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Charles Sumner

Charles Sumner
Date: 1860
Portrait of Charles Sumner, U. S. Senator from Massachusetts. He delivered the speech that later became known by the title "The Crime Against Kansas".

Charles Sumner

Charles Sumner
Charles Sumner served in the U. S. Senate from Massachusetts during the Kansas territorial era. He was an outspoken abolitionist and helped the Free-Soil party in 1848. He was opposed to the Fugitive Slave Law and the Kansas-Nebraska Act. After making his well-known speech "The Crime Against Kansas" on May 20, 1856, he was brutally assaulted (caned) by Preston Brooks, a Representative from South Carolina. Sumner was unable to return to his Senate duties until December, 1859.

Charles Sumner to "my dear Webb"

Charles Sumner to "my dear Webb"
Creator: Sumner, Charles, 1811-1874
Date: March 24, 1856
Addressed from the "Senate Chamber" in Washington, D.C., this brief note is a letter of introduction for Mark W. Delahay from Charles Sumner, the famed Republican abolitionist senator from Massachusetts. The senator introduces "Col. Delahay" as a "member of Congress elect from the state of Kansas" but the federal government never recognized the elections held under the Topeka Constitution,

James Redpath form letter

James Redpath form letter
Creator: Redpath, James, 1833-1891
Date: February 1857
This printed form letter was written by James Redpath of Boston, Massachusetts, to solicit money to build a church, school, and library for the people of Manhattan, Kansas Territory. Redpath had been appointed their agent to solicit this money, and he provided a list of references at the bottom of the page.

Kansas Day for Kansas schools

Kansas Day for Kansas schools
Creator: Copley, L. G. A.
Date: 1882
A brochure of information and exercises for use in every Kansas school containing Kansas history, geography, poems, songs, and politics together with excerpts from the state constitution and a list of Kansas "firsts." Designed especially for January 29th.

Speech, The Progress of Tyranny

Speech, The Progress of Tyranny
Creator: Martin, John Alexander, 1839-1889
Date: December 10, 1856
This "essay," presumably by John Alexander Martin, was "Read before the 'Franklin Literary Institute,' of Brownsville [Pennsylvania], Dec. 10th 1856," about a year before Martin moved to Kansas Territory. It was an interesting statement of the young journalist's emerging philosophy on many of the troubling questions of the day, including a discussion of their historical context. According to the "essayist," America's early opponents of "tyrany," both Northern and Southern, "looked forward to the day when it [slavery] would be abolished," and he pointed to the Constitutions and the Ordinance of 1787 as proof "that the founders of the Republic, in all their acts, strove to circumscribe the limits of slavery, and extend the area of Freedom." Subsequent generations of Americans placed greater emphasis on the economic value of slave production and the current generation was aggressively advocating its expansion and taking whatever action was necessary to insure the institution's survival and continue "the march of tyrany."

Thaddeus Hyatt to A.L. Winans

Thaddeus Hyatt to A.L. Winans
Creator: Hyatt, Thaddeus
Date: July 17, 1856
Thaddeus Hyatt, writing from Burlington, Iowa, to A. L. Winans, lamented the current situation in Kansas and the federal government's hostile attitude toward the free-state settlers in the territory. He also expressed his hatred for Southerners and his conviction that the issue of slavery in Kansas will be "one of blood." Hyatt was concerned that liberty would suffer at the hands of pro-slavery supporters, and he was eager to continue working diligently for the anti-slavery cause.

William Morris Davis to Cyrus Kurtz Holliday

William Morris Davis to Cyrus Kurtz Holliday
Creator: Davis, William Morris
Date: August 29, 1856
William Morris Davis wrote to Cyrus K. Holliday in Topeka, Kansas Territory, although Holliday was speaking in Pennsylvania in support of Republican presidential candidate John C. Fremont. Davis praised Holliday's efforts, for he saw both Fremont's election to the presidency and the free statehood of Kansas as steps toward the end of slavery. Millard Filmore, Know-Nothing candidate, had hopeless prospects, and Democrat James Buchanan would be rejected by the masses protesting the current administration, Davis claimed. This letter uses exalted, militant, and religious language to describe territorial and national conflict. Davis also mentioned William Y. Robers (lieutenant governor under the Topeka Constitution), Burlingame, and Cobb.

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