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Immigration and Early Settlement > Emigrant Aid Organizations > Massachusetts State Kansas Committee
17 Topic Specific Items
Receipts and Expenditures, State Kansas Committee
Author: Massachusetts State Kansas Committee
Date: c. 1856 - 1857

One of many ledger-type listings of donations to and expenditures of the Massachusetts State Kansas Committee for the support of Kansas settlement and the activities of "Capt J[ohn] Brown" and other free state partisans.

Keywords: Brown, John, 1800-1859; Conway, Martin Franklin; Free state cause; Howe, S. G. (Samuel Gridley), 1801-1876; Massachusetts State Kansas Committee; Pomeroy, S. C. (Samuel Clarke), 1816-1891; Receipts; Redpath, James, 1833-1891; Whitman, E. B.

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Author: Stearns, Geo. L. (George Luther), 1809-1867
Date: July 2, 1856

This letter was written by George Stearns, chairman of the Massachusetts State Kansas Aid Committee. He described the purpose of the committee and how it differed for the New England Emigrant Aid Company.

Keywords: Boston, Massachusetts; Emigrant aid companies; Emigrant aid companies - Free state; Massachusetts Emigrant Aid Company; New England Emigrant Aid Company; Stearns, Geo. L. (George Luther), 1809-1867

Receipt, John P. Lovell to T. W. Higginson
Author: Lovell, John P.
Date: August 20, 1856

This receipt was written by John P. Lovell, a manufacturer and dealer of guns and gun materials, for T. W. Higginson, an ardent Northern abolitionist. Higginson was an agent for the Massachusetts Kansas Aid Committee, procuring rifles, powder, cartridges and other materials. The purchases on this receipt totaled $19.95. On the back of the receipt is a note stating that this purchase of twenty rifles was never actually paid, since it was a replacement for a previous shipment of rifles that were defective.

Keywords: Boston, Massachusetts; Guns; Higginson, Thomas Wentworth, 1823-1911; Massachusetts State Kansas Committee; Receipts; Weapons (see also Guns)

Receipt, B. B. Newton to T. W. Higginson
Author: Newton, B. B.
Date: August 26, 1856

This receipt from B. B. Newton, an agent with the Vermont State Kansas Committee, was made out to Reverend Thomas W. Higginson, who would transport these twenty rifles to the Vermont Colony in Kansas Territory. Higginson was an agent for the Massachusetts Kansas Aid Committee.

Keywords: Guns; Higginson, Thomas Wentworth, 1823-1911; Massachusetts State Kansas Committee; Mt. Pleasant, Iowa; Newton, B. B.; Receipts; Weapons (see also Guns)

Letter, F. B. Sanborn to My Dear Friend [Thomas Higginson]
Author: Sanborn, Franklin
Date: September 19, 1856

This letter, from Franklin Sanborn to Thomas Higginson, was written from Concord, Massachusetts. For the most part, Sanborn wrote about the prospects of raising money and men to support the Kansas cause. He also mentioned that Mr. Emerson had made a speech in Cambridge, Massachusetts--"it was a good speech but not well delivered." Many of the towns in the area were also making clothing to send to Kansas Territory. George Stearns was also making progress in his attempts to more fully organize a comprehensive state committee in Massachusetts.

Keywords: Emigrant aid companies; Emigration and immigration; Higginson, Thomas Wentworth, 1823-1911; Massachusetts State Kansas Committee; Nebraska Territory; Relief funds; Sanborn, F. B. (Franklin Benjamin), 1831-1917; Stearns, Geo. L. (George Luther), 1809-1867

Letter, Dunn to Mr. T. W. Higginson
Author: No authors specified.
Date: October 23, 1856

In this letter to Thomas W. Higginson, an agent of the Massachusetts Kansas Aid Committee, Mr. Dunn wrote from Oskaloosa, Iowa, regarding the current troubles in Kansas Territory. He was attempting to gather together a company as a response to Gov. Gary's [sic] election and the U. S. Army's efforts to arrest many prominent free state men. According to the author, "the U. S. troops by the order of Gary are taking every free State man they can get hold of." He was eager to hear advice from Higginson about the best way to proceed, and he laid out his plan to amass about 60 men to fight against the border ruffians who had invaded the territory. He hoped that Higginson would support him in this matter by obtaining provisions. Dunn maintained that this plan came from his sense of duty; it did not arise from a warlike spirit.

Keywords: Border disputes and warfare; Eldridge, Shalor Winchell, 1816-1899; Free state activities; Free state perspective; Geary, John White, 1819-1873; Higginson, Thomas Wentworth, 1823-1911; Pomeroy, S. C. (Samuel Clarke), 1816-1891; United States. Army

Letter, M. Stowell to My Dear Friend [Thomas Wentworth Higginson]
Author: Stowell, Martin
Date: October 27, 1856

This letter, written by Martin Stowell from Nebraska City, was addressed to Thomas Wentworth Higginson. Stowell and other members of his company from Massachusetts had been driven out of Kansas. Fortunately, none of them had been placed under arrest. Stowell had just returned from Lexington, Kansas Territory and he had "left Brown there in as comfortable circumstances as I could." The identity of this man is unclear. The "Plymouth men" in Lexington had stolen their flour and tools which they had hidden in a neighbor's haystack. Stowell inquired about the news revolving around the upcoming Presidential election and other news from the East.

Keywords: Border disputes and warfare; Election, Presidential, 1856; Emigration and immigration; Fremont, John Charles, 1813-1890; Higginson, Thomas Wentworth, 1823-1911; Lexington Township, Kansas Territory; Nebraska City, Nebraska Territory; Nebraska Territory; Stowell, Martin

Letter, John B. Dunning to Mr. [Thomas W.] Higginson
Author: Dunning, John
Date: October 30, 1856

This letter was written by John Dunning, a member of the Massachusetts Company, to Thomas W. Higginson, a prominent Northern abolitionist and agent for the Massachusetts Kansas Aid Committee. Dunning informed Higginson that it was no longer safe for them to remain in Kansas, so they had temporarily relocated to Nebraska City, Nebraska. Furthermore, he adamantly asserted that "we want no further aid from Massachusetts through the hands of Martin Stowell." He asked that, in the future, all aid come through some other source, such as A. A. Jamerson.

Keywords: Dunning, John; Higginson, Thomas Wentworth, 1823-1911; Massachusetts; Nebraska City, Nebraska Territory; Relief; Stowell, Martin

Plan of Action, Charles Robinson
Author: Higginson, Thomas Wentworth
Date: November 5, 1856

This document lays out the plan of action proposed by Charles Robinson at a meeting of free state leaders in Boston on November 5, 1856. Most likely these notes from the meeting were written by Thomas Wentworth Higginson, a radical abolitionist from Massachusetts. Six resolutions were passed, some focusing on emigration and others on land sales or fundraising. The back of the document lists the names of those present at the meeting, including such influential figures as Senator Henry Wilson and Eli Thayer.

Keywords: Boston, Massachusetts; Cabot, Samuel; Emery, James Stanley; Emigrant aid companies - Free state; Free state legislature; Immigration and early settlement; Lawrence, Amos Adams, 1814-1886; Reeder, Andrew H. (Andrew Horatio), 1807-1864; Robinson, Charles, 1818-1894; Sanborn, F. B. (Franklin Benjamin), 1831-1917; Smith, Gerritt; Stearns, Geo. L. (George Luther), 1809-1867; Thayer, Eli, 1819-1899; Webb, Thomas H. (Thomas Hopkins), 1801-1866; Wilson, Henry, 1812-1875

Letter, M. Stowell to Dear [Thomas W.] Higginson
Author: Stowell, Martin
Date: November 19, 1856

This letter from Martin Stowell, written from Nebraska City, was sent to Thomas Higginson to keep him apprised of business and financial affairs. He also included information about the other members of his emigrant party, including a Mr. Dunning, who continually asked Stowell for whiskey money. For the most part, the members of his company were employed and hard at work. Stowell also mentioned Eastern supporters such as Mr. Nightingale from Groton and Mr. Newell from Littleton. He wrote briefly concerning Orville Chester Brown, whose house was destroyed during the battle of Osawatomie.

Keywords: Alcoholic beverages; Brown, Orville Chester, 1811-1904; Businessmen; Dunning, John; Emigrant aid companies; Emigrant aid companies - Free state; Finance; Firearms; Higginson, Thomas Wentworth, 1823-1911; Immigration and early settlement; Livestock; Settlement; Stowell, Martin

Clothing for Kanzas, Massachusetts State Kanzas Committee
Author: Massachusetts State Kansas Committee
Date: November 28, 1856 - December 3, 1856

This printed document included three reports of the Massachusetts State Kansas Committee, written by Samuel Cabot concerning the distribution of clothes and packages sent to Kansas. The first report deals with how they were sent and how they kept records of the packages. The report ends with table listing New England communities that sent packages to Kansas. The second report also deals with shipping of packages; it is followed by a brief expense report.

Keywords: Boston, Massachusetts; Cabot, Samuel; Clothing and dress; Emigrant aid companies - Free state; Financial statements; Massachusetts Emigrant Aid Company; Massachusetts State Kansas Committee; Relief

Letter, S. G. Howe to My Dear Sir [Thomas W. Higginson]
Author: Howe, Samuel G.
Date: December 18, 1856

Samuel G. Howe, a member of the National Kansas Committee, wrote this letter to Thomas Higginson, a supporter of John Brown and agent for the Massachusetts State Kansas Committee. The letter concerned a woman whom Higginson had called a "gentlemen" unknowingly. She had supplied the money for some pistols and had also contributed a great deal of money to the Kansas cause.

Keywords: Emigrant aid companies - Free state; Firearms; Higginson, Thomas Wentworth, 1823-1911; Howe, S. G. (Samuel Gridley), 1801-1876; Massachusetts State Kansas Committee

Letter, Thos. J. Marsh to George L. Stearns, Esq.
Author: Marsh, Thomas J.
Date: August 5, 1857

Again from Lawrence, Marsh wrote Stearns on August 5 to ask for clarification about an order he had received from Amos Lawrence to pay John Brown $335. Brown was not in Kansas at that time and could "not be of much service if he is away from the Territory."

Keywords: Brown, John, 1800-1859; Cheyenne Indians; Election, Territorial Legislature, October 1857; Fort Riley, Kansas Territory; Lawrence, Amos Adams, 1814-1886; Lawrence, Kansas Territory; Marsh, Thomas J.; Massachusetts State Kansas Committee; Robinson, Charles, 1818-1894; Stearns, Geo. L. (George Luther), 1809-1867; United States. Army; Walker, Robert J. (Robert John), 1801-1869

Letter, E. B. Whitman to My Dear Sir [G. L. Stearns]
Author: Whitman, E. B.
Date: October 11, 1857

E. B. Whitman, an agent of the Massachusetts State Kansas Committee, reported from Lawrence about money problems and his efforts to provide assistance to John Brown, etc. He also observed that free state men seemed to have won the election, said all was "peaceful in the territory" right then, and reported less than favorably on the organizational work done by T. J. Marsh.

Keywords: Brown, John, 1800-1859; Conway, Martin Franklin; Douglas County, Kansas Territory; Election, Territorial Legislature, October 1857; Free state support; Lawrence, Kansas Territory; Marsh, Thomas J.; Massachusetts State Kansas Committee; Stearns, Geo. L. (George Luther), 1809-1867; Whitman, E. B.

Letter, George L. Stearns to E. B. Whitman
Author: Stearns, Geo. L. (George Luther), 1809-1867
Date: November 14, 1857

In response to several letters from Whitman about money, George Stearns wrote from Boston to clarify a few issues. He gave an account of available funds and provided instruction on the distribution and/or sale of clothing for the Kansas emigrants. Stearns also commented on his support for Brown which included "authority to draw on me for money" if necessary "to establish order by force." He felt circumstances were apparently changing for the better--"I should not be willing to have any of my funds used for that purpose."

Keywords: Brown, John, 1800-1859; Free state support; Massachusetts State Kansas Committee; Relief; Stearns, Geo. L. (George Luther), 1809-1867; Whitman, E. B.

Letter, E. B. Whitman to George L. Stearns
Author: Whitman, E. B.
Date: February 20, 1858

This rather lengthy report from Lawrence addressed many issues, especially those surrounding the Lecompton constitutional controversy. With "the Topeka Movement . . . abandoned," the question was what would take its place to resist the Lecompton Constitution if it were accepted by the Congress. The territorial legislature had formally "protested against the admission of Kansas into the Union under the Lecompton Constitution," and "the Mass of the people are determined" to resist its imposition. Whitman went on to make many other interesting observations about the political situation, regarding Democrats and Republicans and even abolitionists: "men who seek here and now, on this issue, to break the back bone of slavery forever." In addition to the political, Whitman described his "labor of distributing the clothing . . . for the relief of Kansas," and discussed in some detail the financial situation regarding the Committee, his personal debt, and Kansas relief and support to John Brown.

Keywords: Abolitionists; Buchanan administration; Constitutions; Democratic Party (U.S.); Douglas County, Kansas Territory; Free state support; Lawrence, Kansas Territory; Leavenworth Constitutional Convention, March-April 1858; Lecompton Constitution; Minneola, Kansas Territory; Republican Party (U.S.: 1854- ); Robinson, Charles, 1818-1894; Stearns, Geo. L. (George Luther), 1809-1867; Topeka Movement (see also Free state movement); Whitman, E. B.

Photograph, George Luther Stearns
Author: Pach Brothers
Date:

George Luther Stearns lived in Boston, Massachusetts, and was a supporter of the free state cause. He was a member of the National Kansas Committee and president of the Massachusetts State Kansas Committee. He donated money to the cause and helped raise funds and arms, and he lent his support to John Brown for the raid on Harper's Ferry, Virginia.

Keywords: Cabinet photographs; Free state cause; Massachusetts; Massachusetts State Kansas Committee; National Kansas Committee; Pach Brothers; Photographs and Illustrations; Stearns, Geo. L. (George Luther), 1809-1867

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Receipts and Expenditures, State Kansas Committee
Authors: Massachusetts State Kansas Committee
Date:  c. 1856 - 1857
One of many ledger-type listings of donations to and expenditures of the Massachusetts State Kansas Committee for the support of Kansas settlement and the activities of "Capt J[ohn] Brown" and other free state partisans.

Keywords: Brown, John, 1800-1859; Conway, Martin Franklin; Free state cause; Howe, S. G. (Samuel Gridley), 1801-1876; Massachusetts State Kansas Committee; Pomeroy, S. C. (Samuel Clarke), 1816-1891; Receipts; Redpath, James, 1833-1891; Whitman, E. B.


Receipt, John P. Lovell to T. W. Higginson
Authors: Lovell, John P.
Date:  August 20, 1856
This receipt was written by John P. Lovell, a manufacturer and dealer of guns and gun materials, for T. W. Higginson, an ardent Northern abolitionist. Higginson was an agent for the Massachusetts Kansas Aid Committee, procuring rifles, powder, cartridges and other materials. The purchases on this receipt totaled $19.95. On the back of the receipt is a note stating that this purchase of twenty rifles was never actually paid, since it was a replacement for a previous shipment of rifles that were defective.

Keywords: Boston, Massachusetts; Guns; Higginson, Thomas Wentworth, 1823-1911; Massachusetts State Kansas Committee; Receipts; Weapons (see also Guns)


Receipt, B. B. Newton to T. W. Higginson
Authors: Newton, B. B.
Date:  August 26, 1856
This receipt from B. B. Newton, an agent with the Vermont State Kansas Committee, was made out to Reverend Thomas W. Higginson, who would transport these twenty rifles to the Vermont Colony in Kansas Territory. Higginson was an agent for the Massachusetts Kansas Aid Committee.

Keywords: Guns; Higginson, Thomas Wentworth, 1823-1911; Massachusetts State Kansas Committee; Mt. Pleasant, Iowa; Newton, B. B.; Receipts; Weapons (see also Guns)


Letter, F. B. Sanborn to My Dear Friend [Thomas Higginson]
Authors: Sanborn, Franklin
Date:  September 19, 1856
This letter, from Franklin Sanborn to Thomas Higginson, was written from Concord, Massachusetts. For the most part, Sanborn wrote about the prospects of raising money and men to support the Kansas cause. He also mentioned that Mr. Emerson had made a speech in Cambridge, Massachusetts--"it was a good speech but not well delivered." Many of the towns in the area were also making clothing to send to Kansas Territory. George Stearns was also making progress in his attempts to more fully organize a comprehensive state committee in Massachusetts.

Keywords: Emigrant aid companies; Emigration and immigration; Higginson, Thomas Wentworth, 1823-1911; Massachusetts State Kansas Committee; Nebraska Territory; Relief funds; Sanborn, F. B. (Franklin Benjamin), 1831-1917; Stearns, Geo. L. (George Luther), 1809-1867


Clothing for Kanzas, Massachusetts State Kanzas Committee
Authors: Massachusetts State Kansas Committee
Date:  November 28, 1856 - December 3, 1856
This printed document included three reports of the Massachusetts State Kansas Committee, written by Samuel Cabot concerning the distribution of clothes and packages sent to Kansas. The first report deals with how they were sent and how they kept records of the packages. The report ends with table listing New England communities that sent packages to Kansas. The second report also deals with shipping of packages; it is followed by a brief expense report.

Keywords: Boston, Massachusetts; Cabot, Samuel; Clothing and dress; Emigrant aid companies - Free state; Financial statements; Massachusetts Emigrant Aid Company; Massachusetts State Kansas Committee; Relief


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