Photocopies of papers related to an Anson County, North Carolina, family including correspondence (1859-1860, 1867, 1901), and a diary (1869) written in Salina, Kansas.
Amos Richardson kept a highly reflective and detailed diary of his stay in Salina, Kansas, selling trees to frontier farmers between September and November, 1869. The author describes much of the frontier life including farming practices, the structure and furnishings of prairie homes, and the general attitudes of the people. Similarly, Richardson recounts the social, cultural, and economic life of Salina. He notes in his diary the wild and unruly nature of Texas cattlemen (Oct. 3, Nov. 3), peculiar Kansas idioms and bargaining practices (Oct. 30), the intelligence of a Negro frontiersman (Sept. 27), prairie wildlife, the difficulties he encountered in understanding immigrant settlers, and a number of interesting and amusing stories and incidents.
In addition, the author comments on death- its quickness, its grief, and in a few instances in western Kansas its casual everyday acceptance (Sept. 23, Oct. 6, 21, Nov. 2, 4, 5).
Richardson also narrates the response of Kansans and former Union soldiers to himself, an ex-Confederate (Oct. 1, 9, 16, 17, Nov. 1, 3) as well as accounts of Indian character (Oct. 20), eating habits (Oct. 22), and suspected arson in connection with numerous vast, uncontrollable prairie fires (Oct. 25, 27).
Correspondence (July, 1859-Sept., 1859) of Mrs. L. L. Garrett of Ansonville, N.C., to her sons, Amos H. and John R. Richardson, attending the Bingham Select School in Oaks, N.C., reflect her concerns respecting diligence in their studies, church attendance, good company, the poor wisdom of John buying a pistol (July, 1859), their brief and infrequent letters to her, and the respect and appreciation due their instructors.
Two letters (Mar., Apr., 1860) addressed to John R. Richardson in Ansonville and Mebanesville from his brother, Amos Richardson, discuss his new semester at school; and a letter to Amos H. Richardson from W. J. Richardson of Sumter, S.C., mentions an impending law suit and his thoughts about leaving the country due to abuses of the Reconstruction government.
A 1901 letter from Amos H. Richardson in Egypt, Miss., to a Maj. William Smith of Ansonville recounts his recent visit to Ansonville and the present poor crops and livestock diseases of Mississippi.
Gift of Tyler B. Dunlap, Jr.
Processed by S. McKenzie, February 1981
Encoded by Apex Data Services
Literary rights to specific documents are retained by the authors or their descendants in accordance with U.S. copyright law.