[Polk County, Or.]. Oct. 9, 1847. p. on single letter sheet, 7 1/2 x 10 1/4 inches, docketed on verso. Tear along lower left edge, affecting two words. Old, light fold lines. Very good. Item #WRCAM29969
An interesting letter from an important western pioneer, attempting to wrap up affairs back home. Oregon pioneer Lindsay Applegate writes his brother, Lisbon Applegate, in Missouri, asking his assistance in settling land claims there. He describes the nearly five hundred acres he owns there, and the various attempts he has made to sell the land. He asks his brother to do what he can in expediting the sale of the land, "as a small sum in hand would be better to me than a large one in expectation," and promises to "write more at length by the emigrants next spring." The letter provides informative details on mid-19th-century frontier economics.
Lindsay Applegate was an important early Oregon pioneer. After twelve years' residence in Missouri, he went to Oregon in the "great caravan of 1843," the first overland settlers to cross the Oregon trail. He settled in southern Oregon, and the first treaty with the Umpqua Valley Indians was signed in his log cabin in 1854. He formed a company for service in the Rogue River War in 1853, and served as an agent to the Klamath Reservation. This letter perhaps went back across the overland trail. ENCYCLOPEDIA OF FRONTIER BIOGRAPHY I, p.32.