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W2913 TO JAMES ALFRED AND CHARLOTTE [PUCKRIDGE] BAKER from James' brother David Bogue Baker
Dec 1 1856
To: James Alfred Baker and Charlotte (Puckridge) Baker, Paris, Canada West
From: Mankato Blue Earth Co. Minnesota, U.S.A.
My Dear Brother & Sister,
Two years ago you used to answer my Epistles. That was
an excellent plan I would advise you to try it again or
consider this to be my third and last unanswered one.
I have a good deal of news to tell you. A good deal
has transpired since I last wrote a little over a year ago
[;] I then told you Dodgson and I were going on a hunt. We
started on the first of Novr. But [sic] found game scarce,
killed 54 deer [,] 1 Elk [,] saw no Buffalo [,] killed the
usual amount of "Varmints" such as Beaver, otter, coon [,]
Badger [,] wolf, fox, with lots of little fur. On our
return home we found our Claims jumped one we sold for
$325.00, for the other we are still contending. The case
was sent to Washington for decision. A similar place to a
A Co. hired me to survey a town for them on Des Moines
river this I did. Dodgson and I then determined to start a
trading post further up the River. Then we made claim of a
Town Site and Built a trading house and by spring there will
be a dozen houses in our town [.] We are doing a good
buisness [sic] out there in the Sioux Trade. Dodgson was
attending to that wilst I was surveying up on the Blue Earth
when I was taken with congestion of the Lungs and had to
desist [.] I am getting well again.1
I might have mentioned to you that Dodgson & I were
forced to leave our first claims on account of the Winnabago
Indians being located there after we had made our claims.
There were about 60 settlers on this land to [sic] many for
Pierce & Co. to cheat so we commenced proceedings against
the government to recover damages. And I had the
satisfaction on reaching Mankato of hearing that one of my
fellow sufferers had received a letter from Joshua R.
Giddings commissioner of claims stating that we would all be
paid by the first of March. Our apprazed [sic] damages
were four thousand dollars. Dodgson and I intend to outfit
ourselves as Naturalist [sic] and about July next start for
the Hudsons Bay Territory on an Exploring Expedition. I
shall however previously call on J.A.B. and Lady and give
them a more minute detail of our plans [.]
About two months ago I wrote to W. Johnstone my old
School master who seemed very highly pleased to think that
he had found the hiding place of an Esteemed pupil. I gave
him a full description of our plans for the future in which
he fully concured [sic] and informed me that we could
command his assistance at any time.
Dodgson has proved a stable companion [.] We have had
all things common for nearly six years without any
disappointment. I wish it was so that he could come with me
in the Spring [.] But we have to [sic] much to do. The
Presidential Election has ended--And such an End! as would
disgrace a principality in Central Africa.
Also allow me to End. Remember me to all my old
friends especially Tom B.2 and family[.] Keep my Northern
Expedition strictly secret [.]
It is so long since I heard from you that I begin to
fear you are all dead & I left not the "last of the
Mohicans" but the Last of the Bakers [.] Tell Tom to write
to me [.] I think you all are little fizle [sic] rather
mean. I think were our situations changed I should write you
very often [.]
Try what you can do for me, and believe me to
Your Very Afect. Bro.
D.B.B [David Bogue Baker]
James A. Baker Esq.
1 David Bogue Baker died in April 1857 of tuberculosis. For more details about David, see W2986.
2 Possibly his brother Thomas Hampson Baker.