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Curriculum - The Kansas Journey - Chapter 4: Kansas Territory: The Saga of Bleeding Kansas

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$200 Reward! for runaway slaves

$200 Reward! for runaway slaves
Creator: Williams, G.D
Date: June 7, 1860
Wanted poster offering a reward of $200 for the capture of two slaves from Saline County, Missouri. It includes the names and descriptions of the two slaves.


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.


Admit Me Free flag

Admit Me Free flag
Date: 1856
In 1856 this cotton and wool flag was used by Walter Whitehead in a rally at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, for Republican presidential nominee John C. Fremont. The oversized 33rd star and the words, "Admit Me Free" in the canton of the flag are in support of Kansas admittance as a free state. It was also used in the 1860 presidential campaign for Abraham Lincoln and other political campaigns.


Andrew H. Reeder portrait

Andrew H. Reeder portrait
Creator: Hall, Cyrenius
Date: 1880
Portrait of Andrew Horatio Reeder, 1807-1864, who was the first governor of Kansas Territory. In 1855, Reeder was removed from office by President Pierce and forced to leave Kansas when threatened with arrest for a charge of high treason issued by a pro-slavery grand jury. He escaped with the help of Thomas and Julia Stinson, who dressed him in women's clothing. In May 1856, Reeder disguised himself as a woodcutter (as depicted in this painting) and escaped via a steamboat on the Missouri River. Artist Cyrenius Hall painted this portrait in 1880.


Clarina Irene Howard Nichols

Clarina Irene Howard Nichols
Date: Between 1845 and 1861
This photograph is a studio portrait of Clarina Irene Howard Nichols. In 1854 Nichols joined the New England Emigrant Aid Society and moved her family to a claim in southern Douglas County, near Lawrence, Kansas Territory. Her husband died the next year and in 1856 Nichols moved the family to Wyandotte County where she became associate editor of the Quindaro Chindowan, an abolitionist newspaper. Nichols attended the Wyandotte Constitutional Convention in 1859 where she secured liberal property rights for Kansas women, equal guardianship of their children, and the right to vote on all school questions. Susan B. Anthony paid tribute to Clarina Nichols in her book, "History of Woman Suffrage."


Dr. John Doy's carbine

Dr. John Doy's carbine
Date: 1859
Dr. John Doy used this Sharps carbine fighting border disputes in Franklin County, Kansas Territory, and at Ft. Titus. In January 1859, Doy was captured near Lawrence by pro-slavery Missouri forces and charged with aiding in the abduction of fugitive slaves. For six months Doy was held in a St. Joseph, Missouri, jail. Doy was rescued by ten of his free-state friends, led by Major James Abbott. Engraved in the carbine's stock is the phrase, "Successful Agent of the Irrepressible Conflict."


First Executive Office, Fort Leavenworth

First Executive Office, Fort Leavenworth
A photograph of the building where Governor Andrew H. Reeder established the first Executive office at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas Territory, from October 4, 1854 to November 24, 1854.


First house in Leavenworth, Kansas Territory

First house in Leavenworth, Kansas Territory
Date: c. 1855
A photograph of the first house in Leavenworth, Kansas Territory, which was built in 1855 on Olive Street between 4th and 5th Streets. A young African-American child is standing next to the house. The date of the photograph is not known.


James Henry Lane

James Henry Lane
Creator: Dudensing, R.
Date: Between 1860 and 1866
Portrait of James Henry Lane, 1814-1866, United States senator from Kansas, 1861-1866.


James Lane's telescope

James Lane's telescope
Creator: G. Willson
Date: 1855
Spyglass used by James Lane and other free-state leaders of Lawrence, Kansas Territory, in observing the movements of pro-slavers. Free state leaders wanted Kansas to enter the United States as a state prohibiting slavery and were based in Lawrence, Kansas. Many people who wanted Kansas to enter the United States as a state allowing slavery were based in Missouri. James Lane was a controversial figure who served as president of the Topeka and Leavenworth constitutional conventions and was one of the state's two first U.S. senators (one senator represented the free staters and one represented the pro-slavers).


John Doy and rescue party

John Doy and rescue party
Creator: DaLee, Amon Gilbert
Date: 1859
On January 25, 1859, free state activists Dr. John Doy and his son, Charles, left Lawrence, Kansas Territory, for Nebraska with 13 slaves. They were captured when only twelve miles out of Lawrence, and were taken to Weston, Missouri. The two Doys had an examination at Weston and were committed to jail at Platte City, Missouri, for the crime of abducting slaves. They remained in jail until March 20, 1859, then moved to St. Joseph, Missouri, where Dr. Doy was tried. After the trial, Charles Doy was set free. However, the first jury could not agree on a verdict for Dr. Doy, and he was tried a second time. At the second trial, he was convicted and sentenced to five years in the penitentiary. While being held in the St. Joseph jail, he was freed by friends from Kansas Territory on July 23, 1859. People in the ambrotype are: (l to r) Major James B. Abbott, Captain Joshua A. Pike, Jacob Senix, Joseph Gardner, Thomas Simmons, S. J. Willis, Captain John E. Stuart [Stewart], Charles Doy, Silas Soule, George R. Hay, and Dr. John Doy (seated in front). The ambrotype was taken at Lawrence, Kansas Territory, in the summer of 1859.


Kansas territorial census, 1855. District 17

Kansas territorial census, 1855. District 17
Creator: Johnson, Alex S.
Date: January-February, 1855
This census was taken in order to determine eligible voters for elections to be held as proclaimed by Governor Andrew Reeder on November 10, 1854. The categories for information in the census were name, occupation, age, male, female, emigrated from, native of United States, naturalized citizen, declarant (intention to become a citizen), Negro, slave, and voter. Only white males over 21 were eligible to vote. The districts used for the census were the same as the election districts. A statistical summary of the census follows the enumeration pages. For District 17, the place of election was the house of B. F. Robinson. The boundaries of each district were described in Governor Reeder's proclamation and it is difficult to determine what counties were in each district. The 17th Dist was organized by a supplemental proclamation of the governor, Nov. 25, 1854. He declared that it seemed expedient that the first district should be divided to form the 17th district, which was located in the east part of the present Johnson county, quoted as to bounds as follows, (from the ex minutes, 1854, p. 24.) "beginning at the mouth of the Kansas river; thence up said river to the mouth of Cedar creek; thence up said creek to the Santa Fe Road; thence by said road and the Missouri State Line to the place of beginning."


Kansas territorial seal embossing stamp

Kansas territorial seal embossing stamp
Date: between 1854 and 1861
The Kansas territorial seal supposedly was engraved by Robert Lovett of Philadelphia from a design developed by Andrew H. Reeder, the first Territorial Governor of Kansas. The face features a pioneer holding a rifle and hatchet opposite Ceres (the goddess of agriculture) who stands next to a sheaf of grain. At their feet lie a tree and the axe that felled it. Between these two figures is a shield with a plow in the top compartment and a hunter stalking a buffalo below. Above the shield is a banner reading, "POPULI VOCE NATA." This Latin motto has been translated to read "Born by the voice of the people" or "Born of the popular will." The motto speaks directly to the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854, creating the territory and establishing popular sovereignty whereby voting residents would decide if Kansas became a slave or free state.


Lawrence, Kansas Territory

Lawrence, Kansas Territory
Creator: Rice, J. E.
Date: 1855
Copy of a drawing by J. E. Rice of part of Lawrence, 1855


Missourians going to Kansas to vote

Missourians going to Kansas to vote
Creator: Darley, Felix Octavius Carr, 1822-1888
Date: Between 1854 and 1860
An illustration showing Missourians going to Kansas to vote, drawn by Felix Octavius Carr Darley.


Nebraska and Kansas

Nebraska and Kansas
Creator: J. H. Colton & Co.
Date: 1854
This map of the Nebraska and Kansas territories by J. H. Colton shows forts, villages, missions, Indian lands, and various routes including the northern, central and southern routes of the Pacific Railroad; the Oregon route; the Santa Fe route; Cook's wagon route; Conde & Bartlet's route; and the route to Fort Smith. The map also includes an inset of parts of North, Central and South America; and the territory acquired from Mexico through the Gadsen Purchase. Woodcut illustrations include Indians, wolves, bear, deer, beaver, buffalo hunting, and settlers with wagon. The Kansas-Nebraska Act (1854) provided that each territory would decide whether or not to allow slavery through the constitution under which it would enter the union. In Kansas, this approach to managing the expansion of slavery (know as "popular sovereignty") precipitated a battle between proslavery and antislavery forces known as "Bleeding Kansas." This map is provided through a co-operative project between the Lecompton Historical Society and the Kansas Historical Society. Partial funding was provided by the Ross and Margaret Wulfkuhle Charitable Trust and the Freedom's Frontier National Heritage Area. Copies of this map are available for viewing at both the Kansas Historical Society and Lecompton Historical Society.


New England Emigrant Aid Company stock certificate

New England Emigrant Aid Company stock certificate
Creator: New England Emigrant Aid Company
Date: January 15, 1856
Dated January 15, 1856, this certificate of stock--one share--in the New England Emigrant Aid Company was issued to "John Brown Lawrence K.T."


Pike's Peak emigrants, St. Joseph, Missouri

Pike's Peak emigrants, St. Joseph, Missouri
Creator: Bierstadt Bros.
Date: 1859
An 1859 view of Pike's Peak emigrants in St. Joseph, Missouri, as photographed by the Bierstadt Bros., Photographers, of New Bedford, Massachusetts.


Ruins of the Free State Hotel, Kansas Territory

Ruins of the Free State Hotel, Kansas Territory
Creator: Robinson, Sara T. L. (Sara Tappan Lawrence), 1827-1911
Date: 1856
An 1856 illustration of the Free State Hotel ruins in Lawrence, Kansas Territory, as copied from "Kansas: Its Interior and Exterior Life" written by Mrs. Charles Robinson.


Samuel Reader self-portrait

Samuel Reader self-portrait
Creator: Reader, Samuel J.
Date: 1908
Self-portrait by Samuel Reader, an early settler and chronicler of territorial life in Kansas. This watercolor was executed in 1908, but based on an early daguerreotype photograph. Reader was an avid diarist who drew in his diaries and, later, his autobiography. During his lifetime, Samuel Reader was best known for his drawings and paintings of the Battle of the Big Blue and other Civil War experiences in Kansas.


Secretary's book for Moneka Woman's Rights Association

Secretary's book for Moneka Woman's Rights Association
Creator: Moneka Woman's Rights Association
Date: Between 1858 and 1860
This volume contains the minutes of meetings for the Moneka Woman's Rights Association. It also includes the organization's preamble, constitution, and list of members. Members were both male and female. Officers were elected quarterly. Most meetings consisted of an address and discussion of a particular question related to women's rights issues. They addressed letters to territorial constitutional conventions and to the Kansas Legislature and supported the work of Clarina (Mrs. C. I. H.) Nichols.


Shalor Winchell Eldridge and family

Shalor Winchell Eldridge and family
Date: November 1854
Shalor Winchell Eldridge and family in Westfield, Massachusetts.


Southern Rights flag

Southern Rights flag
Date: 1856
Pro-slavery forces carried this cotton flag while attacking the anti-slavery stronghold of Lawrence in Douglas County, Kansas Territory. Douglas County Sheriff Samuel Jones led the group that sacked Lawrence on May 21, 1856. A group of South Carolinians led by Captain F.G. Palmer and known as the Palmetto Guards participated in the attack, and flew their "Southern Rights" flag over the Herald of Freedom newspaper offices and the Free State Hotel before setting fire to and destroying the buildings. On Sept. 11, 1856, Palmer's men--and their flag--were captured on Slough Creek, near Oskaloosa, Jefferson County, by Free-State men led by Col. James Harvey.


Stephen A. Douglas

Stephen A. Douglas
Date: Between 1850 and 1861
Portrait of Stephen A. Douglas probably as U.S. Senator from the state of Illinois.


Topeka Constitutional Convention

Topeka Constitutional Convention
Creator: Orr, J. W.
Date: 1855
A view of a session of the 1855 Topeka Constitutional Convention in Topeka, Kansas Territory. This is a copy of a illustration from the December, 15, 1855, issue of "Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper."


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