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Abbie Bright correspondence

Abbie Bright correspondence
Creator: Bright, Abbie, 1848-1926
Date: 1861-1903
Abbie Bright was born on a farm near Danville, Pennsylvania, on December 17, 1848. She had three brothers, Dennis, Hiram and Philip, all of whom enlisted in the army when the Civil War broke out. Abbie had three sisters, Rebecca, Peninah, and Mary, all of whom aided the war effort. In 1870 Abbie traveled to Indiana and Kansas to visit Hiram and Philip and wrote an account of her trip in a diary (also available on Kansas Memory as record unit 223662). While in Kansas she acquired 160 acres as an investment. This series of correspondence includes letters describing the brother's wartime activities. There are also letters to and from other individuals who were involved in the Civil War. These writings make a significant contribution to Civil War research. Other letters pertain to Philip and Abbie Bright's westward migration. Philip moved to Wyoming, Kansas, Texas, and Arizona but died in 1873 and the letters at that time mostly concern his death. The 1902 and 1903 correspondence apparently regards the sale of Abbie's land in Kansas. A complete transcription is available by clicking on "Text Version" below.


Abbie Bright diary

Abbie Bright diary
Creator: Bright, Abbie, 1848-1926
Date: 1868-1921
Born in Pennsylvania in 1848, Abbie Bright traveled to Kansas in 1870 as a young woman and her diary is primarily an account of this trip. It gives excellent accounts of daily life and settlement activities. The "diary" is actually composed of two different manuscripts and both are presented here. The first is an eighty-six page loose-leaf diary with consistent entries from September 2, 1870 - December 20, 1871. The second is a bound composition book with 129 written pages. This book begins with a childhood reminiscence written in Iowa in 1914 (p1-23), followed by a reminiscence of her Kansas trip written in Iowa in 1921 (p24-36) that covers Aug 23, 1870 - Jan 30, 1871. The book then includes some recipes dated 1868-1871 and a receipt dated 1884 (p37-41), and finally consistent diary entries from February 2, 1871 - December 21, 1871 (p41-129). A complete, revised transcription of both manuscripts is available by clicking on "Text Version" below. A previous, annotated transcription that combines the 1870-1871 entries from both manuscripts was published in the Kansas Historical Quarterly in 1971 and is available through a link below.


Abbie Bright miscellaneous items

Abbie Bright miscellaneous items
Creator: Bright, Abbie, 1848-1926
Date: 1870-1878
These documents comprise the miscellaneous series in the Abbie Bright collection. The series includes an undated drawing of the camp of the Fifteenth Regiment on Elk Fork; notes of W[illiam] Ross dated 1870 on frontier life in Kansas; and an 1878 land patent written out by J. A. Williamson, Washington, DC, to the late Philip Bright.


Letters and maps pertaining to the Abbie Bright diary

Letters and maps pertaining to the Abbie Bright diary
Date: 1970-1971
These documents comprise the fourth series in the Abbie Bright Papers. The series includes letters and maps pertaining to the Abbie Bright diary (record unit 223662). These materials were generated in preparation for the publication of Abbie Bright's diary in The Kansas Historical Quarterly, autumn and winter 1971, to which a link is provided below.


Philip Bright diary

Philip Bright diary
Creator: Bright, Philip T., d. 1873
Date: August 1870 - October 1872
This diary comprises part of series three of the Abbie Bright Papers. Abbie's brother Philip wrote the diary during his stay in Kansas. Around 1870, Philip Bright moved to Kansas and took up a claim near present-day Clearwater in Sedgwick County. Abbie came to visit him soon after. The diary describes Philip's experience settling in Kansas in many very brief entries. It describes his travels, building a dugout, buffalo hunting, his health, raising stock, and helping his neighbors. The diary also includes accounts, a calendar of work, and information on his soldier's pension. Philip Bright did not settle permanently in Kansas. He accumulated a substantial amount of money and moved to Texas and then to Arizona by 1873 where he was murdered in his sleep and robbed.


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