This collection primarily contains letters written by Stephen Eames, of Walnut Grove, Knox Co., Ill., to family and friends in Vermont and New Hampshire. Eames comments on starting a farm, prices of crops, population growth in the region, migrations of neighbors, personal health, schools in the area, and the Mormon settlements. The collection also includes letters written by Eames's nephew, Darius Plumb, and niece, Eveline A. Eames, of Hennepin, Putnam Co., Ill., to family members in New England. Plumb wrote from St. Louis on the eve of his departure for the California gold fields.
Lelia Bascom, of Madison, Wis., donated these letters to the Illinois Historical Survey in 1920.