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Cyrus Kurtz Holliday to Alfred and Edgar Huidekoper

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Topeka Kansas Territory Sept. 20, 1858
Messrs Alfred Huidekoper And Edgar Huidekoper Meadville Penna
Dear Sirs
I have long had it in mind to address you upon the extraordinary inducements for investments in Kansas with a view of endeavoring to get you interested therein, but up to the present have never attempted to carry my intention into practice
The vote upon “Lecompton” on the 2nd of August has settled finally and forever the Slavery question in Kansas. Hence no fears need now be entertained among monied men that their investments in Kansas may, by any contingency, fall within the bounds of a Slave State.
The destiny of Kansas , therefore, being firmly fixed for Freedom the result will be to greatly enhance the value of investments here; and to give complete permanence and security to such investments.
The exceeding pressure in money matters for the past year has greatly reduced the price of property in Kansas; and if there ever was a time in which a man could make favorable investments that time is now. I know of claims (160 Acres) in this neighborhood – well timbered and well watered – for which $3000 – here refused in the spring of 1857, which

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can now be purchased for from $1000 to $1,500. These have government title, having been sold at the Osawkie Land Sales of Last year and “Duplicates issued therefore by the Government offices. I am as sure as I can be of any event which must happen that these same claims will in a year or two sell for from $3000 to $6000. This is of the better class of claims.
Plenty of the common prairie claims can be procured at from $1.50 to 3. per Acre that are worth, any of them, fully $5. per acre the very instant you have them in your possession.
You doubtless ask. Why dont the owners of these valuable claims keep them? My answer is that oweing to embarrassment from debts occurred in pre-empting, and from the necessity of having bread to live upon they are obliged to sell at whatever sacrifice.
Besides. Hundreds, perhaps, thousands have come to Kansas and taken claims with a view of becoming farmers. They soon find themselves wholly unsuited to the business, and wish to sell out with a view of going to the Towns and starting some kind of business of following their Mechanical or other professions.
Town Act investments are somewhat more unsafe, but much more speedy in return. I have known extensive fortunes, made with limited means, in this branch of business
There is still another plan for persons of extensive means, like yourselves.
I mean the matter of loans –

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Money has been worth for the past year from $ Two & a half to five per cent per month. But you answer, “ Your securities are not good” You will hardly believe me when I say just as good as in Penna, and yet I think I can loan money as safely here as there. There is but one policy pursued in making loans and that is to take what we call a “Cut-throat” Mortgage upon property five or ten times the value of the loan; so that the Lender can rest very easy, knowing that he will either get the money when due or five or ten times the worth of the money in property.
I would like to give you a little instance of Town investment. Mr. Reeder purchased (I believe) three shares in Leavenworth City when he first came to Kansas. They cost him about $100 – each. He ran the risk of title; for then the title to Leavenworth (being on the Delaware Lands) was very questionable. I see by the last tax roll of Leavenworth that Mr. Reeder is assessed upon upwards of $30,000.
When I came to Kansas I was offered shares in Leavenworth for $100. to $150 – but fearing the title I foolishly refrained from investing: Since then single lots out of those very shares have sold for $8,000. in cash down. But you say Leavenworth is an exception. I answer not in kind, only in degree - Hundreds of other places in Kansas will furnish similar, but not such astounding results.
In addition to the foregoing

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I will add but one other (I might add many) reason why investments in Kansas must result in speedy and large returns. You of course anticipate that I allude to the recent Gold discoveries - At your great distance from Kansas you may regard them as not entitled to much credit. But I can assure you of their entire reliability, and, that soon the rush of imigration to Kansas in consequence of the Gold Developments that are now daily being made will exceed that to California or Australia –
My acquaintanceship throughout the Territory, my knowledge of the relative value of property, my position (if I may be allowed to speak of it) both in a social and political point of view – all would enable me to make judicious, safe, and rapidly increasing investments; or sound and reliable loans; and would do so upon such terms as would be entirely satisfactory to you, and make you continued and constant reports of my doings – or if you would prefer I would invest on my own account, obtaining money from you and giving you the most undoubted security upon real estate, and a much more liberal interest than you can possibly obtain in the East - Please think of all these things, and let me hear from you at your earliest convenience.
My family are all well, and join in regards to you and yours –
Very Truly Your friend
C. K. Holliday

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