Digging for Information

It’s challenging to find primary-source information about Territorial Wisconsin. While researching Mining For Justice, the 8th Chloe Ellefson mystery, I was therefore delighted to learn that a few newspapers from 1837 still exist, and have been microfilmed.

Screen Shot 2016-10-21 at 6.56.35 PM

July 28, 1837. How cool is that?

They helped paint a picture of Mineral Point.

MFP - 7.14.37

Advertisements and editorials helped me understand what goods were available, and how much they cost.

MFP - 12/22/37

“Oats are from fifty cents to a dollar per bushel, the whole year round–corn the same, and potatoes almost so. Butter is thirty seven cents a pound, and all other articles in proportion….”

This notice reassured me that it was quite reasonable to have Ruan open his own blacksmith shop.

MFP 7.28.37

“The subscriber informs the public, that he has opened the above business, and intends carrying it on, in all its various branches….”

I found editorials, such as this one about Governor Dodge.

MFP 8.11.37

“We are now perfectly satisfied that Governor Dodge is unfit to be Governor of Wisconsin–and that he should forthwith, immediately, and without delay, resign a station so important to the people, for which he is entirely unqualified….”

And this notice for a missing man helped me write my own.

MFP - 9/29/37

“…Any intelligence of his fate communicated by letter…will be immediately handed to his disconsolate wife.”

I wouldn’t have known these scans existed if the kind and helpful archivist at the Mineral Point Library hadn’t clued me in. Mining For Justice readers will know that I portrayed Midge, the fictional archivist, as a research whiz. I had lots of similar help, and I’m grateful!

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5 Responses to “Digging for Information”

  1. merrylu Says:

    Thank you, Kathleen, for continuing to share some of your research story with us. It’s always fascinating to see some of your sources of inspiration.

  2. Liz V. Says:

    So interesting.

  3. barbvoigt@hotmail,.co, Says:

    Your research and digging comes out in your books loud and clear. I never had an interest in history. I have a passion for Cornwall so love the Mining For Justice book. I actually checked out of the library information from the Cornwall History in Mineral Point. It was typewritten, not printed.
    Thanks again for arranging the outing at Pendarvis.
    Barb Voigt

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