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William S. Dutt Correspondence: Finding Aid
mssDutt correspondence  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Overview of the Collection
  • Access
  • Administrative Information
  • Biographical Note
  • Scope and Content
  • Arrangement
  • Indexing: Subjects
  • Indexing Terms

  • Overview of the Collection

    Title: William S. Dutt Correspondence
    Dates (inclusive): 1859-1864
    Collection Number: mssDutt correspondence
    Creator: Dutt, William S.
    Extent: 36 items, photostats.
    Repository: The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens. Manuscripts Department
    1151 Oxford Road
    San Marino, California 91108
    Phone: (626) 405-2129
    Email: reference@huntington.org
    URL: http://www.huntington.org
    Abstract: This collection contains photostat copies of 36 letters written by William S. Dutt (1836-1866) to his family, writing about his life and people he encountered in Missouri and Colorado in 1859-1860, and his military experiences in various Southwestern towns following his enlistment in the New Mexico Volunteers in 1862, as well as his experiences with Native Americans.
    Language: English.

    Access

    Open to qualified researchers by prior application through the Reader Services Department. For more information, contact Reader Services.

    Administrative Information

    Publication Rights

    The Huntington Library does not require that researchers request permission to quote from or publish images of this material, nor does it charge fees for such activities. The responsibility for identifying the copyright holder, if there is one, and obtaining necessary permissions rests with the researcher.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item]. William S. Dutt Correspondence, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.

    Provenance

    Copies made from originals owned by Jack R. Smith, November 1946.

    Biographical Note

    William S. Dutt (1836-1866) was born in 1836. He left Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in April 1859 on a steamboat, first to Cincinnati, Ohio, and then to St. Louis, Missouri. From there, he moved to “Shoal Creek Prairie,” close to Aviston, Illinois. After farming for three months, he moved again to Gasconade County, Missouri, where he taught grade school until March 1860. Dutt continued to make his way West, first to Leavenworth, Kansas, in May 1860, and then to Denver, Colorado, by July. When the Civil War started, Dutt was mining in Colorado. He planned to return to his family in the East but instead was recruited in October 1862 by the New Mexico Volunteers to serve in Company M, 1st Cavalry. Dutt worked his way up to sergeant and remained in the military until his death. Dutt allegedly died at the age of 30 in a battle with Native Americans on December 25, 1866, at Tetterman’s Gap near Butte, Montana.

    Scope and Content

    The collection includes 36 letters, all photostats, written by William S. Dutt to his family. During his time in Missouri, Dutt wrote about the people he encountered including "darkeys," and immigrants from the South and Germany. During his time in Colorado, Dutt expressed his derogatory views about Mexicans, "greasers," "savages," slaves, and the Confederacy. After October 1862, Dutt talks about his military experiences in various Southwestern towns, military forts, and with various Hispanic and Native American groups. Among the military installations he visited were: Fort Garland, Colorado; Fort Union, Fort Sumner, Fort Wingate, and Fort Bascom, New Mexico. Among the places he visited were Taos and Santa Fe, New Mexico. He also wrote thorough descriptions of his experiences with Apache, Comanche, Navajo, and Pueblo Indians.

    Arrangement

    The letters are arranged chronologically.

    Indexing: Subjects

    Comanche Indians
    • Subject in William S. Dutt letter (1864, Aug. 11) to “Brother David.” Box 1 (34).
    • Subject in William S. Dutt letter (1864, Sep. 11) to “Brother.” Box 1 (35).
    Fort Bascom (N.M.)
    • Subject in William S. Dutt letter (1864, Apr. 25-26) to “Brothers.” Box 1 (32).
    • Subject in William S. Dutt letter (1864, May 13) to “Brother.” Box 1 (33).
    • Subject in William S. Dutt letter (1864, Aug. 11) to “Brother David.” Box 1 (34).
    • Subject in William S. Dutt letter (1864, Sep. 11) to “Brother.” Box 1 (35).
    Mexicans--New Mexico
    • Subject in William S. Dutt letter (1864, Apr. 25-26) to “Brothers.” Box 1 (32).
    • Subject in William S. Dutt letter (1864, May 13) to “Brother.” Box 1 (33).
    Navajo Indians
    • Subject in William S. Dutt letter (1864, Jan. 20-Feb. 3) to “Brothers.” Box 1 (29).
    • Subject in William S. Dutt letter (1864, Apr. 25-26) to “Brothers.” Box 1 (32).
    Pueblo Indians
    • Subject in William S. Dutt letter (1864, May 13) to “Brother.” Box 1 (33).

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the Huntington Library's Online Catalog.  

    Subjects

    Dutt, William S.
    Comanche Indians.
    Mexicans -- New Mexico -- 19th century -- History -- Sources.
    Navajo Indians.
    Pueblo Indians.
    Colorado -- History -- 19th century -- Sources.
    Fort Bascom (N.M.)
    Fort Garland (Colo.)
    Fort Sumner (N.M.)
    Fort Union (N.M.)
    Fort Wingate (N.M.)
    Missouri -- History -- 19th century -- Sources.
    New Mexico -- Description and travel.
    New Mexico -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865 -- Personal narratives.
    Santa Fe (N.M.)
    Taos (N.M.)
    United States -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865 -- Personal narratives.

    Forms/Genres

    Letters (correspondence) -- United States -- 19th century.
    Stats (copies)