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Title Letter [manuscript]: Louisville, Ky., to W.S. Hamilton, St. Francesville, La., 1825 Dec. 21
Author Atkinson, Henry (1782-1842)
Document Type Correspondence
Description From the Newberry Library Catalogue: Dec. 21, 1825, letter from Atkinson to William S. Hamilton, a fellow North Carolinian and friend with whom he had joined the army on July 1, 1808. To Hamilton, who had resigned his military commission in 1817, Atkinson describes his recent expedition up the Missouri. He lists the seventeen Indian tribes he met in council and the number of warriors in each; mentions the paddle-wheel keel boats; and notes that the trip was completed without loss of life. Atkinson also comments on fellow officers and on his hopes for an impending marriage.
Names Hamilton, William S.; O'Fallon, Major, Benjamin
Places St. Francesville, Louisiana, North Carolina, Bay of St. Louis, Missouri River, Kentucky, Yellowstone River, Mississippi, Rocky Mountains, Louisville, United States
Keywords expedition, council, warrior, government relations, treaty, discovery, trade, army
Theme American Indians and the US Government; Observation, Representation and Cultural Encounters
Tribe / Nation
Culture Area Great Plains
Additional Information

Atkinson was a career army officer, commander of two expeditions to the upper Missouri River (1819 and 1825), and founder of the Jefferson Barracks. In 1825 he led a large force up the Missouri from Council Bluffs in keel boats propelled by hand-driven paddle wheels of his own design. As United States commissioner with Benjamin O’Fallon, Atkinson negotiated treaties of trade and friendship with seventeen Indian tribes and returned his escort intact to Council Bluffs.

Atkinson and Mary Ann Bullitt of Louisville were wed the month follownig this letter.

Library The Newberry Library
Copyright The Newberry Library
Collection The Edward E. Ayer Collection
Reference VAULT box Ayer MS 38
Catalogue Link The Newberry Library Catalogue