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People - Notable Kansans - Wood, S. N. (Samuel Newitt)

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1855 rescue of free stater Jacob Branson

1855 rescue of free stater Jacob Branson
Creator: Abbott, James Burnett, 1818-1897
Date: Between 1855 and 1860
James Abbott, a free state activist who participated in several Kansas Territory conflicts (including the rescues of John Doy and Jacob Branson), wrote this account of the 1855 rescue of Jacob Branson. In his account, Sheriff Jones, supported by the proslavery "bogus" legislature, had arrested Jacob Branson, a free state man who witnessed the murder of Charles W. Dow by Franklin Coleman, a proslavery neighbor. Abbott and his cohorts successfully rescued Branson, although their actions were controversial even among fellow free state supporters. Certain aspects of Abbott's account of these events disagreed with an earlier account provided by Samuel Wood, and Abbott addressed those discrepancies in this document. [Abbott's account, obtained either by handwritten manuscript or personal interview, is presented here as an annotated typed transcript.]


A. J. Beach to Samuel N. Wood

A. J. Beach to Samuel N. Wood
Creator: Beach, A. J.
Date: April 22, 1860
Writing from Beach Valley (Rice County) in Kansas Territory, A. J. Beach requests Samuel Wood's legal advice with regard to Beach's options in a bridge dispute. It seemed that Beach had received a charter to build a toll bridge [over Cow Creek], and another party (William Edwards, et al) put up a "temporary" one before his was finished. They were now diverting traffic away from Beach's completed bridge. "I wish to know if anything can be done with them at law . . ."


Alexander C. Spilman to Samuel N. Wood

Alexander C. Spilman to Samuel N. Wood
Creator: Spillman, A. C.
Date: January 14, 1861
From Salina, Alexander Carraway Spilman wrote "as one of your [Wood's] constituents" regarding his opposition to a Junction City proposal that to change the boundary line between Dickinson and Davis counties to increase the size of the former at the expense of the latter. Spilman believed "A change in the lines of Dickinson would necessarily involve a change in the lines of Saline which is something that must not be done under any circumstances."


Annals of Kansas, April, 1856

Annals of Kansas, April, 1856
Creator: Wilder, Daniel Webster, 1832-1911
Date: April, 1856


Beware of frauds!  Down with the disorganizers!

Beware of frauds! Down with the disorganizers!
Creator: Central Committee
Date: 1858
This poster discusses the slate of candidates for a constitutional convention (Leavenworth?), cautioning free state men to beware of attempts to divide them and thus weaken their ability to challenge the pro-slavery force. It also warns about split Free State tickets.


Championship of Woman

Championship of Woman
Creator: Train, George Francis, 1829-1904
Date: 1867
This pamphlet contains excerpts from and/or newspaper accounts of thirty speeches that George Francis Train, a supporter of women's rights, gave in Kansas over a two week period in October and November of 1867. Train came to Kansas after participating in an excursion to the Rocky Mountains with approximately 200 newspapermen to hunt buffalo. Numerous Kansas women's suffrage supporters are mentioned in the booklet. Train gave speeches in Leavenworth, Lawrence, Olathe, Paola, Ottawa, Mound City, Fort Scott, LeRoy, Humboldt, Burlington, Emporia, Junction City, Topeka, Atchison, Wyandotte, and possibly other communities. Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton were also campaigning in Kansas and shared the podium and/or communicated with Train. Train was an author, speaker, and a celebrity for his eccentricity.


Charles Langston to Samuel Wood

Charles Langston to Samuel Wood
Creator: Langston, Charles
Date: June 20, 1867
This letter was written to Samuel Wood from Charles Langston, the leader of the black male suffrage movement in Kansas. Langston addressed two issues; removing the word white from the Kansas Constitution and women's suffrage. The word white prohibited black males from voting in Kansas leaving them powerless. Although Langston did support women's suffrage, he felt their movement was hampering the progress of black male suffrage. Therefore, he was not going to speak on the issue of women's suffrage. Like many Kansans during this time, Langston thought women should wait their turn for their right to vote. Samuel Wood was an influential politician and a supporter of women's suffrage but not black male suffrage. Black men were unable to vote in Kansas until the passing of the fifteenth amendment in 1870.


Charles Langston to Samuel Wood

Charles Langston to Samuel Wood
Creator: Langston, Charles
Date: April 7, 1867
Charles Langston, Leavenworth, Kansas, wrote this letter to Samuel Wood, Cottonwood Falls, Kansas, in response to a letter Wood had written him on April 4, 1867, concerning a suffrage convention in Topeka. Langston was unable to attend and felt misrepresented. Wood claimed Langston thought supporters of female suffrage opposed Negro suffrage, which was not the case. Langston went on to explain that he needed Wood's financial help to secure black male voting rights. Enclosed at the end of the letter is a petition from the State Executive Committee of Colored Men. This proposition asked for two things; a vote in the fall election to remove the word white from the state constitution and funds to further the black male suffrage cause. The vote to remove the word white did not pass in the fall of 1867. Black men had to wait three more years before they received their right to vote in Kansas elections. Charles Langston later served as the principal of the Normal School--Colored in Quindaro, Kansas.


Charles Robinson to Amos Adams Lawrence

Charles Robinson to Amos Adams Lawrence
Creator: Robinson, Charles, 1818-1894
Date: May 9, 1859
Transcription of a letter from the Amos Adams Lawrence Collection, Massachusetts Historical Society. Charles Robinson wrote from Lawrence, Kansas Territory, to Amos A. Lawrence in Massachusetts. Robinson described the complicated political situation which had arisen from the development of Quindaro. Personal disagreements between Abelard Guthrie, S.N. Simpson, Joel Walker, and himself were making progress difficult. Robinson hoped that, upon their resolution, they could move forward with securing a contract with the Parkville & Grand River Railroad, as well as plans for a college. Two church groups had expressed interest in opening up their own institutions, or working with Robinson to found one. Robinson included a plat map for a prospective site, to which he did not entirely give his support; he added comments regarding the admission of women to the college, and thanked Lawrence again for his support of their enterprises.


Charles Robinson to George R. Morton

Charles Robinson to George R. Morton
Creator: Robinson, Charles, 1818-1894
Date: March 9, 1859
In this typed "transcript" of a letter from Lawrence, Kansas Territory, dated March 9, 1859, Charles Robinson confirmed Morton's apparent conclusion that Robinson preferred Governor Salmon P. Chase for president in 1860. Robinson considered Chase "the purest & best Statesman in the country," and thought he was "more available than any other man of whatever shade of political faith," including William Seward. Robinson also comments on the Kansas scene which was "badly cursed with the most unscrupulous demagogues that ever afflicted any people, & there is at present but little union of effort or harmony of action among the free State men."


Circular of the State Impartial Suffrage Association

Circular of the State Impartial Suffrage Association
Date: 1867
This circular describes the efforts to secure suffrage for blacks and women in the state of Kansas. The flyer indicates the Henry B. Blackwell of New York and Mrs. Lucy Stone were traveling in Kansas at that time. The Association was being organized in 1867. S. N. Wood was the corresponding secretary for the association. There is a hand written note on the back from H. C. Whitney, Lawrence, Kansas, indicating his willingness to speak for the group.


Colonel Samuel N. Wood and his son David Wood

Colonel Samuel N. Wood and his son David Wood
Date: Between 1865 and 1867
This photograph of Colonel Samuel N. Wood and his son David Wood was taken shortly after the Civil War. It has been so heavily manipulated that it looks more like a hand drawing than a photograph.


Cyrus K. Holliday to Samuel N. Wood

Cyrus K. Holliday to Samuel N. Wood
Creator: Holliday, Cyrus Kurtz, 1826-1900
Date: September 19, 1860
Dated Sept. 19, 1860, from Topeka, Kansas Territory, this brief letter from Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway founder, Cyrus K. Holliday, urges Samuel N. Wood to garner support and signatures to influence the course of a proposed "R.R. [railroad] from the Mo. River via Topeka toward your place. . . . Now is the time to act and act promptly."


Declaration of principles, platform, constitution and by-laws of the National Citizens' Industrial Alliance and proceeding of the National Assembly held at Topeka, January 13 to 17, 1891

Declaration of principles, platform, constitution and by-laws of the National Citizens' Industrial Alliance and proceeding of the National Assembly held at Topeka, January 13 to 17, 1891
Creator: National Citizen's Industrial Alliance
Date: 1891
This pamphlet provides information about the efforts to organize the National Citizens' Industrial Alliance. The organization was trying to unite farmers and laborers into one reform organization to promote issues such as the abolition of national banks, unlimited coinage of silver and gold, and federal laws prohibiting alien ownership of land, dealing in agricultural futures, fair taxation, etc. The group was organized at a meeting January 13--17, 1891, in the Knights of Labor Hall, Topeka, Kansas. Many of these ideas were adopted by the Populists and Populist supporters mentioned in the pamphlet include W. F. Rightmire, S.N. Wood, Mary E. Lease, and Annie Diggs. The constitution and by-laws deal with procedures rather than issues.


Dr. Charles Robinson account book

Dr. Charles Robinson account book
Creator: Robinson, Charles, 1818-1894
Date: August - September 1858
Robinson's August and September 1858 "Account Book" entries included several for the "Quindaro Company," which was being actively promoted and developed at this time. Specific items included reference to the purchase of "2 yoke cattle" for $150.00, "expenses of C.R. at Washington," and an itemized list of supplies and services for the infant river town.


Elias Clark to Samuel N. Wood

Elias Clark to Samuel N. Wood
Creator: Clark, Elias
Date: May 4, 1860
Perhaps in response to a question by Wood about an advertisement for agents, Elias Clark of St. Louis, Missouri, writes that a prospective agent could buy a machine for $35 retail and test it out before trying to represent the product to others. He states his confidence in the "Raymond Double Threaded Family Sewing Machine," and reports it had been getting good reports from agents in Illinois. Clark's letter to Wood was written on the back of printed "rules for agents" and additional information about the sewing machine business.


F. M. Cummins to Samuel N. Wood

F. M. Cummins to Samuel N. Wood
Creator: Cummins, F. M.
Date: November 13, 1859
Writing from El Mendaro in Madison County, Kansas Territory, F. M. Cummins speculates about Wood's November 8, 1859, election defeat. (Interestingly, when the territorial legislature convened in January, 1860, Wood, and not his Democratic opponent, T. S. Huffaker, represented the 23rd District.) In a faded letter, Cummins writes that "the ill timed article in your [Wood's] issue of Oct 31st [the Kansas Press, Council Grove] on Jim Lane pretty effectively "cooked" your prospects in Madison County. . . ." Cummins mentions Wood's candidacy for the state senate (election of December 6, the first under the Wyandotte Constitution) and writes: "Being a Lane man myself and knowing your opposition to him I cannot wish you success. . . ."


F. M. Cummins to Samuel N. Wood

F. M. Cummins to Samuel N. Wood
Creator: Cummins, F. M.
Date: October 3, 1859
From El Mendaro in Madison County, Kansas Territory, F. M. Cummins wrote to S. N. Wood regarding the latter's candidacy for the territorial legislature in the election of November 8, 1859. He asked Wood to clarify his position on general issues concerning loyalty to Republican principles and a boundary issue that had negatively affected Madison County. The 23rd District included Madison, Chase, and Morris counties; Wood ultimately lost this election to T. S. Huffaker, the Democratic nominee, but defeated a third candidate, S. G. Britton, who was mentioned as the local favorite by Cummins. A month later, Wood won a seat in the state senate under the Wyandotte Constitution.


Free State Hotel ball invitation

Free State Hotel ball invitation
Date: 1859
An invitation to a ball held on January 29, 1859, at the Free State Hotel in Lawrence, Kansas Territory, with proceeds going toward refurnishing the hotel "and in some degree retrieving the loss sustained by Col. Eldridge in the destruction of the Eldridge House on the 21st day of May, 1856." Music would be performed by the Lawrence Cornet Band.


Geery & Butterfield to Samuel N. Wood

Geery & Butterfield to Samuel N. Wood
Creator: Geery & Butterfield
Date: April 14, 1860
This letter from Geery and Butterfield of Junction City, Kansas Territory, addresses the issue of preemption and the method of protesting a claim. It is not entirely clear what is meant by the letter, but Margaret Wood, Samuel N. Wood's wife, was a party in this legal matter.


George W. Deitzler to Samuel N. Wood

George W. Deitzler to Samuel N. Wood
Creator: Deitzler, George Washington, 1826-1884
Date: August 18, 1860
In the wake of Abraham Lincoln's nomination, May 16, 1860, as the Republican presidential nominee, Deitzler writes from Lawrence that Mark W. Delahay had gone to Springfield, Illinois, on behalf of "our Gen'l J. H. Lane," and the latter was going East soon, "to howl frightfully against Democracy & in favor of 'Old Abe' & so secure, if possible, the confidence of that good man." Deitzler is worried about the new administration, if it is to be controlled by the likes of Lane and Delahay. On another subject, in behalf of a friend, Deitzler asks about the new territorial divorce law and Wood's availability to handle such a case "in a quiet way."


George W. Hutchinson, Charter of the City of Lawrence

George W. Hutchinson, Charter of the City of Lawrence
Creator: Hutchinson, George W.
Date: c. 1857
This reports that a meeting was held to approve the charter of the city of Lawrence, Kansas Territory. The text of the charter was included. In addition, this report included a message from five citizens regarding reasons for establishing city government.


Harvey J. Espy to Samuel N. Wood

Harvey J. Espy to Samuel N. Wood
Creator: Espy, Harvey J., 1831-1868
Date: November 28, 1859
H. J. Espy, a probate judge in Council Grove, Kansas Territory, writes in response to a letter from Wood, who seemed to have challenged Espy's earlier "charge" that Wood was "connected with the Underground Rail Road." Espy explains that "as I understand the term, Underground Rail Road, I believe there is an inseparable connection between it and the republican party" and that he hadn't applied the connection to Wood personally.


J. B. Hodgin to Samuel N. Wood

J. B. Hodgin to Samuel N. Wood
Creator: Hodgin, J. B.
Date: August 25, 1860
From Cottonwood Falls, Kansas Territory, J. B. Hodgin writes Samuel N. Wood about whiskey that was reportedly "supplied" to the Kaws at Cottonwood Falls on August 23, 1890. Hodgin states that "as is generally the result, a big fight occurred" among the Indians and several were killed. Hodgin calls for an investigation into the incident.


J. B. Woodward to Samuel N. Wood

J. B. Woodward to Samuel N. Wood
Creator: Woodward, J. B.
Date: December 2, 1860
From Junction City, Kansas Territory, J. B. Woodward informs Samuel Wood that Woodward was "elated with the idea" that Wood might move his newspaper to Junction City, and promises to do all he could to support the paper if the relocation came about. According to Woodward, his town needs "a Press just as rabid and saucy as yours" that could effectively counter opposition. Reference is made to a "Geery," apparently H. T. Geery, who switched to the Democratic Party and started a Junction City newspaper.


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