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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.

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