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All bound for the Kansas valleys!

All bound for the Kansas valleys!
Date: Between 1870 and 1880
This brochure advertises the sale of five million acres of land by the Kansas Pacific Railroad, along the Kaw, Big Blue, Republican, Smoky Hill, Solomon, Saline, and Victoria Rivers in Kansas. The illustration on the last page may have been drawn by Topeka artist Henry Worrall.


Ferries in Kansas

Ferries in Kansas
Date: 1880-1935
Letters and notes to George A. Root concerning ferries and ferry companies that operated in Kansas. Included among the letters is a map of several ferry crossings near Shawnee County along the Kansas River and another map of ferries along the Neosho River.


Flood scenes, Salina, Kansas

Flood scenes, Salina, Kansas
Date: July 10, 1904
These five photographs show views of flooding in Salina, Kansas. The first photograph is the Iron Avenue Bridge as seen from the uptown depot. The second image is a group of people standing in the flooded street. The fourth photograph is a milk wagon, driven by Mr. Kyte, on East Walnut Street. The fifth image shows the flooding of the R. P. Cravens residence at the corner of Front Street and Iron Ave.


Flood scenes, Salina, Kansas

Flood scenes, Salina, Kansas
Date: May 1903
These six photographs show scenes of flooding in Salina, Kansas. The second image includes a crowd on a bridge viewing the Rustler Furnishing Co. The third photograph is a view of Iron Ave, looking west from near 11th Street. The sixth image is a view of the Iron Avenue bridge and several people watching the flood; two people in a row boat and a horse and wagon are also visible.


Governor Crawford Indian correspondence

Governor Crawford Indian correspondence
Date: 1867-1868
In response to Indian attacks on frontier settlers, Governor Samuel J. Crawford was authorized by Congress to recruit a battalion of men to handle the crisis. This series of correspondence in Governor Crawford's papers contains many documents from men requesting commissions in the new battalion and permission to recruit soldiers. There are also letters from settlers documenting atrocities, asking for protection from hostile Indians, requesting compensation for stolen goods and livestock, and needing aid merely to survive after losing their supplies to Indian raids. A searchable transcription is available by clicking "Text Version" below. Funds for digitization provided by Mr. Steve Peckel in memory of William Chalfant.


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.


James Mead to his father

James Mead to his father
Creator: Mead, James R. (James Richard), b. 1836
Date: December 1, 1860
James Mead, a rancher and trader from Saline County, Kansas Territory, writes this letter to his father, who lived in Davenport, Iowa. Mead and his companions are going to "the river" to send a load of buffalo meat and buffalo robes to the folks back home. He also mentions a trading excursion he has taken recently to a Kaw Indian camp about twenty miles from his trading post, listing the goods that were traded. Although other settlers were suffering during the drought of 1860, Mead and those in the vicinity are faring quite well. He once again mentioned Lincoln's election and inquired about whether or not "the Union is dissolved." The letter dated November 22, 1860, which is also on page 1 of this item is described as item #90625. These typed copies of the James R. Mead's letters were donated to the Kansas State Historical Society by Mr. Mead's family in 1940 when the originals were still owned by the family. The originals are now held by Wichita State University.


James R. Mead to his father

James R. Mead to his father
Creator: Mead, James R. (James Richard), b. 1836
Date: December 25, 1859
In this letter, Mead informs his father, who still lived in Davenport, Iowa, that he has established a trading post along the Saline River in Kansas Territory in order to trade with the Indians. Mead, along with his business partners, has stored up meat for the winter and has built a comfortable house. Apparently, times were still very difficult in Kansas, although Mead seems to have fared quite well. The letter ends with personal advice to his father about a mare who was no longer worth keeping. These typed copies of the James R. Mead's letters were donated to the Kansas State Historical Society by Mr. Mead's family in 1940 when the originals were still owned by the family. The originals are now held by Wichita State University.


James R. Mead to his sister

James R. Mead to his sister
Creator: Mead, James R. (James Richard), b. 1836
Date: December 25, 1859
James R. Mead writes this letter from his home "somewhere in the West." He has a trading post about twenty miles north of the Saline River and west of Fort Riley, Kansas Territory. He describes in detail the abundance of wildlife, calling western Kansas the "Land of Plenty." Mead and his business partners trade with the Kaw Indians, mostly for furs. His first impression of this tribe was unfavorable, but in his later years he came to respect the Kaw and believed that they were an honest people. He also mentions the Copperhead Indians, who were more fierce and warlike than the Kaw. Mead and his companions are building a blockhouse in case there is trouble. These typed copies of the James R. Mead's letters were donated to the Kansas State Historical Society by Mr. Mead's family in 1940 when the originals were still owned by the family. The originals are now held by Wichita State University.


Kansas Film Commission site photographs, subject lakes and rivers

Kansas Film Commission site photographs, subject lakes and rivers
Creator: Kansas Film Commission
Date: 1980s-2000s
These are panoramic photographs of locations in Kansas created by the Kansas Film Commission to promote scenes to film companies. The panoramics were created by taking individual photos and taping them together. The photographs are arranged alphabetically by subject and then location. Lakes and rivers are the subject of this part of the collection, arranged by county.


Kansas Film Commission site photographs, subject old west towns - prairie

Kansas Film Commission site photographs, subject old west towns - prairie
Creator: Kansas Film Commission
Date: 1980s-2000s
These are panoramic photographs of locations in Kansas created by the Kansas Film Commission to promote scenes to film companies. The panoramics were created by taking individual photos and taping them together. The photographs are arranged alphabetically by subject and then location. Subjects included in this part of the collection are old west towns, parks, people, and prairie.


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.


Pony Bead from 14TO313

Pony Bead from 14TO313
Date: 1500-1800 CE
This bead was recovered from the surface of an archeological workshop site along the Saline River in Trego County during the 1997 Kansas Archeology Training Program field school. Beads that are 4.0mm to 4.5mm in length, like this one, are called "Pony" beads.


Route of Coronado between the Rio Grande and Missouri rivers

Route of Coronado between the Rio Grande and Missouri rivers
Creator: Root, George A. (George Allen), 1867-1949
Date: 1912
This map shows the route of Coronado between the Rio Grande and Missouri rivers.


Ruby M. Johnson to Governor Edward F. Arn

Ruby M. Johnson to Governor Edward F. Arn
Creator: Johnson, Ruby M.
Date: July 12, 1951
Farmer Ruby M. Johnson of Randolph, Kansas, writes Governor Edward F. Arn of Topeka, Kansas, concerning flood control on the Kansas River and its tributaries. The 1951 flooding of the Missouri and Kansas rivers and their tributaries resulted in one of the most devastating natural disasters to strike the Midwest. The flood lent support to the Pick-Sloan plan authorized by Congress in the Flood Control Act of 1944. The plan called for a series of large dams and levees on rivers in the Missouri River basin. Many farmers opposed building large dams and reservoirs, favoring control through small dams and conservation practices. Mr. Johnson challenges the arguments of General Lewis A Pick, Chief of Army Engineers, on the effectiveness of the proposed Tuttle Creek dam north of Manhattan (Riley County). Mr. Johnson's farm was located within the bounds of the proposed Tuttle Creek reservoir and he protests the government's efforts to remove farmers from this area.


Saline River ferries

Saline River ferries
Date: 1934
Two letters to George A. Root discussing the ferries and ferry companies that operated around the Saline River. The letters were written by R. Lynn Martin, Brookville, Kansas, and Mrs. A. M. Campbell, Jr., secretary for the Saline County Historical Society.


Scallorn Arrow Point from 14TO313

Scallorn Arrow Point from 14TO313
Date: 1000-1500 CE
This Scallorn arrow point was recovered from the surface of a workshop site along the Saline River in Trego County during the 1997 Kansas Archeological Training Program. It was knapped from a chert called Smoky Hill silicified chalk and is identified by the two corner-notches. Small arrow points like this were used to hunt large game such as deer or bison.


Scrapers from 14TO313

Scrapers from 14TO313
Date: 1000-1800 CE
These two scrapers were recovered from the surface of an archeological workshop site near the Saline River in Trego County during the 1997 Kansas Archeology Training Program field school. The scraper on the left is made of a chert called Smoky Hill silicified chalk, while the chert of the right scraper is unidentified. They would have likely been hafted on a handle and used to scrape hides. The tools would have required periodic resharpening.


Sketch record of the hunt. Nov. 1,2 & 3 1871.

Sketch record of the hunt. Nov. 1,2 & 3 1871.
Creator: Worrall, Henry, 1825-1902
Date: Bulk November 1-3, 1871
Artist Henry Worrall created this narrative illustration to document a buffalo hunt in western Kansas. The fourteen sketches that border the document illustrate the entire period of the hunt that took place November 1-3, 1871. The twelve numbered plates in the center illustrate a moonlight hunt that occurred on November 1st. Several illustrations reference Buffalo Station, Beaver Dam on the Saline River, and Snyder's dugout.


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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