Correspondence of a fur trade family in northern Wisconsin, 1826-1851

Warren Family papers, 1756-1907

These 71 pages contain original handwritten letters by four generations of an important Wisconsin fur trading family. Lyman M. Warren (1794-1847) came west from New York in 1816, married into the Ojibwe community at LaPointe, Wis., in 1822, and for the next quarter-century traded throughout northwestern Wisconsin. Two letters from American Fur Co. official Robert Stuart summarize Warren's dealings with the company, which dismissed him in 1838 and prompted his move to Chippewa Falls the next year. Letters by his wife, Mary Cadotte Warren, to their sons attending the Oneida Institute in New York, contain family news and advice; letters from his father (also named Lyman) in New York describe the sons' school and work experiences. Their son William W. Warren (1825-1853) became a prominent cultural mediator between the Ojibwe and white communities in northern Wisconsin and Minnesota. He wrote the first history of the Ojibwe nation, using information gathered from his Native American elders in the tribe. Five letters to or from William W. Warren span the entire breadth of his career. Other documents include printed forms appointing Lyman M. Warren to public posts (signed by Gov. Henry Dodge), letters by Lyman M. Warren's grand-daughters Julia Spears and Mary English about the first missionaries on Madeline Island, and an inventory of the 400 books he kept at his home in Wisconsin's remote northwoods.

The entire contents of the Warren Family Papers collection are presented here, in chronological order. Most documents have not been transcribed; click on any handwritten word or phrase to zoom in. More information about the Warren family is given in William Bartlett's History, Tradition and Adventure in the Chippewa Valley (Chippewa Fall, 1929), Page 97-119

Related Topics: Explorers, Traders, and Settlers
The French Fur Trade
Creator: Warren, Lyman M., 1794-1847.
Pub Data: Digitized from the original documents in the Wisconsin Historical Society Archives, collection SC 1424.
Citation: Cite the original letter by its author, recipient and date ("William W. Warren to Alexander Ramsay, June 10, 1851") followed by the phrase, "in the Warren Family Papers, 1756-1907, Wisconsin Historical Society Archives collection SC 1424" Online facsimile at:; Visited on: 6/26/2022