January 16, 1853
Eric Helin, who left the colony, asks that he be given a right to something if the colony dissolves:
Bishop Hill the 16th of January 1860 to the trustees.
I beg permission to pose a question about how you all plan to proceed with me, because the situation is now different from when I came here. According to what I can understand, there exist some plans to divide up the property of the Colony between its members. Then I should like to know whether you shut me out from all rights to it. It is true that I signed an agreement that I cannot receive anything for nearly eight years of work, and this was during the hardest of times, and neither shall I demand anything, if the situation is such that you do not plan to allow me any further rights, but I would, however, wish that you would deliberate on this matter and only let me know what you intend to do, for I can then work the ninth year in the same way. I [hole in sheet] you that you do not take my words as a sign of anger from my side or that I want to blame you [hole in sheet] instead I want to beg you not to wonder about it [hole in sheet] want to know when you, yourselves, know how and in what way we spoke so you know rather well that I cannot assume anything about what you intend to do, and it can be possible that you, yourselves, have not yet thought about it, because you have had much else to think about, but I hope that it will not take you so very long to deliberate on this so that I shall be a hinder to you or an annoyance, because that I never wanted to bring about, if I had possibly been able to. There really is no hurry, if I cannot find this out immediately, but it would be so much, if I knew which way I should turn in the near future. Signs Erick Helin
[Eric Helin, Bishop Hill, 1/16/1860, to trustees and members of colony. Bishop Hill Heritage Association archives. Translated 2002 by Inez Tornblom.]