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A.S. Harris to Thaddeus Hyatt

A.S. Harris to Thaddeus Hyatt
Creator: Harris, A S.
Date: September 22, 1856
A.S. Harris wrote from New York to Thaddeus Hyatt regarding an article in the Journal of Commerce that dealt with the upcoming Presidential election and the strife in Kansas. The clipping was attached to the letter, and it included a rather lengthy attack on emigrant aid societies.


Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln
Date: 1850s
A portrait of Abraham Lincoln. In December 1859, Lincoln traveled to the Kansas Territory and spoke at Elwood, Troy, Doniphan, Atchison, and Leavenworth. His speeches covered several issues including preventing the expansion of slavery, the theory of popular sovereignty, and the evils of states seceding from the Union. In 1860, Lincoln received the Republican party's nomination for president. Although Kansans liked him the delegation from the territory did not support his nomination. He won the election, and on February 22, 1861, at Independence Hall, Philadelphia, PA, Lincoln raised the United States flag bearing a 34th star, honoring Kansas as the newest state.


Albert D. Searl to Thaddeus Hyatt

Albert D. Searl to Thaddeus Hyatt
Creator: Searl, Albert D
Date: August 21, 1856
The author wrote from Tabor, Iowa to Thaddeus Hyatt, president of the National Kansas Committee. He began the letter by mentioning a skirmish between pro-slavery and free state forces somewhere between Lawrence and Topeka. This correspondence also deals with emigrant settlements within the territory, the shipment of weapons and provisions, and the morale among the emigrants as they struggled to make ends meet. Furthermore, Searl mentioned a great deal about James Lane and his activities within Kansas Territory.


Alfred Larzelere

Alfred Larzelere
Date: 1854-1860
Alfred Larzelere of Doniphan County was active in free state politics. He served as speaker of the Kansas House in 1859 and as a delegate to the Leavenworth constitutional convention. He was also a member of the Free State Central committee.


Amos Adams Lawrence to John Brown

Amos Adams Lawrence to John Brown
Creator: Lawrence, Amos Adams
Date: February 19, 1857
Amos Lawrence, Boston, sent John Brown $70 which had been donated by the people of East Jaffrey, New Hampshire, for Brown's "own personal use, & not for the cause in any other way than that. Lawrence did not believe Brown would receive much financial support from the National Kansas Committee: "the old managers have not inspired confidence, & therefore money will be hard for them to get now & hereafter."


Amos Adams Lawrence to John Brown

Amos Adams Lawrence to John Brown
Creator: Lawrence, Amos Adams
Date: March 20, 1857
While John Brown was touring the East in March of 1857 he received this letter from Amos Lawrence, Boston, who informed Brown that he (Lawrence) had recently "sent to Kansas near $14,000 to establish a fund" for the support of common and secondary schools. As a result, Lawrence wrote he was short of cash and could not give Brown what he had requested. Nevertheless, "in case anything shd occur while you are engaged in a great & good to shorten yr life, you may be assured that yr wife and children shall be cared for more liberally than you now propose."


Anna Margaret Watson Randolph, diary

Anna Margaret Watson Randolph, diary
Creator: Randolph, Anna Margaret Watson, 1838-1917
Date: August 17, 1858 - August 22, 1858
This brief diary, kept by Anna Margaret (Watson) Randolph, begins with her move to Kansas in an entry dated August 17, 1858. These six entries at the beginning of her diary provide details about her family's journey from Ohio to Kansas Territory, included a number of interesting accounts of their journey on a riverboat. Their boat ran aground several times and, interspersed among her descriptions of these difficulties, Anna wrote about her sister Mary Jane, the weather, and her personal observances of other passengers. She also filled her diary with her frustrations and concerns during their arduous journey west.


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.


Articles wanted for an outfit of fifty volunteers

Articles wanted for an outfit of fifty volunteers
Date: ca. January 1857
Among the articles itemized in this "Memorandum of articles wanted as an outfit for fifty volunteers to serve under my [John Brown?] direction during the Kansas war" are wagons, horses, blankets, frying pans, etc., at an estimated cost of $1,774.


Augustus Wattles to James Smith

Augustus Wattles to James Smith
Creator: Wattles, Augustus, 1807-1876
Date: June 18, 1857
From Lawrence on June 18, 1857, Augustus Wattles wrote Jas. Smith (Is this a Brown alias?) regarding affairs in Kansas Territory, specifically referring to several of the Free State Party's leaders: "Holmes' is at Emporia plowing. Conway's here talking politics. Phillips is here trying to urge the free State men to galvanize the Topeka Constitution into life. . . ." and Robinson had "dispirited the Free State party" by his absence from the legislature last winter, making it "difficult to make them rally again under him." Although one hears "much against Brown" he is "as good as ever."


Augustus Wattles to Thaddeus Hyatt

Augustus Wattles to Thaddeus Hyatt
Creator: Wattles, Augustus, 1807-1876
Date: December 3, 1860
This letter, written from New York by Augustus Wattles, was addressed to Thaddeus Hyatt, president of the National Kansas Committee. The main focus of the letter was on two proslavery men--Captain Doake and General Clark--who persisted in mistreating free state settlers along the Missouri-Kansas border. The letter also referred to Charles Jennison and to James Montgomery, whose band of free state militiamen was still active even into 1860. Wattles vehemently maintained that free state forces were only organizing for their own protection, not for a great insurrection as the Missourians believed.


Battle of Black Jack list of participants and casualties

Battle of Black Jack list of participants and casualties
Creator: Brown, John, 1800-1859
Date: June 2, 1856
According to this document listing the participants and those "men wounded in the battle of Palmyra or Black Jack," son-in-law Henry Thompson was "dangerously wounded."


Billings & Bryant to John Brown, bill of sale for horse wagon

Billings & Bryant to John Brown, bill of sale for horse wagon
Creator: Billings & Bryant,
Date: Between 1855 and 1859
The state of Iowa frequently served as a relatively safe haven for abolitionist John Brown and his followers during the late 1850s, and Iowa City was on the famous Lane Trail which carried many free-state activists and settlers to and from Kansas. This document, from "Billings & Bryant," indicates that the partners had received $100 from John Brown as payment "in full for a heavy Horse Waggon" that they agreed "to ship immediately to J B Iowa City, Iowa; care of Dr. Jesse Bowen." Bowen was a member of the Kansas Central Committee of Iowa who later lived in Leavenworth, Kansas Territory.


Certificate, James Abbott as Brigadier General

Certificate, James Abbott as Brigadier General
Date: July 15, 1857
James Lane, from the Headquarters of the Kansas Volunteers free state militia, issued this certificate to appoint James Abbott (Brigadier General of the 1st Brigade) to organize people to protect the ballot boxes during the upcoming elections. Election fraud, in the form of multiple votes cast by pro-slavery men, was a constant concern of free state supporters.


Certificate of Service, Franklin L. Crane, Jr.

Certificate of Service, Franklin L. Crane, Jr.
Creator: Kansas Volunteers for the Protection of the Ballot Box
Date: December 11, 1855
Franklin L. Crane, Jr., son of a prominent citizen in Topeka, Kansas Territory, served as a private from November 27 to December 11, 1855, in defense of Lawrence. This certificate of service was signed by several people active in the free state cause, including James H. Lane and Charles Robinson.


Charles A. Wright to Hiram Hill

Charles A. Wright to Hiram Hill
Creator: Wright, Charles A.
Date: January 4, 1857
Charles Wright wrote from Lawrence, Kansas Territory, to Hiram Hill, having recently recovered from an extended illness. Wright told him that "peace and quietness seam [sic] to reign throughout the Territory" and anticipated that Kansas would become a free state without too much more trouble from the border ruffians. He added that two new hotels were being built in town, one by Thaddeus Whitney, in order to accommodate the spring emigration rush. Wright directed Hill to write him in New York, as he would be traveling East for the next two months.


Charles A. Wright to Hiram Hill

Charles A. Wright to Hiram Hill
Creator: Wright, Charles A.
Date: April 14, 1856
Charles Wright writes from Lawrence, Kansas Territory, to Hiram Hill. Wright describes his recent experiences buying and selling cattle obtained from Missouri counties. He also mentions his purchase of town shares in Manhattan, Kansas Territory, and comments on the recent emigration rush, which was increasing demand for land, filling hotels, and causing rent to increase. Wright feels optimistic about the future of peace in Kansas, having heard a story about Governor Reeder's feeling for the same.


Charles A. Wright to Hiram Hill

Charles A. Wright to Hiram Hill
Creator: Wright, Charles A.
Date: June 16, 1856
Charles Wright wrote from Lawrence, Kansas Territory, to Hiram Hill. Wright spoke passionately about the free state cause after the Sack of Lawrence and the Pottawatomie Massacre, imploring "eastern friends" for help. In Wright's words, "talk will do no good that time is past what we now need is men money and rifles". He added that southerners were "using every effort" to drive free staters from the Territory. U.S. Troops were attempting to disband the ruffians, though according to Wright they only dispersed and reorganized elsewhere.


Charles Blair and John Brown, contract for fabrication of spears

Charles Blair and John Brown, contract for fabrication of spears
Creator: Blair, Charles
Date: March 30, 1857
Executed on March 30, 1857, with this agreement Blair promised to produce and deliver "One Thousand Spears; with handles fitted of equal quality to one doz already made and sent to Springfield, Mass." Specifications are briefly described, and then the contract reads: "In consideration whereof, John Brown late of Kansas" agreed to make a partial payment of $500 within ten days and another $450 as a final payment thirty days later.


Charles Blair to  John Brown

Charles Blair to John Brown
Creator: Blair, Charles
Date: March 20, 1857
During his 1857 fund raising tour, Brown made arrangements with a Connecticut blacksmith, Charles Blair, for the production of a number of spears or "pikes" for use in the Kansas territory. On March 20, Blair wrote from Collinsville that he had the first dozen "spears" ready to send and was eager to see Brown to work out the details for the production of more. (He wrote of production details and cost estimates--this first dozen would cost $12 if Brown decided he wanted no more.)


Charles Blair to John Brown

Charles Blair to John Brown
Creator: Blair, Charles
Date: April 15, 1857
On April 15, 1857, Blair wrote Brown regarding the latter's report to him that the National Kansas Committee had turned down his request for funds to cover the first payment on the spears. Blair had stopped production, awaiting "further order from you," but said he was willing to make 500 instead of 1000 for the same rate.


Charles Blair to John Brown?

Charles Blair to John Brown?
Creator: Blair, Charles
Date: August 27, 1857
Charles Blair once again wrote to John Brown regarding the spears, the production of which was on hold. Blair couldn't afford to proceed on his own account (even though he didn't expect much of a profit) and thought the situation in Kansas might have taken "such a turn" that the weapons might no longer be needed there.


Charles Chadwick to Hiram Hill

Charles Chadwick to Hiram Hill
Creator: Chadwick, Charles
Date: December 14, 1859
Charles Chadwick wrote from Quindaro, Kansas Territory, to Hiram Hill in Massachusetts. Chadwick reported that the Republicans (anti-slavery supporters) had been successful in recent elections. However, the economy was worse than the year before, according to Chadwick, money was scarce, and the city of Quindaro had not started collecting property taxes because the amounts would exceed the value of the property. A newspaper "The Kansas Tribune" had begun to circulate after a period in which there had been no newspaper, and the Parkville and Grand River Railroad was slated to be constructed through the town.


Charles H. Branscomb to John Brown

Charles H. Branscomb to John Brown
Creator: Branscomb, Charles H.
Date: September 22, 1856
From Boston, Massachusetts, Charles Branscomb wrote Brown a brief note conveying "fifty or one hundred dolls as a testimonial" from those who admired Brown's "conduct during the war."


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