National Debate About KansasNational Debate About Kansas > Federal Government > James Buchanan (1857-1861)
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Author: Parrott, Marcus J., 1828-1879
Date: December 20, 1857
Marcus Parrott wrote from Washington, D.C., to his brother, Edwin Parrott, in Dayton, Ohio, regarding Congress' apparent lack of efficiency, acting as a "circumlocution office", in which little is accomplished in the way of policy-making towards resolution of the Kansas question. Marcus described his private interview with President Buchanan, who did not seem to impress him, and mentioned that the President's party [Democratic] seemed to be "thinning" in the South.
Keywords: Buchanan, James, 1791-1868; Davis, Jefferson; Douglas, Stephen Arnold, 1813-1861; Parrott, Edwin A.; Parrott, Marcus J., 1828-1879; United States. Congress; Washington, D.C.
Letter, S.T. Learnard to Dear Son [Oscar Learnard]
Author: Learnard, S. T.
Date: February 15, 1858
S.T. Learnard wrote from Bakersfield, Vermont, to his son, Oscar Learnard of Kansas Territory, in this transcribed version of his letter. S.T. asked his son for his opinion on the effect of property and emigration if the Lecompton Constitution would be passed by Congress. He also advised him on business matters and updated him on the news of family and friends back home. S.T. communicated his hope that Oscar would maintain honor and principal during his course in business, unlike the "contemptable" President Buchanan's course in politics.
Keywords: Antislavery perspective; Buchanan, James, 1791-1868; Business; Business enterprises; Daily life; Learnard, Oscar E., 1832-1911; Learnard, S. T.; Lecompton Constitution; Vermont
Letter, J. Thompson to J. W. Denver
Author: Thompson, J.
Date: October 10, 1858
Thompson, writing from the Department of Interior in Washington, D.C. to Governor James W. Denver, urged Denver to remain in the position of territorial governor as a service to the Buchanan Administration and the Democratic party. Thompson indicated that President Buchanan believed Denver could prevent Kansas from seeking admission to the union until it had "the requisite population." Denver, in spite of Thompson's appeal, left office on October 10, 1858.
Keywords: Buchanan administration; Democratic Party (U.S.); Denver, James William, 1817-1892; Kansas Territory. Governor; Thompson, J.
Letter, Tho. Ewing Jr to Hamp B. Denman
Author: Ewing, Jr., Thomas , 1829-1896
Date: February 23, 1860
Ewing's friend and business associate, Hamp B. Denman, went to Washington, D.C., to seek appointment as register of the U.S. Land Office in Lecompton. President Buchanan "--that damned old scoundrel!"--rejected Denman.
Keywords: Buchanan, James, 1791-1868; Democratic Party (U.S.); Denman, Hamp B.; Ewing, Thomas, 1829-1896; Leavenworth, Kansas Territory; United States. General Land Office
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Authors: No authors specified.
This cartoon depicts William L. Marcy, James Buchanan, Franklin Pierce, Lewis Cass, and Stephen Douglas harassing Liberty, the representation of Kansas Territory. A former U.S. senator from New York, Marcy was a leader of the conservative Democrats, with pro-Southern leanings much like those of presidents Pierce and Buchanan; Marcy served as secretary of war (1845-1849) under James K. Polk and secretary of state (1853-1857) under President Pierce, during the worst of the Kansas troubles.
Keywords: Border ruffians; Buchanan, James, 1791-1868; Cartoons; Douglas, Stephen Arnold, 1813-1861; Pierce, Franklin, 1804-1869; Political cartoons
Letter, Milton M. Powers to Dear Friend, Cyrus K. Holliday
Authors: No authors specified.
Date: June 7, 1856
Milton M. Powers, Deputy Clerk of Court in Columbus, Ohio wrote to Cyrus K. Holliday, Free State leader and founder of Topeka, Kansas Territory. Powers had read of Holliday's activities in northern newspapers. A presentation of the Wrongs of Kansas, emphasizing Andrew H. Reeder and Samuel N. Wood's experiences, had emotionally motivated Powers to write and assure Holliday of his support. Once a Jeffersonian Democrat, but convicted that the party had abandoned its principles, Powers had become a Republican. He stated that the entire nation was attuned to events in Kansas Territory, and he believed that these events would have intense impact on the nation's future.
Keywords: Border ruffians; Buchanan, James, 1791-1868; Columbus, Ohio; Democratic Party (U.S.); Holliday, Cyrus Kurtz, 1826-1900; National politics; Newspapers; Powers, Milton M.; Reeder, Andrew H. (Andrew Horatio), 1807-1864; Republican Party (U.S.: 1854- ); Wood, S. N. (Samuel Newitt)
Letter, Wm Morris Davis to My dear Sir [Cyrus K. Holliday]
Authors: Davis, William Morris
Date: August 29, 1856
William Morris Davis wrote to Cyrus K. Holliday in Topeka, Kansas Territory, although Holliday was speaking in Pennsylvania in support of Republican presidential candidate John C. Fremont. Davis praised Holliday's efforts, for he saw both Fremont's election to the presidency and the free statehood of Kansas as steps toward the end of slavery. Williard Filmore, Know-Nothing candidate, had hopeless prospects, and Democrat James Buchanan would be rejected by the masses protesting the current administration, Davis claimed. This letter uses exalted, militant, and religious language to describe territorial and national conflict. Davis also mentioned William Y. Robers (lieutenant governor under the Topeka Constitution), Burlingame, and Cobb.
Keywords: Buchanan, James, 1791-1868; Davis, William Morris; Election, Presidential, 1856; Fremont, John Charles, 1813-1890; Holliday, Cyrus Kurtz, 1826-1900; Philadelpia, Pennsylvania; Roberts, William Young; Slavery; Sumner, Charles, 1811-1874; Topeka, Kansas Territory
Letter, A. H. Reeder to My Dear Sir [John A. Halderman]
Authors: Reeder, Andrew H. (Andrew Horatio), 1807-1864
Date: October 22, 1856
Former Governor A. H. Reeder wrote to Halderman from Easton, Pennsylvania, regarding his business affairs and his desire to have Halderman act as his attorney and agent. But in this letter, Reeder also gave brief attention to the political situation in Kansas Territory and the nation, mentioning the congressional committee investigating the Kansas affairs, the "horrible state of things . . .in our unfortunate Territory," and his belief that, although James Buchanan would win the presidential contest in 1856, "the Republican party is bound to sweep the North within the next four years."
Keywords: Buchanan, James, 1791-1868; Business; Congressional Report 200 (see also Howard Committee); Election, Presidential, 1856; Halderman, John Adams; Howard Committee (see also Congressional Report 200); Leases; Pennsylvania; Reeder, Andrew H. (Andrew Horatio), 1807-1864; Republican Party (U.S.: 1854- )
Letter, W. F. M. Arny to Dear Sir [Thaddeus Hyatt]
Authors: 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)
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