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Isaac Tichenor Goodnow to Stephen French, Jr.

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East Greenwich, R. I. Dec. 16th 1854
Stephen French, Jr. Esq By Dear Brother,
I have been waiting till something decisive turned up before answering your kind favor of Oct 21st And am now able to say that after consultation with Br. J. Denison, my wife’s brother, & Br. Parkerson we have concluded to go to Kansas with such of our friends as we may induce to accompany us. I think Wm E. Goodnow will join us with a goodly number of others of the right stamp. The plan is to have enough of Mechanics & business men go that will enable us to build up a village & form the nucleus of a city even with our farms near, all of which will be greatly enhanced in value thereby.
Some 2 weeks since I heard a lecture by Eli Thayer, the originator of the Massachusetts Emigrant Aid Society, & after lecture went with him to the Hotel & conversed with him 1 ½ hours very much to my satisfaction & instruction. The company are to found a new City on the arrival of the first Spring Emigrants & he advises me & my friends to start by the first train in March (about the 1st) & cast in our lots in the new City & enjoy the rise

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of property which must immediately result.
Lawrence, 40 miles from Kansas City, on the Kansas river, a city not yet 3 months old, is prospering finely. A steam saw & grist mill are in the full [tote?] of Successful operation & they will be ready to furnish us with building material, &c, &c. They will soon have one going in our city, with school house, meeting house &c. With their organization, emigrating is a very different affair from going alone into the woods! As you fully understand. The Company will furnish an agent to escort us on at a reduced rate of fare, provide for our stopping & eating places, give us the information necessary to the best localities, build a boarding house for our accommodation till we can build, put up their mills, &c. with out charge, save the board. Every 4th building lot in the City pays them! For the present there is no lack of timber, & coal will be abundant, the water is good & no more chance for drouth than here, at least to injure crops. As to markets you can sell all you can raise for good prices right on the ground It is a great thoroughfare to California, Oregon & Sante Fee. Thousands are passing through every year. & thousands more will move on in May &c to settle. & must have something to eat! We by going in March can raise a good Crop the first year. This will meet current expenses & place us

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above board. I will understand the cry that Kansas must & will be Free! There is no necessity about it: indeed it is doubtful! There is only one way to save it, this is for every lover of Freedom with a strong will & the ability to start to make his arrangements with his best friends, or without them to go right on to the ground, and whatever he has of talent, money & influence, to use them heartily for Liberty! The Slave holders from Missouri as I expected have just succeeded in electing their Delegate to Congress, & what we must do is to have such a rush of Free men on the ground in May, that we may be able to control the elections of the representatives to the first legislature. This is of the first importance as this legislature will have the power to legislate Slavery into, or out of the Territory. The fact is Northern, men are not half waked up to the importance of the Crisis, & you & I ought & must do what we can by precept & example to rouse them. I have sent you Several papers which I trust you have recd. What I want now is to have you join us in our March emigration. Ann can go with us, or remain behind till we get a house built. I have proposed this to Ellen but she prefers to go on with us if able. She has had a poor turn lately & is sick a bed now but I hope will be up soon. Our wives can be conducted on by the Companys

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agent without us perfectly safe & without care or anxiety. Tell Ann, if she wishes her family & best friends with her, & where they can do most good she must make up her mind to go to Kansas for I am satisfied that that will be the home of many of them. Let her go there & raise up that “little Stranger,” as a true Son of Freedom!
Come, Br French, go to work & get up a crusade for Freedom in Kansas. Rally around you your Vt friends & let us be off! Please converse with my Cousin Hinsdale Arms, he & his boys would do well in our City, & in 5 years they can all be rich! I shall close up teaching here in 4 ½ weeks & shall then travel down among my friends & be getting ready to go. I know we must endure some hardship & have course for awhile, but what of all this? it is in the best of causes & I believe that Providence will smile upon & bless us both in basket & in health & strength, that it will be the means of lengthening out the lives of most of us. Mr Thayer says that the climate agrees remarkably with their invalid women!
Lawrence City contains 2000 inhabitants. I shall sell my piano & most of my things & raise as much money as I well can to build my house with & take advantage of circumstances. Let us hear from you soon. If you can raise $200, to go with it will do to begin with.
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My health is excellent, has not been better for years. How would Webber do in Kansas? And would he like to go?
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Any news from home? What will mother think, I wonder, of Kansas? I must write her soon. With much love to Ann I remain as ever Yours Affectionately I. T. Goodnow.
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Have you seen a book on Kansas by Walter or Hale? You ought to have one.
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Thayer says a man with $2,000 can easily double it every year.

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