The Papers of Ulysses S. Grant: 1837-1861 - Vol. 1

By John Y. Simon | Go to book overview
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To Jesse Root Grant

Sappington P. O.
St. Louis Co. Mo.
Feb.y 7th 1857.

DEAR FATHER;

Spring is now approaching when farmers require not only to till the soil, but to have the wherewith to till it, and to seed it. For two years I have been compelled to farm without either of these facilities, confining my attention therefore principally to oats and corn: two crops which can never pay; for if they bear a high price it is because the farmer has raised scarsely enough for his own use. If

abundent they will scarsely bear transportation. I want to vary the crop a little and also to have implements to cultivate with. To this end I am going to make the last appeal to you. I do this because, when I was in Ky. you voluntarily offered to give me a Thousand dollars, to commence with, and because there is no one els to whom I could, with the same propriety, apply. It is always usual for parents to give their children assistince in begining life (and I am only begining, though thirty five years of age, nearly) and what I ask is not much. I do not ask you to give me anything. But what I do ask is that you lend, or borrow for, me Five hundred dollars, for two years, with interest at 10 pr. cent payable anually, or semmi anually if you choose, and with this if I do not go on prosperously I shall ask no more from you. With this sum I can go on and cultivate my ground for marketing and raise no more grain than is necessary for my own use. I have now in the ground twenty five acres of wheat with the view of geting in that much meadow; but this ground I shall not probably have for another year as it is not on my part of the place, and is for sale. I am geting some ten or twelve acres more cleared this winter which will turn off about 300 cords of wood that will be valuable next summer and winter; but the choping has to be paid for now.

The fact is, without means, it is useless for me to go on

-336-

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