Salina Public Library Local History Collection


Thumbnail image of the 1st page   Title: Letter from Robert Muir, Jr., Salina, KS, to his parents, Robert, Sr., and Jane Muir in Sparta, IL
Author: Robert Muir, Jr.
Date: July 7, 1867
Type: manuscript
Physical description: 1 sheet (4 p.) ; 7.5 x 10 in.
Note: Letter mentions a discouraging growing season and that Indians won't threaten the settlement. On the back of this 4 page letter was printed material from the "Office of the Western Kansas Immigration Society, Salina, Kansas, May 20, 1867" containing information to immigrants about Kansas, mainly Saline County.

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

Text:

7 July 1867 Salina

Dear Parents

I send these few lines to let you know how we are all getting along and how crops looks and things generally since the grasshoppers and high water left us. I suffered myself but very little loss from either causes compared with others living close by me and consequently my crops are looking very well especially my corn which is the best I have seen anywhere in the country. My spring wheat I expect will yield 20 bhls per acre if it sustains no damage in ripening, which is a very good crop for any year and more especially for this which has been the most discouraging in every respect that I have ever seen or ever expect to see. In the first place we had a very cold wet backward spring which made us late with our crops. Then come the hoppers innumerable, but before they had done a 20th part of the damage everybody expected they disappeared some says one way some another. For my own part I feel quite satisfied the birds picked them off my place for just two or three days before the black birds come I went out to take a look round and see what headway they were making and found them coming out of Anderson's field into one end of my oats and barley and seemingly taking it at the rate of an acre a day and shortly after the blackbirds come there was not enough of them left to do much damage. Then those that had not planted their corn for fear of its being eat up went to planting, but the wet weather set in and it kept them back until it was so late that it is hardly possible to get much of a crop. Those are the ones that suffered the most, and in one sense it is their own fault. My doctrine was plant the same as usual and we would have the consolation reap or no reap that we had done the best we could under the circumstances, and it has proved to be the better plan, although it looked like foolishness at one time. The other boys lost more than I did but still their prospects for corn are good. And they will have enough of wheat to do them. I expect you are giving yourself some trouble and anxiety on our account for fear of the Indians coming in here. There is no need for it that ever was at all. That they are on the warpath there is no doubt, but that they will come into a settlement as strong as this is now is something they will not attempt and but few people here fear. Well, Mother, Nancy was making a while back a little over a dollar a day from her chickens and cows. That's doing pretty well isn't it. I must stop by informing you that we are all well and hoping this may find you all in the same condition. Give our love to all and write soon.

From your affectionate son Robert Muir



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