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John Pillsbury

Title: Letter From a Farmer to Pillsbury
Type: Letter
Date: 1877
Source: Minnesota Historical Society

Description: During the Grasshopper Plagues of the 1870s, many farmers wrote to the Governor for help. This is a letter from a farmer and Methodist minister whose family was suffering from the effects of the plague.


Representativ C. H. Smith
Windom Minnesota
May 19th 1877

Mrs Gov Pillsberry

Dear Friend

Pardon the liberty I take in writing these, few lines to you while a strainger I am a Methodist minister with a large family on my hands to care for and five years ago we came to Minnesota to make a home for our boys and One Daughter of 16 We have passed through 4 years of hardship and suffering caused by the loss of all things by the Grasshopper scourge Devastation. and last year we did not raise hardly a bushel of any thing & this winter has been the most dificult of all to support my family and I was expecting to go away to work this season to support my family but cannot for my wifes health is failing from a cancer on the side of her tongue the Physicians here advise me to go to Chicago or Cincitnati & have it cured or cut out but this will cost as least $100.00 and If I mortgage my last cow I could not raise over 70 or 75 dollars and where I am to get the money is more than I can tell if some kind friends would help a poor suffering yet patient afflicted mother & aid in trying to restore her to health again they would confer a great blessing upon her husband and helpless little ones

Hopeing your generous and sympathiseing heart may aid or assist in this matter or influence some kind friend to do so is the prayer of your

Afflicted Brother
Rev H.H. Smith

PS I am grateful for the small donation of meal & flour my family received during the winter from the govenor the last bbl of flour Barrels of flour. and Meal and remedies I got for my wife I had to mortgage one of my cows to obtain

ours HHS

Sent $10 to Hon. Mr. Smith of Windom to be paid to the wife of the within She is a worthy woman and destitute In extreme poverty. the $10 was from collectors taken among the Sevrl Churches on Fast day.

J. S. Pillsbury