Public Library Local History Collection
|Title: Letter from Robert Muir, Jr., "Valley Home," Saline County, KS, to his brother John, Randolph County, IL.|
|Author: Robert Muir, Jr.|
|Date: March 27. 1863|
|Physical description: 1 sheet (2 p.) ; 7.5 x 12 in.|
|Note: Letter mentions being "on the range" hunting and trapping, and being visited by Indians.|
27 March 1863 Valley Home
Your last letter
came while I was out on the range. That is the reason why I have been
so long in answering it. We just got in one week ago. We were out one
month and four days. We got a load that mite[sic] be worth two hundred
dollars over at the river which is doing fairly good business in the time.
Although not near as good business as we expected to. We expected to have
got a good many wolf, but we only got a few. I believe they were mostly
killed off by the time we got out so we had to turn in and load up with
buffalo hides. We got 95 buffalo hides and 20 wolf skins. The Wolf skin
is worth from one dollar to one dollar and a half. The buffalo hide is
worth 10 cents a pound. They weigh from 17 to 15 pounds apiece. We had
to go a long way out, a hundred miles farther than I ever was before.
I seen some of the ruggedest country I ever seen in my life. It was one
succession of high rocky bluffs and deep gorges. Some of the bluffs so
rugged and steep that a man could not walk up or down them. But you are
not to suppose that all the country west of us is the same. We traveled
over a beautiful rolling prairie while we were out as the country can
boast of anywhere. And the most of it literally covered with buffalo.
We had a visit from three different tribes of Indians while we were out,
the Arapahos, Cheyennes, and Pawnees. They were very friendly and helped
themselves to a few trifling things that I thought they had no right to.
We watched them as well as we could to keep them from picking up things
and carrying them off, but in spite of all we could do they managed to
carry off a few trifling things that we did not know of until they were
gone. Well, John, I received your letter with the tobacco seed in it since
I started writing this one. I am much obliged to you for sending it although
I don't need it now. I got a good supply from the fraternal Office along
with a lot of cotton seed sent by Jim. The spring here has opened very
favorable and wheat is looking well. A great deal better than it done
last year. We just finished putting in three quarters of an acre of potatoes
this afternoon and we feel fairly certain that we will raise a good crop
if mulching will do any good. You may hint it around to some of the young
ladies of your acquaintance that [are] fond of Irish potatoes and would
like to be married that the chance is good out in the western country.
The next time you write to Bryce tell him we are getting along first rate
out here the Democrat ___________ this week. It made me feel the worse
kind for I expected to find out whether they sent up the Yanoe(?) river
[or] not. I do wish the war was over for I feel almost scared to open
every letter that comes for fear of bad news about the boys. We are well
at present hoping this will find you the same.
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