Letter from John McConihe to John Kellogg, July 12, 1861

In his July 12, 1861 letter, John McConihe writes to his business partner, John Kellogg, lamenting his financial losses in his Denver speculation scheme and from the government's failure to pay him what he is owed. McConihe asks for Kellogg's patience in awaiting repayment and reports that he has joined the army as a captain to support himself.

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Dear John

Your note of the 2d inst has just been received and I hasten to answer it. No one grieves over my inablility to pay my indebtedness more than myself and I can sincerely assure you I never dreamed of such a circumstance. I have more than enough due me to pay all I owe, but I cannot obtain one cent. It is evident now that myself and Pardner will lose heavily by our Denver speculation and that we are in a scrape. I enclose you a letter from our Denver correspondent which states everything. Government owes my partner $650. for taking census and we were assured months ago it would be paid without delay. Government also owes me (that is Gov. Black) for services rendered $760. I have taken his notes for the same and will reserve them for you. Other parties owe me some $500, which is cash loaned and should be collected. We have received but $67.00 from the goods we sent to Denver and the Lord only knows when we will received any more, altho' the goods

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there in store cost us about $1400. As you say, I did depend upon Mr Morton's mileage to pay that note, but as misfortunes never come singly, it is now reported that he has been cheated out of his seat and in that I am also disappointed. It is a base swindle on Mr Morton and struck us all here like a clap of thunder.

All I can say, John, is that I am in this scrape. It is the times, the war, the unlooked for depression and consequent destruction, that is being visited on us all. What will become of us I cannot foresee. All I know is I should be enabled to meet all my liabilities without trouble, but I cannot do it. I have all the property on hand we bought in 1856 except the two lots we sold. Also two lots (6 & 7 in 233) with improvements House, fence, well &c, on it costing $1400, (House story and a half, frame). Also three lots (1,2 & 4 in 141) with improvements costing $2100. (House one story brick) I will secure you or sell to you and as I have always said you shall lose nothing by me.

I am in the Army, drawing the pay of Captain and shall thus support myself irrespective of my property. I shall have no

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occasion to part with any of it. You need have no fears of losing untimately, but you must be patient. The country is paralyzed and you can judge, as well for yourself as I can, how soon we will be relieved.

When I can get East is uncertain but if I am anywhere (and alive) this fall where "leave" can be obtained, I shall visit Troy.

Be of good cheer, and I beseech you to keep our matters to yourself and depend upon me to write do the fair thing. I shall not forget your kindness and will repay as soon as it is in my power. Nothing can be gained by talking with others about these things, except to injure me, and I know you will not do it.

When ordered from here I will leave our property in good hands.

Will write you soon again. I wish you much joy in marital life.

Your friend

John McConihe

About this Document

  • Source: Letter from John McConihe to John Kellogg
  • Source: Letter from John McConihe to John Kellogg
  • Extent: 3 pages
  • Extent: 3 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, Box 1, Folder 8, Folder 8
  • Date: July 12, 1861