12:51 PM

Welcome back to my blog....I have been filing for the last three days for proper storage of archival paper. (click to enlarge- Savannah Mo. was the one of the landings for the consignee E & F Impey & co.)

I favor the binder method using acid free plastic sheets because I can flip through everything without damaging it. I also think I can find whatever I need quickly. It works great if the paper is small, but when I had something large like this ledger I had to put it in a large box.

Everything was going well until I stumbled onto two Promissory notes.... Should I file this under the town (Linden Missouri) where one of my consignee's store was located or merchant paper? 

So, I confess, I panic'd and then stopped filing for the afternoon and watched the squirrel getting into my bird feeder. 

I felt sorry for the birds an squirrels for the upcoming winter and decided to feed everyone. Already, Connecticut had a dusting of snow and today it is raining buckets and the wind is howling loudly off the Connecticut River. 

As many of you know, trying to make a decision can be difficult and what else can one do, but step back and attack the question later.

Later came this morning after I made my coffee. I needed to come up with some ruling about filing. Whatever system I used, I needed to be able to find something when I wanted it...... And my system had to be catalogued to support my story, not simply a survey what was out there......So, I paced back and forth in the library and took additional papers out for filing, praying I could come up with a better system. That only made things more complicated and more decisions to be made.

Finally, I sat down and did an exercise I learned from my writer's club. I looked at the clock and for ten minutes I wrote whatever came into my head, listing the main themes.  My pen moved smoothly and I felt I knew unconsciously what to write, almost as if directed by the consignee's themselves. I blinked my eyes as I watched the essence of my project emerge on paper. When I finished I had a spider web. It was so simple, so easy and each theme was connected to other themes and this would be my guide and  the system for filing as well as the boundries for my stories.

As you can see, the theme of free/low cost land is at the heart of everything, like lining up domino's. Also, the Steamboat Arabia is involved with each theme. 

The main themes are;
 Land Offices (opened) Military, Steamboat Building (better transportation), Mail (better, faster system), Merchants Needed (to financing new towns), St Louis (grew as a result of western expansion). The consignee's are my secondary themes and therefore need their own files.