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A. Pierse to Eli Thayer

A. Pierse to Eli Thayer
Creator: Pierse, A.
Date: March 31, 1857
A. Pierse wrote from Washington, D.C. to Eli Thayer in Worcester, Massachusetts. Pierse was born in North Carolina and lived most of his life in the South but had been living in Minnesota Territory for the past seven years. He told Thayer that he planned to move to Kansas in the spring of 1857. Pierse offered Thayer his opinion on what free state supporters should do in Kansas Territory. He informed Thayer that, although he had "Southern opinions on the subject of slavery" and believed the federal government had no right to prohibit slavery in the territories, he was "without prejudice for or against either side" in the debate over slavery in Kansas Territory. Pierse suggested that the best course for free staters to take would be to accept the Dred Scott decision, actively participate in the political process in Kansas Territory, and work for the admission of Kansas as a state with or without slavery. Once Kansas was admitted, he contended, free state supporters would be on firmer legal ground to advocate for the prohibition of slavery, since it was generally accepted that "the people have the power to prohibit slavery in their state." He concluded by stating that once Kansas was a state, free staters could make the case that property would be worth 3 or 4 times more if slavery was prohibited in the state.


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.


George Washington Brown to Eli Thayer

George Washington Brown to Eli Thayer
Creator: Brown, George W. (George Washington), 1820-1915
Date: June 4, 1856
George Washington Brown, editor of the Herald of Freedom newspaper, was one of seven free state leaders arrested on May 14, 1856 on charges of high treason and held prisoner by federal troops near Lecompton. G. W. Brown described the sack of Lawrence and the destruction of his printing press, commented upon the harshness of his prison conditions, and asked Eli Thayer to do anything in his power to help secure his release.


Isaac Tichenor Goodnow to Eli Thayer

Isaac Tichenor Goodnow to Eli Thayer
Creator: Goodnow, Isaac Tichener, 1814-1894
Date: May 24, 1858
Isaac T. Goodnow wrote from Manhattan, Kansas Territory to Eli Thayer in Worcester, Massachusetts. Goodnow asked Thayer for his support for Bluemont Central College (predecessor to Kansas State University), a college chartered near Manhattan which would have "an Agricultural Department of a most thorough practical character." Goodnow asserted that "now when the victory [for free staters] in the main is won" it was time to focus attention on schools and churches.


J.F. Tallant to Eli Thayer

J.F. Tallant to Eli Thayer
Creator: Tallant, J. F.
Date: July 15, 1856
J. F. Tallant wrote from Burlington, Iowa to Eli Thayer in Worcester, Massachusetts, seeking Thayer's endorsement of a plan to build a railroad across southern Iowa from Burlington, on the Mississippi River, to a point on the Missouri River. He observed that the federal government recently passed an Iowa land bill donating alternate sections of land to four railroad routes from the Mississippi River to the Missouri River. Tallant maintained that the proposed southern Iowa route would provide an easier route to Kansas for antislavery supporters.


J. Henry Muzzy to Eli Thayer

J. Henry Muzzy to Eli Thayer
Creator: Muzzy, J. Henry
Date: March 3, 1857
J. Henry Muzzy wrote from Lawrence, Kansas Territory to Eli Thayer in Worcester, Massachusetts. Muzzy informed Thayer that free state supporters in Kansas were not, as Thayer had predicted, discouraged by James Buchanan's election as president in November 1856. He observed that the territory had been quiet during the winter of 1856-1857, but warned that the "ruffians" likely would engage in efforts during the spring of 1857 to discourage eastern emigration to Kansas. Muzzy also commented on the dilemma that free staters faced in deciding whether to pay the taxes levied by the proslavery "bogus legislature." He and his fellow free state supporters were not inclined to pay taxes imposed by a "foreign power," but they also realized that if Governor Geary called in U.S. troops to enforce the law they would have no choice but to pay. Muzzy concluded by stating that he was thankful for the end of the "reign of Frank Pierce," contending that "any change at Washington can hardly be for the worse."


John W. Robinson to John M.S. Williams

John W. Robinson to John M.S. Williams
Creator: Robinson, John W
Date: November 15, 1860
John W. Robinson wrote from Manhattan, Kansas Territory to John M. S. Williams. Robinson thanked Williams for his $25 donation to the relief fund for Kansans suffering from the effects of drought.


Showing 1 - 7

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