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The following contains transcriptions of several old letters written by our family members over time. Several words in the transcriptions are missing, because the original letters are missing. Copies of the original letters are available, if anyone is interested.
Letter from Vashti W. and also Peyton R. Dunham to Irvin H. Thurston and children, 1870:

Salt Creek Chariton Co August 7th 1870

My dear Son and granddaughters
Your ----? letter of july 25 came to hand yesterday finding us in good health in general Maggie is sick and has a rash or something all over her Katie the little one has had large places come like blisters then turn verry red and look raw for some time some days is quick sick, she is a verry interesting child, oh the many times since I have been here and takeing such good care of her have thought of dear little Anabel and julia not only since their dear Mama that cared so much for them has gone but after I heard from her own pen that her health was not good I can hardly forgive myself for not going as soon as the last letter that she wrote to Peyton was received yet my calculation was that her Papa would be at home and we would go to keeping house and we were intending to send and have you to bring them on a visit so it was, the dear children are to care for now and it has been a grief to think that I could not be with them last spring my intention was to be there this fall in regard to having Minnie and Nellie I would gladly take them if I had a home and the other two also there is nothing to prevent one from devoting my time to them dear Children only a chance to get at it � Grandpa has not got home nor has been heard from since the first day of june he has sent several papers containing Indian news he was tired of writing and no wonder for he has written so many long good letters since he has been away do you think of stil living in Minnisota for my part if I were there it would do me as well as any place I have a deed for 40 acres of land here joining Peytons and if I have an offer for it shal sell out and try to do the best I can with the money it may bring eight or nine hundred dollars ten acres near Leavenworth City would bring a good living it a great place to make money � Ok I cannot bear to think of them four little girls if I just could see how to do Kate and all the children are writing for me to come up there my and I do not know what to do may Providence direct me to his praise I have a great desire to do some good to them little ones I feel like I must get up and go to your relief it seem to me that you must stay together � Peyton will finish he is waiting to take
your Mother

Aug 8th Dear Irve
Yours of July 25 came to hand on the 6th ins., and we hasten a reply. You ask our advice about breaking up house I do not know what to say to you about it. I judge from the way you have been doing that it is not your wish to do so. I know you situation is bad, but I cannot realize it. We are too far off to render you any assistance in the way of helping about keeping house, but would gladly do so if we were near enough. I hope something will turn up that will keep all of you together. You will more than ever feel lost when separated. I suppose from what I see in the papers the mails have been slow � is New Mex. Papa has been having a terrible time, and I fear he will never get home. We have had a very dry season here. Oats and ----? short. ----? of wheat splendid field of ---? moderate, we had good soaking rains on the 6th & 7th insts., corn will be a full average, I am offering the place for sale and will sell as soon as I can. I have a strong notion of going to Oregon. Allie is willing or anxious to go. I can�t tell yet what I shall do. Allie and the children join in sending much love to all, Can�t you come down here and see us, we have a fine country and plenty to eat. We would be glad to see all of you write soon from Peyt.

August 13th our letter has been delayed thinking possibly we might hear from Grandpa I hope that you can do better than anticipate my wish is to be with you and your four daughters I am just waiting the result of G Pa he is all that keeps me away from them

13 we may get news to day � you will have to wait a little and ---? that I can get to take a great deal off of your mind this perhaps will be the most trying year you may have would the friends take the two little ones let us not let them be separated and your things squandered I hope the way will open for your good cannot ---?

August 13 if we were intending to stay here I would try to have a house put on my part of the land but Peyton will sell soon as possible and so do not know how to turn if my cough gets no worse this winter I can do a good deal of work

Letter from Vashti W. Dunham to Irvin H. Thurston and children, 1870:

Salt Creek Po Chariton Co Mo
Sept 12 1870

Dear Son and granddaughters
I am so uneasy about you all that I cannot rest until I hear from you again � are you all together yet or has it come to a sepperation � it is a great trouble to me to think that our dear Lydias Children may have to be sepperated � if I dare I would soon be with you � but grandpa wrote us that he expected to start home the first of december he was waiting to come with a Mr Bradford and family of that Post he will have an escort so he says he can get to Kit Carson with only the expence of his board they say the travel is dangerous he is ready to come at any moment if it was safe he was in good health and did wish to be with us just as much as we could he did not say whether he had got his pay or not his letter was dated 1st of August he said he would write again in a few days � I wrote to him some time ago that I wished to go to you and asked him if he would be willing to go but he has not answered near all my questions but said he would
I have been knitting several pairs of stockings for the dear little children do tell me how you are doing and if you have to hire them knit it may be better for me to do it I do want to be with you all if it was only for a year or two I could take a great charge off of you and Minnie and if my life is spared I shal not be easily prevented � if you think that you will stay in Minnisota we may not be able to stand it my earnest wish is to live with or near you while I am able to work I can do light work from morning until night but not hard so if I were with you you could keep a girl or woman and the children could be happy and go to school and if you was too lonesome and could fine one of your own age I would say all rigth if you were suited and the hope of being of some use to you and all the Dear ones promts me to say candidly what I do you must believe me � we are anxious to sell I have 40 acres of good land Peyton had 40 all good and it is nice farm he would not offer his for sale if he was out of debt if I do not get to come this fall I will send the stockings if you think it will be best I will pay the express do let me hear from you if you are at home together
your Mother

Dear Anna
Please accept this little Christmas present, as a token of love and affection from

Letter from Vashti W. Dunham to Irvin H. Thurston, wife and children, 1871:

Leavenworth --- Kansas, Feb 2- 1871

My ---? and granddaughters
The last letter that I had from your dear Pa was written in November after the ----? package was received -----? in ----? something that ---? my mind a great deal for your lonely situation was -----? before me I do hope that you all love her and as days and months increase that your love and affection to your new Mama and hers to you may steadily increase and I am sure if that is the case that you will all be happy oh may the great dispenser of all good ---? impress our hearts that its influence will be seen and felt all around, of all things I desire most to live in love with all good people of every ----? Feb. 28 you will see how slow I am finishing my letter I have not been feeling verry well and not at all like writing oh how agreeable it would be if we lived near each other so that we could see you all often � Well Dear Irvin and all of you it is strange but it is so that your Grandpa has not got home yet he is engaged in a silver mining operation him and Twelve others have gone into it he has never said any thing about the amount that he ----? I received a letter from him last Saturday that was written the 31st of january he was well and still in the same place Fort Craig New Mexico he told all that he could about their prospect tho did not know yet what could be done he said there was no doubt about the ----? the mine but their being able to get it out, he said he did not have much news to write but thought he would have soon � he has been cheated and robbed so he seems to be determined to make another trial to make a raise I believe he would have been home a year or more ago if he had not been disappointed - March 2d I am not smart enough to do much of any thing yet I am always doing something � I arrived here on the 18 of Feb Peyts folks were well � You must not get discouraged about Grandpa not getting home it is a botherition to me but if he does not come this spring I do intend to take a trip to see your Aunt Maggies children and your Uncle Roberts little boy his name is Robert Luther they live in Iowa and Nellie and her folks live in Illinois She was teaching last fall � How are you getting along are you living in a nice improved place or is it new and how far is it from Garden Citty you must tell me � I do not see why I should not say something to the one that has come to be a mother to my own dear Daughters dear little bereaved ones I trust that thogh it is a great responcibility that it will be a blessing to all you do not know how anxious I am to be with you I am I mean all ---? of the family Dr wrote that you Frank if I may make so free to call you (but I feel like calling you Daughter more than any thing else and am in great hopes that if I should be permitted to visit your house I may be to you as a true Mother) oh them dear children how are they I would have gathered them all to myself if it had been in my power and will think it a privilege to do all that is possible to do to help you and if I cannot go to be with you at your own home I intend to send you all something nicer than I did last fall yet the stockings were nice but after I found they were safe I was so sorry that I did not get something that would have been good to send it seems to me that I must see you all soon Minnie you and Nellie must write to me when you can and tell me about julia and dear little Anabelle oh when shall I see you all if I had a home I should have you all with me all that I could � Now Dear Irvin I want you and Frank to write to me I can assure you it will be to one that feels a great concern for you all, it seem to me that I write and say nothing but I do the best I can and hope you will make allowance, Minie Mary is ironing on one end of the table and jars a little she says to tell you that she will write to you some time if Grandpa gets home I think he must either go to Reeking? house and have you come or we go to see you, Now do all write soon tell me if your Grand Pa and Ma Thurston are alive and well and when you saw them your affectionate Mother and Grandmother,
Vashti W. Dunham

Letter written by James Custer in 1880 regarding incidents that occurred in the 1810's or 1820's. The first page of the document is lost:

...crop to move to in the fall. A good tracking snow fell, Apr. 5th and I went out and killed a panther. I went home in July, and returned to camp the night before Christmas. I had a house built with a puncheon floor and a puncheon door and chimney up to the mantle.
My brother and I thought we would go out and kill some turkeys, so we got our horses and road out a short time, till we ran onto a drove of turkeys. I sat on my horse and killed eight within an hour.
I split 15000 rails one season, and 500 a day. I put up 500 cords of wood on one job, and cut and put up seven cords of wood in one day. I could split 400 rails every day and go to the dance at night and trip the light fansastictoe, as well as any one there.
My brother and I built the first house in Vernon, and cleared nine acres of land there; had a camp and had a fine time with our guns. We killed two bears and had all the turkey we could eat. We had an old pioneer cook with us and among the first settlers of Kentucky.
After I finished the job at Vernon, I went out to get my money and settle my business with Mr. Vaughter. I started home in the evening and got as far as Graham, when it began to snow very hard. I tied out my horse and built a fire against a log. I then took some bark and a deer skin and built a shelter and slept snug till morning. I then got my horse and went down to a creek I had crossed and went to where I had hung up a deer the day before. My deer was gone, the snow had fallen 4 inches deep, and I took up a trail and followed it a short distance until I saw an Indian step out from behind a tree. I went up to him and spoke, I was never afraid of the Indians. I asked "how many". He held up 4 fingers. "we are camped in the Forks of Graham, Indian kill heap bear, kill heap buck" Cohon held up both hands, I bid him goodby. He said "me follow buck" I believe he took my deer.
I went out on Sunday in company with some ladies to see the Indians. The first camp we came to we saw an old squaw cutting up a racoon in her lap, I told her I wanted a wife, she pointed down towards another camp where here was some young squaws, I had a fine rifle with me and told them I wanted to trade it for a wife. There were two young squaws who had their hair greased and looped every way imaginable. They had a papoose tied to a board. One of the young ladies made much of it and squealed like a little pig. I saw one dog, suckling three pigs and four pups. The men were all off hunting, they were hard on the women. The squaws do all the drudgery, I have seen them going to town riding horses and the squaws walking and carrying all the furs, and when they came back they would all be high, except one man, they always kept one sober.
After this I bought 160 acres of land, married a woman who weighed 250 lbs and a better woman never lived. We had 13 children, and raised 11 of them to adulthood. I joined the Baptist church and still live on the old farm in Monroe Twp. 11 miles North of Madison. I am at peace with man kind, I have no enemies that I know of. I am now 84 years old and a hearty eater, have good eye sight, sleep soundly and thank god for his mercies.

James Custer

Letter written by George F. Merriman to his fiance (and later wife) Mary E. Murray:

(Front of Envelope: Miss Mary Murray / Present)

At Home
Sunday July 22, 1877
Miss Mollie Murray,
My darling. I am very sorry to inform you that I can not come to see you to day. I am sick have been sick all week. Have been having the ague (?) and I am hardly able to sit up. I am getting better now I think and as soon as I feel able to ride I will come to see you. I will be very lonesome without you today my sweet darling well Mollie if I was able I could write to you all day but I do not feel like writing so you must excuse this short and badly written letter Am hoping to see you soon I remain as ever your affectionate lover.
Yours Truly,
Geo Merriman

Letter from George Merriman to Mary Merriman, July 9, 1879:

Envelope: (Galesville 5=16/79) Mrs. Geo. F. Merriman
Jackson Co

July 9, 1879

Mrs. M. E. + Geo Merriman
My darling. I would like to come out and see you but have not time. But I have good news for you. I have seen Bill Carll and he says he will let us have a room all to your self and will board us cheaper than we can keep house he will put a parler stove in the room it is a good big room it is 14 + 16 feet. So darling when I come again I can take my ---- darling back with me We will have to furnish our own bed. Well I can tell you better about in when I see you again. But you don't know how happy I am to think I will soon have a good home for you many sweet kisses stage is come

Geo Merriman

Address your letter to Galesville Douglass Co Ogn Many loves kisses from your Geo

Letter from George Merriman to Mary Merriman, August 30, 1879:

Mrs. Geo. F. Merriman
Douglas Co

Aug 30, 1879

Mrs. Mary Merriman
My darling. I arrived here to day had to stay at Grave Creek longer than I expected I will be back next Thursday or Friday night.
Well darling I have not found any thing out here to write about that will interest you Am in a hurry so with many loves kisses a am your ever loving
Geo F M

Letter from George Merriman to Mary Merriman, March 17, 1879 or 1880:

(I will write as soon as I arrive at Canyonville)

Woodville March 17
Geo F. Merriman to his wife

Dear wife. My money has give out I sold the ---- + saddle for twenty dollars I will take the stage in the morning will get to Canyonville in the night. Well but I do not know of anything to write but I must do something to pass the time away This evening but I will be on the stage soon speeding my way to Canyonville where I think our future home will be. Kiss Willie for me and a thousand kisses for you. From your loving husband.

Letter from Almarine Chapman Riddle to Effie Chapman Shrum, April 2, 1917:

Hardin, Mont April 2, 1917

Dear Sister Effie

I will try to answer your letter. I should of written sooner but a neighbor of mine has had trouble and I have two of the boys, one 12 and the other 8, so you see I have quite a little drove of boys. Their mother is sick and her sister has taken her to Denver, Colorado. She is going insane and she thinks her husband is insane. She is going like Julia.[unknown person] She has fits and every thing else. They are good people only she is imagining things. I never seen a man any kinder to his wife than he is, and his children wants to stay with him.
About coming home, I don't see how I can. We are all alone and I am afraid to leave Riddle alone. I could not help Father any, only to take care of him. When I left there, I never expected to see him again. I have never got over the shock of Jennie [her daughter, Jennie Duncan]going away. I don't think I ever will. It is as fresh in my mind as though it was yesterday. If Father passes away, let ne know by letter. I cannot stand a telegram.
We have been sick so much this winter. I was sick with a cold and then my eyes were sore. I could hardly see to read Ettie's [sister Luetta Chapman Livingston]letter, and Jack [unknown person living with them]was sick two weeks with cold and ear ache and his heart running wild. When that bothers him, I get so nervous and worried. I don't know what to do. Andy Chapman is at Red Lodge with Affie [Alphia Chapman, Addison's daughter and John Chapman's wife]. He is almost blind. When people lives fast somethin overtakes them...two much booze.
George's [Chapman, a brother]address is Springdale, Montana. I have wrote two or three times but he never answers. I have his feather bed here. I will keep it until I do hear from him.
Will have to close and go to washing. How is Douglas [Stephen Douglas Chapman, a brother]s winter? Does he go to see Father? [Apparently John Henry Chapman was living at the time with Effie and Stephen Shrum, and Douglas was living a mile away on the home ranch on Little River.]
Write soon and often as you can. Love to you and tell Father I think of him every day. Regards to all,

When is Francis' birthday? [Francis Mary Livingston, daughter of Luetta Chapman and Delmer Livingston]

Letter from Almarine Chapman Riddle to Effie Chapman Shrum, May 23, 1917:
Hardin, Mont. May 23rd, 1917

My Dear Sister Effie,
Have just received your letter telling me that Father had passed away. Poor Dear Father. It seems so hard to let him go, but it has be. He wanted to go so bad. I have Rheumatism again; have had them for a week. My hands are so sore and knees are so stiff I can hardly walk. I am so afraid I will get so I can not help myself. If I do, I don't know what will become of me. I will have to quit writing for it hurts my fingers so bad. When they get better I will write again. Goodbye, love and best wishes.

Letter from Almarine Chapman Riddle to Effie Chapman Shrum, July 24, 1917:

Harney Co.,Oregon July 24th 1917

Dear Sister, Will write to tell you where we are. I have chased from one place to another the last six weeks. Went to Cody and up to Sunlight where Press and Dewey [Her husband Tobias Stilley Riddle's sons] are 45 miles from town. They have a lovely place and the best water you ever drank. Stilley was sick when I got there. We was there two weeks. Helen [Don't know who this is] weighs 180 lbs and now we are Cy Smith's, Stilley's brother-in-law's. We are going over to Walt's and Fred's [May be more sons of Stilley's] as soon as we can. Will be here about 4 weeks. Will stay in Cody this winter and send Jack [Can't identify relationship] to school and then I don't know where we will go. I am well and feel fine. This is a head of Big Horn. Such cool nights. All along the line everything burning up. Short hay and small grain and very poor gardens. I will close. Write to Beckley, Oregon, care of Fred Riddle. We will be here a month. Love and best wishes,


Letter from Almarine Chapman Riddle to Effie Chapman Shrum, November 24, 1917:

Cody, Wyo Nov 24th

My Dear Sister
I have just arrived home from Springdale. I did not receive your letter until Monday noon. Had time to dress and go to the train by half past one. Got to Springdale at 4 o clock Tuesday morning and poor George [Chapman, her brother]was gone. Why did not Douglas[Stephen Douglas Chapman, another brother went up to Wyoming to get George and bring him back to Glide.] send me a telegram from there. I could have gotten there. I saw his wife. I asked her why she did not go with him [to Glide]. She said she could not leave her sheep. Oh the way she has treated him since he has been sick. It makes my heart ache. He had to go to his neighbors to get them to make some soup for him. She went so far as to go to the bank and ask what to do with him. She could not leave him there if he could not work. I think she has begun to think how she has done. I guess I asked her too many questions. I never say anyone before but what had some friend, but she had none. All she thinks of is her sheep.
I want you to write and tell me how he is. they all told me that he had lots of friends and no enemies.
My arms are almost solid blisters, they burn and smart so bad. I wish Douglas could of come up and see me. Delmer Duncan's [Is this a son of Riley Duncan, if so this would be Almarine's great grandson?] have a baby boy, born the 10th of November. Dewey [Riddle] and his wife were here while I was gone. Tell George I was so sorry I did not [see him]. He has been sick so long and I did not know it. I certainly would of went to see him if she had wrote to Hardin [Montana]. I would have got the letter. Will write more next time. I have the blues too bad to write. I am up here so alone now that George has left. So love and best wishes to all,


You all just be careful about dressing his face!

Letter from Almarine Chapman Riddle to Effie Chapman Shrum, January 17, 1919:

January 17th, 1918 [The envelope is dated 1919, so this must be a dating error.] Dear Sister Effie
I have been waiting for a letter you said you would write as soon as you had taken George to the Doctor to have the X-rays used on him. I would like to hear how he is.
We have all been sick with colds. I had to take medicine for a month. Have had a nice visit with Riley [Riley Duncan, her son from her first marriage]. He was here a week with us. He looks better and happier than I have seen him for a long time.
Riddle [Stilley] bought us a little home just out of the town limits--a six room house, hen houses and barn and six acres of land. The house is plastered and finished up nice inside, about a half mile from the center of town, close enough for me. Riley thought Riddle got a bargain. The folks wanted 25 hundred, and he got it for $2000. so will have to move in a few days. So that will be nice as I have never moved . . . I dread the moving for I always get sick. It hurts me to pull and lug things around. Sometimes I wish I had a house on wheels.
The first thing I will buy will be some chickens. I have missed mine so much. Fresh eggs are sixty cents a dozen so you see I don't eat eggs. The Sunlight [Some of Stilley's sons lived at Sunlight] people are well I guess or snowed in. Dewey's wife is in Washington D. C. working in an office. Her wages are eleven hundred a year. I would not make any difference if it was two thousand. She would not come home with a cent. He is batching, poor kid. Had better be single.
Helen [?]don�t have good health. She has Bright�s Disease and oh so cross and cranky they can hardly live with her.
I don't get nothing done, but putter around, cook and wash dishes mostly. Jack [?]wants to get out of town so bad he can not hardly wait. Have you still got your boy and did H. S.'s [?] arm and shoulder ever get well. Riddle and Jack has went to an entertainment of some kind. I did not want to go. How is Ettie this winter? [Their youngest sister Frances Luetta Chapman Livingston]this winter. Did she make Frances [daughter Mary Frances Livingston who married Robert Lincoln Casebeer] a dress and use the yoke I sent her. Will close. Write as soon as you can. Good night.

Your Sister,
Almarine [Almarine Chapman Duncan Roberts Riddle]

P. S. Does George [Chapman, a brother of the two sisters who had cancer of the throat and had returned to Glide. He is buried in the Wimberly Cemetery in Glide.] hear from his wife. I think of her and wonder how she is getting along. She said she would be so lonesome, this winter. She did cry so hard when I left her.

Letter from Ben H. Plymale to Vera V. Merriman, November 8, 1918:

Envelope: From Sergeant Ben H. Plymale
US Army
American E.F.
To: Miss Vera Merriman
S Central

Nov. 8, 1918

My Dear Vera,
Well my mail man brought me your letter sometime ago and I have been waiting for him ever since. Would have written you much sooner only I have been quite busy battling the Huns and the way things look now we are having some luck. This old war has begun to look like the end was in sight, wouldn't be surprised to hear of peace most any time. It certainly seems a shame I can't be home going on those joy rides with you over the hump. Save a few cause I am coming back and I know I will crave a strong drink. From what you say Virg must have _____ out of it and is being a regular devil among all of you unattached wimmen. I had visions of him being happily married ect. Etc. I wrote to Claude and Blanche a few days ago but as I didn't know their address I sent it to Medford. At present we are resting a few days and I am in a house by the fire one the Germans had fixed up to spend the winter in, but they since have changed their minds and departed towards the fatherland. They had this place all fixed up around here; gardens, chickens and everything. I certainly have seen a bunch of prisoners the past few days and they don't look a bit tough to me. Judge Kelly just passed by in a car. I talked with him about an hour a few days ago. He sure is looking fit. No kidding Vera I think this war is going to be over soon and believe me I am coming back to Medford for a while. Saw Hob some time ago. Bill Mitchell and Walt Brown were here a few days ago, but didn't get a chance to see them. A fellow certainly gits to be a bear on ducking the big ones when they come over. There are just two kinds of soldiers over here, the quick and the dead and I am foremost among the quick. Have been getting good eats when we git them, but have ______ several meals but am going to make up for lost time when I return. I have certainly been a model young man since I have been on the front, haven't had a drink for some time, but I am going to catch up when we hit some city. Refugees are going by that have been in the hands of the Germans for four years they look the worse for wear. Well Vera must close write me all the scandal and be as nice as you can. My best to the family. In truth.


Letter from Ben H. Plymale to Vera V. Merriman, January 26, 1920:

Jan. 26, 1920

Hello Honey Lover,
Received your letter this a.m. and was surely glad to her your mother is better. I sure have been having a nice quiet time and feel a good deal like Pete did about his wife going away. So you had better stay as long as you wish cause I don't think I can spare you again. Believe me I sure have been getting my rest and will be so caught up with sleep I don't think I will ever want to sleep again. So be prepared to be kept up late and healed (?) rough. Went up to the dance Saturday night but only danced once as I didn't seem to get much of a kick out of it. I stayed all night with Hob Saturday night and stayed all day out there yesterday. Received your shoes and they look pretty alright. Am enclosing letter about chess also received catalogue. If I were you and saw something that suited me I would buy it down there cause you will need more and can git them here so please go ahead and git anything you want cause you must have some clothes. Tom came in the store Saturday night and wanted me to go the dance with him but I told him I didn't think I would go so I guess he is some hostile now. I bet Bob sure is having a good time kidding you but you should worry. Well lover I must close, my tender regards to your mother and the rest of the family and love and everything to you honey.


Letter from David H. Plymale to Ben H. Plymale, April 1928:

Dear Ben
I should have written to you last evening but Meb and I have since been busy. Frank's funeral was today at 2 P.M. Everything was very good. Meb was ___ ___. He and I together took care of all incidental _____ Flowers, Services, Telegrams, Herse and all the small details. The cost of the undertaker was $125.00 and $25.00 for Blood transfusion making $150.00 to split and of which Meb and I paid 30 each. And the 90.00 from you represents the parts you Kate, Marie are allotted but we had to have cash. So paid the $60.00 and promised the remaining 90.00 today. So we sent the ____. Were so we could not raise the money. Will write again. From home.

Emaline will write

Telegraph from Emaline Plymale Stine to Ben H. Plymale, April 3, 1928:


7:48 AM

Fresno, Cal Apr. 3, 1928

Ben H. Plymale
C/O Model Clothing Co, Medford, Ogn
Frank operated on last Wednesday and passed away this afternoon at 4:30. Dicided (sic) on cremation.
Funeral Thursday. Letter Will follow. Notify Kate and Marie. Can you help us now. We will do our share. Wire us immediately.

Dave and Emaline 2325 Tuolumne St.

Oakland, Calif
April 11, 1928
722 16th St.

Letter from Emaline Plymale Stine to Ben Plymale and Kate Collins, April 1928:

Dear Ben + Kate,

Will write a line to both of you. Had some clipping to send but they are up to Irene's, will mail later on.
Well, I just can't tell you how bad I feel about Frank.
We left him in Fresno and came here and he just couldn't make it alone. He gave to drinking and etc. and with the operation it was too much. We didn't take his sickness seriously enough and I sure h----- myself. He practically went through it all alone. I arrived too late. He passed away before I got there. We all did the best we could about the funeral. Had a short service, and it was private. Dave and Meb made all arrangements. Bennie it cost Dave ____ also Meb considerably (not counted) and Dave and I just borrowed and paid 60.00. I don't think Meb argue[s] to have to pay any of the real expense account as he was so wonderful and did all the figuring and stood most all the major expenses. Now Ben, Kate and Marie will have to pay their share of 30.00 a piece or we will have to spend more, can't you help to work th---- part ---- up there. I wrote to Marie just now.
Vic + Ada can't be counted on just now. It's a terrible thing with trouble to have to pinch in the expenses. We just had to be sensible. Now then his ashes has to be cared for, Meb will send them to you and you and Kate can bury them there without services or expense.
You can write to Meb as they have to be taken care of at once.
Ben write to us, we all had far the worst end of it here and we need a lot of sympathy and help, as it was awful to go through. With under the circumstances let us know at once. Hope Vera's better. Will write again soon to Kate.


The following is a collection of letters written from Col. William J. Martin of Oregon to his personal friend and political ally, General Joseph Lane (Governor of Oregon) between 1855 and 1871.

September 6, 1855

			Deer Creek Mills Sept 6 1855

Gen Palmer

	Sir allow me to 
introduce to you all ----- the ---
--- order from J. B. Nicles for the
balance due Nicles for bilding 
houses on Cow Creek Resirve 
thare is no doubt about --- 
whitted has bought the dept
from Mr. Nicles now Gen
I hope you will pay the amount
as Mr. Nicles is ---- no for the
mony as your no that under -----
must pay it yours truly, 
		Wm. J. Martin

December 24, 1855

		Deer Creek
		Head Quarters 	Dec 24th 1855

Hon Joseph Lane

	Sir I hasten to write you
a fiew lines the ware drags along and in
fact it has some time since become a serious 
matter as you may redily suppose from
your perfect knaledge of this part of Origon
all the indians in this and Rogue River is
hostile except old Sam and his one band
I have bin out all the winter so far with
out tent cup or spoon and shall leave agane
in the morning  for the head of the Coquile 
and west fork of the Cow Creek where I hope
to find the Cow Creek indians and clean
them out the snow is at this time from
two to six feet deep and the mountains are
storming every day you can readily see
what men has to indure in order to fite 
indians I have but I make hope of getting
read of the indians until spring in the 
mean time we have to watch all the
mountains from umpqua river to California
so let no settlements be lade waste
for the moment any place is left � indians
---- in and plays the verry --- in
deed now Gen we ar --- in if you
cant procure an appropriation to pay
the expence of this ware I no you will
do all you can for us pay or no pay
we have to fite and no mistake we have
all ready lost neare one hundred men
and that is but the beginning of our loss
Now Gen you may rest assured that
we have all the fiting we can do and
rather more than we like to be compeled 
to do in the winter
Just imagen men in the snow and
--- for the twenty days at a time sleeping in 
just blankets all to defend ------
from the ---- read skins who --- all
tha meet with with out regard to ----
-- condition
This is not the time or place to ask what
brought on the ware we ar in for the
ware whilst certin ---- is --- by the 
fire crying ware to the Knife and ---
knife to the hilt thare will come a time
whean all thease things will come out
you no my situation compeled to leave
a large family to fite indians or let them 
come to my door and thare fite the 
read deavels thare can bee no price ----
th--- or all kiled or nearly so --- ---
will take along time now Gen we all
look to you to procure the mreanes of paying 
of the expence of this ware if we don�t
have --- money I --- I feare it will 
be hard to keep the field if we --- to
with draw for the want of meanes
to prosicute the ware t--- umpqua valley
will be layed waste I will keep the ----
pay or no pay as long as I can support
my family and after that will move them
to Yamhill and return to the field
to ---- until we git read of the ----
We must beg of Congress to furnish
the meanes to pay the expences of this ware
I wish you was heare but for one day 
that you --- be and ---- withniss of
what is going on please write when
you can and let us no what is ---
in Congress your family I believe is
all well
I am Lt Col of this regiment and have
just received from --- ---- the
sword you took from Lt -----
in Mexico and feele proud of it and
will take specil care not to disgrace 
the sword to --- I live and will draw
it for ---- in defence of Origon
	Yours Truly

		Wm. J. Martin

March 27, 1856

			Winchester Oregon
			March 27, 1856

Dear General

	The appointment as Receiver of the
Umpqua land district was received by me last
Saturday, and in return allow me to tender you 
my sincere thanks.
	I am not much of a hand at professions, 
but let me assure you that with such assistance
as I can command the duties of the office
will be performed in a manner that will 
throw no discredit on the party or yourself
	I am
		very respectfully
		     Your friend
		    Wm. J. Martin

July 15, 1856

			Winchester July 15th 1856

Gen Lane

	Sir Having but little to do at this
time I write you a fiew lines the indian ware
in suthern Oregon is just closed by Col. Buchanan
and Gen Palmer farley beging old John out
of his Boats it is the first time in all my
life that I ever new the american people beg
indians to make piece I am in hopes that it is
all for the best still I feele confident of trouble
ahead I will now make the prediction that in
side of two yeares we will have one of the
moste bluddy indian wares none the indians
don�t consider that tha ar at all whiped
but on the contrary consider that tha have
farley whiped the whites
all the indians wants is a chance to talk and
unite all the tribes for one more desperate 
struggle which is certen to come in due season
when it does come it will be a death struggle
for certen Oregon has yet to loose maney
valuable lives and is not well prepared
must well nigh be laid waste anuff of this
shall wait and try to be prepared for what
may come.
Your old enemies is hard at work
trying to lay you in the shaid
they will move heaven and earth to beat 
you it wont all do them any good
You ar the only man that we can return
to Congress certen the grate mass is for you
not with standing Dr Drew and all
his click is as usual down on you
now Gen I have no doubt but you will be
content to sirve Oregon agane in Congress
when you learn that the Grate mass is for you
and with you I am not gassing if you was
heare but one day you would not doubt it
now sir if it is posible for you to consent 
to serve us again in Congress you will let
it be none in due time if it is out of your
power to represent us in Congress again
it is but a dark future for Origon certen
still you will consult your one interest
in the matter you have served Origon long 
and faithfulley the more certen man
tryes to put you down the more friends it
makes for you for God sake have Palmer
removed if posible he is playing the verry
deavle with te party if you can help
L. D. Barnes to the appointment of ind Agent
he is honest certen Barnes wont except of any
situation under Palmer alls well in and around heare
	Yours with respect
		Wm. J. Martin

August 19, 1856
		Winchester Aug 19th 1856

Gen Joseph Lane

	Sir I mearley write you
a fiew lines to let no a fiew items of ruse
out heare and what is the prospects ahead for
Suthern Origon
We have had a kind of a piece made with the 
Indians or at least with a portion of the wariers
and all the lame blind and --- to be fead and 
fattended at the Expence of Uncle Sam
Thare is quite anumber Wariers yet out in the
mountains say from one to two hundred bent on
ware thare was two men shot last Thursday neare
the House of Samuel Hadley some twelve miles from
this place All things taken ----- I think we ar
in a worse fix than if thare had bin no piece made
we ar now out of creadit and will before long be
compeled to ----- and hunt --- the Read deavles 
you would beperfectly surprised if you was heare
and see just what has bin dun
I don�t believe it posible to raise any more volenteers
to surve in Suthern Origon The Quartermaster
Gen Drew is selling of the most of the government 
property for cash tha have clearley ----- all
the ware dept thare will be a loss of at least two
hundred thousand dollars in the property if Drew
had sold for ---- the property would of brought
about first coast as the holders of ---- was
anxious to by -- ---- Drew and his click is as
dead politically as asamon and still sinking
Capt L. F. Mosher will post you in all the particulars
about matters out heare and men in geneal
at least some that would be grate men and wants
to be delegates to Congress
now Gen all hands looks to you to be the
next deligate and in fact thare is chance for any
one else thare is but one opinion with the grate
men and that is for you and infact you ar by
fare more popular than when you left last yeare
I do hope you will consent to serve Origon agane
as deligate never the less you will undoubtedley
consent your one interest in the matter
the wisest cant devine when Origon will be
agane blesed with piece agane
the reagulars is but apoore chance out heare
to fite indians thare is a deep ditch and a high
wall between them and the citizens
the removal of Palmer is a godsend to Origon
certen --- --- little doing in the land
office and in fact cant be ----- times changes
for the better as thare is no cash or nearley nun in
Origon all your familey is well and in fine
sperits Winchester is improvind some
Capt Mosher is bilding him self one a little
house and is fast becoming a faverite with
the people and bids fare to be at no distant day
verry popular with the mases he don�t drink one
drop all hands hailes the nomination of 
Buchanin and Brackenridge it is not posible 
for all the com---- --- to beat such a ---
if we could have about one battalion of 
Raingers heare say for to serve three yeares
under the same regulations of the regular armey
then I think we would procure a lasting piece 
	Yours verry respectfulley
		Wm. J. Martin

August 24, 1856

		Winchester Aug 24th 1856

Gen J. Lane
	Sir after my respected to you I must
ask you to do a faver if it is not contrary to 
your one feeligns of right the faver I have to 
ask of you is this that you will procure an order
from the proper officer ordering Capt Smith
of Fort Lane back to the States or in other 
words obtain leave for Capt Smith to visit
his family it is by the request of Capt Smith
that I write you he says that he feels confident
that you can procure him leave at least to
visit his familey if not and order for his return
to the States you ar well ---- in Capt
smiths servis ------ --ast now General
just think of a man being away from his
wife for fore long yeares and two poare to resine
and in fact his hole sole is for the armey
and he cant bare the thought of quiting the
servis Capt Smith is one of your firm
and stead fast friends under all segrcumstances
I do hope Gen that you will use your
influence in faver of Capt Smith�s request 
and I hope in due season to heare that
Capt Smith is ordered back to the Western 
states as he is a resident of St. Louis
you will please excus me for my bad
style and my anxiety in Capt Smiths 
having a chance to return home
Your familey is all well Capt Mosher and 
my self is giting along well but little to do
all this time would like verry much to receive
----- cash in the way of salery from
the sectary as I cant pay out money received for Land
yours with respect
	Wm. J. Martin

October 28, 1856

		Winchester Oct. 28th 1856

Hon Joseph Lane

			Sir by last maile I reieved yours
of Sept. 2. in which you state the order is made to pay
my little ---- for Lewis in the Rogue River war in 1853 
th--- makes all rite with the boyes not with standing
some of the discontended spirits would have it otherwise
I am truly Glad that you ar willing to serve Oregon
longer in Congress thare is no doubt but you will be the 
nominee by an over whellming majority next spring as the
mases is for you by and increased majority still thare
will no doubt be a black republican candidate selected
among the soft or abolition porttion of the democratic 
party time will ---- more the movements
all the Scottsburgh deligation as usual is hard at 
work to ---- you down the more tha work the more
friends it makes for you you may rest assured the
appointments of the co------ renders General Satisfaction
in Oregon I shall look for one Grand effort this winter
to ---- you but it wont win ---- but it will 
be the final political death of the ---- movers
the Quarter Master depart ment will delay the ware matters
as much as posible hoping by that meanes to prevent you
from gitting the appropriation to pay the ware dept through
this winter Capt Mosher can and will give you all
the ruse much better than I can all things move along
about rite we all feele confident of Buchanons Election
by a large majority the Union and the Constitution must
and will be maintained and no mistake
---- by the --- and wither be the arm that will try
to in fringe or ----- one single clause of the constitution 
or ---- one of the rites of the states or teritories
tha must all be maintained ---- to the end of time
all of your family is well and doing as well as you could
expected or better
Thare is a fiew of us out heare having cane made to 
send to the Hon Brooks of South Carolina to replace the
one he broke over summer it will be sent by express to you 
to by by you presentd to Mr Brooks in the name of
the dmacs 
My self and Capt Mosher is having quite a pleasant time
heare in the office we have moved boath offices to
geather and will spare no planes to render General
satisfaction to the settlers as far as we can
--- to this principal that we ar heare to attend to thare 
wants at all times with out --- or reward from
them as the Saleri is all that we have any rite to ----
thare is but little cash coming in to the office
and in fact it seames strange that any one payes for thare
land under the present surcumstances --- scearse 
and onley to be had at ---- rates of intrest
the department it seames to me had better bild a office
heare fror the Register and Reciever as it is not posible
to procure a sootable house heare to rent and by all
meanes we ought to have a secure ---- one at 
least that will be secure against water at least
I think if you could see the com---- of the 
Gen Land office that you mite induce him to 
have a bilding erected heare say one that would 
cost about fifteen hundred dollars would be all
	Yours with respect
		Wm. J. Martin

November 27, 1856

		Winchester Nov 27th 1856
Gen Lane
	Sir I wish you would have
the kindness to have my ---- directed
to this place and please tell -- -- I would 
like to no what I can ---- ---- for ----
---- paper I have kept no account
and consequently cant tell any thing how
I stand I all so wish --- ----
coppyes sent to my address at this place
---- send the last by next maile
	Yours truly, 
		Wm. J. Martin
P.S. I only mean --- coppys ---
after the --- ---- --- for -----
		Wm. J. M.

February 8, 1858

			Winchester 8 February 1858

Dear Genl.

	Yours of the 19th Dec / 57 was gladly
received by last mail. We lament Douglas� unadvised 
course.  It is another proof added to many past instances
that �no mortal is always wise.� There is this consolation
accompanying the news of his fall.  That he has not
dragged many with him.
	Believe me that the confidence of this
people in your exertions for their interests is unshaken.  It
is the rock on which you stand, and while your footing 
on it remains as firm as at present tricking and intrique
cannot affect your position.  As one of your old opponents
but now in-devant friends observed in speaking lately
of the senatorships �Lane�s election will go by default.� 
It is so.  All aspirants to the other seat in the senate sail
on to you.  Sometimes it is Lane and Smith, sometimes 
Lane and Curry, sometimes Lane and Williams, but a
Democratic programme without your name would be regarded
much in the same light as the play of Hamlet with
the part of Hamlet ommitted.  Perhaps Delazon has at
present the last chance to be your colleage, but it is
our policy of the South to allow the Willamette to
select their man, claiming for ourselves a similar right
Not but what you have hosts of friends with but we
regard you for excellence as our man.
I might go more into detail on politics and politicians
in Oregon but know that your extensive correspondence
must present you with the subject in every phase as
reflected by the mind of the writer.  Thus enabling you
altho at a distance to see more deeply into the state 
of affairs than ever those resident here.
	For your attention to the pay of the clerks of
land offices I think you as does also Walton very
All your friends are on the alert making assurance
doubly sure.
	Yours very truly, 
			Wm. J. Martin

March 31, 1858

			Winchester March 31 1858

Hon Joseph Lane
H. R. Washington City
		My Dear

	Sir having lately
returned from Salem and whilst at Salem
helped to defeat Drew for the nomination of Gov
and like wise had afare chance to ---- maney
things and this among others that thare is a deep 
land plan to beate you for the Senate
all thare loud profesions to the contrare not 
with standing thare plan is this to secure a legislator
that some men can work to soot them selves
now all this shant nor cant win Mosher not
this time in the ----- and all your old and
tried friends is up and doing and noman that 
is not sound and true Cant nor shant receive 
the nomination in this county I have just returned
from the south part of the county and all is rite
I have to regret the letter I wrote you some time
since in which I said your election would 
---- defalt which is rong the Scottsburgh
delegation is as usual friends to your face and behind
your back I ---- of the blackest kind all such
men will find thare ---- ---- and after tha
find that cant hurt you then tha will bea all right
fals friends as usual beging the crumbs that falls
from your ---- or in other ---- all the ---- in 
the way of office
I hope yet to see you heare before the present Congress is
over and at furthest by the time the legislaton meets in
July next now Gen do if posible bea heare at least
when the legislaton meets in July still I will no that 
you ---- will leave your post as long as thare is
any thing to bea dun still I hope to heare ----
that Oregon is a state in the union and that
I hope to see you back in Oregon
Neaver the less you cant nor shant bea---- if 
in my power to ----- your old friends is is true
to you as the neadle to the pole and will stand
by your whilst to the last Mosher has written often
to you you will please excuse my bad style
and bad hand all is well in and about Winchester
	Yours truly, 

		Wm. J. Martin

April 19, 1858

			Winchester O. T. April 19 1858

Gen Jos Lane

		Dear Sir

	Our county Conven-
tion is over, and the great excitement attending 
it is beginning somewhat to die away.  We have
succeeded in nominating one Senator and two
Representatives who will be sure to support you
for the United States Senate, and they have 
given a solemn pledge to that effect. The old
Scottsburg politicians worked hard to nominate 
men who would oppose you in the Legislation 
or in other words men of straw, whom they could
bend and twist as they pleased. Myself and
Captain Mosher have had to contend against
all kinds of tricks of men who would profess to be for
you to us when in reality they were your worst en-
emies and were doing all they could to kill you off, 
this was their plea � �that the members of the Legis-
lature should not commit themselves as to whom they would
support for the Senate; and in fact that the people had
not right to know of their Representatives whom they
would support for U.S. Senator and that it
was not democratic to ask them.� Well knowing that if
the Representatives would say they were opposed to you
the people would not elect them. Such democracy
as that could not win. I contended that the people had
the right of knowing who was the choice of the represen-
tatives and in fact the right to instruct them whom
to support when it is presumed that they would not
otherwise, contend for the will of the democratic party
There has been all kinds of chicanery used to defeat you
in this county, and now that the prime movers are beat
they are as usual loud and lusty for you, from the
teeth out.  You need have no fears, the people
are wide awake and are consequently hard to trick,I
will just defy any man who opposes you to get
elected in this county on any tricked.
	The old Scottsburg set is ------ from
on me and Mosher for not letting them decieve the
people and thereby defeat you.
	If you are not here when the Leg-
islature meets your old friends will be on hand
and see that things are kept right.
	You are more popular with the
people now than you ever were before: as the masses
see the game of those opposed to you. Your old
friend L. Fitzhugh has as usual been doing all he
could for you, and is still hard at work to secure your
	It is hardly possible to give you a history
of all things but I thought it would be well to give
you a hint regarding these small matter which very
important to you perhaps will not bea apt to be published

	Yours truly, 
		Wm. J. Martin

August 24, 1858

			Winchester August 24, 1858

Hon Joseph Lane H.R.
Washington City		My Deare
	Sir not having 
wrote you for a long time and infact I should not
trouble you at this time if it was not that I see
thare is amove on foot started by Bush and his
Click to have General Adaire. Removed from office
nearley because he could not vote for Bush for State
printer it has at last come to this bush is as
he think Owne the democratic in Oregon and that
he with his Click can rule and remove men at thare
will and pleasure now General I dwo hope that you
wont lit them have Gen Adaire removed it is neadless
for me to say aney thing as you Know him much better
than I dwo.  Now General permit me to say to you that
without grait ceare the democratic party of Oregon will
split in twaine thare is a wide spread discontent
against the corse of certen men that worked hard to
defeet you for the Senate Your old and tried friends
wont let thease gents play fals much longer on you and
them all good and true democrats should act in good faith
at all times and under all circumstances and never try to 
defeet the first choice of the party as the Salem Jents has
Gen don�t let them have Gen Adaire remooved if you
have a firm friend the General is won and no mistake
about that you will please excuse me for this letter
Capt Mosher I think keeps you poasted in all
things out heare much better than I could if I was
to trye I mite name all those gents of note that has 
plotted so hard against you but wont as I feele 
confident that you have thare names all ready
the mass is about as tha was when you left
heare last fall and as fare as you ar concerned
I think tha will remain firm and steadfast
all of your family is well and the people
in and around this vilage
		Your friend
			Wm J. Martin

September 13, 1858

			Winchester Sept. 13 1858

Hon Joseph Lane
H. R. Washington City
		D.C.			My deare

	Sir I have thought
for some time that I would write you something about
matters and things out heare and more especialley
about the political prospects of Oregon I take it for granted
that you are fulley posted in all things alating to the
plans and scheames of the click to defeat you for
the Senate since tha failed in that tha have come out open and declare thare hostility to you and by all manners
of charges and insinuations are trying to preagudice the
people against you and further tha seame bent on your
defeat or if tha cant accomplish that tha had rather
see the party broken up and the oposition placed in
power all thare plans must and will faile the mases is
still firmly attached to you and will stand firm
with the administration in all things still wee have
some Douglas men fiew and far between and
groing beautifully less all the while thare is men that 
you perhaps think is you friends that is hard at work
to have you defeated men that you have made what
tha are I will name some of them Nezmith Miller
Winchester and one Asheal Burk I have had one
eye well to the windword for some time and
am not mistaken I think on this matter certen
now General I hope you wont think me officious
in writing what I think about certen men and thare
acts thare is men in Oregon that had rather Oregon
would not be admitted than you should bein the 
Senate poore deavels tha ar more tobe pitied than
blaimed for it is thare grait love of money making that
tham act as tha due.
I allude to certen quarter masters of the late indian
ware after tha have plaid the very deavel with
things tha seak to lag the blaim on you of the
failure of the ware deapt not being paid
all thare work is vain and will recoile on thare
one heads after a short time whean ever J. W. Drew
runs for aney office then he will find that he
cant meat the musick and the people will mark
him certen apleanty about politicks
I hope you will sucead in all your measures before
Congress this winter and return earley neaxt season
to Oregon I have no feares about Oregon
being admitted earley this winter.
	Yours with respect
		Wm. J. Martin 

November 22, 1858

			Winchester Nov. 22, 1858
Gen Joseph Lane
Washington H.R.	

			My Deare
	Sir thinking 
perhaps you would like to heare once and
a while from from me I have concluded to
write you a short letter thare is but little
doing in Oregon at this time in the way of
Political moves on the Ches board all the would
be grait men is still and at the same time
hoping that something will turn up that tha
can turn to thare advantage tha dare not
openley attack you as yet nor will tha dare
do it onley on the slye.
Gen if you can first procure the pasage of 
your Bill to pay the ware dept of Oregon and
Washington Teritories and then Oregon
admited as a state all Creation cant tutch
you with the people if you should fail in
thease two measures then I think thare will
be a desperate effort made by the Salemites 
to take you down with people still it
wont win you are first with the grait
mass of the people and infact tha know
that you will continue to due all that
mortal man can due for Oregon
you need have no fears a bout the people
tha are all rite and no mistake about that
I have no feares about Oregon being admited 
as a state this winter and in that
event you need not think strainge 
if Capt Mosher should receive the
nomination for Congress over Graves
in fact noman that belongs to the
Salem faction is likely to be nominated
when I say Salem faction I mean those
that is trying to defeat you and your
old and tried friends the Lane democracy
will have the rule of Oregon I mean
by lane democracy All those that due and
will stick to the preasant administration
and the union to the bitter end
come what will please excuse my
backwords style
		Yours truly, 
			Wm. J. Martin

October 12, 1858

Winchester	Oct 12 1858
Hon Joseph Lane
Washington H. R.

	My Dear
		Sir having thought
for some time of writing you something about
matters and things in Oregon since you leaft
heare many new and strainge things has happened
the Salem ites has at last throne down the 
gantlet and make open war on you and declare
thare determination to defeat you the next time
plans must and will faile the mass of the
people is rite you are the man first in thare
hearts I hope that Oregon will be admited as a 
state this winter if wee are not a state then
we will want you as our delagate again in
Congress and if aney thing should happen that
you cant consent to searve Oregon again then
in that case we will trye to have a sound and
true administration democrat at least the salemites
will want a Douglassite it wont win out heare
I hope that you and Gov Stephens may git the 
bill through to pay the ware dept before Oregon
is admitted if you can then beat the click
hawl to thare hearts conteant for thare cha---
will begin I hope that all good union democrats
will healp you put through your bill to pay the
ware dept if Congress could but under stand
how much depends on that bill tha would
pass it right off
When I say Congress I mean all of them that
is sound reliable union men and that stands 
firm with the administration
What is to be the future fate of Oregon if the Salem
click should succead in defeating you is not
hard to devine if you should be defeated then
Oregon will most likely soon become black
Republican God forbid it ever should be
I have one eye well to the ----- and will
not fale to work and d--- all that I can
to bild up and sustain the democratic party
and the union for it is the union
Capt Moshers little son has bin very sick
for the past three week but is some beatter
and in ---- way to git well
I hope to see you at home Earley next spring
at least Capt Mosher has ----- written
you all about matters heare in Oregon
you will please excuse my bad style
of writing if I was a good writer I would
write you a full history of all the planes 
and trick of the ---ld be---- men
out heare
	Yours Truly

		Wm. J. Martin

December 7, 1858

			Winchester Oregon Dec. 7, 1858
Hon Jos. Lane
	U.S. Senator, 
		Dear Friend, 
	It is my duty as a friend to
write you a few lines that you may know I have not yet 
forgotten you, Political matters being at present in a state 
of rest there is very little in that quarter which will interest
you your family are well as usual.
	My principal object in writing at present
is to request you to bring me a gun when you come out to
Oregon again I want one of Powell�s make of rifles carrying
about forty to the pound and weighing about eleven pounds with
all the accountrements pertaining this make of rifles and with
duplicate lock and triggers. I also want it to be one of his
pieces of master workmanship. If you will have the kind-
ness to bring me a rifle of the above discription you will
confer a great favor on your friend and 
	Humble Servt.
		Wm. J. Martin

October 26, 1859

			Winchester Oct. 26, 1859
Hon J. Lane U.S.S.
	Washington		Dear General

		Since you 
leaft thare is nothin new in way
politicks the Salem Clique is still
howling and barking but dare not
bite. Oregon will instruct heare
deligates to the Charleston Convention
to cast heare vote for you first and
last	I must ask one favor
of you and that is this to have
R. N. Dearborn postmaster at
Deer Creek G----ed and
H. B. Robinson appointed in 
his place.
		Yours truly, 
			Wm. J. Martin

January 4, 1860:

Roseburg	Jan 4 1860
Hon Joseph Lane USS
	Dear Gen
	After my
beast wishes for your future success and
prosperity permit me to state the order of
bissines heare in the way of political matters
is a but the same as whean you leaft
Bush and his Salem clique is perfectley 
---- since tha have failed in all thare
plans as a gainst you thare last and
grand effort will be first to secure the
nomination of thare tried Toales in
the county conventions failing in this
as tha are certen to d--- then tha will
openelley boast and trye to devide the
democracy or at least carrey votes anuf
over to the Republicans to secure a majority
of the leagislation in all this I am
confident tha will faile the mass of
the people is sound and reliable I think
and namestake I am hard at work
incuraging the people to stand firm
in support of the constitution
the union the just equality of all the
states of this union and the rites of the
people of all the states in the comen
teritoreys of the united states
the Douglas dodge don�t take in Oregon
Bush and his Salem band of trators is still
harpeing a bout the war dept that 
it wont be paid thare prayer has bin 
all the time from the verry inception
of the war to this t--- that it would
not be paid unless tha could have all
the h--- than h--- is defunct
L F Groves is politically dead as 
he should be Col G R Sheales of 
Marion will I think receive the
democratic nomination for congress
at the convention in the spring
in case that you should be
nominated for the preasidency 
then Capt Mosher will most
likeley succead you in the senate
of the united this left is meanley my
opinion of the results
I think that Hon Delazon Smith
will be elected a gain to the 
U. S. S. niext september 
all will except Capt Mosher
he is not able to come up from
Winchester to this place consequintley
our quarterley returns wont goe out 
by this maile yours truly

	Wm. J. Martin

January 10, 1860

			Roseburg Jan. 10, 1860
Hon Joseph Lane U.S.S.

		Sir after my 
respects permit me to trouble you to see 
the commishener of the Gen Land office
and if he can take up my Land claime
and pass on it the proofe was sent up
some two yeares agoe you will
see from the papers that I would
not attempt to prove aney thing but
facts if my claim cant bea allowed
from what proofe I have sent up
will it bea posible for Congress
to conform it to me I am anxious
to have the Tittle as I want to sell
in order to pay my debts.
	Yours with respect
		Wm. J. Martin

March 22, 1860

			Roseburg March 22 / 60
Hon Joseph Lane
Washington			Dear Gen

	After my
kind regards permit me to say a fiew
words in the way of Oregon politicks
the Salem trators is beyond the shadow
of doubt in alliance offencive and
defencive with the Black Republicans
and thare plan is to Elect Col. Baker
and J. W. Nezmith to the United States
Senate all thare plans will a vaile them
nothing I am well convinced 
on the first Monday in June tha
will find that tha cant transfur the
Democracy over to the B. R. The honest
mass will consine Bush and his
Band of trators to thare political
graves whean all trators of rite
belongs we will I think have
a hard fite and a grait victory
over the combined Black and Bushites
the true Democracy is wide a wake
and prepared to dwo battle like men
in defence of the Constitution the
union the Rites of all the states of this
union and further that teritories
of this union of rite belong to all the
states a  like the people heare see
that the only saluation for this union is
the success of Democratic principals
and in order to maintain principals 
all union men must support the
regular nominees of the Democratic
	All eyes is turned to Charleston
in order to learne the result of the
convention we will in a short time
erect a grand liturty pole heare and
have our flag readdy to hoist the
moment we have the results from
Charleston my regards to the
Hon L. Stout
	Yours Truly
		Wm. J. Martin

June 13, 1860

			Roseburg June 13 1860
Hon Joseph Lane USS
	Washington		Dear Gen
		After my
kind regards I must say to you
that I am fully convinced that
the democracy is defeated thare is
no doubt a bout the legislator being
of the Black speckled order
the reason is simple
first in order is bush and
his band of trators neaxt the
Douglas democrats and then thare
alleys the pure Black Republicans
all thare deferent factions
united under the name of Douglas
democrats Douglas has renewed what
little popularity he had heare with
true and tried union loving man
the Democratic party is defeated 
but not Conquered --- have 
pro------ our homes ------
and the ----- still floats
proud and defiant as ever
the hole ----- was conducted
in strict accordance with the
---- of the Administration
and I am ----- to say that
in noe case did --- faile to
fulley make the point
that the equality of all the
states must bea maintained
or thare can be no union
--- --- ----- for the ---
of the Richmond and Baltimore 
Conventions my praise is that
Douglas may not git the nomination
he has plaid hell with us
heare Capt Mosher will
write you all a bout matters
in this state I shall keep one
Eye well to ----
	Your friend
		Wm. J. Martin

June 29, 1860

			Roseburg June 29. 1860
Hon J. Lane U.S.S.
	Washington		My Dear

		Sir permit
me to congratulate you on the Election
of Col. Sheales to Congress over Logan
this is a glorious victory wheane we
consider that it is obtained over
all the combined --- of the day
the congress and our part was conducted
strictly in accordance with the views
of the preasant administration
The leagislation stands insuch a way 
that I think perhaps that J. Lee -----
with your healpe will bea Elected
to the United States Senate
Thare will bea quite a number of
candidates for the Senate
Oregon has harts of � now that
takes great pains to offer thare service
to the deare people and strainge thare
talents is not likely to bea appreciated
as thea think tha should bea in Oregon
All eyes is turned to the east in
order to heare the first ---- from
Baltimore and Richmond the gr---
question heare is who will bea 
the democratic nominee for preasident
the mass is not for Douglas he is
by now meanes strong in Oregon
out side of the Bush trators
and black Republicans Ranks
I dout it much if Douglas can
by aney means carrey
this state
I feele confident that he will not
bea the nominee of the democratic 
party under aney circumstances
his Douglases views on the slavery
question want ----
the equality of all the states
must bea maintained
ore the days of this union is
all readdey numbered
if the south should now turne
round and take up with 
Douglases views then indeed 
will say that tha are not
intitled longer to the support
of aney northern state when
I think over the maney hard
practical fites I have had heare
for the last fiew years all meanley
for the sake of the rites of the
slave states I cant think for
one moment that Douglas can
ore will receive the nomination
--- --- make --- --- for
the united states senate until 
we heare who is the nominee
for preasident.
Please excuse my bad style.
	Your friend truly, 
		Wm. J. Martin

September 12, 1860

			Roseburg Sept. 12, 1860
Hon Joseph Lane U.S.S.

			My Dear

		Sir after my 
kindest regards permit me to congratulate
you on the prospects of this state going in
november for Breckenridge and Lane
the democracy is fulley a roused to the
inportance of the approaching presidential
election as on the results perhaps the
fate of this union depends on the vote 
of this state
Oregon will bea true to the Equality
of States and the rites of the people
of all the States to bea ------ in
person and property in the Teritories 
of the hole union
In a fiew days wee will ---- the
results of the Senetorial Election in
this state I think thare will bea
new election as Bursh and the Blue ---
must bea defeted by all -----
the State convention meets on the
18 day of this month to nominate state
I will bea at the convention if
health lasts
You nead have noe fears for this
state it is shure to cast its vote for
Breckenridge and Lane
Now Gen permit me to ask one
favor of you if it is a greeable
to your feelings and that is
this I would like to bea
a paye ----- in the united states
armey I think I can perform 
all the duteys required
and as I am --- advanced 
in years would like to have
some situation of that kind
that would support me in
old age.
	Yours truly, 
		Wm. J. Martin

November 28, 1861

			Myrtle Creek Nov. 28 / 61
Hon. J. Lane
	My Dear

		Sir yours
of yesterday in relation to
of note one ------ holds against
my sealf and you you seam 
to think ---- of it now
my dear sir you did ---- th�
note with me the date I have
forgotten the note was for two
hundred dollars I have since
paid $200. on the note and I
suppose at this time I am due
----a bout two hundred
dollars how you could have
forgotten all about the matter
is surprisingly strange to me
I will bea down to see you
during next week or sooner
if possible.
	Yours Truly, 
		Wm. J. Martin

May 20, 1871

Cow Creek	May 20th 1871

Hon Lafayette Lane
	Dear Sir

I snatch a few moments to
drop you a line.  Will you do 
me the favour to give me some
information in regard to some
unsarvayed land claimed by H D
Martain located the 14th day of
October 1870. It appears that 
Slocum made the first claim
and H D Martin made the next 
claim By refusing to �lint you
can get the particulars.
It is in 32 South and range 
5 west in section 9 and 10
My reasons for writing to you on 
this subject is simply this Hardy Elliff
ja the purpose of annoying somebody 
has induced Jo Bunch to jump it
Tob has several acres of oats sowed and
fenced he is not here at present as he
has gone --- a drove of cattle to
California and will not be back until
the --- of July. I would like to know 
the law in regard to Squatters rights, and 
what course would you advise me
to pursue to hold it. They have threatened
to drive my stock off the land if they
should attempt it what course would
be legal to prevent it, you and Willis
may considered yourselves employed if
-------- ----- occur
I would like to know what 
improvements are required for squatters
rights, Let me hear from you immediately
as I agreed when Tob left that I would
make what improvement were necessary if
any more than what has been done 
I would like to know if he can be
ejected from the place before Tob 
returnd. I have already given him
legal notice to leave the place.
Please ask Mr. Flint to send me
a plat of it as Tob took it

	W. J. Martin

A humorous letter written by Karen Wadleigh probably in the late 1950's concerning shenanigans of her younger brothers Mark and Randy.
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