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1864 March 20: Being a Soldier Doesn’t Get You Out of Paying Your Debts

March 20, 2014

John Kelsey was in Company C of the 7th Minnesota Infantry, along with W. H. C. Folsom’s son Wyman.  In the 1860 census he was a 30-year-old lumberman from Maine who was living with the George B. Folsom family in Rushseba Township, Chisago County, Minnesota.  Kelsey enlisted August 15, 1862, and will die October 12, 1864, in Memphis, Tennessee.

In this letter Kelsey is worried about money that he borrowed from Folsom and whether a payment he made ever arrived.  The original letter is in the W. H. C. Folsom Papers (River Falls Mss S), in the University Archives and Area Research Center at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls.

St Louis   March 20th/64

Mr. Folsom,

I take this oppertunety [sic] to write you a few lines.  I sent a draft of fifty dolars [sic] to Mr. Merrel some too [sic] mounthes [sic] ago & have not hird [sic] from it [him?] yet & three weakes [sic] ago I wrote to him agin [sic] & have not hird [sic] from that.  I sent the draft by male [sic].

I want you to find out if [he] has got it or not & let me know amediteley [sic] & write & let me know how mouch [sic] more is due on the note that you hold agenst [sic] me.

My health is very good.  I hope this few lines will find you enjoying the same blessing.  It has ben [sic] very cold her [sic] for some time.  The boyes [sic] are all well.  Answer this and you will oblige your Friend,
.     .     .     .     . John Kelsey

[Folsom notes on the back of the letter that he answered it on April 12, 1864.]

John Kelsey letter of March 20, 1864, from the W. H. C. Folsom Papers (River Falls Mss S) in the University Archives & Area Research Center at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls

John Kelsey letter of March 20, 1864, from the W. H. C. Folsom Papers (River Falls Mss S) in the University Archives & Area Research Center at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls

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