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Title Letters [manuscript]: Chicago, Ill., 1855 Nov. 5-Dec. 26
Author Johnson, Benjamin F. (1818-1905)
Document Type Correspondence
Description From the Newberry Library Catalogue: Typed transcripts of two letters from Benjamin F. Johnson at the Illinois Central Railroad offices at 48 Michigan Ave. in Chicago, to railroad officials W. H. Osborn, and J. Newton Perkins, concerning railroad matters in Bourbonnais and Kankakee. Johnson’s letter to Newton, treasurer of the IC Railroad, is dated Nov. 5, 1855, and contains some interesting details on the history and development of Bourbonnais, with references to some of the early French settlers and landowners in the area, Vasser and Bellegarde. Johnson also notes that the Pottawottamie chief Shabbonnee and members of his tribe had left for their hunting grounds near the sources of the St. Joseph and Kankakee Rivers. Johnson’s letter to J. Newton Perkins is dated Dec. 26, 1855, and contains news about railroad operations. Due to the extremely cold weather, the rivers are frozen, and there is a huge demand for rail tickets to St. Louis. He also discusses the use of train cars to transport corn, sugar, coffee, and molasses from Cairo to Chicago. He concludes with a description of Chief Shabonnay, his "picturesque" dress, and his request for a pass to Kankakee. In both letters, Johnson refers to a guest, "Dr. [J. G.] Kohl", with whom he is sightseeing in Bourbonnais and Kankakee.
Names Osborn, W. H.; Perkins, J. Newton; Vasser; Bellegarde; Shabni [or Shabbona] (c.1775-1859); Kohl, Johann Georg (1808-1878)
Places Kankakee, Kankakee River, St Joseph, Bourbonnais, Cairo, Chicago, Illinois, United States
Keywords railroad, New France, settlement, white settlement, white settlers, hunting, crops, weather, chief, clothing
Theme Observation, Representation and Cultural Encounters
Tribe / Nation
Culture Area Northeast
Library The Newberry Library
Copyright The Newberry Library
Collection The Edward E. Ayer Collection
Reference VAULT box Ayer MS 3055
Catalogue Link The Newberry Library Catalogue