I tremble for my country." I fear that the proudest nation upon the globe may have to confess their incapacity for self-government. I was in the Mass. Legislature yesterday, and today. The military question was under discussion, and the house was crowded. I believe that secession is another name for treason. I am ready to shoulder arms, in defense of the Constitution and Union.
I am, as ever, Your Brother.
Harrison P. Young
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