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105 Kansas County Quilt

105 Kansas County Quilt
Creator: Stitching Traditions Quilt Shop
Date: between 2010 and 2013
Commemorative quilt made by the Woman's Kansas Day Club, with a separate block for every one of Kansas's 105 counties. Each block was made by a representative from that county. The quilt was then constructed, bordered, and bound by staff at Topeka's Stitching Traditions Quilt Shop and custom machine quilted by Topeka's A Touch of Class Quilting.


1880 census of Farmer Township, Wabaunsee County, Kansas

1880 census of Farmer Township, Wabaunsee County, Kansas
Creator: United States. Census Office. 10th census, 1880
Date: June 1, 1880 through June 2, 1880
This excerpt of a census schedule provides details--including the name, age, race, and occupation--of settlers in Farmer Township in Wabaunsee County, Kansas. The county included a black population (B=Black) who had settled there in 1879 with the help of the Freedmen's Relief Association.


1880 census of Nicodemus Township, Graham County, Kansas

1880 census of Nicodemus Township, Graham County, Kansas
Creator: United States. Census Office. 10th census, 1880
Date: June 8, 1880 through June 23, 1880
This census schedule provides details--including the name, age, race, and occupation--of both white and black settlers in Nicodemus Township in Graham County, Kansas. This township had been settled by African Americans in 1877 along the south fork of the Solomon River.


1880 census of Rock Creek Township, Wabaunsee County, Kansas

1880 census of Rock Creek Township, Wabaunsee County, Kansas
Creator: United States. Census Office. 10th census, 1880
Date: June 11, 1880
This excerpt of a census schedule provides details--including the name, age, race, and occupation--of settlers in Rock Creek Township in Wabaunsee County, Kansas. The county included a black population (B=Black) who had settled there in 1879 with the help of the Freedmen's Relief Association.


34-star American flag playing cards

34-star American flag playing cards
Date: between 1861 and 1863
This deck of thirty-five glossed paper cards depicts two 34 star American flags on the back. The reverse contains the suits with no numbers in the corners. Kansas is the 34th State admitted to the Union (in 1861), which dates these to the early Civil War between 1861 and 1863. Prior to 1880 playing cards typically did not have numbers in the corners.


A. D. Birch listening to a radio in Topeka, Kansas

A. D. Birch listening to a radio in Topeka, Kansas
Creator: King, Ernest V., 1874-1964
Date: Between 1925 and 1929
This photograph shows the A. D. Birch family and friends listening to a radio. Birch lived at 1109 Van Buren in Topeka, Kansas.


A. E. Blake and others on the plains in Seward County, Kansas

A. E. Blake and others on the plains in Seward County, Kansas
Creator: Steele, F. M. (Francis Marion), 1866-1936
Date: Between 1900 and 1912
In this photograph, A. E. Blake is seated in an automobile, a man is standing next to that automobile, a man is seated in the driver's seat of a horse-drawn wagon, and two young girls and a dog are standing next to the wagon. All are present in an unidentified field in Seward County, Kansas.


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: 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. 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.


A.Tuttle to Alfred Gray

A.Tuttle to Alfred Gray
Creator: Tuttle, A.
Date: June 25, 1857
Tuttle wrote from Buffalo, New York, about his plans to come to Kansas Territory by the fall. Alfred Gray had been a practicing lawyer in Buffalo before settling in Quindaro, Kansas Territory. Tuttle wrote about bank failures and the poor economy in the east. He also wanted Gray to send printed information about Kansas as he thought it would attract some of those out of work. He inquired if any of the literature was in German, as there were a number of out-of-work German immigrants in the area.


A. Venard to Thaddeus Hyatt

A. Venard to Thaddeus Hyatt
Creator: Venard, A.
Date: October 3, 1860
This letter is from A. Venard, a medical doctor from Pleasant Grove, Kansas Territory, who wrote to Thaddeus Hyatt, president of the National Kansas Committee. The letter described the sickness and disease that plagued the settlers along the Verdigris River in southeast Kansas. Dr. Venard had worked diligently to aid the settlers, even using funds from his own pocket to purchase medicine, but he requested that the committee give him 100 dollars worth of drugs. Attached to this letter is an itemized list of the drugs he wished purchased with the requested funds.


A. W. Johnson and Isabella Johnson to Robert S. Wickizer

A. W. Johnson and Isabella Johnson to Robert S. Wickizer
Creator: Johnson, A. W.
Date: March 24, 1875
In this letter to his cousin, A. W. Johnson relates news from his homestead near Osage Mission, Neosho County. Johnson describes the grasshopper plague in vivid terms, and also mentions how the recent hard times in Kansas should not discourage emigration into the state. In fact, he goes so far as to state that now is the time to come, since land is cheap and the spring weather is "deliteful[sic]." Johnson also states, however, that the price of corn is high, and that high prices on goods make it difficult for him to support his family.


A Cup and a Bowl from the Baker House, 14MO701

A Cup and a Bowl from the Baker House, 14MO701
Date: 1862
This reconstructed cup and bowl was found in pieces during excavations in 1972-1973 by the Kansas State Teacher's College (now Emporia State University). The bowl has a red, black and green floral design, though difficult to see. The handless cup has a red, white and blue linear pattern. Both dishes were reconstructed by students at the 1972 - 1973 field school. It was donated to the Kansas Historical Society in 1993. The archeological site, along the Santa Fe Trail in Morris County, was the location of the Baker House, which burned in 1862, along with the nearby store, during the murder of A.I. Baker.


A New Home in an Old Settlement:  Come  and see the "New Land in an Old Country"

A New Home in an Old Settlement: Come and see the "New Land in an Old Country"
Date: May 1, 1876
This paper advertises for sale land, formerly owned by the Pottawatomie Nation, from 1837 to 1868, and then purchased by the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Rail Road Company. On the reverse side of the paper is a sectional map showing the area and identifying those lands that were still for sale by the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Company. The text gives brief descriptions of the cities and towns in the area; the railroads available; fuel and lumber that are native to the area; and, descriptions and prices of the land.


Aaron Lane Lanning's household expense ledgers

Aaron Lane Lanning's household expense ledgers
Date: May 01, 1926-December 31, 1933
Here are two household expense ledgers belonging to Aaron Lane Lanning, Melvern, Kansas. Early in his life, Aaron's parents moved the family to Jerseyville, Illinois where in April 1862, he joined the 122nd Illinois Volunteer Infantry. He was promoted to sergeant in 1864 and discharged in June 1865. After the war, Aaron, his parents and siblings settled in Mound City, Kansas. He married Sarah Emma Preston on November 3, 1867, and they eventually moved near Melvern, Kansas where he farmed. Aaron and Emma had five children.


Abbie Bright

Abbie Bright
Date: 1870
Abbie Bright at age 22 photographed in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.


Abbie Bright diary

Abbie Bright diary
Creator: Bright, Abbie, 1848-1926
Date: 1868-1921
Born in Pennsylvania in 1848, Abbie Bright traveled to Kansas in 1870 as a young woman and her diary is primarily an account of this trip. It gives excellent accounts of daily life and settlement activities. The "diary" is actually composed of two different manuscripts and both are presented here. The first is an eighty-six page loose-leaf diary with consistent entries from September 2, 1870 - December 20, 1871. The second is a bound composition book with 129 written pages. This book begins with a childhood reminiscence written in Iowa in 1914 (p1-23), followed by a reminiscence of her Kansas trip written in Iowa in 1921 (p24-36) that covers Aug 23, 1870 - Jan 30, 1871. The book then includes some recipes dated 1868-1871 and a receipt dated 1884 (p37-41), and finally consistent diary entries from February 2, 1871 - December 21, 1871 (p41-129). A complete, revised transcription of both manuscripts is available by clicking on "Text Version" below. A previous, annotated transcription that combines the 1870-1871 entries from both manuscripts was published in the Kansas Historical Quarterly in 1971 and is available through a link below.


Abelard Guthrie

Abelard Guthrie
Abelard Guthrie was a member of the Wyandot tribe through his marriage to his wife Quindaro Nancy. He was elected as the Wyandot delegate to Congress in 1852. He was involved in the development of the town of Quindaro and had business dealing with numerous early territorial settlers.


Abelard Guthrie to Hiram Hill

Abelard Guthrie to Hiram Hill
Creator: Guthrie, Abelard
Date: November 11, 1858
Abelard Guthrie, a member of the Quindaro Town Company, wrote from Quindaro, Kansas Territory, to Hiram Hill in Massachusetts, rebutting Hill's accusations that he had acted in bad faith regarding certain enterprises of the Town Company. Guthrie stated that he had intended to begin the grading work on Kansas Avenue and other roads, but had found that the Company's funds were depleted; he suspected a swindling. He defended himself in light of other land purchases and business transactions and expressed extreme frustration at his bleak financial situation.


About Nicodemus, The Daily Journal

About Nicodemus, The Daily Journal
Creator: Lawrence Daily Journal
Date: April 30, 1879
This article from the Lawrence Daily Journal discusses a newspaper article from the Chicago Tribune written during the Exoduster Movement in 1879 providing a brief history of the black community of freed people at Nicodemus, Kansas settled in 1877. Nicodemus is now a historic site administered by the National Parks Service.


Absalom White territorial loss claim

Absalom White territorial loss claim
Creator: Strickler, Hiram Jackson
Date: 1859
Report of H.L. Strickler, Commissioner to Audit Claims of Citizens of the Territory of Kansas, contained in the U.S. Congressional Serial Set of congressional and executive documents. Absalom White filed claim #246 for the loss of an arm as a result of being struck by a bullet at a battle with southerners near the H. T. Titus [probably Henry C.] home in Douglas County. The arm was subsequently amputated. The claim was not allowed on the grounds that White was "engaged in rebellion and making unwarranted attack on the person and property of a private citizen." Each claimant had to submit an itemized list and have two witnesses attest to the losses claimed. Even though many of these claims were approved for payment, no funds were ever appropriated or distributed.


Account of provisions and supplies issued to destitute Shawnees

Account of provisions and supplies issued to destitute Shawnees
Creator: Abbott, James Burnett
Date: 1861
This account book belonging to an Indian agent named James Burnett Abbott lists the names of Shawnee Indian heads of household, the number of family members within their household, and the amount of pork, corn, and meal provided by the government to each Shawnee. The Shawnee had emigrated to Kansas after the Indian Removal Act of 1830. Only an excerpt is included here.


Action of Other Cities on the 'Exodus' Question

Action of Other Cities on the 'Exodus' Question
Creator: Wyandotte Gazette
Date: April 25, 1879
This article includes information about Exoduster relief efforts in both Topeka and Lawrence. In Topeka, the Kansas Freedmen's Aid Association had appealed to other counties, asking them to form local aid societies to assist refugees in their respective areas. Lawrence citizens held a meeting in Fraser Hall to discuss the Exodus; the attendees recognized the legitimacy of the Exodus and were willing to provide aid and support for the emigrants.


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