This letter was copied from the original. The original was received from Bessie Leona Tiffany, a granddaughter of Arthur Tyrrell and a sister of my grandfather, Ray Winthrop Justus.
One and all I have again taken the pen to write a few lines to let you know that I am in the land of the living but not of plenty as you may guess by the price of provisions we have to pay I will quote some before I git through I am well and have a god appetite to eat but hav not much to eat at presant. It is raining now like h--l yesterday it snowed and rained all day I received a letter from Hiram last tuesday from Weever Vill allso one that you had sent thare for me daited Oct 1rst and 8th I was pleased to hear from you once more Hi wrote he was well and that he was going to Humbolt Bay to make shingles it is some whare about 150 or 175 miles from Shasta so I do not expect to see him until spring I expect to stay in the vicinity of Shasta all winter if I can make a living flour is selling at 75 and 80 cents per pound salt pork 45 to 50 hams 50 to 55 side bacon 50 to 55 potatoes 30 to 35 per pound no meal no beans nor rice here beef fresh 30 to 35 pork fresh 50 to 75 grizly bear 25 to 50 venison 25 to 30 sugar 25 to 35 coffee 40 to 45 tea 100. butter 100. evry thing eatable is scarse and hard to git
as to comeing home I intend to come in the spring if I have money enough to come with for I have given up trying to git rich alltho thare is plenty of gold here and meny gits it but I cant I have tried till I am satisfied I would come this winter but I dont like to come in the winter it is cold enough here but it is nothing compared with that country I like some parts of California and if I had my family with me I should be satisfied to live here the remainder of my days I can make aliveing in Illinois but I dread the cold winters thare more than any thing else as to the Socity of California we have all kinds a person can have any that he choses either good midling or bad I judge them by the company they keeps allthough all live as it wer to gether I git a long well enough you complain that I do not write as near as I can learn from your letters the letters that I pay the postage on dose not go to you I have sent a number of papers you do not say whether you git them you spoke of one you sent to me I did not git it I shall not be likely to send any more at presant as the fire at Shasta burnt the printing office allso the best buildings in town it is a biger town now then Elizabeth was when I left and one fourth of it is burnt up but that is not the cause of provisions being high you have probably heard of Sacramento being burnt this fall that helps a little speckolation with the merchants and scarcity abroad makes it I expect it will be high all winter
as for Mrs Cheany I have not received any letter from her all I can say about the Cheanys is I saw the yongest one of the two that is out here last Sunday in Shasta he was well and oferd to sell me a sac of flour 50 pounds at 75 cents a pound he was pedling I asked him whare his brother was he said with the pack train comeing up from Colusa I asked whare Ben White was he said hunting that is all I know a bout them but if I git aletter from her I am at her servis and will do the best I can for her acording to her instructions She or any of the california widows will find a friend in me I pity them all I have not seen nor heard from any old acquaintance this summer I have writen to L Dow but have not received an answer I am pleased to hear from Mr Lawrence once more and that he is with his family again Pickering I do not know where he is and if Nathan Tinney and Leonard Butterfield is in the country I have not heard from them and I have not heard from Arden In thinking over the mariges that has taken place thare I am mused at some surprised at some confounded and sorry for others I will only mention one name I am sorry for Lucy that she has such bad luck as to burn her shirt last spring and will only add that I hope that apples and codfish is plenty that is all but I look forward with pleasure to the time when I can once more see and speek to my friends and acquaintance and not write my views as I now do on paper I wish them all good luck and prosperity that is all I can do for them now and say God bless them
A few words to Eliza you flatter my pride in braging of the boy you say he is hansom and smart them qualities are well enough but tell him he is a naughty boy if he swears Eliza Ann you say learns her book fast tell her she is a good girl for that and learn to bee a good girl evry other way Henry you say dose not learn fast I am sorry I was in hopes he would but tell him to try and learn his book and bee a good boy tell Jane (Hiram's wife) that I am much obliged to her for the compliments she wrote I must say she has wrot what I shall be proud of til I die allthough I never hed the pleasure of seeing her the conection she holds to one that I hold in the hiest esteem brings her on an equality with him in my estimation the same as if we hed an acquaintance of meny years I look forward to the time that I can have the pleasure of an acquaintance and see her injoying the company of the one she hes chosen as a companion and I can asure her she has made a good choice he is worthy of as good as thare is or the best thare is All I have to say more is to do as you think best untill I come then we can set and talk as you wrote to me write direct your letters to Shasta thare is a report that one of the mail Steamers is lost but I do not know how it is remember me to all inquireing friends and receive this from your friend and well wisher
Ray W. Justus
1331 West Folley Street
Chandler, AZ 85224-7511