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C. W. Holder to James Blood

C. W. Holder to James Blood
Creator: Holder, C. W.
Date: October 27, 1860
As were several other individuals from Illinois, Holder writes to notify Blood that the people in his community (around Bloomington, Illinois) are eager to share their "abundance" with "their brethren in Kansas." They are preparing to send potatoes, as well as wheat and oats, but need help purchasing sacks and paying freight; "our people as you are probably aware are just recovering from the financial pressure of the past 3 years" and thus had "little money."


Ephraim Nute to Edward Everett Hale

Ephraim Nute to Edward Everett Hale
Creator: Nute, Ephraim
Date: May 10, 1858
Rev. Ephraim Nute, minister of the Lawrence Unitarian Church, wrote from Lawrence, Kansas Territory to Edward Everett Hale, a member of the New England Emigrant Aid Company's Executive Committee. Nute inquired about the possibility of Hale arranging a loan of $2000 at reasonable interest for the completion of the Unitarian Church in Lawrence. He reported on the high rates of interest being charged for loans in Kansas Territory and on the general effects of the panic of 1857 on the territorial economy. Nute also expressed his dissatisfaction with the Buchanan administration's handling of the Lecompton Constitution and his hope that a change in presidential administration in 1860 would result in Kansas' admission as a free state.


George W. Hutchinson, Charter of the City of Lawrence

George W. Hutchinson, Charter of the City of Lawrence
Creator: Hutchinson, George W.
Date: c. 1857
This reports that a meeting was held to approve the charter of the city of Lawrence, Kansas Territory. The text of the charter was included. In addition, this report included a message from five citizens regarding reasons for establishing city government.


H. B. Hurd to James Blood

H. B. Hurd to James Blood
Creator: Hurd, H. B.
Date: March 27, 1861
From Chicago, Illinois, H. B. Hurd inquires about reports that the Kansas legislature was to appoint a committee to investigate the conduct of the National Kansas Committee's agents and their handling of relief funds and supplies. Several correspondents had expressed similar concerns during the fall of 1860--that is, concern that funds were being misused or that certain agents could not be trusted. Hurd encourages Blood to support such an investigation.


James Blood correspondence

James Blood correspondence
Date: 1854-1861
James Blood was involved with the first party of New England Emigrant Aid Company settlers who arrived to Kansas in late July 1854. Blood was actively engaged from the beginning in the free-state movement. He served as treasurer of the Kansas State Central Committee, 1856-1857, as a member of the Topeka legislature, 1856, as the first mayor of Lawrence in 1857, as a member of the central territorial committee at the Republican Party's organizing convention in May 1859, as county treasurer in the early 1860s, and as a representative from Lawrence in the 1869 state legislature. He died in Lawrence on February 4, 1891. This folder of correspondence focuses on the years 1854 to 1861, with some letters discussing border problems with Missouri and the need for additional troops and artillery.


Kansas State Central Committee record book

Kansas State Central Committee record book
Creator: Kansas State Central Committee
Date: Between July 3, 1856 and July 13, 1857
This record book contains the official proceedings of the Kansas State Central Committee from July 3, 1956, to July 13, 1857. The committee was established to coordinate the activities of the Free State Party. District committees were established to carry out activities at the local level.


M. M. Campbell to Brethren of the Osawatomie Bible Society

M. M. Campbell to Brethren of the Osawatomie Bible Society
Creator: Campbell, M. M.
Date: June 26, 1860
This letter, written by M. M. Campbell from Monrovia, Kansas Territory, requested information about the progress of colportage in the Osawatomie area, asking if they had divided the area into districts and appointed colporteurs to distribute religious materials to Kansas settlers. To encourage this, Campbell mentioned the great success of other colporteurs, such as Brother Blood from Manhattan, Kansas. He also encouraged the residents of Osawatomie to remain faithful to their duty as Christians, and to work for the furtherance of the kingdom. Campbell requested more detailed information about the local Bible Society.


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.


Record of arms disbursed by the Kansas State Central Committee

Record of arms disbursed by the Kansas State Central Committee
Creator: Kansas State Central Committee
Date: September 24, 1858
Begining with an entry signed by James Montgomery, acknowledging receipt a Sharps rifle and a Colt revolver "to be used in defense of Kansas," this small leather-bound volume contains over 30 such entries for numerous weapons.


Samuel Cabot, Jr. to James Blood

Samuel Cabot, Jr. to James Blood
Creator: Cabot, Samuel
Date: December 28, 1856
Samuel Cabot, who was directing a Boston effort to send clothing to Kansas Territory, advises Blood he was aware of the goods that "had been stopped at St Louis by the closure of navigation." He also comments on the reluctance of some to accept relief; these individuals are to be advised that "This supply is not a mere charity but a contribution of the North to soldiers, who have been bravely battling for the case of freedom & in defense of our common rights, against the Slave Oligarchy." Cabot encloses a printed letter titled "Clothing For Kanzas," listing New England contributions.


Thomas J. Marsh to George L. Stearns

Thomas J. Marsh to George L. Stearns
Creator: Marsh, Thomas J.
Date: July 18, 1857
Thomas P. Marsh in Lawrence, Kansas, wrote to George L. Stearns regarding political activities in the area. Marsh discussed attending the Free State party convention and the support for the Topeka Constitution in Lawrence and the surrounding areas. He also discussed the census and how it compared to the number of voters in the territory. During the "Bleeding Kansas" period, voter fraud was common as Missourians poured into the territory to support a pro-slavery legislature. A searchable, full-text version of this letter is available by clicking "Text Version" below.


W. H. Powell to James Blood

W. H. Powell to James Blood
Creator: Powell, W. H.
Date: September 12, 1860
W. H. Powell writes that Rev. Charles Reynolds, who had written to James Blood on the 7th and the 10th of September, 1860, had raised $600-$700 in relief money. Reynolds had contacted Powell to ask that he purchase and ship some "winter wheat" to Kansas Territory. Writing from his home in Springfield, Illinois, Powell indicates that he would do so "with pleasure," but the "best winter wheat" had just been sold. He intends to locate a good supply and ship it by railroad as soon as possible.


W. H. Powell to James Blood

W. H. Powell to James Blood
Creator: Powell, W. H.
Date: August 26, 1860
From Bloomington, Illinois, W. H. Powell, the Illinois State Superintendent of Public Instruction, writes that he had noticed James Blood's call for seed wheat for the "unfortunate settlers of Kansas," and he wonders if they would be interested in trading "for Stock--either Cattle or Stock Hogs." Powell offers to arrange shipment of 2000 bushels of "good seed wheat" immediately if a deal is struck. He writes that farmers in his area were growing "Red Amber wheat, and that if Blood needed a character reference, he could contact "Mr. Lincoln at Springfield, where I reside, & who can vouch for my good faith &C."


William Frederick Milton Arny to Thaddeus Hyatt

William Frederick Milton Arny to Thaddeus Hyatt
Creator: Arny, W. F. M. (William Frederick Milton), 1813-1881
Date: October 23, 1856
W. F. M. Arny, an agent of the National Kansas Committee, wrote this letter to Thaddeus Hyatt while traveling on the Missouri River. The main focus of this letter revolved around committee business and the state of affairs in Kansas. During this visit to Kansas, Arny had reorganized the Kansas Central Committee in order to increase its efficiency, and he included in this letter a revised list of its officers and members. He also wrote about his conversation with Governor Geary concerning the various volunteer companies created by free state men. The letter ends with a brief description of the suffering of the settlers, their meager diet, and their desperate need for more provisions.


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