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Immigration and Early Settlement

Immigration and Early Settlement > Emigrant Aid Organizations > National Kansas Committee
55 Topic Specific Items
Letters, by Thaddeus Hyatt (No. 3 and No. 4, incomplete)
Author: Hyatt, Thaddeus
Date: 1856

These two excerpts of letters written by Thaddeus Hyatt, president of the National Kansas Committee, described the early workings of this committee and its work for the free state cause. Copy No. 3 discussed the "Tabernacle Committee" and the appropriation of side arms and Sharps rifles. Copy No. 4 referred to J.M. Winchell, authorizing him to make a withdrawal from the New York Kansas Fund. [The first page of the letters which is included in the text version was not scanned.]

Keywords: Firearms; Hyatt, Thaddeus; National Kansas Committee; Relief; Sharps rifles; Winchell, James M., 1823-1877

Statement on the Central Committee
Author: Undersigned Citizens of Kansas Territory, John Stroup (first signature)
Date: January 8, 1856

This document, signed by Kansas citizens from the Lawrence area, deplores the condition of the Central Committee's room and office. These citizens claim that they were mistreated and that the relief effort should be placed in more benevolent hands. They ask that the National Kansas Committee "remove the present incumbents and apoint persons Who have Some feeling for poor Suffering humanity." It concludes with a list of signatures.

Keywords: Central Relief Committee; Lawrence, Kansas Territory; National Kansas Committee; Relief

Bill, Furnished the Freestate Party
Author: Blanton, Napoleon B.
Date: May 15, 1856

This itemized list of items reportedly "furnished the freestate Party" was submitted by Napoleon B. Blanton of Douglas Co., who operated a toll bridge over the Wakarusa River south of Lawrence. The total bill was for $191.26, including provisions and tolls: "I have thrown my bridge open free for the freestate party from the 15th of May to the 20th of September. . ."

Keywords: Blanton, Napolean Bonaparte; Blantons Bridge; Blood, James; Food; Free State Party; Transportation; Wakarusa River

Minutes, Kansas Relief Committee
Author: National Kansas Committee
Date: June 9, 1856 - June 26, 1856

This document details the minutes of three meetings of the Kansas Relief Committee, otherwise known as the National Kansas Committee, held in 1856 on June 9th, June 21st, and June 26th. It also includes information about the membership of this emigrant aid company. The first of these meetings adopted resolutions to aid the plight of free-state settlers in Kansas Territory. Furthermore, the members of the committee decided to establish five thousand settlers in Kansas Territory and to give them a year's worth of provisions.

Keywords: Antislavery perspective; Border ruffians; Emigrant aid companies; Emigration and immigration; Hyatt, Thaddeus; Kansas Relief Committee; Minutes; Missouri; National Kansas Committee; Relief; Relief funds

Letter, Peter Page to Thaddeus Hyatt
Author: Page, Peter
Date: July 6, 1856

Peter Page wrote from Chicago, Illinois to Thaddeus Hyatt, president of the National Kansas Committee, concerning the shipment of relief to free-state settlers in Kansas Territory and the emigration of settlers into Kansas. The author wrote a lengthy account of the committee's frustrated attempts to arrange suitable transportation into the territory, since the water route on the Missouri River was unsafe due to persistent harassment from border ruffians.

Keywords: Border ruffians; Chicago, Illinois; Emigration and immigration; Hyatt, Thaddeus; Iowa; Lane, James Henry, 1814-1866; Leavenworth, Kansas Territory; Lexington, Missouri; Missouri; Page, Peter; Violence

Letter, W.F.M. Arny to William Barnes
Author: Arny, W F. M. (William Frederick Milton), 1813-1881
Date: July 24, 1856

William F. M. Arny, general agent of the National Kansas Committee, wrote from Chicago, Illinois to thank William Barnes, secretary of the New York State Kansas Committee, for sending funds. He also wrote to solicit additional funds to support the free state cause in Kansas. The letter includes a printed form letter describing the National Kansas Aid Committee as well as the handwritten letter to Barnes.

Keywords: Arny, W. F. M. (William Frederick Milton), 1813-1881; Barnes, William, 1824-1913; Chicago, Illinois; Free state support; National Kansas Committee; New York State Kansas Committee

Letter, Eli Thayer to Mr. [William] Barnes
Author: No authors specified.
Date: August 1, 1856

Eli Thayer, writing from Worcester, Massachusetts to William Barnes, secretary of the New York State Kansas Committee, commented on his recent appointment as general agent for the National Kansas Committee.

Keywords: Barnes, William, 1824-1913; Free state support; National Kansas Committee; New York State Kansas Committee; Thayer, Eli, 1819-1899

Letter, Thaddeus Hyatt to Mr. [William F. M.] Arny (No. 2)
Author: Hyatt, Thaddeus
Date: August 11, 1856

This letter was written from Niagara Falls by Thaddeus Hyatt, president of the National Kansas Committee, to his agent William F. M. Arny. The committee needed to release advertisements publicizing their upcoming meeting at Saratoga, New York, which was set for August 27, 1856. Hyatt emphasized the need for immediate action, stating that there "is no time to spare."

Keywords: Arny, W. F. M. (William Frederick Milton), 1813-1881; Howe, S. G. (Samuel Gridley), 1801-1876; Hyatt, Thaddeus; National Kansas Committee; Relief; Saratoga, New York; Smith, Gerritt

Letter, [Thaddeus] Hyatt to My dear Friend [Horace White] (No. 26); Telegraphic dispatches (No. 27 and No. 28)
Author: Hyatt, Thaddeus
Date: August 19, 1856 - November 24, 1856

This copy of a letter, which is added onto the end of another copied letter, was addressed to Horace White and was written by Thaddeus Hyatt, president of the National Kansas Committee. The letter began with a description of Hyatt's sleeping arrangements the past two nights, and then moved on to other personal matters. He concluded the letter with committee business, mentioning his fear that funds and provisions were not truly being handed out to the neediest settlers. He also detailed an encounter with Mr. Carpenter, whose mother was Clarina Nichols. At the end of the letter were copies of two telegraphic dispatches sent by Thaddeus Hyatt to William F. M. Arny, general agent for the committee, on November 22th and 24th. They both concern Dr. Root, who was involved in Kansas relief.

Keywords: Arny, W. F. M. (William Frederick Milton), 1813-1881; Carpenter, A.O.; Eldridge, Shalor Winchell, 1816-1899; Hyatt, Thaddeus; Kansas Central Committee; National Kansas Committee; Nichols, Clarina Irene Howard, 1810-1885; Redpath, James, 1833-1891; Root, Joseph P., 1826-1885; Sharps rifles; Telegraph

Letter, A. D. Searl to Mr. [Thaddeus] Hyatt
Author: Searl, Albert D.
Date: August 21, 1856

The author wrote from Tabor, Iowa to Thaddeus Hyatt, president of the National Kansas Committee. He began the letter by mentioning a skirmish between pro-slavery and free state forces somewhere between Lawrence and Topeka. This correspondence also deals with emigrant settlements within the territory, the shipment of weapons and provisions, and the morale among the emigrants as they struggled to make ends meet. Furthermore, Searl mentioned a great deal about James Lane and his activities within Kansas Territory.

Keywords: Big Blue, Kansas Territory; Blanchard, A. J.; Emigration and immigration; Hyatt, Thaddeus; Iowa City, Iowa; Lane Trail; Lane, James Henry, 1814-1866; Law and Order Party; Lawrence, Kansas Territory; National Kansas Committee; Nebraska City, Nebraska Territory; Plattsmouth, Nebraska; Relief funds; Searl, Albert D.; Skirmishing; Topeka, Kansas

Receipts, Francis Tomes and Sons to Mr. T. Hyatt
Author: No authors specified.
Date: August 22, 1856 - August 23, 1856

These two receipts, from Francis Tomes and Sons, New York, detail supplies acquired to benefit the free state cause. They include the prices of Bowie knives, Colt pistols, and other pieces pertaining to the use of firearms.

Keywords: Firearms; Guns; Hyatt, Thaddeus; National Kansas Committee; Receipts; Relief; Weapons (see also Guns)

Letter, J. M. Winchell to My Dear Sir [Thaddeus Hyatt]
Author: Winchell, James M., 1823-1877
Date: September 20, 1856

James M. Winchell wrote from Burlington to Thaddeus Hyatt, president of the National Kansas Committee, regarding an emigrant train of 500 settlers heading south from Iowa City. The author intended to travel to speak with Governor Geary before he met up with the emigrants. Winchell also included in this letter a private insert pertaining to his suspicions about the motivations of a newcomer named Dr. Root.

Keywords: Eldridge, Shalor Winchell, 1816-1899; Hyatt, Thaddeus; Lecompton, Kansas Territory; National Kansas Committee; Nebraska Territory; Relief; Root, Joseph P., 1826-1885; Winchell, James M., 1823-1877

Circular, An Appeal for Kansas
Author: Hyatt, Thaddeus
Date: October 10, 1856

This letter was written by Thaddeus Hyatt, president of the National Kansas Committee, to the New York Tribune editor, who printed it in the paper. It was subtitled, "with practical suggestions for its relief." This committee, also known as the Kansas Relief Committee in its early years, sought to send free state settlers into Kansas Territory and to obtain support for Kansas from the Northeast.

Keywords: Arny, W. F. M. (William Frederick Milton), 1813-1881; Chicago, Illinois; Circulars; Clothing and dress; Emigrant aid companies; Emigrant aid companies - Free state; Food; Free state perspective; Hyatt, Thaddeus; Kansas Relief Committee; National Kansas Committee; New York Tribune; Relief

Letter, J. D. Webster to James Blood
Author: Webster, J. D.
Date: October 10, 1856

From Chicago, headquarters of the National Kansas Committee, the committee's vice president wrote to authorize Blood to draw on the treasurer for $3,000 "to be expended under authority of the State Kansas Committee." The purpose was to offer "provisions" to needy free state settlers; this was to be the committee's focus, "rather than to aid emigrants to go there."

Keywords: Blood, James; Chicago, Illinois; Free state settlers; Free state supporters; Lawrence, Kansas Territory; National Kansas Committee; Osawatomie, Kansas Territory; Relief funds; State Central Committee of Kansas

Letter, Augustus Wattles to Mr. [George W.?] Brown
Author: Wattles, Augustus
Date: October 15, 1856

Augustus Wattles, a loyal defender of John Brown, wrote to [George W.?] Brown requesting reimbursement for some $700 he had lost in the cause. Although Wattles had not expected to recoup his losses, and in fact had planned "to give all these items gratis to the free state cause," he had heard "a committee" had funds for that purpose, and he was ill and in need of money. His claim included a couple horses, a mule, and room and board for various free state people he had taken in when they were in need of shelter.

Keywords: Brown, George W. (George Washington), 1820-1915; Free state cause; Lane, James Henry, 1814-1866; Lawrence, Kansas Territory; National Kansas Committee; Relief funds; Wakarusa War, November-December 1855; Wattles, Augustus

Circular, To the Friends of Free Kansas in the States
Author: Kansas State Central Committee
Date: October 20, 1856

This handwritten "appeal" was sent out to all those who had or might be inclined to support the free state cause in Kansas, assuring them that the committee in Kansas had reached full accord with the National Kansas Committee and could be "relied upon" to distribute aid channeled through Chicago. "Our people are still in extreme want, and hundreds of families are entirely dependent upon your charities."

Keywords: Arny, W. F. M. (William Frederick Milton), 1813-1881; Chicago, Illinois; Circulars; Eldridge, Shalor Winchell, 1816-1899; Free state settlers; Free state supporters; Kansas Central Committee; Kansas State Central Committee; National Kansas Committee; Relief funds; State Central Committee of Kansas

Report of a trip to Kansas by W. F. M. Arny
Author: Arny, W F. M. (William Frederick Milton), 1813-1881
Date: October 20, 1856

William F. M. Arny was the general agent of the National Kansas Committee. He submitted this report describing the "wants and sufferings" of settlers in Kansas Territory. It included references to border ruffians, land sales, and the suffering in various districts of Kansas. He requested that aid be sent to the Kansas Central Committee.

Keywords: Arny, W. F. M. (William Frederick Milton), 1813-1881; Blood, James; Border ruffians; Chicago, Illinois; Clothing and dress; Council Grove, Kansas Territory; Eldridge, Shalor Winchell, 1816-1899; Emigrant aid companies; Emigrant aid companies - Free state; Food; Geary, John White, 1819-1873; Grasshopper Falls, Kansas Territory; Hutchinson, William, 1823-1904; Illness; Kansas Central Committee; Lawrence, Kansas Territory; Lecompton, Kansas Territory; Martin, Samuel E. (Dr.); National Kansas Committee; Osawatomie, Kansas Territory; Relief; Topeka, Kansas Territory; Winchell, James M., 1823-1877

Minutes of Executive Committee, Kansas State Central Committee
Author: Kansas State Central Committee
Date: October 22, 1856

Dated Lawrence, October 22, 1856, these are apparently the minutes of the first meeting the Kansas State Central Committee's executive committee, chaired by James M. Winchell with George S. Hillyer as secretary. Eight resolutions are recorded, authorizing the committee to provide assistance, etc.

Keywords: Free state cause; Hillyer, George S.; Horses; Kansas Central Committee; Lawrence, Kansas Territory; Minutes; National Kansas Committee; Relief; Winchell, James M., 1823-1877

Receipt, Kansas State Central Committee
Author: Colburn, Willard
Date: October 22, 1856

In light of the receipts that precede this one, dated Lawrence, October 22, 1856, it might be assumed that the provisions and clothing listed here were intended for the Lecompton prisoners. The list was signed by Willard Colburn and included shirts, pants, quilts, etc.

Keywords: Free state support; Kansas State Central Committee; Lawrence, Kansas Territory; Prisoners; Receipts

Letter, W. F. M. Arny to Dear Sir [Thaddeus Hyatt]
Author: Arny, W F. M. (William Frederick Milton), 1813-1881
Date: October 23, 1856

W. F. M. Arny, an agent of the National Kansas Committee, wrote this letter to Thaddeus Hyatt while traveling on the Missouri River. The main focus of this letter revolved around committee business and the state of affairs in Kansas. During this visit to Kansas, Arny had reorganized the Kansas Central Committee in order to increase its efficiency, and he included in this letter a revised list of its officers and members. He also wrote about his conversation with Governor Geary concerning the various volunteer companies created by free state men. The letter ends with a brief description of the suffering of the settlers, their meager diet, and their desperate need for more provisions.

Keywords: Arny, W. F. M. (William Frederick Milton), 1813-1881; Border ruffians; Buchanan, James, 1791-1868; Chicago, Illinois; Clothing and dress; Economic conditions; Eldridge, Shalor Winchell, 1816-1899; Election, Presidential, 1856; Firearms; Food; Free state militia; Free state perspective; Geary, John White, 1819-1873; Guns; Hyatt, Thaddeus; Illness; Kansas Central Committee; Lawrence, Kansas Territory; Money; National Kansas Committee; Relief; Relief funds; Sickness (see Illness); Topeka, Kansas; Violence; Weapons (see also Guns)

Letter, L. W. Hoover to Sirs [State Central Committee]
Author: Hover, L. H.
Date: October 24, 1856

This claim, against the funds being distributed by the State Central Committee, was filed by L. W. Hoover, a farmer and freestater who had settled at Wakarusa on June 1, 1856. His crops, etc., were destroyed while he was serving in the militia during "the Washington Creek difficulty" and he had since fallen quite ill and was dependent on help from his neighbors.

Keywords: Free state settlers; National Kansas Committee; Relief funds; Wakarusa River; Washington Creek, Kansas Territory

Letter, James Gillpatrick to Gen. [Samuel C.] Pomeroy
Author: Gillpatrick, James
Date: October 24, 1856

From Brownville, K.T., Gillpatrick wrote seeking compensation for his losses to the "border ruffins," or specifically at the hand of "a miserable horse thief from Missouri." Gillpatrick had been advised by a Chicago friend that all such aid was being distributed through the Lawrence based committee, thus his letter to Pomeroy, who would "doubtless know who they are."

Keywords: Border ruffians; Chicago, Illinois; Lawrence, Kansas Territory; National Kansas Committee; Pomeroy, S. C. (Samuel Clarke), 1816-1891; Relief funds; State Central Committee of Kansas

Letter, George W. Bell to [William] Hutchinson and [James] Blood
Author: Bell, George W.
Date: October 26, 1856

From Hickory Point in Jefferson County, George Bell, an agent for the Kansas Central Committee, wrote William Hutchinson and James Blood at Lawrence regarding the condition of the "Burr family" and their specific relief needs. They were described as "destitute" of food and clothing.

Keywords: Blood, James; Clothing and dress; Free state settlers; Hickory Point, Kansas Territory; Hutchinson, William, 1823-1904; Kansas Central Committee; Lawrence, Kansas Territory; National Kansas Committee; Relief

Letter, T. W. Higginson to Dear Sir [William Hutchinson]
Author: Higginson, Thomas Wentworth
Date: October 27, 1856

This letter and accompanying list of forthcoming relief supplies (shirts, dresses, over coats, etc.) were directed to William Hutchinson, "Treasurer Kanzas Committee," by Thomas Wentworth Higginson of Brattleboro, Vermont. Three boxes of clothing had been sent and Higginson reminded Hutchinson that it was "very important that in this case & in all cases, prompt acknowledgement should be made of the receipt of everything contributed to Kanzas." People needed to know that their contributions were getting through and that they were appreciated.

Keywords: Clothing and dress; Free state settlers; Free state supporters; Higginson, Thomas Wentworth, 1823-1911; Hutchinson, William, 1823-1904; National Kansas Committee; Osawatomie, Kansas Territory; Relief

Letter, W. F. M. Arny to W. Hutchinson
Author: Arny, W F. M. (William Frederick Milton), 1813-1881
Date: October 28, 1856

From Chicago, William F. M. Arny, general agent for the National Kansas Committee, wrote to inform Hutchinson of a shipment of relief goods that would arrive soon at Leavenworth. Arny had also given James Blood several thousand dollars "to purchase goods in St. Louis," and Arny was on his way East to raise more.

Keywords: Arny, W. F. M. (William Frederick Milton), 1813-1881; Blood, James; Brown, George W. (George Washington), 1820-1915; Herald of Freedom; Hutchinson, William, 1823-1904; Lawrence, Kansas Territory; Leavenworth, Kansas Territory; National Kansas Committee; Relief; St. Louis, Missouri; Wattles, Augustus

Advertisement, Contributions for Kansas--Clothing and Provisions
Author: National Kansas Committee
Date: c. October 1856

This advertisement was attached to a receipt for the placement of a notice in the New York Times. The advertisement included information about how the people of New England could aid the fight for freedom in Kansas--both with funds and with labor. It also gave the names of National Kansas Committee members and an address for their New York office.

Keywords: Advertisements; Boston, Massachusetts; Clothing and dress; Dana, Charles A.; Emigrant aid companies; Free state activities; Hyatt, Thaddeus; Ketchum, Edgar; Lockwood, Roe; McNamee, Theodore; National Kansas Committee; New York; Relief; Relief funds

Letter, S. Chamberlin to Sir [Thaddeus Hyatt]
Author: Chamberlin, S.
Date: November 3, 1856

This letter, written by S. Chamberlin, President of the LeRoy Kansas Aid Society, was addressed to Thaddeus Hyatt, chairman of the National Kansas Committee. This aid society in LeRoy, New York, was formed after a lecture presented by H.D. Northrup, an agent of the National Kansas Committee. The author immensely praised the speaking abilities of Northrup, likening him to the great orator Henry Clay. Chamberlin was firmly convinced that, if Northrup canvassed the North, he would be able to stir the hearts of Northerners in support of free state cause. This society also collected clothing and money to send to the free state settlers in Kansas.

Keywords: Arny, W. F. M. (William Frederick Milton), 1813-1881; Clothing and dress; Free state cause; Hyatt, Thaddeus; Lectures; National Kansas Committee; Northrup, H.D.; Relief; Relief funds

Receipt, N. M'Cracken to William Hutchinson
Author: Morgan, J. F.
Date: November 27, 1856

Unlike most of the other receipts for money or merchandise saved by James Blood for the Kansas State Central Committee, this one was on a pre-printed form and issued by "N'Mcracken" of Leavenworth for merchandise to be delivered to William Hutchinson at Lawrence. It was actually signed by J. F. Morgan, who apparently delivered the goods from Leavenworth to Lawrence and "received pay of J. Blood" on January 26, 1857.

Keywords: Blood, James; Hutchinson, William, 1823-1904; Kansas State Central Committee; Lawrence, Kansas Territory; Leavenworth, Kansas Territory; Merchandise; Receipts; Relief; Transportation

Letter, Elias D. Porter to Mr. [Thaddeus] Hyatt
Author: Porter, Elias D.
Date: November 27, 1856

Elias Porter, writing from Oriskany, New York, informed Thaddeus Hyatt, chairman of the National Kansas Committee, about a box of provisions sent to W. F. M. Arny, an agent with this committee. The letter includes an itemized list of the materials send to aid the free state settlers residing in Kansas.

Keywords: Arny, W. F. M. (William Frederick Milton), 1813-1881; Clothing and dress; House furnishings; Hyatt, Thaddeus; New York; Porter, Elias D.; Relief

Kansas Affairs
Author: Daniels, Edward
Date: December 1, 1856

Edward Daniels wrote this printed letter "to the Friends of Free Kansas" from the office of the National Kansas Committee in Chicago, Illinois on December 1, 1856. He had just returned from Kansas Territory and presented 9 "facts and suggestions" about conditions in the territory and how people in the East could provide support to free state settlers. He included suggestions on how ministers and communities could raise funds and/or provisions for those in Kansas. He believed that a large emigration of free state supporters was needed in the spring of 1857 and provided suggestions on how to get there and what to take. He also indicated that seed was necessary to having a good harvest the next year.

Keywords: Agriculture; Daniels, Edward; Emigration and immigration; Free state cause; Free state settlers; Illinois; National Kansas Committee; Relief; Seeds

Letter, H. B. Hurd to Dear Sir [Theodore Hyatt]
Author: Hurd, H. B.
Date: December 1, 1856

This letter was written by the secretary of the National Kansas Committee, H. B. Hurd, to Theodore Hyatt, whose brother was chairman of this committee. The most noteworthy aspect of the letter is the letterhead, which included a listing of the members of the committee, the executive officers, and their hometowns. It also included the address of their Chicago office.

Keywords: Arny, W. F. M. (William Frederick Milton), 1813-1881; Barnard, S. S.; Cabot, Samuel; Clark, W. Penn; Dole, G. W.; Eldridge, Shalor Winchell, 1816-1899; Gordon, Alex; Hoppin, W. H.; Howe, S. G. (Samuel Gridley), 1801-1876; Hunt, F. A.; Hurd, H. B.; Hyatt, Thaddeus; Hyatt, Theodore; National Kansas Committee; Reader, A. H.; Russell, W. H.; Scammon, J. Young; Stanley, W. H.; Thayer, Eli, 1819-1899; Tweedy, J. H.; Webster, J. D.; White, Horace; Wright, John W.

Receipt, Thomas J. Aliff to N. B. Blanton
Author: Aliff, Thomas J.
Date: December 3, 1856

Thomas J. Aliff, one of the free-state prisoners held at Lecompton in the fall of 1856 (see previous document #101288) signed this receipt to Napoleon B. Blanton for "one pair of Drawers" and "one flanel [sic] Shirt." The total cost of these items was indicated as being $3.75.

Keywords: Blanton, Napolean Bonaparte; Blood, James; Clothing and dress; Free state militia; Lecompton, Kansas Territory; Militia; Receipts

Letter, S. Cabot, Jr. to James Blood, Esq
Author: Cabot, Samuel
Date: December 28, 1856

Samuel Cabot, who was directing a Boston effort to send clothing to Kansas Territory, advised Blood he was aware of the goods that "had been stopped at St Louis by the closure of navigation." He also comments on the reluctance of some to accept relief; these individuals were to be advised that "This supply is not a mere charity but a contribution of the North to soldiers, who have been bravely battling for the case of freedom & in defense of our common rights, against the Slave Oligarchy." Also included is a printed letter titled "Clothing For Kanzas," listing New England contributions.

Keywords: Boston, Massachusetts; Free state cause; Free state supporters; Kansas State Central Committee; Missouri River; Nute, Ephraim; Pomeroy, S. C. (Samuel Clarke), 1816-1891; Relief; Slave power; St. Louis, Missouri

Letter from National Kansas Committee
Author: Arny, W F. M. (William Frederick Milton), 1813-1881
Date: 1856

This was a generic solicitation letter seeking money, supplies, and settlers. It mentioned Col. Buford's expedition to Kansas and speculated on Southern motives with regard to Kansas.

Keywords: Arny, W. F. M. (William Frederick Milton), 1813-1881; Boston, Massachusetts; Chicago, Illinois; Emigration and immigration; Food; Howe, S. G. (Samuel Gridley), 1801-1876; Hurd, H. B.; Hyatt, Thaddeus; Kansas State Central Committee; Money; National Kansas Committee; New York; Relief; Slavery; Thayer, Eli, 1819-1899

List, List of individuals and clothing needed by them
Author: Cutler, A.
Date: 1856

According to an attached note that cites the Herald of Freedom, November 15, 1856, this "list of individuals and clothing" was needed by a group of free-state prisoners being held at Lecompton. A note at the end is signed by A. Cutler (or Cutter) and addressed to Mr. J. Crocker. The list includes mostly shirts, shoes, socks, pants, hats, and blankets, but a Porterfield "needed" a "half pint brandy."

Keywords: Clothing and dress; Free state cause; Free state militia; Herald of Freedom; Lecompton, Kansas Territory

Letter, Thaddeus Hyatt to My Dear Cleaveland
Author: Hyatt, Thaddeus
Date: January 4, 1857

This rather inspiring letter, written by Thaddeus Hyatt while traveling in Kansas, demonstrates Hyatt's commitment to the National Kansas Committee and his passion for the free state cause. Apparently there was some sort of conflict within the committee that threatened its ability to function, but nevertheless Hyatt was determined to aid the struggling free state settlers in Kansas. He spoke in great detail about some of his travels around the territory, including the inclement weather and his perspective on the pro-slavery and free state settlers that he encountered during his stay.

Keywords: Bickerton, Thomas; Food; Free state cause; Free state settlers; Horses; Hyatt, Thaddeus; Kansas Central Committee; Little Osage River, Kansas Territory; Marais des Cygnes River; National Kansas Committee; Proslavery settlers; Relief; Settlement; Weather

Report of the Treasurer, Kansas State Central Committee
Author: Kansas State Central Committee
Date: January 6, 1857

Dated Topeka, January 6, 1857, this document claimed to be a "report of Money & goods received and Paid out, by Treasurer." Its initial entry was for July 24, 1856, and the last October 29, 1856, and it includes the names of Charles Robinson, W. F. M. Arny, and S. W. Eldridge.

Keywords: Arny, W. F. M. (William Frederick Milton), 1813-1881; Eldridge, Shalor Winchell, 1816-1899; Horses; Kansas Central Committee; Lawrence, Kansas Territory; National Kansas Committee; Relief; Robinson, Charles, 1818-1894; Topeka, Kansas Territory

Meeting of National Kansas Committee
Author: Hurd, H. B.
Date: January 7, 1857

This advertisement, posted by H.B. Hurd, secretary of the National Kansas Committee, called a meeting for the purpose of hearing reports from the central committees of the various states.

Keywords: Chicago, Illinois; Dana, Charles A.; Greeley, Horace, 1811-1872; Hurd, H. B.; Lawrence, Amos Adams, 1814-1886; National Kansas Committee; New York, New York; Relief funds; Smith, Gerritt

Letter, O. [Owen] C. Brown to My dear Brother [Samuel Adair]
Author: Brown, Orville Chester, 1811-1904
Date: January 21, 1857

O. C. Brown wrote from Utica, New York, to Samuel Adair, in Osawatomie, KansasTerritory. He wrote about speaking engagements on behalf of Kansas. He mentioned Gov. Geary and President Pierce.

Keywords: Adair, Samuel Lyle; Brown, Orville Chester, 1811-1904; Free state support; Geary, John White, 1819-1873; Lykins County, Kansas Territory (see also Miami County, Kansas); Miami County, Kansas (see also Lykins County, Kansas Territory); National politics; New York; Osawatomie, Kansas Territory; Pierce, Franklin, 1804-1869; Relief; Utica, New York

Resolutions, National Kansas Committee
Author: National Kansas Committee
Date: January 24, 1857

"At a meeting of the National Kansas Committee held at the Astor House in the City of New York," January 1, 1857, it was resolved that $5,000 should be committed to John Brown for "any defensive measures that may become necessary." The committee also authorized a set amount of "arms & supplies."

Keywords: Brown, John, 1800-1859; Free state cause; Free state supporters; Guns; National Kansas Committee; New York, New York; Weapons (see also Guns)

Information for emigrants to Kansas
Author: National Kansas Committee
Date: February 16, 1857

This printed promotional literature from the National Kansas Committee was a typical example of settlement information that described soil, water, manufacturing, and other conditions in Kansas.

Keywords: Immigration and early settlement; National Kansas Committee; Settlement

Letter, Horace White to John Brown Esq.
Author: White, Horace
Date: February 18, 1857

On National Kansas Committee letterhead, assistant secretary Horace White wrote Brown from Chicago to say that the items Brown had requested were being gathered and shipped.

Keywords: Brown, John, 1800-1859; Chicago, Illinois; Free state support; National Kansas Committee; White, Horace

Expense Sheet, E. B. Whitman to National Kansas Committee
Author: Whitman, E. B.
Date: February 28, 1857 - August 14, 1857

This expense sheet, which was in account with E. B. Whitman, an agent of the committee, lists expenses and supplies sent to aid the free state inhabitants of Kansas. The items sent include (among others) wheat, oats, corn, beans, potatoes, garden seeds, bedding, and clothing.

Keywords: Agriculture; Clothing and dress; Crops; Finance; Financial statements; Food; Grain; House furnishings; National Kansas Committee; Relief; Seeds; Vegetables; Wagons

Letter, H. B. Hurd to Capt. John Brown
Author: Hurd, H. B.
Date: April 4, 1857

From Chicago, National Kansas Committee secretary H. B. Hurd sent John Brown a copy of a resolution passed by the committee on April 1, 1857: first, in light of the fact that the public was no longer contributing to the cause, the committee could not continue its normal operations; and second, the secretary was to inform major donors that the committee would necessarily close "operations unless immediately sustained by liberal Contributions." Thus, Hurd could not send Brown the $500 dollars requested (apparently to cover the first payment to Charles Blair for the "spears").

Keywords: Arny, W. F. M. (William Frederick Milton), 1813-1881; Blair, Charles; Brown, John, 1800-1859; Chicago, Illinois; Free state cause; Free state supporters; Hurd, H. B.; National Kansas Committee; Smith, Gerritt; Weapons (see also Guns)

Letter, [E. B. Whitman?] to [Franklin B.] Sanborn
Author: Whitman, E. B.
Date: May 10, 1857

E. B. Whitman (letter not signed, but author's identity is pretty clear), an agent in Lawrence for the National Kansas Committee, wrote Franklin Sanborn in Massachusetts regarding his disappointment with the lack of support being given by "our professed friends" in the East. To their discredit, according to Whitman, Massachusetts "supporters" had refused to provide assistance which was desperately needed for the Kansas settlers who had just endured a very "severe winter." He believed false information was being circulated for political purposes by individuals within the Free State movement: "Kansas, bleeding Kansas, is of value to them only so far as it subserves their selfish ends."

Keywords: Dred Scott decision; Free state cause; Free state movement (see also Topeka Movement); Free state settlers; Free state supporters; Land claims; Lawrence, Kansas Territory; Massachusetts; Massachusetts State Kansas Committee; National Kansas Committee; Relief funds; Sanborn, F. B. (Franklin Benjamin), 1831-1917; Settlement; Vermont; Whitman, E. B.

Letter, E. R. Falley to Kansas Central Committee
Author: Falley, Edwin R.
Date: c. 1857

In this undated letter from Lawrence, Kansas Territory, E. R. Falley informed the Kansas Central Committee that he lost a gun loaned to him by "Mr. Wilder" (D. W. Wilder?) while serving with a free-state militia company at Blanton's bridge (Napoleon B. Blanton, on the Wakarusa in Douglas County) in June 1856. Wilder was demanding payment, and Falley asked the committee to reimburse "Mr. Wilder for said gun."

Keywords: Blantons Bridge; Falley, Edwin R.; Guns; Kansas Central Committee; Lawrence, Kansas Territory; Lecompton, Kansas Territory; National Kansas Committee; Wilder, Daniel Webster, 1832-1911

Contributors List, National Kansas Committee
Author: Brown, John , 1800-1859
Date: September 29, 1858

This list of "notes received for seeds" distributed by R. H. Waterman "under the direction of E. B. Whitman" is signed "John Brown Agt Nat. Kan. Com.," September 29, 1858. The notes were, according to Brown, given to him "in past payment or security on account."

Keywords: Brown, John, 1800-1859; Free state cause; Free state support; National Kansas Committee; Relief; Whitman, E. B.

Letter, John Brown to J. T. Cox
Author: Brown, John , 1800-1859
Date: October 7, 1858

In this letter dated October 7, 1858, Ottumwa, John Brown again signs himself as an agent of the National Kansas Committee and claims to have the authority to receive from Cox any money or notes, etc., received from the Committee that he might have in his possession. Brown, of course, was continuing to tap all available sources for the financing of his operations, but not every one connected with the NKC would be supportive of these particular efforts.

Keywords: Brown, John, 1800-1859; Coffey County, Kansas Territory; Cox, J. T.; Free state settlers; Free state supporters; National Kansas Committee; Ottumwa, Kansas Territory

Letter, E. B. Whitman to Friend [Franklin] Sanborn
Author: Whitman, E. B.
Date: February 26, 1859

National Kansas Committee agent Whitman wrote to Sanborn from Lawrence with disturbing news about "John Brown's proceedings." Brown had been accused by Democrats during the previous legislative session of "subsisting upon the proceeds of notes given for seeds and clothing," and initially Whitman defended Brown against these charges--to Whitman's dismay, he later found them to be true. Whitman seemed sincere in his desire not to believe the worst about the man he had aided for several years, but he was at a loss for an adequate explanation for Brown's action under the guise of an agent of the National Kansas Committee.

Keywords: Arny, W. F. M. (William Frederick Milton), 1813-1881; Brown, John, 1800-1859; Conway, Martin Franklin; Hutchinson, William, 1823-1904; Hyatt, Thaddeus; Kansas Territory. Legislature - Lawrence; National Kansas Committee; Relief funds; Sanborn, F. B. (Franklin Benjamin), 1831-1917; Smith, Gerritt; Whitman, E. B.

Letter, H. B. Hurd to E. B. Whitman Esq.
Author: Hurd, H. B.
Date: October 26, 1859

H. B. Hurd, the secretary of the National Kansas Committee, Chicago, Illinois, wrote to assure Whitman that he (Whitman) had "full authority to act in reference to said notes & accounts," not Capt. John Brown.

Keywords: Blood, James; Brown, John, 1800-1859; Charles Town, Virginia; Chicago, Illinois; Doy, John; Free state cause; Free state supporters; Harpers Ferry, Virginia; Hurd, H. B.; National Kansas Committee; Whitman, E. B.

Letter, E. B. Whitman to Friend [Franklin B.] Sanborn
Author: Whitman, E. B.
Date: November 15, 1860

In this typically long letter/report to Franklin Sanborn in Boston, Whitman wrote from Lawrence on November 15, 1860, regarding the difficult situation facing Kansas settlers/farmers as another winter approached--as "the stock of old corn is exhausted and the grass fails, the prospect is dreary enough and without aid from abroad in some form to supply bread stuffs many of our people must suffer severely for want of food."

Keywords: Agriculture; Crops; Droughts; Free state settlers; Free state supporters; Lawrence, Kansas Territory; Relief; Relief funds; Sanborn, F. B. (Franklin Benjamin), 1831-1917; Whitman, E. B.

Letter, H. B. Hurd to James Blood
Author: Hurd, H. B.
Date: March 27, 1861

From Chicago, H. B. Hurd wrote to inquire about reports that the Kansas legislature was to appoint a committee to investigate the conduct of the National Kansas Committee's agents and their handling of relief funds and supplies. Several correspondents had expressed similar concerns during the fall of 1860--that is, concern that funds were being misused or that certain agents could not be trusted. Hurd encouraged Blood to support such an investigation.

Keywords: Arny, W. F. M. (William Frederick Milton), 1813-1881; Blood, James; Chicago, Illinois; Droughts; Hutchinson, William, 1823-1904; Hyatt, Thaddeus; Kansas Legislature; National Kansas Committee; Relief

Invoice, Copy of Invoice of Property Received of Col. S. W. Eldridge
Author: Eldridge, Shalor Winchell, 1816-1899; Kansas State Central Committee
Date: n.d.

Starting with five, seven to eight inch Colt Revolvers, this documents, most likely created during the late fall or winter 1856-1857, contains over thirty separate listings for various firearms, foodstuffs, harness, etc., plus a good number of horses and mules. Among the different items listed were cartridges, blankets, canvass tents, shovels, bayonets, tin cups, and "25 old Sabors."

Keywords: Ammunition; Eldridge, Shalor Winchell, 1816-1899; Free state cause; Guns; Horses; Kansas Central Committee; National Kansas Committee; Relief; Wagons; Weapons (see also Guns)

Photograph, Thaddeus Hyatt
Author: No authors specified.
Date:

Thaddeus Hyatt was an abolitionist and served as head of the National Kansas Committee in 1856. He was also involved in efforts to provide relief to settlers in 1860.

Keywords: Abolitionists; Free state supporters; Hyatt, Thaddeus; National Kansas Committee; Photographs and Illustrations; Relief

Inventory, Catalogue of . . . The Property of the Kansas Central Committee, Lawrence
Author: Kansas State Central Committee
Date: n.d.

The complete title of this undated inventory is a "Catalogue of Horses, Waggons [sic], Harnesses, &, the property of the Kansas Central Committee, Lawrence. Twenty-eight different horses or "spans" of horses are identified (e.g., "One Sorrell Colt"), along with four mules and forty harnesses and seventeen wagons.

Keywords: Free state cause; Horses; Kansas Central Committee; National Kansas Committee; Relief; Wagons

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Letters, by Thaddeus Hyatt (No. 3 and No. 4, incomplete)
Authors: Hyatt, Thaddeus
Date:  1856
These two excerpts of letters written by Thaddeus Hyatt, president of the National Kansas Committee, described the early workings of this committee and its work for the free state cause. Copy No. 3 discussed the "Tabernacle Committee" and the appropriation of side arms and Sharps rifles. Copy No. 4 referred to J.M. Winchell, authorizing him to make a withdrawal from the New York Kansas Fund. [The first page of the letters which is included in the text version was not scanned.]

Keywords: Firearms; Hyatt, Thaddeus; National Kansas Committee; Relief; Sharps rifles; Winchell, James M., 1823-1877


Statement on the Central Committee
Authors: Undersigned Citizens of Kansas Territory, John Stroup (first signature)
Date:  January 8, 1856
This document, signed by Kansas citizens from the Lawrence area, deplores the condition of the Central Committee's room and office. These citizens claim that they were mistreated and that the relief effort should be placed in more benevolent hands. They ask that the National Kansas Committee "remove the present incumbents and apoint persons Who have Some feeling for poor Suffering humanity." It concludes with a list of signatures.

Keywords: Central Relief Committee; Lawrence, Kansas Territory; National Kansas Committee; Relief


Minutes, Kansas Relief Committee
Authors: National Kansas Committee
Date:  June 9, 1856 - June 26, 1856
This document details the minutes of three meetings of the Kansas Relief Committee, otherwise known as the National Kansas Committee, held in 1856 on June 9th, June 21st, and June 26th. It also includes information about the membership of this emigrant aid company. The first of these meetings adopted resolutions to aid the plight of free-state settlers in Kansas Territory. Furthermore, the members of the committee decided to establish five thousand settlers in Kansas Territory and to give them a year's worth of provisions.

Keywords: Antislavery perspective; Border ruffians; Emigrant aid companies; Emigration and immigration; Hyatt, Thaddeus; Kansas Relief Committee; Minutes; Missouri; National Kansas Committee; Relief; Relief funds


Letter, Thad [Thaddeus Hyatt] to Dear Al [A. L. Winans]
Authors: Hyatt, Thaddeus
Date:  July 17, 1856
Thaddeus Hyatt, writing from Burlington, Iowa, to A. L. Winans, lamented the current situation in Kansas and the federal government's hostile attitude toward the free-state settlers in the territory. He also expressed his hatred for Southerners and his conviction that the issue of slavery in Kansas will be "one of blood." Hyatt was concerned that liberty would suffer at the hands of pro-slavery supporters, and he was eager to continue working diligently for the anti-slavery cause.

Keywords: Antislavery perspective; Emigration and immigration; Hyatt, Thaddeus; National Kansas Committee; Sectionalism (United States); Sumner, Charles, 1811-1874; Winans, A. L.


Letter, W.F.M. Arny to William Barnes
Authors: Arny, W F. M. (William Frederick Milton), 1813-1881
Date:  July 24, 1856
William F. M. Arny, general agent of the National Kansas Committee, wrote from Chicago, Illinois to thank William Barnes, secretary of the New York State Kansas Committee, for sending funds. He also wrote to solicit additional funds to support the free state cause in Kansas. The letter includes a printed form letter describing the National Kansas Aid Committee as well as the handwritten letter to Barnes.

Keywords: Arny, W. F. M. (William Frederick Milton), 1813-1881; Barnes, William, 1824-1913; Chicago, Illinois; Free state support; National Kansas Committee; New York State Kansas Committee


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