(Mailed to)Balus Brackett
Dear Cousin Balus,
After a silence of ten years I will endeavor to break the spell by dropping you a few lines hoping they will come safe to hand and find you in good health. I am not very well myself. But some better than I was last summer. I would be very glad to see you. Balus I think I could tell you a great deal more than I can write. I have saw a good many strange things since I saw you. I have had a good many ups and downs. I went to Texas in the spring of 63 and remained there till the fall of 66 since that time I have been here in the Cherokee Nation. This is a very fine country there is no mistake about it it likes one thing only and that is health. It is not healthy Balus, but there sure is fine land here and good range both winter and summer a man can raise stock here of all kinds without feed. There is nothing to hinder a man from doing well in this country if he can have his health. He can live well and play two thirds of his time. When I look at this country and think of that it appears to me that a man could not live in that country at all. I am disheartened when I think of plowing over them poor red hills and raise about two or three bushels to the acre. I won't do it. The common prairie land here will bring thirty five and forty bushel to the acre. West of Grand River it is most all prairie. It is beautiful country to look over. Col. Bradford did not stay long anuft to see any of it. He had war on the brain. I would be very glad to hear from him and what he is doing. I thought he would come back I have never heard nothing particular from you boys since the war. I heard you all was married but Bradford but did not hear who you all married. I would like to hear from (Dan Tucker?) and Polk and Fraces and Martha and your dad and aunt Nancy and Martha Walker and Marion Branum and Will Branum and all the balance. I want you to write me all the news and tell me all you know tell me who all the girls have married and where they live and I want to know who you married and where you live and (etc?). Well Balus the indians is a very friendly people. That is the Cherokees, Creeks, Choctaws, and Chicasaws. I have saw a greate many different tribes since I have bin in this country. They are very superstitious and have a great many carious ways and conjure the sick. I know you would laugh to see these maneuvers. Playing ball is one kind of their sport it is amusing to the bystanders but not so amusing to players as they are often crippled and sometimes killed but if you kill him in the play it is all rite. There is no time to stop and parley its (henuck henuck henuck?). We have had and excelent season this year. Crops is fine this year. The ground is very wet and still raining. Wheat crops is good and oats. No fruit it was all killed in April by a cold spell. I wish it was so you could come out here this fall and look at this country. I got a letter from brother Marion in May he talked of coming out this fall to look at this part of the world. You have plenty of land here Balus if you will come to it. We can not sell our land in this country but as much as we will cultivate and have cultivated is ours. No man is allowed to settle in one fourth mile of another house or farm. We can sell our improvements and make another and as many as we please but the land we can not sell. We have no taxes to pay of no description so I think I have said anuff at present till I see whether you will write to me or not so I hope you will write soon and give me all of news of that old country. Give Çmy love and respects to all of my old friends and receive the same for yourself.
Thomas Bracketdirect your letters to
Tell all of my friends to write to me When this you see remember me I would write to her but I do not know where she is. Children of the heavenly king as ye journey sweetly sing. Sing your saviors worth praise Glorious in his work and ways.