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)

    1. 1857

      Receipt from James C. Mitchell to John Dement

      Deed, land purchased by Elisa K. Mitchell from Florence Land Company, Florence, Nebraska (see OB127)

    1. 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

    1. 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

    1. 1860

      Letter from Nelson Finn, Plum Creek, Nebraska Territory, to father and mother, (includes prospecting and defending claims in court)

    1. 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)

    1. 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.

    1. 1864

      Letter from (?), Fort Platte, to David Adams (trade)

      Letter from D.G. Daily, Brownville, Nebraska Territory, to (?) (an appointment to Fort Kearney)

    1. 1866

      Letter from (?) Lewis, Julesburg, Nebraska Territory to J.E. LaMaster

    1. 1867

      Letter from F.T. Minor, Omadi, Nebraska, to George S. Minor

    1. 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)

    1. 1870

      Letter from J.S. Edgar, Omaha, Nebraska, to Mary Edgar (weather, daily life, and river crossing)

    1. 1871

      Letter from (?), Camp Cameron, Nebraska, to Rachel Tupper, (military life, scouting near the Republican River)

    1. 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)

    1. c. 1870-1883

      Letter from Lou (?), Omaha, Nebraska, to Cassie Whelan (entertainment and daily life)

    1. 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)

    1. 1888

      Letter from (?) Hammond, Sioux, Nebraska, to her niece, Mary Mason (price of land)

    1. Oversize, Map, Boyd County, Nebraska, 1891 (see OB127)



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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