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Certificate, Claim Debt of Kansas Territory

Certificate, Claim Debt of Kansas Territory
Creator: Strickler, Hiram Jackson
Date: June 14, 1859
This certified that, due to his losses, Orville C. Brown was entitled to receive one thousand dollars from the Treasurer of the Territory of Kansas. This document, claim #273, was signed by H. J. Stricker, auditor. Apparently it was never paid, since the portion of the document pertaining to payment remained blank.


Election, location of capital of Kansas, Topeka Convention, 1855

Election, location of capital of Kansas, Topeka Convention, 1855
Date: October 23, 1855
The Free-State government held a constitutional convention in Topeka, Kansas Territory, from October 23 through November 11, 1855. One of its actions was to vote on the location for the capital of Kansas. According to these tally sheets, Topeka defeated Lawrence on the second ballot, 20 to 16. Numerous other towns received votes from the convention delegates on the first ballot.


Kansas A Free State. Squatter Sovereignty Vindicated!

Kansas A Free State. Squatter Sovereignty Vindicated!
Date: September 24, 1855
This broadside advertises a series of mass meetings in support of the free state cause, with Charles Robinson as the speaker.


M. M. Campbell to Brethren of the Osawatomie Bible Society

M. M. Campbell to Brethren of the Osawatomie Bible Society
Creator: Campbell, M. M.
Date: June 26, 1860
This letter, written by M. M. Campbell from Monrovia, Kansas Territory, requested information about the progress of colportage in the Osawatomie area, asking if they had divided the area into districts and appointed colporteurs to distribute religious materials to Kansas settlers. To encourage this, Campbell mentioned the great success of other colporteurs, such as Brother Blood from Manhattan, Kansas. He also encouraged the residents of Osawatomie to remain faithful to their duty as Christians, and to work for the furtherance of the kingdom. Campbell requested more detailed information about the local Bible Society.


Orville C. Brown

Orville C. Brown
Orville C. Brown was an early settler and founder of Osawatomie, Kansas Territory. He actively sought to develop the town by building a common school and by obtaining a printing press. He was involved in free state activities and in efforts to raise funds for relief. His house was burned down during the Battle of Osawatomie. This photo was taken some time later in his life.


Orville C. Brown territorial loss claim

Orville C. Brown territorial loss claim
Creator: Strickler, Hiram Jackson
Date: 1859
Report of H.L. Strickler, Commissioner to Audit Claims of Citizens of the Territory of Kansas, contained in the U.S. Congressional Serial Set of congressiona and executive documents. Orville C. Brown submitted claim # 121 for losses sustained during the summer of 1856 from various groups of armed men. He also claimed that his house was destroyed by men under the command of General John W. Reid on August 30, 1856. His detailed list included a number of household goods as well as some school and Sunday School books. Each claimant had to submit an itemized list and have two witnesses attest to the losses claimed. Even though many of these claims were approved for payment, no funds were ever appropriated or distributed.


Orville C. Brown to Samuel L. Adair

Orville C. Brown to Samuel L. Adair
Creator: Brown, Orville Chester, 1811-1904
Date: January 21, 1857
Orville Chester Brown wrote from Utica, New York, to Samuel Adair in Osawatomie, Kansas Territory. Brown wrote about speaking engagements on behalf of Kansas, and mentioned Governor Geary and President Pierce.


Orville C. Brown to Samuel L. Adair

Orville C. Brown to Samuel L. Adair
Creator: Brown, Orville Chester, 1811-1904
Date: November 12, 1856
Orville Chester Brown apparently wrote this letter to Samuel L. Adair in Osawatomie, Kansas Territory, from Utica, New York. He reported that he had spoken to ten different groups about needs in Kansas. He reported that Mr. Arny of the National Kansas Committee planned to visit Osawatomie, and promised that the people there would get their fair share of relief aid. He asked Adair a number of questions about the situation in Osawatomie, including questions about pro-slavery settlers. He discussed elections and the Know Nothing party.


Orville Chester Brown, business card

Orville Chester Brown, business card
Creator: Brown, Orville Chester, 1811-1904
Date: Circa 1855-1856
This business card for Orville C. Brown, "agent for the town of Osawatomie, Kansas Territory," accompaned a list of the advantages of settling in Kansas Territory and the city of Osawatomie. A hand written note on the list indicated it was issued by O. C. Brown. The printed circular described the soil, available building materials, wood, produce and opportunities for acquiring land. It also gave the price of various livestock. The business card noted that Brown also was involved in locating land warrants and purchasing and selling claims.


Orville Chester Brown correspondence

Orville Chester Brown correspondence
Creator: Brown, Orville Chester, 1811-1904
Date: 1854-1861
A selection of papers from Orville Chester Brown (1811-1904). Brown was a pioneer, founder of Osawatomie, Kansas, and ardent abolitionist. In October 1854, he came to Kansas to improve his health. He established the town of Osawatomie in Lykins (now Miami) County, which he named for the nearby Osage and Pottawatomie creeks. In June 1856, "free-state" (antislavery) men murdered pro-slavery advocates in what became known as the Pottawatomie Massacre. In retaliation pro-slavery forces sacked Osawatomie on August 30, 1856. Brown's home was burned to the ground in the raid, and his son, Spencer Kellogg Brown (1842-1863), was captured and taken to Lafayette County, Missouri, for several weeks. Spencer is the subject of much of the collection after 1860 and took an active role in the conflict. After leaving Kansas in 1861 for Buffalo, New York, Orville Chester Brown traveled extensively through the Northeast lecturing and raising money to support free-state forces in Kansas.


Orville Chester Brown, share certificate

Orville Chester Brown, share certificate
Creator: Trustees of the Town of Osawatomie: Samuel C. Pomeroy, et. al.,
Date: September 23, 1857
This document, drafted by the Trustees of the Town of Osawatomie, states the boundaries of the town and certifies that Orville C. Brown is the proprietor of 100 town shares.


Orville Chester Brown to C.L. Edward

Orville Chester Brown to C.L. Edward
Creator: Brown, Orville Chester, 1811-1904
Date: March 21, 1856
This letter, written from Osawatomie by Orville C. Brown to C. L. Edward, concerns a shipment of books and supplies. The author also hopes to have a schoolhouse built in two or three weeks, in addition to a number of other structures. It includes general information about town development.


Orville Chester Brown to Mr. Edwards

Orville Chester Brown to Mr. Edwards
Creator: Brown, Orville Chester, 1811-1904
Date: April 10, 1856
Orville C. Brown wrote this letter from Osawatomie to Mr. Edwards, regarding a shipment of school books. He also wrote concerning a common school in the area that would begin classes in May, taught by a Mr. Martin. Brown also mentioned, rather briefly, the needs of the Osawatomie community, including such skilled workers as blacksmiths and carpenters.


Orville Chester Brown to Mr. Ward

Orville Chester Brown to Mr. Ward
Creator: Brown, Orville Chester, 1811-1904
Date: March 26, 1856
This letter, written by Orville C. Brown from Osawatomie, was addressed to Mr. Ward. For the most part, it related information about the development of Osawatomie and various land claims, including a discussion about the boundaries of the town.


Orville Chester Brown to unknown

Orville Chester Brown to unknown
Date: June 24, 1856
This letter, presumably written by Orville Chester Brown, is an excellent example of a free state perspective on the events of 1856 in Kansas Territory. Speaking in rather eloquent terms, the author expresses anger at the United States government for their refusal to aid free state settlers.


Orville Chester Brown to unknown

Orville Chester Brown to unknown
Creator: Brown, Orville Chester, 1811-1904
Date: September 2, 1856
This eloquent letter, presumably written by Orville Chester Brown, provides an example of the free state perspective on the events of 1856. It includes references to a number of key personalities and places that played a vital role during the struggle for Kansas. Brown writes that "Kansas is the scene of bloody strife," as "2000 armed men" from Missouri were rumored to have crossed into Kansas.


Osawatomie Town Company, Share Certificate

Osawatomie Town Company, Share Certificate
Date: May 28, 1858
This blank share in the Osawatomie Town Company was signed by the secretary and by O. C. Brown, President. The document states that the town was chartered in January 1858, and on the side is a note declaring that Osawatomie was burned in 1856 and rebuilt in 1857.


Oscar Dayton to Orville Chester Brown

Oscar Dayton to Orville Chester Brown
Creator: Dayton, Oscar V
Date: February 9, 1857
This letter, written by Oscar Dayton from the Banking Office of Dayton and Co., Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, was addressed to Orville C. Brown, a founder of Osawatomie. The main subject of the letter was a printing press and other pertinent materials that were available to the residents of Osawatomie, if they in turn paid Dayton's debts and granted him deeds for town lots in Osawatomie. That was Dayton's preferred method of payment. Furthermore, Dayton informed Brown that there were other men who were interested in purchasing the printing press, so he needed a speedy reply to this letter. It concluded with personal regards to Mr. Brown's family.


Robert S. Stevens to Orville Chester Brown

Robert S. Stevens to Orville Chester Brown
Creator: Stevens, Robert S.
Date: February 18, 1860
This letter, written by Robert Stevens while in Washington, D. C., was addressed to Orville C. Brown, Osawatomie, Kansas Territory. It informed Brown that the Land Office had decided that all entries of town sites made by Kansas probate judges were null and void. Stevens inquired as to whether Osawatomie had a formal municipal organization. He also urged Brown to discuss this issue with no one, in order to prevent others from jumping the town site.


Samuel Medary to Orville Chester Brown (?)

Samuel Medary to Orville Chester Brown (?)
Creator: Medary, S. (Samuel), 1801-1864
Date: February 25, 1859
This letter, presumably addressed to Orville Brown, was written by Samuel Medary, the current governor of Kansas Territory. Governor Medary was pleased that the volatile situation during the border wars had calmed down, and he encouraged Brown to foster an environment focused on "peace and industry." The governor also hoped that, with things settling down, more emigrants would come into Kansas.


Spencer Kellogg Brown, the Battle of Osawatomie

Spencer Kellogg Brown, the Battle of Osawatomie
Creator: Brown, Spencer Kellogg, 1842-1863
Date: Around 1856
This account of the battle and its aftermath, written by Spencer Kellogg Brown, was compiled from his shorthand diary. It describes the battle and his experiences as a young teenager taken prisoner by pro-slavery forces. He traveled with the Missouri troops and their other prisoners, and then for several weeks he lived under house arrest with Dr. James Keith from Lexington, Missouri. This particular account is unique because it gives very detailed descriptions of how ordinary citizens became entangled in the fighting.


Topeka Constitutional Convention journal

Topeka Constitutional Convention journal
Date: October 31, 1855
During the afternoon session of Wednesday, October 31, 1855, Jim Lane presented a "Resolution which was ordered to be entered upon the Journal of the convention--said Resolution being the instructions given by the people of the 2nd Representative District" at a Lawrence meeting of October 7. The "instructions" and Lane's resolution provided that "the question of excluding Free Negroes from the Territory" be submitted to a vote of the people on the day they voted on the constitution itself.


U.S. District Court Indictment of Orville Chester Brown, John Brown, Sr., John Brown, Jr. et al.

U.S. District Court Indictment of Orville Chester Brown, John Brown, Sr., John Brown, Jr. et al.
Creator: United States. District Court (Kansas Territory). Lykens County,
Date: May 1856
During the "May Term" of the U.S. District Court for Lykens (Miami) County, a grand jury issued this indictment covering the April 16, 1856, actions (among others) of this group of "persons of evil minds and dispositions." These men, according to the indictment, "did unlawfully and wickedly conspire, combine, confederate and agree together mutually to aid and support one another in a forcible resistance to the enactments of the laws passed by the Legislature of said Territory of Kansas. . . ." Specifically, they had conspired "forcibly to resist and oppose the collector of taxes in and for the county and Territory aforesaid . . ."


Wilson Shannon to Orville Chester Brown

Wilson Shannon to Orville Chester Brown
Creator: Shannon, Wilson, 1802-1877
Date: April 18, 1858
This letter, written by Wilson Shannon, former governor of Kansas Territory, was addressed to Orville C. Brown, one of the founders of Osawatomie. Shannon wrote from his office in Lecompton to reassure Brown that the problem with Osawatomie's town site would be addressed.


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