Stonewall Jackson Papers. 1855 April 4

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Date: 1855 April 4
Item: Letter
To: Laura Jackson Arnold
From: Thomas J. Jackson
Place: Lexington, Virginia
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Lex. Va.
April 4th 1855
My Dear Sister,

Your letter of the 30th ult. And Thomas' came by this days mail. I feared from what I recently heard that Wirt's mind had not entirely recovered. And as such appears to be the case from your letter, it might be dangerous for him to be closely confined. He told me in his letter that he was not qualified for any occupation except farming and that he did not have the means for this. I therefore make two offers to him. One is to purchase the farm worth a thousand dollars and let him go on it, and have all that he can make. The other is the system of education which I have already stated to you. Now if you can let him know this in such a manner as to be acceptable to him, I wish you to do so. If you think that such can not be done, then let me know it. He ought not to feel hurt at any assistance which I offer to give him, because he is my brother. Should he conclude to go on the farm, I want him to read during his spare time and having a good memory he can become a good historian. Should he prefer going on a farm, I think it would be well to select one in such a position as will enable him easily to dispose of his produce. He might in a few years be able to refund the money used. I would not charge him any interest. I have not got a thousand dollars on hand now; but expect to have in a few months. Wirt might be looking him out a place suitable farm so that when I come West we go together and see it.

I am sorry that your eyes are so much impaired, but hope that they will be better before this reaches you. I would recommend you to fill a basin full of water and put your face under the water and hold your eyes open in it as long as you can hold your breath. Just do this once whenever your eyes are very painful. This is the course which I am now pursuing. I do it about six times a day in cold water & the water should be as cold as when just drawn from the well or taken from the river. My eyes are quite bad at present. Don't write but make Thomas do it for you. I would be glad if Wirt would write to me. Tell Thomas that I shall answer his letter in a few days and that I am very thankful to him for it. Tell him that I am much pleased with his good spelling. I sent the primer and reader by the last mail. Give my love to all and the family and Wirt.

Your affectionate brother,

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