Skip to main content

Joseph A. Cody correspondence

 Collection
Call Number: RH MS 8

Overview

This collection consists of Joseph Cody's letters to his wife, Elvira (Cable) Cody, and those received from other friends, arranged chronologically from 1854-1885. It also includes letters written by Elvira and those she received from friends prior to her marriage to Joseph, arranged chronologically from 1847-1853. Letters written by Elvira's father, Eleazer Cable, a nurseryman in Ohio concerned with the maintenance of the Cable nursery, are dated from 1837-1869.

Dates

  • 1837 - 1884

Creator

Conditions Governing Access

No access restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

Spencer Library staff may determine use restrictions dependent on the physical condition of manuscript materials.

Biography of Joseph A. Cody (1814-1878)

Joseph A. Cody, the uncle of William F. "Buffalo Bill" Cody, was born in Canada in 1814. He was the son of Philip J. (1771-1850) and Lydia (Martin) (1761-1846) Cody. He married Elvira Ruth Cable in 1853, the daughter of Eleazer Cable of Cleveland, Ohio.

Joseph and his brother Isaac Cody moved to Grasshopper Falls (later Valley Falls), Jefferson County, Kansas soon after the territory opened for Euro-American settlement. Joseph was proprietor and editor of the Grasshopper newspaper while he lived there. He also served in James H. Lane's Frontier Guard, scouting Washington, D.C. to protect the new President Abraham Lincoln in April 1861 immediately after war was declared.

Eventually, Cody moved back to Cleveland, Ohio, and died there in 1878.

Extent

.5 Linear Feet (13 folders (165 items) in 1 document case)

Scope and Contents

The letters in this collection contain detailed personal information about the relationships within the Cody family and may therefore be valuable in research on "Buffalo" Bill Cody. The letters also contain colorful descriptions of general living conditions in eastern territorial Kansas during this period, focused on the weather, social life, kind and condition of crops, and economic conditions for white settlers in the territory. There is also documentation regarding the community's efforts to bring the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe railroad through their town. There is also this family's perspective on the border war struggles between Kansas and Missouri and between pro-slavery and free state forces, Joseph Cody being in favor of the proslavery forces.

Arrangement

Arranged in the following series:

First Portion
Joseph's letters to his wife, Elvira.These are arranged chronologically from 1854-1885. A synopsis of the tone and content of this correspondence is enclosed as an appendix to this series.
Second Portion
Letters written by Elvira.The second series is letters written by Elvira and those she received from friends prior to her marriage to Joseph A. Cody. These are arranged chronologically from 1847-1853.
Third Portion
Letters written by Elvira's father.Letters written by Elvira's father, Eleazer Cable, a nurseryman in Ohio concerned with the maintenance of the Cable nursery, are included as the third series of this collection. The letters date from 1837-1869.

Physical Location

RH MS 8

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchase, Gregory Paul, Northridge, California, 1966.

Title
Guide to the Joseph A. Cody Collection
Subtitle
Joseph A. Cody correspondence
Author
Finding aid prepared by jma 1973; lgg 1973. Finding aid encoded by mg, 2004. Finding aid revised by mwh, 2021.
Date
2004
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Finding aid written in English.
Finding aid permalink
http://hdl.handle.net/10407/1945392503
Preferred citation
Joseph A. Cody correspondence, RH MS 8, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas.

Repository Details

Part of the University of Kansas. Kenneth Spencer Research Library Repository

Contact:
1450 Poplar Lane
Lawrence KS 66045-7616 United States
785-864-4334