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Authors: Hyatt, Thaddeus
Date: January 14, 1861
This printed letter was written by Thaddeus Hyatt to B. F. Camp of Albany, New York. This eloquent plea for assistance spoke of the drought and famine in Kansas during 1860 and 1861. The letter included personal experiences and excerpts from Kansas settlers describing the conditions in their area. For instance, a local physician wrote that "starvation stares us all in the face." The letter also provided agricultural statistics from Kansas Territory, beginning in 1859, to demonstrate the hard facts about this drought.
Keywords: Agriculture; Clothing and dress; Droughts; Famines; Food; Hyatt, Thaddeus; Illness; Pomeroy, S. C. (Samuel Clarke), 1816-1891; Poor; Poverty; Relief
Starvation in Kansas
Authors: Hyatt, Thaddeus
Date: February 4, 1860
This document was an appeal to "The President of the Country, To the Churches, To Congress, To State Legislatures, To Philanthropists, and To the humane everywhere!!" to support those suffering in Kansas. The document was written by Thaddeus Hyatt, president of the National Kansas Committee, and it was endorsed by S. C. Pomeroy, chairman of the Kansas Relief Committee and general agent for distribution. This particular Kansas Relief Committee had been formed to combat the effects of the drought of 1860. This short appeal contained eloquent and emotional rhetoric in "behalf of 40,000 starving Americans."
Keywords: Droughts; Economic conditions; Famines; Hyatt, Thaddeus; Kansas Relief Committee; Pomeroy, S. C. (Samuel Clarke), 1816-1891; Poverty; Relief; Relief funds
Letter, James [Mead] to My dear Father
Authors: Mead, James R.
Date: February 14, 1861
James R. Mead wrote this letter from his ranch and trading post near the Saline River to his father in Davenport, Iowa. He vehemently declared that the stories about suffering settlers in Kansas Territory were "bare-faced lies." He wished that those in the East would stop sending relief supplies because "it all goes into the hands of favorites" and Kansas would be better off without it. He also provided his father with advice, telling him to appreciate his home in Iowa and to stay out of the way of any enemies.
Keywords: Famines; Iowa; Mead, James R.; Ottawa County, Kansas Territory; Poverty; Relief
Extract of Letter, by Mrs. Holmes
Authors: Holmes, Mrs.
Date: March 4, 1861
This moving letter, presumably written by Mrs. Holmes, related the daily experiences of her family during 1861. They were struggling to make ends met, and her father did not want to seek help from back East. They had lived in Lawrence for five years, and she briefly mentioned their sickness and suffering during 1856. She applauded the work of Thaddeus Hyatt, president of the National Kansas Committee, and his willingness to obtain provisions and assistance for the impoverished settlers in Kansas Territory.
Keywords: Daily life; Hyatt, Thaddeus; Lawrence, Kansas Territory; Poor; Poverty; Relief
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