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29 results for Free state:
Surveying Equipment
Authors: No authors specified.
Date: 1845-1855
Albert D. Searl used this equipment to survey Kansas Territory town sites in 1854. Lawrence was surveyed on Sept. 25th and Topeka on Dec. 20th. Searl's efforts to set town limits for free-staters in Lawrence were met with violence from pro-slavery forces nearby. Searl would later survey Manhattan, Osawatomie, Burlington, & El Dorado.

Keywords: Border ruffians; Burlington, Kansas Territory; Coffey County, Kansas Territory; Douglas County, Kansas Territory; Free state; Free state cause; Lawrence, Kansas Territory; Manhattan, Kansas Territory; Miami County, Kansas (see also Lykins County, Kansas Territory); Objects; Osawatomie, Kansas Territory; Riley County, Kansas Territory; Searl, Albert D.; Skirmishing; Surveyors; Topeka, Kansas; Topeka, Kansas Territory; Violence


Secret sign, password, and obligations
Authors: Vigilance Club
Date: ca. 1855
A description of the secret sign, password, and obligations for members of a Free State vigilance club. The club was headquartered in Lawrence.

Keywords: Free state; Vigilance committees


Letter, C. K. Holliday to My Dear Wife [Mary Holliday]
Authors: Holliday, Cyrus Kurtz, 1826-1900
Date: April 1, 1855
Cyrus K. Holliday wrote from Topeka, Kansas Territory to his wife, Mary Holliday, in Meadville, Pennsylvania. He described the Territorial Legislature election of March 30, 1855, in which he was a Representative candidate for the Fourth District (in the third election district). Missourians had taken charge of the polls, and Holliday, along with other free state Kansas Territory citizens, did not vote. He assured his wife that Kansas would be a free state. Business in growing Topeka continued to delay his return to Meadville. Holliday also alluded to the recent birth of their child and mentioned his ragged clothing.

Keywords: Election fraud; Election, Territorial Legislature, March 1855; Elections; Emigration and immigration; Free state; Holliday, Cyrus Kurtz, 1826-1900; Holliday, Mary; Meadville, Pennsylvania; Missourians; Shawnee County, Kansas Territory; Topeka Town Association; Topeka, Kansas Territory; Town building (see Town development)


Letter, C. Robinson to Rev. E. E. Hale
Authors: Robinson, Charles
Date: April 9, 1855
Charles Robinson, writing from Lawrence, K. T. to Edward Everett Hale, commented that Free State supporters were forming military companies in response to perceived "outrageous conduct" by Missourians during the March 30, 1855, election of representatives for the territorial legislature. Robinson asked Hale to send two hundred Sharp's rifles and two cannon for the use of Lawrence settlers.

Keywords: Border ruffians; Cannons; Douglas County, Kansas Territory; Elections; Free state; Guns; Hale, Edward Everett, 1822-1909; Kansas Territory. Legislature; Lawrence, Kansas Territory; Militia; New England Emigrant Aid Company; Proslavery activities; Reeder, Andrew H. (Andrew Horatio), 1807-1864; Robinson, Charles, 1818-1894; Sharps rifles; Weapons (see also Guns)


Letter, [anonymous/unsigned] to General Samuel C. Pomeroy
Authors: No authors specified.
Date: May 14, 1855
The author of this length epistle, chose not to sign his name but offered his observations about Kansas affairs "which may or may not be of service to you." In essence the correspondent offers a free staters perspective--not an abolitionist one--on the "modus operandi" of the pro-slave party for KT. Slavery, or the slave system, meant "despotism" to this individual, and he believed "pro slavery men will use every means" to control the territory, which would soon go to free state "if the contest were a fair and even one." It was critical that Americans elect a president in 1856 who would "do right, a man who loves the Union the whole Union as it is . . . ."

Keywords: Despotism; Election, Presidential, 1856; Free state; New England Emigrant Aid Company; Proslavery; Slave power


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


Letter, C. K. Holliday to My Dear Wife [Mary Holliday]
Authors: Holliday, Cyrus Kurtz, 1826-1900
Date: December 6, 1855
Cyrus K. Holliday wrote briefly from Free State Headquarters in Lawrence, Kansas Territory to his wife, Mary Holliday, in Meadville, Pennsylvania, describing the number and location of surrounding Proslavery forces and of Free State forces gathered in Lawrence. Cyrus had been working for peace, but was prepared to fight in a shortly expected attack.

Keywords: Douglas County, Kansas Territory; Free state; Holliday, Cyrus Kurtz, 1826-1900; Holliday, Mary; Lawrence, Kansas Territory; Violence; Wakarusa War, November-December 1855


Quilt, New England Emigrant Aid Company
Authors: No authors specified.
Date: 1855
Fragment of comforter made by women from the Boston-based New England Emigrant Aid Society. The comforter was sold at a charity raffle in Lawrence in 1855. Proceeds were given to free-state settlers. The fabric is believed to have been taken from Revolutionary War uniforms. Dr. Sylvester B. Prentiss purchased the comforter, which was later divided into sections and distributed among his family members.

Keywords: Boston, Massachusetts; Emigrant aid companies; Free state; Free state cause; House furnishings; Immigration and early settlement; Lawrence, Kansas Territory; New England Emigrant Aid Company; Objects; Prentiss, S.B.


Photograph, Free-State Battery
Authors: No authors specified.
Date: 1856
During the year 1856, the pro-slavery people of Missouri virtually cut off free-state emigration to Kansas Territory by the way of the Missouri River. Numerous emigrant parties were intercepted and turned back. This circumstance led to an organized emigration to Kansas Territory overland through Iowa. Parties came in organized companies and were generally armed. These arms were furnished largely through organized movements in the Eastern states from which the emigrants came. In a number of instances cannons were brought by these emigrant parties. This daguerreotype shows one of the cannons brought by a company to Topeka in 1856.

Keywords: Cannons; Daguerreotypes; Firearms; Free State Battery; Free state; Free state activities; Free state militia; Guns; Photographs and Illustrations


Letter, C. K. Holliday to My Dear Wife [Mary Holliday]
Authors: Holliday, Cyrus Kurtz, 1826-1900
Date: January 7, 1856
Cyrus K. Holliday, reelected on the 6th for a third six-month term as president of the Topeka Town Association, wrote from Topeka, Kansas Territory to his wife, Mary Holliday, in Meadville, Pennsylvania. He had been appointed to visit Washington by the Free State Executive Committee and nominated for territorial Secretary of State (losing in the January 15th election). Cyrus had received the money drafts Mary sent. He reported cold, stormy weather.

Keywords: Free state; Holliday, Cyrus Kurtz, 1826-1900; Holliday, Mary; Meadville, Pennsylvania; Money; Shawnee County, Kansas Territory; Topeka, Kansas Territory; Weather


Letter, T. [Thomas] C. Wells to Mother [Sarah Elizabeth Clarke Wells]
Authors: Wells, Thomas Clarke
Date: April 3, 1856
After spending part of much of the winter back East, Wells returned to KT in April 1856, beginning this letter home from aboard the steamer "James H. Lucas" and finishing it on April 13 at Juniata, near Fort Riley. He commented on the trip, by rail and boat, and on the fact that there were "Quite a number of people on board from South Carolina and Georgia going to Kansas." But they would not last long, and "The free state people must eventually conquer--the South cannot compete with the North in sending emigrants." Wells' plans upon his return were to sell his Juniata property and take one close to Manhattan, something he describes having done in a subsequent letter.

Keywords: Detroit, Michigan; Free state; Georgia; Manhattan, Kansas Territory; Railroads; South Carolina; Southern emigrants; St. Louis, Missouri; Steamboats; Travel; Wells, Thomas Clarke


Letter, Sophy [Sophie D. S. Goddard] to Sara [T. D. Robinson]
Authors: Goddard, Sophie D. S.
Date: July 20, [1856]
This letter to Sara Robinson from her sister Sophie Goddard was sent in care of Miss Emily I. Hunt, since rumor had it the letters to the Robinson's and other prisoners were being confiscated. Goddard comments in general terms on a number of Kansas issues and developments, but her letter is one mostly to express concern for the plight of her sister.

Keywords: Brooks, Preston Smith; Free state; Goddard, Sophie D.S.; Robinson, Charles, 1818-1894; Robinson, Sara T. L. (Sara Tappan Lawrence), 1827-1911; Tappan, S. F. (Samuel Forster), d. 1913; Topeka Constitution


Painting, Directing John Brown to the Free State Camp
Authors: Reader, Samuel James
Date: August 3, 1856
Painting of John Brown being led to a Free State camp by Samuel Reader. John Brown disguised himself as a surveyor to monitor the activites of proslavery forces in the Kansas Territory. Here, the artist depicts himself leading Brown to a camp on Pony Creek in Brown County on August 3, 1856.

Keywords: Art; Artist; Brown County, Kansas Territory; Brown, John, 1800-1859; Free state; Free state activities; Objects; Reader, Samuel James; Surveyors


Charles Robinson to Messrs. Allen, Blood, Hutchinson and others
Authors: Robinson, Charles
Date: August 16, 1856
Charles Robinson was writing from Camp Sackett, near Lecompton, Kansas Territory, where he was being held prisoner on treason charges. He wrote to encourage free state supporters to negotiate with pro-slavery forces in order to defuse tensions in northeast Kansas Territory.

Keywords: Antislavery; Camp Sackett, Kansas Territory; Douglas County, Kansas Territory; Free state; Hutchinson, William, 1823-1904; Robinson, Charles, 1818-1894; Treason


Letter, Mary to My Dear Husband [Cyrus K. Holliday]
Authors: Holliday, Mary
Date: August 29, 1856
Mary Holliday wrote from Meadville, Pennsylvania to her husband, Cyrus K. Holliday, founder of Topeka, Kansas Territory, who was presently touring Pennsylvania to speak in support of Republican presidential nominee John C. Fremont. Mary mentioned Mr. Howe, L. Lord, and Alfred Huidekoper, all friends of Cyrus. William D. Paul, who lived in Shawnee County, Kansas Territory had written. Quoting from his letter, Mary reported a skirmish between free state and proslavery men at Franklin, in Douglas County. Henry C. Titus, colonel of proslavery troops, and Israel B. Donal[d]son, U. S. marshal, had been taken prisoner. Governor Wilson Shannon had negotiated a treaty. Mary also mentioned her ill health, and she hoped that Cyrus was well.

Keywords: Battles; Donalson, Israel B.; Franklin, Kansas Territory; Free state; Health; Holliday, Cyrus Kurtz, 1826-1900; Holliday, Mary; Meadville, Pennsylvania; Missourians; Paul, William D.; Shannon, Wilson, 1802-1877; Titus, Henry Theodore


Titus Sword
Authors: No authors specified.
Date: 1856
Three months after the sack of Lawrence, the Free State Milita attacked the pro-slavery stronghold of Fort Titus. Free State forces were lead by Colonel James A. Harvey. Named after Colonel Henry T. Titus, a local pro-slavery commander, Fort Titus actually was a cabin located in Lecompton. After the Free State victory on August 16th, 1856, Colonel Titus surrendered this sword to Colonel Harvey.

Keywords: Battles; Border disputes and warfare; Fort Titus, Battle of; Free state; Free state militia; Free state perspective; Harvey, James A.; Lawrence, Kansas Territory; Leavenworth County, Kansas Territory; Lecompton, Kansas Territory; Objects; Swords and daggers; Titus, Henry Theodore; Violence; Weapons (see also Guns)


Painting, Battle of Hickory Point
Authors: Reader, Samuel James
Date: September 13, 1856
Painting by Samuel Reader depicting the Battle of Hickory Point. Reader, an early settler of Shawnee County, was a member of a volunteer Free State company. On September 13, 1856, General James Lane heard that proslavery men were committing outrages in the town of Grasshopper Falls (Valley Falls). Lane marched to Ozawkie and recruited Free State settlers. Shortly thereafter, he heard that the proslavery forces were at Hickory Point, north of Oskaloosa, and so redirected his men there. The proslavery forces, which included about 40 South Carolinians, were under the command of Captain H. A. Lowe. According to Reader's accounts, only one Free State man was injured, but between 5-6 proslavery men were killed when these forces collided.

Keywords: Art; Artist; Battles; Border disputes and warfare; Free state; Hickory Point, Battle of; Jefferson County, Kansas Territory; Lane, James Henry, 1814-1866; Lowe, H. A.; Objects; Reader, Samuel James; South Carolina; Violence


Buffum Tombstone
Authors: No authors specified.
Date: Sept. 17, 1856
Tombstone of David C. Buffum, a free-stater from Massachusetts who was killed by the pro-slavery Kickapoo Rangers on Sept. 17, 1856. Buffum was plowing a field on his farm near Lawrence when the Rangers (including Henry Titus and Sheriff Samuel Jones) stole his horse and shot him. Before he died, Buffum was heard to express the sentiments chiseled on his tombstone: "I am willing to die for the cause of Freedom in Kansas."

Keywords: Border disputes and warfare; Border ruffians; Buffum, David C.; Casualties; Douglas County, Kansas Territory; Free state; Free state perspective; Jones, Samuel J. (Sheriff); Kickapoo Rangers (militia); Lawrence, Kansas Territory; Massachusetts; Objects; Proslavery activities; Titus, Henry Theodore; Tombstones; Violence; Violent deaths


Report, Vermont Colony in Kansas
Authors: Newton, B. B.
Date: September 24, 1856
This report written by B. B. Newton to the Vermont State Kansas Committee. He described the efforts made by the party to settle in Kansas.

Keywords: Antislavery; Emigrant aid companies; Emigrant aid companies - Free state; Emigration and immigration; Free state; Iowa; Kansas Frontier; Massachusetts; Nebraska City, Nebraska Territory; Newton, B. B.; Relief; Vermont


Promotional letter
Authors: Barnes, William , 1824-1913
Date: September 29, 1856
This letter, written by William Barnes, stated reasons for free state settlement in Kansas Territory. It included inflammatory language about proslavery settlers.

Keywords: Antislavery; Barnes, William, 1824-1913; Emigration and immigration; Free state; Immigration and early settlement; Kansas Frontier; New York State Kansas Committee; Settlement; Williams, C. P.


John Brown Sword
Authors: No authors specified.
Date: 1856
The sword is believed to have been brought to Kansas Territory from Ohio by John Brown in 1856. That year, pro-slavery forces destroyed the homes of John Brown's sons in Franklin County. While leaving the state, the Brown family camped at the home of Otis Potter, near Lawrence. In gratitude, the Browns presented this sword to Potter.

Keywords: Border disputes and warfare; Brown, John, 1800-1859; Franklin County, Kansas Territory; Free state; Free state cause; Lawrence, Kansas Territory; Objects; Ohio; Potter, Otis; Swords and daggers; Weapons (see also Guns)


Admit Me Free Flag
Authors: No authors specified.
Date: 1856
In 1856 this flag was used in a rally at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, for Republican presidential nominee John C. Fremont. The oversized 34th star and the words, "Admit Me Free" in the canton of the flag are in support of Kansas admittance as a free state.

Keywords: Election, Presidential, 1856; Elections; Flags and banners; Free state; Fremont, John Charles, 1813-1890; Objects; Pennsylvania; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania


James Lane Telescope
Authors: No authors specified.
Date: 1855-1857
Spyglass used by James Lane and other free-state leaders of Lawrence in observing the movements of Missourians.

Keywords: Border disputes and warfare; Border disputes and warfare - Free state perspective; Douglas County, Kansas Territory; Free state; Free state activities; Lane, James Henry, 1814-1866; Lawrence, Kansas Territory; Objects


Letter, S. C. Pomeroy to Thaddeus Hyatt
Authors: Pomeroy, S. C. (Samuel Clarke), 1816-1891
Date: May 18, 1857
This brief letter from Samuel Pomeroy to Thaddeus Hyatt, president of the National Kansas Committee was dated May 18, [1857), from Boston, Massachusetts. Among other business matters, he reported the fact that the two men now owned "one half of the 'Squatter Sovereign' (Stringfellows organ)" and "[Robert] McBratney of Ohio owns the other half--We have hoisted a Free State Flag!"

Keywords: Atchison, Kansas Territory; Boston, Massachusetts; Business enterprises; Free state; Freedom's Champion; Hyatt, Thaddeus; McBratney, Robert; Proslavery; Squatter Sovereign; Stringfellow, John H.


Election Results, Geary City, Doniphan County
Authors: Porter, R. J.
Date: August 3, 1857
One example of several official statements of the results of the "State Election," held under the authority of the Topeka Constitution. This one--Geary City, Doniphan County-- is certified by election judges R. J. Porter, John M. Curtis, and Alexander Paterson, and, among the offices tallied, recorded 55 votes for the "State Constitution."

Keywords: Curtis, John M.; Doniphan County, Kansas Territory; Election, Topeka Constitution, August 1857; Elections; Free state; Geary City, Kansas Territory; Geary County, Kansas Territory; Paterson, Alexander; Porter, R. J.; Topeka Constitution


Poll List, Leavenworth, Topeka Constitution
Authors: Anthony, Scott A.
Date: August 3, 1857
On August 3, 1857, the free-state legislature gave K. T. voters another chance to vote the Topeka Constitution (first approved, December 1855) when they went to the polls to elect new legislators. Few, if any, proslave voters participated and the territory-wide tally was 7,257 for the constitution, 34 against. The polling list for Leavenworth contains the names of 721 voters, "seven hundred and six (706) being in favor of said Constitution and two (2) against."

Keywords: Constitutions; Election, Topeka Constitution, August 1857; Elections; Free state; Leavenworth County, Kansas Territory; Leavenworth, Kansas Territory; Topeka Constitution


Letter, James Peckham to H. Miles Moore
Authors: Peckham, James
Date: December 13, 1857
Peckham, writing from New York City, described Northern opposition to the Lecompton Constitution. He also offered advice to Moore, a Free State advocate from Leavenworth, K. T. that Free State supporters refrain from seeking the admission of Kansas as a state under the Topeka Constitution.

Keywords: Antislavery; Constitutions; Free state; Lecompton Constitution; Moore, H. Miles (Henry Miles), b. 1826; New York, New York; Peckham, James; Topeka Constitution


Letter, Wm. Stanley to Dear [John A.] Halderman
Authors: Stanley, William
Date: January 12, 1858
Shortly after Halderman left Leavenworth for a trip east (Washington, D. C., it is nearly certain), William Stanley wrote him from Leavenworth regarding some "excitement" that had occurred there the very day Halderman left. Many were fearful of "attack" and thus the alarms were "sounded. . . . Hundreds of free state men were soon in arms, and the proslavery party exhibited more of apprehension than I have ever witnessed before." He mentions proslavery men leaving for Shawnee, the fact that many free-state men had recently been driven out of nearby Kickapoo, that John Calhoun was given a military escort to Lecompton, and his confidence that the [Lecompton] constitution would pass the Congress.

Keywords: Calhoun, John; Douglas, Stephen Arnold, 1813-1861; Free state; Free state militia; Halderman, John Adams; Kickapoo, Kansas Territory; Leavenworth, Kansas Territory; Lecompton Constitution; Parrott, Marcus J., 1828-1879; Proslavery; Stanley, William


Invoice of Central Committee goods
Authors: No authors specified.
Date: No date
Itemized inventory of goods maintained by the Kansas Central Committee for distribution to Free State citizens in need of relief. The goods on the inventory consisted primarily of clothing and fabric.

Keywords: Free state; Kansas State Central Committee; Relief


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

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