Letters, diaries, and other papers associated with exploration, the westward movement, overland travel, the gold rush, homesteading and settlement, and daily life on the frontier in the U.S.
*Collections marked with DIGITIZED MATERIALS have additional digitized items available.
Alderman, James R., Papers, 1838-1876, (C3153)
Miscellaneous documents and notes, largely concerning real estate transactions, licensing of lawyers and preachers, indentures, government appointments, and elections, and railroad charters. Arranged chronologically.
Allen, William R., Letter, 1851, (C0545)
1 folder, typed copy
Dr. Allen describes trip from Missouri to Oregon City: cholera plague on Great Plains, loss of possessions in blizzard, difficulty in keeping order in wagon train, and rescue by Oregon City citizens. Cost of housing, food, and farm products. Description of land, farming, gold mining, lumbering, and other industries and businesses.
Allison-Ingram Family, Papers, 1840-1873, (C3593)
The papers of the Allison-Ingram family contain letters relating family news and telling about life in Montana, and a power of attorney (in Spanish and translation) to Thomas Allison from Owen Ruble.
Anderson Jr., William James, (1884-1967) Papers, 1840s-ca. 1965, (K0058)
9 cubic feet
Diaries, letters, business ledgers and records, manuscripts, photographs, and other materials created and collected by Anderson and his family which relate to the history of the Kansas City metropolitan area. Anderson was a local historian and descendent of Thomas Johnson and John Wornall.
Anderson Jr., William James, (1884-1967) Westport Scrapbook, (K0396)
Newspapers clippings and notes pertaining to the history of the town of Westport, MO, now part of Kansas City.
Appleby, John (1814-1852), Letter, 1848, (C0498)
To his parents, Berlin, TN, from Dade County, MO, January 2, 1848. Local prices of land, Negroes, stock, and grain; national and local politics. Sketch of Appleby by his great-nephew, A.B. Appleby. Typed from a copy in the possession of L. Grimes.
Applegate, Lisbon (1803-1875), Collection, 1819-1903, (C0996)
2 linear feet, 18 volumes
Correspondence and business papers of Lisbon and Lewis M. Applegate of Keytesville, Missouri. Letters from George W. Applegate in California, 1848-1873, describing prospects for ranching, gold mining, and wine-making ventures; politics; and impact of Civil War and abolitionists. Civil War in Missouri; politics in Missouri and Chariton County; economic conditions and opportunities in Chariton County.
Ashley, William Henry, Letter, 1825, (C1939)
To General Atkinson from St. Louis, Dec. 1825. Letter relating to Ashley's Rocky Mountain explorations. Apparently draft of letter sent. Also typed copy.
Aull Family, Business Papers, 1841-1843, (C0592)
List of merchandise bought from James Aull by Woodson Manion, 1837-1842. Article of agreement on the sale of land signed by Robert Aull, Samuel Owens, I.S. Allen, Wm. H. Russell, S.W. Waddell and Alexander M. Ramsey. I.O.U. blanks. A deed of Robert Aull, 1841.
Ayer, Edward Everett (1841-1927), Reminiscences, 1924, (C2694)
The collection contains reminiscences of his first trip away from home, and itinerary across the plains to California, and descriptions of people met, work in the mines, enlistment in the army and subsequent service, and the return home in 1864.
Baer, Eleanora A., "Books Newspapers and Libraries in Pioneer St. Louis, (1808-1842)," 1961, (C3519)
Thesis prepared for Library School of the University of Wisconsin. Gives description of books brought to St. Louis by settlers, and acquisition of materials in early schools and libraries.
Bailey, David, Land Grant, 1804, (C0535)
Grant of tract of land in Botecourt County, VA, to David Bailey by John Page, governor of Virginia.
Bargdoll, Amos, Letter, 1851, (C0543)
1 folder, typed copy
Description of gold mining town in California, with mention of cholera, prices, and friends. Original in possession of Irene Conway, Chillicothe, MO.
Barnes, Sarah Holcomb Randleman, Reminiscence, 1909, (C3167)
The collection contains an account of pioneer life in Dallas and Polk Counties, MO.
Bates, Moses, Deed, 1812, (C0485)
For land in Ste. Genevieve District, Missouri, near Mine at Breton, October 1, 1812.
Bay, J. Christian (1871-1962), Papers, 1922-1959, (CA6295)
0.8 cubic feet
Correspondence, photographs, and books written or owned by Jens Christian Bay, a Danish-American writer and librarian. Many were sent as gifts.
Beall, Samuel W., and Ira Town, Agreement, 1859, (C2065)
Agreement between Beall and Town covering financing of trip by Town to mining region.
Bedford Family, Papers, 1849-1870, 1940s, (C2610)
0.2 linear feet
Correspondence of the Bedford Family of Andrews County, Missouri, Southern sympathizers during the Civil War.
Berry, J. Calvin, Letter, 1842, (C1461)
The papers contain one letter written by Berry to John H. Marmon, April 16, 1842. He writes his brother about a tour of Missouri and compared opportunities in Missouri and Illinois. The letter includes descriptions of the countryside, markets, southern market route to Europe, fertility of soil, Missouri and Mississippi Rivers, administration of land in Missouri, and business affairs in Illinois.
Berry-Thomson-Walker Family, Papers, 1830-1893 (C0074)
0.2 linear feet
Biography of David Thomson, founder of Georgetown and Sedalia, MO; correspondence of his son, Milton T. Thomson, in Pettis County and California gold fields; James T. Walker and Charles W.C. Walker in Boonville, KY, and North Carolina; William and Thomas Berry's California gold mining expense accounts; and miscellaneous papers.
Bingham, Johnston Lykins (1800-1876) and Martha Lykins (1824-1890) Collection, 1841-1950, (K0294)
4 folders, 2 volumes
Scrapbooks and other items, chiefly clippings, documenting Mrs. Lykins' promotion of the establishment of the Home for Widows and Orphans of Confederate Soldiers: an account book kept for the Patawatomi Baptist School and Mission, which Lykins, missionary, businessman, mayor of Kansas City, MO, took over from his first father-in-law, Isaac McCoy; an account book by Lykins and Brent; and clippings of material written by Mrs. Lykins, Lykins, and others.
Bishop, Z.C., Letters, 1850-1851, (C3782)
The collection contains typescripts of two letters from Bishop in the Oregon Territory to his brother Thomas, Warsaw, Missouri. The letters discuss weather, prices for supplies, and a meeting of the territorial legislature. In connection with the latter, he mentions a disagreement between the legislature and the governor over the location of the capital.
Bode Family, Papers, 1754-2010, (C3999)
7 linear feet, 1 audio cassette, 2 audio tapes
The collection contains the personal and professional papers of four generations of the Bode family, many of whom were ministers in the Evangelical Church Society of the West (Evangelischer Kirchen Verein des Westens), now the United Church of Christ. The collection includes correspondence, photographs, sermons, publications, and publicity clippings.
Boone, Albert Gallatin (1806-1884) Papers, 1836-1857, (K0475)
9 folders, 0.25 cubic feet
The papers of Albert Gallatin Boone contain deeds and other legal documents of Boone, a grandson of Daniel Boone and store owner in Westport, Missouri, who supplied the Santa Fe Trade. With the opening of the Kansas Territory, Boone became the agent of Southern Pro-slavery interests for political control of the territory.
Boone, Daniel (1734-1820), Affidavit, n.d., (C1467)
The collection contains Daniel Boone's affidavit that his son, Daniel Morgan Boone, claimed 600 arpents of land in St. Charles, Missouri, granted by Zenon Trudeau, September 1, 1797, inhabited and cultivated before October 1, 1800.
Branstetter, Peter L., Diary, 1850-1851, (C2983)
1 reel of microfilm
The collection contains an account from an overland trip from Pike County, MO, to California taken by Peter L. and Adam J. Branstetter in 1850. The diary describes the trip, the weather, the route taken, and the land along the route. It also lists the miles traveled each day, accounts of purchased supplies, and the money made in California from gold mining. The return trip to Missouri in 1851 is also described, but in much less detail.
Breckenridge, Thomas E. (1825-1897), Papers, 1894, 1950, (C0691)
The papers contain a petition for pension, 1894; family notes, and "The Breckenridge Memoirs" by John Mitchell, 1950.
Brenneman Family, Letters, 1849-1888, (C0220)
Letters written by members of a Mennonite family. Family news, trip from Rocking County, Virginia, to Jasper County, Missouri, news of the community and rules for church converts.
Bridgford, Jefferson (1822- ), Letters, 1850-1851, (C3793)
Letters of Jefferson Bridgford to his wife in Missouri while on the Oregon Trail and working in California during the gold rush.
Britton, Wiley, Papers, (CA6230)
0.2 linear feet, 2 computer discs
Papers of a Civil War veteran and writer. Includes correspondence, writings, genealogical documents, news clippings, and legal documents. Britton wrote on the Civil War and pioneer life in Missouri.
Brouster, George Washington, (1830-1887), Letters, 1850-1851, (C1832)
Letters written by Brouster to his family in St. Louis County, MO, while on an overland trip to the California gold fields in 1850 and while mining for gold in various parts of California.
Brown, Andrew Theodore (1923-1983) Collection, 1960-1963, (K0011)
2 cubic feet
Personal incoming and outgoing correspondence of a historian and educator, including that related to Wilson's work on the Kansas City History Project, proposals for a history of the J.C. Nichols Company, and progress on his dissertation on the City Beautiful Movement. Also included are research notecards and early printed material related to the Kansas City Terminal Railway Company.
Brown, Lawrence Robert, Papers, 1949, (C3214)
1 folder,"Draft of master's thesis entitled "Frontier Dramatic Criticism, St. Louis, 1835-1838
submitted to the University of Wisconsin speech department. A history and analysis of the theater in St. Louis, 1835-1838. Letter from Brown to William G.B. Carson about his project.
Brown, Nellie Fisher, Papers, 1831-1874, (C0212)
Land deeds, 1861-1874; address from Hannibal Gazette; postcard; deed of correction, 1874; theme; authorization for layout of public road, 1835; announcement of school examination, 1831.
Bryson, John, Articles of Agreement, 1817-1819, (C1585)
The records contain articles of agreement of John Bryson, Joel Shaw, and Sam K. Caldwell, April 3, 1817, and January 12, 1819, concerning land on which Louisiana, Missouri, is located.
Bullard, James (1848-1925), Diary, 1876-1878, (C0219)
Kept by Bullard on a trip from the Dakotas to Mexico. Prospecting, weather, game, Indians, ranches, and Mexicans.
Bumgardner, James Jr., (1835-1917) "Reminiscences," n.d., (C1061)
1 volume, typescript
Reminiscences of life in Virginia, Kentucky, and Clinton County, MO.
Bundy, S.G. (1836-1917), Autobiography, 1912, (C2985)
1 reel of microfilm
The collection contains an autobiography of a farmer, pioneer, rural school teacher, Union soldier, and Methodist missionary and minister.
Burke, George William, (1827-1857), Papers, 1850-1857, (C3796)
Collection of fifty-eight letters written between June 1850 and March 1857 by George W. Burke of Saline County, MO, to his parents William and Lurany Thornton Burke, brothers and sisters, and grandparents, all of Saline County, describing his journey west and life in the gold-producing area of northern California until his death there in 1857.
Burris, Edith S., "Patsy the Pioneer," n.d., (C2947)
The papers contain an account of the life of Rebecca Gregg, Missouri pioneer, and includes the impact of War of 1812 and Civil War, and incidents of pioneer life.
Burton, Mattie P. (1882-1982) Papers, 1958, (K0144)
A letter, undated and unsigned, presumably by Miss Burton's mother describing her experiences as a pioneer in Indiana and Nebraska; a biographical statement on Mattie Burton, owner of the Burton Publishing Company in Kansas City; and drafts by Mattie Burton of Westport Branch of the National League of American Pen Women activities.
Bush Family, Papers, 1819-1923, (C3887)
0.2 linear feet on 1 roll of microfilm
Journals, farm records, and correspondence of a Boone County, Kentucky, family who settled in southeastern Arkansas. The papers detail 1819-1820 steamboat trips up the Missouri River to Council Bluffs and 1850s farm operations.
Caldwell, John Boyd (1822-1870), Family History, (C2172)
The collection contains biographical sketches of John Boyd Caldwell and family, describing their trip from Kentucky to Callaway County, MO, in 1826, establishment of the first pottery business in Missouri, and pioneer life.
Carpenter Family, Papers, 1796-1851 (C0237)
Israel Grant’s will, 1796; Davis Burton’s will, 1815; deed for Missouri land, 1830; and trustees’ report to Boone County, Missouri, school board, 1851.
Carter, William A., Letter, 1850, (C0542)
1 folder, typed copy
To his wife Mary, from Hangtown or Placerville, CA, Aug. 11, 1850. Work, prices and conditions in gold fields around Placerville.
Case, Theodore Spencer (1832-1900) Papers, 1880-1940, (K0295)
4 folders, 2 volumes
A handwritten manuscript of an early reminiscence of Kansas City. Scrapbook by Case, a doctor/lawyer, local historian, civic leader, that contains travel photographs, and family material, diplomas and certificates awarded to Case and his son, Ermine C. Case.
Chilton, Octavia Blackwell, Letter, 1842, (C2059)
To Betsey Blackwell, Warrenton, VA, from Boonville, MO, Nov. 3, 1842. Letter to mother giving family news and greetings and discussing merits of life in Missouri.
Chouteau, Auguste A., and Constance, Deed, 1818, (C1491)
Deed to Fenton F. Goss for a lot in Florissant, MO.
Christopher, Adrienne Tinker, ""he Story of Daniel Yoacham," n.d., (C2927)
Traces the Yoacham family of Westport, Missouri, through three generations, and discusses fur trading in Missouri. Includes anecdotes and legends of fur traders of the 1820s and 1830s.
Clarkson Family, Papers, 1810-1870, (C1705)
0.2 linear feet
This collection contains Clarkson family correspondence primarily between Colonel Charles S. Clarkson, his wife, Charlotte, and their children, originating from Ohio, Kentucky, St. Louis, and other locations, concerning family news and business matters. Correspondence from friends and extended family members is also included.
Clay County, Missouri History and Genealogies Scrapbook, 1850-1896, (K0445)
Letters and oaths relating to disenfranchisement under the "Drake Constitution"; autobiographical statements on early Clay County settlers; miscellaneous items including obituaries, sale and other announcements, and letters to the editor. Presumably all of these holograph documents were in some form published in the Liberty Tribune.
Cleghorn, Daniel B., Family, Papers, 1848-1892, (C0252)
The Daniel B. Cleghorn Papers consist of a diary, scrapbook, correspondence and accounts primarily documenting Cleghorn's business dealings and travels.
Cockrell, Ethlyn, Collection, 1846-1859, (C0254)
Letter from Trenton, Missouri, tells of journey from Kentucky, staking claims for homesteads, putting in crops; 300-400 Mormons in north Missouri on their way to California, and Missourians' feelings toward them; food prices. Land grant issued in 1859 to War of 1812 veteran for military services. Family history.
Coles, Edward, Papers, 1818-1866, (C0258)
Deeds and will pertaining to a tract of land in Pike and Lincoln Counties, Missouri.
Colman-Hayter Family Papers, 1839-1900, (C0084)
0.2 linear feet
Correspondence and miscellaneous material of a northwest Missouri family. Correspon-dence includes letters from William S. Hayter who was with General Stephen W. Kearny in the Southwest during the Mexican War; letters from Washington and Thomas J. Hayter describing their lives in the Oregon Territory; letters from Henry Colman during his trips down the Mississippi; letters from Mary Colman Belt to her family in Texas; and letters of Thomas H. Colman and Abraham G. Hayter, soldiers in the Confederate Army.
Colt, Miriam Davis, Diary, 1856, (C2755)
The collection contains a typewritten copy with handwritten insertions of Miriam Davis Colt's diary as edited by J. Christian Bay for Friends of the Torch Press, Cedar Rapids, IA, 1941. The diary includes an introduction by Bay; as well as a description of the journey from New York to Kansas Territory and failed attempt to establish a homestead.
Cooley, Polly, Letter, 1851, (C0838)
Letter to her husband, N.G. Cooley, who was in Idaho prospecting for gold. Reprinted in Carrollton Democrat, 1935.
Crain, Ada E. (1904-2003), Papers, c. 1860-2003, (C3067)
1.3 linear feet
The papers of Ada Crain, a schoolteacher, consist of correspondence, genealogical materials, photographs, yearbooks, an 1878 diary, and a manuscript written by Crain. The materials detail the first half of Ada Crain’s life while living and teaching in Oklahoma, Missouri, and Michigan.
Crutcher, Spencer, Letters, 1847-1917, (C0242)
Written from Jessamine County, Kentucky, to William N. Crutcher, Frankfort, Kentucky, concerning national politics, farming, and family life. 1886 letter about a gold prospecting trip to California. Miscellaneous items.
Culp, Henry C. (1844- ), Diary, 1874-1879, (C3736)
The collection contains a copy of a diary of a West Virginia man who came to Missouri with his family in the 1870s and settled in Webster and then Pettis Counties. The diary is primarily an account of Culp's travels from West Virginia to Missouri and Kansas, with some record of daily events over a span of five years. Also included are financial accounts, prices for food and supplies, family history, some home remedies, and three hand-drawn maps of a small section of Webster County.
Daniels, Agnes Powell (1827-1894), Letters, 1876-1899 (C0302)
Mimeographed copies of letters from relatives in Wales, New Zealand, and the U.S. to Daniels, who was living in Morgan County, Missouri. Letters primarily discuss family news.
Davis, Joseph (1804-1871), Diary, 1825, (C1096)
Diary, September 30-October 25, 1825, of a member of the party appointed by President Adams to survey and mark a road to Santa Fe. Gives account of return trip from the Mexican border. Negative photostat and Xerox copies.
Davis, Winchester, Deed, 1871, (C0517)
Howard County land deeded to Winchester Davis by his parents, Joseph and Sarah E. Davis.
Dearing, Julia Ann, Letter, 1839, (C0494)
To James Jones, High Hill, MO, from Ste. Genevieve, MO, Sept. 19, 1839. Letter to her father describing river travel on a wedding trip on the Mississippi. Original in the possession of Mrs. J.D. Ebert.
Defoe Family, Papers, 1840-1867 (C0309)
The papers were donated to the University of Missouri by an unknown donor on 14 June 1951 (Accession No. 3094).
Denslow, William R., (1916-1993), Collection, 1841-1929, (C0822)
0.4 linear feet
The collection contains materials collected by William R. Denslow, including his father's memoirs, articles on local history, letters (1859-1861), written by a young boy working on a whaling ship, and a typescript copy of an 1898 diary describing the Yukon gold fields.
Doble-Lucas Family, Letters, 1856-1865 (C0305)
Letters from locations in New York, Ohio, Indiana, and California.
Doniphan, Alexander, Letters, 1859, (C3520)
Letters introducing Robert G. Gilmer to Sam Houston and Asbell Smith of Galveston, TX
Dowell, Samuel, Military Land Grant, 1819, (C0486)
Grant of 160 acres of land in Missouri, signed by James Monroe.
Draper, Lyman Copeland (1815-1891), Nathan Boone Interview, 1851, (C1212)
Draper's notes and comments on his interviews of Nathan Boone, Daniel Boone's son. Recollections of Daniel Boone's life and of other pioneers in Kentucky and Missouri.
Draper, Lyman Copeland, Collection, 1735-1815 (C2964)
137 rolls of microfilm
Microfilm copy of the Draper Collection of manuscripts. Originals located at the State Historical Society of Wisconsin.
Draper-McClurg Family, Papers, 1838-2009, (C3069)
3.9 linear feet; folders 1-134 also available on 5 rolls of microfilm
The Draper-McClurg family papers are comprised of correspondence, photographs, Civil War diaries and records, and other personal papers of the families of Philander Draper and Joseph W. McClurg. The papers document the families' involvement in politics, farming and orchards, lead mining and smelting, the Civil War, and frontier life in Missouri, the Dakota Territory, and several western states.
Dresser, Thomas, Letter, 1839, (C2067)
To Mr. and Mrs. Comfort C. Dresser, Chester, VT, from St. Louis, MO, Jan. 29, 1839. Climate of Missouri, river estate, prospects of parents coming to Missouri.
Duncan, Henry Timberlake, Papers, 1838-1844 (C0304)
Negative photostats of three land grants issued in Vandalia, Illinois, for nearby tracts.
Dunlap Family, Papers, 1780-2002, (C4004)
1.9 linear feet
The papers of the Dunlap family include genealogical records, a Civil War journal, photographs, maps and land surveys, and other research materials compiled to produce histories of the Dunlap and Kofahl families of Licking, Missouri.
Elliott, Sidney S., Letter, 1850, (C2644)
The collection contains a letter to Elliott's parents from California, April 5, 1850, describing his experiences in the gold rush.
Estes, Minerva, Land Titles, 1854-1859, (C0570)
One military land grant to Minerva Estes at Jackson, Missouri, June 2, 1854, signed by Franklin Pierce; two land titles to Minerva Estes of Wayne County, Missouri, October 10, 1856 signed by Franklin Pierce and January 1, 1859 signed by James Buchanan.
Evans, James W., Letter, 1850, (C1872)
To Ellis G. Evans, Crawford County, MO, from Frenchman's Bar, Yuba County, CA, Oct. 27, 1850. Letter to his brother describing the hardships of the journey across the plains to the California gold mines. Tells of Indian attacks, shortages of water and food, and difficulties along the Humboldt River.
EVENING STAR Records, 1867, (C0903)
The records contain a log book of trips on the Missouri River, giving financial account, conditions, and distances of trips; an advertisement of trips to the Idaho gold fields. Consists of negative photostats and typed copies.
Eversmann Family, Papers, 1810-1982, (C3743)
0.3 linear feet
Family history and genealogy of the Eversmann family in Germany. Biographical sketches of Alexander, Ludwig, and Julius Eversmann. Correspondence, financial and legal records of Ludwig Eversmann and Gottfried Duden of Warren County, Missouri. Also poems, home remedies, and other miscellaneous items. Mostly in German with some English translations.
Farrar, John C., Diaries, 1852-1854, 1857, 1859, (C2580)
Diaries of a California gold miner from Perryville, Perry County, Missouri. The entries begin with Farrar's journey overland on the Oregon Trail and continue through his mining ventures at Hangtown and Tuttletown, California. He notes daily events, profits, roads, and other miners in the vicinity. Volume 2 also contains lists of male and female children and doctors' visits for 1857 and 1859.
Farrar-Caldwell Family, Papers, 1823-1859, (C2093)
Correspondence and receipts of a Franklin County, MO, family. The majority of the correspondence is between Josiah Harrison Farrar in the California gold fields and his wife, Lucretia Jane, at home, 1852-1853. Also included are letters from other Farrar-Caldwell relatives in the gold fields. The letters describe California's climate, the crops grown, and contain news of Franklin County neighbors also in California.
Ferguson, Russell, Letters, 1855-1856, (C0316)
Two letters to Russell Ferguson in California from his parents, James and Elizabeth Ferguson, Spring River, Lawrence County, MO, mentioning rumors of gold in the Wichita Mountains. One letter from Julia Sutton, also of Spring River. Originals in the possession of Mr. and Mrs. C. Kendall.
Field, Gabriel, Journal, 1819, (C1891)
The papers contain a journal of a trip from Camp Missouri to Chariton kept by Gabriel Field from October 31 to November 27, 1819, for Colonel H. Atkinson. Journal includes detailed directions and observations of the area. Two maps of route.
Fitzpatrick, James M., Letters, 1848-1857, (C2711)
Twenty-one letters to and from James Fitzpatrick of Lexington, KY, concerning family news, the California gold rush, farming, and cholera epidemic.
Fogle, Daniel, Letters, 1867, (C2613)
The papers contain six letters from Daniel Fogle to his wife while he was on an exploratory expedition to western Missouri and Kansas.
Fort D’Orleans, Photographs, 1933, (C0786)
Annotated stereoscope photos of the probable site of Fort D'Orleans. Four photos with duplicates.
Fort Osage Records, 1808-1815, (K0147)
4 microfilm rolls
Correspondence, reports and other documents found in the National Archives pertaining to the establishment and operation of Fort Osage, near what is now Sibley, Missouri.
France, Charles B. (1835-1895), Papers, 1856-1890, (C1012)
Correspondence, diaries, and papers of Charles B. France, a St. Joseph, Missouri, banker, and his family. Contains letter book of Overland Stage Lines.
Fresh, James, Letters, 1833, (C0491)
Letters from Fresh, Baltimore County, Maryland, to L. Shepherd, Palmyra, MO, about purchasing land in Lewis County, and to Urel Wright, Palmyra, MO, about a mill seat on the Bafias to be condemned.
Fresh, John H., Letter, 1851, (C0501)
To Mary Fresh, Hannibal, MO, from Chastey Valley, CA, July 6, 1851. Letter to his wife discussing lack of success in the gold fields and plans to get a job before moving elsewhere.
Fry, A.P., Papers, 1828-1883, (C0497)
Land grants and warranty deeds signed by Presidents Zachary Taylor, James Buchanan, and Millard Fillmore.
Gallaher, William Houston, (1840- ), Journal, 1865, (C3924)
The 1865 journal of William H. Gallaher, kept during his journey from St. Charles, Missouri, up the Missouri River to Montana Territory, and while living in southwest Montana.
Garr, Mary Elizabeth “Mollie” Slusher (1844-1927) and Alice Marion (1866-1957), Papers, 1875-1896, 1991, (C3987)
0.2 linear feet
The Mollie and Alice Garr Papers consist mostly of letters written from 1875 to 1896 by a mother and daughter from Lafayette County, Missouri, to relatives in Virginia- primarily to William Benjamin Plunkett of Greene County. Also included are photocopies of various explanatory materials, such as obituaries, death certificates, printed articles, and genealogical lists of the Garr and Slusher families, compiled by the donor of the papers in 1991.
Geary, Daniel M. (1835-1924) Letter, 1915, (K0350)
Reminiscence of Kansas City written to Dr. W.L. Campbell, by Geary, early settler, real estate agent and former City Clerk of Kansas City, MO.
Gentry, William R., “Robert Levi Todd,” n.d., (C0697)
The major events in the lives of the family of Robert Levi Todd from the family's settlement in Missouri in 1816 to the death of Robert Levi Todd, Jr., in 1891.
Gillespie, Robert, Diary, 1849, (C1101)
Diary covers a trek from the Big Blue River to the California gold fields by a Canton, MO, man. Original diary in possession of Mrs. Gus Condo, Marion, IN.
Goodwin, J., Letter, 1837, (C1542)
The papers contain one letter to Charles Custer, of Madison, Indiana, from Jefferson City, Missouri, June 16, 1837. Goodwin settled in Jefferson City and opened a grocery. He wrote Custer about life in Missouri, climate, job opportunities, land prices, commodity prices, the construction of state capitol, Missouri River, soil, and his grocery business.
Graves, David William (1837-1918), Autobiography, 1916, (C0158)
The autobiography of a Montgomery County, Missouri, farmer, schoolteacher, and Baptist missionary and minister. A donor-compiled index is included.
Gregg, Kate Leila (1883-1954) Papers, 1950s, (K0357)
Noted historian Gregg's hand written research notes concerning Fort Osage and the three major routes (the Santa Fe Trail, the Oregon Trail, and the California Trail) to California during the 1800's. It includes personal histories, Indian affairs, the California Gold Rush, Missionaries, various wars, the Walker family and other related subjects.
Grey, John [Ignace Hatchiorauquasha] (ca. 1795-ca. 1843) Collection, 1995, (K1014)
Grey, was an Iroquois Leader, explorer, and mountain man. Manuscript, John Grey: Most Spirited of Mountain Men, written by Ellen Carney.
Grinstead, William, Papers, 1850-1924, (C2921)
Diary of wagonmaster's 1850 trip to California. Article by Francis Grinstead, ""Boone County Citizens Help Settle West.""
Gunther, Charles, Papers, n.d.
Reminiscences of incidents of his father's trips West in search of gold and return trips, once via Panama and once via Cape Horn. Incidents recalled in connection with the family house in Lexington, MO, during the Civil War. Poem by Gunther, "The Cat Came Back."
Haley Family, Papers, 1864-1867, (C0337)
Letters from Wade Hampton Haley in Oregon, to relatives in Missouri, telling hazards of Oregon travel and travel in Missouri during the Civil War and describing mill and life in small settlement around mill.
Hall, John, Abstract of Title, 1836-1876, (C1547)
Statement of transfers of land in Callaway County, MO, October 27, 1836-November 30, 1867.
Hamilton, Henry W., Papers, (CA2633)
1.6 linear feet
Correspondence, 1930s-1950s, concerning Missouri archaeology, Spiro (a middle Mississippi mound), and the Committee for Recovery of Archaeological Remains, 1957-1973. Also includes photographs.
Hannibal and St. Joseph Railroad, Land Promotion Circular, 1860, (C0904)
The collection contains one advertisement of New England Colony located in Daviess and Caldwell Counties, Missouri. Descriptions of crops, minerals, soils, climate, lumber, and price of land.
Hardeman, Glen O. (1825-1905), Collection, 1777-1922, (C3655)
3.6 linear feet
The papers of the Hardeman family, who moved to Howard County, Missouri, from Tennessee, developing Fruitage Farm and a botanical showplace called Hardeman’s Garden on the Missouri River include correspondence, financial records, and scrapbooks. The correspondence includes letters from such prominent persons as Henry Clay and Thomas Hart Benton.
Harrison, Thomas, Sr. (1765-1840), Letters, 1831, 1835, (C1553)
To Joseph Barnett, Christiansburg, Montgomery County, VA, from Callaway County, MO, June 20, 1831 and October 7, 1835. Harrison wrote his son about Missouri climate, settlement of a friend, William Pauley, on Barnett's place. Land prices, crops, livestock, weather, ill health of people, fevers. Growth of county seat, Fulton. Business, news of family and friends. Includes a typescript of the 1835 letter.
Harvey Family, Papers, 1834-1873, (C0338)
The collection contains negative photostats of correspondence and estate papers of the Thomas H. Harvey family of Saline County, Missouri. Letters describe the area, give prices for land, slaves, and products, and mention family news. Estate records include a will and an estate inventory, 1852. Collection is arranged chronologically.
Harvey, Thomas, Jr., Papers, 1852-1865, (C0336)
Letter to Harvey from a friend, describing happenings and dangers of a trip from New York to California by way of Isthmus of Panama, conditions in California, and advantages of working there. Letters from relatives concerning family matters. Letter from brother Richard to brother Warren commenting upon attitude of Texans toward the Confederate Army.
Headen, Ben F., Letter, 1853, (C0546)
To Mr. And Mrs. Winchester Payne, Cass County, MO, from Santa Clara, CA, Sept. 16, 1853. Dr. Headen tells of crops, prices, local conditions, and family affairs. Reports what some emigrants had told him about their trips to California. Typed from a copy in the possession of Mrs. Ida C. Bates.
Herndon Family, Letters, 1859-1879, (C0669)
Letters written from the gold fields and from Texas, describing living conditions and discussing politics.
Hill Family, Papers, 1819-1863, (C0320)
The papers contain typed copies of the following items: deed, 1819; notice of public sale, 1845; and letter of James Hill to his daughter-in-law, 1863.
Hitt, William Y., Santa Fe Trail Memories, n.d., (C0698)
Journey by Hitt's father, probably after 1831, from the Franklin-St. Joseph area to Taos, NM, and back to Topeka, KS, and St. Joseph. Number of wagons, people, and detailed account of hardships encountered.
Horton, R.F., Papers, 1903-1910, (C0330)
Typed copies of two letters concerning the activities of the Mexican-Nevada Exploration Company and an account of the author's travels and work in Arizona and Mexico. Stay at Guaymas, Mexico; birds at Playa Beach at the mouth of the Sinaloa River; mention of massacre by Indians.
Howell, Elijah Preston, Diary, 1849, (C1675)
The collection contains a diary, May 6-September 24, 1849, of a journey across the plains from Athens, Gentry County, MO, to the Sacramento Valley during the California gold rush. Topics include members of company, description of wagon trains, countryside, wild game, vegetation, provisions, Indians, cholera, travel guides, landmarks, defense, wagon train problems and Mormons.
Hudgins, John, "California in 1849", (C2189)
The papers contain reminiscences of a wagon train trip from Missouri to California in 1849 and describes the route, weather, and a cholera epidemic.
Hughes, Sarah F. Hickman, Reminiscences, 1942, (C1889)
The papers contain reminiscences of Sarah Hughes of Stahl, Missouri, regarding family history, the Civil War, and a journey west by wagon train in 1865.
Hull, Laban, Letters, 1850-1851, (C2737)
The collection contains two letters written from Sacramento, CA, containing descriptions of mining camps and information about other men from Callaway County who attempted to find gold on the West Coast.
Hutchinson-Salisbury, Papers, 1843-1867, (C3779)
Papers of Harriet Newell Hutchinson (1824-1908) and Lucius Salisbury (1824-1904), founder of Salisbury, Missouri. Correspondence, typescripts, and miscellaneous items are in the collection. Many of the letters center around Hutchinson's and Salisbury's courtship.
Irwin, William Laird, Letter, 1859, (C2099)
To J[ohn] W. Simonton, [Mifflinburg, PA], from Richwoods, [MO], June 9, 1859. A recent immigrant from Pennsylvania, Irwin wrote his brother-in-law about Missouri. He discussed the prices of land, grain, stock, and provisions, the abundance of game and water, neighbors and friends, education, and religion.
Jefferson, Brooker S., et al., Contract, 1849, (C1808)
The collection contains photostats of a contract between Jefferson and three colleagues to make a party to go to California and search for gold. It outlines specific responsibilities to one another.
Jones, Carlton (1817-1899), Papers, 1820-1850, (C0348)
The collection contains negative photostats of a diary of a trip from Salt Lake to Ringgold, California, 1850; map of trip; two letters written from gold fields; deed to military bounty land in Missouri; and obituary.
Jones, Hezekiah, Land Grant, 1835, (C0493)
Grant of 40 acres in Palmyra, Missouri, by order of Andrew Jackson.
Judson, Phoebe Newton Goodell, (1832-1926), Note, n.d., (C2770)
The papers contain a note about the route of the Judson family from Ohio to Washington Territory in 1853.
Kansas Town Company Records, 1831-1957, (K0352)
Original records of the Town Company which was the origin of Kansas City, MO. Includes minutes and financial accounts of the corporation: lists of lots sold, notes receivable, distribution of proceeds, holdings, and minutes of the proprietors' meetings. Also research on the town site, the Town Company, its Founders, and the Town of Kansas from its origin until 1850.
Kansas, Lovewell, History of, n.d., (C3499)
History of the post office, the first store, Lake Lovewell, and some early Lovewell residences.
Kasson, Archy, Letter, 1831, (C1880)
The papers contain one letter to Isaiah and John Townsend, Albany, New York, from St. Louis, January 17, 1831. The letter describes his steam saw mill, and gives information about St. Louis and the state of Missouri in general.
Keith, Clayton, "Judge Thos. J.C. Fagg," 1905, (C0682)
Biographical sketch of a Pike County pioneer.
Kelley, Henry S. (1832- ), Autobiographical Sketch, n.d., (C0681)
The sketch contains a description of pioneer life in the community of Marion, Indiana, in 1846 and later.
Kennedy, Lyle (1922-1983) Papers, 1885-1983, (K0050)
3 cubic feet
Research notes and papers, maps, books, newspaper clippings, photographs, and slides related to local historian Kennedy's studies of Kansas City history.
Kensinger Family Papers, 1856-1910, 1920, (C3712)
0.2 linear feet
Correspondence of members of an Ohio family that began settling in western Missouri in the early 1850s. The collection also contains property tax receipts and miscellaneous family papers.
Keyes, Willard, (1792-1861), Journal, 1817-1855, (C2748)
Travel to Wisconsin and Illinois from Newfane, Windham County, VT, 1817-1820; occupations and experiences on frontier; description of Indians, wilderness, logging operations on Mississippi and Black Rivers; travel from Quincy, IL, to New England by stage, boat, and train with itemized account of expenses, 1852.
King, Elijah, Papers, 1873-1888, (C0351)
Letters written to King in Iowa from Munn and Farwell, land agents in Grant City, MO, giving prices and description of land. Broadside advertising cheap western homes in the Grand and Platte River country of northeast Missouri, and a genealogy of the King, Munn, and Farwell families.
Kunkel, G.S. (1836-1926), Autobiography, 1918, (C0463)
1 folder, typed copy
Memoirs of G.S. Kunkel of Oregon, Holt County, MO. Mentions milling, Brigham Young, a trip to Pike's Peak, the Black Hills, Indian and Mormon massacres, California, Chinese inhabitants, gold mining, Virginia City, Mark Twain, patents, and his family.
Lannan, Thomas C., Letters, 1849, (C2205)
Two letters (April 20 and June 18) from a schoolteacher in Saline County, MO, to George Peter of Darnestown, MD, describing life in central Missouri, including a cholera epidemic, opportunities for purchasing land and farming, politics, and teaching.
Lazear, Bazel F., (1823-1894), Papers, 1851-1904, (C1014)
Correspondence to wife while on duty with Missouri State Militia during the Civil War; encounters with guerrilla forces; battle descriptions; and personal relations with fellow soldiers. Also letter to wife from California gold fields, 1851; letters about his dismissal from job with Railway Mail Service; and letters about his Civil War pension claim.
Lea, Ashley, Letters, 1839-1884, (C0354)
Letters of a pioneer Missouri family discussing conditions on the journey to the California gold fields, family news, and crop conditions in Mississippi in 1857.
Leonard, Abiel (1797-1863), Papers, 1782-1932, n.d., (C1013)
16.4 linear feet
Abiel Leonard of Fayette, Missouri, was a lawyer, landowner, and prominent Whig, who began his law practice in Missouri in 1819 and served on the Missouri Supreme Court in the 1850s. His papers consist of personal and business correspondence of the Leonard family, as well as deeds, contracts, wills, depositions, bills, receipts, account books, some military documents, photo-graphs, maps, and miscellaneous material.
Lewis, Ethelbert Wallis, (1815-1855), Letters, 1837-1851, (C1674)
The papers contain letters from Ethelbert to his brother, William W[alker] Lewis, of Culpepper County, Virginia, from Missouri. Lewis emigrated from Virginia in 1836. Letters describe Howard County in 1837, the Missouri legislature and Missouri and Virginia politics. Discuss crops, soil fertility, commodity prices, wages, land prices, social life, 1837, Fayette; negro hiring, education, teachers 'salaries; Indian trade, family, and friends.
Lewis, Meriwether (1774-1809), Astronomy Notebook  (C1074)
Set of formulae prepared by Robert Patterson of Philadelphia for Lewis to use in determining geographical locations by astronomical observation. Also includes a “sketch given us by Yallept, the principal chief of the Wollah-wollah nation,” and a drawing, probably by Lewis. Microfilm copy available for loan.
Litton, Solomon, (1820-1904), Letter, 1850, (C2181)
The papers contain a letter to his wife from Nevada City, California, on November 30, 1850, describing a trip to California during the Gold Rush. Includes an explanation of the process of "washing out" gold and describes health, weather, and living conditions.
Lobenstine, William C. (1831- ), Diary, 1852-1858, (C0525)
Photocopy of privately printed edition of diary kept while traveling to California to mine gold in 1852. Includes scattered entries for years Lobenstine was in Volcano and Camp Secco, CA, as a miner and, later, a merchant. Entries from 20 April to 1 July 1858 describe his return to the East via the Isthmus of Panama and his intent to settle in Leavenworth, KS.
Logan Family, Papers, 1836-1866 (C0363)
Family letters concerning business, family matters, and health. Letter, 1836, from Philadelphia about purchases and shipment of goods. Letters also written from Kentucky, Missouri, and California. Diary of Martha Logan describes the route taken to California in 1864.
Long, William C., Papers, 1859-1891, (C2624)
Nineteen Civil War letters; letters to and from Irwin Walley, Long's son-in-law; miscellaneous family papers; and photographs of the opening of the Oklahoma Territory, 1891.
Mahan, Garland Jefferson, Diaries, 1864-1873, 1961, (C2586)
The collection contains diaries detailing a trip taken by ox train in 1864 from Cole County, MO, to Virginia City, MT. Also chronicled, although to a lesser extent, is the return trip by steamboat down the Missouri River in 1866. Diaries also include drafts of letters, notes, and lists of students. A typescript of the diaries, plus photos of some of the sites along the route taken in 1961, complete the collection.
Mahan, James F., Authorizations, 1851, (C1594)
Mahan authorized B.B. King to receive payment for an abstract of lands sold at the Palmyra, MO, land office, from March 1845 to February 1846. Allen M. Richardson, register, certified he received abstract of lands. Receipt to auditor of public accounts to B.B. King.
Manchester, David, Letter, 1819, (C2064)
To Lydia, Washington County, NY, from Chariton, MO, Apr. 19, 1819. Writes his sister about land and corn prices, and admission of Missouri Territory as a state.
Marsh, Elias Joseph, Diary, 1859, (C2599)
Account of a journey to the northern reaches of the Missouri River. Describes the departure, route, passengers, river currents, fur trappers, Indians, prairie country, Mormon camp, Sioux City, the wilderness, Fort Pierre Chouteau, hunting and wildlife, Fort Berthold, Fort Union, and Yellowstone River.
McCanne, Hugh (1805-1865), Diary, 1850, (C1932)
The collection contains a diary kept by McCanne of his trip from Randolph County, MO, to California in the spring and summer of 1850.
McCormack Family Papers, 1777-1873, (C2338)
Letters from John Burgoyne to Horatio Gates about treatment of wounded and noncombatants during the Revolutionary War, 1777. Correspondence about immigration to Texas from Missouri, 1842-1844, economic conditions, politics, J. Cox estate in Jefferson County, MO. 1841-1852 business accounts, weather and farm labor journal, marriage and death records, and diary of James McCormack.
McCoy, Eleanor (Ellen) Waddle (1818-1893) Papers, 1838-1863, (K0226)
Letters to Ellen McCoy, wife of William McCoy (1813-1900), first mayor of Independence, MO. They were written from Independence from Washington, D.C. detailing the writer's experiences and observations.
McCoy, John Calvin (1811-1889) Collection, 1871-1950, (K0296)
18 folders, 2 volumes
Scrapbook of clippings of McCoy's writings for Kansas City newspapers: "Tales of an Old Timer" and "Our history—written by one who has helped to make it—the recollections of forty years in Missouri." Also typescript copies of McCoy's writings and of his daughter, Nellie McCoy Harris who wrote a similar series entitled, "Reminiscences of Pioneer Days".
McDaniel Family Diaries, 1836-1843, (C2628)
Reuben E. McDaniel diary of a trip from Virginia to St. Louis, MO, 1836. Delia Richerson McDaniel diary of a trip from Caroline County, VA, to Boonville, MO, 1841. Also her diary of a trip from Boonville to Virginia in 1843.
McGee, Elijah Milton (1819-1873) Papers, ca. 1870, (K0471)
Reminisce by McGee, early settler, real estate developer, and mayor of Kansas City, entitled, "Our Hero…Account of McGee's trip to California in 1843, prefaced by an account of his previous life, written by himself." Also letters and other documents relating to McGee and his family.
McKinney, Hayes, Papers, 1789-1897 (C0146)
Six land grants, 1825-1836, signed by John Q. Adams and Andrew Jackson. Also several pamphlets, annual catalog of Bellevue Collegiate Institute and Episcopal Methodist College, 1873-1874, and two surveying textbooks.
Meeter, William, Letter, 1827, (C2200)
The collection contains a letter to John McClure, Greenville, Augusta C[oun]ty, VA, from William Meeter, Callaway County, MO, Dec. 20, 1827. The letter includes a description of a trip from Virginia to Missouri titled ""A Virginia Youth's Impressions of Missouri,” discussing the appearance of the country, people, water, industry, prices, and marriageable women.
Mellon, Jesse, Letter, 1839, (C1730)
To Mary Ewers, Philemont, VA, from Columbia, MO, May 24, 1839. Mellon brought his family from Virginia to Missouri. He wrote his mother about the trip, arrival in Columbia, health, rent, soil, land and commodity prices. He purchased a 160-acre farm with improvements. Inquiries about family and friends.
Menard Sr., Pierre (1766-1844) Collection, 1805-1905, (K0275)
9 microfilm rolls
Microfilm of the Menard incoming and outgoing personal and professional correspondence in the Illinois State Historical Library and the Illinois Historical Survey. Letters deal with Menard's involvement in the fur trade and other businesses. Of particular interest are the letters from his daughter Berenice and her husband Francois Chouteau from their home at the mouth of the Kansas River.
Merrill, Julius Caesar (c. 1843- ), Diary, 1864, (C0371)
Typed copy of diary which gives an account of trip from Milwaukee to Boise City, ID, in 1864. Describes the journey over the old Oregon Trail, storms, severity of weather, shortage of food and water for their livestock, scarcity of firewood and wild game food for themselves, difficulties in fording rivers, fear of Indian attack, encounters with Indians wanting to trade, and other problems of wagon train life.
Miller, L. C. “Memoirs of the Life of Lee Caruth Miller, M.D.,” 1903, (C2718)
The papers contain a personal history relating his trip west for the California gold rush and back to Missouri by boat, and his experiences with Quantrill's raiders.
Missouri History, Scrapbook, 1896, (C1416)
The scrapbook consists of newspaper clippings of miscellaneous early Missouri history and other material.
Missouri Valley Series Papers, 1962-1965, (K0241)
Research papers on the history of the Greater Kansas City area written by graduate students and local historians in response to a prize offered by the Native Sons and Daughters of Greater Kansas City.
Missouri, Gayoso, Farmers' Flood Relief Petition, 1898, (C0528)
Petition signed by thirteen Gayoso, MO, farmers requesting supplies from Merchant's Exchange, St. Louis, MO, because of flood conditions. They suggest supplies be sent by Jasper Landers, Gayoso wharfmaster.
Missouri, Hermann, Clippings, 1945, (C0836)
Clipping reprinting section of journal of the Reverend William A. Helffrich of the early Reformed Church, describing river trip from Pennsylvania to Hermann, MO, in 1848, and the social life among pioneer settlers. From the Advertiser Courier, Hermann, MO, 27 April 1945.
Missouri, St. Charles. Leases, 1831-1835, (C1688)
Leases to lots in the city commons to Sarah Ann Cole, 1831, and John Lilly, Jr., 1835.
Missouri, Village à Robert, Plat, 1794, (C1667)
The records contain a plat of Village à Robert, now Bridgeton in St. Louis County, surveyed by Monsieur Bouvet, under the command of Captain F. Dunegan of St. Ferdinand, by order of Zenon Trudeau, lieutenant-governor at St. Louis. Includes names of landholders.
Missouri. Land Office, Ironton, Letter Book, 1867-1871, (C1278)
Letter book of receiver of lands.
McClellan, A[braham], Receipts, 1840-1841, (C1536)
The papers contain receipts to John Rea, Joseph H. Reynolds, Leonard H. Rennick, John M. Clark, and Marturin Latimer for land purchases and payment of property taxes, from Abraham McClellan, Missouri state treasurer.
Montgomery, John, Letter, 1851, (C0544)
1 folder, photostat
To William Montgomery, Carrollton, MO, from Weberville, CA, Mar. 11, 1851. Written to his brother by a young miner in the California gold fields, concerning his returning home.
Moody, Frederick W. (1838-1937) Reminiscence, 1838-ca. 1869, (K0347)
Typed transcript of Moody describing his immigration from England in 1857, vignettes of his travels to Colorado and New Mexico, and about early Kansas City and Westport, farm life, and his marriage.
Moore, Meredith Tarlton (1827-1911) Interviews, 1906-1908, (K0202)
Notes and transcript reports from interviews with Meredith Tarlton Moore, a soldier in the Mexican War and a trader on the California Trail
Morgan, Wick, Journal, 1854, (C3817)
Journal of Wick Morgan describing his trip to California from Dade County, MO, with a wagon train. The notes detail the availability of food, the conditions of the roads, and the mileage traveled daily by the group.
Morrow, W.I.I. (1802-1876), Papers, 1839, 1852, (C2051)
Positive photostat copy of a day by day account of the journey of Morrow, attending physician to a party of emigrating Cherokee Indians, c. 20 February-24 March 1839. Two typescript copies of a diary also included. Copy of 1852 letter from Morrow regarding use of liquor among Seneca Indians near Enterprise, MO.
Murphy, Andrew Lopp, Diary, 1849, (C2723)
Detailed diary of overland trip to California from Missouri during the Gold Rush. Describes scenery, weather, and gives number of miles traveled each day.
Nance, Nancy, "Ozark Towns," n.d., (C2101)
Article about the origin of names of Ozark towns and villages, submitted to the MISSOURI HISTORICAL REVIEW for publication.
Native Sons of Kansas City Scrapbooks, ca. 1820-1960, (K0395)
14 cubic feet
Scrapbooks containing newspaper clippings, photographs, manuscript materials, publications, and research notes of a variety of Kansas City area events and topics, such a early settlers and civic leaders, built environment, art and culture, education, government, and commercial activities.
Neill, John H.B., Papers, 1850-1860, (C1778)
The papers contain letters from Neill to his wife describing his overland journey to California in 1850, military land warrant in the name of Nancy Neill, and document explaining J.H.B. Neill's ownership of certain land, 1860. Transcriptions of the letters were created by Richard L. Rieck and can be found in the collection folder.
Newkirk, Coleman Shelton, Travel Account, n.d., (C3166)
The collection contains an account of the Newkirk family who moved from Mexico, MO, to the Sacramento River in California in 1862, and eighteen years later moved from Scott's Valley, CA, to Dayton, WA.
Nichols, B. F., (1825-1920), "Across the Plains in 1844: Reminiscences of Oregon," 1906, (C2794)
The papers of B. F. Nichols contain newspaper articles describing a trip by wagon train from St. Joseph, Missouri, to Willamette Valley, Oregon. Articles from Laidlaw (Oregon) Chronicle, 1906, describe organization of wagon train and experiences on journey. Also photographs of Laidlaw, Oregon, ca. 1905.
Offutt, Robert J., Diary, 1898, (C3755)
The collection contains an extract from the diary of a Callaway County, MO, man who went to Alaska with a large party to prospect for gold. Entries mention travel, but nothing about the gold fields themselves.
Oklahoma, Vinita, Article, n.d., (C3431)
The papers contain an article titled, "Downingville, Vinita or The Junction." Excerpt from the book, Vinita, I. T., The Story of a Frontier Town of the Cherokee Nation. Contains references to Vinita Ream.
Old Plainsmen Association Records, 1909-1916, (K0531)
Minute book and other documents relating to an association of men and women who had crossed the American Plains. Also includes "old settlers", early settlers in Jackson County, MO.
Overland Diary, 1857, (C0413)
Personal diary kept by an unidentified girl as she and her family left Canada, Kentucky, in October 1857 and traveled by covered wagon to a place near Brunswick, Missouri.
Overland Mail Centennial Scrapbook, 1958, (C3457)
Clippings, photographs, brochures, and miscellaneous records which marked the hundredth anniversary of the first overland stage route in the U.S.
Overland Trail to California, Panorama Notice, 1850, (C2857)
Notice of panorama exhibition of scenes of the overland route to California by the south pass of the Rocky Mountains. OVERSIZE.
Patee, John, Deed, 1860, (C1868)
Deed of John Patee to Bela M. Hughes of the Pony Express stable sites in St. Joseph, MO, May 5, 1860. From the Buchanan County, MO, recorder's office.
Patton-Scott Family, Papers, 1836-1983, (C3710)
1.2 linear feet
The correspondence, financial and legal documents, genealogy, poetry, prose, and mis-cellaneous volumes of the Patton and Scott families describes agriculture, economic conditions, overland travel, daily life, family activities, and tragedies. The papers contain irsthand accounts of the Civil War's influence on civilian life in Missouri, Mississippi, and Indiana.
Pearson, Richmond and Elizabeth A., Warranty Deed, 1873, (C1577)
The collection contains a warranty deed to land in Audrain County sold to Amos Ladd, Audrain County, MO, for $15,000.
Phillips, John, Letter, 1793, (C0534)
Letter from John Phillips of Boston to Samuel Gray dated November 28, 1793. The letter concerns a deed for land purchased by Jeremiah Clark, Jr.
Philpott, Charles H., ed., "Letters of a Missourian Who Died in the Gold Rush," n.d., (C1206)
Synopsis of letters written between 1848 and 1850 by Alexander M. Philpott, the editor's uncle. A.M. Philpott was a medical student in Jefferson City when he left for the gold fields. He died in Sacramento in 1850.
Philpott, Charles H., ed., "Letters of a Missourian Who Died in the Gold Rush," n.d., (C0387)
Synopsis of letters written between 1848 and 1850 by Alexander M. Philpott, the editor's uncle. A.M. Philpott was a medical student in Jefferson City when he left for the gold fields. He died in Sacramento, 1850. Also genealogical information.
Pike, Z. (1779-1813), Account, 1812, (C2776)
An account for $36 for transportation of baggage from Washington to New York.
Plummer, Samuel C., (1821-1900), Letters, 1850, (C2750)
Excerpts from letters written by Samuel C. Plummer, physician, on an overland trip to California. Conditions on trail and business endeavors in Placerville, CA. Letter from Samuel C. Plummer, II, describes his father's return from California.
Pomeroy, E.W., Letter, 1847, (C2042)
The collection contains a letter to Robert Aull, Mexico, MO, from E.W. Pomeroy, Santa Fe, May 29, 1847. The letter discusses Doniphan's expedition and Santa Fe trade.
Pony Express, Commemorative Envelope, 1950, (C1883)
The papers contain an envelope addressed to Floyd C. Shoemaker on the 90th anniversary of the Pony Express, St. Joseph to Sacramento.
Pope, Elizabeth Lar, (1773- ), Letter, 1875, (C1627)
To Daniel Sullivan, St. Joseph, MO, from Plattsburg, MO, Aug. 16, 1875. Mrs. Pope regretted she could not attend the Old Settlers' reunion. Sketch of her life; early settlers in Kentucky; Daniel Boone and Abraham Lincoln; and Indian difficulties in Kentucky.
Porter, Clyde H. (1889-1958) Collection, 1958, (K0526)
Research notes and papers of Porter and his wife Mae Reed Porter, regarding families engaged in the fur trade in the Kansas City area, and the American West. Included are files on the Chouteau Family of Kansas City, the Charbonneau Family, Moses "Black" Harris, and the Thomas Vasquez Family.
Post, Justus, Letter, 1817, (C1976)
To John Post, Addison, VT, from St. Louis, MO, Dec. 5, 1817. Land speculation, weather, and crops. Encourages brother to move to Missouri.
Powell, William, Letters, 1839-1840, (C2035)
The papers contain letters written by William Powell of Huntsville, Missouri, to his brother, Henry A. Powell, in Yanceyville, North Carolina. Prices of land, food, grain crops and livestock; abundance of wild game; and richness of the land. Begs the rest of the family to join them in Missouri.
Prince, William R., Letters, 1850-1851, (C2691)
Three letters from Sacramento, CA, to Charlotte Prince and Mrs. L.D. Foot of Flushing, NY, describing gold mines and Sutter's Fort, and one express company receipt for 37 ounces of placer gold.
Quirk, Patrick J. (1845-1921), Diary, 1865, (C3943)
The diary of Patrick J. Quirk relates the details of a trip made in 1865 by railroad and steam-boat from Springfield, Massachusetts, to Yankton, South Dakota, on the way to the Montana Territory.
Rea, Peter Goodman (1819-1899), Papers, 1838-1899, (C0152)
Letters to a pioneer Presbyterian minister, containing early church history, and autobiography giving account of a trip on horseback to Texas in 1849-1850. Originals are in the possession of the donor.
Rector, William, and Angus L. Langham, Document, 1819, (C1631)
Instrument signed in St. Louis, Missouri Territory, 3 May 1819. States that William Rector and Angus L. Langham sold land for a town at the confluence of the Osage and Missouri rivers to Thomas C. Rector and Richard Gentry.
Rice, Edwin Stanton, Papers, 1851-1947, (C0397)
John Dubois' membership in the Methodist Episcopal Church, April 7, 1851; Little Miami and Columbus and Xenia Railroad Company, freight ticket, 1863; letter, 1900, concerning Springfield, MO, freight office; and letter to a Springfield daily newspaper from Rice, 1947, with early Missouri historical notes.
Richards, William A., Letters, 1841-1854, (C1759)
The papers contain letters from William Richards of Ray County, Missouri, to his brothers in Richmond, Virginia, and New York City. Describes life and the economy in Missouri.
RoBards, John Lewis (1838-1925), Papers, 1832-1922, (C3609)
0.2 linear feet
Papers and genealogy of a prominent lawyer, writer and orator of Hannibal, MO. Includes incomplete journal of overland trip to California in 1849.
Rogers, Isaac W., Diary, 1865, (C0897)
Diary of a merchant of Virginia City, Montana Territory, records the weather, business, gold fields, and local conditions.
Ross Family, Papers, 1844-1888, (C0392)
Documents concerning land transactions in Missouri. Four deeds, five checks, and two memorial poetry cards.
Rowland Family, Papers, 1844-1893, (C2244)
Copies of letters from Robert A. Rowland to his wife Olive in Howard County, MO, while he was enroute (1849) and in California (1850) and during his imprisonment and banishment to Illinois during the Civil War. Also includes miscellaneous letters from other family members and newspaper article describing death of and memorial services for I.N. Rowland (1893).
Saint Mary's Jesuit Mission and College Records, 1832-1967, (K0330)
1 microfilm roll
Records of the Jesuit mission to the Potawatomi Indians located in present Linn County, KS, which moved to present Pottawatomie County, KS and became St. Mary's College (Saint Marys, KS.). Mission and college records, reports sent to superiors, and priests' diaries. Includes early missionary records of births, deaths and marriages in Buchanan, Clay, and Jackson Counties, MO.
Sawyer, Samuel L. Letters, 1838-1849, (C1833)
Letters of a young lawyer from New Hampshire who settled in Missouri. Describes traveling to Missouri, establishing himself, working the court circuits and growth of his family. Also a letter from his father-in-law about the family.
Schermerhorn, John Freeman (1787-1859), Papers, 1809-1909 (C0160)
0.4 linear feet
Letters and papers of Schermerhorn and his heirs, located in New York (1809-1840), Indiana (1840-1858), and Missouri (1858-1909). Schermerhorn was a frontier preacher, peacemaker with the Indians, and landowner.
Seiter, Ernestine Ernst, Collection, (CA2711)
2.2 linear feet, 1 oversize volume
Cash book, 1842-1843; ledger, 1870s, correspondence regarding Aull family materials, transcriptions of Aull letter books, 1830s-1840s; Robert Aull Day Book, 1839, transcriptions; clippings; notes. Scrapbook and miscellaneous material of Ernestine Ernst Seiter, 1930s-1975.
Seymour, Robert B., Military Land Grant, 1853, (C0504)
Grant of 40 acres of land near Fayette, Missouri, by order of Franklin Pierce.
Sheppard, Thomas, Papers, 1854-1860, (C0950)
The papers contain two land deeds, one dated 1854 and signed by President Franklin Pierce, and the other dated 1860 and signed by President James Buchanan.
Simmons, Joseph R., Diary, 1849-1850, (C1259)
Journal of trip from Westport, Missouri, to Los Angeles, CA, 29 May 1849-13 January 1850. Original and expanded version compiled at a later date.
Smith, Thomas Adams (1781-1844), Papers, 1798-1864, (C1029)
1 linear foot on 2 rolls of microfilm
Correspondence, letterbooks, and official papers of Brigadier General Thomas Adams Smith, a professional soldier who served in Florida during the War of 1812 and on the Canadian front protecting civilians.
Smith, Thomas Adams (1858-1919), Papers, 1852-1919, (C0166)
0.2 linear feet,1 oversize volume
The papers of a Saline County, Missouri, doctor and landowner include family corre-spondence, clippings, miscellaneous bills and papers, and a copy of a slave record book provid-ing the births, death, and sales of slaves belonging to the estate of Thomas Adams Smith and Crawford Early Smith.
Sortore, Abram, Memoirs, 1909, (C2357)
The collection contains photocopied memoirs of Abram Sortore, in which he describes trips west from Scio, NY, to Keokuk, IA, 1845; from Keokuk to California, 1850; and back to Iowa via South America, Jamaica, and New York, 1851-1852. There are comments on Mormons, Indians, cholera, weather, the Black Hills, alkali water, Brigham Young, gold rush, mining, religion, U.S. mint, and railroads.
Spalding, Thomas A., Letters 1855-1858, (C0548)
Two letters from Thomas A. Spalding to his brother in Missouri, written from California during the gold rush.
SQUATTER SOVEREIGN, Atchison, Kansas, 1855-1857, (C0800)
Paper published by J.H. Stringfellow and R.S. Kelley as a pro-slavery weekly advocating that "the squatter claims the same sovereignty in the Territory that he possessed in the States." In 1857 ownership passed to S.C. Pomeroy and O.F. Short and the policy became pro-free state.
St. Gem, Gustavus, Papers, 1901-1904, (C1642)
The papers of Gustavus St. Gem contain speeches, essays, and songs about the St. Gem family, Ste. Genevieve, MO, and the Louisiana Territory. Subjects include settlement of Missouri, Kaskaskia, IL, Louisiana Purchase, pioneer conditions, and holiday celebrations.
Standley Family, Papers, 1852, 1996, (C3432)
The papers contain a letter from James Standley, Carrollton, Missouri, to his son, Milton in Sacramento, California, 1852. Also a transcription of the letter, a genealogy of James Standley, and other miscellaneous records of James Standley transcribed by Anne Standley Brunt.
Standley, William, Papers, 1852-1853, (C2717)
The papers contain excerpts from four letters from the Oregon Territory. Mention of Indians, typhoid fever, and living conditions.
Staples, Abner Ford (1790-1868) Family Papers, 1814-1865, (K0227)
Letters written by and to Staples family members who moved from Georgia to Tennessee, then Independence, MO. Topics include news from home and notice of deaths, marriages, and births. Also are legal document relating to land purchases.
Starr, Frederick, Jr. (1826-1867), Papers, 1850-1863, (C2073)
Starr was a colonizationist, free soiler, and Presbyterian clergyman in Weston, MO, 1852-1855. The collection contains correspondence, broadsides, pamphlets, and clippings on settlement of the Kansas-Nebraska Territories, border conflicts, abolitionism vs. slavery, local politics, Indian affairs, public land sales, claims, and prices, popular sovereignty, squatters’ rights, and religion on the frontier.
State Historical Society of Missouri, Typescript Collection, (C0995)
774 items on 14 rolls of microfilm
The State Historical Society of Missouri Typescript Collection consists of typescripts of articles and manuscripts donated over the years to the Historical Society.
Stauder, John A., Diary, 1850 (C0459)
Diary of a trip from LaGrange, Missouri, to the California gold fields. Route; condition of grass, water and wood; prices of articles on the way. Entries also mention number of miles traveled, streams and rivers crossed, graves, other wagon trains, weather conditions, and seeing Indians. Describes Salt Lake City.
Sterett, Smith A. ( -1887), Papers, 1861-1899, (C2074)
The papers of Smith A. Sterett contain letters from business associates, friends, and family; business papers; Sterett's Confederate Army discharge; and an elementary spelling book. Sterett was a Montana Territory prospector, Helena, MT, merchant, and Nevada, MO, hardware merchant.
Stevens, Walter B[arlow] (1848-1939), Papers, 1924, (C2108)
Manuscript of article, "From Washington's Farewell Address to the Man Without a Country." Spanish overtures to the West (Kentucky and Tennessee) in the 1790s. Copies of three letters to Carlos De Lassus from Baron de Carondelet, 1796-1797.
"Story of the Life of Captain J. Keeney," by Milton Kelly, 1876, (C3278)
The papers contain the story of the life of Captain J. Keeney, an early pioneer in Oregon. Keeney was born and raised in Independence, Missouri. Presumably copied from the Idaho Statesman.
Summers, Joseph R., Letter, 1850, (C2746)
From Dry Town, CA, Oct. 30, 1850.
Tate Family, Papers, 1786-1871 (C0174)
Accounts, family letters, and deeds to land of John, James, and Isaac Tate and their families, who lived in Callaway and Ralls Counties, Missouri, and Greensburgh, Kentucky. Diary of a trip to California in 1849. Papers of the Thespian Society of Greensburgh, Kentucky. See also C2720, James A. Tate Diary, 1849.
Tate, James A., (1795-1849), Diary, 1849, (C2720)
Travel by wagon train to California gold mines. Diary records agricultural conditions, mileage, and travel conditions. Few place names or comments. Little mention of the gold rush itself. Biographical material in information folder. See also collection 174, Tate, Family Papers, 1786-1871.
The Missouri Collection, (C3982)
The Missouri Collection is an artificial collection combining miscellaneous small acquisitions related to Missouri places, individuals, organizations, and events.
Thompson, Mary and Eliza, Quietus for Delinquent Taxes, 1852 (C0502)
Receipt for taxes paid from the Randolph County register of lands office for a 39-acre tract of land granted for $9.16 to Mary and Eliza Thompson.
Tierney, Louise Wilder Smith (1910-19??) Papers, 1953, (K0032)
0.3 cubic foot
Copy of original script of "Fort Osage-Mother of the West", a play written by Louise Wilder Smith, Missouri native and author, and supporting materials related to its production at the Fort Osage Pageant of 1953.
Toler Family, Papers, 1856-1882, (C0949)
Contains four deeds conveying property in Arkansas and Missouri: 1856, Polk County, MO; 1861, Benton County, AR; 1876, Independence County, AR; and 1882, Izard County, AR.
Travel Account of Journey from Indiana to Washington, ca. 1850, (C3415)
The collection contains a copy of an unidentified woman's account of the journey from Indiana to Washington. The copy was made about 1925-1930 and includes a record of the weather, environment, illnesses, encounters with Indians, territory covered each day, lists of provisions, and charges and expenses kept by George Royse.
Trudeau, Zenon, Decree, 1796, (C1653)
The collection contains a decree in French to the inhabitants of St. Charles, MO, settling a land and boundary line dispute as recommended by the arbitrators.
Tucker, Dennis, Deed, 1860-1864, (C0509)
For Knox County, MO, land, originally in the possession of Eber H. Tucker and sold at auction by Amos Poe to D. Tucker and Zachariah Lear, 27 October 1860. For Knox County, MO, land sold by Tucker to Zachariah Lear, 25 February 1864.
U.S. General Land Office, Grants, 1869-1873, (C1562)
Grants to land in Missouri, to Moses Garrett and to Andrew J. Croy.
U.S. General Land Office, Papers, 1859-1869, (C1282)
Copies of land grants, certificates and assignments for services in the War of 1812.
U.S. States of the United States, Records, Missouri, 1762-1870 (C2968)
10 rolls of microfilm
Documents relating to the early history and development of Missouri which were located during the WPA Historical Records Survey. Only the rolls containing Missouri materials are in this series.
U.S. Superintendency of Indian Affairs, St. Louis, Records, 1807-1855 (C2969)
33 volumes on 6 rolls of microfilm
Correspondence, account books and treaties with various Indian tribes. Much of the material is to and from Indian agents at the area agencies. The bulk of the material is from the period when William Clark was superintendent. Also included are records of the Missouri Fur Company, 1812-1817. Originals at Kansas State Historical Society.
U.S. Superintendency of Indian Affairs, St. Louis, Records, 1824-1851 (C2970)
10 rolls of microfilm
Papers pertain to surveying of Indian lands, expenses of agencies, establishment of trading posts for the Indians, policy for emigrating Indians west of the Mississippi, depredations by Indians and estimates of costs accrued, negotiations and expenses involved with treaties, transcriptions of various chiefs' speeches and reports on the conflicts between various tribal groups.
Van Meter Family, Papers, 1834-1968, (C3242)
The Van Meter family papers contain correspondence, financial and legal documents, diaries, and account books of a Saline County, MO, family. The papers deal, for the most part, with the family business, primarily accounts for goods and food sold. There is some material dealing with family matters, including a diary of a trip taken to Montana in 1865 by Abel J. Van Meter.
Vantine, Thomas Jefferson, (1837- ), Experiences, 1860, (C2378)
An account of Vantine's experiences during a Texas scouting trip, April-October 1860. Mentions Wichita River, Cimarron River, Old Adobe Fort, North Canadian River, Fort Belnap, Indians, and hunting for food and water. Vantine was born in Huntington County, IN, and moved to Collin County, TX, in 1854.
Warnock, John, Papers, 1846-1850 (C0420)
Letter to John Warnock, Columbia, Missouri, from his brother, describing New York City. Two letters from Warnock to his wife in Columbia while en route to California in 1850 describing conditions of road, water, grain, number of miles traveled, and Indians.
Watkins, Beverly S. (1917-2012) Collection, 1934-ca. 1983, (K0246)
Scrapbook of news clippings and historical research compiled by James Anderson, historian for the Native Sons of Greater Kansas City, concerning the French Settlement and Community in Kansas City, MO and other people, places and events of Kansas City history.
Wayland, Jeremiah, Accounts, 1837-1851, (C2937)
The collection contains household accounts, 1837-1839; medical expenses, 1849-1851; and accounts for outfitting a covered wagon trip to California, 1849.
Western Censor and Emigrants Guide, Indianapolis, Indiana, 1823, (C3202)
Issue for 7 March 1823 giving speech by Thomas M. Allen and national and local news.
Wiggins, Eliza Johnston, "John Brown, 1855-1858," n.d., (C0775)
Sketches of John Brown's activities in Kansas from 1855 to 1858, compiled from writings of G.W. Brown, M.D. Also a description of Pottawatomie massacre.
Williams, Walter (1864-1935), Santa Fe Trail Scrapbook, 1911, (C1443)
Series of newspaper articles on the Santa Fe Trail, written by Walter Williams.
Willis Family, Papers, 1843-1908 (C0419)
Correspondence between A.F. Willis on a trip to the West and his wife in Fayette, MO. He spent several years in California, working in the gold fields and other jobs. Also letters from A.J.'s brother, W.F. Willis, from Alabama and miscellaneous letters and papers.
Wilson, Samuel S. ( -1850), Letters, 1849-1852, (C2692)
The collection contains six letters written from a steamboat on the Missouri River, a camp on Blue River, and Sacramento, California, to family describing overland travel, gold mining, and camp life. Also included are resolutions by friends to the memory of Wilson, who died enroute home, and a copy of "The California News" 14 February 1852, with letter from George B. [ ].
Wisconsin Company of Gold Seekers, Roster, 1849, (C3512)
The papers contain a list of 26 men who left St. Joseph, Missouri, on 19 April 1849 to seek gold in California.
Wolff, Theodore H. (1905-1999), Papers, 1865-1979, (C3057)
0.8 linear feet
These papers contain manuscripts, correspondence, and research materials used by Reverend Theodore Wolff in his writings. Also included are the writings of his colleagues and information on the Methodist movement in Missouri and other religious sectors.
Wood, Grace, Papers, 1859-1895 (C0441)
Land patents and other documents.
Woods-Holman Family Papers, 1805-1906, (C0191)
0.25 linear feet
Letters, documents, notebooks, accounts, and receipts of two southeast Missouri families. Papers concern family news, business, farming, livestock, religion, teaching, Indians, fur trade, economics, politics, Gold Rush, and Civil War and descriptions of California, Iowa, Kansas, and Texas.
Woolf, John Marion, ""Navigators of the Old West,"" n.d., (C2125)
The collection contains mimeographed excerpts from a brochure, giving short biographies of Orson Pratt, Steven Kearny, John C. Fremont, J.N. Nicollet, and Silvestre Escalante.
Yates, William, Diary, 1859-1860 (C0460)
1 folder, photostats
Account of a trip to Pike’s Peak, 18 April to 6 July 1859; and a trip to the Cherokee country, 25 February to 12 March 1860. Original in the possession of Mr. Yates.