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Bird's Eye View of Concordia, Cloud County, Kansas

Bird's Eye View of Concordia, Cloud County, Kansas
Creator: Stoner, J. J.
Date: 1879
This lithograph is a bird's eye view of Concordia, Cloud County, Kansas. The legend at the bottom identifies the following: Concordia College, the high school, the Courthouse, several churches including a Swedish Baptist Church, hotels, a livery stable, a feed stable, the U. S. Land Office, two commercial land offices, two law offices, and the Concordia Mill. Street names are given. A railroad is shown but the company is not identified. The lithograph was published by J. J. Stoner of Madison, Wisconsin.


Bounty Land Grant for Franklin Loomis Crane

Bounty Land Grant for Franklin Loomis Crane
Creator: United States. General Land Office
Date: June 1, 1860
A bounty land grant was originally issued to Oliver Brown, a private during the War of 1812. This document declares that the tract of land described has been turned over to Franklin Crane, a resident of Topeka, who most likely purchased it from the original owner. This was done in accordance with an act of Congress passed on March 3, 1855, entitled "An Act in addition to certain Acts granting Bounty Land to certain Officers and Soldiers who have been engaged in the Military Service of the United States." It was signed by President James Buchanan.


Charles Robinson to Sara Robinson

Charles Robinson to Sara Robinson
Creator: Robinson, Charles, 1818-1894
Date: January 6, 1859
From Washington, D.C., Charles Robinson wrote his wife, Sara, back home in Lawrence, Kansas Territory, regarding land and railroad issues that he was working on behalf of in the capital. Robinson briefly addresses issues having to do with Indian land disputes, but focuses even more on the competition for railroads being fought out in Washington between Lawrence, Leavenworth, and Kansas City. ". . . Lawrence must fight its own battles . . . . I hope to be able to make Lawrence a point on both roads before we get through." [For more information on this battle over railroads, see I. E. Quastler, "Charting a Course: Lawrence, Kansas, and Its Railroad Strategy, 1854-1872," Kansas History 18 (Spring 1995): 18-33. For a time, civic and business leaders sought to make Lawrence the regional rail center with an aggressive promotion's plan, but they ultimately, and perhaps inevitably, lost the prize to Kansas City; this piece is largely drawn from the author's 1979 book-length study, "The Railroads of Lawrence."]


James Henry Lane vs. heirs of Gauis Jenkins

James Henry Lane vs. heirs of Gauis Jenkins
Date: ca. 1860
This document, prepared by Mssrs. Mitchell and Weer, attorneys for James Lane who represented him in his infamous land ownership conflict with Gauis Jenkins, recounts a detailed chronology surrounding the circumstances of each man's ownership of the float. Lane, who ultimately shot and killed fellow free-stateman Jenkins as a result of the dispute, maintained that he was the legitimate owner of the float, despite his extended absences from it. Within the details of the conflict, as described in this pamphlet, are included chronologies of Lane's service as a free-state representative in Washington and as a general of the free-state militia.


Kansas: a description of the country, its soil, climate & resources

Kansas: a description of the country, its soil, climate & resources
Creator: Parrott, Marcus J. (Marcus Junius), 1828-1879
Date: March 1856
This pamphlet provides people emigrating to Kansas with practical and reliable information about soil, timber, stone, coal, water, roads, postal facilities, climate, surveys, inhabitants, towns and town sites, routes, and politics.


Kansas land survey plats

Kansas land survey plats
Creator: U.S. Surveyor General of Kansas and Nebraska
Date: 1855-1861
The U.S. Surveyor General began surveying Kansas after the passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854. Plat maps were created at that time to document the surveys. The plats show public lands within the territory divided by range, township and section. Townships were measured in six mile increments starting from the Kansas-Nebraska border. Ranges were numbered in six mile increments east and west from the Sixth Prime Meridian, which crosses through present day Wichita, Kansas. This system is still the basis for legal land description in the state. The Kansas Historical Society acquired a collection of these original plats previously held by the Kansas Secretary of State. The National Archives and the Bureau of Land Management also hold copies of the plats. The sixteen plats presented here are from the Kansas Historical Society collection but are not included in the National Archives copies. These plats cover portions of Douglas, Jefferson, Johnson, Shawnee and Wyandotte counties. Kansas land surveyors are the most frequent users of these maps. They use them to verify section corners when surveying land. A complete collection of the original plats is available in the Society's Center for Historical Research. The plats are also available on microfilm (AR 137-143). For more information on these plats and the accompanying field notes, click on the Land Survey Maps link below.


Land Office, Kickapoo, Kansas Territory, notice

Land Office, Kickapoo, Kansas Territory, notice
Creator: United States. General Land Office
Date: June 12, 1858
Issued by John W. Whitfield, land office register and former proslavery territorial delegate to Congress, on June 12, 1858, this one-page notice informed Sol Miller of a counter claim made against some preemption land in which Miller (referred to as "an adverse claimant") apparently held an interest. The notice was also signed by Daniel Woodson, receiver, who had served as the first secretary of the territory of Kansas and on several occasions in 1855 and 1856 as acting governor.


Lands in the New York Indian Reserve, Kansas Territory

Lands in the New York Indian Reserve, Kansas Territory
Creator: Wilson, Joseph S
Date: September 10, 1860
This printed circular is a synopsis of the President's Proclamation No. 667, which describes the process for acquiring land in the former New York Indian Reserve in Kansas Territory. It includes provisions for those who have pre-empted land and for land claimed by native Americans. Sale are handled by the General Land Office at Fort Scott, Kansas Territory.


Land warrant correspondence

Land warrant correspondence
Creator: Adams, Henry J.
Date: October 7, 1862
These two items deal with the manner in which warrants were handled by the General Land Office a number of years after the founding of that office. The first item is a signed document indicating that "Elizabeth Iron Sides is the Job Surveying heir of Thar-cah-mi-qui, a Shawnee Indian deceased, and that she is competent to manage her own affairs and dispose of her property." The document was signed by Shawnee Chief Charles Bluejacket and Shawnee Chief Eli Blackhoof, as well as Matthew King and Solomon Maden. The second item is a letter from Henry J. Adams to George A. Root of the Kansas Historical Society. In the letter to Root, Adams explains that warrants were typically handled in such a way "for many years following the organization of the Federal Land Office."


Pre-emption certificate issued to Jack H. Martin for land in Atchison County

Pre-emption certificate issued to Jack H. Martin for land in Atchison County
Creator: United States. General Land Office
Date: November 10, 1859
The U.S. government's Kickapoo land office, over President James Buchanan's signature, issued this printed "Pre-emption Certificate" to Jack Martin on November 10, 1859, for 180 acres in Atchison County, Kansas Territory.


Robert McBratney

Robert McBratney
Creator: Colville, Photographer
Robert McBratney was a native of Ohio who moved to Kansas Territory in 1857. He originally settled in Atchison and owned half of the Squatter Sovereign. The other half was owned by Samuel Pomeroy and Thaddeus Hyatt and under their ownership it became a free state newspaper. He was involved in railroad development in Kansas Territory. In 1861, he moved to Junction City where he had been named register of the land office.


Robert S. Stevens to Orville Chester Brown

Robert S. Stevens to Orville Chester Brown
Creator: Stevens, Robert S.
Date: February 18, 1860
This letter, written by Robert Stevens while in Washington, D. C., was addressed to Orville C. Brown, Osawatomie, Kansas Territory. It informed Brown that the Land Office had decided that all entries of town sites made by Kansas probate judges were null and void. Stevens inquired as to whether Osawatomie had a formal municipal organization. He also urged Brown to discuss this issue with no one, in order to prevent others from jumping the town site.


Robitaille land claim in Lawrence, Kansas Territory

Robitaille land claim in Lawrence, Kansas Territory
Creator: Moore, Ely
Date: May 14, 1857
This printed form was sent to the agent of the New England Emigrant Aid Company to inform him of a land claim by Robert Robitaille, a Wyandot Indian, to a portion of the city of Lawrence, Kansas Territory. It is from the General Land Office in Lecompton, Kansas Territory, and is signed by Ely Moore, register and William Brindle, receiver. William Lykins and Achilles Ward are mentioned in the description of the property being disputed.


Sale of public lands, Kansas Territory

Sale of public lands, Kansas Territory
Creator: Hendricks, Thomas A.
Date: July 21, 1858
This 1858 flyer announced the sale of various public lands in Lecompton and Kickapoo, Kansas Territory.


Samuel Lyle Adair to John Brown

Samuel Lyle Adair to John Brown
Creator: Adair, Samuel Lyle, 1811-1898
Date: October 2, 1857
Samuel Adair wrote his brother-in-law John Brown from Osawatomie on October 2, 1857, to explain why he could not come see Brown in Iowa. Much of letter describes the general poor state of health in his locale, but he also comments on the political and especially the prospects for free state success in the upcoming election--Adair was not optimistic.


Thomas A. Hendricks to John A. Halderman

Thomas A. Hendricks to John A. Halderman
Creator: Hendricks, Thomas A.
Date: January 16, 1856
Thomas A. Hendricks, commissioner, General Land Office, Lecompton, writes J. A. Halderman of Leavenworth, Kansas Territory, regarding a request for information about the preemption laws. Hendricks indicates that circulars are being sent and briefly discusses Indian reserves that were not subject to preemption but, rather, were "to be sold by the United States, on account and for the benefit of said Indians."


Thomas Ewing, Jr., to Hamp B. Denman

Thomas Ewing, Jr., to Hamp B. Denman
Creator: Ewing, Thomas, 1829-1896
Date: February 23, 1860
Ewing's friend and business associate, Hamp B. Denman, went to Washington, D.C., to seek appointment as register of the U.S. Land Office in Lecompton. President Buchanan "--that damned old scoundrel!"--rejected Denman.


Thomas Ewing, Jr., to Thomas Ewing, Sr.

Thomas Ewing, Jr., to Thomas Ewing, Sr.
Creator: Ewing, Thomas, 1829-1896
Date: February 2, 1860
In a lengthy letter to his father back in Lancaster, Ohio, Thomas Ewing, Jr., provided some observations and analysis of the Kansas political scene, especially as it pertained to the forthcoming election of U.S. senators. The counties north of the Kansas River would likely get either Marcus J. Parrott or Samuel C. Pomeroy, and the latter worried Ewing primarily because he was an Atchison promoter.


U. S. Land Office, Lecompton, Kansas

U. S. Land Office, Lecompton, Kansas
Date: 1861
An exterior view of the U. S. Land Office building in Lecompton, Kansas, in 1861.


U.S. Land Office in Garden City, Kansas

U.S. Land Office in Garden City, Kansas
Date: 1885
This photograph shows men blocking the entrance of the C. J. Jones United States Land Office on Main Street in Garden City, Kansas. The photograph caption states that "50,000 acres of land were taken daily." A restaurant and bakery and a sign for Jones & Lauck in Garden City, Kansas are also visible.


William Weer, Brief for Applicant

William Weer, Brief for Applicant
Creator: Weer, William
Date: Circa 1856
William Weer served as legal counsel for the Wyandotte Reserve and presented this brief on behalf of William Lykins and Robert Robitaille apparently to the Commissioner of the Land Office at Lecompton, Kansas Territory. Lykins and Robitaille were attempting to receive a patent for land that was also claimed by the Lawrence Association, Gaius Jenkins, Charles Robinson, S. J. Livingston, George G. Mathews, and William Savage. The brief contained a short history of the Wyandot tribes removal west and various treaties involving land. The claim involved parts of the city of Lawrence. The brief cited various cases and laws upon which Mr. Weer based his arguments.


Willliam B. Shockley affidavit

Willliam B. Shockley affidavit
Creator: Shockley, William B.
Date: March 25, 1869
William B. Shockley, Clerk of the District Court at Cherokee County, testifies before Henry G. Sumner, Justice of the Peace of Cherokee County, concerning an armed band of men opposing the operation of a land office at Baxter Springs (Cherokee County). The band of two hundred and twelve armed men identified themselves as the Cherokee Neutral Land League. The League arrested or threatened persons associated with the land office and raided the office to steal its plat maps and land entries. The League was composed of many settlers of the Cherokee Neutral Lands, which lands were open for sale in 1866 by treaty with the Cherokee. The League's actions were an attempt to stop the construction of a railroad by the Missouri River, Fort Scott & Gulf Railroad whose recent purchase of the lands many considered illegal. James F. Joy represented the railroad. In May 1869, Governor James Harvey appealed for federal troops to help control settler violence.


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