Dec. 30, 1856
Testimony of Samuel Nickel
Age 51 married 10 sons
Came to Kansas 27 Dec 1854, settled 1 mile N old Jeru Trading Post. Brought in 33 hogs, 4 horses, 1 yoke cattle 6 cows, Fenced & planted 25 acres corn, Spring of 55. Sowed 4 acres Wheat in the fall. Built my house in Feby 55. Spring 56 Fenced & broke 20 acres; put it in corn. 4 bl oats. The first night in Sept a company from Mo came & plundered my house & threatened my life. I was hid in a thicket in the garden. They told my wife if they cant find him
soon she would never see me again and they would kill all the F. S. men they could find. On the morning of the 2nd at 7 they burned my house. At this time they took my gun. After we were driven off they took away 175 hens, & 1 taby. We hid some of the bushels & [xxx] all of what they took. Ploughs, & everything they could find I lost at least 500 bush of corn: oats & wheat: destroyd fence & laid wast the place. We all went into Mo about 100 nites. My family went without me. I laid in ambush by day and traveled by night. For 3 days & nights I had but one buscuit to eat. Many a time
I have [xxx] & [xxx] my [xxx] think about me.
On Monday night Sept 1 I hid in the garden. Before day Tuesday May 2 they had gone to Hamilton & my wife came & let me know: I stopped at [xxx] [xxx] little Mound N about 2 miles. Stayed there till near sundown: saw my house burn; Nothing to eat or drink. In the evening came within a mile of house & saw my family & all them either fleeing: tried to get to them but could not: after I ask found my [xxx] about 8. While my wife was giving refresht & preparing bed in the thicket I heard the ruffians coming & retreated to the [xxx]. My wife was out till near midnight before she could get back to her child. I ran that night & we were
all wet [xxx] things. On [Wednesday?] Before day [xxx] the house before day (a vacant house [xxx] we were stopping) & got a [xxx]: but was to wet did not eat it. West into the [xxx] Mine Creek [xxx] & took off my boot [xxx xxx]. Saw 2 of the men who were looking for me. I laid under it [xxx xxx] about [xxx xxx xxx] 11 o’clock. The bank was wet & slippery & it had no xxx: in that xxx put to the 5 hours. Rushed [xxx xxx] the cattle & laid in the brush on the other side. Did not see my wife for 10 days. Nothing to eat that day. Laid [xxx xxx xxx xxx xxx xxx] get [xxx] the 12th [xxx xxx] McNeils mill on Little Osage & got [xxx] to eat: [xxx] the [xxx]: not able to get my boots on for 2 weeks. [unable to decipher the rest of page 4]
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Received of Thaddeus Hyatt Twenty Dollars from the National Committee Fund on c/o of my family & the families of my son & son in law numbering ten persons in all.
South Fork of Pottawatomie Creek
I arrived on this creek the last of July with 50 cents all the money I had 1 yoke of cattle 1 cow & calf 2 mares & 2 colts & 1 waggon. I have had to part with the 2 colts & calf to obtain means of living. I must purchase whatever corn I need to feed stock. I shall need seed corn & seed wheat. All the choice timber claims on the creek are taken up. There are probably 50 or 60 families on the creek. The choice prairie claims are yet open for settlement. I know of no pro-slavery folks in this creek.
I know of 3 families who have recently come in. They got here the 7 Oct. They
have no flour & have had nothing but corn meal except a little flour they
borrowed. There are two of them I know who have no money & if the others
have any it is very little. One of them has engaged to dig a well & hopes
to get money enough to advance to get some flour. My family have all been sick.
Fever & ague & congestive fever. We were camped out all summer &
slept on the ground. The great need which Emigrants find is the want of houses.