[From photocopy of original from Hunter Cannon]
††††††††††††††††† Saint Louis June 15th 1856
My Dear wife Elizabeth
††††††††††††††††† After a long and tigeous [tedious] journey of forty Eight days I arrived at Mormon Grove, and a more thankfull set of men you never see, we all felt to rejoyce and give thanks to God that we had arrived thus far on our journey in safety. There is three or four familys in Mormon Grove they want to get away as soon as possible, there is great excitement in that region between the pro Slavery men and the abolishonists they are killing and robing each other as fast as they can what the end will be the Lord only knows, how thankfull the saints ought to fill that God has given them a mountain home far away from old Baberlon, this Grove is within five miles of the Missourie River about 500 miles from St Louis I came down on a Steam Boat called the polar Star in about three Days, I have just got cleaned up my upper lip shaved, so to be ready to attend meeting, next Tuesday all the Elders that can get means will leave here for the East, I expect to be one of the number the Lord willing.
I hope these few lines will reach you and little Fred in good health and spirrits I expect he begins to talk by this time O how much greater the tie of a husband a father when they are far from them, what would I give could I step in and embrace you in my arms this Evening, could money hire me to stay from my family with the feelings I have now, no never! Were it not for the Gospel, I would start tomorrow morning for my mountain home as fast as steam & horse power would carry me, and I would try and see you in less time than forty Eight days, I donít expect you will require it of me to write verry often, as I have so many to write too, that when you here from me through others and know that I am doing the best I can for you and the church you will be satisfied and rejoice, tell James the knife & Fork he gave me was verry convenient I always had it on hand while others had to hunt theirs up give my love to all your fathers family and keep a liberal share yourself, kiss Fred for me and I will kiss you to pay for it when I get home, T S Williams will have an heir in this City in a few weeks by Miss Holman pride & pomposity must fall
now I must close my letter by wishing you all the comfort and peace you can get, I have seen Bro Rowberrys Bro Thomas he about six feet and a half, high looks like a nother [breed?] of, he was married a short time a go to a little black eyed girl, give my love to John Polly Bro Rowberry Maughn Geo and all my Tooele brethren that enquire after me & tell them to write to me No 42 Islington St Liverpool England.
††††† I remain as ever your afectionate Husband
††††††††††††††††† E T Benson
PS You will direct all my letters in care of Bro O. Pratt Islington St. No 42 the number is changed ETB