Sunday, March 14, 2010

Estherville, Iowa 1861

Estherville, Iowa, Aug 7 1861, from Judge Adolphus Jenkins, of Emmett County, to the Samuel J. Kirkwood, the state Governor, stating that local people have no fear of Indian attacks, and do not desire to have troops there for security purposes. He also writes, "of an organized band of horse thieves," from Dakota Territory, who had disguised themselves as Native Americans. The content reads, in part, as follows: "As there is a strong effort being made in this country to raise a decidedly uncalled for excitement in regard to the Indians, and applications are about being made to your excellency to furnish a body of troops to be stationed at this place. Knowing as I do; that there is a decided majority of the inhabitants of this county strongly opposed to movement, I take this occasion to trespass upon upon your notice, to say that there is here a general feeling of security. As far as depredations from the Indians are concerned, we have not more to fear than the settlers about Fort Dodge. The country north of us, upon this river is quite thickly settled for over thirty miles; much more so than it is between here and Fort Dodge. To the west of us are considerable settlements about Spirit Lake and upon the Little Sioux, therefore we do not consider that we are hardly on the frontier. There is no doubt of the existence of an organized band of horse thieves, somewhere in Dacotah Territory, that commit many depredations in the disguise of Indians and upon their credit. Yet they have committed none in this county, or within eighty miles of it, and if they should, I hope and trust the people here, will prove equal to the emergency. We have in this county one hundred and twenty five inhabitants, over forty of whom are fighting men, or subject to do military duty, and if we cannot protect our homes, we are unworthy of homes in so fair a land as this. Another still stronger objection, which every true lover of this county has, has to [do with] the States sending men here at this time of our country's greatest need, is that as we are unable to assist the grand and noble cause, in which our country is at present so deeply engaged by men and means. God forbid that we would indirectly aid the enemy by intruding upon the precious time of those that have all they attend to, to content with our common adversary without being annoyed by any false and foolish pretense from the county that we are in danger. If it is desirable, we will forward to you a remonstrance, signed by the majority of the county, who are opposed to having troops stationed here. Please excuse this somewhat tedious intrusion upon your attention. If the intended petition should be presented, it is hoped that it will only receive such attention as the case merits ... [signed] Adolphus Jenkins

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