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A. Finch to Thaddeus Hyatt

A. Finch to Thaddeus Hyatt
Creator: Finch, H.
Date: December 22, 1856
This letter, written from Osawatomie by A. Finch to Thaddeus Hyatt, chairman of the National Kansas Committee, provided general information about the inhabitants of Osawatomie and neighboring areas. It included a list of about half of the settlers residing in Osawatomie at this time, including the four pro-slavery voters. Mr. Finch went into detail about the most fertile areas that would be excellent sites for free state settlements, and about the economic conditions and financial needs of the settlers.


A.S. Harris to Thaddeus Hyatt

A.S. Harris to Thaddeus Hyatt
Creator: Harris, A S.
Date: September 22, 1856
A.S. Harris wrote from New York to Thaddeus Hyatt regarding an article in the Journal of Commerce that dealt with the upcoming Presidential election and the strife in Kansas. The clipping was attached to the letter, and it included a rather lengthy attack on emigrant aid societies.


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.


Annals of Kansas, January - February, 1855

Annals of Kansas, January - February, 1855
Creator: Wilder, Daniel Webster, 1832-1911
Date: January, 1855 through February, 1855
D. W. Wilder's "Annals of Kansas," published in 1886, provides a day-by-day chronicle of significant events in Kansas. These are digital images of Annals of Kansas entries for the territorial period of 1854-1861.


Augustus Wattles to Thaddeus Hyatt

Augustus Wattles to Thaddeus Hyatt
Creator: Wattles, Augustus, 1807-1876
Date: December 3, 1860
This letter, written from New York by Augustus Wattles, was addressed to Thaddeus Hyatt, president of the National Kansas Committee. The main focus of the letter was on two proslavery men--Captain Doake and General Clark--who persisted in mistreating free state settlers along the Missouri-Kansas border. The letter also referred to Charles Jennison and to James Montgomery, whose band of free state militiamen was still active even into 1860. Wattles vehemently maintained that free state forces were only organizing for their own protection, not for a great insurrection as the Missourians believed.


Benjamin Stringfellow

Benjamin Stringfellow
Portrait of Benjamin Stringfellow, attorney and pro-slavery activist. In 1838, Stringfellow settled in Missouri, where he served in the house of representatives, and was attorney general for four years. After moving to Weston, Missouri, he became a member and officer of the Platte County Self-Defensive Association (an aggressive pro-slavery organization). He wrote a pamphlet entitled "Negro Slavery No Evil, or the North and the South." In 1858, Stringfellow moved to Atchison, Kansas Territory, where he helped build the town and was an attorney for the Kansas City, St. Joseph & Council Bluffs Railroad.


By Authority.  Official Message of His Excellency Gov. A. H. Reeder, to the First Legislative Assembly of the Territory of Kansas.

By Authority. Official Message of His Excellency Gov. A. H. Reeder, to the First Legislative Assembly of the Territory of Kansas.
Creator: Reeder, Andrew H. (Andrew Horatio), 1807-1864
Date: July 3, 1855
This printed version of Reeder's address included a review of how the land that became Kansas was acquired by the United States and of various legislation and treaties that applied before the passage of the Kansas Nebraska Act. Reeder also identified some of the responsibilities of the Legislature including establising a means of determining if Kansas was to be slave or free, establishing counties, setting up a judicial system, levying taxes, organizing a militia, determining a permanent seat of government, and creating a constitution. He also included some statistics from the first official census, which recorded 2,904 qualified voters out of 8,521 residents (only free males could vote). Reeder indicated the need to resolve the issue of selling intoxicating liquors to Native Americans.


Charles A. Wright to Hiram Hill

Charles A. Wright to Hiram Hill
Creator: Wright, Charles A.
Date: January 4, 1857
Charles Wright wrote from Lawrence, Kansas Territory, to Hiram Hill, having recently recovered from an extended illness. Wright told him that "peace and quietness seam [sic] to reign throughout the Territory" and anticipated that Kansas would become a free state without too much more trouble from the border ruffians. He added that two new hotels were being built in town, one by Thaddeus Whitney, in order to accommodate the spring emigration rush. Wright directed Hill to write him in New York, as he would be traveling East for the next two months.


Charles A. Wright to Hiram Hill

Charles A. Wright to Hiram Hill
Creator: Wright, Charles A.
Date: June 16, 1856
Charles Wright wrote from Lawrence, Kansas Territory, to Hiram Hill. Wright spoke passionately about the free state cause after the Sack of Lawrence and the Pottawatomie Massacre, imploring "eastern friends" for help. In Wright's words, "talk will do no good that time is past what we now need is men money and rifles". He added that southerners were "using every effort" to drive free staters from the Territory. U.S. Troops were attempting to disband the ruffians, though according to Wright they only dispersed and reorganized elsewhere.


Charles Robinson to Edward Everett Hale

Charles Robinson to Edward Everett Hale
Creator: Robinson, Charles, 1818-1894
Date: April 7, 1857
Charles Robinson wrote from Lawrence, Kansas Territory to Edward Everett Hale, a member of the New England Emigrant Aid Company's Executive Committee. Robinson complained about the lack of respect he had received from New England Emigrant Aid Company leaders. He was particularly upset about criticisms of his financial ability. Robinson expressed anger at what he perceived as Eli Thayer's and the New England Emigrant Aid Company's opposition to the development of the town of Quindaro. Robinson included excerpts from a letter he received from James Redpath outlining Thayer's criticisms of Robinson's involvement with Quindaro.


Charles Robinson to Eli Thayer

Charles Robinson to Eli Thayer
Creator: Robinson, Charles, 1818-1894
Date: April 2, 1855
Charles Robinson, writing from Lawrence, Kansas Territory to Eli Thayer in Worcester, Massachusetts, described voting irregularities in the March 30, 1855 election of members to the territorial legislature. Robinson maintained that the election was "controlled entirely by Missourians" who came to the territory, took over the polling places, and cast illegal ballots to ensure that proslavery supporters were elected to the legislature. Robinson also reported that free staters in Lawrence had formed themselves into four military companies, and urged Thayer to send Sharps rifles and cannons for these forces.


Charles Robinson to Emma Millard

Charles Robinson to Emma Millard
Creator: Robinson, Charles, 1818-1894
Date: March 30, 1860
In response to Millard's letter of March 22, Robinson writes from Quindaro, Kansas Territory, that he is "gratified" to learn of her interest in Kansas history, and that she is "disposed to examine for yourself the random thrusts of the press." Robinson makes some interesting observations regarding his interpretation of Kansas events and the importance of the various factions--free state and proslavery.


Cyrus Kurtz Holliday to Mary Dillon Holliday

Cyrus Kurtz Holliday to Mary Dillon Holliday
Creator: Holliday, Cyrus Kurtz, 1826-1900
Date: June 22, 1856
During a lull, Cyrus K. Holliday reported from Topeka, Kansas Territory to his wife, Mary Holliday, in Meadville, Pennsylvania that Colonel Edwin V. Sumner had forced proslavery troops back to Missouri and camped on the border. Two free state men from Wisconsin had killed proslavery supporters near Osawatomie. Governor Wilson Shannon had resigned. A "large mass convention" was planned for July 2nd and 3rd, with a meeting of the free state legislature on the 4th. Cyrus advised Mary and Mr. Nichols to wait until after the 4th to travel to the territory.


Cyrus Kurtz Holliday to Mary Dillon Holliday

Cyrus Kurtz Holliday to Mary Dillon Holliday
Creator: Holliday, Cyrus Kurtz, 1826-1900
Date: December 6, 1855
Cyrus K. Holliday wrote briefly from Free State Headquarters in Lawrence, Kansas Territory to his wife, Mary Holliday, in Meadville, Pennsylvania, describing the number and location of surrounding Proslavery forces and of Free State forces gathered in Lawrence. Cyrus had been working for peace, but was prepared to fight in a shortly expected attack.


Cyrus Kurtz Holliday to Mary Dillon Holliday

Cyrus Kurtz Holliday to Mary Dillon Holliday
Creator: Holliday, Cyrus Kurtz, 1826-1900
Date: April 1, 1855
Cyrus K. Holliday wrote from Topeka, Kansas Territory to his wife, Mary Holliday, in Meadville, Pennsylvania. He described the Territorial Legislature election of March 30, 1855, in which he was a Representative candidate for the Fourth District (in the third election district). Missourians had taken charge of the polls, and Holliday, along with other free state Kansas Territory citizens, did not vote. He assured his wife that Kansas would be a free state. Business in growing Topeka continued to delay his return to Meadville. Holliday also alluded to the recent birth of their child and mentioned his ragged clothing.


Cyrus Kurtz Holliday to Mary Dillon Holliday

Cyrus Kurtz Holliday to Mary Dillon Holliday
Creator: Holliday, Cyrus Kurtz, 1826-1900
Date: December 31, 1854
Cyrus K. Holliday wrote from Topeka, Kansas Territory, to his wife, Mary Holliday, in Meadville, Pennsylvania. He described living conditions in Topeka. Holliday expressed his intent to write to Mr. McFarland and his thanks for letters recently received. He mentioned Samuel Y. Lum, a Congregational minister, who was sleeping in his cabin. He also mentioned his presidency with the Topeka Town Association, agency with the New England Emigrant Aid Company, and his own business. Finally, Holliday expressed hopes of a sawmill and referred to the possibility of trouble with Missourians. A few lines have been cut and removed from the lower part of pages 7 and 8.


Cyrus Kurtz Holliday to Mary Dillon Holliday

Cyrus Kurtz Holliday to Mary Dillon Holliday
Creator: Holliday, Cyrus Kurtz, 1826-1900
Date: July 2, 1856
Cyrus K. Holliday wrote from Topeka, Kansas Territory, where hundreds of free state supporters were gathering for a Mass Convention on the 3rd and meeting of the free state legislature on the 4th, to his wife, Mary Holliday, in Meadville, Pennsylvania. Cyrus reported that U. S. dragoons from Fort Leavenworth and Fort Riley were camped around Topeka, since difficulty was expected. [In fact, U. S. and proslavery troops dispersed the free state legislature on the 4th.) Two companies of northern immigrants had been turned back at the Missouri River. Cyrus seemed skeptical that effective action would be taken against this outrage.


Cyrus Kurtz Holliday to Mary Dillon Holliday

Cyrus Kurtz Holliday to Mary Dillon Holliday
Creator: Holliday, Cyrus Kurtz, 1826-1900
Date: June 16, 1856
Cyrus K. Holliday of Topeka, Kansas Territory advised his wife, Mary Holliday, in Meadville, Pennsylvania, to read northern papers for news of Kansas. He repeated that she wait to come. Troops from Fort Riley and Fort Leavenworth led by Colonel Edwin V. Sumner gathered to battle proslavery forces led by General John W. Whitfield. Cyrus also mentioned a house and crops, receiving Mary's money and, despite difficulties, he praised Kansas as a home for settlers.


Cyrus Kurtz Holliday to Mary Dillon Holliday

Cyrus Kurtz Holliday to Mary Dillon Holliday
Creator: Holliday, Cyrus Kurtz, 1826-1900
Date: February 4, 1856
Cyrus K. Holliday wrote from bitterly cold Topeka, Kansas Territory to his wife, Mary Holliday, in Meadville, Pennsylvania. Fearing an attack by the Missourians on March 4th, the day the Free State Legislature was to meet in Topeka, he advised Mary to wait before traveling to K. T. with Lillie and Mrs. Nichols. Cyrus also requested northern newspapers.


Cyrus Kurtz Holliday to Mary Dillon Holliday

Cyrus Kurtz Holliday to Mary Dillon Holliday
Creator: Holliday, Cyrus Kurtz, 1826-1900
Date: February 26, 1856
Cyrus K. Holliday reported an uncertain peace from Lawrence, Kansas Territory to his wife, Mary Holliday, in Meadville, Pennsylvania. President Franklin Pierce's January 24th announcement had commanded assemblies organized against the constitutional territorial government to disperse, and whether Missourians would carry out a threatened attack at the March 4th meeting in Topeka was unknown. Cyrus hoped to visit Meadville and sent a message to Professor Hammett. He also told Mary of his commission as Brigadier General of the Free State military.


Cyrus Kurtz Holliday to Mary Dillon Holliday

Cyrus Kurtz Holliday to Mary Dillon Holliday
Creator: Holliday, Cyrus Kurtz, 1826-1900
Date: May 15, 1856
Expecting a clash between free state and proslavery forces at Lawrence, Kansas Territory, Cyrus K. Holliday wrote last instructions to his wife, Mary Holliday, in Meadville, Pennsylvania. Despite the threat of violence, Mary was to travel to Topeka, K. T. with Mr. Nichols, where Cyrus had traded shares to Milton C. Dickey for a house. He told her of a debt to E. S. Dexter of Massachusetts and a share in Centropolis, established that year in Franklin County. While emphasizing business matters, Cyrus did not neglect to express his love.


Cyrus Kurtz Holliday to Mary Dillon Holliday

Cyrus Kurtz Holliday to Mary Dillon Holliday
Creator: Holliday, Cyrus Kurtz, 1826-1900
Date: June 1, 1856
Having long wished to be joined in Topeka, Kansas Territory by his wife, Mary Holliday, and daughter, Lillie, Cyrus K. Holliday instructed them not to leave Meadville, Pennsylvania, until he wrote again. Alarmed by recent killings, arrests, and home evictions of free state men, Cyrus, usually optimistic, foresaw continued unrest. He also mentioned receiving money Mary had sent. In a post script, he emphasized that their journey was necessarily, though undesirably, delayed.


Cyrus Kurtz Holliday to Mary Dillon Holliday

Cyrus Kurtz Holliday to Mary Dillon Holliday
Creator: Holliday, Cyrus Kurtz, 1826-1900
Date: June 9, 1856
Writing from Topeka, Kansas Territory to his wife, Mary Holliday in Meadville, Pennsylvania, Cyrus K. Holliday repeated his previous letter's instructions that neither she nor Mr. Nichols come to Kansas Territory until he wrote again. He mentioned turmoil in district courts and described the positions and numbers of Proslavery forces under General John W. Whitfield and Free-State forces. Colonel Edwin V. Sumner and his federal troops from Fort Leavenworth were attempting to maintain peace.


Daniel Boone Delaney, pamphlet "The Issue Fairly Presented"

Daniel Boone Delaney, pamphlet "The Issue Fairly Presented"
Creator: Delaney, Daniel Boone, 1877-1956
Date: ca. 1856
This pamplet, voicing the opinions of the Democratic National Committee, charged Black Republicans with inciting violence by their opposition to Kansas' admission to the Union under the Lecompton Constitution. As abolitionists, their "fanatical organization" purposely prolonged the conflict by promoting chaotic Territorial politics via their support of the Topeka movement. The document pointed out the role of emigrant aid societies in settling Kansas, blaming them as a source of conflict since Nebraska had had no aid sociey assistance and was not experiencing violence. Also included in the pamphlet was a summary of a debate in which Michigan's settlement and admission to the Union was compared to the current situation in Kansas Territory.


Daniel Read Anthony, Sr. to father

Daniel Read Anthony, Sr. to father
Creator: Anthony, D. R. (Daniel Read), 1824-1904
Date: June 10, 1857
Letter from Daniel Read Anthony, Sr. to his father discussing how the Kansas sovereignty principle benefits those (like himself) in real estate that buy inexpensive land, then sell it to new western settlers at an elevated price for profit. The letter also discusses how Kansas' free state status might impact property value. The letter also mentions the proceedings of a local murder trial and Judge Samuel Dexter Lecompte.


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