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Winter 1977, Volume 43, Number 4

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Atchison, Topeka, & Santa Fe Railway Company's refrigerator car, Argentine, Kansas. Atchison, Topeka, & Santa Fe Railway Company's refrigerator car, Argentine, Kansas.

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Albert C. Morton to Hiram Hill

Albert C. Morton to Hiram Hill
Creator: Guthrie, Abelard
Date: January 8, 1859
Albert Morton wrote from Leavenworth City, Kansas Territory, to Hiram Hill in Massachusetts. Morton reported that there was "a good deal of excitement out for Pikes Peak" and many Leavenworth citizens spoke of traveling there to dig for gold the following spring. His investments were not earning him much money, and he expressed his desire to sell land in order to pay what he owed to Hill and Abelard Guthrie.


Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Rail Road. The new and direct route to the San Juan gold and silver mines

Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Rail Road. The new and direct route to the San Juan gold and silver mines
Creator: Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railway Company
Date: 1870s or 1880s
This broadside promotes travel to the Colorado mines via the AT&SF railroad. The route began at Kansas City and traveled to Denver with various stops in between. This item demonstrates railroad companies' involvement in the promotion of mining activities and a perception of the Rocky Mountains as a tourist destination.


Charles Chadwick to Hiram Hill

Charles Chadwick to Hiram Hill
Creator: Chadwick, Charles
Date: November 17 and 24, 1858
Charles Chadwick wrote from Quindaro, Kansas Territory, to Hiram Hill in Massachusetts, defending Quindaro from rumors that deemed the town defunct. Chadwick blamed the bad management of the Town Company for the current troubles, and described various opportunities Quindaro still had for further development. Though property was not selling at all, according to Chadwick, prospects for future railroad and ferry traffic still were positive. He expressed his disappointment at Robert Lawrence, and accused him of giving Chadwick a false impression of the likelihood of Hill winning the land claim dispute with Robert Robetaille. A businessman had landed with a great deal of machinery looking to build a "manufactory", and Quindaro's investors were doing all they could to woo him.


Colorado for the tourist

Colorado for the tourist
Creator: Union Pacific Railway Company
Date: 1920s
This Union Pacific Railroad Company promotional advertisement describes the beautiful scenery provided to the tourist in the Colorado Rocky Mountains.


Coronado starts for Quivira

Coronado starts for Quivira
Date: 1940s
This postcard depicts Francisco Vásquez de Coronado and his group of explorers on their search for the fabled city of Quivera. Coronado and his men were among the first of the European explorers to visit the plains. The goal of the early Spanish explorers was to discover riches north of Mexico. Coronado's 1541 expedition to discover gold in Quivera led him to the area that would later become Kansas.


Cyrus Kurtz Holliday to Alfred and Edgar Huidekoper

Cyrus Kurtz Holliday to Alfred and Edgar Huidekoper
Creator: Holliday, Cyrus Kurtz, 1826-1900
Date: September 20, 1858
Cyrus K. Holliday, founder and prominent citizen of Topeka, Kansas Territory, wrote to Alfred Huidekoper and Edgar Huidekoper, old associates from Meadville, Pennsylvania, to tell them of investment opportunities. He described rural claims, Town Act investments, and loans. He gave examples of large returns, including those gained by former governor Andrew H. Reeder. The time was ripe since Kansas' free statehood seemed certain, the land was titled, securities were assured, and financial difficulties had left some land and property owners with no option but to sell sacrificially. Holliday also confirmed the discovery of gold in western Kansas Territory (now Colorado).


Denver City, Kansas Territory

Denver City, Kansas Territory
This is an illustration captioned "The Kansas Gold Region-View of Auraria and Denver City, Cherry Creek, near Long's Peak." The illustration was made by Col. D. H. Huyett, and was published in Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper on December 15, 1860.


Ford to Oscar E. Learnard

Ford to Oscar E. Learnard
Creator: Ford,
Date: November 14, 1860
This piece of correspondence was written by a man named Ford, from Missouri City, Arapaho Co., (later part of Colorado Territory). Ford had apparently left Burlington, Kansas Territory for "gold country" the previous year. He related some of his experiences in the gold fields and his desire to return to Kansas. Ford intended to stay "until I make enough to pay me for coming here and some more if I can," and he mentioned additional discoveries in the San Juan Mountains in Mexico, which caused "a great rush for those diggins."


From the river to the mountains via the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe R. R.

From the river to the mountains via the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe R. R.
Creator: Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railway Company
Date: May 7, 1876
This table concerns the new direct route from Kansas City and Atchison to various destinations in Colorado. The route was known as the "Great Southern Route through Kansas." This early time table demonstrates the Santa Fe Railroad's promotion of Colorado as a tourist destination and recreation area for outdoor enthusiasts. The table specifically promotes the Arkansas [River] Canyon.


From the river to the mountains via the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad

From the river to the mountains via the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad
Date: 1876
Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad promotional advertisement encouraging travel on its western line to the Rocky Mountains from the east. Includes timetable and illustrations by Topeka artist Henry Worrall.


Gunn's New Map of Kansas to the Gold Mines

Gunn's New Map of Kansas to the Gold Mines
Creator: Gunn, Otis B.
Date: 1859
Map of Kansas showing routes from the Missouri River to gold mines in Kansas. An illustration of Pottawatomie Indians marks the location of the reservation. This map is provided through a co-operative project between the Lecompton Historical Society and the Kansas Historical Society. Partial funding was provided by the Ross and Margaret Wulfkuhle Charitable Trust and the Freedom's Frontier National Heritage Area. Copies of this map are available for viewing at both the Kansas Historical Society and Lecompton Historical Society.


H. C. Childs' mining claim certificate

H. C. Childs' mining claim certificate
Creator: Stansell, J. B.
Date: September 19, 1860
J. B. Stansell, recorder for Buckskin Joe's District, signed this certificate identifying H. C. Childs as owner of mining claim No. 28 SW on the Bates Lode. The certificate was printed by the Rocky Mountain News Printing Company, and it is possible that this mining district was located in Arapahoe County, which later became part of the state of Colorado.


Hand book for the Kansas Pacific Railway

Hand book for the Kansas Pacific Railway
Creator: Kansas Pacific Railway Company
Date: 1870
This Kansas Pacific Railroad publication advertises good abundant and cheap land readily available on its rail line between Kansas City, Missouri, and Denver, Colorado. The booklet contains descriptions of the country and cities and towns along the Kansas Pacific Railroad and its branches.


Henry F. Parker to Hiram Hill

Henry F. Parker to Hiram Hill
Creator: Parker, Henry F.
Date: November 15, 1858
Henry Parker wrote from Lawrence, Kansas Territory, to Hiram Hill in Massachusetts. Parker reported that currently he was only able to collect $33.33 in rent from Hill's tenants, a small fraction of what was owed. He added that many settlers were leaving for California and hopes for gold mining in the West; many homes and businesses were vacated. Parker closed by stating "I am sick of Kansas if Business is to go as it has the Last year".


John James Ingalls to Elias T. Ingalls

John James Ingalls to Elias T. Ingalls
Creator: Ingalls, John James, 1833-1900
Date: January 2, 1859
From Lawrence, K.T., where he went to lobby the territorial legislature on behalf of Sumner's city charter and a "Pikes Peak Express Company," John J. Ingalls wrote to tell his father about the journey that took him through Leavenworth. He made some interesting observations about the condition of the roads and the general discomfort involved in overland travel ("The coaches are constructed with special reference to safety in passing over corduroy roads, through sloughs and ravines, having no regard whatever to the comfort of the passengers."), as well as nice descriptions of both cities, Leavenworth and Lawrence.


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: October 5, 1858
On his first full day in Sumner, Kansas Territory, Ingalls penned a second letter to his father to convey his first impressions of "that Promised Land." The reality Ingalls found and described was quite different than what was depicted in "the lithographic fiction" he had been shown back East. Other than the hotel, the "city" was composed of a "few log huts and miserable cabins . . . None of the premises are fenced," wrote Ingalls, "the whole place being open to the incursions of dogs and pigs which exist in large numbers and seem in fact to constitute the greater amount of the population." Virtually everything about the place distressed Ingalls, who was "quite unable to convey to you any definite idea of the disappointment, not unmingled with anger and mortification, with which I contemplate the State of affairs here."


John James Ingalls to Elias T. Ingalls

John James Ingalls to Elias T. Ingalls
Creator: Ingalls, John James, 1833-1900
Date: October 24, 1858
After nearly two weeks in the territory, Ingalls was somewhat more optimistic about his prospects, and in this letter to his father, Elias Ingalls, John Ingalls wrote of the gold rush and his legal business, which "opens very well." but he was still weary of "social conditions," as there were no churches in Sumner and "a total disregard of the Sabbath." Atchison, where he had gone in a futile search for an Episcopal Church, was little better in this regard.


John James Ingalls to Elias T. Ingalls

John James Ingalls to Elias T. Ingalls
Creator: Ingalls, John James, 1833-1900
Date: April 3, 1860
Ingalls devoted much of his April 3, 1860, letter from Sumner to the territory's agricultural prospects, which were still not particularly good: "Corn, pork, and hides" were Kansas's only exports, and they were not very profitable as prices were low. "Considerable attention," wrote Ingalls, "is being paid to the hemp crop" and the wheat seemed to be doing pretty well; various kinds of fruit also "flourishes. . . . I have never seen finer apples than the farmers across the river bring to market. . . . But little is raised in Kansas yet, though much attention is being given to 'orchardizing' this spring." Ingalls was actually considering a move to the Gold County (Colorado) for better business prospects.


John James Ingalls to Elias T. Ingalls

John James Ingalls to Elias T. Ingalls
Creator: Ingalls, John James, 1833-1900
Date: November 21, 1858
Much of this interesting letter, dated November 21, 1858, from Sumner, Kansas Territory, describes the Ingalls law practice and the nature of a "frontier" court proceedings that often attracted "nearly all the population." According to Ingalls, "the chief difficulty arising [in the courts came] from the conflict of the two Codes, adopted by two hostile legislatures, each of which had adherents who call the other 'bogus.'" Ingalls also discussed the business of land sales, as something many others successfully combined with the practice of law.


John McCannon to James Montgomery

John McCannon to James Montgomery
Creator: McCannon, John
Date: December 24, 1859
John McCannon, writing from Clear Creek, Kansas Territory, a location that is currently in Colorado, describes politics and the economy in the gold mining region of western Kansas Territory. McCannon comments on the formation of the Territory of Jefferson, an extralegal government formed in 1859 by residents of Arapahoe County, Kansas Territory. McCannon also mentions mining activities in the area.


Map of routes to the gold region of Western Kansas

Map of routes to the gold region of Western Kansas
Creator: Berthoud, Edward L.
Date: 1858
A map depicting the northern, central, and southern routes to the gold region of western Kansas compiled from the reports, surveys and exporations of Howard Stansbury, John C. Fremont, William H. Emory, and Edward L. Bryan.


Pike's Peak-Street in Denver City, Kansas Territory

Pike's Peak-Street in Denver City, Kansas Territory
Photograph of an illustration captioned "Pike's Peak-Street in Denver City, K. T." It shows buildings on both sides of the street, people, and wagons. The source for the drawing is unknown.


Pike's Peak-The Leavenworth and Pike's Peak Express Company's Office, Denver City, Kansas Territory

Pike's Peak-The Leavenworth and Pike's Peak Express Company's Office, Denver City, Kansas Territory
Photograph of an illustration captioned the "Pike's Peak-The Leavenworth and Pike's Peak Express Company's Office, Denver City, K.T." The drawing shows men standing outside of the Company's office. The source for the drawing is unknown.


Scenes on the Line of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad.

Scenes on the Line of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad.
Creator: Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railroad Company
Date: 1870s or 1880s
This is an Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad promotional advertisement of wild life, rock formations and frontier settlements to be found on the railroad line. The second sheet includes engravings, possibly by Henry Worall, of sites along the route including prairie scences with antelope, prairie dogs, and bison; a dugout on the plains; the Rocky Mountains; and the Garden of the Gods. The document also includes a map of the AT&SF route.


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