Letters from Ora Labora – January 26th, 1864

January 26th, 1864. East Saginaw, Michigan. Emil Baur to Baker and Henrici.

East Saginaw

Jan. 26, 1864

Mess. Baker & Henrici

Worthy Friends:

May God the Lord be with you and yours with rich blessings. On the 25th of January I went on the ice of the Bay to Saginaw, and found Mr. Robinson, who unfortunately had not let us know of his return home, like gentlemen often do who does not know how the poor man feels. He believes the simplest and most certain way, in order to give you the requisite security, is if an individual takes up the land, which still should be given as security, and after you have then mortgage, then it could be transferred over to a Board of Trustees. Incorporation or charter, as it is called, is not advisable for us. However, since one often goes away from lawyers more confused than when he went in, so I would like to ask you to communicate your advice to us, if you please, whether a charter truly would be disadvantageous for us. The gentlemen thought it be the best, then, if I transfer over the land under such conditions, like those our agreement or statutes contain, to a Board of Trustees, who then are named in the deed for everything.

However, above everything else, I should express to you my heartfelt thanks for your help in the emergency. It will not be forgotten. The devil was also against it, and a certain shallow-minded person from Cleveland, who was also a member, has arrived on the 25th of December of last year in order to break us up. He had money in order at that time to buy the land. As he now heard that you are helping us, and that the land is coming into your hands, he was completely beside himself, and tried to get me to influence Robinson. The members of the Colony quickly saw the wolf in sheep’s clothing and, when he saw that he couldn’t do anything, he stomped off to the joy of everyone.

It appears to me Mr. Robinson ahs under-valued our land. Our neighbor two miles further down the Bay demands 4,000 dollars for 40 acres; Robinson wants the same dollar amount from us for 768 acres, 300 of these on the Bay, as security. Freely there is a difference between what one wants and what one gets. I do believe that our neighbor will receive his money soon. I have just now arrived in Watersville in Tuscola County on my trip from East Saginaw to Ora Labora, and am writing. From Ora Labora I have to go to the Recorder 72 miles distant to the County Seat, a trip upon which my life will also take me. The County Seat has, to be sure, been changed by the Supervisors 18 miles from our Colony, solely, as it appears, there is opposition there.

Since the trip to Saginaw again robbed me of time, so it would be preferable, if you just now would send to our people the sum which I requested so that we can bring the logs to the mill. With the request to greet your worthy colleagues in the friendliest way from our Colonists, signed

Your devoted servant, E. Baur.

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