Lawrence, K. T., Aug. 16, 1857.
My Dear Friend, — I received your letter of the 8th inst. yesterday. I am glad to hear that you are so near. Messrs. Realf, Phillips, and Wattles also received letters from you yesterday. I have a word of caution to say in regard to Mr. Wattles. He is a friend whom I most highly esteem; yet he is so connected in politics that I think it unsafe for you to communicate to him any plans you would not like to communicate directly to Governor Walker. For this reason: Mr. Wattles is under George W. Brown; and both believe in submitting in good faith, under Governor Walker, to the Territorial anthorities. Governor Walker comes to town frequently, and stops at the “Herald of Freedom” office, in secret conclave with G. W. Brown. When you come here (if you should), you can judge for yourself.
Messrs. Phillips, Wattles, and Realf I have seen; they will write to you themselves, and I will merely give you my own mind on the subject. I do not know what you would have me infer by “business.” I presume, though, by the word being emphasized, that you refer to the business for which I learn you have a stock of material with you. If you mean this, I think quite strongly of a good(?) opening for this business about the first Monday in October1 next. If you wish other employments, I presume you will find just as profitable ones. I am sorry that you have not been here in the Territory before. I think that the sooner you come the better, so that the people and the Territorial authorities may become familiarized with your presence. This is also the opinion of all other friends with whom I have conversed on this subject. You could thus exert more influence. Several times we have needed you very much. I have much to communicate to you, which I cannot do throngh this medinm; therefore you must try to let me know of your approach or arrival as soon as possible, through Mr. Phillips, or through the Lawrence postoffice. I presume Mr. Phillips wrote to you in regard to teams and means, which, as Mr. Whitman is now East, will be, I fear, scarce.
Most sincerely your friend,
James H. Holmes.
1 Election Day.
SOURCE: Franklin B. Sanborn, The Life and Letters of John Brown, p. 395-6