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Authors: No authors specified.
Date: c. 1855
A photograph of the first dwelling house in Leavenworth, Kansas Territory, built in 1855. The date of the photograph is unknown. It was located between 4th and 5th Streets on Olive Street. A young African-American child was photographed standing next to the house.
Keywords: African Americans; Houses; Immigration and early settlement; Leavenworth County, Kansas Territory; Leavenworth buildings; Leavenworth, Kansas Territory; Photographs and Illustrations; Settlement
Letter, Ellen [Goodnow] to Dear Sister Harriet [Goodnow]
Authors: Goodnow, Ellen
Date: July 21, 1855
Ellen Goodnow, recently arrived at her homestead near Manhattan, Kansas Territory, wrote to her sister-in-law Harriet Goodnow in New England, regarding her trip West and her impressions of Kansas Territory. Ellen described her journey in a detailed but concise manner, and, in her first impressions, likened Kansas to "another garden of Eden. . .too good for bondage, or for the oppressor's rod [references to slavery]." A devout Christian woman, she also expressed her opinion that Satan held influence over the Missourians. Despite this ominous presence, Ellen still tried to convince Harriet to join them in the Territory.
Keywords: Emigration and immigration; Goodnow, Ellen; Goodnow, Harriet; Railroads; Settlement; Stagecoaches; Transportation; Travel; Water transportation
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
Letter, I. T. Goodnow to My Dear Brother [William Goodnow]
Authors: Goodnow, Isaac T., 1814-1894
Date: October 10, 1855
Isaac Goodnow wrote from Shannon, Kansas Territory, to his brother William in New England. Having recently arrived in the Territory, Goodnow reported that work on his homestead was still in progress, delayed a bit by the illness of both himself and his wife, Ellen. However, he had recovered enough to ride over to Juniatta to vote in several elections: one for Governor Reeder for delegate to Congress, another for delegates to a State Constitutional Convention.
Keywords: Election, Topeka Constitution delegates to convention, October 1855; Goodnow, Isaac T., 1814-1894; Goodnow, William E.; Merchants; Reeder, Andrew H. (Andrew Horatio), 1807-1864; Riley County, Kansas Territory; Settlement; Shannon, Kansas Territory
Letter, John Brown to Dear Wife [Mary Brown] & Children every one
Authors: Brown, John , 1800-1859
Date: October 13, 1855
One week after arriving at his sons' settlement ("Brownville") near Osawatomie, Brown wrote the family back east that although most were sick when he first arrived, they "appear now to be mending." The trip across Missouri was without incident, except for problems with a sick horse and their "heavy load." Brown then wrote briefly of the Adairs, the "most uncomfortable situation" in which he found his children upon his arrival, and other things including prairie fires and finally the political situation in the territory. In fact, at this early date, John Brown "believe[d] Missouri is fast becoming discouraged about making Kansas a Slave State & think the prospect of its becoming Free is brightening every day."
Keywords: Adair, Samuel Lyle; Agriculture; Brown, Jason; Brown, John, 1800-1859; Brown, Mary Ann Day, 1816-1884; Election, Topeka Constitution delegates to convention, October 1855; Free state; Free state settlers; Missouri; Osawatomie, Kansas Territory; Proslavery supporters; Settlement; Weather
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