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John Phelps reminiscences

 Collection — Box: 66
Identifier: MS-SC1169

Scope and Contents

Typed transcript of reminiscences tell of his numerous journeys, businesses and successes and losses. Tells of his long journey from Virginia to New Orleans to meet with his regiment in time to fight in the Battle of New Orleans. Discusses his numerous business ventures including building a raft to take whiskey to St. Louis to sell using a crew of novice sailors. His business with the lead mines in Galena, Ill. Mentions interactions with Thomas Carlin, a relative of his wife; Governor Reynolds and his request for Phelps to head a regiment in the Black Hawk War; and a conversation with William Hamilton, the son of Alexander Hamilton, that resulted in his buying property in Oregon, Ill. Several stories of interactions with Indians on his frequent journeys. Describes his last visits to Virginia and Tennessee.

Dates

  • Created: 1874

Creator

Biographical / Historical

Virginia born early settler of Illinois, who fought in the War of 1812 and at the Battle of New Orleans, made and lost large amounts of money in Arkansas, Tennessee and Illinois as a merchant and lead smelter owner before settling in Oregon, Illinois and building the town up to become the county seat of Ogle County. Served in the state legislature. When a law suit occurred over property in the town Francis S. Key acted as his lawyer. Owned a store in Austin, Texas and moved his family there, but they did not like it and returned to Oregon, Ill. After visiting, with his daughter Sarah L. Johnston, his old homes in Virginia and Tennessee he returned to Illinois and died several weeks later.

Extent

1 folder (1 folder : .5 linear inches (.042 linear feet)) : 78 pages

Language of Materials

English