29 April 2010

1849 Gold Rush Letter - John Arnspiger to His Wife Mary - Part One

The following is the transcription of copies of Part One of a letter from John Arnspiger to Mrs. Mary Arnspiger and their children residing Jersey County, Jerseyville, Illinois.  It was postmarked April 28th, 1849, St. Joseph, MO. John was en route to the gold fields in California. These letters are in the ARNSPIGER Pioneer Settler's folder at the Sumner County History & Genealogy Center, Box 402, Wellington, Kansas 67152.

From Jno Arnspiger,
staying at St. Joseph, Missouri
April 26th, 1849

Dear Wife and children,

I am glad to inform you that I am well and have been well since I left home and I hope the same blessing is extended to you all.

I arrived here the day before yesterday and should have wrote before this time but unfortunately myself, Abraham and the doctor got separated on the river.

We started on a large lower trade boat called Bill Creole and got a little above Lexington, MO and she would not go any further on account of low water and then came along an other (or maybe it was otter) boat and took on all passengers she could get.  We got some of our frait (freight) on.  She would not wait till we got it all on board so Abraham and the doctor were left behind and have not got here yet.  Our wagons have not got here yet.

Harry Bishop and Sug (?) Fry got in yesterday with their mule teams.  Whitlock Doctor, Bragg Jarbo and Henry Goodrich are here but none of their teams.  We are looking for them every day.

I am sorry to inform you that cholera is here and one man died on our boat his name was Simson from Henopin (?) Ill another from near the same place a doctor but not on the same boat they were both for Callaforna. (California).  The death of Mr. Simson was very regretted he left a wife and 6 children but in good circumstances.  He was taken in the morning and died about midnight.  They made a box and buried him the same night.

I was very much alarmed but I have concluded to not be troubled about it.  If it is the will of God that I am one of the number that is not to get there I wish to be reconciled to my fate.

 (Stay tuned for Part 2 - coming soon!)

21 April 2010

SCHGS Meeting, Monday April 26th, "Kansas and the Louisiana Purchase"

“Kansas and the Louisiana Purchase”

On Monday, April 26th, at the Wellington Steakhouse, at 6:30 p.m., Jim Crisler will present “Kansas and the Louisiana Purchase” to the Sumner County Historical and Genealogical Society and visitors.

How did the French plan to use the Louisiana Territory? How close did Kansas come to being part of the Spanish Empire? What one person, considered a traitor by some, played a pivotal role in the Louisiana Purchase?

“This talk will focus around the maps,” Crisler said, “and the politicians and the people who decided how those maps came out.”

Through Crisler’s eyes, we will see a glimpse of what our nation was like at this early time in its history, how international conflicts pulled the colonists in different directions, and how the colonists and the attitude of the countries to their colonies and the colonists to their countries played a crucial part in the growth of America.

Crisler will touch on how the Native Americans interacted with the first official expedition that came from the United States into the territory that is now Kansas, the Pike Expedition, and will follow the career of one very interesting character who “turns up at a surprising number of important times in our nation’s early history and was considered by some to be one of the biggest traitors in United States history.”

Crisler said there were many national and international events that brought about the Louisiana Purchase and many interesting and surprising characters that played a part in influencing those events, including the treatment of famous founding fathers George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, and Thomas Jefferson as English colonists, and he will share how ordinary settlers, as well as traders and traitors, Native Americans and generals, explorers and heroes all interacted and led to the Purchase.

“Whether Kansas would belong to the United States or become part of the Spanish empire, the year 1806 decided the fate of the United States west of the Mississippi, and Kansas’ fate ends up being decided by a notorious traitor,” Crisler said.

There is no charge for the meetings and visitors are always welcome!

Sumner County Historical & Genealogical Society
Meeting, Monday, April 26th at 6:30 p.m., Wellington Steakhouse, Wellington, Kansas
For more Information, contact Sherry Stocking Kline at: sherry@familytreewriter.com