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    Nathaniel Lyon Autograph Letter Signed "Nathaniel Lyon." Four pages of a bifolium, 7.75" x 9.5", Fort Randall; November 30, 1858. The letter, addressed to his brother-in-law John B. Hasler Esq., begins with Lyon's condolences over the death of Hasler's daughter. He remarks that, "I am not disposed to look upon consumption as alarming, for if treated properly I believe it can generally be cured & the astonishing success of late years attending the treatment of it, shows that its nature & cure are pretty well understood. Possibly an earlier understanding of her care might have been the means of saving the Dear Katie to you still, & though such effections [sic] are, alas, vain, so far as relates to her, they may serve for future occurrences."

    He goes on to mention the current politics and unrest within the country, and references Bleeding Kansas, saying, "The result of the late state elections is received and is highly gratifying though so far as the probability of Douglas' return to the Senate. I have of course no cordial pleasure in this feature, though our papers indicate no doubt upon this point. I have not before had an opportunity to mention to you my gratification at the final adjustment of the Kansas troubles, so fortunately for our country and our race, & I doubt not they are now over. I was down in the Territory a considerable portion of last summer, having reached this Post in returning on the 1st of Sept."

    The "Kansas troubles" that Lyon refers to began in 1854 with the passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Act, opening up those territories for settlement and possible entry into the Union. The Act gave the settlers of those territories the ability to decide for themselves whether slavery would be allowed or prohibited. This legislation caused a rush to territory by both Free Soilers and those who supported slavery. Open violence began in June 1856 when pro-slavery forces were defeated at the hands of abolitionist John Brown and his men at the Battle of Black Jack. The following month, pro-slavery "armies" consisting of thousands of men crossed into Kansas Territory. While the violence was halted by October, tensions were still high, and an unstable peace settled over the territory. When the Civil War broke out in April 1861, Nathaniel Lyon joined the Union army. Sadly, Lyon was killed just four months later, in August, at the Battle of Wilson's Creek, earning him the dubious distinction of being the first Union general killed in the Civil War.

    Condition: Letter has usual mail folds, with some small areas of ink smudging. Lyon's signature is very bold. Overall very good.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    October, 2018
    25th Thursday
    Internet/Mail Bids: 13
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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