This collection contains 4 letters that Phebe Jane and Marquis L. Knapp wrote to Benjamin Jaquith about their lives in Black Hawk County, Iowa, around 1850. They discussed the process of claiming land, local flora and fauna, a dental procedure, and other topics.
Phebe Jane Knapp wrote 2 letters, Marquis L. Knapp wrote 1 letter, and they co-authored a fourth letter. Both Phebe and Marquis Knapp addressed Benjamin F. Knapp as "brother," and both referred to family members and mutual acquaintances. The first three letters concern aspects of life on the Iowa frontier, such as the process of claiming and acquiring land along the Cedar River, local fishing, trees, farm crops, and prices of wheat and potatoes. Phebe and Marquis Knapp also discussed the local population, and anticipated a rapid influx of families, expected to arrive in the spring of 1851. In one undated letter, Phebe Jane Knapp described a tooth extraction and the resulting pain, which lasted for several days.