Kansas MemoryKansas Memory

Kansas Historical SocietyKansas Historical Society

Fannie E. Cole to Zu Adams

Item Description Bookbag Share

October 20, 1895.
Dear Miss Adams, --
I found your letter of September 30th in my letter box on my return from Kansas City, where I spent the first week of this month. I must ask you to pardon my long delay in answering it, which was partly caused by my wish to obtain more particulars on the subject upon which you require information. I have not, as yet, been able to do so, as a friend of mine, who might have aided me, was absent from home when I called at her residence, and has since removed

Page 2

to another part of the city and I have not had leisure to go to her new home. So I will simply write down my own recollection of some of the slaves of early Kansas days.
My father removed to Kansas Territory in the spring of 1855. I was a small girl in those days, but everything being so new and strange, a deep and lasting impression was produced on my mind. We settled upon the farm, so long our home, one-half mile west of the Reform School. Among the very few white people then residing in the neighborhood was Mr. Geo. L. Young, formerly well known in Topeka, and his mother. Mrs. Young had two mulatto servants. One of them was a woman perhaps thirty or thirty-five years of age, and I

Page 3

think her name was Emily, but I am not sure. The other was a girl about ten years old, and her name was Cynthia.
I do not know what became of Emily, but I suppose she was sent back to Missouri. Cynthia remained with her mistress until the death of the latter in 1858, when she became the property of Mrs. Young’s son John, who also lived near the old town of Indianola. About the beginning of the war, or perhaps a little before, she was sent to St. Joseph, Mo., and sold.
Louis Harris, a cousin of the Young bro’s, also had a servant named Henry Clay. He was a full negro about 14 years of age. When the freedom of Kansas was pretty well established, he was sent back to Mo but during the first year

Page 4

of the war escaped to Kansas, and coming back to our neighbor, worked for various persons until the close of the war. I do not know what became of him afterwards.
A man named Perry Fleshman, who lived east of Rochester also had a colored woman, but I never saw her. But I think she must have died, as she had a cancer in her face, and I never heard of her after the first year or two of our residence in Kansas.
I have given you my own personal recollections of these slaves, and while the main facts are correct, some details may be incorrect or omitted. I will try to verify this account, and if I find that I have made any mistakes or omissions, I will rectify them.
Yours truly,
Fannie E. Cole.

Item Description

Copyright © 2007-2020 - Kansas Historical Society - Contact Us
This website was developed in part with funding provided by the Information Network of Kansas.