Mary Jane Hale Welles papers  1846-1848
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Collection Scope and Content Note

This collection contains 5 letters that Private Jeremiah G. Dubois wrote to his father while serving with the United States Army in Michigan between 1818 and 1823, as well as 1 letter that Dubois wrote from Lebanon, Ohio, after his discharge.

In his letter of August 7, 1818, Dubois described his journey from Fort Mifflin, Pennsylvania, to the Michigan Territory; he mentioned his encounters with family members and acquaintances during his travels and commented on his army-issued clothing. Though he had willingly enlisted in the Army and had encouraged his brother William to consider joining, he immediately expressed his misgivings. While stationed at Fort Shelby, he shared his anxiety about a possible transfer to an area with a prominent Native American population, a proposition that made his "very blood run cold" (March 4, 1819). He discussed the possibility of hiring a substitute, despite his relative poverty.

In mid-June, Dubois transferred temporarily to Fort Gratiot, an isolated outpost where his main duty was tending the garrison's vegetable garden (June 21, 1819); while stationed there, he complained about the difficulty of sending letters. On February 21, 1823, after his return to Detroit, Dubois wrote of his anticipated discharge and his desire to return home. His final letter, written in Lebanon, Ohio, discusses his ambition to return east, possibly by driving a herd of cattle to Philadelphia or marrying into a rich family, and provides news of acquaintances who had moved to the Midwest.

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