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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 C. Morton to Hiram Hill

Albert C. Morton to Hiram Hill
Creator: Morton, Albert C.
Date: September 21, 1857
Albert Morton wrote from Quindaro, Kansas Territory, to Hiram Hill in Massachusetts, apologizing for his prolonged silence due to a lengthy illness. Morton referred to the upcoming October election, which would select the members of the Territorial Legislature. He also spoke of Governor Walker's attempts to regulate the election process by requiring that all voters be residents of the Territory for at least six months prior to casting a vote. Morton added that Samuel Simpson was in town again, but that nothing had been settled regarding his questionable business practices.


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.


Barstow Darrach to Samuel L. Adair

Barstow Darrach to Samuel L. Adair
Creator: Darrach, Barstow
Date: June 8, 1857
Dr. Barstow Darrach, writing from the New York Hospital, wrote Adair in great detail about his opinions of Kansas Territory's Governor Robert J. Walker and other political happenings in Kansas Territory.


E.B. Whitman to George L. Stearns

E.B. Whitman to George L. Stearns
Creator: Whitman, E. B. (Edmund Burke), 1812-1883
Date: April 13, 1858
Letter from Edmund Burke Whitman to George Stearns that details the activities of the last six months and Whitman's take on the inhabitants of the state of Kansas. In his opinion, Kansas has some of the best residents and some of the worst. Whitman mentioned the suspicion that accompanied the exchanges between the two parties in the territory and the fact that if the Lecompton Constitution was adopted by Congress, the Free State men must rally under the Topeka government and resist. A searchable transcription is available by clicking "Text Version" below.


Gaius Jenkins to Charles Robinson

Gaius Jenkins to Charles Robinson
Creator: Jenkins, Gaius
Date: November 29, 1857
From Washington, D.C., Gaius Jenkins, the man who would be shot and killed by Jim Lane on June 3, 1858, writes Robinson regarding an business investment issue (apparently a Wyandotte Float, perhaps involving the Quindaro land investment) of theirs before Congress. Jenkins devotes most of his letter to "the Kansas question," and "that bogus [Lecompton] constitution. Former Kansas Territory governor Robert J. Walker, whom Jenkins "called on" in D.C., branded it "the most damnable absurdity and rong [sic] that he had ever known committed in a Republican government. . . ."


Governor Walker and Lawrence's independent city charter

Governor Walker and Lawrence's independent city charter
Date: July 17, 1857
This extra edition of the "Herald of Freedom" newspaper from Lawrence, Kansas Territory, quotes from proslavery Governor Robert J. Walker's proclamation against Lawrence's "rebellion" in creating an independent city charter, and provides rebuttals to his arguments. The Free State Party was resolved to stand firm, without violence, despite the threatened presence of militia troops in Lawrence. The extra includes the following about Walker: "He may succeed in convincing the South that he is true to his first love, but he cannot succeed in subjugating the people of Lawrence or of the Territory."


Governor Walker and "rebellious subjects" in Lawrence

Governor Walker and "rebellious subjects" in Lawrence
Date: July 17, 1857
This satirical "Proclamation, No. 2, To my rebellious subjects at Lawrence" mocks proslavery Governor Robert J. Walker's opposition to the independent city charter enacted by the antislavery citizens of Lawrence, Kansas Territory.


Inaugural Address of R. J. Walker, Governor of Kansas Territory.  Delivered in Lecompton, K. T., May 27, 1857

Inaugural Address of R. J. Walker, Governor of Kansas Territory. Delivered in Lecompton, K. T., May 27, 1857
Creator: Walker, Robert J. (John), 1801-1869
Date: May 27, 1857
In this long and formal printed document directed to the citizens of Kansas, Robert Walker reviewed various issues facing Kansas Territory. He argued that all of the voters of Kansas Territory needed to vote on the Constitution and that he was pledged to seeing that the elections were fair. He explained that this was the procedure that had been set up by Congress. The address also discussed issues related to public lands in Kansas, particularly grants of lands for railroads and schools and to taxation. Walker addressed the issue of slavery in detail and explained that the "law of the thermometer, of latitude or altitude, regulating climate, labor and productions" would determine the extent of the spread of slavery based on profit and loss. Walker explained that this law rendered slavery unprofitable in cooler climates which were "unsuited to the tropical constitution of the negro race." He also argued that it was more important that the people of Kansas determined their government rather than not having one because of the issue of slavery.


J. H. Kagi to his father

J. H. Kagi to his father
Creator: Kagi, John Henry
Date: April 14, 1857
Having finally made and returned from his long-delayed trip to Nebraska City, Kagi writes his father from Lawrence, Kansas, where he had gone almost immediately "on business." Although he can't discuss the particulars for fear of "bribed P.M. [post master?] spies," Kagi makes some interesting observations about freestate "prospects" throughout the territory, which "look much more hopeful now than when I left." Kagi mentions some land investment opportunities and the expected arrival of Governor Robert Walker, who would not last long if he tried to enforce the "bogus laws."


Joseph Root to William Hutchinson

Joseph Root to William Hutchinson
Creator: Root, Joseph P., 1826-1885
Date: November 17, 1857
Writing from Wyandotte City, Kansas Territory, Joseph Pomeroy Root reported that Governor Robert J. Walker had passed by Wyandotte City that morning on a steamer and was bound for Washington, D. C. Root speculated that Walker's administration was in jeopardy, and made other comments that reflected the negative view of Free State party members towards pro-slavery Democrats in Kansas.


Rachel Garrison to Samuel L. Adair

Rachel Garrison to Samuel L. Adair
Creator: Garrison, Rachel A.
Date: April 17, 1857
Rachel A. Garrison, the widow of Samuel L. Adair's cousin, David Garrison, writes Adair about the family's land claim in Kansas. She notes that a new pro-slavery "skamp" (Walker) had been appointed as territorial governor. She inquires if Mr. Day took 500 rails from her claim and states that, if he had, he should replace them. In a post script, she asks Adair to subscribe to the "Herald of Freedom" and have it sent to her.


Robert John Walker

Robert John Walker
Date: Between 1855 and 1857
Portrait of Robert John Walker, 1801-1869, Kansas Territorial Governor. He took the oath of office May 9, 1857 and served from May 27 to November 16, 1857.


Robert John Walker, Proclamation : To the people of Kansas

Robert John Walker, Proclamation : To the people of Kansas
Creator: Walker, Robert J. (Robert John), 1801-1869
Date: October 19, 1857
Regards the examination of election returns, particularly Oxford Precinct, Johnson County.


Robert John Walker, Proclamation : To the people of Lawrence

Robert John Walker, Proclamation : To the people of Lawrence
Creator: Walker, Robert J. (Robert John), 1801-1869
Date: July 15, 1857
This open letter from Gov. Walker concerned the differences between the city charter of Lawrence approved by legislature, and the charter approved by citizens of Lawrence.


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.


Samuel C. Pomeroy to Thaddeus Hyatt

Samuel C. Pomeroy to Thaddeus Hyatt
Creator: Pomeroy, S. C. (Samuel Clarke), 1816-1891
Date: July 24, 1857
Writing from Atchison, Kansas Territory, Samuel Pomeroy reports to Hyatt on matters to do with land investments and/or transactions in Atchison, Quindaro, and elsewhere. He also comments on the progress of their railroad project and General Calhoun's interest in the same.


Samuel F. Tappan to Thomas W. Higginson

Samuel F. Tappan to Thomas W. Higginson
Creator: Tappan, S. F. (Samuel Forster), d. 1913
Date: July 6, 1857
In this letter, Samuel Tappan writes to Reverend Thomas W. Higginson, an agent of the Massachusetts Kansas Aid Committee, to update him on the situation in Kansas Territory. He discusses the "bogus" constitutional convention and Gov. Walker's actions against the free state cause. He mentions that the proslavery forces "did all they could to have us 'partake' in the bogus election without success." Tappan still has confidence that the forces of "democracy" willd triumph. In the postscript, he speaks briefly of a census taken by free state leaders.


Samuel Lyle Adair to John Brown

Samuel Lyle Adair to John Brown
Creator: Adair, Samuel Lyle, 1811-1898
Date: October 2, 1857
Samuel Adair wrote his brother-in-law John Brown from Osawatomie on October 2, 1857, to explain why he could not come see Brown in Iowa. Much of letter describes the general poor state of health in his locale, but he also comments on the political and especially the prospects for free state success in the upcoming election--Adair was not optimistic.


Shareholders in the Topeka and St. Joseph Railroad Company

Shareholders in the Topeka and St. Joseph Railroad Company
Creator: Topeka and St. Joseph Railroad Company
Date: Around 1858
Prepared by the temporary treasurer [perhaps Franklin Crane], this list identified the individuals who pledged capital to the Topeka and St. Joseph Railroad Company, the number of shares each held, and the communities each represented.


Stephen Arnold Douglas, minority report on the Kansas-Lecompton Constitution

Stephen Arnold Douglas, minority report on the Kansas-Lecompton Constitution
Creator: Douglas, Stephen
Date: February 18, 1858
Senator Stephen Douglas, as a member of the Committee on the Territories, presented this report, which analyzed the Lecompton and Topeka constitutional rivalry, for the consideration of the President. Douglas found that, under the Kansas-Nebraska Act, no government of Kansas, Territorial or otherwise, had the power to draft any constitution without the intital consent of Congress; the territories, though "self-governed" were not sovereign entities, and still were to defer to the direction of the federal government. He argued that even the recognized territorial government had no right to convene a constitutional convention without Congressional approval, and the vote the Lecompton Convention presented to the people offered no opportunity to fully reject the Lecompton Constitution, but only to accept or reject the slavery provision; a person could not vote against making Kansas a slave state unless he was also willing to vote for the Lecompton Constitution. Douglas, however, in his report likened this unauthorized act of Lecompton Constitutional Convention as much "revolution" and "treasonable pertinacity" as those actions of the free state government in Topeka; neither group held legitimate authority to draft or present their constitutions.


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.


T. J. Marsh to George L. Stearns

T. J. Marsh to George L. Stearns
Creator: Marsh, Thomas J.
Date: July 21, 1857
From Lawrence, Kansas Territory, Marsh writes his third letter in four days to keep his Massachusetts colleague informed about Gov. Walker's occupation of Lawrence. Marsh, who had known the governor when he was secretary of the treasury under President James K. Polk, had a chance to visit with Walker but learned nothing regarding his current intentions. The letter indicates that the city's residents were "attending to their ordinary affairs as though he were not in their midst"--with some 600 dragoons. Marsh then mentions, among other things, his visit with G. W. Brown, one of the "hostile chiefs." As with the others, Marsh reportedly emphasizes the importance of harmony through the elections and the fact "that their differences was a source of grief to all their friends East, no matter who was right, or who was wrong."


Thomas Ewing, Jr. to Thomas Ewing, Sr.

Thomas Ewing, Jr. to Thomas Ewing, Sr.
Date: August 5, 1857
The first letter in this letter press book concerns political affairs in the territory. The letter is addressed to Thomas Ewing, Sr., in Lancaster, Ohio, and dated Leavenworth, Kansas, August 5, 1857. Responding to his father's observations about the situation in Kansas, Ewing, Jr., wrote "I have all along regarded the attempt at an organization of a State Government, while we are a Territory, as the extreme of folly . . ." and some additional observations about the Topeka movement. Ewing "intend[ed] to stand clear of the political arena in Kansas while the leaders of the Democracy are made up of political murderers, and while the free state party is but the football for the Free soilers in the Northern States."


Thomas J. Marsh to George L. Stearns

Thomas J. Marsh to George L. Stearns
Creator: Marsh, Thomas J.
Date: August 11, 1857
In this letter Thomas J. Marsh writes to George L. Stearns regarding the departure of E.B. Whitman for the East, the upcoming elections in October and Marsh's fear that the Free State men will not have a fair chance to vote. A searchable, full-text version of this letter is available by clicking "Text Version" below.


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