Stonewall Jackson Papers. 1856 July 18

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Date: 1856 July 18
Item: Letter
To: Laura Jackson Arnold
From: Thomas J. Jackson
Place: At Sea
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Ship Asia at Sea
July 18th 1856

My Dear Sister,

You have doubtless been surprised at my sudden leaving for Europe instead of going West to purchase or locate land. You may remember that in 1851 I had a nine months leave of absence for the purpose of visiting Europe, but that Col. Smith induced me to relinquish the idea for the time, holding out to me an opportunity at some future time, and that I accordingly did postpone my comtemplate[d] trip.

This year as the time for going West drew near, I became more and more discouraged in regard to investing money in such distant lands, and a gentleman with whom I conversed and who has had much experience told me that he did not think it a safe and profitable investment. Another friend told me that he had come very near losing a part of his, in consequence of his being so far off as to interfere with his giving sufficient attention to it. And I have rather concluded to keep my money invested in stocks of different kinds and thus get my dividends regularly and trust to the blessing of Providence for gradually increasing my worldly goods.

Thus circumstanced I a few days before starting concluded that an opportunity was now offered of going to Europe which would probably never again be presented to me. What should I do with the two months this before me was a question which I did not know how to solve satisfactorily. You are a very kind and affectionate sister. Yet even with you I would be reminded of the loss of that happiness which I once enjoyed with Dear Ellie. So I have to some extent torn myself away from that state of mind which I feared should my summer have been passed at home or in the W. States.

I hope that you will be able to get up the tomb stones by the aid of thirty dollars from Dr. Bosworth. But don't ask anything of Mr. A and when I return I will let you have what ever may be wanting should you not be able to get along with what you have.

I expect to visit Liverpool, London, Paris, Genoa, Florence, Pisa, Rome, Naples, Brussels, Antwerp, Edinburgh, and some other points of interest. I wish you would write me a letter to N.Y. City during the first week of October. Remember me very kindly to Mr. A. and to all the family. Kindest regards to all inquiring relatives.

Your affectionate brother

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