The Julia Dodge papers hold 12 letters from the young Julia Dodge, written between 1855 and 1861, to her friend, and possibly cousin, Mary Webster. She wrote about her life on the western frontier and described the cold winters, her log cabin home, the beautiful woods and rivers close by, her studies, and her home life. She also mentioned numerous encounters with Indians including seeing them at local stores, catching them steeling food from the Dodge farm, and offering them food and clothes to trade. Other topics covered in her letters include Civil War news from her brother Grenville; the Council Bluffs Concert Hall fire of 1860; and her time with toddler Lettie Dodge, Grenville’s daughter. One letter, dated March 27, 1861, described Julia’s brief attendance at a "Young Ladies Institute" in Alexandria, Virginia, which she found pleasant, but she left the school before graduation.