Part 14 of the series
Letters to Myscie is a true story. It reveals to us a “yankee’s” view of the area and the times, and the impact it had on new comers. —Suzanne E. Smith
A continuation of the letter from May 12, 1883
Your loving Joe
Socorro New Mexico
In my room Sunday 12 o'ck noon May 13th 1883
My dear dear Myscie
Will you tire of reading my long letters Myscie if I do write three days in succession? I hope you will not for I do not tire of writing, and I am not so happy as when I am writing or thinking of you unless it be when I am reading yours. Did Ed send you my picture during the past two weeks? You know you asked about some more in one of your letters written before I left town. I was intending to print them myself before I left, but I went so suddenly I did not have a chance and so Ed said he would print you some and sent to you after I had gone. Did he send you any? I think he must have printed some for I found one the one I have here on the table, in the show case when I came back and then one more printed when I went away. I was intending to write to mother to-day but I do not feel one bit in the mood so have given it up for to-day. At least I received a nice long letter from Mrs. Dr. Hamilton yesterday. If you see her Myscie please mention to her that I have received her letter and will answer it the first time I come in to the city again. I have no time this time for we shall start just after dinner today and it is dinner time now nearly. You may explain to her if you will please, how it is I am so far from any P.O. and then she will not think it strange at not hearing from me.
Did your mother's cactus live? They are just beginning to blossom out in the mountains and they are just beautiful. I assure you I wish I could send you some. Myscie you must not believe all you hear or all you read about the Indians out here in this country. I know the papers are full of reports and stories of the bluddy work and Eastern people think you can not safely slip out of your house down here with out being in danger of having your "scalp" lifted but believe me Myscie 9/10ths of all this talk is "bost" from beginning to end. Many of these reports are put into the papers and set in circulation for certain objects which I will explain to you some future time. When I tell you about the "Rustlers" as class dare devils who are as bad if not worse in their way than the Indians, their business is cattle stealing. To be sure, it was right in around us here where our ranches are, that the Indians did such bluddy work about one year and a half ago, but those days are all over for this section of the country and there is little or no danger from them again. So don't worry one bit Myscie for I assure you we who are here and know all about it, do not have the slightest anxiety about the matter.
It has been “rumored” that the photo of Nana was taken in the Smith Studio in the middle of the night. It makes a very good story, and if so would have been taken after 1886. Join us next week as the life of J.E. Smith as a “cowboy” unfolds even more.
Pictures (from top down): Magdalena ranch; Magdalena Mountain ranch; Nana (Warm Springs Apache leader, brother-in-law to Geronimo); J.E. Smith as cowboy.
All photos ©J.E. Smith Collection