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Authors: Allen, Chestina Bowker
Date: October 17, 1854 - April 22, 1858
Chestina Bowker Allen traveled to Kansas Territory from Roxbury, Massachusetts, with her husband Asahel Gilbert Allen and five children--William, Charles, Henrietta, John, and Abbie. Apparently, they were members of the third company sent by the New England Emigrant Aid Company and began the journey to Kansas Territory in October, 1854. While the title indicated it recorded the journey to the territory, it actually documented their first three years in Kansas Territory. Mrs. Allen described their journey west with stops in Kansas City and Lawrence. They eventually settled near Rock Creek in Pottawatomie County. She wrote about many of her daily activities including assisting neighbors when ill. She mentioned a cholera epidemic in the area in 1855. She wrote about various rumors and encounters with free state supporters (which the Allen family was) and proslavery groups. She provided a great deal of information about living conditions and the price and availability of various goods. She wrote about her husband and older sons going to various communities to work and also about people that visited their home and those who boarded with them. She provided fairly stereotypical descriptions of Native Americans.The document appeared to be recopied from an original diary and included some penciled in corrections and a few annotations from a later time.
Keywords: Allen, Asahel Gilbert; Allen, Charles Bowker; Allen, Chestina Bowker; Allen, William Francis; American Indians (see also Native Americans); Daily life; Diaries; Diseases; Economic conditions; Ferries; Free state supporters; Louisville, Kansas Territory; Manhattan, Kansas Territory; Native Americans; Pottawatomie County, Kansas Territory; Proslavery activities; Riley County, Kansas Territory; Rock Creek, Kansas Territory; Settlement; Steamboats
Letter, Tovey, R. [Robert] A. to My Dear Wife [Eliza (Matthew) Tovey]
Authors: Tovey, Robert Atkins
Date: c. 1854
Robert Atkins Tovey, Sr., an Englishman traveling to Kansas Territory, wrote to his wife Eliza (Matthew) Tovey, at their home it Albany, New York. Tovey recounted his travel experiences by steamboat and rail. Throughout, he provided detailed scenic descriptions from New York, the Great Lakes, Detroit, Illinois, St. Louis, and the Missouri River. Tovey, coming into contact with slavery on his journey, included brief commentary on the subject.
Keywords: Diseases; Medicine; Missouri River; New York; Railroads; Slavery; St. Louis, Missouri; Steamboats; Tovey, Robert Atkins; Transportation; Travel
Letter, [Hiram Hill] to Dear Wife
Authors: No authors specified.
Date: May 7, 1855
Hiram Hill of Williamsburgh, Massachusetts wrote to his wife while traveling up the Missouri River from St. Louis to Kansas City. Hill was a free soil sympathizer evidentially traveling with a company of like-minded settlers, for he wrote that some steamboat passengers viewed the company with "rather suspitious eyes." Hill told his wife not to worry although one family had cholera and, on another boat, fifteen had died the previous week. The letter, written hastily in pencil, is not signed.
Keywords: Diseases; Hill, Hiram; Missouri River; Sickness (see Illness); Steamboats; Transportation; Travel; Water transportation
Letter, H. Hill to Dear Brother
Authors: Hill, Hiram
Date: May 13, 1855
After arriving in Kansas City by steamboat, Hiram Hill wrote to his brother. En route, four men had died of cholera while others continued to drink and play cards nearby. Disease fatalities were common, Hill reported. He speculated that the river water, which passengers drank, was contaminated with disease from the rich prairie soil. Hill described life at the Winedot [sic] Indian Reservation (beginning at the bottom of page 2) where he met the "prinsable chiefe" and saw the governor's sister. Hill related news concerning Mr. Putnam, Mr. Tomas, Mr. Gague, Mr. Jay, Mr. Partridge, Mr. Whitman, Mr. Pomeroy, Mr. Fuller and others. He was skeptical that these men would permanently settle in Kansas Territory. Hill also described Kansas City, which he thought would improve under "yankee," rather than "slave holder," management. (Hill's final destination was Lawrence, where he acquired town lots through quit claims not included in this online project.)
Keywords: American Indians (see also Native Americans); Burial; Diseases; Emigration and immigration; Hill, Hiram; Kansas City, Kansas Territory; Massachusetts Emigrant Aid Company; Steamboats; Transportation; Travel; Weather; Wyandot Indians
Letter, Wm. E. Goodnow to My Dear Wife [Harriet Goodnow]
Authors: Goodnow, William E.
Date: June 10, 1855
William Goodnow, brother of Isaac Goodnow, wrote from Shannon, Wild Cat Creek, Kansas Territory, to his wife back East. Goodnow described his experiences participating in the development of the nearby town of Manhattan, having attended a city council meeting and anticipating the founding of a newspaper. Goodnow also mentioned religious services and "Sabbath Schools" currently running out of settler's homes, and commented on the numerous emigrants who had traveled to Kansas Territory only to quickly give up and return home.
Keywords: Diseases; Election fraud; Emigration and immigration; Goodnow, Ellen; Goodnow, Isaac T., 1814-1894; Goodnow, William E.; Livestock; Manhattan, Kansas Territory; Methodists; Newspapers; Reeder, Andrew H. (Andrew Horatio), 1807-1864; Religion; Riley County, Kansas Territory; Shannon, Kansas Territory; Town development
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