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1st Kansas Colored Infantry flag

1st Kansas Colored Infantry flag
Date: between 1862 and 1864
Blue silk regimental flag of the 1st Kansas Colored Infantry, the first African American regiment from a northern state in the Civil War. Recruitment began August 1862, although they weren't mustered into Federal service until January 13, 1863. They saw their first action at Island Mound, Mo., October 29, 1862. The flag bears the names of eight battle honors. In 1864 the regiment was redesignated the 79th United States Colored Regiment.


Address to the American People on the Affairs of Kansas, pamphlet

Address to the American People on the Affairs of Kansas, pamphlet
Date: 1857
This address recounted the history and purpose of the formation of the Kansas State Government of Topeka, in peaceful opposition to that of the Territory. The free state message accused the systems of the Territorial Government of encouraging influence from abroad in their election process, and indicated that they had nothing inherently against Missouri's citizens as a whole, but implored that they not attempt to violate the rights of Kansas settlers. The address stated that the Territory was "organized for defence" by a pledge from Governor Walker, and appealed that outsiders remain in their homes for the benefit of all.


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.


Augustus Wattles to George W. Brown

Augustus Wattles to George W. Brown
Creator: Wattles, Augustus, 1807-1876
Date: October 15, 1856
Augustus Wattles writes to Mr. [?] Brown requesting reimbursement for some $700 he had lost in the cause. Although Wattles had not expected to recoup his losses, and in fact had planned "to give all these items gratis to the free state cause," he has heard "a committee" had funds for that purpose, and he was ill and in need of money. His claim included a couple horses, a mule, and room and board for various free state people he had taken in when they were in need of shelter.


Augustus Wattles to John Brown?

Augustus Wattles to John Brown?
Creator: Wattles, Augustus, 1807-1876
Date: August 21, 1857
Augustus Wattles wrote to John Brown from Lawrence, August 21, 1857, regarding several matters but focused again on problems within the Free State movement because of a loss of confidence in Charles Robinson's leadership. Robinson had openly criticized G. W. Brown and the Herald of Freedom and the factious party could accomplish little, but Wattles was confident that free staters would vote in and win the October election for territorial legislature.


Battle of Hickory Point

Battle of Hickory Point
Creator: Reader, Samuel J.
Date: between 1856 and 1914
Painting by Samuel Reader depicting the Battle of Hickory Point. Reader, an early settler of Shawnee County, was a member of a volunteer Free State company. On September 13, 1856, General James Lane heard that proslavery men were committing outrages in the town of Grasshopper Falls (Valley Falls). Lane marched to Ozawkie and recruited Free State settlers. Shortly thereafter, he heard that the proslavery forces were at Hickory Point, north of Oskaloosa, and so redirected his men there. The proslavery forces, which included about 40 South Carolinians, were under the command of Captain H. A. Lowe. According to Reader's accounts, only one Free State man was injured, but between 5-6 proslavery men were killed when these forces collided. Reader was an amateur artist and kept diaries of his life in territorial Kansas. The exact date Reader produced this painting is unknown; many of his historical art works were painted from memory at the end of the 19th century.


Benjamin D. Castleman territorial loss claim

Benjamin D. Castleman territorial loss claim
Creator: Strickler, Hiram Jackson
Date: 1859
Report of H.L. Strickler, Commissioner to Audit Claims of Citizens of the Territory of Kansas, contained in the U.S. Congressional Serial Set of congressional and executive documents. Benjamin D. Castleman, Tecumseh, Shawnee County, presented claim #216 for losses suffered in August and September, 1856. He operated as a merchant so his claim listed groceries, clothing, dry goods, medicines, guns, hardware, books and stationery, and tin and glassware. He stated that the damage was caused by about 50 well armed men under the command of James H. Lane and another group of 200 men under the command of "Captains A. Jameson, Cleveland, and Charles Moffet." Each claimant had to submit an itemized list and have two witnesses attest to the losses claimed. Even though many of these claims were approved for payment, no funds were ever appropriated or distributed.


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.


C. G. Allen's response to Redpath and Hinton's call for information about John Brown

C. G. Allen's response to Redpath and Hinton's call for information about John Brown
Creator: Allen, C. G.
Date: December, 1859
Allen, a "minister of the Gospel" at Cottonwood Falls, Kansas Territory, writes in response to James Redpath's and R. J. Hinton's call for "anecdotes & reminiscences" concerning "the brave & philanthropic [John] Brown," who the preacher first met in 1856 in Lawrence, Kansas. Allen left Lawrence when a call came for volunteers to aid in the defense of Osawatomie, Kansas, in August of that year. While there engaged, he saw his first "Border Ruffians," whom he described as "miserable specimens of humanity. They were ragged & dirty. Their cloths & faces were to a considerable extent covered with tobacco spit." Allen and the men with whom he traveled missed the Battle of Osawatomie by moving south before the attack in an effort to find the attackers before they reached the town.


Campaigning in the Army of the Frontier

Campaigning in the Army of the Frontier
Creator: Greene, A.R.
Date: 1861-1865
This item, written Albert R. Greene in the years after the Civil War, describes his experiences campaigning with the Army of the Frontier. A member of Company A, 9th Kansas, Cavalry, Greene joined the U.S. Army just over a year after the Civil War began. His recollections describe a number of things, including life in the Army, the geography of Kansas, interactions with Native Americans, and wartime combat.


Certificate, James Abbott as Brigadier General

Certificate, James Abbott as Brigadier General
Date: July 15, 1857
James Lane, from the Headquarters of the Kansas Volunteers free state militia, issued this certificate to appoint James Abbott (Brigadier General of the 1st Brigade) to organize people to protect the ballot boxes during the upcoming elections. Election fraud, in the form of multiple votes cast by pro-slavery men, was a constant concern of free state supporters.


Certificate of Service, Franklin L. Crane, Jr.

Certificate of Service, Franklin L. Crane, Jr.
Creator: Kansas Volunteers for the Protection of the Ballot Box
Date: December 11, 1855
Franklin L. Crane, Jr., son of a prominent citizen in Topeka, Kansas Territory, served as a private from November 27 to December 11, 1855, in defense of Lawrence. This certificate of service was signed by several people active in the free state cause, including James H. Lane and Charles Robinson.


Certificate of election, James Abbott, Representative to the General Assembly of Kansas

Certificate of election, James Abbott, Representative to the General Assembly of Kansas
Creator: Lane, James Henry, 1814-1866
Date: February 19, 1856
Certification of James Abbott's December 1855 election to the post of Representative for the First Senatorial District in the General Assembly of Kansas under the provisions of the Topeka Constitution. The certificate is signed by James Lane and Joel Goodin, Chairman and Secretary of the Executive Committee, respectively.


Charles Robinson to Capt. Grosvenor P. Lowry

Charles Robinson to Capt. Grosvenor P. Lowry
Creator: Robinson, Charles, 1818-1894
Date: December 8, 1855
Charles Robinson, Commander-in-Chief of the free state military forces, wrote from Lawrence, Kansas Territory, to Grosvenor P. Lowry, captain of a free state militia regiment, instructing Lowry to attach his command to the newly organized regiment under the command of James Lane, Robinson's second-in-command.


Charles Robinson  to John Brown

Charles Robinson to John Brown
Creator: Robinson, Charles, 1818-1894
Date: September 13, 1856
Charles Robinson wrote to John Brown from Lawrence on September 13, 1856, a short note encouraging Brown to give Governor Geary, who "talks of letting the past be forgotten," a chance and to come to town to "see us." A note from John Brown, Jr., on the bottom of the page, however, advised caution, as he had "no doubt an attempt will be made to arrest you as well as Lane."


Charles Robinson to Sara Robinson

Charles Robinson to Sara Robinson
Creator: Robinson, Charles, 1818-1894
Date: January 19, 1861
Charles Robinson, writing to his wife, Sara Robinson, in Lawrence, Kansas Territory, on January 19, 1861, is confident that things still looked good from him in Washington, D.C. Robinson mentions numerous men of political influence who he believes will be supportive and thus insure his appointment as Commissioner of Indian Affairs.


Charles Robinson to Sara Robinson

Charles Robinson to Sara Robinson
Creator: Robinson, Charles, 1818-1894
Date: January 11, 1861
From Lawrence, Kansas Territory, Robinson writes his wife Sara, who was still in the East, concerning Jim Lane's efforts to destroy Robinson's influence. The governor is not too worried, however, and writes that he could "by paying a little attention to the matter make him smell worse than ever. He and his friends are already beginning to falter in their course for fear that I will turn the tables on them which I can do with ease."


City of Lawrence, Kansas, and its additions

City of Lawrence, Kansas, and its additions
Creator: Wheeler, Holland
Date: 1850s
This plat shows the city of Lawrence in Douglas County, Kansas. The map has been scaled one inch to 300 hundred feet and depicts blocks of city streets with plans for future additions. Portraits of city leaders have been inserted around the boundaries of the map including James H. Lane, Alonzo Fuller, Amos A. Lawrence, John Speer, G. W. Smith, Frank B. Swift, [Carmi W.] Babcock, and Wesley H. Duncan.


Commission, James Montgomery, captain

Commission, James Montgomery, captain
Date: September 16, 1857
This printed commission, issued from the "Head-Quarters Kansas Volunteers, For the Protection of the Ballot-Box," was given to James Montgomery and signed by J. H. Lane and M. F. Conway, adjutant general, on September 16, 1857. Montgomery was commissioned captain of the "Little Sugar Creek Company." [This would have been specifically for the territorial election held October 5, 1857.]


Constitutional Convention Proclamation

Constitutional Convention Proclamation
Creator: Lane, James Henry, 1814-1866
Date: 1855
This broadside signed by J. H. Lane was addressed "to the legal voters of Kansas Territory." It contained a great deal of free state rhetoric about the failure of the territorial government. The proclamation was issued in support of the elections that were to be held by the Topeka Movement to elect delegates to a constitutional convention. This document listed the polling places, instructions to elections judges and qualification for legal voters. J. K. Goodin was listed as secretary.


Dr. Charles Robinson account book

Dr. Charles Robinson account book
Creator: Robinson, Charles, 1818-1894
Date: January 1858 - June 1859
This cloth bound journal, identified as "Account Book of Gov. Charles Robinson, January 1, 1858 to June 15, 1872," began with an "Inventory of Property belonging to C. Robinson," land and shares, as well as a list of people to whom he owed money. The inventory referred to Lawrence property, a "Wyandotte Float," and shares in the towns of Topeka, Quindaro, etc.


Draft of the Wakarusa treaty

Draft of the Wakarusa treaty
Creator: Shannon, Wilson, 1802-1877
Date: December 08, 1855
On November 21, 1855, Charles W. Dow, a free-state man, was shot by Franklin N. Coleman, a pro-slavery leader, near Hickory Point, Douglas County, in a dispute over a claim. Sheriff Jones, of Douglas County, arrested Jacob Branson, who lived with Dow. Branson was subsequently taken from Sheriff Jones by a group of free-state men. Sheriff Jones and approximately 1500 militia volunteers from Missouri laid seige to Lawrence, claiming there was a rebellion. By December 8, the free-state forces, led by James Lane, Charles Robinson and Lyman Allen, convinced Governor Shannon that they were only planning to defend Lawrence, not go on the offensive. These documents, from what came to be called the "Wakarusa War," include an officer's commission and several discharges of members of the Kansas Rifles No. 1--the free-state militia--and a draft of the treaty that was signed by Lane, Robinson, and Governor Wilson Shannon to end the "war."


Edmund Burke Whitman to George Luther Stearns

Edmund Burke Whitman to George Luther Stearns
Creator: Whitman, E. B. (Edmund Burke), 1812-1883
Date: April 30, 1858
Whitman's April 30, 1858, letter to Stearns described the harmonious work conducted by the "State Convention" and its nomination of state officers under the Leavenworth Constitution. That movement, he told Stearns, would probably not "amount to much if the Lecompton Constitution is rejected. He also mentioned continued tension in Bourbon County and the route of U.S. troops by "the free State boys" of Fort Scott.


Election, location of capital of Kansas, Topeka Convention, 1855

Election, location of capital of Kansas, Topeka Convention, 1855
Date: October 23, 1855
The Free-State government held a constitutional convention in Topeka, Kansas Territory, from October 23 through November 11, 1855. One of its actions was to vote on the location for the capital of Kansas. According to these tally sheets, Topeka defeated Lawrence on the second ballot, 20 to 16. Numerous other towns received votes from the convention delegates on the first ballot.


F.D. Kimball to Eli Thayer

F.D. Kimball to Eli Thayer
Creator: Kimball, F. D.
Date: May 30, 1856
F. D. Kimball, Attorney General of Ohio, wrote from Columbus, Ohio to Eli Thayer. Kimball reported on James Lane's recent visit to Ohio and described Lane's plans to establish a "line of communication with Kansas via Iowa & Nebraska" for the passage of emigrants and supplies. This line of communication, which allowed free state supporters to bypass Missouri in travelling to Kansas, became known as the Lane Trail.


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