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Immigration and Early Settlement

Immigration and Early Settlement > Community Life > Religion
29 Topic Specific Items
Letter, S. L. Adair to Rev. S. S. Jocelyn
Author: Adair, Samuel Lyle
Date: September 8, 1855

This long letter was written in Osawatomie to Jocelyn, who was Samuel Adair's contact with the American Missionary Association. The first three pages dealt with some disagreement over Adair's salary and support that was to be provided by the association, his efforts on behalf of religion, and prospects for a "union" church building that would be shared by several denominations. The last page discussed economic conditions in Kansas Territory and the difficulty of getting items to Kansas either via the Missouri River or by overland freighting from St. Louis. This appears to be a draft of a letter sent to Jocelyn.

Keywords: Adair, Samuel Lyle; American Missionary Association; Churches; Economic conditions; Freight and freightage; Jocelyn, S. S.; Lykins County, Kansas Territory (see also Miami County, Kansas); Miami County, Kansas (see also Lykins County, Kansas Territory); Missouri River; Osawatomie, Kansas Territory; Transportation

Letter, E. Nute, Jr. to Rev. E. E. Hale
Author: Nute, Ephraim
Date: October 3, 1855

Ephraim Nute, a Unitarian minister writing from Lawrence, K. T. to Edward Everett Hale, described the natural environment, economic developments, politics, religious affairs, and daily life in Kansas Territory. Nute commented on the need for more saw mills, efforts to construct a church, prospects for "free-thinking Christianity," and the possibility of armed conflict in the territory.

Keywords: Border ruffians; Churches; Construction; Daily life; Economic development; Hale, Edward Everett, 1822-1909; Houses; Lawrence, Kansas Territory; Nute, Ephraim; Religion; Sawmills; Timber; Unitarian churches; Violence

Letter, S. L. Adair to the friends of Christ
Author: Adair, Samuel Lyle
Date: c. 1855

This letter reported on the current religious situation in Osawatomie, Kansas Territory. According to the author, a missionary with the American Missionary Association, the residents had begun the preliminary steps for organizing a church. In Osawatomie there were a number of Baptists, Congregationalists, and Wesleyans, along with a large group who "make no profession of religion." Adair also wrote about the sickness that prevented more formal organization.

Keywords: Adair, Samuel Lyle; American Missionary Association; Baptists; Brown, Orville Chester, 1811-1904; Congregational churches; Missionaries; Osawatomie, Kansas Territory; Religion

Letter, Samuel Adair to the Free Mission Sewing Society of the First Congregational Church
Author: Adair, Samuel Lyle
Date: Circa 1856

Rev. Adair wrote from Osawatomie, K.T. and described the physical characteristics of Kansas as well as the efforts on behalf of the free state cause. The letter detailed efforts to establish Congregational churches in Kansas as well as discussing the activities of other denominations.

Keywords: Adair, Samuel Lyle; Congregational churches; Free state legislature; Free state perspective; Landscape; Lykins County, Kansas Territory (see also Miami County, Kansas); Methodists; Miami County, Kansas (see also Lykins County, Kansas Territory); Missionaries; Osawatomie, Kansas Territory

Letter, S. N. Simpson to Hiram Hill
Author: Simpson, Samuel Newell
Date: February 6, 1856

Samuel Simpson wrote to Hiram Hill from Boston, Massachusetts, requesting that Hill send the $500 he pledged to invest in a church in Kansas Territory. Simpson indicated that he needed to quickly raise $5-8,000, and could not return to the Territory without it.

Keywords: Churches; Hill, Hiram; Real estate investment; Simpson, Samuel Newell; Town development

Circular, To the Clergy of Massachusetts
Author: Lowell, Charles
Date: June 27, 1856

A circular written by several Boston church pastors urging other Massachusetts clergy to solicit request their congregation members to send aid to free state settlers in Kansas.

Keywords: Antislavery perspective; Boston, Massachusetts; Churches; Circulars; Lowell, Charles; Religion

Printed Letter, Lewis Bodwell to Sir and Brethren
Author: Bodwell, Lewis
Date: 1856

Lewis Bodwell was a Congregational minister located in Topeka, Kansas Territory. He reported that his activities to organize a Congregational Church in Topeka had resulted in 24 members. Apparently, he was working under the auspices of the Home Missionary Church. He wrote that he only held one service a month in a "public hall," as it was also used by three or four other denominations. He indicated that he had preached "in the open air, in ball-rooms and bar-rooms and kitchens." He implied that there was a great need to form a permanent church to aid the congregation by having its own center of activitiy but also to take the financial burden off the Home Missionary Society. This item is undated and the years 1856 and 1860 are both written on it in pencil.

Keywords: Bodwell, Lewis; Churches; Community life; Congregational churches; Congregationalists; Missionaries; Religion; Shawnee County, Kansas Territory; Topeka, Kansas Territory

Letter, I. T. Goodnow to Hon. John Wood
Author: Goodnow, Isaac T., 1814-1894
Date: May 11, 1857

Isaac Goodnow wrote from his travels in Keokuk, Iowa, to John Wood, promoting another addition to the town of Manhattan: a non-denominational church. As he was appointed an Agent by the church Trustees, Goodnow was now also soliciting support for the construction of a church, as well as a college. He also alluded to the living conditions in Kansas as"education & morals rather above average, but in present wealth poor."

Keywords: Churches; Goodnow, Isaac T., 1814-1894; Manhattan, Kansas Territory; Religion; Riley County, Kansas Territory; Town settlement

Letter, G. U. Parsons, Minister, and Benj. R. Edmonds, Clerk of Congregational Society, to the Committee on Church Extension of the General Association
Author: Edmonds, Benjamin R.; Parsons, G. U.
Date: March 19, 1858

Writing from Ogden, Kansas Territory, the authors stated that they had been voted an appropriation by the Congregational Union of New York to build a church but that had not received any of the money. However, their numbers had increased and they had received subscriptions to begin work. They needed additional money to finish the building and were requesting $200 from the committee. They described the advantages of Ogden being where the Smoky Hill and Republican rivers flowed into the Kansas, near Fort Riley, and with prospects for a railroad.

Keywords: Churches; Congregational Union of New York; Congregational churches; Edmonds, Benjamin R.; Ogden, Kansas Territory; Parsons, G. U.; Religion; Riley County, Kansas Territory

Letter, J. P. Root (?) to Rev. S. Y. Lum
Author: Adair, Samuel Lyle
Date: March 19, 1858

Mr. James Root wrote from Wyandotte about the possibility of providing support to organize a Congregational Church in that city. He explained that a number of denominations had organized but they had a small number of members and no buildings. A Congregational minister, Mr. Storrs, had been dividing his time between Quindaro and Wyandotte but was going to focus on Quindaro in the future. He asked for whatever support was possible.

Keywords: Churches; Congregational churches; Lum, S. Y; Quindaro, Kansas Territory; Religion; Root, Joseph P., 1826-1885; Wyandotte County, Kansas Territory; Wyandotte, Kansas Territory

[Rules for disbursement of funds for building churches]
Author: Congregational Church Building Committee
Date: March 23, 1858

The rules spelled out conditions under which Congregational churches or societies received funds for building a Congregational church in a specific community. The money came from the "Fore Father's Day Fund" which was to be used to erect churches in the West. Samuel Adair was a member of the committee which met in Topeka.

Keywords: Adair, Samuel Lyle; Churches; Congregational churches

Historical Sketch, Confession of Faith and Covenant, and Standing Rules of the First Church of Christ in Wabaunsee, Together with a Catalogue of the Officers and Members
Author: First Church of Christ, Wabaunsee
Date: April 1, 1858

This printed pamphlet contained all of the items listed in the title for the First Church of Christ in Wabaunsee, Wabaunsee County, Kansas Territory.

Keywords: Church of Christ; Churches; Community life; Daily life; Religion; Wabaunsee County, Kansas Territory; Wabaunsee, Kansas Territory

Minutes of the Third Session of the Kansas and Nebraska Annual Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church
Author: Kansas and Nebraska Conference, Methodist Episcopal Church
Date: April 15-19, 1858

The annual conference was held in Topeka, Kansas Territory from April 15 through 19, 1858. The minutes included the names of those attending as well as the business conducted. It listed the various ministerial appointments in Kansas and Nebraska as well as the membership of the committees. The minutes reported on educational efforts at Baker University and Blue Mount Central College. It contained information on the church's stand on slavery and temperance. The constitution of the Kansas and Nebraska Conference Missionary Society was included in the report as were statistics for the various churches.

Keywords: Atchison, Kansas Territory; Baker University; Baldwin, Kansas Territory; Big Springs, Kansas Territory; Bluemont Central College; Burlingame, Kansas Territory; Churches; Community life; Denison, Joseph; Dennis, Levin B.; Fort Riley, Kansas Territory; Grasshopper Falls, Kansas Territory; Holton, Kansas Territory; Indianola, Kansas Territory; Lawrence, Kansas Territory; Manhattan, Kansas Territory; Methodist Church; Methodists; Oskaloosa, Kansas Territory; Paddock, G. W.; Palermo, Kansas Territory; Prairie City, Kansas Territory; Religion; Shawnee County, Kansas Territory; Slavery; Sumner, Kansas Territory; Temperance; Topeka, Kansas Territory; White Cloud, Kansas Territory; Wyandotte, Kansas Territory

Letter, John S. Brown to Rev. Mr. [Edward Everett] Hale
Author: Brown, John S.
Date: May 2, 1858

John S. Brown wrote from Lawrence, Kansas Territory to Edward Everett Hale, a member of the New England Emigrant Aid Company's Executive Committee. Brown informed Hale that he had substituted for Rev. Ephraim Nute, minister of the Lawrence Unitarian Church, for the previous six months while Nute lectured in the East. Brown stated that he wanted to serve in Kansas as a missionary but lacked financial resources. He asked Hale for funds to support his missionary efforts.

Keywords: Brown, John S.; Douglas County, Kansas Territory; Hale, Edward Everett, 1822-1909; Lawrence, Kansas Territory; Nute, Ephraim; Religion; Unitarian churches

Letter, E. Nute to [Edward Everett] Hale
Author: Nute, Ephraim
Date: May 10, 1858

Rev. Ephraim Nute, minister of the Lawrence Unitarian Church, wrote from Lawrence, Kansas Territory to Edward Everett Hale, a member of the New England Emigrant Aid Company's Executive Committee. Nute inquired about the possibility of Hale arranging a loan of $2000 at reasonable interest for the completion of the Unitarian Church in Lawrence. He reported on the high rates of interest being charged for loans in Kansas Territory and on the general effects of the panic of 1857 on the territorial economy. Nute also expressed his dissatisfaction with the Buchanan administration's handling of the Lecompton Constitution and his hope that a change in presidential administration in 1860 would result in Kansas' admission as a free state.

Keywords: Babcock, Carmi William; Blood, James; Douglas County, Kansas Territory; Economic conditions; Emigrant aid companies; Hale, Edward Everett, 1822-1909; Lawrence, Kansas Territory; Loans; New England Emigrant Aid Company; Nute, Ephraim; Panic of 1857; Religion; Unitarian church buildings

Draft of Annual Report to the American Missionary Association
Author: Adair, Samuel Lyle
Date: 1858

This report covered the year 1857 but also described the organization of the Congregational Church in Osawatomie. Adair was preaching at a number of rural churches in the area. It reported on membership and attendance and other religious activities. He also mentioned activities of other denominations.

Keywords: Adair, Samuel Lyle; American Missionary Association; Churches; Congregational churches; Lykins County, Kansas Territory (see also Miami County, Kansas); Miami County, Kansas (see also Lykins County, Kansas Territory); Osawatomie, Kansas Territory; Religion

Manuscript Volume, Records of the Congregational Church . . .
Author: Congregational Church of Mount Gilead
Date: April 2, 1859

This small note/ledger volume contained some "Records of the Congregational Church of Mt. Gilead Anderson Co Kansas Territory," which may have been recorded by John S. Hanway, the son of James Hanway (but John S. Hanway's name is not given among members, etc.). The volume covered about a year and a half, from the church's inception in April 1859 to the last dated entry in September, 1860, and was composed mainly of the congregation's articles of faith and by laws. Samuel L. Adair led devotions at the first meeting. The church's first members and/or officers were Wakeman and Mary E. Partridge, J. F. and Ruth I. Wadsworth, Lydia Gilpatrick, Margaret Potter, and William Loomis.

Keywords: Adair, Samuel Lyle; Anderson County, Kansas Territory; Articles of faith; Churches; Congregational Church of Mount Gilead (Anderson County, Kansas Territory); Congregational churches; Gilpatrick, Lydia; Hanway, James; Hanway, John S.; Loomis,William; Mount Gilead, Kansas Territory; Partridge, Mary E.; Partridge, Wakeman; Polter, Margaret; Wadsworth, J. F.; Wadsworth, Ruth I.

Report, Robert Simerwell to the American Baptist Publication Society
Author: Simerwell, Robert W.
Date: March 1, 1860 - April 1, 1860

Robert Simerwell, a missionary for the American Baptist Publication Society, made this report to the headquarters in Philadelphia. It includes a tally of the number of miles he traveled, the number of tracts and volumes he sold, and the number of families visited, along with other information about the religious lives of Kansas settlers. The bottom portion of the report contains a note from Simerwell to Rev. B. Griffith, dated April 2, 1860. In general, this report provides valuable information about the demand for religious supplies in Kansas Territory.

Keywords: American Baptist Publication Society; Auburn, Kansas Territory; Baptists; Books; Churches; Missionaries; Shawnee County, Kansas Territory; Simerwell, Robert W.

Letter, J. [John] Pipher to Brother I. [Isaac] T. Goodnow
Author: Pipher, John
Date: March 16, 1860

John Pipher, President of the Board of Trustees of the Methodist Episcopal Church in Manhattan, Kansas Territory, wrote to Isaac Goodnow, informing him that their church would not be ready for dedication until April the 8th. Goodnow had spent time over the last several years traveling in New England, raising money for construction of both the church and Bluemont Central College. Pipher also referred to the debts held by the church and asked Goodnow how much he could contribute.

Keywords: Business enterprises; Churches; Construction; Finance; Goodnow, Isaac T., 1814-1894; Manhattan, Kansas Territory; Pipher, John; Riley County, Kansas Territory

Minutes of the Kansas and Nebraska Annual Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, Fifth Session
Author: Kansas and Nebraska Conference, Methodist Episcopal Church
Date: March, 1860

The annual conference was held in Leavenworth, Kansas Territory, on March 15, 1860. The report contained a great deal more information than the Third Session from 1858 and included information about Methodist Churches in all parts of Kansas (as well as Nebraska) Territory. Its committee reports included education, slavery, temperance, the conference missionary society, etc.

Keywords: Baker University; Bluemont Central College; Churches; Community life; Leavenworth County, Kansas Territory; Leavenworth, Kansas Territory; Methodist Church; Methodists; Religion; Slavery; Temperance

Report, Robert Simerwell to the American Baptist Publication Society
Author: Simerwell, Robert W.
Date: May 1860

Robert Simerwell, a missionary for the American Baptist Publication Society, sent this report to the national headquarters in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Although he had been suffering with an illness, Simerwell still managed to distribute some religious literature. He was also planning on attending an organizational meeting for a church on Mission Creek, and he seemed encouraged by Kansan's eagerness to participate in Sunday School.

Keywords: American Baptist Publication Society; Auburn, Kansas Territory; Baptists; Churches; Missionaries; Religion; Schools; Simerwell, Robert W.

Letter, M. M. Campbell to Brethren of the Osawatomie B[ible] S[ociety]
Author: Campbell, M. M.
Date: June 26, 1860

This letter, written by M. M. Campbell from Monrovia, Kansas Territory, requested information about the progress of colportage in the Osawatomie area, asking if they had divided the area into districts and appointed colporteurs to distribute religious materials to Kansas settlers. To encourage this, Campbell mentioned the great success of other colporteurs, such as Brother Blood from Manhattan, Kansas. He also encouraged the residents of Osawatomie to remain faithful to their duty as Christians, and to work for the furtherance of the kingdom. Campbell requested more detailed information about the local Bible Society.

Keywords: American Bible Society; Books; Manhattan, Kansas Territory; Missionaries; Osawatomie, Kansas Territory; Religion; Stanton, Kansas Territory

Quarterly Statement, Robert Simerwell, Missionary Coleporter
Author: Simerwell, Robert W.
Date: September 1, 1860 - December 1, 1860

This quarterly statement was written by Robert Simerwell, a missionary with the American Baptist Publication Society. It contains the dollar amounts for the number of books on hand, his salary for one month, and the amount from book sales, among other items.

Keywords: American Baptist Publication Society; Baptists; Books; Freight and freightage; Missionaries; Simerwell, Robert W.

Report, Robert Simerwell to the American Baptist Publication Society
Author: Simerwell, Robert W.
Date: October 1, 1860 - November 1, 1860

This report to the American Baptist Publication Society was written by Robert Simerwell, a missionary in Kansas Territory. It includes information about the number of families he visited, the number of miles he traveled, and the number of books he sold, as well as other pertinent information. The end of the report contains a note to Rev. B. Griffith that recounts his travels and his interactions with churches that were being formed in Kansas Territory.

Keywords: American Baptist Publication Society; Baptists; Books; Churches; Missionaries; Religion; Simerwell, Robert W.

Letter, Sherman Bodwell to Rev. Peter McVicar
Author: Bodwell, Sherman
Date: November 7, 1860

Peter McVicar, a native of Eastport, Maine, and a graduate of Andover Theological Seminary, moved to Kansas Territory in 1860 to become pastor of Topeka's Congregational Church. This letter from church clerk Sherman Bodwell of Topeka pertained to McVicar's pastoral call and requested that the American Home Missionary Society continue to provide partial support for the minister.

Keywords: American Home Missionary Society; Andover Theological Seminary; Bodwell, Sherman; Churches; Congregational churches; Maine; McVicar, Peter; Religion; Shawnee County, Kansas Territory; Topeka, Kansas Territory

First Thanksgiving Sermon
Author: McVicar, Peter
Date: November 29, 1860

Apparently pretty typical of the Rev. Peter McVicar's sermons, this one is entitled "First Thanksgiving Sermon." It was delivered in Topeka on November 29, 1860, just weeks after he assumed the pastorate of the Congregational Church. McVicar focused on the concept that God's blessings were not to be measured by the accumulation of money or property, making specific comments about Kansas. He suggested, for example, that citizens of Kansas Territory who gathered together on that day should be especially thankful for the hardships endured by "early" settlers in order to establish freedom from slavery.

Keywords: Churches; Congregational churches; McVicar, Peter; Religion; Sermons; Shawnee County, Kansas Territory; Slavery; Thanksgiving Day; Topeka, Kansas Territory

Photograph, Peter McVicar
Author: Snyder, Photographer
Date:

Peter McVicar came to Kansas in 1860 from Maine. He was the first pastor of the Topeka Congregational Church. He later served as president of Washburn College

Keywords: Congregationalists; McVicar, Peter; Photographs and Illustrations; Shawnee County, Kansas Territory; Topeka, Kansas Territory

Photograph, Bishop John Baptist Miege (copied from a painting)
Author: No authors specified.
Date:

John Baptist Miege was the first Catholic Bishop of Kansas.

Keywords: Catholic Church; Churches; Miege, John Baptist; Photographs and Illustrations

Photograph, Rev. Ephraim Nute
Author: No authors specified.
Date: 1860s

Portrait of Rev. Ephraim Nute. He was a Unitarian minister in Lawrence, Kansas Territory. Nute served as chaplain for the Territorial Legislature at Lecompton and was a chaplain for the First Regiment of the Kansas Volunteers.

Keywords: Nute, Ephraim; Photographs and Illustrations; Unitarian churches

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Letter, S. L. Adair to Ladies Circle of South Hadley Falls, Massachusetts (draft)
Authors: Adair, Samuel Lyle
Date:  not dated
Adair thanked the Ladies Circle for sending a fount, plate and cups for use in the church in Osawatomie. His appreciation was expressed in a religious sense. He asked for their prayers and said they have those of the church. He reported on sickness and on difficulties related to the church. He also commented on the "irreligion" in the area.

Keywords: Adair, Samuel Lyle; Churches; Illness; Lykins County, Kansas Territory (see also Miami County, Kansas); Massachusetts; Miami County, Kansas (see also Lykins County, Kansas Territory); Osawatomie, Kansas Territory; Religion; Women


Photograph, Samuel Lyle Adair family
Authors: No authors specified.
Date:  1849
Portrait of Samuel Lyle Adair, Charles Storrs Adair, Florella Brown Adair, and Emma Florilla Adair. The family settled near Osawatomie, Kansas Territory, where Adair was a minister and free state supporter. His wife was a half sister to John Brown and he occasionally stayed with the Adairs. The family was involved in various free state and relief activities.

Keywords: Adair, Florella Brown; Adair, Samuel Lyle; Brown, John, 1800-1859; Children; Osawatomie, Kansas Territory; Religion


Letter, R. A. Tovey to My Dear Wife
Authors: Tovey, Robert Atkins
Date:  January 23, 1854
Robert Atkins Tovey, Sr., wrote to his wife, Eliza (Matthew) Tovey, at their home in Albany, New York. Tovey reported that, since the freezing of the Missouri River, mail was slow, and he had lost his job making stove fixings because of the inability to obtain materials from steamboat transport. Tovey also described his friend Swifts' problems maintaining ownership of his land claim, and the prospect that he himself may participate in a new town's development.

Keywords: Commerce; Labor; Land acquisition; Land claim disputes; Land claims; Missouri River; Religion; Squatters; Swift, J. Dedan; Tovey, Robert Atkins; Town development; Weather


Letter, James [Griffing] to My Beloved Augusta [Goodrich]
Authors: Griffing, James Sayre
Date:  September 2, 1854
James Griffing wrote from Indianapolis, Indiana to his fiancee J. Augusta Goodrich in Owego, New York. Griffing, a Methodist minister, mentioned his plans to go to "Nebraska" and speculated that the "surplus population" in the eastern United States likely would lead to rapid settlement of the territory. Griffing expressed excitement about going to Kansas but he warned his fiancee that he would face hardships.

Keywords: Emigration and immigration; Griffing, James Sayre; Griffing, Jemima Augusta (Goodrich); Indianapolis, Indiana; Methodists; Religion; Westward expansion


Diary, scattered entries
Authors: Adair, Samuel Lyle
Date:  September 10, 1854, through February 7, 1861
The diary entries are very scattered. The first entry indicated that Adair and his wife were considering coming to Kansas. The other entries relate to daily activities and Adair's ministry. He often mentioned who he visited and who was ill. The entry for Feb. 4, 1861, noted that Kansas had been admitted to the Union.

Keywords: Adair, Samuel Lyle; Admission, Kansas (see also Statehood); Diaries; Free state activities; Lykins County, Kansas Territory (see also Miami County, Kansas); Miami County, Kansas (see also Lykins County, Kansas Territory); Osawatomie, Kansas Territory; Religion


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