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Frontier Life in the Chippewa Valley: Documents from the Father Goldsmith Collection

Charles Francis Xavier Goldsmith (1845-1890) was an early settler in Chippewa Falls and served as priest at Notre Dame Catholic Church. Goldsmith knew several members of the Warren, Cadotte, and Ermatinger families. After Goldsmith's death numerous letters, ledgers, and historic documents from these families were found amongst his possessions. These documents tell us about frontier life in the Chippewa Valley including information about fur trading, Indian agents George and William Whipple Warren, Native American treaties, and Civil War soldiers from the area. None of the documents were written by or about Goldsmith; he was merely the collector of these documents from the Warren, Cadotte, and Ermatinger families. This collection is owned by the Wisconsin Historical Society and is housed at the Eau Claire Area Research Center (Eau Claire MSS BS).

William Whipple Warren
William Whipple Warren

Historical Editions of Selected Documents

Graduate students from Jan Stirm's ENGL 713 class "Methods of Bibliography and Research" have been transcribing documents from the Goldsmith collection. The students have produced their own historical editions of these documents including information on the historical context of the documents and suggestions for the incorporation of these texts into the classroom. Some of the students have given permission to post their historical editions on the Special Collections web site. In this exhibit you will find scanned images of the original documents as well as the students' transcriptions and historical editions. Additional documents will be added as more texts are completed.