Edwin R. Lawton

Adrian J. Ebell (standing) with Edwin R. Lawton (head inside the darkbox)

I spent the afternoon at the MHS reading Edwin R. Lawton’s journal. It covers from July-August 1862 in great detail, with one background entry declaring the important events of the previous year. He attended the University of Chicago from November 1861-March 1862, and then spent around four months in a boarding house in Chicago. Adrian J. Ebell, his employer, worked in Hyde Park. Ebell would have been about 22 years old. This changes my perception of things a bit—they seem almost more like classmates (upper and lower level to be sure) than employer/employee that struck out on a great adventure.

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Adrian J. Ebell

Dakota Massacre, 1862
Refugees from the Dakota Massacre of 1862, LOC

When I found this image in the catalogue for “Image of America,” curated by Herbert Sanborn for the Library of Congress in 1957, I just couldn’t get it out of my head. Exploring the LOC catalog, its source seems to be a stereoview published by J.E. Whitney. But checking the Wikipedia entry on the Dakota Massacre of 1862 lead me down some interesting paths.

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