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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.


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.


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).


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: 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.


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.


An Act to provide for the election of Delegates to a Convention to frame a State Constitution

An Act to provide for the election of Delegates to a Convention to frame a State Constitution
Creator: Deitzler, George Washington, 1826-1884
Date: 1858
This act pertains to the election of delegates to the Leavenworth Constitutional Convention in the Kansas Territory.


Annals of Kansas, April, 1856

Annals of Kansas, April, 1856
Creator: Wilder, Daniel Webster, 1832-1911
Date: April, 1856


"Annals of Kansas" and the Wyandotte Constitution

"Annals of Kansas" and the Wyandotte Constitution
Creator: Wilder, Daniel Webster, 1832-1911
Date: June 4, 1859 through September 15, 1859
This twenty-one page excerpt is from Daniel Webster Wilder's "Annals of Kansas." It covers the period of June 4, 1859, through September 15, 1859, and includes the text of the Wyandotte Constitution.


Augustus Wattles to James Smith

Augustus Wattles to James Smith
Creator: Wattles, Augustus, 1807-1876
Date: June 18, 1857
From Lawrence on June 18, 1857, Augustus Wattles wrote Jas. Smith (Is this a Brown alias?) regarding affairs in Kansas Territory, specifically referring to several of the Free State Party's leaders: "Holmes' is at Emporia plowing. Conway's here talking politics. Phillips is here trying to urge the free State men to galvanize the Topeka Constitution into life. . . ." and Robinson had "dispirited the Free State party" by his absence from the legislature last winter, making it "difficult to make them rally again under him." Although one hears "much against Brown" he is "as good as ever."


Barstow Darrach to Samuel L. Adair

Barstow Darrach to Samuel L. Adair
Creator: Darrach, Barstow
Date: June 8, 1857
Dr. Barstow Darrach, writing from the New York Hospital, wrote Adair in great detail about his opinions of Kansas Territory's Governor Robert J. Walker and other political happenings in Kansas Territory.


Beware of frauds!  Down with the disorganizers!

Beware of frauds! Down with the disorganizers!
Creator: Central Committee
Date: 1858
This poster discusses the slate of candidates for a constitutional convention (Leavenworth?), cautioning free state men to beware of attempts to divide them and thus weaken their ability to challenge the pro-slavery force. It also warns about split Free State tickets.


By Authority.  Official Message of His Excellency Gov. A. H. Reeder, to the First Legislative Assembly of the Territory of Kansas.

By Authority. Official Message of His Excellency Gov. A. H. Reeder, to the First Legislative Assembly of the Territory of Kansas.
Creator: Reeder, Andrew H. (Andrew Horatio), 1807-1864
Date: July 3, 1855
This printed version of Reeder's address included a review of how the land that became Kansas was acquired by the United States and of various legislation and treaties that applied before the passage of the Kansas Nebraska Act. Reeder also identified some of the responsibilities of the Legislature including establising a means of determining if Kansas was to be slave or free, establishing counties, setting up a judicial system, levying taxes, organizing a militia, determining a permanent seat of government, and creating a constitution. He also included some statistics from the first official census, which recorded 2,904 qualified voters out of 8,521 residents (only free males could vote). Reeder indicated the need to resolve the issue of selling intoxicating liquors to Native Americans.


C. E. Blood to Isaac Tichenor Goodnow

C. E. Blood to Isaac Tichenor Goodnow
Creator: Blood, C.E.
Date: June 20, 1859
C. E. Blood wrote from Manhattan, Kansas Territory, to Isaac Goodnow, imparting that the steamboat Gus Linn had arrived in Manhattan and a Mr. Devivilvi [Devivaldi] brought along his printing press and other equipment. The newspaper was then a "fixed and permanent fact." Blood updated Goodnow on the status of construction at the College and Joseph Denison's new home. He closed by reporting a rumor that there was a Republican majority in the Constitutional Convention at Wyandotte.


Certificate of election, James Abbott, Representative to the General Assembly of Kansas

Certificate of election, James Abbott, Representative to the General Assembly of Kansas
Creator: Lane, James Henry, 1814-1866
Date: February 19, 1856
Certification of James Abbott's December 1855 election to the post of Representative for the First Senatorial District in the General Assembly of Kansas under the provisions of the Topeka Constitution. The certificate is signed by James Lane and Joel Goodin, Chairman and Secretary of the Executive Committee, respectively.


Champion Vaughan to S.O.Thacher and others

Champion Vaughan to S.O.Thacher and others
Date: July 7, 1859
Vaughan, editor of the Leavenworth Times, wrote this letter soon after the convention convened to introduce and lend his support to three "Delegates elect from Southern Nebraska to the Kansas Convention." They had convinced Vaughan that efforts toward annexation were not just more Democratic politics.


Charles A. Foster

Charles A. Foster
Creator: Skinner, photographer
Charles A. Foster was a delegate to the Leavenworth Constitutional Convention. He came to Kansas Territory from Massachusetts.


Charles Chadwick to Hiram Hill

Charles Chadwick to Hiram Hill
Creator: Chadwick, Charles
Date: March 25, 1858
Charles Chadwick wrote from Quindaro, Kansas Territory, to Hiram Hill in Massachusetts, regarding various aspects of town development. Chadwick told Hill of some controversy over his ownership of some lands, both "outside" and in town, which were also being claimed by Wyandotte Indians. He described the potential for new businesses to open in Quindaro, including a machine shop and foundry. Chadwick waited for the arrival of new immigrants and hoped the "eastern capitalists" would introduce more money into their economy. He added his comments about the fraudulent ratification of the Lecompton Constitution, suggesting that the Constitution would do the most good "with the. . .box under the woodpile".


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