Nothing new under the sun: the drought of 1863

From our Civil War Diaries and Letters collection comes a letter from Sam Clark, farming in southern Iowa, to his love interest Tillie in Illinois:

Unless we have rain and that very soon the corn crop in this state will be almost a complete failure … The last rain that we have had to amount to any thing or wet the ground more than to lay the dust fell last April. So you may judge for your self whether we need any rain in Iowa. The women say if we do not get rain that there will be no “inyens nor beens, nor potatoes,” if that be so we will have to live without the vegetable matter, over which they do the principal superintending – the women I believe generally “boss” the affairs in the garden, and I suppose they have a right so to do …

Esther eating corn, early 1900s | Iowa Women's Archives Images

Esther eating corn, early 1900s | Iowa Women's Archives Images