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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 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

Letter from William Wingate Sewall to S. Y. Sewall

Description:

The weather has been very changeable but there have been some warm days and William Wingate Sewall believes that only a few cows will be lost over the winter. Sewall is unsure if the area is suitable for cattle due to the cold and, with all the cattle being brought in, he fears the grass will run out. He suggests Theodore Roosevelt was misled about the profitability of cattle ranching in Dakota Territory. Sewall hasn't met anyone that is making a profit. Roosevelt will be visiting the ranch soon and Sewall will be happy to see him.

Resource Type: Letter

Subject: Weather; Ranching; Cattle trade--Prices; Cattle trade--Seasonal variations; United States--Dakota Territory; Roosevelt, Theodore, 1858-1919

Date: 1886-02-28

Letter from William Wingate Sewall to S. Y. Sewall

Description:

William Wingate Sewall describes the pursuit and capture of three thieves that stole a boat from Theodore Roosevelt. The boat, the best one on the Little Missouri River, had been purchased by Roosevelt in Saint Paul, Minnesota, and it was very useful. Sewall and Wilmot Dow built a new boat and they headed after the thieves a few days after the boat went missing. The thieves were captured without violence and Roosevelt accompanied them to Dickinson, Dakota Territory, for trial. Sewall and Dow continued down the river with the boats to Mandan, Dakota Territory, and then took a train back to Medora, Dakota Territory.

Resource Type: Letter

Subject: Boats and boating; Theft; Criminals; Arrest; United States--Little Missouri River; North Dakota--Dickinson; North Dakota--Mandan; North Dakota--Medora; Roosevelt, Theodore, 1858-1919; Dow, Wilmot; Finnegan, Michael

Date: 1886-04-21

Letter from William Wingate Sewall to S. Y. Sewall

Description:

William Wingate Sewall has been "holding the fort" at the ranch while the other ranch hands are on the roundup. The weather has been nice and he's been spending time tending the garden. Sewall doesn't think Dakota Territory is very good for farming but the cattle are doing well. He hopes that Theodore Roosevelt won't lose money on the cattle but doubts he can ever make much profit. Sewall accompanied Roosevelt on a recent hunt and Roosevelt killed a large Elk. He hopes to go on his own hunt with Wilmot Dow when the weather is cooler. Sewall is now into his last two years in Dakota Territory and it will be a "joyful day" when he returns home to Maine.

Resource Type: Letter

Subject: Gardening; Agriculture; Cattle; Ranching; Ranching--Economic aspects; Hunting; Elk hunting; United States--Dakota Territory; Roosevelt, Theodore, 1858-1919; Dow, Wilmot

Date: 1886-06-27

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