Kansas MemoryKansas Memory

Kansas Historical SocietyKansas Historical Society

Narrow your results

1854-1860 (4)
1870s (11)
1880s (2)
1890s (6)
1900s (3)

-

Log In

Username:

Password:

After login, go to:

Register
Forgot Username?
Forgot Password?

Browse Users
Contact us

-

Martha Farnsworth

-

Podcast Archive

Governor Mike Hayden Interview
Details
Listen Now
Subscribe - iTunesSubscribe - RSS

More podcasts

-

Popular Item

Winter 1977, Volume 43, Number 4

-

Random Item

Walker Winslow correspondence Walker Winslow correspondence

-

Site Statistics

Total images: 606,899
Bookbag items: 36,503
Registered users: 11,119

-

About

Kansas Memory has been created by the Kansas State Historical Society to share its historical collections via the Internet. Read more.

-

Syndication

Matching items: 22

Category Filters

Curriculum - 7th Grade Standards - Kansas History Standards - 1860s to 1870s (Benchmark 3) - Challenges of settlement (Indicator 7)

Search within these results


       

Search Tips

Start Over | RSS Feed RSS Feed

View: Image Only | Title Only | Detailed
Sort by: TitleSort by Title, Ascending | Date | Creator | Newest

Showing 1 - 22 of 22 (results per page: 10 | 25 | 50)


A. W. Johnson and Isabella Johnson to Robert S. Wickizer

A. W. Johnson and Isabella Johnson to Robert S. Wickizer
Creator: Johnson, A. W.
Date: March 24, 1875
In this letter to his cousin, A. W. Johnson relates news from his homestead near Osage Mission, Neosho County. Johnson describes the grasshopper plague in vivid terms, and also mentions how the recent hard times in Kansas should not discourage emigration into the state. In fact, he goes so far as to state that now is the time to come, since land is cheap and the spring weather is "deliteful[sic]." Johnson also states, however, that the price of corn is high, and that high prices on goods make it difficult for him to support his family.


Ada McColl gathering buffalo chips near Lakin, Kansas

Ada McColl gathering buffalo chips near Lakin, Kansas
Creator: McColl, Polly
Date: 1893
In this photograph, pioneer Ada McColl of Kearny County collects buffalo chips. In areas of western Kansas where trees were scarce, these chips were a convenient (and plentiful) source of fuel. This is an abridged version of an original photograph including Ada's brother Burt. The photograph was taken by Polly McColl, Ada's mother. For more information on this photograph, see the link to Reflections (Summer 2008) below.


Appeal for the Kansas sufferers!

Appeal for the Kansas sufferers!
Creator: Foster, Daniel, 1816-1864
Date: 1860
This pamphlet, written by Daniel Foster, general agent of the New England Kansas Relief Committee, attempts to dispel any doubts about the severity of the nine-month drought in Kansas Territory. Many settlers had left Kansas Territory, and those remaining needed relief. Foster calls on people to provide aid to those in Kansas by contributing money or goods. The pamphlet lists names of people serving on a Boston committee who had met to discuss relief efforts in Kansas, including such well-known individuals as John A. Andrew, George Luther Stearns, Samuel Gridley Howe, and Thomas H. Webb.


Drouthy Kansas

Drouthy Kansas
Creator: Worrall, Henry
Date: 1878
This painting by Henry Worrall, completed in 1878, challenges the assumption that Kansas was part of the "Great American Desert." Although there had, indeed, been a severe drought during 1860, Worrall believed that Kansas did not deserve this harsh reputation. In the foreground, his painting depicts the bountiful harvests of grain, watermelon, and potatoes, while the background includes rain showers and a rainbow stretching across the horizon. Although Worrall was a very productive artist, "Drouthy Kansas" quickly became his most famous work.


Grasshopper Relief proclamation

Grasshopper Relief proclamation
Creator: Osborn, Thomas Andrew, 1836-1898
Date: 1874
This proclamation was issued by Governor Thomas Osborn in response to the grasshopper plague that hit the state of Kansas in 1874. The grasshoppers had destroyed most of the farmers' crops, thus "threatening great suffering among the people." Osborn called for the state legislature to convene on September 15, 1874 to discuss the best plan of action.


Great Bend, Barton County, Kansas

Great Bend, Barton County, Kansas
Creator: Riddle, J. R.
Date: April, 1879
This stereograph shows a street in Great Bend in Barton County, Kansas. Included in the image are a windmill, houses and outbuildings, and a hardware store in the foreground. The ground is still wet from an April rainstorm.


Home Life in Early Days

Home Life in Early Days
Creator: Valentine, Martha
Date: February 23, 1908
In this reminiscence, Martha Valentine relates her experiences as a Kansas housewife during the early years of white settlement in Kansas. Valentine and her husband Daniel first came to Kansas in 1859 and eventually settled permanently in Peoria, Franklin County, in 1860. She describes how, in that same year, a severe drought hit Kansas and eleven months passed without rain. Her family suffered from the drought, having to subsist mostly on stored corn, small game animals, and wild vegetables. Many people in her neighborhood suffered during this time, sometimes requiring aid sent by Easterners. Copied from the Topeka Capitol, February 23, 1908.


James W. Randall to Thaddeus Hyatt

James W. Randall to Thaddeus Hyatt
Creator: Randall, James W.
Date: September 12, 1860
In this letter, James Randall of Emporia, Kansas, informed Thaddeus Hyatt, president of the National Kansas Committee, of the drought's effect on the neighboring population. Many families were destitute after the failure of the corn crop and were considering leaving their homes altogether. Randall hoped that Hyatt could send aid to the starving settlers.


John William Gardiner diary

John William Gardiner diary
Creator: Gardiner, John William, 1851-1917
Date: Between May 6, 1875 and June 25, 1875
John William Gardiner was born in or near Platte City, Missouri, in 1851. In March 1855, Gardiner and his family moved to the future site of Winchester, Jefferson County, in the newly opened Kansas Territory. During 1875, he taught school and simultaneously took classes in Leavenworth to obtain his teaching certificate. Many of the diary entries describe his teaching, weather, the grasshopper plague, and extracurricular activities such as singing and visiting friends.


Mary Magdalene Bellport journal

Mary Magdalene Bellport journal
Creator: Bellport, Mary Magdalene Bower, 1849-1935
Date: Between 1877 and 1879
This journal was written by Mary Madgalene (Bower) Bellport, who was born in 1849 in Germany. After her family moved to Ohio, Mary met and married Augustine Bellport in 1877, the same year that she began this journal. Augustine had changed his last name, from Brulport to Bellport, when he moved to Kansas in 1865. Most of the entries in the journal deal with her travels through Kansas and Colorado. She also relates valuable information about frontier life in Kansas, including the near-fatal injury suffered by her brother-in-law, Steve, harsh summer heat, and a prairie fire that threatened to destroy their homestead.


Mead family dugout in Ford County, Kansas

Mead family dugout in Ford County, Kansas
Date: Between 1890 and 1910
In this undated photograph, the L.A. Mead family stands outside their dugout located near Bloom, Ford County. Dugouts such as this, as well as sod houses, were common dwelling places on the high plains of Kansas due to the lack of wood and other natural resources. This family was fortunate enough to have glass windows, wood siding, and a stovepipe; these amenities would have been considered luxuries by many pioneers out west.


Mead family dugout near Bloom in Ford County, Kansas

Mead family dugout near Bloom in Ford County, Kansas
Date: Between 1870 and 1890
This photograph shows the interior of the L. A. Mead family dugout near Bloom, Ford County, clearly illustrating the cramped living conditions that the family endured during their stay in this residence.


"Mr. G. Hopper, Kansas"

"Mr. G. Hopper, Kansas"
Date: 1875
This humorous cartoon illustration depicts a grasshopper standing upright with a crutch, eye patch, and a sling holding his left arm. By his side is a small suitcase. The countryside in the background has been completely stripped of all greenery, with only tree trunks and twigs surviving. In 1874, Kansas was hit with a grasshopper plague that destroyed most of the farmers' crops.


New York Daily Tribune, "The Drouth and Famine in Kansas"

New York Daily Tribune, "The Drouth and Famine in Kansas"
Creator: New York Daily Tribune
Date: October 10, 1860
This newspaper article, published in the New York Daily Tribune from October 10, 1860, outlined the basic details of the suffering and destitution of settlers in Kansas. It also included reprints of two circulars originating from Kansas Territory. One was from the Presbytery of Highland, and the other was from the Central Relief Committee based in Leavenworth. The first reprinted circular provided information about the dire situation and gave the names of the members of this committee. The second circular requested that the elders and deacons of each church in Kansas ascertain how many families needed immediate assistance in order to present a full report to the Central Relief Committee.


Prairie fire

Prairie fire
Creator: Burrton Telephone
Date: March 22, 1879
This concise article describes the dire results of a string of prairie fires that hit Harvey County, including the destruction of property in the area of Mount Hope, Kansas. Lives and property were lost in the fires. Nevertheless, as the unnamed author of the article states, "it is a hard blow, but after all adversity makes the man."


Recollections of early days in Kansas

Recollections of early days in Kansas
Creator: Baker, Orinda S.
Date: November 30, 1905 and December 7, 1905
This reminiscence, published in two parts, details the experiences of Orinda S. Baker and her family, who moved to Centralia, Nemaha County, in 1860. The Bakers, like other Kansas families, suffered from hunger and sickness during the severe drought that struck Kansas that same year. Included at the end of Part I there are two letters regarding the drought and the aid received from the East. Part II begins with a letter from Phil C. Day regarding relief goods sent to Kansas; Baker had written to out-of-state friends about the suffering of Kansans and acted as coordinator of relief supplies. In January 1862 Baker and her family moved to Topeka when her husband, Floyd P. Baker, was elected to the State House of Representatives. The rest of her reminiscence relates her experiences while living in Topeka, with the exception of a selection discussing a particularly fierce snow storm that hit on January 18, 1861.


Robert Burgin homestead, Barber County, Kansas

Robert Burgin homestead, Barber County, Kansas
Date: Between 1880 and 1890
This undated photograph depicts the homestead of Robert Burgin and his family, located in Barber County. Their home was constructed out of sod and wood siding.


Susan Dimond journal

Susan Dimond journal
Creator: Dimond, Susan B., fl. 1870-1873
Date: Between January 3, 1875 and January 12, 1875
These entries from the journal of Susan Bixby Dimond describe her experiences as a settler in Osborne County, focusing primarily on her position as a schoolteacher and the harsh winter weather. Also, Dimond states that her family is surviving in Kansas but that "at present I advise all to keep away." Dimond sent her journals to an unidentified friend in order to maintain contact; this may explain the journal's conversational tone.


Thaddeus Hyatt to James Buchanan

Thaddeus Hyatt to James Buchanan
Creator: Hyatt, Thaddeus
Date: October 16, 1860
Thaddeus Hyatt, president of the National Kansas Committee, wrote this letter to the President of the United States in an effort to obtain assistance for the suffering inhabitants of Kansas. He described in detail the needs of the settlers, including their lack of adequate winter clothing and the scarcity of food. According to his personal observations, Hyatt concluded that the only options left to Kansas settlers were exodus or starvation. He also asked that all government lands be removed from the market, especially those in the New York Indian reserve.


The Panic of 1893

The Panic of 1893
Creator: Trickett, C. W.
Date: 1894
This speech on the financial crisis (or "panic") of 1893 was written by C. W. Trickett of the Wyandotte National Bank of Kansas City, Kansas. It was published in the Seventh Annual Convention report of the Kansas Bankers Association. In the speech, he relates how during the economic depression that occurred that year, patrons of the bank flooded through the doors to withdraw their savings and banks were forced to close. Trickett offers up some of the conclusions he has drawn from this crisis and encourages his fellow bankers to take heed of these lessons.


The drouth

The drouth
Creator: Junction City Union
Date: August 1, 1874
This brief, unsigned article published in the Junction City Union presents the hardships Kansans faced during times of drought. Settlers looked to the skies for rain but were disappointed. According to the author, there had been storms that seemed likely to bring rain, but only a few scattered drops fell. Settlers' crops also suffered from the plague of grasshoppers that were eating what few crops had survived the drought.


The grasshoppers 1874

The grasshoppers 1874
Creator: Mail and Breeze (Topeka)
Date: September 22, 1899
In this brief article, A. Bailey of Mankato, Jewell County, reminisces about the grasshoppers invasion of 1874. Although that year proved to be a trying one for Kansas farmers, Bailey still rates 1874 as "the good old days."


Showing 1 - 22

Copyright © 2007-2019 - Kansas Historical Society - Contact Us
This website was developed in part with funding provided by the Information Network of Kansas.