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Edward R. Wilbur, Jr. journal, 1887-1889

1 volume

This volume contains diary entries and essays about sea travel between New York City and San Francisco, railroad travel between California and Florida, and life in Florida during the late 1880s. The volume also includes drawings, several incomplete acrostic poems about Grover Cleveland, two laid-in essays, and a list of theatrical performances.

This volume (80 pages) contains diary entries and essays about sea travel between New York City and San Francisco, railroad travel between California and Florida, and life in Florida during the late 1880s. The volume also includes drawings, several incomplete acrostic poems about Grover Cleveland, and a list of theatrical performances.

The bulk of the volume consists of diary entries and essays about the author's trip from New York City to San Francisco on the St. David between July 13, 1887, and December 17, 1887 (pp. 1-39); his time in San Francisco from December 1887 to January 1888 (pp. 41-46); his visit to the New Almaden quicksilver mine in December 1887 (pp. 47-50); his railroad trip from San Francisco to Jacksonville, Florida, in January 1888 (pp. 52-58); and his life in Florida from January 1888 to May 1889 (pp. 59-61). The diary of the voyage on the St. David documents weather conditions; sightings and captures of birds, porpoises, and fish; and leisure activities (such as card playing). When describing San Francisco, the author noted the population density of Chinatown and the city's preference for gold bits over paper money and pennies. During his visit to the New Almaden mine, he descended into a shaft, where he saw Mexican laborers carrying ore to the surface, a mule that had been underground for around a year, and a group of miners preparing a blast.

The author's account of his railroad voyage from California to Florida focuses on the cold temperatures and snowfall that caused him to miss all but one of his intended connections. During the trip, the author stopped at and briefly described Salt Lake City, Denver, Kansas City, and St. Louis. A clipping from a Denver & Rio Grande Railway circular contains a description of the route. While in Florida, the author noted how little Lake Geneva, his primary residence, had changed since his visit four years previously; he also commented on the effects of a yellow fever epidemic.

The travel writings are followed by a group of unfinished acrostic poems utilizing the name "Grover Cleveland" (pp. 62-65), an excerpt of dialogue (pp. 67-68), and a list of plays and theaters, including several that starred Edwin Booth (pp. 75-80). Pages 71-74 have been removed from the volume. Two loose essays laid into the book concern the purchase of hunting dog and a story about the author's travels with an itinerant dentist named Henry Carter. The names John Moore (Brooklyn, New York), Edward R. Wilbur, Jr. (New York City), and Mrs. Samuel Clemens are written on the final page of the volume.

The volume contains several illustrations, including a laid-in watercolor drawing of a sailor making a sail onboard the St. David. Drawings of "A Frisco Beauty" (p. 40) and "From the Car Window (Injuns)" (p. 57) are pasted into the book; the latter drawing shows Indians standing near a group of tepees. A sketched outline of part of a horse (p. 64) is drawn directly into the volume. The author's description of his trip to the New Almaden mine is illustrated with ink drawings of a canyon, the buildings over a mineshaft, and the mine's condenser.


Oklahoma Homesteader's photograph album, [ca. 1889]

1 volume

The Oklahoma Homesteader's photograph album contains pictures of ranch or homestead buildings, cowboys, and Native Americans in an unidentified prairie region in the late 19th century. Some of the Native Americans posed with guns and white soldiers, and one group wore military uniforms. Two items are photographs of watercolor paintings.

The Oklahoma Homesteader's photograph album (36cm x 29cm) contains 49 prints showing pictures of buildings, scenery, cowboys, women, Native Americans, and watercolor paintings. Sixteen images are exterior views of a ranch home and outbuildings in a flat, grassy area with few trees. Two men in wide-brimmed hats are sometimes visible, including one driving a two-wheel horse-drawn carriage. Nine photographs are interior views of the residence showing a wallpapered living room or office, a paneled bedroom, dining area, and kitchen.

Of particular note are the interior views that show hats, bridles, lassos, and rifles mounted on the walls in combination with full bookshelves, framed art and photographs, and decoratively arranged wheat stalks. A large framed print or painting of a cow is featured over the mantelpiece along with small cabinet photographs, feathers, and artifacts; the beds are covered with Native American blankets and carefully arranged newspapers; books, papers, and a book-press are visible. Also of note are views of the rustic kitchen with coffee advertising signs and genre prints displayed. One view shows a dinner table set for seven, while another shows a bearded man cooking over an iron woodstove. Two pictures show a pair of women posed outside of the house with a dog. Two images are exterior views of a property with a larger wood frame house that appears to have been recently constructed.

A group of 14 pictures depicts cowboys roping cattle, performing farm work, pitching horseshoes, and relaxing alone or in groups. One photograph shows a group seated on a blanket, playing cards with guns drawn.

The album has six photographs featuring groups of Native Americans; a band of Native American men brandishing rifles appear posed with a white soldier in a uniform jacket; a mixed-gender group of Native Americans includes several men in military uniforms, women and children; a group of women and children in front of a tipi; a group of women and children with a child's wagon; three Native American men in military uniforms; and a large group with uniformed men on horseback, women, and children, taken at distance with tipis in the background. The final two pages have photographs of watercolor paintings of prairie scenes featuring small buildings. The album has a brown leather binding with a moire-patterned blue cloth cover, and a spine label "0013" from a previous unknown owner.

A wall calendar appearing in an interior view indicates June 2 falling on a Sunday, which occurred in 1889 and 1895.


William A. Carter typescript, 1857-1859

1 item

This collection is made up of typescripts of letters that William A. Carter sent to his wife Mary from July 1857 to January 1859. Carter described his journey from Kansas to southwest Wyoming throughout 1857 and later discussed his life at Fort Bridger, where he became a prosperous sutler. Many of the letters refer to Native American tribes and to ongoing conflicts between Mormons and United States troops.

This collection (71 pages) is made up of typescripts of letters that William A. Carter sent to his wife Mary from July 28, 1857, to January 23, 1859. From September 1857 to January 1858, Carter wrote about his journey from Atchison, Kansas, to Camp Scott and Fort Bridger, Wyoming, describing the changing landscape and aspects of daily life as part of a traveling wagon train. He referred to Native American tribes such as the Pawnee, Cheyenne, Snake, and Sioux, sharing news of reported attacks on other wagon trains and mentioning a friendly encounter with a group of Sioux. Carter and his companions also feared attacks by groups of Mormons and he commented on the ongoing conflicts between Utah Mormons and U.S. troops. After reaching Fort Laramie in October 1857, the party sometimes travelled alongside U.S. forces under the command of Philip St. George Cooke; during this time, Carter relayed reports of heavy fortifications around Salt Lake City.

In early 1858, Carter wrote several letters from Camp Scott in southwest Wyoming, joining U.S. troops in their winter camp. There, he pursued a mercantile career; his letters from this period sometimes refer to the large sums of money that could be earned by transporting freight between the Utah Territory and "the States" back east. By mid-1858, Carter had settled at Fort Bridger, where he was officially appointed sutler in June 1858; he later became postmaster as well. At Fort Bridger, Carter shared news of the Utah War, reported on his finances, and discussed his plans to build a store; on one occasion, he discussed a visit to Salt Lake City. He increasingly referred to his unhappiness about being separated from his wife and children and eventually announced his intention to bring them to Wyoming. By January 1859, he anticipated a reunion with his family.