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A. Oestreicher to Eli Thayer

A. Oestreicher to Eli Thayer
Creator: Oestreicher, A.
Date: September 23, 1854
Oestreicher, writing from Cincinnati, Ohio, informed Thayer of the establishment of a Kansas Actual Settler's Association in that city. He indicated that the association, which was comprised primarily of German-Americans, planned to create a settlement in Kansas in the spring of 1855.


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.


Amos A. Lawrence to Doctor Samuel Cabot

Amos A. Lawrence to Doctor Samuel Cabot
Creator: Lawrence, Amos Adams
Date: October 9, 1855
Amos Lawrence, writing to Dr. Samuel Cabot, complained that Eli Thayer was not doing enough in support of the New England Emigrant Aid Company. Lawrence commented that he had personally invested $13,000 in the company during the previous year and declared that it was time to "hold up" on future contributions.


Amos A. Lawrence to Reverend Edward E. Hale

Amos A. Lawrence to Reverend Edward E. Hale
Creator: Lawrence, Amos Adams
Date: February 25, 1855
Amos Lawrence, writing from Boston to Edward Everett Hale, a Worcester, Massachusetts resident, expressed concern about the manner in which Worcester leaders in the Massachusetts Emigrant Aid Company were doing business. Specifically, Lawrence was upset about Hale's and Eli Thayer's use of Emigrant Aid Company funds to make a loan to George Washington Brown, the editor of the Herald of Freedom.


Charles H. Branscomb to New England Emigrant Aid Company, Expense Account.

Charles H. Branscomb to New England Emigrant Aid Company, Expense Account.
Creator: Branscomb, Charles H.
Date: January 1, 1855 - May 1, 1856
A typical expense report submitted by Charles H. Branscomb, general agent for the New England Emigrant Aid Company in Kansas Territory, detailing his expenditures for 1855 and part of 1856. Among the expenses Branscomb listed were travel, postage, paper, and telegraph costs.


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.


Eli Thayer

Eli Thayer
Creator: Tucker, E. S.
Date: Between 1870 and 1875
Portrait of Eli Thayer, 1819-1899, who in 1853-54 was a representative in the Massachusetts legislature, and while there, originated and organized the New England Emigrant Aid Company. He worked to combine the northern states in support of his plan to send antislavery settlers into Kansas. Lawrence, Topeka, Manhattan, and Ossawatomie, Kansas, were settled under the auspices of his company.


Eli Thayer

Eli Thayer
Date: Between 1880 and 1885
Portrait of Eli Thayer, 1819-1899, who in 1853-54 was a representative in the Massachusetts legislature and while there, originated and organized the New England Emigrant Aid Company. He worked to combine the northern states in support of his plan to send antislavery settlers into Kansas. Lawrence, Topeka, Manhattan, and Ossawatomie, Kansas, were settled under the auspices of his company.


Eli Thayer to Dr. Thomas H. Webb

Eli Thayer to Dr. Thomas H. Webb
Creator: Thayer, Eli, 1819-1899
Date: March 3, 1855
Eli Thayer, writing from Worcester, Massachusetts to Thomas H. Webb, secretary of the New England Emigrant Aid Company, expressed his positive impression of the Emigrant Aid Company founded in Connecticut. He also expressed his distrust of the American Settlement Company and the New York League, two other emigrant aid organizations.


Eli Thayer to John Brown

Eli Thayer to John Brown
Creator: Thayer, Eli, 1819-1899
Date: March 18, 1857
In this brief letter from Worcester, Mass., Eli Thayer wrote Brown with regard to his appearance at Concord and possibility of Brown coming to Worcester.


Eli Thayer to John Brown

Eli Thayer to John Brown
Creator: Thayer, Eli, 1819-1899
Date: March 30, 1857
Thayer, the president of the New England Emigrant Aid Company, wrote Brown from his home in Worcester, Mass., that he (Thayer) and his associates had "not the remotest idea of relinquishing Kansas" and that he would send Brown $50. Thayer also asked when Brown planned to visit Worcester.


Eli Thayer to John Brown

Eli Thayer to John Brown
Creator: Thayer, Eli, 1819-1899
Date: March 19, 1857
In this brief follow up to his March 18 letter, Eli Thayer wrote Brown to say that "next Monday" would be a good time for Brown's speech on "the free State Cause of Kansas which is the Cause of mankind" in Worcester.


Free State Plan of Action

Free State Plan of Action
Creator: Higginson, Thomas Wentworth
Date: November 5, 1856
This document lays out the plan of action proposed by Charles Robinson at a meeting of free state leaders in Boston, Massachusetts, on November 5, 1856. Most likely these notes from the meeting were written by Reverend Thomas Wentworth Higginson, a radical abolitionist from Massachusetts. Six resolutions were passed, some focusing on emigration and others on land sales or fundraising. The back of the document lists the names of those present at the meeting, including such influential figures as Senator Henry Wilson and Eli Thayer.


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.


Harvey Bostwick Hurd to Theodore Hyatt

Harvey Bostwick Hurd to Theodore Hyatt
Creator: Hurd, H. B.
Date: December 1, 1856
This letter was written by the secretary of the National Kansas Committee, H. B. Hurd, to Theodore Hyatt, whose brother was chairman of this committee. The most noteworthy aspect of the letter is the letterhead, which included a listing of the members of the committee, the executive officers, and their hometowns. It also included the address of their Chicago office.


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.


Isaac Tichenor Goodnow to Stephen French, Jr.

Isaac Tichenor Goodnow to Stephen French, Jr.
Creator: Goodnow, Isaac T. (Isaac Tichenor), 1814-1894
Date: December 16, 1854
Isaac Goodnow wrote from East Greenwich, Massachusetts, to Stephen French Jr. Goodnow communicated his excitement of having decided to emigrate to Kansas Territory the coming March, inspired by a conversation with Eli Thayer two weeks before. His motivations were varied, as he expressed his desire to see that slavery was prohibited in the Territory. However, he also mentioned that emigration to the Territory was a good way to get rich, and hoped that the climate there would be more suitable for his ailing wife, Ellen.


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."


Ledger Sheet, Eli Thayer, Worcester, Massachusetts

Ledger Sheet, Eli Thayer, Worcester, Massachusetts
Creator: New England Emigrant Aid Company
Date: Between November 30, 1855 and May 6, 1857
This general ledger sheet details Eli Thayer's receipts and disbursements in his work on behalf of the New England Emigrant Aid Company between November 30, 1855 and May 6, 1857. Thayer was in Worcester, Massachusetts.


Massachusetts and New England Emigrant Aid Companies, list of subscriptions to stock

Massachusetts and New England Emigrant Aid Companies, list of subscriptions to stock
Creator: New England Emigrant Aid Company
Date: May 1854 - June 1855
This volume includes lists of subscribers to shares of stock in the Massachusetts Emigrant Aid Company and the New England Emigrant Aid Company. The reports list the name of the subscriber, place of residence, number of shares, total value of shares, and when the subscriber paid for the shares. Subscribers included Amos A. Lawrence, Eli Thayer, Charles Francis Adams, Moses Kimball, and Charles Robinson. The volume also includes a list of donors to the company.


National Kansas Committee letter

National Kansas Committee letter
Creator: Arny, W. F. M. (William Frederick Milton), 1813-1881
Date: 1856
This printed letter is from the National Kansas Committee. Its purpose is to solicit money, supplies, and settlers for the Kansas Territory. It provides details on these efforts. Also, it mentions Colonel Buford's expedition to the territory and speculates on Southern motives.


National Kansas Relief Committee, minutes

National Kansas Relief Committee, minutes
Creator: National Kansas Committee
Date: June 9, 1856 - June 26, 1856
This document details the minutes of three meetings of the Kansas Relief Committee, otherwise known as the National Kansas Committee, held in 1856 on June 9th, June 21st, and June 26th. It also includes information about the membership of this emigrant aid company. The first of these meetings adopted resolutions to aid the plight of free-state settlers in Kansas Territory. Furthermore, the members of the committee decided to establish five thousand settlers in Kansas Territory and to give them a year's worth of provisions.


New England Emigrant Aid Company,  Act to Incorporate

New England Emigrant Aid Company, Act to Incorporate
Creator: Massachusetts. General Court
Date: February 21, 1855
The act of the Massachusetts legislature authorizing the creation of the New England Emigrant Aid Company, the successor to the Massachusetts Emigrant Aid Company.


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