St. Louis Mercantile Library Special Collections

The special collections of the St. Louis Mercantile Library consist of over 400 individual collections with archival materials numbering in the millions, including over 100 historic newspaper titles, presidential letters, early travel diaries and civil war era letters, fur trade records and the newspaper and printing morgue of the St. Louis Globe Democrat, some of which is available digitally. The M-Series of collections represents the core of the Mercantile's holdings. Finding aids and descriptions can be accessed from the library's website through the Mercantile Special Collections Directory.
St. Louis Mercantile Library at the University of Missouri-St. Louis
M-370: German Sisters Captivity Letter
This retained manuscript copy of an autograph letter by Thomas Neill to the sisters Sophia and Catherine German, was an attempt to secure their release from Cheyenne Indians that had captured the girls., John and Lydia German, as well as their seven children, were moving by wagon via the Smoky Hill Trail to Colorado when they were attacked by a hostile Cheyenne war party. Both parents and three of the seven children were killed and scalped. Four girls were taken captive. The two youngest girls, Addie and Julie, aged 5 and 7 respectively, were rescued in a military raid in November 1874. After the rescue of the two youngest girls, a letter was written, addressed to Sophia, aged 12, and Catherine, aged 17, by Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Neill. The letter advised the sisters to read it Grey-Beard or Stone-Calf to secure the sister's release and for the Cheyennes to submit themselves to the mercy of the government. The sisters were rescued in March 1875 and reunited with their sisters at Fort Leavenworth.
M-435 Cunningham, Jane
Letter from Jane Cunningham to her cousin in response to a request for genealogical information. Cunningham discusses her father, uncles, and brother, with significant detail on their involvement in the Battle of Ramsour’s Mill in North Carolina (June 20, 1780) and conflict with Native Americans in Tennessee.

Mercantile Library Collections Directory

Mercantile Special Collections Directory

Barriger Library Collections Directory

Barriger Special Collections Directory

Pott Library Collections Directory

Pott Special Collections Directory