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A. J. Arnold to Joseph Hebbard

A. J. Arnold to Joseph Hebbard
Creator: Arnold, A. J.
Date: August 11, 1892
In this brief but informative letter A. J. Arnold, a Topeka, Kansas, druggist, informs Joseph Hebbard, treasurer of the Farmer's Alliance, of his decision to switch his allegiance from the Democratic Party to the People's (Populist) Party. He is eager to "release the state of Kansas from the misrule of the Republican Party." While Arnold is confident that he has made the right decision, he also notes that many other Democrats are wavering. Consequently, Arnold has prepared a letter to the Democrats that expresses the benefits of supporting Populism; he asks Hebbard to read through the draft of this letter and provide comments. This enclosure is not with the original letter and has not been located.


Annie (Le Porte) Diggs

Annie (Le Porte) Diggs
Creator: Snyder
Date: Between 1890 and 1899
A portrait of Annie (Le Porte) Diggs, who was born in 1848 in Canada to an American mother and French father. Two years later the family moved to New Jersey, where she attended school. Diggs moved to Lawrence, Kansas, in 1873 and married Alvin S. Diggs shortly thereafter. While in Kansas, Diggs began to attend the local Unitarian Church and developed a strong sense of moral responsibility that prompted her to work for temperance and women's suffrage. During 1882, Diggs and her husband published the newspaper Kansas Liberal, and beginning in 1890 she was the associate editor of the Alliance Advocate. As a radical reformer seeking to wipe out injustice, Diggs also allied herself with the Farmer's Alliance, aiding in the creation of the People's (Populist) Party, serving on the Populist National Committee, and supporting the fusion of the Populist and Democratic parties in the 1898 election. Throughout this time she continued to work actively for women's voting rights and served in the Kansas Equal Suffrage Association. In 1898, she was appointed the state librarian of Kansas, and she was also elected president of Kansas Press Women in 1905. Diggs moved to New York City in 1906, where she worked on two publications: The Story of Jerry Simpson (1908) and Bedrock (1912). She relocated to Detroit, Michigan, in 1912 and died there on September 7, 1916.


A party of patches

A party of patches
Creator: Judge Magazine
Date: June 6, 1891
This political cartoon drawn by Bernard Gilliam was copied from the satirical magazine Judge presents the Republican perception of the People's (Populist) Party. The artist depicts the People's Party as a hot air balloon made up of a patchwork of pieces, with each piece labeled with the name of the political organization or party that has been subsumed under the banner of the Populists. Some of the more recognizable "patches" include the Prohibition Party, the Greenback Party, the Farmer's Alliance, and the Knights of Labor Party. Inside the balloon's basket are two leading Populists from Kansas, William Peffer and "Sockless" Jerry Simpson.


Battery A on the Kansas State Capitol grounds in Topeka, Kansas

Battery A on the Kansas State Capitol grounds in Topeka, Kansas
Creator: Farrow, W. F.
Date: February 1893
During the Populist War of 1893, Battery A, a militia unit from Wichita, Kansas, was stationed on the grounds outside of the Kansas State Capitol building in Topeka, Kansas. The dispute began when both the Republican and Populist parties claimed victory in the Kansas House elections in 1892. A number of contests were still being disputed when the legislative session began in January 1893. The conflict between the parties reached a crisis when the Populists locked themselves in the House Hall. The Republicans used a sledgehammer to break down the doors to the hall. The governor requested support from the state militia. After a three-day standoff, Governor Lewelling was able to negotiate an agreement with the Republican speaker of the house, which amounted to a Populist surrender. The state Supreme Court ultimately ruled in favor of the Republicans.


Between Millstones

Between Millstones
Creator: Kelly, H. B.
Date: 1896
This short pamphlet discusses the problems that high tariffs and the gold standard create for workers and farmers. It clearly presents Populist ideas about the dire situation of Kansas farmers by giving several examples of how businessmen and merchants benefit from the oppression of common laborers. The pamphlet was written by H. B. Kelly and printed by the Jeffersonian Publishing Company in Lawrence, Kansas; each pamphlet cost five cents.


C. C. Evans to Governor Edmund Morrill

C. C. Evans to Governor Edmund Morrill
Creator: Evans, C. C.
Date: December 24, 1894
The chairman of the Sheridan County Republican Central Committee, C. C. Evans, of Allison (Decatur County), writes Governor Edmund Morrill to inform him of the desperate circumstances facing farmers in western Kansas and to ask the state to furnish seed grain to the farmers. Several years of drought and low crop yields left many farmers without sufficient seed grain for the next season's crops. Evans asks the governor to rally Republican legislators to quickly pass an appropriation for farm relief. The letter claims that Populists have thwarted local efforts to address the problem and that effective actions by Republicans at this time would attract more people in western Kansas to the Republican Party.


Campaign songs, as sung by the National Quartette

Campaign songs, as sung by the National Quartette
Date: 1892
This volume of campaign songs includes four pieces that vividly express the major beliefs of the Populist Party. The first song, "For Trampling on the Grass," criticizes the businessmen and bankers who were trampling on the rights of the common people. The second song, "The Republican's Lament," pokes fun at the Republicans who were no longer able to dominate the Populists now that "they have ceased to head our whippings, and have ceased to take our word." The third song, "The Wall Street Badge" describes how the government, according to the Populists, was now in the hands of Wall Street. The final song, "One of His Legs is Longer Than It Really Ought to Be," provides a comic perspective on some of the upcoming elections, including the race between Chester I. Long and "Sockless Jerry" Simpson.


Executive Order No. 2, Governor Lorenzo Lewelling

Executive Order No. 2, Governor Lorenzo Lewelling
Creator: Lewelling, Lorenzo Dow, 1846-1900
Date: February 15, 1893
Kansas governor Lorenzo Lewelling issued this executive order in response to the standoff that would become known as the Legislative War of 1893. During this conflict, the Republican (Douglass) House and the Populist (Dunsmore) House both claimed to have been the legally elected House of Representatives for the state. Consequently, both attempted to conduct business in Representative Hall, ignoring the presence of each other and spending day and night in the chambers to prevent the other side from gaining control. On February 13, 1893, however, the Populists barricaded the hall while the Republicans were away, preventing the Republican congressmen from re-entering the chambers. The Republican house responded by battering the hall doors with sledgehammers and posting armed guards to protect the hall. At that point Governor Lewelling issued this order, demanding that the Republicans disband and "vacate such Hall and the approaches thereunto under penalty of forcible expulsion." The Republicans refused, and after a tense standoff, on February 25 the Kansas Supreme Court affirmed the validity of the Republican House, thus ending the "war."


Farmers in politics

Farmers in politics
Creator: Kansas Farmer Magazine
Date: February 8, 1882
This article from The Kansas Farmer (edited by Populist William Peffer) discusses the need for "cleaner politics." According to the unidentified author, it is the people's responsibility to hold politicians accountable and to reform the government. The article also describes the "party machinery" that is responsible for government corruption, calling for the people to organize and effect change.


G. R. Anderson to Board of Railway Commissioners

G. R. Anderson to Board of Railway Commissioners
Creator: Anderson, G. R.
Date: May 21, 1883
In this letter G. R. Anderson, owner of a general merchandise, coal, and hay store in Caldwell, Kansas, complains to the Board of Railroad Commissioners that the rate of transferring loads of coal on the Missouri Pacific Railroad at Ft. Scott is unreasonable. The flat rate of five dollars per car meant that, proportionally, moving a small load of coal was more expensive that moving a large load of coal. See the Board of Railroad Commissioners' response to this concern, a letter by H. M. Hoxie to E. J. Twiner, dated May 31, 1883.


Give up all

Give up all
Creator: Topeka State Journal Company
Date: May 29, 1901
This article discusses Henry W. Young's stance on the fusion of the Democratic and Populist (People's) Parties. Young, a former senator and editor of the Kansas Populist, had concluded that it would be in the Populists' best interest to vote Democratic in the 1902 election. Young was convinced that "the leaven of Populism has permeated the whole mass of the Democratic party," making the Democratic platform one that supported many Populist ideas. In explaining this decision Young referred to the chairman of the Democratic State Central Committee, Mack Love, who had encouraged Populists to align with the Democrats. In the election of 1902 the Populists did join the Democratic Party.


Governor Lorenzo Lewelling executive order no. 3

Governor Lorenzo Lewelling executive order no. 3
Creator: Lewelling, Lorenzo Dow, 1846-1900
Date: February 16, 1893
Kansas governor Lorenzo Lewelling issued this order to Colonel Hughes, a militia commander, ordering him to clear the Topeka statehouse of all Republican congressmen and to forcibly remove anyone who did not comply. During the Legislative War of 1893, the Republican (Douglass) House and the Populist (Dunsmore) House had both claimed to be the legally elected House of Representatives for the state. On February 13, 1893, the Populists barricaded themselves in Representative Hall, preventing the Republican congressmen from re-entering the chambers. The Republican house responded by beating down the doors with sledgehammers, taking possession of the chambers, and posting armed guards to protect the hall. At that point, Governor Lewelling issued his order demanding that the Republicans disband, and the next day, February 16, he issued this order to Colonel Hughes. Hughes, a Republican, refused to obey and was relieved of his command. His militia (with a new commander) stationed themselves outside the capitol but were not re-ordered to clear the building. The situation was resolved on February 25 when the Kansas Supreme Court established the Republican House as the legal representative body for the state.


Governor Lyman Humphrey to John Hughes

Governor Lyman Humphrey to John Hughes
Creator: Humphrey, Lyman Underwood, 1844-1915
Date: December 11, 1889
In this letter Governor Lyman Humphrey of Topeka (Shawnee County) responds to John Hughes of Howard (Elk County) regarding a petition requesting a special session of the legislature to provide farmers relief from mortgages. The Farmer's Alliance and Labor's Union of America of Kansas produced and sponsored the petition. Mr. Hughes sent the first of such petitions to the Governor. The Alliance later cited the Governor's response to this petition in a circular it distributed with the petition forms. See Electors of Chautauqua County to Governor Lyman Humphrey, December 20, 1889-[n.d.], 1890.


Gulliver bound down by the Democratic Lilliputians

Gulliver bound down by the Democratic Lilliputians
Creator: Judge Magazine
Date: Between 1890 and 1895
This political cartoon from the satirical magazine Judge illustrates the Republican perception of the Democratic Party and Peoples' (Populist) Party by adapting a classic story from Gulliver's Travels. The cartoon depicts politicians, activists, and wealthy Americans tying down a giant man who symbolizes industrial prosperity. The ties stretching across his lower body represent "tariff tinkering" and "free silver," political issues where many Democrats and Populists were in agreement. William Peffer, a Kansas Populist, stands on a podium near the center giving a speech about silver. Judge magazine, created by artists who had previously worked for the well-known magazine Puck, began in 1881.


H. M. Hoxie to E. J. Twiner

H. M. Hoxie to E. J. Twiner
Creator: Hoxie, H. M.
Date: May 31, 1883
H. M. Hoxie, third vice-president of the Missouri Pacific Railway, wrote this letter to E. J. Twiner, secretary of the Kansas Board of Railroad Commission, in response to concerns about the transfer of coal on the railroad. Hoxie referred Twiner to an attached letter, written by the freight traffic manager, George Olds. Olds' letter stated that the transfer rates were indeed fair, because apparently the railroad had to impose high rates to deflect the high cost of these transfers. This letter was written in response to an inquiry by G.R. Anderson, dated May 21, 1883.


Handy money for the poor man

Handy money for the poor man
Creator: Topeka Populist
Date: November 5, 1892
This article presents a condensed version of the Secretary of the Treasury's 1890 report on how much paper money was currently in circulation. Most of this money, according to the report, was tied up in large bills that would never make it into the hands of the common man. One of the major objectives of the Populist Party was to increase the coinage of silver.


How to organize an Alliance

How to organize an Alliance
Creator: Topeka Commonwealth
Date: February 8, 1881
This brief article from the Topeka Commonwealth outlines the basics of how to assemble a local branch of the Farmer's Alliance and the objectives of this reform organization. These objectives included obtaining fair prices for farm produce, enabling farmers to protect themselves against corrupt and unethical businessmen, eliminating government corruption, and opposing legislation that would aid big business at the expense of farmers. The Farmer's Alliance movement would eventually merge with the Knights of Labor to form the People's (Populist) Party.


Jeremiah Berger Remington postcard

Jeremiah Berger Remington postcard
Creator: Remington, Jeremiah Berger
Date: January 11, 1893
On this postcard Republican representative Jeremiah Remington declared that his party was "holding the house, [and] have slept in chairs all night." On January 10th, both Republicans and Populists stayed the night at the capitol, refusing to leave after both parties elected full sets of officers. The dispute began when both the Republican and Populist parties claimed victory in the Kansas House elections in 1892. A number of contests were still being disputed when the legislative session began in January 1893. The conflict between the parties reached a crisis when the Populists locked themselves in the House Hall. The Republicans used a sledgehammer to break down the doors to the hall. The governor requested support from the state militia. After a three-day standoff, Governor Lewelling was able to negotiate an agreement with the Republican speaker of the house, which amounted to a Populist surrender. The state Supreme Court ultimately ruled in favor of the Republicans.


Jeremiah "Sockless Jerry" Simpson

Jeremiah "Sockless Jerry" Simpson
Date: Between 1880 and 1905
Jeremiah Simpson was born on Prince Edward Island, Canada, on March 31, 1842. Simpson and his family relocated to New York State when he was six, and during the Civil War he served in the Illinois Volunteer Infantry, receiving a discharge due to medical reasons. When the war was over, he moved to Indiana and then to Kansas, working as a farmer and cattle rancher. Then, after devastating financial losses, Simpson began his political career by running as a Union Labor Party candidate for the state legislature in 1886 and 1888. Although he lost both of these elections, Simpson rose to the occasion when, in 1889, the newly formed People's (Populist) Party nominated him for Congress. In that election Simpson ran against James R. Hallowell, a Republican attorney who Simpson derided as a wearer of "fine silk hosiery"; Hallowell responded by stating that fine hosiery was better than being sockless. This is how Simpson received the nickname "sockless Jerry." Simpson won the election and a seat in the House of Representatives, going on to serve three terms from 1891 to 1895, and again from 1897 until 1899. He died on October 23, 1905.


Joint Debate Between Mrs. M. E. Lease and J. M Brumbaugh

Joint Debate Between Mrs. M. E. Lease and J. M Brumbaugh
Creator: Lease, Mary Elizabeth, 1853-1933
Date: July 20, 1891
This debate between Mary Elizabeth Lease and J. M. Brumbaugh occurred in Concordia, Kansas on July 20, 1891. They debated land, finance, and transportation questions though a formal question concerning national banks and issuing legal tender treasury notes is listed in the pamphlet. Mrs. Lease was allocated 70 minutes, Mr. Brumbaugh 90 minutes, and Mrs. Lease an additional 20 minutes at the end. A note at the end of the pamphlet indicated that the account of the debate had been recorded by a court stenographer so it was believed to be accurate. Mrs. Lease represented the Populist viewpoint and Mr. Brumbaugh the Republican perspective.


Kansas Redeemed. Populism Dead.

Kansas Redeemed. Populism Dead.
Date: 1894
Cloth banner celebrating the demise of the Populist Party in the political of 1894. The banner was likely produced by the Topeka Daily Capital (newspaper).


Lewelling's Position

Lewelling's Position
Creator: Topeka Populist
Date: January 20, 1893
During the "Populist War" of 1893, Governor Lorenzo Lewelling released this statement regarded the rightful members of the legislature who where, in his opinion, the Populists (known as the Dunsmore House). He writes that the Populists had a right to question the election because "constitutional and statutory provisions were not only disregarded but intentionally violated by those who had it in their power under form of law to rob the people of their rights." Here he is referring to the Republicans. Ultimately, as Lewelling writes, the decision would be up to the Kansas Supreme Court. This conflict had begun when two sets of legislators, one Populist and one Republican, both claimed to be the legitimately elected body. Fighting ensued in the halls of the statehouse and in Representative Hall, and Lewelling was forced to call out the National Guard to keep the peace. Ultimately, after twelve tense days, the Supreme Court determined that the Republican House (also called the Douglass House) was the rightful occupant of Representative Hall.


Light on the money mystery

Light on the money mystery
Creator: Holden, James D.
Date: July 24,1896
James D. Holden of Emporia, Lyon County, wrote this pamphlet to propose his solutions to the money problem raised by Populists. He takes the solution further than the unlimited coinage of silver, arguing that the value of land should also be used as a source of money, in addition to precious metals (gold and silver). He believed this would do away with the need to pay interest, which would increase the wealth of everyone.


Lorenzo Dow Lewelling

Lorenzo Dow Lewelling
Date: Between 1893 and 1895
This photograph represents Lorenzo Dow Lewelling (1846-1900). Born and raised in the Quaker lifestyle in Iowa, Lewelling moved to Wichita, Kansas in 1887, after working a variety of jobs and serving in the Civil War with his second wife and child from his first marriage. As a founding member of the Farmers' Alliance, Lewelling ran as a Populist for the 1892 governor's race. Notable events during his administration was the "Populist War" in 1883, clash with activist Mary Elizabeth Lease over the fusion of the Populists and Democrats, and removing Lease from her position as President of the Kansas Board of Charities. Failing to be re-elected as governor, Lewelling was elected to the Kansas State Senate, a position he held until his death.


Mary E. Lease to Joseph Hebbard

Mary E. Lease to Joseph Hebbard
Creator: Lease, Mary Elizabeth, 1853-1933
Date: September 11, 1890
In this brief letter Mary Elizabeth Lease, a Populist reformer who spoke out against the mistreatment of farmers, thanks Joseph Hebbard, treasurer of the Farmer's Alliance, for his help. She also asks him to do her one more favor: send some information about poverty demographics compiled by the Republicans in order to "dose them with their own medicine." Lease is apparently writing from Hiawatha, Kansas.


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