Manuscript letter opening with reference to the recent death of Robert Dale's son Ernest who was a child of "great promise". Since the death Robert Dale feels his ambition has be "destroyed", this despite receiving support from his wife who has "great strength of mind". This is in stark comparison to "poor" Richard [Owen] who, having recently lost his daughter Nora, saw his wife become "utterly prostrated" and now they fear for "her reason".
Much to his regret Robert Dale will remain in New Harmony until next month, he would rather be spending a "useful" month in New York. Nevertheless he must remain and take care of his "private business".