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Appeal for support of Free Kansas

Appeal for support of Free Kansas
Creator: Kansas State Central Committee
Date: October 20, 1856
This handwritten "appeal" was sent to all those who had supported, or who might be inclined to support, the free state cause in Kansas Territory. The appeal assures them that the committee in Kansas had reached full accord with the National Kansas Committee and could be "relied upon" to distribute aid channeled through Chicago. "Our people are still in extreme want, and hundreds of families are entirely dependent upon your charities."


Augustus Wattles to George W. Brown

Augustus Wattles to George W. Brown
Creator: Wattles, Augustus, 1807-1876
Date: October 15, 1856
Augustus Wattles writes to Mr. [?] Brown requesting reimbursement for some $700 he had lost in the cause. Although Wattles had not expected to recoup his losses, and in fact had planned "to give all these items gratis to the free state cause," he has heard "a committee" had funds for that purpose, and he was ill and in need of money. His claim included a couple horses, a mule, and room and board for various free state people he had taken in when they were in need of shelter.


C. W. Holder to James Blood

C. W. Holder to James Blood
Creator: Holder, C. W.
Date: October 27, 1860
As were several other individuals from Illinois, Holder writes to notify Blood that the people in his community (around Bloomington, Illinois) are eager to share their "abundance" with "their brethren in Kansas." They are preparing to send potatoes, as well as wheat and oats, but need help purchasing sacks and paying freight; "our people as you are probably aware are just recovering from the financial pressure of the past 3 years" and thus had "little money."


Catalogue of . . . The Property of the Kansas Central Committee, Lawrence

Catalogue of . . . The Property of the Kansas Central Committee, Lawrence
Creator: Kansas State Central Committee
Date: n.d.
The complete title of this undated inventory is a "Catalogue of Horses, Waggons [sic], Harnesses, &, the property of the Kansas Central Committee, Lawrence. Twenty-eight different horses or "spans" of horses are identified (e.g., "One Sorrell Colt"), along with four mules and forty harnesses, and seventeen wagons.


E. R. Falley to Kansas Central Committee

E. R. Falley to Kansas Central Committee
Creator: Falley, Edwin R.
Date: c. 1857
In this undated letter from Lawrence, Kansas Territory, E. R. Falley informs the Kansas Central Committee that he had lost a gun loaned to him by "Mr. Wilder" (D. W. Wilder?) while serving with a free-state militia company at Blanton's bridge (Napoleon B. Blanton, on the Wakarusa River in Douglas County) in June 1856. Wilder was demanding payment, and Falley asks the committee to reimburse "Mr. Wilder for said gun."


Furnished the Freestate Party

Furnished the Freestate Party
Creator: Blanton, Napoleon Bonaparte
Date: May 15, 1856
Napolean B. Blanton prepared this itemized list. Blanton of Douglas County operated a toll bridge over the Wakarusa River in Douglas County south of Lawrence, Kansas Territory. The total bill is for $191.26, including provisions and tolls: "I have thrown my bridge open free for the freestate party from the 15th of May to the 20th of September. . ."


Gaius Jenkins' bill to the Kansas State Central Committee

Gaius Jenkins' bill to the Kansas State Central Committee
Creator: Jenkins, Gaius
Date: June 24, 1856
Most of the items on this itemized bill, presented to the Kansas State Central Committee by Gaius Jenkins of Lawrence (a free-state man who was subsequently shot and killed by Jim Lane), are related to armaments (powder, lead, etc.) or other necessities for supplying a militia force in the Kansas Territory.


George W. Bell to William Hutchinson and James Blood

George W. Bell to William Hutchinson and James Blood
Creator: Bell, George W.
Date: October 26, 1856
From Hickory Point in Jefferson County, George Bell, an agent for the Kansas Central Committee, writes William Hutchinson and James Blood at Lawrence, Kansas Territory, regarding the condition of the "Burr family" and their specific relief needs. The Burrs are described as "destitute" of food and clothing.


George W. Hunt and C. Stearns to Blood, Hutchinson, et. al.

George W. Hunt and C. Stearns to Blood, Hutchinson, et. al.
Creator: Hunt, George W.
Date: September 29, 1856
On behalf of a committee of Lawrence citizens, Hunt and Stearns write the State Central Committee of Kansas "to urge upon your attention several important points in reference to the present condition of Kansas." They were convinced that a "storm" from Missouri was about "to burst upon the devoted heads of the freemen of Kansas" and "perhaps to deluge Kansas with rivers of blood." The committee urges the state and national organizations to help them prepare for the storm, while things were relatively calm, with an adequate supply of arms and ammunition and men. They call only for "moral heroes" who would not follow the "principles of Border Ruffianism."


George W. Smith, Jr. to Kansas Central Committee

George W. Smith, Jr. to Kansas Central Committee
Creator: Smith, G.W. (George W.) 1806-1878
Date: July 17, 1857
George W. Smith, Jr. of Lawrence, Kansas Territory, requests a supply of "arms . . . for distribution among the Free State men who have formed themselves into Companies." Smith's signature identifies him as Captain, "Munger Battalion, Free State Forces." Smith writes that he led "a force of 32 mounted" men, most of whom were veterans of the "wars of Kansas," and requests the loan of "32 sabres [sic] and any revolvers that you may have to give them."


George W. Smith, et al, to the Friends of Law and Order convened at Topeka

George W. Smith, et al, to the Friends of Law and Order convened at Topeka
Creator: Smith, G.W. (George W.) 1806-1878
Date: July 1, 1856
From a "camp near Lecompton," George W. Smith and the other Free State captives, including Charles Robinson and John Brown, Jr., write to state their views on issues facing the Topeka legislature as it convened. Smith and company argue that the freestaters had a "right to meet as a Legislature, complete the State organization and pass all laws necessary to the successful administration of Justice," but the assembly should not resist "Federal officer in the service of the legal process" unless they threaten the state organization. Smith, et al, believe success of the cause depends upon "a right position and, second upon calm, and unflinching firmness."


H. B. Hurd to James Blood

H. B. Hurd to James Blood
Creator: Hurd, H. B.
Date: March 27, 1861
From Chicago, Illinois, H. B. Hurd inquires about reports that the Kansas legislature was to appoint a committee to investigate the conduct of the National Kansas Committee's agents and their handling of relief funds and supplies. Several correspondents had expressed similar concerns during the fall of 1860--that is, concern that funds were being misused or that certain agents could not be trusted. Hurd encourages Blood to support such an investigation.


Invoice of property received of Col. Shalor W. Eldridge

Invoice of property received of Col. Shalor W. Eldridge
Creator: Kansas State Central Committee
Date: n.d.
This is a copy of an invoice most likely created during the late fall or winter 1856-1857. Starting with five Colt Revolvers, the invoice identifies over thirty separate listings for various firearms, foodstuffs, harness, etc., plus a good number of horses and mules, received from Colonel Shalor W. Eldridge. Among the different items listed are cartridges, blankets, canvas tents, shovels, bayonets, tin cups, and "25 old Sabors."


J. D. Webster to James Blood

J. D. Webster to James Blood
Creator: Webster, J. D.
Date: October 10, 1856
From Chicago, Illinois, headquarters of the National Kansas Committee, the committee's vice president writes to authorize James Blood to draw on the treasurer for $3,000 "to be expended under authority of the State Kansas Committee." The purpose is to offer "provisions" to needy free state settlers; this was to be the committee's focus, "rather than to aid emigrants to go there."


James Blood correspondence

James Blood correspondence
Date: 1854-1861
James Blood was involved with the first party of New England Emigrant Aid Company settlers who arrived to Kansas in late July 1854. Blood was actively engaged from the beginning in the free-state movement. He served as treasurer of the Kansas State Central Committee, 1856-1857, as a member of the Topeka legislature, 1856, as the first mayor of Lawrence in 1857, as a member of the central territorial committee at the Republican Party's organizing convention in May 1859, as county treasurer in the early 1860s, and as a representative from Lawrence in the 1869 state legislature. He died in Lawrence on February 4, 1891. This folder of correspondence focuses on the years 1854 to 1861, with some letters discussing border problems with Missouri and the need for additional troops and artillery.


James Gillpatrick to Samuel C. Pomeroy

James Gillpatrick to Samuel C. Pomeroy
Creator: Gillpatrick, James
Date: October 24, 1856
From Brownville, Kansas Territory, Gillpatrick writes seeking compensation for his losses to the "border ruffins" or, specifically, at the hand of "a miserable horse thief from Missouri." Gillpatrick had been advised by a Chicago friend that all such aid was being distributed through the Lawrence-based committee, thus his letter to Pomeroy, who would "doubtless know who they are."


James M. Arthur receipt to Kansas Central Committee

James M. Arthur receipt to Kansas Central Committee
Creator: Arthur, James M.
Date: December 27, 1856
This receipt, signed by James M. Arthur and dated "Lawrence, December 27, 1856," reads as follows: "Received . . . Of Kansas Central Committee six U S. Breach loading Rifles and two U S Muskets one Box U S Caps and six Bullet molds for Rifles. Said arms to be returned on the order of said Kansas Central Committee."


Kansas Central Committee payment to Jacob Willits

Kansas Central Committee payment to Jacob Willits
Creator: Kansas State Central Committee
Date: January 7, 1857
On January 7, 1857, the Kansas Central Committee paid $12.64 to Jacob Willits of Shawnee County, Kansas Territory, for this itemized supplies bill.


Kansas Central Committee payment to Ross Brothers

Kansas Central Committee payment to Ross Brothers
Creator: Ross, Edmund G. (Edmund Gibson), 1826-1907
Date: July 12, 1857
The Kansas Central Committee paid $5.50 to brothers Edmund G. Ross and William W. Ross, editors of the "Kansas Tribune," in Topeka, Kansas Territory, for printing "250 1/8 Posters" for the July convention."


L. W. Hover to State Central Committee

L. W. Hover to State Central Committee
Creator: Hover, L. H.
Date: October 24, 1856
L. W. Hover, a farmer and freestater who had settled at Wakarusa, Kansas Territory, on June 1, 1856, makes this claim against the funds being distributed by the State Central Committee. His crops, etc., were destroyed while he was serving in the militia during "the Washington Creek difficulty," and he has since fallen quite ill and is dependent on help from his neighbors.


List of individuals and clothing needed by them

List of individuals and clothing needed by them
Creator: Cutler, A.
Date: 1856
According to an attached note that cited the November 15, 1856, issue of the "Herald of Freedom," this "list of individuals and clothing" identifies supplies needed by a group of free-state prisoners being held at Lecompton, Kansas Territory. A note at the end is signed by A. Cutler (or Cutter) and addressed to Mr. J. Crocker. The list identifies shirts, shoes, socks, pants, hats, and blankets, but a Porterfield "needed" a "half pint brandy."


Mary Jones receipt to Kansas Central Committee

Mary Jones receipt to Kansas Central Committee
Creator: Jones, Mary
Date: June 15, 1857
This receipt, signed by Mary Jones of Lawrence, Kansas Territory, acknowledges a payment issued to her by James Blood of the Kansas Central Committee for "boarding and taking care of Mr. Leggs [Charles Legge?] destitute children." The total sum paid was $19.85, and included $1.80 for the children's use.


Minutes, First Meeting of Territorial Central Committee of the Free State Party

Minutes, First Meeting of Territorial Central Committee of the Free State Party
Creator: Free State Party. Executive Committee
Date: September 23, 1858
The first meeting of the Free State Party's territorial central committee was convened in Lawrence, Kansas Territory, on September 23, 1858. According to these minutes, the following individuals attended: James Blood, temporary chair; P. H. Townsend; W. F. M. Arny, and James M. Winchell, along with J. C. Douglas who held proxy for John McKee. Among other things, the committee resolves to nominate Samuel W. Greer for territorial superintendent of public instruction.


Minutes of Executive Committee, Kansas State Central Committee

Minutes of Executive Committee, Kansas State Central Committee
Creator: Kansas State Central Committee
Date: October 22, 1856
Dated "Lawrence, October 22, 1856," these are apparently the minutes of the first meeting the Kansas State Central Committee's executive committee, chaired by James M. Winchell with George S. Hillyer as secretary. Eight resolutions are recorded, authorizing the committee to provide assistance, etc.


N. M'Cracken to William Hutchinson

N. M'Cracken to William Hutchinson
Creator: Morgan, J. F.
Date: November 27, 1856
Unlike most of the other receipts for money or merchandise saved by James Blood for the Kansas State Central Committee, this one is on a pre-printed form and issued by "N. M'Cracken" of Leavenworth for merchandise delivered to William Hutchinson at Lawrence, Kansas Territory. It is signed by J. F. Morgan, who evidently delivered the goods from Leavenworth to Lawrence and "received pay of J. Blood" on January 26, 1857.


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