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Annals of Kansas, January - February, 1855

Annals of Kansas, January - February, 1855
Creator: Wilder, Daniel Webster, 1832-1911
Date: January, 1855 through February, 1855
D. W. Wilder's "Annals of Kansas," published in 1886, provides a day-by-day chronicle of significant events in Kansas. These are digital images of Annals of Kansas entries for the territorial period of 1854-1861.


Articles of agreement for the exchange of prisoners following battle of Black Jack

Articles of agreement for the exchange of prisoners following battle of Black Jack
Creator: Brown, John, 1800-1859
Date: June 2, 1856
On June 2, 1856, John Brown, et al, signed this "article of agreement" with their defeated foe, Captain H. C. Pate and his lieutenant for the exchange of prisoners, including John Jr. and Jason Brown, at the home of John T. "Ottawa" Jones.


George Luther Stearns correspondence

George Luther Stearns correspondence
Date: 1861-1862
This correspondence is between George Luther Stearns and several prominent abolitionists, including Colonel James Montgomery, George W. Collamore, Mary A. Brown, and John Brown, Jr. Included is a circular from the Office of the Kansas Relief Committee, of which Stearns was chairman, seeking clothing and other goods. Stearns received letters from individuals, wholesalers, retailers, and charitable organizations relating to the donation of various articles, goods, and money. It is also discussed how these donations, especially clothing, would benefit the 2nd and 3rd Regiments. A letter from Eleanor S. Deane includes a poem entitled, "To the Little Boys and Girls of Kansas."


George W. Brown to I. B. Donaldson

George W. Brown to I. B. Donaldson
Creator: Brown, George W. (George Washington), 1820-1915
Date: July 9, 1856
George Washington Brown, editor of the "Herald of Freedom" newspaper, was one of seven free state leaders arrested on May 14, 1856, on charges of high treason and held prisoner by federal troops near Lecompton, Kansas Territory. Brown wrote to Israel B. Donaldson, the U.S. Marshal in Kansas, requesting that he terminate and settle a contract with his wife, Mrs. Lois Brown, for boarding the prisoners. Brown asked to board with fellow prisoners John Brown, Jr. and Henry H. Williams, and sought to distance himself from Charles Robinson and his followers.


George W. Smith, et al, to the Friends of Law and Order convened at Topeka

George W. Smith, et al, to the Friends of Law and Order convened at Topeka
Creator: Smith, G.W. (George W.) 1806-1878
Date: July 1, 1856
From a "camp near Lecompton," George W. Smith and the other Free State captives, including Charles Robinson and John Brown, Jr., write to state their views on issues facing the Topeka legislature as it convened. Smith and company argue that the freestaters had a "right to meet as a Legislature, complete the State organization and pass all laws necessary to the successful administration of Justice," but the assembly should not resist "Federal officer in the service of the legal process" unless they threaten the state organization. Smith, et al, believe success of the cause depends upon "a right position and, second upon calm, and unflinching firmness."


H. H. Williams, and others, to Samuel L. Adair

H. H. Williams, and others, to Samuel L. Adair
Creator: Williams, Henry H.
Date: June 14, 1856
H. H. Williams writes from Tecumseh, Kansas Territory, where he was imprisoned along with seven other suspects in the Pottawatomie massacre, to inform Rev. Samuel Adair of their situation. The letter is also signed by the seven other prisoners--William Partridge, Jason Brown, S. W. Kilbourne, John Brown Jr., S. B. Morse, Jacob Benjamin, and P. D. Maness. He indicates that they were charged with high treason. He also reported on John Brown, Jr.'s health. Williams asked Adair to try to raise some funds for their legal defense as they had hired a lawyer.


James Hanway

James Hanway
James Hanway was active in free state activities. He was a friend of John Brown and served in John Brown, Jr.'s militia company. He was a delegate to the Wyandotte Constitutional convention.


James H. Lane to Charles Robinson et al

James H. Lane to Charles Robinson et al
Creator: Lane, James Henry, 1814-1866
Date: August 10, 1856
In a brief letter from Topeka that is very difficult to decipher, Jim Lane informs Robinson, Gen. George W. Deitzler, George W. Brown, John Brown, "& others" of his arrival with "a sufficient force" to do battle for the free state cause. He seems to counsel quick and decisive action. The men to whom Lane wrote were prisoners at Lecompton, Kansas Territory. The "John Brown" mentioned in this letter was John Brown, Jr.


Jason Brown to John Brown, Jr.

Jason Brown to John Brown, Jr.
Creator: Brown, Jason, 1823-1912
Date: January 3 and 4, 1859
A letter from Jason Brown to his brother asking to lend him some money. He offers a share of some land until he can pay it back with interest. He had borrowed from John, Jr. previously. He wants to use it to go to the Rocky Mountains to "scratch a small pile of minerals" which may mean he wants to hunt for gold. He makes references to having to leave Kansas but that it is where he would like to be. He would leave his wife and son in Ohio on their small farm there. On the last page of the letter, Jason indicates that Melchia Sherbondy has offered him some money for a share of what he might make in the mountains. His son Charley wants to go with him and Jason also wants John, Jr. to go with him to the mountains.


John Brown, Jr

John Brown, Jr
Creator: Dennington, C. J.
Date: March 13, 1888
Portrait of John Brown, Jr., abolitionist and son of John Brown.


John Brown, Jr.

John Brown, Jr.
Creator: Leonard, J. H.
Date: Between 1880 and 1885
A copy of a portrait probably made in 1857 of John Brown, Jr., an abolitionist and son of John Brown.


John Brown, Jr.

John Brown, Jr.
Creator: Platt, C. W.
Date: Between 1870 and 1880
Portrait of John Brown, Jr., abolitionist and son of John Brown.


John Brown, Jr.

John Brown, Jr.
John Brown, Jr. was one of abolitionist John Brown's sons. He came to Kansas Territory in February, 1855, along with his brothers Jason, Owen, Salmon, and Frederick, and settled near Osawatomie. He was involved in numerous free state activities and, for a time, was one of the free state prisoners held near Lecompton, Kansas Territory. He also served as the commander of a free state militia company.


John Brown Jr. correspondence

John Brown Jr. correspondence
Creator: Brown, Jr., John
Date: 1862
Letters from John Brown Jr. concerning the 7th Kansas Cavalry and their tendency to protect slaves rather than returning them to their owners. John Brown Jr. was the son of well known abolitionist, John Brown, Sr.


John Brown, Jr., correspondence

John Brown, Jr., correspondence
Creator: Brown, John, 1821-1895
Date: February 14, 1861-November 29, 1863
John Brown, Jr., wrote these letters to his wife Wealthy Brown during the early years of the Civil War. He enlisted and served as a Captain of Company K, 1st Kansas Cavalry (later the 7th Kansas Cavalry). Colonel Charles Jennison headed this regiment. It appears his wife and son John were living in Ohio, probably Ashtabula. The letters start while Brown is on a recruiting trip in Canada and Michigan. Many of the letters in January 1862 are written from Camp Jackson and Camp Johnson near Morristown, Cass County, Missouri. Brown's letters from February and March 1862 were written from Humboldt, Allen County, Kansas. Brown writes from Camp Wendell Phillips near Lawrence from most of April and May 1862. The last few letters are written from Madison, Indiana, on his way home to Ohio. The letters are very descriptive of camp life and names of many of the men in his company are mentioned. Several letters mention associates of his father's such as William Partridge and Richard Hinton. Almost every letter mentions how much he misses his family. Native American scouts are also mentioned by Brown as valuable to the war effort. Brown discusses the problems of determining local residents loyalty in the war on the Kansas Missouri border in his letter written January 21, 1862. In the letter dated January 26, 1862, and continued on the 27th, Brown writes that he sent ten black soldiers to save a slave mother and children whose owner was planning to take them further south. In his letter dated March 9, 1862, Brown describes the execution of a soldier named Driscol from Company H who stabbed another soldier, was court martialed, and shot. Brown sent a letter of resignation, because of his continued poor health, to Gen. James Blunt in May 1862. NOTES ABOUT THE IMAGES: Brown frequently made notes in the margins. To make it easier to read these images, the pages with these notes are included twice--first with the original orientation and then again rotated ninety degrees to aid in reading the note. A letter from Hannibal, Missouri, is dated December 7, 1861, but the content of this latter and subsequent letters makes it apparent that this letter was written sometime in January 1862 but before the letter dated January 11, 1862. The images for this letter are placed in the correct order for content but will seem out of order chronologically based on date. The last letter in the group is missing its first page however the content, about primarily family matters, makes it apparent it was written in late 1861 or early 1862. The text version is one file that presents the letters in chronological order, except for the the exceptions noted above. It is necessary to scroll to the appropriate date. SEVERAL PAGES IN VARIOUS LETTERS ARE WRITTEN IN A NUMERIC CODE. This code, between John Brown Jr. and his wife, encrypt private messages between the couple. A key to the code and transcriptions of the coded letters can be found filed with the original letters. The code key and transcriptions are available at the repository upon request. Access is restricted to these particular letters; researchers under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian, or provide written permission from same, to see those transcriptions.


John Brown, Jr., to John Brown

John Brown, Jr., to John Brown
Creator: Brown, Jr., John
Date: August 16, 1856
Two days after encouraging his father to visit him at the prisoners' "camp" near Lecompton, John Brown, Jr., wrote to say "I had not better try to meet you just now." He thought things looked "favorable" for the free state prisoners and wrote of what he had heard of the Battle of Fort Titus, which took place that very day, August 16, 1856.


John Brown, Jr., to John Brown

John Brown, Jr., to John Brown
Creator: Brown, Jr., John
Date: February 13, 1858
From Lindenville, Ashtabula Co., Ohio, John Jr. wrote his father on February 13, 1858, to report that he was ready to travel to Washington, D.C., if Brown wanted him to and to enlist the assistance of Marcus Parrott if needed. (It is unclear what kind of legislative business he intended to pursue there.) John Jr. closes by making what appears to be a veiled reference to the Underground Railroad in Pennsylvania and by relating his plan to move soon to North Elba.


John Brown, Jr., to John Brown

John Brown, Jr., to John Brown
Creator: Brown, Jr., John
Date: September 8, 1856
Still in the custody of territorial officials, John Brown, Jr., wrote to express his remorse upon learning of the death of his brother Frederick--at least he was relieved to learn that his father and Jason were safe, as early reports had them dead or missing. "Poor Frederick has perished in a good cause!" wrote John, Jr., "the success of which cause I trust will yet bring joy to millions." He then wrote of his forthcoming trial and possible plan to "escape in case it should appear best."


John Brown, Jr. to John Brown

John Brown, Jr. to John Brown
Creator: Brown, Jr., John
Date: August 14, 1856
Although this document is unsigned, it is almost certainly a letter from John Brown, Jr., to his father. The former was at a "camp" near Lecompton, still in the custody of territorial officials, and he wanted his father to come for a visit. John, Jr. provides instructions on how this might be done safely; he believed it could be, but warned, "don't let them get you."


John Brown medal

John Brown medal
Creator: J. Wurden
Date: 1874
Gold medal showing a bust-length relief of John Brown on one side and an inscription in French on the reverse. The inscription translated reads, "In memory of John Brown, legally assassinated at Charlestown (sic), 2 December 1859, and to those of his sons and his companions, who died victims of their devotion to the cause of freedom for blacks." Members of the John Brown Association, a French abolitionist group, presented this medal to Mary Day Brown, the widow of John Brown, in 1877. Victor Hugo was a prominent member of this group and an outspoken supporter of Brown's activities. The Paris-based association explained its actions in a letter to the George Anthony, the Kansas governor, dated Feb. 2, 1878: "Just before the recent Franco-German war, a subscription committee was organized of French Republicans, for the purpose of presenting to the widow of John Brown a golden medal commemorative of the memory of her husband, of his sons, and of his companions, who died victims to their devotion to the cause of freeing the Blacks. The sending of this medal, delayed by political events, was effected on the 21st of October, 1874." The descendants of John Brown, represented by his son John Brown, Jr., donated the medal to the Kansas Historical Society in 1888.


Kansas Territory, U.S. District Court affidavit on John Brown, Jr. taking slaves

Kansas Territory, U.S. District Court affidavit on John Brown, Jr. taking slaves
Creator: United States. District Court (Kansas)
Date: May 28, 1856
An affidavit by William C. Childers from the Kansas Territory, U.S. District Court, 2nd District, Shawnee County in regards to John Brown, Jr. stealing slaves from William Jones, Prairie City, Kansas Territory.


Kansas Territory, U.S. District Court versus John Brown and others for conspiracy

Kansas Territory, U.S. District Court versus John Brown and others for conspiracy
Date: 1856-1858
Materials relating to the case of the Kansas Territory, U.S. District Court versus John Brown, John Brown Jr., O. C. Brown, O. V. Dayton, Alexander Gardner, Richard Mendenhall, Charles A. Foster, Charles H. Crane, William Partridge, and William Chestnut, on the charge of conspiracy.


Kansas Territory, U.S. District Court versus John Brown, Jr.

Kansas Territory, U.S. District Court versus John Brown, Jr.
Date: March 06, 1860-June 21, 1860
Materials relating to the case of the Kansas Territory, U.S. District Court versus John Brown Jr. on the charge of contempt.


Kansas Territory, U.S. District Court versus John Brown, Jr. for horse stealing

Kansas Territory, U.S. District Court versus John Brown, Jr. for horse stealing
Date: 1856-1857
Materials relating to the case of the Kansas Territory, U.S. District Court versus John Brown, Jr., on the charge of grand larceny for stealing a horse from George R. Hopper on May 23, 1856 in Lykins County, Kansas (now Miami County). Second District Judge Sterling G. Cato issued a subpeona for the testimony of Thomas Kelly, Charles A. Foster, Samuel M. Merrill, Joseph B. Higgins, William Collis, Harvey Jackson, and William Chestnut.


Muster Roll of Captain John Brown's Company, Fifth Regiment, 1st Brigade,  Kansas Volunteers

Muster Roll of Captain John Brown's Company, Fifth Regiment, 1st Brigade, Kansas Volunteers
Date: December 12, 1855
This muster roll identified men who served in the Wakarusa War from November 27 to December 12, 1855. The fifth regiment was commanded by Col. George W. Smith, and this company was recruited from the area around Osawatomie, Kansas Territory. The information provided included name, rank (if an officer), and age. Officers, in addition to Captain John Brown, were William Updegraff, Henry H. Williams, James J. Holbrook, Ephraim Reynolds, R. W. Wood, Frederick Brown, John Yelton, Henry Alderman, H. Harrison Updegraff, Daniel W. Collis, and William Partridge. William Partridge furnished one keg of powder and 8 pounds of lead that were used by the company. This was a small company, and its other members were Amos D. Alderman, Francis Brennon, William W. Caine, Benjamin L. Cochran, Jeremiah Harrison and John Brown's sons John, Jr., Owen, and Salmon. Ages of the company ranged from 19 to 55 years old.


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