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Annals of Kansas, January - February, 1855

Annals of Kansas, January - February, 1855
Creator: Wilder, Daniel Webster, 1832-1911
Date: January, 1855 through February, 1855
D. W. Wilder's "Annals of Kansas," published in 1886, provides a day-by-day chronicle of significant events in Kansas. These are digital images of Annals of Kansas entries for the territorial period of 1854-1861.


Battle of Indianola

Battle of Indianola
Creator: Reader, Samuel James, 1836-1914
Date: 1906
This handwritten section of Samuel J. Reader's autobiography, which was based on Reader's diary from the same period, deals with the "Battle of Indianola," which occurred on August 30, 1856, near Indianola, in Shawnee County, Kansas Territory. Reader describes the day's events, in which no actual fighting occurred, when the local militia gathered to prevent theft and burning by proslavery supporters.


Fannie E. Cole to Zu Adams

Fannie E. Cole to Zu Adams
Creator: Cole, Fannie E.
Date: October 20, 1895
Fannie Cole wrote about slaves in Kansas Territory that she remembered from her childhood. Her family came to the territory in the spring of 1855 and settled in Shawnee County. The families with slaves that she mentioned were George L. Young and his mother, John Young, Louis Harris, and Perry Fleshman. This item is from information collected by Miss Zu Adams in 1895. She was researching the topic of slaves in Kansas and contacted a number of early Kansas settlers requesting information about slaves brought to Kansas Territory. While all of the information she collected was based on reminiscences, it still provides useful information that is difficult, if not impossible, to find elsewhere. Miss Adams and her father F. G. Adams were employees of the Kansas State Historical Society and the information received was donated to that institution.


Kansas and Nebraska Annual Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, Minutes of the Third Session

Kansas and Nebraska Annual Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, Minutes of the Third Session
Creator: Methodist Episcopal Church. Kansas and Nebraska Conference
Date: April 15-19, 1858
The annual conference was held in Topeka, Kansas Territory from April 15 through 19, 1858. The minutes included the names of those attending as well as the business conducted. It listed the various ministerial appointments in Kansas and Nebraska as well as the membership of the committees. The minutes reported on educational efforts at Baker University and Blue Mount Central College. It contained information on the church's stand on slavery and temperance. The constitution of the Kansas and Nebraska Conference Missionary Society was included in the report as were statistics for the various churches.


My experiences with the grasshoppers in 1866-1867

My experiences with the grasshoppers in 1866-1867
Creator: Brown, Mary F.
Date: December 05, 1908
Reminiscences of Mary Brown during the grasshopper invasion for the years 1866 and1867. Mary writes of the grasshoppers devouring almost every bit of green vegetation in sight and her attempts to save her shrubs and flowers from being destroyed. She also writes of the grasshoppers laying eggs, the eggs hatching, and the young eating as much as the adults. This cycle happened several times that year. Once the grasshoppers left, the Brown's replanted with the help of seed sent by Senator Pomeroy.


Price Raid

Price Raid
Creator: Reader, Samuel James
Date: 1865
This watercolor with pencil shading was done by Samuel J. Reader of Indianola, Kansas. The painting depicts Confederate soldiers marching Union prisoners of war while a haystack burns in the background. The artist was an eyewitness to the scene, having been captured with other members of the Second Kansas Militia following General Sterling Price's Raid into Kansas. The Price Raid was a multi-day running battle that happened very near the Kansas-Missouri border in the fall of 1864. Samuel Reader was Quartermaster for the Second Kansas during the raid's Battle of the Big Blue on October 22, where Union forces were routed. The prisoners later were marched to Tyler, Texas. Reader escaped by tricking his captors into believing he was a Confederate soldier. A four-day walk brought him home to Indianola, just north of Topeka, where he recorded his adventures in a journal.


Robert McNown

Robert McNown
Date: Between 1861 and 1865
This is a photograph of Robert McNown dressed in his military uniform. He is identified as a member of the 2nd Kansas Volunteers, Company D. McNown came to Indianola, Kansas, in 1855 and was involved in abolitionist activities. According to a family history, he was killed during the Civil War. The caption of the image indicates he was the husband of Sarah Drought.


Samuel J. Reader

Samuel J. Reader
Samuel J. Reader lived in Shawnee County, Kansas Territory, and participated in some free state activities. He wrote about his daily life (including descriptions of the Battles of Indianola and Hickory Point) in his diary, which he used as the basis for an autobiography he illustrated with drawings and watercolor paintings. This photograph is a copy that Reader made from a daguerreotype taken of him in 1855 at age eighteen. The copy was produced on March 1, 1894, in La Harpe, Hancock County, Illinois.


Samuel J. Reader

Samuel J. Reader
Creator: Reader, Samuel James, 1836-1914
Date: 1898
This is a cabinet card showing Samuel J. Reader (1836-1914), who was born in Pennsylvania. He began a diary at the age of 13 and continued it until his death in 1914 at the age of 78. The diary--and the autobiography he wrote from it--describes his move to Kansas Territory in 1855, his claim near Topeka, his military experiences, farming, and his later service as Soldier Township trustee and school district clerk. He liberally illustrated his diary and recorded these events on canvas. His best known works are his drawings and paintings of territorial and Civil War experiences including the Battle of the Blue, which he is working on in this photograph. Although rather naïve in style, Reader's illustrations provide a valuable record of early Kansas history, its social and political events.


Samuel J. Reader's autobiography, volume 2

Samuel J. Reader's autobiography, volume 2
Creator: Reader, Samuel James, 1836-1914
Date: 1896
This autobiography consists of two sections titled "Border War, Kansas Territory, 1856" and "Hickory Point." Sketches and watercolors by Reader accompany portions of the text. The Border War section describes events in which Reader participated as part of a free state militia. This section provides detail about Reader's militia activities, as well as his contact with John Brown and Aaron Stevens (Captain Whipple). The second section describes the Battle of Hickory Point, which occurred on September 13, 1856. The accounts in the autobiography are based on Reader's diaries.


Samuel James Reader

Samuel James Reader
Date: May 26, 1855
A portrait of Samuel J. Reader, who was a participant in some of the free state activities in Kansas Territory. He wrote about his efforts in his diary, including descriptions of the Battles of Indianola and Hickory Point. His diary accounts also describe his daily life and were used as the basis for an autobiography which he illustrated with drawings and water colors. He lived in Shawnee County, Kansas Territory.


Samuel Reader's diary, volume 14

Samuel Reader's diary, volume 14
Creator: Reader, Samuel James, 1836-1914
Date: 1895-1903
Volume fourteen of Samuel James Reader's diary. Reader gives a daily account of the weather, activities, and his physical condition. An entry made on March 30, 1898 comments on the death of his wife, Lizzie. Reader also attached newspaper clippings of personal interest to some pages of his diary.


Samuel Reader's diary, volume 3

Samuel Reader's diary, volume 3
Creator: Reader, Samuel James, 1836-1914
Date: Between January 1, 1854 and December 31, 1857
Volume three of Samuel Reader's diary documents his life in La Harpe, Illinois, his travels to Kansas Territory, and his life in Kansas Territory. Reader describes daily activities as well as events related to the territorial struggle. He settled in Shawnee County north of Topeka and participated in a militia group at the battles of Indianola and Hickory Point. Reader was an amateur artist and some of the diary pages contain his sketches and water color paintings. This volume has been scanned and presented in its entirety. All pages and sections are included. A searchable transcription is not yet available.


Samuel Reader's diary, volume 5

Samuel Reader's diary, volume 5
Creator: Reader, Samuel James, 1836-1914
Date: January 25, 1860-May 1, 1864
This volume of Samuel James Reader's diary covers most of 1860-1864. The volume begins with his family history and a description of his land claim and includes many color illustrations. Reader refers to this volume as his "private journal and a kind of autobiography." Reader lived in Indianola, Kansas in Shawnee County (formerly Jackson County). The preceding volume four was destroyed by fire. A searchable, full-text (PDF) transcription is available under "External Links" below.


Samuel Reader's diary, volume 6

Samuel Reader's diary, volume 6
Creator: Reader, Samuel James, 1836-1914
Date: April 30, 1864-July 21, 1869
This volume of Samuel Reader's diary covers April 1864-July 1869. Reader also referred to this work as his private journal and day book. Reader lived in Indianola, Kansas, in Shawnee County. In addition to English, Reader writes the diary in French and in shorthand.


Samuel Reader lanternslide

Samuel Reader lanternslide
Creator: Reader, Samuel J.
Date: between 1866 and 1913
Hand painted lanternslide of a man wearing a Freemasons sash and apron, in a handmade wood frame. The slide can be manipulated so the man's arm moves up and down as if he is taking an oath. Part of a collection made by Samuel Reader between 1866 and 1913. Reader was a Kansas farmer who was active in the early Topeka community. He built two homes, served in the Civil War, and wrote in a diary nearly every day for 64 years. Reader began painting slides in 1866 and continued throughout much of his life, holding magic lantern shows for the local community in his house and at church.


Samuel Reader lanternslide

Samuel Reader lanternslide
Creator: Reader, Samuel J.
Date: between 1866 and 1913
Hand painted lanternslide depicting Santa Claus, inside a handmade wood frame. The image is created by two slides sandwiched together in the frame; one containing the image of Santa in a fireplace, the other containing a black spot which masks out the inner part of the fireplace (and Santa). As the slide is moved, Santa appears to emerge from the fireplace. This slide is part of a collection made by Samuel Reader between 1866 and 1913. Reader was a Kansas farmer who was active in the early Topeka community. He built two homes, served in the Civil War, and wrote in a diary nearly every day for 64 years. Reader began painting slides in 1866 and continued throughout much of his life, holding magic lantern shows for the local community in his house and at church.


Samuel Reader lanternslide

Samuel Reader lanternslide
Creator: Reader, Samuel J.
Date: between 1866 and 1913
Hand painted lanternslide depicting a dentist's office, inside a handmade wood frame. Slide depicts a man having a tooth pulled by a dentist. The slide can be manipulated so the dentist appears to yank the tooth with a forceps. Part of a collection made by Samuel Reader between 1866 and 1913. Reader was a Kansas farmer who was active in the early Topeka community. He built two homes, served in the Civil War, and wrote in a diary nearly every day for 64 years. Reader began painting slides in 1866 and continued throughout much of his life, holding magic lantern shows for the local community in his house and at church.


Samuel Reader lanternslide

Samuel Reader lanternslide
Creator: Reader, Samuel J.
Date: between 1866 and 1913
Two hand painted lanternslides inside a handmade wood frame. One depicts a robin, the other a pink rose and carnation. This slide is part of a collection made by Samuel Reader between 1866 and 1913. Reader was a Kansas farmer who was active in the early Topeka community. He built two homes, served in the Civil War, and wrote in a diary nearly every day for 64 years. Reader began painting slides in 1866 and continued throughout much of his life. He held magic lantern shows for the local community in his house and at church.


Samuel Reader lanternslide

Samuel Reader lanternslide
Creator: Reader, Samuel J.
Date: between 1866 and 1913
Pair of hand painted lanternslides depicting a skull and a ghost, inside handmade wood frame. This slide is part of a collection made by Samuel Reader between 1866 and 1913. Reader was a Kansas farmer who was active in the early Topeka community. He built two homes, served in the Civil War, and wrote in a diary nearly every day for 64 years. Reader began painting slides in 1866 and continued throughout much of his life, holding magic lantern shows for the local community in his house and at church.


Samuel Reader lanternslide

Samuel Reader lanternslide
Creator: Reader, Samuel J.
Date: 1866
Hand painted lanternslide of the Grim Reaper (skeleton holding a sickle) inside a handmade walnut frame. This slide is part of a collection made by Samuel Reader between 1866 and 1913. Reader was a Kansas farmer who was active in the early Topeka community. He built two homes, served in the Civil War, and wrote in a diary nearly every day for 64 years. On June 17, 1866, Reader recorded in his diary that he had "made a skeleton on glass" and drew a sketch very similar to this painting. Reader began painting lanternslides in 1866 and continued throughout much of his life, holding magic lantern shows for the local community in his house and at church.


Samuel Reader lanternslide

Samuel Reader lanternslide
Creator: Reader, Samuel J.
Date: 1866
Hand painted lanternslide with handmade wood frame. The slide depicts Satan, and has moveable eyes that change from black to red. This was one of the first lanternslides made by Samuel Reader, a Kansas farmer who was active in the early Topeka community. He built two homes, served in the Civil War, and wrote in a diary nearly every day for 64 years. Reader began painting slides in 1866 and continued throughout much of his life, holding magic lantern shows for the local community in his house and at church. This slide was the first in Reader's first magic lantern show, attended by 120 people at the home of the local doctor.


Samuel Reader lanternslide

Samuel Reader lanternslide
Creator: Reader, Samuel J.
Date: between 1866 and 1913
Handmade kaleidoscopic lanternslide in wooden frame. Hand painted glass panes are painted in multi-colored geometric designs and can be manipulated by turning the opposite crank handle if outfitted with a cable. This slide is part of a collection made by Samuel Reader between 1866 and 1913. Reader was a Kansas farmer who was active in the early Topeka community. He built two homes, served in the Civil War, and wrote in a diary nearly every day for 64 years. Reader began painting slides in 1866 and continued throughout much of his life, holding magic lantern shows for the local community in his house and at church.


Samuel Reader lanternslide

Samuel Reader lanternslide
Creator: Reader, Samuel J.
Date: between 1866 and 1913
This is a hand painted lanternslide depicting the face of a frightened man, his mouth hanging open in a frown, inside a handmade wooden frame. The slide can be manipulated so the man's eyes and tongue move from left to right. Part of a collection made by Samuel James Reader documenting his experiences in the Civil War, showing "How some of the boys / looked when the / Rebels / began to shoot bullets" at the Battle of the Big Blue on October 22, 1864. Samuel was a soldier in the 2nd Kansas State Militia, and kept a diary that included his experiences at this battle and as a prisoner of war. Reader was an early settler in Kansas, building his own home just north of Topeka. He began painting slides in 1866 and continued throughout much of his life, holding magic lantern shows with the local community by putting on slide shows in his house or at church.


Samuel Reader lanternslide

Samuel Reader lanternslide
Creator: Reader, Samuel J.
Date: 1904
This is a hand painted lantern slide depicting a man with horns, inside a handmade wood frame. The slide can be manipulated so the man becomes a werewolf. These images are part of a collection made by Samuel Reader between 1866 and 1913. Reader was a Kansas farmer who was active in the early Topeka community. He built two homes, served in the Civil War, and wrote in a diary nearly every day for 64 years. He also drew and painted illustrations in his diaries. Reader began painting slides in 1866 and continued throughout much of his life, holding magic lantern shows for the local community in his house and at church.


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