Delia Ann (Bush) Harrison Letter

The following is a letter written by Delia Ann Bush Harrison to her brother, Palemon Cage Bush in Winchester, Illinois. Delia had moved with her husband, Hugh and seven children from Washington County, Missouri, along the Oregon Trail to the Oregon Territory in 1847. This letter is dated August 13, 1851. Permission to reproduce it was granted by Linda Esther Schlenker.

"Santiam City, Marion County, Oregon Territory
August 13, 1851

Dear Brother,

I embrace the present opportunity of writing you a few lines for the first time since I have been in this remote corner of the earth. We left Missouri in March 1847 and arrived in this country the fall following. My health since my arrival in this country has been tolerable good. That of Mr. Harrison and the balance of the family has been undisturbed. Mr. Harrison has been absent for two weeks on a tour of the exploration in the southern part of Oregon. He expects to visit the Uniyiqua Valley and Bay before he returns. If he is pleased with that portion of Oregon he expects to move there. We are at present living in Marion County, twelve miles south east of Salem. We have eight children, Mary More, Ann Miller, Sarah, Margaret Jane, Susan Delia, James Lawrence, Evaline Elizabeth and Catherine Andrew. The last named is an Oregonian and a little spoiled thing she is. We have had tolerable good opportunities of sending our children to school in this country. Our oldest daughter (Mary More) was married last May to a gentleman by the name of Napoleon B. Evans, a man of moral sober habits and handsome property. Mr. Evans lives three miles from us and is engaged in the lumber business.

Dear brother I have been absent from you so long that I am at a loss to know how to shape my conversation so as to make it pleasant and entertaining to you. Also the contractor limits of this sheat forbid me from entering on many topics of conversation that would be entertaining to me provided we were permitted to speak to each other in purson. But I will venture today a few things to you about Oregon as a country. Oregon standing as she does on the central highways of nations found on the West by the mother of Oceans, on the South by the golden Placers of California, East by the Great Bason or Utah Territory, North by the British possessions within herself all the natural elements of wealth and greatness. Her bold and lofty mountains have dense and unsurpassed forests, her deep and rapid Rivers, her high and arid plains, her ritch deposits of gold. Are deffinent proofs of her present and future greatness.

Oregon is fast letting up with an industrious and enterprising people. Cities and towns are growing up all a long her Bays and Rivers. Saw and grist mills are being built in almost every neighborhood, farmes are being opened and the earth begins to team with the ritch rewards of the husband man. Wheat, oats and corn are the principal grains raised here which in quantity and quality is not surpassed by any other country. Potatoes, cabbages, turnips, parsnips, beets and every other article belonging to the culinary department succeeds well here. Oregon is one of the finest grazing countries in the world. Horse, cattle, sheep and hogs can be raised here in great abundance with little care or attention.

Though I am far removed from my native land, from former friends and associates and all I held dear in youth. Yes far removed from Brothers and Sisters, and that to with no very flattering prospects of again seeing them this side of the grave. These are reflections that busy memory often crowd upon my mind, and often bring forth a sympathetic tear as a solace to a desiring mind. But dear Brother, though separated while here on earth, I have a sure and stedfast hope that we will again be permitted to embrace each other when done with the trials and difficulties of this mortal career. For this hope let us live within Gods appointed means (the Gospel) that last and unerring guide to the Haven of Eternal rest where we may enjoy in full fruition all the blessings of the Sanctified throughout an endless Eternity.

I am well pleased with the exchange I have made of a home in Missouri for a home in Oregon. John More Harrison and family, Margaret L. Harrison also Lawrence Harrison arrived in this country last fall. I received not long ago a letter from sister Eveline Hinkson. She informed me that they sold their land last winter with the expectation of removing to California or Oregon this season, but in consecquence of the ill health of her husband Mr. Hinkson, they were deferred from starting. At the time she wrote the friends and relatives were all well with the exception of Brother Bricky. His health was quite precarious.

I must come to a close. I want you to write to me on the reception of this. Address your letter to Santiam City, Marion County, O.T.

My amd My familys love to you and yours and believe me as every your affectionate Sister.

Palemon Bush Delia Ann Harrison

P.P. Present Thomas Douaca and Linda his love to Mssrs. Ira Rowen and Dr. Kersey and would be happy to receive a letter from them. Address Thomas Douaca Santiam City, Marion Co., O.T.

P.B. D.A.H. " envelope: Syracuse, Org Ter, Aug 20th
Palemon C. Bush Winchester, Scott Co, Ill.

(Eveline Hinkson is Eveline Elizabeth Bush, sister to Palemon and Delia. Brother Bricky is widowed husband to Sally R. Brown Brickey, sister also to Palemon and Delia. Sally died in 1835. Mr. Brickey died in 1864.)

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