Dearest Mr. Wilberforce,
The company has arrived safely, with its five members all in good health and suffering only minimal negative effects of the travel. Subsequently, I have appointed each of our company to specific tasks. Dr. Bengelow is to procure us food and lodging for the evening, while Mr. Williams locates us servants and other useful items we were unable to bring with us. Mr. Ashby I have assigned the task of finding horses, as I fear we will be required to make a journey of no short duration. Lastly, Professor King is charged with the duty of ascertaining the date, and determining what manner of civilization and culture this is.
Upon our arrival, we found ourselves in a freshly-plowed field which was seemingly not yet planted. The Professor estimates that the time of day was about 4 PM, though this is quite approximate owing to the cloud cover and rain which greeted us. The temperature was chilly, but tolerable. Mr. Williams and Mr. Ashby hid the time machine in a nearby barn, and covered it in hay so that it was quite impossible to see any part of the apparatus, though I fear it would not long stand inspection by anyone familiar with the building or its contents. This may explain the material which almost certainly will accompany this letter when it is delivered.
We set out on foot in a north-northwesterly direction, hoping to gather what information we could without drawing attention to ourselves prior to setting foot in the town itself (we were able to see a town in the distance, albeit one with only a single building, shaped rather like a mushroom), though in this I regret to say that we have mostly failed. Professor King believes us to be in one of the Southern territories, most likely Alabama or Mississippi; Mr. Williams claims that we are somewhere on the Western frontier, perhaps Missouri or Iowa. I have thus far held my own counsel but believe both gentlemen to be approximately correct; the terrain matches that of the Republic of Texas, as it was described to me, yet we shall see.
Mr. Williams wishes me to draw your attention to the peculiar noises of the future: there is a certain sound like waves crashing on a seashore, mostly to our west. We have not yet attempted to investigate this. There are also certain 'ripping' or 'scraping' sounds, of several seconds' duration, periodically, most of which have been accompanied by what appear to be tears in the sky itself. These tears show a whiteness behind them, which we take to be Heaven, though they close themselves back up again in short order and seem to do the sky no lasting damage. Our pious Mr. Williams proposes that the residents of the future Union are attempting to rend the sky in an effort to reach God Himself, and predicts that they will fail in this blasphemy.
Wherever we find ourselves, the language spoken here does seem to be primarily English: certain of the intersections of trails we have encountered have been marked with names such as "Naples Ave SW" and "Observatory Ave SW." There was also a "Dirty Face Creek." This much is encouraging.