This week in history: January 30-February 5

This week we post a let­ter from a col­lec­tion that the muse­um has recent­ly dis­cov­ered.  Floyd E. Risvold col­lect­ed pieces of Amer­i­can his­to­ry through­out his life.  He pri­mar­i­ly col­lect­ed let­ters, but also had books, doc­u­ments, por­traits, guns, etc. After his death, his fam­i­ly fol­lowed their father’s wish­es and put the entire col­lec­tion up for auc­tion.  It was sold at Spink-Shreves Gal­leries in New York Jan­u­ary 27–29.  Robert Camp­bell was a promi­nent fig­ure in the col­lec­tion, par­tic­u­lar­ly in the Amer­i­can Fur Trade lots.  Although the muse­um did not win any of the lots, muse­um staff mem­ber Shel­ley Satke went to New York and tran­scribed close to 50 let­ters to and from Camp­bell.  The muse­um is excit­ed about it’s access to this impor­tant new resource!

Today we post the let­ter from Lot 117.  On Feb­ru­ary 5, 1832, James L. Dob­bin wrote from Franklin, MO to Robert Camp­bell, St. Louis.  In the let­ter, he talks about the plans for the ren­dezvous and hints at his time at Tub­b’s Grove.  Dob­bin also says he is still under “pet­ti­coat patron­age”.  The let­ter was bought by the Muse­um of the Moun­tain Man for $550.  We hope you enjoy 1 piece of a very com­pre­hen­sive and absolute­ly fas­ci­nat­ing collection!


Old Franklin 5 Feb 1833

Mr Dear Friend,
Since I wrote you last I have
obtained from a friend at Lex­ing­ton the following
infor­ma­tion which I am sor­ry to find presents
such a poor prospect of your obtain­ing a supply
of Mules in that quar­ter.  From the enquiries
I have made I find there are but Eight Mules in
the Coun­ty.  Capn Bon­neville, per­haps Roubedeaux,
hav­ing pur­chased all except six, that S. Rennick
reserved for his own use and five that David
white owns, who holds them at Fifty Dollars
each, which I think above their value??
I still remain under petticoat
Patron­age as yet.  Busi­ness here is extremely
dull;-a few days since there appeared some
prospect of the ice leav­ing the Riv­er, but like
us human beings in order to be a lit­tle capricious
it has again blocked up and foot pas­sen­gers are
cross­ing over to Booneville this morning.
When it suits your con­ve­nience, I
would be much pleased to hear from you giving
me some idea of the extent and num­ber of the adventures
to the Moun­tains and landscape [?].

[page 2]
Let me know if it is expect­ed that a mil­i­tary escort
will be grant­ed to the San­ta Fe Com­pa­ny this spring.
I trust your hours pass less tedious­ly since
you have deter­mined  upon your future bold and
adven­tur­ous employ­ment.  I hope it is not our
affair of the heart which caus­es time to hang so
heav­i­ly on your hands; if so on your way out
I would rec­om­mend a short res­i­dence in the
Tubbe Grove about 1 mile from the Bridge
as an effec­tu­al cure for such a complaint.
Do not let Mr Fitz­patrick know
about my pre­scrib­ing for you in this way as
it might make him very uneasy indeed.
Excuse tri­fling for want of some­thing more
sub­stan­tial from your sin­cere friend,
James L Dobbin

Robert Camp­bell Esq.
Saint Louis

From:  Franklin, MO
Feb 7th

Ran­dom math on side.