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Authors: Hill, Hiram
Date: May 13, 1855
After arriving in Kansas City by steamboat, Hiram Hill wrote to his brother. En route, four men had died of cholera while others continued to drink and play cards nearby. Disease fatalities were common, Hill reported. He speculated that the river water, which passengers drank, was contaminated with disease from the rich prairie soil. Hill described life at the Winedot [sic] Indian Reservation (beginning at the bottom of page 2) where he met the "prinsable chiefe" and saw the governor's sister. Hill related news concerning Mr. Putnam, Mr. Tomas, Mr. Gague, Mr. Jay, Mr. Partridge, Mr. Whitman, Mr. Pomeroy, Mr. Fuller and others. He was skeptical that these men would permanently settle in Kansas Territory. Hill also described Kansas City, which he thought would improve under "yankee," rather than "slave holder," management. (Hill's final destination was Lawrence, where he acquired town lots through quit claims not included in this online project.)
Keywords: American Indians (see also Native Americans); Burial; Diseases; Emigration and immigration; Hill, Hiram; Kansas City, Kansas Territory; Massachusetts Emigrant Aid Company; Steamboats; Transportation; Travel; Weather; Wyandot Indians
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
Letter, James [Griffing] to My Dear Augusta [J. Augusta Goodrich]
Authors: Griffing, James Sayre
Date: August 29, 1855
James Griffing wrote from the steamboat New Lucy on the Missouri River to his fiancee J. Augusta Goodrich in Owego, New York. Griffing, a Methodist minister, was on his way back to New York to get married. He commented upon the concerns that Ms. Goodrich likely was experiencing as she prepared to leave her New York home to join him in Kansas Territory. Griffing tried to convince his fiancee that they would make a good home for themselves in Kansas. He also expressed the opinion that the "excitement upon the slavery question" in Kansas Territory was exaggerated and that serious violence over the issue was unlikely.
Keywords: Border disputes and warfare - Free state perspective; Courtship; Griffing, James Sayre; Griffing, Jemima Augusta (Goodrich); Marriage; Propaganda; Transportation; Travel
Passengers' Contract Ticket
Authors: Phipps, Shaw, and Lowther
Date: August 29, 1855
Robert L. Gilbert, a 21-year-old Englishman, purchased a ticket to travel from London, England, to New York, departing on Sept. 6, 1855. The ticket lists travel requirements such as luggage size, provisions provided, and an appointment time for a medical examination, which was required before departure. Gilbert would eventually dock in New York, renounce his allegiance to England, and travel to Kansas Territory to a farm nine miles north of Lawrence.
Keywords: Emigration and immigration; England; Gilbert, Robert L.; Immigrants; Phipps, Shaw & Lowther; Transportation; Travel
Letter, S. L. Adair to Rev. S. S. Jocelyn
Authors: Adair, Samuel Lyle
Date: September 8, 1855
This long letter was written in Osawatomie to Jocelyn, who was Samuel Adair's contact with the American Missionary Association. The first three pages dealt with some disagreement over Adair's salary and support that was to be provided by the association, his efforts on behalf of religion, and prospects for a "union" church building that would be shared by several denominations. The last page discussed economic conditions in Kansas Territory and the difficulty of getting items to Kansas either via the Missouri River or by overland freighting from St. Louis. This appears to be a draft of a letter sent to Jocelyn.
Keywords: Adair, Samuel Lyle; American Missionary Association; Churches; Economic conditions; Freight and freightage; Jocelyn, S. S.; Lykins County, Kansas Territory (see also Miami County, Kansas); Miami County, Kansas (see also Lykins County, Kansas Territory); Missouri River; Osawatomie, Kansas Territory; Transportation
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