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Excerpt from William Wingate Sewall's ledger book

Description:

This excerpt from William Wingate Sewall's ledger book notes a trip to Little Missouri, Dakota Territory, and the beginning of the construction of the Elkhorn Ranch house.

Resource Type: Other

Subject: Travel; Frontier and pioneer life; Ranch houses--Design and construction; North Dakota--Elkhorn Ranch; Roosevelt, Theodore, 1858-1919

Date: 1884-07-24

Letter from William Wingate Sewall to S. Y. Sewall

Description:

William Wingate Sewall has 100 cattle to practice on during winter. He doesn't believe cattle are too hard to care for and the work hasn't been difficult. The country is "queer" and dirty but the soil looks healthy and the water is good. Sewall guesses there is a chance to make money with cattle and Theodore Roosevelt is optimistic. If he can make a profit, Sewall wants to get back to the "clear water and trees" soon. Overall, he thinks that Dakota Territory should have been left to the animals.

Resource Type: Letter

Subject: Ranching; Ranching--Economic aspects; Cattle; Frontier and pioneer life; United States--Dakota Territory; North Dakota--Badlands; Roosevelt, Theodore, 1858-1919; Dow, Wilmot

Date: 1884-08-17

Letter from William Wingate Sewall to S. Y. Sewall

Description:

The season has been very wet in Dakota Territory and William Wingate Sewall thinks he will enjoy the winter more then the summer. He shouldn't have to work very hard and there are plenty of deer to hunt. There is land available but Sewall isn't sure if the average man can make it profitable. They have had their differences but he is generally pleased with Fallback, his horse. Sewall's employer, Theodore Roosevelt, is a "very fair fellow."

Resource Type: Letter

Subject: Ranching; Horses; Deer hunting; Weather; United States--Dakota Territory; Roosevelt, Theodore, 1858-1919

Date: 1884-09-14

Letter from William Wingate Sewall

Description:

William Wingate Sewall has been working on hewing the logs for the ranch house and it is going fairly well. They take one day each week to explore and also get their mail once a week. Sewall is unsure what he will do in the spring but he doesn't want to live in Dakota Territory for longer then necessary. He is safe but sees many drawbacks to living in the territory. Ranching in the Dakota Badlands is a new business and no one is sure if it will be profitable.

Resource Type: Letter

Subject: Ranching; Ranching--Economic aspects; Dwellings--Design and construction; Lumber; United States--Dakota Territory

Date: 1884-10-19

Letter from William Wingate Sewall to S. Y. Sewall

Description:

The weather is very cold but William Wingate Sewall is doing well. The lumber is ready and they are still working on the ranch house. Sewall is happy that he will be working with Joe and Bill Rowe. The deer have been "shy and cunning" but they have had successful hunts and currently have three deer hanging in the yard.

Resource Type: Letter

Subject: Ranching; Dwellings--Design and construction; Lumber; Deer hunting; United States--Dakota Territory; Roosevelt, Theodore, 1858-1919

Date: 1884-12-19

Letter from William Wingate Sewall to S. Y. Sewall

Description:

The weather is cold and the snow is over a foot deep. William Wingate Sewall isn't sure how the cattle can survive in such an environment. He accompanied a group, including James Watts a "genuine specimen of a frontier man," to a Native American village. Watts was with General Custer the day before the Battle of the Little Bighorn and claims to have been shot seven times and hit with arrows five times. They bought several moccasins, buckskins, and a buffalo robe. Sewall's long hair seemed to interest the Native Americans and they even braided his hair. There are opportunities in Dakota Territory but he still believes that Maine has better living conditions and hopes to return soon.

Resource Type: Letter

Subject: Little Bighorn, Battle of the (Montana : 1876); Ranching; Cattle; Winter; Indians of North America; Indians of North America--Social life and customs; Frontier and pioneer life; United States--Dakota Territory

Date: 1885-02-18

Letter from William Wingate Sewall to S. Y. Sewall

Description:

William Wingate Sewall traveled with the rest of the Roosevelt ranch hands to Minnesota to brand and transport cattle that had been purchased by Theodore Roosevelt. The cattle were then shipped to Medora, Dakota Territory, by rail. Sewall found the work to be "lively and exciting." From Medora the cattle were driven fifty miles to their destination which took around six days. Roosevelt has been with them and he has been "as good a fellow as ever."

Resource Type: Letter

Subject: Cattle--Transportation; Cattle drives; Cattle brands; Ranching; Minnesota--Minneapolis; Minnesota--Saint Paul; Minnesota--Fergus Falls; North Dakota--Jamestown; North Dakota--Medora; Roosevelt, Theodore, 1858-1919; Ferris, Joseph A.

Date: 1885-05-17

Letter from William Wingate Sewall to S. Y. Sewall

Description:

William Wingate Sewall participated in a cattle roundup that lasted seventeen days and covered 500 miles. He describes the route they took and the country they traveled through. Sewall had a good time and enjoyed the trip but he wouldn't spend his life in Dakota Territory even if he could own the whole territory. The "poor settlers" in Dakota live very roughly and he thinks that when they can vote they will "cook" the cattle men until the territory is left to the "small fellows."

Resource Type: Letter

Subject: Cattle drives; Cattle trade; Frontier and pioneer life; United States--Dakota Territory; Missouri River; United States--Little Missouri River

Date: 1885-08-16

Letter from William Wingate Sewall to S. Y. Sewall

Description:

The weather has been pleasant and William Wingate Sewall has been building a stable and hunting. He killed a buck with the finest set of horns he's ever seen. Sewall describes a great ride on his favorite horse, Sorrel Joe, while trying to corral a group of horses.

Resource Type: Letter

Subject: Deer hunting; Firearms; Stables--Design and construction; Horses; Horsemanship; Ferris, Joseph A.; Dow, Wilmot

Date: 1885-12-20

Excerpt from William Wingate Sewall's ledger book

Description:

More recent transcription of an excerpt from William Wingate Sewall's ledger book noting financial transactions for the Elkhorn Ranch.

Resource Type: Other

Subject: Business--Accounting; North Dakota--Elkhorn Ranch; Ferris, Joseph A.; Roosevelt, Theodore, 1858-1919

Date: 1885-1886

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