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Territorial Politics and Government > Territorial Politics > Territorial Legislature (Oct. 1857)
15 Topic Specific Items
Letter, Marc [Parrott] to Dear Father [Thomas Parrott]
Author: No authors specified.
Date: October 7, 1856

Marcus Parrott wrote from Lawrence, Kansas Territory, to his father, Thomas Parrott. Marcus told him of his preparation to defend the free state men accused of murder for their role in the recent skirmishes surrounding the Battle of Hickory Point; he was not optimistic of the outcome, calling his position "embarrassing". Marcus added news of the recent election of a new Territorial Legislature, and shared poll statistics that showed a vast majority of free state supporters in several voting areas. Though this was a positive turn, he stated again that the free state cause would be in the hands of the new President.

Keywords: Courts; Douglas County, Kansas Territory; Election fraud; Election, Territorial Legislature, October 1857; Free state support; Lawrence, Kansas Territory; Lecompte, Samuel D. (Samuel Dexter), 1814-1888; Parrott, Edwin A.; Parrott, Marcus J., 1828-1879; Parrott, Thomas; Proslavery activities

Letter, Thos. J. Marsh to George L. Stearns, Esq.
Author: Marsh, Thomas J.
Date: July 24, 1857

Agent Thomas Marsh, Mass. State Kansas Committee, wrote another of his frequent and detailed letters to George Stearns on July 24, 1857, describing the census and other preparations that were being made for the upcoming election (most importantly, the legislative election in October of that year). Of special interest were the activities of Jim Lane by the Free State Convention to organize militarily for "the protection of the Ballot Boxes."

Keywords: African Americans; Census; Conway, Martin Franklin; Election fraud; Election, Territorial Legislature, October 1857; Free State Party; Free state cause; Free state militia; Free state movement (see also Topeka Movement); Lane, James Henry, 1814-1866; Marsh, Thomas J.; Massachusetts State Kansas Committee; Quindaro, Kansas Territory; Robinson, Charles, 1818-1894; Slaves in Kansas Territory; Speculation; Stearns, Geo. L. (George Luther), 1809-1867; Walker, Robert J. (Robert John), 1801-1869; Webb, Thomas H. (Thomas Hopkins), 1801-1866

Letter, T.J. Marsh to George L. Stearns
Author: Marsh, Thomas J.
Date: August 11, 1857

On August 11, 1857, Marsh reported from Lawrence that the governor was "still here with his Troops, but nobody pays any regard to him, or them." According to D. W. Wilder, Annals of Kansas, however, all but forty troops left on August 3, the day of the election under the Topeka Constitution, which Marsh also mentioned. His primary concern remained the October election, which many feared would not be fairly conducted despite the governor's promises, and the growing talk of another Free State Party boycott of the polls.

Keywords: Cato, Sterling G.; Conway, Martin Franklin; Douglas County, Kansas Territory; Election, Territorial Legislature, October 1857; Election, Topeka Constitution, August 1857; Free State Party; Grasshopper Falls Convention; Lawrence, Kansas Territory; Marsh, Thomas J.; Redpath, James, 1833-1891; Stearns, Geo. L. (George Luther), 1809-1867; Topeka Constitution; Walker, Robert J. (Robert John), 1801-1869; Whitman, E. B.

Letter, T. [Thomas] J. Marsh to George L. Stearns, Esq.
Author: Marsh, Thomas J.
Date: August 20, 1857

In his August 20, 1857, report to Stearns, Marsh again asked for some clarification on a couple payment issues and described his role for the committee (Mass. State Kansas Committee) with regard to Jim Lane's efforts to organize protection for free state voters. For a short while, things looked good for the Free State cause, but Governor Walker's conduct to date had been disruptive and Judge Cato and friends began to issue arrest warrants.

Keywords: Cato, Sterling G.; Courts; Election, Territorial Legislature, October 1857; Free State Party; Free state cause; Lane, James Henry, 1814-1866; Lawrence, Amos Adams, 1814-1886; Lecompton, Kansas Territory; Marsh, Thomas J.; Militia; Robinson, Charles, 1818-1894; Stanton, Frederick Perry, 1814-1894; Stearns, Geo. L. (George Luther), 1809-1867; Walker, Robert J. (Robert John), 1801-1869

Letter, T.J. Marsh to George L. Stearns
Author: Marsh, Thomas J.
Date: August 27, 1857

In this letter from Lawrence, K.T., Marsh reported that despite opposition from Judge Martin Conway, the delegates at the Grasshopper Falls Convention on August 26 "voted to go into the [October] Election with all the power they have." So, the stage was set for the campaign that needed all the financial support Stearns's committee could give it through Marsh.

Keywords: Congressional delegate; Conway, Martin Franklin; Douglas County, Kansas Territory; Election, Territorial Legislature, October 1857; Free State Convention; Grasshopper Falls, Kansas Territory; Lawrence, Amos Adams, 1814-1886; Lawrence, Kansas Territory; Marsh, Thomas J.; Parrott, Marcus J., 1828-1879; Robinson, Charles, 1818-1894; Stearns, Geo. L. (George Luther), 1809-1867

Letter, [Thomas J.] Marsh to Dear Sir [George L. Stearns]
Author: Marsh, Thomas J.
Date: August 29, 1857

From Lawrence, K.T., Thomas J. Marsh wrote to George Stearns on August 29, 1857, to describe the political situation in the territory and the results of the Grasshopper Falls Convention which had taken place three days before. Those favoring participation in the October legislative election carried the day (see Annals of Kansas, 176) and subsequently "a Grand Ratification meeting" endorse the conventions action, including the nomination of Marcus J. Parrott for delegate to Congress.

Keywords: Conway, Martin Franklin; Election, Territorial Legislature, October 1857; Grasshopper Falls Convention; Hutchinson, George W.; Lawrence, Kansas Territory; Marsh, Thomas J.; Music; Parrott, Marcus J., 1828-1879; Roberts, William Young; Robinson, Charles, 1818-1894; Schuyler, Philip Church; Smith, George W.; Stearns, Geo. L. (George Luther), 1809-1867; Walker, Robert J. (Robert John), 1801-1869

Letter, T.J. Marsh to George L. Stearns
Author: Marsh, Thomas J.
Date: September 7, 1857

Nearly two months into his K.T. assignment and stay in Lawrence, Marsh reported several significant observations about the Free State Party: Governor Walker's apparent commitment to a fair canvas, the rapidly approaching territorial election (October 1857), and the money so far spent and needed for the campaign. He also observed that the Constitutional Convention was opening in Lecompton, and wrote: "If you could see the town, and people of Lecompton, and had the opportunity that I have had to witness their Plantation Manners--I think you would at once be reminded of the Scriptural inquiry, 'Can any good thing, come out of Nazareth?'"

Keywords: Douglas County, Kansas Territory; Free State Party; Lawrence, Kansas Territory; Lecompton Constitution; Lecompton, Kansas Territory; Proslavery supporters; Stearns, Geo. L. (George Luther), 1809-1867; Walker, Robert J. (Robert John), 1801-1869

Letter, J. [James] H. Lane to Sir [John Brown]
Author: Lane, James Henry, 1814-1866
Date: September 7, 1857

James H. Lane, whose extant correspondence is scarce, here wrote from Lawrence to John Brown regarding his (Lane's) efforts "in perfecting an organization for the protection of the ballot box at the October Election," and Lane encouraged Brown to come "with all the materials you have." Lane was confident Brown could enter the territory safely but offered all required assistance--protection, transport, etc.

Keywords: Brown, John, 1800-1859; Election, Territorial Legislature, October 1857; Free state cause; Free state militia; Lane, James Henry, 1814-1866; Lawrence, Kansas Territory; Militia; Weapons (see also Guns); Whitman, E. B.

Letter, T. [Thomas] J. Marsh to George L. Stearns, Esq.
Author: Marsh, Thomas J.
Date: September 12, 1857

To George Stearns on September 12, 1857, Thomas Marsh wrote that he was leaving Lawrence on a trip to "the Southern part of Kansas" for several days. He believed the "Free State men were getting into good shape for the election," which would go well if there was no "invasion" or "fraud." He also talked about some Democratic activity and mentioned the adjournment of the Lecompton Constitutional Convention.

Keywords: Atchison County, Kansas Territory; Democratic Party (U.S.); Election fraud; Election, Territorial Legislature, October 1857; Free State Party; Free state cause; Free state supporters; Lecompton Constitutional Convention, September 1857; Marsh, Thomas J.; Stearns, Geo. L. (George Luther), 1809-1867; Webb, Thomas H. (Thomas Hopkins), 1801-1866

Letter, John Brown to Genl. J. [James] H. Lane
Author: Brown, John , 1800-1859
Date: September 16, 1857

In response to Jim Lane's September 7 call for assistance, John Brown wrote from Tabor, Iowa, on September 16, 1857: "I suppose that three good teams with well covered waggons, & ten really ingenious industrious men with about $150 in cash, could bring it about in the course of eight or ten days."

Keywords: Brown, John, 1800-1859; Election, Territorial Legislature, October 1857; Free state cause; Horses; Lane, James Henry, 1814-1866; Tabor, Iowa; Wagons

Letter, A. C. Morton to Hiram Hill
Author: Morton, Albert C.
Date: September 21, 1857

Albert Morton wrote from Quindaro, Kansas Territory to Hiram Hill in Massachusetts, apologizing for his prolonged silence due to a lengthy illness. Morton referred to the upcoming October election, which would select the members of the Territorial Legislature. He also spoke of Governor Walker's attempts to regulate the election process by requiring that all voters be residents of the Territory for at least six months prior to casting a vote. Morton added that Samuel Simpson was in town again, but that nothing had been settled regarding his questionable business practices.

Keywords: Election, Territorial Legislature, October 1857; Hill, Hiram; Illness; Morton, Albert C.; Quindaro, Kansas Territory; Simpson, Samuel Newell; Walker, Robert J. (Robert John), 1801-1869; Wyandotte County, Kansas Territory

Letter, T.J. Marsh to George L. Stearns
Author: Marsh, Thomas J.
Date: September 28, 1857

In this letter to Stearns, Marsh expressed confidence that the October election would turn in favor of the Free State Party. Marsh had been traveling in the "Southern Counties" and was encouraged: "You may rest assured, that the people are united and earnest." He predicted a victory for Marcus Parrott and "a good working majority" for the Free State Party in both houses of the legislature. Unless he received further instructions from the committee, Marsh planned to leave Kansas about three days after the election.

Keywords: Conway, Martin Franklin; Crusader of Freedom; Doniphan, Kansas Territory; Douglas County, Kansas Territory; Election, Territorial Legislature, October 1857; Free State Party; Lawrence, Kansas Territory; Marsh, Thomas J.; Parrott, Marcus J., 1828-1879; Phillips, William A. (William Addison), 1824-1893; Redpath, James, 1833-1891; Stearns, Geo. L. (George Luther), 1809-1867

Letter, J. [James] H. Lane to Dear Genl. [John Brown]
Author: Lane, James Henry, 1814-1866
Date: September 29, 1857

James H. Lane wrote from Falls City, Nebraska Territory, to John Brown in Tabor, Iowa, urging Brown to get guns and ammunition to Kansas as soon as possible. Lane wanted Brown's help in preventing proslavery supporters from disrupting the October 7, 1857, election for representatives to the territorial legislature.

Keywords: Ammunition; Brown, John, 1800-1859; Election fraud; Election, Territorial Legislature, October 1857; Elections; Guns; Iowa; Lane, James Henry, 1814-1866; Nebraska Territory; Weapons (see also Guns)

Letter, John Brown to Genl. Jas. H. Lane
Author: Brown, John , 1800-1859
Date: September 30, 1857

At the end of September 1857, Brown wrote to tell Lane that it would "be next to impossible in my poor state of health" to travel to K.T. "on such very short notice. I think, considering all the uncertainties of the case, want of teams, &c, that I should do wrong to set out. I am disappointed in the extreme."

Keywords: Brown, John, 1800-1859; Election, Territorial Legislature, October 1857; Free state cause; Free state militia; Lane, James Henry, 1814-1866; Tabor, Iowa; Transportation; Travel

Letter, Henry H. Williams to Capt'n. [John] Brown
Author: Williams, Henry H.
Date: October 12, 1857

With regard to the recent legislative election, Henry Williams of Osawatomie informed Brown that "it went off right" largely because the Free State men were throughly organized for their protection and the protection of the ballot box. Williams himself led a company of 80 men and believe word of the preparedness contributed to a quiet and successful election day.

Keywords: Border disputes and warfare - Free state perspective; Border ruffians; Brown, John, 1800-1859; Election fraud; Election, Territorial Legislature, October 1857; Free state militia; Lawrence, Kansas Territory; Sharps rifles; Stubbs militia company; Tabor, Iowa; Weapons (see also Guns); Williams, Henry H.

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Letter, Josiah Miller to Father and Mother
Authors: Miller, Josiah
Date:  October 15, 1855
Josiah Miller, publisher of the Kansas Free State newspaper, was writing home about a recent election, and its assumed positive results for the Free State Party.

Keywords: Election, Territorial Legislature, October 1857; Miller, Josiah


Letter, Marc [Parrott] to Dear Father [Thomas Parrott]
Authors: No authors specified.
Date:  October 7, 1856
Marcus Parrott wrote from Lawrence, Kansas Territory, to his father, Thomas Parrott. Marcus told him of his preparation to defend the free state men accused of murder for their role in the recent skirmishes surrounding the Battle of Hickory Point; he was not optimistic of the outcome, calling his position "embarrassing". Marcus added news of the recent election of a new Territorial Legislature, and shared poll statistics that showed a vast majority of free state supporters in several voting areas. Though this was a positive turn, he stated again that the free state cause would be in the hands of the new President.

Keywords: Courts; Douglas County, Kansas Territory; Election fraud; Election, Territorial Legislature, October 1857; Free state support; Lawrence, Kansas Territory; Lecompte, Samuel D. (Samuel Dexter), 1814-1888; Parrott, Edwin A.; Parrott, Marcus J., 1828-1879; Parrott, Thomas; Proslavery activities


Letter, T. J. Marsh to George L. Stearns
Authors: Marsh, Thomas J.
Date:  July 18, 1857
Thomas J. Marsh, who arrived in the Kansas Territory on July 11, 1857, made Lawrence his base of operation. He had made the journey as an agent for the Massachusetts State Kansas Committee. His objective was to observe and financially support free state efforts to capture the legislature at the polls in early October (this included conducting a census). During his first week in Kansas Territory, Marsh attended the "entirely harmonious" Free State Party convention in Topeka and reported on initial efforts to organize the campaign. He also seemed very concerned about "petty, personal feuds" among the leadership in the territory. Marsh had personally discussed this issue with the men involved and believed the "discordant elements have been harmonized." Upon his return to Lawrence, Marsh found "U. S. Dragoons parading the streets" and Governor Walker threatening to make numerous arrests because of the unauthorized election of city officials the previous Monday.

Keywords: Blood, James; Census; Conway, Martin Franklin; Douglas County, Kansas Territory; Dragoons; Election, Territorial Legislature, October 1857; Factionalism; Free State Party; Free state support; Lawrence, Kansas Territory; Marsh, Thomas J.; Massachusetts State Kansas Committee; Stearns, Geo. L. (George Luther), 1809-1867; Topeka Constitution; Travel; United States. Army; Walker, Robert J. (Robert John), 1801-1869; Weather; Webb, Thomas H. (Thomas Hopkins), 1801-1866


Letter, Thos. J. Marsh to George L. Stearns, Esq.
Authors: Marsh, Thomas J.
Date:  July 24, 1857
Agent Thomas Marsh, Mass. State Kansas Committee, wrote another of his frequent and detailed letters to George Stearns on July 24, 1857, describing the census and other preparations that were being made for the upcoming election (most importantly, the legislative election in October of that year). Of special interest were the activities of Jim Lane by the Free State Convention to organize militarily for "the protection of the Ballot Boxes."

Keywords: African Americans; Census; Conway, Martin Franklin; Election fraud; Election, Territorial Legislature, October 1857; Free State Party; Free state cause; Free state militia; Free state movement (see also Topeka Movement); Lane, James Henry, 1814-1866; Marsh, Thomas J.; Massachusetts State Kansas Committee; Quindaro, Kansas Territory; Robinson, Charles, 1818-1894; Slaves in Kansas Territory; Speculation; Stearns, Geo. L. (George Luther), 1809-1867; Walker, Robert J. (Robert John), 1801-1869; Webb, Thomas H. (Thomas Hopkins), 1801-1866


Letter, Thos. J. Marsh to George L. Stearns, Esq.
Authors: Marsh, Thomas J.
Date:  August 5, 1857
Again from Lawrence, Marsh wrote Stearns on August 5 to ask for clarification about an order he had received from Amos Lawrence to pay John Brown $335. Brown was not in Kansas at that time and could "not be of much service if he is away from the Territory."

Keywords: Brown, John, 1800-1859; Cheyenne Indians; Election, Territorial Legislature, October 1857; Fort Riley, Kansas Territory; Lawrence, Amos Adams, 1814-1886; Lawrence, Kansas Territory; Marsh, Thomas J.; Massachusetts State Kansas Committee; Robinson, Charles, 1818-1894; Stearns, Geo. L. (George Luther), 1809-1867; United States. Army; Walker, Robert J. (Robert John), 1801-1869


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