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Abbie Bright diary

Abbie Bright diary
Creator: Bright, Abbie, 1848-1926
Date: 1868-1921
Born in Pennsylvania in 1848, Abbie Bright traveled to Kansas in 1870 as a young woman and her diary is primarily an account of this trip. It gives excellent accounts of daily life and settlement activities. The "diary" is actually composed of two different manuscripts and both are presented here. The first is an eighty-six page loose-leaf diary with consistent entries from September 2, 1870 - December 20, 1871. The second is a bound composition book with 129 written pages. This book begins with a childhood reminiscence written in Iowa in 1914 (p1-23), followed by a reminiscence of her Kansas trip written in Iowa in 1921 (p24-36) that covers Aug 23, 1870 - Jan 30, 1871. The book then includes some recipes dated 1868-1871 and a receipt dated 1884 (p37-41), and finally consistent diary entries from February 2, 1871 - December 21, 1871 (p41-129). A complete, revised transcription of both manuscripts is available by clicking on "Text Version" below. A previous, annotated transcription that combines the 1870-1871 entries from both manuscripts was published in the Kansas Historical Quarterly in 1971 and is available through a link below.


Abstracts of title from the James Stanley Emery Collection

Abstracts of title from the James Stanley Emery Collection
Date: 1869-1872
Abstracts of title from the James Stanley Emery collection. James was born in Franklin County, Maine in 1826. Educated at Waterville College, he was admitted to the bar in New York in 1854. He was involved with the New England Emigrant Aid Company, coming to Kansas with the second party of immigrants, and generally in free state activities in Kansas to ensure that it became an anti-slavery state when it entered the Union. Through the following years, he worked in numerous states for the cause. Emery was a member of the Leavenworth constitutional convention and served on the Kansas Legislature in 1862 and 1863. He was a lawyer and worked as a journalist for the New York Daily Times. President Abraham Lincoln appointed Emery U.S. District Attorney for Kansas in 1864. In 1891 he was president of the Kansas State Historical Society. Emery died in Lawrence in 1899.


Allen County Jail

Allen County Jail
Creator: Kansas State Historical Society. Historic Preservation Office
Date: 2012
Allen County Jail is located in Iola, Allen County, Kansas. It was built in 1869 by White and Hays. The building was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1971.


Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad time table no.3

Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad time table no.3
Creator: Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railway Company
Date: September 23, 1869
This time table is in two parts. The first part is the schedule for trains numbers 1 and 3 (west bound) and trains numbers 2 and 4 (east bound) between North Topeka and Burlingame, Kansas, showing arrival and departure times. The second part of the schedule is the rules for running trains.


Atchison Topeka and Santa Fe Railway Company depot, Topeka, Kansas

Atchison Topeka and Santa Fe Railway Company depot, Topeka, Kansas
Date: 1869
This sepia colored photograph shows the first Atchison Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad Company depot at Fourth and Holliday streets in Topeka, Kansas. The two-story wooden structure completed in 1869 served as a passenger and freight depot. The Fred Harvey House was located on the second floor of the building.


Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway Company depot, Topeka, Kansas

Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway Company depot, Topeka, Kansas
Creator: Feria, Julius
Date: Between 1869 and 1879
This photograph shows an illustration of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway Company depot in Topeka, Kansas at the intersection of Fourth and Holliday Streets. The station was built in 1869.


Baseball bat

Baseball bat
Date: 1869
This oversized pine baseball bat was presented to Dudley C. Haskell (1842-1883) in 1869 by residents of Lawrence, Kansas. Haskell was a local shoe merchant and a member of the town baseball team, the Kaw Valleys. He had a reputation for hitting home runs. After the bat was presented, Haskell allegedly hit a home run with it in a game. Haskell became a Congressman and secured the funding for the Indian School in Lawrence that today bears his name, the Haskell Indian Nations University.


Bird's eye view of the city of Atchison, Kansas

Bird's eye view of the city of Atchison, Kansas
Date: 1869
This colored lithograph is a bird's eye view of Atchison, Kansas, the county seat of Atchison County. The legend at the bottom of the image lists the Court House, Jail, the Public School, St. Benedict's College (Benedictine), Turner Hall, the shops of the Central Branch of the Union Pacific Railroad, the Missouri Valley Railroad depot, and a number of churches. Two African American churches are included in the list. Several of the numbers from the legend are difficult to locate on the lithograph. The name of the artist and the publisher of the lithograph are not legible. The Missouri River forms the eastern boundary of Atchison and Winthrop, Missouri, is across the river from Atchison. A number of steamboats are shown on the river including the N. S. Turner.


Buffalo hunt

Buffalo hunt
Date: 1869
This photograph depicts a buffalo hunt along the Big Timber River, located in Ellis County south of Hays, Kansas. Some more well-known members of the hunting party include General George Armstrong Custer, Hill P. Wilson, Captain Tom Custer, and General Samuel D. Sturgis.


C.C. Whitney to Senator Edmund G. Ross

C.C. Whitney to Senator Edmund G. Ross
Creator: Ross, Edmund G. (Edmund Gibson), 1826-1907
Date: January 19, 1869
Letter written by Whitney informing him of a state senate resolution to censor him for his vote against impeachment of President Andrew Johnson and demanding his immediate resignation from political office.


Chief Abram B. Burnett

Chief Abram B. Burnett
Creator: Knight, J. Lee
Date: 1869
This is a photograph of Pottawatomie Chief (Nan-Wesh-Mah) Abram Burnett. In 1838, Burnett and his Pottawatomi bride, Dah-Moosh-Ke-Keaw, were removed with other Mission Band Pottawatomi to a reservation in southeast Kansas. His first wife died in 1842 and in 1843, he remarried Marie Kofflock, a German Catholic immigrant. In 1848 Chief Burnett moved to the area that was later to become Topeka. In Topeka, he farmed a large plot of land near Burnett's Mound along Shunganunga Creek and traded horses. He was a physically large and powerful man, reportedly weighing more than 450 pounds in his later years. He dressed in a coat and trousers and wore a tie when occasions demanded. He often wore a hat and carried an elaborate cane with a handle of rose quartz with a silver collar and an ebonised hardwood shaft, as shown in this photograph. Chief Burnett died June 14, 1870 on his farm near Topeka and his wife and children moved to the Pottawatomi reservation in Oklahoma.


Chief Abram B. Burnett

Chief Abram B. Burnett
Creator: Knight, J. Lee
Date: 1869
This is a photograph of Pottawatomie Chief Abram B. Burnett in 1869. He weighed 450 pounds at the time this photograph was taken, and he died a year later in March, 1870.


Crane and Byron Book Binders, Topeka, Kansas

Crane and Byron Book Binders, Topeka, Kansas
Date: 1869
These are two photographs of Crane and Byron Book Binders on the southeast corner of 6th and Kansas Avenue, also know as the Ritchie Block. The building burned down in November 1869. In the two photographs there is a horse and wagon in front of the building and several men are standing on the sidewalk. Signage on the building advertised T. H. Whitmer & Co. Tin ware, Headquarters Grant Book Bindery, Hardware & Stoves and Topeka Book Bindery and Blank Book Manufactory.


Custer's Indian scouts celebrating the victory over Black Kettle

Custer's Indian scouts celebrating the victory over Black Kettle
Creator: Davis, Theodore R.
Date: January 16, 1869
An illustration portraying General George Armstrong Custer's Indian scouts celebrating the victory over Black Kettle in the Battle of the Washita in November 1868. This illustration was published in Harper's Weekly on January 16, 1869. Funds for digitization provided by Mr. Steve Peckel in memory of William Chalfant.


Custer's command shooting down worthless horses

Custer's command shooting down worthless horses
Creator: Davis, Theodore R.
Date: January 16, 1869
An illustration of General George Armstrong Custer's men shooting horses after the Battle of the Washita which occurred on November 27, 1868. This illustration was published in Harper's Weekly on January 16, 1869. Funds for digitization provided by Mr. Steve Peckel in memory of William Chalfant.


Custer's dumbbell

Custer's dumbbell
Creator: Kennedy, Thomas
Date: between 1869 and 1871
This dumbbell was forged by Fort Hays blacksmith Thomas Kennedy around 1869. It was used by General George Armstrong Custer during his time at Fort Hays. Custer stayed at the fort periodically throughout the time he was stationed in Kansas from 1867 to 1871. He camped outside the fort for part of the summers of 1869 and 1870.


Ellis County organization records

Ellis County organization records
Creator: Kansas. Secretary of State
Date: 1867-1870
In order for an unorganized county to be recognized by the state of Kansas, a certain number of householders/legal electors had to petition the governor. The governor would appoint a census taker. Initially, unorganized counties were required to document that they had at least 600 inhabitants in order to be recognized as a county by the state legislature. Over time the number of residents needed to organize a county changed to 1500 and later to 2500 residents. The census was submitted to the governor who then issued a proclamation indicating that the requirements had been met, appointing county commissioners and a county clerk, and naming a county seat. Not all of these documents are available for each county. Included in this file is the memorial to the governor listing who should be Ellis County's county officials and designating Hays City as the temporary county seat. Also included is a letter certifying votes for Hays City as the county seat and for various county buildings to be contracted for.


Emigrants Crossing the Plains

Emigrants Crossing the Plains
Date: 1869
Photo of a sketch copied from Samuel Bowles "Our New West" of settlers traveling by covered wagons.


Flatware from Fort Harker, 14EW310

Flatware from Fort Harker, 14EW310
Date: 1867-1872
All three pieces of flatware shown here were recovered during the 1996 Kansas Archeology Training Program field school during a metal detection survey at Fort Harker in Ellsworth County. The spoon has the words "SENATE SILVERPLATE" on the back, indicating it was manufactured by Oneida. The pattern on the front of the spoon's handle matches the 'Jean' pattern which was made in 1932, post dating the fort's occupation by 60 years. There are no marks on the knife or the fork. Fort Harker was located adjacent to what was to become the town of Kanopolis in Ellsworth County.


Fort Hays, Kansas

Fort Hays, Kansas
Date: 1869
This photograph represents Fort Hays in Ellis County, Kansas from 1869. Fort Hays was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1971.


Fort Hays guardhouse and prison, Fort Hays, Kansas

Fort Hays guardhouse and prison, Fort Hays, Kansas
Date: 1869
A photograph of the guardhouse and Indian prison at Fort Hays. Fort Hays was an important U. S. Army post that was active from 1865 until 1889. Originally designated Fort Fletcher (after Governor Thomas C. Fletcher of Missouri), it was located five miles south of present-day Walker and became operational on October 11, 1865. Troops stationed at Fort Fletcher were to protect the stage and freight wagons on the Butterfield Overland Dispatch (BOD) traveling along the Smoky Hill Trail to Denver. Despite the presence of the soldiers, Southern Cheyenne and Southern Arapaho Indians continued to confront traffic along the trail. David Butterfield, owner of the BOD, went bankrupt and the line was abandoned. Since the Smoky Hill Trail was no longer in use, Fort Fletcher was closed on May 5, 1866. On October 11, 1866, Fort Fletcher was reopened approximately one-fourth mile north of its previous location, at the confluence of Big Creek and the North Fork of Big Creek. The Union Pacific Railway, Eastern Division, was being constructed westward roughly paralleling the Smoky Hill Trail and construction workers needed the protection of the U. S. Army. In November 1866, Fort Fletcher was renamed Fort Hays in honor of Brigadier General Alexander Hays, who was killed during the Civil War. Some of the famous figures associated with the fort included Wild Bill Hickok, Buffalo Bill Cody, General Nelson Miles, General Philip Sheridan, and Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong Custer. It was also the home of several well-known Indian wars regiments such as the Seventh U. S. Cavalry, the Fifth U. S. Infantry, and the Tenth U. S. Cavalry, whose black troopers were better known as Buffalo Soldiers. After 25 years of service, Fort Hays was abandoned on November 8, 1889. Today four original buildings survive: the blockhouse (completed as the post headquarters in 1868), guardhouse, and two officers' quarters. After its closing in 1889 the land and buildings of Fort Hays were turned over to the Department of the Interior, which later transferred them to the state of Kansas in 1900. When Frontier Historical Park was opened at the site in 1929, only the blockhouse and guardhouse remained of the original fort buildings. The two officers' quarters had been sold at auction in 1902 and moved into town at the time the other buildings were being sold for scrap. The officers' quarters were relocated in 1964 and 1987. The visitor center was built in 1967. Today it operates as Fort Hays State Historic Site; it was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1971.


Fossil Creek Station Indian depredation

Fossil Creek Station Indian depredation
Creator: Kansas Free Press of Leavenworth
Date: June 2, 1869
This item, a English language copy of a story published in German in the Kansas Free Press of Leavenworth, Kansas, was completed shortly after the May 29, 1869, Indian attack on Fossil Creek Station in Kansas. The story states that four men were wounded and two men were killed when they "fell out of the wagon, and afterwards scalped and horribly butchered by the savage Indians." The item also indicates that the attacking party had damaged the railroad track, delaying rail travel and "ditching" trains that failed to spot the damaged section of track. Fossil Creek Station was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2014.


General Order No. 2, 19th Kansas Cavalry

General Order No. 2, 19th Kansas Cavalry
Creator: Crawford, S. J. (Samuel Johnson), 1835-1913
Date: January 2, 1869
This order established the daily routine that must be observed by the cavalry forces located near Fort Cobb. This includes reveille (5:45am), calls for meals, and finally taps (8:25pm).


General order no. 17

General order no. 17
Creator: United States. Army. Kansas Cavalry Regiment, 19th (1868-1869)
Date: April 13, 1869
Colonel Moore of the 19th Kansas Cavalry, at camp near Fort Hays, Kansas, issues general order 17 concerning the turning over of property to the supply department at Fort Hays.


General order no. 17

General order no. 17
Creator: United States. Army. Kansas Cavalry Regiment, 19th (1868-1869)
Date: April 5, 1869
General order no. 17, issued for one regiment of the 19th Kansas Cavalry, on Walnut Creek, Indian Territory, concerns the status of abandoned property.


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