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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.


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.


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.


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.


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."


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.


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."


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.


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.


John W. Whitfield to John A. Halderman

John W. Whitfield to John A. Halderman
Creator: Whitfield, John W. (John Wilkins), ca. 1826-1879
Date: February 1, 1857
John W. Whitfield, the Kansas Territory's delegate to Congress until March 3, 1857, writes John Halderman from "Washington City" regarding the "H__l of a fight" they had had "over Lecompte." Whitfield thinks it likely that it will be left to "Old Buck" (President-elect James Buchanan) to settle things. He also writes concerning his own political prospects and what he was accomplishing for Kansas (e.g., railroad legislation). Samuel D. Lecompte was chief justice of the Kansas Territory from December 1854 to March 1859. President Pierce had appointed James O. Harrison to replace Lecompte in December 1856 but Congress refused to confirm Harrison.


Liberty, the Fair Maid of Kansas, in the Hands of the Border Ruffians

Liberty, the Fair Maid of Kansas, in the Hands of the Border Ruffians
Date: Between 1854 and 1861
This cartoon depicts William L. Marcy, James Buchanan, Franklin Pierce, Lewis Cass, and Stephen Douglas harassing Liberty, the representation of Kansas Territory. A former U.S. senator from New York, Marcy was a leader of the conservative Democrats, with pro-Southern leanings much like those of presidents Pierce and Buchanan; Marcy served as secretary of war (1845-1849) under James K. Polk and secretary of state (1853-1857) under President Pierce, during the worst of the Kansas troubles.


Mary Holliday to Cyrus Kurtz Holliday

Mary Holliday to Cyrus Kurtz Holliday
Creator: Holliday, Mary Dillon, 1833-1908
Date: October 23, 1856
Mary Holliday of Meadville, Pennsylvania, wrote to her husband, Cyrus K. Holliday, likely at Philadelphia. She had returned from a trip to Wooster, Ohio. She reported improved Kansas Territory conditions from one of William D. Paul's letters. Mary was eager to leave for K. T., especially since many Meadville children, including Lillie, were ill, and requested that Cyrus buy household articles. Mary reported that McFarland of Democrat James Buchanan's campaign had bribed voters. Could women vote, John C. Fremont would be elected, she declared. She enclosed a letter to free state governor William Y. Roberts and instructed him to visit Charley Ottinger.


Milton M. Powers to Cyrus Kurtz Holliday

Milton M. Powers to Cyrus Kurtz Holliday
Date: June 7, 1856
Milton M. Powers, Deputy Clerk of Court in Columbus, Ohio wrote to Cyrus K. Holliday, Free State leader and founder of Topeka, Kansas Territory. Powers had read of Holliday's activities in northern newspapers. A presentation of the Wrongs of Kansas, emphasizing Andrew H. Reeder and Samuel N. Wood's experiences, had emotionally motivated Powers to write and assure Holliday of his support. Once a Jeffersonian Democrat, but convicted that the party had abandoned its principles, Powers had become a Republican. He stated that the entire nation was attuned to events in Kansas Territory, and he believed that these events would have intense impact on the nation's future.


Reuben Eaton Fenton, speech "The Designs of the Slave Power"

Reuben Eaton Fenton, speech "The Designs of the Slave Power"
Creator: Fenton, Reuben E. (Reuben Eaton), 1819-1885
Date: February 24, 1858
Representative Reuben Fenton, of New York, delivered this speech on the floor of the House of Representatives, in reaction to the Congressional debate over the validity of the Lecompton Constitution. Believing that the repeal of the Missouri Compromise was a mistake, meant to allow the extension of slavery into the new territories, Fenton emphasized that their forefathers recognized that slavery and anti-slavery men could not coexist. Thus, under the authority outlined in the Constitution, slavery in all Territories should be abolished, in line with the Federal Government's duty to "install a government [in the Territories] conducive to the greatest degree of happiness and welfare" of its residents. Fenton did not believe that the Lecompton Constitution represented the will of Kansas' citizens, insisting that the majority, as free state supporters, were proposing no challenge to the Government constructed by the founding fathers.


Robert John Walker, letter resigning the Office of Governor of Kansas

Robert John Walker, letter resigning the Office of Governor of Kansas
Creator: Walker, Robert J. (Robert John), 1801-1869
Date: December 15, 1857
Robert Walker directed his letter of resignation to Lewis Cass, Secreatry of State of the United States. This printed version of the letter was dated December 15, 1857 and was written in Washington, D. C. Walker indicated that he had accepted the appointment as governor on the expressed condition that the constitution (Lecompton) should be submitted to the people of Kansas Territory for a fair vote. He referred to several statements made in his inaugural address and that his resignation was based on the inability to follow through on principles expressed in that document.


S.G. Hubbard to John Brown

S.G. Hubbard to John Brown
Creator: Hubbard, S. G.
Date: October 6, 1857
S. G. Hubbard, a New Haven, Connecticut, supporter, wrote regarding one of Brown's political tracts, the impossibility of fund raising for the cause during this time of financial crisis, the prospects for a Free State victory in the previous day's election, and the president's recent action that "committed the [Democratic] party to the extremist doctrines of Slavery extension & Slavery Nationalization."


Stephen Arnold Douglas, speech on the President's Message

Stephen Arnold Douglas, speech on the President's Message
Creator: Douglas, Stephen
Date: December 9, 1857
Senator Stephen Douglas delivered this speech in the United States Senate, responding to President Buchanan's decision to let Congress determine whether or not to admit Kansas into the Union. Douglas approved of the decision, as he believed it was not an Executive matter. Douglas reiterated the point that the members of the Lecompton Constitutional Convention were appointed to frame a sample government, subject to the approval of the Territory's citizens, not to make a government themselves. Although he disapproved of the means used to submit the Lecompton Constitution to Congress, Douglas judged that the free state government in Topeka was an unlawful legislative body.


Thaddeus Hyatt to James Buchanan

Thaddeus Hyatt to James Buchanan
Creator: Hyatt, Thaddeus
Date: October 16, 1860
Thaddeus Hyatt, president of the National Kansas Committee, wrote this letter to the President of the United States in an effort to obtain assistance for the suffering inhabitants of Kansas. He described in detail the needs of the settlers, including their lack of adequate winter clothing and the scarcity of food. According to his personal observations, Hyatt concluded that the only options left to Kansas settlers were exodus or starvation. He also asked that all government lands be removed from the market, especially those in the New York Indian reserve.


Thomas Ewing, Jr., to George W. Brown

Thomas Ewing, Jr., to George W. Brown
Creator: Ewing, Thomas, 1829-1896
Date: April 13, 1859
With regard to the formation of the Republican Party at the forthcoming Osawatomie convention, Ewing told George W. Brown, editor of Lawrence's Herald of Freedom, why he believed this was the right course for the "opposition" to take at this time. The Free State Party had, in his opinion, accomplished its objectives, and the Democratic Party contained a proslave faction and was affiliated with the administration. Ewing's objective was "to secure an organization of the Republican or opposition party at Osawattomie [sic], on a just and rational platform, and led by honest & conservative men."


Thomas Ewing, Jr., to Hamp B. Denman

Thomas Ewing, Jr., to Hamp B. Denman
Creator: Ewing, Thomas, 1829-1896
Date: February 23, 1860
Ewing's friend and business associate, Hamp B. Denman, went to Washington, D.C., to seek appointment as register of the U.S. Land Office in Lecompton. President Buchanan "--that damned old scoundrel!"--rejected Denman.


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