Salina Public Library Local History Collection

  Title: Letter from Robert Muir, Jr., Salina, KS, to his parents, Robert Sr. and Jane Muir, Sparta, IL
Author: Robert Muir, Jr.
Date: August 14, 1864
Type: manuscript
Physical description: 1 sheet (4 p.) ; 5 x 8 in.
Note: Letter mentions Indian troubles, Major General Curtis and the Moffet party massacre (Aug. 1864).

View the original letter: pages 1, 2, 3, 4


(Envelope for letters #20 and #21: 5 ½ x 3 inches with a 3-cent stamp and a postmark "SALINA KAN AUG 15" is addressed to Mr. Robert Muir, Sparta, Randolph Co., Ill. Dates are penciled on outside, "Aug 14-1864" and "Dec 18-1864.")

14 Aug 1864 Salina

[Written sideways on top letter margin] tell Janet I am very proud of my sister poetess and would like she would direct some of her composition to Salina in place of Chester all the time. Be sure and write soon

Dear parents

I received your letter by the last mail and was very happy to hear that you were all in good health. You seem to think that I have been very negligent in writing. I acknowledge that I have been, but not through any forgetfulness or indifference for I have been waiting and wearying for a letter for a long time and [have] been disappointed time and again when the mail came in and no letter from home. Had you wrote sooner I would have answered, but I thought I would hold on until you wrote, a thing I began to fear you would not do. After this I will write whenever I get a chance and I hope you will do the same. Well, Mother, you stated in your letter that Mr. Hayes told you that one of us was coming home this winter and you want to know which of us was coming and when to look for us. Well, Mother I cannot tell you at present whether any of us will be home or not. We would both like to come the very best kind, but the way times is here at present there is no certainty about any of us coming. So I think you had better make no calculations and you won't be disappointed. But if one of us can get away at all I think we will come and I hope it may fall to my lot. I would like to see all once more. So well I expect you are hearing a good deal about the Indian troubles out here and know [sic] doubt pretty hard stories to[o], but the greatest part of the news in the papers about the Indians is got up to create an excitement. At least there is very little truth about some of them. The whole thing just amounts to this, the Indians are at war with whites and whenever they get a chance to kill a white man without running too much risk themselves they will do it. But so far their principal object has been the stealing of stock and in that line they have been very successful. They killed 4 hunters 35 miles from here last week, which is the nearest they have been to this place to our knowledge. And about their coming here there is a great difference of opinion. Some think they will come and consequently a few of the timid are leaving the country, but the general opinion is that they won't attempt this place at all. I am of that opinion myself, but we have no surety that they will not and the best thing for us to do is to be ever on our guard and always ready. The militia of this and adjoining counties was out on a two week campaign against them under Major General Curtis. It was one of the grandest fissels I ever was out on. We never seen an Indian and if the military gentlemen do not change their tactics it will take them a long time to scare the red skins. Now about the crops, our wheat done first rate, corn tolerable. The lack of a good shower 8 or 10 days ago has cut the late corn short, but still we will have as much if not more than last year. We succeeded in raising and sold 10$ worth. We are running our machine now every day cutting grass at 100 dol per acre cutting and raking. I hope by the time you receive this brother Bryce will have got home all safe. Tell him to write soon and write oftener yourself. Give my best to all.

Your son R Muir


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