Letters from Ora Labora – September 6th, 1864

September 6th, 1864. Ora Labora. Emil Baur et al to Baker and Henrici

Ora Labora

6 Sept., 1864

Mess. Baker & Henrici., Trustees of Economy

Worthiest friends!

From a bad illness, which the Lord laid upon me, I am again arisen, though not yet completely. Permit me to answer your worthy letter of the 10th of August.

Your recollection “that everything in the world is composed of good and bad” is totally in conformity with experience. However, we hope that in the end the good overcomes the bad, and that also the last foe, death, is done away with. Freely until that time it will cost many difficult struggles.

You say in your worthy letter that my last writing made no mention of the 4,000 acres of Homestead Land, which, after a close examination of my writing is allowed to be in error, for at the beginning it says “arriving in East Saginaw I found Mr. Robinson already intended to give as assurance in the case of the projected loan from you.” Near the end of the letter it says, if it is a question of the $20,000 loan, “for which we are able to give you 4,000 acres of land as security.” Now, however, which may be lost to us if we do not secure it, because we are not able to act upon it according to the letter of the law.

Also, you will be able to further remember, especially Mr. Henrici, that I have spoken of the necessity of a larger machine, something like the one which you have set-up in your mill, during my visit with you , as our machine is too weak, except for a large circular saw, to handle much of anything else. Nothing would help us more than a larger machine in order to realize the value of our wood.

One could set into motion with such power a turning-lath, a shingle machine, a grinding mill, for which we already have and still other saws for edging. Parts for all kinds of equipment in the hardware-store could be made and a skilled lath operator could do that: lath boards from scraps, and also staves for the salt-barrels in Saginaw will be able to be produced. So, we must be content with the little power 8 inch bore and 16 stroke and are not able even with the best of efforts to make any progress.

I have made inquiries as to the probable cost of such a machine as you have, including a boiler, balance wheel, smokestack, etc. I received an answer from Gates & Co., City Eagle Works of Chicago, where we bought the first machine, that it would come to about 6,000 dollars or more. However, until it is set up and the building necessary to house it is built, one can reckon with nearly 9,000 dollars. For procuring of the land would then be about 5,000 dollars necessary. That would be in total 14,000 dollars and the 6,000 dollars, in order to come-up to the $20,000, would be able to be applied in various ways. Some of us think by the purchase of sheep, others by the boring of salt-wells. The land in respect to the 4,000 acres helps us then only if we have the capital and the power to realize the value of the wood.

In the friendliest request to give your charitable consideration to the above, you are greeted with true respect.

Your servant,

Emil Baur & others

P.S. 15,000 Dollars would therefore not do it, also we would give a mortgage to you on all machinery, if demanded. E.B.

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