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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)
Letter, A. Curtis to William Hutchinson
Authors: Curtis, A.
Date: December 21, 1856
Curtis reported on the conflict between the Kansas Central Committee and W. F. M. Arny, general agent for the National Kansas Committee, over the distribution of supplies. Curtis claimed that Arny issued supplies to individuals who were engaged in speculative ventures and who were not in need of relief. Curtis attached to the letter an itemized list of the supplies that he believed were inappropriately issued by Arny.
Keywords: Arny, W. F. M. (William Frederick Milton), 1813-1881; Curtis, A; Economic conditions; Hutchinson, William, 1823-1904; Kansas Central Committee; National Kansas Committee
Letter, A. Finch to Mr. [Thaddeus] Hyatt
Authors: Finch, H.
Date: December 22, 1856
This letter, written from Osawatomie by A. Finch to Thaddeus Hyatt, chairman of the National Kansas Committee, provided general information about the inhabitants of Osawatomie and neighboring areas. It included a list of about half of the settlers residing in Osawatomie at this time, including the four pro-slavery voters. Mr. Finch went into detail about the most fertile areas that would be excellent sites for free state settlements, and about the economic conditions and financial needs of the settlers.
Keywords: Adair, Samuel Lyle; Agriculture; Chestnut, William; Churches; Economic conditions; Emigration and immigration; Finch, H.; Geer, Samuel; Hawley, John H.; Hyatt, Thaddeus; Mills and mill-work; Money; Natural resources; Osawatomie, Kansas Territory; Sears, W. A.; Settlement; Storrs, N. S.; Timber; Town settlement; Updegraff, Andrew
Letter, R. G. Elliot to Dear Sister
Authors: Elliott, Robert G.
Date: May 8, 1857
Robert Elliott, former publisher of the Kansas Free State newspaper in Lawrence along with Josiah Miller, wrote to his sister from Delaware, Kansas Territory. Elliott told her that last season the area had been the site of "ruffian outrages," but since this time it had evolved into a thriving area with a large population of free state men, whose presence raised property values. The town was not without its share of "bloated ruffians" or stray dogs, however. Elliott also mentioned that a couple of proslavery men had even subscribed to his newspaper, though he did not intend to change the "character" of the paper, which continued to favor the free state cause.
Keywords: Border ruffians; Delaware City, Kansas Territory; Economic conditions; Elliott, Robert G.; Free state supporters; Leavenworth County, Kansas Territory; Newspapers; Real estate investment; Sack of Lawrence, May 1856
Letter, Jas. B. Abbott to Gen. J. H. Lane
Authors: Abbott, James Burnett
Date: September 7, 1857
James Abbott, wrote from his travels in Hartford, Connecticut, to James Lane, General of the Kansas free state militia. Abbott was attempting to raise money and supplies for the free state cause by soliciting donations from supporters in the East. However, he reported that "this season of the year is always unfavorable for all benevolent enterprises" and that the "bank and brokers panic" was making matters even more difficult. Abbott longed for "one more big fight in Kansas" even if it should cost him his life or the lives of others as "the object is worth all it will cost."
Keywords: Abbott, James Burnett; Economic conditions; Finance; Free state cause; Free state perspective; Lane, James Henry, 1814-1866
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