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Immigration and Early Settlement

Immigration and Early Settlement > African-Americans
8 Topic Specific Items
Slave bills of Sale, Cowherd family slave trade
Author: No authors specified.
Date: 1852-1859

These three handwritten bills of sale outline the terms and conditions of the sale of three different slaves, in transactions taking place from 1852-1859.

Keywords: African Americans; Bills of sale; Cowherd family; Cowherd, David; Proslavery activities; Slave bills of sale; Slaveholders; Slavery; Slaves

Receipt, William Patton's purchase of a slave
Author: Thornton, C.A.
Date: September 29, 1856

This handwritten receipt documents William Patton's purchase of a young slave girl, for which he paid $650.

Keywords: Doniphan County, Kansas Territory; Iowa Point, Kansas Territory; Patton, William; Prices; Slaveholders; Slavery; Slaves in Kansas Territory

Constitution of the Sumner Company
Author: Ingalls, John James
Date: April 3, 1857

The constitution of the Sumner Company may have been written by John J. Ingalls. It was adopted April 3, 1857. There are 17 articles and the object of the company was to build upon and improve a town site, situated upon the Missouri River on section 20, township 6 south, range 21 east of the 6th PM. The town site was named in honor of the Hon. Charles Sumner, Senator from Massachusetts.

Keywords: Atchison County, Kansas Territory; Constitutions; Ingalls, John James, 1833-1900; Sumner Town Company; Sumner, Kansas Territory

Article, "History, as Espounded by the Supreme Court"
Author: Plumb, Preston B.
Date: June 6, 1857

This article was printed in the very first edition of the Kanzas News, edited by Preston Plumb and printed in Emporia, Kansas Territory. It included excerpts taken from the May edition of Putnam's Monthly. The article documented the reaction of free soilers to the Dred Scott decision, which was passed by the Supreme Court in March 1857. Since he had lived on free soil for several years, Dred Scott had sued his master in an attempt to gain his freedom. However, the court determined that Dred Scott, and other slaves, were not legal citizens of the United States and therefore could not sue the government. As a result, Scott would remain a slave until his master voluntarily freed him shortly thereafter. This decision also annulled the Missouri Compromise of 1820.

Keywords: African Americans; Antislavery perspective; Dred Scott decision; Emporia, Kansas Territory; Newspapers; Plumb, Preston B., 1837-1891; Scott, Dred; Slavery; Slaves; Taney, Roger B.; United States Government; United States. Constitution; United States. Supreme Court

$200 Reward!
Author: Williams, G. D.
Date: June 7, 1860

Wanted poster of two slaves from Saline County, Missouri. Includes the names and descriptions of the two slaves. Poster is on display in the Kansas Museum of History, Topeka, Kansas.

Keywords: African Americans; Broadsides; Fugitive slaves; Missouri; Money; Slavery; Slaves

Tintype of African American woman
Author: No authors specified.
Date: 1860

Tintype of unidentified African American woman, circa 1860. This photo was passed down through generations of the Platt family. Jireh Platt was an active abolitionist in Mendon, Illinois. His sons Enoch and Luther, members of the Beecher Bible and Rifle Colony, settled in Wabaunsee County where they operated a station on the Underground Railroad. The Platts may have helped this woman escape to freedom. The fact that she is wearing a wedding ring is significant, as slaves weren't legally allowed to marry.

Keywords: Abolitionists; African Americans; Beecher Bible and Rifle Colony; Fugitive slaves; New Haven, Connecticut; Objects; Photographs and Illustrations; Platt, Enoch; Platt, Jireh; Platt, Luther H.; Underground railroad; Wabaunsee County, Kansas Territory

Harper's Weekly, Exoduster Illustrations
Author: Worrall, Henry
Date: July 5, 1879

Illustrations from Harper's Weekly magazine depicting Exodusters. As life in the South worsened for Blacks after the Civil War, many left for more promising lands. Thousands came to Kansas in a great exodus (hence the name "Exodusters") during the 1870s, attracted by the state's free-state reputation established during the territorial era. These three illustrations are captioned, "The Colored Exodus - - Scenes at Topeka, Kansas - - From Sketches by H. Worrall." Worrall was an early Kansas artist.

Keywords: African Americans; Exodusters; Immigration and early settlement; Objects; Periodical illustrations; Photographs and Illustrations; Settlement; Topeka, Kansas; Worrall, Henry

Sculpture of Slave Auction Block
Author: Douglas, Frederick I.
Date: 1920-1927

Carved figure inside a glass bottle, depicting a slave auction. Figure was carved by Frederick I. Douglas to represent a story passed down by his father, Thomas O. Douglas, who had been sold in a similar manner in Tennessee. Thomas Douglas was an Exoduster who settled in Wabaunsee County in 1879. His son Frederick's carvings won ribbons when exhibited at a Topeka fair in 1927.

Keywords: African Americans; Art; Artist; Douglas, Frederick I.; Douglas, Thomas Oliver; Exodusters; Objects; Slave auctions; Slavery; Slaves; Tennessee

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Slave bills of Sale, Cowherd family slave trade
Authors: No authors specified.
Date:  1852-1859
These three handwritten bills of sale outline the terms and conditions of the sale of three different slaves, in transactions taking place from 1852-1859.

Keywords: African Americans; Bills of sale; Cowherd family; Cowherd, David; Proslavery activities; Slave bills of sale; Slaveholders; Slavery; Slaves


Photograph, First house in Leavenworth
Authors: No authors specified.
Date:  c. 1855
A photograph of the first dwelling house in Leavenworth, Kansas Territory, built in 1855. The date of the photograph is unknown. It was located between 4th and 5th Streets on Olive Street. A young African-American child was photographed standing next to the house.

Keywords: African Americans; Houses; Immigration and early settlement; Leavenworth County, Kansas Territory; Leavenworth buildings; Leavenworth, Kansas Territory; Photographs and Illustrations; Settlement


Letter, Salmon Brown to Dear Father [John Brown]
Authors: Brown, Salmon
Date:  June 22, 1855
From Osawatomie, son Salmon Brown wrote his to John Brown who had stopped in Rockford, Illinois, on his journey to Kansas Territory, where he was expected "before fall." Along with references to the provisions and clothing that might be needed, and the crops of corn, beans, turnips, and squash they expected to harvest, Salmon wrote "There are slaves owned within three miles of us."

Keywords: African Americans; Brown, John, 1800-1859; Brown, Salmon; Crops; Free state settlers; Osawatomie, Kansas Territory; Rockford, Illinois; Slaves; Slaves in Kansas Territory


An Act to Punish Offences Against Slave Property
Authors: Kansas Territory, Legislature
Date:  August 14, 1855
This act was passed by the Legislative Assembly of Kansas Territory on August 14, 1855. It was to take effect on September 15, 1855. The Speaker of the House was J. H. Stringfellow and the President of the Council was Thomas Johnson. The act included a death penalty for persons causing or aiding in any "rebellion or insurrection of slaves, free negroes, or mulattoes" in Kansas Territory. Other provisions dealt with "speaking, writing, or printing" that encouraged slaves to rebel or that argued that the right to hold slaves did not exist in Kansas Territory. Several sections of the act contained penalities for encouraging or assisting slaves to escape and one stated that anyone opposed to the holding of slaves cound not serve on a jury.

Keywords: Abolitionists; African Americans; Antislavery; Antislavery movements; Johnson, Thomas; Kansas Territory. Legislature; Kansas Territory. Legislature - Pawnee/Shawnee Mission; Laws; Shawnee Manual Labor School; Slave insurrections; Slavery; Slaves; Stringfellow, John H.


Journal, Topeka Constitutional Convention, October 30, 1855
Authors: Smith, Samuel C.
Date:  October 30, 1855
During this session of the constitutional convention, delegates dealt briefly with the question of "an immediate organization of a State Government," a highly controversial issue, and considered a report on the militia. Lively debate on the latter issue seems to have followed, although not much detail is given here, with Charles Robinson offering an amendment "striking out the word white--" This presumably would have had the effect of making African Americans and Indians eligible for service, but the amendment failed seven to twenty-four.

Keywords: African Americans; Constitutions; Delahay, Mark W.; Free State Party; Holliday, Cyrus Kurtz, 1826-1900; Lane, James Henry, 1814-1866; Militia; Parrott, Marcus J., 1828-1879; Robinson, Charles, 1818-1894; Shawnee County, Kansas Territory; Smith, Samuel C.; Suffrage; Topeka Constitution; Topeka Constitutional Convention, October 1855; Topeka Movement (see also Free state movement); Topeka, Kansas Territory; Voting


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ican%20Americans.