Date of this Version
I thank you kindly for the honor done me in your letter of the 26th ult., in behalf of the Old Settlers' Association of Otoe county, Nebraska, extending to me an invitation to deliver the annual address before your Society at the fourth reunion, to be held this present month.
I would most gladly accept your invitation, but now is the busy mining season, and I have other and pressing duties that prevent, so that I must decline this opportunity of meeting my old friends in Otoe county-the best friends that man ever had.
It was October 1, 1846, when, being just twenty-one years of age, I left my native Virginia and traveled two hundred miles on foot to Wyandotte, on the Ohio river. There I took passage on a steamboat to St. Louis as a deck passenger.