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Abbie Bright correspondence

Abbie Bright correspondence
Creator: Bright, Abbie, 1848-1926
Date: 1861-1903
Abbie Bright was born on a farm near Danville, Pennsylvania, on December 17, 1848. She had three brothers, Dennis, Hiram and Philip, all of whom enlisted in the army when the Civil War broke out. Abbie had three sisters, Rebecca, Peninah, and Mary, all of whom aided the war effort. In 1870 Abbie traveled to Indiana and Kansas to visit Hiram and Philip and wrote an account of her trip in a diary (also available on Kansas Memory as record unit 223662). While in Kansas she acquired 160 acres as an investment. This series of correspondence includes letters describing the brother's wartime activities. There are also letters to and from other individuals who were involved in the Civil War. These writings make a significant contribution to Civil War research. Other letters pertain to Philip and Abbie Bright's westward migration. Philip moved to Wyoming, Kansas, Texas, and Arizona but died in 1873 and the letters at that time mostly concern his death. The 1902 and 1903 correspondence apparently regards the sale of Abbie's land in Kansas. A complete transcription is available by clicking on "Text Version" below.


Abstract of journals from the 1845 Kearny Expedition

Abstract of journals from the 1845 Kearny Expedition
Date: 1846
This excerpt from the congressional report of the Secretary of War includes the abstracts of two journals, one by Lieutenant William B. Franklin, a topographical engineer, and another by Lieutenant H.S. Turner of the 1st dragoons stationed at Fort Leavenworth. Under the command of Stephen Kearny, the 1st dragoons and their accompanying engineers left Fort Leavenworth on a military march, heading northwest on what would become the Oregon Trail, down along the Rocky Mountains to Mexican territory, and back up via the Santa Fe Trail. This march was intended as a display of the United States' military power to both native tribes and the British government (which at this time was exerting its authority over Oregon Territory). For the most part this abstract details their route, but it does include a transcription of a conversation between Kearny and a Sioux chief named Bull Tail.


A geographically correct map of the Kansas Pacific Railway showing the only direct route to Denver and all the popular Rocky Mountain resorts . . .

A geographically correct map of the Kansas Pacific Railway showing the only direct route to Denver and all the popular Rocky Mountain resorts . . .
Creator: Kansas Pacific Railway Company
Date: May 1877
This large brochure contains a full map on one side of Kansas, Colorado, and portions of surrounding states including the Black Hills of South Dakota. The reverse side has a myriad of information encouraging immigration to Kansas with the purchase of Kansas Pacific Railway lands; freighting between the Missouri River and Denver; $45.00 round trip tickets for tourists between Kansas City and Denver; enjoying the Switzerland of America and its many resorts; the railway line with Pullman sleepers, steel tracks and Westinghouse brakes; gold and silver mining in the San Juan and Black Hill regions; health resorts with pure air for weak lungs, sulfur springs, iron springs and hot springs; and a time table for the Kansas Pacific Railway. All of this was meant to promote travel on the Kansas Pacific Railway. NOTE: Because of the design of the brochure, pages 2 and 3 are duplicates but the right side up of the text is in the lower half of each image.


Agricultural development, wealth and rural population of the states on the tributory to the Union Pacific Railroad for the years of 1900-1910

Agricultural development, wealth and rural population of the states on the tributory to the Union Pacific Railroad for the years of 1900-1910
Creator: Union Pacific Railway Company
Date: September 17, 1912
Union Pacific Railroad Company Agricultural Bulletin (No. 104). Union Pacific Railroad promotional advertisement showing aggregate statistical wealth values and population figures for areas west of the Mississippi River during a ten year period of time.


Amos J. Custard

Amos J. Custard
Date: Between 1861 and 1865
This is a photograph of Commissary Sergeant Amos J. Custard, a member of Company H, 11th Kansas Cavalry. He was killed on July 26, 1865 at the Battle of Platte Bridge Station when his supply train was attacked by Cheyenne and Lakota Sioux Indians.


Arapaho Pipe

Arapaho Pipe
Date: Unknown
The records indicate that this pipe was made by someone from the Arapaho tribe on the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming. It was purchased by two different museums, before finally being purchased by the Kansas Historical Society in 1956. The soft, fine-grained material of the stone enabled the carver to shape and smooth the pipe and drill holes for the bowl and stem. It was likely never smoked as no traces of dottle (tobacco residue) remain within the bowl or on the rim.


Battle of Platte River bridge in Wyoming

Battle of Platte River bridge in Wyoming
Creator: Playford, Jesse
Date: 1865
Here are two illustrations of the Platte Bridge Station drawn by Jesse Playford, a member of the 11th Kansas Cavalry, Company I. The station was established in 1858 as one of a series of fortified stations on the Oregon-California Trail. It was located on the south side of the North Platte River. Regular troops abandoned the station in 1859, the same year a 1,000-foot toll bridge was completed across the river. In 1862, during the Civil War, to counter increased Indian hostilities along the Oregon-California Trail and to guard the telegraph lines, volunteer regiments reoccupied Platte Bridge Station. The Indian threat reached a peak in the summer of 1865, when Lakota and Cheyenne descended on the trail from the Powder River country. At the time of the battle, the Platte Bridge Station was commanded by Major Martin Anderson of the 11th Kansas Cavalry. The garrison consisted of about 120 men of the Kansas Cavalry, detachments of Ohio Cavalry, and some volunteers. Following the battle, troops enlarged and rebuilt the fort in 1866, but the following year evacuated it and moved to Fort Fetterman, Wyoming. Almost immediately the Indians burned the buildings and the bridge.


Chapter IV: Destructive effects of undesirable tendencies, in The future of the Great Plains: Report of the Great Plains Committee

Chapter IV: Destructive effects of undesirable tendencies, in The future of the Great Plains: Report of the Great Plains Committee
Creator: Great Plains Committee
Date: December, 1936
This report was created by the Great Plains Committee, which had been called by President Roosevelt to investigate the effects of drought and wind erosion in the southwestern United States. Chapter IV of the report, titled "Destructive Effects of Undesirable Tendencies," outlines some of the major problems in this region, composed of North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, and Montana. These problems included the decreasing amount of range land, soil erosion, and the depletion of ground water. A large part of the chapter deals with relief efforts and homestead rehabilitation. It also contains illustrations and tables that provide comparative data on the situation in each of these states.


Chapter V: Attitudes of mind, in The future of the Great Plains: Report of the Great Plains Committee

Chapter V: Attitudes of mind, in The future of the Great Plains: Report of the Great Plains Committee
Creator: Great Plains Committee
Date: December 1936
This report was created by the Great Plains Committee, which had been called by the President to investigate the effects of drought and wind erosion in the southwestern United States. For the purposes of the committee, the Great Plains region was composed of North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, and Montana. In Chapter V, the committee argues that farmers' lack of understanding about effective agricultural techniques, combined with severe drought, had created the critical situation that existed during the Dust Bowl. Certain "attitudes of mind," such as the idea that natural resources are inexhaustible, were the root cause of farmers' problems. The chapter outlines some of these attitudes and assumptions that had proved to be unreliable.


Compliments of the Great Rock Island Route

Compliments of the Great Rock Island Route
Creator: Rock Island Railroad Company
Date: 1890
This is a Rock Island Railroad promotional advertisement in the form of a monthly calendar detailing the various major routes of the line. The first image shows a photographic transparency of the poster taken in the 1960s when the poster was still in good condition. The second image shows a recent scan of the original poster and the resulting deterioration over the last forty years.


Corn, wheat and oats on farms in the states on the tributory to the Union Pacific Railroad, March 1, 1913

Corn, wheat and oats on farms in the states on the tributory to the Union Pacific Railroad, March 1, 1913
Creator: Union Pacific Railway Company
Date: August 14, 1913
Union Pacific Railroad Company Agricultural Bulletin (No. 109). Union Pacific Railroad promotional advertisement showing aggregate yields for specific crop categories from 1912 and early 1913 for areas west of the Mississippi River.


Experiments in domestication and breeding of buffaloes (1889)  by Ado Hunnius

Experiments in domestication and breeding of buffaloes (1889) by Ado Hunnius
Creator: Hunnius, Ado, 1842-1923
Date: 1889
Written by Carl Julius Adolph "Ado" Hunnius, a collection of his thoughts on the subject of buffalo that would likely have been supported by his experiences in the U.S. Army during the American Civil War, as well as the Indian Wars that followed. Hunnius served as an enlisted man in the ranks that Custer and Hancock commanded during the 1867 campaign to pacify Native Indian tribes on the Great Plains.


Fishing in Colorado and Wyoming

Fishing in Colorado and Wyoming
Creator: Union Pacific Railway Company
Date: 1912
This Union Pacific Railroad Company promotional advertisement describes the beautiful and rustic scenery enjoyed in camp life and fishing as experienced in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado and Wyoming.


Free! Take the excellent Kansas Pacific new map of Colorado and Kansas : read new time tables, by which you save many hours' time . . .

Free! Take the excellent Kansas Pacific new map of Colorado and Kansas : read new time tables, by which you save many hours' time . . .
Creator: Kansas Pacific Railway Company
Date: 1878
This brochure advertises the Kansas Pacific Railway's "Golden Belt Route" by a map of their lines from Kansas City and Leavenworth to Kit Carson, La Junta, Denver, Trinidad, Greeley in Colorado, and Cheyenne, Wyoming. The map shows all of the counties of Kansas and its principal cities as of 1878. In Colorado it shows principal cities throughout the state and the major peaks and passes of the Rocky Mountains. The reverse side of the brochure advertises the Kansas Pacific Railway routes and facilities in Colorado and Kansas. It has an engraving of the Kansas Pacific Railway's Union Depot in Kansas City, Missouri along with time tables for the various routes of the Kansas Pacific and some of the local connecting railroads. For Colorado, the mineral and agricultural resources, medicinal properties of its mineral waters are promoted. For Kansas the agricultural land available for settling is promoted, as well as many tourist opportunities for both states.


Independence Rock, Wyoming

Independence Rock, Wyoming
Creator: Palenske, Louis F., 1858-1943
Date: 1930-1936
Louis Palenske photographed one of the most famous of all of the landmarks along the Oregon Trail, Independence Rock, a large granite formation where many early Oregon Trail travelers carved their names, initials and messages. Funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission through the Kansas State Historical Records Advisory Board.


Indian battle and massacre near Fort Philip Kearney, Dacotah Territory

Indian battle and massacre near Fort Philip Kearney, Dacotah Territory
Creator: Harpers Weekly
Date: March 23, 1867
This illustration portrays an Indian battle taking place on December 21, 1866 at Fort Phil Kearny on the Bozeman Trail in Dakota Territory. This illustration was published in Harper's Weekly on March 23, 1867. Funds for digitization provided by Mr. Steve Peckel in memory of William Chalfant.


Interview on experiences in World War II

Interview on experiences in World War II
Creator: Wold, James
Date: June 13, 2006
Wold was inducted into the United States Army in 1942 and served until 1945. Interviewed by Brian Grubbs on Jun 13, 2006, Wold talked about military experiences in the Second World War. The 2005 Kansas Legislature passed a bill funding the WWII Veterans Oral History grant program. This transcript is from one of the community institutions receiving grants. The transcript of the interview is presented here; the original video copy of the interview is available through the Watkins Community Museum of History (Lawrence) and through the Kansas State Historical Society.


John Michael (Mike) Hayden

John Michael (Mike) Hayden
Date: 1999
A photograph of Mike Hayden, CEO of the American Sportfishing Association and former Kansas Governor, fly fishing with an unidentified man in Wyoming. Hayden was born in Atwood Kansas, and received his bachelor's degree in wildlife conservation from Kansas State University and a master's degree in biology from Fort Hays State University. During the Vietnam War, he was an infantry company commander in the U.S. Army. Hayden spent 13 months in Vietnam, where he received the Soldier's Medal, two bronze Stars, and the Army Commendation Medal. He began his career in public service as a state representative, serving from 1972 to 1986. In 1983 and 1985, he was elected speaker of the Kansas House of Representatives. Hayden was elected Kansas Governor in 1986. After leaving office in 1991, President George H. W. Bush named Hayden to be the Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Fish and Wildlife. From 1993 to 2001, Hayden served as President and CEO of the American Sportfishing Association. In 2002, he returned to Kansas to accept a position as Secretary of Wildlife and Parks.


Ken Sherbert at Kansas National Guard summer camp

Ken Sherbert at Kansas National Guard summer camp
Date: 1985
Ken Sherbert with Ken Jeshop at the Kansas National Guard summer camp in Wyoming.


Map of Kansas, with parts of neighboring states and territories

Map of Kansas, with parts of neighboring states and territories
Creator: Hunnius, Ado, 1842-1923
Date: 1870
This map was drawn by Ado Hunnius at the request of Major General J. M. Schofield. It was compiled under the direction of 1st Lieutenant Henry Jackson of the 7th U.S. Cavalry in March 1870. It includes the location of forts in Kansas, southern Nebraska, eastern Colorado, and northern portions of Indian Territory (Oklahoma), as well as noting natural features (rivers, hills, etc.), trails, and Indian reservations.


Map of the Kansas Pacific and Denver Pacific Railways, showing lands for sale by the National Land Company.

Map of the Kansas Pacific and Denver Pacific Railways, showing lands for sale by the National Land Company.
Creator: Kansas Pacific Railway Company
Date: 1870
This advertisement for lands for sale has three panels: the first is of the eastern United States from the Atlantic Coast to the eastern border of Kansas; the second is of a sectional map of Kansas, showing all counties as far west as Trego County; and the third panel is of eastern Colorado. Panel one also shows railroad routes from the coast to Kansas City. Panels two and three show the route of the Kansas Pacific and Denver Pacific Railways through Kansas and Colorado up to Cheyenne, Wyoming. A shaded area along the route indicates railway lands that are for sale.


Map of the route pursued by the late expedition under the command of Col. Stephen Watts Kearny

Map of the route pursued by the late expedition under the command of Col. Stephen Watts Kearny
Creator: Franklin, William Buel, 1823-1903
Date: 1845
This map, included in the Report of the Secretary of War, illustrates the route taken by Stephen Watts Kearny and the 1st Dragoons in an 1845 expedition. This expedition began in Fort Leavenworth and proceeded on a circular march, heading northwest on what would later become the Oregon Trail, down along the Rocky Mountains to Mexican territory, and back up via the Santa Fe Trail. This march was intended as a display of the United States' military power, both for the benefit of local Indian tribes and also for the British government, which at this time was trying to exert control over Oregon Territory. The map was drawn by a topgraphical engineer named Lieutenant William B. Franklin. It was published in U.S. serial set 480.


Military telegram regarding Bert Hart of Westmoreland

Military telegram regarding Bert Hart of Westmoreland
Date: June 22, 1918
This telegram from 1918 was sent by Commander Harry Coleman, of the 312th Cavalry, to Private William Bert Hart. The contents encourage Hart to request a transfer. Coleman's interest in Hart is believed to have been prompted by a desire to bolster his military unit's baseball team. Bert Hart, of Westmoreland, Kansas, was an accomplished semi-professional baseball player in northern Kansas during the 1910s and early 1920s. Both a pitcher and infielder, he played not only for the Westmoreland town team, but also for semi-pro teams in Green, Clay Center, and Beloit. During World War I, Hart served in Company L of the 14th Infantry; his known postings included Fort Logan in Colorado, Fort Lawton in Washington, Camp Dodge in Iowa, and Camp Grant in Illinois.


Northern Cheyenne village at Fort Laramie

Northern Cheyenne village at Fort Laramie
Creator: Carter, Charles W., 1832-1918
Date: 1871
This is a photograph of a larger Northern Cheyenne village located at Fort Laramie. Funds for digitization provided by Mr. Steve Peckel in memory of William Chalfant.


Poultry and bees on farms

Poultry and bees on farms
Creator: Union Pacific Railway Company
Date: May 20, 1912
This Union Pacific Railroad agricultural bulletin, number 102, shows statistical production of poultry and bee colonies for areas west of the Mississippi River, with a comparative evaluation for 1900 and 1910.


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