Letter Written by James Bishop to his son Willard Bishop
10 St. Phillip's Street, Bath Road
I will now try and send you a line in answer to yours received a few days ago, together with the epistle to the Saints which I read to them last Sunday. It pleased them much also Bro. Hodges who called on his way back form Liverpool. He had been taking his two sisters who sailed on the 14th and I heartily wish we had been with them, but it was not to be so I expect we shall have to stay till Sep 3rd unless they send a small company in a week or two which they think of doing so I heard.
As you said in your letter there is an over ruling providence in these matters. We left the shop several weeks ago and have sold all the things off but two chairs and a table and the old big clock, a counter machine and the brass scales, these last I intend to bring along unless you write and advise me otherwise, for I can get nothing for them, times are bad here for selling anything. We got next to nothing for what we sold but it cannot be helped.
We shall have plenty to bring with us and some little to spare I think. John and Joe has plenty of work so John will be better off a great deal and we keep getting money in which would have been left behind had we come sooner, but we could not get it try how we would before.
I like your arrangements about the house but feel bad in your being disappointed so many times. I hope there is garden land, tell me when you get this. We'll take two feather beds, light weight instead of mothers. We'll have plenty of beds and bedding to make us comfortable. I should like a line from Amos but suppose he feels bad. Tell him I have bought the rib-tickler for him. I am pleased you both take hold of the Gospel. There is nothing else worth living for that I can see.
I haven't bought your concertina yet. They seem very poor ones for …... in …… promenade. I will try, and do the best I can on it. Your mother had a sharp time for a fortnight with her old complaint and is but just recovered. Ellen is having her throat painted to cure the wen in it. Alice is but middling, unable to do much. All the rest of us are well. My health is better since I have quit baking. I have been busy up until now trying to get it all settled and have not much to do except to go into the country and get all the names I can so that you and Amos will not be bothered when you come on missions. I am afraid I shall not do much as all our folks seem to have died off but will do all I can.
We get some good meetings, some strangers attend. I think we will get a few more in before we leave.
President Hodges is bothered to know who to choose for President out of all our men, they are all in such queer positions with their families, he feels rather glad I am going to stay a little longer.
I hope you will forgive me for not sending this before the ship sailed, but I felt vexed and could not make up my mind.
I would like a line from you both after you get this. Tell Amos not to work too hard. You can write to us up to about August the 10th. I shall be there in time to dig the taters. I suppose you got some planted if there is a garden to the house.
Well I don't think of anything more to tell you at present but will write again. You need not show this rambling letter to anyone, but give our kind love to Bros. Alder, Beazer, Robins, Major and all who know us and received the same yourselves. Praying God to bless you all and enable you all to be faithful to the end and is the prayer of your
10 St. Phillip's Street, Bath Road, Cheltenham, Gloucester, England, June 20, 1884
Note added by Zina Jeannete Bishop Herron - daughter of Willard Bishop
This letter was found among papers after father's death. I never had the privilege of seeing my grandfather, James Bishop, as he died before I was born, but I prize this letter written by him to Willard Bishop who is my father. To preserve its contents, I am making this copy.