These three letters were written by temporary residents of Merrimac, Wisconsin, hailing from Templeton, Massachusetts, and throwing intersting light on social and economic conditions in the Badger State in 1857-58. The letters were written to Unity Fales (Mrs. Otis) Partridge at Templeton by her sons James Otis and Maynard. James Otis Partridge, who was born at Templeton in 1828 and died at Partridgeville, a village in the town of Templeton, in 1873, was the father of the contributor.
The letters were carefully preserved by the recipient, packed in a homemade box, and covered with wallpaper of and old-fashioned pattern. At her death in 1869, they passed to James Otis Partridge and then to the contributor. During the past years they had frequently had narrow escapes from the bonfire and junk heap but now have come safe to rest in the Manuscript Division of the Wisconsin Historical Society. Mrs. Smith, the contributor, long time resident of Iowa, has lived at Carbondale, Illinois, since 1938, and has provided the biographical data and the story of the letters. The editors have added pragraphing, periods, commas, and capitalization to make some letters more readable.
- Letter of Nov 22, 1857 from Merrimack, Sauk County, Wisconsin by Maynard Partridge.
- Letter of Jan 24, 1858 from Merrimack, Sauk County, Wisconsin By J. O. Partridge.
- Letter of 23 May 1858 from Merrimack, Sauk County, Wisconsin By J. O. Partridge.
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