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Letter, [Cyrus Kurtz] Holliday to My Dear Mary [Holliday]
Authors: Holliday, Cyrus Kurtz, 1826-1900
Date: December 31, 1854
Cyrus K. Holliday wrote from Topeka, Kansas Territory, to his wife, Mary Holliday, in Meadville, Pennsylvania. He described living conditions in Topeka. Holliday expressed his intent to write to Mr. McFarland and his thanks for letters recently received. He mentioned Samuel Y. Lum, a Congregational minister, who was sleeping in his cabin. He also mentioned his presidency with the Topeka Town Association, agency with the New England Emigrant Aid Company, and his own business. Finally, Holliday expressed hopes of a sawmill and referred to the possibility of trouble with Missourians. A few lines have been cut and removed from the lower part of pages 7 and 8.

Keywords: Holliday, Cyrus Kurtz, 1826-1900; Holliday, Mary; Lum, S. Y; Meadville, Pennsylvania; Missourians; New England Emigrant Aid Company; Religion; Sawmills; Shawnee County, Kansas Territory; Topeka Town Association; Topeka, Kansas Territory; Weather


Photograph, Voting at Kickapoo, Kansas Territory
Authors: Beard, Frank
Date: c. 1855
An illustration of pro-slavery Missourians voting at Kickapoo, Kansas Territory, c. 1855, copied from Beyond the Mississippi by Albert D. Richardson, 1867.

Keywords: Book illustrations; Elections; Kickapoo, Kansas Territory; Leavenworth County, Kansas Territory; Missourians; Photographs and Illustrations; Voting


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, T. [Thomas] C. Wells to Dear Mother, [Sarah Elizabeth Clarke Wells]
Authors: Wells, Thomas Clarke
Date: April 1, 1855
Born and raised in Rhode Island, twenty-three-year-old Thomas C. Wells apparently was a reluctant Kansas immigrant; his initial ambivalence was reflected in his first letter from Providence, RI, March 12, 1855, where he wrote: "I may yet see it best to return [home from Boston] and not go [to Kansas] at all." This, Clarke's first letter from "the far famed Kanzas Territory," was written from Topeka, but describes the journey from the boarder via Lawrence and reported is intention to "start for Big Blue, where Mr. Goodnow is tomorrow." Part of the journey was made in the company of some well-armed Missourians "who were going to Lawrence to vote," presumably in the March 30 legislative election. All Clarke's extensive correspondence from KT (March 24, 1855 to October 19, 1860) was published in 1936 in the KHQ and is now available digitally at http://www.kshs.org/library/khq/1936/36_2_wells.htm.

Keywords: Big Blue, Kansas Territory; Border ruffians; Elections; Goodnow, Isaac T., 1814-1894; Lawrence, Kansas Territory; Manhattan, Kansas Territory; Missourians; Page's Hotel; Shawnee Indians; Topeka, Kansas Territory; Wells, Thomas Clarke; Westport, Missouri


Pro-slavery Banner
Authors: No authors specified.
Date: 1855
This flag was created by pro-slavery Missourians who captured Free State supporter Reverend Pardee Butler of Atchison in April 1855. The pro-slavery men sent Butler adrift on a raft down the turbulent Missouri River with this flag flying from it. The Missourians wanted others to know that the minister had helped slaves escape. Although he was expected to drown, Butler survived.

Keywords: Abolitionists; Atchison County, Kansas Territory; Butler, Rev. Pardee; Butler, Rev. Pardee; Emigrant aid companies - Free state; Flags and banners; Greeley, Horace, 1811-1872; Missourians; Objects; Proslavery; Proslavery activities; Slavery; Underground railroad; Violence


Letter, [John Brown, Jr.] to Dear Father [John Brown]
Authors: Brown, Jr., John
Date: June 22, 1855
This rather lengthy letter from John Brown, Jr., at Brownsville, K.T., to his father, John Brown, regarding the Kansas family's current situation, physically and economically. John, Jr., provides a hand-drawn map of the family's settlement in Franklin County (he calls it "Brown Co.") just west of Osawatomie.

Keywords: Agriculture; Brown, John, 1800-1859; Brown, John, Jr.; Crops; Farmers; Franklin County, Kansas Territory; Free state settlers; Land claims; Missourians; Osawatomie, Kansas Territory; Ottawa Indians; Pottawatomie Creek, Kansas Territory


Letter, Amos A. Lawrence to Mr. Jas B. Abbott
Authors: Lawrence, Amos Adams
Date: August 20, 1855
Amos A. Lawrence wrote from Boston to James Abbott in Hartford, Connecticut, referring to a recent shipment of carbine rifles he had sent, which was "far from being enough." Lawrence advised Abbott to take good care of them, as they might be used as reimbursement to those investors who had subscribed money to the free state cause once "it is settled that Kanzas shall not be a province of Missouri."

Keywords: Abbott, James Burnett; Free state militia; Lawrence, Amos Adams, 1814-1886; Missourians; Sharps rifles


To the citizens of Missouri
Authors: Brown, John Carter, 1797-1874
Date: September 1855
This letter was written by the directors of New England Emigrant Aid Company responding to various charges made against them by the citizens of Missouri.

Keywords: Boston, Massachusetts; Brown, John Carter; Cabot, Samuel; Emigrant aid companies - Free state; Emigration and immigration; Kansas Nebraska Act; Lawrence, Amos Adams, 1814-1886; Missourians; New England Emigrant Aid Company; Slavery; Thayer, Eli, 1819-1899; Webb, Thomas H. (Thomas Hopkins), 1801-1866; Williams, John M. S.


Letter, Robert Allyn to Bro. & Sis. Goodnow [Isaac and Ellen Goodnow]
Authors: Allyn, Robert
Date: October 11, 1855
Robert Allyn wrote from Providence, Rhode Island, to his friends Isaac and Ellen Goodnow in Kansas Territory. Allyn, like Goodnow an educator, updated the couple on the construction of a new local Academy. He also reacted to news he had heard of political conditions in K.T., having found that "the papers are full of dreadful things about you horrid abolitionists in Kanzas", and asking him, "How do you contrive to live under the Missouri laws?" Showing himself to be a staunch Abolitionist as well, Allyn provides his own strong opinions and insights regarding the Kansas troubles. Allyn also advised that "getting up a few. . .free schools" would prompt a great rush of emigration from the Northern States to the Territory

Keywords: Abolitionists; Allyn, Robert; Antislavery; Education; Free state supporters; Goodnow, Isaac T., 1814-1894; Missourians; National politics; Newspapers; Pierce administration


Letter, Hiram Hill to Dear Brother
Authors: Hill, Hiram
Date: December 7, 1855
Hiram Hill, a resident of Williamsburgh, Massachusetts en route to Kansas City and ultimately to Lawrence, Kansas Territory, wrote from Richmond, Missouri to his brother. He relayed the murder of an unnamed free state man (likely Charles W. Dow), the gathering of 1,100 free state and 800 proslavery men at Lawrence, and other Wakarusa War events. Hill, a free state supporter, felt that the information he received from Missourians was inaccurate or exaggerated. He doubted reports that 60 proslavery men had been killed at Lawrence, or of abolitionists driving proslavery settlers from their homes. Hill reported the arrests of free state men including Judge Johnson and General Pomeroy, who he heard had escaped.

Keywords: Abolitionists; Cannons; Dow, Charles W.; Free state perspective; Health; Hill, Hiram; Lawrence, Kansas Territory; Missourians; Pomeroy, S. C. (Samuel Clarke), 1816-1891; Proslavery perspective; Sharps rifles; Violence; Wakarusa War, November-December 1855


Letter, John Brown to Orson Day Esqr.
Authors: Brown, John , 1800-1859
Date: December 14, 1855
In mid-December 1855, John Brown wrote to Orson Day (a brother in law) of White Hall, New York, from Browns Station, Kansas Territory, regarding the "Kansas War" (Wakarusa War) from which he had "just returned." The territory was, according to Brown, "now entirely in the power of the Free State men," and he continued to "believe the Missourians will give up all further hope of making Kansas a Slave State."

Keywords: Brown, John, 1800-1859; Browns Station, Kansas Territory; Firearms; Free state cause; Free state constitutions; Missourians; Proslavery prospects; Slaves in Kansas Territory; Topeka Constitution; Wakarusa War, November-December 1855


Letter, unsigned [Marc Parrott] to Dear Edd [Edwin Parrott]
Authors: Parrott, Marcus J., 1828-1879
Date: December 15, 1855
Marcus Parrott wrote from Leavenworth, Kansas Territory, to his brother, Edwin Parrott, in Dayton, Ohio. Marcus recounted the events of the Wakarusa War, and described the actions of the Missourians prior to their attack, which supported his idea that it was premeditated. He told about his experience as a prisoner in the Missourians' camp and his interview with Governor Shannon regarding a peace treaty between the two groups. Marcus was pleased with the terms of the treaty, but was wary of Shannon's motives, saying that he was trying to "ring in" the free state party.

Keywords: Ammunition; Atchison, David Rice, 1807-1886; Barber, Thomas W.; Douglas County, Kansas Territory; Kansas River, Kansas Territory; Lawrence, Kansas Territory; Leavenworth County, Kansas Territory; Leavenworth, Kansas Territory; Lecompton, Kansas Territory; Missourians; Parrott, Edwin A.; Parrott, Marcus J., 1828-1879; Shannon, Wilson, 1802-1877; Stringfellow, Benjamin F.; Wakarusa War, November-December 1855; Weapons (see also Guns)


Letter, John Brown to Dear Wife [Mary Brown] & Children every one
Authors: Brown, John , 1800-1859
Date: December 16, 1855
Soon after his return from Lawrence, where he and other volunteers had successfully defended that place, John Brown wrote from Osawatomie to give his family "a brief account of the invasion," the so-called Wakarusa War. As it turned out, Brown provided some interesting details about their preparations and arrival in the besieged city and the negotiations that were ongoing when the Browns came on the scene. The Free State leaders, according to Brown, skillfully accomplished and signed an agreement with Governor Shannon that was "much to their own liking."

Keywords: Abolitionists; Barber, Thomas W.; Bogus legislature; Brown, John, 1800-1859; Brown, Mary Ann Day, 1816-1884; Coleman, Franklin M.; Dow, Charles W.; Free state cause; Free state militia; Jones, Samuel J. (Sheriff); Lawrence, Kansas Territory; Missourians; Pomeroy, S. C. (Samuel Clarke), 1816-1891; Proslavery supporters; Shannon, Wilson, 1802-1877; Sharps rifles; Wakarusa War, November-December 1855


Narrative," A Twelve Months Practical Life in Kansas Territory, written by an actual settler"
Authors: Tovey, Robert Atkins
Date: ca. 1855
Robert Atkins Tovey wrote these pages so that "those who are going forth with their wives & children, their property, yea their all on earth should have the information covering the country to which they are making a Pilgrimage" from someone who has recently made the same journey. Broken up into chapters by subject, Tovey gave advice about the journey and settlement, provisions, land claims, soil, and weather, in addition to providing commentary about the current political situation and his disgust at the "Mob law" being imposed by the Missourians.

Keywords: African Americans; American Indians (see also Native Americans); Daily life; Election fraud; Free state perspective; Kansas Territory; Landscape; Missourians; Native Americans; Reeder, Andrew H. (Andrew Horatio), 1807-1864; Settlement; Shannon, Wilson, 1802-1877; Slavery; Slaves; Tovey, Robert Atkins; Transportation; Travel; Weather


Letter, C. K. Holliday to My Dear Wife [Mary Holliday]
Authors: Holliday, Cyrus Kurtz, 1826-1900
Date: February 4, 1856
Cyrus K. Holliday wrote from bitterly cold Topeka, Kansas Territory to his wife, Mary Holliday, in Meadville, Pennsylvania. Fearing an attack by the Missourians on March 4th, the day the Free State Legislature was to meet in Topeka, he advised Mary to wait before traveling to K. T. with Lillie and Mrs. Nichols. Cyrus also requested northern newspapers.

Keywords: Free state legislature; Holliday, Cyrus Kurtz, 1826-1900; Holliday, Mary; Missourians; Newspapers; Shawnee County, Kansas Territory; Topeka, Kansas Territory; Travel; Weather


Letter, C. K. Holliday to My Dear Wife [Mary Holliday]
Authors: Holliday, Cyrus Kurtz, 1826-1900
Date: February 26, 1856
Cyrus K. Holliday reported an uncertain peace from Lawrence, Kansas Territory to his wife, Mary Holliday, in Meadville, Pennsylvania. President Franklin Pierce's January 24th announcement had commanded assemblies organized against the constitutional territorial government to disperse, and whether Missourians would carry out a threatened attack at the March 4th meeting in Topeka was unknown. Cyrus hoped to visit Meadville and sent a message to Professor Hammett. He also told Mary of his commission as Brigadier General of the Free State military.

Keywords: Border ruffians; Douglas County, Kansas Territory; Free state militia; Holliday, Cyrus Kurtz, 1826-1900; Holliday, Mary; Lawrence, Kansas Territory; Meadville, Pennsylvania; Missourians; Pierce, Franklin, 1804-1869; Topeka, Kansas Territory


Speech, David R. Atchison to Pro-Slavery "Soldiers"
Authors: Atchison, David R.; Root, Joseph Pomeroy
Date: May 21, 1856
According to a note on the top of page one made later by R. J. Hinton, "this report was made for me [Hinton] by or under the direction of Lt. Gov. (Dr.) Root [Joseph Pomeroy Root, subsequently elected the state's first lieutenant governor under the Wyandotte Constitution], who was a prisoner, heard & reported the speech" made by David Atchison to the assembled proslave "Soldiers" camped two miles west of Lawrence before they marched on and sacked the town on May 21, 1856. The transcript is labeled "Hon. David R. Atchison's Speech . . ." and begins, "This is the most glorious day of my life! This day I am a border-ruffian!" Amidst "Yells" and "Cheers," Atchison rallied the "true sons of the noble South," encouraging them to "tear down their Free State Hotel" and "thow into the Kanzas their printing presses," and to bravely follow their "worthy . . . Leader, Col. [John H.] Stringfellow!"

Keywords: Abolitionists; Atchison, David Rice, 1807-1886; Beecher Bibles; Border disputes and warfare; Border ruffians; Free State Hotel; Free state settlers; Free state supporters; Hinton, Richard Josiah; Jones, Samuel J. (Sheriff); Lawrence, Kansas Territory; Missourians; New England Emigrant Aid Company; Newspapers - Free State; Pierce administration; Root, Joseph P., 1826-1885; Sack of Lawrence, May 1856; Southerners; Stringfellow, John H.


Letter, O. E. L[earnard] to Dear Friends
Authors: Learnard, Oscar E.
Date: May 23, 1856
Written just two days after the sack of Lawrence, this letter contained Learnard's observations of and reflections on "the fearful disaster to which this unfortunate town has been subjected." The town's citizens, wrote Learnard, chose not to resist the authority of the U.S. marshal but were nevertheless brutalized by Sheriff Jones and a posse of Missourians. He also mentioned Governor Reeder, Governor Shannon and David R. Atchison, who "made a speech."

Keywords: Atchison, David Rice, 1807-1886; Douglas County, Kansas Territory; Free State Hotel; Jones, Samuel J. (Sheriff); Lawrence, Kansas Territory; Learnard, Oscar E., 1832-1911; Missourians; Proslavery support; Reeder, Andrew H. (Andrew Horatio), 1807-1864; Sack of Lawrence, May 1856; Shannon, Wilson, 1802-1877; Violence


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)


List of participants and casualties at the battle of Black Jack
Authors: Brown, John , 1800-1859
Date: June 2, 1856
According to this document listing the participants and those "men wounded in the battle of Palmyra or Black Jack," son-in-law Henry Thompson was "dangerously wounded."

Keywords: Black Jack, Battle of; Black Jack, Kansas Territory; Bondi, August; Brown, John, 1800-1859; Brown, Oliver; Brown, Owen; Brown, Salmon; Carpenter, A.O.; Free state militia; Militia; Missourians; Palmyra, Kansas Territory`; Pate, Henry Clay; Proslavery supporters; Thompson, Henry; Whitman, E. B.


Speech, Gerritt Smith to the Kansas Convention
Authors: Smith, Gerrit
Date: July 10, 1856
This speech was made by Gerritt Smith to a meeting of the Kansas Convention in Buffalo, New York. In this speech, he argued in support of various resolutions related to border ruffianism in Kansas Territory.

Keywords: Antislavery; Bogus legislature; Border ruffians; Kansas question; Missouri compromise; Missourians; Smith, Gerritt; Violence; Voting fraud (see also Contested elections)


Circular, Kansas -- Help! Help!
Authors: Hurd, H. B.; Lawrence Citizens
Date: August 13, 1856
This circular was composed of two parts. The first section was a letter written from Lawrence to the National Kansas Committee, asked for help because of the conflict in Kansas, stating that "instant action alone can save our people from destruction." The letter briefly mentioned the recent attack on Lawrence and the proslavery forces which were gathering and organizing. Although there was a lull in the fighting, the citizens of Lawrence were looking for assistance and relief. The second part was a response written by H. B. Hurd, secretary of the National Kansas Committee, encouraging emigration to Kansas but raising the possibility that free state settlers in the territory must at times defend their rights. He wrote that "Kansas is now in a state of open war."

Keywords: Circulars; Free state cause; Free state perspective; Hurd, H. B.; Lawrence, Kansas Territory; Missourians; National Kansas Committee; Proslavery activities; Relief; Sack of Lawrence, May 1856


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


Letter, Mary Holliday to My Dear Husband [Cyrus K. Holliday]
Authors: Holliday, Mary
Date: August 31, 1856
Mary Holliday of Meadville, Pennsylvania reported the contents of a letter her husband, Cyrus K. Holliday, had received from William D. Paul of Topeka, Kansas Territory. Cyrus was speaking in New Castle, PA on the behalf of Republican presidential candidate John C. Fremont. Paul wrote that Harry G. Young was living in Cyrus' Topeka house. Milton C. Dickey and Dr. George A. Cutler had returned to Topeka without weapons, to the disappointment of the "Topeka boys," who anticipated conflict with Missourians. Mary recommended reading the New York Times. She wrote of her dissatisfaction with their separation and readiness to emigrate to Kansas Territory.

Keywords: Cutler, George A.; Dickey, Milton C.; Health; Holliday, Cyrus Kurtz, 1826-1900; Holliday, Mary; Lecompton, Kansas Territory; Meadville, Pennsylvania; Missourians; Paul, William D.; Roberts, William Young


Letter, Your Affectionate Son & brother [John Brown, Jr.?] to Dear Father [John Brown] & Brother
Authors: Brown, Jr., John
Date: September 8, 1856
Still in the custody of territorial officials, John Brown, Jr., wrote to express his remorse upon learning of the death of his brother Frederick--at least he was relieved to learn that his father and Jason were safe, as early reports had them dead or missing. "Poor Frederick has perished in a good cause!" wrote John, Jr., "the success of which cause I trust will yet bring joy to millions." He then wrote of his forthcoming trial and possible plan to "escape in case it should appear best."

Keywords: Blood, James; Brown, Frederick; Brown, Jason; Brown, John, 1800-1859; Brown, John, Jr.; Brown, Wealthy; Cato, Sterling G.; Courts; Free state cause; Geary, John White, 1819-1873; Leavenworth, Kansas Territory; Lecompte, Samuel D. (Samuel Dexter), 1814-1888; Missourians; Osawatomie, Battle of; Sickness (see Illness); United States. District Court (Kansas Territory)


Letter, C [Charles Robinson] to My Dear S [Sara Robinson]
Authors: Robinson, Charles
Date: September 20, 1856
From Lawrence Charles Robinson writes to update his wife on developments in and around Lawrence since her departure. Governor John W. Geary had arrived and promised to see that the Missouri militia then threatening Lawrence "were disbanded." Robinson goes on to describe a very tense few days in September, beginning on Friday the 12th, involving militia of both sides and the governor. After a brief skirmish on the prairie east of Lawrence, Geary and some U.S. troops arrived and "the Missourians agreed to go home. It was all a farce. . . ."

Keywords: Buffum, David C.; Franklin, Kansas Territory; Free state cause; Free state militia; Geary, John White, 1819-1873; Lawrence, Kansas Territory; Lecompton, Kansas Territory; Missourians; Proslavery activities; Robinson, Charles, 1818-1894; Stubbs militia company; Titus, Henry Theodore; United States. Army; Westport, Missouri


Testimony of Capt. Thomas Bickerton
Authors: Hyatt, Thaddeus
Date: December 5, 1856 - December 12, 1856
This testimony, taken down by Thaddeus Hyatt as part of the Journal of Investigations in Kansas, is divided into two parts. It begins with descriptions of his life before he came to Kansas Territory and his efforts to set up a claim outside of Lawrence, including his technique for building his sod house. Thomas Bickerton was a well traveled individual and an influential commander of a free state artillery company. He was involved in skirmishes with border ruffians and in the attack on Franklin. Also, General James Lane sent him to Kansas City to obtain a brass howitzer (later known as the Abbott howitzer) for use against the proslavery forces.

Keywords: Abbott howitzer; Barber, Thomas W.; Bickerton, Thomas; Border disputes and warfare; Buffum, David C.; Fort Riley, Kansas Territory; Franklin buildings; Free state militia; Houses; Hyatt, Thaddeus; Jones, Samuel J. (Sheriff); Lane, James Henry, 1814-1866; Lawrence, Kansas Territory; Missourians; Roberts, William Young; Sawmills; Skirmishing; Topliff, Charles W.


Testimony of James H. Holmes
Authors: Hyatt, Thaddeus
Date: December 8, 1856
This testimony of James Holmes is a portion of the Journal of Investigations in Kansas, a collection of personal stories recorded by Thaddeus Hyatt, president of the National Kansas Committee. Mr. Holmes had studied agricultural chemistry before entering Kansas Territory, and his initial reason for emigrating was his desire to undertake agricultural experiments. He had also intended to join with Clubbs Vegetarian Settlement, which was located on the Neosho River near the north line of the Osage Reserve. He goes into detail about the Neosho valley and its vegetation, mineral deposits, etc. The rest of his account deals with his involvement in the free state militia and his role in defending Osawatomie.

Keywords: Agriculture; Border disputes and warfare; Brown, John, 1800-1859; Cline, Captain; Emigration and immigration; Free state militia; Harvey, James A.; Holmes, James H.; Hyatt, Thaddeus; Lawrence, Kansas Territory; Missourians; Osawatomie, Battle of; Osawatomie, Kansas Territory; Shore, Samuel T.; Skirmishing; Stringfellow, Benjamin F.; Violence


Kansas Experiences of A.R. Scolen, William Reap, Ephraim Coy, and Capt. Samuel Anderson
Authors: No authors specified.
Date: December 21, 1856 - December 23, 1856
These testimonies were collected from a number of free state settlers along Pottawatomie Creek, presumably by an associate of the National Kansas Committee. Each account includes personal information about the settler (their origins, family, crops, etc.) and also testimonies of their involvement in the free state militia.

Keywords: Agriculture; Anderson, Samuel; Battles; Border disputes and warfare; Border ruffians; Brown, John, Jr.; Casualties; Cline, Captain; Clothing and dress; Coy, Ephraim; Crops; Food; Free state activities; Free state cause; Free state militia; Free state perspective; Illness; Livestock; Militia; Missourians; Osawatomie, Kansas Territory; Pottawatomie Creek, Kansas Territory; Reap, William; Scolen, A.R.; Shore, Samuel T.; Sickness (see Illness); Skirmishing; Travel; Wounds and injuries


Account of the Battle of Osawatomie
Authors: Brown, Spencer Kellogg
Date: c. 1856
This account of the battle and its aftermath, written by Spencer Kellogg Brown, was compiled from his shorthand diary. It describes the battle and his experiences as a young teenager taken prisoner by pro-slavery forces. He traveled with the Missouri troops and their other prisoners, and then for several weeks he lived under house arrest with Dr. James Keith from Lexington, Missouri. This particular account is unique because it gives very detailed descriptions of how ordinary citizens became entangled in the fighting.

Keywords: Brown, Frederick; Brown, John, 1800-1859; Brown, John, Jr.; Brown, Spencer; Garrison, David R.; Keith, James; Lane, James Henry, 1814-1866; Missourians; Osawatomie, Battle of; Osawatomie, Kansas Territory; Prisoners; Sears, W. A.; Westport, Missouri; White, Martin


Letter, Owen Brown to Dear Mother [Mary Brown]
Authors: Brown, Owen
Date: August 27, [1856]
On August 27, 1856, from Tabor, Iowa, Owen Brown wrote to tell his mother that according to all accounts "Father is the most daring courageous man in Kansas" and to relate other happenings in K.T. involving Jim Lane and Governor Shannon. Another invasion from Missouri was rumored, but free state recruits were assembling and "the Missourians are trembling in their Boots."

Keywords: Border disputes and warfare; Brown, John, 1800-1859; Brown, Mary Ann Day, 1816-1884; Brown, Owen; Crops; Free state militia; Lane, James Henry, 1814-1866; Lawrence, Kansas Territory; Leavenworth, Kansas Territory; Missourians; Shannon, Wilson, 1802-1877; Weapons (see also Guns); Woodson, Daniel


Letter, Your affectionate Husband [Joseph H. Trego] to My Dear wife [Alice Trego]
Authors: Trego, Joseph Harrington
Date: December 21, 1857
Joseph Trego wrote from Sugar Mound, Kansas Territory, to his wife, Alice, in Illinois. Trego, in addition to elaborating on hunting and mill work, described at length the skirmishing between local free state and proslavery men, which had been continuous throughout the summer and fall. He reported the manner in which Missourians had seized and occupied lands in the absence of their owners, who were free state men. "Bogus courts" had brought the free state men who defended their lands to court, which resulted in so many fees owed that the men had to sell their land to pay them; the new owners were usually Missourians. Trego accused proslavery supporters of fabricating stories about destruction caused by warring Abolitionists in order to draw the support of the U.S. troops. Controversy over the Lecompton Constitution flourished in free state circles; the Free State Legislature in Topeka had repealed the "bogus laws" of the Territorial Legislature and appointed James Lane the head of a free state militia.

Keywords: Bogus laws; Bogus legislature; Border disputes and warfare; Border ruffians; Business enterprises; Free state legislature; Free state militia; Hunting; Lane, James Henry, 1814-1866; Lecompton Constitution; Linn County, Kansas Territory; Military; Mills and mill-work; Missourians; Proslavery supporters; Sharps rifles; Skirmishing; Stanton, Frederick Perry, 1814-1894; Sugar Mound, Kansas Territory; Trego, Alice; Trego, Joseph Harrington


Pamphlet, Address to the American People on the Affairs of Kansas
Authors: No authors specified.
Date: 1857
This address recounted the history and purpose of the formation of the Kansas State Government of Topeka, in peaceful opposition to that of the Territory. The free state message accused the systems of the Territorial Government of encouraging influence from abroad in their election process, and indicated that they had nothing inherently against Missouri's citizens as a whole, but implored that they not attempt to violate the rights of Kansas settlers. The address stated that the Territory was "organized for defence" by a pledge from Governor Walker, and appealed that outsiders remain in their homes for the benefit of all.

Keywords: Adams, Henry J.; Arny, W. F. M. (William Frederick Milton), 1813-1881; Atchison, David Rice, 1807-1886; Big Springs Convention; Border disputes and warfare; Crane, Franklin Loomis; Election fraud; Elliott, Robert G.; Free state activities; Free state legislature; Grasshopper Falls Convention; Lane, James Henry, 1814-1866; Miller, Josiah; Missourians; Root, Joseph P., 1826-1885; Schuyler, Philip Church; Walker, Robert J. (Robert John), 1801-1869


Letter, [S. F.] Burdick to Dear Brother, Oscar [Learnard]
Authors: Burdick, S.F.
Date: January 6, 1858
S. F. Burdick, referring to his friend, Oscar Learnard, as "brother", wrote to him from Learnard's home state of Vermont. Burdick asked Learnard if there was anything he might do "to advance the cause of liberty and justice", and told him that he had heard of troubles at Fort Scott, referring to an incident taking place on December 17, 1857, when free state men, who had been displaced from their claims in 1856, returned to take possession of them again. Firing was done on both sides, though no one was killed or arrested.

Keywords: Antislavery perspective; Border ruffians; Burdick, S.F.; Fort Scott, Kansas Territory; Kansas Nebraska Act; Learnard, Oscar E., 1832-1911; Lecompton Constitutional Convention, September 1857; Missourians; National politics; Popular sovereignty


General Lane's answer to the President's message
Authors: Lane, James Henry, 1814-1866
Date: February 13, 1858
Address by General Lane in response to the President's message about Lane and Kansas. Lane rebukes the President's message about him and Kansas. Described the many elections that Kansas had gone through and the intrusion of Missourians into Kansas to rig the elections.

Keywords: Adams, Henry J.; Antislavery; Buchanan, James, 1791-1868; Election fraud; Election, Lecompton Constitution ratification, January 1858; Election, Topeka Constitution, August 1857; Kansas Nebraska Act; Kansas question; Lane, James Henry, 1814-1866; Lawrence Republican; Lawrence, Kansas Territory; Missourians; Tappan, S. F. (Samuel Forster), d. 1913; Topeka Legislature (see Free state legislature)


Letter, John Brown to Wm. Hutchinson
Authors: Brown, John , 1800-1859
Date: August 3, 1858
From Moneka, Kansas, John wrote to William Hutchinson regarding his (Brown's) "Revolvers," which had been distributed on loan to others in Kansas. Brown had been spending some weeks near the Kansas-Missouri border, "on the claim upon which the whole sale murders [Marias des Cygnes Massacre, May 19, 1858] were committed," as a show of force to more would-be invaders.

Keywords: Border disputes and warfare - Free state perspective; Brown, John, 1800-1859; Free state cause; Hutchinson, William, 1823-1904; Linn County, Kansas Territory; Marais des Cygnes Massacre; Missourians; Proslavery activities; Weapons (see also Guns)


Letter, Mary [Brown] to Dear Brother Willie [Brown]
Authors: Brown, Mary Ann Day , 1816-1884
Date: January 30, 1859
This letter, written by Mary Brown from Lawrence, was addressed to her brother William, who was studying at Phillip Exeter Academy. Mary and William were the children of John Stillman Brown, a Unitarian minister who lived west of Lawrence. The main focus of the letter is the story of how Dr. Doy was captured by Missourians while aiding fugitive slaves. Mary was convinced that someone had told the Missourians about the plan of escape. She also mentioned her father's religious work and "Old" John Brown's work to free Missouri slaves.

Keywords: Brown, John S.; Brown, John, 1800-1859; Doy, John; Fort Scott, Kansas Territory; Fugitive slaves; Missourians


Letter, Augustus Wattles to Dear [Thaddeus] Hyatt
Authors: Wattles, Augustus
Date: December 3, 1860
This letter, written from New York by Augustus Wattles, was addressed to Thaddeus Hyatt, president of the National Kansas Committee. The main focus of the letter was on two proslavery men--Captain Doake and General Clark--who persisted in mistreating free state settlers along the Missouri-Kansas border. The letter also referred to Charles Jennison and to James Montgomery, whose band of free state militiamen was still active even into 1860. Wattles vehemently maintained that free state forces were only organizing for their own protection, not for a great insurrection as the Missourians believed.

Keywords: Barber, Thomas W.; Border disputes and warfare; Clarke, George W.; Doak, William H.; Hyatt, Thaddeus; Land sales; Missourians; Montgomery, James, 1814-1871; Wattles, Augustus


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)


Experience of John E. Stewart
Authors: Stewart, John E.
Date: c. 1856?
This undated document, presumably written by John E. Stewart, relates the author's experiences in Kansas Territory. The reminiscence begins with a description of how he entered the territory and the manner in which he constructed a house. Then, intermixed with accounts of his agricultural efforts and other day-to-day activities, there are brief mentions of the political situation in the territory. The main focus of the document then turns to when Stewart was a member of the Wakarusa Liberty Guard, including a description of the murder of Charles Dow, the murder of Hoyt, the Branson rescue, and other encounters with border ruffians.

Keywords: Abbott, James Burnett; Agriculture; Border disputes and warfare; Branson rescue (1855); Branson, Jacob; Coleman, Franklin M.; Construction; Dow, Charles W.; Elections; Emigration and immigration; Free state activities; Free state militia; House furnishings; Houses; Hoyt, David Starr; Jones, Samuel J. (Sheriff); Lane, James Henry, 1814-1866; Missourians; Osawatomie, Battle of; Skirmishing; Stewart, John E.; Titus, Henry Theodore


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)


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

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