Letter from John McConihe to John Kellogg, October 8, 1858

This October 8, 1858 letter from John McConihe to John Kellogg reveals that he has become the governor's personal secretary. He mentions the difficulty of holding unoccupied land claims and also tells Kellogg of rumors of gold strikes further west. McConihe also describes a "great Indian Wardance" performed by members of the Omaha tribe that recently took place in town and the reaction of the white population.

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Friend John

Yours of the 23d ult, enclosing 160 acres Land Warrant is received. I doubt very much whether it can be sold this fall but will hold it a short time. There is no pre-emptions being made now at our offices, except now and then a straggler comes in.

You will see by the heading of this letter that I am connected with the Gov. and it is in the capacity of Private Sect'y My business is to announce messages answer letters &c taking but little time. "The Gentlemen from Burt will yield the floor to the Private Sect'y

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of the Governor. A Message from the Govn." My term of office expires Jan'y 1st when Richardson returns to Illinois, unless the next Gov. selects me, which is not probable as he will probably have some favorite.

There is a good deal of flatter about non-resident lots, as the Commissioner of the Land Ofice at Wash. has written a letter here lately which rather confirms lot jumpers on their stolen lots, saying "deeds must be given to occupants and owners of lots and the Pre-emption law is so construed. I have commenced fencing our two lots and if I should go away it will have been improved and occupied & avert all question of title

The Gold excitement in Nebraska is on the increase and many have started from Omaha. The mines

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the richest, are on Cherry Creek about 500 miles from Omaha and in Nebraska. Pike's Peak is in Kansas but the miners are mostly going to Cherry Ck. If the stories prove strue, we shall have a large emigration through here next spring. I hope we will. Report says there are 10,000 people at the mines. The excitement extends up and down the River. I would go myself were the reports more reliable, as eight months in [capess] under the lea of the Rocky Mts, among Buffaloes & Indians might be quiet pleasant & romantic We had a great Indian Wardance here night before last. About 40 Indian chiefs and braves ^Omaha tribe came down to see the Indian Agent and he took them into the large dining room ofthe New Hotel and they did their best. Their wild gaudy dress composed of beads

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Eagle feathers bears claws & deers hoofs, bells &c &c accompanied by three Indian drums and two whistles yelling, dancing and singing woul scare almost any white many, in any out of the way place. It was a rich treat and the ladies enjoyed it hugely. "Hou, hi, hi, hoa, hooo,"

Our back room has been vacant for sometime, the gentlemen having backed out and there was no holding him to his bargain. Mr Finch has paid only $150 rent since my return, but will settle as soon as he can. I collected $14 for rent of back room a short time since.

My regards to the Messrs Townsend's and families. I wish I had my [[unclear]] Psi badge that is in the possession of Miss Mary Isham. Can't Miss Francis play foxy with her in some way and get it for me. There are many reasons why I want a badge, and if she can get it and send to me by mail I will be under obligation. Of course I would prefer to have Miss Mary wear it, to any other lady, but she don't want to and I do. Attend to this

Yours truly


About this Document

  • Source: Letter from John McConihe to John Kellogg
  • Extent: 4 pages
  • Collector:
  • Citation: Archives and Special Collections, University of Nebraska–Lincoln Libraries, John McConihe Correspondence, Archives and Special Collections, University of Nebraska–Lincoln Libraries, MS308, Box 1, Folder 3
  • Date: October 8, 1858