Tabor, Iowa, Aug. 8, 1857.
George L. Stearns, Esq., Boston, Mass.
My Dear Sir, — In consequence of ill-health and other hindrances too numerous and unpleasant to write about, the least of which has not been the lack of sufficient means for freight bills and other expenses, I have never as yet returned to Kansas. This has been unavoidable, unless I returned without securing the principal object for which I came back from the Territory; and I am now waiting for teams and means to come from there to enable me to go on.1 I obtained two teams and wagons, as I talked of, at a cost of seven hundred and eighty-six dollars, but was obliged to hire n teamster and to drive one team myself. This unexpected increase of labor, together with being much of the time quite unwell and depressed with disappointments and delays, has prevented my writing sooner. Indeed, I had pretty much determined not to write till I should do it from Kansas. I will tell you some of my disappointments. I was flattered with the expectation of getting one thousand dollars from Hartford City and also one thousand dollars from New Haven. From Hartford I did get about two hundred and sixty dollars, and a little over in some repair of arms. From New Haven I got twenty-five dollars; at any rate, that is all I can get any advice of. Gerrit Smith supplied me with three hundred and fifty dollars, or I could not have reached this place. He also loaned me one hundred and ten dollars to pay to the Thompsons who were disappointed of getting their money for the farm I had agreed for and got possession of for use. I have been continually hearing from them that I have not fulfilled, and that I told them I should not leave the country till the thing was completed. This has exceedingly mortified me. I could tell you much more had I room and time. Have not given up. Will write more when I get to Kansas.
1 Have here and at Nebraska City five full loads.
SOURCE: Franklin B. Sanborn, The Life and Letters of John Brown, p. 411-2