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Government and Politics - Territorial Government - Governors - Medary, Samuel

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Cyrus Kurtz Holliday to Mary Dillon Holliday

Cyrus Kurtz Holliday to Mary Dillon Holliday
Creator: Holliday, Cyrus Kurtz, 1826-1900
Date: February 6, 1859
Cyrus K. Holliday, soon to return to Topeka after a productive territorial legislative session in Lawrence, wrote to his wife, Mary Holliday, in Meadville, Pennsylvania. He wrote about a festival held at the Eldridge House, and reported on several other incidents of note: the arrest of John W. Doy, captured by Missourians while helping former slaves travel to Iowa; John Brown's avoidance of capture by [John P.] Woods (at the Battle of the Spurs on January 31, 1859); and Charles Fischer's escape after being twice arrested as "a fugitive slave." Holliday also wrote that the legislature had passed and Governor Samuel Medary would approve a bill granting Josephine Branscomb a divorce. Despite Holliday's efforts, the constitutional convention would be held at Wyandotte in July. He had refused [Alfred L.] Winans' request for a recommendation.


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.


George W. Brown to John Halderman

George W. Brown to John Halderman
Creator: Brown, George W. (George Washington), 1820-1915
Date: November 1, 1859
George W. Brown, the editor of the Herald of Freedom, writes John Halderman from Lawrence, Kansas Territory, concerning the next issue of the paper which was to be "an awful one for Conway." He is probably referring to Martin F. Conway, an active free state partisan who was to be elected the first U.S. congressman to represent Kansas on December 6, 1859. Obviously, the newspaper had less impact than Brown anticipated, as John A. Halderman, the Democratic nominee, lost decisively to Conway, 7,674 to 5,567. Brown believes that his forthcoming issue should be widely distributed and is seeking additional orders from Halderman.


Governor Samuel Medary, annual message

Governor Samuel Medary, annual message
Creator: Medary, S. (Samuel), 1801-1864
Date: January 3, 1860
Governor Medary addressed his annual message to the Council and House of Representatives of Kansas Territory from the executive office in Lecompton, Kansas Territory on January 3, 1860. At this point, the Wyandotte Constitution had been approved and was awaiting action by Congress. Medary outlined a number of issues that the legislature needed to resolve. These included the organization of counties and townships, setting interest rates, public schools, procedures for selling public lands, bank charters, a penitentiary, a territorial library, and railroads. He indicated that he believed a law passed by the last session of the legislature deprived many citizens of the right to vote that that law needed to be changed.


Governor Samuel Medary, veto message on the bill prohibiting slavery in Kansas.

Governor Samuel Medary, veto message on the bill prohibiting slavery in Kansas.
Creator: Medary, S. (Samuel), 1801-1864
Date: February 20, 1860
Samuel Medary presented a very detailed message about why he was vetoring a bill prohibiting slavery in Kansas that had been passed by the territorial House of Representatives. This printed document contained a long discussion about the sovereignty (or lack thereof) by the federal government, territories and states and how that applied to the institution of slavery. He ultimately argued that the law passed contained no means of enforcement but only enacted the "declaratory" statement about slavery contained in the Wyandotte Constitution.


John A. Martin to J. M. Winchell

John A. Martin to J. M. Winchell
Date: September 7, 1859
In the weeks following the close of the Wyandotte Constitutional Convention, John A. Martin, the convention's secretary, and James M. Winchell, president of the convention, were occupied with the campaign for its ratification. This letter from Martin, dated Atchison, September 7, 1859, addressed some of the steps that had been and should be taken in the document's behalf during the bitter, partisan campaign leading up to the October 4, 1859, referendum.


John James Ingalls to Elias T. Ingalls

John James Ingalls to Elias T. Ingalls
Creator: Ingalls, John James, 1833-1900
Date: March 15, 1859
Although Ingalls began this relatively brief letter from Sumner with comments on the local election (he won the race for city attorney), he devoted most of it to the Pike's Peak Gold Rush--"the amount and character of the emigration to Pike's Peak is truly astonishing. . . . [T] military roads are already thronged with anxious hundreds, on foot, dragging hand carts, on mules, and with ox teams."


John James Ingalls to Elias T. Ingalls

John James Ingalls to Elias T. Ingalls
Creator: Ingalls, John James, 1833-1900
Date: February 11, 1859
In this brief letter from the Senate Chamber, Lawrence, Kansas, February 11, 1859, Ingalls writes about the bill abolishing slavery in Kansas Territory; it was passed too late to give the legislature a chance to override an almost certain veto by Governor Medary. The bill only passed after a "spirited and angry debate."


Report of Edward Hoogland, H.J. Adams and S.A. Kingman, Commissioners of Claims

Report of Edward Hoogland, H.J. Adams and S.A. Kingman, Commissioners of Claims
Date: July 11, 1859
Hoogland, Adams, and Kingman, Commissioners of Claims appointed by resolution of Governor Medary, continued investigating property and monetary losses suffered by the citizens of Kansas Territory after H.J. Strickler vacated the post. The new Claims Commissioners also believed that the responsibility for paying these loss claims rested with the General (Federal) Government. They reassessed the claims reported by Strickler, obtaining more information about the claimants and their losses, which included each claimant's political affiliation (free state or proslavery), their specific damages (house, horses, crops, etc), and who caused the damage (on behalf of either the free state or proslavery cause); this information is summed up in a supplemental table. The Claims Commissioners believed that the total value of losses occurring between November 1, 1855, and December 1, 1856, approximated at least $2,000,000; they also concluded that during skirmishes free state men had caused $94,500 in property damage, while proslavery men were believed to have caused nearly $319,000.


Samuel C. Smith  to Charles Robinson

Samuel C. Smith to Charles Robinson
Creator: Smith, Samuel C.
Date: January 11, 1858
This letter, dated Lawrence, January 11, 1858, is most likely from Samuel C. Smith to Charles Robinson. Smith mentions many of the Free State Party's main actors and issues at that critical time in Kansas politics. He describes the activities of the Legislature, which assembled in Lawrence that January, and devotes considerable attention to the machinations of the "villain" Jim Lane.


Samuel Medary

Samuel Medary
Samuel Medary served as territorial governor of Kansas from December 20, 1859 until December 10, 1860. He was a friend of Stephen Douglas and a Jacksonian Democrat. He supported the nomination of James Polk for the presidency. Prior to his service in Kansas, he was the territorial governor in Minnesota from 1857 to 1858. He was born in Pennsylvania but spent most of his life in Ohio.


Samuel Medary to James W. Denver

Samuel Medary to James W. Denver
Creator: Medary, S. (Samuel), 1801-1864
Date: January 13, 1859
Governor Samuel Medary, writing from Lecompton, Kansas Territory, to former governor James W. Denver, reports on his successful effort to convince the Territorial House of Representatives to pass a bill establishing a special court to try James Montgomery and other free state supporters allegedly engaged in violence in southeast Kansas Territory.


Samuel Medary to John A. Halderman

Samuel Medary to John A. Halderman
Creator: Medary, S. (Samuel), 1801-1864
Date: December 10, 1859
From Lecompton, Kansas Territory, Governor Samuel Medary writes John A. Halderman to express his disappointment with his (Medary's) and the Democratic Party's showing in the December 6, 1859, elections for state offices under the Wyandotte Constitution. Medary ran against Charles Robinson in the "state's" first gubernatorial contest and lost 7,908 to 5,395. Medary makes a number of interesting observations in what amounts to a post election analysis of the outcome. The party should have won, in Medary's estimation, but as a result they would "have to submit to the eternal disgrace of having it [Kansas] go forth as a Black Old John Brown state."


Samuel Medary to Orville Chester Brown (?)

Samuel Medary to Orville Chester Brown (?)
Creator: Medary, S. (Samuel), 1801-1864
Date: February 25, 1859
This letter, presumably addressed to Orville Brown, was written by Samuel Medary, the current governor of Kansas Territory. Governor Medary was pleased that the volatile situation during the border wars had calmed down, and he encouraged Brown to foster an environment focused on "peace and industry." The governor also hoped that, with things settling down, more emigrants would come into Kansas.


Samuel W. Greer, report

Samuel W. Greer, report
Creator: Greer, Samuel W
Date: December 31, 1859
This printed report was submitted to the Kansas Territorial Legislature by Gov. Medary on January 4, 1860. S. W. Greer, the Territorial Superintendent of Common Schools reported that fifteen counties had submitted reports and schools were taught in 136 districts comprising 7,029 children. He reported on how he visited school districts and included some information on various types of schools in the state. He wrote that the pay for the superintendent was inadequate, due to the value of territorial scrip being worth 30 cents on the dollor. He indicated that he had to use $500 of his own funds in the past year. He wrote about the need to establish normal schools (for training teachers) and to hold teachers' institutes. He wanted to increase the standards for teacher qualifications. He also discussed various aspects of educational methodologies of the period. He included short reports from the following counties: Douglas, Anderson, Jackson, Nemaha, and Osage as well as some statistics from all organized counties. This report was taken from the Journal of the House of Representatives, Kansas Territory, 1859, pages 34 through 82.


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