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A.S. Harris to Thaddeus Hyatt

A.S. Harris to Thaddeus Hyatt
Creator: Harris, A S.
Date: September 22, 1856
A.S. Harris wrote from New York to Thaddeus Hyatt regarding an article in the Journal of Commerce that dealt with the upcoming Presidential election and the strife in Kansas. The clipping was attached to the letter, and it included a rather lengthy attack on emigrant aid societies.


Albert D. Searl to Thaddeus Hyatt

Albert D. Searl to Thaddeus Hyatt
Creator: Searl, Albert D
Date: August 21, 1856
The author wrote from Tabor, Iowa to Thaddeus Hyatt, president of the National Kansas Committee. He began the letter by mentioning a skirmish between pro-slavery and free state forces somewhere between Lawrence and Topeka. This correspondence also deals with emigrant settlements within the territory, the shipment of weapons and provisions, and the morale among the emigrants as they struggled to make ends meet. Furthermore, Searl mentioned a great deal about James Lane and his activities within Kansas Territory.


Andrew H. Reeder to John A. Halderman

Andrew H. Reeder to John A. Halderman
Creator: Reeder, Andrew H. (Andrew Horatio), 1807-1864
Date: October 22, 1856
Former Kansas Territory Governor Andrew H. Reeder writes to John Halderman from Easton, Pennsylvania, regarding his business affairs and his desire to have Halderman act as his attorney and agent. Reeder also gives brief attention to the political situation in Kansas Territory and the nation, mentioning the congressional committee investigating the Kansas affairs, the "horrible state of things . . .in our unfortunate Territory," and his belief that, although James Buchanan would win the presidential contest in 1856, "the Republican party is bound to sweep the North within the next four years."


Barstow Darrach to Samuel L. Adair

Barstow Darrach to Samuel L. Adair
Creator: Darrach, Barstow
Date: January 8, 1857
Dr. Barstow Darrach wrote to comment upon recent events at the national level and the prospect of little support for the free state cause from either Congress or President Buchanan. He reported that John Brown was in New York speaking about Kansas, and that Brown was trying to raise some funds and other support for the free state cause.


Barstow Darrach to Samuel L. Adair

Barstow Darrach to Samuel L. Adair
Creator: Darrach, Barstow
Date: November 27, 1856
Dr. Barstow Darrach had returned to New York Hospital after being in Kansas Territory. He wrote that he felt the prospects were not very favorable for Kansas Territory. He had found "some warm friends disposed to yield Kansas to the slave power rather than resort to a revolution," and he believed [President] Buchanan would only pretend to support freedom "until the south can make sure of their prize." Darrach felt it would take a large emigration of settlers to Kansas to make it a free state, and that free state settlers would be thwarted by the "bogus authority" and "another mob from Mo." should the Free State party appear at the polls. He stated that "the strongest argument [against success] that I see is that the people do not seem prepared." He wrote that he would ship clothing, flannel cloth, and blankets to Adair by way of W. F. M. Arny in Chicago.


Bounty Land Grant for Franklin Loomis Crane

Bounty Land Grant for Franklin Loomis Crane
Creator: United States. General Land Office
Date: June 1, 1860
A bounty land grant was originally issued to Oliver Brown, a private during the War of 1812. This document declares that the tract of land described has been turned over to Franklin Crane, a resident of Topeka, who most likely purchased it from the original owner. This was done in accordance with an act of Congress passed on March 3, 1855, entitled "An Act in addition to certain Acts granting Bounty Land to certain Officers and Soldiers who have been engaged in the Military Service of the United States." It was signed by President James Buchanan.


Caleb S. Pratt to Thomas W. Higginson

Caleb S. Pratt to Thomas W. Higginson
Creator: Pratt, Caleb S
Date: December 1, 1856
This letter was written by Caleb Pratt from Lawrence, Kansas Territory, to Reverend Thomas W. Higginson in Worcester, Massachusetts. Pratt thanks Higginson for the revolvers that he had furnished for Pratt's artillery company; Pratt truly appreciates "the high minded reflecting men of the north." Pratt also writes of the uneasy peace, stating that the free state population is still prepared to fiercely resist any encroachment on their liberty, although they are at times discouraged and war-weary. He also mentions the election of President Buchanan less than a month before. Pratt informs Higginson of the escape of the free state prisoners from Tecumseh, Kansas Territory, although he is sure that Higginson is already aware of the incident. Apparently, Pratt had hoped to help with their escape, but he was too late to assist. Pratt reports that other prisoners had also escaped from the prison in Lecompton, Kansas Territory.


Cyrus K. Holliday to Franklin Crane

Cyrus K. Holliday to Franklin Crane
Creator: Holliday, Cyrus Kurtz, 1826-1900
Date: November 14, 1856
The letter, written by Cyrus Holliday from Meadville, Pennsylvania, discusses the results of the 1856 Presidential election and its anticipated impact on the Kansas issue. Holliday describes to Franklin Crane, a prominent Topeka doctor, a meeting in Boston where he was encouraged to make Kansas a free state. Many of those present at the meeting were influential figures in emigrant aid companies. The letter also discusses efforts to make Nicaragua a slave state in order to achieve a compromise with the South. In addition, Holliday mentions making speeches on behalf of John C. Fremont and Kansas.


E.C. Andreas to William Goodnow

E.C. Andreas to William Goodnow
Creator: Andreas, E.C.
Date: January 25, 1859
E. C. Andreas wrote from New England to his friend William Goodnow in Kansas Territory. Andreas reacted to news he had heard regarding "commotion" in the Territory caused by "modern Democrats" and border ruffians, calling them "far worse than fever & ague." He communicated the opinion that there was little hope for Kansas to be admitted to the Union under the current Congress and Administration. Andreas also mentioned Goodnow's management of his land titles.


Edmund B. Whitman to George L. Stearns

Edmund B. Whitman to George L. Stearns
Creator: Whitman, E. B. (Edmund Burke), 1812-1883
Date: February 20, 1858
This rather lengthy report from Lawrence, Kansas Territory, addresses many issues, especially those surrounding the Lecompton constitutional controversy. With "the Topeka Movement . . . abandoned," the question is what would take its place to resist the Lecompton Constitution if it were accepted by the Congress. The territorial legislature had formally "protested against the admission of Kansas into the Union under the Lecompton Constitution," and "the Mass of the people are determined" to resist its imposition. Whitman makes many other interesting observations about the political situation regarding Democrats and Republicans and even abolitionists: "men who seek here and now, on this issue, to break the back bone of slavery forever." In addition to the political, Whitman describes his "labor of distributing the clothing . . . for the relief of Kansas," and discusses in some detail the financial situation regarding the Committee, his personal debt, Kansas relief, and support to John Brown.


Ephraim Nute to Edward Everett Hale

Ephraim Nute to Edward Everett Hale
Creator: Nute, Ephraim
Date: May 10, 1858
Rev. Ephraim Nute, minister of the Lawrence Unitarian Church, wrote from Lawrence, Kansas Territory to Edward Everett Hale, a member of the New England Emigrant Aid Company's Executive Committee. Nute inquired about the possibility of Hale arranging a loan of $2000 at reasonable interest for the completion of the Unitarian Church in Lawrence. He reported on the high rates of interest being charged for loans in Kansas Territory and on the general effects of the panic of 1857 on the territorial economy. Nute also expressed his dissatisfaction with the Buchanan administration's handling of the Lecompton Constitution and his hope that a change in presidential administration in 1860 would result in Kansas' admission as a free state.


Fellow Citizens--In Support of the Wyandotte Constitution

Fellow Citizens--In Support of the Wyandotte Constitution
Creator: Martin, John Alexander, 1839-1889
Date: July, 1859
This eleven-page document is a speech or essay, most likely in John Alexander Martin's handwriting, delivered in support of the proposed Wyandotte Constitution that was ratified by the voters of the territory on October 4, 1859. Martin, a twenty-year-old Atchison editor, served as secretary for the convention, which finished its work at the end of July. This speech, attacking the Democrats for conspiring to defeat the latest free-state constitution and for "the Lecomptonizing of Kansas," was undoubtedly delivered several times during the months of August and September, 1859. It addressed the various issues opponents were likely to use to defeat the constitution at the polls and stressed that, in light of actions of "a servile judiciary," slavery could not be removed from Kansas until it was admitted as a "sovereign state."


Forcing slavery down the throat of a freesoiler

Forcing slavery down the throat of a freesoiler
Date: 1856
An 1856 cartoon depicting President James Buchanan and Senator Lewis Cass standing on a Democratic platform marked "Kansas", "Cuba" and "Central America". They are pulling the hair of a giant Free Soiler as President Franklin Pierce holds down his beard and Senator Stephen Douglas shoves an African American man down the Free Soiler's throat.


G. Stockmyer, Starving Kansas

G. Stockmyer, Starving Kansas
Creator: Stockmyer, G
Date: December, 1860
This broadside was prepared by G. Stockmyer, agent for Kansas Relief. It included descriptions of the conditions in most parts of Kansas Territory from individuals such as Thaddeus Hyatt, Allen Hodgson, and W. F. M. Arny and excerpts from various newspapers. Relief efforts were being coordinated by Samuel C. Pomeroy from Atchison, Kansas Territory. Freight and railroad companies provided free shipping for relief goods sent to K. T.


Gen. Lane's Answer to the President's Message, Lawrence Republican Extra

Gen. Lane's Answer to the President's Message, Lawrence Republican Extra
Creator: Lane, James Henry, 1814-1866
Date: February 13, 1858
This address by General James Lane rebukes President James Buchanan's message about Lane and Kansas Territory. Lane describes the many elections that Kansas had gone through and the intrusions of Missourians into Kansas Territory to rig those elections.


Henry J. Raymond to William Hutchinson

Henry J. Raymond to William Hutchinson
Creator: Raymond, Henry J. (Henry Jarvis), 1820-1869
Date: October 10, 1857
Henry J. Raymond, editor of the "New York Times," speculates that Kansas Territory would become a free state because President Buchanan would pursue such a course out of political necessity. Raymond criticizes the extremism of the Free State activists in Kansas Territory and requests that Hutchinson, who was a "New York Times" special correspondent, seek to report on Kansas affairs in a more balanced manner.


Hiram Hill to Samuel Newell Simpson

Hiram Hill to Samuel Newell Simpson
Creator: Hill, Hiram, 1804-
Date: July 12, 1856
Hiram Hill wrote from Williamsburgh, Massachusetts, to Samuel Simpson in Kansas Territory, suggesting to him at length that he write more slowly and clearly as Hill was having trouble deciphering his news regarding West Lawrence. Hill told Simpson that the people of his area were aroused enough by the continuing accounts of border ruffian violence that they called a meeting and raised $300 for Kansas. He believed that the future of the situation rested with the upcoming presidential election, "free Kansas free speech & free press & Fremont", to keep Congress from passing a "Compromises" bill with slavery.


J. Henry Muzzy to Eli Thayer

J. Henry Muzzy to Eli Thayer
Creator: Muzzy, J. Henry
Date: March 3, 1857
J. Henry Muzzy wrote from Lawrence, Kansas Territory to Eli Thayer in Worcester, Massachusetts. Muzzy informed Thayer that free state supporters in Kansas were not, as Thayer had predicted, discouraged by James Buchanan's election as president in November 1856. He observed that the territory had been quiet during the winter of 1856-1857, but warned that the "ruffians" likely would engage in efforts during the spring of 1857 to discourage eastern emigration to Kansas. Muzzy also commented on the dilemma that free staters faced in deciding whether to pay the taxes levied by the proslavery "bogus legislature." He and his fellow free state supporters were not inclined to pay taxes imposed by a "foreign power," but they also realized that if Governor Geary called in U.S. troops to enforce the law they would have no choice but to pay. Muzzy concluded by stating that he was thankful for the end of the "reign of Frank Pierce," contending that "any change at Washington can hardly be for the worse."


J. Thompson to James W. Denver

J. Thompson to James W. Denver
Creator: Thompson, J.
Date: October 10, 1858
Thompson, writing from the Department of Interior in Washington, D.C., to Governor James W. Denver, urges Denver to remain in the position of territorial governor as a service to the Buchanan Administration and the Democratic party. Thompson indicates that President Buchanan believes Denver could prevent Kansas from seeking admission to the union until it had "the requisite population." Denver, in spite of Thompson's appeal, left office on October 10, 1858.


James M. Winchell to Thaddeus Hyatt

James M. Winchell to Thaddeus Hyatt
Creator: Winchell, James M
Date: September 20, 1856
James M. Winchell wrote from Burlington to Thaddeus Hyatt, president of the National Kansas Committee, regarding an emigrant train of 500 settlers heading south from Iowa City. The author intended to travel to speak with Governor Geary before he met up with the emigrants. Winchell also included in this letter a private insert pertaining to the unscrupulous dealings of a Kansas politician named Dr. Root.


James William Denver, Address to the people of Kansas

James William Denver, Address to the people of Kansas
Creator: Denver, James William, 1817-1892
Date: December 21, 1857
Initial address from Gov. Denver indicating his instructions from the president.


Jefferson Davis, Secretary of War; report

Jefferson Davis, Secretary of War; report
Date: May 23, 1856 - November 12, 1856
Jefferson Davis, Secretary of War, submitted a number of documents in his report to the President that was submitted to the "Two Houses of Congress" on December 2, 1856. There were three sections of documents. Part 1 consisted of letters from the Secretary of War (Davis) and the Adjutant General ( S. Cooper) (pp. 27--35) to Colonel E.V. Sumner, General P. F. Smith, the governors of Kentucky and Illinois, and Major Emery, in relation to a militia force to be employed to aid the legitimate Territorial Government in Kansas Territory. Part 2 (pp.35--61) contained various reports from Colonel E. V. Sumner, commaning officer of the 1st Cavalry at Fort Leavenworth about events in Kansas. The reports include correspondence from Wilson Shannon, territorial governor, and various officers of the 1st Cavalry from Lecompton, Tecumseh, and other locations in the territory. Part 3 (pp. 62-146) was headed "Reports for the Department of the West" and included correspondence from various military officers about the activities of United States troops at various locations in Kansas Territory. This section contained several letters from Daniel Woodson and John Geary, territorial officials. A few non-Kansas items relating to dealings with Native Americans were interspersed among the Kansas Territory correspondence. From the Senate Executive Documents, 34th Congress, 3rd session, Report of the Secretary of War


John Brown, letter known as Old Brown's Parallels

John Brown, letter known as Old Brown's Parallels
Creator: Brown, John, 1800-1859
Date: January 3, 1859
Designated "Old Brown's Parallels" and dated January 3, 1859, from Trading Post, Kansas, this is one of the better-known John Brown documents from Kansas. Written for publication in the newspapers just before his final departure from the territory, Brown began by stating "two parallels"--one being the failure of government to do anything about the murder of free-state men (Marias des Cygnes Massacre) May 1858; the other being his recent raid into Missouri to free eleven slaves and take "some property." In the latter incident, only one white man, a slave owner, was killed, but "all 'Hell is stirred from beneath,'" as the governor of Missouri was demanding the capture of those "concerned in the last named 'dreadful outrage''.


John James Ingalls to Elias T. Ingalls

John James Ingalls to Elias T. Ingalls
Creator: Ingalls, John James, 1833-1900
Date: August 14, 1859
Back in Sumer on August 14, 1859, Ingalls wrote regarding the convention's recently completed work and the prospects for the Wyandotte Constitution, now "before the people." The Democrats were "taking strong ground against it" because of the state boundaries set by the delegates (excluded "Southern Nebraska & Pike's Peak"), there was to be no exclusion of "free negroes" from Kansas, and of the "apportionment," which gave the Republicans, and thus their proposed constitution, a big advantage. "The democracy are furious about it [the apportionment] of course and some temporizing Republicans are inclined to smooth the matter over by explanations and euphimisms. I adopt a different ground . . . ." Ingalls argued that he "was not aware of any extreme favors or kindnesses extended to the people of Kansas in the last four years by the democratic party which warranted any very delicate considerations form the party in power today."


John Jordan Crittenden, speech on the Admission of the State of Kansas

John Jordan Crittenden, speech on the Admission of the State of Kansas
Creator: Crittenden, John J. (John Jordan), 1787-1863
Date: March 17, 1858
John J. Crittenden, a Senator of Kentucky, delivered this speech, which addressed the debate over Kansas Territory's admission to the Union under the Lecompton Constitution, on the floor of the Senate. Crittenden, himself a Southerner, contended that there was enough evidence to indicate that the Constitution that had been submitted was not well supported by the citizens of Kansas Territory, and proposed an idea which would become known as the "Crittenden Amendment" which called for the ratification of the whole Lecompton Constitution by a popular vote in the Territory before Kansas could be admitted as a state under it.


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