Friday, October 23, 2009

Letter by gold rush seeker James C. Ferris, May 9, 1864 Independence, Missouri, to sister Mrs [?] Frances M Knapp, Lock Hollow, Cayuga County, New York. Although his spelling is poor, the overall meaning of his letter is easy to understand. Ferris writes that they are breaking the mules and will head out on the 10th. "Captain Tuttle is agoin croast with us." He's in good spirits and health and plans to come home again in three years with "my pocits full of gold." He also comments on the colery [cholera] - "very thick" in Independence and there were cases of it on the road. One steamboat was brought up with thirty bodies. Although he's impressed with the local cornstalks, 8 to 10 feet high, he also mentions that there were three men shot in Independence before they arrived and one man since, but they don't do anything about it. He likens the place to a nasty, drunkards hole. "I would advise you that if you can [?] see the country hear you would stay thare."

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