1865 McDannald Linn Wagon Train Emigrant Letter



Letter from Robert Bastson McDannald to Malinda Jane McDannald


The wagon train would leave Mt. Sterling, Illinois on April 25, 1865. One of the McDannalds left behind, was Robert Baston McDannald who wrote this letter to his cousin, Malinda, who would be on the train with her family.

Robert was 31 and unmarried when he wrote this letter. He was the son of Nehemiah R McDannald, a brother of John McDannald II. Nehemiah was known as "Uncle Nim". Robert would only live to age 34, passing away in 1868. Nothing is known of him, other than his many letters to Malinda. He talked often in his letters of leaving Missouri and joining his uncles and cousins in Oregon, but, he never made the trip.

References in the letter:

"Pap" - his father, Nehemiah R "Nim" McDannald, born 1811, age 54.
"Claton" - Clayton, Illinois
"Pallmira" - Palmyra, Illinois
"Milan" - Milan, Sullivan County, Missouri, their home in 1865.
"Noah" - Noah A McDannald, Roberts brother, just returned from Civil War.
"Hanna" - Hanna Phillips Bagley, 29 years old.
Robert's mother, Nancy Gray McDannald, died three years before, 1862.
Robert's father, Nim, 54 married Hanna, the year before, 1864.
Apparently, Hannah has left Nim, and he blames Robert.
"Uncle Lige" - unknown
Robert is hoping the wagon train will stop by his place on the way
"Uncle John" - John McDannald II, Malinda's father, Captain of the train
"Mary Ellen Linn" - 21 year old daughter of Philip Linn, John McDannald's brother-in-law.
She will travel on the wagon train as part of the Linn family.
Robert hints at some feelings for her. But, alas, she will marry 2 years after arrival in Oregon.
"Uncle Dan" - Daniel Webster McDannald, John's brother.
"aunt marge" - unknown









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