Families Apart

Record of Travel to the European Continent
George Cadogan Morgan, Record of Travel to the European Continent, 1789.

Families separate all too often. Migration, war, and slavery produce the most poignant such cases, but even business travel and tourism caused major displacements in the age before fast planes and instant communication.


George Morgan drew this map of a journey in France he took in 1789, just as the French Revolution began. He likely made copies of the letters he had written while abroad and collected them in this manuscript. [Essay 87]

George Cadogan Morgan
Record of Travel to the European Continent
Hackney, England 1789
Gift of Henry A. Gardner, 1980
Midwest MS Morgan-Gardner, Box 1 Folder 2

Letters to Jemima Hall
Washington Hall and Levi Hall, Letters to Jemima Hall, June 18, 1836 and July 22, 1836.

In these letters, Washington Hall, a slave, pleads with his wife, Jemima, who was in Illinois, to return to Missouri, while his owner describes the conditions under which Jemima would live there with her husband. She did not return. [Essay 10]

Washington Hall; Levi F. Hall
Letters to Jemima Hall
Florida, Missouri: June 18, 1836; July 22, 1836
Gifts of Mrs. W. F. Schweitzer, 1950

Midwest MS Rodgers, Box 1 Folder 15


Oregon Trail Journal
Andrew Rodgers, Oregon Trail Journal, May 29-October, 1845.

Part of the Newberry’s extensive collection of family papers and Midwest sources, this diary offers detailed trail descriptions and conditions for future travelers from Iowa to Oregon. [Essay 11]

Andrew Rodgers
Oregon Trail Journal
May 29–October 1845
Gift of Mrs. W. F. Schweitzer, 1950
Midwest MS Rodgers, Box 2 Folder 108

Civil War Diaries
Hiram Scofield, Civil War Diaries, 1863-1865.

From 1863 to 1866 General Scofield of Iowa commanded a regiment of African American troops. On April 9, 1865, he noted in his diary, “Soldiers never did better than the Colored Soldiers today.” [Essay 15]

Hiram Scofield
Civil War Diary
Ruggles Fund with the assistance of Robert Wedgeworth, 2002
VAULT Ruggles 426, Box 1, Folders 4, 5, and 6

Letter to Emma Spencer
Lyman Spencer, Letter to Emma Spencer, December 17, 1863.

Lyman Spencer was a young quartermaster’s sergeant in 1865 when he sat for this portrait. He also wrote to his younger sister, Emma, about his experiences in the United States Civil War. [Essay 13]

Lyman Spencer
Letter to Emma Spencer; Carte-de-Visite Portrait
Munfordville, Kentucky, December 17, 1863; Indianapolis, 1865
Gift of Percy H. Sloan, 1950
Midwest MS Spencer, Box 6 Folder 324