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[Note: Spelling errors have been preserved during transcription. Changes to punctuation are indicated by [ ].]

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 chancery Court.

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.

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