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Biographical circulars

Biographical circulars
Date: 1890-1899
This collection consists of biographical forms sent by F. G. Adams, secretary of the Kansas Historical Society, to individuals whose names appeared in historically significant materials in the collections of the Kansas Historical Society. The responses are arranged alphabetically by last name. Biographical information may include full name, place and date of birth, place and date of settlement, present residence, place and date of death, official positions, and/or addresses of family members.


Charles Robinson to Sara Robinson

Charles Robinson to Sara Robinson
Creator: Robinson, Charles, 1818-1894
Date: January 6, 1859
From Washington, D.C., Charles Robinson wrote his wife, Sara, back home in Lawrence, Kansas Territory, regarding land and railroad issues that he was working on behalf of in the capital. Robinson briefly addresses issues having to do with Indian land disputes, but focuses even more on the competition for railroads being fought out in Washington between Lawrence, Leavenworth, and Kansas City. ". . . Lawrence must fight its own battles . . . . I hope to be able to make Lawrence a point on both roads before we get through." [For more information on this battle over railroads, see I. E. Quastler, "Charting a Course: Lawrence, Kansas, and Its Railroad Strategy, 1854-1872," Kansas History 18 (Spring 1995): 18-33. For a time, civic and business leaders sought to make Lawrence the regional rail center with an aggressive promotion's plan, but they ultimately, and perhaps inevitably, lost the prize to Kansas City; this piece is largely drawn from the author's 1979 book-length study, "The Railroads of Lawrence."]


Robert S. Stevens to James W. Denver

Robert S. Stevens to James W. Denver
Creator: Stevens, Robert S.
Date: April 3, 1858
Robert S. Stevens, writing from Washington, D.C., to Governor James W. Denver, reports on the U.S. House of Representative's passage of the Crittenden-Montgomery resolution, which proposed to resubmit the Lecompton Constitution to a vote in Kansas Territory. While Stevens, and by implication Denver, support the Crittenden-Montgomery resolution, Stevens contends that it was in the Democratic Party's best interests for Kansas to be admitted under the Lecompton Constitution. Stevens also comments on his efforts to get New York Indian lands in Kansas opened to preemption.


Robert S. Stevens to James W. Denver

Robert S. Stevens to James W. Denver
Creator: Stevens, Robert S.
Date: April 25, 1858
Robert S. Stevens, writing from Washington, D.C., to Governor James W. Denver, reports that Congress had passed the English Bill, which essentially resubmitted the Lecompton Constitution to a vote in Kansas Territory. Stevens predicts that Kansans would vote against it and that Kansas's admission as a state would be delayed until at least 1860. Stevens comments that legislators in Washington failed to understand "the real situation in Kansas," particularly the strength of the antislavery group in the territory.


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.


Robert S. Stevens to Samuel N. Wood

Robert S. Stevens to Samuel N. Wood
Creator: Stevens, Robert S.
Date: April 2, 1860
Robert S. Stevens, a Democratic attorney who had a variety of financial interests in Kansas during the 1850s and 1860s, writes this letter to Samuel N. Wood from Washington, D.C. Stevens seems to be lobbying for a number of concessions for himself and Kansas Territory. Specifically, Stevens writes of mail routes and "grants for R Rr" [railroads], which would not be forthcoming because of the Republicans who "care[d] nothing about us [Kansas] except so far as political capital can be made." Much of the letter is a condemnation of the Republican Party, which Stevens describes as holding up Kansas admission so the delay could be used against the Democrats. The final page addresses government action, or inaction, with regard to Indian treaties and land.


Robert S. Stevens to Samuel N. Wood

Robert S. Stevens to Samuel N. Wood
Creator: Stevens, Robert S.
Date: August 6, 1860
Writing from Lecompton, Kansas Territory, Robert S. Stevens contacts Samuel L. Wood about an issue of grave concern to the people of Council Grove--"the Kaw Treaty," which had been taken up "the last day of the Extra or called Executive session & then ratified with certain amendments." Stevens explains the treaty's provisions and discusses the land survey to come.


Samuel C. Smith to Charles Robinson

Samuel C. Smith to Charles Robinson
Creator: Smith, Samuel C.
Date: December 7, 1858
In this letter from Lawrence, Kansas Territory, Samuel C. Smith wrote in some detail about developments with respect to the Delaware lands, apparently connected to a railroad promotion scheme. The Indians "know that [Robert S.] Stevens is connected with the R. R. enterprise and this action of his . . . Has excited their mistrust and caused obstacles to rise in the way of such a treaty as you [Robinson] desire."


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