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Personalities > Isaac T. Goodnow
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Letter, I. T. Goodnow to Stephen French Jr, Esq.
Author: Goodnow, Isaac T., 1814-1894
Date: December 16, 1854

Isaac Goodnow wrote from East Greenwich, Massachusetts, to Stephen French Jr. Goodnow communicated his excitement of having decided to emigrate to Kansas Territory the coming March, inspired by a conversation with Eli Thayer two weeks before. His motivations were varied, as he expressed his desire to see that slavery was prohibited in the Territory. However, he also mentioned that emigration to the Territory was a good way to get rich, and hoped that the climate there would be more suitable for his ailing wife, Ellen.

Keywords: Antislavery perspective; Emigration and immigration; Goodnow, Isaac T., 1814-1894; Lawrence, Kansas Territory; Massachusetts Emigrant Aid Company; Thayer, Eli, 1819-1899; Town settlement

Daily diary, Isaac Goodnow
Author: Goodnow, Isaac T., 1814-1894
Date: July 1855 - January 1856

Isaac Goodnow, a free state supporter and founder of Bluemont College in Manhattan, Kansas Territory, recorded news of political events and military skirmishes from July 1855-January 1856. Goodnow's diary makes mention of the details of his daily life, such as home maintenance, crop harvests, prairie fires, and extended illness.

Keywords: Conway, Martin Franklin; Daily life; Denison, Joseph; Elections; Free state activities; Free state support; Goodnow, Isaac T., 1814-1894; Illness; Lawrence, Kansas Territory; Militia; Pomeroy, S. C. (Samuel Clarke), 1816-1891; Reeder, Andrew H. (Andrew Horatio), 1807-1864; Robinson, Charles, 1818-1894; Schuyler, Philip Church; Tappan, S. F. (Samuel Forster), d. 1913; Topeka Constitution; Wakarusa War, November-December 1855

Daily Diaries, Isaac Goodnow
Author: Goodnow, Isaac T., 1814-1894
Date: 1856 - 1860

These diaries, written by Isaac Goodnow, described his daily life and his community activities. He settled near Manhattan and was involved in promoting the town and in establishing and promoting Bluemont College, the predecessor to Kansas State University. Many of the entries are somewhat mundane, dealing with weather, illness, neighbors, etc. However, the entries also describe activities in Kansas aimed at making it a free state, as well as the land speculation involved with both towns and farm land.

Keywords: Bluemont Central College; Daily life; Diaries; Education; Goodnow, Ellen; Goodnow, Isaac T., 1814-1894; Illness; Land speculation; Manhattan, Kansas Territory; Riley County, Kansas Territory; Settlement; Town development; Universities and colleges; Weather

Letter, Isaac T. Goodnow to Brother Quereau
Author: Goodnow, Isaac T., 1814-1894
Date: December 1, 1856

Isaac Goodnow wrote from Kansas Territory to a friend Quereau of New England. It appeared that Goodnow was growing tired of the hard -scrabble life in the Territory, which was "decidedly injurious" to his constitution. He also showed signs of discouragement regarding the founding of a college in K.T., resigned to the idea that "for the time to come little can be done educationally." Goodnow told Quereau that he was actively seeking a teaching job back in the States.

Keywords: Education; Emigration and immigration; Goodnow, Isaac T., 1814-1894; Riley County, Kansas Territory; Shannon, Kansas Territory; Teaching; Universities and colleges

Letter, I. T. G. [Isaac Goodnow] to My Dear Ellen [Goodnow]
Author: Goodnow, Isaac T., 1814-1894
Date: August 20, 1857

Isaac Goodnow wrote from his travels in Ohio to his wife, Ellen, in Shannon, Kansas Territory. This letter serves as a good example of the many than Goodnow sent home to his wife during his travels in the States, as he fundraised for the construction of Bluemont College and a non-denominational church in Manhattan. In this instance, Goodnow answers the request of his friend, Joseph Denison, to return to the Territory early, without raising the remaining $500; Goodnow replied that is would "diminish his self respect" to do so, but asked his wife her opinion. He also gave her instructions for maintaining their land and homestead, imploring that she contract out as much work as possible, in order to ease her own duties.

Keywords: Bluemont Central College; Business enterprises; Churches; Daily life; Goodnow, Ellen; Goodnow, Isaac T., 1814-1894; Shannon, Kansas Territory; Travel; Universities and colleges; Women

Letter, I. T. G. [Isaac Goodnow] to My Dear Ellen [Goodnow]
Author: Goodnow, Isaac T., 1814-1894
Date: October 22, 1857

Isaac Goodnow wrote from New York City to his wife in Shannon, Kansas Territory. This letter is one of many written from Goodnow to Ellen which update her on the status of his travels and fundraising. This particular example includes a mention of Goodnow's desire to solicit the support of Henry Ward Beecher, whose pamphlet "Defence of Kansas" speaks passionately against allowing slavery in the Territory.

Keywords: Beecher, Henry Ward; Business enterprises; Goodnow, Ellen; Goodnow, Isaac T., 1814-1894; New York, New York; Travel

Letter, Geo. S. Park to Isaac Goodnow
Author: Park, George S.
Date: March 29, 1858

George Park wrote from Parkville, Missouri, to Isaac Goodnow, mentioning his efforts to obtain land for Goodnow's "Agricultural College". Park told Goodnow to have his "leading men" write letters to Congress in order to obtain a land grant. He also observed that emigrants were beginning to come in droves.

Keywords: Bluemont Central College; Emigration and immigration; Goodnow, Isaac T., 1814-1894; Land grants; Park, George S.; Parkville, Missouri; Railroads

Letter, I. F. Collins to Prof. Isaac Goodnow
Author: Collins, I.F.
Date: June 30, 1858

I.F. Collins wrote from Atchison, Kansas Territory, to Isaac Goodnow, informing him that his appointment as Agent for Bluemont Central College had been approved. The College was the predecessor to the Kansas State College of Agriculture and Applied Science, now Kansas State University.

Keywords: Atchison County, Kansas Territory; Atchison, Kansas Territory; Bluemont Central College; Collins, I.F.; Education; Goodnow, Isaac T., 1814-1894; Manhattan, Kansas Territory

Statement, Charles F. de Vivaldi for Isaac Goodnow
Author: de Vivaldi, Charles F.
Date: March 11, 1860

This document, written and signed by Charles F. de Vivaldi, Editor and Proprietor of the Manhattan Express newspaper in Manhattan, Kansas Territory, authorized Isaac Goodnow, as "an agent of Bluemont College and regular correspondent", to sell subscriptions to the paper.

Keywords: Bluemont Central College; Business enterprises; Goodnow, Isaac T., 1814-1894; Manhattan, Kansas Territory; Newspapers; Riley County, Kansas Territory; de Vivaldi, Charles F.

Photograph, Ellen Denison Goodnow
Author: Bushby & Hart, photographers
Date: 1872

Ellen Denison Goodnow was the wife of Isaac Goodnow. They settled near Manhattan, Riley County, Kansas Territory. They were free state supporters and she is mentioned frequently in his diaries.

Keywords: Bushby & Hart, photographers; Cabinet photographs; Free state supporters; Goodnow, Ellen; Goodnow, Isaac T., 1814-1894; Manhattan, Kansas Territory; Photographs and Illustrations; Riley County, Kansas Territory

Photograph, Isaac T. Goodnow
Author: No authors specified.
Date:

Isaac Goodnow was an early resident of Manhattan and was a free state supporter. He was a delegate to the Leavenworth Constitutional Convention and was one of the founders of Bluemont College.

Keywords: Free state settlers; Goodnow, Isaac T., 1814-1894; Manhattan, Kansas Territory; Photographs and Illustrations; Riley County, Kansas Territory

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Letter, I. T. Goodnow to Stephen French Jr, Esq.
Authors: Goodnow, Isaac T., 1814-1894
Date:  December 16, 1854
Isaac Goodnow wrote from East Greenwich, Massachusetts, to Stephen French Jr. Goodnow communicated his excitement of having decided to emigrate to Kansas Territory the coming March, inspired by a conversation with Eli Thayer two weeks before. His motivations were varied, as he expressed his desire to see that slavery was prohibited in the Territory. However, he also mentioned that emigration to the Territory was a good way to get rich, and hoped that the climate there would be more suitable for his ailing wife, Ellen.

Keywords: Antislavery perspective; Emigration and immigration; Goodnow, Isaac T., 1814-1894; Lawrence, Kansas Territory; Massachusetts Emigrant Aid Company; Thayer, Eli, 1819-1899; Town settlement


Letter, Thomas Webb to Samuel Pomeroy
Authors: Webb, Thomas H. (Hopkins), 1801-1866
Date:  March 6, 1855
Thomas Webb, Secretary of the New England Emigrant Aid Company, wrote a letter of introduction for Isaac Goodnow to Samuel Pomeroy, seeking protection for Goodnow and his traveling party when they would arrive in Kansas Territory. Webb justified the request to Pomeroy, proclaiming that "Mr. G is with us in heart and hand. . .and will battle manfully for Liberty."

Keywords: Free state supporters; Goodnow, Isaac T., 1814-1894; New England Emigrant Aid Company; Pomeroy, S. C. (Samuel Clarke), 1816-1891; Webb, Thomas H. (Thomas Hopkins), 1801-1866


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


Letter, Wm. E. Goodnow to My Dear Wife [Harriet Goodnow]
Authors: Goodnow, William E.
Date:  June 10, 1855
William Goodnow, brother of Isaac Goodnow, wrote from Shannon, Wild Cat Creek, Kansas Territory, to his wife back East. Goodnow described his experiences participating in the development of the nearby town of Manhattan, having attended a city council meeting and anticipating the founding of a newspaper. Goodnow also mentioned religious services and "Sabbath Schools" currently running out of settler's homes, and commented on the numerous emigrants who had traveled to Kansas Territory only to quickly give up and return home.

Keywords: Diseases; Election fraud; Emigration and immigration; Goodnow, Ellen; Goodnow, Isaac T., 1814-1894; Goodnow, William E.; Livestock; Manhattan, Kansas Territory; Methodists; Newspapers; Reeder, Andrew H. (Andrew Horatio), 1807-1864; Religion; Riley County, Kansas Territory; Shannon, Kansas Territory; Town development


Letter, S. H. W. to Dear Bro Isaac [Goodnow]
Authors: No authors specified.
Date:  June 15, 1855
S. H. W. wrote from New England to Isaac Goodnow in Kansas Territory, reporting on the proceedings of the Philadelphia National Kansas Nebraska Convention, an organization that he described as "Pro Slavery to the Back Bone!". He implored that New Englanders of Kansas have "Back Bone", and fight against slavery. The author further narrated "the north is uniting. The plot thickens, and the struggle comes", and disparaged President Pierce's administration, hoping for an anti-slavery one in the future. The letter includes a short note from Mrs. S. H. W., which exclaimed at Ellen Goodnow's traveling to Kansas alone.

Keywords: Antislavery perspective; Goodnow, Ellen; Goodnow, Isaac T., 1814-1894; National politics; Pierce administration; Proslavery supporters; Women


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