Letter from John McConihe to John Kellogg, June 21, 1857

On June 21, 1857, John McConihe writes to John Kellogg about their investments in southeast Nebraska, particularly in the town of Beatrice. McConihe tells Kellogg that he does not know why it takes mail longer to arrive from the East than it does to be sent to it, though he blames road and weather conditions in Iowa for much of the delay. He rounds out the letter with news of the first circus in Nebraska, their friend Newton's regrettable foray into bookkeeping, and statements of optimism about the West.

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Dear John

Your letter of May 25th I acknowledged on its receipt as it had money in it. But when I came to look at the draft, I noticed you had taken the precaution to leave off the Cashr signature. But I had it cashed by making a draft on Cashr Buel, which you will see is paid promptly. The weather is very fine here just now, and instead of occupying our office I sleep with Adam Smith and loaf with him. But I expect to get into it by to-morrow The Office will cost near $800# say $790# (I alredy have figures up to $787#) It has been built as cheap as any St. Louis Office in town. I expect and hope to get some good fellow in it for $15 a month, with me but can't say as I shall be able to do so.

Your letter of the 30th came to hand the day after the one of the 25th. I cannot explain your question why letters from the East do not come as quick as letters go from the West—mail matter through Iowa depends upon the State of the road and weather. The late rains have stopped the mails, almost,

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and I have not received my Troy Times for three days.

I feel much easier, John, after reading your letters as you look upon matters cooly and do not imagine the West is all going to the devil, because the Eastern papers howl about so many leaving the East for the West to speculate in lands. The shoe pinches the East not the West. But at the same time I have no doubt such howling will tend to scare off Eastern capitalists for a few months and render people more cautions. Our property can't, no sir, can't be worth a dime less in the fall than it will bring now and it may be worth more. If we have a good crop this year, all will be right; and the accounts of the same come in more cheeringly daily, in every paper. We have two news papers published here now and there is some talk of a Daily.

That Duplicate draft of which I advised you has been returned to me, the original one having been found & paid by you. The Duplicate was drawn by me and was so worded that in case you had paid the 1st the 2d was void.—The Governor is

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absent at Washington, but I think it would be a useless expense to have a Commissioner for Nebraska, as any Justice of the Peace can take acknowledgements at the East. But I will think of it and get an appointment if necessary, upon the Governors return or the arrival of a new one.

I have just received a letter from Newt. and he has entered the "Book Keepers Academy" at Cincinnati to learn to be a Book Keeper He says "I shall, when I understand the science be enabled to obtained steady employment at a good salary and thus I can spend my days, writing, without can or fear of reverses." O ambition, thou art with New't, no longer!

The circus, first one in Nebraska, performed here yesterday. Smith & self attended in the evening, and all the incidents of crowd drunken loafers, fights and small boys were witnessed there, the same as in Troy. We estimated, by counting our row of seats, the people there at 1500. Bellevue, Florense, &c were duly represented. I was once again in the East!!

I enclose items for your perusal.

Yours truly


P.S. I have written you a number of letters which you have not acknowledged.

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P.S. 2d Enclosed I send you a minute of our expenses, proper, up to date. If you have received my letters in relation to our interests in "Beatrice" and think best to "pitch in," it might be well to forward an other installment, only send drafts signed by Cashr.


About this Document

  • Source: Letter from John McConihe to John Kellogg
  • Extent: 4 pages
  • 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: June 21, 1857