Received at Vancouver Barracks on June 5, 1885
Wolverine River, Alaska Territory
April 13, 1885
Dearest Sophie, my love,
I do not know the chances of this letter ever reaching you, & certainly it will be a miracle if it does, but I have to seize tis chance. The Indians we employed on Alaska’s coast are to leave us now. We send them back down the river with a report to Vancouver Barracks, letters to loved ones, & a box of photograph plates Lieut Pruitt has taken thus far on the trip. They have orders to bring everything to Perkins Island & send via steamer to Vancouver.
Sophie, you do not know how precious your letter is to me. Your words have filled me with much joy & love; they keep me through the toughest days. I travel with different eyes now, eyes for home & your arms & your love & our child. It is remarkable, & at times overwhelms me, to think of how full my life has become. Just a few short years ago, I had no such ties. Each night’s camp was home enough. It may be why I had so little fear. What did I have to lose? Nothing compared to now.
I do hope you are well cared for & want for nothing. You must not worry for me. We are bone tired but safe. Already we’ve encountered many strange and unexpected adventures, which I do not have time enough to recount here. So often I have wished that you could see this land for yourself. We walk past glaciers that would bring tears to your yes for their majesty, & the Wolverine River is grand. As is my wont, I have been dedicated to my personal diary. I hope you have been as well. I long for the evenings when we can read them aloud to each other & share our days.