The Official on line magazine of the

North American Frontiersmen

Smoke Signals


Buck Conner's articles have been seen in a number of publications; "On the Trail", "Backwoodsman", "Tomahawk & Long Rifle", "Black Powder Report", "Buckskin Report", "Poke & Stroke" magazines, Smoke & Fire News" also found in "The Colonial Society", and the "Colorado Collectors" journals.  He is currently working for Cabela's Sporting Goods in Lehi, Utah in their "Gun Library" purchasing, trading and selling antique and collectable firearms.


  The NAF has had a very aggressive year with encampments, meetings, attending various period events and preparing for the new year, check our on-line magazine for an event that maybe coming near you this year. Our on-line magazine has enjoyed its 1st birthday this month, all made possible by it's friends and members supplying information and articles for everyone to enjoy. We have had a few set backs in 2007 with the biggest one being the loss of our founder and brother Walt "Griz" Hayward, may he rest in peace with those that went before him.

  We are always looking for writers and volunteers to help with running the Association and its affairs, if interested please contact one of the officers and express you thoughts and availability. As you know I'm always looking for something that is a little unusual yet still period correct for the NAF, found this interesting letter from a frontier woman that's pretty neat reading.


The earliest settlers in Ohio had no existing homes or passage to make their arrival easier. Ohio was a vast piece of land of thick forests, with trees often measuring more than four feet in diameter in some locations. All able-bodied travelers helped to cleared a path, and then depended upon their luck to find an available space to build their new home on.  In the process of construction and setting up a new home it was the job of the woman of the family to gather the family’s food supplies, to tend to health needs of her family, find alternate lodging during the construction, as well as help with the building itself. Her family depended on her to give strength and encouragement. Having left behind her friends and family and all modern conveniences, the women rarely began their new lives happily on the Ohio frontier.

The following letter was written on August 23, 1805 by Ruhamah Hayes in Worthington, Ohio, to her friend, Elizabeth Case, back in Gamby, Connecticut. The letter is in the collection of Julia Buttles Case, who married Job Case in 1815. Julia’s father was one of the investors in the settlements at Worthington and Granville. He brought the family to the area in 1804. He died of a fever in June, 1805. The "Mr. Buttles" mentioned in the letter probably is Julia’s brother, Joel, who had become the family breadwinner. Ruhamah Hayes herself remains a mystery.



Most respected friend,

Can I withhold my pen from writing to one on whom I so much depend as we have left most of out good neighbours those few that we hope to enjoy seem particularly near & not hearing from you we have had some anxiety on your account fearing you would not come this fall. I assure you Miss Buttles is & the rest of us would be greatly disappointed should you fail. I should be glad to inform you more respecting our journey & present situation than I can at present for want of time. We overtook our team at the north river & the crossing was the most pleasant part of our journey altho so much dreaded. ...[A]ll things went on well with us until we had sad news of the death of Lieut. Bullolph announced to us which we are sensible was very alarming to you as well as to us the particulars you have



 doubtless heard--when we arrived at Licking Mr. Mays was so well pleased we staid several days & I was something out of health & began to think it was high time to have a home. We then took a road that was newly cut that the [illegible] that went with Mrs. Sessions had made & their carriages were narrower than ours so that we had to cut & tug three days in the wilderness & see no human being nor scarce any water I thot it a poor time to be sick but the third day  just at evening we came in sight of a small settlement It gave me much joy to see the face of a woman here we was treated with much kindness put up at Mr. Curtises from Southington & should not have reached here the next day had had [sic] it not been for the timely exertions of our friends here who heard of our coming & came with teams to meet us. 


 We made our home with Mr. Buttles until we have another which you may see when you come here.    If you wish to know how I am suited with this living here I can tell you that the ladies in general appear to be well pleased but as for my self I do not make up my mind at once though I think you may wait the next post to find that intelligence. We have many good things of life here pork is easy made but no cellars to put it in the best of beer but no cider....A barrel of whiskey stands in one corner of one of our front rooms we have the best of wheat flour & I think the indian meal preferable to that in new england but we have no other place to store it only in bags we are overrun with mice but I believe there is not a rat in Ohio. Respecting preparing for the journey our




 loads were made a little too heavy or at least too bulky bringing our clock was a wrong calculation If I had brot the top part of my case of drawers it would have been better....If I was to take the journey again I would not use one article of crockery on the road for we broke most of ours. tin will doo for almost any use & you can borrow teacups at most places where you put up. If you calculate for smooth road free from hills you will be disappointed, if you expec to dress & keep your clothes clean you will miss your aim... 









dedicated to early American life on the frontier.

Page 2



© Copyright 2005-08 "North American Frontiersmen". All Rights Reserved.