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Martin Stowell to friends

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Lexington, Brown Co
My Dear E & others Kanzas Ter’ Aug 15/56
I am writing on my knee, This is a town or City as we call it of my own location, 640 acres are in the bounds. I expect several lots & a claim if I chose near town, It is about 12 miles from the Nebraska line, We came here with a train about a mile long, We left 70 men 8 miles north of here. This is some of the best part of the terrritory I like it better than the Shawnee Reserve. We have a lovely town sight & such land, There are 57 men in our party, two companies have joined us. They have chosen me as President of the Association also Judge & am the military head of the party. My knowledge of things gives me advantage few possess. I trust I shall do the best for our cause & for ourselves.

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We are 30 miles from Iowa Point on the Mo’ River, & expect to take up and lay out other towns between here & the river. I am satisfied that with any decent management we must make money, and secure one of the finest homes in the world at least so far as land is concerned. Good water, stone, coal, wood & Prairie What more do we need except money enough to build a house
If I could get 5 or 600 $ to build a house I should regard myself as independent.
I do not exagerate. We are all delighted with our prospects, our boys feel highly satisfied with my management and follow my advice in every important item. We want a blacksmith & all other [braces?] of business. If Lecrox would come out I would secure him a claim 160 acres

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of the best land he ever saw, for 200$, and some town lots for nothing. This letter will leave here by our own private mail, for Nebraska City in a few minits. It is about 60 miles to that city. About 70 to Topeka & 80 or 85 to Lawrence. I may decide to take a claim & make it my home here, but if the land is as good & other advantages equal nearer the Mo River I design locating nearer that, I regard it as somewhat risky or more risky than at this point , but we shall proceed step by step from here untill I get where I wish to if I can. I do not think any one would meet with trouble in coming up the river alone or a few at a time, not armed. Take the boat at St Louis for St Joseph & then remain on the boat & pay passage from there to Iowa Point

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We shall make arrangements for mails & a post office as soon as we can, Everything is to be done and society moulded for the future. We have a fine fellow in our party for surveyor, our party is a unit. We work together well. Letters had better be sent to Nebraska City Nebraska Territory via Iowa City or Burlington Iowa. This will prevent their going through a slave state.
I believe it is conceeded by all that our party got along cheaper & better than any company on the route, our boys scolded some in coming through Iowa because they could not have [better living?] but I believe they are satisfied. I did what was best for the cause & all concirnd, our food was wholesome, though plain & coarse. We left but one man East of the Mo River. All the rest are here except one who went down the River for Nebraska City. This is one of the best places to settle in this territory and fine claims in any quantity to be had. Send this on to [sick?]
Please send this letter to Mr. Higginson after you read it

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