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51 results for Guns:
Walker Shotgun
Authors: No authors specified.
Date: 1854
Shotgun of Captain Samuel Walker, brought by him to Kansas in June, 1854, and used in the Battle of Fort Titus.

Keywords: Border disputes and warfare; Firearms; Fort Titus, Battle of; Free state cause; Guns; Objects; Violence; Walker, Samuel Douglas; Weapons (see also Guns)


Letter, C. Robinson to E. Thayer
Authors: Robinson, Charles
Date: April 2, 1855
Charles Robinson, writing from Lawrence, Kansas Territory to Eli Thayer in Worcester, Massachusetts, described voting irregularities in the March 30, 1855 election of members to the territorial legislature. Robinson maintained that the election was "controlled entirely by Missourians" who came to the territory, took over the polling places, and cast illegal ballots to ensure that proslavery supporters were elected to the legislature. Robinson also reported that free staters in Lawrence had formed themselves into four military companies, and urged Thayer to send Sharps rifles and cannons for these forces.

Keywords: Cannons; Douglas County, Kansas Territory; Election fraud; Election, Territorial Legislature, March 1855; Free state perspective; Guns; Lawrence, Kansas Territory; Militia; Robinson, Charles, 1818-1894; Sharps rifles; Thayer, Eli, 1819-1899; Weapons (see also Guns)


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)


Advertisement, C. Sharps' Patent Breech-Loading and Self-Priming Rifle, Carbine, Shot Gun, and Pistol, Manufactured and sold by Sharps' Rifle Manufacturing Company, at Hartford, Connecticut
Authors: Sharps' Rifle Manufacturing Company
Date: Circa 1855
This advertisement explained how the rifle was loaded and primed. It included testimonials from various users. The flyer also included one drawing of the rifle and an illustration for making and loading shot cartridges.

Keywords: Advertisements; Guns; Hartford, Connecticut; Illustrations; Sharps rifles; Weapons (see also Guns)


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


Connecticut Kansas Colony Record Book
Authors: Secretary, Connecticut Kansas Colony
Date: February 18, 1856 through June 26, 1857
The colony was formed in New Haven, Connecticut, with the intent that members would migrate to Kansas Territory in the spring of 1856. This book listed members of the colony and the minutes contained information about the activities of the colony for its formation, the trip to Kansas, selecting a town site, through the decision to dissolve it in favor of the Wabaunsee Company, which was charged with organizing the town of Wabaunsee, Kansas Territory. The content, while not including information about the discussions of issues, contained a great deal of information about the formal actions of the colony. The group was sometimes referred to as the Beecher Bible and Rifle Colony. The early minutes contained mentions of the purchase of arms.

Keywords: Beecher Bible and Rifle Colony; Connecticut Kansas Colony; Emigration and immigration; Guns; Lines, C. B.; Migration, internal; New Haven, Connecticut; Town companies; Town development; Town site speculation; Wabaunsee County, Kansas Territory; Wabaunsee, Kansas Territory; Weapons (see also Guns)


Letter, F. A. Hunt to Thos. H. Webb
Authors: Hunt, F. A.
Date: March 14, 1856
F. A. Hunt, owner of a steamboat and land agent company, wrote from St. Louis, Missouri to Thomas H. Webb, secretary of the New England Emigrant Aid Company. Hunt informed Webb that a shipment of 100 rifles and two guns had been seized at Lexington, Missouri while in transit to Leavenworth via the Steamboat Arabia. Hunt stated that unless the weapons had been taken by authority of the U.S. government, the steamboat was liable for the loss. Hunt urged Webb to be more cautious in making shipments of weapons to Kansas.

Keywords: Arabia (Steamboat); Border ruffians; Emigrant aid companies; Guns; Hunt, F. A.; New England Emigrant Aid Company; Steamboats; Weapons (see also Guns); Webb, Thomas H. (Thomas Hopkins), 1801-1866


Letter, Jas Finley to Dear Sister
Authors: Finley, James Agnew
Date: May 24, 1856
James A. Finley, a Lawrence resident at the time of the Sack of Lawrence, wrote to his sister recounting the events that had transpired only three days before. Concisely but vividly he described events as they unfolded from the morning of May 21st, when David Atchison "planted 2 cannon upon the hill above town." Finley, a more fortunate man than many in Lawrence that day, claimed to have suffered no losses in the incident.

Keywords: Atchison, David Rice, 1807-1886; Deitzler, George W.; Douglas County, Kansas Territory; Eldridge House; Finley, James Agnew; Free state perspective; Guns; Jones, Samuel J. (Sheriff); Lawrence, Kansas Territory; Missourians; Robinson, Charles, 1818-1894; Sack of Lawrence, May 1856; Shannon, Wilson, 1802-1877; Sharps rifles; Smith, George W.; United States marshals; Weapons (see also Guns)


Poster, Public Warning!
Authors: Shockley, William P.
Date: June 11, 1856
This flyer warned the citizens of Leavenworth that the city marshal, William Shockley, would begin enforcing the ordinance against discharging firearms within the city limits. It had "become so frequent as to endanger life and greatly annoy the quiet and peace of orderly citizens."

Keywords: Cities and towns; Firearms; Guns; Leavenworth County, Kansas Territory; Shockley, William P.


Letter, G. W. Smith, Jr., to Gentlemen of the Kansas Central Committee
Authors: Smith, Jr., George W.
Date: July 17, 1857
George W. Smith, Jr., Lawrence, signed this letter, requesting a supply of "arms . . . for distribution among the Free State men who have formed themselves into Companies," Captain, "Munger Battalion, Free State Forces." Smith wrote that he led "a force of 32 mounted" men, most of whom were veterans of the "wars of Kansas," and requested the loan of "32 sabres [sic] and any revolvers that you may have to give them."

Keywords: Bleeding Kansas; Blood, James; Free state militia; Guns; Kansas Central Committee; Lawrence, Kansas Territory; Weapons (see also Guns)


Letter, Eli Thayer to Mr. [Charles] Robinson
Authors: Thayer, Eli , 1819-1899
Date: August 5, 1856
From Worcester, Mass., on August 5, 1856, the founder of the Emigrant Aid Company wrote Charles Robinson's "brother" about "certain efforts to injure the reputation of your brother" whom Thayer called "heroic." He mentions the Buffalo convention and the shipment of weapons to KT, but the main objective was to reassure the governor via his "brother" that he had not been forgotten and that Thayer would remain his champion in the East.

Keywords: Free state activities; Free state government; Guns; New England Emigrant Aid Company; Robinson, Charles, 1818-1894; Thayer, Eli, 1819-1899; Weapons (see also Guns); Worcester, Massachusetts


Letter, [I. Sabin] to Chad Kellogg
Authors: Sabin, I.
Date: August 8, 1856
I. Sabin wrote to Chad Kellogg regarding real-estate transactions and troubles along the Missouri-Kansas border. Sabin, the commander of a 40-man company against pro-slavery forces, described the amount of firearms needed by each fighting man and his lack of money with which to purchase them. The letter is written on a printed circular "Appeal of Kansas to the Voters of the Free States," which enumerates various offenses done to free state men, focusing particularly on the contested election of 1856.

Keywords: Barber, Thomas W.; Brown, Frederick; Buford, Jefferson; Free state perspective; Guns; Kellogg, Chad; Leavenworth County, Kansas Territory; Leavenworth, Kansas Territory; Pierce, Franklin, 1804-1869; Popular sovereignty; Sabin, I.; Shannon, Wilson, 1802-1877; Sharps rifles; Shawnee County, Kansas Territory; Topeka, Kansas Territory; Wakarusa War, November-December 1855; Weapons (see also Guns)


Receipt, John P. Lovell to T. W. Higginson
Authors: Lovell, John P.
Date: August 20, 1856
This receipt was written by John P. Lovell, a manufacturer and dealer of guns and gun materials, for T. W. Higginson, an ardent Northern abolitionist. Higginson was an agent for the Massachusetts Kansas Aid Committee, procuring rifles, powder, cartridges and other materials. The purchases on this receipt totaled $19.95. On the back of the receipt is a note stating that this purchase of twenty rifles was never actually paid, since it was a replacement for a previous shipment of rifles that were defective.

Keywords: Boston, Massachusetts; Guns; Higginson, Thomas Wentworth, 1823-1911; Massachusetts State Kansas Committee; Receipts; Weapons (see also Guns)


Receipts, Francis Tomes and Sons to Mr. T. Hyatt
Authors: No authors specified.
Date: August 22, 1856 - August 23, 1856
These two receipts, from Francis Tomes and Sons, New York, detail supplies acquired to benefit the free state cause. They include the prices of Bowie knives, Colt pistols, and other pieces pertaining to the use of firearms.

Keywords: Firearms; Guns; Hyatt, Thaddeus; National Kansas Committee; Receipts; Relief; Weapons (see also Guns)


Receipt, B. B. Newton to T. W. Higginson
Authors: Newton, B. B.
Date: August 26, 1856
This receipt from B. B. Newton, an agent with the Vermont State Kansas Committee, was made out to Reverend Thomas W. Higginson, who would transport these twenty rifles to the Vermont Colony in Kansas Territory. Higginson was an agent for the Massachusetts Kansas Aid Committee.

Keywords: Guns; Higginson, Thomas Wentworth, 1823-1911; Massachusetts State Kansas Committee; Mt. Pleasant, Iowa; Newton, B. B.; Receipts; Weapons (see also Guns)


Receipt and memorandum concerning weapons and ammunition
Authors: Miller, Joseph C.
Date: September 27, 1856
This receipt, which provides a detailed listing of revolvers, knives, cartridges, and other weapons and ammunition, declared that these weapons were "received of Chas. Robinson." The following page is a memorandum by Preston Plumb, who writes that he received the weapons and ammunition listed on the receipt in Iowa City, Iowa "on or about the 4th of September 1856." The weapons were to be delivered to J. M. Winchell in Kansas but were to be used for the "defense of Kanzas." Several hundred weapons were involved.

Keywords: Ammunition; Border disputes and warfare; Guns; Higginson, Thomas Wentworth, 1823-1911; Plumb, Preston B., 1837-1891; Receipts; Robinson, Charles, 1818-1894; Sharps rifles; Shawnee County, Kansas Territory; Topeka, Kansas Territory; Weapons (see also Guns); Winchell, James M., 1823-1877


Letter, George W. Hunt and C. Stearns to Blood, Hutchinson, et al
Authors: Hunt, George W.; Stearns, C.
Date: September 29, 1856
On behalf of a committee of Lawrence citizens, Hunt and Stearns wrote the State Central Committee of Kansas "to urge upon your attention several important points in reference to the present condition of Kansas." They were convinced that a "storm" from Missouri was about "to burst upon the devoted heads of the freemen of Kansas" and "perhaps to deluge Kansas with rivers of blood." The committee urged the state and national organization to help them prepare for the storm, while things were relatively calm, with an adequate supply of arms and ammunition and men. But, with a veiled reference, perhaps, to John Brown, they called only for "moral heroes" who would not follow the "principles of Border Ruffianism."

Keywords: Ammunition; Beecher Bibles; Bleeding Kansas; Blood, James; Border ruffians; Brown, John, 1800-1859; Free state cause; Free state settlers; Geary, John White, 1819-1873; Guns; Hutchinson, William, 1823-1904; Lawrence, Kansas Territory; Missouri; National Kansas Committee; Osawatomie, Kansas Territory; State Central Committee of Kansas; Weapons (see also Guns)


Letter, R. J. Hinton to Gentlemen [National Kansas Committee]
Authors: Hinton, R. J.
Date: October 10, 1856
R. J. Hinton wrote this letter from Lawrence to the members of the National Kansas Committee, offering his suggestions about how to sustain the struggling settlers of Kansas. He proposed the idea of bringing the manufacturing industry into the territory as a source of employment. He also mentioned that a flour mill would be greatly appreciated by Kansans.

Keywords: Clothing and dress; Economic conditions; Emigrant aid companies; Emigration and immigration; Flour mills; Free state cause; Free state settlers; Guns; Hinton, Richard Josiah; House furnishings; Manufacturing; National Kansas Committee; Relief; Settlement; Sewing machines; Steam power; Weapons (see also Guns)


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)


Testimonies of Nathaniel Parker, Horace L. Dunnell, Hinton S. Dunnell, Alexander MacArthur, James Hall, Jerome Hazen, and Charles Henry Caulkins
Authors: Hyatt, Thaddeus
Date: December 5, 1856 - December 7, 1856
These testimonies, presumably taken down on paper by Thaddeus Hyatt of the National Kansas Committee, include personal information about each settler, such as their age, occupation, etc., as well as their experiences in Kansas and their involvement in border warfare and skirmishes with pro-slavery settlers. Each account is descriptive and provides tremendous detail about their individual experiences. The testimonies of MacArthur, Hall, and Hazen are combined into one, with this group testimony split into two separate sections.

Keywords: Battles; Black Jack, Battle of; Border disputes and warfare; Border ruffians; Brown, John, 1800-1859; Caulkins, Charles Henry; Cutter, Calvin M.; Dunnell, Hinton S.; Dunnell, Horace L.; Firearms; Fort Titus, Battle of; Free state militia; Free state perspective; Guns; Hall, James; Harvey, James A.; Hazen, Jerome; Hickory Point, Battle of; Hoyt, David Starr; Hyatt, Thaddeus; Iowa; Iowa City, Iowa; Jones, John Tecumseh (Tauy); Lane, James Henry, 1814-1866; Lawrence, Kansas Territory; MacArthur, Alexander; Missouri River; Parker, Nathaniel; Prisoners; Prisons; Proslavery activities; Skirmishing; Violence; Walker, Samuel Douglas; Weapons (see also Guns); Weston, Missouri; Wounds and injuries


Receipt, James M. Arthur to Kansas State Central Committee
Authors: Arthur, James M.
Date: December 27, 1856
This receipt, dated Lawrence, December 27, 1856, read as follows: "Received . . . Of Kansas Central Committee six U S. Breach loading Rifles and two U S Muskets one Box U S Caps and six Bullet molds for Rifles Said arms to be returned on the order of said Kansas Central Committee."

Keywords: Ammunition; Blood, James; Free state militia; Guns; Kansas Central Committee; Kansas State Central Committee; Lawrence, Kansas Territory; Receipts; Weapons (see also Guns)


Pro-slavery man's musket
Authors: No authors specified.
Date: 1856
Flintlock musket carried by J. H. Meyer in 1856, while a member of the pro-slavery Kansas Terriorial Militia.

Keywords: Border disputes and warfare; Firearms; Guns; Meyer, J. H.; Militia; Objects; Proslavery activities; Proslavery perspective; Weapons (see also Guns)


Muster Roll, Kansas Volunteers for the Protection of the Ballot Box, Wyandotte County
Authors: No authors specified.
Date: 1857
The Kansas Volunteers for the Protection of the Ballot Box were free state supporters who were determined to see that fair elections were held in Kansas. James Lane was appointed to organize companies throughout the territory. General Order No. 1, found on this site, included instructions for listing the members of each company. This muster roll was prepared as a result of that order. This muster roll for Captain A. H. Macauley's company listed the officers and enlisted men, their age, place of birth, where from to Kansas, Kansas residence, and a place for "remarks." The latter was used to record the type of weapon the individual was issued or brought with him: e.g., Sharps, Western rifle, Carbine. All the men appeared to be residents of Quindaro, Wyandotte County in their twenties or early thirties.

Keywords: Election fraud; Elections; Free state militia; Free state movement (see also Topeka Movement); Free state supporters; Guns; Kansas Volunteers; Kansas Volunteers for the Protection of the Ballot Box; Macauley, A. H.; Militia; Quindaro, Kansas Territory; Sharps rifles; Topeka Movement (see also Free state movement); Voting; Voting fraud (see also Contested elections); Weapons (see also Guns); Wyandotte County, Kansas Territory


Resolutions, National Kansas Committee
Authors: National Kansas Committee
Date: January 24, 1857
"At a meeting of the National Kansas Committee held at the Astor House in the City of New York," January 1, 1857, it was resolved that $5,000 should be committed to John Brown for "any defensive measures that may become necessary." The committee also authorized a set amount of "arms & supplies."

Keywords: Brown, John, 1800-1859; Free state cause; Free state supporters; Guns; National Kansas Committee; New York, New York; Weapons (see also Guns)


Letter, S. [Samuel] Cabot Jr. to J. [James] B. Abbott Esq
Authors: Cabot, Samuel
Date: August 25, 1857
Samuel Cabot, a member of the New England Aid Society Executive Committee, wrote to James Abbott about his upcoming trip to St. Louis, in which Abbott would claim some stolen rifles on the behalf of Cabot. Cabot included another letter to St. Louis attorneys Knox and Kellogg, which named Abbott as his official agent in the matter. Cabot recounted that "Highwaymen" of Lexington, Missouri, had stolen the rifles the previous spring.

Keywords: Abbott, James Burnett; Border disputes and warfare; Cabot, Samuel; Guns; St. Louis, Missouri


Letter, J. [James] H. Lane to Dear Genl. [John Brown]
Authors: Lane, James Henry, 1814-1866
Date: September 29, 1857
James H. Lane wrote from Falls City, Nebraska Territory, to John Brown in Tabor, Iowa, urging Brown to get guns and ammunition to Kansas as soon as possible. Lane wanted Brown's help in preventing proslavery supporters from disrupting the October 7, 1857, election for representatives to the territorial legislature.

Keywords: Ammunition; Brown, John, 1800-1859; Election fraud; Election, Territorial Legislature, October 1857; Elections; Guns; Iowa; Lane, James Henry, 1814-1866; Nebraska Territory; Weapons (see also Guns)


Letter, J. [James] H. Lane to Dr Sir [John Brown]
Authors: Lane, James Henry, 1814-1866
Date: October 30, 1857
On October 30, 1857, from Falls City [Nebraska Territory ? ], Jim Lane wrote to urge Brown to do all he could "to get the guns to Kansas." He actually believed they would probably not be needed, but "One thing is certain if they are to do her any good it will be in the next few days."

Keywords: Border disputes and warfare - Free state perspective; Brown, John, 1800-1859; Guns; Jayhawkers; Lane, James Henry, 1814-1866; Weapons (see also Guns)


Letter, Knox & Kellogg to Jas. B. Abbott
Authors: No authors specified.
Date: November 16, 1857
Attorneys Knox & Kellogg wrote from St. Louis to James Abbott in Lawrence, Kansas Territory, responding to a lawsuit brought against them by Samuel Cabot. Cabot held them responsible for the long delay in returning several rifles that had been stolen from him the previous spring by Missouri "Highwaymen." Knox and Kellogg reported to Abbott, acting as agent for Cabot, that the lawsuit had been dismissed and the damage to the rifles was to be appraised by a third party.

Keywords: Abbott, James Burnett; Cabot, Samuel; Guns; Knox & Kellogg, Attorneys; Lawsuits; St. Louis, Missouri


Letter, E. R. Falley to Kansas Central Committee
Authors: Falley, Edwin R.
Date: c. 1857
In this undated letter from Lawrence, Kansas Territory, E. R. Falley informed the Kansas Central Committee that he lost a gun loaned to him by "Mr. Wilder" (D. W. Wilder?) while serving with a free-state militia company at Blanton's bridge (Napoleon B. Blanton, on the Wakarusa in Douglas County) in June 1856. Wilder was demanding payment, and Falley asked the committee to reimburse "Mr. Wilder for said gun."

Keywords: Blantons Bridge; Falley, Edwin R.; Guns; Kansas Central Committee; Lawrence, Kansas Territory; Lecompton, Kansas Territory; National Kansas Committee; Wilder, Daniel Webster, 1832-1911


Muster Roll, Kansas Volunteers for the Protection of the Ballot Box, Leavenworth County
Authors: No authors specified.
Date: 1857
The Kansas Volunteers for the Protection of the Ballot Box were free state supporters who were determined to see that fair elections were held in Kansas. James Lane was appointed to organize companies throughout the territory. General Order No. 1, found on this site, included instructions for listing the members of each company. This muster roll was prepared as a result of that order. This company was recruited in Leavenworth County from the areas of Walnut Creek and Fall Creek. The muster roll listed the officers and enlisted men, their age, place of birth, where from to Kansas, and Kansas residence. This muster roll also included information under remarks about whether or not the members had weapons. All of the members are from Leavenworth County and their ages range from 18 to 66. The captain was Horace L Dunlap. This muster roll lits two free state men who, according to Captain Dunlap, refused to enroll.

Keywords: Dunlap, Horace L.; Election fraud; Elections; Free state movement (see also Topeka Movement); Free state supporters; Guns; Kansas Volunteers; Kansas Volunteers for the Protection of the Ballot Box; Leavenworth County, Kansas Territory; Militia; Topeka Movement (see also Free state movement); Voting; Voting fraud (see also Contested elections); Weapons (see also Guns)


Letter, Wm. Hutchinson to [John Brown?]
Authors: Hutchinson, William , 1823-1904
Date: ca. 1857
On the bottom of an incomplete listing of weapons distributed (e.g., Navy Revolvers), William Hutchinson wrote regarding his "earnes effort for you [John Brown?] in this place.

Keywords: Bassett, O. A. (Owen Abbot); Border disputes and warfare; Border disputes and warfare - Free state perspective; Eldridge, Shalor Winchell, 1816-1899; Guns; Hutchinson, William, 1823-1904; Kagi, John Henry; Weapons (see also Guns); Whitman, E. B.


Circular, Information for Kanzas Immigrants, 1857
Authors: Webb, Thomas H. (Hopkins), 1801-1866
Date: 1857
Thomas Webb compiled this more comprehensive version of his earlier circulars by the same name. Containing much of the same information as the previous versions, such as details about the logistics of the trip to Kansas and subjects such as weather, farming, Indians, and employment, it features a large section that describes individual town settlements. This circular also addresses the proslavery and free state conflict, though in a nonpartisan manner, considering the interests of both groups.

Keywords: American Indians (see also Native Americans); Atchison, David Rice, 1807-1886; Books; Brown, John Carter; Circulars; Crops; Diseases; Education; Food; Guns; Land acquisition; Lawrence, Amos Adams, 1814-1886; Libraries; Merchandise; Merchants; Native Americans; New England Emigrant Aid Company; Newspapers; Religion; Thayer, Eli, 1819-1899; Town settlement; Transportation; Travel literature; Weapons (see also Guns); Weather; Webb, Thomas H. (Thomas Hopkins), 1801-1866


Letter, Wm. R. Griffith to Col. [James] Abbott
Authors: Griffith, William Riley
Date: April 26, 1858
William R. Griffith wrote to James Abbott, Colonel in the Kansas free state militia, informing him that General Eldrige had 40 carbines in his possession. Eldrige was willing to give them to the free state forces, as long as delivery charges were paid by the recipient. Griffith offered to receive the carbines and pay the charges if Abbott himself would retrieve them from Griffith in Little Osage.

Keywords: Abbott, James Burnett; Eldridge, Shalor Winchell, 1816-1899; Free state cause; Free state militia; Griffith, William Riley; Guns; Little Osage River, Kansas Territory


Letter, Knox & Kellogg, Attys to Jas. B. Abbott, Esq.
Authors: No authors specified.
Date: July 17, 1858
St. Louis attorneys Knox & Kellogg responded to an inquiry from James Abbott, informing him that they had been in communication with M. F. Conway, by request of Samuel Cabot, and had told him that, once received, they would hold the rifles subject to Cabot's order. The attorneys stated they had done all they could since they had not heard word further from Cabot nor could they predict when they themselves would receive the rifle shipment. Cabot had made several attempts to recover rifles that were stolen from him by Missouri "Highwaymen" in the spring of 1857.

Keywords: Abbott, James Burnett; Cabot, Samuel; Conway, Martin Franklin; Guns; Knox & Kellogg, Attorneys; Lawsuits; St. Louis, Missouri


Record of Arms disbursed by the Kansas State Central Committee
Authors: Kansas State Central Committee
Date: September 24, 1858
Opening with an entry signed by James Montgomery, acknowledging receipt a Sharps rifle and a Colt revolver "to be used in defense of Kansas," this small leather-bound volume contains over 30 such entries for numerous weapons.

Keywords: Blood, James; Free state militia; Guns; Hinton, Richard Josiah; Kansas State Central Committee; Montgomery, James, 1814-1871; Sharps rifles; Weapons (see also Guns)


Letter, Frank Walker to M. B. Walker
Authors: Walker, Frank
Date: March 4, 1859
Frank Walker of Mound City, Kansas Territory, wrote to Mr. B. Walker (from the context, presumably a brother) recounting recent skirmishes between the free state men led by James Montgomery and the pro-slavery "scamps" in Bourbon and Linn counties. Walker dubbed Montgomery one of "the likedest man in Kanzas," though at the time, in pro-slavery Linn County, he was considered an outlaw. Walker's letter included references to an incident occurring on Dec 16, 1858 in Fort Scott, in which Montgomery and his men attacked a pro-slavery prison to save a fellow free state man. Walker concluded by encouraging his family to obtain a land warrant in Kansas Territory.

Keywords: Bourbon County, Kansas Territory; Brown, John, 1800-1859; Free state perspective; Guns; Land acquisition; Linn County, Kansas Territory; Montgomery, James, 1814-1871; Mound City, Kansas Territory; Walker, Frank; Walker, M.B.; Weapons (see also Guns); Wounds and injuries


Photograph, John Doy rescue party
Authors: No authors specified.
Date: 1859
On January 25, 1859, Dr. John Doy and his son Charles left Lawrence, Kansas Territory, for Nebraska with 13 slaves. They were captured when only twelve miles out of Lawrence and were taken to Weston, Missouri. The two Doys had an examination at Weston and were committed to jail at Platte City, Missouri for the crime of abducting slaves. They remained in jail until March 20, 1859. They were then taken to St. Joseph, Missouri, where Dr. Doy was tried. After this trial, his son Charles was set free. However, the first jury could not agree on a verdict for Dr. Doy, and he was tried a second time. At the second trial, he was convicted and sentenced to five years in the penitentiary. While being held in the St. Joseph jail he was freed by friends from Kansas on September 23, 1859. Two different ambrotypes showing the John Doy rescue party were digitized for the project. When you compared the images, you will find the men are standing in different positions.

Keywords: Abbott, James Burnett; Abolitionists; Ambrotypes; Antislavery movements; Doy rescue and trial, 1859; Doy, Charles; Doy, John; Firearms; Free state activities; Free state cause; Gardner, Joseph; Guns; Hay, George R.; Photographs and Illustrations; Pike, Joshua A.; Senix, Jacob; Simmons, Thomas; Soule, Silas Stillman


Photograph, John Doy rescue party
Authors: No authors specified.
Date: 1859
On January 25, 1859, Dr. John Doy and his son Charles left Lawrence, Kansas Territory, for Nebraska with 13 slaves. They were captured when only twelve miles out of Lawrence and were taken to Weston, Missouri. The two Doys had an examination at Weston and were committed to jail at Platte City, Missouri for the crime of abducting slaves. They remained in jail until March 20, 1859. They were then moved to St. Joseph, Missouri, where Dr. Doy was tried. After this trial Charles Doy was set free. However, the first jury could not agree on a verdict for Dr. Doy, and he was tried a second time. At the second trial, he was convicted and sentenced to five years in the penitentiary. While being held in the St. Joseph jail he was freed by friends from Kansas on September 23, 1859. Two different ambrotypes showing the John Doy rescue party were digitized for the project. When you compared the images, you will find the men are standing in different positions.

Keywords: Abbott, James Burnett; Abolitionists; Ambrotypes; Antislavery movements; Doy rescue and trial, 1859; Doy, Charles; Doy, John; Firearms; Free state activities; Free state cause; Gardner, Joseph; Guns; Hay, George R.; Photographs and Illustrations; Pike, Joshua A.; Senix, Jacob; Simmons, Thomas; Soule, Silas Stillman


Letter, John E. Stewart to My Dear Sir [Thaddeus Hyatt]
Authors: Stewart, John E.
Date: December 20, 1859
John E. Stewart wrote from Wakarusa, Kansas to Thaddeus Hyatt, president of the National Kansas Committee, describing his work on the underground railroad. This letter detailed the inclement weather and difficulties he encountered as he helped slaves to escape from Missouri, as well as his procedure for locating the slaves and hiding them in his wagon. Stewart sought to gain assistance from Hyatt, mainly in the form of provisions and horses. He also needed advice about what to do with the escaped slaves to ensure that they were not captured and sold again into slavery.

Keywords: Abolitionists; African Americans; Fugitive slaves; Guns; Horses; Iowa; Missouri; Nebraska Territory; Relief; Slaves; Stewart, John E.; Underground railroad; Weapons (see also Guns)


Report of H. J. Strickler, Commissioner to Audit Claims of Citizens of the Territory of Kansas
Authors: Strickler, Hiram Jackson
Date: 1859
William Hutchin of Linn County filed claim # 270 for various losses suffered in August, 1856. His statement described his experiences as a prisoner of G. W. Clarke and his men. His losses included horses, cash, guns, ammunition and miscellaneous items. Each claimant had to submit an itemized list and have two witnesses attest to the losses claimed. Even though many of these claims were approved for payment, no funds were ever appropriated or distributed.

Keywords: Clarke, George W.; Damage claims; Guns; Horses; Hutchin, William; Linn County, Kansas Territory; Prisoners; Strickler, Hiram Jackson; Weapons (see also Guns)


Report of H. J. Strickler, Commissioner to Audit Claims of Citizens of the Territory of Kansas
Authors: Strickler, Hiram Jackson
Date: 1859
Charles Robinson presented this claim (# 61) for losses suffered at the hands of the "territorial militia and marshal's posse" on May 21, 1856. His list of losses included a frame house, barn, medical library and surgical instruments. He also claimed $10,000 for false imprisonment that was not approved. Each claimant had to submit an itemized list and have two witnesses attest to the losses claimed. Even though many of these claims were approved for payment, no funds were ever appropriated or distributed.

Keywords: Damage claims; Douglas County, Kansas Territory; Guns; Medicine; Prisoners; Robinson, Charles, 1818-1894; Strickler, Hiram Jackson; Weapons (see also Guns)


Letter, Joseph Gardner to George L. Stearns
Authors: Gardner, Joseph
Date: May 29, 1860
Joseph Gardner, a free-state partisan of Douglas County and member of the Doy rescue party, wrote Stearns requesting firearms and ammunition as there were people in the vicinity of St. Joseph, Mo., who reportedly were preparing to "make war upon my house." Word had reportedly gone out that Gardner was "harboring fugitives" [fugitive slaves).

Keywords: Douglas County, Kansas Territory; Doy rescue and trial, 1859; Firearms; Fugitive slaves; Gardner, Joseph; Guns; Lawrence, Kansas Territory; St. Joseph, Missouri; Stearns, Geo. L. (George Luther), 1809-1867; Underground railroad


Letter, Caleb S. Pratt to George L. Stearns
Authors: Pratt, Caleb S.
Date: May 30, 1860
Pratt, who seemed to have been acting as Stearns' agent in Lawrence at this time, wrote regarding the Joseph Gardner request for firearms. On his own initiative, Pratt "allowed him [Gardner] to take 7 Rifles and 4 sabres to his house with permission to use the same if necessary . . ." This was a temporary loan that awaited Stearns' endorsement.

Keywords: Douglas County, Kansas Territory; Firearms; Gardner, Joseph; Guns; Lawrence, Kansas Territory; Massachusetts State Kansas Committee; Pratt, Caleb S.; Stearns, Geo. L. (George Luther), 1809-1867


Letter, Joseph Gardner to George L. Stearns
Authors: Gardner, Joseph
Date: June 9, 1860
From Lawrence, Kansas, Joseph Gardner described one of the last battles of the border war. The attack Gardner had feared came "last night between 12 & 1." With the arms Stearns had made available, the attackers were repulsed, but "one of my [Gardner's] colored men, who had fought most nobly," took "a tremendous charge of buck shot" and died. His last words were "fight, fight hard!!"

Keywords: African Americans; Battles; Border ruffians; Clinton, Kansas Territory; Douglas County, Kansas Territory; Firearms; Fugitive slaves; Gardner, Joseph; Guns; Lawrence, Kansas Territory; Stearns, Geo. L. (George Luther), 1809-1867; Washington Creek, Kansas Territory


Letter, James Montgomery to George L. Stearns
Authors: Montgomery, James , 1814-1871
Date: November 27, 1860
From Mound City, James Montgomery wrote Stearns about recent trouble at Fort Scott and acting governor George M. Beebe's visit. He came, according to Montgomery, to ascertain for himself if the rumors about Montgomery's activities were correct. He left satisfied that the free staters were acting properly and "promising to do what he could to reform abuses" in the federal courts and protect their rights. Although things were quiet at present and Montgomery mentioned the arrival of more fugitive slaves, who could now stay safely in Kansas, he warned that the introduction of federal troops into southern Kansas would create an explosive situation.

Keywords: Beebe, George Monroe; Bowie knife; Democratic Party (U.S.); Firearms; Fort Scott, Kansas Territory; Fugitive slaves; Guns; Jennison, Charles Ransford, 1834-1884; Leavenworth, Kansas Territory; Linn County, Kansas Territory; Montgomery, James, 1814-1871; Mound City, Kansas Territory; Sharps rifles; Stearns, Geo. L. (George Luther), 1809-1867; Whitman, E. B.


J.W.H. Golden Rifle
Authors: No authors specified.
Date: 1862
Rifle made by J.W.H. Golden while superintendent of the Fort Leavenworth Arsenal, 1862. Golden settled in Leavenworth in October, 1854 and was shot by border ruffians near Tonganoxie on September 6, 1856. The bullet remained in his throat until his death in 1894.

Keywords: Border disputes and warfare; Border ruffians; Firearms; Fort Leavenworth, Kansas Territory; Golden, J.W.H.; Guns; Objects; Weapons (see also Guns)


Invoice, Copy of Invoice of Property Received of Col. S. W. Eldridge
Authors: Eldridge, Shalor Winchell, 1816-1899; Kansas State Central Committee
Date: n.d.
Starting with five, seven to eight inch Colt Revolvers, this documents, most likely created during the late fall or winter 1856-1857, contains over thirty separate listings for various firearms, foodstuffs, harness, etc., plus a good number of horses and mules. Among the different items listed were cartridges, blankets, canvass tents, shovels, bayonets, tin cups, and "25 old Sabors."

Keywords: Ammunition; Eldridge, Shalor Winchell, 1816-1899; Free state cause; Guns; Horses; Kansas Central Committee; National Kansas Committee; Relief; Wagons; Weapons (see also Guns)


Circular from the State Kansas Aid Society of Wisconsin
Authors: Daniels, Edward
Date: No date
Edward Daniels was an agent for the State Kansas Aid Society of Wisconsin. This undated printed circular encouraged the donation of funds to aid emigration to Kansas or the commitment of men to go to Kansas Territory as peaceful settlers. The circular stated that a train of wagons, with six men per wagon, would leave Wisconsin on or before September 15 of an unspecified year. It suggested that emigrants bring double-barrelled shot guns and rifles as well as clothing a blanket, good books, and seeds, with additional money for other equipment. The primary reference to the controversy in Kansas Territory was "each individual is of course honorably bound to remain in Kansas until the settlement of the present difficulties." The document refers to local societies as well at the state society.

Keywords: Daniels, Edward; Emigrant aid companies; Emigration and immigration; Guns; Settlement; State Kansas Aid Society of Wisconsin; Weapons (see also Guns); Wisconsin


Muster Roll, Kansas Volunteers for the Protection of the Ballot Box, Leavenworth County
Authors: No authors specified.
Date: 
The Kansas Volunteers for the Protection of the Ballot Box were free state supporters who were determined to see that fair elections were held in Kansas. James Lane was appointed to organize companies throughout the territory. General Order No. 1, found on this site, included instructions for listing the members of each company. This muster roll was prepared as a result of that order. This company was recruited in Leavenworth County from the area of Easton. The muster roll listed the officers and enlisted men, their age, place of birth, and where from to Kansas. Instead of listing where the company members lived in Kansas, this muster roll indicated how long they had been in Kansas under the column "residence is Kansas." The remarks column noted if the company member had a weapon. The ages of company members range from 18 to 52. The captain was Joseph Hicks.

Keywords: Easton, Kansas Territory; Election fraud; Elections; Free state movement (see also Topeka Movement); Free state supporters; Guns; Hicks, Joseph; Kansas Volunteers; Kansas Volunteers for the Protection of the Ballot Box; Leavenworth County, Kansas Territory; Militia; Topeka Movement (see also Free state movement); Voting; Voting fraud (see also Contested elections); Weapons (see also Guns)


Circular, Defense Strategies for Lawrence
Authors: Committee of Safety, Lawrence, Kansas
Date: after 1863
This printed document, published by the Committee of Safety, outlines emergency procedures for the citizens of Lawrence in case of a "hostile demonstration." It also lists points of rendezvous within the city and suggests that a man always "take his side-arms with him."

Keywords: Bushwackers; Churches; Committee of Safety, Lawrence, Kansas; Daily life; Douglas County, Kansas Territory; Eldridge House; Free state activities; Guns; Lawrence buildings; Lawrence, Kansas Territory; Missourians; Skirmishing; Weapons (see also Guns)


Doy Rifle
Authors: No authors specified.
Date: 1859
Dr. John Doy used this Sharps rifle fighting border disputes in Franklin County and at Ft. Titus. In Jan. 1859, Doy was captured near Lawrence by pro-slavery Missouri forces and charged with aiding in the abduction of fugitive slaves. For six months Doy was held in a St. Joseph, MO, jail. Doy was rescued by ten of his free-state friends, lead by Major James Abbott. Engraved in the rifle's stock is the phase, "Successful Agent of the Irrepressible Conflict."

Keywords: Abbott, James Burnett; Antislavery; Border disputes and warfare; Doy, John; Firearms; Fort Titus, Battle of; Franklin County, Kansas Territory; Fugitive Slave Law; Fugitive slaves; Guns; Lawrence, Kansas Territory; Missourians; Objects; Sharps rifles; St. Joseph, Missouri; Violence; Weapons (see also Guns)


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

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