A Collection Of Nine Letters By Ann Larimer

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I examined a collection of nine letters written by Ann Larimer to her husband John while the latter was serving in the United States Army in the final year of the American Civil War. Ann and john Larimer and their two young children were residents of Queen City, a now-extinct farming community in Adams County, Iowa in the southwestern quarter of the state. They owned a farm which during the war seems to have been operated by Ann with the assistance of her father and a neighbor. The diversity of the farm conveyed in Ann’s references to a variety of crops in addition to a primary interest in corn, sale prices of crops, and her desire to sell cattle suggests that the Larimers were like the majority of Iowa farm families of the time which was both food self-sufficient and aimed to produce surplus crops for commercial markets. Monetary security while a concern discussed by Ann principally over the sale of cattle and corn prices, was described by her as having little relation to their food security. She even going so far in one of the later letters to implore John to spend money on good ...

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