Letter from John McConihe to John Kellogg, August 15, 1857

On August 15, 1857, John McConihe writes to John Kellogg about their shared land transactions in Nebraska and news of others who have fallen on hard times. Though the real estate market is not as hearty as he had hoped (which he attributes to "Kansas Shriekers," "Emigrants", and "the tight money market at the East"), he is still confident that the market will improve. McConihe envies Kellogg for enjoying "cool sea breezes" on the coast, while he has just endured a 70-hour dust storm, and predicts that Omaha will become "the town" in Nebraska.

page image

Friend John

Yours of the 30th with Deed enclosed came duly, and your remaks about going to Fire Island found me enveloped in "a cloud of dust that encompased me around;" for the dust, wind (damn its whistle) and heat had been insufferable and unendurable for some 70 hours. Seventy hours in a "hot storm of dust" Just think of that, ye, that fish at Fire Island and enjoy cool sea breezes. I thought of the Blue Fish &c &c and sighed with the dirty wind.

You say 1st keep enough of my money so you wont have to draw on me. 2d Either keep enough send on joint funds to buy warrants or keep it and reinvest in joint real-estate just as you prefer.

Now, John, I shall not draw any more drafts on you, since you say stop. — I had understood our agreement or mutual wish to be, that whatever one went into, the other wanted a chance also. So I wrote you that I had purchased 160 acres & three Columbus shares but I omitted to say that I ex-

page image

-pected^ to go halves with you, althought I advanced the money when the partnership concern had none. As to the purchase of Warrants. I did not propose to send any money, for I have none to send. I am just as poor as you are, as we have taken to sea in one boat. I have not money enough, (Cash) any where, to pay my wash-bill and the aforesaid catastrophy has just sent my washer-woman away disappointed. I bo't "160 & Columbus" for your benefit as well as mine and what is very true, is that I could not have purchased them without anticipating the sale of that Lot, which was then in progress, as I had not nor would have, the dimes.

Columbus sold readily last spring for $300, 350, & 375 and there is every reason to believe it will be the best interior town in the Territory. I purchased under the advice of Suzby Smith and Finch, as I and they thought them (the Shares cheap) at $275 the price paid. At any other time they would bring $350#. Can't you sell one or more of them in Troy. Try, John, I enclose to you. The lots are already drown you see (10 to a share) and if you can sell them for $350

page image

I will be satisfied. The 160 acres is a pretty piece of Prairie Land ^12 miles fr. Omaha and is a bargain @ $500. But John it has been awful dull and the Kansas Shriekers sent all capitol and Emigrants into that Territory this year, which with the tight money market at the East, has operated to suspend speculations in Nebraska and real Estate has not taken the sudden rises it did last year. But we are all right and I shall clear a good per cent off all our operations yet, if the little energy I possess will do it. This fall we expect affairs will brighten up. there are a great many things which I could explain to you if I could have a talk with you, but you must in a great measure rely on me for the present and I will guarantee you shall do as well as I do, althought I am dispensing with Fire Island and other such luxuries. Ad Smith remarked last night that it was a narrow escape you had in not coming out this year and so I think, nons verrous. I should like to spend the winter in Troy and shall do so unless it is absolutely necessary for me to remain here. If I go East it will be only to return

page image

in the spring, early, and try again.

If things brighten up this fall I shall sell out our interest or a part of it in Beatrise [sic] if I get my price. I find it is hard for me to manage it alone at this distance. You know wwent into ^it expecting you and Newton ^& yourself would be here to assist me, but as it is I have had to carry it alone.

Omaha is improving very much and is destined to be the town in Nebraska.

Smith returns East soon, having entered as a special partner in some house in New York - A. J. Stevens "has bust" higher than a kite and the excitement at Des Moines is great. His liabilities are very heavy and as young and shrewd as he is, he will never get over it. There is a panic at the Fort but it is no index of the times. Omaha is all right. Stevens was spirited away from the Fort in the night and it was feared he would take "cold pison [sic] " to assuage his woes. But seriously it is a melancholy thing. He was soon to be married to Miss Pompelli of Albany I don't allow myself to get the blues, but there are times when one could not do so without much exertion. I made up my mind

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 2
  • Date: August 15, 1857