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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


Kansas pioneer staking his squatter claim, 1855
Authors: Reader, Samuel James
Date: July 26, 1855
Samuel Reader painted this watercolor of himself staking a claim at Indianola. Reader moved to Kansas from Illinois in 1855, attracted by "rich, cheap farm land" (as stated in his autobiography). The inscription on the painting reads, "Samuel J. Reader. July 26, 1855." The artist drew many Kansas territorial and Civil War scenes.

Keywords: Art; Artist; Daily life; Immigration (see Emigration and immigration); Indianola, Kansas Territory; Land acquisition; Land claims; Objects; Photographs and Illustrations; Reader, Samuel James; Settlement; Shawnee County, Kansas Territory; Squatters


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.


Abbott Sword
Authors: No authors specified.
Date: 1855
Major James B. Abbott acquired this Model 1840 Noncommissioned Officer's sword in 1855. He carried it through the territorial period.

Keywords: Abbott, James Burnett; Border disputes and warfare; Border disputes and warfare - Free state perspective; Militia; Objects; Swords and daggers; Weapons (see also Guns)


John Brown Surveyor's Compass
Authors: No authors specified.
Date: 1855
While in Kansas John Brown was employed as a surveyor, an occupation which allowed him to move around freely to locate and observe proslavery camps. This compass was made by Phelps and Gurley of Troy, New York.

Keywords: Brown, John, 1800-1859; Free state cause; Free state supporters; New York; Objects; Phelps and Gurley; Surveyors


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