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Airmail Special Letter: Robert Carter to Mckinley Burnett

Airmail Special Letter: Robert Carter to Mckinley Burnett
Date: March 31, 1953
Attorney Robert Carter acknowledges receipt of a copy of a letter from McKinley Burnett sent with an enclosed memo from Superintendent of Topeka Schools, Kenneth McFarland. Carter advises Burnett that if the McFarland proceeds in this (possible dismissal of Negro teachers) he would immediately initiate a court action. Carter further advises that he would be in Des Moines and that he would be happy to meet any teachers who have received "these notices."


Anonymous resident to the governor's wife

Anonymous resident to the governor's wife
Date: August 20, 1963
An anonymous Kansas resident writes the wife of Governor John Anderson Jr. of Topeka concerning a proposed atheist colony near Stockton, Kansas. The author expresses her opposition to the colony and regards it as a plot of communist Russia. Madalyn Murray [O'Hair] of Baltimore, Maryland, proposed the colony after the Supreme Court decision in Murray v. Curlett (1963) declared prayer in schools unconstitutional. Ms. Murray formed Other Americans, Inc. (a Maryland corporation) to advance atheist interests and establish an atheist colony in Kansas. Carl Brown, a farmer near Stockton and former Kansas state senator, served as a director of that corporation. Mr. Brown, an avowed atheist, deeded 160 acres of land near Stockton to the corporation. During the 1950s and 1960s, the national debate over the role of religion in public life centered on the use of prayer in public schools. Many people associated atheists with communists and approached this issue from the larger context of the cold war. Historical Society staff removed the author's name and place of residence from this copy of the letter to comply with her request for privacy.


A. Pierse to Eli Thayer

A. Pierse to Eli Thayer
Creator: Pierse, A.
Date: March 31, 1857
A. Pierse wrote from Washington, D.C. to Eli Thayer in Worcester, Massachusetts. Pierse was born in North Carolina and lived most of his life in the South but had been living in Minnesota Territory for the past seven years. He told Thayer that he planned to move to Kansas in the spring of 1857. Pierse offered Thayer his opinion on what free state supporters should do in Kansas Territory. He informed Thayer that, although he had "Southern opinions on the subject of slavery" and believed the federal government had no right to prohibit slavery in the territories, he was "without prejudice for or against either side" in the debate over slavery in Kansas Territory. Pierse suggested that the best course for free staters to take would be to accept the Dred Scott decision, actively participate in the political process in Kansas Territory, and work for the admission of Kansas as a state with or without slavery. Once Kansas was admitted, he contended, free state supporters would be on firmer legal ground to advocate for the prohibition of slavery, since it was generally accepted that "the people have the power to prohibit slavery in their state." He concluded by stating that once Kansas was a state, free staters could make the case that property would be worth 3 or 4 times more if slavery was prohibited in the state.


Archibald Williams

Archibald Williams
Date: Between 1861 and 1863
A portrait of Archibald Williams who was born in Montgomery County, Kentucky. Williams read law to enter the bar in 1828, and he was in private practice in Quincy, Illinois, beginning in 1829. Williams was the United States Attorney for the District of Illinois from 1849 to 1853. On March 8, 1861, Williams was nominated by President Abraham Lincoln to a new seat on the United States District Court for the District of Kansas. He was confirmed by the United States Senate on March 12, 1861, and received his commission the same day. Williams served in that capacity until his death in 1863.


Attorney Robert Carter to McKinley Burnett

Attorney Robert Carter to McKinley Burnett
Date: September 14, 1951
This letter dated September 14, 1951, is from NAACP Assistant Special Counsel Robert L. Carter to Topeka NAACP Chapter President McKinley Burnett. Carter advises Burnett that the National Chapter of the NAACP would require $5,000 to take the Brown case to the United States Supreme Court. However, Carter explained that the money would have to be raised locally and that nearby NAACP chapters could contribute if they so desired.


Birthday party for Judge Richard Dean Rogers

Birthday party for Judge Richard Dean Rogers
Date: Between 1990 and 1999
Here are three photographs showing a birthday party for Judge Richard Dean Rogers. Judge Rogers is the person on the left in the first photograph. The people in the second photograph (l to r) are Marjorie and Don Schanacke and Judge Rogers's wife Cindy. Cindy is holding the cake in the third photograph. In 2010, Judge Rogers was recognized for serving 35 years as a U. S. District Court judge.


Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka: The case of the century

Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka: The case of the century
Creator: Kansas Bar Association
Date: 2004
Produced by the Kansas Bar Association, this 70-minute video features a reenactment of the 1952 and 1953 oral arguments presented to the United States Supreme Court in the landmark school segregation case Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka.


Capital punishment in Kansas

Capital punishment in Kansas
Creator: Kansas Attorney General, Civil Division
Date: March 1, 1974
Staff of the Civil Division of the Kansas Attorney General's Office prepared a legal history of capital punishment in Kansas. This document includes four separate drafts, or versions, of this history. Various lists of persons executed in Kansas are also included. The U.S. Supreme Court decision in Furman v. Georgia (1972) declared many state capital punishment laws unconstitutional, prompting many states, including Kansas, to reconsider their approach to the death penalty.


Certificate presented to Judge Richard Dean Rogers

Certificate presented to Judge Richard Dean Rogers
Creator: Shriners Hospitals For Children
Date: November 13, 2010
A certificate presented to Judge Richard Rogers for his contributions to the Shriners Hospitals For Children.


Charles E. Bledsoe to the NAACP Legal Department

Charles E. Bledsoe to the NAACP Legal Department
Creator: Bledsoe, Charles E.
Date: September 5, 1950
In the letter, Charles E. Bledsoe, attorney for the Topeka Chapter of the NAACP, outlines the general nature of Topeka's situation as influenced by local laws. In particular, Bledsoe refers to the Kansas Permissive Law of 1879 that allowed individual school districts to segregate schools if they so desired. However, the law did not mandate school segregation in Kansas. The response to this letter is Kansas Memory item #213410.


Cyrus Kurtz Holliday to Mary Dillon Holliday

Cyrus Kurtz Holliday to Mary Dillon Holliday
Creator: Holliday, Cyrus Kurtz, 1826-1900
Date: June 9, 1856
Writing from Topeka, Kansas Territory to his wife, Mary Holliday in Meadville, Pennsylvania, Cyrus K. Holliday repeated his previous letter's instructions that neither she nor Mr. Nichols come to Kansas Territory until he wrote again. He mentioned turmoil in district courts and described the positions and numbers of Proslavery forces under General John W. Whitfield and Free-State forces. Colonel Edwin V. Sumner and his federal troops from Fort Leavenworth were attempting to maintain peace.


David J. Brewer and C. B. Brace to William Kincaid

David J. Brewer and C. B. Brace to William Kincaid
Creator: Brewer, David J. (David Josiah), 1837-1910
Date: July 25, 1870
A letter written by David J. Brewer and C. B. Brace, Leavenworth, Kansas, to Reverend William Kincaid, minister of the Congregational Church in Rushville, New York, encouraging him to become the minister of the First Congregational Church in Leavenworth, Kansas. The letter describes the church and invites Rev. Kincaid to spend time with the congregation. He accepted the position and served from the fall of 1870 through January, 1876. Brewer was a lawyer. During his distinguished legal career, he was a Kansas Supreme Court Justice,1871 - 1884, United States Circuit Court Justice, 1884 - 1889, and United States Supreme Court Justice, 1889 - 1910.


David Josiah Brewer, Kansas Supreme Court Justice

David Josiah Brewer, Kansas Supreme Court Justice
Date: between 1884 and 1910
Copy of an original oil painting of David Josiah Brewer, Kansas Supreme Court Justice,1871-1884, United States Circuit Court Justice, 1884 -1889, and United States Supreme Court Justice, 1889 -1910.


David Josiah Brewer, Kansas Supreme Court Justice

David Josiah Brewer, Kansas Supreme Court Justice
Creator: Bell, Charles Milton
Date: between 1871 and 1884
Portrait of David Josiah Brewer, Kansas Supreme Court Justice,1871 - 1884, United States Circuit Court Justice, 1884 - 1889, and United States Supreme Court Justice, 1889 - 1910.


Edmund Burke Whitman? to Franklin B. Sanborn

Edmund Burke Whitman? to Franklin B. Sanborn
Creator: Whitman, E. B. (Edmund Burke), 1812-1883
Date: May 10, 1857
E. B. Whitman (letter not signed, but author's identity is pretty clear), an agent in Lawrence for the National Kansas Committee, wrote Franklin Sanborn in Massachusetts regarding his disappointment with the lack of support being given by "our professed friends" in the East. To their discredit, according to Whitman, Massachusetts "supporters" had refused to provide assistance which was desperately needed for the Kansas settlers who had just endured a very "severe winter." He believed false information was being circulated for political purposes by individuals within the Free State movement: "Kansas, bleeding Kansas, is of value to them only so far as it subserves their selfish ends."


Edward Lucas, James Topping for contempt

Edward Lucas, James Topping for contempt
Date: attachment June 22, 1859
1st District. Funds for digitization provided by Mr. Steve Peckel in memory of William Chalfant.


Erastus D. Ladd & Prentiss to Hiram Hill

Erastus D. Ladd & Prentiss to Hiram Hill
Creator: Ladd, Erastus D
Date: June 27 & 29, 1857
Erastus Ladd wrote from Lawrence, Kansas Territory, to Hiram Hill, who had returned from the Territory to Massachusetts. Ladd explained that the delay in Hill's receiving a map of West Lawrence was on account of the sinking of the steamboat on which the maps were shipped. He also asked Hill for his confirmation of the maintenance agreement several of Hill's renters claimed were in place. Ladd told Hill that new businesses had rented space in his Cincinnati House (previously a boarding house).


Five of state's first-class cities end school segregation

Five of state's first-class cities end school segregation
Creator: Topeka Capital
Date: December 4, 1955
This article describes how Kansas schools had begun?and in some cases completed?the process of desegregation after the Supreme Court case Brown v. Board declared that segregated educational facilities were unconstitutional. Lawrence, Salina, and Atchison had completed integration, while Wichita, Kansas City, and Topeka were still in the process of implementing their plans. In some cases the integration plans were attacked; for instance, in Topeka, students were allowed to continue attending their old school through the sixth grade, a move that some believed was simply reinforcing segregation. Prior to the Brown decision in 1954, only cities with populations over 15,000 ("first-class" cities) were allowed to have segregated grade schools, and some towns, like Pittsburg, had abolished segregated schools before the Brown case.


Franklin G. Adams

Franklin G. Adams
Creator: Leonard & Martin
Date: Between 1876 and 1883
This is a portrait of Franklin G. Adams who was the Secretary of the Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka, Kansas. Adams was a member of the Leavenworth Constitutional Convention. He served as an election judge for the second vote on the Lecompton Constitution. Earlier he was a Clerk of the U. S. District Court of Kansas. In 1875, he became the first secretary of the Kansas State Historical Society.


Gary Sebelius  sworn in as United States Magistrate

Gary Sebelius sworn in as United States Magistrate
Date: June 11, 2003
This is a photograph of (left to right) Judge Richard Dean Rogers, Governor Kathleen Sebelius, Judge Gary Sebelius and Cindy Rogers at the swearing in ceremony for Gary Sebelius as the new United States District Magistrate Judge.


George Jacobs to President Woodrow Wilson

George Jacobs to President Woodrow Wilson
Creator: Jacobs, George W.
Date: October 23, 1919
In this letter, George W. Jacobs of Philadelphia, asks President Wilson to consider a system of county and state courts for the purposes of settling disputes between capital and labor. A copy of this letter was sent to Kansas Governor Henry Allen on November 11, 1919 and in January 1920, Kansas did pass legislation that created the Court of Industrial Relations. This established a tribunal that would decide on labor problems between employers and their employees.


Governor Clyde M. Reed correspondence, Supreme Court

Governor Clyde M. Reed correspondence, Supreme Court
Creator: Kansas. Governor (1929-1931 : Reed)
Date: 1929
This file includes topical correspondence relating to Supreme Court appointments which is part of a bigger collection of Governor Clyde M. Reed correspondence.


Harold Fatzer to Chief Justice Earl Warren

Harold Fatzer to Chief Justice Earl Warren
Creator: Fatzer, Harold R
Date: May 20, 1954
Harold Fatzer, attorney general of Kansas, wrote this letter to the chief justice of the U. S. Supreme Court, Earl Warren, three days after Warren handed down his decision in the case Brown v. Board of Education. In it, Fatzer congratulates Warren on the conclusion of the case and his well-written opinion and notes that, while he himself was personally opposed to segregation, his office had felt it necessary to "sustain the Kansas statute." He also mentions that the integration process in Kansas should be completed within two years.


Harold R. Fatzer to J. Lindsay Almond Jr.

Harold R. Fatzer to J. Lindsay Almond Jr.
Creator: Fatzer, Harold R
Date: July 13, 1951
In this letter, Attorney General of Kansas Harold Fatzer responds to a letter by J. Lindsay Almond, Attorney General of Virginia. Almond had inquired about a school segregation suit against the Topeka Board of Education. Fatzer mentions a similar case in South Carolina, Briggs v. Elliott, and states that the plaintiffs in the Topeka case were arguing that segregation violated their rights under the 14th Amendment. Virginia would later join Kansas as one of the five states represented in the case Brown v. Board of Education. This case reached the U. S. Supreme Court, and in 1954 segregated school facilities were declared unconstitutional. Attached to this letter is Almond's initial inquiry.


Harry M. Washington

Harry M. Washington
Date: Between 1944 and 1959
This is a photograph of Harry M. Washington who was the Clerk of the United States District Court for the District of Kansas.


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