Letter from John McConihe to John Kellogg, April 22, 1859

In this April 22, 1859 letter from John McConihe to his business partner, John Kellogg, McCohihe predicts the positive effect the Pike's Peak Gold Rush will have on the land he and Kellogg are selling come summer.

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Friend John

Yours of the 9th inst has just arrived and I hasten to reply. I think there will be a demand for Warrants, much more so than I had expected. I thought this Pike's Peak rush was going to affect that kind of business very materially, that men who had not pre-empted, would pull up and leave for the mines. I now think that a great many will return prior to the Land Sales and settle in the Platte Valley and farm it. Some have already pegged out, and have come to the conclusion that Jordan is a hard road, that Gold is hard to get, especially when dug from the Earth. I have had some calls recently for Warrants and it may pay you as well as myself, to have them here. I wish in this connection to say a few things right here, in order that you may understand yourself perfectly. Our markets

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are subject to great and sudden changes and so is all kinds of business. The town gets short of some necessary Article, salt, butter anything, and if one merchant has a small supply, up goes the price. So it is with Warrants, should there be a scarcity any day during the sales, up would go the price and they are usually sold by dealers five cts over N.York prices. Such contingencies happened frequently last summer, just before the sales were to come off. I think I can make arrangements to sell them for you here, for cash, gold, at 95 cts during the Sales, and make a good thing myself. There are four Land Offices, and I can attend to them all by being active I do not think there will be a great demand for them either in May or June, and not before the Land Sales, July 5th. A few might be sold but not enough to make it an object. Settlers, what few there are will wait until the last week, before they pre-empt, and then there is likely to be a good call for them. If you will send

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them to me about the time of the Land Sales or send now and allow me to hold them until August 1st I will do as follows; Will return you August 1st at least 95 cts for Warrants, or the Warrants themselves. Will sell at 95, if I can get no more and charge you no commission. If sold for $1— will charge 5 per cent; if over $1— will allow you excess.

The large amount of these Warrants, will permit me to travel around to the various land ofices and if sold pay my expenses. If I cannot sell, will only be out my expenses and I shall know by the 1st of August, what can be got for the Warrants.

I think the above is a sufficient answer to your inquiries and remain

Yours truly

J. Mac Conihe

P.S. You need not answer this letter, whatever conclusion you come to until you hear from me again. My chances for the Private Sect'y-ship are good. Have sent you Mortgage.

About this Document

  • Source: Letter from John McConihe to John Kellogg
  • Extent: 3 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 4
  • Date: April 22, 1859