Have you ever gone back thru your notes and sources for an individual and wished you had done a better job of documenting your findings? That’s my situation as I’m creating research notes for Hiram M. Currey of Peoria County, Illinois.
While I only have information for about 30 years of his life, I have quite a few details for those 30 years. Much of my research dates back to the pre-Internet days and thus is photocopies and handwritten notes. One of those citations appears to be a valid citation.
Whitney, Ellen M., compiler, The Black Hawk War 1831-1832 (Springfield, IL: Illinois State Historical Library, 1970), vol. 2, p. 1229.
So, I started searching Google to see if I could find a digital copy of the book. And volumes 1 and 2 are on Archive.org. Unfortunately, page 1229 is not found in volume 2. A further search of Google reveals that there is a Part 3: Letters and Papers: Appendices and Indexes (Goodreads). So far, I haven’t found a digital copy of this book.
Further digging in my files found a 1995 letter from the National Archives that included images from NARA microfilm of letters regarding the Indian situation around Peoria. While this letter contained the images, I wasn’t sure how to document the letter and images. Thus, I started looking for the images online — and found them on FamilySearch.
6 November 1832 Letter from Major Hiram M. Curry of Peoria to General Atkinson which includes a memorial from citizens of Peoria and Putnam Counties
Registers of letters received, 1812-1889; Letters received by the Office of the Adjutant General, main series, 1805-1821, 1822-1860, 1861-1870, 1871-1880
Letters, 1832 A
Film 1182066 DGS 8921496
Peoria Novr 6th 1832
It is with considerate regret
that I am compelled to inform you that the Pottawatamies
and Winnebagoes are doing considerable mischief in
different neighborhoods by burning the woods and
prairies they have burned the Bridge over the Inlet of
the Winnebago swamps. They have threated the
lives of some of our citizens without being provoked
so to do by any white person. They made it their
business to set the prairies on fire so as to fire our farms
that are on the frontier. I wish your candid dir-
ection what to do on such occasions.
I am very respectfully
(signed) Hiram M. Curry
Major Peoria Add Battn
of Ill Militia
We the undersigned citizens of Peoria and
Putnam Counties have seen and read the above
letter of Major Curry and do unhesitatingly say
the above is correct as supported by the depositions
of several citizens, we wish that you would take
the subject under your consideration and grant
such relief as you may deem most expedient
for the public good and the Indians welfare.
Attest. Stealing of horses may be added — if
the Indians are not kept away it may cause some
thing very serious, we wish for peace.
Marshall B Silliman
Column 2 of namesLetter from Gen Atkinson to Adjutant General attaching Curry letter and Peoria memorial; Letters 1832 A (NARA microfilm publications Microcopy No. 567, roll 66); Register of letters received, 1812-1889; Letters received by the Office of the Adjutant General, main series, 1805-1821, 1822-1860, 1861-1870, 1870-1880; Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration. consulted as FHL microfilm 1182066 DGS 8921496; available on FamilySearch http://www.familysearch.org, images 777-781.
Charles B Pierce
Erastus C Root
Thomas B. Reed
16 Nov 1832 Letter from Br Gen H. Atkinson to Maj. Hiram M. Curry of Peoria, Illinois
Heads Qrs: Right Wing Western Dept
Jefferson Barracks 16th Novr 1832
I have received your letter of the 6th instant
in reference to the conduct of the Pottawatamie and Winne-
bago Indians in the neighborhood of Peoria. I have to
desire that you will take an Interpreter with you if one
can be had and go to the encampment of the Pottowata
mies and caution them against committing any act of
depredation on the lands or property of the frontier in-
habitants and that they must fall back upon their own
lands. That should they continue their improper con-
duct that teh Rangers will be ordered out to drive them
I write to day to the Pottawatamies Agent at Chicago
informing him of the conduct of the Indians in your
neighborhoods, and requesting him to have them withdrawn.
with great respect, Sir
Your [mo abt] servt
(signed | H. Atkinson
Br Gen U.S. Army
Maj Hiram M CurryNov 1832 Letter from Gen. Atkinson to Maj Hiram Curry; Chicago Agency, 1824-1847 Chicago Agency 1824-1834 (NARA microfilm publications M234, roll 132); Letters received, 1824-1881; registers of letters received, 1824-1880; Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration. consulted as FHL microfilm 1660862 DGS 8375279; available on FamilySearch http://www.familysearch.org, images 246.
16 Nov 1832 letter from Br Gen H. Atkinson to Col. Owen, Indian Agent
Head Qrs: Right Wing Western Dept.
Jefferson Barracks 16th Novr 1832
I have received a Memorial from a number
of the citizens of Peoria and its neighborhood com-
plaining of depredations committed by a party of Potto-
wattomie Indians who are hunting on the Bureau and
near Peoria. The report sets forth stealing of Horses and
burning the Prairie and wood lands to the destruction
of the fences of their farms. The bridge across the
Winnebago inlet on the post routes to Galena has also
been burned by the Pottowattomies it is supposed. Be
sides these acts they have molested travellers and
threatened the inhabitants, causing much alarm.
I have to request that you will send down and
have the Indians of your Agency, complained of
called back upon their own lands, and admonished
to refrain in future from similar encroachments.
with great respect sir,
Your [mo abt] servt
(signed) H. Atkinson
Br Gen US Army
Col OwenNov 1832 Letter from Gen. Atkinson to Maj Hiram Curry; Chicago Agency, 1824-1847 Chicago Agency 1824-1834 (NARA microfilm publications M234, roll 132); Letters received, 1824-1881; registers of letters received, 1824-1880; Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration. consulted as FHL microfilm 1660862 DGS 8375279; available on FamilySearch http://www.familysearch.org, images 247
1832 letter from John Dixon to Genl H. Atkinson
Dixons Ferry Novr 6th 1832
Your letter of the 16th [ulto] was received
during my absence, I now immediately on my return
hasten to answer your inquiries.
With regard tot he complaint of the In
habitants about Peoria I will say, and hold myself ac-
countable for the assertion that there has not been a Win-
nebago across the Winnebago swamp to the south for the
last seven months. they fear to travel in any direction
without first consulting the whites. They are the most hum-
bled people I ever met with. The war has had an astonish-
ing effect on them and if I am permitted to manage
them as I now do I will pledge all I possess that they go
peaceably across the Wisconsin in the spring, I know to
a certainty that there is no other calculation amongst
With regard to the Pottowattomies I can say nothing
from my own knowledge, the reports are much against
them. The people who have been at the spot differ in opin-
ion as to whether the Bridge was burned by accident or
design on the subject I am not able to given an opinion only
to state the facts that on the day it was burned there was
a large body of Pottowattomies near it, and the Prairie
about it was burnt that day. After weighing all the re-
ports, I am led to the conclusion that their conduct towards
the whites has been improper but to what interest I am not able
to say. I shall do all in my power to get facts. I have sent
a confidential Winnebago to them to find out how the Bridge
Your obl servt
(signed) John Dixon
Genl H. AtkinsonLetter from Gen Atkinson to Adjutant General attaching Curry letter and Peoria memorial; Letters 1832 A (NARA microfilm publications Microcopy No. 567, roll 66); Register of letters received, 1812-1889; Letters received by the Office of the Adjutant General, main series, 1805-1821, 1822-1860, 1861-1870, 1870-1880; Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration. consulted as FHL microfilm 1182066 DGS 8921496; available on FamilySearch http://www.familysearch.org, images 907-908.
While I could have taken the easy way out and created a citation for the reply to my letter, I am glad that I pursued locating digital images of the documents.