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Immigration and Early Settlement

Immigration and Early Settlement > The Economy > Drought
15 Topic Specific Items
Reports from Eureka Township, Greenwood County, etc.
Author: No authors specified.
Date: 1860

This document contained additional reports of conditions in various counties during the drought of 1860. It consisted of letters that W. F. M. Arny copied and sent to Thaddeus Hyatt, president of the National Kansas Committee. The reports were submitted by Josiah G. Fuller, James Whary, and Henry Brock, Eureka, Greenwood County; W. A. Harris and A. L Williams, Cottonwood Falls, Chase County; H. H. George, W. Wendell, and R. W. Cloud, Waterloo, Breckenridge County; I. P. Herrick, Iowa Township, Doniphan County; G. S. Northrup, J. H. Spicey, and A. G. Carpenter, Geneva Township, Allen County; and Charles P. Twiss, Cofachique Township, Allen County. The reports described prospects for crops and other conditions resulting from the prolonged drought.

Keywords: Agriculture; Allen County, Kansas Territory; Arny, W. F. M. (William Frederick Milton), 1813-1881; Brock, Henry; Carpenter, A. G.; Chase County, Kansas Territory; Cloud, R. W.; Cofachique Township, Allen County, Kansas Territory; Cottonwood Falls, Kansas Territory; Crops; Droughts; Eureka, Kansas Territory; Famines; Fuller, Josiah G.; Geneva Township, Allen County, Kansas Territory; George, H. H.; Grain; Greenwood County, Kansas Territory; Harris, W. A.; Herrick, I. P.; Hyatt, Thaddeus; Livestock; Northrup, G. S.; Relief; Spicey, J. H.; Twiss, Charles P.; Wendell, W.; Whary, James; Williams, A. L.

Miscellaneous accounts of conditions resulting from drought
Author: No authors specified.
Date: 1860

These accounts discussed the price of land (both in the past and currently), the number of settlers (often diminished from past numbers), and the nature of crops and available produce. This report included accounts from Mosley (a buffalo hunter) from Greenwood County; an African-American named Buckner from Otoe County; Thomas A. Hill, Greenwood County; Rev. Henry Moys, Madison County; John L. Pratt, Butler County; H. I. Hunter, B. F. Vanhorn, Judge Graham, and Myrock Huntley, Madison County; Peter Welsh, Osage County; William Thurman; Osage Indians; John Jones, Ottawa Creek; S. N. Howe, Coffey County; E. Condit, Woodson County; and J. C. Lambdin, Butler County. One of the letters copied in this report was addressed to W. F. M. Arny, and was written by J.C. Lambdin.

Keywords: African Americans; Arny, W. F. M. (William Frederick Milton), 1813-1881; Buckner; Butler County, Kansas Territory; Coffey County, Kansas Territory; Condit, E.; Crops; Droughts; Famines; Graham, Judge; Grain; Greenwood County, Kansas Territory; Hill, Thomas A.; Howe, S. N.; Hunter, H. I.; Huntley, Myrock; Jones, John; Lambdin, J. C.; Madison County, Kansas Territory; Mosley; Moys, Rev. Henry; Osage County, Kansas Territory; Otoe County, Kansas Territory; Pratt, John L.; Thurman, William; Vanhorn, B. F.; Welsh, Peter

Letter, J. H. Vansickle to Sir
Author: Vansickle, John H.
Date: August 17, 1860

John Vansickle wrote from Bourbon County regarding the dry weather and economic conditions that were causing a mass emigration out of Kansas Territory. Settlers in Kansas during 1860 were suffering during a particularly severe drought.

Keywords: Bourbon County, Kansas Territory; Droughts; Economic conditions; Emigration and immigration; Vansickle, John H.; Weather; Xenia, Kansas Territory

Letter, Thaddeus Hyatt to the New York Tribune (Copy No. 1)
Author: Hyatt, Thaddeus
Date: August 24, 1860

This copy was titled "Thaddeus Hyatt's Letters from Kansas, The fact of the Drougth. Introduction of the facts, an appeal and an apology!" Hyatt, president of the National Kansas Committee, was trying to dispel information coming from Leavenworth that reported that conditions in Kansas were being exaggerated. He felt efforts to deny "the present deplorable condition of things" were motivated by economic concerns. Hyatt wrote that they suffered because of the drought, not their own actions, and that the free North should aid them. The letter was well written and contained a great deal of emotional rhetoric. The letter was copied (by hand) by W. F. M. Arny. The last page of the letter elaborated on its origins.

Keywords: Droughts; Economic conditions; Famines; Hyatt, Thaddeus; Leavenworth County, Kansas Territory; Leavenworth Herald; Leavenworth, Kansas Territory; National politics; New York Tribune; Newspapers; Relief; Relief funds

Letter, Thaddeus Hyatt to the New York Tribune (Draft No. 3)
Author: No authors specified.
Date: September 14, 1860

Thaddeus Hyatt, president of the National Kansas Committee, wrote this letter to the New York Tribune in order to make New Englanders aware of the destitution and suffering of settlers in Kansas Territory. Hyatt gave accounts of conditions in Americus and Emporia townships in Breckenridge County, and also in Jackson and Lawrence. The letter reported the condition of crops, cattle disease, etc. It contained similar information to other statements from Kansas settlers during the drought of 1860.

Keywords: Agriculture; Americus Township, Breckinridge County, Kansas Territory; Breckinridge County, Kansas Territory (see also Lyon County, Kansas); Crops; Droughts; Economic conditions; Emporia Township, Breckinridge County, Kansas Territory; Famines; Grain; Livestock; Lyon County, Kansas (see also Breckinridge County, Kansas Territory); Poverty; Relief

Letter, J.M. Rankin to Dear Sir [Thaddeus Hyatt]
Author: Rankin, J. M.
Date: September 14, 1860

J.M. Rankin wrote this letter from Emporia, Kansas Territory to Thaddeus Hyatt, chairman of the National Kansas Committee. It discussed how the drought of 1860 was affecting Emporia and expressed thanks for the support of the National Kansas Committee.

Keywords: Breckinridge County, Kansas Territory (see also Lyon County, Kansas); Droughts; Emporia, Kansas Territory; Grain; Hyatt, Thaddeus; Lyon County, Kansas (see also Breckinridge County, Kansas Territory); Rankin, J.M.; Relief; Timber

Letter, S. C. Pomeroy to Dear [Thaddeus] Hyatt
Author: Pomeroy, S. C. (Samuel Clarke), 1816-1891
Date: October 10, 1860

In this letter, S. C. Pomeroy wrote from Atchison, Kansas to Thaddeus Hyatt, president of the National Kansas Committee. The letter revolved around the suffering of the settlers and their desperate search for provisions and employment. Pomeroy also mentioned the prospect of obtaining a large amount of buffalo meat, as well as the failed corn crop and the generally destitute condition of the settlers. He truly feared for the lives of the settlers during the upcoming winter.

Keywords: Arny, W. F. M. (William Frederick Milton), 1813-1881; Atchison County, Kansas Territory; Atchison, Kansas Territory; Bison; Crops; Economic conditions; Elmore, Rush; Famines; Food; Fort Riley, Kansas Territory; Grain; Grasshopper Falls, Kansas Territory; Hyatt, Thaddeus; Pomeroy, S. C. (Samuel Clarke), 1816-1891; Relief; Topeka, Kansas; Vegetables

Article, "The Drouth and Famine in Kansas"
Author: New York Daily Tribune
Date: October 10, 1860

This newspaper article, published in the New York Daily Tribune from October 10, 1860, outlined the basic details of the suffering and destitution of settlers in Kansas. It also included reprints of two circulars originating from Kansas Territory. One was from the Presbytery of Highland, and the other was from the Central Relief Committee based in Leavenworth. The first reprinted circular provided information about the dire situation and gave the names of the members of this committee. The second circular requested that the elders and deacons of each church in Kansas ascertain how many families needed immediate assistance in order to present a full report to the Central Relief Committee.

Keywords: Arny, W. F. M. (William Frederick Milton), 1813-1881; Central Relief Committee; Churches; Clothing and dress; Crops; Doniphan County, Kansas Territory; Droughts; Economic conditions; Famines; Food; Grain; Highland, Kansas Territory; Hyatt, Thaddeus; Leavenworth, Kansas Territory; Presbyterian Church; Reaser, Rev. J. G.; Relief; Relief funds; Wyandotte, Kansas Territory

Letter, [W. F. M.] Arny to Brother [Thaddeus] Hyatt
Author: Arny, W F. M. (William Frederick Milton), 1813-1881
Date: October 15, 1860

W.F.M. Arny, agent of the National Kansas Committee, continued to send Thaddeus Hyatt, president of this committee, copies of letters he had received from Kansas settlers. These letters described the economic conditions resulting from the continued drought during 1860. The reports were submitted by Rev. J. W. Fox, Ridgeway, Kansas Territory; the "Committee on the Little Osage," Bourbon County, Kansas Territory; Dr. I. W. Robinson, Manhattan, Kansas Territory; and Joseph M. Todd and others, Greenwood Township, Greenwood County, Kansas Territory.

Keywords: Agriculture; Bourbon County, Kansas Territory; Crops; Droughts; Economic conditions; Famines; Fox, J. W.; Greenwood County, Kansas Territory; Greenwood Township, Greenwood County, Kansas Territory; Livestock; Manhattan, Kansas Territory; Medicine; Relief; Ridgeway, Kansas Territory; Riley County, Kansas Territory; Robinson, I.; Shawnee County, Kansas Territory; Todd, Joseph M.

Letter, Thaddeus Hyatt to James Buchanan
Author: Hyatt, Thaddeus
Date: October 16, 1860

Thaddeus Hyatt, president of the National Kansas Committee, wrote this letter to the President of the United States in an effort to obtain assistance for the suffering inhabitants of Kansas. He described in detail the needs of the settlers, including their lack of adequate winter clothing and the scarcity of food. According to his personal observations, Hyatt concluded that the only options left to Kansas settlers were exodus or starvation. He also asked that all government lands be removed from the market, especially those in the New York Indian Reserve.

Keywords: Buchanan, James, 1791-1868; Diseases; Droughts; Economic conditions; Famines; Food; Health; Hyatt, Thaddeus; Indian reserves; Relief; Sickness (see Illness)

Letter, C. W. Holder to J. Blood Esq.
Author: Holder, C. W.
Date: October 27, 1860

As were several other individuals from Illinois, Holder wrote to notify Blood that the people in his community (around Bloomington, Illinois) were eager to share their "abundance" with "their brethren in Kansas." They were preparing to send potatoes, as well as wheat and oats, but needed help purchasing sacks and paying freight; "our people as you are probably aware are just recovering from the financial pressure of the past 3 years" and thus had "little money."

Keywords: Agriculture; Blood, James; Crops; Droughts; Illinois; Panic of 1857; Relief; Transportation

Letter, S. C. Pomeroy to Dear [Thaddeus] Hyatt
Author: Pomeroy, S. C. (Samuel Clarke), 1816-1891
Date: November 2, 1860

This letter was written to Thaddeus Hyatt, president of the National Kansas Committee, by S. C. Pomeroy regarding their relief efforts during the drought of 1860. Pomeroy mentioned in this letter a convention that was called to meet in Lawrence on November 14, 1860. He pasted the advertisement for this convention to the first page of the letter, it had been published in the (Leavenworth?) Daily Times on October 31, 1860.

Keywords: Droughts; Famines; Hyatt, Thaddeus; Hyatt, Theodore; Lawrence, Kansas Territory; Leavenworth, Kansas Territory; Parrott, Marcus J., 1828-1879; Pomeroy, S. C. (Samuel Clarke), 1816-1891; Relief

Letter, Wm [William Goodnow] to Dear Brother [Isaac Goodnow]
Author: Goodnow, William E.
Date: December 22, 1860

William Goodnow wrote from Manhattan, Kansas Territory, to his brother Isaac Goodnow, updating him on personal and business matters. He reported that the plastering and joint work in the College building was mostly done, and that he had ceased to work on the construction of their own new house until the spring. Responding to the secession of South Carolina, William exclaimed that the Union had been "smashed into a cocked hat!" He added that the Denison family was well but for colds, and confirmed that those settlers who had suffered on account of the drought and poor economic conditions were receiving aid.

Keywords: Bluemont Central College; Construction; Denison, Joseph; Economic conditions; Goodnow, Isaac T., 1814-1894; Goodnow, William E.; Health; Relief; School buildings; Secession; South Carolina

Letter, Thaddeus Hyatt to Hon. B. F. Camp
Author: Hyatt, Thaddeus
Date: January 14, 1861

This printed letter was written by Thaddeus Hyatt to B. F. Camp of Albany, New York. This eloquent plea for assistance spoke of the drought and famine in Kansas during 1860 and 1861. The letter included personal experiences and excerpts from Kansas settlers describing the conditions in their area. For instance, a local physician wrote that "starvation stares us all in the face." The letter also provided agricultural statistics from Kansas Territory, beginning in 1859, to demonstrate the hard facts about this drought.

Keywords: Agriculture; Clothing and dress; Droughts; Famines; Food; Hyatt, Thaddeus; Illness; Pomeroy, S. C. (Samuel Clarke), 1816-1891; Poor; Poverty; Relief

Starvation in Kansas
Author: Hyatt, Thaddeus
Date: February 4, 1860

This document was an appeal to "The President of the Country, To the Churches, To Congress, To State Legislatures, To Philanthropists, and To the humane everywhere!!" to support those suffering in Kansas. The document was written by Thaddeus Hyatt, president of the National Kansas Committee, and it was endorsed by S. C. Pomeroy, chairman of the Kansas Relief Committee and general agent for distribution. This particular Kansas Relief Committee had been formed to combat the effects of the drought of 1860. This short appeal contained eloquent and emotional rhetoric in "behalf of 40,000 starving Americans."

Keywords: Droughts; Economic conditions; Famines; Hyatt, Thaddeus; Kansas Relief Committee; Pomeroy, S. C. (Samuel Clarke), 1816-1891; Poverty; Relief; Relief funds

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Letter, John W. Robinson to Hiram Hill
Authors: Robinson, John W.
Date:  August 17, 1857
John Robinson, President and Agent of the Manhattan Town Association, wrote from Manhattan, Kansas Territory, to Hiram Hill in Massachusetts. Robinson responded to Hill's interest in investing in the town, describing the town's current situation, climate, and development rate. He provided specific and dramatic examples of increasing property values, and assured Hill that there would be no land speculation; he would only sell lots to those investors who were willing to build.

Keywords: Big Blue River; Churches; Crops; Droughts; Goodnow, William E.; Hill, Hiram; Kansas River, Kansas Territory; Manhattan, Kansas Territory; Real estate investment; Riley County, Kansas Territory; Robinson, John W.; Smythe, Edward B.; Stonemasons; Timber; Town associations; Town development


Appeal for the Kansas sufferers!
Authors: Foster, Daniel
Date:  1860
This letter was written by Daniel Foster to describe the conditions in Kansas during a nine month drought. Many settlers left Kansas Territory, and those remaining needed relief. This letter called on people to provide aid to those in Kansas. Furthermore, it listed names of a committee that met in Boston to discuss relief efforts in Kansas.

Keywords: Droughts; Food; Foster, Daniel; Howe, S. G. (Samuel Gridley), 1801-1876; Kansas Frontier; Kansas Relief Committee; Pomeroy, S. C. (Samuel Clarke), 1816-1891; Poor; Relief; Webb, Thomas H. (Thomas Hopkins), 1801-1866


Miscellaneous accounts of conditions resulting from drought
Authors: No authors specified.
Date:  1860
These accounts discussed the price of land (both in the past and currently), the number of settlers (often diminished from past numbers), and the nature of crops and available produce. This report included accounts from Mosley (a buffalo hunter) from Greenwood County; an African-American named Buckner from Otoe County; Thomas A. Hill, Greenwood County; Rev. Henry Moys, Madison County; John L. Pratt, Butler County; H. I. Hunter, B. F. Vanhorn, Judge Graham, and Myrock Huntley, Madison County; Peter Welsh, Osage County; William Thurman; Osage Indians; John Jones, Ottawa Creek; S. N. Howe, Coffey County; E. Condit, Woodson County; and J. C. Lambdin, Butler County. One of the letters copied in this report was addressed to W. F. M. Arny, and was written by J.C. Lambdin.

Keywords: African Americans; Arny, W. F. M. (William Frederick Milton), 1813-1881; Buckner; Butler County, Kansas Territory; Coffey County, Kansas Territory; Condit, E.; Crops; Droughts; Famines; Graham, Judge; Grain; Greenwood County, Kansas Territory; Hill, Thomas A.; Howe, S. N.; Hunter, H. I.; Huntley, Myrock; Jones, John; Lambdin, J. C.; Madison County, Kansas Territory; Mosley; Moys, Rev. Henry; Osage County, Kansas Territory; Otoe County, Kansas Territory; Pratt, John L.; Thurman, William; Vanhorn, B. F.; Welsh, Peter


Reports from Eureka Township, Greenwood County, etc.
Authors: No authors specified.
Date:  1860
This document contained additional reports of conditions in various counties during the drought of 1860. It consisted of letters that W. F. M. Arny copied and sent to Thaddeus Hyatt, president of the National Kansas Committee. The reports were submitted by Josiah G. Fuller, James Whary, and Henry Brock, Eureka, Greenwood County; W. A. Harris and A. L Williams, Cottonwood Falls, Chase County; H. H. George, W. Wendell, and R. W. Cloud, Waterloo, Breckenridge County; I. P. Herrick, Iowa Township, Doniphan County; G. S. Northrup, J. H. Spicey, and A. G. Carpenter, Geneva Township, Allen County; and Charles P. Twiss, Cofachique Township, Allen County. The reports described prospects for crops and other conditions resulting from the prolonged drought.

Keywords: Agriculture; Allen County, Kansas Territory; Arny, W. F. M. (William Frederick Milton), 1813-1881; Brock, Henry; Carpenter, A. G.; Chase County, Kansas Territory; Cloud, R. W.; Cofachique Township, Allen County, Kansas Territory; Cottonwood Falls, Kansas Territory; Crops; Droughts; Eureka, Kansas Territory; Famines; Fuller, Josiah G.; Geneva Township, Allen County, Kansas Territory; George, H. H.; Grain; Greenwood County, Kansas Territory; Harris, W. A.; Herrick, I. P.; Hyatt, Thaddeus; Livestock; Northrup, G. S.; Relief; Spicey, J. H.; Twiss, Charles P.; Wendell, W.; Whary, James; Williams, A. L.


Letter, H. [Henry] L. Denison to My Dear Uncle [Joseph Denison]
Authors: Denison, Henry
Date:  August 2, 1860
Henry Denison wrote from Bluemont College in Manhattan, Kansas Territory, to his uncle Joseph Denison, a Trustee of the College. Henry informed him that dry summer conditions had significantly impeded crop growth. The drought also affected the construction of the College, as the plasterers depended on the water supply of a nearby creek to mix their plaster; carpenters, however, moved forward with their work. Henry closed with a mention of a recent eclipse.

Keywords: Bluemont Central College; Construction; Crops; Denison, Henry; Denison, Joseph; Droughts; School buildings


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