Salina Public Library Local History Collection

Missing original
  Title: Letter from Robert Muir, Jr., Salina, KS to his sister Janet Muir Anderson, Randolph County, Illinois
Author: Robert Muir, Jr.
Date: July 7, 1861
Type: typescript of the letter
Physical description: 1 p. (typescript) ; 8.5 x 11 in.
Note: Janet Muir, born January 17, 1839, married Robert Anderson on Feb. 14, 1861, in Randolph County, IL. Original letter is not available.


7 July 1861 Salina

Dear Sister

I expect that you have been thinking that I have forgotten you altogether seeing I never have wrote you a letter since I left home. But such is not the case for I often think of you and wonder how you are getting along in the new conditions of life into which you entered but a few days before I left home. I hope you are striving to making a good wife to Mr. Anderson. I have wrote three letters to father and Mother since I come here and as yet have not received a scrap of a favor from either of them. I have been looking for a letter from home every time the mail comes in for the last month but I looked in vain. I have given up the idea of getting a letter from them. I now look to you for home news. I hope you won't disappoint me too. Write as soon as you receive this and tell me how you are all getting along in the troublous[sic] times, and if any of the young men in flat Prairie have enlisted in the United States service, and who they are. We had a grand union celebration here on the fourth of July. The program was first, the reading of the declaration of independence, next the administrating of the oath of allegiance to the government to all present both men and women, next was an oration by Colonel Phillips on the State of the country and the duty of all loyal citizens. It was the best oration I ever heard. Next was a free dinner got up by the ladies of Salina and neighborhoods. It was equal to any public dinner I ever saw got up. There was everything there that the heart of man could desire. After all the settlers had partaken we invited to the table over thirty Indians who had been looking on all the time we were eating. They were mostly Squaws and papooses. It the laughingest farce I ever seen. Some sitting some standing and some half lying on the table, but all seemingly striving who could fill their wames [bellies] with the one hand and their wallets with the other fastest. After they got through eating we gathered up what was left and gave it to them to take home. When they started off they looked as if they thought a union celebration a good thing. Their camp is about a mile and a half out of town. There is always some of them in town every day. They bring in wild gooseberries and currents that they get growing on the hills and sell them to the folks in town. They are good to eat when cooked. Their gooseberry is rather small, but the current is equal in size to any I ever saw cultivated in gardens. Mother and you used to speculate and talk about how foolish it was for young folks to go to Kansas and suffer the privations that you imagined for they were all imaginary privations they had to suffer. I for my part has had as good victuals to eat and as good a bed to lie in as I ever had at home and every other lady that I know of is doing well enough, that would do well anywhere. James intends moving down to his claim this week. His house is not quite finished but it will do to live in to fall well enough. He dug a well and got plenty of good water. It will suit both him and Willie better than living in town. They will both be close to their work. Willie wished me to write you to tell father that the plow he wants him to send out is a ten inch two horse plow. I suppose he forgot to say in his letter the size of a two horse plow he wanted. Tom Anderson is out hunting buffalo at present. He intends hunting all summer if he can make it pay. Him and I intend putting in some wheat this fall on James' claim. Robert Crawford is breaking the land for us. We would have put it in on our own claims had we been able to fence it. I am still working for Mr. Phillips at his sawmill. I don't think I will come home this fall. I believe it will be better for me to stay here and put some fencing on my claim while there is a chance of getting timber off public land. I was down with Willie and James this morning to see their corn. It is looking uncommon well. If the season holds on as favorable it will give a large yield. We are all well at present. I hope this will find you all enjoying the same blessing. Give my best to your brother.

Robert Muir

Tell Miss Adison her friends are all well.

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