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Governor George Anthony grasshoppers received correspondence

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The plague of the grasshopper which thretens us is now an important and solmn question.  Will the plague come?  If it does the calamity will be fearful.  It would sem that God has a controversary with us.  The times certainly call for the adoption of some measure or measures to be adopted.  I think it might be advisable to petition the Gov. to appoint a day of fasting & prayer, tho it would probably meet with opposition.


Newton Bracken.


[Page 2]


[Gensco] Kan May/2/77


Judge David D. [XXXXX]




Referred to

Rev. W. C. Deidrel

Ottawa Co.


[Page 3]


Office of the State Entomologist

St. Louis, Mo.

Apr 23 1877


I Shall be in Topeka on Thursday, when I hope to have the pleasure of seeing you.


Yours very truly,


C. V. Riley.


[Page 4]


[Postal Card]


Gov. G. T. Anthony,




[Page 5]


Leavenworth, 3-15 1877


Gov. Geo. T. Anthony


The enclosed papers will xplain themselves.  As per request therein I send them to you – only remarking that I see no valid reason for declining to appoint a day of fasting & prayer, if desired by any number of the citizens in the State.


In large measure the religious element of the state would favor, I presume, such action on yr part.  Of this, the W.E.C. conference or conferences, now in session, could advise you or express an opinion.  The various Presbyterian bodies convene in presbyteries in the early part of April.  The Baptists & congregational brethren probably meet soon.


Please respond direct to David D. Hoag or Rev. Dr. Sternberg on both.


I shall write Hoag I have ford you the papers – but presume you will not feel at liberty to issue such procl m unless requested by at least the religious


[Page 6]


bodies of the State.


My own reaction is that the argument [XXXXX] [XXXXX], based upon fear of [XXXXX] driving away emigration, is very thin – Dr [Newberg] is correct [thereon.]


Yrs &c


Ed Russell


From Ed Russell

Place Leav th Mar 15/77

Rec’d March 16/77





Inclosing letters from, David Hoag, & Sternburg, Rev Brecken & others, on the subject of designating a day of fasting & prayer to avert the Grasshopper Scourge


[Page 7]


Ottawa County,

Minneapolis, Kansas, Mch 13th/1877


Hon. Ed. Russell

Leavenworth, Kan.

Dear Sir and Bro,


Inclosed, please find a letter from Rev. Dr. Stornborg Fort Harker, and a Postal Card from Rev. N. Bracken of Glasco, relative to the advisability of asking his Excellency, the Governor, -- in view of the impending calamity from “Grasshoppers” – to set apart a day of fasting and prayer.  Rev. Mr Simpkins of Salina, Rev. W. C. Seidel Missionary of the Lutheran Church for the Solomon Valley, Rev. H. G. Miller, and others have been consulted, and it is at their request, that I write.


Others among the Laymen have been consulted – and while there is a diversity of opinion among the people, as to the advisability of the observance of such a day, yet it is generally conceded that unless Providence interposes, man’s efforts to stay the plague will be in vain.  Will you be kind enough to consult with


[Page 8]


your Pastor, Rev. W. N. Page in reference to the subject, and refer the matter to the Governor, and advise me how it is received by him.


Fraternally Yours


David D. Hoag


[Page 9]


David Hoag to Ed Russell


On the propriety of asking the Gov to designate a day of fasting & prayer to avert the Grasshoppers


Inclosing card from Rev N Brecken & letter from Dr Stoneburg


[Page 10]


St. Louis, Mo., March 13, 1877


Gov. Geo. T. Anthony


My dear Sir,


Accept my sincere thanks for your very kind letter of recommendation to the Secy of the Interior.


Can you furnish me with a copy of the bill that passed your legislature giving bounty for the destruction of locusts, etc.”


Yours sincerely,


C. V. Riley


[Page 11]

From C.V. Riley

Place St Louis

Rec’d Mar 13/77

Ans’d sent paper with law 3,15,77




Asking for Laws passed relating to Grasshoppers.


[Page 12]


Council Grove Kansas March 12 77


Gov Anthony Sir


One Geo Downing and myself have Invented a machine for exterminating Grasshoppers have got Caviat papers and now will proceed to make a machine full size it is a very simple thing and I don’t think they will cost over 75 or $100 and there is no doubt of their killing eny hopper in the space of the width of the machine which can be made 20 feet wide  We are both poor men  Downing is a farmer I am a mechanic and what I wish is your opinion on the probability of the Legislatures of the different States subject to this (G H) invasion assisting in such an enterprize ‘or would Congress take hold of it our [XXXXX] is that if Congress would make a district Beaman for GHoppers and establish a Head Quarters at some central point on the Cho River and keep constantly


[Page 13]


On hand a lot of these machines and whence the GH make a raid on any point proceed with all the machines to such point and the Citizens of that point would turn out en mass and exterminate them and farther they could leave their place of starting and do a great deal there toward killing the pest before they raid on the settled portions of the states Dont think I am crazy for such is not the case 


I have shown a drawing of the machine to several of most [prominant] Citizens and they all say it cant help but work and is a very simple affair  Hoping you will take it into consideration I am you most obt


J C Carpenter


P S if you would like to see a draft of our machine I will send one on [application]


J. C. Carpenter


[Page 14]


From J. C. Carpenter

Place Council grove

Rec’d Mar 14/1877






The “Masheen”


[Page 15]


St. Louis, Mo., March 7 1877


To His Excellency

Gov. G. T. Anthony,


My dear Sir:


As we have succeeded in getting the appropriation for the locust or grasshopper commission, the next think is to secure good appointments, and prevent the commission from proving a fiasco or sinecure.  The appointments are left with the Sec. Of the Interior, who may not be well advised and may not understand how important it is that capable men of practical as well as scientific knowledge and experience should form the commission.


I think you know me and of my work well enough to be willing to drop a few lines to the Sec. Of the Interior, urging that my name be placed at the head of the commission, as a guarantee of its usefulness; and I would respectfully urge you to do so.


Believe me

most sincerely yours


C. V. Riley.


[Page 16]


From C. V. Riley

Place St Louis

Rec’d Mar 7/77

Ans’d Mar 10/77




About apt on Grasshopper Commission


[Page 17]


To his Excellency

G. T. Anthony


We the undersigned citizens of Clay County do hereby petition you to recommend that a day be set apart for prayer to Almighty God to stay the expected ravages of the grasshoppers this coming spring.


Jasper Cowell

Julia Cowell

George Randall

George Howison

Amelia Randall

Francis Lewis

J. G. Hubbard

Joseph [Mouttell]

L. Dring

W W Willis

E Willis

A Allaway

Petter Erikson

John Anderson

John W. Stone

N. Aspilen

M Yarrow

J. Yarrow

S. C. Marshall

J. R. Mouttell

W S A Dring

A B Rothwell

M. Rothwell


[Page 18]


From Many persons in

Place Clay Co

Rec’d Mar 3/77





Petition for day of fasting & prayer


[Page 19]


[Not transcribed]


[Page 20]


From Sec’y Nebraska Leg.


Rec’d Mch 6, 77





About Grasshoppers


[Page 21]


[Not transcribed]


[Page 22]


Parsons Kans Jan 10 1877

Hon George T Anthony

Topeka Kans

Dear Sir


As you have been Inaugurated Governor of the State of Kansas of course you will look to all the Interests of the State thinking a Suggestion would not be out of place at this time as to a plan for Geting Rid of Grass Hoppers that infest our beautiful State and Knowing you to be better prepared to Communicate the Plan Generly to the People not only of this State but all that are infested in like manner I would suggest as soon as the Hoppers make their appearance in the Spring let every one Turn out


[Page 23]


Form lines and drive them into unburned Grass or ditches (prepared for that purpose) and burn or Plow them under where the Force is not Sufficient to Connect lined Ropes with Hay attached could be used and carried near the Ground so as to drive them I beleive if this plan is Strictly Carried out from Day to Day Grass Hoppers can be so nearly destroyed that they will do little or no harm and Thousands may be saved of course you will know it will be essential to notify and urge the people to adopt a plan of Destruction and Communicate the Same to Governors of other State plagued in a like manner


Very Respectfully


J. L. Bruce

Box 84 Wichita Kans


[Page 24]




Jan 10/77




[Page 25]


From J. L. Bruce

Place Wichita

Rec’d Jan 12/77





Grasshoppers, mode of destroying them


[Page 26]


Jan. 22, 1877


To his Excellency}


State of Kansas}


Dr Sir


The Undersigned a Minister of the Gospel, a resident of Osage, Mitchell Co Ia for the last twenty years, beg leave to inform you that I have Elaborated a process for the destruction of the grass hopper, thereby relieveing those districts affected, from a continuation of the scourge that has resulted in such great suffering.


Not doubting that each State so visited desire immediate relief


[Page 27]


I hereby propose to lay before you the moders Operandi if so requested.


Your order authorizeing me to repair to the capitol for the above purpose is respectfully solicited.


Jany 22nd 77  Yours truly


Jas P Long


P S.  It is important that this matter Should have immediate attention, as it would be necessary to visit the affected Districts, for the purpose of giving to the people in the form of a Lecture, at points so near each other that all may have the necessary instructions, as upon their faithful cooperation depends the success hoped for


J. P. L.


[Page 28]


Ft. Harker march 8. 1877


Rev. W. C. Seidel


Dear bro,


Your kind letter reached me yesterday.  I had returned the day before from Abilene where I had assisted in the dedication of the new church.  Had I known of your being in New Cambria I should have been strongly tempted to stop.  I am much gratified to learn that the Master is owning your efforts in such a signal manner at that place & trust many sould may be brought into the Kingdom through your labors.


I cordially endorse the suggestion of a day of prayer & fasting in view of the threatened grass-hopper Scourge.  The governor might hesitate to appoint such a day in view of the fact that it would forcibly direct public attention to it & thus tend to arrest immigration into the State which promises  


[Page 29]


To be unusually large this spring  It would however be better that there should be no immigration than that those that do come should again return & spread an evil report about the State.  Those who do not believe in prayer would naturally oppose the appointing of a day of fasting & prayer for the Reason above mentioned.  Those who believe in its efficacy would hail the appointment of such a day.  The Christian cannot doubt that all calamitous visitations are disciplinary, & that, while all the means for their removal which observation & science suggest should be faithfully employed, our main dependance is on the gracious interposition of God in response to the humble, earnest prayers of his people.


Should therefore such an application


[Page 30]


as you suggest be made to the governor you are at liberty to use my name to this end.


I promised when at your house to see whether I could furnish you any of your missing members of the Evangelical Review.  I think you furnished me a list of them.  If so I have lost it.  If convenient you may let me know the missing members.  I take this opportunity of reminding you that I have not forgotten your promise in regard to Concordia & that I anticipate a good deal of pleasure form that ride with you.  With kind regards to your family I am


Yours fraternally


L. Sternberg


[Page 31]


L Sternberg

Ft Harker

Mar 8/77

Grasshopper Proc.


[Page 32]


Office 406 N. 4th Str. Philadelphia January 6, 1877.


Your Excellency!


Together with this letter we send to Your Excellency a phial containing our Insect fluid, claiming that it is a cheap and efficient mean for destroying insects.  The chief ingredient is an extract of an american herb, deadly to all kinds of insects, yet harmless to plants, mammalial or human Beings.  The preparation can be used against grasshoppers by means of a watering can or Sprinkler at the time the young insects appear near the surface of the ground or await maturity.


Please give the phial into the hands of an expert, for the purpose of testing its quality and if satisfactory, we will conduct a trial upon a larger scale. 




[Van Trouk]


[Page 33]


From Van Trouk

Place Philadelphia

Rec’d Jan 8/77





Insect fluid


[Page 34]


St. Louis July 15th, 1877


Geo.  T. Anthony,

Governor of Kans.


Dear Sir:  In the absence of Prof. C. V. Riley I take pleasure to acknowledge the receipt of your letter which I immediately will send to the Prof. Address.




[Th.] Pergaude

For Prof. C. V. Riley.


[Page 35]


C. V. Riley

Per Th Pergaude

St Louis July 15/77


I take pleasure in acknowledging rec’t of your letter, which I will send to his address


[Page 36]


Golden, Colorado, July 18 1877


Gov. Geo. T. Anthony,


Dear Sir:


Yours of the 11th inst. reaches me here with check for $125.  This is more than I asked for in my last, and of course cannot but be satisfactory to the Commission.  As assisting in my part of the commission work any settlement that you decided upon wd. have been satisfactory, as your aid was a favor for which I was in any event under obligations, and which I pray neither yourself nor the people of the State will ever regret having given.  Mr Garner’s work will be of some assistance to me in making up my report for Kansas, and I was under the impression that, after your letter of instructions, he made duplicate Reports to you, as did Mr Godfrey.  As to the misunderstanding we will talk it over when we


[Page 37]


meet.  My own memory is not infallible.  I return the duplicate statement duly signed.  If you have no further need of the separate vouchers, you would do me a favor to mail them to me at St Louis. 


Mr Godfrey and Prof. Snow will work for the Commission in special fields until the close of the season, or the beginning of the School term.

Thanking you for assistance rendered, I am


Yours very truly,


C. V. Riley.


From C. V. Riley

Place Golden Col

Rec’d July 20/77

Ans’d July 28, 1877




Your letter with $125 rec’d at this place &c


[Page 38]


Gov. Geo. T. Anthony,


Dear Sir:


The Vouchers are not essential to me, but I should have been pleased to retain them, if, as I imagined, they were of no use to you.


Excuse haste & pencil and believe me


Yours truly,


C. V. Riley.


En voyage

Aug 1/77


[Page 39]


From C V Riley

Place En voyage [XXXXX]

Rec’d Aug 2/77





The Vouchers are not Essential, but should have been pleased to retain them if they were of no use to you


[Page 40]

May 27, 1877.


Gov. Geo. T. Anthony,


My dear Sir:


I enclose some reports from [Gaumer] & Godfrey.  It is as I thought, in S. E. part of State most of the eggs were yet to hatch.  Winged insects have been seen on K.P. & as far north as Union P.  Reports of considerable injury come from parts of Iowa.  Will not give either [Gaumer] or Godfrey further traveling directions till I hear from you, as you may have some suggestions.  Shall spend large share of next month in Iowa but shall also be in Kansas a little.  Commission is now sitting here, and all start out in field next week.  Have details all over country pretty well perfected.  I enclose Godfrey’s statement of expenses.  Will send him a second check of 30 00 to morrow (am unavoidably breaking 


[Page 41]


The Sabbath again, for which my conscience will give me no rest!).  Shall also have to send one to [Gaumer] soon.  If you send me check for $100 I will return receipt and render account.  I will retain the vouchers here and send you the certified statements.  Will that not be best?


My sister is still very low, & I have a fearful cold & racking cough.  How is Gray?


Yours sincerely,


C. V. Riley.


C. V. Riley

St Louis

May 27/77


Com n now in session – go to Iowa next week –


Will wait to hear from you before giving further directions to Godfrey & Gaumer.


I send vouchers

Can you remit $100.


Godfrey Bill 42.10


[Page 42]


ST Louis, June 2, 1877.


Gov. Geo. T. Anthony,


My dear Sir:


I have been unable to answer yours of May 25th sooner.  Will at once have Mr Godfrey make a trip through the Solomon Valley as you suggest, and will instruct both him & Mr Gaumer to stimulate the farmers to proper action as you advise.  I return Mr Jenkins’ letter with remarks.  The tone of some of the reports begins to change.  Will send you a lot of extracts Monday.


Yours sincerely,


C. V. Riley.


P. S. I wrote you on the 17th regarding check.  I may have to advance Mr Godfrey a still larger amount for the Solomon Valley trip.  Mr Gaumer is back at Lawrence.  If you have further work for him south of K. P. send him directions direct. 

C. V. R.


[Page 43]


From C V Riley

Place St Louis

Rec’d June 3/77





Willa t once send Mr Godfrey this the Sol. Valley, & will instruct both him & GAumer to stimulate the farmers to proper action –


I return Mr Jenkins letter with remarks –


The tone of some of the reports begins to change –


Will send extracts Monday – Have sent Godfrey & Gaumer $120 – may have to advance Godfrey still more


Gaumer is at Lawrence if you have further work for him South of K. P. – Send him directions direct –


[Page 44]


Have sent checks to Godfrey & Gaumer to the amount of $120 00




[Page 45]


St. Louis, Mo May 23, 1877.


Gov. G. T. Anthony,


My dear Sir:


The enclosed Reports may be of service.  I have had them copied.  All reports coming in favorable so far.  Send me 50 copies of the Omaha pamphlet if you have them to spare.


In haste


Yours ever,


C. V. Riley


[Page 46]


C. V. Riley

St Louis

May 23/77

Inclosing reports -

Favorable so far –

Send 50 copies Omaha [pamphlet]


[Page 47]


St. Louis, May 20, 1877.


Gov. Geo. T. Anthony,


My dear Sir:


I do not know what directions you have given Messrs Godfrey and Gaumer, but the more I think over what I wrote yesterday, the more I see the necessity of having the reports made to me, and by me to you.  This will save all confusion, save duplicate labor on their part, and, I am sure, be more satisfactory to you.


Yours ever


C.V. Riley.


[Page 48]


From C V Riley

Place St Louis

Rec’d May 22/77





Dont know what directions you have given Godfrey & Gaumer, - I see the necessity of having their reports made to me – and by me to you – This will save confusion & duplicate labor


[Page 49]


St. Louis, Mo. May 19, 1877.


My dear Sir;


I feared you would come home with news of your brother’s death.  My sister is much cut up and very low.


If the type of enclosed is not yet distributed, and you have any more printed, please have the marked corrections made, and 100 copies sent to me.


Yours ever,


C. V. Riley.


P.S.  Godfrey is doing well.  It will, perhaps, be best to let me direct him so as to prevent conflicting orders; or else I will leave it to you.  I have both men at work, am in constant communication with them, and will leave nothing undone.




[Page 50]


From C V Riley

Place St Louis

Rec’d May 21/77

Ans’d “ 25, 77




Inclosing copy of his report corrected – desires 100 copy’s – Suggests that it would be better for him to direct Godfrey & Gaumer –


[Page 51]


St. Louis, Mo. June 4, 1877.


Gov. Geo T. Anthony,

My dear Sir:


Yours of the 2nd inst. enclosing draft in the sum of one hundred dollars is duly to hand.  I have given instructions to Messrs Godfrey and Gaumer to make their expenses as small as possible, and it was for this reason probably that the former felt disinclined to make the Solomon Valley trip.  Mr Godfrey’s work will not cost beyond $200 00 for the whole season, and Mr Gaumer’s not more than half that.  I am quite confident the $500 00 will not be needed.  I enclose Mr Godfrey’s vouchers, and will send on the others as soon as received.  I can be in Kansas but two or three days this month, though I shall go to


[Page 52]


any place where I feel that my presence is needed.  Calculate to spend most of my time this month in Iowa.  Shall spend a day in Franklin Co. Kans., Thursday or Friday of this week, and will run to Topeka on my way home about the 20th of the month.  Sorry Mr Gray is still unwell.


The best way I can assist him is to prepare a short article with illustrations on a few of the best machines.  Two cuts will be forwarded to him as soon as done, during my absence.  I will write the article while in Iowa.


Yours very truly,


C. V. Riley.


P. S. Shall be in constant correspondence with my office while away.


[Page 53]


From C V Riley

Place St Louis

Rec’d June 4/77





I ask drft for $100.  Have given Gaumer & Godfrey instructions to make exp. as light as possible.


Mr G. work will not cost to exceed $200 for whole season.  Mr Gaumer not more than ½ that amt -- $500 will not be needed –


I enclose Mr Godfreys vouchers & will send on the others as soon as rec’d – I cant be in Ks but will go any place where I am needed – spend most of the month in Iowa – spend a day in Franklin Co


The best way I can assist Gray is to prepare a short art. with illustrations.

[Page 54]


June 8, 1877.


Gov. Geo. T. Anthony,


My dear Sir:


I have just written to Godfrey that he had better delay his Solomon Valley trip, till these fearful rains let up a little; but to be guided by any directions he may receive from you.


Yours sincerely


C. V. Riley

En Voyage


[Page 55]


C. V. Riley

En Voyage  June 8/77.


[Page 56]


June 24, 1877.


Gov. Geo. T. Anthony,


My dear Sir:


I enclose certain vouchers received during my absence.  There are receipts to the amount of $55.00 from Mr Gaumer, and one for $25 00 from Mr Godfrey, with vouchers to the amount of $4.70.  The cessation of rain has permitted Godfrey to get into the Solomon Valley where he now is and where the last and principal injury prevails.  Sorry I missed you Thursday.


Yours ever,


C. V. Riley.


[Page 57]


Prof C V Riley

June 24/77

Ans’d “ 27 “

inclosing vouchers of $4.70

Gaumer. $55 Receipts.

Godfrey $25 “

[Page 58]


Lawrence Ks

June 25-1877

Gov Geo. T. Anthony


Dear Sir


I find within my own heart a gnawing desire to celebrate in some fitting way our abundant harvest – a harvest feast – or by special thansgiving –


I feel as though the cloud that has been hovering over us for the past winter to be the darkest one of all the others we have ever been called to pass through -- & that our deliverance has been by special Providence


[Page 59]


From a thousand altars & hearthstones there have daily gone up yearning prayers to God for help – and truly help has come – and how bright the morning – our wheat crop alone is so large as to almost effect the price of that staple in the markets of the entire world.


If our foe had been [XXXXX] hordes then we would have a fair fight & conquest – if hands of border-ruffians there we could out general – then I consider the Locoust a greater foe than either or all the others combined – and now that the crisis is past, & our state is safe, & our harvests unparalleled in all our past history how natural it would  


[Page 60]


be to have a special day of rejoicing & thanksgiving to God for our deliverance


None can know how great our danger was, but those who have passed through a genuine Locoust raid I would say give us a day for thanksgiving & praise  Let the day begin & close with the usual doxology of “Praise God from whom all blessings flow” and from every hill-top – hamlet & church throughout our great state Let such an anthem of praise ascend that the coming ages shall hear it & all shall know that God is the Lord


Verry truly yours

Joseph Savage                                                


[Page 61]


From Joseph Savage

Place Lawrence

Rec’d Jun 25/77

Ans’d “ 9/77




My heart has a growing desire to celebrate our abundant harvest by harvest feast, only [Especal] thankgiving.


“Praise God from whom all “blessings flow”


Let us have a day


[Page 62]


June 26th 1877

Washington Washington Co Kansas


Dear sir iff you Please i take the opertunity of adressing you with a few lines in regard to the invenshion of a Machine to Kill grasshoppers. & all So to Destroy the eggs. & I. warant it to work to Pirfection as I. am a poor man I. would like to now what the State of Kansas will Due, I. have studed for three months. on those machiens. & I. am Satisfied It will Due.  So you can write to me and tell me what to Due.  Yours, Adress To


William I. Noble

Washington, Washington




[Page 63]


From Wm F Noble

Place Washington, Ks

Rec’d June 28/77





A machine to kill Grasshoppers.


I am a poor man, have studied 3 months on it would like to know what the state of Ks will due


So you can write to me what to do.


[Page 64]


June 28, 1877.


Gov. Geo. T. Anthony,


My dear Sir:


In reply to your favor of the 27th inst, I would express my regret that there should have been any misunderstanding.


I asked, you, on behalf of the Commission, to aid our work in Kansas, if possible, by paying expense of assistants.  You agreed to do so within the limit of 500 00 and I thereupon engaged Mr Godfrey at a salary of 25 00 per month and expenses for 3 months, and Mr Gaumer at same rates but for no definite period – engaging to furnish you vouchers of all expenditures as the best way of keeping the account, and the most satisfactory to you.


Such was my understanding!  I shall fulfil my agreement with Mr Godfrey for though the field work or traveling is no longer essential, there is experimental work


[Page 65]


which I desire done which will I hope result in more permanent good.


As you have virtually dismissed both gentlemen, it will be best, to avoid further misunderstanding, that I expect nothing further from you from now on.


My account with the gentlemen at the present time stands thus:


I have forwarded to Godfrey $120 00, and to Gaumer $80 00


Mr Godfrey has forwarded vouchers to the amount of $46.80 – none being received from the Solomon Valley trip.  He writes from Washington (June 24) that he will be home at Manhattan to-day.  His labors commenced on the 30th Apr., and I presume that the 120 00 I have remitted will just cover everything, including 2 months recompense, upto June 30th.


Mr Gaumer has sent vouchers to the amount of 54 00 (for $19.25 herewith enclosed), which added to recompense up to time he got home will just make the amount I have forwarded.


It would please me to have you recognize this expenditure of $200, and I will here-


[Page 66]


after have all expenses defrayed by the Commission.  You will then stand credited with having furnished that sum to aid the Commission in its work in Kansas.


Excuse the haste with which this is written, & believe me


Yours very truly,


C. V. Riley


[Page 67]


Prof C V Riley

St Louis

June 28/77

Inclosing voucher


Gaumer Expense 19.25


Statement of agreement with Gov. as to pay for assistants Gaumer and Godfrey.


[Page 68]


Lawrence Kansas, Aug. 21st. 1877.


Gov. Geo. T. Anthony,




Sir: -- I have the honor to transmit to you herewith a duplicate copy of my report to the United States Entomological Commission.


The sudden and remarkable disappearance of Caloptenus spretus has deprived my report of much of the thrilling interest which it might have contained had that pest of the western plains survived the summer of 1877.


With this please accept my best thanks for your official recognition of my ability as a naturalist to perform the work assigned me.


Yours Respectfully,


Geo. F. Gaumer.


[Page 69]


From Geo. F. Gaumer

Dated Aug. 21, 1877

Place Lawrence






Report to U. S. Entomological Comm.


[Page 70]


Aug. 16, 1877


To the members of the U.S. Ento: Commission


Gentlemen: - I have the honor herewith to transmit to you the final report of my observations on the habits and life history of Caloptenus Spretus. 


My observations have been confined to the counties of Bourbon, Crawford, Cherokee, Labette, Neosho, Allen, Elk, Chautauqua and Montgomery.


My work for the Commission began May 20th and continued six weeks from that date.


During most of the time the weather was cool, cloudy and wet, so that little more could be accomplished than to record the appearance of the young locusts in the localities visited and some few facts about the eggs and their hatching.


In presenting this report I desire to extend my thanks to Prof. C. V. Riley for the honor conferred upon me by appointing me assistant to the U. S. Entomological Commission, to Gov. Geo. T. Anthony and to the Superintendents of the Kansas Pacific, Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fee; Missouri River,


[Page 71]


Ft Scott and Gulf, Leavenworth, Lawrence and Galveston, and, Missouri, Kansas and Texas Railroads for free passes over their respective routes.


All which is respectfully submitted by


Geo. F. Gaumer,

Assistant U. S. Ento. Com.




August 16th. 1877.


[Page 72]


At Ft Scott May 20th I found the first locusts.  They were small and not very abundant.


The first colony was on a vacant lot in front of the Stewart Hotel.  The ground was sandy and very compact with a southern slope.  A few eggs were unhatched.


A larger colony was noticed in the southeast portion of the city.  The young locusts were perched upon the dead weeds and rocks which scarcely covered the ground.  Many eggpods were either wholly or partially exposed by the washing of the water.  The eggs thus washed out were nearly all spoiled.  East of the city about two miles a colony of newly hatched locusts were seen.  They were in a field which had been used as a pasture the previous summer.  No eggs remained in the ground.


Another small colony was observed to the south of the city.  Many examinations made for eggs proved that in the vicinity of Ft Scott few good eggs remained in the ground.  Many of the eggs which were deposited in rolling ground were washed out by the heavy rains.


[Page 73]


At Girard May 21st I found immense numbers of locusts which were just hatching and making their way to the surface.  The country is prairie, soil, sandy and compact.  Large numbers of unhatched eggs were in the ground and in good condition.  Every available spot was filled with eggs, prodigious numbers of which were then hatching.  The locusts had all hatched during that and the day previous as was clearly shown by their lighter color and more delicate look.  It will be remembered that the weather which had been cool and rainy had changed to warm and clear on the 20th of May and continued so for several days, during which time most of the locust eggs hatched. 


In a drive of eleven miles in the vicinity of Columbus I noted seven colonies of locusts which were quite young.  In many places the surface seemed to be moving so rapidly were the young coming up out of the ground.


The soil was literally filled with unhatched eggs, which if exposed to the air and sunlight would burst into life.  They were all in a healthy


[Page 74]


condition, no parasites were to be found.  The farmers who supposed the danger had passed were taken by surprise and many of them had come to town to tell what had happened and learn what they could from each other.  These men reported that the locusts were hatching in untold numbers all over the country.  They confidently believed that the locusts would yet devour the crops and every one was anxious to hear the best methods for destroying the young insects.  I endeavored to see as many of these men as possible and told them of the paris green mixture (one part paris green to thirty parts common flour) and gave several of them small quantities of the poison to experiment with.  Only a few have reported as yet.  All agree however, that the poison is a success when used in clear, calm weather.  While on the farm of Mr. Blair two miles west of the town I saw a flock of seventy-five young ducks which in one hour and five minutes marched five times across a garden of five acres, in which many eggs had been deposited and had commenced hatching


[Page 75]


about ten o’clock.  The insects were all picked up as fast as they came above the ground.  After making the tour of the garden the ducks would plunge into a pool of water near the wall and after refreshing themselves were ready for another raid upon the locusts.  No other enemies were found preying upon them.


May 23d. I made a trip up the Neosho river on the north side, from Oswego.  Found the locusts quite abundant and at least a week older than any seen up to that date.  They were devouring some gardens but did no other damage.  One man was fighting them by [drawing] them into heaps of pine shavings and burning them.  The experiment was a success for he must have burned a bushel in a few hours.  The eggs were all hatched on the Neosho bottoms and most of the young insects had already disappeared.  On the high prairies many eggs were yet unhatched and the insects already out were small and showed no sign of developing a taste for vegetation.


[Page 76]


Every attempt to find egg parasites failed, although I found some which had evidently been parasited.


May 24th. was spent in the vicinity of Chanute.   A heavy rain cooled the air so much that the locusts did not venture from their hiding places during the day which was cool and cloudy.


In company with Geo. W. Ashby I visited his and many other farms in the neighborhood where the locusts had been hatching in the greatest numbers since the 19th May.  They had nearly all disappeared, but could nowhere be found dead.  We found one colony on Mr A’s farm which had molted the second time, and were devouring some radishes.  Less than one half of the eggs were hatched in the vicinity of Chanute.  Those in the ground were still sound and hatched as soon as brought to the surface.  The farmers who came to town reported that the locusts were hatching in prodigious numbers all over the country but that every rain destroyed all that were out previous to its fall.


[Page 77]


At Thayer May 25th.  I found locusts quite abundant especially west of the town.  They were all small and quiet, for the day was cool and cloudy.  I opened the crops of four prairie chickens and six field plovers and found them well filled with young locusts.  Two maggots of the Anthomyia egg parasite were found in a batch of eggs east of town.  No other enemies were discovered.


May 26th.  very few locusts were to be found in the vicinity of Cherryvale and that few had passed the second molt and were nearly ready for the third.  They were very much scattered only one now and then could be seen.  On account of the continued coolness of the weather there may have been more locusts than could readily be seen.  The farmer informed me that the locusts had hatched early in the season and that they had nearly all disappeared.  They believed that they would all go the same way hence they did nothing to destroy them.


[Page 78]


Coffeeville May 28th. – I visited many farms and found the locusts very scarce and larger than any place yet visited.  They varied much in size, some were quite young while many had passed the fourth molt.  I saw two gardens which had been completely eaten up by them, and a few others injured to some extent.  A field two miles south was stripped of its blades the grain was so near ripe that it was little if at all injured.


The eggs were all hatched and although many had been deposited yet few insects remained.


I traveled from Coffeeville to Independence in a buggy, stopping many times to look for eggs but failed to find any.  Few locusts were to be found.  Nowhere between the two towns had any crop been injured by them.  The locusts did not travel as they were accustomed to do but rather remained like the native species in the locality where they hatched.


I did not find a single colony during the summer which showed any migratory tendencies.


[Page 79]


May 30th.  I made a tour through the eastern portions of Elk and Chautauqua counties.  Found two fields of wheat which were badly injured by them and one field of corn with now and then a truck patch or garden.  No  large colonies were seen during the day.  Now and then some scattered swarms of half-grown insects were to be seen mostly feeding upon wild weeds.  Near Radical City I saw a farmer plowing a field which had been turned very deep in Oct. 1876 for the purpose of destroying the eggs.  These eggs had hatched and the young insects unable to make their way up through the hard ground had perished in the attempt.  The bottoms of the old furrows were frequently covered with their dead bodies.


No locusts of any consequence were seen in the vicinity of Independence.  A small colony were found in the northeastern portion of the city.  Another near Table mound had hatched in a cornfield and took about half of the crop when it first came up.


[Page 80]


At 1 p.m. June 16th the first winged locusts were seen flying over the Wakarusa.  They were very high in the air.  The wind at the time was blowing at the rate of about fifteen miles per hour from a direction a little east of south and the locusts were flying with the wind.  The sky was nearly clear and weather warm. 


June 18th they again began to fly at 11-45 a.m.  The wind was S.S.W. and blowing at the rate of about forty miles per hour.  They increased in numbers until 2-35 p.m. when there were a great many flying as high as could be seen with the naked eye.  At 3-30 many of them were quite low and a few were seen to drop down and continued to come down until 4-30 p.m.  At 5 p.m. they ceased to fly and there was about one to every square rod.  They flew very swiftly and in a N.N.E. direction.


June 19th.  I again visited the region round about Chanute.  Found the locusts had nearly all disappeared.  Those which had hatched previous to my first visit had all died in a few


[Page 81]

days afterward.  The eggs were not all hatched for in front of Mr. Ashby’s house we dug up good eggs which had been deposited in hard sandy soil and were over-laid with a deposit of sand about one inch deep from an adjourning field.  Most of the eggs were spoiled.


At Parsons June 20th.  I found the locusts molting the last time and many of them already had their wings.  Some were flying but not in any considerable numbers.  Few came to maturity.


At Chetopa they nearly all had wings and had been leaving for two days.  Several large swarms were seen feeding on dog fennel but nowhere did they injure the corn or wheat.  Nearly all the gardens in the eastern portion of the city were eaten up.


Locusts were seen flying over Lawrence in a northerly or north westerly direction every clear day until July 10th.


[Page 82]


July 12th 13th.  I observed them flying over Las Animas Colorado in considerable numbers and in a northwesterly direction.


July 16th they were again seen flying over Nepeste Col. in the same direction and over Granada Col. July 19th.


Only a few specimens of C.spretus were found upon the ground in Colorado.


A few locusts dropped down on the Wakarusa from time to time.  The largest number came down June 22d. at 4 p.m.  They remained over night and disappeared on the 23d. without doing any damage.


I attempted to raise a colony of locusts in the garden but after the second molt a cold rain killed everyone.


The native locusts are unusually scarce this summer.  I have not observed a single specimen of C. femur-rubrum with wings.  Only a few specimens of C. bibittatus  have been seen and other species are scarcely more abundant.


[Page 83]


Prof G. F. Gaumer,

Asst. to Prof. Riley.


Report of grasshoppers in Kan. May 20 – July 10, 1877

1 ms. 13 p.


[Page 84]


Oct 27, 1877.

Gov. Geo. T. Anthony,


My dear Sir:


I herewith transmit to you Mr Godfrey’s Report which has been delayed on account of his illness.  On the whole it is very good.  Please hand it to Mr Gray who, I believe desires to publish it in connection with other locust matter.   


Believe me,

Yours truly,


C. V. Riley.


[Page 85]


From C V Riley

Place Washington DC

Rec’d Oct 29/77





Transmitting Godfreys Report


Please hand it to Mr Gray, who I believe wants to publish it with other locust matter.


[Page 86]


Vienna Kansas

May 13th 1877


Gov Geo T. Anthony


My Dear sir


Rejoice and be glad, the 12th of May has came, and gone; and no G.H. that are visable to the naked Eye are in these parts. tell Prof Reily that there is a small white worm about 3/8 of an inch long that is destroying them.  I made the discovery yesterday afternoon in the lane north of the Grave yard (you remember how thick they were there) soon after a hard rain which covered the Ground for several minuets, these little white grubs came out of the ground until it was quite white with them.  I then began a carefull examination and find them in the cocoons of the Grasshoppers and in evry case a part or the whole of the eggs destroyed.  There has been quite a few Grasshopers hatched out here but there has been ample Birds to take them as fast or faster than they hatch, but I am confident that not one Egg in a Thousand has hatched.  Everything in the crop line looks fine up here.


[Page 87]


Ben [Buzbee] has his corn planted in good condition and Mr Stickels has the new Ground and part of the old planted, it has been so wet that it has been imposible to plant sooner.  I am not done yet.  The colts look fine the are getting in quite good condition.  After the rainy season gets over and the roads gets good come up to see us.  I dont want you to come now the roads are all most impasable for a team now.  I received that [corn] of Roosas, he wanted to plant just when Stickels and [Bdro] wanted to, so he could not use the corn planter.  Mr Linebach used it some and perhaps will have it to finish with, if Mr Stickels gets through by Tuesday of this week, I want to use it to help finish my planting.


I am yours Truly


R W. Jenkins


[Page 88]


From R W Jenkins

Place Vienna, Pottawattomie Co

Rec’d May 14/77





No visable grasshopper in these parts


Tell Prof Riley that there is a small white worm 3/8 in long that is destroying them &c


[Page 89]


Leaving Abilene, May 11, 1877.


Dear Governor,


I would have given you something more digested and connected, but when I got to Abilene yesterday I was completely unstrung by telegraphic news announcing my mother’s unexpected death in London.  I am completely worn out and hasten home to my sister, I send the ms. to Mr. Baker


[Page 90]


but you may not have returned, and on the supposition that you desire to give it immediate circulation.


Yours ever,


C. V. Riley


From C V Riley

Place Abilene

Rec’d May 11/77





W’d have given you something more digested – but was unstrung at rec’t of Tel. announcing death of my mother at London – I hasten home to my sister

I send Ms to Mr Baker 


[Page 91]


[Western Union Telegram]


Kansas City 5/12/1877


To Hon Geo T Anthony


We desire to communicate with prof Riley can you give me his present address


T F. Oakes


[Page 92]


Topeka May 12/77


T F Oakes


A letter rec’d from Prof Riley yesterday informed us he was on his way to St Louis


B Gray Sec’y for Governor


From T F Oakes   

Place K. City

Rec’d May 5/77

Ans’d “  “





Asking for ad on [XXXXX]

Prof. Riley.


Answer sent [XXXXX]


[Page 93]


Lawrence Kan. May 3, ’77.




Your letter of May 2 containing K.P.R.R. pass was received yesterday.  Please accept my thanks for the same  I shall keep a correct account of all expenses while engaged in the work assigned me by Prof. Riley.


Very Respec’fy


To Geo. T. Anthony


Governor   Geo. F. Gaumer of Kansas.


[Page 94]


From G. F Gaumer

Place Lawrence

Rec’d May 4/77





Ack. rec’t of pass, will keep correct acc of Exp


[Page 95]


Manhattan Kans. May 3, 1877.


Gov. Geo. T. Anthony


Dear Sir:


Your favor of 2d. inst. received and contents noted.


Many thanks for the pass you were kind enough to enclose.


It will materially aid me in obtaining information on the important locust question.  Rest assured that I shall not take advantage of your kindness by using the pass for other than official work.  My expences shall be made as small as possible consistent with the best interests of the Commission.


Very Respectfully Yours


A. N. Godfrey.


[Page 96]


From A N Godfrey

Place Manhattan

Rec’d May 4/77





Ack. rec’t of pass – thanks – not used for other purposes – will aid me.  Will make my Exp. As small as possible –


[Page 97]


To His Excellency

Gov G. T. Anthony


We the undersigned feeling deeply the necessity of a united Petition to Almighty God for Divine protection against the threatened distruction of our crops by Grasshoppers do humbly petition Your Excellency to appoint an early day of Prayer for that purpose, throughout the State of Kan


And your petitiones will for ever pray &c


O R Swezey

W B Swezey

C Batchelor

R T Batchelor

S. Woolpert

Margaret Woolpert

A. Petit

M. Pettit

W. Allaway

C Randall

P. M. Hocking

M. Hocking

J. C. Billingham

C. A. Whipple

S. A. Jevons

R Withers

E. Dodson

E. Hawes

Effie Russell

Mary Sparrowhawk

David Lake

Frank Swezey

John Spooner

W. S. Litcomb

E. Jevons

S. Towle

Leo. [Bliss]

D. Haden

Ella Harless

W. Harnes

I. T. Tate

G. T. Enslie

Harvey Ramsey

Mary Guy

J. Spooner

L. Spooner

A. Spooner

E. Alcot

H. Jones

L. Allaway

A. Allaway


[Page 98]


A. Litcomb

W. Cowell

B. Budden

M.M. Dodson

Mrs E C Russell

Geo. S. Pearson

T M  Hammond

I W Thomas

H A Denison

S S [Caming]

Thos Lacy

C. L. Russell

G Brown

C.C. Russell.

D P [Brubaker]

J M Pearson

D Gaston


Alfred Goffin


E. R. Hames

[Page 99]


From Many persons

Place Clay Co.






Petition for day of prayer to avert the scourge of Grasshoppers


[Page 100]


To His Excellency


Gov G T Anthony


We the undersigned, Petition, that an early day be appointed by Your Excellency, for Prayer to God, to avert the scourge of the Grasshopper in the state of Kansas


[Page 101]


Thos Mason

M Baker

J Clute

J Thompson

A H Ryan

G H Peckham

J Peckham

A O Baldwin

C Baldwin

P Nolan

G Lafert

J Beckinsale

U. S. Crouch

J Clark

Wm. H Rockleff

P Gillis

A Gillis

G Starling

J D Griffin

W Griffin

C Debenham

M Berberet

J Verbaum

Joseph Lawton

A.S.L. Burt.

S. M. Lawton

R. S. Todd.

A. Gaston.

G. C. L. Hastings

F. B. Hastings

S. S. Gaston.

L. L. Gaston.

D. L. Gaston.

W. G. Payne

N Thurlow

Mrs Seal

W B Swezey


[Page 102]


Wm Gaston

J E Seal

Robt Sparrowhawk

T K. White

Thomas H. North.

T. M. Ully

W. H. Dibben

N Pocock

W Guy

R. Alsop

O R Swezey

Alf Brown

E. M. Kerby

Wm Shivers

O R Swezey

R T Batchelor

C Batchelor

M Loader


[Page 103]


From Many persons

Place Clay Co

Rec’d Mar 3/77





Petition for day of fasting & prayer


[Page 104]


Kansas City, No. May 1st 1877


Geo. T. Anthony Esq

Govr State of Kans.

Topeka Ks


Dear Sir


In accordance with request of Professor Riley, endorsed by yourself, I enclose Time Passes over K. A. Ry East of Ellis, in favor of Mr. A. U. Godfrey and Mr. G. F. Gaumer, his Assistants


Professor Riley requests the passes sent to you to be delivered to the gentlemen


Yours respectly


T. F. Oakes

Genl Supt


[Page 105]


From T. F. Oakes

Place Kas City

Rec’d May 1/77

Ans’d “  “




Inclosing passes for Profs Gaumer & Godfrey – at request of Prof Riley.


[Page 106]


Gov. G. T. Anthony,


My Dear Sir:


I have made arrangements with Godfrey and he will be at my service from now on.  I shall have him go right on to Salina this week, if I can get a pass for him.  As suggested yesterday I shall leave it with you to obtain the same and send it on to him.


If you see Mr Gray, tell him that I will send the Victoria Report by you when you return to Topeka.


Yours ever


C. V. Riley


En Route

Apr 30/77, 11 A M.


[Page 107]


C V Riley

Enroute Apl. 30/77

Will have Godfrey go to Salina this week


[Page 108]


Topeka, Kan. May 1 1877


Hon. Geo. T. Anthony



Dear Sir.


I enclose herewith Annual passes over this road for C V Riley A S Packard and Cyrus Thomas of the U.S. Ent. Com.  As I have not their addresses will you please forward or hand to them as you may deem best.


Prof Riley you will probably meet in a few days and can then hand to him


Regretting the necessity of troubling you in this matter I remain


Yours Very Truly


A S Johnson


[Page 109]


From A. S. Johnson A.T.& S F RR

Place Topeka

Rec’d May 2/77





Inclosing passes for Prof Riley A. S. Packard & Cyrus Thomas of U.S.E. Com –


[Page 110]


Gov. Geo. T. Anthony,

My dear Sir,


I shall hardly get to Topeka before Saturday.


Yours ever


C. V. Riley,


En Voyage

Apr 26/77


[Page 111]


From C V Riley

Place (En Voyage)

Rec’d Apl 27/77





Not be with you before Sat’dy


[Page 112]


St. Louis, Mo, Apr 16, 1877.


Gov. Geo. T. Anthony,


My dear Sir:


Had I not been so much away from home of late I should sooner have acknowledged your last kind letter, and thanked you, as I do sincerely for the good words you have spoken in my behalf.  I have sent a letter like the enclosed to the governors of each of the States more particularly interested in the locust problem.  It explains itself.  Is there no way by which you can have Kansas devote $1000 to cooperate with the commission  The State comes in my territory and I would very much like, with your assistance to be able to pay $500 00 to Prof. Snow, and 500 00 to Mr A. Godfrey of Manhattan, one of my class whom I could make good


[Page 113]


use of.  Such other special assistance as I may want in Kansas, I could provide for.  Can you not appoint each of the parties named, with the compensation stated, to cooperate and work with me? and at the same time they would be able to make a special Report to friend Gray.  I hope you can.


Believe me,

Most sincerely yours


C. V. Riley    


From C V Riley

Place St Louis

Rec’d Apl 19/77

Ans’d “ “ “




Had I not been away, sh’d sooner thanked you for the good words in my behalf.  Have sent letter like the inclosed to ea of the states interested in the locust problem—cant you have Ks devote $1000 to cooperate with the comm – The state is in my [division] would like to pay $500. to Prof. Snow. & $500. Mr A Godfrey of Manhattan – whom I could make good use of


Cant you apt ea of the parties with compensated noted?


They would at same time be able to make spl report to [XXXXX] Gray –


[Page 114]


St Louis, April 16, 1877.


To His Excellency

Gov. Geo. T. Anthony,

Topeka, Kans.


My dear Sir:


On behalf of the U.S. Ent. Comm. recently created I desire to say that the 5 Commissioners and the $25000 00 asked for by the Omaha Conference, were reduced to 3, and $18000 00, and while we may feel grateful for this recognition, the reduction in the appropriation very much weakens our power for efficient work, by limiting to a very small sum the means that can be used for special assistants.  It becomes all the more imperative, therefore, that the Commission endeavor to receive the cooperation of the States interested, in accordance with the first resolution on p.22


[Page 115]


of the Omaha pamphlet.  I write to urge upon you, if it be in your power, to appoint some one in your State to cooperate with the Commission.  If the principal States interested would appropriate or pay out of the contingent fund simply $100 00, and cooperate with the Government thus much, it would greatly assist the Commission in the work in those States respectively.  Asking your favorable consideration of this matter, with the assurance that the Commission will assist in every way possible, whoever may be designated, and believing that the people of the States interested will applaud the action here asked for,

I have the honor to be

Yours very truly


C. V. Riley


[Page 116]


From C V Riley

Place St Louis

Rec’d Apl 16 77

Ans’d “  “  “




The $25000 & 5 comm asked by the Omaha Conference were reduced to $18000. and 3 comm – The reduction weakens our power for efficient work – therefore more imperative that the Comm secure the Cooperation of the states interested in accordance with 1st Res. on page 22 of the pamphlet


If in your power appoint some one to cooperate with the Comm –


If principal states interested pay $100. out of cont’gt fund it would greatly assist – Ask your consideration of this matter, & believe the people will applaud –


1 enclosure


[Page 117]




Dated St Louis Mo 25 1877

Received at Topeka Ks 25

To His Excellency Gov Geo G Anthony


Telegram received Prof Riley left for Kansas yesterday


Ph Pengaude




[Page 118]


From Ph Penguade

Place St Louis

Rec’d Ap. 25/77

Ans’d  telegram




Prof C. V. Riley left for Kansas yesterday


[Page 119]


St. Louis, Mo – Apr 20, 1877.


Gov. Anthony

My dear Sir:


I will come to Topeka and will call on you toward the end of next week.


Yours ever,


C. V. Riley


[Page 120]


From C. V. Riley

Place St Louis

Rec’d Apl 21/77





Inclosing circular, & notice that he will be here the last of next week & will call also newspaper article


[Page 121 through 125 not transcribed]


[Page 126]


Department of the Interior.

Washington March 22nd 1877.


Hon. George T. Anthony,

Governor of Kansas.




I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your letter recommending the appointment of Prof. Chas. V. Riley, State Entomologist of Missouri, as a member of the Commission of skilled entomologists to report upon the depredations of the Rocky Mountain locusts in the Western States and Territories, and the best methods of preventing their recurrence or guarding against their invasions, and {in


[Page 127]


in reply to state that Professor Riley has been appointed Chairman of that Commission.


The other members of the Commission are Professor Cyrus Thomas of Carbondale, Ill., and Professor Alpheus S. Packard of Salem, Mass.


Very respectfully,


C. Schutz



[Page 128]


From Carl Schurtz (Secy Int.

Place Washington

Rec’d Mar 22/77





Ask letter of recommendation of Prof Riley, and announcing his apt.

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