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1855 rescue of free stater Jacob Branson

1855 rescue of free stater Jacob Branson
Creator: Abbott, James Burnett, 1818-1897
Date: Between 1855 and 1860
James Abbott, a free state activist who participated in several Kansas Territory conflicts (including the rescues of John Doy and Jacob Branson), wrote this account of the 1855 rescue of Jacob Branson. In his account, Sheriff Jones, supported by the proslavery "bogus" legislature, had arrested Jacob Branson, a free state man who witnessed the murder of Charles W. Dow by Franklin Coleman, a proslavery neighbor. Abbott and his cohorts successfully rescued Branson, although their actions were controversial even among fellow free state supporters. Certain aspects of Abbott's account of these events disagreed with an earlier account provided by Samuel Wood, and Abbott addressed those discrepancies in this document. [Abbott's account, obtained either by handwritten manuscript or personal interview, is presented here as an annotated typed transcript.]


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.


Abelard Guthrie to Hiram Hill

Abelard Guthrie to Hiram Hill
Creator: Guthrie, Abelard
Date: November 11, 1858
Abelard Guthrie, a member of the Quindaro Town Company, wrote from Quindaro, Kansas Territory, to Hiram Hill in Massachusetts, rebutting Hill's accusations that he had acted in bad faith regarding certain enterprises of the Town Company. Guthrie stated that he had intended to begin the grading work on Kansas Avenue and other roads, but had found that the Company's funds were depleted; he suspected a swindling. He defended himself in light of other land purchases and business transactions and expressed extreme frustration at his bleak financial situation.


Account of provisions and supplies issued to destitute Shawnees

Account of provisions and supplies issued to destitute Shawnees
Creator: Abbott, James Burnett
Date: 1861
This account book belonging to an Indian agent named James Burnett Abbott lists the names of Shawnee Indian heads of household, the number of family members within their household, and the amount of pork, corn, and meal provided by the government to each Shawnee. The Shawnee had emigrated to Kansas after the Indian Removal Act of 1830. Only an excerpt is included here.


A handbook of useful information for immigrants and settlers

A handbook of useful information for immigrants and settlers
Creator: Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railway Company
Date: 1880-1889
Published by the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad, this pamphlet encouraged agricultural settlement on railroad lands in Kansas by glorifying the state's natural resources including water, soil, mineral deposits and plant life. Printed by the Kansas Farmer in Topeka, Kansas.


Albert C. Morton to Hiram Hill

Albert C. Morton to Hiram Hill
Creator: Morton, Albert C.
Date: August 8, 1857
Albert Morton wrote from Quindaro, Kansas Territory, to Hiram Hill in Massachusetts. Morton related that the fall emigration had begun, Quindaro was crowded, and more buildings were being constructed than ever before. Morton also had found two men interested in renting the home owned by Hill upon its completion. He suggested that it would be best to "keep things quiet" about Samuel N. Simpson, and asked, on the behalf of Guthrie, if Hill planned to travel again to Quindaro.


Albert C. Morton to Hiram Hill

Albert C. Morton to Hiram Hill
Creator: Morton, Albert C.
Date: July 8, 1857
Albert Morton wrote from Quindaro, Kansas Territory, to Hiram Hill in Massachusetts. Morton reported on the status of Samuel N. Simpson, who had left his properties to Charles Robinson, free state leader and fellow founder of the Quindaro Town Company, and left town under suspicion of engaging in deceptive business practices. Another fellow founder of the Town Company, Abelard Guthrie, along with other investors, considered Simpson a "rascil [sic]". Morton also mentioned the progress of the railroad in the area, and the yet to be received package of money.


Albert C. Morton to Hiram Hill

Albert C. Morton to Hiram Hill
Creator: Morton, Albert C.
Date: June 17, 1857
Albert Morton wrote from Quindaro, Kansas Territory, to Hiram Hill in Massachusetts, concerned that he had not yet received $700 which Hill had recently sent to him. Morton also sought Hill's approval regarding the sale of a town lot with a house on it, the profits from which would be better used, Morton thought, in land investments. He also expressed concern that the railroad decide to pass through Quindaro, fearing that, if it didn't, it would "set things back."


Albert C. Morton to Hiram Hill

Albert C. Morton to Hiram Hill
Creator: Morton, Albert C.
Date: June 28, 1857
Albert Morton wrote from Quindaro, Kansas Territory, to Hiram Hill in Massachusetts. Morton informed Hill that the package containing money from him had been located in Council Bluffs, Iowa, and he expected to receive it soon. Morton also described various aspects of Quindaro's development, including the building of a new store, and confirmed that the railroad would in fact come to Quindaro.


Albert C. Morton to Hiram Hill

Albert C. Morton to Hiram Hill
Creator: Morton, Albert C.
Date: July 31, 1857
Albert Morton wrote from Quindaro, Kansas Territory, to Hiram Hill in Massachusetts, providing for him some conclusions regarding Samuel N. Simpson's fraudulent business practices. Morton reported that, from information provided by Simpson's brother, Samuel N. Simpson had taken $40-50,000 from the Quindaro Town Company, and deeded the land of others. He had also given Hill an unauthorized bond, which was not valid. Abelard Guthrie, however, according to Morton, had offered to give Hill title to some land, in order to minimize financial losses brought on by Simpson's actions.


Albert C. Morton to Hiram Hill

Albert C. Morton to Hiram Hill
Creator: Morton, Albert C.
Date: August 3, 1858
Albert Morton wrote from Quindaro, Kansas Territory, to Hiram Hill in Massachusetts. Morton had recently returned to Quindaro in order to vote on the Lecompton Constitution as submitted by the English bill. Having arrived there, he found the place to be "dull". Morton described many empty houses and buildings, left behind from settlers selling out to return home; money had also been lost in investments and bridges were washed out in floods. However, the Town Company had invested in a flour mill, which had commenced operations. Morton also discussed matters of buying and selling land warrants with Hill.


Albert C. Morton to Hiram Hill

Albert C. Morton to Hiram Hill
Creator: Morton, Albert C.
Date: July 5, 1857
Albert Morton wrote from Quindaro, Kansas Territory, to Hiram Hill in Massachusetts. Morton discussed the allegations of fraudulent investment activities on the part of Samuel N. Simpson, and told Hill that Alfred Gray, an area attorney and future Secretary of the Wyandotte Board of Trade, had lost five acres of land due to Simpson's deceptive practices. Morton updated Hill on Quindaro's development, stating that the prospects were good due to the railroad's anticipated presence in town. He added that he still had not received that package containing $700 from Hill.


Albert C. Morton to Hiram Hill

Albert C. Morton to Hiram Hill
Creator: Morton, Albert C.
Date: February 27, 1858
Albert Morton wrote from Quindaro, Kansas Territory, to Hiram Hill in Massachusetts. Morton predicted a good property market for the coming spring, despite the "hard money matters" which had been the situation during the winter. He reported that the Shawnee lands would open soon, to have them paid for by the end of the summer, and that Hill's land investments in Manhattan were "in good standing". Morton added that Samuel Simpson has been busy lately, traveling back and forth from Quindaro to Lawrence.


Albert C. Morton to Hiram Hill

Albert C. Morton to Hiram Hill
Creator: Morton, Albert C.
Date: April 30, 1858
Albert Morton wrote from Quindaro, Kansas Territory, to Hiram Hill in Massachusetts. Morton reported that the arrival of two new Eastern businessmen had brought business growth to the town, including a sash and blind factory and new three-story brick building. Despite these new constructions, Morton described the atmosphere as "dull". Though it was a bad time to sell land, since money was scarce, with the recent opening of Indian lands to settlement it was an optimum time to buy land at a low price.


Albert C. Morton to Hiram Hill

Albert C. Morton to Hiram Hill
Creator: Morton, Albert C.
Date: May 29, 1857
Albert Morton wrote from Quindaro, Kansas Territory, to Hiram Hill, who had invested in Quindaro, in Massachusetts. In this short letter Morton described the development of the town, and noted the increasing population, the availability of coal resources, and the arrival of a new storekeeper.


Albert C. Morton to Hiram Hill

Albert C. Morton to Hiram Hill
Creator: Morton, Albert C.
Date: September 21, 1857
Albert Morton wrote from Quindaro, Kansas Territory, to Hiram Hill in Massachusetts, apologizing for his prolonged silence due to a lengthy illness. Morton referred to the upcoming October election, which would select the members of the Territorial Legislature. He also spoke of Governor Walker's attempts to regulate the election process by requiring that all voters be residents of the Territory for at least six months prior to casting a vote. Morton added that Samuel Simpson was in town again, but that nothing had been settled regarding his questionable business practices.


Albert G. Boone to Thomas Nesbit Stinson

Albert G. Boone to Thomas Nesbit Stinson
Creator: Boone, Albert G.
Date: January 16, 1860
Albert G. Boone, writing from Westport, Missouri, to Thomas N. Stinson, described his unsuccessful efforts to sell a printing press for Stinson. Boone suggested that Stinson contact "Free Statemen" with whom he was on good terms to see if they could help him sell it. Boone added a postscript to the letter asking about the prospects of a treaty with the Pottawatomie.


Andrew H. Reeder's instructions about his land claim in the Wyandotte Float

Andrew H. Reeder's instructions about his land claim in the Wyandotte Float
Creator: Reeder, Andrew H. (Andrew Horatio), 1807-1864
Date: [1857]
This document, obviously written by Andrew H. Reeder either to the surveyor or to Reeder's attorney, John A. Halderman, is undated but was most likely composed in 1857. It addresses issues related to the location of Reeder's claim to land in the Wyandotte Float in the Kansas Territory.


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.


Band of Kansa men

Band of Kansa men
Creator: Baugh, John
Date: 1873
An informal portrait of a group of Kansa men who were photographed on the steps of an unidentified building after their removal to Indian Territory. The men are identified as: Albert Taylor, William Jones, Tony Butler, Roy Monroe, Elmer Franklin, Forest Chouteau, and Jesse Me-ho-ja.


Beautiful Oklahoma and Indian Territory

Beautiful Oklahoma and Indian Territory
Creator: Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railway Company
Date: March, 1892
A brochure advertising the many advantages of settling in beautiful Oklahoma. It includes information about how to acquire land under the Homestead Law. The brochure describes some of the American Indian tribes in Oklahoma. Included is a detailed map of Oklahoma and also a map of the southwest United States with the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad marked. A timetable is included along with instructions for making a claim and details of the Homestead Law. Oklahoma City and Guthrie, Oklahoma, are described. The brochure is just two pages front and back. However, the second page has print in two directions so two versions of that page are included.


Bird's Eye View of Concordia, Cloud County, Kansas

Bird's Eye View of Concordia, Cloud County, Kansas
Creator: Stoner, J. J.
Date: 1879
This lithograph is a bird's eye view of Concordia, Cloud County, Kansas. The legend at the bottom identifies the following: Concordia College, the high school, the Courthouse, several churches including a Swedish Baptist Church, hotels, a livery stable, a feed stable, the U. S. Land Office, two commercial land offices, two law offices, and the Concordia Mill. Street names are given. A railroad is shown but the company is not identified. The lithograph was published by J. J. Stoner of Madison, Wisconsin.


Black Hawk, Sauk Indian

Black Hawk, Sauk Indian
Creator: Catlin, George, 1796-1872
Date: 1832
This portrait, painted by the well-known artist George Catlin, depicts the fierce leader of the Sauk and Fox tribe after his arrest in 1832. Black Hawk and some of his tribe had resisted their removal to lands west of the Mississippi River, but the Black Hawk War, as it came to be known, ended in defeat. The original of this portrait is on exhibit at the National Portrait Gallery, which is part of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.


Boomer Camp on Walnut River, Arkansas City, Kansas

Boomer Camp on Walnut River, Arkansas City, Kansas
Creator: Mitchell & DeGroff
Date: 1889
This sepia colored photograph shows a "boomer" camp on the banks of the Walnut River in Arkansas City, Kansas. The "boomers" were white settlers who were attempting to settle in the Indian Territory of Oklahoma. Some of the "boomers" would camp near the Kansas and Oklahoma border waiting to enter the territory to claim land that had not been assigned to Indian Tribes. Many of the settlers believed that the unassigned land was in the public domain under the Homestead Act of 1862, despite the fact that the lands were assigned for the settlement of Native Americans.


Boomer Camp on Walnut River, Arkansas City, Kansas

Boomer Camp on Walnut River, Arkansas City, Kansas
Creator: Mitchell & DeGroff
Date: Between 1886 and 1889
This sepia colored photograph shows a couple of "boomers" on the banks of the Walnut River in Arkansas City, Kansas. The "boomers" were white settlers who were attempting to settle in the Indian Territory of Oklahoma. Some of the "boomers would camp near the Kansas and Oklahoma border waiting to enter the territory to claim land that had not been assigned to Indian Tribes. Many of the settlers believed that the unassigned land was in the public domain under the Homestead Act of 1862. The land in question was some of the last land in the United States that had been set aside for Native American tribes, many of which had been removed from their ancestral lands.


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