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Abstract of journals from the 1845 Kearny Expedition

Abstract of journals from the 1845 Kearny Expedition
Date: 1846
This excerpt from the congressional report of the Secretary of War includes the abstracts of two journals, one by Lieutenant William B. Franklin, a topographical engineer, and another by Lieutenant H.S. Turner of the 1st dragoons stationed at Fort Leavenworth. Under the command of Stephen Kearny, the 1st dragoons and their accompanying engineers left Fort Leavenworth on a military march, heading northwest on what would become the Oregon Trail, down along the Rocky Mountains to Mexican territory, and back up via the Santa Fe Trail. This march was intended as a display of the United States' military power to both native tribes and the British government (which at this time was exerting its authority over Oregon Territory). For the most part this abstract details their route, but it does include a transcription of a conversation between Kearny and a Sioux chief named Bull Tail.


Buttons from the Plowboy Site, 14SH372

Buttons from the Plowboy Site, 14SH372
Date: 1840-1950
These six buttons were collected from the Plowboy site in Shawnee County and donated to the Kansas Historical Society in 2017. The Plowboy site was home to the Kansa, the Potawatomi, and Euro-Americans. At various times, the site contained a farm, a trading post, and a post office with nearby military trails, Mormon routes, a railroad and the California-Oregon trail. Shown on the top row are a black plastic four hole coat button, a shell two hole coat button, and a faceted pink glass button with a loop back. Those on the bottom row include two shell two hole buttons, one of a fish-eye style and the other decorated with incised squares and cross hatching. The final artifact is a metal button front with the profile of a Greek or Roman lady.


Chronology of the Iowa and Sac and Fox Indians in Doniphan County, Kansas

Chronology of the Iowa and Sac and Fox Indians in Doniphan County, Kansas
Date: 1882
This chronology details major events occurring between 1837-1855 among the Iowa and Sac and Fox Indians who had been relocated to Kansas after the Indian Removal Act of 1830. Topics mentioned within the chronology include warfare among relocated tribes, the arrival of white emigrants, disease, mission buildings, and treaties ceding land to the United States government.


Courthouse in Independence, Missouri

Courthouse in Independence, Missouri
Creator: Meyer, Herrmann J.
Date: 1854
A copy of an engraving of the courthouse in Independence, Missouri. The reproduction first appeared in "United States Illustrated" and depicts the early settlement of Independence and its courthouse. Located along the Kansas and Missouri border, the town was considered the "Queen City of Trails" because it was the point of departure for the Santa Fe, Oregon and California Trails.


Flow Blue Dishes from the Plowboy Site, 14SH372

Flow Blue Dishes from the Plowboy Site, 14SH372
Date: 1840-1930
These two rim sherds were collected from the Plowboy site in Shawnee county and donated to the Kansas Historical Society in 2017. Though small, one can tell that the transferware pattern was deliberately blurred, a hallmark of flow blue patterns. The Plowboy site was home to the Kansa, the Potawatomi, and Euro-Americans. At various times, the site contained a farm, a trading post, and a post office with nearby military trails, Mormon routes, a railroad and the California-Oregon trail.


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.


Horseshoes from the Plowboy Site, 14SH372

Horseshoes from the Plowboy Site, 14SH372
Date: 1840-1930
These three horseshoes were among the many that were collected from the Plowboy site in Shawnee county and donated to the Kansas Historical Society in 2017. Horseshoes are what most horses wear to support the hoof. All three of the shoes are complete with grooves, called fullers, that allow for the nail to be driven into the hoof. The Plowboy site was home to the Kansa, the Potawatomi, and Euro-Americans. At various times, the site contained a farm, a trading post, and a post office with nearby military trails, Mormon routes, a railroad and the California-Oregon trail.


Independence Rock, Wyoming

Independence Rock, Wyoming
Creator: Palenske, Louis F., 1858-1943
Date: 1930-1936
Louis Palenske photographed one of the most famous of all of the landmarks along the Oregon Trail, Independence Rock, a large granite formation where many early Oregon Trail travelers carved their names, initials and messages. Funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission through the Kansas State Historical Records Advisory Board.


Jewelry Box from the Plowboy Site, 14SH372

Jewelry Box from the Plowboy Site, 14SH372
Date: 1840-1950
This ornate container, possibly a jewelry box, was collected from the Plowboy site in Shawnee County and donated to the Kansas Historical Society in 2017. The box may be made of tin covered in gilt and once had a hinged lid. It is ornately decorated with flourishes and floral patterns and stands on four curved legs. The Plowboy site was home to the Kansa, the Potawatomi, and Euro-Americans. At various times, the site contained a farm, a trading post, and a post office with nearby military trails, Mormon routes, a railroad and the California-Oregon trail.


Kansas : early routes, old trails, historic sites, landmarks, etc.

Kansas : early routes, old trails, historic sites, landmarks, etc.
Creator: Root, George A. (George Allen), 1867-1949
Date: 1939 December
This map, created by George Allen Root and later reproduced by the Kansas Turnpike Authority, depicts trails, landmarks, and historic sites in the state of Kansas. The original map was compiled by George Allen Root and delineated by W. M. Hutchinson from information obtained from the Kansas State Historical Society.


Kansas and Nebraska

Kansas and Nebraska
Creator: Wells, J.G.
Date: 1856
Map detailing the territories of Kansas and Nebraska and surrounding states. Identified on the map are rivers, Indian lands, the Santa Fe Trail, and the Oregon Trail. This map is provided through a co-operative project between the Lecompton Historical Society and the Kansas Historical Society. Partial funding was provided by the Ross and Margaret Wulfkuhle Charitable Trust and the Freedom's Frontier National Heritage Area. Copies of this map are available for viewing at both the Kansas Historical Society and Lecompton Historical Society.


Map of the route pursued by the late expedition under the command of Col. Stephen Watts Kearny

Map of the route pursued by the late expedition under the command of Col. Stephen Watts Kearny
Creator: Franklin, William Buel, 1823-1903
Date: 1845
This map, included in the Report of the Secretary of War, illustrates the route taken by Stephen Watts Kearny and the 1st Dragoons in an 1845 expedition. This expedition began in Fort Leavenworth and proceeded on a circular march, heading northwest on what would later become the Oregon Trail, down along the Rocky Mountains to Mexican territory, and back up via the Santa Fe Trail. This march was intended as a display of the United States' military power, both for the benefit of local Indian tribes and also for the British government, which at this time was trying to exert control over Oregon Territory. The map was drawn by a topgraphical engineer named Lieutenant William B. Franklin. It was published in U.S. serial set 480.


Map showing lines of the Great Overland Stage Route...

Map showing lines of the Great Overland Stage Route...
Creator: Marsh, Roy D.
Date: 1901
This map shows the routes of the Great Overland Stage Route, the Santa Fe Trail, Butterfield Overland Dispatch, Mormon Route of 1847, and the Leavenworth & Pike's Peak Express.


Marbles from the Plowboy Site, 14SH372

Marbles from the Plowboy Site, 14SH372
Date: 1850-1950
These three marbles were collected from the Plowboy site in Shawnee County and donated to the Kansas Historical Society in 2017. Two of the marbles are made of glass with a swirl pattern. One of the glass marble has white paint glued to the artifact from the time the donor had it on display. The ceramic marble has Bennington decoration. The Plowboy site was home to the Kansa, the Potawatomi, and Euro-Americans. At various times, the site contained a farm, a trading post, and a post office with nearby military trails, Mormon routes, a railroad and the California-Oregon trail.


Mortise Locks and Keys from the Plowboy Site, 14SH372

Mortise Locks and Keys from the Plowboy Site, 14SH372
Date: 1840-1950
These locks and keys were collected from the Plowboy site in Shawnee County and donated to the Kansas Historical Society in 2017. Each of the locks has the key that opened it. The lock on the left is a mortise lock, which was placed within a mortise in a door. The lock on the right is a surface-mount lock, which was screwed onto the exterior of a door. The Plowboy site was home to the Kansa, the Potawatomi, and Euro-Americans. At various times, the site contained a farm, a trading post, and a post office with nearby military trails, Mormon routes, a railroad and the California-Oregon trail.


Mrs. Winslow's Soothing Syrup Bottle from the Plowboy Site, 14SH372

Mrs. Winslow's Soothing Syrup Bottle from the Plowboy Site, 14SH372
Date: 1849-1930
The patent medicine bottle shown here was collected from the Plowboy site in Shawnee County and donated to the Kansas Historical Society in 2017. The medicine was made first by Mrs. Charlotte Winslow and marked by Curtis and Perkins, her sons-in-law. One of the ingredients in the soothing syrup was morphine, indeed providing the "soothing," but also drawing incriminations from the American Medical Association by 1911. It remained on the market for another 19 years. The donor painted the embossed lettering for emphasis. The Plowboy site was home to the Kansa, the Potawatomi, and Euro-Americans. At various times, the site contained a farm, a trading post, and a post office with nearby military trails, Mormon routes, a railroad and the California-Oregon trail.


National Old Trail's road

National Old Trail's road
Date: Between 1920 and 1925
These are notes and maps about the National Old Trail's Road, a route that stretched from Boston, Massachusetts to San Francisco, California. The National Old Trail's Road was established in 1912 and crossed the length of Kansas, intersecting such famous trails as the Santa Fe Trail and the Oregon Trail.


Nebraska and Kansas

Nebraska and Kansas
Creator: J. H. Colton & Co.
Date: 1854
This map of the Nebraska and Kansas territories by J. H. Colton shows forts, villages, missions, Indian lands, and various routes including the northern, central and southern routes of the Pacific Railroad; the Oregon route; the Santa Fe route; Cook's wagon route; Conde & Bartlet's route; and the route to Fort Smith. The map also includes an inset of parts of North, Central and South America; and the territory acquired from Mexico through the Gadsen Purchase. Woodcut illustrations include Indians, wolves, bear, deer, beaver, buffalo hunting, and settlers with wagon. The Kansas-Nebraska Act (1854) provided that each territory would decide whether or not to allow slavery through the constitution under which it would enter the union. In Kansas, this approach to managing the expansion of slavery (know as "popular sovereignty") precipitated a battle between proslavery and antislavery forces known as "Bleeding Kansas." This map is provided through a co-operative project between the Lecompton Historical Society and the Kansas Historical Society. Partial funding was provided by the Ross and Margaret Wulfkuhle Charitable Trust and the Freedom's Frontier National Heritage Area. Copies of this map are available for viewing at both the Kansas Historical Society and Lecompton Historical Society.


Oregon Trail

Oregon Trail
Date: Between 1900 and 1940
Letters, notes, and reminiscences of the Oregon Trail. Included are first hand accounts of traveling the trail, routes taken, and the hardships endured. The Oregon Trail was primarily used from 1840 through 1860 for pioneers heading west looking for new places to settle.


Oregon Trail crossing on Kansas River

Oregon Trail crossing on Kansas River
Date: Between 1960 and 1970
View of the Oregon Trail crossing near old Uniontown in western Shawnee County, Kansas. This crossing site was considered the last point west of the Mississippi River where supplies could be purchased en route to Oregon.


Regular Horseshoe from the Plowboy Site, 14SH372

Regular Horseshoe from the Plowboy Site, 14SH372
Date: 1840-1930
This regular horseshoe was collected from the Plowboy site in Shawnee County and donated to the Kansas Historical Society in 2017. This horseshoe style is called "regular" and is what was used on most horses use to support the hoof. It is complete with a groove, called fullers, that allow for the nail to be driven into the hoof. The Plowboy site was home to the Kansa, the Potawatomi, and Euro-Americans. At various times, the site contained a farm, a trading post, and a post office with nearby military trails, Mormon routes, a railroad and the California-Oregon trail.


Report of a summer campaign to the Rocky Mountains, etc., in 1845

Report of a summer campaign to the Rocky Mountains, etc., in 1845
Creator: Kearny, Stephen Watts, 1794-1848
Date: September 15, 1845
This typescript recounts the journey of the 1st Dragoons under the command of Stephen Watts Kearny. In 1845, the dragoons (cavalry troops) left Fort Leavenworth on a circular march, heading northwest on what would become the Oregon Trail, down along the Rocky Mountains to Mexican territory, and back up via the Santa Fe Trail. This march displayed the military power of the United States to both native tribes and to the British government (which at this time was exerting its authority over Oregon Territory). Kearny described in detail the route taken by the dragoons, their encounters with the Pawnee, Sioux, Cheyenne, and Arapaho, the soil and landscape of the plains, and the traders moving goods to and from Santa Fe. Kearny also discussed his opinion on the best way to protect American settlers traveling to Oregon--he disliked the idea of establishing a military post near Fort Laramie and instead advocated making large circular marches every few years to remind the Indian tribes of "the facility and rapidity with which our dragoons can march through any part of their country." The report includes a postscript by General Winfield Scott and was published as part of the Report of the Secretary of War delivered to the 29th Congress, in serial set 480, document 2, no. 1, pp. 210-214.


Stove Cover Lifters from the Plowboy Site, 14SH372

Stove Cover Lifters from the Plowboy Site, 14SH372
Date: 1840-1930
These two stove cover lifters were collected from the Plowboy site in Shawnee County and donated to the Kansas Historical Society in 2017. The detachable stove cover lifters were used for cast iron wood or coal stoves. One is plain with the lettering "A.F. 108" on the underside. The other has a weld repair, through which the word "IDEAL" can still be recognized. The Plowboy site was home to the Kansa, the Potawatomi, and Euro-Americans. At various times, the site contained a farm, a trading post, and a post office with nearby military trails, Mormon routes, a railroad and the California-Oregon trail.


Territory of Kansas and Indian Territory

Territory of Kansas and Indian Territory
Creator: Johnston, Alexander Keith, 1804-1871
Date: 1857
This map, drawn by Henry Rogers and Alexander Keith Johnston in 1857, details Kansas Territory and Indian Territory. Kansas Territory included portions of what would become eastern Colorado. Indian Territory later became Oklahoma. The map traces the route of the Santa Fe Trail, proposed routes for the Pacific Railway, and identifies military forts. The maps also provides information on geographical features.


The Kanzas region:  forest, prairie, desert, mountain, vale, and river

The Kanzas region: forest, prairie, desert, mountain, vale, and river
Creator: Greene, Max.
Date: 1856
The title page for this volume continued with "Descriptions of scenery, climate, wild productions, capabilities of soil, and commercial resources; interspersed with incidents of travel, and anecdotes illustrative of the character of the traders and red men; to which are added directions as to routes, outfit for the pioneer, and sketches of desirable localities for present settlement." A small map is opposite the title page. The "Addenda" included several "Laws Governing Kanzas," a section on the objects and plans of an Emigrant Aid Company, information about the American Settlement Company, and prices for various items in Lawrence. Also included in the "Addenda" was the text of the Kansas Nebraska Act, which was not scanned as it is available elsewhere on this site.


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