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1855 rescue of free stater Jacob Branson

1855 rescue of free stater Jacob Branson
Creator: Abbott, James Burnett, 1818-1897
Date: Between 1855 and 1860
James Abbott, a free state activist who participated in several Kansas Territory conflicts (including the rescues of John Doy and Jacob Branson), wrote this account of the 1855 rescue of Jacob Branson. In his account, Sheriff Jones, supported by the proslavery "bogus" legislature, had arrested Jacob Branson, a free state man who witnessed the murder of Charles W. Dow by Franklin Coleman, a proslavery neighbor. Abbott and his cohorts successfully rescued Branson, although their actions were controversial even among fellow free state supporters. Certain aspects of Abbott's account of these events disagreed with an earlier account provided by Samuel Wood, and Abbott addressed those discrepancies in this document. [Abbott's account, obtained either by handwritten manuscript or personal interview, is presented here as an annotated typed transcript.]


A. Finch to Thaddeus Hyatt

A. Finch to Thaddeus Hyatt
Creator: Finch, H.
Date: December 22, 1856
This letter, written from Osawatomie by A. Finch to Thaddeus Hyatt, chairman of the National Kansas Committee, provided general information about the inhabitants of Osawatomie and neighboring areas. It included a list of about half of the settlers residing in Osawatomie at this time, including the four pro-slavery voters. Mr. Finch went into detail about the most fertile areas that would be excellent sites for free state settlements, and about the economic conditions and financial needs of the settlers.


A. G. Bradford to James Denver

A. G. Bradford to James Denver
Creator: Bradford, A. G.
Date: March 18, 1858
A. G. Bradford, writing from Washington, D.C., to Kansas Territory's governor James H. Denver, suggests that the effort to admit Kansas Territory as a state under the Lecompton Constitution likely would fail in the U.S. Congress. Bradford also seeks Denver's support for Bradford's attempt to receive an appointment as Superintendent of Indian Affairs and comments upon Denver's future political opportunities in California.


A. H. Reeder to Franklin Crane

A. H. Reeder to Franklin Crane
Creator: Reeder, Andrew H. (Andrew Horatio), 1807-1864
Date: November 28, 1859
Andrew Reeder, former governor of Kansas Territory, wrote from Easton, Pennsylvania to Dr. Franklin Crane of Topeka. The letter discussed business interests in Kansas Territory and prospects for its admission to the union. Reeder also suggested it might be beneficial to replace place names, which had been established by the bogus legislature, that had pro-slavery connections.


A. H. Reeder to Franklin Crane

A. H. Reeder to Franklin Crane
Creator: Reeder, Andrew H. (Andrew Horatio), 1807-1864
Date: September 1, 1858
Andrew Reeder, former governor of Kansas Territory, wrote from Easton, Pennsylvania, to inform Franklin Crane of the eastern response to elections in Kansas, and the prospects for the Leavenworth Constitution. Reeder also discussed the value of Topeka lots and a request to donate one lot for a church.


A. J. Bradford to James W. Denver

A. J. Bradford to James W. Denver
Creator: Bradford, A. G.
Date: April 1, 1858
A. G. Bradford, writing from Washington, D.C., to Governor James W. Denver, reports that the U.S. House of Representatives passes the Crittenden-Montgomery resolution, which proposed to resubmit the Lecompton Constitution to a vote in Kansas Territory. Bradford predicts, however, that a House-Senate conference committee would endorse the Senate's version of the Lecompton Constitution bill, which proposed the admission of Kansas as a state under the Lecompton Constitution. Bradford adds that he believes both houses of Congress would agree to admit Kansas under the Lecompton Constitution.


A. Pierse to Eli Thayer

A. Pierse to Eli Thayer
Creator: Pierse, A.
Date: March 31, 1857
A. Pierse wrote from Washington, D.C. to Eli Thayer in Worcester, Massachusetts. Pierse was born in North Carolina and lived most of his life in the South but had been living in Minnesota Territory for the past seven years. He told Thayer that he planned to move to Kansas in the spring of 1857. Pierse offered Thayer his opinion on what free state supporters should do in Kansas Territory. He informed Thayer that, although he had "Southern opinions on the subject of slavery" and believed the federal government had no right to prohibit slavery in the territories, he was "without prejudice for or against either side" in the debate over slavery in Kansas Territory. Pierse suggested that the best course for free staters to take would be to accept the Dred Scott decision, actively participate in the political process in Kansas Territory, and work for the admission of Kansas as a state with or without slavery. Once Kansas was admitted, he contended, free state supporters would be on firmer legal ground to advocate for the prohibition of slavery, since it was generally accepted that "the people have the power to prohibit slavery in their state." He concluded by stating that once Kansas was a state, free staters could make the case that property would be worth 3 or 4 times more if slavery was prohibited in the state.


A.S. Harris to Thaddeus Hyatt

A.S. Harris to Thaddeus Hyatt
Creator: Harris, A S.
Date: September 22, 1856
A.S. Harris wrote from New York to Thaddeus Hyatt regarding an article in the Journal of Commerce that dealt with the upcoming Presidential election and the strife in Kansas. The clipping was attached to the letter, and it included a rather lengthy attack on emigrant aid societies.


Abraham (Bullet Hole) Ellis

Abraham (Bullet Hole) Ellis
Creator: Martin Leonard V.
Date: Between 1850 and 1889
This sepia colored photograph shows Abraham (Bullet Hole) Ellis. Abraham was elected to the Kansas Territorial Legislature in 1858 and to the first Kansas state legislature of 1861. In 1862, Ellis was shot by William Quantrill, the bullet passed through a sash and fur cap, crushing both plates of the skull and lodging against the inner lining. It lay buried in the wound for seventy hours. Abraham wouldn't fully recover from the wound for five months. The ball and twenty-seven pieces of bone are now in the Army and Navy Medical Museum in Washington, D.C.


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.


Abstract of census returns

Abstract of census returns
Creator: Undersigned Citizens of Kansas Territory, John Stroup (first signature),
Date: 1859
This 1859 abstract of census returns shows information at the township level for most Kansas counties. Some counties are listed without data. The census lists the number of voters in three different ways--the number of votes cast June 7, 1859; number of voters on June 7, 1859 who were under 6 month provision; and number of voters under 3 month provision. It also lists the number of inhabitants. The election on June 7, 1859, was to elect delegates to the Wyandotte constitutional convention.


Achilles B. Wade

Achilles B. Wade
Date: Between 1850 and 1870
A portrait of Achilles B. Wade, a member of the first Legislative Council of Kansas Territory, known as the 'bogus' legislature.


Act establishing commission for treaties with Osage Indians a creation of trail

Act establishing commission for treaties with Osage Indians a creation of trail
Date: March 3, 1825
This act was written establishing a commission to make treaties with the Osage Indians to create the Santa Fe Trail and treaties with the Osage tribes.


Addison Danford

Addison Danford
Creator: Jacoby,
Addison Danford was a free state supporter and served as a delegate to the Leavenworth Constitutional Convention. At the time, he lived in Linn County, Kansas Territory. Danford moved to Fort Scott, Bourbon County, and served as Adjutant General of Kansas after the Civil War.


Address of the Constitutional Convention to American Public

Address of the Constitutional Convention to American Public
Date: April 3, 1858
A committee made up of John M. Walden, James Fletcher, Thomas Ewing, Jr., Isaac T. Goodnow, Henry J. Adams, T. Dwight Thacher, and Addison Danford prepared this eleven-page manuscript "address to accompany the instrument" adopted at the Leavenworth Constitutional Convention. The statement essentially laid out the philosophical foundations and rationale for the new document. It argued that the facts showed the overwhelming majority of Kansans desired admission as a free state.


Address to the American People on the Affairs of Kansas, pamphlet

Address to the American People on the Affairs of Kansas, pamphlet
Date: 1857
This address recounted the history and purpose of the formation of the Kansas State Government of Topeka, in peaceful opposition to that of the Territory. The free state message accused the systems of the Territorial Government of encouraging influence from abroad in their election process, and indicated that they had nothing inherently against Missouri's citizens as a whole, but implored that they not attempt to violate the rights of Kansas settlers. The address stated that the Territory was "organized for defence" by a pledge from Governor Walker, and appealed that outsiders remain in their homes for the benefit of all.


Adjournment from constitutional convention in Minneola, Kansas

Adjournment from constitutional convention in Minneola, Kansas
Date: March 23, 1858
Motion for adjourning the constitutional convention from Minneola in Franklin County to Leavenworth, Kansas. The motion states, "We have organized temporarily and are now getting ready to adjourn if possible to some other place to show our utter detestation of the Minneola Swindle." The controversy began when the Kansas Legislature passed a bill designating Minneola as the new state capital. The town existed only on paper, and the public accused the legislature and delegates attending the convention of looking for personal gain in establishing a new town. The motion to adjourn from Minneola received 60 votes in favor and 13 votes opposed. Isaac Goodnow wrote about the swindle to a friend on April 1st, 1858 (see Kansas Memory unit 3763).


Agreement, Construction of Office Building in Leavenworth

Agreement, Construction of Office Building in Leavenworth
Creator: Reeder, Andrew H. (Andrew Horatio), 1807-1864
Date: September 29, 1855
A. H. Reeder enters into an agreement with H. M. Hook for the latter to "erect" an office building on lot #8, block #3 of Leavenworth, Kansas Territory. Hook agrees to build the structure, "16 feet by 32 feet similar to the office of M. I. Parrot" (perhaps, Marcus J. Parrott) for $400. Hook is to be paid out of the rent received on this property when finished, as well as from what rent he receives on three other properties he has leased from Reeder.


Albert C. Morton to Hiram Hill

Albert C. Morton to Hiram Hill
Creator: Morton, Albert C.
Date: August 3, 1858
Albert Morton wrote from Quindaro, Kansas Territory, to Hiram Hill in Massachusetts. Morton had recently returned to Quindaro in order to vote on the Lecompton Constitution as submitted by the English bill. Having arrived there, he found the place to be "dull". Morton described many empty houses and buildings, left behind from settlers selling out to return home; money had also been lost in investments and bridges were washed out in floods. However, the Town Company had invested in a flour mill, which had commenced operations. Morton also discussed matters of buying and selling land warrants with Hill.


Albert C. Morton to Hiram Hill

Albert C. Morton to Hiram Hill
Creator: Morton, Albert C.
Date: September 21, 1857
Albert Morton wrote from Quindaro, Kansas Territory, to Hiram Hill in Massachusetts, apologizing for his prolonged silence due to a lengthy illness. Morton referred to the upcoming October election, which would select the members of the Territorial Legislature. He also spoke of Governor Walker's attempts to regulate the election process by requiring that all voters be residents of the Territory for at least six months prior to casting a vote. Morton added that Samuel Simpson was in town again, but that nothing had been settled regarding his questionable business practices.


Albert C. Morton to Hiram Hill

Albert C. Morton to Hiram Hill
Creator: Morton, Albert C.
Date: January 1858
Albert Morton wrote from Quindaro, Kansas Territory, to Hiram Hill in Massachusetts, describing at length the efforts of Quindaro's citizens to grade a large avenue through the town. Morton added that Quindaro was about to establish a city charter, which, if approved by the Legislature, would require the taxation of the citizens. He also mentioned a shooting the night before of a proslavery man who had lost his seat to free statesman Charles Chadwick in a recent election under the Lecompton Constitution.


Albert D. Searl to Thaddeus Hyatt

Albert D. Searl to Thaddeus Hyatt
Creator: Searl, Albert D
Date: August 21, 1856
The author wrote from Tabor, Iowa to Thaddeus Hyatt, president of the National Kansas Committee. He began the letter by mentioning a skirmish between pro-slavery and free state forces somewhere between Lawrence and Topeka. This correspondence also deals with emigrant settlements within the territory, the shipment of weapons and provisions, and the morale among the emigrants as they struggled to make ends meet. Furthermore, Searl mentioned a great deal about James Lane and his activities within Kansas Territory.


Albert G. Patrick

Albert G. Patrick
Date: Between 1865 and 1869
This is an engraving of Albert G. Patrick, who came to Leavenworth, Kansas Territory, on February 12, 1856. He became involved in the free-state party. Patrick joined Captain Wright's Stranger Creek company and participated in the Hickory Point engagement on September 14, 1856. He was captured by United States troops and sent to Lecompton where he was held by Governor Geary under indictment for murder. He was later acquitted. In the summer of 1857, he was elected clerk of the Supreme Court and, in the fall of that year, was elected to the Council of the first Free-state Legislature, serving two years. Although a free-state man, he was elected to the Senate under the Lecompton constitution. In 1867 he was elected to the legislature from Marshall County. Patrick moved to Jefferson County in 1868 and, in 1869, he was elected clerk of the county, serving two years. He owned and published the Valley Falls New Era newspaper.


Alexander C. Spilman to Samuel N. Wood

Alexander C. Spilman to Samuel N. Wood
Creator: Spillman, A. C.
Date: January 14, 1861
From Salina, Alexander Carraway Spilman wrote "as one of your [Wood's] constituents" regarding his opposition to a Junction City proposal that to change the boundary line between Dickinson and Davis counties to increase the size of the former at the expense of the latter. Spilman believed "A change in the lines of Dickinson would necessarily involve a change in the lines of Saline which is something that must not be done under any circumstances."


Alfred Larzelere

Alfred Larzelere
Date: 1854-1860
Alfred Larzelere of Doniphan County was active in free state politics. He served as speaker of the Kansas House in 1859 and as a delegate to the Leavenworth constitutional convention. He was also a member of the Free State Central committee.


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