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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. 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.


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.


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.


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: 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.


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 - May, 1855

Annals of Kansas, April - May, 1855
Creator: Wilder, Daniel Webster, 1832-1911
Date: April, 1855 through May, 1855


Annals of Kansas, April, 1856

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


Augustus Wattles to John Brown?

Augustus Wattles to John Brown?
Creator: Wattles, Augustus, 1807-1876
Date: August 21, 1857
Augustus Wattles wrote to John Brown from Lawrence, August 21, 1857, regarding several matters but focused again on problems within the Free State movement because of a loss of confidence in Charles Robinson's leadership. Robinson had openly criticized G. W. Brown and the Herald of Freedom and the factious party could accomplish little, but Wattles was confident that free staters would vote in and win the October election for territorial legislature.


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.


Candle box

Candle box
Creator: Kansas State Historical Society
Date: Between 1925 and 1935
Candle box found in a wood pile at Lecompton, Kansas. It contained election returns for 1857 and 1858 settling the Free-State or Pro-Slavery issue.


Certificate, James Abbott as Brigadier General

Certificate, James Abbott as Brigadier General
Date: July 15, 1857
James Lane, from the Headquarters of the Kansas Volunteers free state militia, issued this certificate to appoint James Abbott (Brigadier General of the 1st Brigade) to organize people to protect the ballot boxes during the upcoming elections. Election fraud, in the form of multiple votes cast by pro-slavery men, was a constant concern of free state supporters.


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.


Charles Chadwick to Hiram Hill

Charles Chadwick to Hiram Hill
Creator: Chadwick, Charles
Date: December 14, 1859
Charles Chadwick wrote from Quindaro, Kansas Territory, to Hiram Hill in Massachusetts. Chadwick reported that the Republicans (anti-slavery supporters) had been successful in recent elections. However, the economy was worse than the year before, according to Chadwick, money was scarce, and the city of Quindaro had not started collecting property taxes because the amounts would exceed the value of the property. A newspaper "The Kansas Tribune" had begun to circulate after a period in which there had been no newspaper, and the Parkville and Grand River Railroad was slated to be constructed through the town.


Charles E. Griffith to James Montgomery

Charles E. Griffith to James Montgomery
Creator: Griffith, Charles E.
Date: November 15, 1859
Charles Griffith, an Osawatomie newspaper publisher writing from Osawatomie, Kansas Territory, writes Captain James Montgomery that he believes voting fraud has occurred in the November 8, 1859, territorial legislature election. Griffith claims that, in the absence of the fraud, Montgomery would have won a seat in the territorial house of representatives.


Charles Robinson circular for the Free State Executive Committee

Charles Robinson circular for the Free State Executive Committee
Creator: Robinson, Charles, 1818-1894
Date: 1855
Charles Robinson wrote this printed letter on behalf of the Free State Executive Committee of Kansas Territory. In it, he encouraged free state supporters to monitor the upcoming elections for delegate to Congress and for delegates to the constitutional convention to see that they were conducted fairly. He wanted them to note if non-residents were voting or serving as election officials and if residents were being prevented from voting. The circular encouraged free state voters to arrive at the polls early. J. K. Goodin was the secretary of the group. These elections were held under the auspices of the Topeka Movement.


Charles  Robinson to Amos A. Lawrence

Charles Robinson to Amos A. Lawrence
Creator: Robinson, Charles, 1818-1894
Date: September 28, 1855
Charles Robinson, writing from Lawrence, Kansas Territory, to Amos A. Lawrence, expressed his optimism about the prospects of Kansas entering the union as a free state within one year. Robinson also informed Lawrence that he had drawn upon him for $1,000.00 to cover New England Emigrant Aid Company expenses.


Charles Robinson to Amos Adams Lawrence

Charles Robinson to Amos Adams Lawrence
Creator: Robinson, Charles, 1818-1894
Date: December 18, 1854
Transcription of a letter from the Amos Adams Lawrence Collection, Massachusetts Historical Society. Charles Robinson wrote from Lawrence, Kansas Territory to Amos A. Lawrence in Massachusetts. Robinson thanked Lawrence for his unfailing support of the enterprise of the Territory and claimed his devotion to work done in his interest. He discussed Lawrence's development, having secured the offices of three free state newspapers, but expressed anxiety about the upcoming territorial election. However, Robinson vowed that his men would not resort to fraudulent voting to win the majority over proslavery supporters.


Charles Robinson to Amos Adams Lawrence

Charles Robinson to Amos Adams Lawrence
Creator: Robinson, Charles, 1818-1894
Date: November 12, 1859
Transcription of a letter from the Amos Adams Lawrence Collection, Massachusetts Historical Society. Charles Robinson wrote from Lawrence, Kansas Territory, to Amos A. Lawrence in Massachusetts, expressing his concern that Lawrence's name was not included on a college proposal submitted by S.N. Simpson, which indicated he was not among the supporters of the enterprise. Robinson mentioned the upcoming election for Territorial delegate to Congress, in which Marcus Parrott, a Republican, was a favorite. He also sought advice from Lawrence about a complicated financial matter.


Charles Robinson to Eli Thayer

Charles Robinson to Eli Thayer
Creator: Robinson, Charles, 1818-1894
Date: April 2, 1855
Charles Robinson, writing from Lawrence, Kansas Territory to Eli Thayer in Worcester, Massachusetts, described voting irregularities in the March 30, 1855 election of members to the territorial legislature. Robinson maintained that the election was "controlled entirely by Missourians" who came to the territory, took over the polling places, and cast illegal ballots to ensure that proslavery supporters were elected to the legislature. Robinson also reported that free staters in Lawrence had formed themselves into four military companies, and urged Thayer to send Sharps rifles and cannons for these forces.


Charles Robinson to Henry Wilson

Charles Robinson to Henry Wilson
Creator: Robinson, Charles, 1818-1894
Date: May 12, 1858
This important document is reportedly a copy of a letter from Charles Robinson, Lawrence, May 12, 1858, to Massachusetts Senator Henry Wilson in which the Kansas governor expresses confidence that the Lecompton Constitution will be overwhelmingly defeated in the upcoming election and makes numerous observations about the state of politics--present and future--in Kansas. Robinson believes that half the Democrats would oppose the Lecompton instrument because they knew that freestaters would dominate any state government that would be admitted under it and subsequently "the Constitution would be changed in the 'twinkling of an eye.'" Thus, he predicts no Kansas admission until at least December, 1859, and in the meantime expects Democrats to "take the lead in aiding in developing the resources of Kansas, & [the Democratic Party] will claim to be the special friends of our infant State."


Charles Robinson to Sara Robinson

Charles Robinson to Sara Robinson
Creator: Robinson, Charles, 1818-1894
Date: September 26, 1857
Charles Robinson wrote this letter to his wife, Sara, upon his return to Lawrence, Kansas Territory, from "a tour of ten days into the southern part of the Territory." This was a political trip, and he had been involved in another political meeting the previous night, but Robinson expressed his wish that he "was fairly clear of political affairs, but do not see how I can get out of them at present." He also mentioned the forthcoming legislative election (October, 1857) which he believed would be okay "unless there are great frauds."


Commission, James Montgomery, captain

Commission, James Montgomery, captain
Date: September 16, 1857
This printed commission, issued from the "Head-Quarters Kansas Volunteers, For the Protection of the Ballot-Box," was given to James Montgomery and signed by J. H. Lane and M. F. Conway, adjutant general, on September 16, 1857. Montgomery was commissioned captain of the "Little Sugar Creek Company." [This would have been specifically for the territorial election held October 5, 1857.]


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