May 17, 1861: Monterey
We have been quite lucky thus far for news, and it has been a great item in these times. I cannot write how heavily the national troubles bear upon my mind, they are in my mind by night and by day. God grant that we may yet save the United States, but I fear for the worst. Newspapers from home are always acceptable, but we get the great news by earlier means. On arriving here, by a “judicious” distribution of patronage to two leading stores, we got lots of papers for reading, a dozen or more.
This sheet finishes my letter paper of thin kind—the last scrap is here—and I must use such as I can get hereafter until I get to “Frisco.” Trusting that the mails will not be “seized” by pirates, it must go by next steamer. The last steamer went out fully armed, for it was currently believed that a party was going abroad as passengers to take her for the Southern Confederacy. The Union sentiment here is overwhelming.