Seacrest Nebraska Settlement Collection [RG5497.AM]


RG5497.AM:  Seacrest Nebraska Settlement Collection

Papers:  1856-1891
Size:  0.25 cu.ft.; 1 box


This collection consists primarily of letters related to the settlement of Nebraska in the latter half of the 1800s. The letters provide a glimpse of various individuals’ experiences and perceptions living and traveling in Nebraska during that period. They discuss a variety of topics such as overland travel, homesteading, weather conditions, daily life, military life, courtship, and Nebraska’s landscape and wildlife. Attitudes about slavery, the Civil War, and relations with Native Americans are also touched upon in some of the letters.

The papers are grouped by date. Names that are illegible or omitted are noted (?). Topics of special interest or prominence are included in parentheses.


Box 1

  1. 1856
    Letter from S. K. Miller, Long Branch, Nebraska Territory, to his brother Loren in Pennsylvania, dated June 13 (1856?) (weather, soil conditions, topography, availability of wild fruits and vegetables, etc.)
    Letter from Henry James (noted author), Omaha, Nebraska Territory, to his cousin Howard, dated December 5, 1856. (commerce, railroad, land sales, weather)
  2. 1857
    Receipt from James C. Mitchell to John Dement
    Deed, land purchased by Elisa K. Mitchell from Florence Land Company, Florence, Nebraska (see OB127)
  3. 1858
    Letter from George Salsig, Plattsmouth, Nebraska Territory
    Letter from Pink Stout, DeSoto, Nebraska Territory, to his fiancee, Maggie O’Kirk
    Letter from Butler, Omaha City, Nebraska Territory to Rebecca Briggs
  4. 1859
    Letter from Eric Washburn, Columbus, Nebraska Territory, to his wife, (overland travel and the Platte River)
    Letter from S.L. Flinn, Fort Kearney, Nebraska Territory, to his mother, father, and sister, (overland travel, landscape, and wildlife)
    Letter from A.C. Anderson, Nebraska City, Nebraska Territory, to Heath Nuckolls
  5. 1860
    Letter from Nelson Finn, Plum Creek, Nebraska Territory, to father and mother, (includes prospecting and defending claims in court)
  6. 1861
    Letter from Jonathan Edwards, Forest City, to Henry A. Breed (winter, recreation, and hunting)
    Letter from Lucy (?), Nebraska City, Nebraska Territory, to her aunt, Hannah Penniman (incidents related to slavery in the region and abolitionists in Tabor, Iowa)
    Letter from Joseph Cody to Elvira (?) Cody (feelings about Civil War)
  7. 1862
    Letter dated June 20, 1862 written by William Cavanaugh. The letter was written at Horse Creek (Scotts Bluff County) and sent to his cousin (name and location unknown). Cavanaugh was a member of a wagon train heading west, and the letter describes life on the trail, cost of provisions, dissatisfaction among members of the train, etc. Cavanaugh includes sketches of Court House Rock and Chimney Rock.
  8. 1864
    Letter from (?), Fort Platte, to David Adams (trade)
    Letter from D.G. Daily, Brownville, Nebraska Territory, to (?) (an appointment to Fort Kearney)
  9. 1866
    Letter from (?) Lewis, Julesburg, Nebraska Territory to J.E. LaMaster
  10. 1867
    Letter from F.T. Minor, Omadi, Nebraska, to George S. Minor
  11. 1869
    Letter from Mose (?), North Platte, Nebraska, to sister, Mrs. E.C. Wadhaus (?), (railroad, weather, landscape, and Native Americans)
    Letter from Charlie (?), Lancaster, Nebraska, to Olive Johnson (courtship)
  12. 1870
    Letter from J.S. Edgar, Omaha, Nebraska, to Mary Edgar (weather, daily life, and river crossing)
  13. 1871
    Letter from (?), Camp Cameron, Nebraska, to Rachel Tupper, (military life, scouting near the Republican River)
  14. 1874
    Letter from Red Dog (Shunka Lutah), Red Cloud Agency, to B.R. Cowan, Asst. Secretary of the Interior, (living on the agency)
    Letter from J.J. Saville, Red Cloud Agency, to B.R. Cowan, Asst. Secretary of the Interior (describing Red Dog)
    The Pioneer, Omaha, Nebraska, February 1874 (see OB127)
  15. c. 1870-1883
    Letter from Lou (?), Omaha, Nebraska, to Cassie Whelan (entertainment and daily life)
  16. 1886
    Letter from J.W. Walker, Gilmore, Nebraska
    Letter from Nett Stevens, Potter, Nebraska, to his mother, Mrs. S.M. Stevens (ranching, daily life, and price of beef)
  17. 1888
  18. Oversize, Map, Boyd County, Nebraska, 1891 (see OB127)

Subject headings:

Farm life — Nebraska
Frontier and pioneer life — Nebraska
Homesteading — Nebraska
Overland journeys
Settlement — Nebraska

TJR/kfk   05-27-2004
Encoded TMM   09-10-2011
Revised TMM   11-20-2013

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