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Kansas Memory has been created by the Kansas State Historical Society to share its historical collections via the Internet. Read more.



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Carry Nation poster

Carry Nation poster
Creator: Gillin Print Company
Date: between 1901 and 1902
Large, rectangular color poster advertising an appearance by Carry Nation, a temperance advocate who gained notoriety by attacking saloons. Her activities began in Medicine Lodge, Kansas, in 1899. A hatchet was her symbol because she often used the tool to smash saloon fixtures. In Nation's autobiography, The Use and Need of the Life of Carry A. Nation, she explained the genesis of this poster. While jailed in Topeka for smashing saloon fixtures in July 1901, Nation received a letter from James Furlong, manager of the Lyceum Theater in Rochester, New York. According to Nation, Furlong offered to bail her out of jail if she granted him some lecture dates. She agreed, was pardoned, and left almost immediately for a Chautauqua in Clarksburg, Ohio. Her lecture series continued across upstate New York.

Dorothea Dix correspondence

Dorothea Dix correspondence
Creator: Dix, Dorothea Lynde, 1802-1887
Date: undated, circa 1826-1963 (bulk 1853-1860s)
Dorothea Dix's papers consist of correspondence from Miss Dix to various people, as well as some correspondence in which Miss Dix was concerned, but not directly involved. Dix was an advocate for social welfare, particularly supporting the establishment and maintenance of mental hospitals for the mentally ill, disabled, or poor. She was instrumental in the proposed legislation of the "Bill for the Benefit of the Indigent Insane." During the Civil War, Dix was appointed Superintendent of Army Nurses. Much of the correspondence concerns Dix's efforts to bring lifeboats and other help to Sable Island in Nova Scotia, an area known for shipwrecks and where many with mental illnesses were sent, sometimes against their will. These papers are part of the historic psychiatry material in the Menninger Archives.

Kansas Woman's Christian Temperance Union Frances Willard memorials

Kansas Woman's Christian Temperance Union Frances Willard memorials
Date: 1923-1939
This material relates to memorials for Frances Willard, an American reformer for temperance and women's suffrage. She became president of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union in 1879 and held the position until her death in 1898. The collection includes printed materials relating to the Frances Willard Memorial Fund, Frances Willard Day (September 28th) Citizenship Programs, correspondence of Mary Evelyn Dobbs and Alice K. McFarland, and surveys detailing visits made by Frances Willard to local unions across Kansas. There are several other groups of official Kansas WCTU records on Kansas Memory. They can be found by selecting Collections - Manuscript - KWCTU/Mary Evelyn Dobbs.

Paul Robeson in concert, Topeka Municipal Auditorium

Paul Robeson in concert, Topeka Municipal Auditorium
Date: April 23, 1947
This program describes a concert by Paul Robeson at the municipal auditorium in Topeka, Kansas. Robeson was assisted by pianists William Schatzkamer and Lawrence Brown. Robeson was a well-known civil rights activist and musician who was blacklisted during the McCarthy era. He sang primarily classical music but closed the program with Negro folk songs.

Rose Cecil O' Neill

Rose Cecil O' Neill
Creator: F. De Maria & Co. N.Y.
Date: Between 1915 and 1920
This postcard shows suffragist Rose Cecil O' Neill, to the left, and her sister Callista O' Neill promoting the Nineteenth Amendment to grant women the right to vote in the Untied States. A professional illustrator and writer by trade, Rose also became the first female cartoonist in the United States. The comic strip consisted of a baby with a round face and body known as "Kewpie." Her illustrations appeared in a number of magazines from Ladies Home Journal to Good Housekeeping. The success from this character also helped Rose to use "Kewpie" as a champion for women's right to vote. She drew posters and cartoons showing the cupid babies wearing suffrage sashes and marching in parades. After the Nineteenth Amendment was ratified on August 18, 1920, Rose continued to use her art to advocated for women's causes.

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