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An act to punish offences against slave property

An act to punish offences against slave property
Creator: Kansas. Legislative Assembly 1855
Date: August 29, 1855
This act, approved by the Legislative Assembly of Kansas Territory, August 29, 1855, lists those actions to be considered crimes against slave property. Many of the crimes listed are punishable by death. Some of the crimes include inciting or aiding slave or Negro rebellion (even through publication), helping slaves escape their masters, resisting the arrest of an escaped slave, and the expression of abolitionist opinions. Considered "bogus laws" by free-state supporters, this slave code reflects the first Kansas Legislature's support for slavery and the legislature's adoption of Missouri slave codes for that purpose.


Capitol building in Lecompton, Kansas Territory

Capitol building in Lecompton, Kansas Territory
Date: 1855-1856
Correspondence and miscellaneous documents relating to the capitol building in Lecompton, Kansas Territory. Some of these documents include a letter to Governor Andrew Reeder concerning drawings and specifications for the capitol of Kansas, the appointment of Owen C. Stewart as superintendent of construction of the capitol building, and the contract for construction dated December 27, 1855.


Fort Scott Precinct, Bourbon County, Kansas Territory, Election Returns and Ballots

Fort Scott Precinct, Bourbon County, Kansas Territory, Election Returns and Ballots
Date: December 21, 1857
Election returns and actual elections ballots cast in Fort Scott Precinct, Bourbon County, Kansas Territory during the December 21, 1857, election on ratification of the Lecompton Constitution "with slavery" or the constitution "without slavery." Because a vote "for the constitution without slavery" meant Kansans could keep the slaves they already owned, free staters refused to participate. In this election, the "constitution with slavery" won 6,226 to 569. Results in Fort Scott were 318 to 19 in favor the the "constitution with slavery." Note that the largest ballot (No. 1) was signed by J. C. Head, whose name also is listed first on the election returns for Fort Scott.


Kansas Territory council journal

Kansas Territory council journal
Date: 1855
A bound volume of the Kansas Territory council journal for 1855. Some of the subjects dealt with are the territorial capital at Lecompton, coal mining, Governor Andrew Reeder, slavery, and Indians.


Lecompton Constitutional Convention, election ballots

Lecompton Constitutional Convention, election ballots
Date: December 21, 1857
Examples of ballots from the special election of the Lecompton Constitutional Convention. Voters were choosing between the Constitution with slavery or without slavery. The Constitution with slavery won 6,226 to 569. However, this Constitution was rejected during a second ratification vote held on January 4, 1858.


Lecompton capitol building correspondence

Lecompton capitol building correspondence
Date: 1858
Correspondence relating to the capitol building in Lecompton, Kansas Territory. Lecompton served as the official capital of territorial Kansas from 1855 until 1861. Letters include contractual obligations, claims of work, and inadequate funding from several individuals, including Charles A. Perry, Findley Patterson, and F.J. Marshall.


Lecompton constitutional convention delegates correspondence

Lecompton constitutional convention delegates correspondence
Date: 1858
Correspondence pertaining to the Lecompton Constitutional Convention delegates. A letter from Thomas Ewing, Jr. to Kansas Governor James W. Denver is included. A searchable transcription is available by clicking "Text Version" below.


Lecompton constitutional convention, election ballots

Lecompton constitutional convention, election ballots
Date: January 4, 1858
Election returns from the second ratification vote for the Lecompton Constitution. Delegates rejected the pro-slavery constitution.


Northern division and independent companies, Kansas Territory militia

Northern division and independent companies, Kansas Territory militia
Date: 1855-1856
Correspondence relating to the militia, Northern division and Independent companies of the Kansas Territory. Some of the companies mentioned are the Kickapoo Rangers, Doniphan Tigers, Palmetto Rifles, Round Prairie Guards, and the Hampden Militia Company.


Petition alleging voter fraud

Petition alleging voter fraud
Date: November 29, 1854
On November 29, 1854, Territorial Kansas Governor Andrew H. Reeder called the first election in Kansas Territory, which sent pro-slavery delegate John W. Whitfield to the U.S. Congress. Whitfield received 2,258 votes, and free-state candidates John A. Wakefield and Robert P. Flenneken received 248 and 305 votes respectively. In this petition, voters of the 1st District (Lawrence) ask Governor Reeder to set aside the current vote or the entire election because of the large number of Missourians who crossed the border to vote illegally. The last line of the petition requesting that "a new election be held at the earliest practical period" has been crossed out. Seventy-seven signatures were recorded. Of the 2833 votes later counted by a Congressional committee, over half (1729) were illegal. No illegal votes were counted in the first district, however, and even after the recount, Whitfield won the election.


Southern division and independent companies, Kansas Territory militia

Southern division and independent companies, Kansas Territory militia
Date: 1855-1856
Correspondence relating to the Southern Division and independent companies of the Kansas Militia. Includes commissions issued by Colonel George W. Johnson of the 2nd Regiment for William F. Donaldson, John Riffel, George H. Cole, William J. Preston, John Shannon, Dr. B.C. Brooke, and others. Commissions were also issued for members of the Lecompton Riflemen, the Tustunuggee Mounted Rifles, and the Fort Scott Mounted Riflemen. Other correspondence includes orders from Governor Daniel Woodson to Major General Asbury M. Coffey in August 1856, the correspondence of Henry T. Titus and William A. Heiskell with Governor John W. Geary, and a petition from Captain John Donaldson of Company A, 2nd Regiment asking Governor Geary that his company be honorably discharged.


Territorial troubles correspondence, 1855-1856

Territorial troubles correspondence, 1855-1856
Date: 1855-1856
Correspondence relating to Kansas territorial troubles. Topics include interference with law enforcement and the movement of prisoners, reports of raids, and letters from militia leaders. Many of the documents are petitions from communities, including Leavenworth, Sugar Mound (now Mound City), Fort Scott, Westport, Council Grove, Pottawattamie, and Lawrence, seeking relief from robberies and harassment, and the protection of militia escorts. Petitions came from pro-slavery individuals as well, as evidenced by the September 23, 1856 letter written on behalf of citizens of Anderson and Coffey Counties being driven out by abolitionists. The antagonists in these letters include Colonel Whipple (also known as Aaron Dwight Stevens), Captain Frederick Emory, and Sterling Price. A proclamation by Governor Woodson, dated July 4, 1856, forbids the assembly of the "bogus legislature" in Topeka. Another proclamation, dated August 24, 1856, declares the territory to be in a state of open insurrection and rebellion. Other important events, such as the Pottawatomie Massacre and the Battle of Hickory Point, are also mentioned.


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