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Certificate, James Abbott as Brigadier General

Certificate, James Abbott as Brigadier General
Date: July 15, 1857
James Lane, from the Headquarters of the Kansas Volunteers free state militia, issued this certificate to appoint James Abbott (Brigadier General of the 1st Brigade) to organize people to protect the ballot boxes during the upcoming elections. Election fraud, in the form of multiple votes cast by pro-slavery men, was a constant concern of free state supporters.


Edmund Burke Whitman to George Luther Stearns

Edmund Burke Whitman to George Luther Stearns
Creator: Whitman, E. B. (Edmund Burke), 1812-1883
Date: March 1859
Here Whitman wrote about his support on behalf of the National Kansas Committee of several activities: Dr. Doy's defense, John Brown (despite the fact that he had obtained additional funds "under false pretences"), and the organization of the Republican Party which was to be undertaken at convention in Osawatomie later that spring. Whitman feared that without some effort "the genuine standard Republicans" would fail to control the movement. He also mentioned an "unfortunate" altercation between Martin Conway and Charles Robinson on the streets of Lawrence.


Free State Hotel ball invitation

Free State Hotel ball invitation
Date: 1859
An invitation to a ball held on January 29, 1859, at the Free State Hotel in Lawrence, Kansas Territory, with proceeds going toward refurnishing the hotel "and in some degree retrieving the loss sustained by Col. Eldridge in the destruction of the Eldridge House on the 21st day of May, 1856." Music would be performed by the Lawrence Cornet Band.


Free State Ticket - Minneola/Leavenworth Constitution

Free State Ticket - Minneola/Leavenworth Constitution
Date: May, 1858
This document listed persons who ran for office in Kansas Territory in May, 1858.


General Order No. 1, Headquarters of Kansas Volunteers

General Order No. 1, Headquarters of Kansas Volunteers
Creator: Lane, James Henry, 1814-1866
Date: July 18, 1857
This printed document includes James H. Lane's signature and indicates that Lane had been authorized by the Free State government in Topeka, Kansas Territory, to organize militia companies in order to protect ballot boxes on election day. It includes instructions on how to organize the companies.


General Order No. 2, Headquarters Kansas Volunteers, For the Protection of the Ballot Box

General Order No. 2, Headquarters Kansas Volunteers, For the Protection of the Ballot Box
Date: July 20, 1857
The 1857 General Order No. 2 established militia divisions and brigades which were to protect the ballot box in Topeka, Kansas Territory. It lists the divisions, brigades, and the superintendents of the divisions and brigades.


George W. Brown to John Halderman

George W. Brown to John Halderman
Creator: Brown, George W. (George Washington), 1820-1915
Date: November 1, 1859
George W. Brown, the editor of the Herald of Freedom, writes John Halderman from Lawrence, Kansas Territory, concerning the next issue of the paper which was to be "an awful one for Conway." He is probably referring to Martin F. Conway, an active free state partisan who was to be elected the first U.S. congressman to represent Kansas on December 6, 1859. Obviously, the newspaper had less impact than Brown anticipated, as John A. Halderman, the Democratic nominee, lost decisively to Conway, 7,674 to 5,567. Brown believes that his forthcoming issue should be widely distributed and is seeking additional orders from Halderman.


John Brown to Martin Franklin Conway, receipts

John Brown to Martin Franklin Conway, receipts
Creator: Brown, John, 1800-1859
Date: October 18, 1858
This document consists of a four-page itemized listing (individuals' name and amount due) of the "notes" received by Martin F. Conway from "Captain John Brown." Conway endorsed the document at Lawrence, K.T., on October 18, 1858, and wrote, in part, "the said Notes to be safely kept or collected by me, as may, in my discretion, seem best."


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.


Martin Brimmer to Martin Franklin Conway

Martin Brimmer to Martin Franklin Conway
Creator: Brimmer, Martin
Date: April 23, 1858
Martin Brimmer, a member of the New England Emigrant Aid Company Executive Committee, wrote from Boston, Massachusetts to Martin F. Conway, general agent for the New England Emigrant Aid Company in Kansas Territory. Brimmer described a financial dispute with the company's previous general agent, Charles Branscomb, and he requested that Conway investigate whether the company should file a lawsuit against Branscomb.


Martin Brimmer to Martin Franklin Conway

Martin Brimmer to Martin Franklin Conway
Creator: Brimmer, Martin
Date: February 6, 1858
Martin Brimmer, a member of the New England Emigrant Aid Company Executive Committee, wrote from Boston, Massachusetts to Martin F. Conway. Brimmer informed Conway that he had been appointed the company's general agent for Kansas Territory, replacing Charles Branscomb. Brimmer instructed Conway to recommend local agents for Topeka, Manhattan, and Osawatomie.


Martin Brimmer to Martin Franklin Conway

Martin Brimmer to Martin Franklin Conway
Creator: Brimmer, Martin
Date: July 16, 1858
Martin Brimmer, member of the New England Emigrant Aid Company Executive Committee, wrote from Boston, Massachusetts to Martin F. Conway, general agent for the New England Emigrant Aid Company in Kansas Territory. Brimmer asked Conway for advice on whether the Company should start offering to sell town lots and shares on terms requiring a cash down payment and the balance paid over a period of months. Previously, the Company had required a cash payment for the entire cost of the town share or lot. Brimmer also speculated that Kansans would vote against the Lecompton Constitution in the upcoming August 1858 election.


Martin Franklin Conway to Franklin B. Sanborn

Martin Franklin Conway to Franklin B. Sanborn
Creator: Conway, M. F. (Martin Franklin), 1827-1882
Date: November 16, 1857
Shortly before he was to leave Washington, D.C., for a return trip to the territory, Conway wrote Sanborn in Concord, Mass., about his disappointment at again being separated from his wife and child, but he focused most of his comments on the Lecompton machinations and his continued belief that the Free State Party had be wrong to participate in the territorial election (thus giving that government legitimacy).


Martin Franklin Conway to George Luther Stearns

Martin Franklin Conway to George Luther Stearns
Creator: Conway, M. F. (Martin Franklin), 1827-1882
Date: June 13, 1858
Somewhat disturbed that Stearns of Boston had published his (Conway's) letter regarding "money for the Leavenworth Constitution," Martin F. Conway, Lawrence, wrote to say that there was nothing "improper or dishonorable in this transaction" and went on to reflect on the nature of the Free State Party/movement at that time. Charles Robinson was "at work to destroy the influence of the Republican wing of the Free State Party," but people back East should not conclude "that the bottom is going to fall out of Kansas because there is division in the Free State Party." Conway expected both Robinson and James H. Lane to fall from prominence because of changing circumstances in Kansas.


Martin Franklin Conway to George Luther Stearns

Martin Franklin Conway to George Luther Stearns
Creator: Conway, M. F. (Martin Franklin), 1827-1882
Date: March 16, 1859
Most of this letter from Conway to George Stearns, Boston, was directed at the securing of a loan for a seemingly unstated investment opportunity, but Conway mentioned in closing that "We are about to organize a square Republican Party in Kansas."


Martin Franklin Conway to John Brown

Martin Franklin Conway to John Brown
Creator: Conway, M. F. (Martin Franklin), 1827-1882
Date: January 23, 1859
Martin F. Conway of Lawrence wrote to Brown on January 23, 1859, to explain that he (Conway) had not seen E. B. Whitman, but Conway did not think Brown could depend on Whitman, who was "dissatisfied with your proceedings in Lawrence," for any more financial support. Conway offered his full support ("I am at your service"), but he was rather pressed for cash at that time.


Martin Franklin Conway to New England Emigrant Aid Company, Financial Statements

Martin Franklin Conway to New England Emigrant Aid Company, Financial Statements
Creator: Conway, M. F. (Martin Franklin), 1827-1882
Date: August 1, 1858 - January 1, 1859
These monthly financial statements, submitted by Martin F. Conway, general agent for the New England Emigrant Aid Company in Kansas Territory, detailed company income and expenditures for a six month period between July and December 1858. Conway provided particularly full accounts of his traveling expenses during frequent trips around the territory.


Order No. 1, from the Headquarters of the Kansas Volunteers for the Protection of the Ballot Box

Order No. 1, from the Headquarters of the Kansas Volunteers for the Protection of the Ballot Box
Creator: Whitman, E. B. (Edmund Burke), 1812-1883
Date: August 3, 1857
E.B. Whitman, Quarter-Master General of the Kansas Volunteers, issued this formal order in response to the Topeka Legislature's adoption of James Lane's resolution to organize the people in protection of the ballot boxes during the next elections. Whitman, who had just been appointed as Quarter-Master General by Lane under the Ballot Box resolution, requested that each Company of the Volunteers elect their own Quarter-Master to take an inventory of firearms held by their own Company.


Poll List, Leavenworth, Topeka Constitution

Poll List, Leavenworth, Topeka Constitution
Creator: Anthony, Scott A.
Date: August 3, 1857
On August 3, 1857, the free-state legislature gave Kansas Territory voters another chance to vote on the Topeka Constitution (first approved in December, 1855) when they went to the polls to elect new legislators. Few, if any, pro-slavery voters participated, and the territory-wide tally was 7,257 for the constitution, and 34 against. The polling list for Leavenworth contained the names of 721 voters, "seven hundred and six (706) being in favor of said Constitution, and two (2) against."


Receipts and Expenditures, State Kansas Committee

Receipts and Expenditures, State Kansas Committee
Creator: Massachusetts State Kansas Committee
Date: Between 1856 and 1857
One of many ledger-type listings of donations to and expenditures of the Massachusetts State Kansas Committee for the support of Kansas settlement and the activities of "Capt J[ohn] Brown" and other free state partisans.


The war: a slave union or a free?

The war: a slave union or a free?
Creator: Conway, M. F. (Martin Franklin), 1827-1882
Date: March 15, 1862
A speech by Kansas representative Martin Franklin Conway delivered in the U. S. House of Representatives, December 12, 1861.


Thomas Hopkins Webb to Martin Franklin Conway

Thomas Hopkins Webb to Martin Franklin Conway
Creator: Webb, Thomas H. (Thomas Hopkins), 1801-1866
Date: March 23, 1859
Thomas H. Webb, secretary of the New England Emigrant Aid Company, wrote from Boston, Massachusetts to Martin F. Conway, general agent for the New England Emigrant Aid Company in Kansas Territory. Webb informed Conway of the Company's desire to end its operations in Kansas as soon as possible. He recommended that Conway sell the Company's mill equipment at a low price and suggested that he sell it to the Batchelder Town Company. In a postscript, Webb urged Conway to prepare information to present to the territorial legislature related to Company claims for losses during the early territorial troubles, particularly for losses incurred during the May 1856 sack of Lawrence.


Thomas Hopkins Webb to Martin Franklin Conway

Thomas Hopkins Webb to Martin Franklin Conway
Creator: Webb, Thomas H. (Thomas Hopkins), 1801-1866
Date: September 9, 1859
Thomas H. Webb, secretary of the New England Emigrant Aid Company, wrote from Boston, Massachusetts to Martin F. Conway, general agent for the New England Emigrant Aid Company in Kansas Territory. Webb reported that someone was spreading damaging rumors in Boston about Conway operating "grogeries" during a recent political event (probably the August 1859 Republican Convention in Lawrence, Kansas Territory). Webb commented that he had told people who were concerned about the rumors to take the accusations with a grain of salt ("cum grano salis").


Thomas Hopkins Webb to Martin Franklin Conway

Thomas Hopkins Webb to Martin Franklin Conway
Creator: Webb, Thomas H. (Thomas Hopkins), 1801-1866
Date: August 28, 1858
Thomas H. Webb, secretary of the New England Emigrant Aid Company, wrote from Boston, Massachusetts to Martin F. Conway, general agent for the New England Emigrant Aid Company in Kansas Territory. Webb gave instructions to Conway on several New England Emigrant Aid Company business matters including the potential sale of the mill in Lawrence, Kansas Territory. Webb comments on the decline in real estate values in Kansas Territory in the aftermath of the Panic of 1857.


Thomas Hopkins Webb to Martin Franklin Conway

Thomas Hopkins Webb to Martin Franklin Conway
Creator: Webb, Thomas H. (Thomas Hopkins), 1801-1866
Date: February 19, 1859
Thomas H. Webb, secretary of the New England Emigrant Aid Company, wrote from Boston, Massachusetts to Martin F. Conway, general agent for the New England Emigrant Aid Company in Kansas Territory. Webb provided instructions to Conway on several New England Emigrant Aid Company business matters including the sale of property in Atchison, Kansas Territory. Webb state that it would be desirable to hold the Atchison property until real estate values increased, but he informed Conway that the Company needed cash immediately and that the properties should be sold as soon as possible.


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