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Immigration and Early Settlement

Immigration and Early Settlement > The Economy > Agriculture
5 Topic Specific Items
Tenant agreement, Thomas N. Stinson and Edward Hoogland
Author: Hoogland, Edward ; Stinson, Thomas N.
Date: March 17, 1856

Agreement in which Thomas N. Stinson agreed to rent twenty acres of land to Edward Hoogland in exchange for one-third of the crops produced on the land.

Keywords: Agriculture; Crops; Farm tenancy; Hoogland, Edward; Land tenure; Legal documents; Rent; Shawnee County, Kansas Territory; Stinson, Thomas N.; Tenant farming (see Farm tenancy)

Letter, T. H. Ellis to Mr. [Thomas N.] Stinson
Author: Ellis, T. H.
Date: April 23, 1856

T. H. Ellis reported that he left three plows at Thomas N. Stinson's home and requested that Stinson attempt to sell the plows at prices designated in the letter. Ellis told Stinson that he would receive a commission on the sales.

Keywords: Agriculture; Business; Commerce; Ellis, T. H.; Plows; Shawnee County, Kansas Territory; Stinson, Thomas N.

Letter, John James Ingalls to Dear Father [Elias T. Ingalls]
Author: Ingalls, John James
Date: April 3, 1860

Ingalls devoted much of his April 3, 1860, letter from Sumner to the territory's agricultural prospects, which were still not particularly good: "Corn, pork, and hides" were Kansas's only exports, and they were not very profitable as prices were low. "Considerable attention," wrote Ingalls, "is being paid to the hemp crop" and the wheat seemed to be doing pretty well; various kinds of fruit also "flourishes. . . . I have never seen finer apples than the farmers across the river bring to market. . . . But little is raised in Kansas yet, though much attention is being given to 'orchardizing' this spring." Ingalls was actually considering a move to the Gold County (Colorado) for better business prospects.

Keywords: Agriculture; Business; Colorado gold fields; Crops; Economic conditions; Economic development; Ingalls, John James, 1833-1900; Land speculation; Pikes Peak gold rush; Speculation; Statehood (see also Admission, Kansas); Telegraph

Letter, W. H. Powell to "Dear Sir" [James Blood]
Author: Powell, W. H.
Date: August 26, 1860

From Bloomington, Illinois, W. H. Powell, the Illinois State Superintendent of Public Instruction, wrote that he had noticed Blood's call for seed wheat for the "unfortunate settlers of Kansas," and he wondered if they would be interested in trading "for Stock--either Cattle or Stock Hogs." Powell offered to arrange shipment of 2000 bushels of "good seed wheat" immediately if a deal were struck. He wrote that farmers in his area were growing "Red Amber wheat, and that if Blood needed a character reference, he could contact "Mr. Lincoln at Springfield, where I reside, & who can vouch for my good faith &C."

Keywords: Blood, James; Crops; Droughts; Farmers; Free state settlers; Lincoln, Abraham, 1809-1865; National Kansas Committee; Relief; Springfield, Illinois

Letter, W. H. Powell to "Dear Sir" [James Blood]
Author: Powell, W. H.
Date: September 12, 1860

A Rev. Charles Reynolds, who wrote to Blood on the 7th and the 10th of September, had raised some $600-$700 in relief money and contacted Powell to ask him to purchase and ship some "winter wheat" to Kansas Territory. Writing from his home in Springfield, Powell indicated that he would do so "with pleasure" but the "best winter wheat" had just been sold. He intended to locate a good supply and ship it by railroad as soon as possible.

Keywords: Agriculture; Blood, James; Chicago, Illinois; Crops; National Kansas Committee; Railroads; Relief; Reynolds, Charles; Springfield, Illinois; Transportation

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Kansas Territorial Seal
Authors: No authors specified.
Date:  May 30, 1854
The Kansas territorial seal supposedly was engraved by Robert Lovett of Philadelphia from a design developed by Andrew H. Reeder, the first Territorial Governor of Kansas. Encircling the border of the two-inch brass die is the text, "SEAL OF THE TERRITORY OF KANSAS / ERECTED MAY 30, 1854." The face features a pioneer holding a rifle and hatchet opposite Ceres (the goddess of agriculture) who stands next to a sheaf of grain. At their feet lie a tree and the axe that felled it. Between these two figures is a shield with a plow in the top compartment and a hunter stalking a buffalo below. Above the shield is a banner reading, "POPULI VOCE NATA." This Latin motto has been translated to read "Born by the voice of the people" or "Born of the popular will." The motto speaks directly to the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854, creating the territory and establishing popular sovereignty whereby voting residents would decide if Kansas became a slave or free state.

Keywords: Agricultural implements; Agriculture; Kansas Nebraska Act; Kansas Territory; Objects; Popular sovereignty; Reeder, Andrew H. (Andrew Horatio), 1807-1864; Territorial government


Letter, [John Brown, Jr.] to Dear Father [John Brown]
Authors: Brown, Jr., John
Date:  June 22, 1855
This rather lengthy letter from John Brown, Jr., at Brownsville, K.T., to his father, John Brown, regarding the Kansas family's current situation, physically and economically. John, Jr., provides a hand-drawn map of the family's settlement in Franklin County (he calls it "Brown Co.") just west of Osawatomie.

Keywords: Agriculture; Brown, John, 1800-1859; Brown, John, Jr.; Crops; Farmers; Franklin County, Kansas Territory; Free state settlers; Land claims; Missourians; Osawatomie, Kansas Territory; Ottawa Indians; Pottawatomie Creek, Kansas Territory


Letter, J. L. Brown [Jason Brown] to Dear Father, [John Brown] Mother, [Mary Brown] Brothers & Sisters
Authors: Brown, Jason
Date:  June 23, 1855
From Osawatomie, Kansas Territory (or from the Browns' settlement which was located in southeastern Franklin Co.), son Jason wrote the family regarding there current circumstances. Overall, he was "well pleased with the country," which he described as "very rich and beautiful," despite the fact that he and his wife Ellen had just "laid little Austin in the grave." The Browns were still living in tents and needed stoves, but "All well."

Keywords: Agriculture; Akron, Ohio; Brown, Jason; Brown, John, 1800-1859; Brown, John, Jr.; Brown, Salmon; Free state settlers; Land claims; Osawatomie, Kansas Territory


Letter, C. K. Holliday to My Dear Wife [Mary Holliday]
Authors: Holliday, Cyrus Kurtz, 1826-1900
Date:  July 29, 1855
Cyrus K. Holliday wrote letters from several cities to his wife, Mary Holliday, after leaving their home at Meadville, Pennsylvania to return to business at Topeka, Kansas Territory. Once in Lawrence, K. T., he reported the political situation to his wife. Governor Andrew H. Reeder, who expected violence, and the fraudulently elected Territorial Legislature were at loggerheads. (Holliday had been elected to the Legislature in a reelection called by Governor Reeder during Holliday's absence, but the reelection results were rejected by the Legislature.) Holliday also mentioned the good corn crop and warm weather and expressed his love for his wife and daughter, Lillie, born March 18.

Keywords: Agriculture; Crops; Douglas County, Kansas Territory; Health; Holliday, Cyrus Kurtz, 1826-1900; Holliday, Mary; Lawrence, Kansas Territory; Lum, S. Y; Reeder, Andrew H. (Andrew Horatio), 1807-1864; Shawnee Indian Reserve; Topeka, Kansas Territory; Violence; Weather


Letter, John Brown to Dear Wife [Mary Brown] & Children every one
Authors: Brown, John , 1800-1859
Date:  October 13, 1855
One week after arriving at his sons' settlement ("Brownville") near Osawatomie, Brown wrote the family back east that although most were sick when he first arrived, they "appear now to be mending." The trip across Missouri was without incident, except for problems with a sick horse and their "heavy load." Brown then wrote briefly of the Adairs, the "most uncomfortable situation" in which he found his children upon his arrival, and other things including prairie fires and finally the political situation in the territory. In fact, at this early date, John Brown "believe[d] Missouri is fast becoming discouraged about making Kansas a Slave State & think the prospect of its becoming Free is brightening every day."

Keywords: Adair, Samuel Lyle; Agriculture; Brown, Jason; Brown, John, 1800-1859; Brown, Mary Ann Day, 1816-1884; Election, Topeka Constitution delegates to convention, October 1855; Free state; Free state settlers; Missouri; Osawatomie, Kansas Territory; Proslavery supporters; Settlement; Weather


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