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1855 map of Richardson (Wabaunsee) County, Kansas

1855 map of Richardson (Wabaunsee) County, Kansas
Date: 1855
This map shows the original Wabaunsee (Richardson) County boundaries which existed prior to a realignment of the borders with Morris County in 1870 and Riley County in 1871. Approximately 72 square miles were removed in the first action and 54 square miles in the latter. Notice the Potawatomi Reservation in the upper right section of the county and the Kaw Reserve in the lower left portion.


Agreement, Construction of Office Building in Leavenworth

Agreement, Construction of Office Building in Leavenworth
Creator: Reeder, Andrew H. (Andrew Horatio), 1807-1864
Date: September 29, 1855
A. H. Reeder enters into an agreement with H. M. Hook for the latter to "erect" an office building on lot #8, block #3 of Leavenworth, Kansas Territory. Hook agrees to build the structure, "16 feet by 32 feet similar to the office of M. I. Parrot" (perhaps, Marcus J. Parrott) for $400. Hook is to be paid out of the rent received on this property when finished, as well as from what rent he receives on three other properties he has leased from Reeder.


Amos  A. Lawrence to Charles H. Branscomb

Amos A. Lawrence to Charles H. Branscomb
Creator: Lawrence, Amos Adams
Date: September 22, 1855
Amos Lawrence, writing to Charles H. Branscomb, secretary of the New England Emigrant Aid Company, expressed his concern about the growing debts of the Emigrant Aid Company.


Amos A. Lawrence to Charles H. Branscomb

Amos A. Lawrence to Charles H. Branscomb
Creator: Lawrence, Amos Adams
Date: September 26, 1855
Amos Lawrence, writing from Boston, Massachusetts to Charles H. Branscomb, secretary of the New England Emigrant Aid Company, submitted his resignation as treasurer of the Emigrant Aid Company.


Amos A. Lawrence to Charles H. Branscomb

Amos A. Lawrence to Charles H. Branscomb
Creator: Lawrence, Amos Adams
Date: October 19, 1855
Amos Lawrence requested that Charles H. Branscomb, who was acting as secretary of the New England Emigrant Aid Company, arrange for the appointment of his (Lawrence's) successor as company treasurer. Lawrence indicated that recently he had paid a $2,000.00 company bill out of personal funds and would not take such action again.


Amos A. Lawrence to Doctor Samuel Cabot

Amos A. Lawrence to Doctor Samuel Cabot
Creator: Lawrence, Amos Adams
Date: October 9, 1855
Amos Lawrence, writing to Dr. Samuel Cabot, complained that Eli Thayer was not doing enough in support of the New England Emigrant Aid Company. Lawrence commented that he had personally invested $13,000 in the company during the previous year and declared that it was time to "hold up" on future contributions.


Amos A. Lawrence to James B. Abbott

Amos A. Lawrence to James B. Abbott
Creator: Lawrence, Amos Adams
Date: August 11, 1855
Amos A. Lawrence wrote from Boston to James Abbott in Hartford, Conneticut, with shipping instructions for the 100 Sharps rifles he would procure. Lawrence requested that they be "packed in casks like hardware" and that Abbott bill him for expenses incurred.


Amos A. Lawrence to James B. Abbott

Amos A. Lawrence to James B. Abbott
Creator: Lawrence, Amos Adams
Date: August 24, 1855
Amos A. Lawrence wrote from Boston to James B. Abbott in Hartford, Connecticut, to confirm his receipt of a shipment of rifles. Lawrence advised Abbott that at least half of them would be required by free state forces in Topeka.


Amos A. Lawrence to James B. Abbott

Amos A. Lawrence to James B. Abbott
Creator: Lawrence, Amos Adams
Date: August 20, 1855
Amos A. Lawrence wrote from Boston to James Abbott in Hartford, Connecticut, referring to a recent shipment of carbine rifles he had sent, which was "far from being enough." Lawrence advised Abbott to take good care of them, as they might be used as reimbursement to those investors who had subscribed money to the free state cause once "it is settled that Kanzas shall not be a province of Missouri."


Amos A. Lawrence to Reverend Edward E. Hale

Amos A. Lawrence to Reverend Edward E. Hale
Creator: Lawrence, Amos Adams
Date: February 25, 1855
Amos Lawrence, writing from Boston to Edward Everett Hale, a Worcester, Massachusetts resident, expressed concern about the manner in which Worcester leaders in the Massachusetts Emigrant Aid Company were doing business. Specifically, Lawrence was upset about Hale's and Eli Thayer's use of Emigrant Aid Company funds to make a loan to George Washington Brown, the editor of the Herald of Freedom.


An act to punish offences against slave property

An act to punish offences against slave property
Creator: Kansas. Legislative Assembly 1855
Date: August 29, 1855
This act, approved by the Legislative Assembly of Kansas Territory, August 29, 1855, lists those actions to be considered crimes against slave property. Many of the crimes listed are punishable by death. Some of the crimes include inciting or aiding slave or Negro rebellion (even through publication), helping slaves escape their masters, resisting the arrest of an escaped slave, and the expression of abolitionist opinions. Considered "bogus laws" by free-state supporters, this slave code reflects the first Kansas Legislature's support for slavery and the legislature's adoption of Missouri slave codes for that purpose.


Andrew H. Reeder to John A. Haldeman

Andrew H. Reeder to John A. Haldeman
Creator: Reeder, Andrew H. (Andrew Horatio), 1807-1864
Date: October 06, 1855
In this letter to John A. Haldeman, Andrew H. Reeder informs Haldeman that he has been told that "a new assessment of $5 per share to pay for a Wyandot float of 640 acres has been laid on the town of Tecumseh."


Andrew H. Reeder to John A. Halderman

Andrew H. Reeder to John A. Halderman
Creator: Reeder, Andrew H. (Andrew Horatio), 1807-1864
Date: October 6, 1855
This 1855 letter to John A. Halderman from former territorial governor Andrew H. Reeder of Westport, Kansas Territory, describes a new assessment of $5 per share for the town of Tecumseh's 640 acre Wyandot Float. Reeder also discusses the erection of a court house with bricks that had been intended for a hotel.


Andrew Reeder's dagger

Andrew Reeder's dagger
Creator: G. Wostenholm & Son
Date: 1855
Many free-state leaders were charged with treason by the pro-slavery legislature in May 1856. Former territorial governor Andrew Reeder escaped arrest by leaving Kansas disguised as a woodcutter. Reeder carried this dagger for defense when he fled the territory.


Annals of Kansas, April - May, 1855

Annals of Kansas, April - May, 1855
Creator: Wilder, Daniel Webster, 1832-1911
Date: April, 1855 through May, 1855


Annals of Kansas, January - February, 1855

Annals of Kansas, January - February, 1855
Creator: Wilder, Daniel Webster, 1832-1911
Date: January, 1855 through February, 1855
D. W. Wilder's "Annals of Kansas," published in 1886, provides a day-by-day chronicle of significant events in Kansas. These are digital images of Annals of Kansas entries for the territorial period of 1854-1861.


By Authority.  Official Message of His Excellency Gov. A. H. Reeder, to the First Legislative Assembly of the Territory of Kansas.

By Authority. Official Message of His Excellency Gov. A. H. Reeder, to the First Legislative Assembly of the Territory of Kansas.
Creator: Reeder, Andrew H. (Andrew Horatio), 1807-1864
Date: July 3, 1855
This printed version of Reeder's address included a review of how the land that became Kansas was acquired by the United States and of various legislation and treaties that applied before the passage of the Kansas Nebraska Act. Reeder also identified some of the responsibilities of the Legislature including establising a means of determining if Kansas was to be slave or free, establishing counties, setting up a judicial system, levying taxes, organizing a militia, determining a permanent seat of government, and creating a constitution. He also included some statistics from the first official census, which recorded 2,904 qualified voters out of 8,521 residents (only free males could vote). Reeder indicated the need to resolve the issue of selling intoxicating liquors to Native Americans.


Capitol building in Lecompton, Kansas Territory

Capitol building in Lecompton, Kansas Territory
Date: 1855-1856
Correspondence and miscellaneous documents relating to the capitol building in Lecompton, Kansas Territory. Some of these documents include a letter to Governor Andrew Reeder concerning drawings and specifications for the capitol of Kansas, the appointment of Owen C. Stewart as superintendent of construction of the capitol building, and the contract for construction dated December 27, 1855.


Certificate of Service, Franklin L. Crane, Jr.

Certificate of Service, Franklin L. Crane, Jr.
Creator: Kansas Volunteers for the Protection of the Ballot Box
Date: December 11, 1855
Franklin L. Crane, Jr., son of a prominent citizen in Topeka, Kansas Territory, served as a private from November 27 to December 11, 1855, in defense of Lawrence. This certificate of service was signed by several people active in the free state cause, including James H. Lane and Charles Robinson.


Charles H. Branscomb to New England Emigrant Aid Company, Expense Account.

Charles H. Branscomb to New England Emigrant Aid Company, Expense Account.
Creator: Branscomb, Charles H.
Date: January 1, 1855 - May 1, 1856
A typical expense report submitted by Charles H. Branscomb, general agent for the New England Emigrant Aid Company in Kansas Territory, detailing his expenditures for 1855 and part of 1856. Among the expenses Branscomb listed were travel, postage, paper, and telegraph costs.


Charles Robinson circular for the Free State Executive Committee

Charles Robinson circular for the Free State Executive Committee
Creator: Robinson, Charles, 1818-1894
Date: 1855
Charles Robinson wrote this printed letter on behalf of the Free State Executive Committee of Kansas Territory. In it, he encouraged free state supporters to monitor the upcoming elections for delegate to Congress and for delegates to the constitutional convention to see that they were conducted fairly. He wanted them to note if non-residents were voting or serving as election officials and if residents were being prevented from voting. The circular encouraged free state voters to arrive at the polls early. J. K. Goodin was the secretary of the group. These elections were held under the auspices of the Topeka Movement.


Charles Robinson to A. Guthrie, Esq

Charles Robinson to A. Guthrie, Esq
Creator: Robinson, Charles, 1818-1894
Date: December 05, 1855
A letter written by Charles Robinson and George W. Deitzler to A. Guthrie asking for help in defending Kansas Territory from Missouri insurgents. He tells Guthrie that 350 armed men from Missouri are encamped at Lecompton and Wakarusa. Robinson states that he has sent messages to all parts of the territory, the northern states and the President of the United States asking for assistance. He writes that war is inevitable. A searchable, full-text version of this letter is available by clicking "Text Version" below.


Charles  Robinson to Amos A. Lawrence

Charles Robinson to Amos A. Lawrence
Creator: Robinson, Charles, 1818-1894
Date: September 28, 1855
Charles Robinson, writing from Lawrence, Kansas Territory, to Amos A. Lawrence, expressed his optimism about the prospects of Kansas entering the union as a free state within one year. Robinson also informed Lawrence that he had drawn upon him for $1,000.00 to cover New England Emigrant Aid Company expenses.


Charles Robinson to Capt. Grosvenor P. Lowry

Charles Robinson to Capt. Grosvenor P. Lowry
Creator: Robinson, Charles, 1818-1894
Date: December 8, 1855
Charles Robinson, Commander-in-Chief of the free state military forces, wrote from Lawrence, Kansas Territory, to Grosvenor P. Lowry, captain of a free state militia regiment, instructing Lowry to attach his command to the newly organized regiment under the command of James Lane, Robinson's second-in-command.


Charles Robinson to Eli Thayer

Charles Robinson to Eli Thayer
Creator: Robinson, Charles, 1818-1894
Date: July 26, 1855
Charles Robinson, free state leader and activist, wrote to introduce James Abbott to Eli Thayer, organizer of the New England Emigrant Aid Company. Robinson described Abbott as trustworthy and "true as steel to the cause of Freedom in Kansas." He wrote that the rifles previously shipped to Lawrence had had a "very good effect," and suggested that Thayer procure more. On the back of Robinson's letter, Charles Branscomb, Secretary pro tempore of the New England Emigrant Aid Company, wrote an endorsement of Robinson as an agent for the Company, and added his own support of James Abbott.


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