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Drought reports, Kansas Territory

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Report of Moseley the Buffalo Hunter.
Account of Buckner “The Negro.”
Peter Welsh a resident of Kansas for 30 years.
John T. Jones Resident in Kansas 24 years.
Letter of C. B. Rice of Black Jack
Appeal of Sam Howe & E. Q. Condit
Letter of Judge Lambden Butler Hunter & Otoe Counties.

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Miscellaneous. Moseley of Greenwood County, a celebrated buffalo hunter said he had just bought a claim for $200 that 6 months ago the man would not have taken $1000. he gave only 25$ in money the balance in trade. There is not a bushel of old corn in the County.
I lived on the Little Arkansas there was a number of families there but now for the extent of 15 miles square not a white – settler remains I do not believe there are three families that have any corn in Greenwood County. Where I am now staying they have no groceries and no money - The people are depending on Buffalo for meat and for bread they have to buy it with wolf skins. The wolf skins are a legal tender but you have to catch them first. The people have lost the seed that they planted.
A colored man is living in Otoe County by the name of Buckner - Judge Buckner moved from Kentucky to Missouri and at his death he willed to Buckner “The negro” his – freedom - he then went to Iowa prejudice drove him to north Kansas and from there he moved to Whitewater on the Osage Lands, west of Butler County in Otoe County He has about 50 head of cattle. some horses. and has 20 acres under cultivation and was doing well till the drought came on - has now hardly anything so far as crops are concerned. he is

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the only person who has not deserted - that neighborhood.
Thomas A. Hill Greenwood County says the whole county will not produce a bushel of corn to the acre, 80 or 90 families have left, and others want to go but are not able.
Rev. Henry Moys Methodist, Elmendaro says Madison County – will probably raise a half a crop on the Verdigris the people will not have half enough to do. he found a family whose crop had failed and who has not the means to get away. - The settlers are losing their cattle by Texas Fever. some have lost all the cattle they have. Know of but one or two persons who have corn in the bounds of his circuit.
John L. Pratt of Chelsea Butler County. no crops in his County not a cucumber even no old corn in the county - not much money and what could be raised has been used for pre-emption of land many persons were compelled to mortgage their claims and others gave up entirely and left the country 640 persons in the County and there is not a dollar in money to the man 15 Townships of land were offered for sale at Fort Scott on the 13th of

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August and the people were compelled to go about 150 miles to Fort Scott to pre-empt their land. Buffalo meat is a legal tender There is not a grain of old corn on hand on Walnut Creek an extent of 65 miles. except what has been hauled from Cottonwood a distance of 50 miles. The grasshoppers came to that Country in a cloud about 2 weeks ago and after destroying the Corn and Buckwheat are now eating the leaves of the trees he saw clouds of them in the sky on the day they came as high up as he could see - the wind blew from the Northwest at the time.
H. I. Hunter of Madison County. has 8 acres of corn which he thinks will average 15 bush of corn to the acre very wormy on the same ground he raised last year 20 Bushels to the acre wheat Through this section is an entire – failure - in his township there is some old corn - on the Verdigris the crops are an almost entire failure one man B. F. Vanhorn has a large field of Corn which he has offered to sell for 25 cents an acre. On the upper part of the Verdigris some weeks ago after a rain came there was some hopes of a crop but since the continuance

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of the dry weather the crops will be an entire failure - Thinks there is not corn enough in the country to do the people. said Mr. Huntly has 500 bushels old corn which he intends to keep for his own use will not sell any the population on these creeks is about 500 persons. One shower only fell in 9 months money is scarce and people cannot sell cattle or Hogs for even less than half what they could be sold for sometime ago. many borrowed money to pre-empt and have mortgaged their claims =
Myrock Huntley (speaks for himself!! - Last year he had 30 acres which averaged 75 bushels to the acre this year he has 40 acres no corn nothing but fodder has about 400 acres with his two sons and himself which will produce nothing but fodder. 5 acres of Fall wheat 12 acres of Spring wheat which was not harvested. There is not enough old corn to bread the people no money and corn is legal tender part are going away others will stay a few will have bread and water. The settlers entered land on shares and are free from debt. he is selling corn at 50 cents and will continue as long as he has any to

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spare will sell only in small quantities for breads - Bread stuff and groceries will be needed.
Judge Graham Madison County - Fall and spring wheat sown none harvested. Corn crop in his neighborhood will average ten bushels to the acre. is much injured by the worm. very little old corn in the country only ten bushels in the Mill. if it does not rain in a week there will be no potatoes - The population of the County cannot be sustained by the present crop. Cattle disease very severe about 53 head of the best cattle died in one week.
met Peter Welsh on the Road for provisions lives in the Osage Country - has lived 30 years in this country and never saw any thing like this. has now to haul provisions for his family 150 miles. The Osage Indians have gone to the Buffalo Country to keep from starving - Chetopa the Chief 93 years old never knew till this year a want of grass for the ponies to live on and corn has always been raised till this year. unless there is some help for southern and western Kansas it will be depopulated, houses are vacated people moving out women have been compelled to cut squashes with blooms

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on to cook for their children -
met 5 wagons and 24 persons from Walnut Creek - Wm Thurman said he had a good place and was well fixed but the troubles now are worse than in 56. he could not stay and starve. The people are now living on corn breads and corn coffey last spring he was offered 700$ for his improvements he now sold them to leave for 1 yoke of Cattle – and a wagon not in all worth more than $100. Tho teams have driven for a week and have not been able to get feed “Folks have staid till they have worn out their clothes and have nothing to eat and are compelled to leave or starve” - and they find men who will give nothing and report false so as to speculate on the necessities of the people.
John T Jones Ottawa Creek has lived in Kansas 24 years. Has never seen any thing like this present condition of crops. last year raised 50 acres of corn which averaged 60 bushels to the acre this year he will not have an average of 5 bushels to the acre since he has been here till this year the seasons have been as good as in any of the western [missing word]

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“Owl Creek Woodson Co Kansas September 14th 1860
To Thaddeus Hyatt.
Dear Sir. - Men under some circumstances become desperate and men of any honor, men of sensitive feelings would scarcely appeal to strangers until the last resort had failed until hope had well nigh fled - Sir we are bold but it is a boldness that desperation gives, we ask of you aid, we ask of you a little money to buy bread; You have seen our faces, you saw us at Leroy we come to you with no lie - there is no collusion there is no illusion nor delusion about it we must have aid from some source - We raised no crops neither of us have a team, not a dollar in money. how can we get away? - no employment it is not a tale of false woes, our oaths will verify it dozens of our neighborhoods testify to it - S. N. Howe lost well nigh all he had by fire - I have lost more than all. I came here full of hope full of determination to have to adorn and beautify a home - but she who was the life the light the joy the pride of my home and heart -

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the mother of my children now sleeps beneath the clay - she who has lain upon my arm who has welcomed me home a thousand times who never murmered now lies beneath the soil of Kansas and sleeps the sleep of death. do not cast this to one side and say “what stuff to a stranger” - I know something of your history you are not to me altogether a stranger – nor to humanity - We ask it not for ourselves but for our hungry ragged destitute motherless children and although it may create a smile we say we do not wish to beg we do not ask it as a pure gift - We are willing to work we are willing to give bond with as good security as the County affords Can you will you.” Leroy Coffey Co KS” Sam S Howe “E Condit”
“PS. No rain yet - indeed rain would do but little good vegetation is dead. A general exodus seems about to take place without my exaggeration. Whatever whole neighborhoods are being deserted”. “EQC”
“The utterly helpless and the utterly hoggish still remain.” -

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Copy “Chelsea K T. Sept 20th 1860
Mr. W.F.M Arny - Dear Sir
Your letter of the 7th was duly received and in order that I might make correct statement in regard to the true conditions of your country, I have visited many families and had others to do the same within the Counties of Butler Hunter and Otoe and am truly sorry to report the destitute condition of our country I was satisfied it was bad enough in fact it is truly alarming as to crops. There are none - it is a complete failure there will not be twenty bushels of corn raised in the three counties named, and not to exceed that amount of wheat, no potatoes the Buckwheat crop is entirely destroyed by grasshoppers, in Butler County there is about six hundred inhabitants in Hunter one hundred in in Otoe one hundred and fifty and at least three fourths of that number are almost destitute of money clothing and provisions. - Very few have more stock than corn supply their immediate wants. some indeed have been deprived of their last cow, by a disease that has prevailed in this country to some

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extent called Spanish fever - I find many families that have not more than one bushel of corn meal in the House that with some Buffalo meat and the milk they get composes their daily food - the facts as they really exist are that the people are in a suffering condition and unless supplies are furnished from some source much suffering will be the result most of the settlers have been here over two years. have raised nothing their means are exhausted They would gladly work -but can get no work to do. that would bring subsistence, and the land sales being forced upon them had much to do in draining them of their last dollar. There is no false conception in this matter as my friend of the “news” has it – but it is real and this state of things does not only exist in these counties just named but is general throughout Southern Kansas. That is according to my observation I have traveled about seven hundred miles since the 1st of July and with a very few exceptions there is but little difference south of the Kaw River I heartily

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concur in the statement made by C.H.S. in a letter to the New York Tribune. and am truly glad that you have taken it upon yourself to act in this matter. and sincerely hope that your efforts may be crowned with success. and that speedy relief may be had for the sufferers in Kansas for which they will ever be grateful.
“Yours truly” J. C Lambdin
Judge Lambdin is a senator elect under Wyandott State Constitution. –
There are 6 or 8 families in Otoe County of Colored persons who have been driven from Arkansas by the Law compelling “Free Negroes to leave the state. These families are represented as industrious but now in want – owing to the present drougth.

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