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1855 rescue of free stater Jacob Branson

1855 rescue of free stater Jacob Branson
Creator: Abbott, James Burnett, 1818-1897
Date: Between 1855 and 1860
James Abbott, a free state activist who participated in several Kansas Territory conflicts (including the rescues of John Doy and Jacob Branson), wrote this account of the 1855 rescue of Jacob Branson. In his account, Sheriff Jones, supported by the proslavery "bogus" legislature, had arrested Jacob Branson, a free state man who witnessed the murder of Charles W. Dow by Franklin Coleman, a proslavery neighbor. Abbott and his cohorts successfully rescued Branson, although their actions were controversial even among fellow free state supporters. Certain aspects of Abbott's account of these events disagreed with an earlier account provided by Samuel Wood, and Abbott addressed those discrepancies in this document. [Abbott's account, obtained either by handwritten manuscript or personal interview, is presented here as an annotated typed transcript.]


A.B. Campbell to Governor John Martin

A.B. Campbell to Governor John Martin
Creator: Campbell, A. B.
Date: April 4, 1886
The Kansas adjutant general at Parsons sends a telegram to Governor John Martin of Topeka asking the governor for permission to furnish the mayor of Parsons with one hundred guns to preserve peace in the city. A strike of railroad workers on the Missouri Pacific Railroad at Parsons led company and city officials to ask the governor to arm citizens and for call out the militia.


A.B. Campbell to Governor John Martin

A.B. Campbell to Governor John Martin
Creator: Campbell, A. B.
Date: April 9, 1886
Adjutant General Colonel A. B. Campbell of Parsons, Kansas, writes Kansas Governor John Martin of Topeka. He informs the governor that citizens are putting together a force of fifty special police to respond to striking railroad workers. Railroad employees at Parsons were striking and the governor granted permission to provide citizens with arms to keep the peace.


A.S. Harris to Thaddeus Hyatt

A.S. Harris to Thaddeus Hyatt
Creator: Harris, A S.
Date: September 22, 1856
A.S. Harris wrote from New York to Thaddeus Hyatt regarding an article in the Journal of Commerce that dealt with the upcoming Presidential election and the strife in Kansas. The clipping was attached to the letter, and it included a rather lengthy attack on emigrant aid societies.


Albert D. Searl to Thaddeus Hyatt

Albert D. Searl to Thaddeus Hyatt
Creator: Searl, Albert D
Date: August 21, 1856
The author wrote from Tabor, Iowa to Thaddeus Hyatt, president of the National Kansas Committee. He began the letter by mentioning a skirmish between pro-slavery and free state forces somewhere between Lawrence and Topeka. This correspondence also deals with emigrant settlements within the territory, the shipment of weapons and provisions, and the morale among the emigrants as they struggled to make ends meet. Furthermore, Searl mentioned a great deal about James Lane and his activities within Kansas Territory.


Amos A. Lawrence to James B. Abbott

Amos A. Lawrence to James B. Abbott
Creator: Lawrence, Amos Adams
Date: August 20, 1855
Amos A. Lawrence wrote from Boston to James Abbott in Hartford, Connecticut, referring to a recent shipment of carbine rifles he had sent, which was "far from being enough." Lawrence advised Abbott to take good care of them, as they might be used as reimbursement to those investors who had subscribed money to the free state cause once "it is settled that Kanzas shall not be a province of Missouri."


Amos A. Lawrence to James B. Abbott

Amos A. Lawrence to James B. Abbott
Creator: Lawrence, Amos Adams
Date: August 11, 1855
Amos A. Lawrence wrote from Boston to James Abbott in Hartford, Conneticut, with shipping instructions for the 100 Sharps rifles he would procure. Lawrence requested that they be "packed in casks like hardware" and that Abbott bill him for expenses incurred.


Amos A. Lawrence to James B. Abbott

Amos A. Lawrence to James B. Abbott
Creator: Lawrence, Amos Adams
Date: August 24, 1855
Amos A. Lawrence wrote from Boston to James B. Abbott in Hartford, Connecticut, to confirm his receipt of a shipment of rifles. Lawrence advised Abbott that at least half of them would be required by free state forces in Topeka.


Articles of Agreement for Shubel Morgan's Company

Articles of Agreement for Shubel Morgan's Company
Creator: Morgan, Shubel
Date: July 12, 1858
In July 1858, fifteen men including Shubel Morgan, alias John Brown, J. H. Kagi, James Montgomery, and Augustus Wattles signed this document and thus "agree[d] to be governed by the following rules" of conduct. The rules included "gentlemanly and respectful deportment," obedience to the commander's orders, "no intoxicating drinks," etc.


Articles of agreement for the exchange of prisoners following battle of Black Jack

Articles of agreement for the exchange of prisoners following battle of Black Jack
Creator: Brown, John, 1800-1859
Date: June 2, 1856
On June 2, 1856, John Brown, et al, signed this "article of agreement" with their defeated foe, Captain H. C. Pate and his lieutenant for the exchange of prisoners, including John Jr. and Jason Brown, at the home of John T. "Ottawa" Jones.


Articles wanted for an outfit of fifty volunteers

Articles wanted for an outfit of fifty volunteers
Date: ca. January 1857
Among the articles itemized in this "Memorandum of articles wanted as an outfit for fifty volunteers to serve under my [John Brown?] direction during the Kansas war" are wagons, horses, blankets, frying pans, etc., at an estimated cost of $1,774.


Augustus Wattles to Thaddeus Hyatt

Augustus Wattles to Thaddeus Hyatt
Creator: Wattles, Augustus, 1807-1876
Date: December 3, 1860
This letter, written from New York by Augustus Wattles, was addressed to Thaddeus Hyatt, president of the National Kansas Committee. The main focus of the letter was on two proslavery men--Captain Doake and General Clark--who persisted in mistreating free state settlers along the Missouri-Kansas border. The letter also referred to Charles Jennison and to James Montgomery, whose band of free state militiamen was still active even into 1860. Wattles vehemently maintained that free state forces were only organizing for their own protection, not for a great insurrection as the Missourians believed.


B.F. Dawson to Colonel of the Second Kansas militia

B.F. Dawson to Colonel of the Second Kansas militia
Creator: Dawson, B.F.
Date: Between 1865 and 1866
This letter is from B.F. Dawson to the Colonel of the Second Kansas Militia, in Topeka, Kansas. The letter contains Dawson's recollections of the Battle of the Blue, which happened on October 22, 1864, in Jackson County, Missouri. Dawson wrote the letter in Topeka, Kansas.


Battle of Black Jack list of participants and casualties

Battle of Black Jack list of participants and casualties
Creator: Brown, John, 1800-1859
Date: June 2, 1856
According to this document listing the participants and those "men wounded in the battle of Palmyra or Black Jack," son-in-law Henry Thompson was "dangerously wounded."


Battle of Indianola

Battle of Indianola
Creator: Reader, Samuel James, 1836-1914
Date: 1906
This handwritten section of Samuel J. Reader's autobiography, which was based on Reader's diary from the same period, deals with the "Battle of Indianola," which occurred on August 30, 1856, near Indianola, in Shawnee County, Kansas Territory. Reader describes the day's events, in which no actual fighting occurred, when the local militia gathered to prevent theft and burning by proslavery supporters.


C. G. Allen's response to Redpath and Hinton's call for information about John Brown

C. G. Allen's response to Redpath and Hinton's call for information about John Brown
Creator: Allen, C. G.
Date: December, 1859
Allen, a "minister of the Gospel" at Cottonwood Falls, Kansas Territory, writes in response to James Redpath's and R. J. Hinton's call for "anecdotes & reminiscences" concerning "the brave & philanthropic [John] Brown," who the preacher first met in 1856 in Lawrence, Kansas. Allen left Lawrence when a call came for volunteers to aid in the defense of Osawatomie, Kansas, in August of that year. While there engaged, he saw his first "Border Ruffians," whom he described as "miserable specimens of humanity. They were ragged & dirty. Their cloths & faces were to a considerable extent covered with tobacco spit." Allen and the men with whom he traveled missed the Battle of Osawatomie by moving south before the attack in an effort to find the attackers before they reached the town.


Captain Lewis Hanback's final report

Captain Lewis Hanback's final report
Creator: Hanback, Lewis
Date: 1875
This document is Captain Lewis Hanback's final report of an 1875 investigation into a conflict between Captain Ricker's company of state militia and a band of Osage Indians that occurred in 1874. The Osage Indians had filed a complaint with the Department of the Interior, claiming that the U. S. military had attacked a peaceful Indian encampment and stolen their horses and other property. Captain Lewis Hanback was ordered to take down testimonies and determine the circumstances surrounding the conflict. This final report summarizes these testimonies and includes a short history of Barbour County where the altercation took place.


Certificate, James Abbott as Brigadier General

Certificate, James Abbott as Brigadier General
Date: July 15, 1857
James Lane, from the Headquarters of the Kansas Volunteers free state militia, issued this certificate to appoint James Abbott (Brigadier General of the 1st Brigade) to organize people to protect the ballot boxes during the upcoming elections. Election fraud, in the form of multiple votes cast by pro-slavery men, was a constant concern of free state supporters.


Certificate of Service, Franklin L. Crane, Jr.

Certificate of Service, Franklin L. Crane, Jr.
Creator: Kansas Volunteers for the Protection of the Ballot Box
Date: December 11, 1855
Franklin L. Crane, Jr., son of a prominent citizen in Topeka, Kansas Territory, served as a private from November 27 to December 11, 1855, in defense of Lawrence. This certificate of service was signed by several people active in the free state cause, including James H. Lane and Charles Robinson.


Certificate of election, James Abbott, Representative to the General Assembly of Kansas

Certificate of election, James Abbott, Representative to the General Assembly of Kansas
Creator: Lane, James Henry, 1814-1866
Date: February 19, 1856
Certification of James Abbott's December 1855 election to the post of Representative for the First Senatorial District in the General Assembly of Kansas under the provisions of the Topeka Constitution. The certificate is signed by James Lane and Joel Goodin, Chairman and Secretary of the Executive Committee, respectively.


Charles Blair to  John Brown

Charles Blair to John Brown
Creator: Blair, Charles
Date: March 20, 1857
During his 1857 fund raising tour, Brown made arrangements with a Connecticut blacksmith, Charles Blair, for the production of a number of spears or "pikes" for use in the Kansas territory. On March 20, Blair wrote from Collinsville that he had the first dozen "spears" ready to send and was eager to see Brown to work out the details for the production of more. (He wrote of production details and cost estimates--this first dozen would cost $12 if Brown decided he wanted no more.)


Charles Rainsford Jennison

Charles Rainsford Jennison
Date: Probably 1861
A portrait of Charles Rainsford Jennison, shown holding a rifle, with a dog at his feet, and dressed in outdoor garb with a fur hat and gloves, and a fringed coat trimmed with fur. Jennison was born in New York state in 1834, and settled in Osawatomie, Kansas Territory, in 1857. He was active in the free state cause, was active in a free state militia company, and was an associate of free state militiaman James Montgomery. Jennison was credited with several raids into Bates County, Missouri, and was part of a group who captured and hung a proslavey supporter named Russell Hinds. During the Civil War, he served as a Colonel in the 7th Kansas Cavalry.


Charles Robinson to Capt. Grosvenor P. Lowry

Charles Robinson to Capt. Grosvenor P. Lowry
Creator: Robinson, Charles, 1818-1894
Date: December 8, 1855
Charles Robinson, Commander-in-Chief of the free state military forces, wrote from Lawrence, Kansas Territory, to Grosvenor P. Lowry, captain of a free state militia regiment, instructing Lowry to attach his command to the newly organized regiment under the command of James Lane, Robinson's second-in-command.


Charles Robinson to Eli Thayer

Charles Robinson to Eli Thayer
Creator: Robinson, Charles, 1818-1894
Date: April 2, 1855
Charles Robinson, writing from Lawrence, Kansas Territory to Eli Thayer in Worcester, Massachusetts, described voting irregularities in the March 30, 1855 election of members to the territorial legislature. Robinson maintained that the election was "controlled entirely by Missourians" who came to the territory, took over the polling places, and cast illegal ballots to ensure that proslavery supporters were elected to the legislature. Robinson also reported that free staters in Lawrence had formed themselves into four military companies, and urged Thayer to send Sharps rifles and cannons for these forces.


Charles Robinson  to John Brown

Charles Robinson to John Brown
Creator: Robinson, Charles, 1818-1894
Date: September 13, 1856
Charles Robinson wrote to John Brown from Lawrence on September 13, 1856, a short note encouraging Brown to give Governor Geary, who "talks of letting the past be forgotten," a chance and to come to town to "see us." A note from John Brown, Jr., on the bottom of the page, however, advised caution, as he had "no doubt an attempt will be made to arrest you as well as Lane."


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