Kansas MemoryKansas Memory

Kansas Historical SocietyKansas Historical Society

-

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

William Allen White and family photographs William Allen White and family photographs

-

Site Statistics

Total images: 628,053
Bookbag items: 37,175
Registered users: 11,242

-

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: 16

Category Filters

Curriculum - 7th Grade Standards - Kansas History Standards - 1880s to 1920s (Benchmark 4) - Populism (Indicator 2) - Disillusionment with big business

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 - 16 of 16 (results per page: 10 | 25 | 50)


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.


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.


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.


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.


Mary Elizabeth Lease

Mary Elizabeth Lease
Creator: Deane
Date: Between 1890 and 1899
Mary Elizabeth (Clyens) Lease is perhaps the best-known Kansas Populist. She was born in Pennsylvania on September 11, 1850 to Irish immigrants. At the age of twenty she moved to Osage Mission, Kansas, in order to teach school at St. Anne's Academy. While there, she met and married Charles L. Lease, a local pharmacist. After several unsuccessful attempts at farming, Lease turned her attention to the plight of her fellow farmers, and by 1890, her passionate criticisms of railroads and big business made her a formidable force in the newly formed People's (Populist) Party. She became a well-known lecturer for the Populist cause, traveling throughout the West, Midwest, and South. Although this statement has in fact been misattributed to her, she is most known for her assertion that farmers must "raise less corn and more hell." Her zeal and refusal to compromise eventually alienated her from mainstream Populists, and by 1896 she had turned her attention toward other reform causes, including prohibition and suffrage. She divorced Charles in 1902, spending the remainder of her life living with various children on the Atlantic coast. She passed away on October 29, 1933 in New York state.


Petition of the farmer's convention

Petition of the farmer's convention
Creator: Topeka Capital
Date: January 26, 1881
This article relates the news from a Farmer's Alliance convention held earlier in January. The participants in this convention had written a petition that was presented to the Kansas House of Representatives on Tuesday, January 24, 1881. This petition addressed the greatest concerns of the Alliance, including their recommendations that the government "secure the people the free use of these public highways (railroads) upon the payment of just, uniform, and reasonable rates of toll," and that "the rate of interest be fixed at not more than 7 percent." The Farmer's Alliance movement would eventually merge with the Knight's of Labor to form the People's (Populist) Party.


Puppetmaster political cartoon

Puppetmaster political cartoon
Creator: Ottawa Journal and Triumph
Date: July 12, 1894
This political cartoon from the Ottawa Journal and Triumph, published in Franklin County, presents the Populist perspective on big business and its ties to the government. In the cartoon, a puppet master (with a hat that reads "corporations") controls five marionettes, labeled with official positions such as "major," "judge," and "governor." The largest marionette, at the center, is President Grover Cleveland.


St. George and the Dragon--a modern version

St. George and the Dragon--a modern version
Creator: Kellogg, A. H.
Date: May 28, 1892
This political cartoon from the Topeka Populist newspaper, depicts the People's (Populist) Party as St. George, the patron saint of England, who is slaying the dragon that represents the corruption of government and big business. The dragon has the names of specific businesses and politicians written on its body. According to legend, St. George was a fierce warrior who saved a village in Libya by slaying the dragon who had demanded that the town sacrifice all its young women.


"The Farmer Feeds Them All," The Farmer's Wife

"The Farmer Feeds Them All," The Farmer's Wife
Creator: The Farmer's Wife
Date: May 1894
The Farmer's Wife, a Populist newspaper published in Topeka, Shawnee County, printed this poem that illustrates the importance of farmers' work. While farm prices were "fixed by members of the various 'Boards of Trade,'" whom the Populists believed to be corrupt, the valuable labor of farmers was under appreciated. The Farmer's Wife was edited by Emma Pack.


The Grangers' dream of cheap money

The Grangers' dream of cheap money
Creator: Puck
Date: Between 1880 and 1900
This political cartoon from the satirical Puck magazine illustrates the Republican perception of the People's (Populist) Party belief in the coinage of silver and the redistribution of wealth to the masses. In the cartoon, Populist senator William Peffer uses a bellows to propel the windmill of the U.S. Treasury in order to pump out more "greenbacks." Outside the windmill, farmers are hungrily grabbing bags of money and carting them away in wagons. Billboards in the nearby town refer to the rapid inflation caused by the distribution of so much money.


The condition of the working class

The condition of the working class
Creator: Topeka Populist
Date: July 30, 1892
According to this Populist article, while the "professors of capitalism" (meaning the Republicans) continued to maintain that capitalism benefited the common laborer, the numbers spoke differently. The federal Department of Agriculture's most recent report demonstrated that in each region of the nation (eastern, southern. Etc?) the average monthly wages for farm labor had decreased significantly since 1866. The paper concludes by saying that "the 'improvement' and 'betterment' has been for the capitalists only."


The machine and bosses

The machine and bosses
Creator: The Farmer's Wife
Date: April 1892
This concise article in the Populist publication The Farmer's Wife defines the terms "bosses" and "machine," arguing that both the Republicans and the Democrats are corrupted by their involvement with big business. Congressmen, according to the Populists, exist simply to do the bidding of the political forces that seek to enrich themselves and show no concern for the problems of the common people. The Farmer's Wife was created by Ira and Emma Pack, who published it in Topeka, Kansas, from 1891 until 1894. The newspaper served as a forum to discuss reform movements (including populism and suffrage), to present human interest stories and to offer practical advice to Kansas women.


The modern barons

The modern barons
Creator: Topeka Populist
Date: June 25, 1892
This article discusses how the "public highways" of the country (meaning the railroads) were under the control of capitalists instead of being the property of the people. The article, which is an excerpt of a speech by Kansas congressman John Davis, laments the fact that these are "sold as commodities of commerce." Davis, a Populist, believed that railroads were run by corrupt businessmen and owned by bankers who had no concern for the common people and who gave special privileges to the rich.


This is slavery

This is slavery
Creator: Topeka Populist
Date: September 24, 1892
This article, which illustrates the Populists' belief that capitalists and businessmen exploited American workers, relates the story of African-American laborers employed by the Wilkes Barre and Eastern Railroad in Pennsylvania. These workers were mistreated, and when they tried to leave they were forced to return to work. The author asks, "What is this, but slavery?... Laborers wholly at the mercy of masters who have no interest in their welfare."


We stand for

We stand for
Creator: The Farmer's Wife
Date: August 1891
In this brief clipping the publishers of this Populist newspaper, Ira and Emma Pack, list the main beliefs of the Populist movement. They began publishing The Farmer's Wife in 1891, using it as a forum to discuss reform movements (including populism and women's suffrage), to present human interest stories, and to offer practical advice to Kansas women.


Why we grow

Why we grow
Creator: The Farmer's Wife
Date: September 1891
This article, originally printed in William Peffer's Kansas Farmer, explains the reasons behind the growth of the Populist movement. Consequently the article focuses on corruption within the government, which has led to legislation that discriminates in favor of the wealthy and privileged and at the expense of the working man. The Farmer's Wife was created by Ira and Emma Pack, who published it from Topeka, Shawnee County, from 1891 until 1894. The newspaper served as a forum to discuss reform movements (including populism and suffrage), to present human interest stories, and to offer practical advice to Kansas women.


Showing 1 - 16

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