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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, [Orville] Chester [Brown] to My dear friend
Authors: Brown, Orville Chester, 1811-1904
Date: September 2, 1856
This eloquent letter, presumably written by Orville Chester Brown, provides an example of the free state perspective on the events of 1856. It includes references to a number of key personalities and places that played a vital role during the struggle for Kansas. Brown writes that "Kansas is the scene of bloody strife," as "2000 armed men" from Missouri were rumored to have crossed into Kansas.
Keywords: Border ruffians; Brown, Spencer; Free state perspective; Georgia; Missouri; Violence
Letter, Richard Mendenhall to Augustus Wattles
Authors: Mendenhall, Richard
Date: January 19, 1857
Richard Mendenhall was a missionary at the Shawnee Friends Mission in the 1840s. He returned to Indiana for a time but moved back to Kansas Territory in the fall of 1855. He was in Kansas during the territorial era and wrote Wattles describing an attact on the Friends Mission on August 20, 1856 by proslavery forces. He indicated that they were told to leave or the mission would be burned. However, Mendenhall wrote that David Atchison and other proslavery supporters asked that the Friends be left out of the violence. Mendenhall also described an attempt to form a settlement by men from Georgia about 3 miles from Osawatomie. He wrote that they were friendly at first but they later committed depredations. In response, about 100 free state men ran them off, took $500 in clothing and provisions, and burned a fort they had built. Mendenhall believed that the Battle of Osawatomie was a response to this.
Keywords: Atchison, David Rice, 1807-1886; Border disputes and warfare - Free state perspective; Free state support; Friends Mission, Lykins County; Georgia; Lykins County, Kansas Territory (see also Miami County, Kansas); Mendenhall, Richard; Miami County, Kansas (see also Lykins County, Kansas Territory); Missionaries; Osawatomie, Kansas Territory; Proslavery; Proslavery settlers; Society of Friends; Wattles, Augustus