Letter - NOVEMBER 9, 1857  

This was written during the period that Thomas Jackson was staying with Thomas Jackson and his family in Reading. Annoyingly it is an almost illegible document being written on ultra thin onion paper that shows the text on the other side of each page and also has poor writing and, to make matters worse, that is cross stitched to minimize paper and this keep down the airmail costs. All in all it defeats our efforts to produce a comprehensive transcription . From snippets that we can interpret the letter covers William Slater's experiences going to church and singing along with Edward Jackson. Most unflatteringly William records at length John Watson's habit of blowing his nose and disposing of the results in a manner that is disgusting!

My dear brother John,

I am going to look over your letters in the same way as I have done ? Besseys so if my talk don't seem to rang together very well you will know the reason. I have just read your first letter and the first thing that I shall notice is a remark of yours about visiting the large warehouses and that Hoyles print Works were the most extensive you had ever visited. One would think that you had been visiting print works ever since you were ten years old and were acquainted with every improvement from that time up to the present .If I did not know that you had only been to Manchester once in a while you a born days. In your second letter you want what sortsof people there are at the chapel I attended in Reading. You should have said church for there are no chapels here. They all churches.

I don't know any of the people excepting the singers and they seem very social and friendly. The singing is pretty good there and there are some very good female singers. Edward Jackson and I generally take the base part. There was another fellow that came occasionally but what part he took I'm not able to say. Edward says to me I can neither hear him sing nor yet see him for open his mouth so I leave it with you to decide what part he took. As you have taken a certificate as a competent of the above science you ought to be able to come to a more scientific and logical conclusion and so do the fellow justice better than I could. Perhaps he has come to get confidence same as fellow Sam Kelly used to take into the pulpit with him when he went to preach at different places and let him exhort out some hymn as a sort of start.

there are no Tomic Sop Fares here that I am aware of so I can't give a class of that sort. Edward Jackson seems pleased that I know a little about singing. He says to me, Come down as often as you want Will, and we''have some singing

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I should like to have seen Mr. Shepherd very well when he got tang'd. I should think he would make it a subject for wit if there was anyone by to let them see he could stand it like a man even if it cost him a spasmodic effort to do so from what you say his legs were in a similar condition to Jack Carlins jars were he said they were stiff as if they had been beaten with a stick.

You tell me that time may I expect a few tunes in the tonic soh notation soon I should think you should not need to go to the trouble and expense of copying and sending "Beyond the glittering etc " and it will hardly be worthwhile.

I'm very glad to see by your letter dated November 17 that you have such a good school. I hope you're very particular on Monday mornings to see that none of the scholars pay twice but always be sure they pay once and don't trust to your memory but have them all down in the black and white and have them call up from the scratch one after the other and put it all in your pocket till you get either to Alfreton or Mr. Colledges never mind if it makes your thigh raw or breaks your braces you can get the one mended and the other will be better before another week. Besides it will keep a temptation out of the way of the children if they saw a lot of pence on your desk they might think one would not be missed and try for one to get some bulls'-eyes with it. John who was finding fault with you when you wrote this you say they keep wanting you to write you to write yarn after yarn by the square yard leave of at any minute. You are not like Crisp he could make a sermon out of the hedge bottom and leave off when he had in mind.

I told some of you that there was skating here in November but there has that been none since. When I have a shot at a wild buffalo I'll tell you how it was done I'm will bring the skeleton with me. I could not send you a grape pie so you need not make your chops water with thinking about it.

You have sent me some news about Dellhi and the Leviathan. I have seen accounts of both in the papers I generally look at the foreign news first fly I don't know whether there are any original Methodists here or not there are some original men they have ways of their own. John Watson for one. I will

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try to give you a few instances in the first place he has a way of his own in blowing his nasal organ and wiping his thumb and finger on the first post if trhere is one at hand if it happens to be on the Sunday and he's dressed up in the house he can't very well expect on his trousers leg In the above case I have seen him resort to his waist coat back he has a way of his own in the putting on and taking off his coat I should head he has contracted which . . . .

That Ambassadors decided that this letter is not worth the time transcribing every part of it at this time.

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. . . your affectionate brother William
I have given it I have given the book away and PS you will perhaps perceive that this letter has been written some time since it w was written we have had some starching frosts I walked over the river where the tide comes on ice a foot and a half thick

I hope you will excuse me if I cross a few lines for Sarah


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