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.58 Caliber Minie Balls from Fort Zarah, 14BT301

.58 Caliber Minie Balls from Fort Zarah, 14BT301
Date: 1855-1869
These five minie balls were excavated at Fort Zarah in 1972 by Kansas Historical Society archeologists at the site of the original fort building. The minie balls are .58 caliber, have three grease grooves and conical or hollow bases. The fort was a small outpost on the Santa Fe trail in Barton County occupied from 1864 to 1869.


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.


Act establishing commission for treaties with Osage Indians a creation of trail

Act establishing commission for treaties with Osage Indians a creation of trail
Date: March 3, 1825
This act was written establishing a commission to make treaties with the Osage Indians to create the Santa Fe Trail and treaties with the Osage tribes.


Arrival of the Caravan at Santa Fe

Arrival of the Caravan at Santa Fe
Date: Between 1844 and 1845
This illustration from Josiah Gregg's Commerce on the Prairies depicts a caravan of Americans arriving in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The Santa Fe Trail, opened in 1821 by William Bucknell, served as a freight route and passed through Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Colorado, and New Mexico.


Arrival of wagon caravan at Santa Fe

Arrival of wagon caravan at Santa Fe
Date: 1844--1845
Photo of an illustration "Arrival of the caravan at Santa Fe" from Josiah Gregg's Commerce of the Prairies.


As The Old Santa Fe Trail Looks Today

As The Old Santa Fe Trail Looks Today
Creator: Palenske, Louis F., 1858-1943
Date: 1930
This is a monograph by Louis Palenske, addressing the Old Santa Fe Trail as it looked in 1930 shortly after the author traveled the length of the trail by car, taking panoramic photographs along the route. Funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission through the Kansas State Historical Records Advisory Board.


Ball and Cone Earrings from Fort Zarah, 14BT301

Ball and Cone Earrings from Fort Zarah, 14BT301
Date: 1864-1868
These three ball and cone earrings were excavated at Fort Zarah in 1969 by Kansas Historical Society archeologists. The fort was a small outpost on the Santa Fe trail in Barton County occupied from 1864 to 1869. The trading post, where these earrings were located, burned in 1868. Ball and cone earrings were a popular trade item. Two of these are missing their cones. The remaining cone has been flattened.


Beer Bottle from the Mahaffie Farmstead and Stagecoach Stop, 14JO356

Beer Bottle from the Mahaffie Farmstead and Stagecoach Stop, 14JO356
Date: 1858-1886
This brown glass bottle has the typical neck of a beer bottle, but is much shortened in the body. The bottle has what is called a blob style finish at the rim. It was recovered during excavations in 1988 during a joint venture between Kansas Historical Society archeologists, Kansas Anthropological Association volunteers, and the City of Olathe. The site, 14JO356, consisted of the residence and out buildings built by James and Lucinda Mahaffie in 1858. The farmstead later served as a stagecoach stop on the Santa Fe trail.


Bennington Door Knobs from Fort Zarah, 14BT301

Bennington Door Knobs from Fort Zarah, 14BT301
Date: 1864-1868
These two door knobs were excavated at Fort Zarah in 1969 by Kansas Historical Society archeologists. The ceramic door knobs are decorated in a style known as Bennington, after the manufacturer, and show a threaded interior. The fort was a small outpost on the Santa Fe trail in Barton County occupied from 1864 to 1869. The trading post building within the fort, from where these door knobs were located, burned in 1868.


Bent's Fort, Colorado

Bent's Fort, Colorado
Creator: Palenske, Louis F., 1858-1943
Date: 1928-1938
This panorama was taken from Bent's Fort on the Old Santa Fe Trail, about nine miles west of Lamar, Colorado. In this view, looking west, we see the Arkansas River as well as the remains of old Fort Lyon. This photo was created by Louis Palenske using a Korona Panoramic View Camera. Funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission through the Kansas State Historical Records Advisory Board.


Brass Plate from Fort Zarah, 14BT301

Brass Plate from Fort Zarah, 14BT301
Date: 1864-1868
This brass plate was excavated at Fort Zarah in 1969 by Kansas Historical Society archeologists. The plate advertises "BEARD & BRO" of "ST. LOUIS, MO." This may be a reference to the Beard and Brother company of St. Louis, established in 1848, that manufactured safes, vaults, cotton ties, and a nut-lock for safes. The fort was a small outpost on the Santa Fe trail in Barton County occupied from 1864 to 1869. The trading post building within the post, where the plate was found, burned in 1868.


Buffalo hides in Dodge City, Kansas

Buffalo hides in Dodge City, Kansas
Date: April 4, 1874
This photograph, taken in Dodge City, Ford County, Kansas, shows a large pile of buffalo hides obtained from hunting expeditions in western Kansas. It is estimated that the pile contains around 40,000 hides. Charles Rath, who purchased the hides, is seated on the pile. The men in the background are operating a hide baling machine. Dodge City was located on the Santa Fe Trail. During the period in which these hides were gathered, American hunters decimated the bison heards in the West, leaving Native American tribes without one of their primary sources for food, clothing, and tools.


Bull train crossing the Smoky Hill River at Ellsworth, Kansas. On the old Santa Fe crossing 508 miles west of St. Louis, Mo.

Bull train crossing the Smoky Hill River at Ellsworth, Kansas. On the old Santa Fe crossing 508 miles west of St. Louis, Mo.
Creator: Gardner, Alexander, 1821-1882
Date: 1867
This stereograph shows a bull train and cattle crossing the Smoky Hill River at Ellsworth, Kansas. Visible in the photograph is a covered wagon. It is from Alexander Gardner's series, Across the Continent on the Union Pacific Railway, Eastern Division.


Camp house, Delavan, Kansas

Camp house, Delavan, Kansas
Date: Between 1920 and 1929
This black and white photograph shows a group of people standing beside their automobiles in front of the Delavan's free camp house for old Santa Fe Trail tourists in Delavan, Kansas.


Cattle fording the Smoky Hill River at Ellsworth, Kansas. On the old Santa Fe crossing 508 miles west of St. Louis, Mo.

Cattle fording the Smoky Hill River at Ellsworth, Kansas. On the old Santa Fe crossing 508 miles west of St. Louis, Mo.
Creator: Gardner, Alexander, 1821-1882
Date: 1867
THis stereograph shows cattle crossing the Smoky Hill River at Ellsworth, Kansas. Visible in the stereograph is a covered wagon. The image is from Alexander Gardner's series, Across the Continent on the Union Pacific Railway, Eastern Division.


Ceramic Pipe Fragments from the Baker House, 14MO701

Ceramic Pipe Fragments from the Baker House, 14MO701
Date: 1862
These four pipe fragments were recovered during excavations in 1972-1973 by the Kansas State Teacher's College (now Emporia State University). Two are pipe bowls decorated in a series of vertical flutes, Another is a pipe stem manufactured from a mold with two rings encircling the edge. The final artifact is a pipe stem and bowl fragments with traces of dottle, tobacco residue, in the bowl and a brass band as a connector. The collection was donated to the Kansas Historical Society in 1993. The archeological site, along the Santa Fe Trail in Morris County, was the location of the Baker House, which burned in 1862, along with the nearby store, during the murder of A.I. Baker.


Charles Keeler to Governor Thomas Carney

Charles Keeler to Governor Thomas Carney
Creator: Keeler, Charles G.
Date: May 08, 1863
This letter was written to Governor Thomas Carney from Captain Charles G. Keeler. Keeler advises Carney about the location of a Kansas bridge that is about to be built. He believes the location should be at the Chouteau ferry site in Johnson County, thereby securing trade from the southern portion of the state as well the Santa Fe trail trade. A searchable, full-text version of this letter is available by clicking "Text Version" below.


Cimarron Crossing Park, Cimarron, Kansas

Cimarron Crossing Park, Cimarron, Kansas
Date: Between 1950 and 1959
These are four photographs of Cimarron Crossing Park in Cimarron, Kansas. The park is located at the site where pioneers crossed the Arkansas River on the Santa Fe Trail.


Clay Pipes from Fort Zarah, 14BT301

Clay Pipes from Fort Zarah, 14BT301
Date: 1864-1869
These two clay pipe bowls were excavated at Fort Zarah in 1972 by Kansas Historical Society archeologists at the site of the original fort building. Both bowls show some dottle, tobacco residue, indicating they had been smoked. The fort was a small outpost on the Santa Fe trail in Barton County occupied from 1864 to 1869.


Commanding Officers' Quarters, Fort Dodge, Kansas

Commanding Officers' Quarters, Fort Dodge, Kansas
Date: June 1869
This illustration, from Harper's New Monthly Magazine, shows the first Commanding Officers' Quarters at Fort Dodge, Kansas. The military fort was established in 1865 by Captain Henry Pierce, a member of the 11th Kansas, to protect the United States mail and emigrant wagon trains on the Santa Fe Trail. The facility was located on the left bank of the Arkansas River on the "Long Route" of the Santa Fe Trail a few miles southeast of present day Dodge City, Kansas.


Commanding Officers' Quarters, Fort Dodge, Kansas

Commanding Officers' Quarters, Fort Dodge, Kansas
Date: April 30, 1879
This photograph shows a group of people gathered on the front porch of the commanding officers' quarters at Fort Dodge, Kansas. The military fort was established in 1865 by Captain Henry Pierce, a member of the 11th Kansas Cavalry, to protect the United States mail and emigrant wagon trains on the Santa Fe Trail. The facility was located on the left bank of the Arkansas River on the "Long Route" of the Santa Fe Trail, a few miles southeast of present day Dodge City, Kansas.


Coronado's route to Quivira, 1541

Coronado's route to Quivira, 1541
Creator: Ritchey, William E
Date: 1903
This map of Kansas Territory in 1856 shows Coronado's route to and from Quivira in 1541. The Santa Fe Trail is annotated in red. On the reverse is a newspaper article with a map drawn by George Allen Root showing Coronado's route to Quivira and giving distances between points. There is a note from W[illiam] E Ritchey, Harveyville, Kansas, July 9, 1903, to A. R. Greene, Special Inspector, Department of the Interior requesting that Greene mention Ritchey's work in an article that will be published by the Kansas Historical Society. The location of a number of Indian reservations are shown on the map.


Council Grove, Kansas

Council Grove, Kansas
Creator: Palenske, Louis F., 1858-1943
Date: 1928-1938
This panorama of Council Grove, Kansas was photographed on Louis Palenske's photographic excursion on the Old Santa Fe Trail. At the left center of the photo one can see the easily recognizable farmers and Drovers Bank. Palenske created this photo with his Korona Panoramic View Camera. Funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission through the Kansas State Historical Records Advisory Board.


Council Grove, Kansas

Council Grove, Kansas
Date: Between 1910 and 1912
This black and white photograph shows a view looking west on the Santa Fe Trail through Council Grove, Kansas.


Counterweight from Fort Zarah, 14BT301

Counterweight from Fort Zarah, 14BT301
Date: 1864-1868
This counterweight was excavated at Fort Zarah in 1969 by Kansas Historical Society archeologists. The counterweight may have been used for a scale. The fort was a small outpost on the Santa Fe trail in Barton County occupied from 1864 to 1869. The trading post building within the fort, where this counterweight was located, burned in 1868.


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