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Draft of the Wakarusa treaty

Draft of the Wakarusa treaty
Creator: Shannon, Wilson, 1802-1877
Date: December 08, 1855
On November 21, 1855, Charles W. Dow, a free-state man, was shot by Franklin N. Coleman, a pro-slavery leader, near Hickory Point, Douglas County, in a dispute over a claim. Sheriff Jones, of Douglas County, arrested Jacob Branson, who lived with Dow. Branson was subsequently taken from Sheriff Jones by a group of free-state men. Sheriff Jones and approximately 1500 militia volunteers from Missouri laid seige to Lawrence, claiming there was a rebellion. By December 8, the free-state forces, led by James Lane, Charles Robinson and Lyman Allen, convinced Governor Shannon that they were only planning to defend Lawrence, not go on the offensive. These documents, from what came to be called the "Wakarusa War," include an officer's commission and several discharges of members of the Kansas Rifles No. 1--the free-state militia--and a draft of the treaty that was signed by Lane, Robinson, and Governor Wilson Shannon to end the "war."


Exemption Roll, Kansas Militia for Precinct of Columbia, Madison County, 7th Brigade

Exemption Roll, Kansas Militia for Precinct of Columbia, Madison County, 7th Brigade
This undated document identified eight men from the Columbia precinct of Madison County, Kansas Territory, who were exempt from serving in the Kansas Militia. Four were exempted due to age (46 through 70 years old), one was a physician, and one was crippled. Exemption causes were not listed for two men. John W. Whistler was the commander of the 7th Brigade.


Free State Militia Companies: Personnel and Armaments

Free State Militia Companies: Personnel and Armaments
Date: November and December, 1855
This document lists general information about militia recruited by free state leaders during the Wakarusa War, which was conducted from November 27 through December 12, 1855. These troops gathered to defend Lawrence against an estimated 2000 Missourians. Details on the number of commissioned officers, non-commissioned officers and rank and file are provided for Companies A through I, Horse Company No. 1, and the headquarters company. The documents also listed the weapons available ("Sharpe's Rifles," "Other Arms," and "Cartridges"). A total of 349 men were recruited, equipped with 156 Sharpe's rifles, 169 other weapons, and 6807 cartridges. James H. Lane served as the brigadier general, and William Y. Roberts was the adjutant general. Colonels were Lyman Allen, M. A. Hunt, and C, K. Holliday. Majors were Jno. A. Wakefield, David Dodge, J. M Mitchell, Geo. W. Smith, Sr., Milton C. Dickey, and men with the last names of Thomas, Tuton, Sampson, and Yates. George W. Smith, Jr. was the Sergeant Major, A. H. Malory, Quartermaster; Jno. G. Crocker, Quartermaster Sergeant; Mr. Hunt, Commisary; and Dr. S. B. Prentiss and Dr. Foles, surgeons.


Gaius Jenkins

Gaius Jenkins
Date: Between 1854 and 1858
An ambrotype showing Gaius Jenkins, who was born in New York state in 1812. He and his wife came to Kansas City, Missouri in 1853, and they moved to Lawrence, Kansas Territory, in 1854. Jenkins was active in the free-state cause, serving as a colonel in the Free State Militia. He was taken prisoner along with John Brown, Jr., Charles Robinson and several others and held near Lecompton, Kansas Territory. On June 3, 1858, Jenkins was killed by James Lane over a land dispute in Lawrence.


Joseph Harrington Trego to Alice Trego

Joseph Harrington Trego to Alice Trego
Creator: Trego, Joseph H. (Joseph Harrington), 1823-1905
Date: January 24, 1858
Joseph Trego wrote from Sugar Mound, Kansas Territory, to his wife, Alice, at their family's home in Illinois. Trego described how, since the shelter being built around the mill equipment was not yet complete, the wind and rain interfered with their ability to work. Though the work was hard, he favored the milling business over other means toward income. Trego responded to a newspaper article from the Rock Island Advertiser that his wife had sent him, deeming their coverage of the Kansas troubles "sensational." He expected that Fort Scott would soon be destroyed by free state militiamen, as "Bourbon County Bandits" (proslavery supporters) had been harassing extensively free state supporters in the area. Despite all this disorder, the development prospects of Mound City, in Linn County, appeared favorable.


Kansas State Central Committee to Colonel Cooke

Kansas State Central Committee to Colonel Cooke
Creator: Kansas State Central Committee
Date: September 03, 1856
A letter from the Kansas State Central Committee to Colonel Philip St. George Cooke, in Lecompton. At the time of border conflict, this free-state committee sought protection from possible attack by Missourians.


Kansas Territory versus Carloss M. Day and others for assault with intent to kill

Kansas Territory versus Carloss M. Day and others for assault with intent to kill
Date: August 13, 1856
These warrants for the arrest of Carloss M. Day, Daniel Scannell, W. S. Hull, and Charles Day were issued by Douglas County Justice of the Peace Samuel Crane Sr. The four men were accused of assaulting multiple people in the house of Samuel Crane Sr. in Franklin (now part of present-day Lawrence), Kansas Territory. Free-soil forces led by James H. Lane attacked the pro-slavery town of Franklin in Douglas County on August 12, 1856.


Kansas Territory versus Ephraim Bainter and others for robbery

Kansas Territory versus Ephraim Bainter and others for robbery
Date: crime September 1856
This judicial case file relates to the charge of robbery against Ephraim Bainter and others on September 8 and 9 of 1856 in Osawkie, Kansas Territory. The affidavits of W. F. Dyer and James M. Tatum state 100 or more armed men led by Colonel Whipple arrived in Osawkie on September 8 and 9, 1856 and robbed the store of D. M. Raily and the store of W. F. Dyer and G. M. Dyer of thousands of dollars in merchandise as well as mules and horses. One of the men taking part in the robbery was identified as Ephraim Bainter. The men returned on September 13th, stating they had killed and wounded men at Hickory Point and threatened to drive all proslavery men out of town. Charles Whipple was the alias of Aaron D. Stevens, an abolitionist and associate of John Brown. Stevens was a member of the Kansas Militia and commanded a regiment of antislavery men during the Battle of Hickory Point on September 13 and 14, 1856.


Kansas Territory versus John Cleary for robbery

Kansas Territory versus John Cleary for robbery
Date: October 1856 - February 11, 1858
These legal documents relate to the case of the Kansas Territory vs. John Cleary for the robbery of Henry T. Titus on August 15, 1856 in Douglas County, Kanas Territory. Titus accused Cleary of assaulting him and stealing one of his horses. Cleary was indicted during the October term of 1856 by the First District Court. On August 16, 1856 the fortified cabin owned by Titus, a pro-slavery advocate, was attacked by free-state forces, resulting in the Battle of Fort Titus.


Kansas Territory versus Thomas Bickerton et al. for murder

Kansas Territory versus Thomas Bickerton et al. for murder
Date: September 1856
These legal documents relate to the case against Thomas Bickerton and others for murder in September of 1856 in the Kansas Territory. The charge was issued by proslavery Associate Justice of the Kansas Supreme Court and Second District Judge S. G. Cato. Thomas Bickerton served as a free state commander during the Battle of Hickory Point on September 13 and 14, 1856 at the settlement of Hickory Point in Jefferson County. Bickerton later served as a captain for the Union in the Civil War.


Muster Roll, Kansas Volunteers for the Protection of the Ballot Box, Jefferson County

Muster Roll, Kansas Volunteers for the Protection of the Ballot Box, Jefferson County
Date: 1857
The Kansas Volunteers for the Protection of the Ballot Box were free state supporters who were determined to see that fair elections were held in Kansas. James Lane was appointed to organize companies throughout the territory. General Order No. 1 (which may be found on this web site) included instructions for listing the members of each company. This muster roll was prepared as a result of that order. This company was recruited in Jefferson County, and its captain was Simeon Hull. The muster roll identified the officers and enlisted men, their age, birthplace, the location from which they came to Kansas, and their Kansas residence. The "Remarks" column was used to note if the company member had a weapon. [The ages of company members range from fifteen to fifty-six.]


Muster Roll, Kansas Volunteers for the Protection of the Ballot Box, Leavenworth County

Muster Roll, Kansas Volunteers for the Protection of the Ballot Box, Leavenworth County
Date: 1857
The Kansas Volunteers for the Protection of the Ballot Box were free state supporters who were determined to see that fair elections were held in Kansas. James Lane was appointed to organize companies throughout the territory. General Order No. 1 (which is found on this web site) included instructions for listing the members of each company. This muster roll was prepared as a result of that order. This company was recruited from the city of Leavenworth, and its muster roll identified the officers and enlisted men, their age, birthplace, the location from which they came to Kansas, and their Kansas residence. The captain was William Kempf. [All of the members are from Leavenworth, and their ages range from twenty-two to thirty-eight. With the exception of the 1st Lieutenant Joseph Mrosowsky, who was born in Poland, all of the members of the company were born in Germany though they had lived various places before coming to Kansas.]


Muster Roll, Kansas Volunteers for the Protection of the Ballot Box, Leavenworth County

Muster Roll, Kansas Volunteers for the Protection of the Ballot Box, Leavenworth County
Date: 1857
The Kansas Volunteers for the Protection of the Ballot Box were free state supporters who were determined to see that fair elections were held in Kansas. James Lane was appointed to organize companies throughout the territory. General Order No. 1 (which may be found on this web site) included instructions for listing the members of each company. This muster roll was prepared as a result of that order. This company was recruited in Leavenworth County from the areas of Walnut Creek and Fall Creek. The muster roll identified the officers and enlisted men, their age, place of birth, location from which they came to Kansas, and their Kansas residence. The "Remarks" column contained information about the members' weapons. The captain was Horace L Dunlap. The muster roll identifies two free state men who, according to Captain Dunlap, refused to enroll. [All of the members are from Leavenworth County, and their ages range from eighteen to sisty-six.]


Muster Roll, Kansas Volunteers for the Protection of the Ballot Box, Leavenworth County

Muster Roll, Kansas Volunteers for the Protection of the Ballot Box, Leavenworth County
Date: 1857
The Kansas Volunteers for the Protection of the Ballott Box were free state supporters who were determined to see that fair elections were held in Kansas. James Lane was appointed to organize companies throughout the territory. General Order No. 1 (which may be found on this web site) included instructions for listing the members of each company. This muster roll was prepared as a result of that order. This company was recruited in Leavenworth County from Delaware City. The captain was A. Cutter. The muster roll identified the officers and enlisted men, their age, birthplace, location from which they came to Kansas, and their Kansas residence. [The ages of company members range from eighteen to fifty-four.]


Muster Roll, Kansas Volunteers for the Protection of the Ballot Box, Leavenworth County

Muster Roll, Kansas Volunteers for the Protection of the Ballot Box, Leavenworth County
Date: 1857
The Kansas Volunteers for the Protection of the Ballot Box were free state supporters who were determined to see that fair elections were held in Kansas. James Lane was appointed to organize companies throughout the territory. General Order No. 1 (which can be found on this web site), included instructions for listing the members of each company. This muster roll was prepared as a result of that order. The company was recruited in Leavenworth County from the area of Easton. The captain was Joseph Hicks. The muster roll identified the officers and enlisted men, their age, birthplace, and the location from which they came to Kansas. Instead of listing where the company members lived in Kansas, this muster roll indicated how long they had been in Kansas under the column "Residence in Kansas." The "Remarks" column was used to indicate if the company member had a weapon. [The ages of company members range from eighteen to fifty-two.]


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.


Muster Roll of Captain Samuel Walker, Company D, Second Regiment, 1st Brigade, Kansas Volunteeers

Muster Roll of Captain Samuel Walker, Company D, Second Regiment, 1st Brigade, Kansas Volunteeers
Date: December 12, 1855
This muster roll identified men who served in the Wakarusa War from November 27 to December 12, 1855. The second regiment was commanded by Col. C. K. Holliday, and Company D was recruited from the area around Bloomington, Kansas Territory. The information provided included name, rank (if an officer), and age, and annotations about the value of property such as saddles, clothes, horses, etc. taken or destroyed by the "enemy." Officers are identified. [Ages of the company ranged from 17 to 50 years old.]


Northern division and independent companies, Kansas Territory militia

Northern division and independent companies, Kansas Territory militia
Date: 1855-1856
Correspondence relating to the militia, Northern division and Independent companies of the Kansas Territory. Some of the companies mentioned are the Kickapoo Rangers, Doniphan Tigers, Palmetto Rifles, Round Prairie Guards, and the Hampden Militia Company.


Southern division and independent companies, Kansas Territory militia

Southern division and independent companies, Kansas Territory militia
Date: 1855-1856
Correspondence relating to the Southern Division and independent companies of the Kansas Militia. Includes commissions issued by Colonel George W. Johnson of the 2nd Regiment for William F. Donaldson, John Riffel, George H. Cole, William J. Preston, John Shannon, Dr. B.C. Brooke, and others. Commissions were also issued for members of the Lecompton Riflemen, the Tustunuggee Mounted Rifles, and the Fort Scott Mounted Riflemen. Other correspondence includes orders from Governor Daniel Woodson to Major General Asbury M. Coffey in August 1856, the correspondence of Henry T. Titus and William A. Heiskell with Governor John W. Geary, and a petition from Captain John Donaldson of Company A, 2nd Regiment asking Governor Geary that his company be honorably discharged.


Territorial troubles correspondence, 1855-1856

Territorial troubles correspondence, 1855-1856
Date: 1855-1856
Correspondence relating to Kansas territorial troubles. Topics include interference with law enforcement and the movement of prisoners, reports of raids, and letters from militia leaders. Many of the documents are petitions from communities, including Leavenworth, Sugar Mound (now Mound City), Fort Scott, Westport, Council Grove, Pottawattamie, and Lawrence, seeking relief from robberies and harassment, and the protection of militia escorts. Petitions came from pro-slavery individuals as well, as evidenced by the September 23, 1856 letter written on behalf of citizens of Anderson and Coffey Counties being driven out by abolitionists. The antagonists in these letters include Colonel Whipple (also known as Aaron Dwight Stevens), Captain Frederick Emory, and Sterling Price. A proclamation by Governor Woodson, dated July 4, 1856, forbids the assembly of the "bogus legislature" in Topeka. Another proclamation, dated August 24, 1856, declares the territory to be in a state of open insurrection and rebellion. Other important events, such as the Pottawatomie Massacre and the Battle of Hickory Point, are also mentioned.


United States versus Hiram Crane et al. for robbing U S mail

United States versus Hiram Crane et al. for robbing U S mail
Date: 1856 - 1859
These legal documents relate to the case of the United States vs. Hiram Crane, Lewis J. Smith, Joel Grover, Adam McGee, Thomas McGee, Homer Hays, ? Wheeden Senior, ? Wheeden Junior, and ? Kennedy for robbery of United States mail. Crane and his associates are accused of stealing mail in Franklin (now part of Lawrence), Kansas Territory on August or September 12, 1856. The documents include details of other crimes committed by the group of men, including an assault upon the household of Samuel Crane. Franklin, a stronghold of proslavery supporters, was attacked on August 12, 1856 by free-soil forces from Lawrence.


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