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C. K. Holliday to Franklin Crane

C. K. Holliday to Franklin Crane
Creator: Holliday, Cyrus Kurtz, 1826-1900
Date: December 28, 1856
Writing from Meadville, Pennsylvania, Cyrus Holliday wrote to Franklin Crane concerning the need to make a lithograph of Topeka that could help attract emigrants during the upcoming season. He stated that Crane was an important asset for the Topeka Association. The rest of the letter dealt with other association business.


C. K. Holliday to Franklin Crane

C. K. Holliday to Franklin Crane
Creator: Holliday, Cyrus Kurtz, 1826-1900
Date: January 18, 1857
Cyrus Holliday wrote from Meadville, Pennsylvania, to Franklin Crane, a prominent citizen in Topeka, Kansas Territory. Holliday discussed his efforts in Washington, D. C., as well as the elections, railroads, and the Topeka Bridge. He stated that it was important that the next Kansas delegate to Congress be from Topeka, as this would not only promote the interests of the Topeka community, it would also improve the status of Crane and Holliday's investments in Topeka.


Cyrus Kurtz Holliday

Cyrus Kurtz Holliday
Date: Between 1850 and 1855
A formal portrait of Cyrus Kurtz Holliday (1826-1900), of Topeka, Kansas. Holliday came to Kansas Territory in 1854 from Meadville, Pennsylvania. He was an agent for the New England Emigrant Aid Company, one of the founders of Topeka, and was the first president of the Topeka Town Association. He was very active in territorial political activities, including the Topeka movement, he was a delegate to the Topeka Constitutional Convention, and served in the Kansas State Senate in 1861. Holliday was also the first president of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway, and served as one of the railroad's directors for nearly 40 years.


Cyrus Kurtz Holliday to Alfred and Edgar Huidekoper

Cyrus Kurtz Holliday to Alfred and Edgar Huidekoper
Creator: Holliday, Cyrus Kurtz, 1826-1900
Date: September 20, 1858
Cyrus K. Holliday, founder and prominent citizen of Topeka, Kansas Territory, wrote to Alfred Huidekoper and Edgar Huidekoper, old associates from Meadville, Pennsylvania, to tell them of investment opportunities. He described rural claims, Town Act investments, and loans. He gave examples of large returns, including those gained by former governor Andrew H. Reeder. The time was ripe since Kansas' free statehood seemed certain, the land was titled, securities were assured, and financial difficulties had left some land and property owners with no option but to sell sacrificially. Holliday also confirmed the discovery of gold in western Kansas Territory (now Colorado).


Cyrus Kurtz Holliday to Mary Dillon Holliday

Cyrus Kurtz Holliday to Mary Dillon Holliday
Creator: Holliday, Cyrus Kurtz, 1826-1900
Date: February 6, 1859
Cyrus K. Holliday, soon to return to Topeka after a productive territorial legislative session in Lawrence, wrote to his wife, Mary Holliday, in Meadville, Pennsylvania. He wrote about a festival held at the Eldridge House, and reported on several other incidents of note: the arrest of John W. Doy, captured by Missourians while helping former slaves travel to Iowa; John Brown's avoidance of capture by [John P.] Woods (at the Battle of the Spurs on January 31, 1859); and Charles Fischer's escape after being twice arrested as "a fugitive slave." Holliday also wrote that the legislature had passed and Governor Samuel Medary would approve a bill granting Josephine Branscomb a divorce. Despite Holliday's efforts, the constitutional convention would be held at Wyandotte in July. He had refused [Alfred L.] Winans' request for a recommendation.


Cyrus Kurtz Holliday to Mary Dillon Holliday

Cyrus Kurtz Holliday to Mary Dillon Holliday
Creator: Holliday, Cyrus Kurtz, 1826-1900
Date: January 30, 1859
Cyrus K. Holliday wrote from Lawrence, Kansas Territory to his wife, Mary Holliday, who, accompanied by Mrs. Edward C. K. Garvey, had returned to Meadville, Pennsylvania to give birth to her second child. Meanwhile, Cyrus Holliday (who was Vice President of the upper territorial legislative body, the Council) had passed four bills, including one establishing Topeka as the Shawnee county seat. He bought new clothes for the session, since Lawrence had become more refined, with a new hotel. Holliday mentioned emigration to Pikes Peak, the Topeka bridge, trouble in L[i]nn county, and meeting three women, Mrs. Smith, Mrs. [Robert] Morrow, and Mrs. O'Donell (possibly Mrs. William O'Donnall) in Lawrence. He proposed that Liz, Mary Holliday's younger sister, return with her.


Cyrus Kurtz Holliday to Mary Dillon Holliday

Cyrus Kurtz Holliday to Mary Dillon Holliday
Creator: Holliday, Cyrus Kurtz, 1826-1900
Date: October 17, 1856
Three days after the Pennsylvania state election, Cyrus K. Holliday wrote from Monongahela House, a hotel in Pittsburgh, PA to his wife, Mary Holliday, in Meadville. The election results were unofficial, and Cyrus hoped that John C. Fremont, republican presidential candidate, had won at least by a slim majority, if not by the expected large margin. Concerned about the November 4th national election, Cyrus anticipated fraud in Kansas Territory and prayed that the people would "do right." He mentioned the counties in which he had spoken; his next stop, Philadelphia; and his planned return to counties near Meadville.


Cyrus Kurtz Holliday to Mary Dillon Holliday

Cyrus Kurtz Holliday to Mary Dillon Holliday
Creator: Holliday, Cyrus Kurtz, 1826-1900
Date: February 11, 1855
Cyrus K. Holliday wrote to his wife, Mary Holliday, in Meadville, Pennsylvania from Lawrence, Kansas Territory, where he had stopped on his way to visit Governor Andrew H. Reeder at the Shawnee Indian Mission. Holliday hoped to make the growing Topeka the capital of Kansas Territory. In Lawrence, a hotel keeper had died and George W. Brown, editor of the Herald of Freedom, was ill. Despite mail-delaying winter storms further east, the weather continued mildly. Holliday described his financial investments and requested money for his trip to Meadville, more urgent as the birth of their first child approached.


Cyrus Kurtz Holliday to Mary Dillon Holliday

Cyrus Kurtz Holliday to Mary Dillon Holliday
Creator: Holliday, Cyrus Kurtz, 1826-1900
Date: December 31, 1854
Cyrus K. Holliday wrote from Topeka, Kansas Territory, to his wife, Mary Holliday, in Meadville, Pennsylvania. He described living conditions in Topeka. Holliday expressed his intent to write to Mr. McFarland and his thanks for letters recently received. He mentioned Samuel Y. Lum, a Congregational minister, who was sleeping in his cabin. He also mentioned his presidency with the Topeka Town Association, agency with the New England Emigrant Aid Company, and his own business. Finally, Holliday expressed hopes of a sawmill and referred to the possibility of trouble with Missourians. A few lines have been cut and removed from the lower part of pages 7 and 8.


Cyrus Kurtz Holliday to Mary Dillon Holliday

Cyrus Kurtz Holliday to Mary Dillon Holliday
Creator: Holliday, Cyrus Kurtz, 1826-1900
Date: July 14, 1859
Cyrus K. Holliday wrote from the Wyandotte Convention to his wife, Mary Holliday, in Meadville, Pennsylvania. His efforts to ensure that Topeka would be the capital of Kansas Territory had set back his personal political career (territorially and nationally, that is; he had recently been elected mayor of Topeka). Cyrus anxiously awaited the return of Mary and their children, Lillie and newborn Charles.


Cyrus Kurtz Holliday to Mary Dillon Holliday

Cyrus Kurtz Holliday to Mary Dillon Holliday
Creator: Holliday, Cyrus Kurtz, 1826-1900
Date: March 31, 1859
Cyrus K. Holliday wrote from Topeka, Kansas Territory to his wife, Mary Holliday, who had returned to Meadville, Pennsylvania to give birth to their second child, Charles. Cyrus had been joined in Kansas Territory by his mother and two brothers, James T. and George K. Holliday. Cyrus sadly told of his mother's death at George's home in Wakarusa, Kansas Territory. He suggested that Mary wait to return to Topeka until May 1st, when Alfred Huidekoper of Meadville would issue him a loan. Cyrus also mentioned his political aspirations and two upcoming elections, the first at the Osawatomie Republican Convention, the second for delegates to the Wyandotte Constitutional Convention.


Cyrus Kurtz Holliday to Mary Dillon Holliday

Cyrus Kurtz Holliday to Mary Dillon Holliday
Creator: Holliday, Cyrus Kurtz, 1826-1900
Date: December 3, 1854
Cyrus K. Holliday, the founder of Topeka, Kansas Territory, wrote from Lawrence, Kansas Territory to his wife, Mary Holliday, in Meadville, Pennsylvania. He told her of his planned trip up the Kansas River, his pleasure in the people of Kansas Territory, and a Thanksgiving dinner he attended. Unwilling to return to Pennsylvania, Holliday expressed desire that Mary come to Kansas Territory and described the construction of a friend's sod-covered "mansion," one such as Clarina I. H. Nichols, a lecturer and writer, inhabited.


Cyrus Kurtz Holliday to Mary Dillon Holliday

Cyrus Kurtz Holliday to Mary Dillon Holliday
Creator: Holliday, Cyrus Kurtz, 1826-1900
Date: November 18, 1854
Cyrus K. Holliday wrote from Lawrence, Kansas Territory to his wife, Mary Holliday, in Meadville, Pennsylvania. This letter was to be delivered by Mr. Ingrams, and Holliday expressed the possibilities of following shortly or of staying in Lawrence to make business arrangements and put up a building in the spring. He expressed his delight in the country of Kansas and the site of a new city (not named, but likely Topeka). A Pennsylvania company of emigrants, unprepared for the journey and now suffering, had settled in Lawrence and Council Grove.


Cyrus Kurtz Holliday to Mary Dillon Holliday

Cyrus Kurtz Holliday to Mary Dillon Holliday
Creator: Holliday, Cyrus Kurtz, 1826-1900
Date: December 10, 1854
Cyrus K. Holliday, founder of Topeka, Kansas Territory, wrote from "Up the River," Kansas Territory to his wife, Mary Holliday, in Meadville, Pennsylvania, describing the difficult living conditions for him and the other men at the future site of Topeka, where they had been visited by Governor Andrew H. Reeder. Holliday assured his wife of his health and requested that she explain to Mr. Drew Lowry and Mr. McFarland in Pennsylvania why he had not written. He praised the beauty of the country and expressed his vision of its future, ending with a request that she write to him.


Cyrus Kurtz Holliday to Mary Dillon Holliday

Cyrus Kurtz Holliday to Mary Dillon Holliday
Creator: Holliday, Cyrus Kurtz, 1826-1900
Date: December 17, 1854
Cyrus K. Holliday, the founder of Topeka, wrote from Topeka, Kansas Territory to his wife, Mary Holliday, in Meadville, Pennsylvania, mentioning difficulties but emphasizing his love for her and his desire that they be reunited soon. He compared the local landscape to the Italian countryside. Uncertain as to the time of his return, he wrote that he must stay to oversee business.


Cyrus Kurtz Holliday to Mary Dillon Holliday

Cyrus Kurtz Holliday to Mary Dillon Holliday
Creator: Holliday, Cyrus Kurtz, 1826-1900
Date: December 24, 1854
Cyrus K. Holliday, founder of Topeka, Kansas Territory, wrote from Lawrence, Kansas Territory, to his wife, Mary Holliday, in Meadville, Pennsylvania. After three weeks at the future site of Topeka, Holliday was glad for city comforts. He mentioned the site's beauty, the prospect of building a house on his farm claim, and his personal success since leaving Meadville. On December 18, 1854, he had been unanimously elected President of the Topeka Town Association and appointed temporary agent of the New England Emigrant Aid Company. The bottom two-thirds of page 3 and 4 (which contained Holliday's signature) have been cut and removed.


Cyrus Kurtz Holliday to Mary Dillon Holliday

Cyrus Kurtz Holliday to Mary Dillon Holliday
Creator: Holliday, Cyrus Kurtz, 1826-1900
Date: January 7, 1855
Cyrus K. Holliday wrote from Topeka, Kansas Territory to his wife, Mary Holliday, in Meadville, Pennsylvania. After a loving introduction, he described Kansas Territory's sunny, breezy climate. Holliday mentioned letters received from his brother and Mr. Thomas Willson, both named in previous letters, who also wanted to emigrate. He described the principle building in Topeka, which served as meeting hall, hotel, and church, and where he slept with Frye W. Giles, a free state supporter from Chicago. Holliday ended with concern for Lizzie, Mary Holliday's younger sister.


Cyrus Kurtz Holliday to Mary Dillon Holliday

Cyrus Kurtz Holliday to Mary Dillon Holliday
Creator: Holliday, Cyrus Kurtz, 1826-1900
Date: December 6, 1855
Cyrus K. Holliday wrote briefly from Free State Headquarters in Lawrence, Kansas Territory to his wife, Mary Holliday, in Meadville, Pennsylvania, describing the number and location of surrounding Proslavery forces and of Free State forces gathered in Lawrence. Cyrus had been working for peace, but was prepared to fight in a shortly expected attack.


Cyrus Kurtz Holliday to Mary Dillon Holliday

Cyrus Kurtz Holliday to Mary Dillon Holliday
Creator: Holliday, Cyrus Kurtz, 1826-1900
Date: March 18, 1855
Writing from Topeka, Kansas Territory to his wife, Mary Holliday in Meadville, Pennsylvania, Cyrus K. Holliday joyfully reported receiving a letter from her. He planned to return to Meadville by the middle of April. He encouraged their friend Mr. Ingram to consider returning to Kansas Territory, but cautioned that investing in property was like buying lottery tickets. Holliday described cold weather, with snow indoors and out, and also inquired after family members' health.


Cyrus Kurtz Holliday to Mary Dillon Holliday

Cyrus Kurtz Holliday to Mary Dillon Holliday
Creator: Holliday, Cyrus Kurtz, 1826-1900
Date: April 1, 1855
Cyrus K. Holliday wrote from Topeka, Kansas Territory to his wife, Mary Holliday, in Meadville, Pennsylvania. He described the Territorial Legislature election of March 30, 1855, in which he was a Representative candidate for the Fourth District (in the third election district). Missourians had taken charge of the polls, and Holliday, along with other free state Kansas Territory citizens, did not vote. He assured his wife that Kansas would be a free state. Business in growing Topeka continued to delay his return to Meadville. Holliday also alluded to the recent birth of their child and mentioned his ragged clothing.


Cyrus Kurtz Holliday to Mary Dillon Holliday

Cyrus Kurtz Holliday to Mary Dillon Holliday
Creator: Holliday, Cyrus Kurtz, 1826-1900
Date: July 29, 1855
Cyrus K. Holliday wrote letters from several cities to his wife, Mary Holliday, after leaving their home at Meadville, Pennsylvania to return to business at Topeka, Kansas Territory. Once in Lawrence, K. T., he reported the political situation to his wife. Governor Andrew H. Reeder, who expected violence, and the fraudulently elected Territorial Legislature were at loggerheads. (Holliday had been elected to the Legislature in a reelection called by Governor Reeder during Holliday's absence, but the reelection results were rejected by the Legislature). Holliday also mentioned the good corn crop and warm weather and expressed his love for his wife and daughter, Lillie, born March 18.


Cyrus Kurtz Holliday to Mary Dillon Holliday

Cyrus Kurtz Holliday to Mary Dillon Holliday
Creator: Holliday, Cyrus Kurtz, 1826-1900
Date: August 12, 1855
Cyrus K. Holliday wrote from Lawrence, Kansas Territory to his wife, Mary Holliday, in Meadville, Pennsylvania of his journey to Kansas City to obtain a land warrant for Topeka and to attend the Free State Convention. Two of his articles had been published in The Herald of Freedom, a Lawrence newspaper, and he sent copies. Mentioning political difficulties, Holliday suggested that his wife wait until fall to travel to Kansas. He rented out his cabin in Topeka for profit. A deadly cholera epidemic at Fort Riley had ended.


Cyrus Kurtz Holliday to Mary Dillon Holliday

Cyrus Kurtz Holliday to Mary Dillon Holliday
Creator: Holliday, Cyrus Kurtz, 1826-1900
Date: July 2, 1856
Cyrus K. Holliday wrote from Topeka, Kansas Territory, where hundreds of free state supporters were gathering for a Mass Convention on the 3rd and meeting of the free state legislature on the 4th, to his wife, Mary Holliday, in Meadville, Pennsylvania. Cyrus reported that U. S. dragoons from Fort Leavenworth and Fort Riley were camped around Topeka, since difficulty was expected. [In fact, U. S. and proslavery troops dispersed the free state legislature on the 4th.) Two companies of northern immigrants had been turned back at the Missouri River. Cyrus seemed skeptical that effective action would be taken against this outrage.


Cyrus Kurtz Holliday to Mary Dillon Holliday

Cyrus Kurtz Holliday to Mary Dillon Holliday
Creator: Holliday, Cyrus Kurtz, 1826-1900
Date: June 22, 1856
During a lull, Cyrus K. Holliday reported from Topeka, Kansas Territory to his wife, Mary Holliday, in Meadville, Pennsylvania that Colonel Edwin V. Sumner had forced proslavery troops back to Missouri and camped on the border. Two free state men from Wisconsin had killed proslavery supporters near Osawatomie. Governor Wilson Shannon had resigned. A "large mass convention" was planned for July 2nd and 3rd, with a meeting of the free state legislature on the 4th. Cyrus advised Mary and Mr. Nichols to wait until after the 4th to travel to the territory.


Cyrus Kurtz Holliday to Mary Dillon Holliday

Cyrus Kurtz Holliday to Mary Dillon Holliday
Creator: Holliday, Cyrus Kurtz, 1826-1900
Date: June 16, 1856
Cyrus K. Holliday of Topeka, Kansas Territory advised his wife, Mary Holliday, in Meadville, Pennsylvania, to read northern papers for news of Kansas. He repeated that she wait to come. Troops from Fort Riley and Fort Leavenworth led by Colonel Edwin V. Sumner gathered to battle proslavery forces led by General John W. Whitfield. Cyrus also mentioned a house and crops, receiving Mary's money and, despite difficulties, he praised Kansas as a home for settlers.


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