Emily and Frederick in Bannack City

Emily’s letter to her father from the spring of 1863


The year following her graduation in 1869, Emily R. Sorin married Frederick A. Meredith. Frederick did not enlist in the war; instead, the Merediths headed West to territorial Idaho and Montana. They spent the winter of 1862-1863 in the boomtown of Bannack City.

A small collection of Emily’s letters are housed at the Montana Historical Society, who used one of them for their online textbook, Montana: Stories of the Land.

Context, links, and a typed excerpt of Emily’s letter to her father Matthew Sorin are at the State of Montana’s website.

You can also go directly to the document and read the whole letter. It describes Emily’s impressions of the lawless boomtown, as well as the realities of daily life there.