James R. Mead writes this letter from his home "somewhere in the West." He has a trading post about twenty miles north of the Saline River and west of Fort Riley, Kansas Territory. He describes in detail the abundance of wildlife, calling western Kansas the "Land of Plenty." Mead and his business partners trade with the Kaw Indians, mostly for furs. His first impression of this tribe was unfavorable, but in his later years he came to respect the Kaw and believed that they were an honest people. He also mentions the Copperhead Indians, who were more fierce and warlike than the Kaw. Mead and his companions are building a blockhouse in case there is trouble. These typed copies of the James R. Mead's letters were donated to the Kansas State Historical Society by Mr. Mead's family in 1940 when the originals were still owned by the family. The originals are now held by Wichita State University.
Creator: Mead, James R. (James Richard), b. 1836
Date: December 25, 1859
Item Number: 90619
Call Number: James Mead Coll. #438 Box 1 Volume 1
KSHS Identifier: DaRT ID: 90619
Agriculture - Livestock - Bison
Business and Industry - Retail
Collections - Manuscript - Mead, James R.
Community Life - Recreation and Sports - Leisure activities - Hunting
Date - 1854-1860 - 1859
Environment - Wildlife - Mammals - Buffalo/Bison
Home and Family - Daily life
Objects and Artifacts - Communication Artifacts - Documentary Artifact - Letter
People - American Indians
People - American Indians - Tribes - Kansa
People - Notable Kansans - Mead, James R.
Places - Counties - Ottawa
Places - Rivers - Saline
Thematic Time Period - Bleeding Kansas, 1854 - 1861
Thematic Time Period - Immigration and Settlement, 1854 - 1890
Type of Material - Unpublished documents - Letters