The Flagg Correspondence: Selected Letters, 1816-1854 0809312425

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Genealogy of the Flagg Family
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The Flagg Correspondence: Selected Letters, 1816-1854

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Gershom Flagg

Willard Cutting Flagg

Source: Solon J. Buck, Pioneer L etters (Springfield: Illinois State Journal, 1912)

The Flagg Correspondence Selected Letters, 1816-1854




Southern Illinois University Press Carbondale and Edwardsville

Copyright © 1986 by Board of Trustees, Southern Illinois University All rights reserved Printed in the United States of America Edited by Curtis L. Clark Designed by Loretta Vincent Production supervised by Natalia Nadraga

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Main entry under title: The Flagg correspondence. Bibliography: p . Includes index. 1. Frontier and pioneer life--Illinois. 2. PioneersIllinois-Correspondence. 3. Flagg family. 4. IllinoisHistory-1778-1865-Biography. I. Lawrence, Barbara, 1932II. Branz, Nedra, 1922F545.F58 1986 977.3'03 '0922 85-27774 ISBN 0-8093-1242-5










Acknowledgments We wish to thank Dr. John Abbott, former Director of Lovejoy Library, Southern Illinois University-Edwards ville; Drs. John Hoffman and Robert M. Sutton, Directors of the Illinois Historical Survey Library, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign ; and Mr. Roger Bridges, Director of Research at the Illinois State Historical Library, Springfield, for their permission to publish the following material. We especially wish to express our gratitude to the Friends of Lovejoy Library for their assiduous efforts in obtaining the Flagg Collection for the university and to the Office of the Vice President and Provost, Southern Illinois University-Edwards ville, for partial funding for this publication. Finally, we wish to acknowledge our debt to the Flagg family, for their contribution of the letters and for their assistance in gathering the necessary genealogical information.


Nineteenth-century letters, diaries, and journals are relatively plentiful. It appears that the middle class, especially the American middle class, thought its activities sufficiently interesting to its contemporaries and to posterity to preserve them in writing. Not all these recorded activities are as important as the writers assumed they might be, but some have considerable value to historians and others interested in the past. Fortunately for those interested in the early Middle West, the wide-ranging letters and journals of the Gershom Flagg family give plentiful information and insight into life on the Illinois prairie during the early and middle years of the nineteenth century. This collection-housed partly in Lovejoy Library at Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville and partly in the Illinois Historical Survey Library at the University of Illinois-covers about one hundred years and is both personal, revealing the thoughts and attitudes of the writers, and historical, telling us much about one family's ability to cope with the vicissitudes of pioneer life and the myriad problems of farming the prairie. The collection is of even greater value in that the Flaggs were interested in national events and many of the letters and journals demonstrate these pioneers' political beliefs and attitudes and their attempts to keep informed. The letters presented here were chosen because they best reflect that interest. The Flaggs were among the vanguard of New England migration west, and while not "typical," they represented an important element or ingredient in the mix that became Illinois. New England had been suffering a long economic decline; in some areas this decline had begun long before the Revolution. The reasons for the decline are many, some international, some national, and som~ regional. New England, with its rocky hillsides and thin soil, could not compete with the better soils of the newly settled West, and New England self-sufficiency was hurt by changing markets and consumer needs. Furthermore, England could "dump" goods on the American market, causing the smaller-based local manufacturing of the United States to suffer. While some rural areas could adapt to this decline, their very efforts-raising



sheep for example-often had the effect of further reducing the population. The amount of acreage required in raising sheep, for instance, caused an increased shift to the urban areas, where employment could be had in the newly founded mills. The federal government contributed to New England's troubles by its policies encouraging westward movement through relatively low prices and attractive terms for land. New Englanders, tired of trying to farm worn out, rocky hillsides, took advantage of these terms and moved west in great numbers. "Ohio fever" was rampant. The end of the War of 1812 accelerated the migration westward, partly because England resumed its dumping of goods on the American market, and partly because the federal government paid its veterans with land warrants good for land in Michigan, Illinois, the future Arkansas Territory, and somewhat later in Missouri. Moreover, the excitement of the expansion westward lured enterprising young lawyers and entrepreneurs more interested in setting up businesses than in farming. The already established cities such as Cincinnati and St. Louis grew rapidly. The rural areas near such cities were settled first because the cities offered a number of advantages, not the least being markets for farm produce. While New Englanders had moved west in substantial numbers since the early days of the Ohio company and while some of these migrants had continued to drift farther west, the numbers of those from New England moving into the Middle West frontier increased greatly after the War of 1812. Among those migrating west after the war was Gershom Flagg, who left his home in Richmond, Vermont, in 1816 for Ohio. According to the present Flagg family, Gershom had been a drummer during the war and apparently received a land warrant which he never used. He did not write about his service, and although his son Willard's early journals indicate that his father had made rifles and sold them to recruits for the Mexican-American war, Gershom had little sympathy for any war or for the military, believing that war was destructive to the country's economy. The early letters in this correspondence describe Gershom's winter in Ohio, but then he appears to have contracted "Illinois fever." In the early months of 1817, he and a companion traveled down the Ohio River, disembarked at Cairo, Illinois, and sending their goods ahead by boat, walked to St. Louis. Gershom does not say why the two men walked, but it might have been to get a better view of the land. Or it might simply have been faster than taking a manually powered boat against the river's current (there being very few steam boats on the Mississippi that early in the century.) Gershom spent the winter of 1817 in St. Louis, living in the well-known boarding house run by Mrs. Gaius Paddock. He describes the St. Louis of this period as a busy, thriving town, but he did not think it presented a



"handsome appearance" since its streets were too narrow for elegance. Gershorn had hoped for employment as a surveyor but failed to find such work. Instead, he chose to go to Madison County, Illinois, to purchase land, since he thought the land in Missouri "not so good." Altogether, he had about a thousand acres of land in Madison County, part of which was wooded, hilly bluff land, but the rest good prairie soil in what became known as Liberty Prairie. Some of this land he apparently held for speculation. He bought and sold land for his brother, Azariah, and for their friend General John Dix. Flagg may also have handled land transactions for other relatives and friends since there are several letters from other people concerning land transactions. Gershom Flagg was a man of decided views about almost everything. He was widely read and intelligent, but inclined to see the world through a curmudgeon's eyes. He did not think much of politicians, especially Jacksonian Democrats. He particularly disliked President Polk, because of the Mexican War, and all pro-slavery, states'-rights politicians. He was not highly religious but apparently approved of the Unitarian-Universalist beliefs. While he was greatly respectful of most ministers, he distrusted as obscurantist the Catholic Church, Orestes Brownson most particularly. He had a "New England conscience" but not the traditional need to "improve" his fellow man. On a personal scale he thought people were responsible for themselves, and on a national scale he believed that each country should take care of its own people and problems before trying to take care of those of other countries. Therefore he greatly disapproved of American policy concerning such involvements as those with Louis Kossuth and the Hungarian revolt. It has been popularly believed that people on the frontier were isolated from their families and their pasts. This may have been true in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. It was not always true in the nineteenth century, and was certainly not true of Gershom Flagg. He wrote regularly to a wide number of family members, friends, and business acquaintances. His early letters are particularly important for descriptions of early Ohio, St. Louis, and Madison County, Illinois, and he apparently convinced several of his sisters and their families, as well as one brother, to move to Illinois. He was well acquainted with affairs in Vermont through his correspondence with his brother Artemas, who remained there, and through his old friend and mentor John Johnson, a surveyor who participated in re-surveying the U.S.-Canadian Boundary after the War of 1812. His brother Azariah became a political appointee of some importance in New York, and later was president of a New York railroad. Through him, Gershom was familiar with the wider world of New York and Washington. His brother Willard moved to Ogle County, Illinois, where he became a land owner and a figure of some importance, but Wait Flagg got only as far west as Ohio. For the most part,



Gershom's sisters who moved to Illinois settled near him, and the children of one of them were reared in Gershom's home. Besides letters to his family and old friends, Gershom wrote also to local political and business men, mostly about land or Illinois politics. He held no political office and did not take an active role in national politics except when he became outraged by the Kansas-Nebraska Act and its consequences and helped to organize the Republican party in Illinois. He ran unsuccessfully for one or two local offices, but in spite of the fact that he held no elected position, he appears to have been influential. He was postmaster at Paddock's Grove (near the present town of Moro) for many years and was acquainted with most of the locally important men, being friends with some of the most powerful. His letters to local politicians are usually to the "true believers," that is, members of the Whig party, and much against the Democrats then rising to power in Illinois. On national politics he was equally vehement, but most of the letters concerning national politics, except for the very early ones, were written to his son while Willard was at school. These letters are almost lectures on particular topics about which Gershom felt strongly or on which he wished to correct a misconception he thought Willard (or perhaps a professor at Yale) may have received from eastern newspapers or other sources. About the same time Gershom settled in Madison County, an adjoining farm was settled by Gaius Paddock, another Vermonter. Mrs. Paddock ran the boarding house in St. Louis with her daughters and apparently did not live on the farm in the early years. The Madison County community, now gone, was known as Paddock's Grove. In 1827, Gershom married one of the Paddock daughters, Jane Paddock Richmond. Jane had two children, Volney and Virginia, from her previous marriage to Barney Richmond. She and Gershom had their son, Willard, in 1829. Besides these children, they also reared the children of Gershom's deceased sister Eliza Flagg Bliss. Her children were James, Ursula, and Willard Flagg Bliss, known as Bliss. Often there were also assorted relatives, grandchildren, and children of friends in the household for varying periods of time; it was not uncommon for the Flaggs to have a house full of friends and relatives. Furthermore, because of its location on a main road and Gershom's position as postmaster, his home became a kind of inn. Gershom frequently wrote of drovers, St. Louis business men, and others, staying the night. Farming the prairie in the 1820s and 1830s was extremely hard work with limited farm machinery, so man power was important. Gershom was a heavy man and in the later years did little of the physical labor himself, but he always hired many men-in some seasons as many as ten, and four or five regularly. This was a period of heavy immigration by Germans and the Irish, some of whom came directly west while others drifted slowly westward looking for work. Gershom hired many of them and complained constantly



about the difficulty of getting good men to work, about how little they did, and about how much they ate when he did hire them. He had considerable contempt for the Irish worker, but gave the "Dutch" grudging approval. Some of these workers moved on but many stayed, saved their money, and bought land of their own. Descendents of those farm hands still farm some of the land; thus many Madison County names appear frequently in the letters. Because he was an innovative man, willing and able to try new crops and new equipment, Gershom in his letters is a good source of information about farming the prairie. He started his orchard as early as r 8 r 8 and grew a wide variety of fruit; he also raised the usual grains, hogs, sheep, and cattle. Gershom was greatly interested in education. Although it is not known how much formal education he had, he was a self-educated man with a wide-ranging intellectual curiosity. His training as a surveyor gave him an interest in geography and geology, and his early life in Vermont gave him a life-long interest in agriculture and the weather. He was also interested in politics and religion, and he read widely, apparently preferring biographies and the letters of great men. Gershom's interest in educating himself continued throughout his lifetime. Even after his eyesight failed as a result of diabetes, he had members of the family read to him. Gershom's interest in education caused him to give his son as good an education as was available in the United States at that time. Willard attended local schools until he was old enough to attend the excellent Wyman Classical and English High School in St. Louis. Mr. Wyman recommended that Willard obtain further education in the east, and the family chose Yale College for him to attend. Many of the letters in this collection are between father and son while Willard attended preparatory school or college. These letters inform us of a student's day-to-day life, but they also tell about the social and political life of the period, since Willard had much the same curiosity his father had. Gershom's letters to Willard are far from copies of Lord Chesterfield's but are particularly revealing in their love and concern for an only son, as well as an exasperation with what Gershom considered frivolous behavior, expenses, and waste. Willard was unlike his father in many ways, as his correspondence and diaries clearly reveal. He took an optimistic, almost romantic, view of the world, often exasperating his father with his naivete and, to Gershom, extravagant spending or tastes. Having his father's intelligence and curiosity, Willard continued the practice of self-education even while receiving the best formal education available. He grew up in Madison County, but did not remain provincial in his outlook-even though he did tend to champion the Middle West as a superior place to live. While attending school in St. Louis, he boarded with the James Smith family on Walnut Street. There he met his



future wife, Sarah Smith, the niece of the merchants James and William Smith. Sarah's parents had died when she was young and she lived with relatives. About 1845 she came to St. Louis to live with her aunt, Jane Smith Cavender, who lived next door to James Smith. Willard was somewhat shocked by Sarah's relaxed and "forward" behavior but was smitten with her from the beginning. In a very real sense he was interested in her mind, which was first rate. Sarah was educated to a greater degree than many women of that period were, and was interested in self-education also. Willard took it upon himself to help her in this endeavor, providing her with books and making suggestions as to what she should read. The Smiths were well-to-do without being rich or socially prominent. They ran a retail store on the river front of St. Louis. Later William moved to Alton, Illinois, where he established the well-known experimental farm, Elm Ridge. Robert Smith, another brother, moved early to Alton and became interested in politics, serving in the state assembly as a Democrat for several years. James remained in St. Louis until late in life and interested himself in education. He was instrumental in the founding and endowing of Smith Academy, a kind of "prep" school for Washington University. Through the Smiths, the Flaggs met a number of prominent early St. Louis families, among whom were the Conants and the Eliots. William Eliot, founder of that St. Louis family, was the minister of the Unitarian Church, which the Smiths attended. He presided at the marriage of Willard and Sarah and remained a friend throughout his life. There are some letters from Gershorn to the Smiths from the early years, but only a few are included in the following selection. Gershom provided the Smiths with farm produce for their store and for their private use. Whether the families were previously acquainted is not known, but the friendship continued. Sarah and Willard corresponded while he was at Yale, but unfortunately none of the letters survived. Sarah burned a great many letters in later life because she considered them unimportant or too personal. Willard graduated from Yale in 18 54 and returned to the farm. He and Sarah were married in 18 56 and moved in with the elder Flaggs until their own house was built nearby. Willard became active in helping set up agricultural societies and fairs almost immediately upon his return from Yale. He and his father were among the founders of the Madison County Agricultural Society, for example, and they exhibited both produce and animals at the county fairs as well as the larger one concurrently established in St. Louis. Willard wrote for agricultural journals, edited some, and was the editor of Agricultural Cyclopedia, being published in St. Louis, at the time of his death. Like his father he was willing to try new equipment and crops. He was also one of the guiding hands behind the establishment in 1867 of the Illinois Industrial College which has since grown to be the University of Illinois. As



a land grant college its main purpose originally was to help train teachers to teach better farm methods, and to train the farmers themselves; the university also taught the "mechanical arts." Willard continued to serve on the university's board of trustees until his death, except for those years when he became ineligible because of his status as a state senator. He was a trustee of McKendree College in Lebanon, Illinois, and tried to set up a library in his own area, even going to the trouble of selecting the books and providing a room in his home. This does not appear to have been one of his most successful efforts, however. Willard became interested in politics very early. The 1850s were exciting years politically since the old parties were being badly strained by the question of slavery. The Whig party finally disintegrated under that strain, but meanwhile there were a number of other parties being formed, among them the anti-slavery Liberty party, the Free Soil party, and the less ideological American party, better known as the Know-Nothings. The Know-Nothing party was more of a reaction to changing conditions than it was a true party. Its supporters, in favor of old American ways and opposed to the flood of immigrants, especially the Catholic ones, favored immigration laws that would preserve the older ethnic and religious balance. They did not take a strong stand on slavery, believing that too divisive. Willard's half-brother Volney Richmond became a member of the party in a leadership capacity and persuaded Willard to join also. Willard soon gave the party up, however, and seemed thoroughly ashamed of his association with it. Like his father, Willard was outraged by the Kansas-Nebraska Act, and he too helped to establish the new Republican party. His father was a delegate to the Bloomington convention in I 8 56, and Willard traveled throughout south-central Illinois, founding Fremont Clubs and generating interest in the new party. There are not many letters from this period since most of the family appear to have been less interested in politics than Gershom and Willard were, and those who were interested were in regular contact with each other. What we do know about this period comes from the journals that Willard and Sarah kept. There are also letters between Willard and important Republicans such as Lyman Trumbull and John Oglesby, but these date from the 1870s. Unfortunately, there are no letters from the 1850s from men such as Abraham Lincoln or Gustave Koerner. During the Civil War, Willard served as revenue collector by appointment of President Lincoln and as postmaster as his father had done. Willard seems to have had no intention of serving in the military, but he was intensely interested in the action of the local groups and served as enrolling officer for Madison County. Like his father, Willard tended to be overweight, and perhaps he was not considered healthy enough for the strenuous life of a soldier; or he might have been considered too valuable as a farmer-political leader.



Besides being a revenue collector and postmaster, Willard also served as township supervisor. In fact, it seems largely due to his influence that Madison County has the township division system. He was active in surveying and engineering work for the township, working on roads and bridges, among other tasks. After the Civil War, Willard became a part of the farmers' revolt. He became a state senator and was especially important in helping pass the so-called Granger Laws that were to curb the railroads and warehouses. He also helped form and was president of the Illinois State Farmers' Association. The party fused with the anti-monopolists group to win some victories in the early 1870s, among which was the election of judges more sympathetic to farmer interest as against "pure property rights." Willard's most important contribution to Illinois, however, was in agriculture. He was a member of several horticultural organizations, and he grew a wide variety of fruit trees and bramble fruit. He wrote widely on the subject in journals throughout the country. Since he sold fruit scions to many wholesale houses, he was probably instrumental in introducing new kinds of fruit, especially apples. He also bred and showed at fairs a relatively new breed of cattle, the Devon, which his family continued to raise for many years. The breed has apparently disappeared in modern times. Like his father, W~llard was anxious to try new methods and new crops; and like Gershom, he bought almost every new piece of farm equipment that came on the market. He was equally interested in new household inventions, buying such things as a sewing machine in 1857, a kitchen pump (as well as pumps for the barn), space heaters for their home in 18 57, and gasoline stoves and lamps before 1878. In later years, Willard did little actual work on the farm. His political and horticultural business kept him away from the farm for long periods of time. During his absence Sarah ran the farm. They hired many men but due to increased use of machinery not so many as had Gershom. Farming on the prairie was changing, but there are not many letters to indicate the changes. Again, most of the information on this subject is to be found in the journals. Willard died unexpectedly of a heart attack in 1878, leaving Sarah to run the farm and provide for their children. They had six children, only three of whom survived to maturity. Bessie, the first born, was killed in a fall at their new house at age three; Jane (Jennie) died of a childhood illness at an early age; and Willard, the first son, apparently died at birth. The surviving daughters, Isobel (Belle) and Mary, attended Mary Institute in St. Louis. Belle worked as a bookkeeper and general factotum at the Illinois Glass Works in Alton for many years and late in life married 0. M. Hatch, a long-time friend. Mary worked briefly and then married a local farmer, Edward Gillham. Norman, the only surviving son, attended Smith Academy and then Washington University in St. Louis. He taught for a short time but



returned to the family farm to follow in his father's footsteps. He did become involved in local political affairs and served in the state assembly for thirty years. He married Josephine Hehner from Warsaw, Illinois, and had several children who survive. One son, Willard, continues to run Flagg and Associates, consulting engineers, in Edwardsville, Illinois. Many of the names which appear most frequently in the letters are those of relatives through Gershom's marriage to Jane Paddock Richmond or those of his own sisters and brothers and their families. Jane's daughter Virginia married Abner Ellis and moved to Springfield, Illinois. Ellis was in business with Zimri Enos. The Ellis and Enos families corresponded and visited regularly with the Flaggs, but none of the letters have survived. Jane Paddock had several sisters, who appear in the letters to Willard as Aunt Susan, Aunt Elvira, and so on. Most of the sisters remained unmarried and lived with their mother, who seems to have continued her boarding house practice on the prairie (at least Gershom frequently referred to people staying over at Mrs. Paddock's). One sister, Julia, married Henry Riley, by whom she had two children, Mary and Henry 0. She later married Eli Blankenship, and of that union were born Martha Enos and James Paddock. Salome married Pascal P. Enos and had five children. The one brother, Orville, married Mary Bailey and had seven children. The various names appear frequently,and though the precise relationship is not always clear, it can usually be determined by context. Gershom had ten brothers and sisters, most of whom appear in the letters. Artemas, the eldest, remained in Vermont, where he farmed and held various political offices. Azariah, as was mentioned earlier, became politically prominent in New York. Mary, the fourth child, remained unmarried and moved to Rochelle, Illinois, where she lived with her brother Willard. Willard had married Mrs. Lucy Cochran Lake in 1839. After his first wife's death in 1855, he married Mrs. Maria Sitterly in 1857. Eliza Wait Flagg married Oramel Bliss, who died in 1833. She then brought her three children to Illinois in 1836, married Heman Liscum, and died in 1841. Roana Flagg married Harley H. Pierce in Vermont, after which she and her husband moved to Madison County, Illinois. Pierce died in 1843 and Roana then married Calvin Hodgeman. Semanthy Flagg married Enoch Hoadley in Vermont. After her death in 1849, her family moved to Ogle County, Illinois. Lucy Douglas married William Buell and also moved to Madison County, Illinois. The youngest brother, Thomas Wait, moved first to New York and then to Ohio, where he married Catherine Conley. The families of all of Gershom's brothers and sisters appear in letters, either represented by the brothers or sisters themselves, by their wives or husbands, or by their children. Occasionally Gershorn refers to his sister Roana as Mrs. Hodgeman, and a similarly formal tone was frequently adopted when he wrote of more distant family members. It



would appear that his relatives were often a source of annoyance to him, but that such annoyance was tempered with a deep affection. Not all of the Madison County residents in the letters have been identified. Some do not appear in census or courthouse records, possibly because of the short period of time they lived there. Also Flagg's idiosyncratic spelling of their names causes confusion. Since not all of the residents could be identified, the policy of documenting only some of the more prominent was adopted. Though the letters in the Flagg correspondence continue to 1878 this selection ends at I 8 54 because the later letters are to Willard and do not include his replies. While some are of interest, including those on the founding of the University of Illinois and on the farmers' movement of the early 1870s, this part of the collection is not very useful except to point up once more Willard's commitment to education and agriculture. Spelling and punctuation of the letters remain as found. Except for an occasional attempt to supply missing words (such attempts indicated by brackets), the texts are not emended, in order to allow Flagg's vivid, sometimes irascible, personality its most complete portrayal. Finally, the texts themselves need a brief explanation. The letters at Lovejoy Library, Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville, are all originals. Those at the Illinois Historical Survey Library, University of Illinois, are mostly typed transcripts made by Professor Solon Buck and his staff (copies of some of these letters are also housed at the Illinois State Historical Library in Springfield). The originals of these letters are missing. Twenty-four of the early letters were published earlier by Solon Buck, first in the Transactions of the Illinois State Historical Society for 1910 and then as a monograph, Pioneer Letters. Because availability of those publications is limited, those letters have also been included here. Each letter is followed by the location of the depository at which it can be found.



The Flagg Farm and Wes tern Madison County, Illinois Source: Atlas of the State of Illinois (Chicago: Union Atlas, 1876)

Dr. Ebenezer Flagg m. Elizabeth Cutting (1756-1828)





Mary Ann



Lucy Douglas

Eliza Wait


Willard Parker

Thomas Wait












Im .




Enoch Hoadly

Jane Paddock Richmond

Im .

William Buell


Heman Liscum


Calvin Hodgeman m.


Harley Pierce

Willard Cutting


Im .

Oramel Bliss

Sarah Smith

James Willard Ursula "Bliss"

Im .

James Morris



A Genealogy of the Flagg Family

Sources: Solon Buck, Pioneer Letters, and the Flagg Family Papers

Gaius Paddock m. Polly Wood



Im. Gershom Flagg




Sprout Wood



Evalina Anvil

Eli Blankenship


J Martha Enos


Im .


Im .

Mary Bailey 1

James Paddock




Sarah Smith

Henry Riley

m. Mary 0 . Henry 0 . Barney Richmond

1 Virginia



m. Victoria West

Fig. 3. A Genealogy of the Paddock Family Source: Flagg Family Papers

Josepha Foster




Charles Keemle

The Flagg Correspondence

~ Selected Letters, 1816-1854

3 1.

Gershom Flagg to Azariah C. Flagg, November

12, 1816

Springfield Champaign County Nov 12 1816 Dear Brother, I left Richmond the 23rd day of sept. and after traveling Eight Hundred & ninety miles arrived at this place the 8th inst in company with Celah Coleman. I shall stay in this vicinity probably til next April and I wish you would forward your papers to me until that time and be sure to write me as soon as you receive this letter. In comeing to this place we have had very good luck although since we came into the state of Ohio we have not traveled more than 20 miles a day the roads being built very bad-the South East part of the State is very rough it is nothing but one continued range of hills from where we came into the state of Muskingum r[i]ver and from thence we found it very level and so muddy that it was as bad as the hills. We first came to Troy then to Schenectedy up the Mohawk river to Utica though Canandaigua crossed the Gennessee river at Rochester village through Lewiston up Niagara River by the falls to Buffalo from thence we had a bad road all the way through Erie, Meadville, Mercer, New Castle & Greersburg in Pennsylvania; through New Lisbon, Cadiz, Cambridge, Zanesville, New Lancaster, Columbus which is about 60 miles to the East of line of Indiana where we calculate to go next spring if we have our healths. I find the Country as fertile as I expected. Corn grows with once hoeing and some time with out hoeing at all to 14 feet high and is well filled. Wheat is sowed where the corn is taken off and the ground plowed once over which is sufficient to bring a crop. Hogs & Cattle run in the woods in summers and in the winter are fed on Corn & prairie hay. In this vicinity are some as handsome Cattle as ever I have seen. Some men Milk 40 Cows and own from 100 to 400 head of Cattle, but these men are few. Beef & Pork is four dollars a hundred Wheat 7 5 cents a bushel and Corn & oats 25 cents a bushel. I am fully of the opinion that a man may live by farming with much less labour here than in the Eastern States but there are many things here which are very inconvenient the roads are very bad although there was never better ground for roads there is no Bridges except a few toll ones. I have crossed one Creek 9 times in going 3 miles which in high water must be impassable. There is no regulation for educating the youth by common Schools. The inhabitants are from all parts North & East of Kentucky and are the most ignorant people I ever saw. What the New England people call towns and villages they call townships & towns. I have asked many people what township they lived in & they could not tell. If you enquire for any place if it is a town they can sometimes tell if a township you will get no information


about it from one half of the people. One great difficulty in finding any place is the great number of towns and townships of the same name. There is of towns and townships 3 by the name of Concord, 6 of Fairfield, 4 of Franklin, 9 of Green, 9 of Jefferson, 11 of Madison, 7 of Salem, I I of Union, 7 of Washington, 5 of Harrison & 8 of Springfield so that great embarrassment is attendant on peoples directing letters; there is many more towns beside those I have mentioned of the same names. You will be careful therefore in sending letters to the State of Ohio to designate the County as well as the town; you will direct your letters to "Springfield Champaign County" if otherwise I may never get them. In speaking of the ignorance of the people in this state you will take notice that I have traveled in that part of the state which is inhabited by people from Pennsylvania, Maryland Virginia & Kentucky. I am pursuaded that people who come from Connecticut who are settled in the north part of the state are more enlightened. 1 There is one thing I knew not of before I came into this state that is that almost one fourth of it the North West corner belongs to the Indian and is now in their possession except some tracts about the forts of 6 and 12 miles square. 2 I saw Olmstead [?] Chamberlain and Joshua Chamberlain his Father & family at Lewiston in N Y where thay all live. I saw Frederick Day at a tavern near Niagara Falls who told me he had a wife & 3 Children & lives in the vicinity that his Father was dead and his mother and Harry living at Seneca Co N.Y. Luther Whitney is in the town of Columbus and is going to commence keeping a tavern in a few days he told me. Tell Mary that I traveled in Company with Eleeta [?] Allen who is Married to Theophilus Randall as far as the town of Murray in Gennessee County N. Y. where they expect to live. What I had almost forgotten to tell you is that I am in Good health & Spirrits and have been since I left Richmond. I have not written to our folks in Richmond yet But shall as soon as I can write the particulars of the Country which I have passed through. But if you have an opportunity to write to them & tell them that "I am pretty well as common." I have not written half what I wish [to] write & have written some things not worth writing But I hope you will Pardon my folly & ignorrance & give my love to all your family. Your Brother in Friendship &c. Gershom Flagg

[SIU-E. Addressed:] Capt. A. C. Flagg, Plattsburgh, New York

5 2.

Gershom Flagg to Artemas Flagg, January 8, 1817

Springfield Champaign County Jan 8th


Dear Brother, I once more attempt to write to you to let you know that I am in good health hopeing that these lines will find you and the rest of my friends in gooa' health. I wrote to you by mail the 17th of Nov. but have not yet received any answer from you. If you have not Recd the letter I wish you to write to me as soon as you Receive this and I will write to you again. I wrote a particular description of the Country and will write it again if you have not received that letter. I have heard from Vermont several times since I left there by people from Waterbury Bolton Montpelier &c but have not heard a word about my friends since I left that place. I am informed by people from Vermont and Massachusetts that it is very hard times in Vermont, that Bread is likely to be very scarce &c. 3 I want to hear from you very much I wish you to Write to me as often as you can conveniently and write every thing which you think worth writing respecting the situation of the times News &c. for I have a poor chance to know what our and other Governments are about. I see but few News Papers here and those not of the first rate. The Legislature of this state is now in session at Columbus but their proceedings are not very interesting. The emigration to this Country from New England and New York still continues. There has several families came into this vicinity since I came here and there is in this township a dozen young men from Vermont. There is as many people moving from here to Indiana and to Missouri. The whole movement seems to be to the Westward and when they get there they go on beyond the West ward. I have seen some families of eight or 9 children on the road some with their horses tired others out of Money &c. I believe that Many people who come to this Country are greatly disappointed. A man with a family that comes from Vermont here has to encounter great difficulties. Although Grain is cheap it will take one or two hundred dollars to get here and when he gets here his horses are poor and will not sell for more than half what they cost in vermont. If a man goes on to timbered Land he will have to buy all his provision for at least one year and there are many things which are worth but little in Vermont that cost considerable here. A Plow fit to plow the Prairie Ground will cost $20. and Rails laid up into a fence on the Prairie cost $2.25 a hundred. Salt is sold at . 75 cents or a dollar a bushel and fifty pounds are called a bushel although it is not more than half a bushel and not more than half as strong as the Rock salt. It is sold at the Works for $9.00 a barrel. There [are] other things different from what you may have an idea of. 100 pounds is called a hundred weight. They have no gross weight in any thing. Corn is always sold in the ear in this state which makes it better for those who sell. If you wish to know


whether I like the Country I must tell you that I do although it is not so good in some respects as I expected but in other respect( s] it is better but as I shall have a chance to know more about it I shall write hereafter. I am as yet at a loss to know whether it is better for a man that has a farm in Vermont to sell it and come here that is if he has a good farm. I think if I had a good farm in Vermont and was there myself I should not come here But I would advise every man who wishes to buy a farm especially if he has no family to come here although many things are very inconvenient here. Mechanics of all kinds have a good chance to make money here as Mechanical labour is most intolerable high but a young man to work on a farm will not make one cent more than enough to clothe himself as well as people dress in Vermont. But this country is settled in many places by a people whose wants are few and easely supplied. But as the Country grows older I expect that Clothing will grow cheaper and also many other things. The weather is warm and pleasant now and has been since I wrote you. We have had no snow. [It] freezes in the night and thaws in the day time. I [am] with Mr Butler and shall stay here til the flirs]t (?] of June I guess. Your friend G. Flagg [SIU-E. Addressed:] Mr. Artemas Flagg, Richmond, Vermont politeness of Mr. Hatch

Entrusted to the

3. Gershom Flagg to Artemas Flagg, June 1, 1817

Harmony Champaign Co. Ohio June 1st 1817 Dear Brother, In my letter of the 18 inst. [sic] in answer to yours of the II April I promised to give you some account of this Country. I shall in this letter confine myself to the State of Ohio. I passed through the S.E. part of the State to Zanesville which lies on the Muskingum River from thence through Columbus to this place, from where I crossed the pennsylvania line to Zanesville the Country is very uneven. We found some of the worst hills to travel up and down that I have ever seen where there was a Road. This part of the State abounds with large mines of Coal near or quite at the surface of the Earth. The soil is good for english grain being a red Clay but not so good for Grass or Corn. Generally speaking from the Muskingum to the Scioto River the land is more level the Soil more Rich the timber more Maple and beach where before we came to the Muskingum was mostly Oak and Walnut. Upon the intervales or Bottom as it is called in this country the land is immensely Rich caused by the annual inundations which are common to this Western Country.


This township (What we call towns the people here call townships and Our Villages are called towns) lies upon the head Waters of the little Miami River 70 miles from Cincinnati 50 or 60 miles from Chillocotha 15 from Urbanna 40 from Columbus 30 from Dayton and 40 miles from the Indian Boundary. More than one fifth of the N. W. Corner of this state is still in possession of the Indians. The Land except what belongs to the Indians is mostly settled that is the best of it. There is plenty of Land for sale here. There is as many wishing to sell here and go further West as in Vermont but land is very high improved land is from 4 to 25 dollars an acre. In C(hampaign] C[ ounty] the land is very level though sufficiently rolling to permit the Water to run of freely. It lies in small ridges the tips of Which are thinly covered with Black White and Burr Oak Hickory and Walnut. The lower ground is Prairie covered with Grass, Shrubs plumb bushes Crab apples thorn different kinds of Linious plants with a great variety of beautiful flowers. Some of these Prairies are large and level which look like large beds of Water in comparison of levelness. The soil of the land is Red Clay and black mould some poor land and some good. Corn grows best upon the black soil and english grain best upon the higher dryer and more Clayie soil. The soil produces Corn Wheat and most kinds of Veg[e]tables &c as well as any Country excep[t] Peas which are said to be buggy, so there is none raised here. Corn grows from IO to 15 feet high one Ear on a stalk. The ears grow very high. I have seen ears so high that I could not hang my hat upon them when standing upon the ground. Hogs will not waste the Corn when turned into it. It troubles them so much to tear down the Corn that they will not tear down more than they wish to eat up clean. After Corn is planted there is no more done to it except to plow among it and cut up the Weeds. They hill it up not at all. 2 men plant IO acres a day. Corn is always sold in the ear in th[i]s state. The ground has to be clea[ red of] the Comstock in the Spring before it can be p[loughed] by cutting them down and drawing them togethe[r] with a horse Rake. They are then burnt. The good thing[ s] in this Country are Plenty of Grain which makes large fat horses and Cattle Rich Land ready cleared, some Whiskey plenty of feed for Cattle, Plumbs, Peaches, Mellons, Deer, Wild turkies, Ducks, Rabits, quails, &c &c &C, little more Corn. The bad things are Want of Stone, Want of timber for building, Bad water, which will not Wash, overflowing of all the streams which makes it very bad building Bridges especially where the materials are scarce as they are here, Bad Roads, ignorant people, Sick Milk, 4 Sick Wheat, a plenty of Ague near the large streams Bad situation as to trade. The price of dry goods I think is about 50 or 62 ½ per cent dearer here [than] with you. Hardware Groceries and all kinds of heavy Articles are about IOO per cent dearer Rum & Brandy 4 dollars a gallon Iron 14 dollars per IOO pounds there is no grose weight here. I suspect it is different from this upon


the Ohio River the prices are current at this place. Swarms of Locusts have lately made their appearance. I shall stay here two months longer than I told you in my last and wish you to write to me immediately after receiving this letter and let your letter be a little more replenished with Political, and religious intelligence. You say Roxana Bishop is married-to Whom? You will remember in reading this letter that there is no giving a description of this country which will [be] satisfactory to yourself. Look & see for you[ r] self. [SIU-E. Addressed:] Artemas Flagg, Richmond, Vermont To be left at the post office Burlington (Vt.)

4. Gershom Flagg to Artemas Flagg, June, 1817

Harmony [MS torn] Dear Brother, I send you an extract from the Laws of the U.S. respecting the sale of Public Lands, Viz. 5 At the time of application for a quarter section of 160 acres, $16 must be paid, which holds it for 40 days: at the end of 40 days $64 more must be paid, or another person may purchase the same tract. but if no person applies for it at the end of 40 days, or between that and 90 days, the first $16 holds it for 90 days. Within 90 days the first instalment 80 dollars must be paid or it reverts to the United States: $80 second instalment must be paid in two years: $80 third instalment must be paid in three years; and the $80 fourth instalment must be paid in 4 years from the day of application; without interest if the payments are punctually made, if not draw 6 percent interest from the date of purchase. At the end of 5 years if the money is not completely paid the land is advertised and offered at publick sale and if the amount due is not bidden and paid the land reverts to the U.S. and the first purchaser loses what he has paid on it. Whatever the land sells for more than enough to satisfy the claims of the U.S. is paid over to the first purchaser. A discount of 8 per cent is allowed on the 2d, 3d, & 4th installments if paid down which will bring the cost of 160 acres to $262.40 which is $1.64 per acre. If the payments are let run on interest to the end of 5 years 160 acres amounts to $392. which is $2.45 per acre. It is to be understood, however, that when a district is first offered for sale it is offered to the highest bider Notice of which sale is given by a Proclamation by the President of the U.S. All that does not sell for over two dollars an acre is offered for sale at the Land office at 2 dollars an acre as above stated. I send you this. information that you may no [sic] upon what conditions land can be obtained in this country for the laws are the same respecting all the


lands belonging to the U.S. I tho't probable you might not have seen these Laws. There is not much Congress Land 6 for sale in the State. There is about a Million and a half of Acres in the District of Cincinnati but ther[e] is a plenty in the Indiana, Illinois and Missouri, condition as above. You [ask the price at which] the land first sold for here and the price [which it now] sells. There is some profit in buying new land in this Country but this is not all. There is much to be made in raising cattle in this country. The cattle are now fat fit for Beef. 4 or 5 hundred head lately left this county for Green Bay which lies upon the West side of Lake Michigan. 7 There is most excellent feed for cattle here I have seen a hundred head together and some men in this country own 4 or 5 hundred head and as good cattle as every you see. Some Milk 30 or 40 cows these are New england people. The country people never make any Cheese which makes cheese in this country the same price of Butter. One thing in which I was very much disappointed ought not to be forgotten that is Hogs in this Country are the meanest I have ever seen. When I first came here I tho't by the looks of the hogs that I had got to the place where roasted pigs run about the lots for they are crumped up and are Brown sandy colour--it is true Pork in this country costs nothing and the way it is raised it is good for nothing. I do not believe you ever see half so mean hogs as we have here. I wrote to you the 17 or 18 Dec last the IO Jan. the 18 May in answer to yours of the 11 April also 1st June. I have been censured by those in whose presence I read my letter of the first June, of representing things in a worse light than I ought particularly in my mentioning Sick Wheat and Milk which they say never ought to hender any person from coming to this country. I think so myself. I did not mention this or any thing else to hender or discourage any one from coming here but to make you cautious where you bought land in case you did come. I have not seen any sick Milk or sick Wheat but I [have] converssed [with several different] gentlemen who tell [me] that s[ick wheat is found in some] places & more particular upon the river Bottoms or intervale. The wheat can be told from other wheat it being of a redish cast. Sick Milk is said to be caused by the cows eating a particular herb or plant but it is not ascertained what this herb is it however grows only in timbered land. The climate of this country is not so mild as has been represented. People who have lived in this country however for several years say that this country has grown worse as much as Vermont has. We had three Weeks good sleding last winter. The ground was Frozen from the 10th Jan. to the IO March. Before and after that time we had cold nights which froze considerable and warm days which thawed the ground again. This is not a comfortable place in the Winter it is not very cold but Rain & Mud and high Creeks in the fall and spring make it worse than it is in the middle of Winter. The


time for Pla[n]ting corn here is the month of May if it [is] planted earlyer it is croped by the May frost generally. We had a severe frost the 20 & 21 of May last but it did no injury in this county. If Corn is planted in June it will not get ripe generally. There has been frost here every month the year past. But I fear I shal weary your patience, perhaps you will find some information in a letter from James Butler Esq to Samuel Martin of Richmond dated June 4. Write to me at Springfield C.C. If I should leave this place before a letter arrives it will be sent on to me by James Butler Esq. with whom I shall have communication. Give my respects to all my acquaintance. My parents and Brothers & Sisters will any or either of them oblige me by writing to me. I have heard nothing as yet from Our Uncle G Flaggs family. I remain your affectionate Brother Gershom Flagg [On reverse:] I wish the News Papers & other papers which I left may be preserved. [SIU-E. Addressed:] Mr. Artemas Flagg, Richmond, Vermont, To be left at the Post-Office in Burlington, state of Vermont

5. Gershom Flagg to Azariah C . Flagg, August 3, 1817


August 3d


Dear Brother, I recd your letter of the 6th January on the 8th March but have delayed writing to you (not having any thing in particular to communicate), till the present time. I wrote two letters to Artemas the one in Dec. last and the other in Jan. On the 13th of May I recd a letter from him informing me that he had not recd any letter from me. I cannot account for their miscarriage. I Recd your Papers very regular during the winter. I have wrote several letters to Artemas since I recd his of the 11th of April. I came to this place the first of last month. Cincinnati is an incorporated City. It is situated on the bank of the Ohio river opposite the mouth of Licking river which has Newport on the East and Covington on the West side of the river both towns being in plain sight of Cincinnati. The River Ohio is here about half a mile in width. Cincinnati is 23 miles from the Mouth of the Great Miami river. It contained · in 1815, 1, 100 buildings of different descriptions among which are above 20 of Stone 250 of brick & 800 of Wood. The population in 1815 was 6,500. There are about 60 Mercantile stores several of which are wholesale. Here are a great share of Mechanics of all kinds. Among the Publick buildings are three Brick Meeting houses one of Wood a large Lancasterian school house built of Brick. 8 Within two weeks after opening the school it is said that upwards of 400 schollars were admited. The building is now calculated to


accommodate 1000. There is an Elegant Brick Court House now buildin_g and almost finished. There are two large and elegant Market Houses built of Brick one of which is 300 feet in length. Here is one Woolen Factory four Cotton factories but not now in operation. A stupendously large building of Stone is likewise erected immediately on the bank of the River for a steam Mill. It is nine stories high at the Waters edge & is 87 by 62 feet. It drives four pairs of Stones besides various other Machinery as Wool carding &c &c. There is also a valuabl Steam Saw Mill driving four saws also an inclined Wheel ox Saw Mill with two saws, one Glass Factory. The town is Rapidly increasing in Wealth & population. Here is a Branch of the United States Bank9 and three other banks & two Printing offices. The country around is rich & I think I never saw as fine crops of Wheat in any other place as between the great & little miami's. We have a planty of good ripe apples pairs plumbs &c with all kinds of Vegetables in Market. Corn is fit to Roast. The weathe[r] is not warmer here than I have experienced in Vermont but I do not think this is a healthy place the Water is very unwholesome. I shall leave this place in a few days and go down the River. I calculate to go directly to St. Louis in the Territory of Missouri at which place I wish you would direct your letter I desire that you would write to me as soon as you receive this. The reason why I have determined on going to St. Louis is because the Land upon the Wabash that belongs to the U.S. is mostly taken up. The greatest part of the State of Indiana is owned by the Indians. I intend to go on to the Military Bounty Lands. I think probable there may be some of these Lands to be bought cheap in New England & New York. I wish you would write if you know of any to be bought and what they can be bought for. I am told that these Lands are to be laid out in as good a part of the country as any in the U.S. but of this I shall know better when I see it. Land is much higher in this country than I expected and I think if you have plenty of Money you could not perhaps lay it out to better advantage than buying the Patents of those who wish to sell their lands. I have no doubt there are many who will never think of coming to look of their land because they think it is almost out of the world but I am certain the country of the Illinois & Missouri is well situated and will shortly become a Rich country when it is settled and it is now settling very fast. If you know of any to be bought in your vicinity I wish you would write to me what a quarter Section can be bought for not however that I would recommend it to you to buy any until I have seen the Land unless you get it very cheap. I am Well at present and have been except 3 or 4 days ever since I left Vermont. I feel myself under the greatest obligation to you for the many favors you have been pleased to bestow upon me and for your offering to forward me money if I should be in want thereof &c. I have a plenty at present for me. I wish you to write to me often and tel Mary to write for it is


a great satisfaction to hear from my friends. That you may all be prospered in the world is the anxious wish of your affectionate Brother Gershom Flagg AC Flagg Plattsburgh NY [SIU-E. Addressed:] Azariah C. Flagg, Plattsburgh, New York

6. Gershom Flagg to Azariah C. Flagg, December 7, 1817 St. Louis

Dec. 7th 1817

Dear Brother, your letter of the 14 sept I Recd at this place the 18 ultimo, the day I arrived at the place having been detained at Cincinnati until the 19 oct. longer than I intended to collect money which was due me at that place. I took water at Cincinnati in a small flat boat with a Roof to it. We floated to the mouth of the Ohio then put our trunks on board a keel boat bound to this place & walked 174 miles the distance from the mouth of the Ohio to this place. From Cincinnati to the mouth is 600 miles making a journey of 774 miles. This town is in Lat. 38° 39 1 situated on a high bank on the west of the Missisipi fifteen miles below the mouth of the Missouri & 40 miles below the mouth of the Illinois River. The shore is lined with lime Stones and many of the houses are built of this material. The country for several miles back of St. Louis is Prairie handsome & dry & uncultivated. The town contains about 300[0] inhabitants one half French and the other Americans. It has been settled a long time but did not thrive until lately it is now flourishing about one hundred houses have been built the past season, several of Brick. Here are two printing offices & two Banks a steam saw mill is building on the bank of the River. The country around is settling very fast & I think this will become a place of great business although it now does not exhibit a very handsome appearance the streets being narrow and the houses inelegant. It contains however about 30 stores. Every thing sells high. Wheat $1 .oo per bushel Corn fifty cents & oats the same & Potatoes do [ditto] Beef from 4 to 6 dollars per hundred Pork do. Board from $3. 50 to $6.oo per week horse keeping $4 per week. Labour is 20 dollars per month or one doll per day & boarded. Brick ten dollars a thousand & boards sell quick at the enormous sum of 60 to 75 dollars per thousand feet house rent from IO to 30 dollars a month town lots sell from 500 to 3000 dollars. I should have ansered your letter before if I had had an opportunity but the mail did not arrive for three weeks past until the 28 Nov. at which time I was absent in Illinois Territory. The mail is very irregular the country below here being often overflowed. At the same time I recd your letter I recd one from

13 Artemas of the same date of yours. I also recd one from my Mother on the 4 inst. dated oct 8 which stated that Artemas was married &c. It gives me pleasure to hear of your prosperity & I am much pleased with the addition you have made to your Library, I think if I could have an opportunity to peruse your Library it would be time well spent but at present I have no opportunities of gaining much knowledge of the Sciences except Geography. I am pleased with this Country it is the Richest and most handsomely situated of any I have ever seen. I have not seen the Military bounty Lands nor can I get business of surveying at present. The surveyor Genl. informs me that 3½ million acres have been surveyed N . W. of the Illinois River & that ½ million is to be surveyed N. [MS torn] of the Missouri River & 2 Millions between [the] Rivers Arkansas & St. Francis. If [you sh]ould purchase any Patents let them [be] in the Illinois Territory for the Missouri is not so good. I know the Law respecting the Military bounty lands & you will recollect that when I wrote you on the subject the Pattents were not & could not be issued & I did not suppose the Land would be drawn so soon as was advertised the 25 sept. which was the reason I wished you to wait until I had seen the Land For I tho't there was not a good chance to purchase before the Patents were issued. I am told by the Surveyors that the Land is Rich handsome & well watered but poorly timbered. I am not anxious about your purchasing any for I do not expect it will be settled soon & if it does not the land will not be so valuable as otherwise it would be. I am told that one half of the Lands are Prairie and the other timbered. The timbered Land will be very valuable and the Prairie the reverse so that it is like a Lottery you have about an equal chance to draw a great prize & it must be some prize because the land is to be fit for cultivation. Some say that the Prairie that has no timber upon it will be returned unfit for cultivation to the General Land Office but I think this will not be the case. If you purchase any you will be good enough to let me know the No. &c as soon as convenient. I have located 264 acres of land in the Illinois Territory 26 miles from this place & about ten from the Mouth of the Missouri River about half of it is Rich dry Prairie & the Remainder timbered with Oak Hickory Elm Walnut &c. I shall stay in St. Louis this winter & how much longer I know not. I am in good health & Remain your affectionat[e] Brothe[r] My love to my Sister &c. Gershom Flagg A. C. Flagg [SIU-E. Addressed:] A. C . Flagg, Plattsburgh, New York

14 7. Gershom Flagg to Dr. & Mrs. Ebenezer Flagg, February 1, 1818

St. Louis (Mri. Ter.) 1st. Feb. 1818 Respected Parents, I have received too much of your kindness to suppose you are indifferent as to my welfare. I have the pleasure to inform you that I am in perfect health & have enjoyed my health since I left you most of the time. I was sick a few days in Cincinnati & again going down the Ohio River But I enjoy my health better now, than when I left Vermont. I left Vermont you will recollect the 23d sept. 1816---arrived at Springfield C.C. (0) the 8 of Nov. & as Mr Coleman would not proceede any farther I concluded it would be better not to proceede alone as the season was so far advanced & money not so flush with me as I could have wished. I intended to have proceeded on my Journey in April or may but I could get no one to accompany me & people who had been in this country told me that I ought not to come into it in the Spring if I did they said I should be likely to get Sick. Upon these considerations I agreed to stay in Cincinnati until the last of Sept at which time a young man, formerly from Montpelier Vermont, agreed to go with me. But by some disappointments we did not get off until the 19th of Oct. We bought a flat boat with a covering to it and floated down the River after laying in a sufficient quantity of Provisions. We had a very good passage But got tossed about some at the falls of the Ohio opposite Louisville about which the large boats & Steam Boats cannot pass except in the Spring or fall when the waters rise to 30 or 40 feet. It is a very dismal looking place after we pass the mouth of the wabash the banks of the River being generally unsettled & covered with willows, cane breaks, & Prodigious large Cotton wo[o]d, a species of the Poplar. The water overflows for several weeks at the junction of the Ohio & Mississippi Rivers the depth of 15 or 20 feet. When we got to the mouth of the Ohio we put our trunks & chests on board a keel Boat bound to this place and walked on foot ourselves a distance of 17 4 miles. A great part of the way we had very wet muddy walking & some of the way had to wade in the water. We arrived at this place the 18th of Nov. I have traveled since I left Vermont 1794 miles-from Richmond to Springfield C. C. Ohio is 900 from thence to Cincinnati is 75 thence to the mouth of the Ohio by water 645 thence to st. louis 174 miles from Cincinnati to this place by land is about 400 miles which would make it by land 1375 miles & I suppose it is about 1300 miles the nearest road that can be traveled. It is about 12 50 miles in a direct line as I calculate from the Lat. & Longitude of the places. This being in Lat.38° 18 1 & Long. 12° 41 1 W. and Richmond Vt. in Lat 44° 24' N & Long 4° 13 1 E from Washington. I have entered 264 a[cres of] Land 25 miles from this place [&] IO or 12 from [the] mouth of the Missouri River Part Prairie and part timbered land. I have not much to write

15 to you respecting the Country but I will only say that it is the handsomest and best country that I have ever seen. In places there is Pariries as far as the eye can reach covereth with tall grass higher than a mans head. The Climate is mild we have had but little snow here this winter the River is not frozen but is full of floating Ice. Although the distance between us is very lon[g] yet my affections for you & My brothers & Sisters is still the same. I hope you will not neglect the education of my two younger Brothers an education is the best thing you can give them. Give my love to them and all my Brothers & Sisters & friends & may peace & health attend you all. Gershom Flagg Dear Mother, With the greatest pleasure I Recd your kind favor of the 8 Oct, on the 1st Dec. It gives me pleasure to hear from my friends so I hope you will write often. I also Recd letters from Artemas & Azariah on [my arr]ival at this place. Both were dated sept 14th but did not mention that Artemas was Married which your [letter states] took place two days before the date of the letter. You [will] please to give my love to my new sister & tell her as she is now become a connexion she will do me a favor by writing to me especially as my sisters do not. I am placed in such a situation that I have to write more than I receive I have to write to several in the state of Ohio respecting this country for altho' you say the Ohio feever is abated in Vermont-the Missouri & Illinois feever Rages greatly in Ohio, Kentucky & Tennessee and carries off thousand[s]. When I got to Ohio, Ohio feever had began to ·t urn but I soon caught the Missouri feever which is very catchin and carried me off I think most probably that I shall return if my life & health is spared a year from next spring but it is very uncertain whether I stay in that country. Surely nothing except my friends would tempt me ever to se[e] Vermont again. I hope you will pardon me for not writing sooner as I have been so much engaged that I could not. G. Flagg [In margin:] I have enclosed my profile taken by an Italian at Cincinnati. [SIU-E. Addressed:] Doct Ebenezer Flagg, Burlington, Vermont


Gershom Flagg to Artemas Flagg, September 12, 1818

Edwardsville Madison County, Illinois Territory, 12 Sept. 1818 Dear Brother, Your letter of the 31st May mailed June 8 I received the 23d July which informed me that you were all well at the time. May this continue [to] be your good fortune and may these line reach you as they leave me in good health. As you may wish to know something of the Country in which I live I


will write a few lines respecting it. 10 The Territory of Illinois contains nearly all that part of the United States Territory east of the Mississippi and N. W. of the Ohio & Wabash Rivers. The late law of Congress enabling the people to form a Constitution & State Government makes the boundaries on the S & W Ohio & Mississippi Rivers on the East Indiana State N by 42° 30 1 Lat. The conjunction of the Ohio & Mississippi Rivers is in Lat. 37° N so that this Territory is 3 50 Miles in length. 11 The face of the Country is very level without any mountains and but few hills. It is not exceeded by levelness [or] richness of soil by any in the United States. The prairies are very large while the timbered land is confined almost wholly to the intervales and low rounds. Where ever the land is high and dry enough for the fire to run in the spring & fall the timber is all destroyed. The Soil is of such an alluvial nature that the water courses cut out deep chanels from 8 to 20 feet deep generally. Where this is the case the streams do not overflow. We have all kinds of soil from midling poor to the very best. It produces corn & Wheat better than any other Country I have seen. It also produces hemp, flax, Mellons, Sweet potatoes, Turnips & all kinds of vegetables except for Irish potatoes as good as any other Country. Cotton is raised sufficient for domestic use a very small piece of ground produces enough for a family. We have plenty of Apples Peaches &c in places. Grapes &c of several kinds and several kinds of Wild plumbs & Cherries in profusion also Dew Berries Black berries Strawberries. The bottom Prairies are covered with Weeds of different kinds and grass about 8 feet high. The high Prairies are also thickly covered with grass but finer & not so tall. The Prairies are continually covered (in the summer season) with wild flowers of all colors which gives them a very handsome appearance. These high Prairies are smoother than any intervale & not a· stone, log, or anything but grass & weeds to be seen for miles excep where they border the timber there is generally a thicket of plumb bushes, hazel grape vines &c &c. The roots of the grass are very tough it generally requires 3 yoke of Oxen or six horses to plough up the prairies & the plough must be kept at a keen edge by filing often, the steel not being hardened up, but this is all that is done excep fencing to raise a crop. After one year the ground is mellow and requires but a light team to plow it. The Timber in this Country is very different from any you have seen. The most common timber is White Black Spanish post Chincopin Pin and Burr Oak, Walnut Elder Honey locust Mulberry Crab Apple Thorn of different kinds Red-bud, pecon Hackberry Maple Cotton Wood Pawpaw which bears a fruit larger than an apple. The timber is not so good as I have seen, generally the fire kills & checks the timber every year. When the fire gets into high thick grass it goes faster then a horse can Run & burns the Prairie smooth.


The situation of this Territory is good for trade having the advantag~ of Water carriage on all sides of the Missisipi on the West the Ohio & Wabash S.E. & the Kaskaskia and Illinois in the interior of the Territory. The Illinois which is about 400 miles in length heads near Lake Michigan. A branch of the Illinois heads within 4 miles of the head of Chicago a short River which empties into Lake michgon. In fresh( e]ts boats pass this portage the waters being connected. They are made shallow for the purpose. I have seen them at St. Louis landing. I think there will be a canall cut to connect the waters of the Illinois & Chicago at no distant period. 12 From information the expense would not be great. One hundred thousand acres of Land is appropriated for this purpose. This done we have a water communication from almost any part of the Territory to the states of Indiana Ohio & Pennsylvania on either side of those stat(e]s. Also with New York by way of Lake Erie & an easy Communication with the Ocean by way of New Orleans. One steam Boat Run from St. Louis to Louisville Kentucky the last season and another from St. Louis to New Orleans. One of them recently came up to St. Louis the 1st January last and returned but the Ice generally covers the River in January & February that is drifting ice, for the Missisipi was not shut over last winter at St. Louis tho' It sometimes is. The Missouri was frozen over last winter. There are 8 or IO steam boats on the Ohio and Missisipi Rivers and more building there was two built in Cincinnati last summer & one at the Rising Sun (Indiana] and one at New Albany below the falls of Ohio. The Trade from St. Louis to Orleans is very considerable there are in St. Louis between 40 & 50 mercantile Stores. We have a great plenty of Deer Turkies Wolves Opossoms Prairie hens Eagles Turky Buzzards Swans Geese ducks Brant Sand hill Cranes, Parokites &c with many other small Animals & birds. Gray squirrels are as thick here as I have ever seen Stripeid ones in Vermont. There is more honey here in this Territory I suppose than in any other place in the world, I have heard the Hunters say that they have found 8 or IO swarms in a day on the St. Gama [Sangamon] & Illinois Rivers where there are no settlements (Truly this must be the Land of Milk & honey.) The Climate is not so hot as might be expected there is almost a continual breeze blowing from the large prairies like the breezes on large Lakes & ponds. The country is so open that it is considerable cold in Winter the ground freezes very hard There being generally but little snow. The past summer has been very hot more than common I am told. The Thermometer on the hottest day stood at 98°. I learn from the News Papers that the Weather has been very hot in different parts of the United States. The Stock of this country consists principally of horses horned Cattle & hogs. Sheep will do very well here if they can be kept from the Wolves but this cannot well be done in the newsettled parts the wolves are so very

18 numerous. Hogs will live & get fat in the Woods and Prairies. I have seen some as fat upon Hickorynuts, Acorns, Pecons & Walnuts, as ever I did those that were fated upon Corn. All that prevents this country being as full of Wild hogs as Deer is the Wolves which kill the pigs when the sows are not shut up until the pigs are a few weeks old. There are places in this Territory where Cattle & horses will live all winter & be in good order without feeding, that is upon the Rivers. Most of the people cut no hay for their Cattle & horses but this is a foolish way of theirs they either have to feed out their Corn or their Cattle get very poor. Cattle & horses do very well in this Country they get very fat by the middle of June. They do not gain much after this being so harassed by swarms of flies which prevent their feeding any in the heat of the day. They are so bad upon horses that it is almost impossible to travel from the 15 June til the 1st Sept unles a horse is covered with blankets. Where ever a fly lights upon a horse a drop of blood starts. I have seen white horses red with Blood that these flies had drawn out of him. As the Country becomes settled these flies disappear. It appears from the returns to the secretary that there is in this Territory upwards of 40,000 inhabitants. ' 3 The Convention which met the first mondy in August have formed a Constitution but it is not yet published as soon as it is I will send you a Copy. The Gov. is to be Chosen for 4 years as also the senate the members of the lower house are chosen once in two years the Legislature to set bienally. I have delayed writing for several days to hear whether Simeon Manuel was in St. Louis but can hear nothing of him. P. P . Enos formerly of Woodstock Vermont now lives in St. Louis and he tells me he knows no such man there. William S. Wait Son of Thomas B. Wait of Boston Mass . was in this Territory last March and bought 2500 Acres of Land & told me he should return to this Country to live. Jason Chamberlain from Burlington lives at Cape Gerardeau a small Town on the West Bank of Missisipi about 120 miles below St. Louis. I saw his wife when I was coming up the River but he was gone to Arkansaw on business. Charles Peck who once lived with Moses Spencer now lives 18 miles from the Mouth of the Missouri, his Brother a blacksmith lives at the same place. You mention that Stephen Hallock had gone to Darby Creek Ohio. I have also heard that Gideon Wright was there. I have been there myself. That part of the country is entirely level very Rich and in the spring covered with water. Darby Creek is a branch of the Scioto River. The 26 April I Recd a letter from you dated 6 July 1817 and post marked Hubbardton July 9th having been 9 months & 17 days on the way having been mislaid as I suppose. You have been very particular in you [r] letters which has given me much satisfaction but you still complain of you[ r] inability to write I wish you would not try to excuse yourself from wr[i]ting on


that head but write as often as you can get time for I have money enougJa to pay the Postage and it never goes more freely than to hear from my friends and nothing gives me more satisfaction than reading your letters. I have not been able to get any employment in surveying The Lands having been principally surveyed in the winter of 1816-17. There was then upwards of 80 Companies employed upwards of 4 months. They surveyed the Military Bounty Lands and most of the other Lands where the Indian title was extinguished, 3½ Millions of Acres of bounty Lands were survd between the Missisipi and Illinois rivers. There is now considerable surveying to be done but the Surveyor General, Rector, 14 has so many connections that are Surveyors that it is not possible for a stranger to get any Contract of importance. Government Gives 3 dollars a mile for surveying all publick lands. Some who are not Surveyors (but favorites) make Contracts for surveying and then hire it done. I was offered 2 5 dollars a month last winter to go with another sureyor but did not choose to go under a man who did not know as much as I did myself. I entered 420 Acres of Land near this place about 2 5 miles from St. Louis and IO or 12 from the Mouth of the Illinois nearly in Lat. 38° 30 1 North I now own only 160 Acres haveing sold the remainder for $285. dollars being double what I gave for it. The quarter Section which I now own is on the trail1 5 which leads from Edwardsville to fort Clark which is at the south end of Illinois Lake a dilation of the Illinois River 210 miles from its mouth following its meanderings. This fort was built in the time of the Late War. This with the forts at Chicago and fox River which empties into green bay, Macinau, Prairie des Chien and fort Edwards on the Missisipi below the mouth of Rock River serve to regulate the Indian trade and protect the Frontier from the savages. The United States have also garisons upon Red River Arkensaw and Missouri Rivers. The people of This Territory are from all parts of the United States & do the least work I believe of any people in the world. Their principal business is hunting deer, horses hogs and Cattle and raising Corn. They have no pasture but turn every thing out to run at large and when they want to use a horse or oxen they will have to travel half a dozen miles to find them through grass and woods higher than a man can reach when on horse back and the grass and vines are so rough that nothing but their Leather hunting shirts and trowsers will stand any Chance at all. These kind of People as soon as the settlements become thick Clear out and go further into the new Country. The method of Raising Corn here is to plough the ground once then furrow it both ways and plant the Corn 4 feet each way and plow between it 3 or 4 times in the Summer but never hoe it ·a t all. Wheat is generally sowed among the Corn and ploughed in sometime in August or first sept. There are no barns in this Country people stack all their


Wheat and thresh it out with horses on the ground. We have not many good mills in this Country. The price of Corn last harvest was 33½ cents in the spring 50 cents in the summer 75 cents Potatoes are from 50 to 100 cents a bushel oats 50 cents and Wheat one dollar Beef from 3½ to 5 dollars per hundred Pork from 4 to 7 dollars a hundred. Dry goods are getting very Cheap the country is full of them we have more merchants than any thing else. Boots and Shoes sell the highest here of any place I was ever in Iron is 75 dollars a hundred salt 3 dollars a bushel Butter from 12½ to 50 cents a pound Cheese generally brings 25 cents and very little to be had at that price for there is none made except by Eastern people. The price of improved farms here is from 5 to 12 dollars an acre. As soon as you Receive this I wish you to write to me. As soon as I can make it any way convenient I int[ end] to come and see you all for I bel[ieve] you [MS torn] and the rest of the young men [in the] vicinity [can] not leave your mothers long [enough] to come [here]. I think I shall go by the way of New Orleans and New York or Boston It being the easiest and cheapest route to go from here to Vermont. Give my love to all my friends. By your letter I learn that you are all [MS torn] married I expect in about IO or 15 years when you have about a dozen Children each you will begin to think about moveing to the westward. I have seen more old than young men moveing. If you have any Idea of ever seeing the Western Country you never will have a better time than the present but if you are contented there you can live as well there as here. I send you my best wishes my respects to my Parents and remain your affectionat[ e] Bro the[ r] for ever Gershom Flagg A Flagg [SIU-E. Addressed:] Artemas Flagg, Hinesburg, Vermont

9. Gershom Flagg to John Johnson, February 6, 1819

Edwardsville (Illinois)

6th Feb


Dear Sir, I with pleasure embrace this opportunity to inform you that I am well, together with some other things which from your natural sociability, may not perhaps be altogether uninteresting. When I left Vermont my intention was to have traveled to the Wabash & no further; but when I got near the western part of the State of Ohio the young man who was in company with me refused to go any further and rather than proceed alone I concluded to Winter there and did not leave Cincinnati (at which place I stayed three


months) until Oct. 1817. While in the State of Ohio I gained such infoli11lation from Travelers as convinced me that I should be more likely to get into the employment of surveying in this Country than Indiana. I therefore formed a resolution to go to St. Louis where the Surveyor General of both Territories keeps his Office. I took water at Cincinnati in a family Boat accompanied by a young man formerly from Vermont and floated down the River to the Mississipi which I must here observe is the most dismal looking place that I ever saw. For several miles above the conjunction of these Rivers there are no settlements-the land is low and covered with heavy timber & the shores are lined with Willows. The point of land between the two Rivers is covered with water fifteen feet in depth for several weeks in each year. Where the two Rivers meet the Ohio appears as large as the Mississippi. From the Mouth of the Ohio we traveled on foot to St. Louis 170 miles up the Mississippi. I could get no employment surveying the greater part of the land to which the Indian Title was extinguished having been surveyed in the winter of 1816-17. Upwards of eighty Companies of Surveyors were employed for more than four months. Of what now remains to be surveyed there is not much chance for a stranger to get a contract; for one who has been employed is prefered to one who has not; and there are more surveyors , I believe in these two Territories, than in all the rest of the United States, and to add to this the Surveyor General has three or four Brothers with 15 or 20 other connection all surveyors. I have 160 Acres of Land in this County ten miles east of the mouth of the Missouri River and have been farming almost a year. The prospect of the farmer is as good here as in any other Country. The Soil is as good as any in the United States for any kind of Grain and produces very good Cotton. 50 bushels of Wheat is said to have been taken off one Acre of Ground in one season. The price of Wheat is one dollar per. bushel. Corn & oats 50 cents each, sweet & Irish potatoes from 50 cents to a dollar. Pork from 5 to 6 dollars, Beef from 4 to 6 dollars per hundred pounds, Butter & Cheese from 20 cents to 50 cents a pound & scarce. The principal objection I have to this Country is its unhealthiness the months of Aug. & Sept. are generally very Sickly. I was taken sick with the feever & ague the 15 Sept. which lasted me nearly two months. I shall try it one season more and if I do not have my health better than I have the season past I shall sell my property and leave the Country. The summer past has been very hot and dry in the month of August the Thermometr stood at 98°. We have had but very little Rain or snow the past fall. We have not seen a single flake of snow since the 5th of January nor but very little ice. For three weeks past there has scarcely been a frost and the Bees (which are very plenty) have been daily at work [Wild?] Geese have been flying to the north for ten days in la[rge number]s. Grass has grown 3 or 4 inches, the Birds are singing and in [truth?] every thing looks like spring season. John Messenger 16


lives in St. Clair County near Belville in this state 15 miles east of St. Louis. He was a member of the convention which formed the Constitution of this State. He is very much esteemed by the people. I understand he is now surveying 20 or 30 miles north of this, I have not seen him but soon shall. I have understood that you were appointed the surveyor to run the line between Canada and the united States. My Brother wrote that you was then absent on that business which was the reason I did not write to you immediately after my arrival in St. Louis. From the length of the line to be run together with the difficulty of finding it; particularly that part which follows the high lands as described by the Treaty, I think it will require a considerable length of time. I much regret not having had an opportunity to go with you as I should have thereby gained much practical knowledge. I wish to know what progress you have made in that arduous task. I have seen an extract from a Montreal paper which says that the Fort built at Rouse's point is North of the 45 Lat. 17 I wish to know if you have run the line as far as that-and which side the Fort is on &c. I should be very much gratified if you would write to me as often as your avocations will permit and in particular I wish you to write me as soon as you receive this. If [MS torn] sman Cummings is in Burlington give him my [MS torn] please. The reason I have not written to him [is I have ?] seen no place where I thot he could do better [than in] Burlington. With much respect and friendship to yourself, family and friends and wishing you all prosperity I remain your humble servant Gershom Flagg [SIU-E]


John Johnson to Gershom Flagg, March

20, 1819

Burlington March 20th 1819 Dear Sir, Yours of the 6 Feb was recd 3 days ago and is now before me. I had long and anxiously waited and almost given up hearing from you, and am glad that you at last recollected your parting promise. The perusal of your letter is doubly interesting by giving me some account of a portion of the United States rising fast into consequence, and also giving me an account of your own welfare and prosperity. You do not state as some have done that you made a fortune almost on your arrival, or, that you found one already made! neither do you tell me that all the necessaries as well as the luxuries of life grow in spontaneous profusion. yet your description of the country appears reasonable and I presume is true. The information I have

23 had from Illinois has always given me a favorable opm1on of it, and 1 the Climate must be tolerably congenial to people form this part of the country. You speak of sickness in the months of August and September and possibly it may be more so there than here, but no place is excluded from disease and death, and in the early settlement of this part of the Country the fever and Ague was very prevalent and affiicting but now is scarcely known. I had six months of it in one season, and have been so fortunate as never to have a return of it, though I have been frequently affiicted with sickness of other descriptions. As it respects property and fame, those who acquire them quick may retain them, but a man who proceeds by slow and sure degrees and pursues with care stability and honest intentions the path, which from the exigencies of the times, appears most eligible and recollects his duty to his Country and to Society as well as to himself will generally succeed best in this world, and as I am not a divine I will not attempt in this short epistle to enter the fields of the next. I shall not be able to give you a very full description of what has transpired in this part of the Country during your absence and presume the information which you must have had will render it unnecessary. I will however state that our winter when compared with the Climate has been much like yours, we had no snow, or none to speak of, until the 6th March since which we have had a plenty, and the Lake froze over about the IO or 12th (later than was ever before known). You mention the heat oflast summer and the small quantity of rain during the summer, fall and winter, and the same may be remarked here and the thermometer was as high as with you; but where I was about 600 miles to the N.E. the season was very rainy though not very cold. Deaths within a year or two past, towit. Old Mrs. Barber, Peter Crane and Henry Fay all of Richmond. Col Giles Chittenden of Williston, Mrs Englesby and Dani Hurlbut Junr of Burlington-Mrs Englesby was his 3d wife and only daughter of Dr Pomeroy-The Chittenden family except Martin are very much reduced as to prosperity. 18 You will expect some account of my business of surveying between the British Province and the United States-we commenced in 1817 at the head of the St Croix River at 45° 56' NL. and about 67-y 54' West L. and continued from thence due north to 48° r' NL. where we found waters emptying into the St Lawrence River also took surveys of various Rivers particularly the St John which is the largest River except the St Lawrence in the Northern Part. We also formed triangles on the tops of certain mountains advantageously situated by which we obtained a good general view of a large portion of County not before explored, and though the land is tolerably good, yet from its Northern situation is not very interesting. You ask respecting the fort at Rouses Point. I can only say that the astronomers who were appointed by the two Governments to take observations at that point wil not report 'til May and consequently that nothing is


yet known of it only that the line will go near it either on one side or the other. Since attending to the Surveying business I have procurred many Books and Instruments as well as for Astronomical Purposes as common Surveying and should have been much pleased with your assistance in using them. We have also improved in drawing Maps so that those drawn in my Office this winter are not inferior to good plate. You mention my old Friend John Messinger in your vicinity and I hope you will loose no time in forming an acquaintance with him, and you will present him my most friendly respects and good wishes. He has long been in that Country, has, I am informed, secured a good degree of influence and may be of use to you. I have written 2 or 3 letters to Mr [Messinger] but know not that any have reached him, having received no answer. Should be very glad to keep up a correspondence with him and you, and hope you will [not] fail of attending to it and request him to do also. The Situation, Climate, Soil, Produce, Animals, Vegetables, Mill seats, Navigation, trade, Manufactories, population Politics &c, will all be very interesting to me and may be the subject of many long letters. Many other curiosities may also be included. Very respectfully yours, John Johnson [U of I]


Gershom Flagg to Azariah C. Flagg, June

12, 1819

Edwardsville (Ill.) June 12th 1819 Dear Brother, I Recd a letter from you by Messers Sweatland & Walworth last october but was then sick with the ague and did not answer it until winter. I wrote to have you send your Paper to this place instead of St. Louis. I have not heard a word from you since the letter above mentioned and have not Recd any paper of yours of later date than 28 November. I am anxious to hear from you and wish you would write more frequent. I have been very healthy the winter and spring past we have had a very warm winter without snow, late snowy spring with a great deal of Rain but it is now very dry and warm. I am at present at work on my land I have planted fifteen acres of Corn and let out ten acres more ground (so I expect to raise my own hommony). We have a News Paper published in Edwardsville which has very lately commenced, by the title of "Edwardsville Spectator" 19 There is also a 20 Bank and Lawyers enough to sink the place. The country is settling with extraordinary rapidity Thirteen months ago there was not a family north of here and there is now perhaps two hundred some a hundred and twenty


miles north of this. They settle on united States land And as soon as/ It IS offered for sale they will probably have to leave it or pay a high price for it. Land which was bought two or three years ago for two dollars an acre is now selling at IO and 12. We have a fine country of Land and a plenty of it. The harvest is great but the laborers are few. I send My best wishes for you all, tell Mary to write to me and do not forget to write your self. I remain your affectionate Brother Gershom Flagg AC Flagg [ SIU-E. Addressed:] A. C. Flagg, Plattsburgh, New York


Gershom Flagg to Artemas Flagg, October 6,

15, 1820

Edwardsville, Illinois,

October 6th,


Dear Brother, I Recd your letter of the 20th Aug. by yesterday's mail and embrace the earliest opportunity to inform you that I am in good hea(lth] and have been since I last wrote to you. We have had a very remarkable dry summer there are streams 40 miles in length which have entirely stopped running-two thirds of the wells and springs have dryed and the grass is not more than half its usual length. We have had good crops of Wheat and Corn is very good. Money is becoming very scarce. Wheat now sells at 50 cts pr bushel and Corn at 2 5. Beef and pork are also very low and the price of land has fell nearly one half within 18 months. The people are as is usual complaining of hard Times! Hard Times!! But in reality we have no ground for saying the times are hard. We have had good crops of Cotton &c &c if the people would get in the habit of Raising their own food & clothing themselves with their own manufactures instead of sending off all the money in circulation to purchase things money would soon grow plenty and be in circulation. The People of the United States have been for a long time blind to their own interest But begin to be awakened by the Cry of hard times. For myself I live as I always have upon my earnings and not upon my credit or speculation and have therefore little to loose & little to fear from hard times. If you should wish to hear some large stories about the western Country read on. I raised about 5 or 6 waggon loads of watermellons this year many of which weighed 25 pounds each and I weighed one that weighed 29½ pounds. We had plenty of Melons of all kinds from the middle of July to the end of September. We feed our hogs great part of the time upon Melons, Squashes & Pumpkins & cucumbers &c &c The hogs now live upon Acorns which here grow as large as hens eggs almost.


Oct. 15 I began this letter several days ago but not having time to finish it at the time I have delayed sending it to the post office til the present time. 38 Townships of Land have been offered for sale the last two weeks in this district and only 1200 acres were sold. Several towns in this state have been very sickly this season especially those situated contiguous to Rivers or millPonds. The waters are very low and in many places covered with a green poison looking skum. The fogs arising from this stagnated waters makes the air very unwholesome. The weather has been considerable hotter here t(his summer?] than it was ever known to be before. The mercury in Thermometer rose to 100 degrees in the shade Such heat as this several days in succession you will suppose made us think of the place we read of. For my part I thought it was getting to be pretty warm times. Steel or Iron lying in the sun became too hot to be handled. In Short but in truth it was as hot as Hell. For the want of room I must close my letter by requesting to give my love to all those who may take the trouble to enquire about me especially my Parents, Brothers, Sisters, your Wife and two Great Boys. And do if you please write oftener and oblige your sincerely affectionate Brother. Gershom Flagg (In margin:] Flour sells from $ 3. 2 5 to $ 5. oo per Barrel Whisky from 3 1 to 62½ cents pr Gallon by the Barrel [SIU-E. Addressed:] Artemas Flagg, Hinesburgh, Vermont


Gershom Flagg to Azariah C. Flagg, December

10, 1820

Edwardsville, Illinois,

Decmr 10th


Dear Brother, I have not for a long tine received any information from you either by letters or newspapers. I think it has been two months since I recd a paper. It is a pleasure to me to hear from my friends and especially my Brothers and Sisters. I hope you will take this into consideration and write to me as often as two or three times a year at least. I have enjoyed good health since I last wrote to you and have done considerabl work. Since the first of April last I have ploughed or broke up upwards of one hundred acres of New Prairie with the help of four yoke of Oxen and a man to drive them and have fenced in or enclosed 40 acres and built a log house &c. We have had scarcely any rain since last April the Streams Springs & Wells two third of them became dry the weather was extreemly hot the Thermometer rose to 100 degrees in the shade. This fall we have had two snow storms the snow fell in Nov 8 inches deep and lay on several days the

27 snow is now gone but the weather has become cold and the ground is hard frozen and the Mississippi is full of floating ice. For this country this is called Hard Times. You may gather some Ideas of the circulation of cash here and of the great chang of times from the annexed prices: Prices curent in the vicinities of St. Louis & Edwardsville: 1820

1819 Beef pr lb Pork"" Flour pr. Barrel Corn pr. bushel Wheat""

from 4 to 6 cents 5 "6 " " $8 $12 33 " 50 cents " $1.00

from 2½ to 3½ cents 2


" $3.25 $5 " 12½ to 20 cents " 37½ to 50 cents

Cows which sold last year for 25 dollars will not fetch more than $15 and oxen which Sold one year ago for I 20 dollars now sell for eighty only. The price of land has fallen more than one half-A bad time for Speculators-there are many here who paid out all the money they had in first installments on land and depended on selling it before the other payments became due And as the price of land is now reduced no body will buy it at the former price. It will of course revert to the United States unless Congress does something for their relief. 21 Gershom Flagg Wife &c &c. your and Mary to love my give please will You margin:] [In York [SIU-E. Addressed:] A. C. Flagg, Plattsburgh, New


Gershom Flagg to Artemas Flagg, March

31, 1821

Edwardsville Madison, Co. (Il's.) March 31st 1821 Dear Brother, Your letter of the 3d December was Recd in January but the waters have been so high since that time that the Mail does not arive oftener than once in 3 or four weeks which is the reason I have defered writing until the present time and now have an opportunity to send you this by Pascal P. Enos Esqr formerly of Vermont and Brother to Roger Enos. I have been particularly acquainted with him ever since I arrived at St. Louis and should you be so fortunate as to see him he can furnish all the information you wish of this Country. I have lived in the same house with him and wish you to treat him as my friend and write to me when he returns if not before. We have had a very severe winter and considerable snow and this spring we have had several severe storms. Two men have been found dead in the Prairie supposed to have chilled to death by the cold weather and the snow. I was one of the

28 Jurors who examined the body of one of the men who was found dead and it appeared that after being out in the open Prairie for about 24 hours great part of which time it either Rained or snowed accompanied with a very Cold Wind he fell from his horse so benum[b ]ed with cold that he never struggled but went to sleep for the last time. I began to plough the first day of March but have only ploughed 16 acres the ground having been frozen for several days past until yesterday. We have pretty tight times here. Most of the People are in debt for Land and many otherwise more than they can posably pay. Our wise Legislator have taken the matter into serious consideration and made a Bank without any Specie to Redeem their notes and have stopt all the Executions until the first of November next and after that time if the creditor will not endorse on the back of the Execution that he will receive the amount in State Paper The Execution is stopped for three years longer. This money is to be loaned out (The capitol Stock of which is three hundred thousand dollars) to individuals by their giving real estate in security. The notes are to be given for one year but to be renewed every year on paying ten per cent so that it will be ten 22 years before the borrower finishes paying. Corn now sells at 12½ cents per Bushel Pork at 2½ and 3 dollars Wheat 50 cents Whisky 2 5 cents per gallon by the Barrel flour is 3 and 3½ dollars per Barrel. Lewis Curtis of Burlington has set up his business in St. Charles on the Missouri River 20 miles from St Louis and 30 from here. Although Money is very scarce in this country there was 26 thousand dollars taken in Land office at this place during the sale in Jan. Last and that mostly in Specie. I have Recd a letter from Eliza a few days ago dated June 8th You will please give my respects to all my friends and acquaintance. I have enjoyed [good?] health since I wrote you last and re[ main] your most affectionate Brothe[ r] Gershom Flagg Mr Artemas Flagg, Richmond Vermont [ SIU-E. Addressed:] Mr Artemas Flagg, Richmond, Vermont pr. P. P. Enos, Esq.

15. ]

ohn Johnson to Gershom Flagg, August 3,


Burlington, August 3d 1821 Dear Sir, Yours of 3 l. March last by Mr Enos was handed me about 2 weeks ago, the perusal of which gave me great pleasure, and the enclosed letter was handed to your father within a day or two next after. I am very much gratified to learn that your prospects are so fair, and also to hear of my old

29 friend John Messinger. I have no material news to inform you of. Polly Brownson is married to a man by the name of Reynon and affairs generally in Richmond remain as they were when you left. In Williston there is very little alteration. Burlington has altered materially since the war, many valuable buildings having been erected and a spacious building for a bank now erecting. Last Winter the lake froze the 15th ofJany. and remained froze until the 18th April being both earlier and later than ever before known. The season is now very fair for vegetation and crops are generally good, most of the hay and small grains are already harvested. We have now no division in politics, all are lulling to sleep under the pressure of "hard times" and the designing office catchers are fattening on the hard earnings of the public, or on Money borrowed to run them in debt. These designing men are a combination of the leaders of both the former political parties whose honesty might always be measured by their chance of popularity or pecuniary gain, and whose only patriotism consists in their own agrandisement. In my opinion it was never more necessary, than at present, for free men, who intend to support a Republican form of Government in its true sense, to be at their post. The opposition to manufactories is in my opinion an opposition to the best interests of our country. A system of political economy which only answers for a state of things when we are at peace and other nations at war with each other, cannot be of a permanent utility. It is sure to fall when most needed. Add to this the interior of the Country owing to the delay & expense of transportation could at no time be benefitted by such a system. But if manufactories were established commensurate with the want in all parts of our Country it would bring a market to everymans door for his surplus agricultural produce, and in return, a supply of the things he may need. It would also lessen the necessity of sending off the circulating medium. It is objected to that as our revenue depends on imports it must of course suffer by this policy. In reply to this, I consider that it is of less consequence in what manner taxes are assessed, than that they are equally assessed and the people able to pay them; and it should be a maxim in Republican Governments that every man should know directly what he pays, and he will be much more likely to enquire what has become of the money. Volumes might be written but let this suffice. Tell Mr Messinger that every thing in Essex and Jerico is much as usual. That his old friend Abm. Stevens 23 wishes to be remembered to him and wishes he would write, that sd Stevens 4 eldest Children are married and live near him. Tell him also that his brother Lemuel's eldest son was with me last winter, that his principal object was the study of Carpentry & Millwriting in which he made good progress and is a worthy young man. If Mr


Messinger should think proper to give himself the trouble of writing to me I should be very much obliged to him, and shall depend on your continuing a correspondence. I am sir with much respect yours truly John Johnson Mr. G. Flagg P.S. Mrs. Johnson's respects to you. [U of I. Addressed:] Mr. Gershom Flagg, Edwardsville, Illinois By Mr. Enos


Gershom Flagg to Mrs. Elizabeth Flagg, October 4,


Edwardsville, Illinois October 4th 1821 Dear Mother, Yours of the 9th August I received the 25 of September by Mail-on the 14 of sept. I received by Mr Enos a letter from Azariah dated July 28-one from Artemas dated July 29 and one from John Johnson Esqr of Burlington dated Aug 3d none of which I have been able to answer having been taken sick the day before I received the first letters and although I was only sick for 4 or 5 days I have felt too weak until the present time to write a letter; and although I received yours last I feel in duty bound to answer it first. We have had a very sickly season here but in proportion to the sickness there has been very few deaths. The weather has now become cool and people are getting well very fast. You seem to be very anxious to have me return to Vermont and it is very natural for a Mother to feel great anxiety about her children but I presume you are willing to have me stay in this country could you be pursuaded that I can do better here than with you and I believe this is much the best country for me but I intend to return and see you as soon as I possibly can but cannot, as you request, tell you at what time it will be. The length of the Journey I do not dread neither do I begrudge the money which I shall have to spend if I could get enough in "The hard times" but you very well know it is a great deal of trouble to get started on such a Journey but I am determined to make you a visit as soon as I can and until I do I will write to you or some of my brothers and sisters often, so that you can hear from me. I have a little news to write of things that have taken place here. There has been one Indian and one White man hung in this state the summer past both for Murder. 24 Some time in July a Robbery was committed in an adjoining county. The house of a Mr. Dickson was broken open in the dead of a dark rainy night and his chests and trunks broken open and twelve hundred dollars being all the money he had taken from him. The next morning the neighbors being alarmed took the track of the robbers (which on account of the great rain appeared fresh in the road and high grass and

31 weeds) and followed on for several miles until the found the horses of Major S. B. Whiteside Sheriff of this County and Major Robert Sinclair Both of whom have heretofore been considered citizen of the highest respectability. They were immediately apprehended and after tedious examination of 3 days there appearing from the positive testimony of persons Robbed, and the testimony of the pursuers and others and very strong circumstantial evidence that they were two of the persons engaged in the Robbery they were bound to appear before the Circuit Court or forfeit the sum of four thousand dollars each &c &c. 25 A young man has also lately been prosecuted for attempting to injure a Ladys character in this County and a verdict of 3000 dollars damages awarded by the Jury. Two of the friends of the Lady after having heard what had been done and said by this young man respecting the Lady (her husband being absent on a Journey) took it upon themselves to avenge her wrongs and took the young man into the woods and tied him up and gave him a severe whipping. They were prossecuted by him before the same court and Jury and he recovered 3000 dollars damages. We have had a very wet season and our crops are not as good as usual. Corn however will not be more than a shilling a bushel I think this winter. Tell Artemas that I shall write to him ere long. Give my love to all my friends. Write to me oftener, if convenient. My health is now very good and that you may enjoy health and peace of mind is the anxious wish of your affectionate son Gershom Flagg Flagg Mrs. Elizabeth [SIU-E. Addressed:] Doctor Ebenezer Flagg, Burlington, Vermont


Gershom Flagg to Artemas Flagg, June 9,


Edwardsville June 9th 1822 Dear Brother, Your letter of the 13th April I recd a few days since but have been so much engaged that I have not had time to answer it until now. My health is very good which is the most that I have to communicate at present but as you will expect something more I will write a few lines respecting things which have come within my observation. We have had a very rainy spring which has caused the streams to overflow their banks and in some instances Bridges have been carried away. The weather for a week past has been very hot yesterday the Thermometer rose to 98°. The wet and heat has caused the grass to grow very fast and in great abundance. Our natural pastures are now covered as it were with droves of Cattle and


horses which have already fattened on the spontaneous productions of the earth. I have seen Corn in silk this day but not our common sort the seed was brot from the Mandan Nation of Indians who reside 12 hundred miles up the Missouri. 26 We have had our share of hard times here and have worse times coming. I say worse because our Legislature have introduced a sort of paper currency which, tho' it may yield a temporary relief will eventually prove a great disadvantage to this State that is in my humble opinion and als[ o] in the opinion of many others. Brother I am full in the belief that we are carelessly suffering our government to waste the public Monies in giving high salaries, creating new offices for the sake of providing for thefr friends &c The people of the United States ought not to sleep while their Representatives are voting to themselves 8. dollars pr. day and giving such salaries to their officers as cause hundreds of applicants for one office. As times grow hard and money scarce our revenue is declining why should not our representatives in congress reduce their pay to 6 dollars pr day Reduce the salaries of the different officers of Government and make such other retrenchments as will cause our revenue to equal the expenses of Government. Most surely we ought not to run into debt in times of peace for if we do what shall we do in case of war. I am afraid our Government officers are growing corrupt and we the soverign People ought to look to it or we shall go down the broad road where all other Nations have gone who possessed a happy government like ours. I should be very glad if you would write something respecting the opinion of the people in your state as respects our government. With sincerety I remain your most affectionate Brother Gershom Flagg Mr Artemas Flagg [SIU-E]


Gershom Flagg to Artemas Flagg, July

20, 1823

Edwardsville (Illinois) July 20th 1823 Brother, Dear I have delayed writing to you for a much longer time than usual for which I hope you will not retaliate as long as I am willing to confess my fault. I have been very busily employed for several months but not so much so as to forget the ties which bind the whole family of Mankind. I have enjoyed uninterrupted health for more than a year. It is a general time of hea[l]th in this vicinity at present although a sickly season has been expected owing to

33 the great rains in the spring and fore part of summer. The Rivers have been very high much damage done to Bridges Mills &c &c. Our wheat harvest has been very good and corn looks very well and our prospects as to health are better this season than I have known since I have lived in the State. A Duel was fought on the Island, in the Mississippi, oppocite to St. Louis on the 30th June, between Thomas C. Rector and Joshua Barton Esq. District Atorney for the state of Missouri. The latter fell & expired immediately the other was untouched both belonged to St. Louis. 27 On the 10th of the present month an affray happened between Russel Botsford and Col James Kelly, Cashier of the State Bank of Illinois both citizens of Vandalia in which place the scene was acted. 28 I will relate the circumstances as I have heard them and the causes which led to it. About three months since the State Bank of (Illis) at Vandalia was broken open and 6 or 7 thousand dollars in Spiece taken out by some unknown person. The cashier Mr Kelly with others mistrusted that Mr. Moss Botsford had some knowledge of the affair and took him into the woods tied him & Col. Kelly whipped him severely to make him confess his sins and tell where the money was &c &c which by the bye is a court of inquiry very often in this state-But no discovery was made Russel Botsford was the Brother of the one that was whipped and as a Brother perhaps had expressed his disaprobation of the conduct of Kelly but this is only supposition with me but at any rate on the 10th inst. while Russel Botsford was sitting in a Store reading Col Kelly came to the gable end of the Store with a Pistol in one hand and horse whip in the other and there walked back & forth for half an hour When mr Botsford came out and met him at the corner of the store when kelly commenced whipping him holding the Pistol on one hand & whip in the other. Botsford drawed out his Spanish knife knocked the Pistol out of his hand & gave him a mortal stab wound near the heart. After a little scuffie in which Botsford gave him a couppl more Wounds and disabled his arm which held the Pistol both fell over a stump-Botsford sprang up and run & Kelly after him a few rods when kelly fell dead on the ground. On the I 8 inst. Col. Parkison of this county was shot through the arm by one of his neighbors & the same day Messrs. Mitchel and Waddle citizens of St. Louis met on the Island before mentioned and after exchanging two or three shots the latter was shot through the boddy and his death is expected Their quarrel co[mmenc]ed at a gambling table by one's gi[ving the] other the lie or something to that effect. Some other little skirmishes have taken place in consequence of the extraordinary and unparalleled procedings of our Legislature of which no doubt you have heard before now. A great party (but not a majority I think) are

34 making use of every means to introduce slavery into this State. 29 I have not time or paper to write more enough has been written to convince you that we are a great and magnanimous people. Yours in haste forever Gershom Flagg P.S. Waddle is dead. A Flagg [SIU-E. Addressed:] Mr. Artemas Flagg, Richmond, Vermont

19. Gershom Flagg to Artemas Flagg, January 25, 1824

Edwardsville (Illinois) 25th Jan. 1824 Dear Brother, I have not heard from you for several months and while reflecting upon your negligence in writing I happened to think of my own remissness in writing also--and instead of upbraiding you I will begin with excusing my self for not writing oftener. If I have any excuse for my negligence it will be found in my being very much engaged in my own business together with the singular situation of affairs in this state which occupies much of the attention of every man who has the future prosperity of the state in view. I have ordered Mr. Warren to send the Edwardsville Spectator to John Johnson Esq. of Burlington Vermont. This paper will give you a very good idea of what is going on here if you can get apeep at it which you can I make no doubt if mr Johnson receives it. We have had a very extraordinary wet summer--dry pleasant fall-& so far warm pleasant winter we have had no snow of consequence and very few days but what we could have ploughed if occasion required. The bees have been flying nearly every day this month and the grass began to grow in the low lands. Pork & Beef are selling from $1. 50 to $2.00 pr. hundred. Wheat from 50 to 75 cents and Corn from 20 to 25 cents pr. bushel. For news-there is a man to be hung on the 12 day of next month at Edwardsville for murder. 30 There was about 8 thousand quarter sections of non resident lands sold at Vandalia in Dec. for taxex [sic] which if not redeemed within one year will belong to the purchasers. The sums they were sold for would not exceed 5 dollars upon an average and this sum was received in illinois State Bank paper which is worth only 30 cents to the dollar which will bring the price of the land if not redeemed at less than one cent pr. acre. We have an uncommonly healthy fall in this state more so than since I have lived in the State. I see by the papers that our Brother Azariah is elected a member of the N. Y. Legislature again. I hope if he has any thing to do with the election of the next President of the U. States that John Q. Adams may be the first man and William H. Crawford the last man of all the


Candidates which will be supported by him. We have seen and felt too much of the bad management of the Secretary of the Treasury in this western country not to wish any other candidate elected before him who has suffered immense sums of money to be deposited in banks whose credit was so poor that Individuals dare not and would not trust their money in those banks. 31 I think that a majority of the people in Illinois are in favor of Mr. Adams for our next President. Mr Clay I think would be the next man on the list & the next Mr. Calhoun but Mr. Crawford has but few friends here. 32 I am anxious to hear from you all & hope you will not fail writing as soon as you receive this. I wish you to give my most friendly respects to John Johnson Esqr. of Burlington and enquire of him whether he received a letter which I wrote to him in August last and also if he receives the Spectator which I send him weekly. My respects to all those who may take the trouble to enquire after me and especially to all my friends and let me know how you are all doing as soon as possible and tell your wife if she does not write to me I'll punish her for her neglect as soon as I see her. Eliza and Rowana have written very frequently as well as yourself for which I give you all many thanks. I am much pleased with Eliza's letters and hope she will continue to write to me often and wish you would all do the same. I wish to know what Mary is doing: I think she must have bec[ome] a Nunn for I have not heard a word from her this two years. Receive with this my most sincere wishes and anxious desire for the happiness of all my friends, from your Friend and Affectionate Brother Gershom Flagg Artemas Flagg Richmond Vermont [SIU-E. Addressed:] Mr. Artemas Flagg, Richmond, Vermont


Gershom Flagg to Artemas Flagg, July


Edwardsville (Ill.) July 20th 1825 Dear Brother, I have not written to you for a long time because I intended before this time to have seen you at your own house but my circumstances are such that I have not been able to accomplish my intentions as yet. I shall not set any time again to see you but as soon as I can I shall come and make you a visit. I have been looking every mail to hear from you but not receiving any letter I suppose you expected me there and have therefore neglected writing on that account. Being very anxious to hear from you I hope you will write as soon as you receive this. We have had a very remarkable year so far the month of

Jan. was entirely dry warm weather the ground was hardly frozen at all and we had neither snow or rain during the month. Crops are now 3 or four weeks earlier than usual Cherries were ripe by the middle of May and people commenced harvesting wheat before the 20 June. I saw ripe blackberries the 19 day ofJune and Corn now is generally ten feet high. For a few days past it has been very hot and the ground is now very dry indeed. Our political squables and quarrels have subsided very much and I am in hopes we shall have better times in this State hereafter. It appears that a majority of the people are opposed to the introduction of Slavery and I think the question is now at rest forever. I[ n] my last letter to Eliza I enclosed a three dollar bill for many [Mary] I believe it was on a vermont bank. I have not recd any answer to that letter which makes me suspicious that she did not receive the letter. Property is now very low here. Corn is worth only about 721/4 cents pr. bushel Beef about $1 . 50 pr Cwt Wheat 50 cents cows are worth from 5 to 7 dollars Oxen from 20 to 40 dollars a yoke horses all prices from IO to 80 dollars Goods have risen some since the speculations in Cotton. Steam Boats are very plenty now on the Mississippi the first Steam Boat came to St. Louis the year I came there but now sometimes they have 3 or 4 there at a time. They travel up the current of the Mississippi at the rate of about mo miles per day and some times more. I wish to know "how wags the world wi' ye." Lafayette came up the mississippi as far as St. Louis got his dinner and the next day dined at Kaskaskia 33 in this state almost a hundred miles from the former place. From thence he went up the Ohio and Cumberland rivers as far as Nashvill in Tennessee thenc back to Shawneetown 34 and so up the Ohio like a whirligig and like to have given his last whirl when the steam boat sunk but fortunately at that time two steam boats on the way to Orleans saw the situation of the Nations guest and voluntered their service to help him out of the scrape. 35 You will learn by this circumstances that Steam boats are very plenty on the Ohio river some times I am told there are twenty at a time at Louisville. I am informed also by a Gentlemen who had traveled from N. York to Vermont [in] Steam boats on North river and lake C[ham]plain that the Boats on the Ohio & Mississippi r[i]vers are equal if not superior to the boats on north river. New boats are building in great numbers in different places on the Ohio River. You will perceive that I have been scribbling along 'till I have but sufficient room to mention that I remain in good health your most affectionate Brother and friend Gershom Flagg A Flagg [SIU-E. Addressed:] Artemas Flagg, Hinesburgh, Vermont

37 21.

Gershom Flagg to Artemas Flagg, August

16, 1825

Edwardsville (Illinois)

Aug. 16th

I 825

Dear Brother, Your letter of the I 8 June and Eliza's of the 12 I have received and am very glad to hear that you are all in good health. I am very well pleased with the names of your Children and hope I shall be well pleased with them if I can ever be so fortunate as to see them. We have the hottest weather here that I ever experienced before. We have had no rain of any consequence for several weeks. The sun pours down his scorching rays from day to day without any cessation and the ground has become so heated that there does not seem to be moisture enough in it to produce any dew. I attempted to walk bare foot two days ago upon hard ground which was exposed to the sun but found I could not bear the heat Iron exposed to the sun becomes so much heated that a person cannot hold it in his hand a minute. Corn and grass are drying up very fast and apples that are lying upon the ground are half baked by the sun. Crops of Corn will be poor I think this year although 5 weeks ago there was never a better prospect and farmers were calcualting that corn would not be more than 6½ cents pr bushel But notwithstanding the great heat this state was never more healthy You make a particular request that I should write respecting my property and for the sake of gratifying you on that head I will give you a very particular account of the same. I have 275 acres Land 60 acres fenced into 5 fields and under good cultivation an Orchard of 530 apple trees 100 Peach trees twelve Cherry trees & 3 pear trees also a well and several log buildings. I rent all my farm except the Orchard of 13 acres to a man who lives on the place and gives me 390 bushel[s] of Corn and 50 bushels wheat pr. annum I board with a family half a mile from my farm at $1.25 pr. week including washing. I have four yoke of good oxen 4 Chains yokes &c 3 good ploughs two wooden Carts two sleds one large Grindstone two axes 4 augers shovel, hoe, &c &c-a Surveyors Compass and two Chains and Mathematical instruments worth 60 dollars. I purchased last June about 15 hundred acres of valuable land for the taxes which amounted to $103 dollar. The owners have two years from that time to redeem the same by paying the amount with 100 per cent. I owe $56 dollars and have due me $110 from good men and have $34 in cash on hand I have twelve shirts six pair Pantaloons 6 vests ten cravats & handkerchiefs two roundabouts 4 pair stocking two pair shoes one Coat in Short I suppose my whole property to be worth about $1500 in cash and I do not wish any one to see this letter except yourself. If you will give me as good an account of your own affairs together with those of my Sisters I shall not complain of you. You and my sisters write


that they are married but neither of you tell me any thing about the men they married except their names. I should like to know something further if you please. I have not time to write more at present haveing been Summoned as a witness at Court to day therefore excuse the haste of your affectionate Brother and friend. Gershom Flagg A Flagg [SIU-E]

22.John]ohnson to Gershom Flagg, August 21, 1827


August 21st


Dear Sir, Although I believe I wrote last, yet rather than have so long a silence continue yet longer I concluded to address you a few brief lines, and to enquire whether matrimony or any other excusable cause can be assigned for your very long silence? Without further introduction I will just observe that though we have had no particular prevailing sickness for many years, yet many old people have within the past few months gone from works to rewards. Among those whom you may recollect are John Eldridge Esqr and Col. James Sawyer of this town. Your father, though he retains his strength and intellects as well as could be expected, is gradually failing. Asa Brownson Esqr and Thomas Whitcomb, though they retain their health, have lost their intellect. Major Smith and wife though they are quite enfebled by age retain their intellect as well as could be expected. But while those who were elderly while you was here are gone or going off the stage, and while every age is subject to the destroyer, yet we find an increased number crowding upon the stage, eager and ready to act the part of those who have passed before them. The increase of business, wealth and population in Burlington and its vicinity since you left us is quite apparent, and has been greatly increased by the entire water communication to New York. Although our political horizon is very serene, yet a light vapory cloud occasionally appears charged with a little of what is called "Jacksonism," although the managers of the farce never intend it for the hero of Orleans! But the rays of the sun of justice and penetration disepate such clouds almost at their appearance, and C. P. Van Ness at the head of this farce in Vermont, has justly fallen into insignificance and contempt, never probably to rise again in political standing in this state! During the eight years past until the present, the seasons here have been continually growing dryer until last Autumn the earth became extremely


dry and comparatively sterile, but the copious rains of the present season have produced a real renovation; and vegetation during the whole season has worn a most flourishing appearance. The Crops of hay are beyond precedent, and the small grains are abundant, but corn has been rather injured and blackened by the wet, and will require a warm season and late frost to make it good. Where are my old friends P. P. Enos 36 and John Messinger Esqrs and why do they not write to me? should you have an opportunity of presenting my best wishes to either of them please do so and request them to write, and as to yourself I hope you will not omit it. I have yet said nothing of myself and for this reason, that the pronoun I, being never the possessive nor objective, and but seldom the nominative, has become almost obsolete. You will perhaps recollect my eldest son Edwin. He has for several years been one of the professors in the Literary institution at Middleton, Connecticut. Mrs Johnson wishes particularly to be remembered to you, and you will please accept the best wishes of your old friend, John Johnson Mr G. Flagg P.S. Send me once in a while a newspaper and I will do the same by you. [U of I. Addressed:] Mr Gershom Flagg Edwardsville Illinois


John Johnson to Gershom Flagg, September

21, 1828

Burlington, Septr 1828 Dear Sir, With great pleasure I resume the duty (long delayed) of answering your very kind and valuable letter of 22d January last, and I assure you I am not a little gratified with the information that instead of attaching yourself to a party of desperadoes and destroyers of government you still adhear to plain truth. That a set of men who have feared no God nor loved no Country, and during the trying times of the last war sought for nothing but their own agrandisement either by smugling speculations, or, what is more dishonorable, speculating on the public treasury, and all crying down Republicanism and their country, I say when such men as these rise up as the leaders of a party and assume to themselves all the talents, all the virtue and all the republicanism of the Country, and denounce with an exterminating voice all the old tried patriots and Republicans of our Country, as swindlers of the public property, traitors, runaways, Federalists and anti Republicans, and would even accuse them of being in favor of an Aristocracy or Monarchy! I say when we take a calm view of this strange scene and on looking round us find they have drawn into this demoralizing vortex (and I might say, dena-

tionalising) almost one half of the United States among whom I am sorry to find are some of your brothers and I suspect some of mine, it will induce us to shudder for the fate of our Republic, and to redouble our diligence to convince our friends before it is too late. Among the leaders of the Jackson party in this State are C. P. Van Ness, Martin Chittenden, Soloman Miller, Guy Catlin, A. W. Barnum, Stephen Haight, Seth Cushman, Saml and Stephen S. Keyes, 37 and many others the most noted smuglers in former times, and opposers of our government. Many of these very men have stated in my hearing in years past that there was not, nor could be virtue enough in the people to support a Republican government, and the sooner it should be abandoned for an aristocracy or monarchy the better, for until then we could have no settled form of government. Now shall these very men who have in years past openly avowed such principles be suffered to draw after them nearly one half, and as they say, more than one half of the United ·States under the specious name of exclusive Republicans and Democrats with a man of peculation, blood and murder at their head? 38 I will now name a few of the leading men in this State who adhear to the cause of our government, and whom you will recollect were always of o~r most substantial republicans, towit. 39 Ex Govs Galusha and Skinner, present Govr Butler, Govr. Elect S. C . Crafts, Henry Olin, Horatio Seymour, Rollin C. Mallery, William A. Griswold, Asa Aldis, Noah Chittenden, Truman Galusha, W. A. Palmer, Dudly Chase, D. A. A. Buck, G. E. Wales, Titus Hutchinson, with nearly every other old substantial Republican in the state. Our legislature which will commence its session Octr 9, will be composed of Govr Crafts, Lt Gov Olin and 12 Councillors all for Adams and the house of Representatives will be about 180 for Adams to 20 for Jackson. All the Presidential Electors in the New England States (51) will be for Adams, and those best acquainted say that New York will give 24 out of 36. Immediately after receiving your last I ordered the "Free Press" of this town to be forwarded to you for 4 months which I hope has reached you, the fact of which please notice in your next which I hope will be soon. The season here has been unusually wet and quite warm and the time of haying and harvesting was very rainey. The late freshet has done much damage in this State probably the whole damage is some millions of dollars. Now as it is almost a year since you had the good fortune to unite with a wife, and as your friends must now be her friends, you will present her with my best wishes, and also be pleased to accept them together with those of my family for yourself. John Johnson Mr G. Flagg [U of I. Addressed:] Mr Gershom Flagg Edwardsville, State of Illinois

41 24. Gershom Flagg to Artemas Flagg, August 2, 1830

Edwardsville Madison Co. (Ill.) Aug 2d 1830 Dear Brother, Your letter of June 21 I received a few days since. I enclose a deed to you which I think will answer the purpose intended but I do not understand what your laws are now respecting conveyances but presume this will be a good and sufficient title to my share of the land and no more. I am in great haste and cannot write as much as I should be glad to do as this is the day of our State Elections 40 With respect to the trade you mention that Buell can make with N. B. Haswell it would be buying a pig in a poke to buy land in the Bounty tract without seeing it. The land is generally good but there is a great quantity of Prairie and some whole townships destitute of timber If I knew the numbers of the land I could tell much better about such a trade as I could give a very near guess as to whether it is well situate[ d] for farming by the map. If you have Vanzandt's map of the Military bounty lands in Illinois 41 you can see the Prairie and timber marked on the map. We consider the land generally that lies from 4 to ten miles from the large rivers to be the best for farming & for health. The land near the water courses is richer but not considered healthy and after you get some distance from water courses the Prairies are much too large A belt of timber accompanies all water courses but between the head waters of streams it is generally open level Prairie. The Bounty tract is setling very fast and the !migration to the state is more now than it has been since I came here. Instead of one I think we shall have three Representatives in congress after the next Election of members 42 We have had a very dry season Money is scarce Provision cheap and plenty. We have much old corn on hand & worth only 15 cents pr bushel oats 17 cents wheat will not sell for 50 cents pr bushel I have old Corn Oats & wheat now on hand. People are giving 25 pr. cent interest for money to buy land with notwithstanding land is so plenty here. We may well suppose that when money will fetch 2 5 pr cent interest and some times more that those who have it will let it out as they have the land for security in addition to a note and this money of course goes into the general land office and from thence to feed the big fish at Washington at the rate of 8 dollars pr. day for their great and persevering efforts in the cause of Retrenchment & Reform and as we are to have no money appropriated for internal improvements 43 the Money which is continually drawn from our western states to be sent elsewhere will leave us soon without money entirely. Suppose for instance the whole state of Vermont & Newhampsire were now owned by the U.S. and offered for sale at $1.25 pr acre would not every man who had money lay it out in land or lend it at a high interest to those who wanted a home and supposing all the money thus taken in was transported to other states and say for instance


that one hundred thousand dollars of this money was squandered extra because divirs foreign minister had the misfortune to be so wofully blinded as even to think that J. Q. Adams was a better man for President than the Hero of two wars 44 and then be told it was unconstitutional to appropriate any money to improve your navigation Roads &c &c and thereby prevent in som measure your prosperity I think some Ethan Allen or Missouri Barton 45 would rise up amongst you & tell you who was who & what was what. G . Flagg [In margin:] We are well. [ SIU-E. Addressed:] Mr. Artemas Flagg, Richmond, Vermont

25 . John Johnson to Gershom Flagg, August 28, 1830

Burlington August 28th 1830 Dear Sir, Not receiving an answer from my last letter has induced me for some time to delay writing, but hearing your Brother46 was about to visit you, I take the liberty again to address you and shall be much pleased to receive an answer The freshet which hapened on the 27th ult and extended over the N . Eastern part of New York and the middle part of Vermont, was much beyond any precedent known, and from sundry indications, was higher than any for many hundred years. Indeed there are no indications of such a rise of water since the streams have occupied their present channels, and it so far exceeded the anticipations of any, as to sweep off not only mills dams and bridges, but a very great number of houses and barns standing where no freshet was ever expected to reach. My loss may be estimated from 2000 to 3000 dollars, and to the general calamity your brother will be able to give you more particulars. The whole season has been so wet as to be very injurious to the farms and farmers and consequently effects the whole country-The general improvements in our country since you left us have been considerable. Burlington has increased in business equal to the anticipations of its friends and is now doing an extensive business. Many valuable buildings are erected every year, and this country round is growing in nearly an equal proportion. As you lived with me for a considerable time during which we were pleased to consider you as one of our family it may not be improper to inform you of our present being and situation. None of my children are married, and they are all at home with us except my eldest son Edwin. He has for some years been engaged in the business of instruction at the seminary in Middletown, Connecticut, and for the last year he has been an


engineer in the employ of the State of New York, in which business he is still engaged. Those of my family who remain at home are in good health and being apparently as promising as others. I have nothing to complain of. Politics This being near the season of our freemans meeting it may be expected that political parties will be some what excited. We have in this state three parties all professing to be republicans, and probably nearly all of each party are so. They are denominated Clayites, Jacksonites, and Anti masons 47 who are generally in favor of Clay. The Clayites are probably the most numerous, Anties next and Jacksonites the least numerous. As you know I am not in the habit of being nuteral I have attached myself to the first, and to my mind the reasons are various and strong for so doing, and from present prospects Clay will almost certainly be the next president. Notwithstanding many are in raptures respecting the present administration, for myself I can find little to approve and much to disapprove, and I believe when time shall have passed her sage criticism on our several administrations that Jackson's will be considered the most wild and visionary if not the most wanting in intellect and probity; while that of John Adams, the elder, will be considered as a deviation from the true path, 48 but in some respects in a diffferent direction. At that time our government was in the infancy of experiment, and many doubted the practicability of supporting a republican government, and openly opposed the attempt, and John Adams was at that time suposed to lean towards the opposition to republicanism, then called Federalism, though the origin of Federalism was from a different source. Since the administration of Mr Jefferson few have doubted that a republic can be maintained, though many kept up the old rancor in their minds until since you have been old enough to observe, and that class are now nearly uniformly for Jackson, saying that he is the only true Democrat, and they are joined by many honest and respectable men. If you see my old friends Pascol P Enos or John Messinger have the goodness to present them by best wishes, and say to them that I should be glad to have them write. In writing let me know all about your Country with politics and any other interesting matter, as to the present situation of your family &c &c. Mrs Johnson presents her best wishes in which she is joined by your old friend John Johnson Mr. Gershom Flagg N.B. Variation of the magnetic needle here at this time 8° ro' West. How is the variation where you are?

[U of I. Addressed:] Mr Gershom Flagg

Edwardsville, State of Illinois

44 26. Gershom Flagg to Mrs. Elizabeth Flagg, January 9, 1831

Edwardsville Madison County Illinois January 9th 1831 Dear Mother, It has been a long time since I have written to you or received a letter from you I have however often heard from you as I suppose you have heard from me My health at present is not very good I believe I have done too much hard work since I have been in this country I am not able to endure as much fatigue as formerly. Willard arrived here the 16th of October last and is now in good health but was not well when he arrived here and for a number of days afterwards. He came down the Ohio River in a steam boat when the water was very low and the boat struck sand bars and all hands and passingers had to get out into the water to haul the boat over the barrs. In doing this Willard by being in the water at that time rather cold and hard lifting &c catched a very violent cold which lasted some time but he is now very well and hearty and I believe is very well pleased with the country as far as he has seen it which is very little has not been away from home at all scarcely. He received a letter from Whit not long since. We have a son nea[r]ly 16 months old who is large and very healthy and I named him Willard Cutting his uncle willard has learnt him to dance very well since he came here. We have a very hard winter so far for this country the snow is now 8 or IO inches deep and has been for some days and the weather quite cold The Mississippi River is frozen over in places The past season has been more unhealthy than usual and the crops not as good The fall was extreemly dry as also the latter part of the summer I had a large quantity of apples the last fall and made above twenty five barrels Cider but have sold so many apples that we have very few left. I sold my winter apples at 50 cents pr bushel Wheat is now selling from 40 to 50 cents pr. bushel Pork from 2½ to 3 dollars pr hundred and beef the same[ e MS torn] visiting Vermont [MS torn] be very glad if you would write to me [and] inform me how you are. your affectionate son Gersho[ m] Mrs. Elizabeth Flagg [SIU-E. Addressed:) Mrs. Elizabeth Flagg, Richmond, Vermont

27. Evan McPherson to Gershom Flagg, May 28, 1832

Russellville [Ky]

may 28th


Dear Sir Yours of April 5th Just rece owing to some neglect on the rout it only arrived heare on yesterday you have mad some propositions as to the Sell or Divition of Boyd & mayfield Claims in Maddison I have Concluded to Sell


all the Lands I hold a distance from horn as I find two much truble in attinding to them at a Distance I hop you will Sell provided Government price Can be got for the whole together or if you will purchas yourself I will wait any reasonable time for the money. W C Whiteside in his Life tim went or procured Deeds from A I boyd & I mayfield of East Tennessee for the whole of thies Lands which Deeds you will find recorded in the office at Edwardsville you had better ascertain whither His Hins Claim the Same Lands or not as you are all Living in the Same County I have the patents in my possesion their Claims had better be ascertained before anything farther is Don I expect to be in your County this fall and we will try to settle the Business our Selves thies Deeds war made by yong men that was not in Existence at the time Boyd and mayfield Settled in Illinois after you have collected all the information you Can from the Hin's you will be So good as to write me again also a Scratch of the Illinois politiks if you ar all for the present administration or whether Henry Clay has many friends amongst you or whether this is made a test for State representatives Mr Lusk wrote me that Cyrus Edwards 49 was a Candid in your County but said nothing as to his present opinion he was for Adams in the Last Campain I have not heard who he is for at present thies are not nutral times Every man has his Chois pardon me as a Stringar I am against the present rulars Give my best respects to Mr & Mrs Lusk and off the Same to your Self yours very respectfully Evan McPherson 50 Gresham Flagg Esqr [ U of I. Addressed:] Gresham Flagg Esqr Maddeson County Illinois

28. A. C. Flagg to Gershom Flagg, September 6, 1833

Albany, Sept. 6, 1833 Dear Sir, I enclose in this an official letter. Since I wrote you, I have been appointed comptroller, an office of more responsibility and labor, than that of Sec'y of State, but at the same time, offering a better compensation, the salary being S2 500. per an um. We are all very well, and I believe I wrote to you before, that we had all visited mother and the girls in 1832. Wait is getting along very well in his business; and Mr. Van Benthuysen, with whom he lives, told me a few days since, that he was one of the most industrious and steady boys he had ever known, and that too much could not be said in his favor. Truly Yours, A. C. Flagg [U of I. Addressed:] Gershom Flagg, Edwardsville, Illenois


A. C. Flagg to Gershom Flagg, September 6, 1833

Comptroller's Office, Albany, Sept. 6, 1833 Dear Brother, I write this letter to make some enquiries respecting the points where the inhabitants in your section of the country go to find a market their produce, and from whence they receive their merchandise. It is expected that the tolls upon the New-York and Ohio canals will be so much reduced the coming year, as to enable forwarders to transport merchandise from New-York City, to Cincinnati, Ohio, for $2. per 100 pounds. Do your merchants obtain goods from Cincinnati? If so, what is the cost of transportation per 100 lbs? Are they carried by water or land, and what is the distance? what is the description of goods brought up from New Orleans and what is the cost of transportation up, and what down, per 100 lbs? Do your merchants go to Baltimore, Philadelphia, New-Orleans, or New-York, for their goods? From whence do you obtain your salt, what is the cost per bushel, and what the price of transportation? The enquiries are made with reference to the reduction of tolls upon our canals, and the reduction of duty on Onandaga salt, 51 hoping, thereby to introduce the salt further into the western country than it now goes, and also desiring to make it the interest of the western merchants to procure their goods through this channel. I shall be glad to receive from you any information, other than that referred to, which will favor the general objects which have been alluded to. Truly Yours, A. C. Flagg [U of I & SIU-E]


Evan McPherson to Gershom Flagg, October 4, 1834

Big Spring October 4th 1834 Dear Sir, having an oppertunity of Sending a few lines by my Brother who is on his way to Missourie I have taken the Liberty of writing you as I have not been Enabled to ascertain the Complection of your Legislature I Supose by this time you are in possesion of the number of opposition members Elected I have not been eable to hear who is Elected in your County-your Deligation to Congress are all Jacksonians as Well as your Governor & Leuphtenent Governor but not hole hogs-you have not Yankees enough in Illinois yet the mas of your Citizens are ignorant that is in politicks. Louisiana Don Well Indiana & Kentucky has redemed them Selfves & So has Virginia & North Carolina 52 the Current has set strong againest the powers that be Since the


adjurnament of Congress the Voice of the People Can only be heard through the Ballet Boxs our Crops is Very Good hear but more Chils & fevers than has been hear for 15 years. Please write as soon as you find it convenient, and Send me all the news from Illinois and if there is any prospect of Selling my Land in your neighberhood or that at Gum Spring also if any Survey of the national road has been mad from Vandalia towards the Missippee and the Prospect of Alton becomeing your seat of Government as it was made a question I believe in your Last Election it would Greatly benefit your section of the Country the prosperity of towns depends on Comurchall advantages please inform me of the result of the Missourie Elections 53 Give my best respects to Mrs Flagg and offer the same to yourself Evan McPherson Gresham Flagg Esqr [ U of I. Addressed:] Grisham Flagg Esqr Maddison County Illinois Politeness of Murdock McPherson

31. A. C. Flagg to Gershom Flagg, January 8, 1836

Albany, Jan. 8, 1836 Dear Brother, It was originally my intention to have sent you some money to be invested in lands, about the first of October; but circumstances which it is not now necessary to recapitulate, prevented it. I now send you a draft on the Cashier of the Mee. and Farmer's Bank of this city upon the Merchants Bank of the city of New-York, payable to your order for $400: In a few days I will send a second draft of the same kind for a like sum, making $800. This is to be expended in purchasing lands of a good quality at government prices. Your proposition to transact this business for one half the profits on sales which may be made, is acceded to; and a power of attorney will be sent to you to make sales and execute conveyances. In consideration of receiving one half the profits, it is expected that you are to bear all expences connected with the purchase and sale, and also of the examinations, surveys, &c. necessary to be made in reference to the lands purchased, as suggested in your letter. On receipt of my letters containing the drafts, I wish you to acknowledge the receipt of the money, and give an assent to the terms of the arrangement as I have stated them, if we rightly understand each other. The money sent will purchase 640 acres; on making sales, the receipts may be re-invested in lands; and if success attends the transaction the capital may he increased by the remission of further sums: but as for myself, I cannot go very far. The land is to be taken up in the names of John A. Dix 54 and A. C. Flagg;

and when we have a description of the land taken up we will send you a power to sell &c. We are all well. Truly Yours A. C. Flagg Gersham Flagg, Edwardsville Your name on the back of the draft is all that will be required here. [U of I. Addressed:] Gershom Flagg, Esq. Edwardsville, Illenois {Endorsed:] A. C. Flagg 1836 This letter contains a contract about lands

Israel Smith to Gershom Flagg, September 27, {1837?} Dr Sir Mr Porter married the Widow Sanford Sanford left to her & her Children two qr sections of land in your State 'til his decease he had paid the Taxes on the Land. Since that time some 9 or IO years no attention has been paid to them. Porter has lately recd a letter addressed to Sanford bearing date 8 Aug 1837 Signed by Danby & Wells of Rushville Schuyler Co Ills offering him $100. for his claim. From which I send you an extract as follows: "By the records we find that Bela Hall sold to P. S. Sanford the N.E. IO. N. 6 east and also that Peres Sanford was the patentee of the S.E. 22 5 N. 6 west all lying in the Military tract Ills which patents Saml Chatterton of Plattsburg N. Y. gave to D. A. Spalding to be recorded & which Patents are now, or were a few days since in the possession of D. A. Spalding. The above lands have been sold for taxes and have past redemption for several years, and as there is a Tax title on them the Patents will be of little or no use except to the owners of the Tax title. " 55 The Widow of Sanford now Mrs Porter, has in her possession a map of the Military tract, left by her first Husband who supposed S.E. 22, 5 N. 6 west to lay south of the Base line. As I understand both the map & the letter above it is north of the Base line and west of the Meridan While the other is east of the latter and also north of the Base line. Do I rightly understand it. Knowing from your Fathers family in Vt that you reside in Edwardsville Ills a Surveyor & considerable Land Owner & having moreover heard that you had seen much of the State concluded you would perhaps know something of these lands & of their value. Porter would like to sell them if he could ascertain the latter & obtain an offer equal to it. If you have the means of giving an acct of their value will you address him or me on the subject He does not at present feel disposed to encounter much cost to obtain this information and would expect from you only what you may possibly possess from observation or maps thro' others whom you may know in your vicin32.


ity & who may have seen the Lands in question or otherwise know their value. His wife has a Brother Luther Leonard living in Quincey, Adams Co. to whom they have addressed or intend to address a letter on this subject. I advised them to seek information from you and at their request send you this with my respects and best wishes. Israel Smith son of Pliny who is still living and while your Family lived in Orwell a near neighbor to your Father [Postscript:] About the 16 or 20 July I was in Hinesburg when I saw your Bro. Artemas from whom I understood your Mother & friends in this State were in good health. Your Uncle D. Cutting sold his Farm in our neighborhood last Fall & moved to Chataqua Co State N. Y. some 20 or 30 miles from Erie Penna Harly P. who married your sister Roana is also there possessed of little if any property and tho in pretty good health I believe somewhat anxious to return to this place. In this vicinity we are suffering severely from dry weather nor have the Labors of the Husbandman in this region for this season been very liberally rewarded with abundant crops. Our mowing Lands have yielded light crops of grass corn & potatoes unpromising. Wheat & rye tolerable tho of the former we sow but little of the seed the crop having failed many years owing mainly to a small insect in the ear called weevil. We often hear of the Fertility and abundant crops of the Great Valley of the Mississippi There you are rarely if ever shorn of this abundance If you only had a portion of our Highland Timber Stone & Pure water together with a healthful climate we too should be tempted to tread the favored land. Our Rocks & Ever Greens seem to be our peculiar inheritance and it is perhaps best we should live & die among them. May I ask is yours the paradise we hear of or rather is it the land of hungry swarms of ungorged flies & mosquitoes which only retire as winter approaches. I have no apology in particular for the postscript. The Yankee Curiosity & knack at guessing are proverbial. At our recent State Election the Whigs have succeeded so far as we have heard tho' I believe with majorities a trifle diminished as yours is an Administration State this intelligence may be gratifying. To us it is a source of some regret tho we believe had the Whigs been as prompt to attend the polls as at the Electoral poll last fall the party would show additional strength. If from apathy or indifference our own state politics remain stationary we hear better things from Indiana Kentucky Tennessee & lastly from little Rhode Island Let us try a change of Rulers surely when all is lost we have nothing more to loose an tho "Experiments" are now rather stale I think I would willingly venture upon this one.

so I do not know your politics and shall not offend, if my observations do not meet your approbation. With respect I subscribe myself your friend Israel Smith [U of I. Addressed:] Gershom Flagg Esqr Edwardsville Illinois

33. John Johnson to Gershom Flagg, March



Burlington March 22d 1839 Dear Sir, Your much valued letter of the I I th Feby was duly received. So much time had elapsed after you left here before your letter arrived that we began to fear something might be the matter, and I was glad to learn that the cause of your delay was not more serious. 56 I am greatly obliged to you for the information respecting McAllaster, though I have some fear that my debt may be lost. McAlaster's mother married a man by the name of Brooks for her 2d husband, so that she now goes by that name. She has only one daughter who, and her youngest sister, married Brothers by the name of Purdy. Lyman Purdy who married her daughter is the one who is probably dead. I do not know that it will be material for you to make further enquirey unless it should come directly in your way. I cannot yet fully determine whether I shall visit you next summer or not, and shall not be able to determine until Edwin is here which will probably be in April. If I do not go the coming season my age is such I fear that I never shall, but I am very anxious to go and intend to if I can, and health will permit. I have a Nephew in Alton by the name of Charles Gilpatrick. He is a Clerk in the employ of Hawley and Dunlap, and from what I learn, is a respectable young man. I have written to him respecting you and should you be in Alton you will oblige me by calling on him. My Brother Joseph in La Harp Hancock County has acknowledged the receipt of the letter of which you was the bearer and should it be convenient for you to call on him I hope you will do so. We have had scarcely any rain or snow during the winter and no sleighing. Such a winter I never saw before. There was, however, sufficient cold weather to freeze the lake as early as usual, and cold enough to keep the ice pretty good. So long a time with so little wet in the summer would have destroyed every kind of a crop, and probably the health of the people. As it is we have been pretty healthy, and should we have sufficient wet this spring the drought will not do us much harm. You mention the fires which we have had here, and I believe one or more

51 of them hapened before you was here. The first was the Tavern house at the Lake. The next was the Green Mountain tavern house at the head of Pearl Street. The 3d was the Barns at the American, S. side court house square, all heavy losses. The 4th was the Satinet factory and Block factory at the falls with shops adjoining and saw and paper mills. Loss about 100,000. dollars. Ths last was the Brewery and Malt house near the lake, loss said to be 5000 dollars. These continued fires and loss of property is unparallelled for a place this size, has thrown many out of business and operated very hard on many others. Your connections so far as I know are all in good health, and my family are so, and unite with me in their best respects and good wishes for the health and happiness of yourself and family. Have the goodness to continue a correspondence and believe me very respectfully yours, John Johnson Gershom Flagg, Esqr [U of I. Addressed:] Gershom Flagg Esqr Paddocks Grove Post Office Edwardsville Illinois [On reverse: J Clay for President.


John Johnson to Gershom Flagg, September 29, 1839

Burlington, Sept 29th I 8 39 Dear Sir, I learned by a paper which I recd last evening that my nephew Charles Gilpatrick is dead. This will be a very sad stroke for his parents and other near connections, and altho, I had no personal acquaintance with him, yet his well written letters interested me very much in his favor, and I fondly hoped that I might yet see him in Alton, but he is gone and I may never be there. Will you have the goodness to enquire and let me know when he died, what was his disorder, was he well taken care of and decently intered? I have a brother Joseph Johnson living at La Harp in Illinois, was he there or any of his family? Has any one been there since his death to receive what he left (if anything) and what is the situation as to debts, credits, or property on hand? Charles informed me that he had become considerably acquainted with you and I hope he was favorably known. It was my intention to have visited you the past season but I have been so situated as to be unable to leave. I have had Edwins family with me consisting of 7, with 4 of the connections, also Eliza and her little boy, and Ansons wife, all here on a visit and all here yet. Allen, Eliza's husband has been so engaged as an engineer on the New York and

52 Erie R. Road that he could not leave. Edwin in addition to the care of the New York and Albany R. Road, has taken charge of all the Steven's business in steam boats, Rail Roads, &c. &c. for which purpose they have made him president of the company and he is to reside at Hoboken. Anson is a superintendent on the N. Y. & Albany R. Road. I expect them all home in about a week, when they will each take his family and leave us quite alone. Should my business and health permit I will be in your vicinity next season, but age creeps on so fast that I dare not anticipate the journey with full confidence. I shall be 68 in december. The season here has on the whole, been rather favorable. Hay is abundant. Wheat is destroyed by the fly and the rust, so that there is very little. Other small grains are good. Corn is better than for several years, and we have had no frost until yesterday morning. Butter, Cheese and wool continue to bear a fair price, so that farming is the best business in the Country. You will have learned before you receive this, that Vermont has nearly gone over to Van Buren. This has evidently been brought about by the great exertion on one side and the confident superiority on the other. Add to this, there are many Abolitionists who would sooner sacrifice their Country than their fanaticism, and some of the ablest Whig papers have favored this reckless course. 57 We shall however have a majority in joint ballot, and probably in each house, and I hope we shall learn the necessity of Zeal Union, and harmony. I have been several times in Richmond lately and expect to go again tomorrow, and believe your brother and family are all well. Please enquire a little respecting McAllister and let me know how and where he is. Mrs Johnson and the family desire to be remembered to you in much good will, in which they are joined by your old and true friend. John Johnson Gershom Flagg, Esqr [U of I. Addressed:] Gershom Flagg Esqr Edwardsville Illinois

35. George Churchill to Gershom Flagg, January



Springfield, Illinois,





Dear Sir, We have been this day offici[a]lly informed of the failure of Wright & Co. of London. 58 They had promised to pay the January interest due in London on our state bonds. Messrs. Magniac, Smiths, & Co. of London, have volunteered to make that payment, so as to preserve the credit of the state. Whether we lose anything by Wright & Co., er not, is yet unknown. We shall find out hereafter. If a public debt is a public blessing, Illinois is cer-

53 tainly a blessed state. It is possible the January interest may be paid, but look out for July. A bill has passed both houses to alter the times of holding courts in our vicinity so as to give more time in Madison. School commissioners are to be elected by the people. Truly yours, George Churchill 59 G. Flagg, Esq. Paddock's Grove, 11 [U of I]

36. A. C. Flagg to Gershom Flagg, May

22, 1842

Albany, May 22, 1842. Dear Brother, Your letter of March 21 came duly to hand, with the Map of the north half oflllenois. John Lavender sent me in June or July 1841 $66.56 from you, and I have Gen. Dix's receipt dated July 15, 1841 for $22.92 in full for his share of the 80 acre lot sold; and also for $20.21 cents in full of a balance of$ 18. 40 and interest in in [sic] your lands since July 1839. The lot heretofore sold is therefore all settled, and I have both halves of the Map of Illenois. Henry is with me--we are keeping house a little out of the compact part of the city and have a garden of an acre and a half, filled with the choicest fruit. Henry and myself did most of the work in it last season. He has a great fancy for farming, but he is now in my office. He would be glad to receive an agricultural. [sic] He has the Cultivator from its first establishment, and most of the volumes of the Genesee farmer. He will send papers to your son in return. I am again in the Comptroller's office at a most difficult crisis; since I left the office in 1839, the debt has been increased more than 18 millions of dollars , and 6 per cents which were 20 per cent above par when I left office, I found on my return, after an absence of 4 years 20 percent below par. We have taken a bold stand,-stopped all the public works and levied a tax to pay the debts and restore the credit of the state. I have just filled up a loan of $1,200,000 at 7 per cent at par, by subscription. The subscribers are 192, averaging about 6000 each. On the 20th. inst. I sold 2 rail roads at auction, for $16, mo; to which the state had loaned its credit to the amount of$515, 700: These were the Ithaca and Owego, [sic] and the Catskill and Canajoharie. The loan to the N. York & Erie rail road is also thrown on the state, 3 millions, and this will be advertised for sale in a few days. These are some of the results of that system of developing the resources of the state which has made such sad havoc in Illenois.


If our state can stay stopped we can recover and get on solvent ground. But in one or two years more it would have been too late even for this state with all its revenues and resources. Wait is married and lives in Coshocton, Ohio. He has studied law and is a partner of Jos. Mathews, who is now in Congress. I have not heard lately from Artemus. Your Affectionate brother A. C. Flagg Gershom Flagg, Esq. Paddock's Grove, Illenois [U of I. Addressed:] Gershom Flagg, Esq. Paddock's Grove, Illenois


Gershom Flagg to James Smith, July 11, 1843

Paddocks Grove July I Ith I 843 Dear Sir, I am sorry to hear tht you are unwell60 I am afraid you have been disipating a little more freely than prudence would dictate to show your Indipendence. We recd by mr. K 61 a letter from Mrs. S. in which she boasts of the Wis[dom,] prudence, Perseverance, and enonemy [of] her Husband & she thinks you ought to go about the country Lecturing. I think if you continue to set g[ ood] examples to the world it is all that is required of you. I have been to Springfield and brot down Mrs. Ellis and her three Children Edward C. West came on from Newyork a few days since I have not seen Col Robert62 since Mrs. Smith left here We are all well-George says he has so many things to take up his attention that he cant study latin he says it is getting harder than it was I shall be in St Louis soon Yours truly G. Flagg



Gershom Flagg to Mrs. James Smith, December 16, 1843

Paddocks Grove I 6th Dec. I 843 Dear Mrs. Smith, We recd your letter of the I 3 inst. and have recd one before that since you were here. My Old woman you know never answers letters and I do not always answer those that are not addressed to me, but answer this one by her request. We have been so much engaged in securing and hauling away apples and cider &c. &c. that we have had no time to spare to come and see you. The few days of good weather for the week past I have been engaged in the affairs


of the Nation which you know lie heavily on my shoulders-have been attending a Whig Convention at Springfield to nominate candidates for Electors of President and Vice President. 63 If the weather is not very bad we shall be down next week If the boys go down it will not be before the first of January We will tell you more about things when we come down which will be soon Eat up all you mince pies and preserves before we come down if you can we shall save some Cider for you and apples also. We are well Yours truly Gershom Flagg Mrs James Smith St. Louis Missouri Tell George that his walnuts remain safe & sound and that I shall send them down when the boys go and his apples also [SIU-E. Addressed:] Mrs. James Smith Care of Smith Brothers & Co. St. Louis, Missouri

39. George Churchill to Gershom Flagg, December 3, 1844 Dec. 3, 1844 Dear Sir, Both houses formed quoroms yesterday. A multitude of candidates for the small offices were in town; most of whom were disposed of in the slaughterpen, as usual. At noon Mr. Parish of Franklin, called the H. of R. to order, and Mr. Arnold, of Cook, was appointed Speaker pro tern. After the members were sworn, William A. Richardson, of Schuyler and Brown was chosen Speaker, having 73 votes. Judge Logan had 36. There were 2 scattering, being the votes of the two candidates. Rev. Newton Cloud was chosen Clerk, having 78 votes. Andrew Johnston, of Quincy had 34 votes. The latter is the very best clerk that I know of, in this state; but he is a Whig, and therefore stood no chance. John McDonald, printer, assistant clerk, and John Pierce, of Jefferson, doorkeeper. We are to select an enrolling clerk today. In the Senate, Gen. M. L. Covell, of McLean, was elected Sectary. Noah Johnston, of Jefferson, (late Senator) Enrolling Clerk. W. C. Murphy, of Perry, Sergeant at arms. The vote for Sec't'y of the Senate was 25 for Covell; 13 for Kirby (Whig) 3 Senators absent-2 of them Polkers, the other Whig. So the Senate, when full, stands 14 Claymen, 27 Polkers. In the H. of R. the Polkers have about 2 to 1. We shall probably have the Gov's Message to-day. Pursuant to decree of King Caucus, a Mr. Preston,64 of Wabash was this day appointed engrossing and enrolling clerk.

At II o'clock a. m. we rec'd the Gov's Message, which was read, and 10,000 copies in English, and 2,000 in German were ordered to be printed for the use of the H. of R. The House adjourned till to-morrow: the Senate are to meet again at 2 P. M. Give my respects to your lady, and all my friends at the Grove. Truly Yours, G. Churchill G. Flagg, Esq. [U of I. Addressed:] G. Flagg, Esq. P.M., Paddock's Grove Madison Co., Illinois


George Churchill to Gershom Flagg, December

4, 1844

Springfield, Ill.,

Dec. 4,

I 844

Dear Sir, We gave up the Representative Hall this afternoon to the Electors, and they voted very harmoniously for Polk and Dallas: but the choice of a messenger to carry the returns to Washington, was not so easily effected. The College adjourned for ten minutes but never came back to the Hall. It is said, however, that after 17 ballotings, Mr. John D. Wood got the appointment. 65 This morning a a Polker member from Randolph offered a resolution that it was the duty of the general government to grant relief to the sufferers by the flood in the American Bottom. Of course, it did not pass. Yesterday we had the Gov's Message. The House ordered 10,000 copies in English and 2000 in German. The Senate 4000 in English and 2000 in German. It is said the German copies are to be printed at Belleville. Yours, G.C. [U of I. Addressed:] G. Flagg, Esq. P. M. Paddock's Grove


Willard Flagg to Gershom Flagg, December

12, 1844

St. Louis Mo December 12th 1844 Dear Father We have been here upwards of two weeks and have written home twice but received no letter from you which I think is hardly fair. 66 I should like to hear from home once a week. I received a letter from Volney dated the sixth saying he had been [illegible] the country &c which I supose you have known all about by this time or soon will. He said he was in Springfield. I wish you would send down my boots and The National Leader and Columbian Orater. Ursula can find the latter I expect in the Book Case. The Books that Mr. Wyman has got for us are 2 Goodrich Fourth readers, 2 Comstock


Philosophys, 2 Parkers Grammars, 2 Emmersons third part of Arithmetic, and I Worcesters Dictionary. I have bought a key to the Arithmetic, there being no answers in the Arithmetic to the sums. I have also bought some lead pencils. I had to give 27½ cents for the key. George says there will be at least a week vacation when Christmas comes & I should like to know whether we had better come out or not and how I guess we can foot it in a day. The Surveying is rather hard lately but I guess I can get along with it. There are 50 scholars that write composition. I and Bliss are in the second Class. There are three in all. Mr. Wyman has 2 assistants and a teacher of Greek, Latin and French and a teacher of the lower classes. There are only 2 scholars that study Algebra. We Declaimed today for the first time. I did not like it very well but perhaps I shall like it better after a while. I have not written any compositions yet, only to try what I could do. I like living here in town as well as I expected but not so well as at home. There has been considerable Ice in the river the last few days. We do not work in the Store Saturdays, there is nothing to do. I have went to Sunday School once and am going to hereafter continually. Give my love to all the Folks and Ma in particular. Write soon. Your Affectionate son, Willard P. S. [MS torn] is at Springfield.


42. Gershom Flagg to Willard Flagg, December 19, 1844

Paddocks Grove Dec I 9th I 844 Dear son, Your letter of Dec I 2 in closing one to Volney P. was recd by the Northern Mail Dec 17 I suppose it went up by way of Alton I suppose the Clerks at the Post Offices in St. Louis and Springfield do not know where Paddocks Grove is exactly. I wrote to you on saturday last and also once before and directed the first letter to Col. James Smith perhaps they do not know him by that title in the Post Office and maybe the letter is there yet. You can have my parallal Rule and Circular Protractor if you need them James has so much to do in the way of work that I think he will do but little in the way of studying this winter. We have sold all the wheat that we had out about 2000 bushels We are killing hogs today Volney Ellis is out with his sleeves rolled up hulling ofif] the hair The Rabbits are more troublesome than common this winter we need our Hunters here very much I have found no opportunity to send your Boots Volney Richmond came home last week. You say you want to


know whether you are coming home at Christmas and how I shall leave it entirely to the discretion and the Judgement of Mr. & Mrs. Smith If they think best for you to stay there then you will stay if they think it would be best for you to come home they will write to me and if you come home George perhaps had better come too there will be a good deal of work to do and some Rabbits to kill If Mr. Smith writes to me I will come down and meet you at Mr. Hadleys on such a day as he shall name at about 12 Oclock at noon Should the the weather be very cold or stormy you will do better to stay there I do not see why you cannot go on with your studies and get some lessons beforehand I presume you and Bliss will not be homesick when you are with such good friends It would be but poor return for their kindness should you be dissatisfied and uneasy with your situation. I do not anticipate that you will be homesick but strange notions get into peoples heads sometimes. I will send your Boots the first opportunity If you need another Davis surveying you may get one You say .if you do not work in the store I hope you will find something to do on Satterdays even if it is sawing wood I think it is necessary for you to do some work to keep you in health I hope you get up early so that you will not get lazy and Sleepy We have two barrels of Russets yet I suppose your apples are out by this time The weather is so fine that Ursula is cleaning up the yard Vol. cannot help her because he is busy killing hogs Yours Truly Gershom Flagg Your mother sends her love to you and says she is very much gratified that you thot to mention her in your letter She says that George promised to write to her She is suprised that George has neglected her so much and Bliss he forgot to mention his aunt in his letter She is a little afraid that George & Bliss are getting so full of gentility that they neglect their country friends



Gershom Flagg to Willard Flagg, January 10, 1845

Paddocks Grove Jan 10th 1845 Dear Son, Yours of the 9th has just been received by the hands of Mr. True, also, my Buck-skin mittens I got home safe and sound the day I left St. Louis We are all well and we recd. a letter from Virginia yesterday which states that they are all well Mr. Ellis sent down for Vol. a few days ago but he was so unwilling to go that we let him stay til further orders he does not like to


leave the place at all We have upwards of six thousand Rails hauled in all and have finished hauling and hewing timber for Plates and Posts to our barn We have a school commenced here and Ursula and Volney Ellis are attending school this week N. M. Dorsey says he is going to move to Missouri so that he can have some smuts or Nigs do his work What is Bliss doing that he does not write When I came home from St. Louis I found a letter from George, Mr. & Mrs. Smith with full drawings of a 20 d. nail &c which was written before we went down & got lost on the way we recd the U.S. Post and the two Catelogues but they give no account of when the quarters begin or end or when you have a vacation Perhaps you can tell when your present quarter will be out I want you to stay as long as you can be spared from the farm if you learn well but whenever you get lazy about your studies it will be better to have you at home at work-Do not forget to behave yourself well Yours Truly G. Flagg [SIU-E]

44. George Churchill to Gershom Flagg, January 24, 1845

Springfield, Ill. Jan 24, 1845 Dear Sir, We have this day passed the Nauvoo Charter Repealing Bill by a vote of75 to 3 I. 67 We have a Revenue Bill of 108 sections reported and printed. It is to be taken up in Committee of the whole next Tuesday. We shall certainly send the Assessor and Collector to the people, and I hope make other amendments. The majority of the Committee on Finance stick to the $3 per acre minimum valuation. I go against it. There is no talk of making or reviving any banks. A bill has been ordered to a third reading in the H. of R. to remit the taxes of I 844 and '45 to those persons in the American Bottoms who have lost their property by the flood. I suppose you read Virginius in the Mo. Republican. He don't know every thing-else he would not say that the present tax was only 15 cents on the $100. Why don't you write to me? Truly yours, George Churchill Gershom Flagg, Esq, Paddock's Grove, Ill [U of I. Addressed:] G. Flagg Esq., P.M. Paddock's Grove Madison Co., Illinois

60 45. G. Flagg to Willard Flagg & Willard F. Bliss, Jan. 28, 1845

Paddocks Grove Jan 28


Dear Boys, We recd your letters on saturday and I am sorry to say that both your letters seem to have been written with less care than usual The penmanship of each was not as good as you had been in the habit of before you went to the tea party I have written to Mr Smith to settle your school bill We had a letter from Mrs . Ellis that states that Orville Paddock's child was better and out of danger. Mr. Jones the receiver of Public moneys at Edwardsville died last friday night We have all the rails hauled to fence in our field except about 200 and nearly all the timber hauled for the barn Mr Morris has been getting out his wheat last week The Rain yesterday has stopped his work Solon Robinson Travelling Correspondent and Agent for the Albany Cultivator was here last week and I have subscribed for the last 6 volumes of the Cultivator Your mother says if the weather is good she wants to come down to St. Louis some 4 or 5 weeks hence She thinks Mrs Smith will learn to play upon her Piano by that time She does not like to visit people that have no Piano When you write again I want George to write I begin to want to know whether he is going to help us farm next summer The fences, bushes, and every thing is covered with snow this morning We are all well Give my love to Mrs. Smith, George and all the rest of our friends and believe me Yours most affectionately, G. Flagg W. C. F. & W. F. B. [SIU-E. Addressed:] Willard C . Flagg & Willard F. Bliss, St Louis Missouri

46. George Churchill to Gershom Flagg, January 31, 1845

Polk & Dallas A. W. Caverly, ---58599 S. Lisle Smith, -----45, 750 John D. Wood, ---58,700 Abraham Lincoln, --45, 757 Willis Allen,---58,604 Joseph Gillispie, ----45, 790 A . C. French, ---58,604 E. B. Webb, ---45,757 Wm. A. Richardson,-58,604 U . F. Linder,---45, 754 John Dement, ---58,602 J. J. Brown, - - - 4 5 , 754 Isaac N. Arnold, ----58,605 Archibald Williams, -45,302 John Calhoun, ---58,605 Martin P. Sweet, ---45,782 Norman H. Purple, -58,469 William Brown, ---45, 757

61 Birney & Morris Richard Eells, ---3439 Owen Lovejoy, ---3437 Robert Marchall, --3434 Wm. K. Laughlin, ---3430 Peter Stuart,----3435 Thomas More, ---3434 Nehemiah West, --3434 Julias A. Willard, --3434

Miscelleneous. Henry Clay, - - - - - 1 3 Theodore Frelinghuysen,-63 James K. Polk, ---161 George M. Dallas, --161 "Whigg Electors", - - - 2 Scattering, - - - - - - 8

Springfield, Ill. Jan. 31, 1845 Dear Sir, Your letter of 28th came to hand last night. Above you have the result of the Electoral Election in Illinois. You see that Joseph is highest on the Clay ticket. The Interest Bill was yesterday ordered to a third reading in the H. of R., without amendment, 59 to 53. Of course it will pass. Lenders can take no more than 6 per cent, except School fund; which can take 8. Yours, G. Churchill G. Flagg, Esq. Paddock's Grove, Ill. [U of I. Addressed:] G. Flagg, Esq. P. M. Paddock's Grove, Ill.

47 . Gershom Flagg to Mrs. James Smith, February 10, 1845

Paddocks Grove Feb. IO, 1845 Dear Mrs. Smith, We did not receive any letter from you on Saturday. Mr. Burnham from Bunker Hill called here on Saturday and said that you gave him a letter to bring to us but that he lost it He did not know that it was lost until he came here We went over to Mr. Wests yesterday Mrs. Carroll Mrs. Wests Mother, fell the other day and hurt her leg perhaps broke some of the bones and is in a very bad fix Mrs. West is quite poorly and Mortimor Dorsey's wife is not much better I presume you never intend to come here or you would have been up this fine weather when the Roads are so good [Per]haps you cannot leave that Pianer [I] do not know what you are coming [to] You seem to be progressing in style and Ettiquette almost as much as the Democracy of Aristocracy. 68 I suppose the boys will begin to think about farming this warm weather tell them that I have written to them since I recd any letters from them and I will Write them as soon as I receive a letter from them Mr Huntington talks of going to St. Louis to lecture upon Moral and


Religious subjects I hope you will go and hear him And Especially Mr. Smith I am so vexed about Polk & Dallas and especially Texas that I wish the Devil had the whole concern He will get them no doubt but I want he should have them immediately Truly yours, G. Flagg


48. George Churchill to Gershom Flagg, February 10, 1845

Springfield, Ill.,



I 845

Dear Sir, A bill to reduce to $1000 a year the salaries of the Judges of the Supreme Court hereafter elected, passed the H. or R. on Saturday 74 to 33, and the Senate today, 3 I to 8. Now as three Judges are to be elected this winter we shall make a retrenchment of $1500 a year, if no more vacancies take place on the supreme Court Bench. Some say we cannot get qualified men for $1000 a year; but I predict that Judges Shield, Thomas, and Caton,69 will be quite willing to serve the dear people for that sum, although I have no doubt they would prefer $1500 a year. Inclosed you have the ayes and noes in the H. of R. This mark (!) means aye and ( + ) means No. The markes on the left hand of the names, give the vote on ordering the bill to the 3d reading: the marks on the right hand denote the vote on the final passage. 70 Mr. Strong was for allowing $1,200 a year, and not being able to get such an amendment adopted he voted against the bill. Mr. Barnsback 71 and myself concluded to try $1000 first, and if no judges could be had at that salary, the legislature could increase it. We can increase the salary when we please, but cannot reduce it while the judge is in office. Some of the Locos 72 talk strongly of addressing all the judges out of office so as to reduce their salaries; but it appears to me that it would be a violation of the constitution more ruinous to the credit of the state than the payment of high salaries to six judges. Gov. Ford offers to put up with $1500 a year, if permitted to reside where he pleases. Yours, G. Churchill G. Flagg, Esq. [In Margin:] P.S. Both houses have resolved to adjourn on the 1st Monday of March, or sooner. [U of I & SIU-E. Addressed:] G. Flagg, P. M. Paddocks Grove, Madison Co., Illinois

63 49. George Churchill to Gershom Flagg, February 19, 1845

Springfield, Ill., Feb. 19, 1845 Dear Sir, Judges Shields, Thomas, and Caton, were re-elected on Monday .night. They are to have $1000 a year; and the same men would have been judges had the salary remained at $1500. Ewing is re-elected Auditor, and Carpenter, treasurer. Wm. Blair, a member from Pike. died today of congestion of the brain. He was taken sick last Saturday. Appearances indicate that the bid of Samuel A. Buckmaster for the Penitentiary at $5100 a year, and changing the labor of half the convicts to the manufacture of hempen articles, will prevail. In the H. of R., the bill in his favor has been ordered to a third reading, 60 to 47. 7 3 A new Nauvoo Charter has passed the H. or R.; but as unfavorable reports have lately reached us from the holy city, I doubt the passage of the charter through the Senate. This day has been chiefly spent on the bill providing for paying a part of the interest on the public debt; but no vote was taken by which I could ascertain the strength of the parties. If we pay even a small part of the interest, it is believed the bond holders will take courage and finish the canal under the act of 1843. Truly Yours, George Churchill G. Flagg, Esq. Paddock's Grove, Ill. [U of I. Addressed:] G . Flagg, Esq. P.M., Paddock's Grove, Madison Co., Ill.

50. Gershom Flagg to James Smith, February 27, 1845

Paddocks Grove

Feb. 27,


Dear Friends We got home safe and sound Monday night and found all well we shall get the barn up this week Tell Wm his cow has a calf, they say a very pretty one; but I have not seen it yet, although it is nearly a week old The Dogs and I killed an Oposson last night about 11 O'clock he was in pursuit of chicken but met his death Mr. Calvin's house was burnt I hear yesterday in the afternoon and the family all turned out doors. I believe they saved most of the furniture. We heard from Springfield yesterday they are all well Willard you must not enclose letters to me for other people I have no right as P.M. to receive any letters but those directed to me I have not time to write much I have

not yet set out the grape vine Mrs. Smith gave me and I must go and set it out now. Yours Truly G. Flagg [ U of I. Addressed:] James Smith Esqr. St. Louis Missouri care of Smith Brothers


51. G. Flagg to W. C. Flagg & W. F. Bliss, March 15, 1845

Paddocks Grove

March I 5



Dear son and Nephew, I recd your letters of yesterdays date by Mr. Jacob True who staid all night with us. He was tired and cold when he got here about dark We have not ploughed any yet our work is going on rather slowly we have most of the rafters hewed for the barn and Mr Graves is framing them I went to a sale yesterday and purchased 27 Philagree plains Your "latin without a Master" came to hand last Mail If I understand aright your quarter will be out three weeks from to day if so I shall be down after you most likely on Friday and return on Saturday and not stay to attend Church on Sunday I want you to enquire after and find some blue grass seed and ascertain the price pr. bu. I shall want about 3 bushels of Blue Grass seed to sow where I am going to lay my fence we have hauled out 13500 Rails and have hauled up this week some 6 or 8 cords of wood. John Foster, Mr. Ross and Mr Round have all rented land of me this season besides Mr Morris-Volney has bought a plantation of N. M. Dorsey. Mr Sabin now owns the 80 acres west of Mr Davis' but will not go to work at it soon I suppose. Mr Wood is hauling off his share of Apple trees I think we shall not graft many this Spring as we have so much other work to do. This weather I am afraid will injure the fruit. We shall have hay corn and oats to sell this Spring unless the cold weather continues very late Ask Mr. William Smith whether he is going to send for his cow she has a fine young calf. I recd a letter from Virginia or rather from Mr Ellis and he says Volney Richmond wrote to Virginia that He and his Mother and you, & Volney Ellis would make them a visit about the first of April and that Virginia was making great preperations to receive them-I think this will turn out to be an April fool for I am sure none of you can go Virginia is not well she has a bad cough and is troubled with Rhumatism I shall write to Virginia to day Volney Ellis is growing very fast and is very healthy I tell him he will sell for 200 dollars since Texas is annexed but he declares he will not go [?] Su-

san Paddock says Mrs Perry was to send her a Scotch Larch tree but Mrs. Perry has forgotten the name and wants Susan to send her the name now susan wants you to give or send the name to Mrs. P. The name I suppose that is the musical name is-Scotch Larch-I think likely it is a spruce tree Truly yours. G. Flagg W. C. F. & W. F. B. [SIU-E. Addressed:] W. C. Flagg & W. F. Bliss St. Louis Mo.

52. Gershom Flagg to Willard Flagg, March 25, 1845

Paddocks Grove

March 25th

I 845

Dear Son, Yours, Bliss and Mrs. Smiths letters of the 23d & 24 recd today inasmuch as your quarter will last a week longer than you supposed I have made up my mind to have you come home as soon as this qr is out and shall come down after you at the end of the term There has been a great fire in M[ rs] Paddocks fields this afternoon a[ nd) all the Men and part of the women in the neighborhood turned out to fight it it was the worst fire to manage that I ever saw in the Prairie we could not put it out even when the wind was in our favor and we had to let it run through the fences and then tear them down to prevent the rails from being burnt They have lost a good many Rails I do not know how many They have hired a wild Irishman lately and he undertook to burn over the stubble ground and the fire spread as it had a right to do all over the fields your Aunt Enos Mary and Susan had a pretty hard time of it as well as all the rest of us I want George to write and let me know whether he will be ready to come out with you Yours Truly G. Flagg [In left Margin:) You had better study Legendre, that is if Mr. Wyman thinks it best to do so, if you do not get through you can study some after you come home [On reverse:) l do not know but you will begin to complain of my writing soon I think I have written 20 letters with this pen without mending I write with all sides of it and have been very much hurried for the last few days I think we will finish hauling Rails next week We have planted nothing yet some of my tennants are sowing oats to day I was in Alton yesterday but did not see R. Smith I presume he has not come up out of the land of Misery yet Yours G. Flagg [SIU-E]

66 5f Gershom Flagg to James Smith, October 16, 1845

Paddocks Grove

Oct. 16th


Dear Sir, George has been writing to you this morning and after finishing requested me to write some as he could not think of any thing more to write and did not think there was five cents worth in his letter. I met with your Brother the Hon. Robert Smith in Edwardsville day before yesterday on his way to Belville in the Service of the Dear people I suppose If you should fall in with the Patriot McKinzie's 74 book I wish you would send it to me [you] ca[n g]et it without stealing it I should like to see how this pet and favorite of the Locos has paid them off He was always a troublesome fellow but the locos were in need of such men to carry out their principals In stealing these letters he has followed the examples set before him Hoyt 75 Stole the public money and why should not a canadian reffugee steal letters and publish them Give my love to Mrs. Smith and believe me Yours Truly G. Flagg [SIU-E .]

54. Gershom Flagg to James Smith, November 17, 1845

Paddocks Grove Nov. 17th 1845 Dear Sir, I shall be down with the boys next friday weather permitting George wishes me to say to you that he directed his last letter to James Smith, without saying to the care of Smith Brothers & Co. and he thinks that is the reason you have not recd it I suppose the letter is important and he says you say nothing about it in your last letter and of course you have not recd it I shall bring George with the other boys and he thinks it all important to take his 25 dollar double barrelled stub & twist gun with him he says your house is dry and it will not rust as bad as it will in our old Cabbin I shall let him take the gun unless you think it best to leave it here Will wishes to know how many bushels of black Walnuts he may take with him to St. Louis I told him I would consult Mrs. Smith on the subject and let him know I did not know how she would like shells scattered about the house and especially upon her carpets I wish you would let me know how many bushels Mrs. Smith is willing to admit into her house George has been somewhat troubled by your letters and is very anxious about going to St. Louis he does not like the idea of staying out here all winter

Mrs. F. will not come down with us she thinks she cannot leave home write to me by Thursdays mail if you receive this in time we are all well and have had a little rain at least to lay the dust Truly Yours G. Flagg [SIU-E.]

55 .

Gershom Flagg to Willard Flagg, December

4, 1845

Paddocks Grove Dec. 4 I 845 Dear Son, We recd your letter day before yesterday and made out to read it You say you will do better next time which I am glad to hear for I think there is great room for improvement We are all well but miss our hunters very much James went out the other day (Saturday) and killed five Prairie hens and I killed two yesterday We have been hauling and today we have four teams hauling corn foder Foster Wood & Morris have not done gathering corn yet Old Mr Brown the Scotchman died last Sunday I do not think your skates and skating will amount to much good I think you will get a good many falls on the ice and you are so heavy that if your feet should slip from under you a pretty bump on the head would be the consequence besides there is much danger of breaking through the ice at times and you cannot swim and there will be nobody present able to pull our I 3 5 lbs If you need exercise sawing wood would be very good and I should recommend the Mr. Smiths if they have any work of that kind to do to set you at it for I am afraid that unless you and bliss get some work to do [In margin:] The stage is come [SIU-E.]


Gershom Flagg to Willard Flagg, December

13, 1845

Paddocks Grove Dec. I 3 1845 Dear Son, Your mother wishes me to write to you to lay by your skates She says if you cannot sell them there she will take them and pay you for them and lay them up She thinks your skating gives her more pain than it can give you pleasure For my part I never could see the use in skating it only makes your ankles lame and you might make yourself lame by hard labor on land and be perfectly free from danger If you should happen to fall through the ice on the mississippi that would be the end of you as the current would take


you right under the ice I hope you will keep yourself on land until it becomes necessary to walk upon water [unsigned] [SIU-E .]


Gershom Flagg to Willard Flagg, December 17, 1845 Paddocks Grove

Dec 17


Dear Son, I received your letter of yesterday, day before &c. It appears from your letters that you think I do not write news enough So this letter shall be devoted to news and you can judge whether it is interesting or not As to Christmas I cannot tell now whether I shall be able to cross the inland Sea or not If it should be difficult to cross the mighty waters you had better see if you cannot find Christmas in St. Louis. I think I shall have to go to St. Louis soon and if so you can ride all the way home. I will let you know in time I do not wish you to loose any time from School I will write to you on Tuesday next & let you know what about Christmas and I wish you to write to me the same day and let me know how the river is and whether you begin to feel fussy about Christmas Write too on Saturday if you find it convenient and let me know all about the inland Sea We have two 3 year old steers that have died with the murrain since you left I have sold Mr Wood the Riffle that had a piece broke out of the stock for seven dollars and bought of him a hay knife for $1. 50 and William Foster has killed one deer and one Rabbit and one Fox squirrell with it the Rifle in one day Wood finished gathering corn yesterday and the Fosters to day we shall turn the Cattle into the field tomorrow Mr. Morris has his corn all hauled out we have hauled all the corn in the north part of the Orchard and about half of the wheat in the South part The Rabbits have not injured our trees much this winter yet there is now and then a Rabbit to be seen but I expect it will be death to them when our hunters come home by the by our Powder is nearly out Not I think more than half a pound left We shall have to lay in a new stock we had only eight pounds I believe last Spring We have heard nothing from Springfield or from your Uncle Willard or any body else lately The folks are all getting too lazy to write I believe Samuel Buel and his dad are engaged now as traveling merchants Mr. Buel made a sale the other day I think he is about to quit farming Thomas Buck and Adam Hoe are at work here yet We have hauled some

wood but our business is rather in a dull state this winter James is going to school and our neighbors like slay riding and trading better than work I do not think we shall do much until our hands come from St. Louis Round went down into the field one day to cut some grass to cover his corn crib and laid his Scythe on the ground to load up the grass and drove the gray horse onto the Scythe and cut his leg very bad & he has been quite lame ever since. Tim sings as well as ever and is just as happy as he was before he was married I want you to enquire the price of Hay Corn and Pork in the market I shall have to sell something to pay my expenses I think I am rather growing poor at any rate money is getting rather scarce While I think of it I will mention that we are all well that is reasonably so Ursuly and myself are rather poor in flesh but I think we shall winter well If it should be very bad crossing the river you had better ask Mrs. Smith to give you a Christmas dinner and not come home until the ice is out of the river I recd a letter from Bliss and I thought I mentioned it in your letter we have had no opportunity to send down his pantaloons and French books We have our cribs all full of Corn and shall have about 300 bushels of stock corn to husk out which we have in the new barn I think we will invite our St. [Lou ]is boys to a husking betwee[n] Christmas and [New Ye]ars We have hauled up only two loads of [the] sod corn yet if there should be good sleding while you are up here [I] think it would be fine fun for you to haul Corn Some how or other you write so bad that I cannot very well read your letters I think you had better try to write a little better I wish George would write to me I can read his writing very well and Bliss writes very well but yours seems to be very much blotted up besides many extra flourishes which bothers me much I have not been away from home much since you left I have to bring in wood and keep up a fire and it seems like Sunday all the time If this letter should not be long enough to suit you I will get Tim and Ursula to write to you. Give my love to all our friends Yours Truely G. Flagg [SIU-E.]


Gershom Flagg to Willard Flagg, December 23, 1845

Paddocks Grove Dec. 23 I 845 Dear Son, I have not been able to get my horses shod yet it has been so slippery that could not go to Edwardsville or Alton and I have been three times to Choats but could not get them shod I suppose you will start home tomorrow If you write to me to day that you are coming home to morrow

70 I shall start in the morning to meet you but do not know whether I can get further than the Steam mill in Edwardsville I think if you start early you will get some chance to ride as there is a great many waggons now [on] the Road Perhaps you may con[clu]d to stay in St. Louis if so I will know it by your letter and of course shall not come to meet you If you have so concluded to wait until I come down to St. Louis you will have to wait until I can get my horses shod and I do not know when that will be if you are determined to come home & do not inform me that you will start tomorrow then start next day and I will do the best I can and meet you on the road somwehere between here & St. Louis We are all well and Ursula is some what disturbed for fear we shall not have Christmas enough You may bring one hundred dollars of the money that I have with Smith brothers and Co. if they think proper to let you do so (that is if it's not silver which will be too heavy for you to carry) Missouri money will answer here as well as Specie Give my love to all enquiring friends and believe me your affectionate Father Gershom Flagg


59a. Gershom Flagg to Willard Flagg, January 16, 1846 Paddocks Grove Jan. 16, 1846 Dear Son, Your letter of the 11th inst. was received yesterday post marked the 13th I do not know why it takes two days for a letter to come from St. Louis to this place Your letter is very good but there are two or three mistakes made in it I think if you improve as much as you have you will soon write an excellent letter Yours and Mrs. Smith's account of Mr. Giles do not agree You say that "Mr G is a small man and very much deformed"-Mrs. S. says "he is a great fellow" I killed the large Buck that has been frequenting our fields on monday last I shot him withJames Bliss' Oregon Rifle he ran about fifteen rods and fell dead having been shot through in the region of the heart I had discovered the Deer very near Kellys well before I went down with the gun and sent Tim around by Round's to attack him on the right flank in case I did not kill him Tim appeared with his artillery loaded with grape shot about a hundred and fifty Rods N.E. of the well just about the time I fired and came to my assistance upon a run he soon went & sent Adam down with the Cart and Oxen to haul up the buck he was very large This is considered the most decided & splendid victory that has been performed for some time Several have been on the look-out for this Buck for the last two months Your Mother went to Alton with me tuesday which was a very pleasant


day she bought a pair of shoes for herself a pair for Ursula A cap for James and finally spent about 8 dollars but I do not recollect now what she purchased excepting half a dozen glass tumblers We saw Capt. Rider and learnt they were all well but had not time to go and see the ladies we called a little time to see Mrs Debow. 76 We killed 17 hogs on wednesday and cut up & salted most of them yesterday It has been raining very moderately most of the time since yesterday It rained so much this morning that Ursula could not go to school and all hands are at work trying out lard &c &c. Mr. Wood has had the feever and ague for this two week's more or less Mr hand. was sick yesterday The fosters have been threshing out corn this week and Round has been hauling it to Alton They sell it at 20cts. A man stayed here last night that lived within twenty miles of Chicago and had been to St. Louis for sugar I told him that it was a great pity that he lived so far from home---he said it was indeed that it would take him 28 days to make the trip Mr Edward C. West & wife have been on the eve of starting for New York for several days 77 They were to have started on monday last and now they are to start tomorrow they will go by water or steam boat Mr Liscum has sold his Farm to Warren Case and Mr. Hodgman has purchased Pierces farm which was sold at public sale on Saturday last for $4.62½ ct pr acre 78 I have swaped oxen with James Bliss and have sold his (that were) to Adam for $50 I believe that you now have all the news except that Ursula has lent the horse Fiddle to James Blankenship Truely yours G. Flagg


59b. Gershom Flagg to Mrs. James Smith Dear Madam, We recd. your Eloquent letter last night in which you seem to be rejoiced that you have got rid of one great and dark evil and among the rest that you are tempted to go to New Orleans with your husband now this is not so bad as it would be if you was tempted to go with some other man You ask Our opinion about it and want to know what we think about it My better half is decidedly in favor of your going She says that if you can send Jane up here we will be glad to take care of her and thinks when you return she will be able to come down and bringJane home as she shall wish to see [you] soon after your return to learn the latest fashions she thinks she cannot come down before you go she is decid-

72 edly anti-going out much in cold weather I could go any time when the traveling is not too bad You know I am always ready to do as I am commanded As for my opinion it will amount to very little When a woman is determined to go you know there is no puting a veto upon her go she must and I see no reason in this case why you should not go provided the River rises sufficiently I would not go ifl was in your place when the river was so low as to be in danger every hour of running against a snag or onto a sand bar especially in cold weather Let us know in your next how you all Eat sleep We are doing well and believe me Yours Trudy Gershom Flagg [SIU-E]

60. Gershom Flagg to Willard Flagg, February, 14, 1846

Paddocks Grove Feb. 14 1846 Dear Son, Your letter of the 6th was recd on tuesday last I left word with Mr. Jones to pay your school bill I only expect you to pay for what time you went and not for the entire quarter Your bill is more than I supposed it would be but perhaps it is all right I have sold a yoke of Oxen (Sawny and Ben) for 50 dollars to Mr. Jacob True which will enable me to pay your next bill I am in hopes I have sold James Bliss' oxen to Adam Hay to pay him for his work and have let James have two younger yoke for them We have another tremoundous snow storm on hand The Demons at Springfield in convention assembled have nominated a Mr. French for our next Governor and a Mr. Wells for Lieut. Govemor79 I have sold two of our last summers pigs for ten dollars My taxes this year are about 60 dollars I have sold one Oregon Rifle since you left but no land yet we are all well Truly Yours G. Flagg [In margin:] Give my love to Mr. & Mrs. Churchill Bliss George &c G. F. [SIU-E]

61. Gershom Flagg to Willard Flagg, February 19, 1846

Paddocks Grove Feb. 19 1846 Dear Son, The last letter we recd from you was dated the 6th being 13 days since We have not heard a word from you since that date What can be the


matter that none of you write I have written two letters since one to you and one to Bliss You should write every week at least You write that Mr. & Mrs. Smith went upon the Steamer Champion and George says upon the Champlain one of you must have been in eror Here we are, all well, in the midst of another severe snow storm The roads are rather bad We have hauled the sod corn all off the wheat onto the grass & are feeding out about four shocks a day to the cattle we feed the sheep with hay corn has fell to 15 cents pr. bushel in Alton James and David Morris have been making and hauling out rails to fence in the land we broke for them last summer Mr Crawford has sold 80 acres of his land half timber & half Prairie for 7 dollars per acre $560 John Herr wants to sell his farm Mr Barrett has sold his I hear & is going to Boston in the spring Volney I believe is talking of going into partnership with Mort. Dorsey he has not hauled out a single rail yet and has not finished husking his corn North West is about leaving these diggings or has left perhaps he is going to try to get into some business in St. Louis and if he cannot he intends to go to Santa fee or New York or Galena or new Orleans State of Georgia or some other good place where he can live easier and make more money than he can here I think it will be a pretty slim chance Times are getting very dull I think everywhere If I do not receive a letter from you to day I shall supose that yourself Bliss and George are all sick or have been kidnaped There is a rumer here that a German girl in St. Louis after having been missing several days was found the medical college with her head cut off &c &c have you heard anything about it 80 What has become of Major Smith the Bunker hill [far]mer? have you heard any thing from Mr & Mrs Smith since they left St. Louis? Please give my love to all and believe me yours truely Gershom Flagg W. C. Flagg St. Louis Mo. [SIU-E]

62. Gershom Flagg to Willard Flagg, March 15, 1846

Paddocks Grove March I 5 '46 Dear Son, Your letter of the 8th has been recd I have not had time to write before I have been to Edwardsville twice last week and once to Alton We have sole upward of 400 apple trees last week. We are building a frame smoke house 14 X 14 feet IO posts Mr True staid here as he went home and Mr Cavender staid here last thursday night I will send Mr. Jones the shrubs if possible to find an opportunity I have hired

74 Henry Cork for two months and a young man by the name of Charles Foster is now at work for me by the month Tim has commenced work building a log cabbin on his own land We have 8 calves and seven lambs and lots of pigs. Mr Liscum has already moved into Buels Cabbin and Case has moved into his. John Kerr has sold his Farm to a Dutch family & he is going to Alton Mr Reily is going up north this Spring I bought a new coat and pantaloons for James Bliss last Saturday Mr Debow I understand is in St. Louis book keeping or clerking Old Mr. Harrison and his son James are about to move to Alton & Estabrook is going north as soon as the grass gets well up An Englishman who has 800 volumes of Books has been talking about buying Mr. Crawfords farm We have killed no more deer about here lately I wish you and George would see if you can find any blue grass seed in St Louis and find out the price it bears I sent to Madison Indiana for some but the price was too high 81 Truly Yours Gershom Flagg W. C. Flagg [SIU-E]

63. Gershom Flagg to Artemas Flagg, December 17, 1846

Paddocks Grove Ill Dec I 7th I 846 Dear Brother, It has been a long time since I have heard from you but perhaps this is my fault for I believe you wrote me last I hope you will write to me when you receive this We are all quite well and have been generally well for the last three years I had a very severe spell of sickness last sept which lasted about four weeks I lost 30 pounds in weight in the time Just before I was sick I weighed 215 lbs. I am now well again and weigh 200 lbs. which is as much as I wish to carry about James Bliss was 21 last Nov. or last month he is yet here at work for me and going some to school when the weather is bad his health is very good and he is a very good size although he was small for his age when young Willard Bliss and my son Willard C. are at school in St. Louis this winter This is the 3d winter they have been there They work at home on the farm about 7 months and go to school about 5 months each year They have studied and I believe understand Grammar, Arithmetic,


Geometry, & surveying pretty well They have been and are now studying Philosophy The French language Geology &c &c and have a notion of learning the German language They are 17 years old and a little over Ursula Bliss is at home and is heavyer than either of the boys and always well While I was sick James Bliss and Willard my son made 120 bls. Cider we have sold 5 or 6 hundred dollars worth of Apples and Cider this last fall We have had floods pestilence and war since I wrote you in 1844 the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers over-flowed their banks in June and July and the bottoms were some 8 or ten feet under water for several weeks and steam Boats crossed over the Prairie from St. Louis to the Illinois bluff about 7 miles The fences in the bottom were all washed away and many houses cattle and hogs were lost and all the crops wer killed and most of the fruit trees 1845 was a very sickly season indeed & in 1846 the beautiful war of Mr. Polks came on four regiments of men went from this state and left here about the first of July to go some 800 miles right south we do not suppose that more than half of them will ever return such a change of climate in such a season of the year will of course create a large amount of sickness The farmers have found it difficult to get hands to harvest their wheat the past season if the men who are now sick and dying in Rio Grande had been left at home I think they would have done quite as much good none of the men from this state among the volunteers have seen the Elephant 82 and by the time they learn how be soldiers and get in sight of the beast their twelve months will be out and they will return home to tell their long stories about long marches starvation sickness &c &c We recd the Presidents Message to Congress Just one week after it was read in the house which was sooner than we ever recd news from washington before at this season of the year I am sorry that we have commenced conquering other nations it will it will [sic] be likely to lead us into the same ditch where Rome now lies and many other war like nations Sister Mary remains the same as she was the last time I wrote you she has had no sickness at all Our country is improving some but not very fast We make very little progress in paying our state debt Pork is only worth here about 2 dollars pr. cwt. Wheat from 50 to 60 cents corn 20 to 30 Oats from 16 to 25 work about IO pr month, you will see by the prices that farming is not the most profitable business in the world for those that have to hire their work done I hope you will write to me soon and let me know how you are and how your children are doing give my love to all and believe me Yours Truly G. Flagg [U of I]

64. Gershom Flagg to Willard Flagg, January 14, 1847

Paddocks Grove Jan. 14


Dear Willard, Your letter dated the 7th was recd. the 12th it was post marked the 9 and the way bill was dated the 12th The day after you left here we had no mail The very mail that should have been sent this way was sent up by Jacksonville from St. Louis & on the 12 the driver left the mail in Edwardsville and I had to send James after it The driver supposed the P. M. at Edwardsville had taken a drop too much and Barnsback said the driver was drunk and went off and left the mail-you do not say in your letter whether you have paid Mr. Smith IO$ and Mrs. Smith $3.60 or what you did with your beans & cheese &c &c We are all well the thermometer has been as low as zero two or three times but is now, 2 O'clock at 58° above which is "a right smart" difference we have had no corn gathered since you left The suckers 83 about here have been pretty near frozen out We have no man here but James I recd. a letter from your Uncle Artemas-they are all well & Gershom is 21 last Oct The roads have been wretched bad in going home from Alton I went by way of experiment as you strongly recommended through Moores lane I found a place there so bad that I had to get out and with a rail under the hub of one wheel lift it out of the mud before the horses could pull it out I wish you would find out what time the[y] close the mail in St. Louis so as to put your letters in so that they come by the first mail your letters that are written on friday do not generally get here until tuesday following Truly Yours G. Flagg


65. Gershom Flagg to James Smith, January 23, 1847 Mr. James Smith, Dear Sir, Some exertion has been made in this part of Illinois to induce our Legislature to repeal the 6 pr. cent interest law upon the grounds that as Missouri allowed IO pr. cent much capital was going from this state to yours but it appears now that the wise heads in Missouri have knocked theses reasons into flinders by reducing the interest in Missouri to the same that it is in Illinois I presume this is done for the benefit of the poor Some men [wh ]o have been letting out money at IO & 12 pr c[ent] are in a sad fix now they say they cannot live on 6 pr cent We have recd no Louisville Journal here


for Jan. The St. Louis Republican and the Alton Telegraph that should have been here last Saturday the 16th have not been recd. this 23 The New Era printed on saturday gets here on tuesday of late The Philadelphia papers do not come at all this month all caused "by the conduct of Mexico" I suppose Truly Yours G. Flagg [On reverse:] We have just this moment heard by Mr J[ohn] Smith that William Lathy 84 died yesterday at two O'clock I have broken open this letter to inform you of it he will be buried tomorrow afternoon 6 O'clock P.M. 23 Jan G. F. [SIU-E]

66. G. Flagg to W. C. Flagg & W. F. Bliss, February



Paddocks Grove Feb 2d I 84 7 Dear Boys, I did not write you on Saturday last for want of time The stage came along some four hours sooner than has been usual of late We are all well We killed our hogs yesterday and salted the same we had but 8 hogs if we do not have pork enough we shall have to feed upon the sheep like wolves mr. Round is out and gone to live with Mr. Hoxie & Mr Cowle will occupy fort Round next summer Mort Dorsey's wife has another son & William Newmans wife do. William Newman it is said has bought out Esq. Stone and Mort Dorsey talks of moving to Metamoris and going into the Mercantile business Dorsey has lately recd a letter from North West he says he is delighted with a soldiers life & Marching 40 miles a day upon one quart of water he is very much displeased with the Officers Old McIntire the old coal digger has got back to Edwardsville He says that he was sent out by the Officers to graze the horses and while thus occupied he was taken by a party of Indians and carried to parts unknown in the wilderness from which he made his escape and made the best of his way to some white settelment and finally brot. up at Alton. He was said to have deserted from the Army some 3 months ago. I understand they have a Post Office at Matamoros Hiram Hustis P.M. We have had no letters from Springfield for some time we recd a paper from there the last mail which gave an account of the fire there Johnsons Citty hotel and several other buildings were destroyed O Hintons Stage horses have been attached in Edwardsville but the Mail Stage still goes ahead somehow I have not heard from Doct. Lathy's family lately I understand they are sadly grieved at for the loss of William Soloman Pruitt 85 is in very bad health I am told but I have not seen him lately

Our wheat is in the barn yet I am in hopes we shall be able to thrash it out in a week or two If Messrs Smith Brothers & Co will pay your school bills I shall be able to pay them the money soon I have to pay this year $60 dollars tax for myself and in all for myself and others $118. Ask Mr. Smith what Auditors Warrants are worth in St. Louis and if there is any to be purchased there and let me know the result of your enquiries in your next letter to me I am very sorry to hear that Mrs Smith is unwell hope she is better Give my love to Mr. & Mrs. Smith and believe me Yours Truly Gershom Flagg W. C. Flagg & W. F. Bliss St. Louis Missouri P.S. I am glad to hear, Willard, that you have read Prescotts Conquest of Mex[ico] The stage has come 12 o'cl[ock]



Gershom Flagg to W. Flagg and W. Bliss, February 9, 1847

Paddocks Grove Feb. 9 I 84 7 Dear Boys, I think it is about two weeks since I had a letter from you hope to get one to day I write to let you know that we are all well but have not time to write much as I have to sharpen the Sausage meat cutter a machine which I borrowed yesterday which they say grinds up the meat very fast I hear that the Mississippi River is about running dry if it should we should all find ourselves a great way from home There has been several very sudden deaths lately South West & West from here in the region between here and Alton It appears that the persons who died were first attacked with a cold and chill and some of them died in a few hours Low Jackson has lost a son Mr. Wright a daughter and a young man on Wood River by the name of Hart died a few days ago and two or three young persons about Upper Alton Our Corn is not gathered yet The Fosters Wood and Sabin have considerable to gather yet and we have hauled none out of the Orchards We have had a very bad winter so far the wind changes nearly every day and the weather also Tell George that the Old horses do very well Ursula has just rode off on old John up to Mrs. Paddocks upon a full trot through mud. We expect the Machine here tomorrow to thrash 86 our wheat and shall haul it away and sell it as soon as we can--What is Wheat worth in St. Louis pr. bushel? I wish you would write every week you have more to write about


than we have You have the Circus the Sable Harmonists 87 dinners, suppers, and balls for the poor &c &c &c besides many other things too numerous to mention not forgetting your French Philosophy Geology &c &c &c How do you get along with Algebra? Give my love to Mr. & Mrs. Smith and also to Mr. & Mrs. Stanford if they are there. Truly Yours G. Flagg

W. C. F. & W. F. B. [SIU-E]


Gershom Flagg to Willard Flagg, February 17, 1847

Paddocks Grove Feb. 17 1847 Dear Son, Your letter of the I Ith inst. was recd yesterday evening & was just about 5 days old but as I do not dislike old things as much as you do I was glad to receive it. I recd a letter from Mr. Ellis yesterday He says he caught a cold the morning of the fire and has been sick ever since his little Jane has also been sick And Virginia's eyes have been so bad that she could not write Zimri Enos has the ague every other day and I suppose Pascal is troubled with the same old complaint called Negligence All others are well As you do not feel much interest about the Old horses I will write about younger animals. We have four young Calves and 25 lambs and the doves have commenced to build nests in the old barn Our wheat is thrashed out we have 468 bushels Corn yet in the field not much Doct Lathy and Volney were here this morning They stayed at Mrs. Paddocks last night I have not been to Alton or Edwardsville for some time The suckers are getting the Rail Road feever again from what I hear If Mr Smith wants another barrel of Cider we can let him have it and tell Mrs Smith if she wants any more White beans or dryed apples we can let her have some Give my love to all & believe Yours Truly Gershom [Flagg] W. C. Flagg & W. F. Bliss Saint Louis Mo Your Mother sends her love to you Says she cannot write to you but her most anxious wish is that you will persevere in your Studies


80 69. Gershom Flagg to Willard Flagg, February

22, 1847

Paddock's Grove Feb. 22, 1847 Dear son Will, In pencil marks on the out side of Mr. Smith's letter to me you say "The next time you write about a Council of War dont write Council Counsel" At the time I wrote I was not thinking about the spelling and although I called it a Counsel of War as you say I was only speaking after the manner of men You must know it was not in fact a Council of War but a Consultation about a certain Old dray horse Counsel is advice, consultation Old writers used Council & Counsel indiscriminately but the latter is now applied only to the advice given I believe Council is generally applied to an Assembly supposed to represent the Universal Church it also is applied to a body of men chosen to make laws for the government or Cities &c &c but this consultation of ours was neither Religious or political but a consultation, not around a council Board, or table neither in a Council Chamber but simply a tot of men and boys gather' d around an old dray horse to consult and advise whether the said horse would be fit for use or not the coming Spring If I have committed any great error I think you will find I have been led astray by my "Illustrious Predecessors" "The counsel of the Lord standeth forever, the thoughts of his heart to all generations" see Psalms 33d 11 v. "There is not wisdom, nor understanding, nor Counsel against the Lord." Prov. 21-30 Truth shall nurse her; Holy and heavenly thoughts still Counsel her" Shakespeare. Henry viii I hold as little Counsel with fear As you or any Scot that lives Id Henry I. V. "Your hand, a covenant; we will have these things set down by lawful Counsel Id. Cymbeline there is danger of being unfaithfully Counselled, and more for the good of them that Counsel, than for him that is counselled Bacon There is as much difference between the Counsel that a friend giveth, and that a man giveth himself as there is between the Counsel of a friend and a flatterer Bacon Bereave me not Whereon I live, thy gentle looks, thy aid, Thy Counsel in this uttermost distress Milton


What says my Counsel learned in the law? Pope He died; and most unluckily, because According to all hints I could collect From Counsel learned in those kinds of laws (Although their talk's obscure and circumspect) His death contrived to spoil a charming cause Byron Don Juan And the Pharisees went forth, and straight way took Counsel with the Herodians against him, how they might destroy him Mathew Mark Ille: 6 v There you see the Herodians and Pharisees holding a Counsel and even a Counsel for war and bloodshed Old Mark was not up to the new fashions The Councils which declared what a man should believe and what he should not were a later invention However if it be the opinion of the Learned and wise in St. Louis that I must write Council and not Counsel, I will submit but I wish to have the question properly investigated I will not however leave it to Counselor Krumm 88 to decide Truly Yours G. Flagg [SIU-E]

70. Mrs . James Smith to Gershom Flagg, March 15, 1847

My dear Friends, I have permission to write with the boys and gladly improve [sic] it, altho I find nothing new to write about. I agree with you about the house calculation in our fair City I doubt very much if there are many more than six thousand any way, at any rate ifl was a boy I would count and see. This kind of weather bears hard upon the poor man Coal was up to five bits yesterday-we were lucky enough to get a load before Mr. S. left for ten cts. I heard from Mr. S to day, he is well but complains of rainy weather ~igh prices, and finally wishes he had staid at home, has seen the Judge and Lady-they will be up together I think and that right soon I shall look for them this week. You don't know how strange it seems to have him away-it is the first time in ten years that he has been absent so long-I should feel lonely without the Boys although we have plenty of other people in the y' d-we get alo[ ng] nicely and are all well Will is in his usual trim, he expected a letter to day, but thinks the travelling is so bad that the Mails are not regular, I recd a letter from Mother last week and in speaking ofJane she feels that she is too old to have the care of her-and I begin to think so to,

82 her mother is nearly ninety six years old and child enough without such a wild cat as Jane in the house. I have been thinking I would put her in some Dutch family where they would keep her at work, as you say there is just so much devil in all children and it is better to work it out than play it out. she has her share of his Majesty and it will take sometime to oust his lordship if I dont keep steady of him. We hear nothing of the Major since he left for his wife, he was positive that he would return by the first of April. Our Minister has been absent about two Sabbaths at Quincy. the Unitarian Minister of that place was thot to be at the pt. of death and his sister sent here for Mr. White who is the only one of that order in the West or in our region and being a heretic I suppose would hardly be consider' d worthy of a Christian burial-I hope you will come down soon as you can after the roads get settled. Mr. S. will be here we hope, and the Judge & family will not remain long and in taking Henry away will make one less at the table. henry is a good boy one of the best to my mind I ever saw and it is a great pity he had not some one to manage him that had some patience, he is willing to do any thing in the world and I do feel sorry for the boy-his father may say what he pleases he is not fit to have the care of children. I have the vanity to believe I could beat him now managing half a dozen boys-he writes all kinds of news about the flour market thinks if the scarcity in Ireland is as great as reported flour will go up to ten dollars. Sugar has gone up and is advancing-so is Molassesour folks are anticipating a great Springs businessI had a dress Maker last week she came the week before to spend a day and I invited her to stay longer-and set her to work she not only work'd but talk'd I could not help laughing to see how queer Will look'd at timesshe beats all the women I ever saw, she talked me to sleep every night-but she is smart-and work'd for nothing which Mr S would have called the best part of it-the town is full of Goods of all sorts new stores opening and some failures-We never hear from Mr O [?] write it is no use to write and I don't think I care much about them-Our Cousin is not very well had the Dr. today, all the rest are in their usual health-love to all Yrs Truly P. Smith


71. Gershom Flagg to W. Flagg, W. Bliss &

G. Smith, March



Paddock's Grove Ill. March 20 '47 Dear Boys, Your letters of the 14th & 15 inst were recd the 18th We are all well except James who was taken with the gout yesterday morning and last night he could not sleep much on account of pain in his foot We have no


news the Roads are worse than I have ever seen before so bad that waggons are laid by almost except going to Mill there has not been a waggon to Alton from this region for the last two weeks that I know of Such weather as we have is very bad for Cattle Sheep &c and they need a shelter very much we are hardly able to haul wood to burn we have just finished husking Corn we had to help the fosters 9½ days work we were afraid they would not get the corn out by ploughing time We have made no progress in roofing our house and not much in any thing it Rains Snows or blows cold half the time or more and the people all here are doing not much only eating up what they have on hand Mr. Morris has moved down to his plantation and Mr Wood has moved into the house where morris lived and Mrs Webster's blacksmith is going to move into the house where wood lived Mrs. Webster has sold her farm to a Dutchman and will move away this Spring The Cooper's have got into a Law suit the old man has sued his son William for 25 hundred dollars They seem to have their new Post Office in full opperation at Matamoras called Ridgeley Post Office Hiram Hustes Esq P.M. I understand the last congress restored the Franking privilege to Post Masters but have not seen the law yet. They are trying to get an Election Precinct laid off so as to hold Elections at or near Matamoras but have not succeeded yet They are anxious to have two Justices of the Peace and two Constables in or about Matamoras in order to keep the population of that townin order and to meet out Justice to the surrounding country It is a going to be a great place I suppose lots are said to be worth 50 dollars now I am in hopes that you have a better time in St. Louis than we have here as you there have pavements to walk on & houses with good roofs to live in I hope Mrs Smith will not get tired of you before Mr S comes home it must be some trou[b ]le to have such a set of boys Presiding at her table I saw the Hon. R. Smith day before yesterday in Edwardsville he said you were all well the day before They have a great deal of business in court at Edwardsville this term more I think they can get through You complain of my not writing often enough but I think that I write as much as any one of you perhaps more but it cannot be supposed that an old man like myself can write as much as three young men of such tallents and education as you possess As to work to do here we have plenty of it and more too I have hired Mariah's Brother for a year at mo$ he talks very little english Give my love to all and believe me Truly Yours G . Flagg W. C. Flagg W. F. Bliss & George Smith


72. Gershom Flagg to Willard Flagg, December 10, 1847

Paddock's Grove Dec. 10th 1847 Dear Son, When I wrote to you last I had not time to finish my letter I was writing upon the subject of Engineering &c &c what an engineer ought to know and was upon the subject of Bridges in particular I think An Engineer should be well informed as to bridge Architecture in particular as to their strength Many accidents have happened and many lives lost by the weakness of Bridges An Engineer should know not only how to put the work together but should be able to Judge of the materials most suitable whether Stone, Iron or timber or as is often the case the three combined I[n] passing over the Rocky mountains an Engineer would find many things which would require exercise of Judgement He would have to ascertain by what means a Rail Road could be best constructed over a distance of a thousand miles without wood and there would be some difficulty about water for these Iron horses need watering as often as other horses where the timber is to come from to build the Road and if timber cannot be had whether there is stone of the right quality to lay the foundation of the Road and if the road could be made whether it would not need some protection from Robbers both red and white and how wood or coal could be procured to raise and keep the steam going An Engineer should be acquainted with matters and things in general & should be able to inform his employers from the course of trade what will be likely to be transported on the Road the prices of transportation &c &c Whether it would be profitable to transport Pork Beef, Corn, Wheat, flour or Potatoes from here to Oregon or from that country to this And if he found the productions of the two countries very similar and the distance so great that no trade couldbe carried on to any profit to either country he ought to be man enough to tell his employers that the money invested would be wasted and if he could not get employment because he would not lend himself to a set of Hum buggers & speculators who wish to make their fortunes out of the Credulous by false estimates of Engineers &c he ought to know how to raise corn & potatoes &c &c better to dig in the earth for a living than to Join the Hum buggers I do not think that a man ought to depend entirely upon engineering for a living but I think a good engineer would be better qualified for many other kinds of business than one who knew nothing about it I should like very much for you and Bliss to understand well Engineering, Geology, Chemistry, &c &c whether you ever have any employment for these professions or not The world has become so wise that it is necessary for a man to know


considerable or he cannot tell what is going on in the world and it is necessary for a farmer to know a thing or two to keep himself from being humbuged and imposed upon by those who study to get their living from other peoples' Industry I should not be surprised if the world has increased in Rascality more than it has in wisdom You wanted I should come out strong upon Engineering and I think I have done so if not enough I will write more anon As for Christmas presents I do not think it best to go very deep Bob is going to leave tomorrow to go to school at Yorkville James is going away next week with Cattle to New Orleans for Mr Kelph Andrew & Henry I believe will stay which will be all the help I shall have I shall be owing James, Andrew, Henry and others some $400 and it will be necessary for you and Bliss to be a little economical or I shall com short of funds about these days Mr Sanburn has taken his Cattle away from here the last of them last wednesday I sent him a bill of $223. 50 which I wrote to him he might pay to Smith Brother's & Co if he was not coming this way soon I suppose they will not refuse to take it Truly Yours Gershom Flagg


Gershom Flagg on the New Constitution, December 1847 . Draft of Letter to Editor


Mr. Editor, My communication published in your paper of the 26 ult to which A Delegate objects was not intended by me to mislead or deceive either many or few I suppose the convention had deceived themselves and perhaps might deceive others in their strong insinuation that the state expenses would be very much reduced & I thought it right to expose their error by comparing the Old and new Constitutions My intention was to make a fair & just comparison and upon a review of the subject I find but one error and that is the expense of Cook & Jo Davis County Courts The Laws for the creation of these Courts being in the Appendix to the revised code (see pages 575 & 576) and their salaries being not mentioned under the head of salaries & fees it was forgotten at the moment The whole sum of the salaries of the Judges and prosecuting attorneys for these two County courts is 1650 dollars per annum by the laws creating said Courts This error corrected and the difference in favor of the Old Constitution will be $50,500 every two years instead of $53,800 as stated in my former


communication A Delegate seems anxious to know by what process I arrived at the conclusion I have in regard to the new Constitution and even goes so far as to "unequivocally," assert that nothing like it can be derived from that instrument" A. Delegate seems not to be well acquainted with the instrument he has assisted in making, or I do not understand it Article 5 of the New Constitution declares sec. 16. "There shall be, in each County, a court, to be called a County Court." sec. 18 "The Jurisdiction of said Court shall extend to all probate and other such jurisdiction as the general assembly may confer in civil cases and such Criminal cases as may be prescribed by law, where the punishment is by fine only, not exceeding one hundred dollars, sec 19. the County Judge, with such Justices of the Peace in each County as may be designated by law, shall hold terms for the transaction of County business and shall perform other such duties as the General assembly shall prescribe; Provided the general assembly may require that two Justices to be chosen by the qualified electors of each County, shall sit with the county Judge in all cases and there shall be elected, quadriennially, in each County, a clerk of the County Court, who shall be Ex Officio recorder, whose compensation shall be fees; Provided the general assembly, may, by law, make the Clerk of the circuit court Ex officio recorder, in lieu of the County Clerk. 20 the General assembly shall provide for the compensation of the County Judge" Here then is a County Court established & "such Justices of the Peace" as shall be designated by law to hold terms with the County Judge for the transaction of County business &c &c will cost quite as much as our present County Commissioners Court & if two Justices are to be chosen to sit with the county Judge in all cases they will absob [sic] such part of the Clerks fees as the clerk will be willing to part with The Clerk's compensation is to be "fees" and it would have been just as easy to have said that the Judges compensation should be "fees" or half the Clerks fees if the Convention had so intended But no! The general assembly shall provide compensation for the County Judge: and in the schedule sec. 21 It is declared "that the Cook and Jo. Davis county Courts shall continue to exist and the Judges and other officers of same remain in Office until otherwise provided by "law" Thus the Constitution recognizes the principle that the Judges of the County Court are to be paid a salary by declaring that until a general law is passed to establish a County court in every County of the State the Hon H. T. Dickey of Cook County & the Hon. H. T. Dickey of Jo Davis County Judges of the County Courts can go on and draw out of the state Treasury $1350 dollars pr. annum and the Prosecuting Attorney of Cook County is authorised to draw from the Treasury of the State $200 & the County Attorney ofJo Davis $100 per annum as their respective salaries as County Judges and Attorneys [In margin:] "especiall as to County Judges & Attorneys" [U of I]

74. Gershom Flagg on the New Constitution,January 1848. Draft of Letter to Editor

Mr Editor In your paper of the 6 Jan. I see in some remarks taken from the Fulton Republican the writer states that "It would be better for the friends of the new Constitution if some open opposition was made against it" and again "Its friends are quiet-no discussion, not reading of it even You can't find a Coppy of it any where" I believe there has not been much discussion or much reading of the new Constitution by its friends some of its friends I know full well have after giveing it a thorough reading become as warmly opposed to it as any men in the state I can assure you that there is a strong opposition to the New Constitution not by the men who are looking forward "to the enjoyment of fat salarie~d liberal fees" & a "monopoly" of contracts & jobs from the State" but by a class of men through whose pores and sinews the money has to be strained, from the land, to support some two hundred new and useless officers that are provided for in this new Constitution I have reference to the Court called a "County Court" The Legislature must pass a law at its first session after the adoption of this Constitution to Organize a County Court (whether such a court is necessary or not & there is not more than ten counties in the state that will have any use for such a court) & a Judge is to be elected in each county who is to have civil & criminal Jurisdiction &c &c The constitution provides that the right of trial by Jury shall remain inviolate & also declares that "No person shall be held to answer for any criminal offence unless on the presentment or indictment of a grand Jury" except in cases cognizable by Justices of the peace &c Every one can see at a glance that where you have a Grand and petit Jury in a Court that a Prosecuting Attorney will be as necessary to carry on the Court as a Clerk And as the Circuit Attorneys will have to attend the circuit Court nearly half the year they cannot possibly attend the County Court There is therefore an absolute necessity for 100 County Attorneys & the Convention being convinced of this "Provided, that the General Assembly may hereafter provide by law for the Election, by the qualified voters of each County in this state, of one County Attorney for each County in lieu of the state's Attorneys, provided for in this section, the term of Office duties, and compensation of which county attorneys shall be regulated by law." The Constitution says that the general assembly shall provide for the compensation to the County Judge It also says that "The Cook and Jo Davis County Courts shall continue to exist, and the Judge and other officers of the same remain in these Courts (see appendix to revised Code pages 575 & 576) gives a salary of 600 doll. to the Judge of Cook County and $200 dollars to the County attorney and the Judge ofJo Davis is allowed a salary of$ 500 and the Attorney $100 per annum It will be well to take notice that the convention in recognizing and continuing these County Courts also aproved of the

88 compensation of its officer If the convention had supposed their salaries were too high they could have made them less after the adoption of the Constitution It will be easy for any person who will examine the whole Constitution carefully and thoroughly to come to the conclusion that this useless County Court will Cost us for 100 Judges

pr. annum County Attorneys do 4700 Jurors at least 6 days in each year & not less than one dollar pr. day including travelling fees 100

in all the sum of

$50,000 10,000

28,200 $88,200

per annum

And this too for a court which we heretofore have got along very well without and which if the new Constitution is adopted we cannot get rid of for several years If such Courts were necessary the Legislature has the power to make them under the present Constitution but the people have never asked for any such Cou[ rts] I believe that such Justices of [the] peace as are to be associated w[ith] the Judge of the County court [will] cost as much as our present [Cou]nty Commissioners Court so th[at] this Court "called a County Court" will be a useless expense to the people The People do not look upon the new Constitution as better than the old [U of I]

75. Gershom Flagg on the New Constitution,January 1848. Draft of Letter to Editor Mr Editor In your paper of the 14 Jan Mr. Joseph Gelespee 89 in professing to answer the objections of Mr. Martin to the new Constitution expresses himself in these words "in point of economy the new is greatly superior to the old Constitution, notwithstanding the statement contained in article signed •~ Farmer" published some weeks ago in your paper, in which the author relying upon his Fancy puts down the current expenses of the state for two years, under the old Constitution at about 110000 dollars and under the new one, at about 160000 dollars, if I recollect right. One would think from the display of figures made by the writer signing himself "Farmer," that he had examined the subject. But what must have been [his] surprise, on examining the last report of the Auditor published for the very purpose of showing the current expenses of the State government, to find such a wide difference between fancy and fact. The fact is, as shown by the Auditor's report at the session of 1846 & '4 7 that the current expenses of the state for two years

previous amounted to upward of 204000 dollars, instead of the 110,000 as represented by the writer calling himself Farmer" Now I may with equal propriety enquire if Mr. Gellispie will not be surprised after examining the said auditors report which is to be found on page 100 of the laws of 1846 & 47 (a book which I suppose is to be found in every Lawyers Office in the state but rather scarce among farmers) to find, that by "A statement showing the amount of warrants drawn upon the treasurer from the first day of Dec. 1844 to the first day of Dec. 1846 for the current expenses of the State & charged to the accounts therein that the whole amount of said warrants is instead of upwards of Making a difference in this case between "fancy and fact" of the sum of

$334,428.60 204 000


If Mr. Gellespie will examine my statements published in the Telegraph of the 26 Nov. he will surprised to find that I made no statement as to the "current expenses of the state" for 1845 & 1846 or for any other years I only compared the expenses or salaries of the Gov & other state officers including the Judiciary under the old Constitution & Laws and what they will be under the new one I stated that the expenses are (not the Current expenses of the state, nor the expenses of the state Government) but for the salaries of state Officers the Judiciary &c I stated what their salaries are now & what they will be if the new Constitution is adopted to the best of my knowledge & belief But Mr. Editor as Mr. Gellespee looks upon my statements as "fancy" and the auditors reports as "facts" I hope you will indulge me in making a comparison between the two so that your readers may see the "wide difference between fancy & fact" I fancied that under the present constitution & laws the govenors salary is Secretary of State do Auditor inclusive of clerk hire Treasurer States Attorney eight circuit attorneys Nine supreme Judges pay of Legislature Public Printer total for two years

4000 1600 3200 1600 1000 4000 27,000 57,600 10,000 110,000


Mr Gellespie's "facts" are, as shown by the Auditors report to which he refers, for that for 1845 and '46 the Governor Recd $3817.00 Secretary of State 2074.25 Aud. 3186.47 1826. I I Treas. - - - - - - - - - - - 1035. 77 Atorney - - - - - - - - - - - 5080.20 Circuit Attorneys - - - - - - - 26,672.96 Judiciary - - - - - - - - - - General Assembly 55,665 10,608.42 Public Printing total for two years

$109,664. 34

being $335.62 less instead of more than my fancied statement I presume Mr. Gellespie will not deny that the Governor was entitled to receive for the years 1845 & '46 the sum of $4000 if so this report is not the right place to look for "facts" there was 18 3 dollars left unpaid to which the Governor was entitled I mention this merely to convince Mr. Gellespie that my "fancy" is nearer the truth than the Auditors reports But Mr Gellespie says "In point of economy, the new is greatly superior to the old constitution" Very likely he thinks so but this is mere matter of Opinion mere "fancy" there is no proof of it to be produced I once knew a man that fully believed that the bills of the Old State Bank of Illinois would always pass current at par because they were to be redeemed in ten years with Gold and Silver according to the pledge of the faith of the State by the Legislature and were to be receiveable at all times for taxes due the State but these bills fell gradually down to as low as 2 5 cents for a dollar I knew one very talented man a Representative from this County who made a great speech in the Legislature and convinced himself and many others that the premium upon the state bonds would be sufficient to pay the interest upon these bonds until the rail roads were in operation and after that the tolls upon the rail Roads would not only pay the interest but the principal so that we should have all these improvements & advantages and it never would cost the people of the state a single cent but I need not tell the people of Illinois how that Speculation ended but I warn them now not to adopt this new constitution unless they are willing to swallow another very bitter sugar coated Pill to please the Doctors. [U of I]


76. Gershom Flagg on the New Constitution,January 1848. Draft of Letter to Editor

You need not be surprised Mr Editor to see your new Constitution blown "sky high" on the first monday of March next those who raise and sell corn at ten cents a bushel and Pork at $2 pr hundred and other things in proportion are not willing at this time to adopt a Constitution which is to increase the expenses of the Government some fifty pr. cent without any benefit The Members of the Convention I believe are one and all in favor of the New Constitution & I accidentally ascertained some time since that individuals of the convention were using their influence to induce the Editors of Papers of both parties to either come out in favor of the new Constitution or if they could not do that to "lie low & keep dark" and this is the reason why there is such a "perfect stillness" about the new Constitution. Had the Convention published the old and new Constitutions side by side in the same pamphlet the people would then have had a chance to judge between the two but this the Convention dare not do They [k ]new full well that not one man out of ten had ever seen the Old constitution of Illinois as it was published when there was only about 40000 people in the state and at this time nearly all the Copies there is are those in the hands of the state & County Officers The Convention supposed as the Old Constitution had been so badly violated that the people would suppose that the troubles of our state were caused by a bad Constitution & not by the violation & abuses of a good [one] They were afraid to trust the people to Judge between the two if they saw and read them both Very many of the people consider the New Constitution as decidedly the worst instrument that was ever sent forth in the united States as a State Constitution I am sure that such a Judiciary system was never written or uttered before in any Country Benjamin Franklin once said that an assembly of great men was the greatest fool in the world and I cannot account for the Convention adopting this Judiciary System in any other way than by supposing that what Franklin said was true I invite every voter in the state to read the new Constitution and the old one if he can find it and as the papers in the State have published the new Constitution they would do a great Service to the people by publishing the old one 1t 1s not half as long as the new one If the papers would do this and then give us their own honest Opinions and open their colums to a fair comparison between the two instruments we should hope the result when settled would be much more satisfactory than it will be under the present circumstances of the vica vers "Perfect stillness" and "lie low & keep dark" Why should editors be silent upon this subject Editors generally a[ re] not difident but upon this subject they dare not speak louder than a whisper I have lived in this state about 30 years and have always noticed that whenever the leaders of both


political parties united upon any measure there was something disastrous to the people in that measure It is about time for the People to Consider that when their Representatives are flinging back the work that they should do upon the people themselves even to the passage of Laws That our Republican Representative Government is being destroyed After the remarks in your paper of the 6th inst you will see the propriety of publishing this in your next paper so that the friends of the new Constitution may know that there is direct honest & open opposition to the new Constitution & although the opposition is strong it is neither organized nor secret [Note at bottom:] For the St. Louis Republican [U of I]

77. Gershom Flagg's Notes on the New Constitution: A List of the Select Committee Who Reported on the Judiciary System Adopted by the Convention Edwards of Madison Lockwood Morgan Davis of Massac Wead Fulton Caldwell Galatin Williams Adams Minshall Schuyler Manly dark Spencer Rock I. Thompson Peoria Henderson Will Hoez Lasell Evey shelbey Scatez Jefferson Kinney of St. Clair Harlan Clark Constable Wash Knapp of Scott Bosby shell Dement Lee Hurlbut boone Kinney of Beaureau

55 L. Ky. 57 L. Ny 33 L. Va 37 L. Va 30 L. Ill 46 L. Va 45 L. Va 40 L. Mo 45 Fa Pa 33 L. Scot 37 L. Ny 33 L. Ny 32 L. Ky 39 L. Va 28 L. Ill 46 L. 0 29 L. Md 32 L. Ny 47 L. Penn 43 Fa. Ten 28 L. S.C. 61 L. Pa

w. D. D D. D. W.

w. D.

w D D. D.

w. D. D.

w w. w. D. D.

w. W.

[Endorsed:] A list sworn of 27 [The number after the name of the county is, perhaps, the age of the representive, indicating that the only two committee members born in Illinois were too


young to have much knowledge of the old constitution. The next column designates "laborer" or "farmer"; the next, "Democrat" or "Whig."] [U of I]

78. Gershom Flagg to Willard Flagg, January 27, 1848

Paddock's Grove Ill.

Jan 27th


Dear Son, I write to let you know that we are all well and also that we now have a dayly stage by this rout from Springfield to St. Louis & St. Louis to Springfield so that we have two mails to open every day The stages cominced running this way on tuesday last. This will give you a chance to write any day you please John P. Robinson has commenced keeping school in Liberty Prairie School house but we do not send Truly Yours G. Flagg W. C. Flagg


79.]. R. Stanford to Gershom Flagg, February 18, 1848

Griggsville Pike County Illinois

Feby 1 8

/ 48

Dear sir Your valued favour came to hand today lest you should think I undervalue it I hasten to reply I think it good that two old Judges should compare opinions on what vitally concerns the public as regards the new constitution I am ashamed to say I have not read it in detail but from what you say I shall attend to it the first convenient opportunity as regards reforming the suckers in any way I think it a hopeless case and have come to the conclusion that they are a stubborn race and (though I dont practice it) I believe the easiest way to get them on the right track is to point them to the opposite direction and effect to try to drive them in the direction, what they resemble in this kind of stubbomess I leave for you to conclude. they object to judges during good behaviour and untill age incapacitates them for duty it would seem that this was well enough but the old Maxim of "let well enough alone" is not longer in vogue as modem school taught folks would say the phrase has become "obsolete" now in the state of things what are we to conclude one would conclude that if they objected to a Judge holding office during good conduct in office and while his capacity serves him, that they wish a judiciary without capacity or good behaviour this is


the only conclusion that I can come to in any fair way of reasoning-and when I reflect that the drift of most of the legislation of this state has run about the same way since I first knew it, I feel confident that the better the Judiciary is established to bring about justice in a summary manner the more dangerous it is to try to alter it by the vote of a community of fools & rogues whose representatives make laws for the benefit of rogues and like the Irishman have no other fear than that justice will be done them. to spin out this thread of character a little finer it is only necessary for a man to be industrious frugal (the fruits of which are wealth) no matter how small his beginnings were and how just in all his dealings such a man is the first to be denounced as an aristocrat and is deem' d common prey for all arround him if he has a tool for all kinds of work and requires his neighbors to return it when borrow' d. I want you to tell some of your democratic friends that there has been a terible murder committted in this neighborhood. in the timber not far from my house there is quite a settlement of squirrils where hickery nuts abound in the season of them amongst this timber there [is] a hollow tree where an old squirrel had raised quite a family which she & her mate provided for abundantly to carey them through the winter the ballance _o f this community from their indolence in the season of gathering nuts were short of provmons it was found out that this mdustrious family had plenty to take them through the winter whereupon a Democratic meeting was call'd when an old theaving lazy fellow was call'd to the chair who had unsuccessfully attempted to rob the provident pair and got horidly whip'd he opened the meeting by stating the objects of the meeting was to take into consideration the care of this aristocratic family and finally offer' d the following resolutions resolved that said family were decidedly whigs that they had acquired a sufficient suply of nuts in the autumn to take them through the winter and that others less provident had so few that they could hardly subsist that inorder to bring about true democratic principles viz "the greatest good to the greatest number" it became necessary that said family should be put to death and their nuts devided pro rata among the members of the meeting. to which resolution all present by say of approval said quack quack. and adjourned to the domicil of the industrious squirrels where they dispatchd all the inmates and devided their nuts when each went his way singing Hallalujahs, to their Chairman who suggested that purely loco foco principle of "the greatest g0od to the greatest number"--after I have read the constitution I will give you my opinion of it. shall be glad to heare from you often hope you & yrs are well. We are all well your friend J R Stanford90

[U of I]

95 80. Gershom Flagg to Willard Flagg, March 1, 1848

Paddock's Grove

March 1st 1848

Dear Son Your letter of the 26 Feb was recd Yesterday It appears that your expenses and those of Bliss are coming on pretty heavy. I must be indebt now somthing like forty dollars to Smith Brothers & Co. And your bills for the present qr. will be I suppose at least $3 5 dollars more I think there is a very fair prospect that I shall have use for all the surplus money I can make for this year at least I have four hands hired at ten dollars per month each and one girl at 5 dolls. pr. mo. making $45 pr mo which is $540 pr year besides other expenses for board &c. Since the first of July last I have paid for 1040 days work and much of it at $1 pr day To say the least it has been an average of 50 cents pr day which would be $520 You think I have farmed it long enough to make money and that all the surplus should now be expended in beautifying The fact is there is no surplus to be to expended anyway. Some how or other Our place looks beautiful to me as 1t 1s It could be made much more so if I had the means to do it For my part I feel very thankful that we are as well to live as we are instead of peoples finding fault that I have not done better I am somewhat surprised that they are not astonished that I have done so well I have paid my taxes and have or shall pay all my debts and as you often say "This is some" when we take into consideration that I came to the State with less than one hundred dollars My taxes for 1847 were $69.66 Instead of feeling bad that I have done no better I am abundantly satisfied as we are I am sorry that very few of the succors have done as well as I have March 2 I began this letter yesterday but a couple of men came after som apple trees and I had to quit and attend to them I have sold 90 trees this spring The boys finished hauling out the corn yesterday it is all husked but about 250 bushels & that is put under the new barn and to day they are sleding wood Vol. Ellis is driving one team & Henry, Frederick, & Andrew are chopping wood We lost an ox night before last he was worked all day before, well at night, & dead in the morning You have mentioned once or twice about Dr. Channing 91 works tell Mr. Smith I will give ten dollars for five copies of the work and he can subscribe for me If he will I should like to have Dr. Channings works circulate more among the People and would like it better if people would read them. If I get the five Copies I think I will sell them at cost People are more apt to read books that they buy than those that cost them nothing In your letter you say "Mr Smith has made Bliss and I a present of some letter paper" now I respectfully submit the question whether the above quatation is grammatical You and Bliss can solve the question, It appears to

me to say that Mr. Smith made I a present sounds awkwardly in these times of refinement You mention that Mr. and Mrs. are expected up soon from New Orleans I hope they will not come up [in thi]s [s]now storm I think it would [MS torn] for them to stay two weeks longer I recd a letter from Mrs Smith and George but it was some 5 or weeks old before I recd it I have not answered it tell Mrs. Smith to write me again when she gets home and I will answer it but I do not like to answer such old letters--Give my love to all Truly Yours Gershom Flagg W . C. Flagg [In margin:] John Han[d an]d Miss Wilson went to Edwardsville one day [last wee ]k (on foot) and got married She walked [abo ]ut a quarter of a mile ahead of John. [On reverse:] Your notions about a Quince Orchard and about fruit growing &c are very good & I should like to have them carried out If it can be done but prospects are bad now produce low wages high I think there is now a prospect of pretty hard times as will try some mens purses


81.]. R. Stanford to Gershom Flagg, March 12, 1848

Pike County Illinois

March 12th 1848 Friend Flagg

Dear Sir I send you one News Paper by same Mail with this letter in which you will see a piece signed Nero the Fiddler I wrote it, but this you ought to know to be kept confidential because you know the Democracy of our country who are such greate sticklers for Freedom of Speach Liberty of the press and a thousand other rights and priviledges peculiar to Republicks that they might burn down our house or barn if we should in the exercise of these rights hapen to show by truth telling a little of their nekaed deformety and for the further reason (you know I am a judge and therefore) it might be thought improper for me to express an opinion on public affairs. The Question of the New and old constitution has come before the people and they have express'd their wise opinion upon it either for weal or for woe and time that last court of appeals will give its righteous opinion after trial. I wrote you the same day that I received your letter on the Constitution since which I have none of your favours to acknowledge when you have

97 92

read this paper I will thank you to hand it to Capt Ryder of Alton I should like him to see it he frequently sends me some of his pieces publish' d in the Telegraphy I believe he generally writes over the signature of Pro bono Publica Yrs respectfully J. R. Stanford [U of I]


Gershom Flagg to Willard Flagg, March 15, 1848 Paddock's Grove

March 15th


Dear Son, Your letter of March 12th was recd yesterday I have very little time to write in these days I recd a letter from A. C. Flagg a few days since he has become a resident of the City of New York having been appointed treasurer of the Hudson River Rail Company His wife is there looking after a house and the rest of the family are in Albany-all well I think your debating Society is running into politics a little too much I think other questions for young persons are more profitable The political questions of the day are too exciting and are rather "Injurious" to the youth of our country I think it rather singular that your society should need a new Constitution so soon. You must be 'Progressing" very fast We are hauling manure into the old nursery to fit it for your quinces gooseberries &c &c we begin to think about Sowing Oats Truly Yours Gershom Flagg [On reverse:] I was told the other day that several of the boys or "young men" that had fited for college under Mr. Wyman could not be recd in the Eastern Colleges that is could not pass examinations, This would be rather a damper I should suppose if it is true but I do not know whether it is so or not There is some sickness in this neighborhood at this time The weather is quite cold and the ground is getting pretty dry I began this letter the I 5th it now the 16th and the letter is not finished I think I will send it today We sold 50 apple trees yesterday & 60 the day before I shall have to attend Court two days next week in Edwardsville The land belonging to Illinois College 93 is to be sold at Auction next tuesday and I have been requested to attend to the sale by the Agents of the College There is 640 acres to be sold in this County If you see any body that wants to speculate in Illinois lands now is their time If I should not answer all your letters you may keep on writing as usual

and I will some day answer yours and bliss' by wholesale as I have time I have purchased a quart of the Osage Orange seed to plant this Spring Truly Yours G. Flagg W. C. Flagg [SIU-E]

83. Edward Wyman to Gershom Flagg, March 1_5, 1848

St. Louis English & Classical High School March 15th '48 Gershom Flagg Esq Dear Sir, I write you unsolicited a few words respecting your Son Willard Flagg. He seems to be infused with an ardent desire to acquire a thorough Education and graduate at one of our Eastern Colleges and I believe has laid the matter before you for your approval or rejection. Now Sir, I know nothing of your means or your inclination but I do know a great deal respecting the talent of the young man and it is upon this point particularly that I wish to speak hoping it may be of some assistance to you in making up your mind upon the Subject. I consider Willard an extraordinary student; His powers of perception and Comprehension are remarkably quick and vigorous. His intellect is certainly of a superior order and what is of vast importance to a student his Constitution is strong and robust. I have no hesitation in saying that if Willard is throughly Educated he will greatly distinguish himself in life and be an honor to you and his relations. Should it be determined to gratify him his course of study will be immediately changed and he must be put upon the Latin and Greek. He will amply prepare himself in one year for entrance into College Bliss is well and doing well Yours Truly Edward Wyman [SIU-E]

84. Gershom Flagg to Willard Flagg, May 13, 1848

Paddock's Grove May 13/ 48 Dear Son, Your letter of the 19th inst and Mrs Smiths were recd a short time since I have time to write very little we are all well or nearly so I do not know when we can come down we have not planted a hill of corn yet but have considerable ground ploughed


We have five hands plowing 4 Dutchmen & one Scotchman Natives don't work any more They are out in Mexico extending the area of freedom 94 by subjecting the Mexicans to Our will & wishes If your throat is geting any worse you had better consult Doct. Lathy I think he says there is nothing the matter with your Lungs I think his Opinion is that you should be very careful of overdoing yourself either by hard work or hard Study I think there is some danger of your studying too hard and thereby injuring yourself Scott Palmer95 has quit teaching School and has gone to work he says he cannot bear the confinement that it makes him weak and takes away his appetite Your health is of more consequence than almost any thing else And confinement to hard Study is as bad as any thing else for health You ought to take exercise enough in the Open air to keep your health well Give my love to all tell Mrs. Smith George and Bliss I will write to them if ever I get time Ursula has gone to Alton to School she is at Doct Lathys Truly Yours G. Flagg W. C. Flagg


85. Gershom Flagg to Willard Flagg, May 28, 1848 Paddock's Grove May 28/ 48 Dear Willard, I recd you letter of the 24 by Mr. Cavender Your Ma does not think it best for you to come home for She says she cannot leave home to go to Springfield She does not know how long I may have to stay there and she says she is a going to commence making Cheese tomorrow and cannot leave. Ursula is in Alton Saw her yesterday and she was well Mrs. Blankenship Henry & Mary and James & Martha B came down last Sunday and all started home again on yesterday except Mary-and Vol. Ellis went to the weding and staid all night and slept none & Henry says that they will not soon catch him in such another scrape he thinks it do'nt pay to set up all night & dance & fool about He says he expects his corn will need ploughing before he gets home We finished planting on friday have planted 80 acres of Corn plenty of work yet on hand You say I all ways have too much work to do I think you will soon find that you are in the same way I should suppose you had quite enough on hand without undertaking the Office of Sunday school teacher I hear that the Baltimore Convention96 have nominated Genl. Cass & Gen-


erl. Butler for President and Vice If the Whigs will nominate Generals Scott & Tailor for the Whig candidates we shall be sure of Military Chieftans for the two highest Offices in the government and much encourage the Members of congress and others to incourage War for the sake of qualifying themselves for Office for it appears if a man can only fight well he is perfectly competent to fill any Office in the Opinion of the Sovreigns Shepherd Davis died last Thursday he had the mumps & his wife is not expected to live long. Marie is engaged in writing an answer to Bliss' Dutch letter. There is now seven widows in Omphgent Prairie Victorie has been sick with the ague the week past your ma has gone down there to day In your next write when your quarter will be out I have to go up into Warren County as soon as I can leave home I would rather you would be here when I go if we can so fix it This letter is written in haste & I suppose will not bear criticism Truly Truly G. Flagg W. C. Flagg


86. Gershom Flagg to W. Flagg & W. Bliss, December 28, 1848

Paddock's Grove Dec 28 1848 Bliss & Will Your letters of the 7 Dec. I recd. the 16 and your letters of the 14 I recd. the 22d in each case the letters were mailed two days after they were dated Letters that are mailed on Saturday in St. Louis do not get here until the next Saturday if they could be sent to Alton on Thursday we would get them on Friday now as the Mail is now altered and comes here on that day you had better say on the outside of the letters "Via Alton by Thursday's Mail." I recd a letter from Ursula this evening by Mr Sanners who had been to Alton which informed us that Mr & Mrs Smith were sick which we were sorry to hear She expected the boys would come home after Christmas but we see nothing of them yet We have been hauling wood two days on sleds cut & hauled 28 Loads hogs not killed,-No corn gathered-no deer killed-but Andrew and James have killed about a dozen Prairie hens-they are very plenty this winter We had but little Christmas the disappointment has been very great All except myself supposed you were sick I have been in the woods all day and do not feel very bright to night but I


hope you will be able to read what I have written Our Cider is very good and the papers say that to drink Cider prevents people from having the Cholera I suppose you recd. my letter of the 15th. but I have recd. no answer to it Truly Yours G. Flagg All Well [SIU-E]

87. Gershom Flagg to Willard Flagg, January 4, 1849

Paddock's Grove Jan 4th 1849 Dear Willard, We recd. your letter of the 24 & 26 on tuesday we are all well we have been killing our hogs to day and will carry some to Alton tomorrow I have saved one little China97 for Wm. Smith if the weather ever gets so I can come down I have just finished making out the Post Office returns could find no blank account Currant do you know where they are? We should have enough for this & next quarter We hear every day that the Cholera 98 is in St. Louis. But you say nothing about it but I see from the St. Louis Papers that it is bad in New Orleans & I judge from your all having bad colds that the Cholera is approaching St. Louis Bad colds and influenza generally go before the disease so far as I know If they begin to make a thorough cleaning of the streets 99 in St. Louis I should think you and Bliss had better come home It will stir up such a smell that it will make the case worse than ever I think besides being so many of you together in the School room will make it worse I think if the Cholera is not now in St. Louis it soon will be & I wish you to consult the Messrs Smiths about it and let me know as soon as you can what you and they think about it Your Mother says that you had better not take spirit of turpentine she says it is quite different from Tarr water and that you had better stick to Tarr water As to money matters I would refer you to that part of the life of Ben Franklin wherein he says he undertook to collect some money for a friendcollected it and used it up and it was a long time before he repaid it this he calls one of the great errors of his life If I recollect right though it is a long time since I read it I read his life in the year 1802 & it made an impression on my mind that has never been efaced I have allways been on my guard to avoid this great error of Franklin


I do not recollect the name of the man whose money he spent or how he spent it but I recollect very well the circumstances you will find all the particulars in Bens Life to which I refer you I should have liked very much to have purchased Prescotts Peru as I never have read it As to Allison['s] history I presume it will be of use to you but I have but little faith in History most of people learn nothing by reading of the follies of those who have gone before them I hope you will not be as much troubled to read this letter as some I have lately read I do not know why it is that you and Bliss seem to be disimproving in your penmanship Give my best respects to all the household of Smith Brothers & Co. G. Flagg [In margin of last page:] What is Jacob True doing, is he waiting for sleding? if so tell him we have hauled up forty sled loads enough to last a year or more [In margin of first page:] They have Small Pox over in Arabia Tom Walls and all his kin have it [SIU-E]


Gershom Flagg to Willard Flagg, January 19, 1849

Paddock's Grove Jan 19th 1849 Dear Willard, We have heard nothing from you since I left St. Louis except a letter from Bliss which was written before I was there Mr Parsons left here last Saturday via Ridgely for Alton in a sort of a Jumper hope he has arrived in St. Louis before this right side up James has been sick for a week with a bad cold headache and Ear-ache & your mother has been almost sick with a very bad cold in fact we all have bad colds and the world is so covered with ice that Cattle can hardly stay upon their feet Andrew & henry have to haul out their feed upon a sled by hand and we have had to haul out grass-seed chaff &c about the trough where we water the cattle to make it so they could walk we have 20 bushels of Timothy seed-what is it worth pr. bushel in St. Louis? 100 Henry and Marie have had a Brother and Sister lately come from Germany Henry and Adam Hay came from St. Louis yesterday with the Sister and baggage. I hope we shall hear from you today we get little news from any place these slippery times It is very bad times for out-door work the people are all waiting for sleding or something els the corn is mostly not gatherd yet Volney has had a letter from Springfield, from Ellis, I understand which says that Virginia is much troubled .with her Eyes I think Virginia


has hard luck I have recd. no letters from Springfield for a long time in fact I do not know when I have recd a letter from there. Give my love to all and believe me Truly Yours G. Flagg [SJU-E]


Gershom Flagg to Willard Flagg, February 3, 1849

Paddock's Grove Feb. 3d 1849 Dear Willard, I have just recd. your letter of 30 Jan. and have hardly had time to read it as the mail carrier is waiting for me to write an answer The Mr. Haven you mention I have no doubt died with Cholera as Dr. Barret of St. Louis has . told me he did. IOI I do not think that crowds of any kind are good for Cholera & I wish you would keep away from all such places as for dieting I do not believe much in it I think people will be more likely to take the cholera if they starve them selves than they will to live in their usual way I have no doubt it will be best for you to come home as soon as warm weather comes if the Cholera increases as I think it will but it may not With yours I recd. a letter from Ursula which I have not time to answer now I sent by Mr. True a Magazine on which were 8 dogs for Wili[am] Smith as he has lost his pup. [In margin:] You must give Ursula her share of this letter as I cannot answer hers today. G.F. [SJU-E]


Gershom Flagg to Willard Flagg, February



Paddock's Grove

Feb 11th


Dear Willard, I recd. yesterday five letters from St Louis one from you two from Mr. Smith and two from Bliss all which were thankfully recd. I also recd. a letter from Mr. Ellis he says that the children have all been sick with Scarlet feever Virginia's Eyes are now better We are all well and have gathered some ten acres of Corn I hear that a young man died to day at Mr O Bannons 102 of Small Pox You mention about being some what troubled with your throat and what I think of writing to Doct Lathy I think it would be well to do so or if you think it would be best you might come up and see him on Saturday and return on Monday

104 I should think likely that Singing would not be of any benefit to you If you find it is injuring you it would be better not to sing much Doct Barrett is here & I supose will carry this letter If you should come up to Alton to see Doc Lathy I think Boyd would lend you a horse to come out and see us Write soon and let us know how you are Give my best regards to Mr & Mrs Smith and all the rest and believe me Truly Yours Gershom Flagg


91. Gershom Flagg to Willard Flagg, February 17, 1849

Paddock's Grove

Feb 17th


Dear Willard, I wrote to you yesterday since which time I have been thinking that your mind is rather to much occupied with Parties, Concerts, teachers meetings, fire Engines & dancing young ladies Valentines &c &c A little amusement is very well but there is always danger of too much indulgence I think with singing, teachers meetings concerts &c &c you will have your head so full that there will not be room for Latin, Greek, French, German, Algebra, &c &c &c I should like to have you explain what the object of the teachers Meeting once a week is for as I suppose your teachers are young men & boys & young ladies or girls I cannot understand why it should be necessary to have weekly meetings unless it is for a frolick If it is to discuss grave matters I should not think you were very well qualified for the task I have never yet learnt exactly what the object of these Sunday Schools are if it is merely to learn Children to read write &c &c to instill Honest principles it is all very well but if it is to expound the Scriptures I should think that a lot of boys and girls that know very little about it themselves were in poor business trying to teach others It is the blind leading the blind I always had an Idea that a person should be pretty taught themselves and their mind some what expanded before they were qualified to teach others but perhaps I am wrong every generation grows wiser and wiser--but to the teachers meeting what is this for I dont understand In a place like St. Louis every child should be educated at public Schools I do not believe in giveing the poor nothing but Sunday Schools I believe if the whole people of this State should receive a common School Education at the public expense it would be a saving to the State in the long run The sin of ignorance I know is winked at but nevertheless it is a great disadvantage to any community


Susan wrote you a letter which I sent down by Maj. Barnes but Volney couldn't be started to write yet he is now sick and his mother is gone down there to day in the Snow to see him. As for James I believe he mustered up energy enough to write Bliss but whether he will have strength to write to you & Ursula is uncertain he might write a letter every night as well as not if he would he has nothing else to do in evenings generally The English and Dutch are getting through others as the Scotch say two weddings came of{f] on Thursday at Coopers parties all English John Hooser died very suddenly a few days ago without .any sickness at all The mail has come Truly Yours G. Flagg


92 .

Gershom Flagg to Willard Flagg, March 3, 1849

Paddock's Grove March 3di 49 Dear Willard, We have not recd. a letter from you for more than two weeks and the last letter from bliss was dated Feb 18 Since which time we have heard nothing from any of you. We are all well James Andrew & Henry are Husking corn and James Morris has been helping them There has been a great many public sales about in the last ten days some of the property of men who have died and others who are going to Calafornia Property I am told sells very high but I have not been to any sale yet Mr Roseberry John Hooser & Stephen Davis and McVay & Tom Walls have died this winter Mr Wood Mortimer Dorsey Edward Willson farmer Starr have sold their plunder and yesterday Mr Rickard of the State of Macoupin was to sell out everything he is going to Calafornia Wm Gray is also going I have not been to Alton for nearly two months but I understand the Yellow feever is very bad there Susan says that she has written you a long letter I did hear that Volney had a letter for you some three weeks ago but he has not sent it by mail He is troubled with the backache and Victoria with the tooth ache We are going to have a mail route from Greenville to Alton soon but the Terehoutte mail has not been ordered this way yet The travelling is horrid bad but people keep going up and down the road an empty waggon is a pretty good load for two horses This day ends the career of Polk & Dallas & I am heartyly glad of it-hope we shall have a President more wise, more Just and more Humane I hope Mr


Polk will go to California or Mexic~I have recd. Several letters by mail to day no time to answer them Truly G. Flagg


93. Gershom Flagg to Willard Flagg, March 10, 1849 Paddock's Grove March rn/ 49 Dear Willard, Your letter of Feb 28 was recd. yesterday the post bill was dated March 3d Your Aunt Mary wants you to try to sell her Rose leaves to the tobacconists or apothecaries she says she had formerly sold them at a dollar a pound but the last she sold at 75 cts She says if you cannot sell them at 50 cents a pound you may take 37½ cents Lorilard in old times used to have ten acres in Roses and had the leaves all picked off and laid in to hogsheads of tobacco laying down a coat of tobacco and a laying of Rose leaves alternately and letting the whole remain until the Rose leaves became tobacco as it were, & the tobacco became well scented with Rose leaves and then ground up all together into snuff and this was the reason why Lorilard made his fortune in the Snuff business & if the St Louis Snuff makers would adopt this method they might make good snuff and make their own fortunes and encourage the production of Roses and keep much money in the country that now goes east-you had better tell some of those Gents what will be for their interest and perhaps they will buy the Rose leaves As to Chemistry I will write more about it some other time but I suppose Chemistry for a business is rather unhealthy besides being some what dangerous we often hear of Chimists being blown up You say you have commenced reading the Old Testament by course &c &c I think you have not got far enough along yet to understand that book you ought to get far enough in mathematics to prove that 3 are one and one three and far enough in Chemistry to know what that a woman lookin round should turn into a pillow of salt and especially why she should continue to grow on until she was forty feet in height and her tabytha cap turned into a large flat rock I believe she has not been seen from the time ofJosephas until Lieut Lynch 103 under the command of that Notable James Knox Polk discovered her & tore off some of her fingers to bring home to Mr Polk You would do well also to understand Astronomy before you begin to Study Divinity The Old Testament is such a history of Murders & Cruelties that a young mind is not made any better by reading it The new Testament is a different thing all together it adopts an entire new principal and inculcates kindness and Justice instead of blood and murder Slavery & Robery &c &c


Your Aunt Mary sends her love to you--we are all well I wrote to Bliss yesterday giving him an account of a Soiree that took place at Low Jacksons Two Irishmen came here last night and wanted to hire as they were out of money one was gone this morning when I got up the other remains yet Truly Yours G. Flagg [SIU-E]


Gershom Flagg to Mrs. James Smith, March 17, 1849

Paddock's Grove March 17th 1849 Madam Smith, I have heard nothing from you for a long time but the boys tell me very often that you are unwell, have a bad cold, or that you are threatened with the chills &c &c I presume you are not very well this winter or we should have a line from you oftener Ursula writes that she thinks she better come home She seems to think that you have had her there long enough I have written to her that I should like to have her go to school if you thought it best. She has threaten'd heretofore to be married as soon as she was eighteen-That is as soon as she becomes free she intended to enter into more permanent bondage if she is still of that mind it would be better to get all the education she can before she is 18 as I do not believe her husband will be willing to send her to school much very likely he may not be as willing to spend money for her as I am Perhaps her husband may need her help to sell out potatoes in the market or something of that sort & if so it wou'd be well enough for her to understand arithmetic pretty well I think a person can get along better with any kind of business that has a tolerable education I wish you would do with Ursula as you think best and whenever you don't want her there any longer we do not wish her to stay but I would like to have her stay as long as it suits your convenience Ursula thinks she does not do work enough to pay for her board & that seems to trouble her some besides I think she is very anxious to come home when the boys come Mr Timothy Waples of Alton has got himself into trouble since he has married the widow Knowlton--A young Lady of Alton has sued him for breach of promise and sets her damages at five thousands dollars for violation of the contract And the case comes before the Court next week I believe Doct Edwards I hear is going to California and his Family are coming to Alton to live Capt Rider and Capt Godfrel 0 4 have gone East I hear on business relating to Rail Roads as I understand I hear that the gold bubbles are making a great stir in St. Louis--Mr. Bull came here from Alton on Thursday and told me that a citizen of Alton died of Cholera that morning before he left


Mrs. Flagg has made a general move in her bedroom bedstead turned round table, work-stand-Washstand Beauro, chairs &c &c all changed to different places We have all bad colds otherwise we are well The General opinion here is that the winter has been decidedly worse than common I hope you will write and let me know how the rising Generation are doing Professor Bliss reports promptly and ably every week and I think has improved considerable since his promotion Truly Yours Gershom Flagg [SIU-E]

95. Gershom Flagg to Willard Flagg, March 28, 1849

Paddock's Grove March 28/ 49 Dear Willard, We have had no letter from you since the 13th all letters are from 6 to twelve days or more on the way let me know when your quarter will be out I suppose you will not want to stay any longer The papers give accounts of 26 deaths by Cholera in one week in St. Louis and as many at Jefferson Barracks in the same week Mr Keemly and Mrs Keemly & child came up here to Mrs . Paddock's 105 last week but Mr K said there was no cholera in St. Louis--But I have no Idea of any thing else that brot. him out here only to get out of the way of Cholera--These City people are a curious set of beings We have sold some 1400 apple trees this spring & are selling about 200 a day upon an average I have now 140 head of Cattle keeping for an Ohio man at about 8 dollars pr. day I have sold him a hundred and five shocks of corn at 90 cts. pr shock [unsigned] [SIU-E]

96. Gershom Flagg to Willard Flagg, December 12, 1849

Paddock's Grove

Dec. 12/ 49

Dear Willard, We are all well--hear nothing from Old Zack yet--Some what disturbed about the murder of Doct. Parkman of Boston 106 The Murders in St. Louis do not surprise us any because it is so fashionable there Some two thousand hogs have passed here within a week on their way to St. Louis We have had our house


full of hog Drivers and a yard full of hogs 4 nights a week but they say there is not many more hogs to come from Sangamon Let me know as soon as you can what day to come down after you-will Mr wyman keep School the monday before Christmas I should think he would not You had better ask him The Major will bring you some butter--heard nothing from Springfield Your mother wishes you to write to Virginia She is anxious to know whether she is alive or not If you can tell us any knews do so for we have very little lately We have not killed our hogs Pork is very low & the hogs have eat more Corn than they are worth I begin to think there is no profit in hogs at all at all We shall kill ours soon have you heard any thing from Mrs. True 107 yet Love to all Truly Yours G. Flagg [SIU-E]

97. Gershom Flagg to Mrs. James Smith, January 25, 1850 Paddock's Grove Jan 25th 1850 Mrs. Smith, What the duce is the reason you do not write to us Will says in his last letter that George is laid up and Robert C. ditto & on wednesday I was in Alton & Mr Parsons told me that William Smith was sick I hope you will not all get sick The weather seems to be very bad and unpleasant but we all keep well here I have recd a letter from Mrs True but she seems by her writing to have the same feelings she did when she left here I think it is very hard for her to be reconciled to her great losses she says that it is very cold and that she feels very lonely but her health is good I hear of Levi Parsons being in Alton very often What can the creature be doing there it appears to me it is rather out of his line of trade perhaps he has an Idea of settling in Alton What is Mr. Smith doing is he stil in pursuit of dollars and cents? Since I commenced writing a neighbor came in and told me that there was ten new cases of Small Pox in the neighborhood about 4 miles from here all taken from Low Jackson who died with it a few days since It is the same neighborhood where some 8 or IO died with the Cholera last summer it is a neighborhood where if one of them has been off any where and learned any thing new he tells it to all the rest so that what one knows they all know (In margin:] and if one goes abroad and catches any disease they all have it--let us hear from you Truly Yours Gershom Flagg


[On reverse:] Our folks are all engaged to day in squeezing out Honey and was at it yesterday I think they will get through tomorrow Our Pork is all killed and the lard tried out and sausages made &c &c--no soap made yet Maj Barnes took down a bundle for Will & Bliss Pants & shirts I believe If you want any Butter, Honey, Beeswax tallow or Lard or dried apples let us know

G. F. [SIU-E]

98. Gershom Flagg to Willard Flagg, March



Paddock's Grove March 2 / 50 Dear Willard, I recd you letter of the 23d by Maj Barnes on monday and have succeeded in reading it in fact it is written better than usual James also recd a Wallet by the Maj. & by the by I wish you would buy me such an one as you sent to James as I need one very much We ar all about So, So I have hired Marie's youngest Brother Earnst. Our well caved in last night so that we cannot draw any water from it this morning (the one near the house) We have lost several sheep this winter The other stock is doing well we have seven young calves It is said the Astronomers of Harvard University have taken up the half Century question and have decided it that the half Century ended with the beginning of the present year--So that whether people like it or not they are now living in the last half of the 19th Century I am glad that they had sense enough to decide the question aright I wish you would read Mr Clays Speech if you have time you will find a great deal of correct information in it1° 8 He seems to recollect our past history precisly as it took place I hear that you have had another fire in St Louis Old Mr Hand is moveing to Bunkerhill Mr Ladew talks of going to California There is general excitement here more so than last spring Many think if they could get to the Gold region they should be quite happy The roads are very bad and I have not been to Alton since you left here day before yesterday the Thermometer rose to 70° degrees yesterday it was down to 30° Nothing new from Springfield Truly Yours Gershom Flagg W. C. Flagg



99. Gershom Flagg to Willard Flagg, May

10, 1850

Paddock's Grove May 10th 1850 Dear Willard, Ursula and myself with Charley and Bob all arrived safe at home in good time Ursula had a good deal of trouble to hold herself in the waggon She, held on with both hands most of the way and was some what bespattered with mud We are all well and have sowed about 50 acres of Oats I spoke to Mr Smiths to send me up a Hogshead of Sugar to Alton If they have not already done so I do not wish them to do so as from the present appearances I do not think I shall want it this year please let them know this forth with Tell Bliss to purchase a couple of Balls shoe thread if he can find any want Bliss to come home soon to go up with his Aunt Mary to his Uncle Willards I hardly know how he can get up here conveniently the Roads are so bad but if he should find any chance of getting up here in about a week from now I think I want him some time in the course of two weeks when it will suit his convenience and health I should like to have the weather a little better than at present for fear he might get sick on the Journey I send an order upon A.P. Ladew for seventy Eight dollars which I wish you to collect and send up by Bliss Let it be money or specie or its equivalent I want to send it on to your uncle & he will want something like land Office money Missouri Bills will answer Our Peaches Cherry and apple trees have blossomed very full this year but how much fruit we shall have I do not yet know The Lilac's are now in full bloom and I think the place looks more like home than any place I am acquainted with I have been thinking since I came home how simple the people are who live in Cities living over a pond of stagnant water four feet deep and calling it Cellar It is no wonder that they have The Cholera I forgot to ask you what the blue grass seed cost I have not sowed it yet We have eight hands at work but have not enough yet we are working nine yoke of oxen and two horses and have two more horses and one yoke of oxen that are idle for want of drivers We have five renters that are trying to do something in the way of farming The Idlers are all gone I believe to parts unknown I have been looking at our Book & I think we have quite enough for the present Truly Yours G. Flagg [SIU-E]



Gershom Flagg to Willard Flagg, June

14, 1850

Paddock's Grove June 14th


Dear Willard, I recd your letter of the 9th yesterday I gave you a bill on London for twenty £ when I left you at Alton you stuck it into your vest pocket as a thing of no consequence and I cautioned you not to loose it I wished you to hand it to Mr Jones and ask him to sell it saying that I could get $95 dollars for it in Alton of course I did not wish it sold for less You say not a word about it in your letter and from other observations in your letter I thought perhaps it had been entirely forgotten by you You say--"But I have little inclination for doing business for the sake of Money The motive does not seem to me laudable" &c, &c. Now your Ma and myself have worked hard to make money and although it is not laudable for you to make money you are perfectly willing to spend our money for your own selfish purposes that is to gratify your own taste Surely if it is not laudable to make money it cannot be laudable to spend that that other people make We will suppose for instance that your Ma & my self had believed that it was not laudable to make money We of course must do something the probability is that I should have been hanging about taverns and grog shops as I should there find company & your Ma not wishing to make money would have most likely fell into the habit of asking something from her wealthy neighbors to keep herself and family from starving and of course you in that case would have been honored by parents very !audible Suppose a whole community should be of your Opinion what would become of them If it is not laudable for you to make money it is not so for any body Who then would make roads or build school houses Colleges or Churches or steam boats or any thing else to make the people hapy or even keep them from suffering beyound measure You talk about pursuing History Poetry Romances &c &c Who is to support you in you Romantic Notions It takes a sight of money to support a family who live on Romance The fact is this world was made to live in and those who spend their time in preparing themselves or other people for the next world are living at the expense of their friends in this and however free they may be to condem those who are trying to make money they are very willing to spend other peoples money I once had quite a taste for Poetry but I came across a small pamphlet that cured me entirely Some young man who had become wonderfully smitten with New light had desired to scatter his new discoveries through the land and commenced thus


I dont pretend in Poetre To any skill or art But I do mean to let you see The object of my heart Now what I am about to write And what I have in view Is to discover the true light And then the same pursue You speak about living a calm life free from vexation &c &c I think our neighbor Johnson corns about as near the thing as you could wish he always wears the same countenance never laughs or hardly smiles he has 20 acres of land and lives alone and cooks his own board-no one to molest or make afraid Volney now has two children of his own a girl and a boy Brother and Sister & I think that is as much as he needs at present but perhaps he knows best I recd Bliss letter he did not say whether he was well or ill I sent $105 to Brother Willard by him he does not say whether he gave it to Willard or lost it on the way I wrote to Willard 2 weeks ago but have recd no answer I begin to feel some little objection to your going East to college Witches are coming in fashion there again and I am some what afraid that you will become a believer in witches Truly Yours G. Flagg [SIU-E]


A. C. Flagg to Gershom Flagg, July

12, 1850

New-York, July 12, 1850 Dear Brother, Your letter of the first instant came to hand this day. I intend to go down to the College in the morning and get the Catalogue &c and will put it in the Post Office with this letter, directed to you, and will write you afterwards, giving such particulars as I may collect at the College. I received the copy of Mr. Mathews' letter to you. It turns out just as I feared it would from the circumstances stated to me by Mrs. Doolittle. In regard to the proposition about rent, I should have no hesitation in contributing a share of it, were I not entirely out of business. I am compelled to live economically and have but a scanty income to bring the year about. Public Office, as you are aware, is not the field for making money, except by some Golphin process, and but for the industry of my wife and daughters, I should


have fared badly. I always kept clear of debt, so as not to appear to my family to be better off than I really was. Yours truly, A. C. Flagg Gershom Flagg, Esq. Paddocks Grove, Ill. [U of 1]


A. C. Flagg to Gershom Flagg,July

15, 1850

New-York, July 12, 1850 Dear Brother, On Saturday the 13th I called on one of the professors of Columbia College and procured two pamphlets which I forwarded to you, and which will give Willard all the information he requires in regard to studies in the College, &c. I was told that the preparation to enter Cambridge would enable a student to enter Columbia. There is no common boarding in or about the College. The students furnish their own room and board and attend the College for recitation. The professor informed me that the scholars paid from $2. 50 to 3 & 5 dolls. a week for board. This would be according to the room and other accomodations which the fancy of the student should require. The tuition is $90. per year, in advance, as I understood him. Your son had better come directly to our house, until we can find a place for him. I have conversed with the President of the Free Academy in this city, who says he should give a decided preference to the College here. Yours truly, A. C. Flagg Gershom Flagg, Esq. P.M. Paddock's Grove, Illenois. [U of 1]


Willard Flagg to Gershom Flagg, September

10, 1850

"Ocean Wave" Illinois River

Afternoon Sep. IO 1850

Dear Father and Mother As I may not be able to write whilst on the canal I have thought it better to do so now and mail at La Salle though it is very uncertain whether my penmanship will be much commended with such a jar to the boat. I will write now and again as often as I conceivably can upon the route. We left St. Louis yesterday at 6 P.M. Mr Smith gave me a letter of


instructions as to care of luggage &c and one or two of introduction to be used in case of need. Mr Wyman came down to the boat with our introductory letters to the President and Faculty of our different Colleges. Several old school mates and acquaintances were on board also. At last we shoved off, and were soon out of sight of the busy city Past Alton about 9 o'clock touching for a few minutes Were entertained during the evening by youths who harped and claronetted quite [MS torn] reminding one of the days of minstrelsy. Such thoughts were soon dispelled by the [pass ]ing round of a small tin plate on which a small peece of money was expected from each one. There was no mon [MS torn] that. We are now at the N. mouth [of the] river My "compagnous du voyage" and myself spent most of the evening "talking College." One has been at Yale before and has given me some information which may be of use. They roomed together and I have a nondescript apparently not much acquainted with the ways of the world though 30 or 35. He will do me no harm I think. We retired early but sleep was difficult to obtain I arose early and found we were in the Illinois now nearly full in many places, and fringed with long rows of cottonwood and willow. It rained during the night at Harris landing and the storm had been heavy Passed Florence and arrived before dinner at Beardstown passing Naples and Meredosia both of which appear to be better situated than Beardstown. The cars at Naples came almost to the water's edge articles taken from the boat were immediately placed in the cars. They do not seem to have learnt the Alton policy of forcing storage or at least drayage. We are getting on as pleasantly [as we c]ould expect The boat is not crowded and [the ac]comadations if not first-rate are good. I have nothing to trouble me save the recollection of your sorrow at parting. I could not but sympathize with that I hope it is not lasting no more than a momentary feeling If [MS torn] was otherwise it would be a saddening reflection--more anon. Wednesday Morning Early We are now on the upper waters of the Illinois The appearance of the banks has somewhat changed since last night. The rankness of the vegetation is not so great as upon the lower banks and trees are dwarfs in comparison with their giant relatives of the sunny south. The barber tells me we shall be at Peru in an hour I think it doubtful but give his opinion for what is is worth As he charged me 50 cents for cutting and shampooing my hair yesterday and my thoughts about him are in danger of being bitter and taking a sarcastic turn. The officers seem to be good ones aside from a weakness of speech arising no doubt from their desire to have everything conform to the wishes of every one in expectation at least. The mate is an original with a voice deep enough to come from the lower regions and is in many different places in a short time. The captain is more of a wit than an officer and talks humorously of people "floating around" and uses

116 other technical jokes I presume which it has not been my good fortune to hear Most Truly Yours W. C. Flagg Love to all the people more especially the girls [U of I]


Willard Flagg to Gershom Flagg, September

12, 1850





P. M.

Dear Father, We arrived here safely about an hour ago and I take the opportunity of a few minutes leisure to let you know of the incidents of travel. On Wednesday morning a few minutes after I had closed by first letter (which I left at Ottawa) we came in sight of Peru and its now more thriving sister of La Salle if they may be called by different names the towns being so near together that no one could tell by merely looking where one terminated and the other began. La Salle is mostly built upon the bluff though most of the business is transacted on the flat beneath. Its most prominent feature is the Hardy House-a large frame building as white and immaculate as a Shaker womans cap and commanding an extensive view of the river and adjoining countryAt 8 A.M. we departed for Chicago on board the packet St Louis and now the perils of the "vasty deep" of the "raging canal" were for the first time fully experienced. We passed up the river bottom through the deep cut1°9 made through solid rock to a depth of 50 feet cutting off and making a lofty cliff of the side of a [MS torn] part of the "Starved Rock" [MS torn] famous [MS torn] nals of [MS torn] other sights which I have no time to enumerate. Ottowa I found to be much increased since my former visit. At length some 30 or 40 miles from our starting point the water began to shoal and the boat was brought to the [MS torn] and passengers and baggage landed upon the bank with the hope that wagons would come sometime to take us around a [MS torn] "break" a distance of 16 miles After nearly two hours delay orders came to continue on our way a few miles farther This we did for 8 or 9 miles meeting on our route a line boat loaded with 150 dinnerless passengers who had come in wagons for a part of the way and worked their passage the remainder We exchanged boats with them. A lady lost a gold watch and chain during the transfer and a man dove valorously to recover it as if the water was IO feet in depth It turned out afterwards that he could reach the bottom without putting his head under a circumstance which spoiled nearly all the "pomp and circumstance" attending his heroic feat. We went on doubled teams and moved slowly the water so shallow that it was sometimes


difficult to tell whether we travelled mostly by land or water [two lines illegible here] nonchalance of the captain of the opposing boat is worthy of note. Standing upon the bow with a roll of coiled rope and a bar to break the shock he defyingly shouted "Come on" Fortunately no lives were lost. At dark we took wagons and after a ride of 9 miles damp and dirty and cold we arrived at Morris just above the break After IO we supped at 12 to bed at 5 turned out on deck and at 12 of to day came into Chicago. I am going out to see the town and "mes Compagnous du voyage" are waiting. Have divers wonders to relate had I a little more time: the incidents and fun of last night would make enough for a letter. We go at 5 to night Have formed a party of 24 to get our passage cheaper Now at the City Hotel a good house I believe. Love to all more especially mes belles cousins. Let me hear from all often. Yours in Verity Will



Willard Flagg to Gershom Flagg, September 13, 1850 Steamer "Ocean" Lake Erie Friday afternoon Sept 13 18 50

Dear Father and Mother, Having sealed my Chicago letter, I went out and saw a little of the thriving town or rather city, of Chicago. I was agreeably disappointed in seeing it. Its fine hotels quite eclipse those of St. Louis and one just completed (built of the pale brick which seems particular to that section) is I think without its equal in the west. The sidewalks and streets are constructed of plank which presents a curious sight to a stranger but are much easier to walk and drive upon than the bricks and limestone of other towns Certain ingenious bill stickers have introduced the custom of pasting notices beneath the feet of wayfarers an ingenious device by which "he who runs may read" The market house is spacious and airy much superior to those of St Louis. Knowing so little of other cities I take that place as a unit of comparison wherewith all others will be compared We went down to the lake for a few moments the dark green waves of Michigan were tossing their white caps in air with a stern glee stern enough to us with the prospect of sea sickness before us-I could have gone around more but calling at the Sherman House I found Mr Cavender & family, Mr. Partridge do. and Mr. Richards do. all homeward bound having landed that morning after a sea sick night John took me up to his room and introduced me to his wife a rather pretty young lady and apparently an amiable person. I say nothing more until farther acquaintance I am certainly


preposessed in her favor now. I learnt that Bliss had not arrived at Exeter 110 when they left (4th inst.) Mr Cavender came in shortly after and I called on Mrs C. and Sarah at Dr. Foster's a relation of theirs. All seemed to be in good order and well conditioned but anxious to get home again. As we both left at 5 I saw but little of them. Went down to the boat (Canada) having a through ticket to Buffalo for $9. Here we began to see some system in the transmission of passengers and luggage. No trunk was taken on board except by orders of the owner. Throughout the route the officers having charge of the luggage are distinguished by uniforms or badges. At the cars checks bearing a number are given a corresponding one being on the trunk. At the depot the numbers are called and each man takes his own--Upon the lake I was somewhat sick Julius and Cheavers were less affected Went to our berths and forgot our troubles in a nap which was not interrupted until we arrived at New Buffalo 45 miles about ro o'clock. Here we took the cars each containing 74 persons & double arm chairs lined with velvet very acceptable for night travelling. Away we sped beneath the starry midnight sky through the barrens and oak woods of Michegan passing through divers unseen farms arriving at Marshall to breakfast. The rest of the route I was engaged in surveying the country. It is timbered mostly with oak, spruce growing in the lowlands reminding me strongly of down East. Farmers were cutting a coarse kind of grass upon the intervals of beautiful streams which water that section I saw some land quite as stony as New England very little which we would call rich after the soil comes gravel mixed with huge cobble stones Saw many water mills for flower &c This seems destined for manufacturing rather than agricultural country. Saw very little of Detroit. Came on board about 2 Steamer Ocean a fine boat. Lake quite smooth in comparison with yesterday. Writing is difficult, however. See by the morning papers that the territorial and other bills have passed the house. Americans are true yet. You will not complain of my seldom writing I think. Wish it were better that you might read it. Love to all. Yours Affly. W. C. Flagg [U of I]

106. Willard Flagg to Gershom Flagg, September, 17, 1850

New York Sept 17th 1850. Dear Father and Mother, I arrived here in safety yesterday afternoon and am now at the residence of Uncle [Azariah] as given in his letter. I last wrote you from the Steamer Ocean upon Lake Erie but had no time to leave it at Buffalo and conse-


quently left it at Rochester. I suppose you must have received some of my letters ere this though you may have not been much the wiser for my steamboat chirography--As I wrote we were on the Steamer Ocean a spendid boat fitted up in the most expensive style. But the most wonderful was its engine of 1000 horse power with a piston of II feet stroke and 60 inches diameter It was beauty and strength combined. All the visible machinery is polished brighter than silver gliding to and fro with a silence astonishing to a westerner. One has a full view of the engineers room from the ladies cabin, a large sheet of glass being the only thing intervening. It strikes me that this will be a great comfort to the ladies apprehensive of accidents as they can thus have a vigilent eye over the engineers at all hours. The boilers are in the hold below the surface of the water. Going below seemed like a visit to Hades. We arrived in Buffalo next morning in time for the accomodation train at eight. We hurried on and away too quickly to see anything of Buffalo. We had a practical illustration of the beauties of having cars and steamboat separated a mile or so paying 25 cents for each of our trunks and as much more for ourselves. It makes the remembrance of Buffalo sweet. The train on which we came to Albany being the "accomodation" stopped at divers points on the road, being more than r 8 hours on the way. We thus had a better opportunity to see the beautiful scenery of Middle New York which quite surpasses that of the West. It is not as grand as that of the Mississippi nor that of our prairies but it is eminently rural with its handsome farms and well built houses-running brooks and beautiful sheets of water sleeping among the quietly sloping and wood-covered hills which may be seen stretching out for miles away-the newly sown wheat fields and orchards loaded with apples-shocked corn (not the tallest) and exceedingly yellow pumpkins. "All this" as the Columbian orator said "is not one half a quarter" but as you may not have the esthetical idea so fixed in your brain as I after having gone through it I forbear. Farmers were putting in their wheat in many places and shocking corn in shocks of little more than an arm each. The orchards were very full and fruit fine generally. At Rochester where we dined saw some very handsome peaches. Saw a fine cottage built according to Downing which looked very neat and elegant but somewhat as though it needed a bandbox. I I I Stonewalls began to prevail and blue limestone to appear in the hill sides. At Syracuse took tea first passing Auburn with his imposing prison of dark stone over which a sculptured sentinel posted on the highest tower, stands perpetual guard. We hurried off into the darkness our iron horse seemingly refreshed by cool damp air of night plodding on faster than ever. Dozed and slept woke to feel tired of sleeping and slept again restlessly. About 4 in the morning we arrived at Albany and put up at Stanwip Hall near the depot. Spent the Sunday in Albany Walked around town and went to church in the forenoon to hear a Presbyterian preacher


who gave us a pretty fair discourse upon the folly of disbelieving what was not understood. Yesterday morning we separated as our routes then diverged, my companions going on to Northampton and I coming down the Hudson. I had a lonely trip of it without my acquaintances on board but by listening and looking the time passed off quite pleasantly. The Scenery of the Hudson is of itself enough to make a day memorable and would have been doubly so had I been provided with a guide book to ascertain the historical associations of each particular spot. The numerous country seats which dot the eastern banks some almost hidden by thick foliage others standing out in the bright day at the top of some "sunny slope" or crowning the top of some distant hill the abrupt sides of the hills of the Highlands and the long line of Palisades which look much like a fortress built by giant hands long years ago and have been weatherbeaten with the storms and overgrown with the moss of centuries cannot be forgotten. Saw Forrest Castle, the tragedian's Country Seae 12 standing out in a prominent position upon a rock hill with an imitation of some feudal dwelling Arrived here about 4 o'clock and found the house without much difficulty Have seen little of Uncle Azariah as he is engaged at present as a witness in suits brought against the Hudson Railroad Company Have been roaming until I am too sleepy to write as well as I wish and therefore will leave the remainder for another letter. Besides I think it not best to write until I can tell more of Uncle Azariah As yet I have hardly seen him. Think of going to New Haven day after to morrow For the present I have travelled enough. It is wearing upon one's mind and purse. With love to all I remain Affectionately Yours Will [U of I]

107. Gershom Flagg to Willard Flagg, September 19, 1850

Paddock's Grove (Illinois) Sept. 19/ 50 Dear Willard, It is now twelve days since you left home and have not heard a word from you. We are all well There has been much rain here the ground is now too wet for ploughing we have sowed upwards of thirty acres of Wheat which is now up & looks well I enclose a letter that Bliss wrote to you since which I have received a letter dated Essex Aug 30th from C. D. Taylor saying that Bliss was sick with Feever and not able to write They say it is a Western feever-if so I am afraid the Doctors there will not know how to manage it the feevers there are quite different to what they are here Should you be taken sick with a


feever & your physician tells you it is a Western feever caution him against bleeding it is dangerous to bleed a patient that has a western feever better to trust to Bone-set than bleeding Bliss recd a letter from you on the 29th Aug. at Essex I am in hopes to get a letter from you tomorrow Mr Ellis and all his family came here on friday last They are all well but Virginia was very much grived that she did not get here before you left Mr Ellis returned to Springfield on Monday leaving Virginia and the Children here Mrs Enos Susan and Julia are here yet this day is quite cool clear and pleasant Thermometer at 72° some 8 degrees lower than it was day before yesterday I recd a letter from your Uncle Willard a few days since they were all well excepting sore Eyes We have not hauled away our Oats yet but I shall go tomorrow with 6 or eight loads I recd a letter for you from Charles C. Salter but as you will be likely to see him before this reaches you and he can tell you all I do not think it worth while to send it Mr Cavender and family were not at home yet last saturday so said Maj Barnes but he said James Smith and wife were expected home this week Truly Yours Gershom Flagg [SIU-E]

108. Gershom Flagg to Willard Flagg, October 3, 1850

Paddock's Grove, Ill. Oct. 3d 1850 Dear Willard, I have recd 4 letters from you since you left here the last from N. Y. dated 17 Sept. Virginia left here last week and Mrs Enos & daughters yesterday Orville Paddock's wife and children came down a few days since we are all quite well and busy sowing wheat we sowed twenty four acres to day & have 24 acres more to sow tomorrow We shall sow 84 acres in all and the Dutch 16 which will make one hundred acres on the farm we have cut up nearly fifty acres of Corn and want to cut up about 20 acres more We have hired a Dutch man and his wife who are lately from Germany & talk no english but they do very well so far they have only been here a few days. The last letter I had from Bliss he was at Essex Vt had been quite sick but was better and about starting for Exeter since which I have heard that he was at Keene, N.H. on his way to Boston &c Mr Cavender & Robert were here a few days ago & I had a letter from Mrs James Smith Mrs True has come home with Mr. & Mrs. Smith They were all well and glad to get home had


heard nothing from George Mrs Smith thinks that Cambridge is a very wicked place I am in hopes we shall get another letter from you tomorrow I hope you will find a comfortable place in Newhaven but I fear that you will find it very cold there Very Truly Yours G. Flagg W. C. Flagg



Willard Flagg to Gershom Flagg, October 13, 1850 New Haven

Oct 13th


Dear Father and Mother, Sending a letter to Ursula last week I thought it would not be necessary to write you directly. I have to acknowledge the receipt of a very short letter by which I see my letters were beginning to come in at last which I hope dispelled all anxiety if any were felt. It seems to me to be a great pity to send so much paper with so little on it so far I trust it will not be done in future I had a letter from Bliss on Friday telling me of his adventures in Vermont Did not say much of school Some of his fellow boarders had been sick but he to judge from his letter was in usual health and spirits I am at last fairly settled and hope to remain so for the remainder of the year Room with Salter by day and have a minute bed room to which I repair by night. Board in a club at about $. 75 per week eating is not of the highest order but this is not material, and as to its associations they are very few as I eat and depart straightaway. I have made but few acquaintances having neither time nor the faculty quite as much as I could wish. As to expenses I have laid out not far from 90 dollars in travelling expenses, books, furniture, &c besides advancing some IO dollars to Charles which will go towards paying room rent. This house is owned by his father and the rents go to C. I have one extravagance to confess in the ordering of a coat to be worth 16 dollars otherwise I have not spent much more than needful and this I thought upon the whole best to buy. Dress is of more consequence here than with us that is if you wish to form acquaintances among those who will be most beneficial to yourself. This will make my clothing bill amount to upwards of 20 dollars. At this rate I will be out before spring but Salter has promised to help me should funds give out. Were it not for travelling expenses I could I think easily get through on 250 per annum Board would be for 40 weeks $70 tuition about 3 5 washing IO or 12 Fire and Fuel IO or 12 which would be the principal items in all under 180 leaving 170 for incidentals clothing &c. But enough of business for today I would hardly write it now but time presses. I am getting on slowly in studies. Have not yet proved myself a bright and shining light and if capacity


is not wanting industry shall not fail to give me a respectable stand at least. There is everything to arouse ambition here but it is a dangerous stimulant which I am rather afraid to tamper with if higher motives can be substituted. The class I am in numbers 125 the 4 classes 443 and the whole number of students in Divinity Law Physics and undergraduates is 557 a small regiment. I wish you could come into the gallery of the chapel and look down upon us at time of prayer. I never saw so many young men unmixed with other ages together. We have a choir composed of students who sing very forcibly and it sounds quite well though as is generally the case when woman is absent there is something wanting. We are required to attend prayers morning and evening which I do not care for .but we must also listen to two long sermons each Sunday by Dr. Fitch whom I find rather dull. I wish to have some regard for religion but if anything is irksome it is a dull preacher--We have had fine weather here for the past week clear and not cold. The frost staid away untill 7 or 8 days which I am told is something unusual. But the hill sides are now putting on their russet robes and the chestnuts are falling in the woods. As I took my walk this morning I went into a small wood where I picked up a few. There are some hickory nuts and oak trees in this region. I hardly expected to find them--So much for college I should ask after some of the things of home. You may think me rather selfish in not doing so before perhaps it was but it was not for want of thinking of them. Home to one a thousand miles from it is much more endeared then it would be by actual presence and I can think with kinder feelings of those I left there than I have some times done-I hope you are not missing us very much that Christmas may come and go as merrily as it has in past years though there be some wanting some in other States are gone "to a better home"--1 should like to know something of my Sailor friend Stephen and how William has managed since his emancipation from the 6 months engagement Has Mr Mallard yet ascertained who was the author of the Chapter from Josephus? You write nothing of the apple crop What is it going to be? These and numerous other queries might be asked but I hope it may not be necessary. I should like to have a paper occasionally or oftener. I wrote in Ursula's letter that I had subscribed for the Intelligencer. We have a magazine published here under the auspices of the students which is quite a respectable periodical I have been wishing to have it as a memento of college days but the price $2 per annum will add an item more to expenses. What do you think of it? I will send you a catalogue when they are published and a copy of the laws that you may learn what we are about. The practical jokers have commenced their campaign and are now practicing upon freshmen. Rooming with a Junior I escape. The burial of Euclid, a midnight orgie it is said will come off in a few nights. The book is carried upon a bier and upon arriving at the grave has a hole bored through it that each one who has gone


through can say he has seen through Euclid. This is done without "the advice and consent" of Faculty and therefore a dangerous thing. Love to all friends and the same to Yourselves. Aff. Yours W. C. Flagg [U of I]

110 .

Willard Flagg to Gershom Flagg, October

20, 1850

New Haven Conn. Oct 20/ 50 Dear Father and Mother, Another week has passed away made memorable by the game of football between the Freshman and Sophomore classes which off on Wednesday afternoon covering both parties engaged with immortal honor, the one for having beaten the other for being so honorably defeated. The game commenced a little after two. The parties were stationed facing one another on either side of an open corner of the green dressed in divers costumes as fancy or chance dictated. Some wore calico pants all, "shocking bad hats" Old shirts were in demand and I wore one of my "hickory" ones which bore "the hard trials of war" unscathed. It was very exciting after we were mingled together and began on either side to endeavor to carry the ball through to the other goal Crowded together in one mass all pushed manfully and swayed to and fro as a slight advantage was gained on either side. Caps and fragments of shirts strewed the place of onset: no dead were found though one or two fights were commenced by the more fiery spirits of the South. These however were promptly suppressed by the students who in this seemed to show more regard for good order then would be shown in the West. I have not heard from you this past week but received an Alton Telegraph yesterday which looked very much like home and though its literary matter was not equal to our Eastern papers was far more valuable to me. I have also had letters from Mary Fifield and George both of these were glad to hear from me. We value one another as highly where there are so few of us and so scattered abroad through the land of nations. Mary is going to change her school soon. George seems to be getting along cheerily Has been to see Jenny Lind and was much pleased with her. Sent me a Catalogue of Harvard. I have one also from an acquaintance at Dartmouth. Cambridge has now 62 students in the Scientific School and the Department of Engineering is in full operation. The weather is growing a little colder the leaves are falling from the elms and the winds of autumn beginning to sound dismal. Summer is fairly gone. I suppose you will be anxious concerning my health. I have little to complain


of in that respect at present Eat well and sleep well which I suppose are indubitable signs of health. My teeth are getting troublesome and must be filled before long or I will lose them. I am afraid you will find this letter difficult to read Hereafter I will use better paper. We have just had a visit from another Illinoisan who is in the Sophmore Class Is from Galena and coming on after the commencement of the term feels very dispirited and gloomy. We have been endeavoring to raise his spirits. There is a law student here from Collinsville but I have not seen him yet. All from the same state seem like near neighbors. I have not made out many epistles to night yet compared with those promised Hope to give Aunt Susan and Volney some before long. Ideas are wanting to day so excuse my bringing this to a close uncerimoniously. Write often and longer letters. Believe me Aff. Yours W. C. Flagg [U of I]


Willard Flagg to Gershom Flagg, October

27, 1850

New Haven Conn. Oct. 27th 1850 Dear Father and Mother, Another week has gone by and my day of letter writing comes again. and with prayers and church and these letters I can assure you it is a busy though pleasant one. I have dispatched all others and reserved this until the last hoping to furnish a more readable epistle than last week. Letter writing is no task afar from friends with few new ones made as yet. It seems the next thing to converse. A private telegraph would be better but more expensive. I have had no letter from you for two weeks I suppose the mails are in fault Bliss sent me a sheet full a few days since telling me something of his school and having made the acquaintance of Mr. Leonard (of whom you may have heard Mr. Smith speak) and being much pleased with him. Sarah has given me the St. Louis news including the report of another expedition to the Big Muddy. mary is anxious to ascertain where this celebrated stream lies. Seems to think it may be such a fountain of perpetual youth as was sought by the famous Ponce de Leon existing only in the land of dreams though sought amid the swamps of Florida. As to news here a boy has fallen from the East Rock a distance of 70 feet or more and strange to say was not killed but is thought will recover though he fell upon solid rock. I hardly think he could have fallen thus far without touching anything until he reached the bottom. G. P. R. James the novelist is in town and was admitted last Wednesday night as a honorary of


our Society ofLinonia and made a speech thereupon. I had some curiosity to see this man of many novels but was not near enough to examine him very closely. He stood up in a not very graceful attitude with his thumbs in the arm-holes of his vest and his head knowingly on one side as he began his remarks Wore whiskers a light vest and a quizzing glass! appeared to be some 40 or 45 years of age and has rather a pleasant cast of countenance It is said he has taken out naturalization papers to become a citizen of the United States. 113 Is now delivering lectures upon Modern Civilization which are said to be rather dull His speech made at the Society was neither excellent nor bad A man of very little talent might make as good or a talented one a worse. I should suppose that he would succeed best as a novel writer. A New York house announces one to be published in a periodical in that city. The elder Professor Silliman who has been connected with this institution as student Tutor and Professor for nearly 60 years delivered a familiar lecture last Tuesday to our class upon the duties of College life and the best means of preserving health. He gave what he considered the 4 most essential things rst Religion for this would shield one from contamination by evil associations 2ndly Health 3rdly Good Friends and 4thly a little money He appeared a very pleasant old man though perhaps a little egotistic. I was so much pleased with him however as not to notice his egotism until spoken to concerning it. He says there have been many changes since his first connection with the college Students are more gentlemanly than in the olden time. He considered the studies to be pursued in College rather too many to do them justice. This had been remedied in part by requiring more at the examination. Geography was once studied but now it was among the thing[ s] supposed to be studied before entering, a supposition he said was not always well founded as he had asked a candidate once who was the founder of St. Petersburgh and was told St. Peter!--1 have been trying the keeping up of Sophmore studies so as to enter a junior next year and find I will not be able to do so at all thoroughly and think I had better go slow and sure even if I leave before graduating. Thus far my health has been quite good I walk about a mile after each meal which I think is the best way to take exercise at this time of year at least. The past week has been very rainy and gloomy The elms have shed nearly all their leaves and look bare and desolate. To day after many changes from sun to rain and rain to sun the weather turned cool, and wind blew quite fresh. So much for another week. I hope to hear from you before next writing. Give my love to all the people, and tell me all the news of the prairie Good Night W. CF. [SIU-E]

127 112.

Gershom Flagg to James Smith, November 3,


Paddock's Grove

Nov 3rd 1850 Col. Smith

Dear Sir, Last night I came home and found an Epistle from you left by our worthy friend Major Barnes--glad to hear that you are well but sorry to hear that you have only four women to wait on you I should think you ought to have five at least I recd two letters from Willard last week he seems in good spirits but thinks he will be out of funds before spring he is somewhat displeased with the dull long sermons they have in the College I suspect the preacher is and Old man and you know Willard and George never liked to drive Old horses and of course they will think only of Old Tom when they see and hear an Old Preacher Willard says he took the trouble to count the ladies and gentlemen in several pews one Sunday and they averaged five females to one male I think the counting of females in a church will help out the dull preaching very much We are all so much engaged that we cannot think of coming down at present if You can com out we shall be very much pleased to see you I am hauling apples into Alton every day except Sunday I have sold all my apples for 50 cents pr bushel in alton I shall make some Cider soon and will not forget Madam Smith As to the Butter we do not wish you to put yourself to the trouble to weigh it as we desire to give somthing for the many presents we have received If we commence keeping accounts we shall find ourselves quite too much in your debt any thing that we have to spare that you want Wf': will send you and be glad to do so Come out as soon as you can and before this fine weather departs Love to all and believe me Truly Yours G. Flagg



Gershom Flagg to Willard Flagg, November

10, 1850

Paddock's Grove Ill.

Nov 10th


Dear Willard, I wrote to you last week having received you letters of Oct 13th & 20th Your letter of the 27th I recd a few days ago and one from Bliss dated the 24th Oct. I had a letter from Mr. Smith lately Mr Cavender and John were here last tuesday on their way to Bunkerhill I have seen Robert two or three times this week he is ingaged in shattering Robert Smith's buggy to pieces and


using up his horses by swift driving Bob Smith is supposed to be lying upon some sand barr between this and Minesota with a steam boat between him and the sand Mary Reilly had a letter from her Mother yesterday She is at Greensburgh Kentucky at Mr Blankenships Fathers We are all well and hard at work I have been to Alton nearly every day with Apples the last two weeks We have hauled 566 bushels and some 50 bushels or more to haul No corn gathered yet no Cider made and no roof upon our North Cabbin Cribs and sheds remain as they were two of Mr James Scott's daughters have died since you left here one was Stanley's wife Jack Clayton died of Cholera at Samuel Dorseys last thursday The News from California is very bad indeed I should like to know what you have done with the letter paper you took with you As for you ball playing I should not think it very good exercise for you It is a better game for Soldiers who need to be exercised to extreeme hardships fatigue and fighting I think such hard exercise will do you more hurt than good You think you will be out of money before next Spring and I think I shall be out too before that time since the 6 day of may I have 1615 days work done which is an average of ten hands pr day & my expenses are not less than seven dollars pr day I shall soon have to employ less hands I think but I have plenty of work to do Taylor has left and I now have but 6 hands besides Stephen who takes care of the horses Our Election came off last tuesday the papers will give you the result I wrote to Bliss to day I have had but one letter from George Smith You write nothing about fruit or crops of any kind is there any good apples in Old Connecticut I suppose you have a chance to see Silliman's Journal You say you want long letters it is hard to write long letters when there is nothing to write about If I write about home affairs it is the same old story over & over again Your Mother & myself are here alone Ursula as usual likes to stay with the Dutch and Irish and James will neither read or write to any one Samuel Buel came here to night Says they are all well All well at Springfield the 7th Truly Yours G . Flagg



Willard Flagg to Gershom Flagg, November

17, 1850

New Haven Conn. Nov 17th '50 Dear Father, Your letter of the 3rd inst. came last night and also one from Volney and Victoria and one from St. Louis from Mrs. True and Sarah. With such a


good supply I felt quite content and can write the present epistle with no bitterness of spirit caused by feeling neglected. Your letter and V olneys being both well stocked with news told me all of home of departures of changes and "skrimmages" and the news that our county was doing nobly in the election Did the election turn only on State rights and benefiting ones own? as Volney's letter seemed to indicate or are party lines still preserved? You seem to be anxious concerning that small bedroom so I will state the facts. Being myself very fond of fresh air I keep the window open at all times except during sleep and then leave the door open which opens in to the hall. Our sitting room we ventilate well, general putting up the windows when we go out. In the Chapel which is large and high there is no want of air but the recitation rooms have some times been almost stifling. Of late however they have windows open which keeps the atmosphere pure. Thus I am in no danger of being suffocated and as to health (with the exception of my throat which is little or no better than when I came away) I could not wish to have better than at present. The past week has gone off rapidly and much more satisfactorily than the last. I seem to be gaining ground and hope to be among the first sometime but not the valedictorian, an honor which they (who do not get it) say is not worth the trouble, requiring a close study of the minute particulars of each lesson which it takes more time to acquire than those who wish to cultivate their minds in other respects can devote to it. The reasoning seems very plausible to me the more so that I could not get it probably if I tried. But I shall endeavor to do well enough to reflect no dishonor on the Prairie State Old Madison or my expectant kindred and do so with higher motives than the obtaining of College honors. There is much hard feeling I am told arises from the rivalry of [illegible] students which is stimulated greatly by the honors bestowed. Some have thought it better to abolish this practice altogether and I think perhaps it would. It might lower the standard of scholarship but it would if I mistake not much elevate the motive. The secret societies too are often a source of discord. The students all belong to one of three societies not secret the Linonian Brothers and Calliope. In each class there are also two or more secret societies. These (those of the upper classes) bring out their favorite men as candidates for the honors of the large Societies and thus act much like mere political clubs electioneering and intriguing with as much assiduity as men around (?) the machinery of government for more important motives. I have joined none of these secret societies yet and do not think I will for a year at least they are I suspect more amusing than beneficial though I presume they are to some extent improving in speaking and composition. Linonia will answer my purposes I think. I make a speech next Wednesday night upon the question whether the discovery of gold in California has been thus far beneficial. Shall take the negative. It seems impossi-

130 ble to take any other after hearing of the want and misery beyond the Salt Lake City. I have heard of nothing more calculated to shock the feelings and excite pity than this perishing by disease and starvation afar from all the abodes of men in the desolation of the wilderness--the 1st no. of the 16th Volume of the Yale Literary Magazine conducted by 5 editors chosen from the Senior class made its appearance some days since. It is said to be not as good as usual and certainly contains nothing of uncommon merit. I perpetrated a short poetical article which was accepted. I presume thereby that the Editor's ordeal is not the most fiery . Salter and myself have subscribed for it together more from the desire of sustaining it than its worth. It is something which should be supported but has often been a loss to those who have the honor of conducting it I am taking the National Intelligencer and find every reason to be satisfied with it. Sarah wrote me of the death ofJohn Cavender' s wife. It must have been a sad event especially when she was so much loved by those who knew her. I saw her a few minutes in Chicago and was quite pleased with what little I saw of her To go now when the happiest time of life had come and the most useful seems hard indeed but only for those whom she has left She died peacefully and resigned So may w e Winter seems close at hand To day clouds and sunshine have been disputing possession of the sky To night the wind sounds most dismal amid the bare branches of the old elms I think it will be cold in the morning. But we are very comfortable and quiet here within letter writing and reading undisturbed by any one. We are the only ones who room in the house The family consists of a Brother and Sister the one a cripple the other deformed His history has been rather interesting He was confined 4 or 5 years to his room with rheumatism and during the time so well fitted himself that he now has a good practice as a Lawyer. They both are very quiet and kind. So ends my present epistle Remember me to all friends give my love to Ursula and Orvill How does the young gentlemen like farming? I should like to see him. Believe Me Affectionately Yours W. C. Flagg [SIU-E]

115. Gershom Flagg to Willard Flagg, December 5 1 1850

Paddock's Grove Ill. Dec 5th I 8 50 Dear Willard, I recd you letter of the 17th Nov on last Friday I wrote you and to Bliss and George last week I recd a letter from Mrs James Smith by Maj. Barnes

13 I

last Saturday They were very well but Mr S. was as much confined to the store as ever & Wm's mind was much engaged about the Big Muddy coal banks 114 We commenced killing hogs yesterday and are killing to day and I am inhopes we shall finish tomorrow we had about 70 to kill and shall sell 60 or 50 It has turn'd very cold yesterday and to day It snowed last night ~nough to whiten the ground we had a good deal more rain last week Mary Reily is here to day she had a letter from her Mother last week She was at Nashville Tennessee when she wrote but was going further South We had a letter from Virginia last week Mr. Ellis was very sick and had been for two weeks she says she has not recd a word from you since you left here I wonder you do not write to her You enquire about the Election the paper will tell you all about it it was not decided on party grounds at all. Whigs and Democrats voted together with no regard to the usual party lines There are many things I do not write about that I suppose you will see in the Papers As for the news from California I suppose you get as much in the papers as we do A Mr Job of this county has returned from there and he says there are thousands in California that would return forthwith if they only had enough to bring them home I hear nothing from any that went from this vicinity except Keyzer the Dutchman & he advises all his friends not to come to California I learn that there is only about 1 ½ miles of plank finished in the bottom that is from Caho Bridge to the small Bridge near the house on the wet Prairie. 115 The Roads are now very bad but if this cold weather should continue they 16 will soon be sollid but rough Mrs Smith wrote that Mr Eleot1 was about leaving St Louis for the present It appears that he is in bad health and was to have left on a certain day but his boy was taken sick We have put up six barrels of apples for our own use and have a barrel of Cider for Mrs. Smith I fear we shall have some pretty cold weather now & we have about 3 5 or 40 acres of corn to gather besides what is cut up and shocked I enclose what Orville says is a note from mary Reily to you Writing so often I find but little news to write but I write every week to let you know that we are all well & remain Truly Yours G. Flagg


116. Gershom Flagg to Willard Flagg, December 19, 1850

Paddock's Grove Ill. Dec 19th 1850 Dear Willard, I did not receive any letter from you by the last Mail I wrote to you and Bliss last week We are all well The weather is warm and cloudy and roads

132 bad A drove of six hundred hogs and six men staid all night here last night and another drove of 400 hogs and eight men will be here tonight We have but 5 hands hired by the month now the weather is not fit for gathering corn now and the ground is too soft We have five cribs full of corn upward of 2000 bushels we suppose we are selling corn at 3 5 cts pr bushel I have been reading Jeffersons writings lately and he gives an account of a Polygraph which he was using that wrote with two pens and made a perfect copy and he prefered it to a copying press he said it was invented by a Mr Hawkins near philadelphia I never heard any thing of it before I wish you would enquire if they have any such a thing in your diggings. The last we heard from Springfield Mr Ellis was better I have heard nothing from St Louis this week Mrs Keemly and Mary Reily are both at your aunts Your Aunt Mary is at Springfield for the winter we have killed twelve of the out sid[ e] hogs and there is 4 more to kill they are very wild We recd the President's message by telegraph but have heard nothing of the doings of Congress Pork is now selling in St Louis they say at $4. pr cwt which is higher than it has been for several years I can think of nothing more to write except that I remain Affectionately Yours Truly Gershom Flagg W. C. Flagg [SIU-E]


Willard Flagg to Gershom Flagg, December

29, 1850

New Haven Conn. Dec 29th 1850 Dear Father and Mother, The letters of the 13th instant came on the 27th and also the one dollar bill for which I make acknowledgements. I suppose it is a small quarter of pork put into mailable form. I sent an account of expenses on the 26th, I believe. Since then I have remained here reading the accumulated mass of newspapers and walking around town a little. Have read the Congressional news and reports with the exception of Mr Corwins report. The message of President Fillmore is a concise and well written paper so far as I am able to judge and here has received the approval of all parties unless the Ultras may be called one. This is saying a great deal. To find a Loco newspaper praising a Whig message is a new order of things but it has happened here and I see by the Intelligencer elsewhere also. Of course the praise is not unqualified but it shows well nevertheless Union and disunion seem to be breaking down party


lines. The speeches of the Union meeting here I have read or at least a part of them. They were very good generally One made by Dr Taylor 117 of our Divinity School was said to be fine but I did not read it. I hope the clergymen will keep on the side of law and order.--Day before yesterday I was down on the wharf and looked for the dwelling of Arnold which stands near the sea shore. We found an old house of ancient make with diamond panes and projecting eaves which we decided to be the one formerly inhabited by Arnold but some have doubted whether we found the right one. So our antiquarian researches have amounted to little. We also visited the belfry of the railroad depot u 8 paying 6½ cents each for a visit to these regions of the air. The Irish door keeper informed us that the height from the foundation to the top was 240 feet . If he told the truth the foundation must be deep in the earth for the distance from the surface was nearer 140. There is a fine view of the harbor and city better perhaps than from any other point. We could see the snowy hills and the harbor covered with ice in some parts. We were so far above the street that we could not hear the sleigh bells. We did hear the great bell in the belfry which began to ring just as we reached the top the frame work shook and we held our ears and trembled also. In the tower is a large clock with faces some 6 feet in diameter. These are made of stained glass so that by means of a gas light and reflectors they may be illuminated by night and the time read as by day. They keep N . Y. time as upon the railroads it is necessary to have one rate of time independent of difference of longitude. The difference between here and New York is about 4 minutes. Yesterday I hardly went out and have nothing to tell of adventures. To day I have attended Church twice. This morning I went with Tarbox whose curiosity excited to the Catholic Church. It is one of the smallest in town and built as is the case with some others with shops underneath. It is not supported by the wealthy and therefore lacks the riches and pomp of those at St. Louis and elsewhere We were crowded in amid a mass of standing and kneeling Irish (who seem to make up the whole of the church) of all ages and with coats of different ages and cleanliness. The air was hot and stifling and the crowd refractory in spite of the remonstrances of the sexton and I began to fear we should have a row but they at last made way for those who owned seats and all was quiet again. The services were the same as in other churches and the priest gave a short exhortation in the richest brogue but which certainly contained good doctrine. A collection was taken up consisting mostly of copper money. There was another Catholic Church here but it has been burnt and now all are crowded into one. Went to the Episcopal this afternoon. Many here attend church 3 times per day It hardly seems to me worthy of imitation and hardly as beneficial as two would be if more reflected upon. So ends my letter I wish for your sakes it was a little more


interesting. Material is scarce to day. I shall endeavor to find something better this week. Remember me to Volney and Victoria and all others and Believe Me Aff. Yours W. C. Flagg [SIU-E]


Willard Flagg to Gershom Flagg, January

5, 1851

New Haven Conn. Jan. 5 1851 Dear Father and Mother, On the 1st letters came from home Bliss and Mary F so I was as happy as could be expected on this New Year. Bliss and Mary are both well. Bliss tells sad stories of being obliged to attend school on Christmas day with a prospect of doing the same on New Year's day. They are having severe weather up North, many snow storms. Mary is at the "Fremont Seminary" at Brattleboro the young ladies of which she says are called "Fremonters" among the inhabitants of those coasts. There is one young lady there from our State Iowa who, for the honor of the West be it said, is the belle of the school, and also one of her schoolmates from St. Louis. In relation to the Polygraph you mentioned I have not yet made any inquiries but suspect it cannot be in use. If its merits had been superior we would have heard of it in more general use. It is not very difficult to think out a way for one to operate. I think it would be something like the Pentographs that Bliss once made and if rightly arranged I should think might be used conveniently if one wrote slowly but how they could be arranged so as to write fast and follow the varied Sinuosities of the writing of this running hand age, I can hardly tell. It would certainly be a fine thing to have copies of all one's letters. It would perhaps prevent the writing of much if we had it all to review at any moment. New Year's day went off merrily Sleighs with one two and four horses drove up and down stopping at many places and letting out well shaven and stiff collared gentlemen who dived into the houses and quickly dived out again and hurried away to another dwelling with all the celerity of business men. The same motions almost were gone through by others on foot. This is termed making New Year's Calls and is a favorite way of spending the day in New York. The object is with the Gentlemen to see how many calls they can make in a day; with the ladies how many they can receive This is the fashionable way. The less ambitions stay some minutes and call on friends and not on strangers and no doubt have a pleasant day of it But the man with 60 or 70 calls on hand must often remember the maxim "Duty before pleasure." The gentlemen grew noisy before evening and a few with tin

135 horns made the fore part of the night hideous. But by eleven all was calm again and the New Year went on all too swiftly. I sat up to bid farewell to the Old Year rather than welcome the New. I suppose it is rather too soon but already I look back as often as forward. I suppose it is because of my isolation, I endeavored to call up the events of the past years. There were many remembrances which were pleasing a few that were not. I have in many [respec]ts [?] not done my duty as a son and I ask your forgiveness for it. And I hope by the help of Him who said "Honor thy Father and Mother" to do so no more. Between you and me Father there has been no misunderstanding that I know of but with you Mother it has been different and now as another year begins I would gladly lay all those misunderstandings in the grave of the Old Year and go on with more loving-kindness to meet the future. If I have been influenced to think more of "things not seen" do not I pray you think ill of those you suppose have been the cause of it but rather do so likewise. Is it a disgrace to endeavor to follow what we think to be the path of duty? I do not wish to be a bigot but I do wish to be a Christian if I could be so without prejudice against others or self-rightousness and I would you were both so also. There is a God; the thought cannot be shaken off; it is inborn and if there is we surely should be ready to acknowledge him and do what we think to be his will. I do not think I have written in excitement. I began writing of the New Year and my thoughts led me on insensibly. I do not like to be misunderstood by or misunderstand any one and especially you and have written as I have felt before but could not express for I could not keep my temper. A Happy New year and God bless you all W. C. F.



Gershom Flagg to Willard Flagg, January

9, 1851

Paddock's Grove Ill. Jan 9th 1851 Dear Willard, Your two letters of Dec 22 and 25th were received on the day before yesterday I had not received any letter from you of a later date than the 8th of Dec I was in Alton on tuesday and waited for the Northern mail to arrive which brot the two letters from you having been 13 or 14 days from New Haven to Alton I did not suppose you would be out of money so soon I sent you a dollar for a christmas present which I thought would arive about Christmas I now inclose Seven dollars to you. I paid away about a hundred and fifty dollars Just before I recd your two letters in Alton My taxes this year amount to $115. and I have to pay for Mrs Enos

136 and others upwards of fifty dollars I wish you would make an estimate of what it will cost you from this time until the expiration of the 3d term The weather is warm now the snow has all left and the mud is quite troublesome I hear nothing from St. Louis lately I had a letter from Mr James Mathews of Coshocton Ohio he says that you Uncle Thomas had been sober for a week and was making or had promised to make a resolute effort at reformation that for four months previous he had been drunk all the time and a last was found lying in the mud one night unable to get up Mr Mathews said he would write me again soon. He wrote that they had a first rate public school in Coshocton and that three of the Children were attending the School. Do you hear any thing from Your Uncle Azariah or his family I have not heard from them since you were there I wrote to General Dix not long since and sent him one hundred dollars Mary Reily had a letter from her Mother last week she was at Thorn Hill Alabama and was well Mr. Blankenship had sold his horses and Carriage & I suppose they will winter at Thorn Hill Do you hear any thing from you Uncle Artemas or his family? Bliss writes that Lucius Flagg was at Story occupying a part of his Uncle Willard's house This is a roundabout way of hearing from Ogle County Ill. It is said now that Henry Cork is to Marry Doxy Scott and Andrew P. Buck is to be married to Ladosky Pierce this last piece of news comes from Ursula who is well posted up in such matters Major Barns is now down to St. Louis & I think I shall hear from there tomorrow. I remain Affectionately Yours Truly Gershom Flagg W. C. Flagg [SIU-E]


Willard Flagg to Gershom Flagg, January

11, 1851

New Haven Conn. Jan 11 1851 Dear Father and Mother Yours of the 2nd ult. came on the 8th and I have had a very short one from Henry by no means worth sending. I am quite provoked at him. We have again commenced study and are now fairly underway much refreshed by the two weeks vacation. I read Boswell's Johnson to some extent and sundry fragments of other books and though the time was rather dull got along very well. We have had some additions to our class and have also lost some who could not pass examinations. On the whole we have


gained at least in quality-I had a letter 2 or 3 days since from George. He will soon have a vacation of 6 weeks as they have but two terms. I have taken a few notes from the report of deaths in New Haven in 1850. They were in all 302 or about 3 in 200. Of these the proportion of married to unmarried adults was 60 to 38, 21 were over 80 9 upwards of 90 and 5 were 100 which looks as if the climate were very favorable to longevity. I am in want of funds and should like a small supply. I will not need much until the end of the term however. I have not learnt the best way of s[ end]ing it but suppose it would be in drafts in [MS torn] IO or I 5 dollars will be sufficient until the [MS torn]. Webster's letter 119 to the Austrian Ambassador has been much lauded here as the politest of "cut downs" and it is thought will much increase his popularity-We received to day the news that the Illinois legislature had met and an out line of the message--The Massachusetts legislature are in fierce session and caucuses are being held by the allied powers of Democracy and Free Soilers and the Whigs alone. It said that the two former find some difficulty in dividing the spoils. They go on very harmoniously in the division of State offices but the Senator cannot be fixed upon. The Democrats wish to make a choice from 3 but the Free Soilers are fixed on "one and only["] and so the matter remains undecided. I have been in to examine the Cabinet but had only time to take a hasty view It is a very fine one and well kept. There is a mass of Meteoric iron from Texas weighing 1300 pounds and several crystals of quartz &c weighing I 50 to 200. There are specimens of rocks from all parts of this land and indeed the globe and coral the most beautiful I have ever seen and many other things which in a hasty survey I could not examine thoroughly. I shall take a thorough look at everything soon and send you an account if it would be acceptable. It is probably the best in the United States [except?] that at Amherst over which Prof. Hitchcock [presi]des. I have been to night to hear Prof. Mitchell the Astronomer from Cincinnati lecture upon the Astronomy of the Bible. There were not many present and he seemed and expressed him self much disappointed. He was an eloquent speaker and dwelt upon his favorite science forcibly and thrillingly. He endeavored to prove the inspiration of the Scriptures by showing that they evince much more knowledge of Astronomy than common men could have possessed at the time they were written and advanced some very plausible arguments though as learned men are apt to do in obscure subjects I think he overreached and saw too much, more than was meant. But his thoughts of the immensity of space and systems of worlds hung therein were eminently beautiful. He has come on here to deliver lectures before the Young Men's Institute and these upon the Bible were taken up in connection with the general one of Astronomy-The weather during the last 2 or 3 days has been

138 quite warm and the snow is going off slowly. It is now water by day and ice by night But for india rubbers I should suffer badly. It is late and subjects are exhausted. Remember me to all and Believe me Aff. Yours W. C. F.



Gershom Flagg to Willard Flagg, January

16, 1851

Paddock's Grove Jan. 16th 1851 Dear Willard, Your letter of the 15th Dec was not recd until last friday I recd your letters of the 22d and 25 Dec. a few days before and wrote to you by last mail and sent you Seven dollars I also sent you a dollar which I suppose would reach you by Christmas but it seems the Mails are much more tardy since cold weather has set in I learn from the papers that there was a great Storm the Sunday night before Christmas extending from the Lakes to Maine & from Montreal to Charleston & that the snow fell some three feet deep at buffaloSyracuse blocking up the ways & highways-Rail Roads &c &c from Buffalo to Albany I send with this letter two dollars more We are all well and have had some fine weather for a few days past but it has become quite cold this afternoon and has put forth signs of another storm Mary Reily says she is going to write to you this mail Mrs. Blankenship is at Thorn Hill Alabama Your Mother had a letter from her and your Aunt Julia wants you to write to her She is away down in Alabama as I understand in rather an out of the way place living in a lob Cabin a place where people assemble in the Sickly Season for their health I understand it to be a healthy place among the pine woods but I have Seen no description of it Being entirely among strangers I think she is somewhat homesick though her health is better I believe than it was here I Recd a letter from Mrs James Smith last Mail the bad weather had prevented her and Mrs True from coming out here and she did not know when they should come She does not like to be out in cold weather as her health is not very good. Mrs True I think is anxious to come out Mrs S. says She has not heard from you lately I hope you will not neglect to write to her She is I think one of your best friends and well wishers and Mr. Smith do. I see by the Postal Guide (which I take) that a Mr Allen Judd of Chicopee Massachusetts has invented an improvement on the pentegraph a very useful instrument for drawing maps. If you can find a good Instrument of that kind I think you had better buy one [if] it does not cost too much & provided it

139 can be kept without injury & does not take up to much room that is you must use your discretion and not buy it unless you think you shall need it have paid my taxes in this county today $98.23 Mr Enos' $47.88 Mrs Charles Tindall died day before yesterday She had the Consumption I hear I remain affectionately Yours &c G. Flagg W. C. Flagg



Gershom Flagg to Willard Flagg, January

17, 1851

Paddock's Grove Ill. Jan 17th/ 5 I Dear Willard, I wrote to you about an Instrument called a polygraph I now send you an extract of Mr. Jeffersons letter to Mr. Bowdin-"I believe when you left America the invention of the Polygraph had not reached Boston. It is for copying with one pen while you write with ,.mthe other and without the least additional embarrassment or exertion to the writer I think it the finest invention of the present age, and so much superior to the copying press Machine that the latter will never be continued a day by any one who tries the polygraph. It was invented by a Mr. Hawkins of frankfort, near Philadelphia, who is now in England, turning it to good account. Knowing that you are in the habit of writing much I have flattered myself that I could add accep[t]ably to your daily convenience by presenting you with one of these delightful machines. I have accordingly had one made, and to be certain of its perfection I have used it myself some weeks, and have the Satisfaction to find it the best one I have ever tried; and in the course of two years daily use of them, I have had opportunities of trying several As a secretary, which copies for us what we write without the power of revealing it I find it a most precious possession to a man in public business. I inclose directions for unpacking and using the Machine when you receive it." I have never heard of this machine until I read Jeffersons Correspondence-Perhaps the machine is now out of fashion but if there is any in Conn. or Massachusetts I should [think?] you & George might hunt them out Mary Reily has sent up a billet which I inclose. Nothing new from Springfield It is supposed that Jacob Holmes died of Cholera at Sacremento California Mr Bull has sold My Devil Colt that he had for 50$ if he would have ever made him gentle and kind he would have been worth a hundred dollars We have built two more Corn Cribs and the boys are gathering Corn to day again it is cold The Thermometer is only 10° above Zero--The boys have come up they say it is two cold to work or

140 that is to gather com You know in this State it is always too Cold, too hot or two wet or too dry for men to work but they generally have a good appetite and sleep well 9 hands started into the field after breakfast and after getting down into the field they held a consultation and concluded it was too cold too work & returned to the house I should think a man might keep himself warm by hard work when the weather is as dry as it now is We are obliged to gather the Com when the ground is frozen on account of the Wheat Truly Yours Gershom Flagg W. C. Flagg


123. Gershom Flagg to Willard Flagg, February 6, 1851

Paddock's Grove Ill. Feb. 6th 1851 Dear Willard, I recd your letter of the 11th Jan the 31st have been twenty days on the way You say that you are in want of funds I sent you on the rothJan. $7. on the 17th $2. on the 24 $2. and on the 31st 5$ in all 16 dollars in Jan. I to day send you two dollars more it is all on Bank of Connecticut or Boston which I supose is equal to the Bank of England We are all well but nothing new except the weddings that are going on occasionly Mortimore Dorsey is sick I hear Mr. Wm. Smith came up from the Muddy waters & coal banks last week The weather is very warm again Thermometer at 45° to day 40° yesterday snow gone again we had two or three days sleding I should have been glad to hear Professor Mitchell's Lecture on the Astronomy of the Bible I wonder it it ever occured to him that as the earth rolls around at the rate of 17 miles pr. Minute that when Josua exercised his commands in stoping the earths motion that every living thing animate and inanimate would have been prost[r]ated in an instant I dont think much light will shine out of the Astronomy of the Bible Those who wrote the bible knew very little about Astronomy in my opinion James and Ursula ar[e] blacking up their shoes to go to John Scotts wedding it is said that he & his .en Cousin is going to Commit Matrimony to day 120 I had a letter from Mrs. Blankinship last mail They are at Thom Hill, Alabama sold their horses and Carriage and have taken up winter quarters & Mrs B is in a great fret because she does not hear any thing from us I wrote to her and sent the letter yesterday Jan. roth she had not heard a word from home since she left last fall. Mary Paddock is wintering at Springfield Orville Ellis is here and much

141 ingaged in choping wood and Mr Wilson is to work here whenever the weather is good Mr Geyer has been Elected to the United States Senate over Mr Benton but he has sold himself to the Nullifiers to get elected 121 Some of the Members of the Legislature of Missouri are trying to get the names of their sons altered from Thos. Benton to something else This is to show their present spite to him but it also shows how they once worshiped him Our Legislature as usual with them are acting the fool as much as they can I of course speak of the majority 122 Truly Yours Gershom Flagg



Gershom Flagg to Willard Flagg, February

13, 1851

Paddock's Grove Ill. Feb. 13th 1851 Dear Willard, Your letter of the 19 Jan. was received last Saturday the 8th inst & yours of the 26 I recd yesterday in which you say you recd 7 dollars I have sent you 11 doll. since in 4 different letters and I send you two dollars in this I cannot understand why you should be charged with room rent in the College and general school damage and repairs &c when you do not Room in the college but pay 20 dollars for Room rent elswhere (which by the by I should think a very high rent) I should think you might rent a small room for less than 20 dollars a year I am sure I should try to do so were I there I should think it would be as well for you to go up to Vermont in May unless you can find something to do that will be more profitable where you are I recd a letter from Brother Artemas yesterday and he said he was in hopes you would make them a visit ere long He says that he heard by way of Illinois that one of your uncle Azariah's daughters was Crazy The Rail Road from Windsor to Burlington by the way of Montpelier pases through Richmond within 3 miles I should think of where your Uncle Artemas lives but if you go to Burlington it will be twelve miles to his house in Richmond I sent Bliss the National Intelligencer which I hope he receives before this If you go to Vermont Perhaps you had better write to your Uncle and let him know that you are coming We hear from Springfield that Virginia has another son he was born the 31st Jan. 1851 She now has 5 sons but I dont think she will have more than 4 or 5 more which is some consolation as I have agreed to give her a dress for every child she has Mr Chamberlain left St. Louis to make a visit to Ohio & I was surprised to

142 hear that he was in New Haven I have not heard from St Louis for two weeks but Mr Huggins & Major Barns are down there now & will be up on get the Saturday next day after tomorrow I have no news to write you Rail Road news in the papers The weather is warm & Roads muddy Mrs Debow came up here last Sat and stayed in the Prairie til Wednesday She & her Children Mr Debow has gone to New York to buy goods I do not know whether it will be best for you to come home next summer or not I should like to see you but I think the pain at parting is almost too much for me to bear I will let you know in time Have you heard any thing from you Uncle Azariah or his Family since you left the[re] I have heard nothing from him since I believe & Nothing from Brother Willard lately Artemas says that he hears nothing from Buels or Willard they do not write to him As to Prairie Fires I have never seen any thing diferent from large fires any where else they generally raise the wind and often change its course and often after a very large fire rain succeeds it1 23 Affectionately Yours G. Flagg W. C. Flagg



Gershom Flagg to Willard Flagg, February

20, 1851

Paddock's Grove Ill. Feb 20th 1851 Dear Willard, Your letter of the 26th Jan was received last week it is now time that I had another letter from you but the Mails are very slow the Roads are now worse than they have been this winter the weather is quite warm and rainy I sent to Alton for the Mail yesterday and got a letter from Bliss dated Jan 31st he said it was that day 10° below Zero in Exeter being the coldest weather he ever experienced He was on the hunt of the Nov. no. of the Horticulturist but had not found it yet but was on the track some woman that Mrs. Smith was acquainted with took the paper but it was lent out & could not be had at the time have you ever found it yet? I wrote to you to read the Editorial of that no. on the subject of air tight Stoves I sent you two dollars last week and I now send you five which is all the Eastern money I have & this makes $25 I have sent you in Jan. & Feb. I wrote you last week that Virginia had another son. I Recd. a letter from Artemas last week of which I wrote you I Received a letter from Wm F. George of Berwick yesterday who said he had the money ready to pay me if he could get it to me I have sold the land I held near Huntingtons 40 acres for 160$ 60 paid

1 43

down & $100 to paid next January (1852) I have bought some 3000 Rails of Mr. Burrows and have near 2000 hauled towards making a new fence on the N & W side of the medow It has been raining yesterday last night and to day so that the ground is now very wet and we cannot do much and the roads wil be geting worse Orville wants me to tell you that he has a fine new cast Steel axe that is a good deal like a looking glass he prefers Chopping now to any other work Sabin has found his lost mare The last snow storm we killed 7 of those wild hogs that got in the corn field and John Gillis took them to St Louis and sold them for four dollars pr. 100 which was from 50 to 75 cts more than we got for our best hogs I have six hands hired now We have no hired girl and your Mother & Ursula have all the work to do I have spoke to Major Barns to bring us a girl if he can pick one up in his travels I think there is a New Greek Dictionary lately came Out & if so I suppose the old ones will have to be laid by to make the new [one] sell well Truly Yours G. Flagg W. C. Flagg



Willard Flagg to Gershom Flagg, February

23, 1851

New Haven Conn. February 23 '51 Dear Father and Mother I have nothing to answer this week on account of tardy mails I suppose as it seems worse with the Alton Telegraph which only comes occasionally when it accidentally gets into the right current of news Eastward bound. I have had in fact nothing from anyone so the week's thread of time has been reeled off with little interruption A trial for murder has been the most exciting theme of debate. It was a murder committed some 5 or 6 weeks since by a man who was suspected of an improper intimacy with his neighbor's wife who being found upon the murdered man's premises when rightfully or otherwise was ordered off and in the affray struck him with a piece of rail causing almost immediate death. I only heard the charge ofJudge Stones one of the most impartial and clear speeches as I have ever heard. He was convicted of murder in the second degree which will send him to the state's prison for life. This is the third murder within some 6 months in this region all of them revolting in their circumstances. Thomson the abolition lecturer 124 is undergoing martyrdom even in the land of steady habits. At Springfield he needed the police as a protection during his whole stay and was honored with a salute of rotten eggs at his departure. The Boston affair as you will see by the papers has created great excitement. We have managed to have very


little trouble here concerning slaves and their recapture. There are a good many negro families here some of them very respectable but generally a ragged worthless set and their quarter of the town with its entire want of neatness in houses and yards forms quite a contrast to the remainder. I have been more and more amazed at the large number of carriage manufactories carried on here. It seems to form the principal business of the place. There is also a large clock factory which I intend to visit and when I do will send you an account. The weather is beginning to moderate though still very unsettled and to day has been as warm and bright as early spring and turn my thoughts homeward irresistably. I can't help wondering how it looked to day when the sun shone down through the leafless old locust and the dogs who somehow always come in the foreground of my imaginative pictures lay sleeping in the warm sunshine. Then too how did it look within doors. But I am growing personal and will break off and perhaps my imaginings are more pleasing to the writer than the readers. Old folks do not appreciate nonsense. This afternoon we had a sermon from our President1 25 which was quite a good one and raised my opinion of him a good deal. He is so plain and unpretending that one is apt to suppose him a person of no more than ordinary abilities. One of his peculiarities if it may be called such is his simple language. No "Words of learned length and thundering sound" escape his lips indeed he uses very common Saxon words of every day use which sound curiously at times in a written discourse. Our term is nearly half finished and we begin again to wonder how it has gone so fast and to look ahead for another release. I have reached the happy point of making no bad recitations which gained the next point is to make all good. Study is getting still easier as we are now in Euclid which it takes but little time to learn I am now as fleshy as I have been for two three years actually fattening on Latin and Greek. Enough of my self. I have heard nothing from Ursula for some time. I hope she has not forgotten her promises to write. How does Michael flourish now-a-day's? I have not heard of him since I left. Love to all Good night Will



Gershom Flagg to Willard Flagg, February 28, 1851

Paddock's Grove Ill. Feb. 28th 1851 Dear Willard, Your letter of the 2d inst was received the 23d I am sorry you had to have a tooth pulled out you had better have your teeth examined and if any thing can be done to preserve them it will be much better than pulling them out I find the loss of teeth a great inconvenience it is difficult for me to read or


speak distinctly since I have lost so many teeth We are in the Midst of another snow--day before yesterday a[t] 3 P.M. the Thermometer was at 60° it commenced raining soon after and Rained sleeted and snowed all night and yesterday it snowed (the wind blowing cold from the N. W .) all the afternoon This morning the Thermometer was at 14° To day the sun shines out clear and the ice on the trees glistens beautifully The ground is full of Water and the Creeks high and the roads impassable almost Mary Reily and your Aunt Joann came down here yesterday morning and stayed all night on account of the Storm yesterday I have been almost sick for a week with a very bad cold and James Bliss has such a cold to day he has quit work he says he does not feel able to work he has taken some pepper tea I have heard no news since I wrote last Except that the lower Steam Boat Ferry at St Louis Blowed up on Sunday last & killed from 20 to 40 persons we have not heard particulars but no doubt it is a sad affair You ask how the Election of Mr Geyer is liked for my part I do not like it at all Mr Geyer wrote to a member of the Legislature of Missouri that he did not think that Congress had any right to prohibit slavery in the Territories a thing which congress has done many times in fact Geyer sold himself to the Nulifiers to get Elected to the United States Senate a thing which Bates or any other Honorable man would not do The Whigs of the Legislature of Missouri should have dropt Mr Geyer after his declerations to the Nullifiers The general oppinion is that Geyer has sold himself to the South Carolina faction for the sake of an Office And those who believe so look upon him with contempt Orville Ellis is very anxious that I should tell you that we have 3 steer calves and that he intends to try to break the two red to work Maj Barnes is now in St Louis but will have a bad time in geting home I think I wrote to Mr. Smith by him on wednesday last We have had a school in this district for two months it broke up as usual before the time was out but not exactly in the usual way The Teacher got dissatisfied and quite at the end of two months Jenny Lind is expected at St. Louis soon when I suppose there will be a terrible stir The Church are trying Mr Childs for stealing the Missouri Bank money how they will come out after the Jury cleared him I cannot tell it appears they have Suspended him for the present how long he will hang suspended I cannot tell Truly Yours Gershom Flagg W. C. Flagg


146 128.

Willard Flagg to Gershom Flagg, March

1, 1851

New Haven Conn.

March 1


Dear Father and Mother I have received two letters during the past week post-marked the 7th and 14th day of February and containing $2 each. In regard to paying $3 per annum for the privilege of rooming out of colleges, a tax of this kind is placed upon us when the rooms are not all full in the college buildings. This is to keep the college rooms filled as much as possible. In this way even one empty room brings in 5 or 6.oo dollars per annum as almost half the students room in private houses. In regard to cheapness of each you are under a misapprehension. Rooms furnished and kept in order for one in private houses cost from 2.25 to 1. 50 per week or from 50 to 60 dollars per annum. Unfurnished rooms often rent for 40 per year. In a few instances I have known students to get them for 20 and never for less. I am thus paying the smallest amount possible and can only get cheaper by going into college which as it is the resort of bed-bugs and "class-spirits" I have no fancy for. The reason rents are so high I suppose is on account of competetion and the desire to get near the colleges which is a great desideratum. The average price of college rooms is 12 dollars per annum. I am sorry to hear such bad news from Uncle Azariah's family and hardly see how it can be. Both of the girls seemed well enough when I saw them though Maria appeared much more silent than the younger and often querulous. Still I saw nothing that showed a deranged mind. I think I will write to Uncle Azariah and ascertain how it is. I would have written him before but have delayed to do it on account of etiquette or rather false pride as I wished to be asked to write before doing so. I hope you will conclude to have me come home. True parting is hard but-it is worse not to be at home at all-I think. I had a letter from Bliss on the 26th He thinks of bringing in a 'compromise bill" so that we can spend our college days together. His plan is to spend Freshman year here and then have me go to Cambridge during the two following years. The plan seems good in some respects. There is no need of Latin and Greek there during those two years so I could dispense with them after another year and again the Freshman year here would I think be more profitable to him than at Cambridge. On the other hand I am very well suited here and hardly know whether it would be best to make a change even if you were willing. I shall only now call your attention to it. We had but one recitation on Thursday as that was the day appointed by the colleges throughout the United States for fasting and prayer. We had class meetings in the forenoon and after dinner a universal meeting where all the faculty were present. I saw the Rev. Dr. Taylor for the first time. He is a very celebrated divine here and an eloquent speaker. Our monthly magazine


appeared the same day. I had an article in it which looked as large as life upon the poetic theme "Ossian." The present number appears better than some of the preceding and among other things contains an able article upon the Fugitive Slave Bill which shows considerable research-I took a walk with two classmates last Wednesday down the bay to Fort Heale a small fortification now in ruins and had quite a ramble over hills and salt-marshes. Saw a large number of persons "clamming" which is done at low tide by digging up the mud with short handled hoes and turning out the clams which are found 6 or 8 inches below the surface. It does not look like a very pleasant occupation nor the shell-fish very inviting. We have had very warm and mostly pleasant weather during the past week. A little snow fell last night. A sophmore was "smoked out" by his class mates last night for lack of cleanliness in the recitation room he occupied. It is thought he deserved it. Another has been suspended for "rushing" a tutor that is crowding upon when leaving chapel. Give my love to all and believe me Affectionately Yours W. C. Flagg


129 .

Gershom Flagg to Willard Flagg, March

9, 1851

Paddock's Grove Ill. March 9th 1851 Dear Willard, We received your letter of the 9th Feb yesterday it only arived in Alton the day before but Mr. Smith recd a letter from you about a week ago which was dated Feb. 16th I had a couple of long letters from Mrs. Smith and James Smith a week since They are about building a house on Olive Street I saw in a paper the other day that Brother A. C. was appointed or Elected President of the Mohawk Valley Rail Road Company I recd a letter from General Dix day before yesterday who said "Your Brother is well also his family, he has been elected President of a new Rail Road Company which will give him advantageous employment probably as long as he desires it"-Three Scotchmen have lately come to town Mr. Handsaker has built a house and Shop East of Mr. Davis' and two of the Scotch Blacksmiths are about commencing in his Shop as Blacksmiths 5 Scotchmen have been here to d2y there is I 5 Papers of the Telegraph taken at this Office & 8 Genessee Farmers I had a letter from Mr. Blankenship last week They were well No news from Springfield lately The Roads are getting much better the weather is clear and the wind blowing from the North pretty hard You mention often about Secret Societies I do not think that any good comes from them & I advise you to have nothing to do with them College boys very often learn more evil than good in


College and it is quite too bad for a young man to spend his time and money in learning nothing but Devilment Joseph Hand is about moving away up east of Bunkerhill-Osterman is gone and a Dutch family have moved into the house at the corner they came yesterday-I inclose ten dollars of Boston & Connecticut Money $5, 2 &3 Will send you some more soon we are all well excecting very bad colds which are very common in the neighborhood work goes on slowly of late but I think we shall have some good weather soon We have our Carpenters Shop nearly finished and have moved the Walnut plank into the shop most the plank are in fine condition a few courses on the top were a little rotted but the Sycamore and the weatherboarding are pretty sound we have plenty of Room in the shop for work and Lumber we have it lighted by 72 lights 8 by IO glass 9 lights in each and 3 Windows of 18 lights each on the south side the building is 14 by 38 besides what room we had before where the carriage stands We have timber hauled for a roof & sheets to the Corn Cribs r 34 feet long and 30 wide which will give us a shed of IO feet wide on each side of the Cribs for sheep and horses & Cattle We have about 250 rails hauld and as many more to haul to make the fence on the North & West sides of the meadow Yours affectionately G. Flagg W . C. Flagg [SIU-E]


Gershom Flagg to Willard Flagg , March

21, 1851

Paddock's Grove Ill. March 21st 1851 Dear Willard, I received yesterday your letter of the rst March I received also a letter from your Uncle Artemas in which he expresses a good deal of anxiety to have you make them a visit he thinks you might come from where you are in a day and a half He says the Rail Road comes within four miles of his house in Richmond That Enoch Hoadly lives within r 50 Rods of the Depot in Richmond and if you should arive there late in the day you will find a comfortable home at his house until morning and some one ready then to take you to Azariahs or Fays where you will be as well treated as at your fathers and he hopes I will not discourage you from coming--He will be much disappointed if you should not go to see him mr Cavender & John were here on Wednesday on their way to Bunker Hill-I recd a letter from Smith Brothers & Co. yesterday all well at St. Louis and Springfield also we are all well here except your Mother who is not very well She went with me to Alton yesterday to see doct Lathy and buy some articles and I think is better to day I have not time to write more I want to write to mr


Smith a few lines before the Mail comes every body has been in this morning to talk to me One wants two dollars and a quarter that I owe him another wants to sell me a pair of spectacles that are worth five dollars for two dollars another wants to know where he shall sow Oats and another wishes to get the Cart and oxen to take his plow and fixings down into the field another brings me a Detector and wants me to examine a note on the Chicago Bank and tell him whether it is good I tell him I know of no such Bank as the Bank of Chicago in Illinois another pops in and wants those nails I got for them yesterday and Martha Blankenship wants me to see how nice those shoes fit that I got for her yesterday in Alton Your mother wishes me to look at some very fine calico and what I think of it and Orville Ellis wants a handsome Handkerchief and finally I told the Pedlar to take all his goods and the whole gang into the other room and sell them all they would pay for and not trouble me Mr. Cavender and John have just come in from Bunker Hill on their way home I enclose $20 dollars two ten dollar Notes yours affectionately Gershom Flagg W. C . Flagg



Willard Flagg to Gershom Flagg, April 6,


New Haven Conn.

April 6th


Dear Father and Mother, The letter containing $20 arrived April 3rd and the very graphic account of the troubles of one called to see many things at once. I received it in the Society just as our prizes were being read over for the prize debates I wrote of last week. Thomas of our State took the second; the common opinion was that he would have the first but in this we were disappointed. I have been to hear the Hutchinson 126 family sing: 5 Brothers of them the leader but just out of a lunatic asylum and half crazed now They were very enthusiastic in favor of fugitive slaves &c but sang most beautifully. Some Southern students made an effort to hiss down a poem depicting the woes of a fugitive slave but were unsuccessful I have had a letter from Aunt Julia this week covering four pages giving a very interesting account of her location in Alabama Enclosed me three pebbles from the gravel banks which are almost white. Had a letter from Mary Fifield the other day who seems about as wild as ever and enjoys herself very well considering she is in the East which she considers a kind of Gotham. Now in the spring of course wild feelings must be expected to predominate, and she is wandering abroad in the green fields. Mr. Ballou 127 from Boston has been here preaching this afternoon and evening . I tried to get an excuse from Church so as to hear him at the Universalist Church but could not get away I


was very sorry that I could not for I believe he is the same who was Grandmother's old friend years ago. We have been listening to day to Dr. Fitch who preaches long and tedious. There has been much preaching during the last weeks and the revival is progressing. I must wind up without having written much to night as I must rise early on the morrow and we are now very busy as in 3 days our examination will commence. Geese have been flying over and the trees and grass grow green. Ploughing is being commenced, I believe, and the frogs are out. The first shad of the season has been announced. To morrow will be election-day an exciting one I believe Good night Love to all and Believe me Aff. Yours W. C. Flagg



Gershom Flagg to Willard Flagg, April

11, 1851

Paddock's Grove (Ill.) April 11th 1851 Dear Willard, Your letter of the 23rd March was received the 9th instant at the same time I received one from George of the same date and one of Bliss dated the 9 of March Bliss' letter had been 31 days on the rout and I suppose he thinks he should have an answer by this time We are very busy here laying up fence and other work we have not sowed our Oats yet Wilson is at work covering the corn cribs I sold four of the oldest Cattle we had and one two year old this week for 100 dollars and I sold one Cow for twenty and sent the 20 dollars to you in March So when you are spending it each dollar is part of a cow I have eight hands hired now besides James Bliss I have one dutch man 3 Irishmen and three Scotchmen I give them all ten dollars pr mo(n]th or it averages that and their board is worth 5 dollars pr mo each which together with Mr. Wilson('s] work makes my expenses about 150 dollars pr month I have hired them all for six months except mr Wilson he works at one dollar per day I calculate that my Wheat crop will bring me nearly 900 dollars but the Harvesting and threshing &c will cost me some $200 dollars besides the help I have and I am owing James Bliss upwards of 400 dollars and considerable to ursula I have some two hundred dollars due to me for land that I have sold and have about 300 dollars in money and your Expenses will amount near four hundred but you do not no it yet but you will find it out in about five months from now Now you canjudge whether you ought to stay at Yale or go to cambridge Mr Smith wrote me that George's expenses for the first six months was upwards of $350 this would make $700 pr year 28 hundred for 4 years which Mr Smith can very well afford but I cannot Bliss


writes that George has changed his boarding house and now pays 6 dollar pr week for his board Now I do not want you to eat 6 dollars worth of provision pr. week although it may be very genteel I think Yale is a healthier place both physically and morally than Boston and just as good as regards Education and the saving of 150 or two hundred dollars a year is of some consequences to me although it is none perhaps with the Messers Smiths besides this compromise that Bliss speaks of is a little leaning on one side that is he is to go to Yale one year and you are to go to Cambridge two if he would go to Yale two years and you to cam bridge one the compromise would be quite as fair as it is in the way he proposes Bliss says that the students at Cambridge have all to appear in black Coats in the chappel on Sundays Now I have no great fancy for black coats It is very common for Wolves to appear in sheeps clothing but then the wool need not be colored Black I think that clean white sheeps wool would look better even on wolves than black As to your coming home in August I think I shall leave the matter with you pretty much you are getting old enough now to begin to think & and reflect and to act with some Judgement & discretion What troubles me about it is the danger of your geting sick by coming here in August if you think there will be no danger of that you had better come home It seems to me rather bad to spend the winter in a cold climate and the hotest weather in a warm Climate but I suppose if you come home you will come by way of the lakes or at least not further south than the N . Y . and Erie Rail Road I see in the papers that the Rail Road is finished I should like to have you come home if it is prudent to do so It would not be amiss for you to see Occasionally how poor folks live in contrast with gentility and Black Coats I think I wrote you last week that William Sanners was dead Your Aunt Mary Paddock is expected home soon from Springfield The Peach cherry and pear trees are in full bloom but the weather is rather cool grass grows finely we have turned the yearlings into the medow and all the other cattle except the Oxen into the Prairie on or before the 20 of June write to me how much money you will need at the close of the last term I send you one dollar with this Yours affectionately G. Flagg



Gershom Flagg to Willard Flagg, May 1, 1851

Paddock's Grove Ill. May 1st 1851 Dear Willard, Your letters of April 6th and 13 both came together last Saturday We are all well Zimri Enos & his wife and children and your Aunt Mary Paddock

152 came down from Springfield yesterday they are all well at Springfield except that Virginia's Eyes are sore more so than usual Mr Blankenship and wife are expected home in 8 or ten days they will start for home his day so they write Mrs. Jacob True is here she came with Moses True and wife yesterday she is very well I have twelve men hired now besides Mr. Wilson We shall finish sowing 60 acres of Oats tomorrow We shall have about 275 acres of Wheat Oats Rye & Grass to cut this season. The weather is quite cold to day but the grass is pretty well up and the Cattle and sheep are all turned out to grass for their living The last letter I had from Bliss was dated 29th of March he was about to commence going to school by Rail Road 15 miles This will give him plenty of exercise and will be very pleasant I would think during the summer I am quite sorry you were not allowed to go and hear Mr Ballou Preach as it might have been of great advantage to you. You ought to examine both sides of all questions of importance. I suppose you will learn from the papers that the Rail Road feever is increasing in this State very much 128 I have to close my letter having nothing more worth communicating that I can think of Yours Affectionately Gershom Flagg W. C. Flagg



Gershom Flagg to Willard Flagg, May

25, 1851

Paddocks Grove Ill. May 25th/51 Dear Willard, Your letters of May 4th from New York and of May 11 & 14 from New Haven all arrived yesterday also a letter for Ursula and two for James W Bliss from Richmond Vt. from your and his cousin Gershom F dated the 2d May your last was ten days and first 22 days on the way I also recd three letters from Mr. Ellis dated 17 & 21 & 22 May in regard to Cholera in Springfield It appears that the cholera broke out there very suddenly and some 8 or 9 persons died very suddenly in two or three days in a tavern house not far from Mrs. Enos and created great alarm but Ellis last letter says there had been no new case that day There has been considerable Cholera in Alton and in Jersey County but the papers say nothing about Cholera in St Louis The Old Dutchman that lived on your Grand Mothers place last summer was at work as a Deck hand on board the Tempest the Packet Boat between St. Louis and Alton and was taken sick with the Cholera on the tempest and died at Alton the next day and was brot out and buried in this Prairie.

153 Your Mother says if the Cholera continues she had rather you would not come home next vacation I have not written to you the last two weeks for want of time Mrs. True left here the 15 inst I believe She wanted to get to St. Louis before the Cavender family left for the World Fair at London They were to leave on the 16th I heard We have been very busy for the last two weeks plowing planting and grubbing and breaking Prairie. I have but 9 hands now & James Bliss is troubled a good deal with Rhumatism every now and then Mr Blankenship and wife have got home and gone to springfield Mary and Martha went also but we expect them back soon I shall send you thirty dollars as soon as I can get it perhaps in this letter I had a letter from Bliss since you saw him I think we shall have considerable fruit yet enough perhaps for our own use there is some peaches and Cherries and I think some apples but perhaps they may fall off before they are ripe or rot on the trees We shall have a good many Currants I forgot to mention that a letter was inclosed from Zimri to Agnes dated the 14th arriving here on the 24 in which Zimri tells Agnes not to come home until she hears from him again as the Cholera has broke out in Springfield and also the Small Pox had broken out in 3 different places in town In the meantime Agnes and her two Children had gone home more than a week ago. News came to me yesterday that Neighbor King had been to St Louis and came home sick with the Cholera I went down and saw him but he denies having the Cholera but said he had been very sick but was better little Virginia says uncle Willard is in Tenecket and she wants me to tell him to come home that Ma Flagg wants to see him It is supposed that North West has been Killed in Mexico 129 perhaps you have seen the account in the papers that is all we know about it I send you herewith fifteen dollars Truly Yours Gershom Flagg W. C. Flagg [SIU-E]


Gershom Flagg to Willard Flagg, May 26, 1851

Paddock's Grove Ill. May 26th/ 51 Dear Willard, I send you fifteen dollars in this letter & fifteen in a letter which I wrote yesterday I supposed I had sent you enough before to pay all bill[s] to 7th May But it appears your expenses are increasing fast I thot when you first talked of going to College you certainly could get along with 365 dollars a

154 year that is a dollar a day but it appears now that you are likely to make way with 450 dollars the first year I wonder if the folks at all the Colleges do not know they are deceiving the people when they talk of students living on from two to 300 dollars including all expenses at College I wish they were a little more honest I should like them much better if they would tell the truth Brother Lippincott1 30 preached his last Sermon in this Prairie yesterday Ursula says he talked very plain to the People-told them he had been preaching to them two years that some had attended his preaching Regularly and some occasionally & Some not at all--that he saw no difference in the three different classes as those who attended paid very little attention to his preaching and not a single soul had been added to the Church since he commenced Preaching and he saw no visible good from his Preaching & so he left them I suppose he thot it was casting Pearl before Swine. We are all well here Truly Yours Gershom Flagg [SIU-E]

136. Gershom Flagg to Willard Flagg, June 7, 1851

Paddock's Grove Ill. June 7th 1851 Dear Willard, Your letter of the 25th May was recd day before yesterday I have very little time to write I have thirteen hands hired now besides Mr Wilson We are all well here but we heard from St Louis yesterday that Mrs James S. and Mrs. True had both been sick We have not heard from Springfield lately The Mississippi is rising and is now very high indeed and the people in the bottom are suffering very much as well as the towns on the river bank There is a good deal of Cholera on the Boats from New Orleans but I suppose you will see accounts of it in the News papers I sent you thirty dollars in two letters (15$ in each) on the 27 May We have broke up about 25 acres of Prairie and have as much to brake if we can get it done before wheat harvest which it is said will commence by the 20th inst or before I have to go to Franklin next week to get one of Hussy's Reapers and Mowers which I have engaged of Mr Waller for 130 dollars We have considerable grubbing to do yet as well as planting. We have had such great rains here lately that we have been unable to plow our corn No plowing could be done for the week past Truly Yours Gershom Flagg [SIU-E]

155 137. Gershom Flagg to Willard Flagg, June 8, 1851

Paddock's Grove Ill. June 8th 1851 Dear Willard, I wrote you a few lines on friday but I doubt whether I shall have time next week or next mail to write to you. I have to go to Franklin in Morgan County after a Reaper & Mower and several other things to attend to Our Wheat will be fit to cut I think by the 20th inst and we have about 30 acres Prairie to break and plant if we can get time to do it before harvest We have had several tremendous Rains last week which has prevented our plowing the Corn some 30 acres of which is not yet been plowed Our Oats were sowed late and of course will not be ripe early Our Meadow will also be late in consequence of the dry spring and late freezing The people in the American bottom and on the Mississippi are suffering very much from the flood I was at Alton yesterday and the people there think the water will be as high as it was in 1844 13 ' You will learn all about the flood I think from Newspapers as well as about the Cholera which is now bad on the Orleans Boats A Steamboat Captain died of Cholera last week at St. Louis It is likely that all the crops on the grounds of the Missouri Mississippi & Illinois will be destroyed besides considerable on smaler streams It will destroy thousands of acres of Potatoes The people are moving out of the Bottom We hear nothing from Springfield lately you are the only prompt and faithful correspondent I have and it is a great satisfaction to us to receive your weekly letters I shall be so busy for a month to come that I shall hardly have time to write to you Indeed I get some times so wearied that I do not feel like writing We have not yet covered our Cribs but the rafters are on Mr. Wilson has ben hindered by sickness and other things half his time or more He intended to have finished it by the first of May but will not get it done I think before the first of July perhaps not then Volney and Victory are here today They have heard nothing more about North West. I have not heard any thing from Bliss or George lately tell them that I should like to hear from them oftener if they have time to write I think we shall have very little fruit indeed except Currants and Mulberrys If we have apples and Peaches enough for our own use it will be more than I expect The Wheat Grass and Oats look well at present We shall plant all the corn we can in the next ten or twelve days The wool man is to be here on the 24 I dont know that I shall be able to send you any money until that time I sent you thirty dollars in two letters on the 27th May 3-5 dollar Notes in each letter Ursula is making a Cheese every day we have 23 Calves in all

The wind is blowing strong from the N. W. to day but we have had a good deal of East and South wind lately and very changeable weather Yours Truly G. Flagg W. C. Flagg [SIU-E]


Gershom Flagg to Willard Flagg, June 19, 1851

Paddock's Grove Ill. June 19, 1851 Willard, Dear Your letter of the first June was recd the 17th I sent you $30 dollars in two letters the 27 of May I think it was which I hope you have received before this date I have just about as much to attend to in these days as I can well bear We are in the midst of Wheat cutting I went last Satterday to Franklin 5 miles from Waverly after one of Hussy's Reapers and was gone 4 days We commenced cutting with it to day and it does very well so far I was at Edwardsville yesterday and Mr Kraft told me that to add to the trouble in the American Bottom the Cholera had broke out among them William Porter and old Mrs Cline his Mother in law have both died of Cholera at Springfield Your Uncle Orville left here last week or rather this week on Monday He staid in Alton last Thursday night and said there was 13 deaths by Cholera the day before but I heard yesterday that there had been no deaths there since thursday lastand that the River was on a stand We have had great Rain storms and in some places Hail and wind lately the creeks have ben very high and no plowing corn for a week The state of Macoupin is nearly covered with water and the creek was overflowing its bottoms tuesday so that it came into the bottom of the waggon beds. Doct Hope of Alton has had the Cholera but has recovered All communication by land is cut off between this place and St. Louis The Vincennes Mail & Stage comes by way of Alton The plank Roads in the bottom I hear have been washed away I hear by way of Bunker Hill that Mr James Smith and wife and Mrs True will leave for the East about the 25th of this month I am writing by candle light and my eyes are not very good and it is now about IO OClock I should think Our Clocks have both stoped running I think our fruit will nearly all drop off except the Currants I cant think we shall have Apples and peaches enough for our own Use I hear that Tom Buck is dead We are all well I recd a letter from Bliss at the time I recd yours dated the 4th I think

157 I have no money that I can send you now and no time to criticize your letters but remain your Affectionate Father Gershom Flagg


139. Willard Flagg to Gershom Flagg, June 22, 1851

New Haven Conn.

June 22,


Dear Father and Mother Your letter of June 7th came on the 19th a hasty epistle but I was glad to hear from you at all in your hurry of summer's work. Have heard from Bliss during the past week. He talks of coming down at Commencement and I hope he may Has been to the famous town of Dover and explored its localities. I had a letter from James Smith jun last night who has answered a letter written some time since at last. He tells of high waters and unexpected dulness in trade consequent from it. He says the many high waters of late years are ascribed to the increased quantity of water resulting from the Settlement of the country above but thinks a decrease ought to follow as is usually the case. It seems to me that supposing there is an increase the general rule would not hold good, for the Settlement of the Country drained by the Mississippi and Missouri rivers would remove but a small amount of timber (the decrease of which decreases rains) but on the other hand the cultivation of the prairies would have a tendency to drain off more water than before. What do you think of it? We heard the 5 Townsend prize compositions awarded to members of the Senior class read last Tuesday. They were most of them very good. 12 dollars are awarded to each Wednesday was "Presentation day" the last of the Senior They then receive their appointments and go home until Commencement. Generally an oration and poem are delivered but this year they were unable to elect any one to deliver the first so both were admited [omitted?]. So they sat down all the afternoon in a circle in the college yard all from the valedictorian down with long pipes of clay and smoked and sang songs It was an interesting and quite as amusing sight. At night our class was advanced to Sophmore seats and the other classes in proportion. It was voted we should wear very wide collars and white cravats and some strange costumes appeared but alas we proposed and the tutors disposed of many of the most outlandish by sending them away. We had a "demonstration" on the steps of the State house however at 9 and made right hideous with shouts tin horns and pans Had a band of music danced and serenaded the President. So much for becoming Soph-

mores. You may think these rather unseemly doings but it was only an ebulition of what is called "class-spirit" and was entered into by very decorous members. I saw but one bad thing two or three had bottles of liquor-The weather is now quite warm and threatens rain. It is very different I imagine however from the 20th of June with us. I must conclude for it is necessary to rise early in the morning to get a lesson, "Pax vobiscum" Aff. Yours Will


140. Gershom Flagg to Willard Flagg, June 27, 1851

Paddock's Grove (Ill.)

June 27th


Dear Willard, I inclose you five dollars I have sold my wool to Mr. Haigh for 29 cts. pr. lb.--whole amount near $170 he gave me an order payable in St. Louis as soon as I get time to go to Alton or St. Louis I will send you a draft but I am now very busy at home harvesting we have the may wheat cut (48 acres) and the other wheat and Rye is ripe and the weather not good a hard shower day before yesterday which wet us all and another rain last night The ground is so soft that it some times clogs the Machine we can cut with 4 horses as fast as 9 men can bind Thomas Buck is dead and 3 or 4 Persons have died of Cholera in Edwardsville there was three died last saturday a Child and Mr Hess and Mr Greer. the latter was married the Thursday before We are all well and Pretty well worked down and have only 11 hands to work now we need three more Mr Wilson has not been here for three weeks I was in Alton on Monday and Doct Lathy was quite unwell he said he was driven to hard and said there was more sickness now than year before last but not so much Cholera but a good deal of flux and diorhea Mrs True told me she was going to New Haven and I suppose has started about these days I saw Mrs Robert Smith on monday Robert had returned from Minesota & had gone to St Louis she was quite well Maj Barnes now goes by way of Alton to St Louis in fact all communication with St Louis is cut oflf] except by way of Alton and the Chicken Waggons are ferrying from Alton to St Louis the water at alton had fell one inch in 4 hours last monday Mrs Smith told me that several of one family who came up out of the bottom had died of Cholera in Middletown And Mrs. Lathy told me that every old house in uper Alton was occupied by those who had escaped from the flood. The harvesting and plowing corn all comes on together we have 20 acres of corn that has not been plowed at all and the rest only plowed once on the


whole the times are rather bad the wheat crop is good but some will be lost for want of help in time to cut it I am in hopes to save all ours if the weather should be good hereafter Yesterday was a hot day but this morning we had a fire in the room We have a fine crop of hay if we can save it I had to go to Alton on monday to buy Ursula a new Bonnet Sombody said on sunday that she looked like a negro in her old bonnet and of course she must have a new one I got Mrs Lathy to ride over town with me to procure one that should be Positively of the newest fashion & no mistake Truly Yours G. Flagg W. C. Flagg


141. Gershom Flagg to Willard Flagg, June 29, 1851

Paddock's Grove June 29th


Dear Willard, Day before yesterday I sent you five dollars and yesterday I sent you a draft on the Broadway Bank N. Y. for one hundred and Thirty dollars drawn by the Alton insurance Co. which will make in all 2 dollars more than you estimate your expenses at if you should come home and making in all $453 dollars which you have had since the first of Sept. last It leaves me only $8 5 dollars of the money for wool I left Upper Alton last night at 6 Oclock and got home I suppose about 9 Oclock passing through a severe storm of wind and ram the water covered the ground and the mud was plenty The rains beat every thing this year there will not be half a crop of corn I think and I think much wheat will be lost for want of help to take care of it there is a great deal of sickness and those that have no wheat to gather are trying to plow their corn when it is not too wet 20 acres of our corn has not been plowed at all and we have 45 acres of wheat and Rye that is now ripe and ought to have been cut last week Our currants are ripe and ought to be gathered but they will have to rest untill we get our wheat done The great rains that we have will injure our currants I suppose and the crop was not good at first Thomas Buck I wrote you is dead and his Father was not expected to live Several more persons have died in Edwardsville and Hanchys daughter that married a Dutchman and lived in Alton died on Friday morning Doct Lathy told me yesterday that the Cholers was spreading through the country Mrs Lathy told me that a man who lived on woodriver bottom near Mr Badly's came in for Doct Lathy last Monday hearty and well to get him to visit his Children but the doct could not go and at Thursday noon the Man his wife


and two Children were all dead You will see by the papers that the Cholera is on the Boats and in the towns along the rivers and if it continues as sickly as it now is You will run a great risk in coming home but I have sent the money for you supposing you would want nearly as much there as to come home I had much rather you went to Vermont and be well than come here to be sick But Mr Smith will be in New Haven soon and will perhaps [be] able to give you more information about the sickness on the rivers than I can I dont think that Mr & Mrs Smith or Mrs True would either of them be willing to return to St Louis the first of August if their friends were all here if they had no other business but to see their friends After all I leave you to decide but I hope you will make a prudent decison Your Mother is very unwell to day the rest are all well except one of the men who has the ague Your Mother says that she would like to see you but does not wish you to run any risk about it July first I start for Alton this morning with the Wool & to get some Sugar for making current wine. Truly Yours G. Flagg


142. Gershom Flagg to Willard Flagg, July 6, 1851

Paddock's Grove (Ill.) July 6th 1851 Dear Willard, Your letter of the 22d June was recd yesterday You mention about the Rivers rising higher here as the country becomes more Settled. There is no doubt but this is the case Before the Country is settled the lowest grounds are usually covered with high grass & weeds which are often not burnt over and the ground is very porus and of course the water stands on and soaks into the ground and much ofit evaporates or soaks into the ground and the balance being so obstructed with the grass and weeds that it runs off slowly but when the grass becomes eat out or destroyed by cultivation and the Cattle and other stock has trod the ground more solid the watter rushes into the Streams more quickly and of course raises the streams more rapidly and of course higher There is very little timber cleared from the land in this country Where a country is entirely covered with timber and the clearing up the land so as to let the sun and wind have full effect upon the surface of the ground, it becomes more dry and the streams grow smaller and the springs are not so full In addition to this there may be some other cause There may be much more rain in some periods than others You will see a great deal said or see a great deal written upon the subject of Evaporation and the effects of clearing up a timbered country in Williams


History of Vermont which I have not seen for this 36 years but which will be found no doubt in New Haven College Library I recd a letter from Mrs Smith yesterday which I will enclose to you also a receipt for making currant wine which Mrs True wrote off for Mrs Smith when here and went off and forgot it You will give it to Mrs Smith who wants it I believe for her sister I have been pretty hard run the last week I have been to Alton three times once after Doct Lathy for your Mother and twice on other business Your Mother was very sick for two days but is now much better Doct Lathy was out to see her twice this week We have all our wheat harvested and should have finished our Rye yesterday but we broke one of the wheels to our machine and it took some time to mend it and the new cart wheels are all 8 feet under water and cannot be got at We made upwards of 200 gallons of wine yesterday & will be likely to finish tomorrow Our crop of currants is light and we had to let them stand too long they ought to have been gathered a week sooner. Hands are scarce Most of people have not done plowing corn yet and the work is much behind hand Our Oats will not be fit to cut for a week or more the meadow is fit to cut Mr Blankenship and family came here from Springfield yesterday They say the cellars in Springfield are all full of water Mrs Enos & Ellis among the rest, and the ground is also full of water and we fear that if the rain ceases that it will be very sickly in Springfield Several of Virginia's Children are sick of the hooping cough The weather has been very cool so far during harvest the wheat I believe is now nearly all cut and the Crop is good but the Corn Crop looks bad Oats and grass are good I sent you a draft for 130 dollars a few days ago and 5 dollars besides My money is getting very short now I have bought my sugar on credit I have rec two letters from Bliss lately one yesterday and the other one last week I hope he will be down to see you at commencement I missed you and him very much in making wine Mr Wilson has not covered our Corn Crib yet I expect him here next week Somehow the Ferry Boats are running between Alton & St. Louis now one dollar a head for Cattle and five dollars for a waggon both ways Aunt Julia says she is waiting for a letter from you Truly Yours G. Flagg [SIU-E]

143. Willard Flagg to Gershom Flagg , August 3, 1851

Richmond [Vt.] August 3rd. 1851 Dear Father and Mother, I am as you see again among the Vermont hills that now appear glorious clad in the verdure of Summer. Since I wrote you last a good deal has

occurred worthy of note which I will now endeavor to narrate in chronological order. Monday last week George left me and started for Rye Beach somewhere on the New Hampshire coast. Tuesday evening Mr and Mrs Smith came up from N. Y. and remained until the next morning at I I when they went on to Boston I consequently saw but little of them. Mrs. Smith was by no means well being troubled with a dull headache and sometimes with sideache. Mr. S. looked and felt as well as ever. After hearing what I had to say of Yale, Mr. S. said he was almost sorry he had not sent George there too. In many respects Cambridge has by no means improved him and I think it would have been much better for one of his temperament to have been at Yale. Monday and Tuesday were occupied in the examination of candidates for the next class. 62 were admitted. The number will be much increased I suppose at the end of vacation. During these two days our two societies were earnestly engaged in electioneering the new comers treating them with great kindness and showing much interest in their affairs. Thus far we seem to stand about equal On Wednesday morning the Alumni held a meeting which was said to be quite interesting.I did not attend as I was seeing Mr and Mrs Smith off. In the afternoon the two societies of Linonia and Brothers in Unity met and all the former members some gray headed men of 40 or 50 years ago came up into the old hall. Mr. Rockwell of Mass. was called to the chair and presided with much humor. Many spoke and told of their reminiscences of other days. Among them were Tallmadge the recorder of N. Y. the Mayor of Buffalo, Mr. Lord a celebrated lawyer of N. Y. City, Mr. Mr. Child of Mass and several other including some of our professors. Prof. Olmstead related an amusing anecdote of the olden time. In former days it was customary at the dinner given by the college faculty to the graduating class to drink toasts exchanging sentiments of teachers and pupils. At last a student whose college rank had given him no appointment arose and proposed "The new appointees May they learn to depend upon no faculties except their own"--On Wednesday an ora[tion?] was delivered before the Phi Beta Kappa Society by Mr. Lord of N. Y. City and a poem by Street of Albany. Neither seemed to be anything extraordinary. The Phi Beta Kappa Society composed of one third of each class chosen for good scholarship are perhaps the finest looking and most intelligent body of men I have ever seen--On Thursday came Commencement and the Centre Church was crowded to overflowing. The floor was filled by graduates and undergraduates the galleries were crowded with ladies On the platform sat the President and officers with distinguished strangers. The president was clad in the Scholars gown and made a very imposing appearance. The exercises which lasted 8 hours 4 in the morning 4 in the afternoon were quite interesting. The speeches were many of them fine and nearly all good. Between the exercises

the alumni dined in the College yard under a large tent erected for the purpose--Friday morning at 11 I took the cars up the Conn. and came in 11 hours to Burlington via Hartford Springfield Brattleboro Rutland and Middlebury Saw some fine scenery on the routes Staid all night at Burlington and came out yesterday morning Found all well and busily engaged in the haying which has been much retarded for two or three weeks by the rains. Uncle Artemas expects to nearly finish during the coming week. Bliss came over from Essex yesterday with one of his cousins a very pretty modest and ladylike girl but he was obliged to return as the horse was wanted for to day. He looks very well indeed and I think is enjoying himself to any possible extent. Azariah and family are also well and busy. Commencement at Burlington will come off next Wednesday and we think of attending Bliss will be over to-morrow when a series of actions will be instituted of which you shall hear. Remember to all. Aff. Yours. W. C. Flagg


144 . Gershom Flagg to Willard Flagg, August 24, 1851

Paddock's Grove August 24th 1851 Dear Willard, I wrote you yesterday a short letter I write now because I have time to do so. Your letters mention a good deal about Excitements and Sorter rows among the schollars such as their. breaking their Inkstands upon the steps of the Leicyum &c &c I could not but think how different the times were with them to my own case When a boy I had to collect witch Hazel bark and boil it to make ink & collect White Birch bark to write upon I should think it would be as well for enlightened young men to give their Inkstands to some poor boys instead of destroying them Property of any kind should never be destroyed I have no doubt the boys about new Haven would be benefited if they were straitened up with about 3 months of hard work each year The weather is now fine we shall nearly finish ha[u]ling Oats tomorrow if the weather continues good The folks are all well here now except your aunt Joann who is a little ailing yet I wrote to you to send one or two workmens Account Books which I hope you will not forget as it is considerable work to make them I wish also that you would get your Daguretype taken and send it to me by Mr. Smith and if you get willard Bliss' and George Smith's and send also we very much want to see how you all look now I should like to hear from the Mrs. Smiths very much but none of them have written to me since they left St. Louis I was at Robert Smiths last Sunday they are all well I saw there Clayton Taylor from Minesota I should like for you to

see my old friend Israel Smith of Orwell if convenient And if you would see Mr Jewett of Weybridge and his fine sheep it might be some advantage to you perhaps as Mr Jewett is a great sheep Man. I was born on the farm now owned by Israel Smith I think My grand Father lived there & he was well acquainted with him & also with my Father It will [be] well enough while you are looking at the girls in Vermont to pay some attention to the Horses Cattle & Sheep I think they have very fine stock in Vermont Friday Aug 29th We have had another Rain here and two cloudy days If we would have good weather we should finish hauling the grain in about two days more. The people in the Prairie are all well now I believe I hear of no sickness About the sickness in other places you will learn from the Telegraph Next week our court sits in Edwardsville and I shall have to attend for two or three day Ursula has been writing to you and perhaps we shall both make up about one letter Truly Yours G. Flagg W. C. Flagg [SIU-E]

145. Willard Flagg to Gershom Flagg, September 21, 1851

New Haven Conn.

Sept 21st/51

Dear Father and Mother, I heard from you three days since by letter of the 6th instant telling of much bad weather. The same time in Vermont was remarkably warm the thermometer standing as I was informed some of the time at 98°. It far exceeded any heat of the summer which was comparatively quite cold-I was glad to hear fom you again at the old place. Papers and letters from the West telling of familiar scenes and themes of home and Illinois are things I could hardly do without. Leaving Vermont after such a pleasant season of visiting even though returning to Yale was by no means pleasant and has almost made me homesick again. But I will discourse upon other matters--! wrote you last from Brattleboro where I remained until Monday morning at 5 Monday morning crossed the Connecticut upon two bridges and a large Island lying opposite the town and climbed a high hill of forgotten Indian name and about 1 500 feet in height whence is a broad view of the opposite valley and hills of Vermont stretching far away to the Westward. A good path leads to the top where a high log tower is erected to give a better view to the observer. Half way up upon the hill side were eight lunatics from the Brattleboro Asylum engaged in cutting wood in charge of a single keeper. He said it was much better for them than remaining idle in their rooms and

that with kind treatment they were easily managed. There are about 200 persons in the Asylum which I am sorry to say I did not find time to visit. Upon the hill I met two parties from the Water Cure Establishment. The ladies may be easily recognized by their wearing gipsy hats which I heard were a prescription of the physician the object being to give the air a freer circulation around the head than a close fitting bonnet would permit. At any rate they look well and the wearers are known by the name of "cold water ladies." It was nearly noon when I reached the village. After dinner I called upon Mary and discussed "woman's rights" which is still her favorite theme until it was time to think of departing. The cars were delayed and Whipple who had promised to meet me there did not get along So I posted away alone and at 9 the same evening was in New Haven. Found Salter back and with him Thomas Catlin from Springfield who brought a letter of introduction from Mr Ellis to Myself. He intends entering our class and if he does so we have agreed to room together. I am now rooming and boarding with a widow lady a Mrs Canfield at 3 dollars, or perhaps a little more if Catlin should not come in, per week. Find myself very pleasantly situated Three other students board here beside myself one or two rather hard fellows but I hope to get along with them My birthday came last Tuesday and I had my dageurreotype taken on that day. Being sunburnt and not having been in the vicinity of a barber for many weeks it may look rather rough. If you will be suited however I am--We are now fairly embarked upon our Sophmore year and number nearly 120. The Freshman class contains about the same We are now in turmoil and excitement consequent on electioneering new students for the various societies, and I have had for this and other reasons little leisure time although not a violent partisan. I shall endeavor to write more conectedly and at length next week Until then farewell Remember me kindly to all friends and Believe me Your Affectionate Son W. C. Flagg



Gershom Flagg to Willard Flagg, November 12, 1851

Paddock's Grove Nov. 12th 1851 Dear Willard, I recd. your letter last friday but wrote none for want of time for you must know that I cannot well write by candle light We finished threshing our wheat last wednesday I hauled 4 loads to Edwardsville on friday and Saturday with 2 horses We had 2065 bushels of wheat on 95 acres The may


wheat was nearly 28 bushels to the acre We have about 4450 bushels of Wheat Rye and Oats On the morning of the 9th we found the ground covered with snow 3 inches deep and it has been Raining a great part of the time yesterday and to day and the mud is becoming quite troublesome We killed another cow yesterday which weighed about 550 lbs. one man is sick to day & l wonder that they do not all get sick or foundered We have only 6 men now & I shall be glad when we can have less we have sowed no wheat this fall and I shall try & rent most of the land next summer if I can James Bliss received a letter from your uncle Willard week before last & he says that his Uncle wants him to send him one or two hundred dollars as he is now paying twenty percent interest on $200 dollars I am owing James near 450 dollars and shall let him have the money as soon as I can haul off and sell wheat enough to come to it but at present I have less money than I have had this five years and am more indebt & I believe money is getting rather scarce at any rate every one seems to be in want and many not able to pay their debts I have had to hire 125 dollars at ten percent interest. I send you ten dollars on a Boston Bank which I suppose to be good I recd a letter from James Smith last week They have moved into their new house and William and Mr Cavender had returned from Big Muddy Coal banks. We are all well. Yours Truly Gershom Flagg W. C. Flagg



Willard Flagg to Gershom Flagg, November 17, 1851

New Haven Conn. November 17 '51 Dear Father and Mother, Last Monday your usual letter came telling me you were well which I was glad to hear and bringing me no money which I begin to feel the want of as I am nearly destitute. I had no idea the wheat and oat crops were so extensive No wonder you had a good deal of work. Prices according to the Telegraph are low but hogs seem to be in demand as they have not been for some years. I had neglected to make inquiries concerning those Workman's Account Books. I did so this week and found one of a different kind of which I send you a specimen. It seems to me rather prefereable to the other. If you should find it so I will get more. I have had no letters save yours this week and so can tell you nothing of any of our friends. I suppose Mrs True must soon be here if she is not already. I am hardly fit as to the outer man to make a call or I would go and see. I am hoping for money on that account though it doesn't seem right to say so much about it when times are so hard.

We have had some rain this week a kind of foretaste of winter To day has been quite rainy and I have been housed nearly all day writing studying and reading a new history by Dr. Schmitz which I find quite interesting. It is the history of Greece in one small volume abridged but good. Our catalogue had not appeared yet I do not understand why it is The term is more than half gone but we see nothing of it. Studies are going on very pleasantly now. In society we are doing well Linonia had 2 members added to her numbers this week. I spoke at the last meeting and was assured I had done better than on any previous occasion which however is very qualified praise I am going to persevere nevertheless and endeavor to make an orator of myself. The opportunity presented here is such as one does not often have I am sorry to see so many slight it. Wednesday noon we formed a class Temperance Society which I joined not to keep myself temperate which with all humility I think I can do without a pledge but to influence others We have some who need it I had the honor of being elected substitute for orator at a subsequent meeting to be held in March. Two meetings are to be held yearly at each of which an oration and poem are to be delivered. Wednesday afternoon I visited in Company with several classmates a quarry of Serpentine Marble not far from the town. I procured a specimen which is very handsome but it does not seem to bear exposure to the weather very well and is little worked. Asbestos so called is found among it but that which I brought home does not seem to bear the action of fire as asbestos is said to do I enclose a specimen It is curious at least that we should find such a substance among rocks. I have no more to write at present except to tell you that I am in better order than I have been I believe for several years You would hardly think me a hard student. Hoping that you are doing as well and the cares of which I should have a share may not be so heavy upon you I remain Your Affectionate Son W. C. Flagg


148. Gershom Flagg to Willard Flagg, November 22, 1851

Paddock's Grove Ill. Nov 22d/51 Dear Willard, Your letter of the 9th Nov. was received yesterday We are glad to hear that you are well and glad that you are so thoughfull of our situation at present but we can do very well at present if we have our health We have hired a Dutchman and his wife for one year They are young have no children and are doing as well as they know how to do they are lately from Germany and cannot talk English much I shall have but few hands this winter I have sold

168 23 yearlings and 24 calves for $280 cash partly because I was in great need of Money and partly to get rid of the trouble and care of feeding them Young cattle require much care I thot it better to sell the cattle and keep the wheat until it will fetch a better price a difference of IO cents a bushel on my wheat and Oats will make a difference of $400 in amount I recd. a letter from Ursula dated the 12th Nov. in which she says that Uncle Willard talks of selling the farm and going to Minisota next spring and that ifhe does she shall come back to Madison County from which I suppose that she does not intend to come back at all if her Uncle W. stays where he now is She also wishes me to send her some money to pay her Doctors Bill but does not tell me how much the bill is only that the Doctor came three times I 8 or 20 miles from which I suppose by the charges of the Doctor here some 25 or 30 dollars will be required I think I wrote you that James wanted one or two hundred dollars to send to his uncle Willard who wrote to him that he was paying 20 pr cent interest on 200 dollars so that I am called upon from all quarters for money but I have full faith that I shall be able to pay up all in the course of six months from this time if my usual good luck attends me I recd a letter from Mrs James Smith this morning Mr Smith had written to me to send him the little bay mare that I bought of Robert for him to ride until he could find one to buy that suited him I sent her down but Mr S had bought one & he had gone to Keokuk & Mrs. Smith sent the Mare back by Maj. Barnes The ground is now covered with Snow It snowed day before Yesterday morning about 3 hours as fast and as big flakes as I have ever seen having rained all the night before the weather is not very cold and plenty of mud Wm Smith has moved into his new house part only of which is finished I have not seen James Bliss for a week but I believe he is as well as usual I saw Robert Cavender a few days ago in Alton driving two good horses both of which he said he owned hitched to a very fine carriage and driving at a fast rate through the streets he cut quite a flourish Mrs. Smith says she has received but one letter from George since he came home and that a month ago She seems quite disturbed about it Says She has not heard from you lately I sent you IO dollars last week Truly Yours Gershom Flagg [SIU-E]

149. Willard Flagg to Gershom Flagg, November 22, 1851

New Haven Conn. November 22nd 1851 Dear Father and Mother I have received no letter from you this week and indeed little from any one. Sarah has favored me with an epistle by which I hear that Mr Chamber-

lain has gone to Ohio to take unto himself a wife--a widow, an old schoolmate and the flame of his boyish days. So Bradley is the hero of a small lot of "romance in real life" which in the case of such a matter-of-fact personage is astonishing. I had a short letter from Bliss a few days since who declared himself too lazy to do much then but promised to write a letter when the two week vacation came which must now be near at hand. So I can send you no further news from him. Our catalogues have appeared at last after much delay I took 25 and shall send them in all directions. The postage is so much higher than I expected that I am almost sorry I got so many. On those sent less than 500 miles we must pay 3 cents, on all over 6. You will see we still stand well in point of numbers-an average of no in each class. Our class is still the largest in the college being 121 but I suppose we will lose several during the year. You will find four Illinoisans in the Sophomore class. The calendar is a new thing and quite an addition to the work. The principal event of this week is the burial of Euclid which came of{£] on Wednesday night between the hours of 11 and 2 in the morning. I attended being curious to see this notable performance Having been presented with a mask I was able to disguise myself very efficiently with the assistance of an old cap and a borrowed coat. It was almost IO½ o'clock when 6 of us started forth from our rooms for the "Temple." The streets were silent and we went on undisturbed until we came to the Temple where we found quite a number of "Townies" collected as lookers on but no one offered to molest us. After much squeezing we reached the interior and were favored with a view of all varieties of masks Negroes soldiers and fancy costumes abounding Father Euclid lay stretched in a cheap coffin upon the stage The performers were in the order of the programme I enclose. The poem was omitted The preacher of the funeral sermon was too drunk to manage it so it was delivered by the same one who spoke the oration. Both contained more obscenity than wit, in fact were disgusting. The procession came next in order The band preceded and 2 or 300 students with lighted torches & all disguised followed We came past the colleges as the clock struck one and moving on past the dwellings of Pres. Woolsey and Prof. Silliman whom we complimented with three cheers each and then passed up "Tutor's lane" to the place of burning The coffin was set on fire a Latin prayer recited The dirge sung in a very individual manner each one "going on his own hook" and then the procession swept back to town to a merry tune. Such was the burial of Euclid a yearly custom long in vogue among the students of Yale. Next Thursday will be Thanksgiving day and many of our students are turning their thoughts and soon will be their faces homeward. Tom has asked me to go with him to his relatives up the country. I hardly know yet


whether I shall go or not. The weather has been some what stormy of late but we have little very cold weather. I hear nothing from Volney nor Aunt Susan now-a-days If they knew how much I wish to hear from them I think they would write. Remember me to all friends and Believe Me Affectionately Yours W. C. Flagg


150 . Willard Flagg to Gershom Flagg, November 29, 1851

New Haven Conn. Nov. 29 1851 Mother and Dear Father Yours of the 15th instant came yesterday and with it IO dollars which was gladly received inasmuch as I had been cut off from the National Intelligencer two weeks and was suffering for want ofJournal. I am sorry though I should be such a leech when the times are so hard in regard to money matters. These students seem very drones--! had a letter from Uncle Azariah last night. He had seen Edward West lately whom he says has been elected one of the governors of the Alms-House adding that they had IO governors for the Alms House and but one for the State. Uncle Azariah joking in one of his matter-of-fact epistles seems an anomaly . Says they will be happy to see me during the coming vacation and I intend going down when that time comes which will be in a few weeks I suppose the family are all well as nothing was said to the contrary--The past week has been honored by a Snow Storm and Thanksgiving. The snow storm was on Tuesday afternoon, I think. The snow fell to a depth of 3 or 4 inches and remained on over Thanksgiving to grace the day so cherished by New Englanders. So you had a snow storm before we did here Thursday there were no recitations we were only required to attend prayers and one service in the Chapel Nearly three fourths of the students went away so the attendance was quite small. All who were in reach of home went there straightway as eagerly as we would seek Christmas in the Western lands, I believe I only celebrated the day by eating an unusual quantity of dinner which our worthy Mrs. Canfield very attentive in supplying the wants of the inner man, provided most bountifully. A game of whist was commenced after dinner an ultra-movement in this land of steady habits where cards swearing and drinking are looked upon as synonymous termsNew Haven was favored a few nights since by some Hungarians companions of Kossuth paying them a visit One of them is said to have made a very eloquent speech. Catlin my room-mate went up to spend Thanksgiving at his birthplace where he has many relatives I have just heard that he has been

171 taken sick with a fever and is unable to return He does not seem very healthy at anyrate and Thanksgiving proved too much for him. There is not much news of anykind to write this week at least we hear little. The weather is cold but not severelyso Thus far we have had very little considering our latitude and the advanced season. I suppose you have passed the Banking Law 132 from appearances by a considerable majority The "Lower Egypt" will diminish it however. I do not know whether I told you that I sent my dageurreotype out by Tom's Brother. He promised to leave it with Mr Ellis who will forward it to you I suppose in course of time. Remember me to all friends and Believe Me Affectionately Yours W. C. Flagg



Gershom Flagg to James Smith, December 9,


Paddock's Grove

Dec 9th


Dear Sir, I yesterday filled up a Barrel with Currant Wine which I shall send to you by Major Barnes to day if he can take it & if not I shall send it the first opportunity The barrell that was sent up was not good it leaked & I have drawn the wine out of one of my Barrels that was filled in 1849 and filled it with wine made in 1848 I find wine more inclined to leak out than any thing else you had better place it in a position that you can see if it leaks any and watch it well We are well we have two Irish men and one Dutch woman & three Dutch men and one Dutch boy making 9 in the family when all counted The Catholic Church at Ridgely 3½ miles North of here was consecrated last Sunday and a New Methodist Church a mile & one fourth south of us is to be dedicated the 28th inst There is now Seven Churches and two school houses used as such on Sundays all within four miles of us so that our chances for being pious people are very much increased the Dutch have two Churches and the Irish one the others belong to the Natives mostly mixed with some English Dec 27th 1851 I have not seen Major Barnes until to day when he arrived from St. Louis and brot a letter from you with some trinckets for Ursula and Mrs Flagg I have not time to write a new letter so I send you the one written the 9th with many good wishes I remain your friend Gershom Flagg



152. Willard Flagg to Gershom Flagg, December 7, 1851

New Haven Conn. Dec. 7th 1851 Dear Father and Mother I received your letter of the 22nd ult day before yesterday. You speak of your prospects for getting on alone very kindly and cheerfully but I hope you will not use too much self-denial. It is a noble thing in a parent but I think it often has a bad effect upon the child I have heard from Bliss during the last week who was spending a pleasant vacation at Lee with Mrs. Smith. George was up and spent a day or two though not very pleasantly as he was unwell and somewhat cross. From what I can learn college is improving his mind more than his heart. It is something much to be regretted when he has so much talent and ability to do good. I am more and more inclined to think that Cambridge is no place for good morals to be cultivated.-! have also had a letter from Julia Enos who seems quite pleased with Monticello. Jule has made the important discovery that she is "a great simpleton" from which I judge she intends to study. I have had an epistle from Sarah also containing St Louis news up to Thanksgiving day Among other things the arrival of Mr & Mrs Chamberlain is mentioned Sarah thinks Mrs C. a very fine woman judging from short acquaintance I have some curiosity to see how Bradly comports himself with a wife. But he is a good hearted soul and we cannot but wish him as long and happy a married life as his sterling virtues deserve. We are still engaged in our reviews and have no very hard times. Yesterday our subjects for prize composition were given out 4 in number from which we take our choice. The compositions must be handed in before the end of the term. The subjects given to us to choose from are 1st the power of a single man to shape the destinies of a nation 2nd The true aim of the scholar 3rd Mobs under popular governments 4th We know in part or the fragmentary nature of human knowledge John Gough the temperance man has delivered 3 lectures here during the past week' 33 He is a very popular speaker and drew crowded audiences. Jenny Lind is to sing here next Friday I hear students are sending home after money which is scarce at this part of the term and I suppose will attend in large numbers. Yesterday I received the Washington "Intelligence" of the same data containing the President's Message which I read last night and spite of the condemnation of the New Haven Democratic paper liked it well. It is more simple and to the point I think than any I have read. I am half inclined to think if he had dealt more in abstractions and befogged the minds of the opposition with apparent reasoning high he would have gained their respect

173 more But who can please an opposing politician-Remember me to all the people at all the houses-I am Affectionatly Yours W. C. Flagg [SIU-E]

153. Willard Flagg to Gershom Flagg, January 4, 1852

New Haven Conn. Jan 4th 1852 Dear Father and Mother I received your letter of the 20th ult. yesterday. I believe I have acknowledged the receipt of all the money you said you had sent. I am sorry to hear such bad news from Uncle Wait. I spent nearly all the past week at N. Y. Returned on Friday to do some writing for which I could find no place so quiet as here among my lexicons. It was cold or rainy nearly all the time I was in N. Y. so that I remained in the house nearly all the time. Went out a few times to explore book stalls where one can buy the cheapest books and purchased a German Dictionary and other books. Spent some $6. 50 in buying books. Visited Barnums Museum which was the American Museum when we were on in 1838. Saw a splendid collection of Chinese curiosities illustrating the whole of the life and manners of that people. Another very interesting sight was "the happy family " consisting of a cage-full of various small animals living in perfect harmony Among these were monkeys squirrels cats rats guinea pigs a dog a porcupine owls hawks pigeons rabbits &c &c. Generally speaking they were on very good terms. Puss would purr around the dog or stow herself away with rats and guinea pigs to sleep whilst a small bird would be perched upon her back. A gray sequirrel and a monkey seemed to be the only ones at war. On New Years day I visited Mr & Mrs West where I found both looking very well and happy as also Mrs. Carrol & their boy Eckford who seems to be a fine little fellow. They urged me very strongly to come and stay with them upon my next visit to the city Mr West has promised to show me the city institutions which from his being one of the Alms House governors he can easily do. I shall try and take advantage of his offer. New Year's day in New York was a busy one the streets were full of spruce gentlemen and the front parlors of spruce ladies. Uncle Azariah did their part at home in receiving-Friday morning I bade them farewell and came up to New Haven again rather pleased on the whole to escape the noisy city and find myself among my books again I found a letter from Volney and one from Bliss who reports himself thriving. Seems to think he will not go West next summer which I am sorry to hear as I thought I was going to have


his company. I send an account of Expenses for last term not including board bill and tuition which are not yet paid. It is not very correct as I had so much to do that I omitted several small items. It is snowing and sleeting today The winter is cold In N. Y. they say the thermometer has been lower than it has been before for 16 years Love to all Aff. Yours W. C. F.



Willard Flagg to Gershom Flagg, January

18, 1852

New Haven Conn.

January 18th


Dear Father and Mother Another week has passed without bringing news from home which of course makes me somewhat uneasy though I have been endeavoring to lay the fault to the mails. But as the "Telegraph" arrives in due season this is no great consolation. I have been uneasy too concerning my debts which are no pleasant incumbrance though I have not been dunned yet. No money arrives. So between concern for your welfare and my own monetary affairs I am in some trouble when I have time to think of it. I hope you write regularly however short your letters may be I have had a letter from Uncle Artemas during the past few days. The good people in Vermont are mostly well. Aunt Betsy has been somewhat afflicted with inflammatory rheumatism. Caroline is again at home and will spend the winter there. Three feet of snow fell before the 1st of January. I have had a long letter from Ursula who seems wild with the excitement of unlimited vistings and many balls I am afraid it is hurting her but perhaps sense may prevail when nonsense becomes stale. She says nothing of Uncle Willard's removal to Minesota. Had a short letter from Bliss who seems to be thriving as usual but wrote little news. During the past week I have attended a lecture by John B. Gough the temperance lecturer whose stories and jokes still have their due effect on an audience Wednesday night in Linonia we had a discussion of the question of intervention which lasted until 12 and was then adjourned until next meeting. There are many strenuous supporters of Kossuth's policy here though they seem to have more talk than reason upon their side Last night Mr Brace of Hartford a graduate of the class of' 46 and.! Linonian lectured in the College Chapel upon the present condition of Hungary which he has lately visited and where he was imprisoned for uttering some patriotic sentiment. He describes the people as very unlike their German neighbors possessing more enthusiasm and a certain natural eloquence when speaking of their loved country and its oppressions. Their government has been in many respects similar to our own and has its effect

175 in making the people politicians and more capable of governing themselves than any in Europe except the English. The serfdom he describes as not abused in fact cannot be called such. The peasants are looked upon as owning the land but must pay a yearly rent: the most exorbitant is 104 days of work per annum for 36 acres of land. He says they are determined people and will rise again with fearful comradeship. Their love for Kossuth amounts to almost idolatry. They are now united The population is 15 ooo ooo of which 5 ooo ooo are considered as Magyars but at the last census they are 8 000000. This he considered a strong proof of their unanimity Austria's condition he says is by no means secure were it not that the conservative party looks upon the republics as destroyers of public order there would soon be a revolution It only is wanted he thinks that our government should support this party to make it triumphant. The Mexican battles have made them think us fire eaters. Whether his views are correct or not I cannot say I think them colored at least. We have had snow upon the ground nearly all this month thus far and more falling every two or three days. To day it is coming down again merrily and adding much to our previous store The weather lately has been cold though generally not oppressively so. Horace Greely is to lecture here next Wednesday night upon "The Crystal Palace and its Uses" I shall endeavor to go and see "the last of the Tribunes." Remember me to every body and write often Hoping that you are still enjoying your health and peace I am Aff. Yours w. C. F.


155. Gershom Flagg to Willard Flagg, January 30, 1852

Paddock's Grove Jan 30 1852 Dear Willard, Your letter of the 11th inst was received to day I last week sent you a draft on Boston for 50 dollars and the week before 20$ in three letters & on the 26 Dec. I think it was I sent you 8 dollars I Recd. a letter from Mrs James Smith today She says that George was twelve days on the road home and that he will be out here as soon as the going is fit and that Mr Smith is going south as soon as the Boats can run on the Mississippi which was gorged with Ice They are all well James Bliss had a letter from Sidney Hoadly last week which says that your Uncle Willards Family are all sick We have been hauling wheat to Edwards-

176 ville the last three days we have hauled about 400 bushels at 67 cents pr bushel The weather is now warm and the frost is nearly out of the ground We have had a great many mad dogs about and one came along the other day and had a fight with our dogs and I think has bitten both of them and we shall have to kill them which I am very sorry to do The roads are becoming very bad in deed & we shall have to quit hauling wheat for a while The Thermometer is up to 56° this after noon and it looks likely for rain Doct Lathy has been sick for 3 weeks or more and was not well enough to be out the last I heard from him He came down stairs the last time I was there but I hear he has not been down since. He has had a great many calls since he was sick but could not attend of course but it has bothered him much People do not know how to do without Doct Lathy's services his practice has been increasing much for the last two years We are all Well Truly Yours Gershom Flagg W. C. Flagg [SIU-E]

156. Gershom Flagg to Willard Flagg, February 14, 1852

Paddock's Grove Ill.

Feb. 14th


Dear Willard, Your letters ofJanuary 18th and 25th were received yesterday the 13th Feb. As to Money of which you seem to be in great need I hope you have received by this time You have acknowledged the receipt of the I 5 Nov (sent) IO$ 6 Dec. 13$ 12 Dec 8$ in all 31$ which you had received On the 26 Dec I sent 8$ on the 16 and 17 Jan/ 52 in three letters $20. Jan 24 a draft on the Bank of North America Boston for $50. making in all which I have sent since Nov 15th $rn9.oo If you have not received it all let me know in your next letter after the receipt of this I believe I have written to you every week or if I have not I have mentioned it in my next letter after the Omission I have not seen George Smith yet He was twelve days on the road home in very cold weather The roads are now very bad which I suppose is the reason George has not been up here We have had many sales this week Frederick Handshy's on tuesday James M Scotts on Thursday John Lynch's on Friday and Mortimore Dorsey's to day Lynch has lost his Wife and broke up house keeping James and Miles Scott are going to California Mort Dorsey's health is very bad and he is about selling his Horses Cattle &c and rent his farm He thinks that he shall not live long--Mr Galt has a sale next saturday & is going to California There is considerable excitment about California again this coming spring I hear nothing from Springield

177 lately I have written three letters to your uncle willard which are not answered yet We are all well here Victoria and her Children are here & your Aunt Elvira has just left here Volney has gone to Mort Dorsey sale james Bliss is breaking Prairie for a Dutchman near Mort Dorsey's present residence where Mr Buel once lived Mr King has bought out James Scott's land (40 acres) I have not been away from home much for two weeks on account of bad roads The weather begins to look like spring now Speaking of Hungary there is some things in Mr Brace Lecture not exactly as I understand it The peasants not only have to work 104 days each year or 52 days with a team but they are bound to furnish 3 or 4 fowls and one dozen Eggs a load of wood and to transport a certain amount of goods or produce some two days Journey back and forth besides they have to give one tenth of all they raise to the Church for priests and one 9th to their lords They cannot own lands or commence suit against the Nobles Every 30 peasants have to furnish a calf yearly and turn out a certain number of soldiers for each vilage There is another class who live in towns who cannot own land but have the liberty to trade and make money A majority in Hungary are Catholics of course no republic government can be sustained there Where the Catholics have the majority in any country Republican governments will be overturned very soon look at France they are worse off now than they were in 1847 I am sorry that our people will not attend to their own concerns and let Europe tear down and build up governments to suit themselves We have enough to do at home in fact we our selves are not quite as good as we should be I think Those are perfectly wild who think of mixing us up with the wars in Europe. I have been reading M. Thiers Consulate & Empire of France and find it is not all here only 2 volumes 134 did you buy any more-or is there any more of it? if there is I should like to have it These books end where Joseph B. was seated in the throne of Spain. Truly Yours G. Flagg [In margin:] I have left the Presidents letter unsealed you can seal it if that is the Etiquette. W. C. F.


157. Gershom Flagg to Willard Flagg, February 26, 1852

Paddock's Grove Feb. 26th 1852 Willard, Dear Your letter of the 1st inst. was recd. yesterday I am sorry the money did not arrive sooner but I sent it as fast as I could get it well I have hauled all my wheat and paid most of my debts I will send you a hundred dollars in a

week or two I was in Alton yesterday & got the Book and your Uncle Artemas likeness &c which George Smith left there not knowing at the time whether he would come up here on account of very bad roads Your Uncle Orville was here last sunday and left on monday Morning Mortomore Dorsey is quite unwell and has been all winter Some think he will not live long They have had much measles in Edwardsville but the health of the neighborhood is pretty good excepting bad colds Doct Lahty is very poorly indeed and does not seem to gain much The Kossuth feever I think is abating all over the country 0. A. Brownson 135 has been making quite a stir in St. Louis in favor of the Catholic Church He delivered several Lectures there which were well attended I have read some of his lectures but dislike them very much He is a crazy coot The weather begins to look springlike James Bliss is plowing or breaking Prairie for a Dutchman near the Webster farm There is a good deal of improvements going on in the neighborhood some 6 or eight men in this Prairie & Swetts are going to california on the hunt of gold I sold our mule this week for 70 dollars to some Californians I have to pay about 180 dollars tax for myself and others and, I owe the about 400 dollars which will make about 580 I have 200 dollars due me & have nearly 500 on hand The last wheat I sold came to 1065 dollars I have 16 or 18 hundred bushels of Oats but they do not sell for enough to Justify me in selling them at this time we may have I 50 dollars worth of wool to sell next summer I shall hire as little as I can the coming summer to save expenses I am getting tired of so much care and expense Truly Yours Gershom Flagg W. C. Flagg [SIU-E]


Willard Flagg to Gershom Flagg, March

11, 1852

New Haven Conn.

March 14th


Dear Father and Mother Your last of the 26th ult. came on the 8th inst. having been the extraordinarily short time of 11 days upon the route. You say you have received the book and dageurreotype. What do you think of both? I hope you will take good care of the book. It will be valuable to me in coming years as a memento of college days &c. Uncle Artemas does not look quite natural in the likeness. I suppose he was a little frightened at having it taken for the first time. I have had a letter from Bliss this past week who expresses himself very well but very lazy, only

179 writing a page I had a letter from Mary Fifield too a few days since, who is still at Brattleboro She and her mother think of going West again next fall-In regard to college matters we are about commencing again our review of term studies. The term has passed away very fast. I am now as well as many other Linonians busily engaged upon the prize debate, and have nearly finished writing my speech. A new prize has been introduced into the senior class to be continued every year-the De Forest prize of a $100 gold medal given to the best written and spoken piece by a member of the senior class. This will be something worth fighting for and much undoubtedly will be done The state temperance convention met here last Wednesday in large numbers and had a good time of it Dr Jewett of Mass. and P. T . Barnum ex showman of Bridgeport and now an aspirant to gubernatorial chair of the State of Conn. made speeches among others. Mr Barnum seems to have an immense quantity of small talk and very little of great thought These advocates of the Maine liquor law' 36 are taking the ground that they will support no one in the coming election who will not pledge himself to support the law or in some way declare himself in favor of it. Both parties are rather afraid of it The Whigs however seem to be most in alliance and there seems to be but little doubt but what the law will pass. It is needed here sadly enough The Temperance Society of our class met last Monday at which time I had the honor of delivering an oration. A poem was also delivered upon "Water" and quite a good one too Monday evening there was a general convocation of students in the college chapel where a report of the present condition of the temperance cause in college was read and a lecture delivered by Prof. Stowe of Bowdoin College Maine. The report showed rather a bad state of things The Temperance Society in the Junior Class is almost defunct. There are 209 drinking shops even in the moral city of New Haven. Our class is said to have the fewest tipplers of any in college. Rather a sad affair to those concerned occurred last night. A second attempt was made upon the bell and two juniors and two of our class were detected It will probably go hard with them-suspension at least. The weather is now warm but very disposed to be rainy and dull. I have obtained leave to attend the Universalist church in the afternoon There is no service there in the Forenoon-I must be off. W . C . F.


159. Gershom Flagg to Willard Flagg, March 19, 1852

Paddock's Grove March 19th / 52 Dear Willard, Your letter of the 15 Feb. was recd the 15 inst having been 29 days from

180 date until I received it The Creeks about here were higher than was ever known before Cahokia Creek they say was three feet deeper than ever before it spread out over the wet Prairie in the bottom so that people could not get to St Louis by the upper ferry for several days fences in the creek bottoms have been washed away a good deal I enclose a draft on the Bank of North America, Boston for one hundred and twenty dollars which is twenty dollars more than you asked for but you are not expected to spend more than is necessary It might be well enough to have a little surplus on hand in case of sickness or the like Try and not make yourself unhappy if you should have a few dollars more than you actually need at the time Ursula came to Alton last Monday & I happened to be there when the Boat arrived with her and was just abo[u]t to start home when she came up and brot her home It appears that she had been invited down to a wedding Ladoskia Pierce has been married upon a Scotch Blacksmith by the name of Hyndman. Ursula was invited to come down from Ogle to be at the wedding and she started forthwith and came down when Lo! & behold!! They had been married about three weeks and Ursula was very much grieved indeed but I think she will get over it in a few days Ursula has spent about fifty dollars in five months another such a spree would take all she has in the world and leave her quite happy I suppose I hear no news of late except that Kossuth is in Saint Louis fighting the Austrian Rev. Fathers of the Catholic College in Saint Louis 137 All well here Truly Yours Gershom Flagg Flagg W. C.



Gershom Flagg to Willard Flagg, March

20, 1852

Paddock's Grove March 20th 1852 Dear Willard We recd no letter from you yesterday the last letter I recd. was dated Feb. 15th & was 29 days before I recd it being the 15th of March I sent you a draft on the Bank of North America Boston for $120 yesterday by the Eastern Mail The mails go so slow that I thot best to send it early that you might get it in time We are having a very cold spell of weather now the ground has been pretty hard frozen for four days the weather is clear and a strong wind from the North West Our Dutch Woman has the Chills again this week

181 Your Uncle Azariah has sent me divers Rail Road Documents among the rest a Report of the Rock river and Chicago Road including a map of all the Roads & contemplated roads from New York to Council Bluffs Mr Wilson is at work here now doing divers little jobs which remain yet unfinished have four Dutchmen for tenants this year Samuel Gray is here yet and doing pretty well I have three hands hired now There has been a good deal of sickness about lately The measles has spread all over the country and in places there has been considerable scarlet feever Volney has been having the ague this week & his hired man is quite sick & Victory is not very well Your Aunts are all well no news from Springfield Kossuth has left St. Louis for New Orleans He has stired up the Jesuits with a long pole We are all well Truly Yours G. Flagg W. C. Flagg P. S. The Mail has returned & could not cross Shoal Creek The Bridge was gone the Mail carrier says [SIU-E]


Willard Flagg to Gershom Flagg, March

21, 1852

New Haven Conn. March 21st 1852 Dear Father and Mother I have received no letter from you or anyone else this week and consequently feel a predisposition to "blow up" as many as convenient. It is really quite aggravating to remain a week letterless. We have had another snow storm and a succeeding spell of cold weather which is still in full blast though it is now the 21st of March and high time to have some premonitions of Spring. I have seen a blue-bird but he looked very blue and cold indeed as if having many misgivings whether spring was half so glorious as the poets say after all. The triflers with the college bell whom I mentioned in my letter last week have been indefinitely suspended. They may not get back under a year.-We have had some new prizes offered in our class for Latin composition. As they come on with English composition our duties are now rather arduous. Salter has left for the South. His health was too poor to permit him to remain so he took his books and started for Macon on a visit to an uncle who lives there I hope he will be much benefited by the change. We shall miss him not a little Catlin received a dispatch from home his morning enquiring what had become of him His people had not heard from him for

182 three weeks although he has written several times.-! went last Thursday night to hear a poem by John G. Saxe a Vermonter and editor of the "Burlington Sentinel." His subject was New England. His abilities as a poet seem to be considerable and his wit is undeniable. I suppose he is the best humorous poet in the United States Speaking of the merry winter times of New England he said "Cupid comes up while Mercury goes down" and of Yankee utilitarianism he parodied the line of Shakespeare "Sermons in stones and good in everything" thus "Buildings in stone and cash in everything." I have received the money for prize composition amounting to $2. 50. Literary men seem to be no more rewarded here than elsewhere.-! have changed my boarding place and have gone into an association which being nice in its choice of members and having a notable housewife as its manager I find a very pleasant place. We have more farmlike fare which is the best for students. It will diminish my expenses some 50 cents per week beside, which seems necessary as Junior year will require some extra expenses. I have as usual little to write. I see by the Telegraph that Lowdoska is married. I have no remembrance of ever having seen or heard of her husband however Who is he? Remember me with best love to all and Believe Me Aff. Yours W. C. flagg [SIU-E]


Gershom Flagg to Willard Flagg, April

1, 1852

Paddock's Grove April 1st 1852 Dear Willard, I recd your letter of the 21st Feb. the 29 March a very long letter is coming-yours of the 28 feb and 6th of March I recd last week As to your joining a secret society if you think it will be of benefit to you you can join it you ought to be able to judge for your self But I hope you will keep clear of all disepated company A person acquires bad habits and low Ideas by associating with disapated people although they may not disepate themselves Those secret societies that are spread abroad in the world such as Free Masons & Odd fellows I think rather lead to disipaiton and waste of time. Mr Parsons thinks you better join the Society you speak of says it will be an advantage to you I wrote to Bliss last week Volney recd a long letter from Mrs Ellis last mail It seems they are all doing well by her letter

183 The Court is in session at Edwardsville now and the Democrats had a meeting yesterday in Edwardsville to appoint 7 delegates to the State Convention and they had quite a fuss among them Col. Buckmaster wants to be governor & Geo T. Brown 138 wants to be Lieut. Gov. and the friends of each are aware that both cannot be nominated as they both live in one Co so they wrangled-made speeches and voted about three or four hours but how either may come out in the convention is uncertain as there are some 20 men in the state would be glad to be made Gov. and as many that would not refuse the nomination of Lieut Gov. The folks were well at St Louis the last I heard from them Mr Galt James & Miles Scott were to start for California to day James Bliss is Breaking Prairie in Rattans Prairie Mrs Hodgman has had a shock of the Palsy and is not able to get out of bed alone I had a letter from your Uncle Willard last week which had been 55 days on the way something seems to be wrong about the mails The weather continues very cold and chilly We are all well Truly Yours G. Flagg Willard C. Flagg



Willard Flagg to Gershom Flagg, April 4, 1852

New Haven Conn. April 4th 1852 Dear Father and Mother Your letter of March 19th and 20th the former containing a check for $120 came yesterday I hardly understand why my letters should be so much delayed. I write as regularly as ever and your epistles do not seem to have been much delayed by bad weather and roads. I am glad to hear Ursula has returned home I hope she will hasten to answer my last letter-The past week has been a busy one among the politicians. The election comes off on Monday the great question being the adoption of the Maine Liquor Law The Whigs have the advantage of having their nominees in its favor and the Democracy headed by the indefatigable Barnum 139 are falling into their ranks as coworkers for once at least very enthusiastic meetings have been held during the last two or three days and it is hoped the city and state will be carried It would certainly be a fine thing for our college could the drinking temptations be removed which so beset the students.-The prizes for the debate were awarded on Wednesday. I was so unfortunate as not to take a prize but not much expecting it have been only proportionately disappointed. We are now hard at work upon prize composition. The one I have commenced upon and which has been taken by most of the best writers is said to

be the most difficult that has been given out for some years. Many have given up and many grown discouraged but as we shall have four days after examination it will much better the matter.-Our examination will commence next Tuesday and conclude on Thursday which will soon let us loose again. It will be rather a pleasant thing though I do not now feel the need of it as much as in the middle of the term-We have had some pleasant weather lately yet there was a slight fall of snow the other night and some cold mornings We still keep up fires-I have been out walking extensively to day. Visited West Rock before church and East Rock this afternoon During vacation I shall drive the business of walking extensively. I shall endeavor then to write you a long letter and one more interesting than this. I do not know however but my average is as good as yours. Remember me to all And Believe Me Aff. Yours W. C. F.


164. Gershom Flagg to Willard Flagg, April 5, 1852

Paddock's Grove April 5th 1852 Dear Willard, Your letter of the 14th March was recd last Friday the 2d April You mention in the last part of your letter about a second attempt being made upon the Bell I wish you would explain it I have heard no first attempt upon the bell and do not know what they wanted to do with the bell only that it appeared that some Outrage has been committed or some law violated. It is singular that young men will violate laws & regulations in College when no posible advantage can accrue to them if they are not detected and sure disgrace if they are discovered The Notorious young French that is now a prisoner in Mexico was celebrated when in Alton College for his sly tricks and little thieving propensities and now he is reaping his reward You often regret that you had not been in College earlier or something to that effect Now I wish you to know and understand that I not only am glad that you did not go to College earlier but if it was all to do over again I should not be willing to send a son to College until he came to years of discretion prudence in his behavior &c &c Perhaps you have no Idea of how many boys are ruined for life by being sent to college too young They get into all sorts of bad company become disipated and die vagabonds or perhaps criminals. Your book is carfully put away in our new Book Case after having been pretty well read by us and your Aunts It is a pretty fair book I think it equal to many of the Maxims that have a great name in the world James Bliss says that your uncle Artemas likeness is a good one

Your Aunt Roena (Mrs Hodgman) has had a shock of palsy & is not able to help herself much she cannot walk or even get out of bed without help & Ursula says that Mrs Buel has had a shock of the palsy and that her mouth is drawn up on one side but I have not heard from her lately Ursula had a letter from Malvina while she was in Ogle County last winter Orville Paddock is making preperations to move to Alton as soon as the Alton & Sangamon Rail Road is done He is going into the Commission and forwarding business Letters have been received from Mrs. Blankenship lately & I believe they are all well and will start home soon It has been snowing this morning for two hours or more but melts nearly as fast at it strikes the ground I sent you $120 the 19th of March I should like to have a copy of the Oration which you had the Honor to deliver to your class on Temperance also your speech to be delivered on the question on "Ought Judges to be Elected by the people at stated periods" The California feever is nearly as bad now as it ever has been before The poor oxen and mules will have to suffer some Mr Galt and James & Miles Scott have gone Mort Dorsey is in very poor health many think he will not live long Mr James Scott Sen. has been very sick but I have not heard from him for 3 or 4 days Rosamond P. Scott1 40 I heard yesterday was sick The rest of the neighbors are well pretty much but the measles have been through the neighborhood and the Children have had them I have not yet made out the quarterly Return for the ~ost Office but will go at it to day I have 6 men hired but we have not yet sowed any Oats We have been making a few Rails repairing fence and have set out a lot of Currant bushes We have two Chain pumps fixed up to water the horses & Cows & Calves a Boy of 8 or IO years old could easaly water all our stock with them We have cut down the peach trees in the rows of Apple trees each way in the Orchard and cut them into fire wood so that there is now only one peach tree standing between every 4 apple trees which leaves about the same number of Apple and Peach trees It is snowing yet, quite fast Truly Yours Gershom Flagg W. C. Flagg


165. Willard Flagg to Gershom Flagg, April 25, 1852

New Haven Conn. April 25th 1852 Dear Father and Mother Yours of the 9th instant I received day before yesterday and being such a long one was read with great satisfaction. The allusion to our new book-case

186 rather startled me as I had heard nothing of one being constructed. How large and where can it be? As you ask for an explanation in regard to "the bell" I would state that the clapper of the bell was first stolen but this having proved insufficient to prevent it from being rung the next morning, a second attempt was made which ended in the suspension of four students. Your ideas in regard to an advanced age being the best time to enter college I cannot assent to. It is true there may be more discretion but it seems to me if home education be good that a student of 17 or 18 may be sent to college with every prospect of going through uncontaminated whilst the advantages of greater fitness as for the reception of knowledge is all on his side You speak of wishing me to send my speeches upon two subjects to you. I do not think it would pay. Neither is what I could wish it to be nor even an approximation and as for sending such stuff a thousand miles I abhor the idea. I will take them when I go homeward--It was some comfort to know the contrast between your weather and that which we are having here is not after all so great and that though it may be cold with us on the 24th it was not much better with you on the ninth Since last week the weather has been mostly rainy arid I have not been able to walk out as much as I had hoped for. Have had time however to review Freshman studies and read some 2500 lines of Greek during the last six days by studying four or five hours each day. Reading Homer in this way one is able to take a comprehensive view and at the same time admire the beauties that grow dull in the process of a first "digging out" I shall try and read the whole of Homer. Divers new books have made their appearance in our shop windows. An American novel "Uncle Tom's Log Cabin" is highly commended. A fourth volume of Bancroft's history has also appeared. 141 And last and greatest a splendid six volume edition of Webster's works sold at $12. This is a great country for books. I called upon our Chinese classmate yesterday who showed me several books in his language. Like the Hebrews they begin upon what we could call the last page of the book and read from right to left: but in perpendicular lines. The paper is the same brownish white which we see upon the inside of tea boxes and printed upon only one side the blank pages being always together. He has the writings of Confucius in six volumes which he says are very hard Has forgotten much of the language himself. Kossuth passed through here day before yesterday and made his first speech in New England upon the State House steps. Flags were flying, cannon firing and bells ringing when he came in The crowd however was not very great Many ladies filled the State House steps. The great Magyar is a small man wearing the hat and feather and very heavy whiskers. He had the expression of one acquainted with care and working when much fatigued. His speech was not long nor very well delivered owing to a natural hesitation

and some violations of our rules of speech not appearing in his printed speeches. It contained some great and noble thoughts however. After speaking he went through the college grounds and rode out to Whitneyville where the workmen presented him with 20 rifles which they had manufactured for the purpose, valued at $300 Coming back he dined at the New Haven Hotel and at 3 went on. So we have seen a great man This makes up the sum of present ideas. Give my love to all the people and Beleive Me Affectionately Yours W. C. Flagg


166. Gershom Flagg to Willard Flagg, May 22, 1852

Paddock's Grove May 22d 1852 Dear Willard Your letter of the 9th inst was received yesterday together with an estimate of $uo for 3rd term 1852 I see you have no estimate for clothing have you clothing enough on hand? I suppose it will not be necessary to send the money before the first ofJuly or perhaps the IO July will answer We have sowed about 90 acres of Oats but have planted no corn yet I have about 200 acres rented out this year the weather has been very cold all this week night before last there was quite a frost I was down west of the meadow to day and found the leaves killed and looking black on all the young hickory trees some 8 or ten feet high but the Oaks were not affected by the frost that I could see but my eyes are rather poor now but I have not noticed any effect of frost about the house Andrew Hamilton has returned from California and says he has near two thousand dollars in gold his health is good and he says he has had good health since he left Mr Blankenship and family are at the Miss Paddocks yet but talk of going to Springfield next week Julia Enos was out here some 12 days but went back Thursday to Monticello We have seven hands hired now I get no letters from Springfield lately I have not much news to write such as is in the newspapers I do not write about I wrote to Bliss yesterday It seems to be a hard case for Bliss that Ursula & James will not write to him at all I think it rather a strang[ e] affair James is breaking Prairie and Ursula is quilting bed quilts I believe she is in hopes to Marry some Scotchman before long I shall be glad when she is married and out of trouble I had a letter from Mrs James Smith last week She said they had got their carriage oiled and the harness greased to come out here but they have not made their appearance yet Truly Yours Gershom Flagg


188 167. Gershom Flagg to Willard Flagg, July 2, 1852

Paddock's Grove July 2d 1852 Dear Willard, I send you a Draft on New York for one hundred & fifty dollars I want you to pay thirty two dollars of it to Bliss and the I I 8 dollars is for you I wrote to Bliss that if he would come home with you I would pay his traveling expenses The waters are very high and the Mail carrier cannot cross Caho Creek so that I have but little time to write but I wish you to come by way of Chicago on account of the health there is too much Cholera below St Louis The N.O. boats are crowded with emigrants Mr Tappan from Bunker Hill was drowned in wood river yesterday Truly Yours G. Flagg W. C. F.


168. Gershom Flagg to Willard Flagg, July 15, 1852

Edwardsville July 15th 1852 Dear Willard I was at Alton yesterday with June apples and got your letter of the 4th. I write now to tell you to be sure to come the northern route home you will then not only avoid 3 or 400 miles of hotter _climate than we have here but will be clear of the Cholera Boats perhaps If you should come up the mississippi you might be detained two or three days at quarentine Island as they will not permit persons from Sickly boats to come direct to St. Louis I am now on my way to St Louis with 2 loads June Apples and in a hurry All well Truly Yours G. Flagg W. C. Flagg


169. Willard Flagg to Gershom Flagg, September 19, 1852

Sunday Sept. 19th 1852 Dear Father and Mother I wrote you from Montrose, Savannah, Chicago, and New Haven immediately on my arrival sufficient to let you know I was still progressing safely I now recapitulate

I took the packet St. Paul up the Mississippi river to Keokuk. It was a fine boat and only ran aground once so we got along very pleasantly and in twenty four hours arrived at Keokuk. At IO in the evening we started for Montrose in the stage coach and arrived there about 12 o'clock the distance being IO miles mostly a plank road. Arrived at Montrose the only boat there was boarded and I took passage on the Minnesota for Rock Island. All the next day we lay at the dreamy little town taking freight into the two barges we were towing. Had as a room-mate a man by the name of Anderson who once lived in our county I believe you knew his father The son is lumbering up in Wisconsin Had 5 rafts coming down he said. About 12 on Friday night our boat started and brought us in 24 hours to Rock Island Here we took wagons and rode 16 miles around the rapids It was about three when we reached the end. The boat we were intending to take had started out but having stopped just above on the opposite side had run aground and was still in sight. We drove furiously up the bank shouting and yelling until we came to a large pile of pine shingle shavings Each man gathered an armful and we soon had such a rousing fire upon the bank as to bring back the boat Daylight was coming as we got on board. Instead of going to Galena four of us got off at Savannah 30 or 40 miles below which is the nearest point to Rockford on the Mississippi At 12 we started from that place in two horse stage and after a pleasant ride through a beautiful country arrived about sunset at Freeport a thriving village between Galena and Chicago where we . awaited the stage from Galena. We got into this about 7 and about l in the morning arrived at Rockford a good sized town on Fox river I believe At 5 the same morning took cars for Chicago in company with a Mr Corse of San Antonio Texas one of an original party of four and about IO arrived in Chicago. I spent the afternoon in walking about the unique city. Intended to start out in the night train but my baggage having been left at the hotel I was obliged to wait until morning. Starting the next day at 8½ in the morning came through low prairie cedar swamps pine barrens and good timbered land to Toledo There is pine 40 miles East of Chicago. At Toledo staid all night. They have been having Cholera there. Next morning got on board the Empire State and started for Dunkirk where we should have arrived the same night but the wind preventing a landing we were taken to Buffalo and our tickets exchanged for those of the other line. From Buffalo I started on Thursday at 8 and at IO the same evening was in Albany There took the Isaac Newton Steamer and at 8 next morning were at New York. I took my baggage to the New Haven Depot and went to Edward Wests office He was not yet in so I left the letter and present upon his desk and a line apprising him of Mortimer's death. Bought some books and took cars at l 1½ for New Haven where I arrived a little after two in the afternoon nearly nine days from the time of my starting home feeling pretty tired with travel. Found

190 my room and everything in nice order. Mrs Jarmin has lost her mother during vacation She was over 90 years of age. Prof. Kingsley and Prof Norton are both dead the latter is quite a loss. Edwards is here and at work Have had so many classmates to see and receive that I have not done much yet To morrow I hope to get to work. Of college news I will write next week when better posted up-I have discontinued the Intelligencer and spend the three dollars instead as subscription to the "Mechanic's Institute" which gives me access to a number of papers and reviews and also a ticket to courses of lectures-Peaches here are plenty-My expenses coming on were $42. 16 Write soon-Remember with love to all Yours W. C. Flagg


170. Gershom Flagg to Willard Flagg, October 8, 1852

Paddock's Grove Oct. 8th 1852 Dear Willard, I recd. two letters from you yesterday dated 19 and 27th sept. I have recd also all the others written since you left. On the 24th Sept I saw a Dispatch in the paper stating that a Terrible Collision had taken place on the Erie R.R. on the night of the 14th & 15th sept. We were very much alarmed supposing that if you left Chicago on the night of the 13 that you must have been on the train between Dunkirk & Hornersville at the time it was said that ten men were killed and 30 badly injured I Telegraphed to A. C. F. to know if you had been in N. Y, but recd no answer until 5 days had elapsed & the answer was that you had not been in N.Y. that he knew of but the same day I recd. your letter of the 17th saying that you had arrived at New Haven it appears from all your letters that you had never heard of the accident which gave us so much trouble Volney's Boy Emanuel died on the 23d sept. of Billious Diarrhoea I recd. a letter from your Uncle Willard yesterday saying that his Wifes mother and his youngest daughter had both died this fall Your Uncle Orville's son Caddy was badly hurt by the Rail Road train since you left had his thigh broke and otherwise injured-but is getting over it Mrs Enos Susan & Julia came down on the R.R. and are here now Mr Blankinship & wife & Eveline and Elvira left here on tuesday on a visit to Springfield & Washington (Ills) and will be gone 3 or 4 weeks Mr Cavender & John were here last Saturday and staid until monday morning it rained all day on Sunday There has been several Rains so that the grass is now quite green agam the weather is as warm as August no frost yet yesterday the Ther-

191 mometer was at 80° at sun set This morning it is at 70° rainy to day The mail has just come & I must close

The weather is

Truly Yours G. Flagg


171. Gershom Flagg to Willard Flagg, November 6, 1852

Paddock's Grove Nov. 6th 1852 Dear Willard, Your letter of the 17th October came yesterday As Mr Webster is dead and left no man to fill his place I shall want his works & I wish you would examine & see what is the least they can be had for Mr West of Edwardsville says he wants a copy of his works too and thinks we had better procure them soon for fear they might be all sold out The Election news you will see in the Telegraph We are all well the Apples are not all gathered The weather has been so warm and wet that many have rotted We have made near I 50 barrels- of Cider and Vinegar I have sold but few apples and only a few barrels of Cider and money is rather scarce with me or I would send you some I suppose by your running in Debt for overcoat &c you are out of money We shall get our apples gathered if we can have three or four days good weather it has rained more or less every day or night for the last ten or twelv.e days The Roads are now very bad We are ail well Eveline & Elvira have not yet got home Orville Paddock's Family have moved to Alton & for once Volney and family are well Truly Yours Gershom Flagg I had a letter from my uncle David Cutting of Clymer Chautauqua Co N.Y. last week he enquired where you were Said he was 78 years old and his wife 80 but both in good health & that my Uncle Jonas Cutting and Family had all moved to Wisconsin I recd another pamphlet concerning Rock Island R.R. yesterday from Brother A. C. Flagg G. F.


172. Willard Flagg to Gershom Flagg, November 7, 1852

New Haven Conn.

Nov 7th


Dear Father Your letter of Oct 28th came night before last. Edwards brought it in whilst I was busily engaged in preparing a composition to be read before the

192 society next week. I was glad to hear from you again and sorry to learn your eyes still continue so weak. Under the circumstances I shall not grumble at not hearing from you only semi-occasionally (as college slang has it) I shall write weekly as before and you can when you feel able. I have had letters during the week from Bliss, Charles Salter (who is teaching classics at our school in St Louis) and Sarah. No special news from anyone. Here we are beginning to have the rainy winter weather but not much cold as yet. The President's wife died on Wednesday evening. She was confined the week before and exerted herself too soon. The societies were meeting at the time of her death but immediately adjourned. Yesterday she was buried and a funeral sermon was preached to day in chapel. She was as are all the professors families a member of the college church. Her loss has been much felt by relatives and the community. Monday evening we had a small row. The Whigs and Democrats were both holding meetings most of the students being at the former. The Democracy met on the green not far from the colleges. Certain students came along singing a Whig song and soon after a horn was blown long and hard from South College. Pretty soon 2 or 300 of the unterrified rushed up and began throwing brickbats into the windows Several students were injured but not seriously. The Faculty and the Mayor were soon on the ground and put and end to the difficulty. One student was chased into a Democrat's shop and the windows and sundry jars of pickles stoned. The Democrat voted the Whig ticket next day. The Whigs carried the city but what was done elsewhere I need not tell you. To use the words of the N. Y. Journal of Commerce "We have met the enemy and we are theirs." Uncle Azariah I see is elected Comptroller in N. Y. City. We have commenced attending Prof. Olmstead's lectures on Natural Philosophy during the past week. Find them quite interesting. Have commenced another Greek book Thucydides History of the Peloponnesian War Find it excellent though quite hard. Remember me to all I shall write Volney and Aunt Susan soon I hope Aff. Yours W. C. F. [SIU-E]

173 .

Gershom Flagg to Willard Flagg, November 12, 1852

Paddock's Grove Ills. Nov 12th 1852 Dear Willard, I have just received your letter of October 24th this morning We are all well Ursula has been at Mrs. Sabins since tuesday morning Mrs. Sabin is very sick and no body to take care of her We had a terrible rain yester-


day We have made out to get our apples gathered and that is all Last night it was very cold and the ground is considerable frozen I send you a speech made by Mr Drake I think it would be a good Idea for you to collect and preserve all the speeches you can get hold of that were delivered upon the Occasion of Mr. Webster Funeral which took place in St. Louis and other places the same day that he was buried at Marshfield. We may never live to see another equal to Daniel Webster but his works are left behind him & I hope they will have some Influence upon future generations No other Man has done so much to uphold, defend and perpetuate Our Constitution and Government as he has & I am sorry that the people could not appreciate his Patriotism and talents. Volney and family are well Eveline and Elvira have not returned from Springfield yet The Roads are very bad weather do . Truly Yours Gershom Flagg W. C. Flagg [SIU-E]

174 . Gershom Flagg to Willard Flagg, December 5, 1852

Paddock's Grove Dec. 5th 1852 Dear Willard, Your letter of the 21st inst. I recd. yesterday in regard to Mr. Websters works you may purchase two copies provided you can get them for two dollars each or less & provided they are what we want It has been sugested to me that the works as heretofore published were not Edited by Edward Everett but had ben got up by some publisher for speculation & were premature &c &c You will first see that they are the real works of Webster as Edited by Edward Everett' 42 &c &c I do not want a part of his works only I have three Vols. of his Speeches now You can either buy them now or wait untill we are sure that we get what we want I am in no great hurry for them I send you a draft on the Bank of North America Boston drawn by the Alton Marine & fire Insurance Company for fifty dollars & also 5$ on a Bank in New Haven so that you can get specie Change We have lots of New Haven money in circulation here from ones to 5 dollars tell them to shell out a few Dimes for change I had letters from Mr & Mrs James Smith yesterday Robert Smith is not well yet the rest are well we are all well I have been to alton five times last week with apples & the Roads are very bad indeed it is hard work for me & hard work for the horses they can only haul about 22 bushels at a load we have a hundred more to haul away

194 Our ox teams hauled in 200 bushels Oats on friday cts Pork 6 doll. pr hundred &c &c Truly Yours

Oats are now 30 G. Flagg



Gershom Flagg to Willard Flagg, January 1, 1853

Paddock's Grove (Ills) Jan 1st 1853 Dear Willard I wish you a happy New Year although it will be some time before this wish reaches you I have recd. all your letters up to the 19th of December the last one came in 11 days some have been 16 & one 20 days on the way I wrote you on the 5 and sent the letter on the I I containing 55 dollars which I hope you have received before this date I will send you more money soon I have a few more apples to haul We have hauled 600 bushels of Oats and have our pork to kill and haul away Mr Reilly is now diging another well on the North side of the farm We have only five hands & have as much as we can do I think I told you that I had sold 2000 bushels of Oats for 600 dollars I was in Alton yesterday your Aunt Susan went in with me Your Aunt Joann, Mary Reilly and Martha Blankenship went in also Your Aunt Joann is going to Springfield to day on R.R. the others will be hunting Newyear about Alton I had a letter from your Uncle Azariah yesterday he says his salary as comptroller is 3000 dollars-That is pretty fair The last I heard from Mrs James Smith she was preparing to go to New Orleans with Mr. S. Jacob Holmes had come home almost dead or at least in a very low state of health They are driving a head on the Alton & Tere Hout R.R. between here and Alton We are all well Truly Yours [SIU-E]


Willard Flagg to Gershom Flagg, January 30, 1853

New Haven Conn Jan 30th 1853 Dear Father and Mother Nothing from you this week either in the way of letters or "material aid" both of which are very desirable. I have had a goodly number of letters


however from Volney Aunt Susan Vol and Sarah so that your silence has not been the only thing to think of. It seems our region is improving rapidly with railroads and their consequences. I am sorry to see Gooseville is on the increase and hope some railroad town in Rattan's Prairie may tend to check its growth. A small village is a perfect nuisance to all around Bliss arrived here on Tuesday night and will remain a week and more longer. Have enjoyed his visit much thus far and hope he may do the same though I am called away so much by College duties that I am obliged to leave him a good deal of the time to his own resources. He is very well pleased with Cambridge and judging from its present appearance it has not been at all prejudicial to his health. But as he will speak for himself I need not write more. College matters go on harmoniously. The coming prize debates are making some stir. Junior Exhibition speeches are creeping on slowly. Mine is nearly in statu quo. Prof Guyot finished his course of lectures yesterday. They have been much admired and little appreciated. One can see much more than he can grasp in them without being able to find fault with Prof. Guyot for want of clearness in so short a course upon so extensive a subject. Rev John Pierpont delivered the Institute Lecture this week upon the Moral and Religious Influence of a study of the sciences. Found him an earnest and thoughtful speaker. He is now quite old and gray. You may remember his visiting St Louis many years ago.-We are having very pleasant weather now though it has been quite cold much of the week. The snow goes off very slowly and still much impedes pedestrians.-Bliss has brought me quite a number of Webster Pamphlets from Boston so that I now have quite a stock. The Works of Webster were got up under his supervision Bliss says and the publishers say that anything additional will be in the form of a supplement which go to show that the works are reliable and will match any addition made Bliss thinks however it may be well enough to wait and he has the best opportunities of judging. Remember me to all the people Yours Truly W. C. Flagg [SIU-E]

177. Willard Flagg to Gershom Flagg, January 16, 1853

New Haven Conn.

Jan 16th


Dear Father Your letter of the 1st inst came yesterday and Ursula's on the 10th The mails seem to be very slow. I was glad to get so much home intelligence in one week: it has been such a scarce article of late. I have already sent my new year wishes and now reiterate them upon receiving yours. I sent you last

week a copy of the "Yale Lit." containing my Essay which you will receive before this I hope. I shall send all news in Ursula's letter which I shall enclose herewith. I have been asking Prof. Thatcher concerning the possibility of going home during the summer term and find it can be done by having a letter from you requesting it' and making other excuses which it will be my own part to arrange. I should like to have you therefore in your next to enclose a letter to the President requesting that I should have a four months absence (which is the longest he can grant and will be sufficient as the vacations are not reckoned) in such a form and for such reasons (if you think it best to assign any) as you deem proper. This will permit me to leave here about the middle of April and remain away until the middle of September a period of 5 months. Four-hours-a-day's study at home and one or two recitations a week to one of the Shurtleff Professors or some one else I find will carry me through bravely and I can spend the rest of the time in endeavoring to regain farmer habits. In addition to the money now due me which I hope will come soon, it will be necessary for me to have money for this term much earlier than usual at least by the beginning or middle of March. Expenses are heavier and must be met sooner this term

Board (4 weeks) Room Washing Tuition (raised) Coal and Lights Society Dues Books Clothing Incidentals Junior Exhibition Postage Going Home

28.00 15.00

5.00 17.00 7.00

5.00 I0.00 12.00 10.00 10.00


3.00 40.00 $162.00

All of which is respectfully submitted. Remember me to all the folks and believe me Affectionately Yours W. C. Flagg [SIU-E]

197 178.

Willard Flagg to Gershom Flagg, February 5, 1853

New Haven Conn Feb 6th 53 Dear Father Your letter ofJan. 22nd containing a draft on Boston for $100 which I have received the cash for and am now out of debt with money on hand. I have made inquiries concerning Ballou' s works but not found them. I am told the Universalist Minister probably keeps them and shall call and see soon. Webster's Works I shall not get until I am on the point of returning tho' I am not certain that I had better I shall make a few more inquiries at least before purchasing. There is no danger of the supply giving out I think. The works are stereotyped. In regard to health I am not injuring myself. I study now six hours a day which you will admit is not "Killing" I have written a letter more at length concerning my plans for coming home which you have probably received by this. I have many reasons for coming home. The Summer term wears upon my constitution more than all the rest of the year. I wish to work [MS torn] and not forget farming in learn [MS torn] My hands are too soft and my [MS torn] too much relaxed. I will not need to study more than four hours a day for 12 weeks to go over the ground the class does. And it is not necessary to learn it very well as far as examination is concerned since one who is absent a whole term will not lower his stand by his examinations as it is necessarily not counted at all. Any objections of that kind therefore are easily got over. In regard to health I can see no reason why I should get unacclimated here so as not to be as healthy as ever at home. I feel in actual want of a summer at home to get hardened and strengthened for Senior year. I will risk the being called away from study is you will. We are having very damp rainy weather. The deep snow is just off. Bliss is here yet but goes soon. I shall be quite lonesome when he is off He will write himself what we have been about. I enclose a slip from a N. Y. paper whereby you will see that Uncle Azariah is overhauling the city fathers. Remember me with love to all the folks and believe me Aff. Yours WC Flagg [SIU-E]


Willard Flagg to Gershom Flagg, March 6, 1853

New Haven Conn March 6th '53 Dear Father & Mother I received a short letter 4 days since but tho' short satisfactory as from the

long silence I began to think that possibly something was going wrong. am much more regular and preserve my regularity the best I think perhaps but perhaps I ought to be expected to do so tho' I expect I am as busy as either of the three. Still the young and fresh ought to do most of the writing. I suppose they have less wisdom but then they have more fire and imagination. Which last however you will not be apt to find in this letter. After a hard weeks work I arose in good season and having "fired up" and put away the accumulated mount of learning which the six days labor had piled upon my table I am now ready to do up in the shortest possible way my necessary writing. I had a letter from Bliss a few days since dated the 2nd from Exeter. He was going down the next day to Cambridge I had a long letter from Mary Reily in company with yours an unexpected and very welcome favor . In regard to the weeks news the most important is that the members of Phi Beta Kappa from our class were initiated on Monday night paying two dollars each for admission. The society is merely honorary made up of the third of each class first in scholarship. It was founded in 1776 at the College of William and Mary (in Maryland I believe) and is now found in various colleges through the U.S. Until Wednesday I was busily at work on my Junior Exhibition speech and at last got it off my hands: not entirely satisfactory but perhaps as good as I could expect. We have had some fine clear weather and pleasant days. Yesterday morning however found quite a deep though ve~y light feathery snow upon the ground and the air this morning is somewhat sharp and unbefitting the coming spring. The democracy celebrated the inauguration with some firing of cannon and the exibition of a very ragged flag. Some of the students went down to Washington to see the performances. The inaugural address is well spoken of and the bearing of the President generally seems to declare well for his freedom from self-conceit and affords some indication of a more moderate policy than might have expected had he been as self sufficient as incapable. Time will show. You have seen notices I suppose of Putnam's Monthly. I have just purchased the March number containing a memoir of Mrs Spears from materials furnished by "an accomplished lady residing at Paddocks Grove Illinois" the "accomplished lady" I suppose is Aunt Susan or Aunt Julia. Pray let whoever it is know what adjectives Mrs Ellet gives them. I will take the number home with me if you have not seen it. I received a catalogue of Shurtleff College not long since from Newton Cavender. Paddock's Grove I see had two representatives in the Preparatory Department. We are now about commencing our reviews and in a few more weeks I hope to be on my way home I shall only take what books I need to study. Websters Works I shall not have room for and there are to be some additional volumes so I think it will be better to wait. I have


sent and procured Ballou's works in 5 handsome volumes. They are high $5 .25 for the set. But I must come to an end Remember me to all. Aff. Yours W. C . Flagg [SIU-E]


Gershom Flagg to Willard Flagg, September 2, 1853

Paddock's Grove Sept 2 1853 Dear Willard, I have but little news to write except that we are all well Your Mother now has the cheese to make Ursula and James Morris came and took away two waggon loads of plunder They move in with the old folks-not a very good plan I think but they must do as they please The last news from Mr & Mrs Robert Cavender they were at Niagara falls It is understood that they wil pass down the St. Lawrence River up lake Champlain to Saratoga Springs and there await the arrival of the Wine Merchant from New Orleans who was to Marry Dr Edwards daughter about the time you left Alton they will then all leave for the Atlantic Coast and stay where the most funn can be discovered until the yellow feever has left New Orleans then go by Ocean & Gulph to Orleans & from thence to Sanantonio texas to see Ben Edwards who married Sue Mudge & when their visit to Texas is over I suppose Robert will return to St. Louis to see if the old man has any more loose Change that he wants spent I have just forwarded to you a letter which has been 16 days coming from Massachusetts. Truly Yours G. Flagg [In margin:] Will Smith has just recd. a letter from his Father & Mother dated Aug 17 Bliss did not go to the White Mountain [SIU-E]


Gershom Flagg to Willard Flagg, September 20, 1853

Paddock's Grove Sept 20th 1853 Dear Willard Your letter of sept 3rd was received last week & the July & August Nos. of the Yale Lit. Magazine I think I wrote you that Mrs Enos came down and brot Henry Ellis and since that Mr Ellis came down and took his boys home Volney R. took them to Alton for him Mr William Smith came here last thursday and returned on saturday taking Willie with him


Mr James Smith & wife were to have been here last week but were prevented by Mr Smiths being detained on a Jury to assess damages for opening a new street Mr & Mrs Blankenship and your Aunt Elvira have gone to Kentucky to be gone six weeks We commenced making Cider last week and have mad some fifteen barrels which we have boiled the weather has been very hot but it is quite cool today Mr Cavender & John were to be home about four days ago I have forwarded to you two letters one of which was broken open by your Mother supposing it was from Bliss Mr Robert Smiths health is very poor Mr Crawford is dead We are all well Truly Yours G. Flagg



Gershom Flagg to Willard Flagg, September 24, 1853

Paddock's Grove Sept 24 1853 Dear Willard, We recd your letter of the II th yesterday Mary Reily recd yours of the 12 inst on Thursday We are all well I am sorry that you did not stop in new York and see the folks & the Chrystal Palace you perhaps will miss seeing the curiosities in the palace you had more time then than you will have hereafter Every body & almost every bodies wife & Children went to see Barnums show at Edwardsville yesterday As many as 3000 people were there I should think many supposed there was from 5 to 6 thousand We have made & boiled 16 barrels of Cider & have 7 5 acres or more of Rye sowed We had a considerable frost night before last The weather is very dry and water scarce people generally well Truly Yours Gershom Flagg W. C. Flagg New Haven Conn



Gershom Flagg to Willard Flagg, October 14, 1853

Paddock's Gove Oct 14th 1853 Dear Willard, We are all well and hard at work gathering apples and making Cider we have had several hard frosts the wells & Creeks are very low I have never seen a dryer time than this The Creeks are almost dry & the Rivers very


low we have 6 or 8 hundred bushels of Winter apples yet to pick off the trees I have recd your letter of the 25 sept Volney & Wife have gone to the State fair I should like to have gone but could not leave home Edward Wood & Wife Hopkins Anthony and Miss Sarah Fish were here a few days since & have returned to Washington Mrs. Lathy is better she came out here with me last week and is now at your Aunts I told the Editors to send you the Telegraph in as much as it is paid for The St Louis Intelligencer has been sold at Auction for 23 thousand dollars How it will be carried on now I do not know Truly Yours G. Flagg


184. Gershom Flagg to Willard Flagg, December 15 , 1853

Paddock's Grove Dec 15th 1853 Dear Willard, Your last letter of Nov 27 was recd last week We are all well. The weather continues dry and warm The Thermometer this afternoon is twelve degrees above the freezing point The Rivers are very low and half the wells contain but little water We have sold eleven hundred bushels of winter apples and have a few more left but the Market in Alton is fully supplied now We are going to Alton tomorrow with 38 barrels of Cider which will nearly finish out what we have to sell now. Our Apples and Cider this year will bring upwards of a thousand dollars I have now 7 hands to work We have hauled 4 or 5 hundred loads of manure into the Orchards-have some 30 or 40 acres of Corn to gather yet and wheat to haul off I am in a great hurry to get the hauling done before wet weather and bad roads come so that I hardly get time to write at all I have been three times to Alton this week & out every night until 7 or 8 O'clock John Caldwell has left & I have paid him $180 I have paid James Bliss all but $40 & paid Noble and Charles Engelke about 140 dollars I saw Mary Fifield yesterday Robert Smith is much better and is about town now Mary Reily is in St Louis Ellis is sick more or less all the time lately Your Mother has gone down to Mr Morris' this afternoon Flour is now 6 dollars a barrell and salt 2 to 2. 50 pr sack and the best Apples are only 50 cts pr bushel Mr Tryon is about building at the schoolhouse near Coxes on the Rail Road and will leave Gooseville I suppose soon. Mary Fifield says that Bliss has got a Prize of some kind but what it is or what it is for she does not know The Rail Road to Terre Haute is progressing pretty fair The low water on the Illinois river keeps back the Rails yet but they have a good many Carrs made at Alton


I wish you would send a copy of No one Yale Magazine to James Mitchell Esqr. Belleville Illinois if you think best I have no doubt he would be very glad to see it I hear nothing from Brother Willard or any other body lately Truly Yours G. Flagg & will Dix P.S. I have some taxes to pay for your Uncle A. C. & General write to him to pay the money to you G. F.



Willard Flagg to Gershom Flagg, January 1, 1854

Harvard January 1st 1854 Dear Father and Mother I wish you a happy New Year and that you may see many another. I might add sundry reflections upon the passing time but reflecting upon it as we do the more as we grow older it will be your part and not mine perhaps to note and warn of flying years. It begins a year which seems important to me, as in it college life weighs with other life and a new act in the drama begins. I wrote you last Sunday from here. I do not know whether I told you my Sunday's doings or not How we went to hear Theodore Parker 143 in the morning and Father Taylor in the afternoon and in the evening called upon and took tea with Theodore Parker and saw and heard divers strange things. At anyrate at the risk of repetition I affirm that we did these things and came out to Cambridge again about I I o'clock at night. During the next two days I spent most of my time in writing and since then in reading Wednesday there came up a snow storm and there was continual snow and a heavy gale Wednesday night and all day Thursday which delayed all the railway trains and stopped some entirely Friday night there was two or three inches more and last night came three inches more and snow still falling. The depth I cannot give but think it cannot altogether be less than twenty inches. In Boston many streets are impassable on account of drifts and the snow thrown from the side-walks makes a barrier of five and six feet high on each side of the street. Out here some fences are covered up and nearly all ways blocked up. There have been paths cleared out around college but that is nearly all. It is a great storm. I have often wished to be see a good snow storm and have been gratified to the utmost. Bliss' boarding place three squares off was so difficult to reach that we took several meals here at his room.-Yesterday we were in Boston and spent two or three hours at the Athenaeum Library where I saw many desirable books We took tea and spent the evening at Mr Richards where we had a very pleasant time playing the (to us) new game of "Letters" which consists in giving the letters which


compose a word and naming the first letter to spell the word. We staid until after ten by getting so much interested in the game. This morning have been to hear Dr Walker preach His sermon on the new year was very good and very interesting as being specially applicable to students. To morrow I expect to start back to New Haven. Have seen a good deal and omitted a good deal. Another week could be spent very profitably. As I suppose you will like a little personal observation concerning Bliss I will give it. His health is good and his eyes not now troublesome so that he hopes to get through college without any more difficulty. Stands very well I believe as a scholar and has made the acquaintance of some very agreeable and profitable classmates especially Sanborn of whom you have no doubt heard him speak. "Jemy" his chum is young and noisy but very funny and a fine scholar. They board at a baker's store three squares off, living cheap and well especially in the matter of bread-and-milk. They are up by seven to prayers (before which Bliss often goes walking) breakfast at eight, dine at one, attend evening prayers at four and a half o clock and take supper at six. Recitations come at uncertain hours during the day which I have not the run of as yet. So much for to day. I shall keep this on hand until I get to New Haven and then add a few words more. Monday Evening January 2 1854 Am safe back in New Haven again but the P.O. is closed to day and I shall mail this without knowing the contents of my box. Happy New Year to you all Yours Truly W. C. Flagg



Gershom Flagg to Willard Flagg, January 7, 1854

Paddock's Grove Jan 7th 1854 Dear Willard, Your letter of the 24 Dec. at Cambridge Mss. was received yesterday We are all well James Morris and wife were here last night I have not seen James Bliss for several weeks past We have heard from Springfield lately and also from St. Louis all are well at both places I believe except Mr Green of St Louis & Mr Ellis who is in a bad state of health & Virginia is troubled with sore Eyes Mr Blankenship and his family are all at Susans now Day before yesterday we undertook to make Cider it being very warm but before night it turned very cold and froze the Cider as it came from the Cheese and remains frozen we got about 3 barrels and one or two remain in the Cheese and about the press


The Thermometer was yesterday morning only 6° above Zero I have stop't all the Alton Telegraph's They have risen so high upon them I was sending one to Artemas & one to bliss but I have written to the printer to strike the 4 papers from the list I will try to send you the lnteligencer soon Your account of expenses is not very satisfactory in as much as I know very little more now than I did before you have spent a certain amount which you give an account of and you owe an Uncertain amount Say about 70 dollars but you do not know or at least I do not know how much money you have on hand now or whether you have any It appears to me that if you would take from three to five minutes a day say in the evening you might keep a correct account of your daly Expendatures at least you might I should think any time tell how much you have on hand My Taxes this year in this county are 187 dollars and I owe hired hands about 375 dollars I have paid Charley 100 dollars & John Caldwell 180 and considerable in small sums to others from 5 to 40 dollars each I think I will be out of Debt by the first of March taxes and all I pay as I go pretty much for all excepting work hands We have had no rain here for months the streams are all dryed up even the steam Mills have had to stop for want of Water The wells are half dry in the country and the Boats can hardly navigate anywhere We are having a strange winter We had a little snow a few days ago but it is all gone now in haste Truly Yours Gershom Flagg W. C. Flagg


187. Gershom Flagg to Willard Flagg, January 22, 1854

Paddock's Grove Ills. Jan 22d 1854 Dear Willard, Your letter of the first of Jan was the last one received I learn that the rivers the highways and Railways have been and perhaps now are very much blocked up with ice & snow The Missispi & all the upper rivers I suppose are frozen up I believe the Missisippi is completely blocked up from 20 or 30 miles below St Louis Monday and Tuesday last it snowed nearly the whole time for two days but not very fast The snow is 6 or 7 inches deep and drifted in places much deeper the sleding is better than it has been for several years We have been hauling Wood and corn for two weeks past We have but 5 or 6 shocks more to haul and it will be all out of the fields The Cattle have been in the south field for a week or more We have to water all the stock at the wells which is bad in cold weather Yesterday


morning the Thermometer stood at 4° below Zero which is as low as it has been here for many years to day it has risen to 18° above o We have only 4 hired men now Ludwig & Wife have left us We have a prospect of hiring another Dutchman and his wife who have been in the Country two months only Delia Pierce is here at present I am almost out of money at this time I have paid Ludwig & old Mr. Noble $260 dollars this week being all that I owed them We have not sold our wheat yet & our Hogs are not killed I shall send you the St Louis Intelligencer after I have read it if that will answer your purpose I have subscribed to the National Era Washington D .C. which I find to be a very good Paper and conducted with as much ability and Indipendance as any paper at the seat of Government perhaps more so. I have heard nothing lately from St Louis or Springfield I have not been to Alton for a good many days The weather is rather too cold for me to be out all day In your last letter you mention having heard Theodore Parker and Father Taylor preach but you did not tell a word that either of them said or did I should like some account of these sermons & of your taking Tea with Theodore We are all well your Mother is trying to get supper but the smoke blows so hard that it blows into the smoke pipe and fills the room full of smoke Delia has gone down to Gooseville for a little while and has stayed all day and will likely be at home by the time supper is ready. I have not seen James Bliss for a month He I learn is not doing any thing this winter but feed and water his cattle They say he wishes to recruit his Cattle and rest himself It is a good deal of trouble to find water for Cattle in many places It is mostly dryed up or frozen up in all the Creeks I have never seen water so scarce as now I am sorry to hear that James is spending a good deal of his time among those that are fond of whisky he went up to Lick Creek with George Hardy I hear since I saw him-But I suppose the less said about this the better I presume you are aware that James is not much under my influence he seems to incline to be in Company with those whose ways and habits I dislike There are some things that I dislike to write about but I presume Ursula will give you all the Details She & her man were here last friday and are both very well Choate has moved up to Ridgely & Mr James Scott's son in law is in his place his name is Childers Truly Yours G. Flagg W. C. Flagg [SIU-E]



Willard Flagg to Gershom Flagg, March 12, 1854

New Haven Conn. March 12 '54 Dear Father and Mother No letter from home this week and I am quite deserted by all my correspondents and feel not to make a bad pun correspondingly depressed and shall not endeavor to write any more than is convenient. A Yale Lit was published yesterday which you will receive in due season. It has no communication of mine in it. I have received my three hundred lithographs and shall send you some tomorrow. The cost is $12. 55 including the daggeureotype. The past week we have not done much but study. In town there was an Anti Nebraska meeting on Wednesday night at which several professors spoke among them Dr. Taylor who supported the compromise but denounced this bill The meeting was adjourned over until Friday night and again adressed. Friday morning an effigy labeled with the name of Sen. Toncey, the Conn. Nebraska man, was found suspended from the cross-trees of the liberty pole on the Green. Friday night I went to hear the Campbells sing and heard some excellent music though too much mingled with burlesque and low wit to be entirely pleasing. We have had a very pleasant week much unlike the general appearance of Spring. Sunny days clear skies and a day shining like a clean face make New Haven in comparison with the dreary times oflast winter a perfect Paradise. In our studies we continue hearing anatomical lectures which are now illustrated by dissection which is as yet more disagreeable than my desire of knowledge is intense though the subject itself proves exceedingly interesting. To morrow we begin a new book, Paley's Natural Theology From present appearances Senior year will furnish abundant material & hints for four years more of study. We begin a great many things but do not get many complete ideas. Love to all and remember me to every body Yours Affectionately W. C. Flagg


189 .

Willard Flagg to Gershom Flagg, March 18, 1854 New Haven Conn.

March 18


Dear Father and Mother I heard from you by letter of March roth yesterday. Bliss also wrote me a week since. Nothing new at Cambridge. I hurry over preliminaries in order to come to the all absorbing topic. Yale College in general and South College in particular is now in state of seige or something similar and awaiting the attacks of "townies." You will have learned by Telegraph before this can reach you the general excitement of our doings here in New Haven whilst I


shall go more into detail. The causes of the present state of things are as follows. On Thursday night an ex-member of the Sophomore class at "The Homan's", a small theatre, persisted in standing up and made himself rather prominent which excited the ire of some in the gallery and led to words and after the close of the performance to blows which ended in the arrest of the student with two or three others among whom was an Irishman named O'Neil all of whom were after a few hours discharged On Friday evening a large number of students dissatisfied with the beating of their fellows had received and the supposed favor shown to the townies by the police attended the Homan's prepared to defend them. A larger number of town boys including Irishmen (it being St Patrick's day) attended also. The play went off without disturbance. The students then waited until the remainder of the audience had gone out and then went out in procession quietly and came up towards the colleges amid the jeers and revilings of the mob. When about half way up they began to sing "Gaudeamus" in defiance I suppose and immediately after came a shower of brickbats from the townies. The students in front then started to run but those in the rear were armed with pistols fired most of them into the air but some into the crowd which retreated also. One man was shot through the leg another through the arm and a third fell dead by a stab received from some unknown person. The body which proved to be that of O'Neil was taken to the Station House and the exasperated mob hurried to the armory where two cannon were kept and breaking in loaded them with powder and brickbats and brought them before South College Meanwhile (an hour or more) the President and Mayor had been sent for and other citizens came up whilst the students had been raised and barricaded South College bringing in large numbers of bricks from the side walks which were broken in two and distributed in the different stories at the front windows. This was about 12 and a half o'clock I had gone to bed at IO and was awakened by the noise. I got up and dressed myself and found all hurry and alarm. Some were getting clubs: some barricading doors: some closing shutters and all proposing all manner of impossible things. I got out of one of the lower windows and went along the whole line of building but all else was quiet and the whole force concentrated in the Old South When I returned the cannon had just been leveled and the windows were all closed so that I could not get back. I stepped into the shadow of a large tree expecting the guns would be fired in a moment but the police and Mayor by force and persuasion prevented the act and the crowd gradually lessened so that by 2 o'clock there were not many on the ground and the guns remained in the possession of the police. Meanwhile I gained an entrance into South College and found there some fifty or sixty students in our entry sitting in the darkened rooms and watching the guns that gleamed rather fearfully in the moonlight But as the townies disappeared so did they and at 3 o'clock all was quiet again and I


went to bed and slept till prayers. Prayers were said and recitations heard with imperturbable calmness on the part of the professors, but all heads were full of the events of the night. Pistols were bought in large numbers and preparations made to receive any attack that might be made. The Mayor put on a special police of several hundred and gave orders to arrest all persons collected in groups The President forbade all students from going out after dark and from making any noise. Last night (It is the 19th when I conclude) went off peacefully and I think we will now have no more trouble. Captain Bissell of the Police swore yesterday at the coroner's inquest that no student was near O'Neil when he was stabbed He supposes that he was stabbed by some one who thought he was a student. This will act in our favor. The murderer has not been discovered and there is little clew to finding him. Such are the late doings at Yale There are many more details that I have not time to write but these will give you an idea of what we have been through Remember me to all Yours Truly W. C. Flagg


190. Willard Flagg to Gershom Flagg, March 26, 1854

New Haven Conn. March 26th 1854 Dear Father and Mother Last week I wrote you a long letter concerning the riot and after doings in our midst. Since then all has been quiet except rumor. Divers reports concerning meditated attacks have gone out but they have ended in smoke (not of pistols) There has been a special police on all the week and the city has been more quiet than usual. A coroners' inquest has been held the results of which you will see in a "Palladium" which I have sent you. Suspicion is attached to some of those who refused to testify but I know nothing positive. Sims of our class has left town having his life threatened as he states by the "townies" The Grand Jury is sitting or about to do so and perhaps further prosecution of the affair may be made. No further disturbance is now apprehended, and the only thing to be feared is being waylaid in distant parts of the town which a little discretion will readily avoid. The Townsend Prizes have been awarded this week and I have been beaten whereat I am somewhat chagrined and indignant at finding that my deficiency was in the subject given as one to write on instead of the want of ability in treating it. I have had a letter from Mary Reily at Springfield and another from Sarah at St. Louis. It was the first news I had received direct from Springfield. We are having cold weather again which makes a hot fire necessary. Are approaching the end of the term and shall soon be into vacation which I shall spend


here at work with some play. I hope my money is on the way. You I suppose are fairly into warm weather and see buds & blossoms and hear the song of blackbirds All of which I envy you Love to all Aff Yours W. C. Flagg



Gershom Flagg to Willard Flagg, April

22, 1854

Paddock's Grove

April 22d


Dear Willard, We have received no letter from you this week I inclose you a Draft on New York for $60. This will enable you to buy the Latin & greek Classics and Websters & Calhouns works perhaps There is one book I should like to have if you can get it for me That is the Twelve sermons delivered at the N. Y. Universalist Convention 144 with the likeness of Each of the Authers it is for sale in Boston The weather is now very hot yesterday I went to Alton and was out in two showers one severe hail storm which nearly covered the ground with hail from an inch in diameter to as big as a large pea and there were thousands as large a partridge eggs after I got home and between sundown and dark there was another severe hail storm almost equal to the first We are all well except that I have a very bad cold which I have had for a week Mr Blankenship is about moving to Alton he is down there now and has been sick a few days but is now better Truly Yours G. Flagg W. C. Flagg



Willard Flagg to Gershom Flagg, April

23, 1854

New Haven Conn April 23rd 1854 Dear Father Your letter of April 15th I received yesterday. Here with snow still lingering behind the fences the account of peach trees in full bloom seemed a little strange. The only part of the past week deserving particular notice is the latter part of it which I spent in a trip to New York with a friend. Saw much that was new and interesting. We went down Thursday afternoon and as I did not wish to leave my companion and we both wished to be near the scene of


action I did not go up town to Uncle Azariah's but we put up at the "International" where we had rooms and beds and took our meals at Taylor's Restaurant underneath. This you know is the European method now being much adopted of Separating board and lodging. It is pleasanter inasmuch as you have your meals to order and is also cheaper unless you choose to indulge in luxuries. Taylor's Saloon is the most splendid establishment of the kind in the country perhaps in the world. It is a lofty room marble floored with many mirrors and much flash of white and gilt marble-topped tables and seats around them of wondrous softness. The hall is I should think more than a hundred feet long and fifty wide descending a stair case a large opening in the floor you reach another room of similar appearance and fitting up though not so lofty. Here at all hours of the day you may see great numbers of people strangers and townspeople, gentleman and ladies breakfasting dining and supping. The New Yorkers seem to be a good deal given to this way of living: not a very good tendancy as it has a bad effect on home and home affections. Thursday night we went to "Burton's" and heard that most comic actor perform Caliban in the Tempest and "Mr Gillman" in the Happiest day of my Life all of which appeared intensely funny and interesting Friday we visited the Astor Library and read a little The idea of a large and valuable free library like this is a good one. You can call for any book and give a receipt which is returned when you present the books again. They cannot be taken out of the building (by strangers at least). During the day I made two efforts to see Uncle Azariah The first time his office was full of men on business of some kind and I did not intrude and on the second I did not find him in. Friday night we went to the Broadway Theatre and heard Julia Dean play Bianca in "Fazzio" It was violent tragedy and she so far surpassed all I had before seen that I was entirely carried away and forgot the actress in the representation of the character. Ladies about used their handkerchiefs freely and some of the other sex would have done so had they not been ashamed to. The Theatre was jammed and the audience completely carried away. Yesterday morning we came back to New Haven,-The weather is rainy but warmer and Spring may now confidently [be] reckoned upon.-Love to all Aff. Yours W. C. Flagg [SIU-E]

193. Gershom Flagg to Willard FLagg, May 5, 1854

Paddock's Grove

May 5th


Dear Willard, recd no letter from you last week the Your letter of April 23rd came letter I recd two weeks ago was dated April 8th


I did not write to you last week we are all well Mr Rodgers of Alton died about two weeks since Mr Blankenship and family are I believe are stowed away in their own house in Upper Alton James & Martha are going to school They have a female Seminary in Bostwic's house and Blankenship has bought a house near by so that James and Martha will be both near school & board at home Mary I suppose is fixing I suppose to learn little girls to thump & Drum on the Piano Your trip to New York attending Theatres ptiting up at Splendid Hotels with all their gilding, carving, Mirrors, and Italian Marble floors tables &c &c and not going to see your Uncle Azariah & family looks all very foolish to me These well dressed Ladies and gentleman that you saw there are no doubt spending other peoples money or what sombody else has earned I should think that no decent prudent woman that had a family would be Breakfasting dining or suping at a public house in New York but mankind are creatures of habit and fashions and a few fools in a city will make many more The more a person indulges in Theatres high living and splendid outfits the more unfit they are for any regular business There are many young men who become perfectly useless by indulging in bad & foolish habits The weather here has been very cold and frosty for two or three weeks I think the fruit has been very much injured in some places the Hickory leaves near the ground are frost bitten the spring is now very backward The frost killed most of the lilack blossoms & somewhat Injured the snowballs the flower de lure and some other flowers are out but they are a little shrivelled by the frost We have recd Mr Bentons speech and it is just about what we had reason to expect from him on the Nebraska question True honest & Severe upon Uneasy Politicians The President Mr Cass & Duglass & the Administration papers get just what they deserve in the way of rebuke I suppose the eastern papers will publish Mr Bentons speech David Morris takes the New York Tribune & has given liberty to read it Mrs. Lathy has a sister visiting her from Pennsylvania I have heard nothing from your Uncle Willard or Wait I wrote to your Uncle Artemas not long Since What time and day is your Commencement I find there is one day named in the laws & regulations of Yale & another in the Schedule I should like to come on at that time if I can but whether I can or not is now uncertain Let me know the day of Commencement I want you to go and see Uncle Artemas before you come home Will you go there before or after Commencement? Your Uncle Azariah sent me his anual Report lately I have not been to St Louis of late but I learn that they are all well Robert Smith is in Washington City I do not know but he may be waiting to be Governor of Nebraska or Kansashis Wife is not very well in these days


James Bliss has the gout aga[i]n his feet & legs are so swelled I hear that he can hardly walk He is at Mr Hodgemans Truly Yours Gershom Flagg W. C. Flagg


194. Gershom Flagg to Willard Flagg, May 12, 1854

Paddock's Grove May 12th 18 54 Dear Willard, Your letter of April 16th came yesterday having been 28 days on the way I suppose it has been detained some by high waters & deep snows-hail & wind storms We have had three hail Storms and many Thunder & Rain Storms here lately besides hard frosts It rained hard last night and the wind blew hard also The Locust trees are in blossom and small limbs are broken off and scattered about the yard To day it has been raining from Morning up to one Oclock most of the time very hard & the ground is now almost covered with water and we shall not be able to plow for several days & farmers are very much behind with their work not half done planting yet Mr Blankenship came up from Alton yesterday and brought his wife Mrs Lathy and her sister & took Mary Reilys Piano to Alton & was to have been back to day after the Women but the rain storm I think will keep them here two or three days at least Your Uncle Azariah wrote me May 1st said he had sent you a Check for $21. 17 said that Henry had some complaint in the head & had not been to the Rail road Office for 3 weeks we are all well Truly Yours Gershom Flagg


195. Gerhsom Flagg to Willard Flagg, May 20, 1854

Paddock's Grove May 20th 1854 Dear Willard, Your letters of April 30 & May 8th were both received yesterday The weather here has been very bad oflate We have had many severe hail & rain storms cold & wet weather fences in many places have been blown down fruit trees broken down and streams very high and the ground perfectly saturated Wheat & Rye look first rate corn not half planted and much of

213 what is planted drowned out and roted in the ground Oats are fair The fruit is much injured but there seems at present plenty of apples and some peaches I have subscribed for Thos. H. Benton's 30 years in the Senate 145 I suppose you will have seen Mr Bentons speech against the Nebraska & Kansas bill if not you ought to get and read it I recd a letter from General Dix yesterday He says that he will join his family in Europe in July The weather has been so cold that our sheep are not yet washed the men are washing them to day We have only 26 lambs but have 29 calves and milk 32 cows Mr Obannon has left Ridgely and gone 27 miles N.E. on the Alton & Tere Haute RR to sell goods Truly Yours G. Flagg

196. Willard Flagg to Gershom Flagg, June 4, 1854

New Haven Conn. June 4th '54 Dear Father Your letter of May 20th came on the 29th and that of the 27th on the 3rd of June with the home news of cattle crops and storms I have cut out from the St. Louis Intelligencer the account of the tornado in St. Clair Co. to carry up to Prof. Olmstead who is much interested in all facts of this kind The past week we have spent in cramming and examinations. Have passed three more and are now half through Three more next week and one the week after will end the -story. Nothing of interest has occurred in College and in town the legislature seems to be working quietly The busiest creatures are the little green worms which are now devouring the leaves of all the elms except those surrounded as to their trunks with leaden troughs of oil. Last night Catlin informed me that the Hon. Richard Yates was in town and we went down and made a short call on him. He and his wife whom he has just been on after are stopping over here and go on farther east to morrow. I shall see them again this afternoon and take them to the cemetery and evening prayers We are having very beautiful weather now a day with rain after enough to lay the dust. Strawberries have appeared. Some excitement at the doings in Boston. Saw a gentlemen last night just from that city The account he gave of the sending off Burns was quite exciting. The question is not unfrequently mooted whether resistance to the affairs of the law was not justifiable. 146 By solicitation of "Chum" spent the evening out last night and made the acquaintance of a very young-hearted old-maid whose chief delight is to gather young people into her old-fashioned parlors, and of several very intelligent young ladies including a real live poetess of some ability So I am occasionally rested from cramming


Have about concluded to write upon the discovery and present appearance of the Mississippi. Remember me with love to all Aff. Yours W. C. Flagg I received a call Friday from Mr Marsh of Alton who stopped here a few hours on business as he was going Eastward


197. Gershom Flagg to Willard Flagg, July 15, 1854

Paddock's Grove July 15th 1854 Dear Willard, Your letter of June 19 came yesterday Your Mother has been very sick for three days with bilious feever Yesterday & to day she is better Your Aunt Mary Paddock has been here all the time and Susan Eveline and Elvira have each set up with your Mother one night Sophia is here cooking and Ursula making Cheese Mr Ellis Virginia and the rest of their family came down on Saturday the 8 day of July Ellis had the Asthma as soon as he got here & I took him to Alton on Thursday and he left for St Louis where he had some business the same day I have not heard from him since he calculated to go to Springfield on Thursday Virginia sent off her Irish girl & three or four of the children this morning they went in V. P. Richmonds Waggon & on Monday next I have to take Virginia and the rest of the Children to Alton I went on saturday last with our Carriage & Volney sent his team also to bring out the family from Alton there is ten of them in all Victory is expecting every day to be confined so that volney cannot leave home besides we are in the midst of great hurry in Harvesting & plowing Corn take it up one side & down the other we are in a bad fix we have had this week on an average of 22 in the family I have bought one of Mannys [Massy's] Reapers and Mowers and Ludwig has been Mowing with two horses from eight to ten acres of heavy grass pr day and the other six hands have as much to do as they can do to rake & Cock up the hay They plow Corn in the Morning while the dew is on-We shall have a very poor Crop of Corn this season The spring was remarkably wet & the summer so far has not only been much hotter than usual Many people have died I believe from heat alone several of our hands have had to quit work for a day or so at a time on account of being overcome by heat Our Dutchman and his wife that we hired for a year left us when harvest commenced-for higher wages Some people have been giving $1. 50 pr. day Hands have never been so scarce before We have our Rye all cut and well shocked up and upwards of 50 acres of the meadow in Cocks I think we will have the

215 Meadow & Oats all cut next week I had been thinking that if I could get meadow cut & raked up & the Rye and Oats cut & shocked I could leave the men to haul in the Grain and hay and be able to leave some where about the 20 or so of this month and come on to your commencement but things have changed now on account of your Mothers sickness so that it is all uncertain I believe I wrote to you that your Uncle Azariah with his wife and two Daughters have been & stayed with us one night1 47 There has been considerable Cholera in St Louis some in Alton and some in upper Alton & Springfield Doct Lathy was to have been out here yesterday morning but was detained until late in the afternoon by a very bad case of Cholera and he then did not know how it would terminate I had a letter from Mrs Smith yesterday She says they are nearly used up with the heat She says she saw what they used to call their Dutch Mary a few days before and her Child both lying dead they died within three hours of each other of Cholera I sent you a draft for 190 dollars about three weeks ago which I presume you have recd before this time Truly Yours G. Flagg [SIU-E]

198. Willard Flagg to Gershom Flagg,July 16, 1854

New Haven Conn. July 16th 1854 Dear Father & Mother This week has been quite barren of news from any quarter the most interesting being the Cholera accounts from the west which are somewhat alarming There are few cases here occasionally and many more rumors of cases which serve to keep the popular mind in a comfortable fervor. The weather latterly has been comparatively cool and the severe drought was followed on Thursday and Friday by a two days rain which nearly restored the evaporated moisture. There is a closeness in the air now and then however which seems very favorable for the progress of the Cholera.-! received a letter from Catlin a few days since who is now at home in Jacksonville assisting his father in writing up his books &c, his business having been neglected somewhat during Tom's brother's illness. Poor Tom feels badly enough. By the way I should have said that part of the books I boxed up belong to him and Salter. If they should come and be called for before I get home you will find them in the top of the smaller box. I have finished my speech for Commencement. The subject is "The Upper Mississippi." Prof. Larned speaks of it as "quite fine" which in one sense is


true but it has very little common sense in it and is rather fitted to eulogize the West as a great and glorious country to the neglect of "down East" than to say any thing instructive or reasonable. To-morrow we begin practicing our speeches which we will continue doing all the week as the next being Commencement week we shall have our hands full with out farther practice. The time of going draws so near that we are beginning to dispose of furniture and repack trunks. Should have the blues horribly were it not for the approaching excitement of Commencement. Yesterday afternoon wound up the labors (?) of the week by another picnic where the usual majority of pretty girls, queer capers poor jokes and abundant provender prevailed. Saw a grand old oak, called "The Grandfather" which was straightway garlanded with leaves and danced around uproariously. Then came the kindling of a fire and consumption of food and about dark a move homeward which brings me to Sunday where I will rest from my labors Love to all Aff. Yours W . C. Flagg


199 .

Gershom Flagg to Willard Flagg, July 18, 1854

Paddock's Grove July 18th 1854 Dear Willard, I wrote to you to day directing to new Haven but I fear the letter will not reach you in time I write again therefore to let you know that your Mother is much better she slept well all last night I presume you will learn by the papers that we have in the west much Cholera and other sickness the weather is Tremendous hot and the roads full of dust I carried Virginia and her Children to Alton yesterday and they left for Springfield with a little Sulpher in their stockings to keep [off] the Cholera Perhaps it will not be best for [you] to hurry home until the hot weather a[bates?] a little but you can get what information you can and use your ownjudgement I am sure it would not be best to make any stop at any large place on the Lakes Tolledo & Chicago & Lasalle will be very full of sickness I think especially Cholera I hope you will take care of yourself I think it will be a pity if you cannot see Uncle Azariah & his Family before you come home They are sorely grieved at the loss of Henry I am very sorry that I could not come on & see Brother Artemas & family & other friends Truly Yours G . Flagg


217 200.

Willard Flagg to Gershom Flagg, July



New York City July 30th 1854 Dear Father Your last letter came on Commencement day and told me of your final determination in regard to coming East this summer. I am somewhat sorry you could not have been present but do not much care except to have been with you in visiting Uncles Azariah and Artemas. Commencement week went off well. Sunday came the Bacculaureate Sermon which crowded the old chapel for the, to us, last time. On Tuesday came the "Concio and Clerum" or Sermon to the Clergy. Wednesday morning there were meetings of the Phi Beta Kappa Society and Alumni in which Gov Seward spoke and where some northern and southern feeling was shown. In the afternoon John G. Saxe the Burlington Poet delivered a Poem on "Money," and in the evening W. H. Seward gave an oration on our country which is pronounced good. On Thursday came Commencement. The day was cool and clear I could not imagine or desire a finer. The Music was excellent and the speeches averaged higher than usual. The galleries were filled with ladies. In general, all was favorable In the evening there was a levee at the President's house. On Friday I completed my preparations and the same evening, feeling most awfully blue at leaving so many pleasant scenes and pleasant companions, took the S. B. Traveller for N. Y. in company with a number of others. Saturday morning we were at the wharf and after some rambling around town I came up here. Find all in good health. I shall go northward to morrow and hope to be at Uncle Artemas's on Tuesday and to get home in about a week from that time. Give my love to all Aff. Yours W. C. Flagg Richmond Aug 2nd I neglected to send off this letter sooner I arrived at Uncle Artemas's yesterday morning All well. Bliss not here yet but probably will be this week I shall not go until next Monday and then via Rouse's Point Ogdensburg & Lake Ontario unless something occurs to change my plans. [SIU-C]


Bibliography Index


l. People from Connecticut had settled in the "north part of the state" as a result of that area's involved history with the state of Connecticut. Connecticut had offered to cede title but not jurisdiction to her western lands in 1780; Congress rejected the offer. In 1786, Connecticut offered to cede all her lands west of the western border of Pennsylvania except for a strip 120 miles long, totalling 3. 8 million acres, which included the Western Reserve and the Firelands ("Firelands" were grants made by Connecticut to her citizens who had suffered from fire and raids by the British troops during the Revolution). In this strip soil and jurisdiction were reserved. Jurisdiction was then released to the federal government in 1797. See Paul Gates, History of the Public Land Law Development, 52, and Benjamin Hibbard, A History of the Public Land Policies, 11. Andrew McLaughlin believes jurisdiction was released in 1800 ( The Confederation and the Constitution, 1783-1789, 84).

2. The first treaty for land in the Northwest Territory was signed with six Indian tribes at Fort Stanwix, January 21, 1785. Another was signed shortly thereafter at Fort McIntosh. Yet another treaty, covering the same area as later covered by the Treaty of Greenville, was signed at Fort Harmar, January 9, 1789, but none of the treaties was ever carried out because of the hostility of the Indians and the military weakness of the United States. However, as a result of a victory over the Indians at Fallen Tree, a treaty was signed on August 3, 1795, at Greenville, Ohio. The treaty gave the United States land in southern Ohio and a triangular piece of land in southeastern Indiana, as well as small tracts within the limits of the territory largely retained by the Indians, land which the federal government thought might be useful for future military forts. In Illinois, the reserved lands were (1) one piece six miles square at the mouth of the Chicago River at the southwestern end of Lake Michigan, (2) one piece six miles square at the old "Piorias" fort and village near the south end of Peoria Lake on the Illinois River, and (3) one piece twelve miles square at the mouth of the Illinois River. The United States relinquished claim for all the rest of the Northwest Territory including northern Ohio and the land west to the Mississippi and north to the Great Lakes, except for l 50,000 acres at the Falls of the Ohio assigned to George Rogers Clark and his men and the post at Vincennes on the Wabash River. Further cessions of land in Indiana, Ohio, and Michigan were made by different tribes between 1803 and 1809 and again in 1817, but the United States did agree to grants in fee simple to the chiefs of each tribe; some white people who had lived among the Indians were given land. The federal government also agreed to pay damages the Indians had -incurred during the War of 1812. These treaties were en-


Notes to Pages 4-8

larged in 1818 with, for example, the Treaty of Edwardsville, in which the Kaskaskia ceded more land in Illinois. See Joe Webber, "Indian Cessions Within the Northwest Territory." See also Francis Paul Prucha, American Indian Policy in the Formative Years, 68, 78, 86, 156, 157, and Ray Billington, Western Expansion, 226-27. 3. "Hard times" in New England resulted from a number of causes: depleted farmland, limited markets for farmers, migration from farms to cities. Consequently, the westward movement, which began as early as 1750, gained impetus. Connecticut, for example, was conservative and very rural, with few markets beyond the self-sufficient towns. The legislators had not tried to assist farmers but had concentrated on attracting industry. Some men, such as David Humphries, tried to encourage the formation of agricultural societies, and it was Humphries who popularized the raising of Spanish Merino sheep, which further decimated the population since sheep raising took more land than dirt farming, and the smaller farmers frequently sold out and left. See Jarvis M. Morse, A Neglected Period of Connecticut's History, 9-11, 21-22, 231. Migration was also stimulated by soldiers' warrrants and land grants of various kinds, such as those in the Western Reserve and the Firelands, and by the easy terms for purchase ofland from the federal government. After the Treaty of Ghent the British dumped manufactured goods on the American market, further depressing the employment of Americans, and the westward trek was renewed. See Rollin G . Osterweiss, Three Centuries of New Haven, 1638-1938, 207. See also David Ludlum, Social Ferment in Vermont, 1791-1850, 9. For a more detailed account of the economic woes of the East, particularly New England, see John B. McMaster, A History of the People of the United States from the Revolution to the Civil War, vol. 4. 4. "Milk sickness" or morbo loacteo, also known as sick stomach, the trembles, the slows, and puking fever, was characterized by weakness and prostration of the voluntary muscles, then nausea, then periods of prostrating pain and/or coma. It was first noted by travelers in the west in the early I Soos. It affected both people and animals and was endemic rather than epidemic. Chickens which ate flesh of sick animals became sick; even buzzards might die or be unable to fly after eating animals which died from the disease. Since the symptoms resembled arsenic poisoning, the source of the disease might have been spring water which had absorbed poisons from arsenical iron pyrites. Some have thought it was caused by vegetable poisons-snake root, for example-ingested by animals. Dr. Drake, who studied it between 1810 and 1815, blamed "marsh exhalations." Calomel and bleeding, common treatments, were, naturally, futile. R. Carlyle Buley, The Old Northwest 1 :248. Nancy Hanks Lincoln is commonly believed to have died of "milk sickness." See Philip D. Jordon, "The Death of Nancy Hanks Lincoln." 5. The Act of 1800, a "frontiersman's bill," had been introduced by William H. Harrison and without much change became law. It divided the Northwest into four districts with registers (land offices) in each. One could buy a half section (except in the area east of the Muskingum, which was sold in sections). A genuine credit system was allowed in this act, but it caused a great deal of trouble. In March, 1804, another act was passed in which Congress bowed to westerners' demands that no interest be charged until payments became delinquent. This changed the cash price from $1. 84 to $1.64 per acre, since the 8 percent discount Gershom later speaks of (allowed on three-quarters of the amount due if paid in advance) was reckoned on the face value of the deferred payment instead of on the sum increased by the interest charges of 6 percent. The amount one had to buy was also further reduced to quarter-sections. By

Notes to Pages



1817 the amount one had to buy had been reduced to eighty acres, and by 1832 to forty acres. By 1820 the minimum price had dropped to $1.25 an acre, but the actual price paid varied since the law required certain lands to be handled differently. In the period from 1800 to 1820 as a whole, the average price was close to the $2.00 at which Ohio land was sold. See Hibbard, Public Land Policy, 70-80. The Act of 1800 contained a preemption provision, although it was limited. It provided that those townships which under the Act of 1796 had been surveyed in half-townships be surveyed into sections and half-sections and offered for sale in 320 acre lots. The price was still $2.00 an acre but an 8 percent discount was allowed on three-quarters of the amount due if paid in advance. A schedule of payments was set up to allow payment over a period of years with reversion to the government of land not paid for at the end of five years. Land which reverted to the government was offered at public auction; the purchaser lost both land and money paid toward it. See Gates, Public Land Law Development, 129-31, and Solon]. Buck, Illinois in 1818, 49-55. 6. There were so many reserved areas in Ohio that the land left for Congress to sell, "Congress land," was limited. Among the reserved areas were the tracts for the U.S. military and the Ohio Company, the Connecticut Reserve, the seven ranges already surveyed, the Virginia Reserve, and the Symmes Purchase (Hibbard, Public Land Policy , 53). A map of the reserved lands is included in Hibbard. See also Gates, Public Land Law Development, 132-137. 7. The French had been at Green Bay since the early eighteenth century, but the Americans did not try to take effective control until after the War of 1812, when they established Fort Howard near the · old fort there. At that time, there were probably forty families living there very much as they had always lived, but the Americans were unimpressed with them. The most serious problem came over land claims, the French feeling they had extinguished Indian claims long ago, although they had no corroborating documents. The American government disagreed. The forts in the northwest, including Howard at Green Bay, were established to protect the Fox-Wisconsin "thoroughfare" from foreign traders and to control the Indians in the area. Troops of the 3d Infantry arrived at Green Bay in August 1816. See Francis Paul Prucha, Broadax and Bayonet, 6, 19-20. Since few people lived in the Green Bay area except, to use Prucha's term, the "indolent French, " (Broadax and Bayonet, 6), the troops were supplied by farmers from the East (Ohio in this case) . 8. The Lancasterian school system was developed by Joseph Lancaster in England in 1798 to provide education for the poor. The system involved the use of the older pupils as "monitors" to teach the younger ones. The first school of this type in the United States was introduced by the Free School Society in N. Y. City in 1806. The system became quite popular in the United States because of its economy, spreading to such cities as Detroit, Cincinnati, and Louisville. It was used in the high schools and academies as well as in the elementary schools. It appears to have helped prepare the way for the later public schools. The Lancasterian schools were abandoned after 1830 with the development of the tax supported public schools. See James Mulhern, History of Education, 497, 5949_ The Bank of the United States, in its troubled history, encountered a great deal of opposition in Ohio, where economic and financial conditions were most distressing. In February 1819, the Ohio assembly levied a fifty-thousand-dollar tax on each branch of the BUS within the state of Ohio and granted the state auditor wide powers


Notes to Pages


of search and seizure in collecting the tax. When the MuCulloch vs. Maryland decision was handed down-a decision in which the Supreme Court struck down the state of Maryland's attempt to tax the branch of the BUS located in Maryland-the state of Ohio decided to ignore it on the grounds that the decision was "a feigned one" designed to save the bank from its own mismanagement by exempting it from the state tax. In order to prevent Ohio from enforcing its act, the bank obtained an injunction from the federal circuit court against Ralph Osborne, the state auditor. Osborne and his aides ignored the injunction, and after demanding and being refused payment of the tax, they seized the bank's specie and notes and took them to the state treasury. The bank instituted a suit against the state officers for damages. The assembly then banned the bank from the state entirely. The bank rejected a compromise proposal, and the controversy reached the Supreme Court of the United States, as Osborne vs . The Bank of the United States in l 824. The Court would not consider the question of the constitutionality of the Ohio law since it could not accept its validity in the light of the McCulloch vs. Maryland decision. The Court therefore considered only the question of the constitutional means by which the bank could protect itself against state action. The crucial point was whether the action was against the state of Ohio and thus out of the Court's jurisdiction under the eleventh amendment, or was against the state's agents considered to be responsible for their own acts . Marshall and the judges decided the federal circuit court had jurisdiction because the state was not the actual party of record. The court also found that state agents when acting under the authority of an unconstitutional statute were personally responsible for any injury done under the attempt to enforce the law. Thus the state of Ohio and its agents were defeated by the Bank of the United States in the Supreme Court. See Alfred H. Kelly and Winfred A. Harbison, The American Constitution, 291-92. See also Forrest McDonald, A Constitutional History of the United States, 102-3 . IO. Probably the first Europeans to see the area presently within the boundaries of Madison County, Illinois, were Marquette and Joliet on their trip down the Mississippi in 1674. Although there were scattered French settlements (e.g., Chouteau Island) by 1800, the first American settlement in the area was by Ephraim Conner, who had a cabin in the northwest corner of Collinsville township before selling it to Samuel Judy in 1801. There were other settlements-one at Six Mile Prairie by the Wiggins family, and one by Thomas Kirkpatrick at Edwardsville in 1805-and after the War of 1812, the population grew rapidly. Among the newcomers were such men as John and James Randle, Rowland P. Allen, David Gillespie, George Churchill, and Gershom Flagg and his future father-in-law, Gaius Paddock (History of Madison County, 67-68). Illinois reached the second stage of territorial government in May 1812 with three new counties: Madison, Gallatin, and Johnson. According to the governor's proclamation, Madison County's boundaries would "begin on the Mississippi, to run with the second township line above Cahokia east until it strikes the dividing line between Illinois and Indiana territories; thence with said dividing line to the line of Upper Canada; thence with said line to the Mississippi; then down the Mississippi to the beginning." Thomas Kirkpatrick's house was to be the "seat of justice" (Territorial Records of Illinois quoted in Counties of Illinois, 24). See also John Moses, Illinois, Historical and Statistical, vol. r. l r. The Illinois Territory was set off from the Indiana Territory on February 9, 1809, with the boundaries of the Illinois Territory extending from the Wabash River to the Mississippi and north to the Canadian border. This separation was due in part

Notes to Pages 16-17


to the sentiment against William Henry Harrison, the territorial governor, and was accomplished largely by Jesse B. Thomas, with arguments that the territorial assembly in Vincennes was inconvenient to Illinois residents. Illinois advanced to the second stage of government after Ninian Edwards, territorial governor, consulted Congress concerning suffrage. According to the Ordinance of 1787, property qualifications were required for voting in territorial elections, but because of French titles, and the earlier "tomahawk claims," there were so few in the territory with clear title to the land that to require property qualifications appeared too undemocratic. Congress passed a law on May 20, 1812, which gave suffrage to adult males who lived in the territory and had paid a county or territorial tax. Shadrach Bond was elected territorial delegate to the federal congress, and members were also elected to the territorial assembly lower house. At this stage of territorial government, there was an appointed upper house. After the War of 1812, with population growing, agitation for statehood was initiated by Daniel P. Cook in the Western Intelligencer. Govenor Edwards recommended the move, and the assembly sent Congress a petition for an Enabling Act in December 1817. It was introduced January 23, 1818, and passed by Congress in April of 1818. The bill originally called for the northern boundary to be at the southern shore of Lake Michigan, but Nathaniel Pope, delegate to Congress, persuaded Congress to extend the boundary forty-one miles north, adding eight-thousand square miles, including the area of the future Chicago. See Clarence Alvord, The Illinois Country, 1673-1818, 431-32, 458-59. See also Moses, Illinois, Historical and Statistical 1:277-78, 281-82, 286. 12. Although the idea for a canal to connect the Illinois River with Lake Michigan may date to Marquette and Joliet, it was not until 1810 that such a canal was officially proposed by Peter Porter of New York. The federal government approved the proposal, and Ninian Edwards, territorial governor and Indian agent, was instructed to obtain cessions of land from the Indians in the area. The canal strip given up by the Chippewa, Ottawa, and Potawatomie extended from the thirty-six-mile square ofland at the Chicago River aready ceded in the Treaty of Greenville (1795) southwest onehundred miles to the Illinois River, and included the lower stretches of the Kankakee, Des Plaines, Du Page, and Fox Rivers. Stephen Long surveyed the route in 1817, and Secretary of War John C. Calhoun urged the construction during Monroe's administration. Nothing was done until the Illinois General Assembly asked for authority to build a canal in I 821. Congress authorized the state to do so and granted land for that purpose. The legislature appointed a commission to lay out the route, which engineers estimated would cost $639,000 to $713,000. Although Governor Coles recommended the state build the canal, the state could not come up with the necessary funds, so a private company headed by Coles and Shadrach Bond was chartered for the purpose of building the canal. Opposition to this plan, largely led by Daniel Pope Cook, U.S. representative, caused the company to give up its charter in I 826. Cook then persuaded Congress to give the state more land to enable it to build the canal-which Congress did by granting half the land along the proposed route, in the later-familiar everyother-section plan, to a depth of five miles on either side. Governor Ninian Edwards proposed the canal be built from loans secured by canal lands. The assembly passed an act in January, 1829, authorizing the canal and appointing a commission to begin the process. After several years of delay the canal was begun, but the Panic of I 837 caused such great economic distress that in I 842 construction was stopped. By that time the debt was $4,436,408. The canal was finally completed in 1848. See John Clayton, The Illinois Fact Book and Historical Almanac, 1673-1968, 331-33.


Notes to Pages 18-19

13. Nathaniel Pope had managed to convince Congress to allow Illinois to take its own census instead of having federal marshalls do so. This resulted in a great deal of fraud. There were hints that over-zealous commissioners were counting some people two or three times and in some cases counting those moving across the state on their way to Missouri. For example, the count in Madison County included some six-hundred residents of Prairie du Chien, far outside the proposed boundaries of the state. Later, in a federal census the more nearly correct figure was 34,620. The constitutional convention was held in Kaskaskia in August and the constitution quickly written. This document was not submitted to the voters for ratification but was operative as soon as it was approved by Congress. On November 16, Henry Clay presented the new constitution to the House, where some congressmen from the northeast questioned the guarantees against slavery. The House, however, approved it by a II7 to 34 vote, and the Senate concurred unanimously on December r. President Monroe signed the bill on December 3, 1818, and Illinois became the twenty-first state of the Union. Jesse Thomas and Ninian Edwards were elected senators, and John McLean representative. On December 16, Governor Shadrach Bond called the legislature into session and Illinois began operating as a full-fledged state. See Robert Howard, Illinois, 98-105 . 14. The Rector family settled in Kaskaskia in 1806 but then moved to St. Louis. William Rector was appointed surveyor-general of Missouri and Illinois in 1817. The Rector brothers held a number of appointed and elected posts, e.g., Elias was postmaster of St. Louis from 1819 to 1822 and was an elector for candidate Clay in 1824. The infamous duel came about because of an accusation made by Joshua Barton in an article he wrote saying Rector was guilty of nepotism, giving relatives jobs as deputysurveyors. Barton was challenged to a duel by Thomas Rector, but Barton refused unless Rector admitted the truth of the charge, which William did. Rector said the article was offensive anyway and demanded satisfaction. The duel was fought on Bloody Island, and when Barton was killed the Rector family, presumably watching from Big Mound, gave a "loud cheer." Apparently they had already agreed among themselves that if Thomas fell , one of the other members of the family would then kill Barton. See Louis Houck, A History of Missouri 3:255-56. 15. According to Zimri Enos, the trail began "at a farm seven miles north of Edwardsville. " From Fort Russell it ran north for about eighteen miles to the "old watering place at the head of Paddock Creek," northeast to Bunker Hill, across the prairie to Macoupin Point (a little grove of trees at the head of Macoupin Creek), across the Sangamon River, and on to Peoria. From there Enos was not sure of the trail. He says that from Edwardsville the trail crossed no stream of any size for a hundred miles, except the Sangamon River, but that it followed the watersheds of a number of small prairie streams. The trail was the major wagon route for early settlers in Sangamon County. According to Enos, a watering place "at the head of the channel of Paddock's Creek and where the combined sloughs . . . had been able to cut through the tough prairie sod and wash out ... was filled .with a never failing supply of good spring water." There were several miles between the watering hole and the nearest houses, and in dry weather it was the only source of water for some fifty miles ("The Old Indian Trail, Sangamon County, Illinois," 218-22) . John Reynolds (My Own Times, 87) describes the march north to Peoria in the War of 1812 in terms that would indicate they used the same trail.

Notes to Pages



16. John Messenger, born in Massachusetts, moved to Vermont in 1783 and to Illinois in 1802. A surveyor like his friend Johnson, he also became active in Illinois politics. In l 808 he represented St. Clair County in the legislature of the Indiana Territory and the following year was commissioned county surveyor by Governor Edwards. He served as clerk of the first territorial assembly of Illinois in 1812, as a member of the constitutional convention in l 8 l 8, and as speaker of the house in the first general assembly of the state. In l 82 l he published A Manual or Handbook Intended for Convenience in Practical Surveying and in l 833 was one of the surveyors of the northern part of the state. He died at his farm near Belleville, Illinois, in 1846. See Moses, Illinois, Historical and Statistical 1:291 and 2:993; Solon Buck, Pioneer Letters, 28 n.; and Alby Maria Hemenway, Vermont Historical Gazetteer 1:596-99. John Johnson of Burlington was chief-surveyor for the United States in the attempt to finalize the Canadian-U.S. boundary as provided for in the Treaty of Ghent. 17. The fort at Rouses Point was considered crucial to the defense of U .S. boundaries. However the Valentine-Collins survey team had made an error in their calculations which placed Fort Montgomery (commonly known as Fort Blunder) a quarter of a mile north of the forty-fifth parallel and, therefore, within Canadian territory. It was not until 1842 that the dispute was finally settled, the U .S.-Canadian boundary deviating northward from the forty-fifth parallel to include Rouses Point. See Edgar Mcinnis, The Unguarded Frontier, l 58-79, and John B. Brebner, North Atlantic Triangle, 144-45. 18. For accounts of nearly all the people mentioned by Johnson, see Hemenway, Vermont Historical Gazetteer. 19. The first issue of the Edwardsville Spectator was published May 23 , 1819, in a "five column folio." It has been considered one of the "most potential newspapers west of the Allegheny Mountains." About one half of the paper consisted of advertisements, but in times of political excitement, it was highly political. In quieter times it carried articles on almost every subject. Its editor and founder was Hooper Warren, a "practical printer." George Churchill, also a "practical printer and writer of well-known ability," helped to edit the paper. Warren was noted for his ability to compose his articles as he set the type. The Spectator was particularly important in the anti-slavery fight to prevent the constitutional convention of 1824. Morris Birkbeck contributed articles under the pseudonym "Jonathan Freeman" during the 1824 controversy. The pro-convention rival newspapers were the Republican Advocate at Kaskaskia, edited by Elias Kent Kane, and the Illinois Republican of Edwardsville, edited and perhaps owned by Theopholis Smith, senator from Madison County, and William Kinney, senator from St. Clair County (History of Madison County, 200-204). The Spectator was sold to Thomas Lippincott and edited by him and Jeremiah Abbott during 1825 and 1826. The last issue was dated October 20, 1826. See Franklin W. Scott, Newspapers and Periodicals of Illinois, 166. 20. The Bank of Edwardsville was chartered because Governor Ninian Edwards was impressed by the right of the Bank of Illinois (Shawneetown) to issue notes in large quantities without solid financial support; he obtained a charter for the Bank of Edwardsville in 1818. Like the Bank of Illinois it was made a depository for federal funds and was allowed to have temporary custody of money paid at the land office. Both Illinois banks competed with the Bank of Missouri, which used an old form of


Notes to Pages 24-28

competition by accumulating notes and then presenting large numbers of them in Illinois at one time, demanding specie. (The Bank of Illinois paid out specie until 1821; it closed in 1823 but retained its charter). The Bank of Missouri failed in 1821, bringing on a run at the Bank of Edwardsville during which the federal government lost forty-six-thousand-dollars. Although he had resigned as president of the bank before this failure, Governor Edwards was blamed for the loss because he could not prove he had notified the government that the bank was in financial difficulties. See Howard, Illinois, 121-22. The Bank of Edwardsville's first commissioners were Benjamin Stephenson, James Mason, John McKee, Joseph Conway, and Abraham Prickett. Benjamin J. Howard was the first cashier, succeeded by R. T. McKinney. The bank's charter ran from January 9, 1818, to January 1838. See History of Madison County, 339-40. 21. The credit system of land purchases was abolished in 1820, but this did not affect those who had already bought land on credit. Attempts to include a relief clause in the new law were defeated; purchasers of public land already owed the federal government over $21,000,000. The question was how to collect this money with the fewest possible forfeitures. Congress was beginning to look upon the sale of public lands as a means of settling the west and not as revenue. (The West was also becoming a political factor and was largely Deomcratic.) Congress also felt partly responsible for the enormous debt, and thus set about providing a relief act. This was done on March 2, 1821, in an arrangement which provided an allowance for the purchaser to relinquish part of the land as payment on the balance due, a 37 percent discount for prompt payment, the remission of accrued interest, and a further extension of from four to eight years in which to make the payments. Since not all debtors would hear about the relief law immediately, the time for application for relief was extended to September 30, 1822, and later extended to September 30, 1823. Once the debt had been reduced to Su,997,430.39, in September 1821, the reduction proceeded at a slower pace and was still $10,544,454.16 in September of 1822. See Hibbard, Public Land Policy, 94-95. 22. Since the failure of the territorial banks had left Illinois without banking service, there was a serious shortage of money of all denominations. Bank notes were often counterfeited and fluctuations in value and amount occurred daily. There was a general belief that this was all due to private banking and that if the state took over the system, the situation would be rectified. Under pressure from the electorate the legislature set up the State Bank of Illinois in 1821 without capital of any kind and without provisions for regulating loans or issues of notes. The main bank was at Vandalia with branches at Edwardsville, Shawneetown, Brownsville Oefferson County), and Palmyra (Wabash County). The legislature elected the bank officers and directors biennially. The bank was authorized to issue three-hundred-thousand-dollars in 2 percent notes in order to distribute the money as quickly as possible. One could apply for a loan of a hundred dollars without any security; larger amounts up to a thousand-dollar maximum required the posting of real estate as security. The system was highly controversial. John McLean, speaker of the house, was so much against the bank he resigned his post so he could argue against it on the floor. Once distributed, the money did not last long; directors took little action to assure repayment, and small change disappeared. Eventually the money was worth only thirty cents on the dollar. A replevin law forced creditors to accept the bank money, and few people made any attempt to repay loans, looking upon the money as a gift from the state.

Notes to Pages 28-32


Some thought the replevin law was unconstitutional and repayment, therefore, unnecessary. In 1825, the legislature decided the money was worth only one-third its face value, so state officials and employees had their salaries tripled. Mismanagement and unsecured loans were apparently common and many influential men received more than the thousand-dollar maximum. The legislature made matters worse by authorizing the state auditor to issue warrants at 6 percent interest, and these too depreciated in value. In 1830 the legislature authorized the borrowing of a hundred thousand dollars to redeem the currency. Governor Ford estimated the loss at four hundred thousand dollars although no accurate record was available. The people blamed banks in general, and their hostility added fuel to the later Jackson campaign against the Bank of the United States. By 1830, liquidation of the state bank could not be avoided. See Howard, Illinois, 123-24. See also Theodore Calvin Pease, The Frontier State, 1818-1848, 56-63. 23. Abraham Stevens was an early settler of Essex, Vermont. He was appointed constable in March 1786, the month in which the town was organized. See Hemenway, Vermont Historical Gazetteer 1:781. 24. The "murder" to which Flagg refers was actually a "duel," between Timothy Bennett and Alphonso C. Stuart. It was apparently supposed to be a sham duel arranged to ridicule Bennett, but Bennett did not know that so he loaded his rifle with shot, without the seconds' knowledge. Stuart was killed. Bennett escaped but was captured two years later in Arkansas. He was convicted of murder and Governor Bond would not pardon him. Bennett was hanged, and (according to Ford) this episode made duelling become unpopular and discredited (Thomas Ford, History of Illinois from Its Commencement as a State in 1818 to 1847, 48). Perrin says that Jacob Short and Na than Pike were also charged in the indictment since they were the seconds in the duel, but there were acquitted. (Perrin also believes Bennett went to Missouri, not to Arkansas). Bennett was hanged on September 3, not "ordered to be hanged on the traditional Friday" 0- Nick Perrin, Perrin's History of Illinois, 120-21). John Reynolds, the judge in the case, wrote in My Own Times, "some are disposed to believe that the parties, both Bennett and Stuart, had by some means their guns loaded with powder and ball to do execution on one another, or on both. Mr. Park, one of the company, fired off the gun in the air, which Mr. Stuart had, so that this ball in it would not be discovered" (140). 25. William C. Whiteside of Whiteside Station in Monroe County fought in the War of 1812, and was an important early settler. The Whitesides were also a prominent Madison County family. See Moses, Illinois, Historical and Statistical 1:229. The Whiteside involved in the robbery was William B. (Bolin), son of the founder of Whiteside Station. He served as sheriff from 1818 to 1822. See History of Madison County, 132-40. For an account of the affair, see History of Greene County, 266-67 . 26. The Mandan Indians were good farmers, cultivating three to five acres per family with "quite respectable yields." Despite Catlin's statement that ears of corn were no longer than a man's thumb, the corn plants would reach a height of from three to six feet, with ears anywhere from three to eight or nine inches long (Roy W . Meyer, The Village Indians of the Upper Missouri, 64). Unlike most tribes of the northern plains the Mandans moved very little and their basic culture changed very little except for "minor adjustments" due to the introduction of the horse and European trade goods. They were agricultural, lived in fortified villages, and enjoyed a


Notes to Pages 32-34

relatively higher material wealth than the more nomadic tribes did. Lewis and Clark wintered with them during the years from 1804 to 1806. They were described then as being harmed by their contacts with others, "wasting away before the smallpox and the Sioux." Corn was important to the tribe and its religious ceremonies. In one ceremony the Corn Father was the spiritual leader and corn, the symbol of his power, would not grow without his rites (Alfred W. Bowers, Mandan Social and Ceremonial Organization, 8-13, 183). 27. Joshua Barton was the son of a Baptist minister who came from Tennessee to Missouri in 1812 with his brother David. David became the more important politician of the two, being first the president of the first constitutional convention, a pro-slavery advocate, and along with Thomas Hart Benton one of the first senators from Missouri. Joshua was chosen the first secretary of the state of Missouri, but does not seem to have had any importance after that except as U.S. district attorney for Missouri. He served as second for John B. C. Lucas in his duel with Thomas Hart Benton in 1817. See Edwin C. McReynolds, Missouri, 76-82, 117-18, 121. Bloody Island was formed by the river depositing sand on the Illinois side, a short distance north of the present Eads Bridge location, soon after 1800. It grew to be a sizeable island, and though closer to Illinois than to Missouri, apparently Missouri was eager to claim it. It became a "field of honor" for duelists. The most famous duel fought there was the one between Benton and Lucas, U.S. District Attorney for Missouri Territory. They fought on August 12, 1817; Lucas was grazed on the neck but Benton was untouched. The duelists were not satisfied, and fought again a few weeks later. This time Lucas was killed . Duels continued until 18 56 with little or no interference by the government. The island was finally destroyed by Robert E. Lee, then an army lieutenant of engineers, who built a series of jetties into the river to divert the current toward Missouri; Bloody Island became a part of the Illinois mainland. See Grover Brinkman, "Bloody Island," 53. 28. The first bank in Vandalia was established in 1821 with Thomas Mather as president and James Kelly cashier. It was a "legal tender" or state chartered bank. It was robbed in March, 1823, and Bottsford was accused by Kelly of the robbery; Bottsford then stabbed and killed Kelly. This was the first recorded murder in Fayette County (Newton Bateman and Paul Selby, Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois and History of Fayette County 1 :632. Pease notes that "crimes of violence exclusive of affrays like that one at Vandalia when James Kelley, cashier of the state bank, was killed in the act of cowhiding his assassin, found their most fruitful source in the gangs of desperadoes, half counterfeiters and horse thieves, half robbers and murderers, such as the one which infested southeastern Illinois in the early years of statehood" (The Frontier State, 46). Sidney Breese was the prosecuting attorney and Edward Bates of Missouri defended Bottsford. The trial created much excitement and "gentlemen of the bar ... acquitted themselves with much credit." Bottsford was acquitted "but the case seemed to be not entirely clear of guilt" (Reynolds, My Own Times, 142). 29. Edward Coles was elected governor in 1822 as a free-state candidate. He antagonized not only the pro-slavery faction but also the banking community. In his inaugural address he reviewed the banking situation and asked for emancipation of the French slaves. The legislators began a drive to legalize slavery, a position that had considerable support since the 18 l 8 constitution had contained a compromise on indentures which allowed those already holding black people in indenture contracts to continue holding them, even though no new contracts were allowed. A committee insisted that the federal government's guarantee of "possessions and titles" to the French inhabitants of

Notes to Page 34


Illinois when that area was ceded by Virginia took precedence over the Northwest Ordinance of 1787, which forbade slavery. This committee recommended a referendum for a constitutional convention to change the contitution to allow open slavery. This required a two-thirds majority in each house and a majority vote of the people in the election of 1824. The election contest had to be re-opened, however, to seat John Shaw, a known pro-slavery man to replace Nicholas Hansen of Pike County, who had voted against the convention, an act which dismayed pro-slavery forces who expected his support. In their somewhat premature celebration, two Supreme Court judges, a future governor of Missouri, a future lieutenant governor of Illinois, and most of the legislators blew horns, beat on pans, and generally behaved in a disgraceful manner outside the governor's house. Coles organized an anti-slavery movement and had three pamphlets written arguing that slavery was both morally wrong and unprofitable. With others, Coles bought the Vandalia Intelligencer and turned it into an anti-slavery paper. Of the state's five weekly papers, three were pro-slavery; The Spectator and the Intelligencer represented the opposition. Coles donated his salary to the cause and enlisted the support of men such as Morris Birkbeck and John Mason Peck; Birkbeck wrote under the name Jonathan Freeman and Peck organized anti-slavery societies in fifteen counties. The leaders of the pro-slavery group-Jesse Thomas, John McLean, and Shadrach Bond (although not everyone agrees on Bond's inclusion on the list)were also well organized and were helped by racial prejudice against both blacks and Indians. The unseating of Hansen in favor of Shaw alienated many, however, and many of the frontiersmen, although anti-black, were not in sympathy with slavery. In the election, the anti-slavery cause won by a 6,640 to 4,972 margin but black codes were kept in the books, and it was another twenty years before the courts invalidated the black indenture system. See Howard, Illinois, 134-37. The Edwardsville Spectator, Tuesday, July 27, 1824, is almost entirely devoted to the convention. 30. Eliphalet Green had quarrelled with William Wright, a worker at Abel Moore's distillery in Wood River. Green, beaten and so enraged that he got his gun and shot Wright, ran away but then gave himself up. He was tried and convicted, and was hanged on February 12, 1824, at 2:30 A.M. See History of Madison County, 159-60. John Reynolds, the judge in this case, said to Green, "Mr. Green, the jury in their verdict say you are guilty of murder, and the law says you are to be hung. Now I want you and all your friends down on Indian Creek, to know that it is not I who condemns you, but it is the jury and the law. Mr. Green, the law allows you time for preparation and so the court wants to know what time you would like to be hung ." Green had recently been converted by John Mason Peck and said he was ready any time since his soul could not be killed. Reynolds then told him it was a serious matter since "it can't happen to a man more than once," so the court gave him four weeks. The prosecuting attorney objected, apparently to what appeared to be undue levity, and urged Reynolds to impress upon the guilty man the judgment of the world to come. Reynolds said Mr. Green understood he was to be hanged, and asked Green if he did not so understand. When Green answered he did, he was remanded to jail and the court adjourned (Ford, History of Illinois, 83-84). Reynolds describes Green as dying happy. There were over twothousand spectators, and Peck, who was on the platform, asked Green to keep his hands clasped before him as long as "consciousness remained with him." Green did so. As Reynolds sums up, Green's hands remained clasped "about forty-five seconds, and then they separated by death. How awful and solemn death is in any shape or form." The citizens of Edwardsville "rescued" the body from Dr. Phillip of Lebanon and buried it in the garden of Hail Mason (My Own Times, 141).


Notes to Pages 35-36

3 r. Ninian Edwards, senator from Illinois and former territorial governor, became embroiled in a controversy with the secretary of the treasury, William H. Crawford, in which the Bank of Edwardsville was involved. Edwards had resigned his senator's seat to become minister to Mexico but accused Crawford (one of the presidential candidates of 1824) of mismanaging government deposits in the bank. Crawford forced Edwards to return to Washington for an investigation, during which Edwa1c.s could not prove his case. Edwards resigned his ministership and returned to Illinois to run for governor. During the campaign.he accused prominent men of corrupt involvement in the bank, accusations which caused another investigation and again were never proved. Edwards alienated many of the important leaders of the state but was elected by a narrow margin. See Howard, Illinois, 139, and Ninian Wirt Edwards, History of Illinois from 1778 to 1833 and the Life of Ninian Edwards, 135-54. According to Ford's History, the governor told Ford that he had made the charges against Crawford after he thought he had the support of such prominent men as Monroe, Jackson, Calhoun, and Adams. After his election as governor, Edwards forced an investigation of the Bank of Edwardville and the cashier, ''Judge" Smith, who apparently had been a supporter of Crawford and the anti-Edwards faction. According to Ford, the investigation showed mismanagement, but while the charges were not sustained, they did show the influence of powerful men over the bank (62-66). 32. After a "hot contest," Illinois chose two Jackson electors and one Adams elector. On a national scale no candidate received a majority, Jackson having ninetynine, Adams eighty-four, and Crawford forty-one, so the election went to the House. Daniel Pope Cook was Illinois' only representative, so he could have as much effect as the entire delegation from a state such as New York. However, since the votes in Illinois had not been decisive in terms of presidency, Cook had to estimate which candidate had a plurality. If one elector who had run under the ''Jackson or Clay" label was to be counted for Jackson, Jackson would carry Illinois. If that elector were to be counted for Crawford, "the probable source of his vote," Adams would win. Cook was partial to Adams and cast Illinois' vote to elect him. This caused a great deal of anger, especially in the West, and probably led to Jackson's receiving twothirds of the Illinois vote in 1828 (Pease, The Frontier State, 104-7).

33. Father Gravier moved the Kaskaskia Indians from the Illinois River to the Kaskaskia at some time between 1682 and 1685. Father Marest arrived shortly after 1700, and 1701 is the usual date given for the founding of the town of Kaskaskia. It was incorporated in 1725 and remained the French seat of government for the Illinois country until they turned it over to the British. The French citizens began moving out after 1763 until there were only about sixty-five families left in 1766. Kaskaskia remained the seat of government for the British, also. In 1778, the Americans under George Rogers Clark captured the area, and Clark used Kaskaskia as the center of his activities. When Virginia made Illinois a county, Kaskaskia was named county seat. Prominent Americans-including John Edgar, William Morrison, and Dr. George Fisher-began to move in after 1789. Kaskaskia remained the seat of Illinois government until 1819 when the Illinois Assembly last met there; after that it was the county seat of Randolph County until the disastrous flood of 1844 forced the removal of the county seat to Chester. This move was completed in 1847. See History of Randolph, Monroe and Perry Counties, 27, 39, 62-67. The flood of 1881 destroyed the town completely; the Mississippi River now flows in the old bed of the Kaskaskia River and

Notes to Pages 36-39


Kaskaskia Island, twenty-thousand acres of Illinois land, is on the Missouri side of the river. See Howard, Illinois, 37 n. 34. Shawneetown was a center from which migration radiated outward. It was on the main route to St. Louis from the south and was the port for the local salt works. It had business completely out of proportion to its population. In 1817 it consisted of thirty log houses, a log bank, and a land office, but so many people wanted to cross the river there that travelers had to wait many hours for their turns to cross. The migration was still largely southern; New England was still experiencing "Ohio fever." A congressional report recommended that Kaskaskia and Shawneetown be made land offices as soon as surveys could be made. See Arthur Clinton Boggess, The Settlement of Illinois, 1778-1830, 103, 105, 125-27. The land office in Shawneetown was established in 1812. A contract was granted in 1820 which provided that the road from Shawneetown "should be cut 33 feet wide, with stumps to be very low." Newcomers took the Goshen road from Shawneetown north to Carlyle, Edwardsville, and Alton (with a branch to Kaskaskia). The Bank of Illinois was chartered there in 1817. In these days, salt was an important product. The Gallatin County salt springs produced from two hundred thousand to three hundred thousand bushels of salt, which sold for fifty to seventy-five cents a bushel, in 1819. It was marketed in the Ohio Valley for home use and as a preservative for meat shipped to New Orleans. As many as five salt works were in operation, but Illinois could not compete with the superior product from Kanawha, near present-day Charleston, West Virginia. The salt works, however, did continue operation until 1873. See Howard, Illinois, 132-33. 35. Lafayette was an old man by the time he, together with his son George Washington Lafayette and a small entourage, visited the United States. Their only stops in Illinois were at Kaskaskia and Shawneetown. No one knew just when the Natchez, which carried the group, would arrive from St. Louis, so there was no special welcoming committee. When the boat arrived at Kaskaskia on April 1, 1825, someone ran into town to get a coach for Lafayette. The party stopped at John Edgar's home for refreshments and Coles' welcoming speech. After the formalities, old soldiers who had fought with him and local French gathered around the distinguished visitor. Lafayette's son and some of the French visitors visited the old Indian village, which fascinated them, although there were few if any Indians there at the time. In the late afternoon they had a banquet at Colonel Sweet's Kaskaskia Hotel, a meal which "could not have been surpassed ... in any other town or city in the western country ." After that meal there was a ball at the home of Wiliam Morrison. Lafayette went across the river to Pierre Menard's home to meet Menard's daughter, whom he was to accompany to the ball. It was a fine ball but ended shortly before midnight and Lafayette and his party went back to their boat. Within a few years all would change: of the famous houses only Menard's would remain, the capitol would move, as would the Indians, and Kaskaskia would disappear under the flood waters. But "for many years the pioneers remembered fondly the day that the great Lafayette had visited Kaskaskia" (Larry R. Murphy, "When Lafayette Visited Kaskaskia," 20-24). See also, Larry Underwood, "When Lafayette Visited Shawneetown," 46; Howard, Illinois, 329-30; and John Francis Snyder, Adam W. Snyder and His Period in Illinois History, 1817-1842, 71. Snyder is not entirely accurate, however.

36. Pascal P . Enos, born in Windsor, Connecticut, graduated from Dartmouth in 1794, served in the Vermont legislature in 1804. After his marriage to Salome,


Notes to Pages 39-41

daughter of Gaius Paddock, he migrated to the Midwest, going first to Missouri and then to Illinois. Gaius Paddock and the rest of his family accompanied Enos on these moves. In Illinois the Paddock and Enos families settled near the property of Gershom Flagg, and in 1827, Gershom married Jane, daughter ofGaius Paddock and widow of Barney Richmond. In 1823 Enos was appointed receiver of public monies for the new land office established in Sangamon County, Illinois. See John C. Power, History of The Early Settlers of Sangamon County, 288-89, and History of Madison County, 478. For information on the other names mentioned by Johnson, see Hemenway, Vermont Historical Gazetteer. 37. Cornelius P. Van Ness was elected governor of Vermont in 182 3 by a vote of 13,413 to 1,932 and was re-elected in 1824 "almost unanimously." Martin Chittenden was elected governor of Vermont in 1812 by joint ballot of the assembly, "the people having failed to elect a governor." He also ran unsuccessfully in 1811, 1813, and 1814 (A. J. Coolidge and J. B. Mansfield, A History and Description of New England, 949, 986, 996). Stephen Haights, who served for several years in the Vermont legislature, was a judge and sheriff for Addison County. He died in 1841 while serving in

Washington as sergeant-at-arms for the U.S. Senate. See Hemenway, Vermont Historical Gazetteer 1:67. For the other men mentioned by Johnson, also see Hemenway. 38. The "man of peculation, blood and murder at their head" is probably a reference to Andrew Jackson, who was not popular in New England, but may also refer to the state leader of the Jackson supporters. "Peculation" was a term regularly used against the opposite political parties, accusing them of stealing or embezzling public funds. "Blood and murder" probably refers to Jackson's reputation as an Indian fighter or to his hanging of Robert Ambrister and Alexander Arbuthnot for inciting and giving aid to Indians in Florida during the war, or possibly to his various duels with the Bentons and Charles Dickinson. As Johnson's earlier statements indicate, he considered himself a Jeffersonian Republican and a patriot. The "trying times of the last war" is a reference to the War of 1812, during which it was not uncommon for some Americans to continue trade with England through Canada, thus the "smuggling"; there also was speculation in land as well as in public bonds sold to support the war. The purchasers of the land were apparently the "speculators ." Such acts were clearly viewed by Johnson as little less than treason. 39. Jonas Galusha, Revolutionary soldier, Supreme Court judge (1807-1808), was governor of Vermont from 1809 to 1819; he was an elector for Monroe in 1820 and for J. Q. Adams in 1824 and 1828. Richard Skinner, Vermont's representative to Congress from 1813 to 1815, was governor for three terms (1810-1822). He was also a judge of the state supreme court in 1816, serving as chief justice from 1817 to 1820 and again in 1824. Similarly, Ezra Butler served in a number of political offices and was elected governor in 1825. Samuel C. Crafts, after a varied political career, was elected governor in 1828, 1829, and 1830. See Coolidge and Mansfield History and Description of New England, 721, 788, 840, 899-900, 933, 986-991, 996. The other men named by Johnson were all prominent in Vermont politics and can be found in Coolidge and Mansfield or in Hemenway, Vermont Historical Gazetteer. 40. Old political factions in Illinois were rapidly disintegrating with the result that the outcome of elections was unpredictable. Indeed, leaders of the newly emerging cliques failed to realize the intentions of Elias Kent Kane, a Jackson/Crawford man, who subsequently sought alignment with Edwards and offered to support him in the

Notes to Pages 41-43


congressional election. Kane and John M. Robinson were elected to the Illinois Senate in the campaign Flagg mentions . See Pease, The Frontier State, 137-38. 4r. The land between the Illinois and Mississippi Rivers was set aside for holders of land bounty warrants granted for military service in the War of 1812. 42. Increased migration from the New England states, added to the continued influx from the south, helped triple the population in Illinois between 1818 and 1830.

43. Jackson's veto of a measure authorizing the use of federal funds to construct a turnpike between Maysville and Lexington, Kentucky, made it clear that he intended to restrict the power of central government. Whether Jackson was a visionary leader in the establishment of democratic principles is still a matter of dispute among historians. But Flagg, a staunch Whig and and anti-Jacksonian, did not view his administration as beneficial to the West or to the working man. 44. The contest between Jackson and J. Q. Adams was marked by mutual accusations and recriminations. Mrs. Jackson's morals were questioned because she, unknowingly, married Jackson before her previous marriage was legally dissolved. Jackson was accused of murder and worse. In return, Jackson men accused Adams of all sorts of misdeeds. Claude G. Bowers comments on the acrimonious but petty charges by both sides: "But all the scurrility of the campaign cannot be justly charged to the enemies of Jackson. His friends were almost as offensive. Adams [they charged] had bribed Clay. He had bought the Presidency. While abroad he had pandered to the sensualities of the Russian Court. He was stingy, undemocratic, an enemy of American institutions, bent on the destruction of the people's liberties. He was an aristocrat, and had squandered the people's m~mey on lavishly furnishing the East Room of the White House after the fashion of the home of kings. He had even purchased a billiard table for the home of the President!" (The Party Battles of the Jackson Period, 34). 45. David Barton was president of Missouri's constitutional convention. 46. Willard Parker Flagg came to Illinois in 1830 and in 1838 became one of the two pioneers who settled at a point in Ogle County where Rochelle was later founded. See History of Ogle County, 165. 47. The beginning of ill feeling against the Freemasons resulted from the kidnapping and subsequent disappearance of William Morgan, a New Yorker and member of the lodge at Le Roy who had been blackballed when he attempted to transfer to the Batavia lodge. Infuriated by this rejection, Morgan had published Illustrations of Masonry by One of the Fraternity who has devoted thirty years to the subject. His disappearance, enraged Americans believed, was effected by angered Masons who then murdered him. As a result, a wave of antagonism against the Masons and Freemasonry swept through the northeastern states. Masonry, with its exclusive membership and aura of mysticism, appealed to men of importance, so membership rolls in the various lodges read like membership rolls in the legislature, bar, and social register. Thus antiMasonry took on political coloring, culminating in the organization of an Antimason party, which held a convention in 1829 and nominated Heman Allen for governor. Religious sentiment against secrecy and Jacksonian suspicion of the "aristocracy" added to anti-Mason feelings. See Ludlum, Social Fermont in Vermont, 86-133. 48. Johnson probably means that while Jackson was too liberal, Adams was too conservative.

Notes to Pages 45-47 49. John T. Lusk, born in South Carolina, son of James Lusk, came to Illinois in the early 1Soos. His father operated a ferry across the Ohio River at Golconda, Illinois. John T. Lusk came to Edwardsville in 1805, operated the first hotel in that town, and was deputy circuit clerk and county recorder; he was also a postmaster. See Newton Bateman, Paul Selby, and J. Seymour Currey, Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois 1:347. Cyrus Edwards was a lawyer in Edwardsville and brother to Governor Ninian Edwards. He was representative from Madison County in 1832-1834, 18401842, and 1861-1862. He served in the State Senate from 1836 to 1838, and was a delegate to the constitutional convention in 1847. See Clayton, Illinois Fact Book, 2039, 233, and Moses, Illinois, Historical and Statistical 1:425, 2:554, 995. 50. Evan McPherson was from Logan County, Kentucky . He was the son of George McPherson, who died in Logan County in 18II. See Lalla McCully, Logan County Kentucky Records, 33. McPherson was in Logan County in 1840, according to the 1840 Kentucky census index, but his familiarity with Madison County, Illinois suggests he spent some time in Illinois. 51. Onandaga salt, from a salt spring in New York, is said to be the first commercial inland salt processed and sold by white men in America. In 1790, Nathaniel Loomis produced five hundred bushels of salt which he sold around Oneida for a dollar a bushel. See Garnett L. Eskew, Salt, 48. 52. Joseph Duncan, a third term congressman, was elected governor of Illinois in 1834, but his inaugural address proved that he had turned against Jackson because of Jackson's policies regarding internal improvements and banks. Duncan became a member of the struggling Whig party. See Howard, Illinois, 142. Louisiana elected Edward D. White (Whig) governor for the 1835-1839 term. Virginia's governors from 1834 to 1841 were Littleton Tazewell, Wyndham Robertson, David Campbell, and Thomas Walker Gilmer, all Whigs. See David C. Roller and Robert W. Twyman, The Encyclopedia of Southern History, 749, 1295. North Carolina's governor from 1832 to 1835 was David L. Swain, also a Whig. Kentucky elected Democrats, but apparently McPherson saw the trend away from Jacksonian politics which resulted in Van Buren's loss of Southern support in the election of 1836. 53. Missouri politics at this time was dominated by Thomas Hart Benton, a Jacksonian despite earlier disagreements between Jackson and the Bentons which had led to the notorious duel. During 1833, in a cholera epidemic which swept Missouri, Senator Buckner of Cape Girardeau died. Missouri's governor Daniel Dunklinelected in 1832-selected the Jackson/Benton supporter Lewis Linn of Ste. Genevieve to succeed Buckner. Thus Missouri's leading Jacksonite had, for the first time, an associate in the Senate who was politically aligned with him. See Duane Meyer, The Heritage of Missouri, 178. 54. John Adam Dix (1798-1879) was born in New York and educated in Canada. He fought in the War of 1812, rose to the rank of major and then studied law, being admitted to the bar in 1824. He married the daughter of John J. Morgan, a wealthy landowner who offered Dix the position of agent at Cooperstown. Dix practiced law there and became a leader in the Democratic party. In 1830 he became adjutantgeneral of the state (thus the term "General" used elsewhere in the letters) and, later, secretary of state of New York (1833-1839). In 1845 he was elected to the U.S. Senate to fill Silas Wright's unexpired term. He was particularly interested in international affairs and held "free soil" sentiments in domestic affairs. This put him at

Notes to Pages 47-48


odds with the pro-slavery wing of the Democratic party, which blocked his appointment as U.S. secretary of state and as minister to France. He was appointed by Buchanan to reorganize the N eyv York City post office. In his diary, President Polk says he offered Dix "the mission to England," but that Dix refused (in Allan Nevins, Polk, 122). Dix opposed Polk's policy towards Mexico, so Polk's offer may have been a means get Dix out of the country. Under Buchanan, Dix was appointed secretary of treasury because he was "acceptable to the unionists," Q.G. Randall and David Donald, Civil War and Reconstruction, 154). He is best known as secretary for his dispatch to officials in New Orleans shortly after his appointment: "If anyone attempts to haul down the American flag, shoot him on the spot," which served as "a clarion call to the North" (Concise Dictionary of American Biography, 247). He reorganized the Treasury Department and turned it over to Salmon P. Chase in good order. He was appointed a commander of the Department of Maryland and successfully appointed minister to France (serving 1866-1869). Although a Democrat, he was nominated for governor in 1872 by the New York Republicans and was elected. See Randall and Donald, The Civil War and Reconstruction, 154, 233, 301, 334, 351.

55. The Enabling Act, adopted by Ilinois in 1818, provided that public lands be tax exempt for five years after their original purchase and military bounty lands for three years, provided they remained in the possession of the original patentee. Speculators were not discouraged by such provisions on military bounty lands and bought land even though it became taxable the year of purchase. The fact that most of the speculators were non-resident, combined with the five-year tax exemption for public lands, meant that most of the tax revenues came from non-residents. The absenteeism of the landowners encouraged squatters, who felt that any improvements they made on the property put money in the owners' pockets. Land sales were slow for many years (aside from those to speculators), claims were forfeited before the end of the five-year exemption, and taxes upon thousands of acres were delinquent. As a result, non-residents' taxes made up the bulk of tax-based revenues for many years. To remove squatters or make them pay for land, an owner had to resort to court proceedings. But since juries were made up of local residents, who resented absentee owners, it was nearly impossible for the owners to gain a satisfactory settlement. Therefore, westerners were viewed as a rapacious, thieving "gang of rascals ready to take advantage of owners on every occasion." This situation may account for some of the suspicious, admonitory tone of Azariah's correspondence to his brother. A tax title had, in itself, only nuisance value; at best it constituted a lien on the land. Heavy penalties were assessed to delinquent taxpayers. If a tax title was issued, the owner of the patent title had to pay a comparable sum to remove the lien. The patent owner had to pay the holder of the tax title for any improvements made by the title holder. Or the patent holder could sell the land to the holder of the tax title at the appraised value of the land. "Either the value of the improvements or the value of the land without them was to be determined by a local jury which could ordinarily be expected to render a decision favorable to the occupant and against the absentee owner. The very abundance of tax titles and the ease and cheapness with which they could be acquired constituted a real danger for the patent owner, for they provided the squatter with a color or title he otherwise lacked" (Gates, Public Land Law Development, 265-68). While the state did not gain much from the tax title, the patent holder stood to lose a great deal.


Notes to Pages 50-55

56. Gershom Flagg made a long planned trip to Vermont in 1838.

57. While New Englanders were basically opposed to slavery, they did not all agree with abolitionist policies, which many viewed as divisive and possibly unconstitutional. The harmony for which John Johnson hoped was far in the future. Discontent with Jackson's policies, anti-Masonry, abolitionism, temperance movements, disagreement with Polk over the Mexican-American War, and other related issues kept Vermont in turmoil for several years. 58. Pease says Magniac, Jardine, and Company "interested themselves in behalf' of the state, but he does not mention Wright & Co. of London (The Frontier State, 323). 59. George Churchill, born in Hubbardtown, Vermont, journalist and abolitionist, was elected to the general assembly in 1822 and 1824 and later to the Illinois Senate (1838-1844). He was the author of several caustic political and anti-slavery articles. See History of Madison County, 202. 60. Gershom Flagg's wry sense of humor pervades his correspondence with the Smiths. James Smith, together with his brothers William and Robert, and his brotherin-law John Cavender, came to St. Louis from New Hampshire. In 1838, James and William Smith and John Cavender engaged in a grocery business known as Smith Brothers and Company. This business was dissolved after the St. Louis fire of 1849. In 1851 the Smith brothers formed a new partnership with George Partridge, from which the Smiths withdrew in 1862. James Smith, a life-long supporter of higher education, endowed Smith Academy, a secondary school associated with Washington University. See the Flagg Family Papers. Gershom Flagg was a friend and correspondent with the Smiths, especially with James, who acted as Flagg's banker and, occasionally, adviser.

61. Charles Keemle was publisher of the St. Louis Reveille and the St . Louis City Directory for a number of years. 62. Robert Smith, brother of William and James, moved from St. Louis to Alton, Illinois in 1832. He entered into various businesses and became interested in Illinois politics, serving in both branches of the Illinois legislature, first apparently as a Whig, later as a Democrat. He was a member of the United States Congress from 1843 to 1849 and from 1857 to 1859. During the Civil War he served as paymaster for the Union army. See the Flagg Family Papers and Charles M. Thompson, The Illinois Whigs before 1846, 130. 63 . Although thoroughly dismayed over the incumbent Tyler, who appeared more of a Democrat than a Whig, the Illinois Whigs enthusiastically endorsed Henry Clay of Kentucky for president and John Davis of Massachusetts for vice-president. Tyler delivered the final blow to his own hopes of being nominated by the Whigs, and to Whig hopes of winning the election, with his efforts to effect a treaty with Mexico to annex Texas. The Whigs opposed annexation on principle, but all the more so as it became evident that the southern Democrats wanted Texas as a slave-holding territory. The Democrats nominated James K. Polk, who favored annexation, with a platform which included the annexation of Texas. Unfortunately, the Whigs had assumed that the Democrats would nominate Van Buren and had exerted their campaign efforts to defeat him. Thus they were caught off-guard too late to retrench and re-focus their campaign. Clay might still have won the election, but New York

Notes to Pages 55-61


Whigs split their votes between the two leading Whigs in their state so the state's electoral votes went to Polk. See Thompson, Illinois Whigs, 125-26, and George R. Poage, Henry Clay and the Whig Party, 136-151. 64. Isaac Newton Arnold was a member of the Illinois House (1842-1846 and 1857-1858) and a Polk elector in 1844 but moved to a free soil position later. As a Republican and supporter of Lincoln, he was elected to the U.S. Congress in 1860. William Ewing was a member of the Illinois House, president of the Illinois Senate, lieutenant governor of that state, and for fifteen days, its governor. He was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1836. William A. Richardson was a member of both the Illinois House and Senate and of the U.S. Senate. Newton Cloud served for several terms in the state legislature and was president of the constitutional convention of 1847. See Bateman et al., Historical Encyclopedia 1:24, 160, 108; and Clayton, Illinois Fact Book, 104, 109, 98-99. For further information on all the other men Churchill mentions see Bateman et al.; Clayton; The Biographical Encyclopedia of Illinois in the 19th Century; and John M. Palmer, The Bench and Bar of Illinois, Historical and Reminiscent. 65. John D. Wood, probably the senator from Washington and Perry Counties (1836-1842), was president of the state senate (1859-1860). The "Polker member from Randolph" may be William McBride of Randolph and Monroe Counties, but is more likely to be John D. Whiteside, who had been Democratic state treasurer (18371841), a member of the lower house (1830-1836 and 1844-1846), and of the senate (1836-1837). He was a Polk supporter in 1844. In the threatened duel between James Sheilds and A. Lincoln in 1842, Whiteside carried Shields' challenge to Lincoln. He was also a delegate to the constitutional convention in 1847. See Clayton, Illinois Fact Book, 100, 202-8, 213, 222, and Bateman et al., Historical Encyclopedia 1:586. 66. Willard Cutting Flagg was enrolled in Wyman's Classical and English High School of St. Louis in 1844. He stayed at the home of James Smith while he attended Wyman's.

67. The Nauvoo charter was granted by the general assembly in 1840, to go into effect February 1, 1841. It was only the sixth such charter granted up to that time, and while not greatly different from the others (those of Chicago, Galena, Springfield, Alton, and Quincy), it was highly controversial. This was partly because of the nature of Nauvoo as a Mormon city, but also because it appeared to give too much autonomy to Nauvoo. Probably the most controversial aspect of the charter was the creation of the Legion, the city's militia. This militia received its commissions from the governor, but its courts martial could frame any law not contrary to the state or federal constitutions; thus, apparently, the city militia was free from state regulation. Perhaps the major problem with the Nauvoo charter was that the non-Mormon population thought it gave too much latitude for interpretation to the Nauvoo city council, and the council unwisely did little to alleviate their anxiety. The 1870 Constitution prohibited any more such charters. See James L. Kimball, Jr., "The Nauvoo Charter: A Reinterpretation." 68. "Democracy of Aristocracy" is probably a reference to that faction of New York Democrats known as the Hunkers but sometimes called the Aristocracy because they represented the capitalists as opposed to the Barnburners, whose membership included a greater proportion of working men. Originally the New York "Aristocracy" had been a group of baronial-type landowners against whom were waged the anti-rent riots which finally forced a constitutional convention in 1846 to modify the

Notes to Pages 61-66 constitution to prevent abuses by landowners. See Edward P. Cheyney, "Antirent Movement and the Constitution of 1846," 283-321. See also Dixon Ryan Fox, The Decline of Aristocracy in the Politics of New York. 69. James Shields, born in Ireland, came to Illinois and was admitted to the bar in 1832. He practiced law in Kaskaskia, served in the Illinois House (1836-1838), and was associate justice of the Illinois Supreme Court (1843-1845). Shields, rising to major general in the Mexican War, went on to be governor of the Oregon Territory in 1848 and to be elected U.S. senator from Illinois the same year. He was rejected, however, as not being a resident of that state, so he returned to Illinois, requalified, and was re-elected in 1849. He left Illinois to hold political offices in other states. Jesse B. Thomas practiced law in Edwardsville, Illinois. He was secretary of state from 1830 to 1834. Elected to the lower house in 1835, he resigned that same year to become attorney general. He moved to Springfield and became circuit court judge in 1837. He resigned in 1839 but was reappointed from 1847 to 1848 when the court was re-formed under the new constitution. John Dean Caton, Chicago attorney, served as justice of the Illinois Supreme Court from 1842 to 1844 and as chief justice for six months in 1855. See Clayton, Illinois Fact Book, roo-102, 206; Palmer, The Bench and Bar 1:39, 44, 77, 2:ro94; Bateman et al., Historical Encyclopedia, 1:84-85, 478, 521; Howard, Illinois, 213-32; and Biographical Encyclopedia, 1, 2, 130, 336. 70. This list has apparently been lost. 7r. George Barnsback, a German by birth, came to Illinois in 1809. He farmed locally and fought in the War of 1812. He made a visit to Germany, and when he returned to the United States, bought a "plantation" in Missouri, which he gave up because he became disillusioned with slavery. He then bought a farm in Madison County, Illinois. He served in the general assembly ( 1844-1846), and on his return to Edwardsville, he distributed his salary among the poor of Madison County. See Clayton, Illinois Fact Book, 212, and Bateman et al., Historical Encyclopedia 1:35 . 72. The Locofocos were a faction of the Democratic party which held extreme beliefs. They censured all banks as being "monopolistic," and opposed protective tariffs because through them the federal government gave financial preference to one group over another. The group "combined the competitive beliefs of British economics (which were now widely accepted in America) with American attitudes about freedom and individuality" (Charles A. Barker, American Convictions, 450). They were said to have been named after a match of the same name. During a meeting at which the Locofocos and another faction were at odds, the opposing faction attempted to end the discussion by turning off the lights. The Locofocos, anticipating this act, had agreed to all light these matches and continue the meeting by the light they afforded. 73. Samuel Buckmaster was awarded the contract. Conditions at the penitentiary so offended Dorothea Dix that she brought about an investigation. She said conditions were unsanitary, crowded, inhumane; the hospital was a cellar, walls were defective, and convicts were punished for talking to each other. See William M. Fitzhugh, "The Alton State Penitentiary and Miss Dorothea Dix." The penitentiary was used to house prisoners of war during the Civil War until it was closed because of its scandalous conditions. 74- William Lyon Mackenzie was principal instigator and leader of the Canadian rebellion of 1837-1838. The steamboat Caroline, hired to carry men and provisions to

Notes to Pages 66-73 Mackenzie's position on Navy Island, was attacked by Commander Drew, RN., acting under the orders of Col. Allan McNab, commander of the militia of Upper Canada. Drew discovered the Caroline at dock in Schlosse, New York, where he boarded it, set it afire, and towed it out into the Niagara River. One man was killed and a number injured in the attack, an incident which precipitated a crisis in Canadian-American-British affairs. Mackenzie fled to the United States, where for some time he had the sympathy of the American public, but by June 1839, he had been convicted of felonious violation of the neutrality act, fined $10.00, and sentenced to eighteen months in prison. Mackenzie had allied himself with the Locofocos and other political radicals in his attempt to gain official support for his cause. The "Patriots" were a large group of people on both sides of the northern border who supported the cause of Canadian independence by every means from political rallies or financial contributions to outright skirmishing with U.S. border patrols and Canadian militia. See Albert B. Corey, The Crisis of 1830-1842 in Canadian-American Relations, and Oscar A. Kinchen, The Rise and Fall of the Patriot Hunters . 75. According to Van Buren's biographer, Denis Tilden Lynch, "intimate letters of the Van Burens and their friends which had been written to Jesse Hoyt were stolen from a locked trunk labled 'J. L. Hoyt's Law Papers' " (An Epoch and a Man, 502). These letters were published with scurrilous interpolations under the lengthy title "The Lives and Opinions of Benjamin Franklin Butler, United States Attorney for the Southern District; and Jesse Hoyt, Counselor at Law, formerly Collector of Customs for the Port of New York; with anecdotes or biographical sketches of Stephen Allen; John Van Buren; ... Silas Wright ... and their friends and political associates," in Boston in 1845. Later the pamphlet was rewritten, expanded, and titled The Life and Times of Martin Van Buren ... Flagg's accusation that Hoyt stole the public's money may be a reference to his collecting tariffs.

76. Robert DeBow married Sarah Ann Hunter, bought property in Hunter's Addition, Alton, in 1835, and established a grocery store. See James T. Hair, Gazetteer of Madison County, 90. 77. The Wests were early settlers in Madison County; Volney P. Richmond, stepson to Gershom Flagg, married Victoria West; thus the two families were connected. In 1851, according to a letter from Willard Flagg, Edward West was named to the board of governors of the New York City Alms House. 78. Eliza Wait Flagg, Gershom's sister, married Oramel Bliss of Essex, Vermont; after his death, she married Heman Liscum. Upon her death in 1841, the Flaggs took in her children and reared them. Gershom's sister Roana married Harley H. Pierce of Vermont, after which they moved to Illinois. Pierce died in 1843 and she married Calvin Hodgeman. Flagg's sentence would seem to mean that Hodgeman bought from the Pierce estate the land Roana Flagg Pierce had lived on. 79. Augustus C. French, a lawyer of "moderate abilities," was elected when more prominent Democrats bowed out of the race for governor in order to unify around French and thus prevent the nomination from going to Lyman Trumbull. French was re-elected in 1848, thus becoming the first Illinois governor to be re-elected and the only Democrat to be so honored in the state's first century (Howard, Illinois, 235). 80. After a German woman suddenly disappeared, stories concerning the manner in which the medical schools disposed of cadavers prompted the rumor that she had


Notes to Pages 73-88

been abducted and murdered so that her body could be dissected, and a crowd gathered outside Missouri Medical College at ninth and Cerre Streets. The crowd became a mob, began throwing rocks at the college windows and threatened to storm the building. A sudden movement in the adjoining building, an octagonal, tower-like stone edifice, caught the attention of the crowd, who looked up to see Professor McDowell, one of the founders of the medical school, giving orders that a cannon be charged and aimed at the crowd. The crowd scattered. Two weeks later, the German woman reappeared, having apparently suffered an attack of amnesia. See Encyclopedia of the History of St. Louis 4:1915, which has the event occurring in the winter of 18471848.

8r. This is apparently a very early date for the sowing of bluegrass. Bogue says that very few farmers, except breeders of improved livestock, were likely to sow grass, the prairie grasses already being so plentiful. And the farmers who did sow bluegrass found that it did not stand up well under prolonged grazing. See Allan G. Bogue, From Prairie to Cornbelt, 141. 82. "Seen the Elephant" was an expression which meant the credulous would not be satisfied until they had seen wonders, just as people go to the circus to "see the elephant." 83. "Suckers" is a derogatory name for early Illinois settlers. 84. Dr. Henry Kent Lathy was friend as well as physician to the Flaggs. His name appears frequently in the correspondence, with references to his visiting and being visited by the Flagg and Paddock families. 8 5. Soloman Preuitt, born 1790, youngest son of Martin Preuitt, fought in the War of 1812 and in the Black Hawk War. During the latter campaign he was promoted to the rank of lieutenant colonel. Among the notes for the history of Madison county which Willard Cutting Flagg proposed to write or have written are reminiscences dictated by Preuitt. These notes are preserved in Lovejoy Library. See also History of Madison County, 78. 86. Hiram A. Pitts began manufacturing threshing machines in Alton, Illinois, in the late 1840s, after which he moved his business to Chicago. See Bogue, From Prairie to Cornbelt, 157. The Pitts factory may have been the source of the machine Flagg was expecting. 87. The Sable Harmonizers were a group of black-face minstrels popular during the 1840s. See Maud Cuney-Hare, Negro Musicians and Their Music, 44. 88 . John M. Krum, lawyer, jurist, and the first mayor of Alton, Illinois, held that office at the time of the Lovejoy riots. Later Krum went to St. Louis, Missouri, and was appointed judge of the Circuit Court of Missouri (1844-1846). He was elected mayor of St. Louis in 1848 and was chairman of the Democratic national convention of 1860 before becoming a Republican at the beginning of the Civil War. See Encyclopedia of the History of St . Louis 2:rr95-96. 89. Joseph Gillespie, attorney, probate judge of Madison County (1837-1839), member of the general assembly (1840-1842) and of the senate (1846-1858), led a state convention for the Know-Nothing Party with Colonel Archer as gubernatorial candidate. He ran for Congress on the Whig ticket in 18 52 but was defeated. He was a strong supporter of the railroads, especially the Illinois Central and was interested in

Notes to Pages 88-99


promoting Alton as a rival to St. Louis. See Palmer, The Bench and Bar 1:684-85; Bateman et al., Historical Encyclopedia 1:201; Biographical Encyclopedia, 515; Clayton, Illinois Fact Book, 209-213, 216-18, 220-21; and Arthur C. Cole, The Era of the Civil War, 149. 90. Joshua R. Stanford appears in various St. Louis city directories in the 1830s and 1840s. He was a grocer and dry goods merchant who became president of Citizens' Insurance Co. in 1845. See City Directory of 1845 . He is not listed in the directory for 1847. It would appear that he was appointed post master in Illinois. He is not on record as having held any elective office in Illinois. 91. William Ellery Channing (1780-1842) was a Unitarian minister, man of letters, advocate of civil liberties, and abolitionist. He played a leading role in the "Unitarian Controversy" in the nineteenth century and was a recognized leader in the Unitarian religion. The Published Works of William E. Channing, D.D., of which five volumes were published in 1842, with a sixth being added in 1843, went through twenty-two editions in England and America by 1872. See Arthur W. Brown, William Ellery Channing, 161. 92. Captain Simeon Rider, formerly a commander of a merchant vessel, was an early settler in Alton, Illinois; he was a business man and financier . See History of Madison County, 381. 93 . Upon the establishment by Congress of land offices at Detroit, Vincennes, and Kaskaskia in 1804, the secretary of treasury was directed to designate in each district land which was to be sold with the proceeds used to fund an academy or school. The land in Fayette County was mostly wasteland, and upon petition by the Illinois legislature, the federal government bought it back and granted the state the right to select thirty-six new sections in its place. The land so granted was carefully chosen, so that it represented some of the most valuable in the state. In 1829, the state adopted the policy of selling the land set aside for education and borrowing the money as a means of raising general revenue. See Moses, Illinois, Historical and Statistical, 990. Churches were responsible for the founding of the first colleges. Illinois College was started by the Rev. John M. Ellis, a missionary who arrived in 1828, bought eighty acres of land, and began a school. See Howard, Illinois, I 77-78. 94. The "extension of the area of freedom" became the motto of expansionists, gradually taking on the connotation of "a religious duty to regenerate the unfortunate people of the enemy country by bringing them into the life-giving shine of American Democracy" (Albert K. Weinberg, "The Mission of Regeneration," 55-56). 95. Scott Palmer was the brother of Governor John M. Palmer. His unpublished memoirs indicate that he loved teaching and held several teaching positions in Illinois and Wisconsin. See W. S. Palmer, Memoirs.

96. The Whigs did, in fact, nominate a general, only it was General Taylor, not Scott; the candidate for vice president was Millard Fillmore. Taylor, a military hero, southern slave owner, and a man with great appeal to the popular imagination, was expected to moderate political tensions. Both the Whigs and Democrats evaded the question of slavery in the territories. This, combined with the resentment of Van Buren's supporters that he had not been nominated in 1844, caused a rift in the Democratic party. The "Barnburner" faction in New York, the anti-slavery Whigs, and the abolitionists joined forces to form a new political party, the Free Soil party,


Notes to Pages 99-107

with the slogan "free soil, free speech, free labor, and free men." While the Free Soilers received only a small percentage of the national vote, this vote was sufficient to split the Democratic vote, with the result that Taylor was elected. See Michael Kraus, The United States to 1865, 434-35 . 97. Since the breed Poland China was not developed until the mid- 1840s, and then by Ohio breeders, Flagg would appear to be a very early experimenter with blooded swine in Illinois. See Bogue, From Prairie to Cornbelt, 106. 98. The cholera epidemic of 1849 claimed the lives of some 4,060 persons. During the week ending June 17, 1849, there were 492 burials, 402 of which were from cholera. To add to the misery of St. Louisans, that year was also the year of the disastrous fire which broke out on a steamboat tied up at the wharf, spread to some twenty other boats, and eventually destroyed most of the business area. See Harry M. Hagen, This is Our St. Louis, 148-151, 137-141. Illinois, of course, was not spared during the cholera epidemic. Gustave Koerner wrote dramatically of the effects upon Belleville, which for a while experienced a death rate of twenty per day: "Business ceased; stores were closed; no one from the country came near the place, and hardly anyone was on the streets. The air was oppressive; for weeks the heavens were clouded; big showers occurred from time to time" (Memoirs of Gustave Koerner 1:543). 99. It was believed that cholera was spread by filth and unsanitary conditions and that a thorough cleaning of the streets, cellars, alleys, back yards, and so forth, would alleviate the distress. The Missouri Republican for June 19, 1849, exhorted the people to see to this cleaning as the city's funds for such measures had been exhausted. Good ventilation was also urged upon the people. See Hagen, This Is Our St. Louis, 149. 100. As in other instances, Flagg was a leader in the experiments with timothy. The Prairie Farmer stated in August, 1845, that timothy could be grown in Illinois only with great difficulty. See Bogue, From Prairie to Cornbelt, 141. Flagg's efforts must have been at least partially successful because he again asks for the price of timothy and also says he has timothy seed for sale. IOI. This may be the man Hagen writes about. "[In January of 1849] St. Louis suffered its first casualty. The man was a healthy laborer who had not been in contact with any infected people. While suffering from diarrhea, he gorged himself on a large amount of sauerkraut. Shortly thereafter, the cholera attacked him." Hagen notes that in many cases, people who were apparently in perfect health were overcome "as if knocked down with an axe" (This Is our St. Louis, 148).

102. Scott Palmer was staying with O'Bannon at the time. Palmer wrote, "Those shut up at O'Bannon's were Mr. and Mrs. O'Bannon, two boys (Sam andJohn), W. T. Elliott, Miss Sue Elsberry, a bound boy named Sutton (who died of the disease), J. A. Slaughter, a neighboring teacher, Harry Mitts (who brought the disease there), and Miss Harrington who was a member of the O'Bannon family and in 1853 married Henry Appleton . .. " (W. S. Palmer, Memoirs). 103. What Lieutenant Lynch in fact brought back from his expedition was a sketch of a salt pillar, which he said was carved and molded by natural forces , and which others said was known as "Lot's wife." See John M'Clintock and James Story, Cyclopaedia of Biblical, Theological, and Ecclesiastical Literature 5:521-22. 104. Captain Benjamin Godfrey, founder of the Monticello Female Academy, Alton businessman and financier, former sea captain, was the sole contractor for a

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railroad from Alton to Springfield. He was also president of the Alton branch of the State Bank of Illinois. See History of Madison County, 381, 505-6. 105. Despite their insistence that there was no epidemic in St. Louis, city officials fled in great numbers, along with some twenty-thousand other residents. Of the city's elected officials, only the mayor, James G. Berry, remained. The enraged citizens called for a meeting, censured their civil servants, and established a twelve-member Committee of Public Health. This committee was granted extensive power and took what measures it could to end the epidemic. It saw to the establishing of temporary hospitals, the cleaning of streets, and the forbidding of the sale of vegetables when physicians recommended an all-meat diet. None of these measures proved effective, of course, and the epidemic raged on through the summer. See Hagen, This Is Our St. Louis, 151. 106. In March 1850, Professor John W. Webster of Harvard College was tried and convicted of the murder of Dr. George Parkman of Harvard Medical College. It was a sensational trial, partly because of the eminent men involved but also because the prosecution, reconstructing charred bones to form a skeleton, presented elaborate anatomical evidence to prove that the skeleton was Dr. Parkman's. Webster was accused and convicted of quarreling with Parkman over debts, stabbing and slashing him, hitting him with a hammer, and then dissecting the body. Webster hid parts of the body in a privy, and parts in a tea chest with decomposing agents; he burned parts of it in a furnace. For a complete narrative and partial transcript of the trial, see The Trial of Professor John W. Webster for the Murder of Dr. George Parkman. 107. Moses True is considered one of the founders of Bunker Hill, Illinois. He, together with John Cavender, John Tilden, James Smith, and William H. Smith, founded a company with the idea of laying out the town. True opened the first store there in January 1836 and operated the first hotel out of his home. He and his son Jacob appear frequently in Gershom Flagg's letters. It appears from this correspondence that Jacob True, who had married a few years previously, and his infant son died during the cholera epidemic. The Mrs. True who is mentioned as suffering great losses is Mrs. Jacob True, and the "great losses" occurred during 1849. See History of Macoupin County, 147. 108. Clay's speech was an appeal to the North and the South to settle their differences regarding the slavery issues. The North was asked to cease agitation for the Wilmot Proviso, for the abolition of slavery in the District of Columbia, and for federal restriction of interstate slave trade. The South was asked to refrain from insisting that Congress admit New Mexico and California as slaveholding states. His efforts as peacemaker were of great influence toward the Compromise of 18 50. Poage, Henry Clay, 200-201. 109. After several years of wrangling on the part of southern Illinois counties, which felt they could derive no benefit from a canal, and of arguing over whether the canal should be a shallow-cut canal with feeder canals or a deep-cut canal which would reverse the flow of the Chicago River, the latter was chosen and construction began. The money came largely from New York and London financiers who were persuaded to underwrite the sale of bonds. The first part of the canal had just begun when the Panic of 1837 struck. The project continued by the use of non-interest-bearing notes, but by 1842 the debt was so great ($4,436,408) that work stopped. The state hoped to salvage its investment by completing the canal with a shallow cut at an estimated cost of $1,600,000. Again New York and London bondholders agreed to loan the money but

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only after the state agreed to a payment of one mill per dollar of assessed valuation from the state's share of tax receipts. The canal was completed in 1848,just two years before Willard's departure for Yale, a trip which took eleven days. See Clayton, Illinois Fact Book, 331-33; Howard, Illinois, 238-39; and Alvin C. Harlow, Old Tow Paths, 279-88. See also Pease, The Frontier State, 123-27; Ford, History of Illinois, 370-85; Gates, Public Land Law Development, 350; and Billington, Westward Expansion, 344-45. 110. Willard Flagg Bliss, son of Oramel and Eliza Wait Flagg Bliss, attended Phillips Academy at Exeter, New Hampshire, and then went on to Harvard. Phillips Academy, founded by John Phillips in May 1783, was attended by such men as Lewis Cass, Daniel Webster, and John A. Dix. Faculty members included Joseph G. Hoyt, later chancellor of Washington University in St. Louis. See Charles H. Bell, The Town of Exeter, New Hampshire, 293-95. 111. Andrew J. Downing, dealing with rural architecture and landscape, was very. influential in spreading the Gothic revival as well as the idea of "romantic gardens"; he is also one of the fathers of the city park in the United States. See Richard B. Morris, Encyclopedia of American History, 637. 112. Edwin Forrest was the first native born actor to attain top rank. He was born in Philadelphia in 1806 and made his debut in that city in the tragedy Douglas in 1820. He made his New York debut at the Park Theater in 1826 as Othello. In the next decade he became a leading American actor, starring in John Stone's Metamora and Robert Bird's The Gladiator, both of which won prizes offered by Forrest to encourage native dramatists. He won recognition in Europe, and his rivalry with the English actor William McCready led to a riot at the Astor Place Opera House in 1849 in which twenty-two people were killed. See Morris, Encyclopedia of American History, 623-24, 709. 113. George Payne Rainsford James (1790-1860) wrote historical novels (Richelieu, 1829; Philip Augustus, 1831; and others), Memoirs of the Great Commanders (1832), Life of the Black Prince (1839), and other popular historical works. His romances were parodied by Thackeray in Novels by Eminent Hands. See The Oxford Companion to English Literature, 407. 114. Very little coal had been mined from the banks of the Muddy River before 1866. Rich veins of coal were visible in the banks of the river, so early miners simply dug out the coal with picks and shovels. See Leo Lesquerex, "Report on the Coal Fields in Illinois," 208-37. As early as 1810 a man named William Boone had taken a flat barge of coal loaded directly from an outcrop on the banks of the Big Muddy to New Orleans to sell. The 1850 census shows a number of men employed as miners living in Dorchester, popularly called Scotchtown because the miners were mostly from Scotland and Wales. Edward Holden was the superintendent of these mines in 1850. See John W. D. Wright, A History of Early Carbondale Illinois, 71. 115. As the arrival of the railroads became imminent, Illinoisans were desirous of building plank roads. Enabling legislation was passed in 1849, providing for the incorporation of a plank road association. By the middle of 1851, some six-hundred miles of plank roads were in existence or in the planning stage "at a cost of approximately $15,000 a mile" (Cole, The Era of the Civil War, 28). 116. Rev. William G. Eliot was a Unitarian minister and a close friend of the Smiths. He greatly influenced Willard C. Flagg, who, before he entered Yale, con-

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templated becoming a minister also. It was Eliot who officiated when Williard married Sarah Smith. II7. Nathaniel W. Taylor, professor of doctrinal theology, "was a leader in the great movement of theological and religious thought, which revolted against the narrower orthodoxy of the times, and turned towards a true Christian freedom" (Timothy Dwight, Memories of Yale Life and Men, 1845-1889, 253). II8. The depot with its famous 140 foot clock tower was erected at Chapel and Union Streets, after the stockholders voted for that location in 1848. It continued to serve as the city's chief passenger station until a new depot was erected at the end of Meadow Street in 1874. See Rollin G. Osterweis, Three Centuries of New Haven, 16381938, 249.

II9 . .Webster's letter was to Baron Hiilsemann, the Austrian representative, who obj'ected to the United States sending an emissary to Hungarians in revolt against the Hapsburg regime. In a note aptly described by Michael Kraus as chauvinistic, Webster wrote, "The power of this republic is spread over a region one of the richest and most fertile on the globe, and of an extent in comparison with which the possessions of the House of Hapsburg are but as a patch on the earth's surface" (quoted in Kraus, The United States to 1865, 442-43). 120. Ursula Bliss and her brother James were attending the wedding of John and Rebecca Scott. Ursula was later married to James Morris. 121. The Compromise Bill, brought in by Clay and the Committee of Thirteen, did little to solve the slavery problem since it would admit California as a state but New Mexico and Utah as territories with no final decision on the extension of slavery and since it would adjust the Texas-New Mexico border in a way that would in effect increase the slaveholding area. Benton roundly denounced the bill, and in doing so, lost the support of the Missouri Democrats. Henry S. Geyer, nominally a Whig, wrote a public letter denying that Congress had the power to legislate on slavery in the territories, with the result that he was nominated over Benton for U.S. Senator, but only after a bitter struggle and several ballots. See William Nisbet Chambers, Old Bullion Benton, 362, 375. See also Elbert B. Smith, Magnificent Missourian. The extreme states' rights position, that a state possessed sovereignty apart from the Union and could therefore nullify any federal legislation not specifically authorized by the state and delegated to the national government, was first promulgated in South Carolina, where the Democrats opposed the federally imposed tariff. The tariff, a solution to the country's financial straits and a means of protecting American producers against imports, the South Carolinians argued, was protective for the Northern manufacturer but punitive for the South, who had to purchase most of its manufactured goods. It was only natural that the "Nullifiers" would extend this principle to federal legislation limiting or controlling slavery. For a discussion of South Carolina's role in the nullification issue, see David F. Houston, A Critical Study of Nullification in South Carolina. 122. Flagg may have been referring to the legislature's preoccupation with the question of whether railroads should be allowed to cross state lines, thus permitting rival out-of-state lines to come into Illinois, or whether railroad rights and charters should be strictly limited to Illinois companies. As Arthur C. Cole says: "The contest became so keen that even political issues were at times subordinated to the railroad issue ... " (The Era of the Civil War, 44). Also in early 1851 the dike from the Illinois

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shore to Bloody Island was completed. The proposed dike, which would force the Mississippi River channel to flow on the St. Louis side of the river, had caused a great deal of ill feeling between Illinois and Missouri. Governor French saw the dike as an infringement on the rights of the people of Illinois. St. Louis was forced to build a road over the dike, with public right of way, and a landing on Bloody Island for the St. Clair County Ferry Company. During the conflict Governor French threatened to call out the state militia to prevent the construction of the dike. See Moses, Illinois, Historical and Statistical 2:565-66, and Howard, Illinois, 240. However, all that was in the past and the more likely explanation is that Flagg was merely condemning the Democrats because nothing they did pleased him. 123. This explanation was in response to a question from Willard, written to acquire information for Professor Denison Olmstead, who was writing an article for the Journal of Science maintaining that the burning of cane brakes caused whirlwinds. Olmstead wondered if prairie fires caused similar phenomena. Olmstead was Professor of Mathematics and Natural Philosophy at Yale. 124. George Thompson, a British abolitionist, returned to the United States at the request of the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society. On November 15, 1835, Thompson spoke at Faneuil Hall in Boston, but the meeting ended in a near riot because of opposition to the abolitionists. When Mayor Theodore Lyman requested the abolitionists to leave, Maria Weston Chapman retorted, "If this be the last bulwark of freedom, we may as well die here as anywhere" (Louis Filler, The Crusade Against Slavery, 76-77. See also Annual Report Presented to the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society 18:64, and Merton L. Dillon, The Abolitionists. 125. Theodore Dwight Woolsey was president of Yale from 1846 to 1871. He was an authority on political science, was interested in international law, and was a Greek scholar. See Reuben A. Holden, Profiles and Portraits of Yale University Presidents, 7180. 126. The Hutchinson family was actively involved in the anti-slavery movement. For a first person account, see John Wallace Hutchinson, Story of the Hutchinshons. 127. Hosea Ballou, famous Universalist minister, born in Richmond, Vermont, in 1771, died in 1852, not long after Willard wrote about him. The son of a Baptist

preacher, Rev. Ballou was the first of many members of that family to become Universalists and achieve recognition as such. See L. B. Fisher, A Brief History of the Universalist Church, 48-55, and Oscar F. Safford, Hosea Ballou. 128. The major issue was the state's position of refusing to grant charters for railroads that did not begin and terminate at major Illinois cities, a position detrimental to agricultural interests. There was so much "railroad feever" that huge public meetings were held, the one at Hillsboro attracting some twelve thousand people (though Arthur C. Cole believes the number to be eight to ten thousand). In 1851, a special session of the legislature had to be called and a general railroad law was passed, but it was so defective as to be virtually inoperative. At the same time a joint committee on railroads issued a report favoring railroads which connected major towns. Judge Douglas and other men with more foresight than the committee had shown urged that the state take action favorable to agriculture, the state's major source of income. A charter for the Ohio and Mississippi Railroad was granted, but it was 18 54 before legislation permitting other construction was passed. See Moses,

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Illinois, Historical and Statistical 2:566-67, and Cole, The Era of the Civil War, 32-47. See also Koerner, Memoirs, 565. 129. "North" West is mentioned several times in Flagg's letters. During the Mexican War, "North" West is described as enjoying the life of a soldier but not liking the officers. It may be, then, that he is the Horace B. West who is listed as a private in Company E of the Second Regiment of the Illinois Foot Volunteers. See History of Madison County, 224. A typed summary of Willard Flagg's notes on early Madison County residents appears to have "North" West dying while on his way to take up his duties as U.S. Minister to Mexico. But explanatory notes-by a person or persons unknown-accompanying the Flagg papers identify Emmanuel J . West as the one who died in Mexico, and there is no verification of any such appointment. It seems more likely that Horace B. West never returned from Mexico and was assumed to have died there. 130. Rev. Thomas Lippincott was a Presbyterian minister who came to Illinois before 18 3 5. See Moses, Illinois, Historical and Statistical 2: 1072. 13 1. The flood of 1844 was the worst experienced up to that time since the beginning of record keeping. The Mississippi River reached to the bluffs near Collinsville, Illinois, entirely covering the American Bottoms. Riverboats were sent on rescue missions, crossing the prairie, taking people and livestock to the safety of the bluffs and taking some from second story windows in Brooklyn and Venice, Illinois, to St. Louis. Water rose up into the businesses on Front Street in St. Louis, so that business in the downtown area nearly ceased to operate. See Hagen, This Is Our St. Louis, 143-44. 132. After a struggle between Whigs and Jacksonian Democrats, both houses passed a bank bill which Governor French, an anti-bank man, promptly vetoed. The demand from industrial and commercial constituents was such that the assembly overrode the veto. When put to public vote, in November 1851, the bill was approved. The law, however, allowed banks which issued non-secured, non-audited paper notes, as well as those which deposited securities with the auditors and obtained notes for circulation. The predominance of the non-secured, non-audited banks endangered the state bank law until repeal seemed imminent, whereupon several secured banks were formed and the situation stabilized. See Cole, The Era of the Civil War, 96-97, and Howard, Illinois, 267. Koerner called it a "most pernicious measure," and said that the Democratic party as a whole denounced it, but that the Whigs and a few northern Democrats, who "had caught the bank fever," supported the law (Memoirs, 564). Despite the Democrats' traditional opposition to banks, a Democrat introduced the measure and the majority of the Democrats voted for it. See Moses, Illinois, Historical and Statistical 2:569-570. 133. John Bartholomew Gough (1817-1886), tells of his experiences in the Temperance Movement in Sunlight and Shadow. 134. Adolphe Thiers (1797-1877) was a journalist and historian who became the prime minister of France on three different occasions, and eventually president of France. His journalistic efforts played a significant role in the overthrow of Charles X in 1830 and the installation of the Duke of Orleans as successor to the throne. He served as prime minister from February to September 1836, March to October 1840, and again in 1871 at the same time he was president. He resigned the presidency in


Notes to Pages 177-183

May 1873. In addition to the History of the Consulate and Empire of France, which Gershom Flagg was reading, Thiers also wrote a history of the French Revolution. The final volume (vol. 20) of the Consulate and Empire of France was published in 1862. See Rene Albrecht-Carrie, Adolphe Thiers. 135. Orestes A. Brownson's search for religious conviction led him from the Congregationalism of his Vermont boyhood to Presbyterianism, Universalism, humanitarianism, Unitarianism, and Transcendentalism. He was a Universalist preacher and a Unitarian preacher; he was active in the socialistic activities of Robert Owens and Fanny Wright, and for a brief time he was a militant atheist. In 1844, he was converted to Roman Catholicism; but his socialistic attitudes made him enemies among the Catholics as well as among the Protestants. He argued for the abolishment of the inheritance of private property, of bank credit, of factory systems, of the modern industrial company. An ardent Democrat, he was a source of embarrassment to that party before his conversion. Afterwards he became somewhat more conservative. His works on Transcendentalism are anthologized, but otherwise he is not much read today. See Orestes Brownson: Selected Essays, 5-7. See also 0. A. Brownson, Essays and Reviews.

136. The Maine Law of 1851 prohibited the manufacture and sale of alcoholic beverages. It was repealed in 1856, but another law took its place a few years later. In 1884, a prohibition amendment was added to Maine's constitution. For a biased and somewhat confusing account of the vicissitudes of the Maine Law, see Ernest Gordon, The Maine Law. 137. Kossuth, a Protestant, was greeted in St. Louis with antagonism, which was partly of his own making: "Before an audience of several thousand people, [he] gave an excellent exposition of his stand in religious matters. He pointed out that among the 55 teachers of the Jesuit College of St. Louis there were eight Austrian Jesuits, deadly enemies of Hungary's democratic efforts. He won a great personal victory, but Roman Catholic animosity could not be wholly dispelled" (Endre Sebestyen, Kossuth, 82).

138. Neither Buckmaster nor Brown was successful, although Brown's name did make it to the convention floor as that of a favorite son. The Democratic nominees were Joel A. Matteson for governor and Gustave Koerner for lieutenant governor, who were eventually elected. The Whigs, in what proved to be their last convention, nominated Edwin B. Webb and James L. D. Morrison; the Free Democrats (Free Soilers) chose Dexter A. Knowlton and Philo Carpenter. Koerner wrote that he became so engrossed in Uncle Tom's Cabin that he forgot to attend the convention on the afternoon of the balloting and learned of his nomination afterwards. See Moses, Illinois, Historical and Statistical, 2:582-83, 586. His interest in this work is indicative of the preoccupation with slavery which the entire country was experiencing, with many nominations or elections depending largely upon the candidates' attitudes toward the Wilmot Proviso. The election of Matteson and Koerner showed the growing power of the Northern Democrats whose views on banking and slavery were moderate, for neither man held strong pro-slavery or anti-banking views. See Cole, The Era of the Civil War, 102-3, and Howard, Illinois, 235-36. 139. P. T. Barnum describes his "conversion" from a moderate drinker to a total abstainer and his temperance lectures in his autobiography. Being convinced that even drinking wine was evil, he arose in the middle of the night and broke all his bottles of

Notes to Pages 183-213 champagne, an act described in his autobiography and one which he used to convince others of his sincerity. See P. T. Barnum, The Life of P. T. Barnum, 359-66, and Hutchinson, Story of the Hutchinsons, r :264. 140. In spite of what the name suggests, Rosamund P. Scott was male. He married Delila Squire, on January 18, 1851. See "Madison County Marriage, Book I," 95. 141. George Bancroft's History of the United States, a ten-volume work, was some forty years in the making. Volume r, written in 1834, was in its twenty-fourth edition in 1872 when Vol. 10 was just completed. Gershom Flagg was apparently reading Bancroft's volumes as they came out, or so Willard's information suggests. 142. Edward Everett, Massachusetts' representative to Congress and governor, minister to England, secretary of state, and United States Senator, was the other speaker at Gettysburg. Everett's Works of Daniel Webster (Boston, 1851) had gone through six editions by I 8 5 3. 143. Theodore Parker (1810-1860), the first permanent minister of the Twentyeighth Congregational Society, was an ardent abolitionist. In 1852 he published The Boston Kidnapping after Thomas Simms, a fugitive slave, was taken into custody and returned to the South. The work was originally an address to the Boston Committee of Vigilance. In r 8 54 Parker was arrested and tried for an inflammatory speech he made during the Anthony Burns affair. He was denied the right to speak in his own defense, so he published the defense, all 22 r pages of it. After a series of legal complications, the indictment was annulled. See Robert C. Albrecht, Theodore Parker, 103-114. See also Theodore Parker, The Boston Kidnapping; Theodore Parker, The Trial of Theodore Parker; and Henry Steele Commager, Theodore Parker. 144. This was probably the Massachusetts convention, which was considered the general convention for many years, although there were several other conventions and even one which called itself the general convention. According to Lewis Beales Fisher, the "parent of our present General Convention was a gathering which met in Oxford, Mass., Sept. 4, 1793 . " It was nearly a hundred years before the Massachusetts convention officially became the general convention (A Brief History of the Universalist Church, 89). 145. Benton's account of his years in the Senate, Thirty Years' View, was begun shortly after he lost his bid for the Senate to Geyer. Some Jacksonian leaders suggested that Benton run for president, but Benton would have nothing to do with that scheme; rather he decided to use his speeches, the papers of Jackson, and other documents, filling in with his own personal narrative, to write a history that had public appeal. It was to be in the largest possible octavo with the smallest possible type in order to include everything. Volume r, which Gershom was reading, was some 739 pages in length, written in small print in double columns. It soon became a reference work for other congressmen. Volume 2 was finished in May of 1856; it was 788 pages in length. In his speech against the Kansas-Nebraska Bill, Benton attacked the bill not on the grounds that it would extend slavery; rather he spoke of constitutional principles, the impact that the Nebraska Bill would have on the public mind because it nullified the long standing Missouri Compromise, and the lack of wisdom on the part of the administration for supporting the bill. He likened the administration to the "ass which donned a lion's skin to scare his master. The master recognized his bray and took a cudgel and almost beat him to death. The moral: 'A caution to all


Notes to Pages


asses to take care how they undertake to scare their masters' " (Smith, Magnificent Missourian, 284-86, 296-97, 299-301, 310). 146. President Pierce, who had so forcefully supported the Kansas-Nebraska Bill, also insisted that the Fugitive Slave Law must operate, and his determination encouraged other officials to increased vigilance on the part of the law. Anthony Burns, a fugitive slave, was arrested on May 24, 1854, and his arrest caused a major reaction among the anti-slavery forces. A mob, inflamed by the eloquence of Theodore Parker and Wendell Phillips, made a valiant but futile attempt to rescue him. The military was called out to escort the terrified slave through the streets of Boston, which were lined with some fifty thousand enraged citizens, cursing the soldiers and screaming "Kidnappers! Kidnappers!" Buildings were draped in funerary crape, church bells tolled. In all, the United States spent forty thousand dollars on a battalion of artillery, four platoons of marines, a sheriff's posse, and the boat on which Burns was returned. See Kraus, The Unites States to 1865, 452; Filler, The Crusade Against Slavery, 213-14; and Samuel Eliot Morison, Henry Steele Commager, and William E. Leuchtenburg, The Growth of the American Republic, 1:587. 147. Azariah C. Flagg was a Van Burenite Democrat. As comptroller of the state of New York, Flagg rose to sufficient prominence in the Democratic party that when President-elect James K. Polk, owing a political debt to New York, asked former president Martin Van Buren to suggest some cabinet members, Van Buren recommended Flagg as secretary of treasury . However, Polk, apparently yielding to pressure from Southern Democrats, appointed Robert]. Walker to the post. None of Van Buren's choices was appointed to the Cabinet. See Joseph G. Rayback, Free Soil, 6364. Azariah was the second oldest son of Ebenezer and Elizabeth Flagg, and had maintained a correspondence with Gershom Flagg from the time Gershom left Vermont. He died in 1873, totally blind.


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Abbott, Jeremiah, 227n . 19 Abolitionism: fanaticism involved with, 52; in New England, 23 8n. 57; practicioners of, 143, 238n. 59, 248n. 124, 251,n. 143. See also · Blacks; Slavery Adams, John Q.: conservatism of, 235n.48; federalism of, 43 _; support for presidency, 34-35, 40, 42, 45, 232n.32, 234n.39, 235n.44 Agricultural Cyclopedia , Willard C. Flagg as editor of, xiv Agricultural Society, Madison County (Ill.) , XIV

Albany, N.Y., 119-20, 138, 162, 189 Albany Cultivator, 53, 60 Aldis, Asa, 40 Allen, Eleeta [? ]. See Randall, Eleeta [? ]Al-. len Allen, Ethan, 42 Allen, Heman, 235n.47 Allen, Rowland P ., 224n. IO Allen, Willis, 60 Alton, Ill., 50, 51, 78 , 107, 158, 168;. Eli Blankenship's move to, 209, 211, 212; Ursula Bliss to, 99, 180; cholera in, 152, 156, 158, 215; Gershom Flagg to, 76, 105 , 128, 149, 158, 159, 161, 178, 188, 194, 201, 214, 216; Willard C. Flagg leaving, r r 5, 199; as government seat, 4 7; railroad cars made in, 201; sale of produce in, 71 , 201; William Smith's move to, xiv Alton College, r 84 Alton Telegraph, 77, 124, 147, 204 American party . See Know-Nothings Anti-immigrant sentiment. See KnowNothings Arbuthnot, Alexander, 234n.38 "Aristocracy," democracy of, 6r, 239-400.68

Armbrister, Robert, 234n.38 Arnold, Isaac Newton, 55, 60, 239n .64 Astronomy of the Bible, lecture on, 137, 140 Auburn prison, New York, 119 Badly, Mr., r 59 Ballou, Rev. Hosea, 149-50, 152, 197, 199, 248n . 127 Baltimore Whig convention (1848), 99-100, 243-44n.96 Bancroft, George, r 86, 25 rn.141 Banks and banking : Banking Law, 171, 249n. 13 2; Bank of Edwardsville, 24, 232n.3r ; Bank of the United States, 223240.9; in Cincinnati, r r; and Illinois public debt, 52-53; Interest Bill, 61, 76; lack of, 59, 228-290. 22; poor credit in, 3 5; robbery at first bank in Vandalia, 23on.28; State Bank of Illinois, 28, 34, 90, 228-29n.22 Barber, Mrs ., death of, 23 "Barnburners," 239-400.68 , 243n.96 Barnes, Major, 105, r ro, 121, 127, 130, 136, 142, 143, 145, 158, 168, 171 Barns back, George, 62, 76, 240n.71 Barnum, A . W., 40 Barnum, P . T ., 179, 183, 200, 250-5rn. 139 Barrett, Dr., 103, 104 Barrett, Mr. , 73 Barton, David, 42, 23on.27, 235n.45 Barton, Joshua, 33, 226n . 14, 23on .27 Bates, Edward, 23on.28 Belleville, Ill., 202 Bennett, Timothy, 229n.24 Benton, Thomas Hart, 141; domination of Missouri politics by, 236n.53; duel with John B. C. Lucas, 23on.27; Gershom Flagg in support of, 213; Senate defeat of, 141, 247n.121; speech on Kansas-Nebraska bill,


211, 213, 251-52n. 145; Thirty Years' View by, 251-52n.145 Berry, James G., 245n. 105 Big Muddy River, 125, 131, 140, 166, 246n.114 Bird, Robert, 246n. I 12 Birkbeck, Morris, 227n.19, 23rn .29 Bishop, Roxana, 8 Bissell, Police Captain, 208 Blacks, 144. See also Abolitionism; Slavery Blair, William, 63 Blankenship, Eli (husband of Julia Paddock Riley Blankenship): letter to Gershom Flagg, 147; marriage of, xvii; travel by, 152, 153, 161, 187, 190, 200, 203, 209, 211, 212 Blankenship, James Paddock (son of Julia Paddock Riley and Eli Blankenship), xvii, 71, 99, 21 I Blankenship, Julia Paddock Riley (sister of Jane Paddock Richmond Flagg): as author, 198; marriages of, xvii; in Thorn Hill, Ala., 138, 140, 149; visit to Paddock's Grove, 99, 161 Blankenship, Martha Enos (daughter of Julia Paddock Riley and Eli Blankenship), xvii, 99, 149, 153, 185, 193, 200, 211 Bliss, Eliza Wait Flagg (sister of Gershom Flagg), xii, xvii, 28, 35-37, 24rn.78, 246n.110 Bliss, James (son of Eliza Wait Flagg and Oramel Bliss), 70, 71, 72, 74, 76, 1 IO, 140, I 84, 24 7n. 120; breaking prairie, I 77, I 78, 183, 187; description of, 74; farm assistance to Gershom Flagg, 75, 76, 95, 100, 150; Gershom Flagg's disapproval of, 205; health of, 74, 102, 145, 153, 168, 212; letters received by, 152, 166, 175; out of touch with Gershom Flagg, 168, 203, 205; owed money by Gershom Flagg, 150, 168, 201; raised by Gershom Flagg, xii; refusal to read or write, 105, 128, 187; in school, 69 Bliss, Oramel (husband of Eliza Wait Flagg Bliss), xvii, 241n. 78, 246n. I IO Bliss, Ursala (daughter of Eliza Wait Flagg and Oramel Bliss), 56, 70, 71, 140, 159, 171, 187, 247n. 120; in Alton, 99, 107, 180; cheese making, 155, 214; correspondence with James Bliss, 105 ; correspondence with Gershom Flagg, 100, 103, 168; correspondence with Willard Flagg, 122, 130, 144, 164, 174, 195, 196, 205; among the Dutch and Irish, 128; farm assistance to Gershom Flagg, 58, 143; health of, 69, 75, 205; intent to marry, 107; letters received by, I 52, 185; marriage of, 199, 205, 247n. 120; owed money by Gershom Flagg, 150; quilting, I 87; raised by Gershom Flagg, xii; return to Paddock's Grove, 111; at Mrs. Sabin's, 192; in school in Paddock's Grove, 59; on

Index sermon of Brother Lippincott, I 54; visit to Mrs. Paddock, 78 Bliss, Willard Flagg ("Bliss"; son of Eliza Wait Flagg and Oramel Bliss), 69, 102, 1 IO, 173-74, 188, 199; correspondence with James Bliss, 105; correspondence with Gershom Flagg, 60, 65, 69, 72, 73, 98, 99, 103, 105, 107, I08, I 13, 120, 127, 128, 130, 131, 136, 141, 150-51, 152, 155, 156, 157, I 82, I 87; correspondence with Willard C. Flagg, 121, 122, 134, 146, 169, 172, 173, 178, 192,198,200, 206; daguerreotype of, 163; health of, 120,134,203; money frorri Gershorn Flagg, 188; at Phillips Academy, 118, 122, 134, 246n. I ro; raised by Gershom Flagg, xii; return to Paddock's Grove, II 1; in school, 57, 58, 74, 84, 201; visits to Willard C. Flagg, 163, 195, 197, 217 Bloody Island, duels on, 23on.27 Bloomington Republican convention (1856), Gershom Flagg as delegate to, xv Bluegrass, 74, 11 I, 242nn. 8 1 Bond,Shadrach, 225nn. 1 I, 12, 226n. 13, 23 rn.29 Boone, William, 246n. 114 Bosby (of Shell Co.), 92 Boston, Mass ., 18, 143, 203, 213 Bostwick's Female Seminary (Alton, Ill.), 211 Bottsford, Moss, 33 Bottsford, Russell, 33, 23on.28 Bowdoin College, I 79 Boyd, A. I., 44-45, 104 Brattleboro, Vt., 134, 164-65, 179 Breese, Sidney, 23on.28 Brooks, Mrs . McAllaster, 50 Brown, Mr., 67 Brown, George T., 183, 250. 138 Brown, J. J., 60 Brown, William, 60 Brownson, Asa, 38 Brownson, Orestes A., xi, 178, 250n. 135 Brownson, Polly, marriage of, 29 Buchanan, James, 237n. 54 Buck, Andrew P., 136 Buck, D. A. A., 40 Buck, Solon, xviii Buck, Thomas, 68, 156, 158, 159 Buckmaster, Samuel A., 63, 183,_24on.73, 250n. 138 Bue:11, Lucy Douglas Flagg (sister of Gershom Flagg), xvii, 18 5 Buell, Samuel, 68, 74, 128, 142 Buell , William (husband of Lucy Douglas Flagg Bue.11), xvii, 41, 142 Buffalo, N.Y., 3, 119, 138, 162, 189 Bull, Mr., 107, 139 Bunker Hill, Ill., I IO, 148-49, 188 Burlington, Vt., 22, 23, 28, 34, 217; changes in, 29, 38, 42; Willard C. Flagg in, 163; fires in, 50- 5 I

Index Burlington Free Press, 40 Burnham, Mr., 61 Burns, Anthony, 213, 251n. 143, 2520.146 Burrows, Mr., 143 Butler, Ezra, 40, 234n. 39 Butler, James, 6, IO Cadiz, Ohio, 3 Caldwell (of Galatin Co.), 92 Caldwell, John, 201 Calhoun, John C., 35, 60, 209, 225n. 12 California, settlers going to, 105, 176, 178, 183, 185, 187 Calvin, Mr., 63 Cambridge, Mass . (Harvard College), 110, 2450.106; Willard C. Flagg in, 146, 151, 172, 202-3 Cambridge, Ohio, 3 Campbell, David, 236n . 52 Canadian rebellion (1837-38), 240-41n .74 Canals, 17, 46, 225n. 12, 245-460. 109 Canandaigua, N. Y., 3 Cape Girardeau, Mo ., 18 Carpenter (treasurer), 63 Carriage manufacturing, in Conn., 144 Carroll, Mrs. (mother of Mrs. West), 61, 173 Case, Warren, 71, 74 Cass, Lewis, 246n. I IO Catholic College (St. Louis), I 84 Catholicism: Orestes A. Brownson and, 250n. 135; Gershom Flagg's distrust of, xi; in Hungary, 177; in St. Louis, 178, 180, 181, 250n. 137. See also Kossuth, Louis Catlin, Guy, 40 Catlin, Thomas, 165, 170, 181, 213, 215 Caton, John Dean, 62, 63, 24on.69 Cavender, James: at Gershom Flagg's, 73, 127, 148, 149, 190; going to London World's Fair, 153; homeward bound, I 17, r r 8, r 2 r, r 66, 200; letters sent via, 99 Cavender, Jane Smith (aunt of Sarah Smith Flagg), xiv, 71, 79, 81-82, 99 Cavender, John, 200, 238n.60; death of wife of, 130; at Gershom Flagg's, 127, 148, 149, 190 Cavender, Newton, 198 Cavender, Robert, 121, 127, 168, 199 Cavender, Mrs . Robert, 199 Caverly, A. W ., 60 Chamberlain, Mr. and Mrs . Bradly, 168-69, 172 Chamberlain, Jason, I 8 Chamberlain, Joshua, 4 Chamberlain, Ulmstead [? ], 4 Champaign County, Ohio, 7 Champion (steamer), 73 Champlain (steamer) , 73 Channing, William Ellery, 95, 243n.91 Chapman, Maria West, 248n . 124 Chase, Dudley, 40


Chase, Salmon P ., 2370.54 Chatterton, Samuel, 48 Chicago, Ill., 117, 189, 216 Chicopee, Mass., 138 Childs, Mr., 145 Chillicothe, Ohio, 7 Chittenden, Col. Giles, 23 Chittenden, Martin, 23, 40, 2340.37 Chittenden, Noah, 40 Cholera: in Alton, 107, 152, 156, 158, 159, 215; in American Bottom, 156; in Belleville, 2440.98; on bc"ats from New Orleans, 154, 155, 160, 188; in Edwardsville, 158, 159; epidemic of 1833, 236n.53; in Jefferson Barracks, Mo., 108; in Middletown, 158; near Paddock's Grove, 128, 153, 215; preventives against, IOI, 216; in St. Louis, IOI, 103, l08, III, 152, 153, 155, 215, 244n. IOI, 245n. 105; spread of, 244n.99; in Springfield, Ill., 152, 156, 215; in Toledo, Ohio, 189, 216; total number of deaths from, 244n. 98. See also Diseases on the frontier Churchill, George, 72; correspondence with Gershom Flagg, 52-53, 55-56, 59, 60-61, 62, 63, 239n.64; as early pioneer of Madison County, 224n. Io; as editor of Edwardsville Spectator, 227n . 19; political career of, 55-56, 59, 60-61 , 62, 63, 238n.59, 2390.64 Cincinnati, Ohio, x, 7, 9; described by Gershorn Flagg, 10-1 r, 14, 17, 20-21, 46 Clark, George Rogers, 221n.2, 23on.26, 232n. 33 Clay, Henry, 51, 235n.44; and Compromise of 1850, 245n. 108, 247n. 121; and Illinois constitution, 226n. r 3; speech on slavery by, 110, 2450 . 108; support for, 35, 43, 45 , 61, 238n.63 Clayton, Jack, 128 Cline, Mrs., 156 Cloud, Rev. Newton, 55, 239n .64 Clymer, N .Y., 191 Coal mining, 6, r 3 r, 140, r 66, 246n. r 14 Coleman, Celah, 3 Coles, Edward, 225n. 12, 230-31n.29, 233n.35 Collinsville, Ill., 125 Columbia College, r 14 Columbia Orator, 56

Columbus, Ohio, 3, 4, 6, 7 Conley, Catherine. See Flagg, Catherine Conley Conner, Ephraim, 224n . IO Conquest of Mexico (Prescott) , 78 Conquest of Peru (Prescott), 102 Constable (of Wash. Co.), 92 Conway, Joseph, 228n.20 Cook, Daniel Pope, 225n. I I, 225n. 12, 232n .32

Index Cook County, Ill., judicial expenses of (1847), 85-88 Cooper, William, 83 Cooper family, 83, 105 Cork, Henry, 74, I 36 Corwin, Mr., 132 Coshocton, Ohio, 54, 136 Covell, Gen. M. L., 55 Covington, Ohio, IO Cowie, Mr., 77 Crafts, Samuel C., 40, 234n.39 Crane, Peter, death of, 23 Crawford, William H., 73, 74; death of, 200; presidential candidacy of (1824), 34-35, 232nn. 31, 32; as secretary of the treasury, 232n. 3 I Cummings, _sman, 22 Curtin, Lewis, 28 Cushman, Seth, 40 Cutting, David, 49, 191 Cutting, Jonas, 191 Dallas, George M., 56, 61-62, 105 Danby and Wells, 48 Darby Creek, Ohio, 18 Davis, Mr., 64, 147 Davis (of MassacCo.), 92 Davis, John, 238n.63 Davis, Shepherd, 100 Davis, Stephen, 105 Day, Frederick, 4 Day, Harry,4 Dayton, Ohio, 7 Dean, Julia, 210 DeBow, Robert, 74, 24m.76 DeBow, Sarah Ann Hunter, 71, 142, 24m.76 Dement, John, 60, 92 Democratic party, 29, 38, 39-40, 94, 131; on banking. 249n. 132, 250n. 138; Orestes A. Brownson in, 250n. 135; delegates to Illinois state convention (1852), 183, 250n. 138; Democrats on Select Committee on Judiciary System, 92; John Adam Dix in, 23637n. 54; in 1844 presidential campaign, 23839n.63; Azariah C. Flagg in, 252n.147; Gershom Flagg's opposition to, xii; Augustus C. French in, 24m. 79; under Andrew Jackson, 39-40; Locofoco faction of, 240n. 72; in Massachusetts legislature, I 37; in Missouri, 247n. 121; in New York State, 239-4on.68; on slavery in territories, 24344n.96, 250n. 138; on states' rights, 247n.121; John D. Whiteside in, 239n.65. See also "Aristocracy," democracy of Devon cattle, introduced by Willard C. Flagg, xvi Dickenson, Charles, 234n. 38 Dickey, H. T., 86 Dickson, Mr., robbery at house of, 30 Diseases on the frontier: dental problems,

105; diabetes of Gershom Flagg, xiii; fever and colds, 7, 21, 47, 79, 102, 120-21, 181; general unhealthiness of Illinois, 7, 21, 23, 26, 97; gout, 212; measles, 178, 181; milk sickness, 7, 9, 222n.4; scarlet fever, 103, 181; smallpox, 103, 229-3on.26; yellow fever, 105, 199. See also Cholera Dix, Dorothea, 240n. 73 Dix, "General" John Adam: correspondence with Gershom Flagg, 136, 147, 213; Gershorn Flagg speculating on land for, xi, 47, 53, 202; at Phillips Academy, 246n.110; political career of, 236-37n.54 Doolittle, Mrs., I I 3 Dorsey, N. Mortimer, 59, 73, 77, 176, 177; death of, 189; health of, 140, 176, 178, 185; sale of land by, 64, IO 5; wife of, 61 Dorsey, Samuel, 128 Downing, Andrew J., 246n. I I I Droughtof185~ 201, 203-5 Dueling: between Joshua Barton and Thomas C. Rector, 33, 23on.27; between Timothy Bennett and Alphonso C. Stuart, 30, 229n. 24; between Thomas Hart Benton and John B. C. Lucas, 23on.27, 236n.53; between Abraham Lincoln and James Shields (1842), 239n.65 Duncan, Joseph, 236n. 52 Dunklin, Daniel, 236n. 53 Economy. See Prices on the frontier Edgar, John, 232n.33, 233n.35 Education: Gershom Flagg's interest in, xiii, 3, 10, 104, 107; Lancasterian (one-room) system, IO, 223n. 8; in Ohio, 3, 10 Edwards, Dr., 107, 199 Edwards, Ben, 199 Edwards, Cyrus, 45, 92, 236n.49 Edwards, Ninian, 234n.40; and banking, 227-28n.20, 232n.31; as Illinois state senator, 226n. 13; as territorial governor, 225nn . II, 12, 227n.I6 Edwards, Sue Mudge, 199 Edwardsville, Ill., 34, 45, 76, 96, 165, 17576; P. T. Barnum's show in, 200; cholera in, 158, 159; court at, 83, 97, 183; deaths in, 60; Gershom Flagg in, 48, 156; Flagg family descendants in, xvii; growth in, 2425; measles in, 178; prices in vicinity of, 27 Edwardsville Illinois Republican, 227n.19 Edwardsville Spectator, 24, 34, 35, 227n. 19, 230-3 m.29 Eells, Richard, 61 Eldridge, John, 38 Electoral College of Illinois (1845), 60-61 Eliot, Rev. William G., xiv, 131, 24647n.116 Ellis, Abner (husband of Virginia Richmond Ellis), 58, 161, 165; correspondence of, 64, 79, 102, 152; health of, 79, 131,132,201,

Index 203, 214; marriage of, xvii; visit to Paddock's Grove, 121, 214 Ellis, Henry, 199 Ellis, Rev. John M., 243n.93 Ellis, Orville, 140, 145, 149 Ellis, Virginia Richmond (daughter of Jane Paddock and Barney Richmond): children of, 54, 121, 142, 161, 214; correspondence of, 58, 60, 131, 182; health of, 64, 79, 1023, 152, 203; marriage of, xvii; out of touch with Gershom Flagg, 109; relationship to Flagg family, xii, xvii; visit to Paddock's Grove, 54, 121, 214 Ellis, Volney, 57-59, 64, 95, 99, 102 Elm Ridge experimental farm (Alton, Ill.), xiv Enabling Act of 1818, 237n.55 Engelke, .Charles, 201 Engelsby, Mrs., death of, 23 Enos, Julia, 172, 187, 190 Enos, Pascal P. (husband of Salome Paddock Enos), 27, 28, 30, 39, 43, 79; as friend of Gershom Flagg, 27; marriage of, xvii, 23 334n. 36; migration to Midwest by, 23334n.36; in St. Louis, 18; taxes paid by Gershorn Flagg, l 39 Enos, Roger (brother of Pascal P. Enos), 27 Enos, Salome Paddock (sister of Jane Paddock Richmond Flagg): children of, xvii; fire at home of, 65; marriage of, xv~i, 23334n.36; taxes paid by Gershom Flagg, 13536; visiting Paddock's Grove, 121, 190, 199 Enos, Zimri, xvii, 79, 151-52, 153, 226n. 15 Erie, Pa., 3 Essex, Vt., 163 Estabrook, Mr., 74 Everett, Edward, 193, 25 rn. 142 Evey (of Shelby Co.), 92 Ewing, William, 63, 239n.64 Farmers' Association, Illinois State, established, xvi Farm machinery: bought by Gershom and Willard C. Flagg, xvi; for harvesting, 158; lack of, xii; reaper and mower, 154, 155, 156, 214; threshing machines, 78, 242n. 86 Fay, Henry, death of, 23, 148 Federalism, 43 Fifield, Mary, 124, 149, 165, 179, 201 Fillmore, Millard, 132, 243n.96 Fish, Sarah, 201 Fisher, Dr. George, 232n.33 Fitch, Dr., 123, 150 Flagg, Artemas (eldest brother of Gershom Flagg), 49, 178, 184, 204, 216; correspondence with Gershom Flagg, xi, 5- IO, 1520, 25-26, 27-28, 30, 31-38, 41-42, 76, 141, 148, 174, 211; Willard C. Flagg's visit to, 41, 142, 163, 211, 217; marriage of, 13, 15; out of touch with other Flagg family

members, 54, 136, 142; relationship to Gershorn Flagg, xi; in Vermont, xi, xvii Flagg, Azariah C. (brother of Gershom Flagg), xi, 47-48, 170, 197, 212; children of, 141, 146; correspondence with Gershom Flagg, xi, 3-4, 10-12, 12-13, 15, 24-25, 26-27, 30, 45, 46, 47-48, 53-54, 97, l 1314, 237n.53; Willard C. Flagg visiting, 118, 120, 148, 170, 173, 190, 2IO, 21 l, 216, 217; health of, 163; as New York State comptroller, 45, 53, 192, 252n.147; in New York State legislature, 34; out of touch with Gershom Flagg, 136, 142; pamphlet on Rock Island Rail Road, 191; as president of Mohawk Valley Rail Road Company, xi, 147; relationship to Gershom Flagg, xvii; as treasurer of Hudson River Rail Company, 97; visit to Elizabeth Cutting Flagg, 45; visit to Paddock's Grove, 215 Flagg, Bessie (daughter of Sarah Smith and Willard C. Flagg), xvi Flagg, Catherine Conley (wife of Thomas Wait Flagg), xvii Flagg, Dr. Ebenezer (father of Gershom Flagg), 14, 31, 252n.147 Flagg, Eliza Wait. See Bliss, Eliza Wait Flagg Flagg, Elizabeth Cutting (mother of Gershom Flagg), 153; correspondence with Gershom Flagg, 13, 14-15, 30-31, 44; Azariah C. Flagg's visit to, 45; health of, 49; marriage to Ebenezer Flagg, 252n.147; Flagg, G. (Gershom Flagg's uncle), IO, 72 Flagg, Gershom: anti-war ideas, x, 75; on Orestes Brownson, 178; correspondence of, ix, xi, xii; on democracy, xi, 248n. 122; and diabetes, xiii; on education, xiii, 3, IO, 104, 107; emigration of, x, 3; on engineering profession, 84-85; family described, xii, xvii-xviii; as farmer, xii-xiii, 3, 5-6, 21, 25, 26, 54-58, 64, 68-74, 77-79, 95, 98102, 108-l l, 120-21, 128, 150, 152-55, 158-59, 161, 165-66, 176, 185, 187, 191, 193-94, 199-201,, 204-5, 212-15, 242n.81; on federal constttutton, 91-93, 97; on toreign policy, xi, 74; on government economies, 32, 41-42, 88-90; health of, xiii, 4, 5; hired hands of, xii-xiii; as land dealer, xi, 13, 19, 37, 41, 44-45, 47-49, 53, 97, 142-43; land warrant of, x; lectures to Willard C. Flagg, xiii, 112-13, 211; letters to editors 8 5-92; marriage of, xii; on Masons, 182; personality of, xi; political views of, xii, xv; as postmaster, xii, 63, 185; on religion, xi, 95, 106, 140, 177; and Republican party, xii, xv; on slavery and states' rights, xi-xii; as surveyor, xi, xiii, 19, 21, 22; taxes of, 77, 95, 135, 139, 204; on thrift, 25, 112-13; trip through Ohio, x, 3, 6, 9-10, 12, 14, 21; and activities in Ver-

Index mont, xi, 5; views on Vermont, 15; war service (1812), x; worth of, 37, 95, 178 Flagg, Gershom (Willard C. Flagg's cousin), 76, I 52 Flagg, Isobel. See Hatch, Isobel Flagg Flagg, Jane ("Jennie"; daughter of Sarah Smith and Willard C. Flagg), xvi Flagg, Jane Paddock Richmond (wife of Gershorn Flagg),57, 108, 149, 171, 201; farm work by, 99 , 143, 205; health of, 102, 148, 160, 161, 214; letters from Willard C. Flagg to, 170-71; making money, 112; marriage of, xii, 233-34n. 36; proposed visit to St. Louis, 64; relatives of, xvii; staying in Paddock's Grove, 67, 99; trips to Alton, 70-71, 148; worries about Willard C. Flagg, 67, 153, 160 Flagg, Josephine Hehner (wife of Norman Flagg, grandson of Gershom Flagg), xvii Flagg, Lucy Cochran Lake (wife of Willard Parker Flagg), xvii Flagg, Lucy Douglas . See Buel, Lucy Douglas Flagg Flagg, Maria (daughter of Azariah Flagg), 146 Flagg, Maria Sitterly (second wife of Willard Parker Flagg) , xvii Flagg, Mary. See Gillham, Mary Flagg Flagg, Mary Ann (sister of Gershom Flagg), xvii, 106; correspondence with Gershom Flagg, II, 25, 35, 36, 134; health of, 75; news from Gershom Flagg to, 4 Flagg, Norman (grandson of Gershom Flagg; son of Sarah Smith and Willard C. Flagg), xvi-xvii Flagg, Roana. See Hodgeman, Roana Flagg Pierce Flagg, Sarah Smith (daughter-in-law of Gershorn Flagg; wife of Willard C . Flagg): acquaintance with Willard C. Flagg, xiv, 118; children of, xvi-xvii; correspondence with Willard C. Flagg, xiv, 125, 130, 168, 192, 195, 208; education of, xiv; fann run by, xvi; journal of, xv; letters burned by, xiv; marriage of, xiv, 246-47n. 116 Flagg, Thomas Wait ("Wait"; youngest brother of Gershom Flagg), 45, 173; alcoholism of, 136; migration to Ohio, xi, xvii, 54; out of touch with Gershom Flagg, 211 Flagg, Willard (grandson of Gershom Flagg; son of Sarah Smith and Willard C. Flagg), xvi Flagg, Willard (great-grandson of Gershom Flagg; son of Norman Flagg), xvii Flagg, Willard Cutting (son of Jane Paddock Richmond and Gershom Flagg) : birth of, xii, 44; correspondence with Sarah Smith, xiv, 125, 130, 168, 192, 208; during Civil War, xv; death of, xvi; education of, xiiixv, xviii, 74-75, 98, l 13-14, 144, 239n.66; on Gershom Flagg, x; health of, xv; inter-

est in inventions, xvi; as horticulturalist, xvi; interest in agriculture, xiv, xvi, xviii, 95-96, 196, 197; journals of, xv; marriage of, xiv, 246-47n. 116; on blacks, 144; personality of, xiii-xiv; political views of, xv; as postmaster, xv, xvi; recommended by Edward Wyman, 98; on religion, 135; as revenue collector, xv-xvi; romantic notions of, xiii, II3-14; in St. Louis, xiii; as senator, xv, xvi; trip to New Haven, 18990; trip to New York, 114-18; writing prize, 182; at Yale College, xii, xiv, 12226, 129-30, 146-47, 151, 162-63, 167, 195, 206, 213, 215-17 Flagg, Willard Parker (brother of Gershom Flagg), xvii, 1 11, 136, 168, 174; correspondence with Gershom Flagg, 121, 177, 183, 190; health of, 44, 175; letter to James Bliss, 166; marriages of, xvii; migration to Ogle County, Ill., xi, 235n.46; money sent from Gershom Flagg to, 111, 113, 166, 168; out of touch with Gershom Flagg, 68, 142, 202, 2u; in Tenecket, 153; visit to Gershom Flagg (1830), 44, 235n.46 Flagg and Associates, consulting engineers, XVll

Floods: in American Bottom (1851), 155, 158; at Burlington, Vt., 42; causes of, on Mississippi, 157, 160; at Edwardsville, 31, 33 ; at junction of Ohio and Mississippi rivers, 14, 21; on Mississippi and Missouri rivers (1844), 75, 249n.131; around Paddock's Grove (1852), 180, 188; in Springfield, Ill., 161 Fly plagues, 18, 49, 52 Football, college, 124 Ford, Gov., 62 Forrest, Edwin, 120, 246n.112 Foster, Charles, 74, 78 Foster, John, 64, 67, 68, 71, 78 Foster, William, 68 Frankfort, Pa., 139 Franklin, Benjamin, 91, 101-2 Franklin, Ill., 155 "Freeman, Jonathan." See Birkbeck, Morris Freemasonry, 43, 182 Freeport, Ill., 189 Free Soil party, xv, 137, 239n.64, 243-44n.96 Frelinghuysen, Theodore, 61 Fremont Clubs, established by Willard C. Flagg, xv French, Augustus C., 60, 72, 24 In. 79, 248n. 122, 249 n. 132 French settlers, 223n.7, 224n.10, 230-31n.29, 232n.33 . See also Migration westward "Frontiersman's bill," 222-23n. 5 Galena, Ill., 125, 189 Galt, Mr., 176, 183, 185 Galusha, Jonas, 40, 234n. 39

Index Galusha, Truman, 40 Genes see County, N. Y., 4 Genessee Farmer, 53, 147 Genessee River, 3 George, William F., 142 Geyer, Henry S., 141, 145, 247n . 121, 25rn.145 Giles, Mr., 70 Gillespie, David, 224n. IO Gillespie, Joseph, 60, 88-90, 242-43n .89 Gillham, Edward (husband of Mary Flagg Gillham), xvi Gillham, Mary Flagg (granddaughter of Gershorn Flagg; daughter of Sarah Smith and Willard C. Flagg), xvi Gillis, John, 143 Gilpatrick, Charles, 50, 5 1 Gilmer, Thomas Walker, 236n.52 Godfrey, Capt. Benjamin, 107, 244-45n. I04 Gooseville, Ill., 201, 20 5 Gough, John Bartholomew, 172, 174, 249n. 133 Granger Laws, xvi Graves, Mr., 64 Gravier, Father, 232n. 33 Gray, William, I05 Greeley, Horace, 175 Green, Eliphalet, 23 rn. 30 Greensburgh, Ky., 128 Greenville, Ill., 105 Greer, Mr., 158 Greers burgh, Pa., 3 Griswold, William A., 40 Hadley, Mr., 58 Haights, Stephen, 40, 234n. 36 Hall, Bela, 48 Hallock, Stephen, 18 Hamilton, Andrew, 187 Hand, Mr., 110 Hand, John, 96 Hand, Joseph, 71, 148 Handsaker, Mr., 147 Handshy, Frederick, 176 Hansen, Nicholas, 23 rn.29 Hardy, George, 205 Harlan (of Clark Co .), 92 Harmony, Ohio, 6-7 Harrison, Mr., 74 Harrison, James, 74 Harrison, William Henry, 222n. 5, 225n. 11 Hart, Mr., 78 Haswell, N. B., 41 Hatch, Isobel Flagg ("Belle"; daughter of Sarah Smith and Willard C. Flagg), xvi Hatch, 0. M . (husband of Isobel Flagg Hatch), xvi, 6 Harvard College. See Cambridge, Mass . Haven, Mr., I03 Hawley and Dunlap, 50

Hay, Adam, 71-72, I02. See also Hoe, Adam Hay, Henry, 102 Hebner, Josephine. See Flagg, Josephine Hehner Henderson (of Will Co.), 92 Herr, John, 73. See also Kerr, John Hess, Mr., 158 Hinton, 0., 77 Hoadley, Enoch (husband of Semanthy Flagg Hoadley), xvii, 148 Hoadley, Semanthy Flagg (sister of Gershom Flagg), xvii Hoadley, Sidney, 175 Hoboken, N.J., 52 Hodgeman, Calvin, xvii, 71, 212, 24rn.78 Hodgeman, Roana Flagg Pierce (sister of Gershom Flagg), 49; correspondence with Gershom Flagg, 3 5; health of, l 83, 185; marriages of, xvii, 24rn. 78 Hoe, Adam, 68. See also Hay, Adam Hoez (of Lasell), 92 Holden, Edward, 246n. l 14 Holmes, Jacob, 139, 193 Hooser, John, 105 Hope, Dr., 156 Howard, Benjamin J., 228n. 20 Hoxie, Mr., 77 Hoyt,Jesse L., 66, 24rn .75 Hoyt, Joseph G., 246n . 1 IO Hudson River, 120 Huggins, Mr., 142 Humphries, David, 222n .3 "Hunkers," 239-4on.68 Hungary. See Kossuth, Louis Hunter, Sarah Ann. See DeBow, Sarah Ann Hunter Hunter's Addition, Alton, Ill., 24rn.76 Huntington, Mr., 61, 142 Hurlbut, Daniel, Jr., 23, 92 Hustis, Hiram, 77, 83 Hutchinson family, 149, 248n. 126 Hutchinson, Titus, 40 Hyndman, Mr. (husband of Ladosky Pierce), 180 Illinois, 9, 13; border with Indiana, 16, 22425n. 11; in 1818, 16-18; early ~ettlers described, 19; and veterans' land warrants, x, 13 Illinois College, 97, 243n . 93 "Illinois fever," x, 15 Illinois Glass Works, Belle Flagg Hatch employed at, xvi Illinois Industrial College, xiv-xv. See also Illinois, University of Illinois River, 11 5 Illinois, University of, xiv, xvm. See also Illinois Industrial College Indiana, 3, 5, 9, 16, 224-25n.11 Indians: in Green Bay, 223n. 7; and Andrew

266 Jackson, 234n.38; Kaskaskia tribe, 232330.33; and land cessions, 19, 21, 221220 .2; land in possession of, 4, 7, r r; land treaties with, 221-220 .2; Mandan tribe, 32, 229-300.26; settler kidnapped by, 77 Insane asylum, Brattleboro, Vt., 164-65 Intelligencer, 123, 132, 204. See also National Intelligencer; St. Louis Intelligencer; Vandalia Intelligencer; Washington "Intelligence"; Western Intelligencer Jackson, Andrew: and banking, 228-290.22, 249n. r 32; and Thomas Hart Benton, 236n.53, 251-520 . 145; Democratic party under, 39-40; opposition to, xi, 43, 234n.38, 235nn. 43, 48, 236n.52, 238n.57; presidential campaigns of, 42, 232n.32, 2350.44; support for, 46 Jackson, Low, 78, 107, 109 James, George Payne Rainsford, 125, 246n.113 Jefferson, Thomas, 43, 132, 139 Jefferson Barracks, Mo ., 108 Jewett, Mr., 164, 179 Job, Mr., 131 Jo Daviess County, Ill., judicial expenses of (1847), 85-88 Johnson (neighbor at Paddock's Grove), I I 3 Johnson, Edwin, 39, 42, 50, 51, 52 Johnson, John, 34, 35; correspondence with Gershom Flagg, xi, 20-24, 28-30, 35, 3840, 42-43, 50-52, 227n. 18, 234n .39; on Democratic party, 29, 38, 39-40, 234n.38, 235n .48, 238n. 57; as mentor of Gershom Flagg, xi; as surveyor, xi, 227n . 16 Johnson, Joseph, 50-51 Johnston, Andrew, 55 Johnston, Noah, 55 Jones, Mr. (receiver of public money, Edwardsville), 60, 72, 73, I 12 Judd, Allen, 138 Judges, salaries of, 62-63, 85-88, 89 Judy, Samuel, 224n. IO Kane, Elias Kent, 234-350 .40 Kansas-Nebraska Act (1854), xii, xv, 206, 21 I , 213, 251n.145, 252n.146 Kaskaskia, Ill., 36, 232n.33 Kaskaskia Republican Advocate, 227n.19 Keemle, Charles, 54, 108, 238n .61 Keemle, Mrs ., 108, 132 Kelley, Mr., 70 Kelly, Col. James, 33, 23on .28 Kelph, Mr. , 85 Kerr, John, 74. See also Herr, John Keyes , Samuel, 40 Keyes, Stephen, 40 King, Mr., 153 Kinney (of Beaureau Co .), 92 Kinney, William, 92, 227n . 19

Index Kirkpatrick, Thomas, 224n. IO Knappi( of Scott Co . ), 92 Know-Nothings , xv, 242n.89 Koerner, Gustave, 224n.98, 249n . 132, 250n . 138 Kossuth, Louis, xi, 170, 174-75, 178, 180, 181, 186-87 250n. 137 Kraft, Mr., r 56 Krum , John M ., 81, 242n.88 Ladew, A. P., 110, 111 Lafeyette, George Washington, 233n .35 Lafeyette, Marquis de, 23 3n. 3 5 La Harpe, Ill., 50, 5 r Lake, Lucy Cochran. See Flagg, Lucy Cochran Lake Lancaster, Joseph, 223n. 8 Land, frontier. See Indians, land in possession of; Public lands Larned, Prof., 215 LaSalle, Ill., 116,216 Lathy, Dr. Henry Kent: Ursula Bliss's stay in Alton with, 99; as friend of Flagg family, 77, 242n.84; health of, 158, 176, 178; treatment of Flagg family, 103, 104, 148, 161 ; visiting Paddock's Grove, 79, 215 Lathy, Mrs . Henry, 158, 159, 201, 211, 212 Lathy, William, 77 Laughlin, William K., 61 Lavendar, John, 53 Lee, Robert E., 23on.27 Leonard, Mr. , 125 Leonard, Luther, 49 Lewiston, N . Y., 3, 4 Liberty party, xv Liberty Prairie, Ill., xi, 93 Licking River, ro Lincoln, Abraham, xv, 60, 239nn . 64, 65 Lind, Jenny, 124, 145, 172 Linder, U . F., 60 Linn, Lewis, 236n. 53 Linonia, Yale Society of, 126, 129, 162, 167, 174, 179 Lippincott, Thomas, 227n. 19 Lippincott, Rev . Thomas, 154, 249n. 130 Liscum, Eliza Wait Flagg Bliss. See Bliss, Eliza Wait Flagg Liscum, Heman, xvii, 71, 74, 241n.78 Livestock, xvi, 9, 17-18, 27, 101, 164, 244n.97 Locofocos, 62, 66, 94, 132, 240n. 72, 241n. 74 Logan, Judge, 55 Long, Stephen, 225n. 12 Loomis, Nathaniel, 236n.51 Lorilard (tobacco grower), 106 Louisville, Ky ., 14, 36 Louisville journal, 76 Lovejoy, Owen, 61 Lovejoy riots, 242n. 88 Lucas, John B. C., 23on .27

Index Lusk, James, 236n.49 Lusk, John T., 45, 236n.49 Lyman, Theodore, 248n. 124 Lynch, Lieut., ro6, 244n. 103 Lynch, John, 176 McAllaster (McAllister), Mr., 50, 51 McBride, William, 239n.65 McCready, William, 246n. II2 McDonald, John, 55 McIntire, Mr. (coal digger), 77 McKee, John, 223n.20 McKendree College, Willard C . Flagg as trustee of, xv Mackenzie, William Lyon, 66, 240-4rn. 74 McKinney, R. T ., 227n.20 McLean, John, 226n. 13, 228n.22, 23 rn.29 McNab, Col. Allan, 24rn. 74 Macoupin County, Ill., 156 McPherson, Evan, 44-45, 46-47, 236nn. 50, 52 McPherson, George, 236n. 50 McPherson, Murdock, 47 McVay, Mr., 105 Madison County, Ill., xi, xii, xiv, xvii-xviii. See also Paddock's Grove, Ill. Maine Liquor Law, 179, 183, 250n. 136. See also Temperance movement Mallard, Mr., 123 Mallery, Rollin C., 40 Manly (of Clark Co.), 92 Manuel, Simeon, 18 Marchall, Robert, 61 Marest, Father, 232n.33 Marsh, Mr., 214 Martin, Mr., 88 Martin, Samuel, IO Mary Institute (St. Louis), daughters of Sarah Smith and Willard C. Flagg at, xvi Mason, James, 228n.20 Masons. See Freemasonry Matamoros, Tex., 77, 83 Mather, Thomas, 23on.28 Mathews, Joseph, 54, 113 Matteson, Joel A., 250n. 138 Mayfield, I., 44-45 Meadville, Pa., 3 Menard, Pierre, 233n.35 Mercer, Pa., 3 Messinger, John, 21-22, 24, 29-30, 39, 43, 227n . 16 Messinger, Lemuel, 29 Mexican-American War, x, xi, 75, 77 Miami River, 7, IO Michigan, x, l l 8 Middleton, Conn., 38 Middletown, Ill., 158 Migration westward: bound for California, 105, 110, 131, 176, 185, 187; difficulties of, 5, 7; and federal policies, x; by Germans,

xii-xiii; by Irish, xii-xiii; by New Englanders, ix-x, 4, 5, 221n.1, 233n. 34, 235n.42; at Shawneetown, 233n .34; and War of 1812, x. See also French settlers Miller, Soloman, 40 Minshall (of Schuyler Co.) , 92 Mississippi River, 204; described, 21; Gershorn Flagg's journey on (1817), x, 12, 13, 21 ; Willard C. Flagg's journey on, 189; floods on, 14, 21, 75, 249n.131, 55, 157, 158, 160, 180, 188 Missouri, xi, 5, 9, 13-15 "Missouri fever, " I 5 Missouri Republican, 244n.99 Mitchel, Mr., 33 Mitchell, James, 202 Mohawk River, 3 Monroe, James, 225n. 12, 226n.13, 234n. 39 Monticello Female Academy, 244n. 104 More, Thomas, 61 Morgan, John J., 236n . 54 Morgan, Lockwood, 92 Morgan, William, 235n.47 Mormons, 239n.67 Moro, Ill., xii. See also Paddock's Grove, Ill. Morris, David, 60, 64, 67, 68, 73, 83, 201, 211 Morris, James, 73, 105, 199, 203, 247n . 120 Morrison, James L. D., 25on.138 Morrison, William, 232n.33, 233n.35 Mudge, Sue, 199 Murphy, W. C., 55 Murray, N.Y., ·4 Muskingum River, 3, 6 Naples, Ill., 115 Nashville, Tenn., 36 National Intelligencer, 141. See also Intelligencer National Leader, 56 Nativism. See Know-Nothings Nauvoo charter, 59, 63, 239n.67 New Castle, Pa., 3 New England: hard times in, ix-x, 5, 29, 222n. 3; migration westward from, ix-x, 4, 5, 22rn. 1, 233n.34, 235n.42 New Era, 77 New Haven, Conn., 133, 137, 142, 143, 146, 165, 179, 206 New Lancaster, Ohio, 3 New Lisbon, Ohio, 3 Newman, William, 77 New Orleans, La., 17, 154-55, 188, 199 Newspapers, 190, 197; Gershom Flagg's letters to the editors of, 85-92; from Philadelphia, 77; scarcity of, on frontier , 5. See also names of individual newspapers Newport, Ohio, 10 New York City, 46, 162, 172-73, 189; Crystal Palace, 200; Azariah Flagg elected comptroller of, 192; libraries of, 210; New


268 Year's celebration (1851), 134-35; restaurant dining in, 209-10; theaters in, 209-10 New York]ournal of Commerce, 192 New York State, 119-20 New York Tribune, 21 I Niagara Falls, N. Y., 3, 4, 199 "Nullifiers," 145, 247n. 121 O'Bannon family, 103, 213, 244n. 102 Ogle County, Ill., xi, xvii, 185 Oglesby, John, xv Ohio: agriculture in, 3, 7, 9; climate of, 9-10; described, 3, 6-8; duplication of place names in, 4; Gershom Flagg in, x, 3, 6 "Ohio fever," x, 15 Ohio River: Gershom Flagg's journey on (1817), X, IO Olin, Henry, 40 Olmstead, Prof. Denison, 162, 192, 213, 248n. 123 Orwell, Vt., 49, 164 Osborne, Ralph, 224n.9 Osterman, Mr., 148 Owens, Robert, 250n. 135 Paddock, Caddy (cousin of Eillard C. Flagg), 190 Paddock, Elvira (sister of Jane Paddock Richmond Flagg), xvii, 190, 191, 193, 200, 214 Paddock, Evalina Anvil (sister of Jane Paddock Richmond Flagg), 190, 191, 193, 214 Paddock, Gaius (father of Jane Paddock Richmond Flagg), xii, 224n. IO, 234n. 36 Paddock, Joanna (sister of Jane Paddock Richmond Flagg), 145, 163, 193 Paddock, Julia. See Blankenship, Julia Paddock Riley Paddock, Mary (sister of Jane Paddock Richmond Flagg), 65, 106-7, 111, 132, 140, 151-53, 187, 214 Paddock, Mary Bailey (wife of Orville Paddock), xvii, 65 Paddock, Orville (brother of Jane Paddock Richmond Flagg), xvii, 60, I 2 I, r 30-3 I, 143, 156, 178, 185, 190-91 Paddock, Polly Wood (mother of Jane Paddock Richmond Flagg): boarding house of (St. Louis), x, xii, xvii, 108; farm of (Paddock's Grove), 65, 78-79 Paddock, Susan (sister of Jane Paddock Richmond Flagg), xvii, 65, 105, 121, 125, 170, 187, 190, 192-93, 195, 197, 203, 214 Paddock's Grove, Ill., xii, 198 Palmer, John M., 243n.95 Palmer, Scott, 99, 243n.95, 244n . 102 Palmer, W. A., 40 Parish, Mr., 55 Parker, Theodore, 202, 205, 251n.143, 252n . 146 Parkison, Col., 3 3

Parkman, Dr. George, 108, 245n. 106 Parsons, Mr., 102, 109 Parsons, Levi, 109 Partridge, George, I 17, 238n.60 Peck, Charles, r 8 Peck, John Mason, 23 Inn. 29, 30 Perry, Mrs., 65 Peru, Ill., r r 6 Phi Beta Kappa society, at Yale, 162, 198, 217 Phillips, John, 246n. r 10 Phillips, Wendell, 252n.146 Phillips Academy, 246n. I IO Pierce, Delia, 205 Pierce, Franklin, 252n.146 Pierce, Harley H., xvii, 49, 71, 241n.78 Pierce, John, 55 Pierce, Ladosky, 136, 180, I 82 Pierce, Roana Flagg. See Hodgeman, Roana Flagg Pierce Pierpont, Rev . John, 195 Pike, Nathan, 229n.24 Pioneer Letters (Buck), xviii Pitts, Hiram A., 242n. 86 Plattsburg, N.Y., 48 Polk, James K., xi, 56, 61-62, 75, 105-6, 237n.54, 238n. 57, 238-39n.63, 239n .65, 252n.147 Pomeroy, Dr., 23 Pope, Nathaniel, 226n. 13 Porter, William, 48, r 56 Prairie fires, 16, 142, 248n.123 Preston, Mr., 55 Preuitt, Martin, 242n. 8 5 Preuitt, Solomon, 77, 242n. 85 Prices on the frontier, 3, 5, 7-8, 20, 21, 26, 27, 28, 34, 36, 41, 44, 46, 74, 75, 132, 201 Prickett, Abraham, 228n. 20 Prisons, 63,119, 24on.73 Public lands, 8-9, 11, 13, 27, 222-23n.5, 223n.6, 228n.21, 235n .41, 237n.55, 243n.93 Purdy, Lyman, 50 Purple: Norman H ., 60 Quincy, Ill., 48 Randall, Eleeta [?], Allen, 4 Randall, Theophilus, 4 Randle, James, 224n . ro Randle, John, 224n. IO Rattans Prairie, Ill., r 83, 19 5 Rector, Elias, 226n.14 Rector, Thomas C., 33, 226n.14 Rector, William, 19, 226n. 14 Reily, Mr., 74 Republican party, xii, xv, 40, 239n .64 Reynolds, John, 231n.30 Reynon, Polly Brownson, 29 Richardson, William A., 55, 60, 239n.64 Richmond, Barney (first husband of Jane Paddock Richmond Flagg), xii, 234n. 36

Index Richmond, Emanuel (son of Volney P. Richmond), 190 Richmond, Jane Paddock. See Flagg, Jane Paddock Richmond Richmond, Victoria West (wife of Volney P. Richmond), 100, 105, 128, 134, 155, 177, 214, 24m.77 Richmond, Virginia. See Ellis, Virginia Richmond Richmond, Volney P. (son of Jane Paddock and Barney Richmond), 58, 73, 177, 201, 214; to Alton, 199; children of, 113, 190; correspondence of, 56, 57, 64, 102, 125, 128, 129, 173, 182, 192, 195; health of, 105, 181, 191, 193; in Know-Nothings, xv; land purchased by, 64; married to Victoria West, 24 m. 77; out of touch with Willard C. Flagg, 170; at Paddock's Grove, 79, 155; relationship to Gershom Flagg, xii, 57 Richmond, Vt., x, 3, 23, 29, 52, 148 Rickard, Mr., 1o 5 Rider, Capt. Simeon, 71, 97, 107, 243n.92 Ridgely, Ill., 102, 171, 205, 213 Riley, Henry (first husband of Julia Paddock Riley Blankenship), xvii, 53, 74, 99, 194, 212, 216 Riley, Henry 0. (son of Julia Paddock and Henry Riley), xvii Riley, Julia Paddock. See Blankenship, Julia Paddock Riley Riley, Mary (daughter of Julia Paddock and Henry Riley), xvii, 128, 131-32, 136, 13839, 145, 193, 197-98, 200-201, 208, 21 l 12 Rising Sun, Ind., l 7 Robinson, John M., 235n.40 Robinson, John P., 93 Robinson, Solon, 60 Robertson, Wyndham, 236n. 52 Rochester, N.Y., 3, 119 Rockford, Ill., 189 Rock Island, Ill., 189 Roseberry, Mr., 105 Ross, Mr., 64 Round, Mr., 64, 69, 71, 77 Rushville, Ill., 48 Rye Beach, N.H., 162 Sabin, Mr., 64, 78, 143 Sabin, Mrs., 192 Sacramento, Calif., 139 St . Charles, Mo ., 28 St . Clair County, Ill., 22, 213 St . Louis, Mo., 33, 57, 61, 73, 78, 132, 142, 241-42n.80; Catholics in, 178, 181; cholera in, IOI, 103, 108, 153, 155, 188, 215, 244nn . 98, 99, 101, 102; described, x-xi, 12; fire in, 110; Gershom Flagg's journey to, x, 12-14, 21; floods in, 75, 155, 158, I 80, 249n. 3 I; markets in, x, 143; Mrs . Pad-

dock's boarding house in, x, xii, xvii, 108; river traffic in, 17, 36; society in, xiv; stage lines, 93; steamboat explosions, 145, 244n.98; Daniel Webster's funeral in, 193; Wyman High School in, xiii, 192 St. Louis Intelligencer, 201, 205, 213. See also Intelligencer St. Louis Republican, 77 St. Louis Reveille, 238n.61 Salt, 46, 233n.34, 236n.51 Salt Lake City, Utah, 130 Salter, Charles C., 121, 122, 130, 165, 181, 192, 215 San burn, Mr., 8 5 Sanford, Peres S., 48 Sangamon, Ill., 109 Sanners, Mr., 100 Savann~ Ill., 188-89 Sawyer, Col. James, 38 Saxe, John G., 182, 217 Scatez (of Jefferson Co.), 92 Schenectady, N .Y., 3 Scioto River, 6 Scott, Doxy, 136 Scott, James (senior), 185 Scott, James M., 128, 176-77, 183, 185 Scott, John, 140, 247n. 120 Scott, Miles, 176, 183, 185 Scott, Rebecca, 140, 247n. 120 Scott, Rosamund P., 185, 25m.140 Scott, Gen. Winfield, 100, 243n.96 Seneca County, N.Y., 4 Seward, William H., 217 Seymour, Horatio, 40 Shaw, John, 23 m .29 Shawneetown, Ill., 36, 233n.34 Shields, Maj. Gen. James, 62, 63, 239n.65, 24on.69 Short, Jacob, 229n.24 Shurtleff College, 196, 198 Silliman, Prof., 126, 169 Silliman's Journal, 128 Simms, Thomas, 25m . 143 Sinclair, Maj . Robert, 3 I Sitterly, Maria. See Flagg, Maria Sitterly Skinner, Richard, 40, 234n. 39 Slavery, xi, xv, 33-34, 36, 143-45, 149, 2303 m.29, 237n. 54, 245n. 108, 247n. 121, 248n.126, 25m .1 45. See also Abolitionism; Blacks Smallpox, 103, 244n. 102 Smith,George: in college, 150-51, 162, 175; correspondence of, 66, 82-83, 96, 99, 128, 130, 150, 168; daguerreotype of, 163; on dull preachers, 127; with Flagg family, 54, 55, 57, 58, 59, 60, 66; health of, 109, 172; out of touch with Gershom Flagg, 122, I 55 Smith, Israel, 48, 50, 164 Smith, Col. James (uncle of Sarah Smith Flagg) : correspondence of, 54, 57, 58, 59,

Index 60, 66, l03, 127, 145, 147,148,,157,166, 168, 193, 238n.60; Willard C. Flagg boarding with, xiii-xiv, 58, 67, r 14, 239n.66; and founding of Bunker Hill, Ill., 245n. 107; in grocery business, 109, rrr, 131; health of, 100; payment to, 76, 95-96; produce for, 79; on trips, 73, 83, 121, 156, 160, 162, 175, 200 Smith, P. (Mrs. James Smith; aunt of Sar . Smith Flagg), 64, 83, 172; correspondence of, 54-55, 58, 59, 65, 81-82, 98, 107-8, 121, 130, 131, 138, 147, 161, 163, 168, 175, 187, 193, 215; health of, 78, 100, 154; opinion of Cambridge, 122; payment to, 76; produce for, 79, 127; on trips, 73, 96, 12122, 162, 200 Smith, Jane. See Cavender, Jane Smith Smith, John, 77, 148-49, 200 Smith, Maj., 38, 73, 82 Smith, Pliny, 49 Smith, Robert C. (uncle of Sarah Smith Flagg), 127-28, 168; as friend of Gershom Flagg, 54, 65 , 66, 83, 163; health of, 109, 193, 200, 201; political experience of, xiv, 238n.62; on trips, 158, 211 Smith, Mrs . Robert (aunt of Sarah Smith Flagg), 54, 158 Smith, Sarah. See Flagg, Sarah Smith Smith, S. Lisle, 60 Smith, Theopholis, 227n. 19 Smith, William H. (uncle of Sarah Smith Flagg), 63, 101, 103, 168; and Big Muddy coal banks, I 3 I, 140; correspondence of, 199; and Elm Ridge experimental farm, xiv; as founder of Bunker Hill, Ill., 245n. 107; health of, 109; migration west of, 238n.60 Smith Academy, xiv, xvi, 238n.60 Smith Brother and Co ., 66, 70, 78, 85, 95, 101-2, 148, 151, 238n.60 Spalding, D . A., 48 Spencer (of Rock Island), 92 Spencer, Moses, 18 Springfield, Ill., xvii, 54, 57, 132, 141, 165; cholera in, 152, 156, 215-16; Democratic party convention in, 72; fire in, 77; flooding in, 161; Mary Paddock in, 140, 151-52; stage lines in, 93; Whig party convention in, 55 Springfield, Mass ., 143 Springfield, Ohio, 3, 14 Squire, Delila, 25 In. 140 Stanford, Joshua R., 79, 93-94, 96-97, 243n.90 Starr, Mr., 105 Stephenson, Benjamin, 228n.20 Stevens, Abraham, 29, 229n.23 Stone, Mr., 77 Stone, John, 246n. 112 Strong, Mr., 62

Stuart, Alphonso C., 229n.24 Stuart, Peter, 61 Swain, David L., 236n. 52 Sweatland, Mr., 24 Sweet, Martin P., 60 Syracuse, N. Y., 138 Tappan, Mr., 188 Tax titles, 237n.55 Taylor, Father, 202, 205, 206 Taylor, C. D ., 120 Taylor, Clayton, 163 Taylor, Dr. Nathaniel W., 133, 146, 247n. I 17 Taylor, Gen. Zachary, 100, 243-44n.96 Tazewell, Littleton, 236.n52 Temperance movement, 172, 174, 179, 183, 185, 249n.133, 25on.136, 250-51n.139. See also Maine Liquor Law Terre Haute, Ind., 105, 201 Thiers, Adolphe, 177, 249-5on. 134 Thomas, Jesse B., 62-63, 225n. 11, 226n. 13, 231n.29, 24on.69 Thompson (of Peoria), 92 Thompson, George, 143, 248n. 124 Thorn Hill, Ala., 136, 138, 140, 149 Tilden, John, 245n. 107 Tindall, Mrs. Charles, 139 Toledo, Ohio, 189, 216 Town-Gown conflict, 73, 192, 206-8, 24142n. 80 Troy, N.Y., 3 True, Jacob, 58, 64, 72, 73, 102, 103, 245n. 107 True, Mrs . Jacob, 109, 121, 128, 138, 15254, 156, 158, 160-61, 166, 245n. 107 True, Moses, I 52, 245n. 107 Trumbull, Lyman, xv, 241n .79 Tryon, Mr., 201 Tyler, John, 238n .63

Uncle Tom's Cabin (Stowe), 186, 250n . 138 Unitarian-Universalism, xi, xiv, 149, 209, 243n.91, 246-47n. I 16, 248n. 127, 250n. 135, 251n.144 Urbanization, x Urbana, Ohio, 7 Utica, N.Y., 3 Van Benthuysen, Mr., 45 Van Buren, John, 241n.75 Van Buren, Martin, 52, 236n.52, 238n.63, 241n.75, 243n.96, 252n.147 Vandalia, Ill., 33, 34, 47 Vandalia Intelligencer, 230-3 In .29 . See also Intelligencer Van Ness, Cornelius P., 38, 40, 234n .37 Vanzand (mapmaker), 41 Vermont, xi, 5; compared to the West, 5-6; described, 23, 29, 38-39, 50-52; economic

Index conditions in, 5, 43, 49; as Flagg family home, x, 15, 174 Veterans' benefits in western land, x, 2350.41 Waddle, Mr., 33 "Wait." See Flagg, Thomas Wait Wait, Thomas B., 18 Wait, William S., 18 Wales, G. E ., 40 Walker, Robert]., 2520. 147 Waller, Mr., 154 Walls, Tom, 102, 105 Walworth, Mr., 24 Waples, Timothy, 107 War of 1812, and migration westward, x Warren, Hooper, 227n. 19 Washington, D.C., National Era, 205 Washington "Intelligence," 172. See also Intelligencer. Washington, University, xiv, xvi, 238n.60, 246n. 110 Wead (of Fulton Co.), 92 Webb, Edwin B ., 60, 2500.138 Webster, Mrs., 83 Webster, Daniel, 137, 192-93, 195, 197-98, 209, 246n. 110, 247n.119 Webster, Prof. John W., 245n. 106 Wells, Mr. (candidate for lieutenant governor), 72 West, Edward C., 54, 71, 170, 189, 24m.77 West, Emmanuel J., 249n. 129 West, Horace, 249n. 129 West, Nehemiah, 61 West, "North," 61, 73, 77, 153, 155, 249n. 129 West, Victoria. See Richmond, Victoria West Western Intelligencer, 224-250. 11. See also Intelligence Weybridge, Vt., 164 Whig party, xii, xv, 49, 52, 55, 92-94, 100, 131-32, 137, 145, 193, 2350.43, 2360.52, 2380.62, 238-390.63, 2420.89, 2430.96, 2500.138 Whitcomb, Thomas, 3 8 White (minister), 82


White, Edward D., 2360.52 Whiteside, John D ., 239n.65 Whiteside, Major S. B., 3 1 Whiteside, Sheriff William Bolin, 3 1, 229n. 2 5 Whiteside, William C., 45, 2290.25 Whitney, Luther, 4 Whitneyville, Conn., 187 Willard, Julias A ., 61 William and Mary, College of, 198 Williams (of Adams Co .), 92 Williams, Archibald, 60 Williston, Vt., 23, 29 Wilson, Miss, married to John Hand, 96 Wilson, Mr. (hired hand), 150, 154, 155, 158, 161, 181 Wilson, Edward, 105, 141 Winemaking, 161, 171 Wolves, 17-18 Women's rights, 107, 165 Wood, Mr. (Gershom Flagg's tenant), 64, 67, 68, 71, 78, 83, 105 Wood, Edward, 201 Wood, John D., 56, 60, 2390.65 Woodstock, Vt., 18 Woolsey, Theodore Dwight, 144, 169, 2480.125 Wright, Mr., 78 Wright, Fanny, 2500. 135 Wright, Gideon, 18, 78 Wright, Silas, 236n. 54, 24m. 75 Wright, William, 23 m.60 Wright and Co. (London), 52, 2380.58 Wyman,_ Edward, xiii, 56-57, 65, 97, 98, 109, 115 Wyman Classical and English High School (St. Louis), xiii, 192 Yale College: Willard C. Flagg at, xii, xiv, 122-26, 129-30, 146-47, 151, 162-63, 167, 195, 206, 213, 215-17; student pranks at, 123-24, 147-48, 157-58, 163, 169, 179, 181, 184, 186 Yates, Richard, 213 Zanesville, Ohio, 3, 6