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Untitled Document Mound City Feb 28th 1858

My Dear Wife

Now I expect that by the time you get this you will think it has been a long spell since you received the preceeding one, and it has been two weeks now since I wrote you.

The reason of that is that I have been off a week, cruising around. Went down into the Osage Nation, whilst we were out to buy ponies, but we did not get any because the Indians wont sell them when thin in flesh. No matter what price is offered, they cant be made to believe but that the person making the offer would give more for the pony after he fattens up in the spring. We were some little disappointed in not getting ponies, but we had a pretty good trip of it and saw a great deal of fine prairie and fine timber which will soon be open for settlement, at least we were told by Indian traders, agents &c. in the nation, that already was likely to be effected this spring with that tribe. Ed and one of our hands and myself, with a driver to take us, constituted the
Company. The first evening out we encamped on the Little Osage river where I shot a wild cat out of a tree near the wood chopper’s cabin which we went into to cook our supper. The cat was run out from under the floor of the Cabin by the dogs. The next day our road lay across a large prairie where we saw nothing all day but wolves and one flock of deer. At sunset we came within sight of a house. We tried to get on to Cofachique, on the Neosho, but failed to reach it, tho’ it was but four miles distant. We encamped on the prairie. The day had been perfectly clear and the sun was shining too hot to feel comfortable, we regarded it as prog-

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nostic of storm but did not think it would come on so suddenly as it did and with such violence too. We were too conscious that we were exposed, in the after part of the night to a perfect gale
of wind, cold and raining, which covered everything with sleet, and before day it turned to snow. When light enough to see, we started for the town, the snow flying so thick that we could see but a few rods ahead but were soon enabled to make our way without difficulty by the fences. It was very cold and we stopped at the hotel, – the only building in the place capable of accomodateing us and made ourselves at home until the next (Monday) morning. The houses, up stairs, was full of snow as was every building in the town. While we were stopping there, a family came up from the Virdigris, where they moved last fall. The family consisted of a woman and several children who were left alone some weeks ago, by the man who went away for the ostensable purpose of getting provisions, of which they were sadly in need, and they have heard nothing from him since. He is an inebriate. The family were suffering from want of food and clothing. Fortunately summer is near by where they wont need much truly in the eating line. The villagers furnished them with a house and provisions and, being invited to contribute something we furnished each of the little chaps with a pair of shoes.

On Monday morning it was very cold but the sun came out clear and having the wind to our backs we had a pleasant drive of it.

Night came on long before we arrived at a stopping place but a team was just ahead of us and we followed their track, the only one to be seen since the snow. It is very seldom that wagons are seen so far down among the Indians. We arrived at the post of a trader about 9 o’clock and put up their for the night. A village of several hundred Indians is close by the post. Many of them were in the

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eating house where we got our suppers, there is no white woman here. The trader has a very respectable looking squaw in his part of the establishment and a slave to wait upon her. In the kitchen there was another squaw who done the cooking for the trader and his assistant and any one who might chance to be travelling that way as was our case. I had a tolerably good bed, the rest rolled themselves up in buffalo robes and slept on the floor. The team which open the way for us so far, also stopped here, the men were on a trading expedition and had a lot of prints and jewelry. We played euchre untill midnight, the only time I have played since coming into
the territory. In the morning we went to the Indian village, the wigwams made of buffalo skins, and took a look around at the fashions. Ed and I were objects of great curiosity to the grown
people because of our unmutilated beards being covered with a good coating of frost, the morning being very still and frosty. But the worst of it was that when I went into a wigwam where there was a lot of children they all began to scream and dodged out like frightened cats as soon as I was far enough inside to leave room for them to pass out behind me. One little fellow, who, no doubt told the rest that he wasnt afraid, came back and lifting the robe which hung over the entrance was coming in all so fast but he gave a yell and “pop went the weasel” I regreted very much that I had no trinkets to give them but I told an Indian who could speak English that I expected to be down there again before they started on their summers hunt and would bring the little fellows some presents, to make friends with them. We saw a buffalo here, that has been tamed. Our travels to-day were thro’ the country where the Indians have erected their wigwams in considerable numbers from a dozen to twenty together and these villages a few miles apart. We arrived at

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the Osage Mission by the Middle of the afternoon and having gone about as far south as we wanted to this time we started home by the way of Fort Scott and got far enough out to find
a first rate camping ground without fear of having anything stolen from us by the Indians. The next day we started early and traveled toward home as far as we could; intended to get into Ft. Scott and have a good supper and beds to sleep in but could not possibly do it. Went in before breakfast the next morning tho not untill breakfast was over at the hotels. After breakfast we took a look around town, went to see a new steam mill – same make as ours – that was only started the day before, I have seen five mills besides ours and only one of them is equal to it, that one is no better only in the management of the saw, which is done by one of the owners who understands a saw better than any man we can hire in the territory. The town of Ft. Scott is handsome the houses being all large and built hotel fashion. It was used by the U.S. troops
as a boarding place when not required to be on duty. The buildings are arranged in a square with a fine Plaza inside planted with trees which are of probably eighteen years growth, the broad steps from the second story varanda of each house toward the open square or plaza and a fine well under a clump of trees with a tasteful structure over it supported by six round pillars. We were in to much of a hurry to get home or we could have seen the US troops come in there that day. They having been sent there again to prevent the free state men from destroying the town. If we had been two days late in getting along we might not have been allowed to go & come without some trouble as the free state men are collecting in considerable numbers, with canon, determined to make them give up the thieves that are harbored there or destroy the town. Every house in would cost $3000 in Illinois, much more than that here. We arrived at Sugar Mound very late at night, having stopped at the Fort some two or three hours – well I have filled my paper with an account of my trip. I see and as there is no news or anything else of special interest I will let it go at that. I expected a letter from you last Friday but none came. I suppose I well get one to-morrow. I will leave this open untill Tuesday when it will be mailed. In case I should get a letter from you and want to say something more. I wont say anything about how much I want to see you and the children because I cant come anywhere near telling the extent of my desire. Good by my dear wife and all the love to you which I am capable of bestowing on the best of good women is yours – Husband –


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

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