Small Lots, New Jersey June 18 1868 to Monroe, Louisiana
Garret H. Demarest to his sister-in-law Malinda Dull Van Emburgh
Your letter dated May 22 is received. We are glad to hear that you and the children were well, and that they were going to school. We are all well here. Zelotes [Zelotes Demarest] and Wife [Elmira DeVoe Demarest], and Kezia [Kezia Demarest Post] and family were also well at last account.
The weather this spring has been very wet, and we have had so much rain that Farmers have scarcely been able to get their potatoes and corn planted and some have been obliged to plow up their potatoe patches because they rotted in the ground. It is feared there will be a scarcity in the potato crop this year.
Strawberries are now ripening and commencing to come in market. They sell for about 5 or 6 cents in a basket of which 4 will make about a quart. So you see they are from 20 to 25 cents a quart.
We would be glad to receive a letter from James Garret if he sees fit to write to his friends out here, and also from Georgianna if she can write, and if she cannot write and has anything to say to us, you may write it for her.
It would give us great pleasure to see your faces for it seems quite strange to have relations so long, and be writing to them from time to time and yet never have seen them. It is very kind of that school teacher [Father Louis Gergaud] to do as you state in your letter, it shows that he has a benevolent spirit and a desire to do good.
I hope the children seeing what it costs to attend school will endeavor to improve as fast as they can, for with a moderate education a person can get very well along in this country if he writes with his education proper and steady habits.
Hope you will find one Dollar from a friend, which amount, though small, he hopes you will give it to the schooling of James Garret. He wishes he could send a larger amount but does not at this time, feel able to do so, but hopes that by the time you receive another letter, he may be able to send some more. He feels exceedingly desirous to see the children get along and make something in this world but oh, Malinda if they don`t rise up to distinction in this world, but their, and your lot is humble. Strive so to live, that when this life and its cares, and trials and disapointments are over, you may all go to that better world, where they neither marry, nor are given in marriage but are as the Angels of God.
Mother [Catherine Van Emburgh Demarest] sends you five dollars. Hoping to hear from you and the children.
I remain yours, Garret H. Demarest