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James Butler (Wild Bill) Hickok family collection

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[Letter 1]

Mr. Wm. A. Hickok
Troy, Grove
LaSalle, Co

Rough & Ready California, May 1st 1851
My Dear Father,
While I am resting at noon today it being the first day of May which is my birth day as you well know, and when I look back and see that another year has rooled a round and think how it has been spent but It has not been spent in Idleness.  I have not spent over one month but what I bee at work, as it has not been long since I wrote to you[.]   I have but little to say at present[.]  I will tell you a little about my proceedings of late in California since I wrote you[.]   I have bought one fourth of a claim in the time that I was engaged in on Deer Creek.. Mr Stocking, [V. L. Broaddus?], A. Huchison,  Doctor P. V. Hines, are all in a mining [company], and are now at work at Rough & Ready with the exception of two of us [H. C.?] Stocking and Broaddus are now at work at Nevada to work on a quarts claim which was bought of Mister Whigham By myself, Broaddus, Stocking.  There is [101?] shares in the vein.  We are now acting as his agents[.]  Mr Whigham started for Pennsylvania last week after his wife and family[.]  He intends to return here this fall in time to put a mill up for the purpose of crushing the rock[.]  The rock pays from 5 to 7 cents to the [pound?]  that being $1.40 to the tun.  He calculates to divide the claims in to two thousand shares and sell them at one hundred Dollars apiece which will be company money and if things should work as we expect, there will be $10,000 belonging to us three.  We are makeing some money now but I dare not tell you how much for fear you will think that I had better fix up and come home.  It is only one ounce per day[.]  [T]hat is $10, but I cannot come till later in the fall if I should make enough to fetch me home on account of the claim in Nevada.  So you see how it is with me in business.  I received a letter from cousin [Almira?] B. Norton dated February 18th [1851]  stating that Uncle had arrived thare safe on the  [9th?] of February in tolerable good health and had started from there home ... Ah how many sweet fond recolections are called up by that little word HOME[.]  Thare are all that I hold dear.  There is my venerated Father[,] my dearly loved Mother, Brothers & Sisters.  And many kind friends.  What could have induced me to leave all those whome I love and come to this country!  Nothing but the very love I bear them.  I came to this country to get Gold but it was that they might enjoy with me the comforts it would purchase.  My heart is full but I must quit and tell you something that is more interesting to you.  I am very sorry to hear of Uncles loosing so much money on his way home.  Our [digins?] that I spoke of are not a going to last long at the rates I mentioned above.  Stephen McLaughlin was here to day[.]  [H]e is as fat as pigs generly get to be in the state[.]  [T]he rest of the boys are all well.  As usual Charles Foster was here day before yesterday.  I have not heard from [Lonson?] Manzer since las August at Hangtown[.]  [I]f you have heard from him let me now in your next[.]  David Mc is in the southern mines[.]  [T]he Trowbridge Boys are on the [McCosme...?] River[.]  [W]rite to me once a month at any rate and tell the young folks to write[.]  I must draw to a close.  Give my love to all inquiring friends[.]  I remain as ever your affectionate son
Oliver C. Hickok

Rough & Ready, Calif.
May 3

[Letter 2]

Placerville, March the 5th, 1852
My Dear Father,
I received your letter this morning Mailed January 1st  dated December 28.  I have visited the office for some time daily with the expectation of recieving a letter from home but still no letter came till this morning.  And I want you to tell me who the persons are that say I have never sent any money home to you and then tell them for me that they are(Damed Liars).  [A] person may as well say it as I think it[.]  [A]nd I can tell them so to their faces if I live to see them and if that wont do I can take it out of them and that with out much trouble for a man that will say any such thing is no man at all.  Now let me say that as long as I have a [hand] to rais I will rais it to help my Father & Mother[, ] Brothers & Sisters and I want you to know that I get my money honestly and not by cheating man that work for their money out of  it[.]   I have all ways worked since I came to California, and worked hard and have suffered more than tongue can tell.  I have ben sick and lame and nearly blind but with all that I have worked night & day[.]   I have worked 16 hours in a day for two months this winter and still my friends or those that would be friends to my face say that I have never sent money home[, ] but the time will come when I shall see them face to face[.]  [....]  my eyes has been so sore the doctors told me positively that I must quit work or I never would get to work again.  [M]y knee was so lame for two months this winter that I did not sleep a wink for several nights so you can see that it is not because I have not worked that I have not made money enough to make me a rich man[.]  [T]he truth is that I have worked more hours than those who presume to cast epithets on me can stand to work and well they nowit[.]  They never was made of the stuff to stand more hardship than O. C. Hickok can.  Now from the time of your letter I would naturally think that you thought I had written things to you that was not so.  Now for any part I have no wish to deny it But say if you think so[.]  [T]hink so you must (but so far as telling you that I had sent money to you without haveing done so is more than I can tell the reason for doing and I have only one wish to make on that point and that is that the next person that says any such thing to you you will tell them that they dare not tell me so.  I can take a hint without kick.  Now Lorenzo thinks that he can make money here[.]  I do not dout it at all, but if he [does?] it he is smarter than I have ben so far[.]  [H]e is a good boy to work, that I well now but that does not make out that he would make any more money than I would.  For it is not always the man that works the hardest that makes the money especialy in this country[, ]it is the man that has the capital to start with that makes the money in this country .. therefore you can see that I am not to blame in anything that I have done for in trying to make my money bring me more[.]  [I]t has ben lost not by any carelessness of mine but by an accident that you or I cannot help and I cannot tell why you should think that I am not trying to help you any or that I am not trying to make money.  And then to think that my Father should Think that I have lied to him is more than I can bear especialy about so trifling a thing as sending a little money home.  Now I had rather cut my hand off than have you think any such thing of me.  But enough of this[.]  [Y]ou may think that I had no reason to write so but your letter caried such an impression with it.  Now as to [Lonson?] I have not heard of him since last fall[.]  [H]e then promised to write to me often but I have never recieved any news from him since I have writen to him sevral times without any answer to them.  As to Doctor James Adair I have never heard from him since Uncle left California and you never have written where he was.  Stocking writes to me once in awhile[.]  [T]he Trowbridge Boys are all well that is here at present.  Sabin has gone home[.]  Henry and Ruben are here at this time[.]   Joseph [Cary?] is  with them[.]  [H]e is well as usual and thinks some of coming home this Fall coming and he wants me to come home with him[.]  You did not say anything about Thomas or of Wiley[.]  I would like to know where they are not that I care anything about them[.]  [Y]ou mentioned that some of the Folks say stick to it as long as you can[.]  I want to now who they are so that I may know who to call my friends in that country .  James wrote sometime ago in a letter that he did not no as he ever would see me again[.]  [I]t seems that it was very near true But I think the time will come when I shall see you all once more.  At least I hope so and shall try to make it come so that in about 8 months from this time.
This morning the snow is considerable deeper than it has ben any time this winter[.]  [T]he rain has fallen in torents for two weeks back[.]  [T]he bridges are all caried away.  Sacremento is all under water as bad as it was in fortynine[.]  [T]he roads are impassable[.]  [P]rovision is rising[.]    You never have stated what the wages were at home since I left.
O. C. Hickok

[Letter 3]

Fiddletown Feb. 12th 1855
Mr. Horace Hickok[.]  Sir as I am not at work to day I will endeavor to write you a few lines to let you know that I am still living and trying to get along in this world.  My health is quite poor and I do not think it will ever be any better in this world[.]  My heart has failed me quite and I have given up the Idea of making anything in this country[.]  My intention is to come home as soon as I can raise the money to pay my passage to the Atlantic States[.]  This morning I got quite a cussing by the Doctor for working in the rain and getting wet while takeing medicine[.]  [M]y Doctors Bile for the last three weeks has been only fifty Dollars[.]  But work I must and will while I can[.]  I have worked every day that I have been able for the last two months and during that time I have run in debt for My Board the amount of fifty Dollars[.]  [T]here has been no rain here this Season as yet so that a man could work for himself awhile within the last few days[.]  [T]o day I could not work so I hired a man in my Place and I intend to keep him hired untill I am well enough to work myself[.]  [T]here is not one man out of every fifty in this town that can pay his Board, and Still Board is ten Dollars per week.  My Land Lord says if all his Boarders were as wiling to pay their Board as I am he would not be afraid of his pay[.]  [H]e told me this morning that I had better not work any more for a week or two and see If I could not get Some better[.]  [H]e said he would not Push me for my Board as he thought I would Pay him when I got it[.]  I have not seen nor heard from any of the Boys from the grove for three months[.]  I do not think you have any of you have written to me in six months[.]  I have looked and looked for a letter but Still no letter comes[.]  [Y]ou will write as soon as you can[.]  [M]y love to all and do not look for me to soon[.]   But rest assured that I am coming as Soon as I can[.]  I suppose the times are hard with you at this time[.]    By all accounts I cannot get any Illinois Papers here[.]   When you see [Hariet?] Worsley give her my respects.  I shall have to go and lie down a while so good By for the present[.]  [H]oping to see you soon[.]  I should like to recieve a letter from Celinda & Lydia very much[.]  Dear Mother do not think that I have for gotten you[.]  [L]ast night while I lay awake my thoughts wandered far away to Distant lands and I could see you as of old when we were all together[.]  But no I can not see you now only By imagination[.]  But we Shall soon meet again if I have health or not[.]  Yours with respect
Oliver Henry Hickok

[Letter 4]

Sep the 28  1856
Dear mother[,]  [Y]ou say wright often[.]  [H]ow can I when it has been more than three monts since I left home and only received to Letters from home[.]  [Y]ou want to know what I am doing[.]  [Y]ou dont know what I Came to Kansas for or you would not ask me that[.]  I will tell you before Long what I am doing and what I have been Doing[.]   T]he excitement is purty much over[.]   I have seen since we been here sites that would make the wickedest harts sick[,] believe me mother for what I say is true[.]  [C]ant come home home tis fall[.]  [I]t would not look well[.]  [T]ell the boys all to write me[.]  Miss [I]sh I hope is well and [I]sibell[.]
[T]his is from your son J. B. Hickok

When you rite me any news plese tell me all about it[.]  You sayd gorge was married[.]  You did not tell me whether bobby [Sekell?] is or not[,.]  whare they maryed who stood with them or nothing els about it[.]

[Letter 5]

Sep 28th [1856]
Dear Sister[,]  [Y]ou  requested me to write to you[.]  I returned to the border yesterday and went right strate to the post ofice expecting to get several letters from [I]llinois but I was disappointed only getting one where I expected several but I was glad to receive one from you and mother[.]   I have wrote Letters to Gorge Mc[Laughlin?[,]  [hi?] [H]igins[,] Danel Car[,] Liberty Mc[.]  [F]rom all of those I have not received an answer[.]  Gorge Mc I can excuse[.]  [H]e has the care of a family to attend to which [engages?]  the most of his time and mind I suppose[,]  [H]e agreed to write to me often if I would wrght  to him[.]   [T]ell him Lydia that he need not look for letters from me till he answers those I have wrote[.]  Give my love to the girls in [...?]  and some of  these in [particular?] and as for [H]anah [E]wards [G]od bless her little being[.]  I would give fore bits to take a [microscopical] view of her sweet little being forty miles off[.]  I could lift her of[f] the end of a telegraph wire if there was one reaching from thare Clean[over?] out here[.]  I  think of [Mary?] Mc once in a while.  [S]he told me the night before I left that I would not go in the morning[.]  Tell  [Daniel?] Car to wright to me[.]  [I]f any body wants to here from me let them wright to me[.]  I will answer all letters wrote to me[.]  [P]robably you have heard of  [H]arvey a Captin of a company of abolition trators.  I have seen this tarable man.  [I]n your next leave out [R]iling Carr and so forth. I mentioned that to you before.                   Your brother J. B. Hickok

[Letter 6]

November 24   1856
Dear brother[,]  I received your letter Dated the 7 and was glad to hear from you and always will be glad to get letters from home but when you get ready to wright to me again please leave it off an other week and mabe you Can think of noncence a nough to fill a Letter without writing Capital Leters[.]  [Y]ou mentioned [friend?] that marry ann masterman marryed mr hunt[.]   I was sorry to hear it though I was glad to hear that you had a chance to enjoy a few Leisure moments at an evening party and am very much obliged to you for Dancing with Sarah Mc for me and I hope that you will continue to do your duty for I Concider it your duty to dance with the girls for me while I am absent from home (you never mentioned how[G]orge Mc and his wife get a Long[.]   I hope [Mr? Miss?] [I]sh and family are all well[.]  [H]ere is a dam niger siting a here before me and I can't think of any thing to wright[.]  [S]he is a free Colard Lady (you sayd something about that damd old shot gun of mine[.]  I left the [Locks?] out at [B]il [W]yleys to be sent to old [b...  ?][.]   I do not know whether they were ever sent or not[.]  [I]f you want to get it thare is a card on the gun with my name on it[.]  I opend your Letter when I was Coming home this evening to see who it was from and the first thing I read you wanted to no what was going on in Kansas[.]   I looked a head of me to whare the roads Cross[.]   I saw about 500 soldiers a going on and I looked Down the river and saw some nice stemers and they ware all going onn and that is the way with all the people in Kansas[.]  [T]hey are all going on[.]  I guess they are going on to hell[.]  [S]o you see I have told you what is going on in Kansas[.]  If I had [money] as mutch one month ago as I do now I would have had a Deed to 160 acres of land now but never mind thare is more Land to be sold in Kansas yet thare is the finest Country in Kansas I ever saw[, ] nice roling prairy[,]  nice timber on the crick[.]  [Y]ou mentioned something about my being in governor protection but I ain't nor have not been but iffuncle sams troops had been at hickry point fifteen minits Sooner than they ware I might have had the honor or wriding with uncle sams troops but Captin[ H]arvey had given orders that [S]couts Should be sent towards Leavenworth city to see where abouts the Companys of Captain Dun and [milers?] Companys ware Camping for you must no that they ware Camping all the while only when provisions got so scarce that they Could not help marching and that is the way with all the proslavery Companys done[.]  [T]hare is 29 of our Company in Custoday at [Lacomton?] yet I have been out to see them once[.]   I had as good a horse and as good a gun as thare was in our Company[.]  [T]hare was a man Living on Crooked Crick who furnished me with a horse and rifle and revolver[.]  [W]hat I have told you is true[.]  I have rode night night after night without geting out of my saddle[.]  [T]hare is no roads[,] no Creeks[,]  no trails[,] no groves[,]  no Crossings[,] no springs[,] no partys of any kind between Leavenworth and [Lorance?]  or [Lacompt?] but what I know well I am going to [bed/bet?] gest now[.]  [Y]ou wanted to no how mutrch [D]unope was owing me[.]  [$2.50?]  I suppose you know that I had the pleasure of boarding with Celina for a while I was out thare[.]  [W]ell you want to know what is going on in Kansas well I will tell you[.]  [T]he Land sales commence the 17 of [N]ovember[.]  [T]hare is more speculators here than you can have any Idea of[.]  [T]hese men dont trouble the Squatters at all but take every foot of vacant land ruff or smooth[.]  [O]ur troubles are at an end[.]  [T]hings are verry peaseable here now[.]  [G]overnor [Gary?] told Judge [Lacompt?] that he had no further use for him nor marshall [D]onalson[.]  [T]hat [caused some excitement amongst?]  the proslavery party but they know better than to make mutch fuss about it[.]  [Y]ou talk as if you thought If you ware here that I would hunt with you[.]   I have something else to do[.]   I can kill all the game we want before sunrise and by moon light so what wood be the use for me to hunt enimore and that you could not do for you dont get up early a nough and you never scouted any and so you Could not hunt well at night[.]  I must quit for to night again for that damed niger has got here before me again[.]   25th [T]he 26[.]   I have been in [Missouri?] every day for a month and staying in Kansas every night[.]   I am a pilgrim and a stranger and I am a going to wander till I am twenty one and then I will tarry a little while.  If O C Hickok rights you any more Letters I want you to Send them to me Whether there is any thing in them of any account or not[.]  [G]est that is all for to night[.]

The 27      1856
Now my Dear Brother I want you to excuse these few lines that I have writen to you and also those bad mistakes and bad speling for I have writen them all by Candel Light every night when I was about half tight and the other half not [exactly?] right and I cant see well enough to spell well at night when I am all right[.]  I have got a Bad cold[.]  [O]therwise I am well - weighing 180 pounds now[.]   I will tell you a few lyes[.]   I have quit swaring now take care thare bill I have quit Drinking  tut tut now bill  I have quit playing poker now thare take care what you say[.]   I have quite dancing entirely  thare[.]  I  have quit chewing tobaco and I Dont take any lager beer and I don't speak to the girls at all[.]   I am geting to be a perfect hermit my fiddle my dog and my gun I all most worship.  I hold no [interest] with the world around as every thing looks dark about me and a round but thare is a bright spark a head and it I see and it I will persue  till by fiddle strings brake and my dog dyes and my gun bursts[.]  [T]hat is so[.]   I want Lydia and Celinda both to wright to me every week with out fail[.]  [H]iram [H]igins the rescal was agoing to wright to me often if I would wright to him twice and am wating for an answer[.]  I wish this sheet of paper was a little  larger for I would like to wright a little more [and shure?] I will have to quit[.]  [A]nd only these few lines[.]   I am sorry but I can't help it  from your brother James Hickok to H. D. Hickok

[Letter 7]

August 14th  1858
Dear Brother
I have neglected answering your letter longer than I ever did a letter in my life.[.]   But I beg to be excused this time and I will give my excuse[.]   I went to [Lacomtan?]  as a Witness and also on business of my own[.]  I have the best Lawyer in gaged to tend to my Claim that thare is in the territory[.]  [T]hare Will be no danger but What I Will get my Claim [missing] some time but I Will stick it out [illegible][.]  [T]ell Bill if you pleas that I am going to have 160 acers before [going home?] and I think I will [illegible] bad luck if I don't have more[.]   I have seen [Guy?] and Like him first rate[.]  [H]e sings a little too much of [about?] a man by the name of [B]rown who wore two [dangling] curls[.]   He stayed the first time he Came to see me three or fore for days[.]  [L]ast Wednesday he Came to see me again and stayed all day.  [H]e cant like me very Well for he is always wanting to see you so much[.]  [Y] ou want to no Whether it would be better for you to Come out here in the spring or not[.]  [T]hare is not mutch a doing here in the country now but I will [tell you?]  before spring when I think about it[.]
Mother [mentioned] some thing about drinking and gambling in her letter[.]  Well now [Bill?] I will tell you what is of fact[.]   I have not drank a pint of Liquar in a year and I have not played for a sent in twice that time[.]  The first time I go to Lawrence I will send you my  likeness and you Can see whether it looks Like a Whiskey face or not.
(The following is written cross-wise on the page)
I have been making hay for 4 or 5 days[.]  I have got it all stacked ready for [rane/same?]  [J]est got through bout half an hour a go[.]  [O]ne of my best friends lyes here Sick even unto death[.]  [H]e is the man I live With[.]   I think that [G]uy will write to you that I am mighty poor company[.]  [H]e thinks I talk less than any man he ever see[.]  [A]ll the time he was here I wanted to talk to him but I would get to studying some times two hours if he did not say anything[.]  I have got an awful notion of studying Lately[.]  [A]ny way I set some times two hours and think about one thing and a nother without speaking even when the hous is full of [people?][.]  Well now back here there is no [__?] any  more [__?]  for I am  going to get married and quit thinking about sutch things[.]  [H]as has Bill quit walking with the widdows and the like or has he become [steadier?] than ever and marryed one of  them darned kritters[.]  [I]f he [illegible] I  will think  that he [illegible] this reason and never [missing][sensible] again [missing]  remaining in that [missing] I am [lying?] down on [missing]
( The following is written across the page as at the beginning.)
[E]very time I turn over I write Without moving [missing] tell the reason that I write so many diferent [ways?]  [missing]  you that the [Delaware] lands are coming into market[.]  I want you  to come right strate out here without [fail?] and [B]ill [too?] for I have made you both a Claim on them Lands[.]  I made them Last fall when every body thought them Lands were coming in to market[.]   I Live right close to these Lands and when they do come in if they ever do I am going to have a [wipe/swipe?]  at them Shure[.]  [T]hare is one section over there that I would like to have for us fore brothers[.]  [T]here is a bout one hundred acers of timber on the section and the jest butiful prairie that cant be beat in the country[.]
James B. Hickok    [____?]

Monticello [T]uesday 17th 1858
10 oclock
Guy was here this morning a little while[.]  [H]e was on his way to the [river?] to get some sand[.]  [H]e says [G]erusha is maried to William Simpson[.]  [Y]ou ought to have seen him [Laugh?] this morning for about half an hour[.]  [H]e has shaved a gain[.]  [I]t makes him Look awfull thin[.]   I tell you I did not hardly no him[.]  [L]ook out that you dont all get married[.]  [G]uy sends his respects and love to all and to[Jenny?] especialy.
So good by for this time.

Monticello, Tuesday afternoon
I have Been off on oficial [business]  and now it is  five oclock[.]   I will write a Little more[.]  [Did/So?] [E]liza and [G]orge [___?] get married yet and the old [women?] don't Like it that is nothing in the Way at all[.]   I  would not mind that at all[.]  I should Like that all the Better and the more objection the Better.

Monticello, Thursday afternoon
But I have not got any dinner yet[.]  [G]uy was Here to say hes had broke a singletree and Came to borrow one [of/off?] me[.]  [H]e sayd he Wished Bill Simpson was here so that he Could make him one[.]  [H]e sayd it would not have Cost him anything for it would have been all in the family[.]  [H]e sayd it took him down [mightily?] to here that [G]erusha had got married[.]  [H]e  was [saying?] [about?] gerusha and Bill Simpson Corting the other [day?]  [G]uy sayed they Would never get married but I new they ware going to get maried when mother sayd by the by Bill Simpson is going to bild him a hous in town[.]  [N]ow that was enough from mother for me to understand something a bout things in that line[.]  [I have to put my pen in the ink Bottle to or three times every time I write  [a little?] so I think I had better quit till I get some ink.  Well now we will see how this will do[.]  [I]t is better I think.           Friday ...  August 20, 1858  James Butler Hickok.

Monticello Friday the 20  1858.
I made a mistake yesterday[.]   I though it was Friday, But no difference.  Guy is here again today he has bought him a claim in Douglas Co. at about 20 miles from here him and another man together they paid  $150 for it.  There is fore achors of timber  that Will do for fire wood on it And [__?]200 [__?] and 400 hundred in the woods that they Can Have[.]  [H]e says there is a butifull Spring about to rods from the  [door?] and a hous 14 feet  square on it[.]  [H]e says he is going to  fence in the whole quarter this winter or the to of  them is[.]  I hope they may find [and have] good luck on it[.]  Guy is at work at [Manelata?] for 18teen dollars a month  driving a bull team or gentlemen ox team[.]  [T]ell the ladys  if thare are any that reads this that they can read the middle line if they are bashful[.]   I must go to [putting] up hay now so I will quit[.]
`                 Horace [Hickok]               James Hickok

Monticello Friday August 20 [1858?]
I have been mowing or reaping hay With the machine to
day and Broak it all to pieces[.]    I have Broak to drivers to the sickle and forty screws[,]  lost to hatchets and A rench[.]  Broak one horses Leg and the other ran A Way so I guess I shant have to work this afternoon[.]  [G]ood luck at last[.]   [G]uy lyes here on the bed beside me now[.]  [H]e has been after sand A gain and he says if you dont write him a Letter as long as this he will thrash you[.]  [G]uy don't sware any yet I believe [nor?] drink anything But Water and [ale?] and sutch other things but he thinks is good for his health.   I ate forty ears of corn Last Sundy[.]  [M]y gall roasted them for me and A peck of dride Corn with them[.]  [W]as hungry[.]
[Nowl, Sir?] when you get this if you don't write me a long letter when you get this [yourselves?] shall have  a chance to answer at nothing[.]
Mr. Horace Hickok ____ Hickok
Celinda sayd [__?] send A Letter that she got from Oliver [missing?] not get it when I got hurs[.]  But I shall [look?] for it yet[.]  [If] I don't get it you must Write what News thare was in it[.]  I should like to no when he is coming home for if he should Come home soon you could Look for me shortly after[.]
[Lots of squiggles]

Monday night
10 oclock
I quit writing to go hunting[.]   I have just returned
And got my supper and thought I would write and tell you what Luck I had[.]  [O]ne young buck, two turkeys, whitch I carryed home on my Back and now you may think I am tired Whitch I shurly am but howsoever Being tired and wet while setting By the fire I might as well write as not[.]   Thare is plenty of game here[, ]more than thare was on the other Side of the river[.]  [G]ees[e] are plenty here in the fall.

(large letters)
Now Look here if you all don't Wright oftener I Shall quite all to gether  I think Bill ought to write soon[.]  I have not received a Letter from him in a Long time.

[circular doodles]

[Letter 8]

[P]lease to write often for you know how anxious I am to hear from you. (upside down)

Homer  Aug 16th [1859?]
My very dear son I received your letter dated August 3 in due course of time and was truly thankful to hear from you [...] hear that you was enjoying good health. [.]  And now my son let me give you a word of caution and that is this do be careful of your health[.]  [N]ow is the sickly season of the year[.]  [Y]ou are among strangers and if you are sick you will have no kind Mother to wait on you as you have had in time that has past[.]   But Horace I do believe that you will meet with friends wherever you go because I have confidence in you to think that you will try to do what is rite and just[.]
I was sorry to hear that James had gone to Pikes Peak[.]   I do not know what he means by doing as he has in not writing to us[.]  [W]e have had but one letter from him since you went away[.]  If you hear from him I want you to let me know for I am verry uneasy about him[.]  [D]id he appear glad to see you or was he cold and distant[?]  [H]as he got anything or made any thing or is he in det for his board[?]  [D]o tell me all about it[.]  I was pleased when I heard that you had gone to Kansas instead of the Peak for I thought it would be better for you and James both if you were together  but it seems that you did not stay together long[.]  We have not heard from the Wilkins boys and Mat since they left Ft. Laremy[.]
My health is not very good this summer but I have done a good deal of work[.]  Lydia is a going to school[.]  Celinda has three weeks after this week to teach to make out five months[.]  [S]he is Boarding [...]  the last two months [...] gave her dollar and a half for board[.]  She thinks she is having rather a hard time walking so far[.]  She likes her school and likes the teaching[.]  I think she has given general satisfaction[.]  Wm Banks is here yet and I think the prospect is that he will have to stay[.]  [H]e has not done over four weeks work since you left[.]  [H]e wont go out of town to get work and for that reason he has earnt nothing this summer[.]  Lorenzo is on the Ridge Thrashing[.]
Em Linsey is in Wisconsin that is all that I know about her but your Brother L has letters from her once in a  while although he is not verry communicative.  Randal Cotton[,] Justin Towne and Milton [...] have gone to [Misigan?]  School[.]   Mr. Lampsons  house is finished[.]  They are living in it[.]   Gilberts is finished and furnished in the best style[.]  [T]he carpenters are now building a two story house for Mr.[Ish?]  out on his farm.  Uncle Jesse's big house is coming along [...] but I think  it will be finished some day.  We have not had any rain but once in two months[.]  [E]verything is drying up[.]  [T]he prairie looks as though fire had ran over it[.]  [C]orn and potatoes must be verry light and there is barely water enough in the wells to cook with say nothing about washing[.]  [M]y sheet is full so I must say good by from your ever affectionate Mother.     Polly Hickok  (on side of page)
Please give my love and best wishes to Guy.   (upside down at top of last page)

[Letter 9]

Olathe   Johnson Country Aug 21st [1859]

Dear Brother [,]  I received a letter from you last Wednesday[.]  [Y]ou spoke of having got through the Harvest[.]  [W]e have been done so long here that I had forgotten all about harvest[.]  [T]he Grain here is pretty much all threshed[.]  [T]he Yankee Corn is ripe Enough to Grind and they are doing it now[.]   Potatoes took the second growth here after the dry weather and are not Extra[.]  [I]f Bill Bankes was here I should commence threshing in the morning[.]   I have sent him three or four papers and one letter and he sends me none[.]  [H]ow did that story turn out in the Ledger about [Capilota?]   I read to where she fooled the [Lenoirs?] [since?] and got the other girl to run off[.]  [Albert?] Smith has not answered my letter yet[.]  [R]emind him of it if you see him[.]   James is getting Thirty Dollars a month for his pikes Peak trip[.]   Guy has got back to work again but is not verry well yet[.]  [H]e looks like a Pelican of the Wilderness[.]   I am afraid if you tarry until after you marry I will not get a letter soon from you again[.]  [W]e had a [Mass?] meeting of Republicans here yesterday[.]   Marcus J. Parrot delegate to Congress spoke for two hours[.]  [H]e is a splendid speaker[.]   Politics runs high here[.]  [T]he Democrats say down with the G-d D-m free nigger Constitution[.]  [T]here will be some of the times of 56 here this fall[.]   I guess there is a good deal of there [union?] going on. [T]hey send Delegates from Missouri to the Democratic Convention in the Territory yet but let them howl and rant and roar[,]  we have just got them on a pin hook and they cant help themselves but still they will make a great deal of Noise[.]   The Peak news is not all right yet[.]  [T]hey are coming back here and saying that it is not so good as represented and where one makes anything a thousand make no more than their Board and others write back here that the mines are paying from ten to twenty Dollars per day all around them but they have not got the right place themselves yet but I may go in the spring with a train Either to Santafee or the peak[.]  I have about half a notion of Buying me about two or three right good Indian Ponys and coming Home this fall if I could sell them to advantage and come back here in the Spring.  I am still in the Stone Business and am Strong as a  Horse[.]  I wish you would send me a Coppy of the Ottawa Republican[.]
Goodbye for this time[.]                                   Horace Hickok

[L]ast Sunday morning I got me some verry blue denim and took a pair of my old pants for a pattern and cut out a pair of Overalls and went to work at them[.]  [A]t just one OClock I had them completed buttons[, ] button holes[, ] straps and all except pockets[.]  I just left a hole for pockets and a better fit I never had[.]  I have been offered 75 cents apiece to make half a dozen pair since but I had no thimble and my fingers got so sore I thought I would not go into the business[.]  James took off my fine shirt and I think some of making one next Sunday[.]  Mr Beach preached right over my head and I commited his whole Sermon to memory[.]  [T]he text was there was a certain rich man made a [feast?] [illegible] familiar to Henderson[.]  [T]ell Bill Bankes that this is the greatest country for melons [illegible][.]  [W]e can by first rate apples here for 75 cts per Bushel[.]  [T]hey come from Missouri[.]  Corn is 75 cents[, ] flour $5.00 per  [hundred?][, ] meal 90 cts[.]  [T]his has been the Hottest day we have had this Season by 3 degrees[.]  Olathe is growing like a pumpkin vine[.]  I am going to send one of the Largest Mellons home in a letter[.]  [O]ne of [these?] days when the Democrats vote down the constitution tell the folks not to open the next letter I write to you if they should happen [to] get it out of the Office before you do as I have something to tell you Confidentialy and they shall know all in good time[.]  [T]he Ague is quite prevalent here now in the country[.]  I have heard one Doctor say that he had booked $145.00 in one week in July[.]  So good by for this time and write all the news soon[.]  H D H
Mr. H. D. Hickok
Troy Grove

[Letter 10]

Homer Sept 1st [1859?]
My Dear Son as I am all alone this evening I thought I would write a few lines to you[.]  [P]erhaps you would like to know why I am alone.  Well because Lorenzo is on the Ridge thrashing[.]   Lydia has gone to Mount Palatine to see Mary and Josiah[.]  Celinda went to Mendota yesterday[.]  [S]he is going to attend Mr [Henderson's] School[.]  [T]he term commenct to day.  She is agoing to stay six months[.]  She boards with Henderson[.]  It will cost her sixty three dollars for board[,]   washing and Tuition[.]    Celinda received a letter today from S M Wilkins[.]  [T]he letter  was written at [Salt Lake?] dated July 22[.]    Samuel sayd they expected to be in California in five weeks[.]  [T]hat being the case they are in California now[.]  [T]hey lost three of their [oxen?][.]
Before they got to St. Lake they were going the rest of the way with mules[.]
Mrs Fred Baldin was here this evening[.]  [S]he can laugh and talk as much as ever[.]    Mary Sulivan has been visiting here for two weeks[.]  [S]he went to Mr Ransbergers yesterday and is coming back here tomorrow[.]  [H]ow much longer her visit will continue I can't say.  She is quite agreeable and appears well[.]
Sept. 6
Well H [Horace] when I commenct to write this letter I thought that I should be all alone for one whole week  But I have had plenty of company so far[.]  Lydia has returned from Palatine[.]  Josiah and Mary are well[.]  [T]hey will be here one week from to day on their way to [Chemung?].  Jerusha is a going with them.  William will Board here while she is gone[.]   I suppose your Aunt Wealtha will come home with Mary[.]   [Roseanna?] has gone up to North Grove to see her Aunt Sarah.  Your Uncle is quite sick[.]   I have not been there since you went away But intend going this week no preventing Providence[.]
Lucia Baldin is here this evening[.]  [S]he has grown verry pretty.  Sarah MC  has gone to Bloomington on a visit[.]  Have you written to Oliver yet[?]  [I]f you have not I wish you would soon[.]    If there is any chance for you to get any Land in Kansas I think that you had better do it and I think that one yere more like the present will discourage Lorenzo so that he will be inclined to go to Kansas for I am shure it will be but little use to stay here[.]  I have worked very hard this summer[.]   I have done all the milking with the esception that Celinda has milked twice and Lydia twice[.]    We bought a [cow?] of Washington[...?] and payd  twenty dollars for her[.]   Have you any idea how long James will be gone[?]  [H]ow I do wish you could both of you come home this fall[.]  [Y]ou don't know how much I miss you[.]  Horace, if I did not think that it would be for your interest to stay in Kansas it would be hard to reconcile myself to [it][.]  [P]lease to write often and if you should hear from James let us know soon.  [P]lease give love to [Guy?] [and] receive a good share for yourself[.]            from your ever affectionate Mother Polly Hickok.
(in margin of letter)
Mr Ish's Father died last Sabbath[.]

[Letter 11]

Jones & Cartwright's
Pike's Peak Transportation Line
Under the Planters House

Leavenworth ... June 6, 1861

Mr. Horace L. Hickock
Troy Grove, Ills
Dear Sir;            
Yours of the 3rd is received. Mr. J. B Hickock has not been in our employ since 20th April, at which time we settled with him and paid him what was due him.  The Wagon Master under whom he worked [Grant Ross?] can probably tell his whereabouts, but he has now gone to Denver City and will not be back for two months.  We will send your letter out to him when he can probably give you the information desired.
Yours respectfully,
Jones & Cartwright
[___?]  [signature]
[Original held by Joseph Rosa]

[Letter 12]

Olathe  March 30th  1862
Friend Horace
Well how dost thee do after thy long absence[?]  [H]ast thou become so much of a Stranger that I hardly dare take the liberty to write thee so few lines?  [B]ut we were good friends in times past [.]  [W]hy not our friendship continue?  [A]nd seeing you said I owed  you two or three letters I though I would begin to pay off my debts.
Well Horace we are just the same as ever only our family is Smaller[.]  Mr Hayes[,] John & Guy [Thavis?] have gone to the war[.]  Mr [Leanasney?] is living on his farm.  [Check?  is in the Kansas 2nd and your "sweet William's" Sarah is married to Frank Cook[.]  [P]erhaps you knew that before[.]  [W]hile Mrs Hayes and your "humble servant" "keep house" or to write more truly the house keeps us, and if ever any one  was lonesome it is this family[,]  what there is left of it.
I wanted to know what had become of [I. C. Forrest?] and [Sendy?][.]  [W]ell he went into Capt Stockharts Co.  She is living in town.  Dr.Hamill is the same "old sixpence"[.]  [A]ll the difference in him is that he has lost the sight of his eye and that you know injures a person's looks a great deal  if they are not overburdened with beauty[.]
Oh Horace there has been lots of weddings since you went away[.]  I can't begin to name them over[.]  [___ Tiffen?][, ] Kate Whitcomb[, ] Mr Blake[, ] [Leucretia?] Hole[, ] [___ Case][, ] Elma Gregg[, ] Asa Gregg[, ] Kate [Milhoan?][, ] Mr [M__?[, ] Maggie Smith[.]  I'll not name over any more for fear you will tire but that isn't half of them[.]   [O]h yes[, ] Polly [Swartz?] is married to Mr Wolfe[.]  You would hardly know the place everything is changed so.  I wish you would come out and see us for I would like to see you.  I have been enjoying myself this winter hugely at Dances[.]  [Y]ou must remember that fondness for dancing is one of my particular failings and going sleigh riding[.]   It has been the best sleighing and the coldest winter I ever knew of in Kansas[.]  [A]t present the weather is very good for two or three days but so far we have had a cold and backward Spring and worse[.]  [After?]  all it is awful hard times and worse is coming.  Corn is [23 cts?][, ] wheat [50 cts?][, ] potatoes [25 cts?][, ] oats [13 cts?][, ] and this miserable war how long is it a going to last.
We have had such good news of late that I think it will not last long.
I saw Guy a few days ago[.]  [H]e was going to Black Jack[.]  [H]is health has not been very good of late.  Horace are you married yet?  If not I heard you was going to be and come to Kansas to live[.]   I have been expecting you would step in someday and take us all by surprise.
I think if you ever get this letter you will be surprised at me for overcoming my bashfulness enough to write to one that I haven't seen for so long but you are almost a stranger[.]  [Y]our letters on [__?] have got mislaid for I never received one from you that I did not hasten to answer[.]  [Y]ou will pardon me of  neglect of duty after reading the above[.]  [A]s it is getting late my eyes are so dim I can't see the line I shall have to stop my Scribbling[.]  [Y]ou must make allowance when you are trying to read this for my ignorance as I am not in the  habit of writing much,
I am in hopes to hear from you somewhat oftener than I have for the last two years if it is not too much trouble and  now good night for this time,
Yours truly
M. G. Potter

To Mr. Horace D. Hickok
Troy Grove, IL

[Letter 13]

Olathe Aug 26th [1862]

Friend Horace
How do you do this pleasant Eve?  [H]ave you just married another Couple[?]  I Should think you would be Sad to see so many Old Baches trying a new life[.]  There is no news of importance[.]  We have heard that the Union's got whipped out below Independence[.]  [The] Prospect is [another?] drill just now for our side[, ] more so than for some time past.  [T]he report is that MacCliland is retreating from Richmond[.]  [I]t seems to me as though there was some mismanagement in our affair's as many men as the North have had in the field[.]  [I]t seem's by this time that this war ought to be done with[.]  I'm in favor of arming the Negroes[,] in Short anybody that can kill a Secesh [.]  I think "Father Abraham" is rather slow waiting for the Dictate's of his Conscience for Im afraid he will have to wait a good while to do his Duty if he waits for Conscience[.]  I do not like Lincoln at all, the People have been to willing to uphold him, he moves too Slow to [suit?] these times[.]  [I]f  the South do whip it is just as well Might is Right.
Horace, I would like to see you out here, and hope I shall at your earliest possible leisure[.]  [T]here is not much a going on these times, great excitement fire [wailing?] here[.]  Recruiting is going on very rapidly, nearly a full Co. has been raised in Olathe and Vicinity within a very short space of time.  Will Pellet is appointed 2nd [Lietenant?] for recruiting in Johnson Co.  I suppose J. W. Parmeter will be Capt[.]  [A] great many are afraid of being drafted[.]   Horace I wish you to [definitely] understand that your "humble Servant" does not write to G. K. B. nor do I hear from him or the Co he is in, only by way of my Brother who belongs to the same but as you wish it I will take Special pains to let him know his Sister is married[.]  [N]o doubt he wishes he was also.  We have had very pleasant weather for some time, we need a little rain[.]  Crops look well[.]  Winter Wheat is very nice[.]  60 cts per bushel[, ] potatoes $1.00[, ] Corn good 80 cts[, ] Oats scarce.
Oh! Sarah William's Cook's husband has enlisted and S. B. Myrick[.]   J. M. Giffin sayd he is not going in until he is drafted, Mr. [Bory?] think's he will enlist[.]  Mr. Blake and [Hoby?] Burris are keeping Drug Store in Partnership, J. J. [Judy?] has enlisted.  [T]he Girl's do not get married out here[.]  [T]hey can not find any body that wants them, there is more Dancing going on her than there is any need of[.]  [Y]ou know I am not in favor of that[.]   [Y]ou knew did you not that Capt Hayes had resigned? [B]y the by Horace we have got some Splendid Grapes[.]  Walk in and help yourself.  Thavis say's he would like to see you[.]   Dr Hamil is still in a sate of Single blessedness[.]  [H]im and Widow Cook are quite intimate[.]  Report say's Ann Cleman's is going to be married to a Widower with 9 young hopefuls[.]  Well, Esqr I will bring my "highly interesting" letter to a close.  I intend on going to Aubrey to morrow[.]  I do not know how long I shall remain[.]  Perhaps a week[.]  I Should be pleased to hear from you when once the duties [____?] your Office will not interfere with your complying with my request.

Yours truly

Mary Grace P.

To H. D. Hickok Esqr.

Troy Grove,

[Letter 14]

Olathe  Sep 1 1862   Friend Horace.  I think you are doing such good business in matrimonial affairs you ought to be congratulated[.]  I wish we had a few out here like you[.]  [N]ow to be     serious I was glad to hear from you and that you still had your Scalp on for to tell the truth we have come very near going [___?]  (perhaps we would not have gone far)[.]  No doubt you have heard of the Excitement about Quantrel coming into Olathe to pay us a visit[.]  [W]ell he came in on the Santefe & Oxford road[, ] Called at Mr. William's[, ] took Frank    Cook (Sarah's husband) prisoner and Sarah kept begging for them not to take him.  She had hold of Frank's arm and one of the Rebel's told her if she did not let go of him he would blast her D__m__d brains out.  She let go and they took him to that little branch between Mr Hayes and Mr Morgan's places     and just deliberately blew his brains out[.]  [H]e was shot 20 times then [they] left him and came on to Mr Judy's and Plundered his house and took him and his brother[, ] a boy about [12?] years old behind a Couple of the [trees?] [,]  hit one  of them[, ] a Neighbor of theirs whilst living in [Mo?][.]  [They] brought them about a [quarter?] of a mile from their house then shot them.  John .J Judy was shot 3 times[, ] his Brother 3 times[.]  [They] Came on to Olathe to Complete their murderous work[.  [T]hey Surrounded the Town while some of them rode in[.]  [I]t was then about 10 o'clock at night[.]  [S]everal of the Citizens were on the Street and they[,] supposing it was Federal's[,] made no resistance nor did'nt take the hint[.]  [T]hey commanded one of our Citizens to halt[.]  [H]e was just going to get onto his horse[.]  [H]e refused and they Shot him 3 or 4 times then robbed him[.]  [H]is name was Blanchard[.]  [T]he Rebel's then rode up to the Recruiting Office where the U S flag was hanging and Said take down that flag[, ] G-d D-m you take down that flag or we'll shoot you[.]  [N]o one attempted to take it down and they completely  riddled it[.]  [T]hat was the first time our Flag was ever ordered down in Olathe[.]  Some of our Citizen's started to run but were halted[.]  Quantrel's men then began Plundering every house[.]  Some they took more from than others[. ]  [A]ll the Union people's property fared hard.  One Man in [Davenport's?] hall resisted and was shot all to pieces.  [H]e took one of the Rebels Revolver's away from him and snapped the [Cap?] 5 times at him.  They shot a man named Skinner that was asleep in Mrs Forrest's house for not waking up soon enough[.]   [F]atally wounded he died in 4 or 5 day's afterwards[.]   Marion Milkoam was wounded but not dangerous[.]  [T]hey took the Citizen's Prisoner's[,] put them in the Square and told them not to [__?]  Then Commenced the Cleaning out of Stores and Saloon[.]  Will Pellet's Store was Swept of everything[, ] not 10 [Dollars] worth left in it[.]  S. T. Hills store suffered[.]  [H]e lost about [$500?] in money[.]  The Tin Shop suffered[.]  Martin Otts Grocery was lightened of nearly everything[.]  There is no use of enumerating, all places was visited and they took all they wanted or thought they might want[.]  As nearly as can be estimated they got 3,000 or 4,000 dollar's in cash besides all the dry goods[, ] Arm's and Ammunition in both public & private.  Horace, the Town the next day looked like a demolished bee hive with the bees flying around but did not think it worth while to save what was left[.]  Quantrel took the Militia and marched out of Town with his Plunder[.]  I have no but what Curses not loud but deep followed him[.]  [T]he recruit's were taken to Squiresville, sworn in and sent home.  Things look dark and instead of better times we may look for worse for it will come unless there is a Change of Policy.  Several families have left and a number more talk of going[.]  Well, Horace are'nt you tired of reading so much of nothing that will not touch you[.]  I would like to have Father Abraham take better care of his western family but he seems to think Scalawag Sam can do that.
Mr Hayes has gone into the army again as Lieut-Col[.]  [N]ow of the [___] Thavis has gone to Fort Scott[.]  John has gone acrost the Plains.  Holly Burris is at Paola[.]  [H]e is going to be Adjutant[.]  [H]e run like 240 the night the Jayhawker's were here and hid in the weed's.  Horace, I am very much obliged to you for giving your consent for me to not write to ________ unless I pleased[.]  [____?] it is all right.  Horace if you are J. P. much longer I am afraid you will turn out to be an [___] or [Preacher?[.]  I thank you very much for your kind wishes in regard to my Graceless welfare and hope you may always's have grace to help you along [with?] your graceful undertakings so may it be Amen[.]
Horace you see I am fond of plenty of paper if not very good.  Perhaps if you were hear you might assist me in taking care of the Dr [.]  You at least could use your mighty influence by helping me to get him[, ] that is if I wanted him[.]  Horace what did put such an Idea in your head[?]  [N]ever mind[,  I'll talk to you when you come here,  [presuming] you will ["over the left"?][.]  [N]o more nonsense at present[.]  [H]oping to hear from you soon I remain your Obedient Friend
Mary G. Potter

H. D. Hickok, Esqr
Troy Grove

's bu?

[Letter 15]

Olatha, Jan. 14th

Friend Horace,
I believe that some "power's unknown" prevent our letter's from reaching their destination[.]  [L]ike you I have written and came to the conclusion that I need not expect any more letter's from you.  Just remember I am as punctual as clock-work.  Well we are "all right" only I get desperately lonesome.  I am glad to hear you are getting along so well[.]   I suppose there is plenty of Girls for you to pass the time off pleasantly.  We are having the dullest times hear that was ever heard of.  War and rumors of war are constantly reaching our ears[.]  [I]t seems as though the North is about "played out"[.]  [W]here one victory is gained in the West we lose twice as much in the East.  The Grand Army of the Potomac seem's to be perfectly disheartened after their defeat at Fredericksburg[.]  [W]ell who cares for the war[.]    I don't do you?  My sweetheart is'nt in the army[.]   You  wanted to know how all the folks were.  Doc Hamil is practicing medicine in Leavenworth[.]  [Hody?] Burris is publishing a book at the same place no doubt  you [heard] of his fame as an Author[.]   I suppose you have heard of James Forrest's death.  [H]e leaves an interesting young Widow (a chance for you!)  Mr [Roy?] is the same "old sixpence"[.]   S. G. Hills is dead[.]  A great many that you knew have gone in the Service.  Thavis got discharged and is living with us[.]  [T]here is several cases of Small Pox in Town[.]  [N]o one dangerous unless B. L. Robert's[.]  [O]nly one has died with it[.]  [W]e have one Co. of Soldiers hear,  a good many of the Citizens have moved away for fear that Quantrell would pay us a visit[.]  [T]here is no business of any kind going on, only selling whiskey.  We are having the pleasantest weather for this time of year  I  ever saw[.]  [T]here has been only one Snow Storm and that didn't stay long.  Your imagination must be lively[.]   Speaking about sleighriding with a pretty girl and thinking it to be me I envy the Lady her place and thank you for your compliment and I sincerely hope it will be my good luck to go in that sleigh myself sometime.  I should want to hold the reins for fear you might get in deep snow.  Horace, have you given up all thought of making us a visit?  We would be very glad to see you indeed[.]  Come and see the good looking girls and make love to them yourself[.]  I saw an account of the [Hertsville?] office you mentioned[.]   I think the Troy Grove boys have been lucky in deed[.]   I hope they will always be[.]  [A]s it is getting late I must bring my letter to a close[.]  [T]he family sends their best wishes and I hope to hear from you when you have time to spare from your numerous duties to drop a line to your friends.  Good night and "pleasant dreams".
Ever the same,
Mary Potter
To H. D. Hickok, Esqr.

[Letter 16]

Ft Leavenworth Kansas July 5th [1863?]
Dear Horace,  What have you been doing for the last three months or more? that you have not written an answer to my lengthy epistle I sent to you[?]  [A]re you in the land of the living[?]  I thought I must intrude a little on your time[.]  [W]hat did you do the 4th?  have "big doins" in your Town? [A]s for me I stayed in the Garrison all day - nothing at all going on here[.]  [A]ll that could went to the City to the "Celebration"[.]  I hear they had gay old time[.]   I was wretched indeed and perfectly disconsolate  to think I had to stay at Home[,] and like the Women I have read of somewhere "refused to be comforted"[.]  [W]as'nt that  "proper pity"?  [I]f you had been here the day would not [have] seemed so long, although you are not much of a talker you would have been a good listener to my never ending nonsense[.]  Would'nt you like to hear the news[?]  [B]y this time we have been living at the Ft; nearly 4 mo[.]  [I]t is a very pretty place[.]  [W]e live a little way's from the river[,] can see the boats passing up and down[.]  [T]here is about [500?] soldiers here mostly of the 12th Kan Infty.  I get tired of seeing nothing but the same things all day[.]  [I]t is almost like a Prison[.]  [T]here is no business of any kind, and very few Citizen's are in the Ft[.]  [H]ow long we will remain here I don't know[.]  [I]t is hardly safe to stay in Olathe[.]  [T]here has been so much excitement in the neighborhood about Jayhawker's[.]  Mrs Hayes thought some of going back to Tiskilwa Bureau Co Ills until the troubles were over[.]  I think she will give it up[.]  [W]e hardly know what it is to have quiet times[,] there has been several alarm's at this place for fear the Reb's might cross the river[.]  [Y]ou do'nt have any trouble in your part of the Country do you?  I heard the Rebs had been in Southern Ills[.]  [W]hat do you think of the war?  [I]s it ever going to end[?]
I am getting awful tired of it.  I wonder why they do'nt change Commander's of the Potomac Army oftener.  I wish Abe Lincoln was in Heaven or some other good place.  I don't think he is much account.  I guess I had best to stop as you are a Lincoln man.
The Crops are looking finely.  [P]lenty of Vegetables and I have had Green Corn to eat[.] I'll bet you cant say as much.  I saw men plowing out corn last April[.]  [I]t was down to Ft Scot[.]  [W]heat was headed out.  We have been having a good deal of Rain but not enough to do any damage.  [F]avorable weather for taking [Vicksburg?] now.  I saw Guy K. Butler Corpl Co 'A' 10th [Kan?] while I was at Ft Scott[.]  He was well and wanted to hear from you and said for you to write to him.
Horace I received your picture with pleasure[.]  [I]t  looks very natural and I am a thousand times obliged to you for sending it.  I wrote a few lines letting you know I got it but I have never heard from you since[.]  I sincerely hope you are not offended at me or have you wearied of my [_____] letters[.]  [I]f the former, I beg your pardon, if the latter just let me know if you please and I'll not do so again.  I must bring my long letter to a close[.]  Horace I would be very pleased to hear from you and hope you will condescend to write at your earliest convenience, that is if you can make this scribbling out.
Ever the same
Mary Potter
Ft. Leavenworth Kansas

Horace D. Hickok
Troy Grove   Ills

[Letter 17]

Eight miles from [St. Louis?] July 16th [1863]

Dear Brother[,]  I have been again transferred to Capt Ford of [St Louis?] with twenty four other trains.  [O]ur probable destination will be to Hellena or lower down the river.  I have not made up my mind yet as to what course I shall pursue whether to keep my train and go where It goes or to give it up.  I may be obliged to go on with it but think not[.]  I may go back to Rolla and may come Home[.]  [W]e have had a hard trip from Rolla here[.]  [Came in last night about used up.  Higgins & my Assistant and most all of the men have gone to the City with the Forage Wagons[.]  [Y]ou need not answer this as it is not likely that I shall be here to get it[.]   I left J. B. in Rolla[.]  [I]f I should come home I shall be there by the seventeenth or twentyfifth  unless the Trains are kept here for a few days as I shall keep it as long as we stay here if I can[.]  [A]ll of the boys being in town today is making it a very busy one for me[.]  [A]ll of the Mules have to be watered and fed Men or no men so you will excuse this short scroll.
If we stay here any length of time I will write you again.
Yours respectfully,
L. B. Hickok

[Letter 18]

Cape Garardeau  July 28th / 63 [1863]

Dear Brother - here I am at last not exactly at the Cape for we are yet in Ills [Illinois]: just opposite the City[.] I went over to town yesterday to get Forage and it took us all day long to get the forage for five trains [once] having nothing to work with but a little old flat boat that gets over the river in some kind of a way with steam or oars has a few little paddles we are laying on the Illinois side of the river waiting for some Ferry Boat to come along to take us ones to the Mo [Missouri] side what our destination is then is more than I can tell but I guess that we will be sent to B O [Carr] whose head quarters is in th field with General Davidson they are now about ninety miles from here on White River on the route to Jacksonpark Arkansas whether we will start with supplies from this place or be sent further down the river may be down as far down as Hellena if the Train is sent down the river I shall go with it as I can get back at any time. I am not certain yet what course I shall take if we are told to follow on after the Army down through Arkansas we had a very pleasant time down from St. Louis with the exception one day we had camped on the big Mudy It commenced raining soon after we camped all of us getting as wet as cold be it rained hard all night. The next morning we had to get up and get over the River as soon as we could for it was Rising very fast we had no Breakfast and drove twenty eight miles before getting anything to eat which was after dark and our rations had run out as we drew for only five days and was seven on the road. I never heard a chicken squall but was plenty of  feathers

I should like to hear from Home but hardly know how to have you direct - we come though Jonesboro and had a great notion of going home as I could have made the trip in a short time but could not [xxxx] the outfit at that time.

I will have to close for this time you can write to me at this place I think I will get it some time write soon and give me all of the news and how your crops are. I may stay here until I can get a letter but bather things not.

Direct to Lorenzo B Hickok, [Wiss]
Cape Girardeau, Mo
Care of Capt Hipple
I will have him forward to me if I am gone
Yours truly
J B Hickok
You will excuse my nerves as I have been drinking hard - water

[Letter 19]

Cape Girardeau July 31st [1863]

We are  at last on the Mo: side of the River again[.]  [C]ame here day Before yesterday where we have been hard at work filling up our trains for a trip to Bloomfield[.]  [W]e commenced loading this Morning but after loading ten Waggons we were ordered back to Camp for further Orders.  Higgins is in St. Louis yet or was the last I heard[.]  [H]e is Asistant Wagon Master with a Man by the name King[.]   I have Packed up my Trunk which I Shall send to you by Express to Mendota[.]  I put one Buffalo Robe[,]  one Navy Pistol[.]  [T]he Pistol I want you to have Cleaned and put away unless you should want to use it.  It cost me [$20.00?][,] seven or eight shirts[,] one package of letters which I dont want Molested[,] one sweet Brier Pipe which I make you a present of.  In fact the Trunk is full of things I Shall Send it in a few days at least as soon as I am ordered to leave this place[.]   I have kept two Carpet Bags of Clothes which will be as much as I can take care of[.]  [A]nother thing I Might lose them all by the help of Bushwhackers[.]  [T]his part of the State is said to be full of them[.]  [Hervy?] will know what kind of a place this is so I need Say nothing as to its Morality Situation or Inhabitants[.]   I Recd yours of July 12th yesterday[.]   It was sent from Rolla to St. Louis from there[.]  [H]ere you can write me at this place care of Capt Hipple.   I suppose that we are under B. O. Carr Quartermaster with Gen: Davidson now In Jacksonport[,] Ark[.]  [W]hether we go by land to him from here or go further down the River then go to him is more than I can tell but I have writen you several times lately and given you all the news[.]  [Y]ou will excuse me if I make this Short[.]  [T]his is a Develish hot place as we are camped on the Bottom at the North Side of the Town.  Write soon and oblige
L. B. Hickok
PS Sorry to year of [Lizes B?] misfortune.

Aug 1st      I shall express Trunk today as we are now ordered to load to day for some place in the South West.  Charges will be [$3.00?] find Enclosed[.]  I would send you some money but I have had no Pay lately.

[Letter 20]

Cape Girardeau Aug 7th [1863]

Dear [Mother]
It is some time Since I wrote you so I will now write you a few lines giving you some of the particulars of Our trip to Bloomfield and Back.  [O]n last Friday a Man by the Name of Peacock and Myself were ordered to load for Bloomfield[.]  [W]hen we were about half loaded Orders came for us to go back to Camp and thirty Post Waggons had to load[.]  [O]n Saturday our [whole?] five Trains had to load[.]   My Train and one more were told to drive out two miles and Camp which we did[.]  [J]ust as we got through dinner we were told to harness up and drive seven miles farther.  [We] obeyed that order[.]  [A]ll of the Trains got In by dark[.]  [Y]ou will bear In mind that the thirty Waggons left on Saturday Morning for Bloomfield[.]  [W]hen I got up on Sunday Morning one of the Escort told me that the thirty Waggons had burned in the night - and eight men killed[.]  [I]t was soon known all Over the Camp[.]  [W]e soon got started and by Nine OClock we were at the place where the act took place.  [T]he first thing that I saw the wagons burning and some of the mules that had not been cut loose from the tongues.  I then went to the [House?] and saw the ten men that was killed and two that died the next morning with two others that was Slightly wounded[.]  [T]his work was done by thirteen men[.]  [T]hey went in the first place to the Waggon Masters tent called him and the Asistant up and shot booth then went to the wagons and Called the men out Shooting them as fast as they got out then Set fire to the Waggons[.]  [T]hey took all of the horses and Saddles and left[.]  [T]he Men Scattered In all directions thereby Saving their lives[.]  [W]e went on not knowing whether we were safe or not.  [Y]ou will see that if we had finished loading the day we commenced we would have been Camped where the Men were killed and our fate would have been decided but It seems that my time has not yet come[.]   I would not write more concerning the trip only to show that there are Some Men yet In Office that come very  near being Fools[.]  [W]e got In to Bloomfield about Noon on Monday[,] sent to Camp with Orders to start back In the Morning[.]  [A]bout an hour after I had Camp I was told to hitch up[,] drive to town and give them 20,000 rations of Bacon[.]  ( I had nothing but Bacon & Shoulders)[.]   I drove up to unload[.]   Each wagon[,] had two Casks of Bacon and one of Shoulders[,] the Shoulders at the back End of the wagon[.]   I had to roll them out first[.]   I asked the Quartermaster if he wanted any of them[.]  [H]e said no so I had to take them out first then roll them in again[.]  [T]he next Morning after I got all ready to Start the fool came and wanted 5,000 Lbs Shoulders[.]    I had to unload them of Course[.]  [H]e then put 65 Soldiers and ten prisoners into the waggons and let me go, so here I am at the Cape[.]  [T]his is the Most desolate looking Country that I have been In yet the Houses allong the road that have not been burned have been deserted[.]  [T]here is not half a doz Families on the whole road[.]  [A]ll there is on the route is plenty of apples and peaches[.]  [T]he peaches are getting ripe.  [W]e will not stay here long but where we will go is the next thing[.]  [W]e may go to Hellena and we may go back to St Louis[.]   I Sometimes think of quiting the business as I have so much work to do[,]  first up in the morning and last at Night[.]   I think now that I shall Stay Some longer as I need the money that I get for my work[.]  [T]he last letter I had was from Lyd which she sent to Rolla[.]  It followed me here[.]   Higgins has gone down to Hellena as Asistant with a Man by the Name of Sparrow.  It is now time that I had a letter as I have been here long enough to get one direct.  I hear that [Hervy] & Lyd are Married[.]   I want you to turn them out as one House is not large enough for two Families[.]  [A]fter they get set up in Business if they Invite me to take tea with them I will do so at my earliest convenience[.]  [G]ive Lyd the cow that kicks and she won't want but one[.]  Excuse my short letter & receive the well wishes of L. B. Hickok
Direct to Cape Girardeau Care of Capt. Hipple

[Letter 21]

Cape Girardeau Aug 11th [1863]
Dear Brother
Yours of August 2nd was read a few days since and I wrote Mother the same day[.]  [Y]ou said that you had recd one from me dated July 23[.]  [T]here is some mistake about that for I did not get here until the 26th but I wrote you at St. Louis at Urbana and Mailed one to [Hervy?] at Jonesboro which I have not heard from[.]  [W]e are now under orders for Hellena only waiting for Transportation[.]   I think we will leave here by Friday or Saturday at the farthest[.]  [T]here is Nothing for us to do here and I had rather do anything than lay in Camp[.]  My health is a good as it generally is at this time of the year[.]  [Y]ou said that [Hervy?]was Chivarried but did not say that he was Married or if he was who by whether publicaly or privately .. how is Mothers health this summer[?]   I have not much to write at present but Shall keep this till we are ready to Start down the big waters[.]  [Y]ou can write to Hellena Care of B. O. Carr[.]   I [might?] send this in the Morning and write you a line on the Boat and Mail at Cairo[.]  [I]f It does not suit me I shall not Stay long down there but if the Army goes off to Texas it will Just suit me[.]   I do not think the War will last more than Six Months at the outside and I left Home with the Intention of working for Uncle Sam till the Close and if My health permits I shall I may come back to St Louis or Rolla, as I can get work in Either place but may not get as much wages in the first place as I am getting now.  I am Sorry that I sent my Pistol Home as I may want to use it[.]  It is likely that I will have to get me another one[.]   I should have told you to look over those loose letters in my trunk[.]  [Y]ou might want to burn some of them[.]  [T]hat Note that I let [Ione?/Tony?] have he was not to pay till some time in the Fall[.]  [I]t will Surely come[.]  [D]on't you be uneasy about it[.]  [H]ow do you like the Pistol or have you tried it yet & your Pipe[?]   I have plenty of Kinnekinick to smoke now as a Sutter was fool enough to put a load of his stuff on one of my waggons on my return from Bloomfield but this is to hot a place to set and write so I will Close[.]  [W]rite on rect of this to Hellna[.]
[Y]ours     L B Hickok

PS Tell Chas Mc that I return on him my sincere thanks for the letter that he wrote me and same to Isadore Gibbs

[Letter 22]

Rolla Mo - March 4th 1864
Bro H D.
Yours of Feb. 27th was recd to day just as I came In from Little Piny[.]  [A]s you accuse me of neglect I will hasten for this time at least.  I have writen almost every Sunday to some one of you at Home since I have been here[.]  [G]lad to hear that you have done well in Collecting but hardly see how you made so much out of It [.]  [I]f  I recollect aright you wrote me once that there was about $40.00 to Collect - fear you may have Made some Mistake[.]  Lyd wrote me that you had made about $125.00[.]   I knew that you would be pleased with Mr. Stebins as he is [frank?] fair and honest - allways willing to Explain anything connected with his business.  We have a very pleasant Winter with the Exception of a few days in January[.]   I have been to Sallem twice Since I froze my Ear and had the pleasure of coming back in a Storm[.]  [C]ame in from there Last Sunday and it was trying to see how hard It could snow[.]  [T]o day it is rather Stormy - some rain and some snow and is growing cold.  I think it a good Idea for you to sow some Oats - as I dont think you have corn Enough to last till fall[.]  [M]uch pleased also to hear that you have  pluck enough to try the wheat again.  [T]here is nothing new for me to write.  Higgins is quite sick to day[.]  [W]as getting ready to go to Springfield but he will have to put it off for the present.  JB is in Batesville no Fayetteville at work for Capt Squires who is Chief of the Detective Police[.]  [G]ets about $100 per Month[.]  [A]s for myself I am well and hearty and shall probably Stay here as long as I  Stay in this Country or at least as long as I can do as well as any other place.  I wrote you that I did not get along very well with the Quartermaster, well after this month I have the Promise of my regular old wages $6000 but because I would not take out a new train he  put me down to $3000 and would not pay me for the work that I had done but I shall come out all right[.]
My respects to all
[D]id I leave one of my shirts at Home a white one[?]  I want you to find out what a Portable Saw Mill Costs in Chicago and let me know immediately  yours, L. B. Hickok
H D Hickok

[Letter 23]

East [Bush?]   April 20 1864
My Dear Children
I will once more try to give you a short account of my journey from Michigan to this place[.]  We stayed in Michigan two weeks[.]   Then Mr. Doil brought us to Hickory Corners to our Cousins Joseph Kinsleys[,]  a distance of ten miles[.]  [W]e stayd there from [M]onday till [T]hursday[,]  then Mr. Kinsley and Wife cam with us to Augusta[,]  a distance of 11 miles[.]  [T]hen at eleven oclock we took the Carrs for Detroi[.]  [A]rrived in that place just as the sun was setting[.]  [W]ent right out of the carr onto the ferry [b]oat[.] Detroit River is a bout one mile across[.]  [T]he boat was splendid[.]  [W]e had a beautiful ride on the river[.]  [W]e went off of the boat onto the Carrs[.]  [W]e came by the way of the Bridge[.]  [G]ot there between daylight and sun rise just light enough to give us a good view of the bridge[.]   I thought I should be afraid to ride over the bridge but when I got there I was not at all afraid[.]   I will tell you what I think of it when I come home.   When  I was to Mr. Doils I went to Aleyon and saw two of Brother Benjamans Butlers Children[,] Albert and Eunice Butler[.]  [W]e have had so much company since I began to write that I can't keep my subject[.]   I was agoing to tell you how long we were going from Augusta to Rochester[.]  [W]ell we left Augusta at eleven in the the fore noon[,] arrived in Rochester next morning at eight then took the stage at 2 for Eeast [Bush?] to get to Mr. Bunnels at 6 and you may believe that I was some tiered[.]   I expect to stay here two weeks then I shall go to west Potsdam and when I stay there a few weeks I think that I shall be ready to come home and now I want you and Martha to tell me how you like living in the  prarie[.]  [D]o you get homesick or lonesome[?]   How is [Harvy?] and Lyd and Marshal[?]   I wish I could see you all this verry evening[.]   I want you to write immediately so that I can get a letter before I go any farther east[.]  [L]et Lyd read this and I want her to write and not wait for me but I shall write to her soon[.]  [H]ave you heard from the boys Lorenzo and James[?]  [H]as Celinda been over to Homer since I came away[?]  [T]ell me all the news[.]   Aunt Eunice wishes to be remembered to you all and to Mrs Edwards[.]  If you want me to come home before harvest just say so and I will come[.]   Eunice wants you or Lyd to send that little black work packet up to Mendota and give it to Mrs [Austin?]  and she will fetch it to her when she comes here this spring[.]   I have been all day writing this and the room has been ful of people and they have been talking to me all the time and you know that I can't write and talk so you will please excuse all mistakes.

from your affectionate     Mother Polly Hickok
HD and Martha

(the following was written in margins)
Mrs. Douchy and Mrs Bunnel Send their love to you all[.]  Mrs Bunnel says tell Lyd that she ows her a letter  My health is good and has ben ever since I came away[.]

Just as I was Sealing my letter Mr. Douchy came in with [Harvys?] letter[.]   I was glad to get it for I wanted to hear from home so bad[.]

This Bookmark aunt Eunice sends to Horace[.].

[Letter 24]

Rollo Mo June 20th 1864

Dear Brother
I don't know what the devil you are doing at Home[.]  [Y]ou Must be verry busy or you certainly could find time to write at least two lines.  I have been Staying here for the last ten days doing nothing merely for the purpose of hearing from Home but may have to leave before I can from there[.]   Shall Send you [$50.00?] by Express tomorrow to Mendota[.]  [I]f you get the Same use It[.]   I do not know where I Shall be at that time[.]   I want you to send to me a Certifficate of Enrollment if you can as I do not wish to go In the damed Square toed Militia[.]  [A]ll I want is to show [is] that I am a Citizen of Illinois and have been Enrolled there or I will have to pay [$30.00?] here to keep out of bad Company[.]

P S  If you are not to busy after Harvest I Should be pleased to here from you[.]
Yours respt
L.B. Hickok
H. D. Hickok
Troy Grove

[Letter 25]

West Pottsdam, June 24 [1864]

My Dear Children
[B]y this time I suppose you begin to think that you are not a going to hear from me again.
But[ ...] that I would write you a short letter this after noon[.]  [I]n your last letter you say that I wrote to Lydia that I had not received any of your letters but I dont think that I sayd it[.]  [I]f I did I shurely did not mean it for I had one while at Woodstock one at Prairie Ville and one that was mailed to Bush and another Mailed to West Potsdam[.]   I think that I have received all the letters that has been written.

July 1[.]  [Y]ou see that it has been some days since this letter was commenct.  I will tell you the reason[.]   I have been with Mrs Ross the last two weeks[.]  [S]he is your Aunt Sally Salls oldest daughter[.]  [S]he was verry sick when I came to Potsdam and is not well now but is some better[.]  I have done her work for the last two weeks[.]  [S]he has no family[,] only herself and husband.  [T]hey have a nice house and every thing to make them comfortable[.]  Mr. Ross is a very pleasant man[.]   I think it is quite a privilege to get up in the morning and get my own breakfast for I have been sitting around so long that I am tired of being waited on[.]   I am having a good visit[.]  I have been to Brashur to see Brother Samuel Butler and his family[,] stayed two weeks then went to Bombay to George Davis and went to see some of my old friends from [V]ermont[.]  [F]rom there I went to Laurence Ville to see Celinda[,] Brother Benjamin daughter[,] and from there I went to North Laurence to see Dan Davis and wife[.]  [M]y friends all seem glad to see me[.]  You spoke in your letter about sending me some money[.]   I have only six dollars left and I don't know as I shall get any from Joseph.  If you can send me twenty  five dollars I wish you would do so[.]  I may not want that much but I don't want to start with just enough fearing that I might have some bad luck on the way[.]   Intend to come home the first of [S]ept[.]  [M]y health is good[.]  [H]ow does your crops look[?]  [I]s there going to be any fruit this season[?]   [T]he folks are complaining about the hot wether but I can't see  it[.]   I wear the same clothing that I wore last winter and have not been uncomfortable at al[.]  [P]eople think their crops look well here but I dont know whether they do or not for I have not seen more than two acres of corn in any place[.]  [G]rass is the most they raise here [--] grass and cows is the things they raise here[.]    The friends all wish to be remembered to you all[.]  l I have got twenty-pounds of maple shogar that I shall fetch home so you can tell Marshal that he shal have a nice cake of sogar when I come.  When you write to me direct your letters to West Potsdam in care of James Ross[.]  I shall write to Lydia and Celinda in a few days[.]  [G]ive my love to all enquiring friends[.]  [W]hat are you a going to do on the fourth[?]  [H]ave you got any garden[?]  [I]s there agoing to be any Cherrys on those trees[?]  [Y]ou  had ought to [preserve?] a part of them.  Well Martha how do you like living on the Prairie[?]  [W]hat do you do when you get lonesome[?]  [D]o you go in to see your duch neighbour  I can't think of their name or does your mother stay with you[?]   I would keep her there a [good] part of the time[.]  [G]ive my love to her and [S]usan and the same for your self[.]   I must draw my letter to a close for it is getting dark[.]
[F]rom your affectionate Mother.

Polly Hickok
Horace and Martha Hickok

Have you heard from L B or James[?]  [I]f you have let me know in your next letter.  Your Aunt Eunice came with me to Potsdam and went with me to Georges but would not go to Dans[.]  [S]he dont like Dans wife[.]   But I never was treated any better in my life than I was there[.]   I wrote to Oliver about three weeks ago[.]  [O]nce more good-by      P   H

[Letter 26]

Rolla  Sept. 10th 1864

Dear Brother.  I have been looking for a letter for Some time, but fail to see it.  [T]he weather is still so warm that I am pretty near Roasted so if this is not very nice you will know where the fault is[.]   James has been here and made me a call of four days[.]  [H]as now gone back where he will Stay  for the present[.]  [H]e says that if the War Ever Stops he will go Home and Stay for a month or two but as long as his Services are needed here he will remain[.]  [H]e was going to have his [P]hotograph taken while here but it was Stormy all the time[.]  Says he will Send me some in a few days[.]  [I]f he does I will Send one Home.
I see that Troy Grove is lacking 20 men on all Calls for troops[.]  [I]t rather Seems to me that the thing is not exactly right but it may be[.]  [H]ope Tom Gardner will be one of the ones that draws a prize for he is a tough [cuss ?]   I would give $50.00 to see him in the ranks[.]  [H]e would be such a bully fellow to make [Breastworks?][,] can use the Pick and shovel[,] So handy would take such delight in it the dam Rascal[.]  I'll bet that next to the Pope of Rome that McClellan is his God[.]  [Duckfoot?] the Same[.]  I don't Expect to have a Vote this Fall but if I do I hope to Cast it [for] a better Man that the Grave digger.  I wrote to Celinda two or three weeks Since and you a week before but have not heard from either of you[.]  [H]ow do you like the Picture[?]  [H]ow does Polly Smith get along[?]  [T]ell Lyd that she has not answered my letter yet[.]  [T]ell her if she has not time to have Grant do it for her[.]  [I]t may be by his order that She does not write[.]  [I]f so I'll [Gorrotte?] the Little devil when I get Home[.]  [H]ave you threshed any yet[?]  [I]if so how is the Crop[?]
Good Day
Yours resptfy
L. B. Hickok
What time does the Election take place[?]   I think the first Tuesday in November[.]  [H]as  [Ches?] got Home yet[?}  [H]ave you got plenty of Potatoes & Chicken and does the Preacher call around[?]  [W]hat is Randall Coltrin doing[?]

[Letter 27]

Georgetown  April 11th 1867

My Dear Brother.  Horace your kind and welcomb letter has just came to hand and I hasten too answer it[.]   [Y]ou canot tell how [much] pleasure it gives me to receive a letter from you and to hear that you are all a live and well.  [M]y health is as good as usual[.]  [I]t rather surprised me to hear of your and Celindas Mariages not that it is anything more than natural[.]  But in the last letter that I got from her she wrote as though she could stay and take care of Mother but thus it is and you are satisfied it is all right[.]   You say you sent me your Photograph[.]  I did not receive it But should like very much to have it and the other Boys also.  I dont think that I have received half of the letters that you have sent me for this is the first one that I have got from you in four years[.]  [S]till I did not think you had forgotten me -  I don't think that I have ever knew your wife But I would like to have her write to me at any rate for if she is good enough to be my Brothers wife she is good enough to be my sister and I should be most hapy to take her by the hand and say how do you do my sister and I intend to do it one of these days.  Why is it that mother never writes a single word to me.  Dear Brother in that description of James there is some things that I do not understand[.]  I did not know that he ran away from home or that he had been fifteen years amongst the trappers and then theres some things in that piece that does not corespond with my way of thinking about James.  I suppose he is a very stout and active Man But I think that I am almost as stout and active as [he] is[.]  I have weighed two hundred and tenn Pounds but I do not weigh that now[.]  [T]hen I was the stoutest man in this county and there was a good many of them in it[.]  I would like to try him a shot or two with a rifle and when you see the Boys again or hear from them you must tell them to write to me and I will write to them soon and I hope you will continue to write so that I can get a letter as often as once month from some one of you.
This winter has been a very hard winter so far and the times are very hard[.]  [E]verything is very high[.]  I intend to come Home this fall if I possibly can[.]  [I]f I do not Stay more than one week .. you will give my love to all my friends and receive my best wishes for you all[.]  Tell Mother there is not a day that I do not think of her and you cannot tell how much I want to see you all But I must say good by for the present from Oliver H. Hickok to his Dear Brother and Sister Horace and Martha Hickok.  I want you to give me the ages of all our family from the oldest to the youngest.

[Letter 28]

Ft. Lyon CO Aug. 11th 1867
Dear Bro & Sister

Yours was Recd a few days since [.]  you flatter yourself on your corn prospects and say that it is about six inches high[.]  Still it is the about the best in the vicinity and your wheat looks fine, rather rank [.]    I suppose by this time that your wheat is either harvested or abandoned.   I hope it has been a good crop.  Did you expect to get two good crops running [?]   I hope it is not as hot there as here[.]   [I]f it is I do not see how you get along[.]   I would send you some money but you cannot send by express from here[.]  [T]he Co. will take no risks while the Indians are as bad as they are now and they will remain hostile till the middle of winter.  I have one Check for three hundred which you could have if I could get it to you[.]    Still it will not spoil here as I cannot get it cashed here[.]  [H]ave not had one cent in Money from Govt yet I think I shall stay here this winter as it is a pretty good place[.]   [N]o red whelps near here yet and no Cholera this sid[e] of Fort Dodge and the Summer is getting so near over that I hardly think it will get his far west and we are about two miles off the road and no trains or troops are allowed to come to the Post[.]    [I]f they want anything it is sent to them[.]

Everything is kept in the very cleanliest posible way police the whole Garrison every week[.]    Corrall sweeped out every morning[.]  [T]ents Examing and bedding aired every day[.]  General Health is the best I ever knew at this season of the year.  I hear from JB once in a long time by someone that comes along[.]   [L]et me know about the land whether [H] takes it or not  So that I can help you when the hour comes which I will be ready and willing to do.  Did you sell one of the Horses and How did Chris and the other Dutchman come out with those Indictments last spring[?]  I suppose that Coltrin has not got back yet[.]    What is Horatio doing this summer and Fred and Isadore in fact Everybody even Jake Bankes.

This is to[o] hot ... must Close

Yours Truly

L B Hickok

[Letter 29]

Fort Lyon Dec. 2, 1867
Dear Mother
It has been sometime since I have written you a letter[.] Still all the letters that I write Home are for you as well as those to whom they may be directed and I do not think that will make much difference as the one that gets them first are perfectly welcome to open and read as I well  [recollect] when at home that was the case when letters were written by any of the family.  I am well and have been since leaving there last Winter and expect to stay here Sometime yet as I can do just as well here as any other place if I continue to work for Govt[.]  I sometimes think that I could do better if I went at something else and I now see chances if I had a few hundred Dollars to Invest and still keep at work here but it will take all the money that I can spare to help H.D. with his land [(]and here let me say that I am bound to see him through with that Land) that I shall have no money that I can  make any use of for fear that I could not have it just at the time he would want it - one year more I think and we will both feel somewhat easier[.]   [H]e did not write what amount he had paid this year and I wish him to let me know exactly how he gets along with it.  [Y]ou may all think that I do not save as much money as I ought to and you may be right[.]  Still I think for the two years that I have done something before that I will acknowledge that I was to[o] careless and lost too much money by carelessness or neglect by loaning it out and then never ask for it but that time has passed for now I have quit entirely[.]  I have to say no.  In counting it up I find that I have sent quite a sum nearly or quite eight hundred dollars Since I came to Kansas[.]  [W]ell that is not one years work you will say yes I know that but give me Credit for what I do then I will try to do better in the future, as for James if you can get letters from him you will do better than I can or anyone else now[.]  [I]t is not because he does not think of you or me but it is a great bother to him to write[.]  [I]f he could sit down and write a letter in one minute he would do it, but he has let a life of activity and excitement and the common acts of an every day life are a bother and a bore to him[.]  [H]e sends me some word every chance he has but no letters and is anxious to know how I am getting along[.]  [H]e is now stationed at Leavenworth Kansas and is Deputy U. S. Marshall for Kansas[.]  [T]he Marshall lives at Leavenworth.  Mr. Whiting is his name.  Our winter is or has just commencing[,] still I flatter myself that I shall have pretty good times this winter for I have a good tent, well floored with a good stove and other things that will add to my comfort[.]  I shall not be on the road much at all events - I have a good mess and live as well as can be expected in this country[.]  [O]ne word about where you will live at least for this winter you know that you take cold quite easy and I should like to have you stay where you can be the most comfortable for the present but you know that you can make your own choice without any opposition.  My letter is getting to be quite long so I will close.
From your Son
L. B. Hickok

Please find enclosed $4000[.]  [It is just one half that I have at this time[.]  [C]onsider it a present for Christmas hoping that it may afford you as much pleasure to receive as for me to give.  I remain as ever yours,       L. B. Hickok

[Letter 30]

Fort Union March 22, 1868
Dear Bro & Sister -
I  recd yours sometime since but have put off answering it for some reason partly on act of time and partly through carelessness.  I have been pretty busy this month fixing up my team and building Quarters for the men.  [H]ave just finished the job and got all complete.  I am now looking for orders to go on the road as I have been here all the time Since I took this train the first of Feb.  [H]ow long I shall keep it will be decided by the first of the month[.]  Col. Bradley discharged all the old Wagon Masters that were here but one and has made all the trains larger than they were[,] 25 teams now.  [T]hey were 15 in each[.]  [W]e have no Asistants and no extra men[.]  [T]he wages were cut down to $5500 for W. M. and $2500 for teamsters but they are now all right again.  I suppose that by this time you are on the farm getting ready for the work[.]  I hope you will have a good early Spring and get one good crop.  Have you let Kriser have the House yet[?]  [I]f so for what price.  I do not want you to get down hearted with the idea that you can't come out all right in the end for I think you will.  [O]ne thing is certain your expenses will not be near as large as they have been[.]  [D]oes it not seem strange to you to have only two or three in the family[.]  [Y]ou may rest assured that I shall help you at the right time.  My being discharged at Lyon plaged the dickens with me[.]  [T]he money and time that I lost made over $3000 to you.  I am now looking for something better than I ever had from the Govt - I realy hope that I shall on your act.  I suppose that you hear from Mother[.]  [I]f so let me know all about it[.]  [I]f you should wish to write to J.B. direct to Hays City Kansas, but he will not answer so it will be of no use[.]  I can get nothing in the shape of a letter from him.

[this is all that was on this copy]

[Letter 31]

Fort Union Apr 8th 1868
Dear Bro
Yours of March 23rd was read yesterday[.]   I wrote you a few days ago and you have [doubtless] got it ere this.  So you find yourself on the farm and seem to think it rather a bore that you cannot run up town every evening[.]  [W]ell you must console yourself with the idea that it is a married man's place to stay at home in the evening with that little wife of yours.  [You] say that you have wrented the old place but do not say who to and further that you think that you have sold to Kriser[.]  [Y]ou had better make the matter secure so that there will be no misunderstanding in the future[.]  [E]ither sell or not sell so you will know just where you stand.  [A]s for myself I am taking matters rather quietly so as to make the matter sure in the outcome[.]   I do not wish to loose what has been [paid?]

I can remain here with Capt Bradley as long as I wish if I attend to my business which is just as plain as growing wheat or corn and much easier[.]  [B]eside all that my health is good here.  [A]m not troubled with that old disease that bothered me so much at home.  I think that we will master the problem yet and own some land[.]  [W]ill you not feel a little more independent[?]   Now I wish to make some enquiry about Mother and with what understanding she went east whether she will want any money to get back again or whether Aunt E. proposed to see her back again[.]    I will try to be ready at any time if she should need anything so you will be to no expense in the matter[.]   I do not expect to write many letters there as you know that my last were not answered[.]   I presume you are not troubled with many visitors[.]  [N]ow what has become of Bill Harrold[.]  [W[rite often as want to know just how you get along.     L. B. Hickok

[Letter 32]

Fort Union N.M. Jan 24th [1870]

Dear Bro
I sent you by letter yesterday one hundred dollars.  [T]o day I enclose you a one hundred dollar bill and tomorrow I shall send you $100 more making three hundred[.]  [F]ifty of it I wish you to give to William Cambell[, ] the balance to Kriser[.]  [W]e are expecting a change of  Quartermaster soon and it has now become [ruleable?] to change most of the employees that have good places[.]    So that I may possibly be out of employment in the course of a month and this was another reason why I did not send before this[.]   I did not know but what I might have the pleasure of carrying the money part of the way myself

If this reaches you as soon as yours did me it will be in time.  I hope it will[.]   I am doing the best I can to help you and saving every dollar possible but Still I must keep enough by me to get away from here if it becomes necessary[.]    I shall have that after sending you this.  I hope this will relieve you of your present necessities.  I suppose that you are not able to pay anything this time[.]  [I]t is not very promising if you can only make a living out of the place.  [Y]ou will please answer as soon as you get the money as I Shall be anxious to hear whether it gets through all right - I wish you a better crop this year[.]  [D]o you remember how much I have Sent you in all[?]  I must stop[.]   I am tired[.]         As ever
L. B. Hickok

My kind regards to Martha[.]
Wishing her good health for the future you are as heavy as I am at this time[.]  [M]y regards to Kriser[.]  I suppose that you do not see Mother very often[.]  C writes that her health is pretty good[.]
L. B. Hickok

[Letter 33]

Bloomington Ill., June 19, 1870
Mr. H. D. Hickok:
Time, with all its changes finds me in your State, and feeling that I should like to hear of your prosperity, I take the liberty for old acquaintance sake of writing.
Nearly six years have elapsed since I heard from you, and I almost fear you are not in Troy Grove yet.
As for me, for the past three years I have been Teaching and the last year in the graded school in Olathe but my health failing, I gave up my situation last April, and since I have been attending the "Normal University".  I came among perfect strangers, and of course, feel some  lonely.
School closes next Thursday, and the following week I shall return to Kansas but wishing to hear from you before I went and being so near I ventured to write, begging pardon, however, if my letter is an unwelcome visitor.
My address:  Mrs. Mary S. Ferguson,

After next week

From your old friend,

To Horace Hickok,
Troy Grove,

[Letter 34]

Georgetown California Aug 13th
My Dear Brother & Sister
I will now try to write you a few lines to let you see how the world goes with me at this time[.]  My health is quite good although I have seen considerable trouble and sickness this Spring and Summer[.]    I had a broken Shoulder then a[cata...?] on  my right hand[.]  So it has ben all Summer so that I have not ben able to work over half of the time[.]  But I hope that I will not be troubled anymore soon for I want to come home this fall if it is a possible thing for me to do[.]  This country is no place for me[.]  I nere have had anything but bad luck since I landed here and I would like to come home and stay through the winter and go to Arizonia in the spring or sett[l]e down in some different land from this[.]  Last Spring we had large fire in our Town by which I was some 5 or 600 [dollars] [looser?][.]  I owned a very nice little residence that I was forced to take from a man in order to get my pay and then did not get it all.  The weather has been so hot that man could not work for some time only mornings and evenings[.]  The Thermometer stands everyday at one hundred an[d] Six in the shade and although this is one of the healthiest places in the State yet almost everybody has been sick and a great many deaths[.]  Our grave yard is most full now[.]  The most of people die here very sudenly[,] well to day and tomorrow dead[.]  I have written one or two letters to Celinda and one to Lydia that I never recived any answers to as yet and it seems as though an answer could come in eight or nine weeks now days[.]  Still I will not find fault with them for they have been very good sisters in the way of writing to me.
Our State Electrions come off next month in which we intend to give the Democratts a small [cud?] to chew[.]  [T]hey are Blowing their horns very loud against the 15th amendment in this state and making that their Political Loby[.]  But I think their loby will fail them this time[.]  I am not much of a Politician so you must not expect to hear much from me in that line[.]  I would like to have James and Lorenzo write to me and also your wife [.]  I think she has never wrote a word to me yet[.]  You will give my love to Mother[.]  Tell you that although absent my thoughts are ever turned towards her[.]  [G]ive my respects to all of my old friends and acquaintances and receive my Best wishes for you and yours and write soon.
As ever yours                Oliver H. Hickok

PS  I was over to Placerville last month and sein [Miss?] Martha Brown and had a long talk with her about Home[.]  She is a fine appearing young lady[.]  Some diferance in her looks to what there in fifty two when I used to cary her around in my arms[.]  She says that she is going back home in September[.]

[Letter 35]

Cincinnati April 26 [1876]
Dear Mother and Sister
Your kind letter of April 28d has this moment been recived and with joy and pleasure;  I have arrived Home all right[,] in fact I have been Home for a week to day:  have not herd from James as yet[.]  I expect a letter to day:  he is very busy in St. Louis where he will remain until the middle of May and then he will go West again:  and I expect to join him sometime in the Fall[.]  He is going to take a party to the Black Hills and I expect to remain in this place until he sends for me:  it is hard to part so soon after being Married but it is unavoidable and so I am content:  such is life at any rate:  My Daughter does not travel this Summer as she will be confined sometime in August[.]  [S]he was Married last November to a Mr. Robinson a Circus Proprieter and well of[f] [,] hence my Marriage[.]  I would never have Married as long as my Daughter remained single as it was my Duty to remain with her and take care of her: but now I am superceaded and she has a protector ahead of me:  al lthough I loved James for three years before I Married him I would not get Married before my Daughter did[.]  I wanted to see her settled in the World first as I considered myself a minor consideration[.]
Loveinng James as I do and being a Woman of tender fealings I don't see why we will not git along to gether:  I shal doo all in my power to git along:  I will send you my Picture as soon as I git it takin:  I have a very bad cold just now[.]  I don't sleep at nights at all:  I have such fearful night [sweats?] and my eyes are so swollen that just as soon as I git so I can have them takin I will doo so Dear Mother I want you to give me James exact age as I want to put our Berths on our Marriage Certificate[.]  [H]e plays and larkes with me so mutch that I wont put it down until I git it from you:  the Day of the Month and year:  my Daughter Emma was Born the 22d of Febuary[,]  Washingtons Birth Day:  only not the same year[.]  [S]he was born 1856[.]  I was Born The 2d of August[,] 1832[.]  I have one Sister and one Brother in St. Louis[.]  [M]y sister is heer:
[M]y Kind Love to all and belive me to be your Loveing Daughter
Agnes Hickok

PS you spoke in your letter of being [poor? people[.]  [T]hat is what I am[.]

[Letter 36]

Cincinnati  June 19th [1876]

Mrs Polly Hickok
My Dear Mother
I wrote in answer to Celindas letter and sent you my picture[.]  [D]id you git them[?]  [N]ot gitting any answer I thought that parhaps you did not git my letter[.]  [I]f such is the case I will send you others:  and if you answered my letter I did not git it:  James has gone West:  and I am going to remain heer until sometime in the fall as I can not leave until after my Daughters confinement:  for she thinks that iff her Ma Ma is only with her all is sure to go right and I am glad that she has so mutch confidence in her Mother:  well my Mother how are you gitting along  is your health any better:  if I can possible git of some time this Summer I am coming to see you:  I feal very lonely away from my husband and long for the time to come when we will meet again:  Emma sends Love to all:  I will write long letter next time when I see iff this reaches its destinasion so I will close by sending you all my Love from your
Loveing Daughter

Agnes Hickok

[Letter 37]

Cincinnati  June 30 [1876]

Dear Sister Celinda
Your ever so kind and welcome letter I recived some days ago but have not been able to answer on account of having run an ice pick [clean/clear?] through my fore finger but it is dooing very well but badly swollen but it don't amount to eny thing only an [inconvenience]:  I am happy to see that Mother is gitting along as well as can be expected[.]  [M]ay [G]od bless her is the preyr of her unseen Daughter[.]
Part missing?
put of[f] the trip until the first of June[.]  I will remit you his last letter from Omaha[.]  I have not herd from him since:  and I feal so bad about it that I can not sleep at night:  but the only consolasion that I have is that he is where he can not communicate:  iff I was sure it was that I would not feal so bad but I am afraid that he is sick:  and iff so he will not write nor alow eny one els to doo so:  before we ever married I did not git a letter from him for five weeks:  and the first [...] time he told my .... [missing]

[in margin at top of letter upside down]   some Day before long iff all goes well[.]  Your loveing Sister.
Agnes Hickok
Emma sends love to all[.]

[Letter 38]

Cincinnati  [August]  7th [1876]

Dear Mother and Sister
Your kind and welcome letter has this morning been handed to me by the letter carrier, and while I was reading it he handed me another from my Husband witch I will send with this so you can see where he is and what he is doing:
Emma so far is well: but I am afraid that I will not be able to come and see you all this Summer as by the time that Emma gits through with her confinement and is able to be around again[,]  James will send for me to come out West[.]  [Y]ou ask what sort of an Actor James is:  it would be hard to tel as he does not like it: but his Wife is a good [Actress] as I plaid [Mazzeppa?] in the German Language in Berlin Prussia before the King about two Dozen of times and can git five thousand Dollars a year and all expenses paid but my Husband says he did not Marrie me to work[.]  He only wants me to please him and not the Public: and that is what I am trying to doo: and iff duty and Love can doo it I will succeed and Dear Mother I hope that you will live to see me in a good Home and happy [my and my Daughter? ...]  Love to all[.]  [A]nswer soon[.]  [L]ook for pictures from me[.]

Agnes Hickok


[Letter 39]

[1876] [AUG 17?]

Thursday night

Dear Brother
Barnes has been in town to day and seen the in tri-weekly Inter Ocean an account of James B. Hickoks death[.]  [I]s it true?  It seems too awful hard as [to] be true but I want you to write and tell all you have heard or all that you do or hear about it.  Oh Bill I do wish I was there with Mother.  [N]ow if this is true, it will nearly kill her[.]  Oh dear I feel so bad down here alone[.]  I would much rather he had been killed with Custer[.]  Tell me what his wife writes about it, and give me her address[.]  I have felt so hard toward her because I though Jim loved her better than he did us and now it is all over with the Poor boy.  I cant feel any rest till I hear from you dear brother and how Mother is[.]  I wish I was up there.  I feel so awful Bill but it may not be so after all, tho Barnes said the paper gave names[.] date and all the particulars but he could not get the paper to bring home to me[.]  I am so anxious as I have been most down sick ever since Barnes got better.  [H]e is not well yet.  Baby is well[.]  Brother if Ma gets sick you must let me know right off.  My head is bursting.  [G]ood night[.]
Dear Mother[,] there is few women love their brothers as I do even if I do not always show it[.]  I feel most crazy about Jim.
Write soon
Your sister

[H]is death was in last Mondays tri-weekly and to day it gave all the particulars of his death[,] of the trial[.] his funeral, the whole story in full[.]  I think from the account the Inter-Ocean gives of it that there is not the ghost of a chance for a mistake this time but I hope it is a mistake as they have made as many before.
J  H. Barnes

[Letter 40]

Cincinnati Nov 12 1876

Dear Mother and Sister
I suppose you think with the Death of my beloved and lamented Husband you think that of [our?] Friendship had ceased but not so[.]  I have had more trouble then I could live up too and tired nature gave away at last and I have not been able to write but in future will doo iff [G]od Spares my life:  my Daughter has had a hard time of it and Baby is so cross that there is no rest with her night or Day and she has gone to Housekeeping and just got fixed nicely and I am having the first leasure moment to Day Sunday that I have had for about 3 Months[.]
Dear Friends I am longing to pey you all a visit this Spring before going West to remain near the cenes that my beloved Husband loved so well and try and end my Days out west[.]  I am going to the Black Hills and remain near his grave:  I have been bothered to Death with lawyers wanting a job to go on the case[.]  I suppose you know that Jack McCall has been arrested and takin to Yankton to bee tried for Murder, and Friends of James told me not to git eny Lawyer as they wer out there and would attend to all that neaded attending to so you see my Husband has Friends out there that Loved him as well as I doo[.]  [G]od bless him[.]  [I]t is impossible for human being to Love eny better then what I did him[.]  I can see him Day and night before me:  the longer he is Dead the worse I feal[.]  I am not quite so busy now that my Daughter has got well[.]  [N]ow I have more time for Retrospecsion[.]  I grive all the time:  my intension iff nothing hapins to take an overland rout to the far West to ride Horse back all the way:  I suppose you think it a funny notion[.]  [S]o it is but I am able to the task and not afraid to doo it:  how is our Dear Mother[?]  [H]as she recovered from the sudden News yet or not[?]  I am anxious to see the Mother of so Noble a Son as James was[.]  [E]xcuse bad writeing as I have the Dropsy so bad that my hand is quite numb[.]  [A]ll the time out West it don't bother me at all:  give my love and a kiss to Mother and tell her that [G]od willing I will see her in the Spring[.]  [A]nswer soon and believe me to bee
your Loveing Sister
Agnes Hickok

P S Direct your Letter to 109 West Court St
Cincinnati    Ohio

[Letter 41]

Office of
Sidney & Black Hills Stage & Express Co.
Deadwood, S. D.  Sept 6  1879

Mr. L. B. Hickok
Dear Sir
Your letter reached me this evening and I answer this evening because I shall be absent from Deadwood for a week at least[.]
Your Brother was a good friend of mine and the reason for the removal is Simply this[.]  [T]he ground he was buried in was Claimed by Private Parties and it was up to the fall of 77 the Public burying ground but when Mount Moriah Cemetery was laid out and a great many Commenced to remove their dead to Mount Moriah before the County Should let a Contract to remove them I concieved the idea of buying a pretty lot and moving Bill into it So that he would not be disturbed again[.]  I know that he would have done the Same for me had I been in his place and while I was not a partner of his[,] only a friend and acquaintance but I liked him for his many good qualities[.]  We will have a fine Tombstone in from the States in a few days and then I shall fence in the grave and perhaps have a Photograph taken of the whole lot and Send it to you if you let me hear from you occasionally[.]  Utter was present at the removal[.]  I invited him to be because he was Bills Partner[.]  [H]e is not here now but will Show him your letter when I see him[.]  [H]oping that these lines will explain to yours satisfactorily[,]  I close and remain
Yours Truly
Lewis B Shoenfield
Deadwood  S D

[Letter 42]

Office of
Sidney & Black Hills Stage & Express Co.
Deadwood, S. D.  Sept 7  1879

[H]ave forgotten Some particulars So will fill up with them[.]  I have recieved about a half dozen letters from different newspaper men asking me in regard to Bills adventures and Same for a diary which he never Kept[.]  I had got So bothered that I told them all to go to the devil.  So far as you are concerned I feel in duty bound to answer you and if there is anything else I can do for you in this matter all you have to do is to write[.]  [E]ven if you want him Shipped home at Some future time I will See to it for you[.]  I will now go down and hunt up [Learned?] and get you a lock of his hair[.]  I gave it to [Learned? and he will no doubt let me have what I want of it[.]  [I]f I had Known your address I Should certainly Sent you Same without the asking[.]  [H]as Bill any more relatives beside yourself[?]  I have a deed to the lot in which he is buried now[.]  [W]ill have it recorded and no one can disturb him after this[.]  So far as the Petrifaction is concerned I am not prepared to Say only this[:]  I wnet up to the graveyard with two of my men about four [oclock] on Sunday morning Aug 3rd [.]  [T]hree years ago that day he was buried[.]  I got down in the grave and raised the coffin lid[.]  [H]e looked natural and there was no odor at all[.]  [U]pon further examination the body was found to be very hard and the experts claimed that it was petrifaction[.]  It was exposed to the air for four hours and no visible change had taken place so when Utter came up we placed it in a wagon after putting it in a new [bought?] box (that is put the coffin in) and buried it again in as pretty a spot of ground as there is in the hills[.]  [T]his is about all I have to say at this time but will give you any other information in my power any time you write me[.]

L  B  Shoenfield

[Letter 43]


Denver, Colo     January 20  1880

Dear Dick & Brant
Yours of January 4/1880 came to hand the day before I left Deadwood and Dick I was glad to hear from you.  Well Dick I will explain all about that man Scholfield you spoke about[.]  In the first place he is a dead beet and a [bilk?] and I can prove it.  [H]e is a tender foot and wants to come into notoriety[.]  [H]e never seen Bill in his whole life nor was he in the Hills when Bill got killed.  Well he made my acquantanship in the strenth of Odd Fellowship[.]  [H]e claimed to be an Odd Fellow and was introduced to me as such and when the City of Deadwood layed out the new burial ground he took several contracts to move the boddies of parties corpeses from the old ground to the new one and he came to me and wanted the contract to move Bill[.]  [T]hat was about Six Months before I took Bills boddy up[.]  I told him when the proper time came that I would have him moved and I did not want any one to meddle with the grave and if they did that I would kill any one that I found tampering with the grave at all.  Well on the 1st of August I went to the City Cleark and bought a burriel lot and on the 3rd I hired two men to dig him up[.]  I bought a new outside box for the grave and paid the Expressman for hawling the boddy and Paid for digging the new grave[.]  [W]ell the night before on the 2nd this man Scholfield came to me and sayed he would go up and help the men dig Bill up.  I told him all right[.]  [H]e went to a Saloon and got some whiskey and took it up to help him along and I paid for the whiskey to.  [T]hey went up earley in the morning to dig and I told them just as soon as they got to the coffin to come and get me for I would not allow any one to raise the boddy until I was there[.]  [W]ell they did so and I went up with some friends and we raised him and opened the coffin and found him just as I described to you before so now you have the whole truth about the man Scholfield and he is a liar.  Well good by old friend[.]              From Charles Utter         Colorado Charlie

[Letter 44]

The Metropolitan.
1166 Washington Street
Frank S. Brockway, Prop.
Boston, Mass.
March 23, 1880

Mr. H. D. Hickok,
My dear sir,
Seeing your letter to Messrs. Street & Smith regarding your brother and any friend, I write to say that I am glad indeed that you have written correcting the statements that have gone before the public through the story of Ned Buntline, an author so well informed generally, that it is a surprise to me that he should make such mistakes of the character of Wild Bill, and which I intend repute in a serial for the Saturday Star General and of which romance I intend making your brother the hero.
My long and intimate association with Wild Bill will enable me to found my story on solid facts, and correcting errors regarding his life and character, is a pleasure to me, as well as a duty I owe to his memory, for he was ever in good or evil times, a tried and true friend of mine.
With kind wishes
Sincerely Yrs.
W. F. Cody
“Buffalo Bill.”
P.S. My address is care of New York Dramatic News up to May 15th and after that North Platte Nebraska.
[Original held by Joseph Rosa]


[Letter 45]

Office of the
Black Hills Stage and Express Co.

Deadwood  April 19  1880

Dear Friend Hickok

I have just been informed by Some of the Messengers on the Sidney Coach that Some Eastern Parties recently arrived in Sidney there about to make an attempt to Steal the remains of your Brother and my Friend[.] [T]his Information is Trustworthy & in consequence I feel very uneasy[.]  I have had offers myself from the East for the body & for the love you have had for him Please try in Some way to have him taken up and Sent home[.]  I can assure you the remains are not offensive in any way.  Just at the present time money is scarce with me or I would take it upon myself to Send him to you but I am unable to do So at Present[.]  [H]e can be taken up and put in a metallic lined Coffin for about twenty five dollars and twenty dollars will send it to Fort Pierre or Sidney and the cost to take it home by railroad wont be much[.]  [W]ith the exception of the few dollars that Utter Paid I did the whole work before and would willingly do it again if I was financially fixed[.]  [C]annot you Send on the money to Daugherty Wardner & Co Freighters to pay all expenses I have mentioned when I deliver him to them and you meet the remains at fort Pierre[.]
[I]t is Possible that I Shall leave the Country this Summer[.]  Utter is gone and who is there that will See to it[.]  [H]oping you will fully consider and do Something I remain
Ever your Friend
Lewis B  Shoenfield

[Letter 46]

Louisville Ky April 12  1885

Friend Hickok
No doubt you will be the least bit Surprised to hear of me from this Point.  I have been at the Hot Springs in Arkansas for a long time and by the Sale of Some ground in Deadwood I am rejuvenated in health as well as financially[.]  I am going to Stay here a while and recruit [up?] then go back and try the hot water again[.]  I want to be as near whole as I can before I go West again.  I See that Bill Cody is to be here on the 2 of this month with his Show[.]  [T]his puts me in mind that I have a favor to ask of you[.]  I want it in the Shape of a letter  of Introduction to him[.]  [I]f you will write it and Send it to me Care of E C Pearsen 222 West Jefferson Street[.]  I will be ever yours Truly.  [H]oping this will find you well and prosperous and Corn High"            I am Very Truly Yours

Lewis B Shoenfield

[Letter 47]

Louisville,  May 19  1885

Friend Hickok

Your letter also letter of introduction to Cody I recd but owing to indisposition I was unable to get out to See him[.]  Still I sent a messenger and it is Claimed that Cody has the Best Show and well worth Seeing[.]  I read in the Courier Journal of yesterday that Bill Showed to an audience of 36 thousand people in Chicago[.]  [H]e deserves it for among western men he is Called a good fellow and you have been there enough to know what that means[.]   I learned that your Friend Carver was operating a Show of his own and doing well at that.  I have been trying Ever Since I have been here to get a copy of Buels Book but so far have been unable to do so[.]  [I]f you have one and would maile it to me I would return it as Soon as I Read it through[.]  [A]t least I hope to hear from you Soon but in the meantime
I remain Yours Truly

Lewis B Shoenfield

[Letter 48]

Folsom  March 6  [1886? 1896?)]
[Ethel Hickok's birthdate is listed as July 30, 1886; conflicts with her birth reference in this letter dated 3/6/86.  ?????  Perhaps letter is 1896?]

Dear Brother and Sister
Received your kind and most welcome letter, also the picture.  We think she is A fine looking girl and that you may well be proud of her.  Please excepts our thanks for the picture.  Think Ethel is quite A pretty name.  We are all well at present But myself.  Have not been very well for sometime, But think when the weather gets settled that I will be all right.  Have had the rheumatism in my right sholder and had A stiff neck for nearly two weeks so I could not turn my neck, and I tell you it was A very uncomfitable feeling.  We have had some terable weather since last I wrote to you.  It stormed most all the month of February and the coldest weather we have had this winter.  Snow fell in nearly every part of the state, but here and the deepest snow that there has been for years.  Had some in San Francisco City and that is something very unusual.  The weather has been fine and warm nearly all this month and the trees are beginning to blossom.  Think our winter is about over.  Times are dull and money is scarce[.]  Olivery has not been running the team lately.  But think there will be work soon.  There seems to be lots of people coming to California and how they will all make A living I don't know.  They have the small pox down at Los Angeles and A great many are leaving there.,  I would like to have our children vaccinated But it is very hard to get any ....

[Rest of letter is missing ....]

[Letter 49]

South Dakota Soldiers' Home
Hot Springs

Deadwood,   Feb 8    1893

H. D. Hickok Esq
Dear Sir
Last Spring Captain Jack Crawford came to this city and asked me as [Post ___?] G. A. R to assist him in getting up all [entertainment?] the proceeds of which were to go to the [structure?] of a Fence around your Brothers Grave.
He bought the Fence [__?] in Chicago.
The [Entertainment?] netted $29.  $7.00 of this was needed for freight on the fence Leaving $22 for the work of building wall.
If you have not been in Deadwood - when I tell you that the Cemetery is from 400 to 600 feet higher than the City and badly and I am not able to advance it - until Jack can earn it.
The Lot is only a few feet from the Lot where my father is buried so think while I am in this country I shall look after it.
I write this because I am Responsible for the work being done by Capt Jack
E. E. [Claugh?]
Pastor Meth EP Church

[Letter 50]

Office of
Undertakers and Embalmers

Deadwood, South Dak.,       June 29  1893

H. D. Hickok
Troy Grove  Lasalle Co.,  Ills
Dear Sir
In looking over the papers of B. P. Smith I find a letter from you to the cemetery Co. dated Oct 9th 1892 enclosing a slip cut from a paper.
B. P. Smith quit business here some 6 months ago & we bought his stock & still carry on the undertaking business.
I have been sexton in mount moriah cemetery for the past 14 years and have had charge of your brothers grave but I did not help to move the remains but I helped to keep cemetery records & can say with my own Knowledge that Charley Utter did pay for the lot at the time the removal was made -
The story of his remains being petrified is all bosh & untrue -  The story of Louis Schoenfield about the bombs being placed around the body is also untrue.
This Louis Schoenfield was here at that time I am informed & had to leave the country for stealing corpses from the grave yard & therefore there is no dependence to be placed upon anything he tells you.  I have heard a great many people Say that they believed that Schoenfield took the body of Wild Bill but this is only Rumor -
The grave has never been disturbed in the past 14 years.  B. P. Smith left this country with a very unsavory reputation & if he represented that the lot was unpaid for he only done it to extort money from you.
Last March J. W. Crawford (capt Jack) was here and engaged me to place a good substantial wall around the lot - the wall is of Sandstone capped with Black Hills marble - Crawford furnished an iron fence 3-1/2 feet high 10x12 ft in siz.
Everything is now finished and it looks nice - The expense for my work was $40.00[.]  Capt Jack left $20.00 with the Rev. E. E. [Celough?] to pay on it & Said he would Send the balance from San Marcial New Mexico - which I presume he will as soon as I notify him that the work is finished -
I have a piece of the old original head board that was erected by C. H. Utter which is about 2-1/2 feet long and 2 or 3 inches Square which Capt Jack requested me to Send to him at San Marcial but I have not sent it yet - nor Shall I do so till I receive balance due $20.00[.]  I have been offered $50.00 for the piece of Headboard but money cannot buy it & I am not speculating from the dead - but I want it to go to the right party[.]  Mr Crawford (Capt Jack) told me he wanted to put it in his cabinet - -
The Monument that [Riordan?] placed at the grave has been badly chipped by relic hunters but the fence will now protect it to some extent -
Another thing I wish to say is that the cemetery company never threatened to remove the remains or to Sell them and that through Some mismanagement your letter fell into the hands of B. P. Smith instead of the Secretary of the company and I never saw it till to day when I found it amongst Smiths old papers -
I write you this purley to give you information and not for any benefit for myself so that you can see exactly how the matter stands -
Hoping you may receive it all right
I am yours truly
Henry Robinson
Mount Moriah Cemetery Co
& undertaker

[Letter 51]

Office of
Undertakers and Embalmers

Deadwood, So. Dak.,  [__?]  1894

H. D. Hickok
Troy Grove
Dear Sir
Your favor of 9th Enclosing$15 received with thanks - If any thing should occur worthy of note regarding your Brothers grave I will notify you and if any of you Should come to this country please call & see us -
Very Respy
Henry Robinson

[Letter 52]

Folsom July 21st 1895

Dear Brother & Sister and all the rest of you[.]  I will now try to tell you how I am geting a long at this time[.]  The folks are all well But me and I don't ever expect to Be well again & I have had to work to hard since I came home[.]   Hauling lumber maked me so lame and sore That I can hardly move[.]  I have all the work that I can do But I cant hire a man to drive that you can depend on to go alone to the City[.]  The last one I had got Drunk[,] did not pay The Bills on the Road & I had to [go] and get The Team So the last week have Done The work again myself.  [Will?] is up on the Coast in [Mindocino?] County[.]  [E]verything is going on [finley?] here now.  The weather has been very cold for this country So far[.]  There is lots of fruit here[.]  Melons are late.  I have not had a Scratch of a pen from Celinda Since I came Home[.]  Mattie wrote once to Nelly But She did not mention my name in her letter.  But they need not write if they don't want to.  I would like to hear how Mr. Smith is geting [along?].  How is [__?] Cook & Orah.  I wrote to Guy at [San Francisco] But did not get any answer So I do not know where he is[.]  [H]ave not  heard from any of The [ __?] folks as yet[.]  My Eyes Bother me a goodeal at times[.]  [W]ould like to hear from [Lonson's?] folks & Rosaline.  Tell Orah I have not Seen that Photo or letter yet But hope to soon[.]  [G]ive my respects to all inquiring friends.  Now Martha you must Kiss them little nieces of mine and tell them that I Think of Them every Day and would llike To see them ever so well[.]  How is Susie[?]  Can say dont have to As [pat?] as ever I suppose[.]  How are the Boys getting a long[?] Don't quarrel any no[w] days I hope[.]  I suppose Will is not married yet.  I would like to see you all once more But am afraid not[.]  You mus write soon and tell me all the news[.]  Some of the rest of the folks will write soon.  My love to all of you[.]  So good By for this time from your Brother
O. C. Hickok

[Letter 53]

Office of
Clerk of circuit and county courts
Lawrence county

Deadwood, S.D.  8-29-03

Dear Sir

You have been misinformed relative to the burial of Calamity Jane[.]
The records show that a lot was purchased alongside and outside of the lot (fenced) of your Brothers for the burial of Calamity Jane.  [A]nd said lot does in no wise conflict or disturb the resting place of J. B.


[Sol Star?] Clerk

L B Hickok
Mendota  Ill

[Letter 54]

Office of_______



Deadwood, S. D.   May 25   1904

L. B. Hickok
Mendota  Ills

Dear Sir
Last summer the clerk of courts Sol Star showed me a letter from you regarding the burial of Calamity Jane on your cemetery lot.  The facts are she was buried (at her own request before she died) on the lot adjoining yours on the north.
The Monument at your Brothers grave was entirely demolished by relic hunters.  These are thousands of visitors to his grave every summer.  Last Summer I had a life size statue cut from a reddish but durable sandstone and placed at his grave - I consider it a good representation of your Brother as I was acquainted with him during his life time[.]

I had a fence put up the full size of the lot 10x12 ft and covered and roofed it with very heavy screen wire from Montgomery Wards which effectually keeps every one from interfering with the statue.  I herewith send you a photograph which was taken before it was placed in the cemetery[.]  I contracted the Statue and fence for $100.00 which was very reasonable.
I have taken care of mount moriah cemetery as Superintendent for the past 25 years and have taken care of and cut the grass and kept your Lot in good shape all these years[.]  My son CH Robinson is the undertaker here in Deadwood -
Now if you and your Brother H.D. will kindly assist me what you can conveniently spare to settle the $28.00 I will be very thankful for the Same.  I have written your Brother at Troy Grove - from which place I received a letter from him in July 1893.
As to my responsibility & standing I can refer you to any Bank or business house in this city -
Kindly let me hear from you
Very truly yours
Henry Robinson
14 Water St -                Supt Mount Moriah Cemetery
Deadwood S D                Deadwood  S.D.

[Letter 55]

Office of_______



Deadwood, S. D.,   July 15  1904

L. B. Hickok
Mendota  Ills

Dear Sir
Your favor of June 21st Enclosing 10.00 was received a d for which you will pleas accept my thanks.
Since writing you I have collected 1.00 which Still leaves 17.00 -
I have not heard from your brother yet.  I will take good care of your cemetery lot & will endeavor to write to you every year.  I am getting old myself  64[.]
Very Respectfully
14 Water St.                        Henry Robinson
Deadwood S.D.

[Letter 56]

Deadwood, S. D.,   July 15  1904

L B Hickok
Mendota  Ills

Dear Sir
Your favor of June 21st Enclosing $10.00 was recieved and for which you will pleas accept my thanks.
Since writing you I have collected $1.00 which Still leaves $17.00[.]
I have not heard from your brother yet.  I will take good care of your cemetery lot & will endeavor to write to you every year.  I am getting old myself & am 64[.]
Very Respectfully
14 Water St.                        Henry Robinson
Deadwood S.D.

[A notation attached to the copy of this letter reads as follows:

Copy of letters
written by Henry
Robinson, Superintendent of Mont Mariah Cemetery Deadwood S.D. to
L.B. Hickok

Furnished by
Mrs. Celinda Hickok Smith Vally City N.D.

Apparently the original letter was copied in longhand by Celinda.]

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