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Cyrus Kurtz Holliday to Mary Dillon Holliday

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Topeka Kan. Ter Spt. 26. 1855
My Dear Wife –
Since I wrote you last I have had a letter from you which contained the good news that you were still well and that our babe was growing both large & pretty - I hope this will find you in the enjoyment of equally good health –
I want to write you to day chiefly on business. I find that it will be next to impossible for me to go East – or to Meadville – this fall again – owing to the way things are shaping themselves here. But I am very anxious that you should be here and as time is passing away rapidly you will have to come soon or traveling will be so that you will be unable to come. You will remember we talked this matter over; and you were of the opinion that if I could not go for you, you could come out yourself. Now, Mary, if you think you can travel alone I would be most

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happy, indeed, to have you come; and with what experience you have had in travelling you must make up your own mind upon this subject - You will no where encounter any thing worse in travelling than we have already encountered at such places as Cleveland, Alliance, etc. Now under the supposition that you will come, I wish to offer a few suggestions in respect to business and travel –
I want you (if you have not done so already; for I wrote you somewhat touching this matter in my last) to employ Mr. I. H. Lenhart to go to New York and sell one of the remaining Bonds in the same way as he sold for me this Spring – and if he can sell for anything near what is right let him sell both – I see by accounts from New York that the same kinds of Bonds have recently sold for 85 and 87 ½ cents on the dollar - If he can obtain in the neighborhood of 80 cents, let him sell both bonds.
Now I think the above is clear and explicit

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and if you will show it to Mr Lenhart he will thoroughly understand it. Pay Mr Lenhart anything that is right and proper for his trouble; and I know he will ask nothing but what is right and proper. I would prefer to have the proceeds of the Bonds in gold; but as you will find it too inconvenient as well as dangerous to carry gold you had better have him (Lenhart) procure it in 50$and 100$ dollar bills on the Bank that he may regard as the safest and most secure; bills of the “State Bank of Missouri” are here regarded as the best paper money in use and can readily be converted into gold without discount. Therefore he had better get bills of the “State Bank of Missouri” if possible. He might think that “drafts” on New York would be preferable to bills; upon this he must use his judgement, as he is much better posted in money matters than I am. If he should conclude that “drafts” are best, let him get small

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ones, as it is difficult to exchange or sell a draft here of a large amount. Read this also to Mr. Lenhart and he will doubtless do for me better than I could do myself - I speak particularly of you having Mr Lenhart transact this business as he is perfectly honest, and will doubtless have business to see to at New York this fall and can transact this at the same time. But you must insist upon his taking ample remuneration for his trouble
Now a word with respect to yourself. Be sure and secure the money in such a manner about your person that you cannot loose it, or that it cannot be taken from you by thiefs and pickpockets. Your ingenuity will contrive some plan to carry it under your outside garments You ought not to carry it next your person either, for the moisture from your body might deface the appearance of the bills or drafts – particularly might destroy the Presidents & Cashier’s signatures. At Erie, Cleveland, Toledo, Chicago, and St Louis you will be most liable to have your pockets picked or cut open – therefore you will want to be most on your guard at those places. But these are not the only places where they may be found; but frequently the smooth faced gentleman or lady that will make your acquaintance

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in the cars, and Hotels, and more especially on the Steamboats, is of that profession, and by his, or her, insinuating address is only desirous of ascertaining how much money you have got, where you carry it, and what the chances are to rob you. So be on your guard, Mary, at all times and against all classes of persons –
A word now concerning your route of travel - You can procure a ticket at Erie clear through to Saint Louis for about $20.00 – or from Cleveland to St. Louis for $17.00 - At St. Louis you can again ticket for Kansas City for $10 or $12. - Your route will be by way of Cleveland Toledo, Chicago, Alton, St. Louis and Kansas City. At Cleveland you take the Cleveland & Toledo Rail Road – At Toledo you take the Northern Indiana and Southern Michigan R. R. At Chicago you take the Chicago Alton & St Louis R. R. – this last named road was formerly called the Chicago & Mississippi R. R.

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This last road will take you to Alton. At Alton you will find a Steamboat in waiting to take you to St Louis. At St. Louis you will take Steamboat for Kansas City. When you get on the boat there will be no further trouble - You will have to change cars at Cleveland, at Toledo and at Chicago – at Alton you change cars for Boat and at St Louis you change Boat for Boat. So you will only have five changes to make in all.
You can “check” your baggage through from Erie to Chicago, I think; certainly from Cleveland to Chicago (and perhaps from Erie or Cleveland to St Louis but of this I am not sure) At Chicago you can again check to St. Louis; and at St. Louis get your baggage in your “State room” and it will of course go with you - When you get a check for your baggage to a certain place, you need pay no attention to it until you arrive at that place; There

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you must see to it and have it checked again to the next farthest place on the line of your travel. After you get your baggage on the Cars there are but two places where you need give it much attention to wit – At Chicago & St Louis; and perhaps a little at Alton.
Now, Mary, I have strung this letter of cautions and advice until it is enough to frighten an ordinary person; but you will find after you have gone through the journey that, like a long bill of fare, it is not near so formidable as you might reckon. I have enumerated these many particulars in order that you might be well posted.
Carry enough of money in your usual way to pay your expenses through – say fifty or sixty dollars – the rest, as before said, conceal, or secure about your person.

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Now one word more – Mr. F. R. Foster of Spring Corners, Crawford County, Pennsylvania, is expected to start soon for this place - He is a reliable young man. I advise you to send some person out to Spring Corners in order to see if he is still there, and try and make arrangements to come with him. A Mr Slaton of the same place is also coming out, of him I know nothing, but you would doubtless be perfectly safe in coming with him - Mr. Foster I know would be glad to bring you out and you had better send some person out to see him. If you dont feel like risking the journey alone, hire somebody at Meadville (Ingram, Lenhart, Drew, Randolph or some one else) to bring you as far as Chicago or St Louis, I had rather pay the expenses of a guide clear here than that anything should go awry.
Buy such articles of dress and clothing generally as you may want this winter and for some time to come, and such other things as you may want. You had better not attempt to bring more than one trunk in your charge. Have it well marked, with your name in full, and “Meadville Pa”, or “Topeka K. T.” either or both of the places –

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The balance of your baggage, together with my trunk, clothes, books etc, have packed in another box or boxes and delivered to the “Express Co” - Mark the boxes & trunks sent by the “Express Company” as follows,
(C. K. Holliday (Topeka, Kansas Territory (Care of B. Slater, St Louis, Mo, (Care of Riddlesbarger & Co Kansas City, Mo.
I have another suggestion to offer. If you fear to travel alone, or can get no one to travel with you, You can consign yourself to the care of the “Express Company” and it, through its agents, will see you safely delivered on board the boat at St Louis. This perhaps would be your better plan – It will cost a little more; but then you will have care and protection the whole way to St. Louis and will have yourself safely placed aboard the Boat at St. Louis

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The “Express Company does not extend its operation beyond St Louis, toward the West.
When you arrive at Kansas City go to the “American Hotel” and tell the Proprietor – Mr Eldridge who you are and that you want a good room. He will furnish it to you. If I should not be there, you will, of course, write me immediately, and I will go down to Kansas City for you –
Try and send me word when you will expect to start from Meadville, and then I will try and be at Kansas City in order to meet you upon your arrival there - It will take you from six to nine days to reach Kansas City.
At St Louis you can go from the one Steamboat to the other, I think; inasmuch as there is a boat leaving every day for Kansas City. But if there is no boat about to leave you can go to a hotel.

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The best Boats on the Missouri, are the “Polar Star” – “F. X. Aubrey” – “Martha Jewett” - “Sam Cloon” “New Lucy” “James H Lucas,” “Admiral,” “Genoa” etc. If you find either of these on your landing at St Louis, go right aboard of them and engage your room and passage up the River
The more I think of your consigning yourself into the hands of the “Express Co” the more favorably the prospect strikes my mind. If you should do so the agt of the Co. will see to your baggage, point out your Cars – wait upon you to meals etc. etc.
As I said before it will cost something more, but that is nothing when your safety & comfort is considered. In case you should conclude to come by Express you must remember that you will pay for no tickets or anything of the kind. Simply make a bargain with the agent at Erie to see you and your baggage

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safely delivered aboard some good Boat at St Louis, and Take his receipt for the same. If you cant get some responsible person to travel with you I certainly think you had better come by Express - This may seem novel to you - It is certainly not common yet – it is frequently done, and I think you had better do so. It will insure you more safety, more speed, more comfort, less annoyance, less fear, less trouble of all kind than if you should come alone, or even with another - In case you come by Express you will not have to look after your baggage at all. The agt will look after it; And inasmuch as I have directed you to send my books etc., by Express, perhaps it would be best to include yourself and all come by Express together - Your fare alone from Erie to St Louis would be about $20. dollars You can judge from this whether the agent for the Express Co would be inclined to charge an exhorbitant price; but dont quibble with him for five or ten dollars, but if he asks you any reasonable fare, pay it to him. Take his receipt and come by Express. - P.S. It is now the last day of Sept. I had no opportunity to send this letter before - If you conclude to come, you will have to come as soon as possible as it is getting late and cold. I will write you in a day or two again, such other matters as I may have forgotten in this -
Yours as ever
C. K. Holliday

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