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Abraham (Bullet Hole) Ellis

Abraham (Bullet Hole) Ellis
Creator: Martin Leonard V.
Date: Between 1862 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.


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.


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 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.


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.


An act to punish offences against slave property

An act to punish offences against slave property
Creator: Kansas. Legislative Assembly 1855
Date: August 29, 1855
This act, approved by the Legislative Assembly of Kansas Territory, August 29, 1855, lists those actions to be considered crimes against slave property. Many of the crimes listed are punishable by death. Some of the crimes include inciting or aiding slave or Negro rebellion (even through publication), helping slaves escape their masters, resisting the arrest of an escaped slave, and the expression of abolitionist opinions. Considered "bogus laws" by free-state supporters, this slave code reflects the first Kansas Legislature's support for slavery and the legislature's adoption of Missouri slave codes for that purpose.


Andrew Horatio Reeder to Franklin Crane

Andrew Horatio Reeder to Franklin Crane
Creator: Reeder, Andrew H. (Andrew Horatio), 1807-1864
Date: December 23, 1856
This letter by Andrew Reeder, former governor of Kansas Territory, was written from Easton, Pennsylvania, where both Reeder and Crane had lived before coming to Kansas. Reeder encloses payment for the taxes on his Topeka lots. He also reports that he has been in Washington, D. C. lobbying for the free-state cause and informs Crane of various issues being discussed in the capitol.


Augustus Wattles

Augustus Wattles
Augustus Wattles was an abolitionist who came to Kansas Territory from Ohio in 1855. For a time, he helped George Washington Brown publish the "Herald of Freedom" in Lawrence, Kansas Territory. In 1857, he was one of the founders of Moneka in Linn County, Kansas Territory. He was a supporter of abolitionist John Brown, and Brown stayed at his home several times after the Marais des Cygnes massacre. Wattles served in the Kansas Territory legislature in 1855.


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.


Building in which first Kansas legislature met

Building in which first Kansas legislature met
Date: October 12, 1907
This article from the Wichita Daily Beacon was calling for the restoration of the building where the first Territorial Kansas Legislature met. The First Territorial Capitol was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1970.


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. G. Dick to Samuel L. Adair

C. G. Dick to Samuel L. Adair
Creator: Dick, Campbell Graham
Date: April 21, 1857
Campbell G. Dick was Reverend Adair's brother-in-law, and wrote from his home in Marshall, Highland County, Ohio, that he supported the American Missionary Association as it promoted Christianity, but was pessimistic about the chances for Kansas Territory entering the Union as a free state. He wrote that the Democratic party was controlled by the south, and asked Adair to inform him if free state men intended to vote in the elections called by the "Bogus Legislature."


Cedar Point, Kansas

Cedar Point, Kansas
Date: Between 1880s and 1890s
This black and white photograph shows several store fronts in Cedar Point, Kansas. The town, named by abolitionist and former Kansas legislator Orlo H. Drinkwater, is located about fourteen miles west of Chase County, Kansas, on U.S Highway Fifty in the heart of the Flint Hills region.


Certificate. Legislative Assembly, Territory of Kansas

Certificate. Legislative Assembly, Territory of Kansas
Creator: Kansas. Legislature
Date: January, 1860
According to this document, signed by the speaker of the Kansas House of Representatives, the assembly owes $68 ("mileage and per diem") to Mark W. Delahay for "services rendered" as chief clerk from January 2 to January 18, 1860. It specifies that Delahay is to receive $4 per day for 17 days to repay the debt.


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 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

Charles Robinson
Creator: Richardson, S.
Date: 1856
This reproductive illustration shows Kansas Governor Charles Robinson giving a speech to the Lecompton Territorial Legislature. The original illustration was taken from "Beyond the Mississippi" by Albert D. Richardson.


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 Reverend Edward Everett Hale

Charles Robinson to Reverend Edward Everett Hale
Creator: Robinson, Charles, 1818-1894
Date: April 9, 1855
Charles Robinson, writing from Lawrence, Kansas Territory, to Edward Everett Hale, commented that Free State supporters were forming military companies in response to perceived "outrageous conduct" by Missourians during the March 30, 1855, election of representatives for the territorial legislature. Robinson asked Hale to send two hundred Sharp's rifles and two cannon for the use of Lawrence settlers.


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."


Charles Robinson to T. W. Higginson

Charles Robinson to T. W. Higginson
Creator: Robinson, Charles, 1818-1894
Date: August 27, 1855
This letter, written by free state governor Charles Robinson, was sent to Thomas Wentworth Higginson, a prominent Northern abolitionist. Robinson discusses in general terms the troubles facing Kansas Territory, stating that he believes this struggle was not limited to Kansas, "but I regard it as one in which the whole nation is involved." Robinson also expresses doubts that the North would support the free state settlers in the territory, writing that they can only "hope" for reinforcements, not take them for granted. He asks Higginson to stir up Northerners against the bogus legislature and mentions ex-Governor Reeder and opposition to the bogus legislature.


Colonel Sumner arriving at Constitution Hall in Topeka, Kansas Territory

Colonel Sumner arriving at Constitution Hall in Topeka, Kansas Territory
Date: 1856
Exterior view of Constitution Hall with Col. Edwin Vose Sumner dispersing the Free-State Legislature in Topeka, Kansas Territory, on July 4, 1856. This is a copy of an illustration from the July 26, 1856, issue of "Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper." This illustration depicts Constitution Hall differently than most other illustrations of the same time period.


Constitution Hall, Lecompton, Kansas

Constitution Hall, Lecompton, Kansas
Date: 1908
This building served as the seat of the Kansas Territorial government in 1857 and 1858. The second territorial legislature met here in 1857. The constitutional convention that drafted the Lecompton Constitution also met here. At the time this photo was taken, the building served as the meeting hall for the International Order of Odd Fellows. Lecompton Constitution Hall was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1971, and as a National Historic Landmark in 1974.


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