In this letter, James Mead writes from Tecumseh, Kansas Territory, to his father about his efforts to secure a claim. He includes information about the people of the territory, the beautiful vegetation, and the flourishing towns. Mead also writes of the immense amount of traffic along the Santa Fe Trail and of the roads to Lecompton and Topeka, which he declares are "the best roads I ever saw anywhere." In addition, he describes the buildings of Burlingame, Kansas Territory, and the make up of the community. At the end of the letter, he mentions the new constitution, which "is all Free State." These typed copies of the James R. Mead's letters were donated to the Kansas State Historical Society by Mr. Mead's family in 1940 when the originals were still owned by the family. The originals are now held by Wichita State University.
Creator: Mead, James R. (James Richard), b. 1836
Date: August 13, 1859
This letter is particularly useful to students because it provides a succinct account of travel on the Santa Fe Trail from a contemporary. Kansas Memory and Territorial Kansas Online include several other letters by Mead that were not chosen for this standard.
KS:7th:1.5:Forts and Trails (2005)
Item Number: 90616
Call Number: James Mead Coll. #438 Box 1, Volume 1
KSHS Identifier: DaRT ID: 90616
Business and Industry - Occupations/Professions - Farmers
Collections - Manuscript - Mead, James R.
Community Life - Community services - Roads
Curriculum - 7th Grade Standards - Kansas History Standards - Prehistory to 1854 (Benchmark 1) - Kansas forts and trails (Indicator 5) - Santa Fe Trail
Date - 1854-1860 - 1859
Environment - Landscape
Environment - Weather
Government and Politics - Federal Government - Federal agencies and programs - Policies and programs - Land
Government and Politics - Territorial Government - Constitution Making - Wyandotte Constitution
Home and Family - Daily life - Settlement
Objects and Artifacts - Communication Artifacts - Documentary Artifact - Letter
People - Notable Kansans - Mead, James R.
Places - Cities and towns - Burlingame
Places - Cities and towns - Tecumseh
Places - Counties - Osage
Places - Counties - Shawnee
Thematic Time Period - Bleeding Kansas, 1854 - 1861
Thematic Time Period - Immigration and Settlement, 1854 - 1890
Transportation - Non-motorized - Wagons
Transportation - Roads & Highways - Roads
Transportation - Trails - Santa Fe
Type of Material - Unpublished documents - Letters