File submitted for USGenWeb/MOGenWeb Lincoln Co. page by Russell M. Reid, Dept. of Anthropology, University of Louisville, Louisville, KY 40292, 1998.



The following is a transcript of a letter written in May of 1863 by John S. Shannon to his cousins in Lincoln County, Missouri, while he was traveling to California on a wagon train. The transcript preserves the spelling and punctuation (or lack of) of the original.

John S. Shannon was born to James Shannon and Elizabeth Alexander on April 15, 1832 and died in California on February 4, 1864. The letter was preserved by his cousin, Elizabeth Shannon Reid and is now in the possession of her great grandson, Russell M. Reid of Louisville, Ky.


North Platt May the 19 / 63

Dear cousin I seat myself to write you a few lines I am well now but havent been so all the time the morning we crossed Loupe River I got parted from the train and did not overtake it until noon and the mind blew from the north west with a misting rain and I got verry cold and chilly and I took a severe cold from it and had a spell of bleeding in twenty four hours but did not bleed much at a time yet it all most prostrated me for a while I rode in the wagon almost two hundred miles I havent bled any since that was before we got to Gurney my sistem has been in alter fit since I have been on the plains than it has been for a long time I havent taken any physic since I left I have traveled about twelve hundred miles since I left you and have not rested but one day

The country we traveled over is a level plain with but little variation where we first struck Platt the bottom was verry wide often so wide that we could see no bluff at all the River is about one mile wide below the mouth of South Platt and so shallow that a person can wade half across with out getting over his boots we have killed one Buffalow there was a large hird of them crossed the road before us and the boys run up on one and killed him with their revolvers I was standing on the front of the wagon if I had of been alle you

may beleve I would have been in the chase I thought it was as good steak as ever I eat it is getting dark and I will have to quit until another day So good Knight

Larima may the 21

We are camped four miles from Larima Some of the men are gone over to the fort and I am in hopes I willl get a letter as I havent hird from none since I left we have the mumps and sore eyes both in the train the health of the train is tolerable good John Lowell is well and harty the peaks of the rockey mountains are rearing their heads up in front of us we will get in to the black hills tomorrow we havent lost any stock yet we havent had any stampedes yet the mules stand it fine the horses have gone down a good deal we trail from twenty five to thirty five miles a day I must close excuse bad writing as I am writing on my knee give my, love to your father mother and sisters and receive a due portion your self give my respects to all my friends who may ask for me

John S Shannon

File submitted for USGenWeb/MOGenWeb Lincoln Co. page by Russell M. Reid, Dept. of Anthropology, University of Louisville, Louisville, KY 40292, 1998.

USGENWEB NOTICE: In keeping with our policy of providing free genealogical information on the Internet, data may be freely used for personal research and by non-commercial entities, as long as this message remains on all copied material. These electronic pages may NOT be reproduced in any format for profit or presentation by other organization or persons. Persons or organizations desiring to use this material for profit or any form of presentation, must obtain the written consent of the file submitter, or their legal representative, and contact the listed USGenWeb archivist with proof of this consent.

Return to USGenWeb/MOGenWeb Lincoln County, Missouri
Letters Index  |  Heritage Page  |  Home Page