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William Hutchinson to A. H. Shurtleff

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To A. H. Shurtleff Agt. Of N. Y. Kansas Aid Society Dear Sir:
You have kindly asked our Committee to answer the following questions:
“1. Have the individuals sent into the territory by the Kansas Aid Society for the last three months been such as to add much interest to the Free State cause?”
The companies sent into the Territory by the Aid Societies this fall, have been like society everywhere of a mixed character. Those who came here the with a single purpose of making themselves permanent and valuable homes, will unavoidably add to the progress and stability of our cause. They are like chiselled stones laid upon the wall, that not only add the compass of their own stature to the mass, but their position adds strength and solidity to those around them. I fear there is not a majority of the emigrants lately arrived of this class, and the result is, they have left the Territory with only an imperfect knowledge of our people or country, and the opprobrium attached to their course, unjustly falls upon us, while it should fall upon the agents or committees who send them here. On the whole, I must say, that until the last party arrived, I think the individuals sent to the Territory during the last three months have not strengthened our course, nor added to the moral stamina of our people.
“2d Has the Kansas Aid Society done any thing to relieve the wants of the settlers of the Territory? If so, how much, and in what manner?”

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Not one Fifteenth Part of all the money thus far contributed to the Aid Society has reached Kansas in an available form, and until about one week ago, we might truly say, that it has not done anything to relieve the first wants of our people. Within that time Three thousand dollars has been received in money, and one or two hundred dollars worth of clothing, both of which are now nearly distributed throughout the territory. None of the teams placed in our hands have been sold with one exception, but they are advertised to be sold at auction during the coming week, and will be if possible. Their appraisal value is about Four thousand dollars.
“3 What is your opinion of the persons who have conducted the Trains sent into the Territory?” I would gladly avoid all personalities, were it not true, that our business reputation had become somewhat involved with the allegations made by the conductors of the overland transit. In justice to ourselves, as well as the cause we represent, we can frankly say, that with the exception of Col. Eldridge, these conductors have been very injudiciously chosen, and thousands of dollars of the Society’s money will not half atone for the mismanagement between here and Chicago, resulting from these unfortunate Selections. Practical, business men only are equal to the task.
“4. How many Settlers have left the Territory this fall?”
I have no data by which our exact numerical loss can be given, but it is my opinion that one thousand of the actual Settlers have left Kansas since August, from necessity, while the money that has

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been improperly expended between now [xxxcage?] during the same interval, would, if disbursed here through our Committee, have kept ninety nine in every hundred here, to still aid us in our common cause. It is better to save one such man who has experienced the unparalelled evils incident to Kansas life, than to induce three strangers to settle among us.
“5 What is the actual condition of the people now in the Territory?”
It is impossible to answer fully in this place. To do it in detail, would require a chapter upon each District, as the circumstances and wants vary with the localities. I am warranted however in making the general statement, that one half of the people of Kansas are today in need of aid beyond their ready means, and at least one fourth of the people will actually suffer beyond anything ever known in this country, unless supported almost entirely until Spring, by the donations from the East. This is in no way attributable to indolence or want of enterprise, but grows directly out of the actual wrongs inflicted upon us by Missouri and her allies. Our people have been driven from their homes, hunted, robbed, and cowardly murdered in so many instances, that the great mass have been totally unable to provide either food or clothing for themselves and families. It is generally in the remote districts that the suffering is most severe and instances are by no means rare of the most abject destitution.
“6 Is there a probability that the people will be

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able to pay for their Claims without Aid?”
No. Very few can pay for them by getting aid from their friends or relatives in he States, but less than half will be able to pay for them even then. A protective combination of capitalists should be formed at once, to secure to the squatters their dearly bought rights. A portion of the Delaware Trust lands are open for purchase on the 17th of next month, and it is expected other Government lands will be opened the coming Winter.
“7 Would it be desirable to have a large amount of clothing sent here this fall and Winter or would it be better to send the money?”
Send money by all means. Several thousand dollars worth of clothing is now on the way, and we have no fears of a scarcity in the supply. Besides, our merchants intend to furnish at reasonable rates, all the trade demands, although they are much crippled by late depredations. “8 Is there much sickness among the settlers arising from a want of the necessaries of life - food and clothing?”
Not so much from that cause, as from the undue exposure they have been forced to undergo, living for weeks in camp, and sleeping exposed to the cold night dews of Autumn. No doubt, want of clothing has induced sickness in many instances, but still oftenor, want of warm houses. All who settle upon low grounds are somewhat liable to bilious diseases. Still Kansas is regarded as more healthy than the Western States generally.

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“9 Is it best for the Free State cause to send more settlers, or to fully sustain those that are now in the Territory?”
I have already answered this in reply to the 4th question. If we can’t have but one, give us the money to sustain those already here but men and means together are still more desirable. Give us anything but a class of emigrants who will be a future tax upon our charities or yours.
These are answers in brief to your inquiries and your own observations upon other matters Since your arrival, will preclude the necessity of a more lengthy reply. Should you desire further information relative to other points, your application will find a ready response.
Yours truly Wm. Hutchinson Secry K. S. C. Com.

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