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A. Curtis to William Hutchinson

A. Curtis to William Hutchinson
Creator: Curtis, A.
Date: December 21, 1856
Curtis reports on the conflict between the Kansas Central Committee and W. F. M. Arny, general agent for the National Kansas Committee, over the distribution of supplies. Curtis claims that Arny issued supplies to individuals who were engaged in speculative ventures and who were not in need of relief. Curtis attaches an itemized list of the supplies that he believes were inappropriately issued by Arny.


Barstow Darrach to Samuel L. Adair

Barstow Darrach to Samuel L. Adair
Creator: Darrach, Barstow
Date: November 27, 1856
Dr. Barstow Darrach had returned to New York Hospital after being in Kansas Territory. He wrote that he felt the prospects were not very favorable for Kansas Territory. He had found "some warm friends disposed to yield Kansas to the slave power rather than resort to a revolution," and he believed [President] Buchanan would only pretend to support freedom "until the south can make sure of their prize." Darrach felt it would take a large emigration of settlers to Kansas to make it a free state, and that free state settlers would be thwarted by the "bogus authority" and "another mob from Mo." should the Free State party appear at the polls. He stated that "the strongest argument [against success] that I see is that the people do not seem prepared." He wrote that he would ship clothing, flannel cloth, and blankets to Adair by way of W. F. M. Arny in Chicago.


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.


Colt First Model Dragoon Revolver

Colt First Model Dragoon Revolver
Creator: Colt Patent Firearms Manufacturing Company
Date: between 1851 and 1852
Colt First Model Dragoon Revolver with engraved cylinder. Six shot, 44 caliber single action steel revolver with walnut grips. William F. Arny reportedly gave this Colt Navy revolver to John Brown in 1856 in recognition of his efforts for the Free State cause. According to Arny, Brown returned the revolver to him when he learned that Arny did not support his methods. Arny came to Kansas in 1857 and was involved in the Free State movement, serving as a delegate to the Grasshopper Falls Convention and as a member of the Leavenworth Constitutional Convention. He was also elected to the first State Legislature. Arny donated the revolver to the Kansas Historical Society in 1879. Alternatively, it is possible that the revolver was one of fifty purchased by John Brown supporters back East and sent to him in Kansas. Because he was keeping a low profile, Brown couldn't receive the shipment and the revolvers were distributed to Kansans who might be able to use them to support the cause. Brown later attempted to retrieve the weapons with little success. Arny may have received this revolver and kept it until the time of donation.


Drought reports, Kansas Territory

Drought reports, Kansas Territory
Date: 1860
This document contains additional reports of conditions in various Kansas Territory counties during the drought of 1860. It consists of letters that W. F. M. Arny copied and sent to Thaddeus Hyatt, president of the National Kansas Committee. The reports were submitted by Josiah G. Fuller, James Whary, and Henry Brock, Eureka, Greenwood County; W. A. Harris and A. L Williams, Cottonwood Falls, Chase County; H. H. George, W. Wendell, and R. W. Cloud, Waterloo, Breckenridge County; I. P. Herrick, Iowa Township, Doniphan County; G. S. Northrup, J. H. Spicey, and A. G. Carpenter, Geneva Township, Allen County; and Charles P. Twiss, Cofachique Township, Allen County. The reports describe prospects for crops and other conditions resulting from the prolonged drought.


Elias D. Porter to Thaddeus Hyatt

Elias D. Porter to Thaddeus Hyatt
Creator: Porter, Elias D.
Date: November 27, 1856
Elias Porter, writing from Oriskany, New York, informed Thaddeus Hyatt, chairman of the National Kansas Committee, about a box of provisions sent to W. F. M. Arny, an agent with this committee. The letter includes an itemized list of the materials send to aid the free state settlers residing in Kansas.


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.


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.


James M. Winchell to Thaddeus Hyatt

James M. Winchell to Thaddeus Hyatt
Creator: Winchell, James M
Date: September 20, 1856
James M. Winchell wrote from Burlington to Thaddeus Hyatt, president of the National Kansas Committee, regarding an emigrant train of 500 settlers heading south from Iowa City. The author intended to travel to speak with Governor Geary before he met up with the emigrants. Winchell also included in this letter a private insert pertaining to the unscrupulous dealings of a Kansas politician named Dr. Root.


Minutes, First Meeting of Territorial Central Committee of the Free State Party

Minutes, First Meeting of Territorial Central Committee of the Free State Party
Creator: Free State Party. Executive Committee
Date: September 23, 1858
The first meeting of the Free State Party's territorial central committee was convened in Lawrence, Kansas Territory, on September 23, 1858. According to these minutes, the following individuals attended: James Blood, temporary chair; P. H. Townsend; W. F. M. Arny, and James M. Winchell, along with J. C. Douglas who held proxy for John McKee. Among other things, the committee resolves to nominate Samuel W. Greer for territorial superintendent of public instruction.


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.


Report of a Trip to Kansas

Report of a Trip to Kansas
Creator: Arny, W. F. M. (William Frederick Milton), 1813-1881
Date: October 20, 1856
William F. M. Arny was the general agent of the National Kansas Committee. This report describes the "wants and sufferings" of settlers in Kansas Territory. It includes references to border ruffians, land sales, and the suffering in various districts of Kansas. He requests that aid be sent to the Kansas Central Committee.


Report of the Treasurer, Kansas State Central Committee

Report of the Treasurer, Kansas State Central Committee
Creator: Kansas State Central Committee
Date: January 6, 1857
Dated "Topeka, January 6, 1857," this document is a "report of Money & goods received and Paid out, by Treasurer." Its initial entry is for July 24, 1856, and the last October 29, 1856, and it includes the names of Charles Robinson, W. F. M. Arny, and S. W. Eldridge.


Samuel L. Adair to William F. M. Arny

Samuel L. Adair to William F. M. Arny
Creator: Adair, Samuel Lyle, 1811-1898
Date: December 18, 1856
Arny was a representative of the National Kansas Committee. In this letter, Adair inquires about various boxes and money that had been sent to the committee in Chicago to forward to people in Osawatomie, Kansas Territory. Adair also seems to be responding to a request from Arny for information about settlers from Wisconsin in the Osawatomie area and also members of the Eldridge-Pomeroy party. Adair provides information on James Fuller, Thomas Roberts, Joseph Lawes and William and Wakeman (?) Partridge. He lists the names of four men who came with Eldridge and Pomeroy but provides no additional information about them. He also notes that he loaned Mr. Hyatt $50 and had an "order" for Arny to reimburse him.


Thaddeus Hyatt's Letters from Kansas. The fact of the Drougth.  Introduction of the facts, an appeal and an apology! (No. 1)

Thaddeus Hyatt's Letters from Kansas. The fact of the Drougth. Introduction of the facts, an appeal and an apology! (No. 1)
Creator: Hyatt, Thaddeus
Date: August 24, 1860
This item is titled "Thaddeus Hyatt's Letters from Kansas, The fact of the Drougth. Introduction of the facts, an appeal and an apology! Hyatt, president of the National Kansas Committee, tries to dispel reports coming from Leavenworth that conditions in Kansas Territory were being exaggerated. He feels efforts to deny "the present deplorable condition of things" are motivated by economic concerns. Hyatt writes that they suffered because of the drought, not their own actions, and that the free North should aid them. The letter contains a great deal of emotional rhetoric. The letter was copied (by hand) by W. F. M. Arny. The last page of the letter describes its origins.


Thaddeus Hyatt to Horace White

Thaddeus Hyatt to Horace White
Creator: Hyatt, Thaddeus
Date: Between August 19, 1856 and November 24, 1856
This copy of a letter, which is added onto the end of another copied letter, is addressed to Horace White from Thaddeus Hyatt, president of the National Kansas Committee. The letter begins with a description of Hyatt's sleeping arrangements the past two nights and then moves on to other personal matters. He concludes the letter with committee business, mentioning his fear that funds and provisions were not truly being handed out to the neediest settlers. He also details an encounter with Mr. Carpenter, whose mother was Clarina Nichols. At the end of the letter are copies of two telegraphic dispatches sent by Thaddeus Hyatt to William F. M. Arny, general agent for the committee, on November 22th and 24th, 1856. Both dispatches concern Dr. Root, who was involved in Kansas relief.


Thaddeus Hyatt to William F. M. Arny

Thaddeus Hyatt to William F. M. Arny
Creator: Hyatt, Thaddeus
Date: August 11, 1856
This letter was written from Niagara Falls, New York, by Thaddeus Hyatt, president of the National Kansas Committee, to his agent, William F. M. Arny. The committee wishes to release advertisements publicizing their upcoming meeting at Saratoga, New York, which is set for August 27, 1856. Hyatt emphasizes the need for immediate action, stating that there "is no time to spare."


Theodore Hyatt to William Frederick Milton Arny

Theodore Hyatt to William Frederick Milton Arny
Creator: Hyatt, Theodore
Date: October 5, 1860
Theodore Hyatt of New York wrote to W. F. M. Arny concerning railroads and business in Atchison. Apparently, Theodore had been taking part in some speculation and investing and was not pleased with the results. He wrote that "Kansas would prove the grave-yard of all our earnings and expectations." He also spoke of town lots in Atchison, particularly one lot that he had received from Mr. Fairchild.


Theodore Hyatt to William Frederick Milton Arny

Theodore Hyatt to William Frederick Milton Arny
Creator: Hyatt, Theodore
Date: March 21, 1860
Theodore Hyatt of New York wrote this letter to W. F. M. Arny, an agent of the National Kansas Committee and friend of his brother, Thaddeus Hyatt. The main focus of the letter revolved around his brother Thaddeus, who was currently involved in a struggle with the government over whether he would testify in court regarding his support of John Brown. Theodore wrote, "I much fear my good brother has an exaggerated conception of the importance of his position." Apparently, he felt that his brother was attempting to make himself a martyr. The letter also included a brief mention of problems with freightage to Atchison, and the competition between Atchison and Leavenworth.


To the Friends of Humanity

To the Friends of Humanity
Creator: Blake, F.N
Date: Between 1860 and 1861
This circular, written by F. N. Blake and William F. M. Arny, is an appeal for aid to Kansas Territory, with suggestions for specific items and shipping routes for sending food, clothing and other provisions to the settlers starving after the drought of 1860.


W. F. M. Arny to John W. Geary

W. F. M. Arny to John W. Geary
Creator: Arny, W. F. M. (William Frederick Milton), 1813-1881
Date: December 8, 1856
This broadside of a letter by W. F. M. Arny was written to Governor John White Geary about the need for education in Kansas Territory. Arny, an agent with the National Kansas Committee, proposed the creation of three funds: a university fund, a seminary fund, and a common school fund. Within the university structure, he proposed a normal school, an agricultural and horticultural school, and a mechanical school. He thought that it would be best to ask Congress for land for schools.


W. F. M. Arny to Thaddeus Hyatt

W. F. M. Arny to Thaddeus Hyatt
Creator: Arny, W. F. M. (William Frederick Milton), 1813-1881
Date: October 15, 1860
W.F.M. Arny, agent of the National Kansas Committee, continues to send Thaddeus Hyatt, president of this committee, copies of letters he had received from Kansas settlers. These letters describe the economic conditions resulting from the continued drought during 1860. The reports were submitted by Rev. J. W. Fox of Ridgeway, Kansas Territory; the "Committee on the Little Osage" of Bourbon County, Kansas Territory; Dr. I. W. Robinson of Manhattan, Kansas Territory; and Joseph M. Todd and others of Greenwood Township in Greenwood County, Kansas Territory.


W. F. M. Arny to William Hutchinson

W. F. M. Arny to William Hutchinson
Creator: Arny, W. F. M. (William Frederick Milton), 1813-1881
Date: October 28, 1856
From Chicago, Illinois, William F. M. Arny, general agent for the National Kansas Committee, informs William Hutchinson of a shipment of relief goods that would arrive soon at Leavenworth, Kansas Territory. Arny writes that he had given James Blood several thousand dollars "to purchase goods in St. Louis," and Arny was on his way East to raise more.


William Frederick Arny to John Brown

William Frederick Arny to John Brown
Creator: Arny, W. F. M. (William Frederick Milton), 1813-1881
Date: March 11, 1857
From Louisville, Kentucky, W. F. N. Arny wrote to inform Brown of the contents of the 14 boxes of clothing Arny had prepared for shipment to "J.B." in care of "Jonas Jones Tabor Iowa." The shipment, which included coats, pants, quilts, etc., is itemized on three additional sheets of paper.


William Frederick Milton Arny

William Frederick Milton Arny
Date: 1856
W. F. M. Arny was active in numerous territorial Kansas activities, serving as an agent for the National Kansas Committee and as a delegate to the Leavenworth Constitutional Convention. He was a member of the 1858 territorial legislature and of the Topeka legislature. The identification on this photograph indicates that this is a disguise he used in Missouri in 1856.


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