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Abelard Guthrie

Abelard Guthrie
Abelard Guthrie was a member of the Wyandot tribe through his marriage to his wife Quindaro Nancy. He was elected as the Wyandot delegate to Congress in 1852. He was involved in the development of the town of Quindaro and had business dealing with numerous early territorial settlers.


An act to legalize certain marriages therein named

An act to legalize certain marriages therein named
Creator: Washington, Chief James
Date: April 8, 1851
This item, approved by Wyandott Chief James Washington, provides a list of people married within the Wyandott territory in the spring of 1851.


Andrew H. Reeder's instructions about his land claim in the Wyandotte Float

Andrew H. Reeder's instructions about his land claim in the Wyandotte Float
Creator: Reeder, Andrew H. (Andrew Horatio), 1807-1864
Date: [1857]
This document, obviously written by Andrew H. Reeder either to the surveyor or to Reeder's attorney, John A. Halderman, is undated but was most likely composed in 1857. It addresses issues related to the location of Reeder's claim to land in the Wyandotte Float in the Kansas Territory.


Andrew H. Reeder to John A. Haldeman

Andrew H. Reeder to John A. Haldeman
Creator: Reeder, Andrew H. (Andrew Horatio), 1807-1864
Date: October 06, 1855
In this letter to John A. Haldeman, Andrew H. Reeder informs Haldeman that he has been told that "a new assessment of $5 per share to pay for a Wyandot float of 640 acres has been laid on the town of Tecumseh."


Andrew H. Reeder to John A. Halderman

Andrew H. Reeder to John A. Halderman
Creator: Reeder, Andrew H. (Andrew Horatio), 1807-1864
Date: October 6, 1855
This 1855 letter to John A. Halderman from former territorial governor Andrew H. Reeder of Westport, Kansas Territory, describes a new assessment of $5 per share for the town of Tecumseh's 640 acre Wyandot Float. Reeder also discusses the erection of a court house with bricks that had been intended for a hotel.


Andrew J. Mead to John A. Haldeman

Andrew J. Mead to John A. Haldeman
Date: July 12, 1856
In this letter to John A. Haldeman, Andrew J. Mead asks if he knows of a portion of the Wyandotte Float that was available for sale. The Wyandotte Floats were originally set aside for the Wyandotte Tribe. However, the flexible nature of the Floats allowed them to be more easily transferred to white settlers once the U.S. Government decided to remove Native Indians from the newly created territories of Kansas and Nebraska.


Anna Olive Boucher Bassett photograph

Anna Olive Boucher Bassett photograph
Date: Between 1900 and 1908
This photograph of Anna Olive Boucher Bassett (May 15, 1829-January 25, 1908) from Amherstburg, Canada. She married Michael Bassett in 1854, in 1860, Michael was living with John and Katherine Greyeyes, members of the Wyandot tribe, in Kansas City, Kansas.


Barbara Ketchum

Barbara Ketchum
Date: 1875
Mounted tintype portrait of Barbara Ketchum, daughter of Lewis Ketchum a Wyandotte Indian.


Charles Chadwick to Hiram Hill

Charles Chadwick to Hiram Hill
Creator: Chadwick, Charles
Date: March 25, 1858
Charles Chadwick wrote from Quindaro, Kansas Territory, to Hiram Hill in Massachusetts, regarding various aspects of town development. Chadwick told Hill of some controversy over his ownership of some lands, both "outside" and in town, which were also being claimed by Wyandotte Indians. He described the potential for new businesses to open in Quindaro, including a machine shop and foundry. Chadwick waited for the arrival of new immigrants and hoped the "eastern capitalists" would introduce more money into their economy. He added his comments about the fraudulent ratification of the Lecompton Constitution, suggesting that the Constitution would do the most good "with the. . .box under the woodpile".


Charles Chadwick to Hiram Hill

Charles Chadwick to Hiram Hill
Creator: Chadwick, Charles
Date: June 1, 1858
Charles Chawick wrote from Quindaro, Kansas Territory, to Hiram Hill in Massachusetts, to tell him that it appeared favorable that Hill would win possession of the land disputed by Robert Robetaille, a Wyandot Indian. However, Chadwick feared that the decision may not be made as easily as he had earlier anticipated, since Robert Lawrence had been seen in Leavenworth and had not traveled to Washington to work with Nathaniel Causin. Nonetheless, Abelard Guthrie had given up trying to obtain the land as well, leaving Hiram as the only other claimant.


Charles Chadwick to Hiram Hill

Charles Chadwick to Hiram Hill
Creator: Chadwick, Charles
Date: April 26, 1858
Charles Chadwick wrote from Lawrence, Kansas Territory, to Hiram Hill in Massachusetts, regarding the land dispute between Hill and Robert Robetaille, a Wyandot Indian. Chadwick had been advised by Robert Lawrence (perhaps a local attorney) to correspond with a Nathaniel Pope Causin, Prosecutor of Indian Claims, in Washington. Chadwick, for Lawrence's support and assistance, had advised that Hill would pay him. Chadwick was to pass along Causin's card once he received it from Mr. Lawrence.


Civil action: petition for partition

Civil action: petition for partition
Creator: District Court of Kansas, Third Judicial District
Date: 1859
This item is a petition for partition that was brought to the District Court of Kansas (Kansas Territory) in 1859. The District Court, located in Johnson County, was in session for the Fall Term of 1859. In this action, Lucy B. Armstrong claimed that she was the legal widow and heir of John B. Armstrong and, therefore, was entitled to full control over the Mr. Armstrong's assets.


Document by Jacob Hooper authorizing Alfred Gray as his true and lawful attornery

Document by Jacob Hooper authorizing Alfred Gray as his true and lawful attornery
Date: October 30, 1858
Hooper was a member of the Wyandot tribe and authorized Alfred Gray to accept his annuity money from the United States government. He also gave Gray authority to do whatever was needed on his behalf. Hooper made his signature with an X and the document was executed in the presence of Abelard Guthrie.


Dr. Charles Robinson account book

Dr. Charles Robinson account book
Creator: Robinson, Charles, 1818-1894
Date: January 1858 - June 1859
This cloth bound journal, identified as "Account Book of Gov. Charles Robinson, January 1, 1858 to June 15, 1872," began with an "Inventory of Property belonging to C. Robinson," land and shares, as well as a list of people to whom he owed money. The inventory referred to Lawrence property, a "Wyandotte Float," and shares in the towns of Topeka, Quindaro, etc.


Eastman's map of Kansas and Nebraska territories showing the location of the Indian reserves according to the treaties of 1854

Eastman's map of Kansas and Nebraska territories showing the location of the Indian reserves according to the treaties of 1854
Date: Between 1854 and 1856
This map shows the locations of the new or reduced lands of Indian tribes according to the treaties of 1854. With the passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Act in 1854, the former Indian Territory was opened to white settlement, and the government looked for ways to relocate the native tribes who had made their homes in Kansas. To create more land for white settlement, George Manypenny, the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, negotiated treaties with Indian tribes that ceded much of the Indians' lands to the government. This land could then be sold to white emigrants. Naturally, these events helped to exacerbate existing tensions between settlers and Native Americans, contributing to the Indian Wars that occupied the U.S. Army during and after the American Civil War.


Grant Harrington's Shawnee Baptist Mission correspondence

Grant Harrington's Shawnee Baptist Mission correspondence
Creator: Harrington, Grant W
Date: January 01, 1934-January 02, 1934
This correspondence focuses on Grant W. Harrington's work at the Shawnee Baptist Mission near Kansas City, Kansas. In particular, Harrington's goal was correct rumors regarding the Shawnee Baptist Mission. Harrington's letter of January 1, 1934, indicates that he was well-versed on the Shawnee Baptist Mission, and the many locations that had been proposed as the site of the once busy Mission.


Hiram Hill to Dear Brother

Hiram Hill to Dear Brother
Creator: Hill, Hiram, 1804-
Date: May 13, 1855
After arriving in Kansas City by steamboat, Hiram Hill wrote to his brother. En route, four men had died of cholera while others continued to drink and play cards nearby. Disease fatalities were common, Hill reported. He speculated that the river water, which passengers drank, was contaminated with disease from the rich prairie soil. Hill described life at the Winedot [sic] Indian Reservation (beginning at the bottom of page 2) where he met the "prinsable chiefe" and saw the governor's sister. Hill related news concerning Mr. Putnam, Mr. Tomas, Mr. Gague, Mr. Jay, Mr. Partridge, Mr. Whitman, Mr. Pomeroy, Mr. Fuller and others. He was skeptical that these men would permanently settle in Kansas Territory. Hill also described Kansas City, which he thought would improve under "yankee," rather than "slave holder," management. (Hill's final destination was Lawrence, where he acquired town lots through quit claims not included in this online project.)


Hiram Hill to Edmund Burke Whitman

Hiram Hill to Edmund Burke Whitman
Creator: Hill, Hiram, 1804-
Date: March 28, 1856
Hiram Hill wrote from Williamsburgh, Massachusetts, to E.B. Whitman, presumably in Lawrence, Kansas Territory. Hill asked him for the news of Lawrence, including the progress of several buildings' construction and the development of Whitman's map. Hill also inquired about Wyandotte and Shawnee Indian lands in the area, and expressed his interest in investing in them, as long as the land was good.


Hiram Hill to Samuel Newell Simpson

Hiram Hill to Samuel Newell Simpson
Creator: Hill, Hiram, 1804-
Date: December 6, 1856
Hiram Hill wrote from Williamsburgh, Massachusetts, to Samuel Simpson in Kansas Territory, complaining to him that he had not received the map and information on the newly purchased Wyandotte lands Simpson was to send him. Hill expressed a desire to purchase two or three town shares if they were not too expensive, bringing the value of his investments in Kansas to almost half of his total worth. His aim, as he expressed it, was "first to make money, secondly help the Caus [sic] of freedom". Hill also communicated his dislike for President Pierce's recent statements, and that the free state supporters lobbying in Washington were having "pretty warm work."


History of Kansas and emigrant's guide

History of Kansas and emigrant's guide
Creator: Chapman, J. Butler
Date: 1855
The title page of the printed volume indicated that it contained "a description geographical and topographical--also climate, soil, productions and comparative value with other states and territories, including its political history, officers-candidates-emigrant colonies-election, abolition, squatter and pro-slavery contentions and inquisitions; with the prospects of the territory for freedom or slavery." Mr. Chapman was a resident of the territory and the information in the booklet was compiled by traveling through Kansas Territory in 1854. The description covers most of the territory and includes information about Native American tribes and lands.


Isaac Brown and wife

Isaac Brown and wife
Date: Between 1843 and 1854
A portrait of Isaac Brown and his wife, members of the Wyandotte Indian tribe. Brown and his wife were born at Upper Sandusky, Ohio, and in 1843, when the Wyandotte's were removed, they came to an area, which later became Kansas Territory. Prior to 1854, the Wyandotte's were removed to a reservation in Indian Territory.


J. Wilkin to J. M. Armstrong

J. Wilkin to J. M. Armstrong
Date: April 22, 1846
Letter sent to John McIntire Armstrong in Washington, D.C., from his friend, J. Wilkin in Wyandotte, Kansas. The letter was written on wrapping paper in lieu of stationary, and it urges Armstrong to help secure an appropriation bill for Indian improvement claims. A searchable, full transcription is available by clicking "Text Version" below.


James Henry Lane vs. heirs of Gauis Jenkins

James Henry Lane vs. heirs of Gauis Jenkins
Date: ca. 1860
This document, prepared by Mssrs. Mitchell and Weer, attorneys for James Lane who represented him in his infamous land ownership conflict with Gauis Jenkins, recounts a detailed chronology surrounding the circumstances of each man's ownership of the float. Lane, who ultimately shot and killed fellow free-stateman Jenkins as a result of the dispute, maintained that he was the legitimate owner of the float, despite his extended absences from it. Within the details of the conflict, as described in this pamphlet, are included chronologies of Lane's service as a free-state representative in Washington and as a general of the free-state militia.


Johnston Lykins to General James William Denver

Johnston Lykins to General James William Denver
Creator: Lykins, Johnston, 1800?-1876
Date: December 14, 1857
In this letter to General James W. Denver, Lykins addresses the then-pending case of the Wyandotte land float. Lykins explains that "Jenkins right to the claim, was the testimony of a Kansas City clerk." The "Floats" were granted to the Wyandotte Nation in 1854. According to the agreement, 32 640-acre sections of land west of the Mississippi river were set aside for the Wyandotte Nation.


Kansas land survey plats

Kansas land survey plats
Creator: U.S. Surveyor General of Kansas and Nebraska
Date: 1855-1861
The U.S. Surveyor General began surveying Kansas after the passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854. Plat maps were created at that time to document the surveys. The plats show public lands within the territory divided by range, township and section. Townships were measured in six mile increments starting from the Kansas-Nebraska border. Ranges were numbered in six mile increments east and west from the Sixth Prime Meridian, which crosses through present day Wichita, Kansas. This system is still the basis for legal land description in the state. The Kansas Historical Society acquired a collection of these original plats previously held by the Kansas Secretary of State. The National Archives and the Bureau of Land Management also hold copies of the plats. The sixteen plats presented here are from the Kansas Historical Society collection but are not included in the National Archives copies. These plats cover portions of Douglas, Jefferson, Johnson, Shawnee and Wyandotte counties. Kansas land surveyors are the most frequent users of these maps. They use them to verify section corners when surveying land. A complete collection of the original plats is available in the Society's Center for Historical Research. The plats are also available on microfilm (AR 137-143). For more information on these plats and the accompanying field notes, click on the Land Survey Maps link below.


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