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Amos Adams Lawrence to John Brown

Amos Adams Lawrence to John Brown
Creator: Lawrence, Amos Adams
Date: February 19, 1857
Amos Lawrence, Boston, sent John Brown $70 which had been donated by the people of East Jaffrey, New Hampshire, for Brown's "own personal use, & not for the cause in any other way than that. Lawrence did not believe Brown would receive much financial support from the National Kansas Committee: "the old managers have not inspired confidence, & therefore money will be hard for them to get now & hereafter."


Amos Adams Lawrence to John Brown

Amos Adams Lawrence to John Brown
Creator: Lawrence, Amos Adams
Date: March 20, 1857
While John Brown was touring the East in March of 1857 he received this letter from Amos Lawrence, Boston, who informed Brown that he (Lawrence) had recently "sent to Kansas near $14,000 to establish a fund" for the support of common and secondary schools. As a result, Lawrence wrote he was short of cash and could not give Brown what he had requested. Nevertheless, "in case anything shd occur while you are engaged in a great & good to shorten yr life, you may be assured that yr wife and children shall be cared for more liberally than you now propose."


Articles of Agreement for Shubel Morgan's Company

Articles of Agreement for Shubel Morgan's Company
Creator: Morgan, Shubel
Date: July 12, 1858
In July 1858, fifteen men including Shubel Morgan, alias John Brown, J. H. Kagi, James Montgomery, and Augustus Wattles signed this document and thus "agree[d] to be governed by the following rules" of conduct. The rules included "gentlemanly and respectful deportment," obedience to the commander's orders, "no intoxicating drinks," etc.


Articles of agreement for the exchange of prisoners following battle of Black Jack

Articles of agreement for the exchange of prisoners following battle of Black Jack
Creator: Brown, John, 1800-1859
Date: June 2, 1856
On June 2, 1856, John Brown, et al, signed this "article of agreement" with their defeated foe, Captain H. C. Pate and his lieutenant for the exchange of prisoners, including John Jr. and Jason Brown, at the home of John T. "Ottawa" Jones.


Articles wanted for an outfit of fifty volunteers

Articles wanted for an outfit of fifty volunteers
Date: ca. January 1857
Among the articles itemized in this "Memorandum of articles wanted as an outfit for fifty volunteers to serve under my [John Brown?] direction during the Kansas war" are wagons, horses, blankets, frying pans, etc., at an estimated cost of $1,774.


Augustus Wattles to James Smith

Augustus Wattles to James Smith
Creator: Wattles, Augustus, 1807-1876
Date: June 18, 1857
From Lawrence on June 18, 1857, Augustus Wattles wrote Jas. Smith (Is this a Brown alias?) regarding affairs in Kansas Territory, specifically referring to several of the Free State Party's leaders: "Holmes' is at Emporia plowing. Conway's here talking politics. Phillips is here trying to urge the free State men to galvanize the Topeka Constitution into life. . . ." and Robinson had "dispirited the Free State party" by his absence from the legislature last winter, making it "difficult to make them rally again under him." Although one hears "much against Brown" he is "as good as ever."


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 Black Jack list of participants and casualties

Battle of Black Jack list of participants and casualties
Creator: Brown, John, 1800-1859
Date: June 2, 1856
According to this document listing the participants and those "men wounded in the battle of Palmyra or Black Jack," son-in-law Henry Thompson was "dangerously wounded."


Billings & Bryant to John Brown, bill of sale for horse wagon

Billings & Bryant to John Brown, bill of sale for horse wagon
Creator: Billings & Bryant,
Date: Between 1855 and 1859
The state of Iowa frequently served as a relatively safe haven for abolitionist John Brown and his followers during the late 1850s, and Iowa City was on the famous Lane Trail which carried many free-state activists and settlers to and from Kansas. This document, from "Billings & Bryant," indicates that the partners had received $100 from John Brown as payment "in full for a heavy Horse Waggon" that they agreed "to ship immediately to J B Iowa City, Iowa; care of Dr. Jesse Bowen." Bowen was a member of the Kansas Central Committee of Iowa who later lived in Leavenworth, Kansas Territory.


Charles A. Foster, statement about John Brown

Charles A. Foster, statement about John Brown
Creator: Foster, Charles A.
Date: July 12, 1860
Signed C. A. Foster, Boston, July 12, 1860, this brief statement asserts that John Brown "was not present" at the Pottawatomie Massacre, "but that he knew that it was going to be done" and "he approved it."


Charles Blair and John Brown, contract for fabrication of spears

Charles Blair and John Brown, contract for fabrication of spears
Creator: Blair, Charles
Date: March 30, 1857
Executed on March 30, 1857, with this agreement Blair promised to produce and deliver "One Thousand Spears; with handles fitted of equal quality to one doz already made and sent to Springfield, Mass." Specifications are briefly described, and then the contract reads: "In consideration whereof, John Brown late of Kansas" agreed to make a partial payment of $500 within ten days and another $450 as a final payment thirty days later.


Charles Blair to John Brown

Charles Blair to John Brown
Creator: Blair, Charles
Date: April 15, 1857
On April 15, 1857, Blair wrote Brown regarding the latter's report to him that the National Kansas Committee had turned down his request for funds to cover the first payment on the spears. Blair had stopped production, awaiting "further order from you," but said he was willing to make 500 instead of 1000 for the same rate.


Charles Blair to  John Brown

Charles Blair to John Brown
Creator: Blair, Charles
Date: March 20, 1857
During his 1857 fund raising tour, Brown made arrangements with a Connecticut blacksmith, Charles Blair, for the production of a number of spears or "pikes" for use in the Kansas territory. On March 20, Blair wrote from Collinsville that he had the first dozen "spears" ready to send and was eager to see Brown to work out the details for the production of more. (He wrote of production details and cost estimates--this first dozen would cost $12 if Brown decided he wanted no more.)


Charles Blair to John Brown

Charles Blair to John Brown
Creator: Blair, Charles
Date: April 29, 1857
Brown's blacksmith, Charles Blair, wrote from Collinsville that he had received a draft for $200 and would be pleased to proceed with the completion of the first half of Brown's spear order. Blair seems eager to accommodate Brown in any way possible in order to make this deal work for both of them and the cause.


Charles Blair to John Brown

Charles Blair to John Brown
Creator: Blair, Charles
Date: February 10, 1858
On February 10, 1858, Blair reported from Collinsville, Connecticut, on the status of the spear production; he had most of the material ready to assemble the entire lot, but "I do not feel quite willing to go on and spend any more money and then have them left on my hands." He seemed to be sincere in his efforts to work with John Brown on this, and Blair did "feel disposed to blame" Brown for the situation, Blair's generosity and commitment to the cause only went so far.


Charles Blair to John Brown?

Charles Blair to John Brown?
Creator: Blair, Charles
Date: August 27, 1857
Charles Blair once again wrote to John Brown regarding the spears, the production of which was on hold. Blair couldn't afford to proceed on his own account (even though he didn't expect much of a profit) and thought the situation in Kansas might have taken "such a turn" that the weapons might no longer be needed there.


Charles H. Branscomb to John Brown

Charles H. Branscomb to John Brown
Creator: Branscomb, Charles H.
Date: September 22, 1856
From Boston, Massachusetts, Charles Branscomb wrote Brown a brief note conveying "fifty or one hundred dolls as a testimonial" from those who admired Brown's "conduct during the war."


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."


Circular Letter, Underground Rail Road Depot, To the Friends of the Fugitives from Slavery

Circular Letter, Underground Rail Road Depot, To the Friends of the Fugitives from Slavery
Creator: Abbott, William E.
Date: March 4, 1858
This printed, circular dated Syracuse, March 4, 1858, announce the dissolution of the Syracuse Fugitive Aid Society and directed all "Fugitives" interested in such assistance in the future to contact Rev. J. W. Loguen of that place who would assume "the entire care of the Fugitives who may stop at Syracuse.


E. Brigham to John Brown

E. Brigham to John Brown
Creator: Brigham, E.
Date: March 9, 1857
In this letter of support from Boston, March 9, 1857, Brigham told Brown how he had been moved by the "touching appeal" in the New York Tribune of March 4 and assured Brown he had done as much as he could, considering his present economic condition, for Kansas. But he goes on to comment on the importance of the free state cause to New Englanders, who really weren't doing all they could or should do to help.


Edmund Burke Whitman? to Franklin B. Sanborn

Edmund Burke Whitman? to Franklin B. Sanborn
Creator: Whitman, E. B. (Edmund Burke), 1812-1883
Date: May 10, 1857
E. B. Whitman (letter not signed, but author's identity is pretty clear), an agent in Lawrence for the National Kansas Committee, wrote Franklin Sanborn in Massachusetts regarding his disappointment with the lack of support being given by "our professed friends" in the East. To their discredit, according to Whitman, Massachusetts "supporters" had refused to provide assistance which was desperately needed for the Kansas settlers who had just endured a very "severe winter." He believed false information was being circulated for political purposes by individuals within the Free State movement: "Kansas, bleeding Kansas, is of value to them only so far as it subserves their selfish ends."


Edmund Burke Whitman to Franklin B. Sanborn

Edmund Burke Whitman to Franklin B. Sanborn
Creator: Whitman, E. B. (Edmund Burke), 1812-1883
Date: April 30, 1858
Among other things, Whitman wrote to Sanborn from Lawrence on April 30, 1858, regarding increased activity on the region's U.G.R.R. due in part to the fact that proslavery men in Missouri knew they had lost the battle for Kansas and "large gangs of slaves are already made up for Texas and the Extreme South, in case Lecompton fails to pass. Political harmony had, for the most part, returned to the Free State Party and "we have broken the back bone of the Slave power."


Edmund Burke Whitman to Franklin B. Sanborn

Edmund Burke Whitman to Franklin B. Sanborn
Creator: Whitman, E. B. (Edmund Burke), 1812-1883
Date: May 18, 1857
In his May 18 report to Franklin Sanborn, agent Whitman of Lawrence again cast shame on Massachusetts for its failure to provided needed financial support for the cause in Kansas but focused on his efforts to provide aid for "the school project." Whitman claimed credit for establishing both an elementary school and a high school, the latter of which "is fast becoming a Model," and he hoped his financing would not disappear. He also comments on the political situation, especially the fact that Charles Robinson had "to a large extent" lost the "confidence" of the people.


Edmund Burke Whitman to Franklin B. Sanborn

Edmund Burke Whitman to Franklin B. Sanborn
Creator: Whitman, E. B. (Edmund Burke), 1812-1883
Date: December 14, 1858
After returning to Lawrence from a trip east, Whitman wrote Franklin B. Sanborn a mostly personal letter regarding the preparations for the winter and need to extend the loan owed to Sanborn--he had crops enough for subsistence but little cash. Near the end, Whitman commented briefly on the political situation, which was "quiet" at present, but "the difficulties in Linn & Bourbon Counties are renewed" and "J. B. is on the ground and engaged in 'Regulating.'"


Edmund Burke Whitman to Franklin B. Sanborn

Edmund Burke Whitman to Franklin B. Sanborn
Creator: Whitman, E. B. (Edmund Burke), 1812-1883
Date: January 16, 1858
E. B. Whitman wrote Sanborn this lengthy letter from Lawrence, describing the political events that had unfolded in the territory since the October 5, 1857, election. Among many other things, he mentioned the split that took the "National democrats" out of the movement over the issue of participation in the state elections under the Lecompton Constitution, January 1857. This "Free State ticket" was, according to Whitman, "a disgrace to the cause," but it attracted a good number of votes and won "a good working majority in both houses and so our people proclaim a victory." Whitman, who had long been a faithful supporter, was seemingly losing confidence in John Brown, as were "the people."


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