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Kansas Memory has been created by the Kansas State Historical Society to share its historical collections via the Internet. Read more.

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Transportation - Trails - Smoky Hill

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Andrew J. Mead to John A. Halderman

Andrew J. Mead to John A. Halderman
Creator: Mead, Andrew J.
Date: March 14, 1859
In a letter marked "Confidential" and dated March 14, 1859, Andrew J. Mead of Manhattan, Kansas Territory, writes to enlist John Halderman's help to get Russell, Majors, and Waddell to use a new Blue River ferry at Manhattan, called Johnstons ferry, when they begin hauling freight over the "Great Central Route via Smoky Hill" to the gold mines. Mead is "deeply interested" in this ferry and wishes to negotiate a contract with the freighters for its use.


Fort Harker, Kansas

Fort Harker, Kansas
Creator: Gardner, Alexander, 1821-1882
Date: 1867
This stereograph shows U.S. Army troops on the grounds of Fort Harker, Kansas. The photo was taken 500 miles west of St. Louis, Missouri, in present day Kanopolis, Kansas. It is from Alexander Gardner's series, Across the Continent on the Union Pacific Railway, Eastern Division.


Fort Harker, Kansas, 218 miles west of Missouri River

Fort Harker, Kansas, 218 miles west of Missouri River
Creator: Gardner, Alexander, 1821-1882
Date: 1867
This is a photo showing U. S. Army troops on the grounds of Fort Harker, Kansas. Fort Harker (originally called Fort Ellsworth) was established in 1864 in order to provide protection for the Kansas Stage Line and military wagon trains transporting goods along the Smoky Hill Trail and the Fort Riley Road. The fort closed in 1872 and was located in present day Kanopolis, Kansas. It is from Alexander Gardner's series, Across the Continent on the Kansas Pacific Railroad.


General Order No. 1, 18th Kansas Cavalry

General Order No. 1, 18th Kansas Cavalry
Creator: Moore, Horace L. (Horace Ladd), 1837-1914
Date: July 17, 1867
This order for the 18th Kansas Cavalry, located at Fort Harker, regulates the maintenance of cavalry horses. Fort Harker was established to provide protection for the Kansas Stage Line and the military supply trains traveling the Smoky Hill Trail and the Fort Riley Road. As stated in the order, these regulations are essential because "the efficiency of every cavalry command depends much upon the condition of its horses."


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.


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.


Thomas Ewing, Jr.,  to A.J. Isacks

Thomas Ewing, Jr., to A.J. Isacks
Creator: Ewing, Thomas, 1829-1896
Date: March 22, 1860
Ewing addressed a number of issues in this letter to former territorial Kansas attorney general Andrew J. Isacks (1854-1857), who was in Washington, D.C. presumably lobbying Congress on behalf of Kansas admission, etc., but closed with some interesting comments on Leavenworth's interest in the promotion and development of the Smoky Hill route to the Pikes Peak region. Isacks was one of Ewing's principle partners in the Leavenworth, Pawnee, & Western Railroad venture and was undoubtedly busy lobbying for a railroad land grant from Congress.


Thomas Ewing, Jr., to A.J. Isacks

Thomas Ewing, Jr., to A.J. Isacks
Creator: Ewing, Thomas, 1829-1896
Date: May 20, 1860
Mention was made in the Ewing letter to Andrew J. Isacks in Washington, D.C., of the development of the Smoky Hill route to the gold fields and railroad legislation. The Atchison & St. Joseph, as well as the "Pacific railroad," was specifically noted.


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