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Territorial Politics and Government > Constitution Making > Topeka (Oct. 1855)
14 Topic Specific Items
Kansas Free!! Gov. Reeder For Congress!!
Author: No authors specified.
Date: September 8, 1855

This broadside invites the "Freeman on the Wakarusa" to attend a meeting to endorse the proceeding of the Big Spring Convention, which was organized by free state supporters as part of the actions leading up to the drafting of the Topeka Constitution. The meeting was to be held at Blanton on September 13, 1855. The document indicated that the "FREE STATE PLATFORM and the Proceedings of the CONVENTION" would be read and that the best "Orators of the Country" would be there.

Keywords: Big Springs Convention; Blanton, Kansas Territory; Douglas County, Kansas Territory; Free state activities; Free state movement (see also Topeka Movement); Free state supporters; Reeder, Andrew H. (Andrew Horatio), 1807-1864; Topeka Movement (see also Free state movement); Wakarusa River

Election, location of capitol of Kansas, Topeka Convention, 1855
Author: No authors specified.
Date: October 23, 1855

The Free-State government held a constitutional convention in Topeka from October 23 through November 11, 1855, and one of its actions was to vote on the capital of Kansas. According to these tally sheets, Topeka defeated Lawrence on the second ballot, 20 to 16. Numerous other towns received votes from the convention delegates on the first ballot.

Keywords: Douglas County, Kansas Territory; Free State Party; Free state government; Lawrence, Kansas Territory; Shawnee County, Kansas Territory; Topeka Constitution; Topeka Constitutional Convention, October 1855; Topeka, Kansas Territory

Journal, Topeka Constitutional Convention
Author: Smith, Samuel C.
Date: October 24, 1855

According to a copy of the 1902 cover letter written by Samuel C. Smith of Lawrence, secretary/chief clerk for the convention, this incomplete "copy of the Journal of the Topeka Constitutional Convention" was made at Lawrence in November 1855. It began with the opening of the second day's session, October 24, 1855, and continued daily, except for Sunday, October 28 and November 4, through Saturday, November 10 (the convention officially adjourned, according to Wilder, "Annals," November 11 during the very early hours of that Sunday morning). The first few pages of the journal detailed organizational matters, including the election of James H. Lane as president of the convention and the creation of standing committees.

Keywords: Constitutions; Delahay, Mark W.; Free State Party; Lane, James Henry, 1814-1866; Shawnee County, Kansas Territory; Smith, Samuel C.; Topeka Constitution; Topeka Constitutional Convention, October 1855; Topeka Movement (see also Free state movement); Topeka, Kansas Territory

Journal, Topeka Constitutional Convention, October 26, 1855
Author: Smith, Samuel C.
Date: October 26, 1855

On Friday, October 26, 1855, the convention conducted some routine business but also entertained a motion by Mark W. Delahay of Leavenworth: "Resolved--That this Convention, approve the principles of non intervention in the local affairs of Kansas, as enunciated by the 'Nebraska, Kansas Act,' and that this Convention recommend to the people of Kansas a strict observance of the principles laid down in said act." In other words, he opposed the creation of a provisional government to rival the federally recognized territorial government--see Delahay's speech on this subject, as reported in "Kansas Freeman," November 14, 1855. The resolution was tabled.

Keywords: Constitutions; Delahay, Mark W.; Free State Party; Free state movement (see also Topeka Movement); Holliday, Cyrus Kurtz, 1826-1900; Kansas Nebraska Act; Parrott, Marcus J., 1828-1879; Robinson, Charles, 1818-1894; Shawnee County, Kansas Territory; Smith, Samuel C.; Topeka Constitution; Topeka Constitutional Convention, October 1855; Topeka Movement (see also Free state movement); Topeka, Kansas Territory

Journal, Topeka Constitutional Convention, October 26, 1855
Author: Smith, Samuel C.
Date: October 26, 1855

During the afternoon session on Friday, October 26, 1855, the convention returned to the issue raised by Delahay that morning, among other more mundane matters.

Keywords: Constitutions; Delahay, Mark W.; Free State Party; Holliday, Cyrus Kurtz, 1826-1900; Kansas Freeman; Parrott, Marcus J., 1828-1879; Robinson, Charles, 1818-1894; Shawnee County, Kansas Territory; Smith, Samuel C.; Topeka Constitution; Topeka Constitutional Convention, October 1855; Topeka Movement (see also Free state movement); Topeka, Kansas Territory

Journal, Topeka Constitutional Convention, October 30, 1855
Author: Smith, Samuel C.
Date: October 30, 1855

During this session of the constitutional convention, delegates dealt briefly with the question of "an immediate organization of a State Government," a highly controversial issue, and considered a report on the militia. Lively debate on the latter issue seems to have followed, although not much detail is given here, with Charles Robinson offering an amendment "striking out the word white--" This presumably would have had the effect of making African Americans and Indians eligible for service, but the amendment failed seven to twenty-four.

Keywords: African Americans; Constitutions; Delahay, Mark W.; Free State Party; Holliday, Cyrus Kurtz, 1826-1900; Lane, James Henry, 1814-1866; Militia; Parrott, Marcus J., 1828-1879; Robinson, Charles, 1818-1894; Shawnee County, Kansas Territory; Smith, Samuel C.; Suffrage; Topeka Constitution; Topeka Constitutional Convention, October 1855; Topeka Movement (see also Free state movement); Topeka, Kansas Territory; Voting

Journal, Topeka Constitutional Convention
Author: Smith, Samuel C.
Date: October 31, 1855

During the afternoon session of Wednesday, October 31, 1855, Jim Lane presented a "Resolution which was ordered to be entered upon the Journal of the convention--said Resolution being the instructions given by the people of the 2nd Representative District" at a Lawrence meeting of October 7. The "instructions" and Lane's resolution provided that "the question of excluding Free Negroes from the Territory" be submitted to a vote of the people on the day they voted on the constitution itself.

Keywords: African Americans; Constitutions; Delahay, Mark W.; Douglas County, Kansas Territory; Exclusion, African Americans; Free State Party; Holliday, Cyrus Kurtz, 1826-1900; Lane, James Henry, 1814-1866; Lawrence, Kansas Territory; Robinson, Charles, 1818-1894; Shawnee County, Kansas Territory; Smith, Samuel C.; Topeka Constitution; Topeka Constitutional Convention, October 1855; Topeka Movement (see also Free state movement); Topeka, Kansas Territory

Journal, Topeka Constitutional Convention, Afternoon Session
Author: Smith, Samuel C.
Date: November 9, 1855

During the course of the proceedings recorded for the afternoon of November 9, 1855, discussion turned to the effort by Jim Lane to first include a provision for the "removal" of all blacks and then all "slaves" from Kansas by July 4, 1860. Charles Robinson supported an amendment which changed the effective date to July 4, 1857. All other provisions were to take effect immediately upon the adoption of the constitution.

Keywords: African Americans; Constitutions; Douglas County, Kansas Territory; Exclusion, African Americans; Free State Party; Lane, James Henry, 1814-1866; Lawrence, Kansas Territory; Robinson, Charles, 1818-1894; Shawnee County, Kansas Territory; Slavery; Smith, Samuel C.; Topeka Constitution; Topeka Constitutional Convention, October 1855; Topeka Movement (see also Free state movement); Topeka, Kansas Territory

Topeka Constitution (as printed in D.W. Wilder's Annals of Kansas (1868)).
Author: Topeka Constitutional Convention
Date: November 11, 1855

The Topeka Constitution, the first one written for Kansas Territory, was drafted by free state supporters in reaction to contested elections that gave the proslavery party initial control of Kansas' territorial government. Free-staters gathered in convention at Lawrence on August 14 and Big Spring on September 5, 1855 and delegates assembled at Topeka on October 23, 1855, to draft a constitution. The document was approved on December 15 by a vote of 1,731 to 46. The Topeka Constitution prohibited slavery and limited suffrage to white males and "every civilized male Indian who has adopted the habits of the white man." Congress rejected this constitution and the accompanying request for Kansas to be admitted to the Union. This version of the document was published December 26, 1855 in the Kickapoo Pioneer newspaper.

Keywords: Constitutions; Free state movement (see also Topeka Movement); Lane, James Henry, 1814-1866; Slavery; Smith, Samuel C.; Suffrage; Topeka Constitution; Topeka Constitutional Convention, October 1855; Topeka Movement (see also Free state movement); Topeka, Kansas Territory

Certificate of appointment of G.W. Brown as agent for the Kansas Executive Committee
Author: Free State Executive Committee
Date: December 10, 1855

Certificate issued by the Free State Executive Committee appointing George Washington Brown, editor of the Herald of Freedom newspaper, as its agent to pursue immediate admission of Kansas as a state under the provisions of the Topeka Constitution. James H. Lane signed the certificate as chairman of the Executive Committee.

Keywords: Brown, George W. (George Washington), 1820-1915; Certificates; Free state cause; Free state government; Lane, James Henry, 1814-1866; Topeka Constitution

Senate Miscellaneous Documents, 34th Congress, 1st and 2nd sessions Document No. 32, Three Memorials of the Citizens of . . .Leavenworth County. . .Praying the immediate admission of Kansas Territory into the Union as a State
Author: No authors specified.
Date: March 24, 1856

These "memorials" presented by various citizens or Leavenworth County, Kansas Territory, to the United States Congress and referred by them to the Committee on Territories, were written in a petition style, with the names of supporters signed at their conclusion, and requested the immediate admission of Kansas Territory to the Union under the Constitution framed by the Topeka Legislature. Following the three memorials is a copy of the proposed Constitution, as approved by James Lane and Joel Goodin, respectively President and Secretary of the Topeka Constitutional Convention.

Keywords: Admission, Kansas (see also Statehood); Election fraud; Foster, Charles A.; Free state activities; Goodin, Joel Kishler; Lane, James Henry, 1814-1866; Leavenworth County, Kansas Territory; Smith, Samuel C.; Topeka Constitution; United States. Congress. Senate

Election Results, Geary City, Doniphan County
Author: Porter, R. J.
Date: August 3, 1857

One example of several official statements of the results of the "State Election," held under the authority of the Topeka Constitution. This one--Geary City, Doniphan County-- is certified by election judges R. J. Porter, John M. Curtis, and Alexander Paterson, and, among the offices tallied, recorded 55 votes for the "State Constitution."

Keywords: Curtis, John M.; Doniphan County, Kansas Territory; Election, Topeka Constitution, August 1857; Elections; Free state; Geary City, Kansas Territory; Geary County, Kansas Territory; Paterson, Alexander; Porter, R. J.; Topeka Constitution

Tally List of Voters, Geary City, Doniphan County
Author: Porter, R. J.
Date: August 3, 1857

An example of numerous like documents collected here, this "tally list" accompanied the official record of voting in the "state election," August 3, 1857, at Geary City in Doniphan County. The 57 voters on the sheets also had the opportunity to vote on the Topeka Constitution.

Keywords: Doniphan County, Kansas Territory; Election, Topeka Constitution, August 1857; Elections; Geary City, Kansas Territory; Porter, R. J.; Topeka Constitution

Photograph, Joel Kishler Goodin
Author: No authors specified.
Date:

Joel Kishler Goodin was a active participant in the Topeka Movement. He served as clerk of the House of Representatives that met in Topeka and also as secretary of the Executive Committee. He was a delegate to the Leavenworth Constitutional Convention where he promoted the adoption of the Topeka Constitution.

Keywords: Free state legislature; Free state movement (see also Topeka Movement); Goodin, Joel Kishler; Leavenworth Constitution; Photographs and Illustrations; Topeka Constitution; Topeka Movement (see also Free state movement)

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Photograph, Cyrus Kurtz Holliday
Authors: No authors specified.
Date:  Between 1846 and 1851
Portrait of Cyrus Kurtz Holliday, Topeka, Kansas Territory. He came to Kansas Territory from Meadville, Pennsylvania. Cyrus Kurtz Holliday was the first president of the Topeka Town Association and was involved in founding and settling Topeka. He was an agent for the New England Emigrant Aid Company. Holliday was very active in territorial political activities including the Topeka movement, and he was a delegate to the Topeka Constitutional Convention.

Keywords: Daguerreotypes; Holliday, Cyrus Kurtz, 1826-1900; Photographs and Illustrations; Shawnee County, Kansas Territory; Topeka Association; Topeka Constitutional Convention, October 1855; Topeka Movement (see also Free state movement); Topeka, Kansas Territory


Photograph, Cyrus Kurtz Holliday and Mary Holliday
Authors: No authors specified.
Date:  Between 1854 and 1857
Portrait of Cyrus Kurtz Holliday and Mary Holliday, Topeka, Kansas Territory. He came to Kansas Territory from Meadville, Pennsylvania. Cyrus Kurtz Holliday was the first president of the Topeka Town Association and was involved in founding and settling Topeka. He was an agent for the New England Emigrant Aid Company. Holliday was very active in territorial political activities including the Topeka movement, and he was a delegate to the Topeka Constitutional Convention.

Keywords: Daguerreotypes; Holliday, Cyrus Kurtz, 1826-1900; Holliday, Mary; Photographs and Illustrations; Shawnee County, Kansas Territory; Topeka Association; Topeka Constitutional Convention, October 1855; Topeka Movement (see also Free state movement); Topeka, Kansas Territory


Photograph, Constitutional Convention 1855
Authors: Orr, J. W.
Date:  1855
Photograph of an illustration of the Topeka Constitutional Convention, Topeka, Kansas Territory, 1855 in session. Illustration from Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper, December 15, 1855.

Keywords: Free State Convention; Free state government; Periodical illustrations; Photographs and Illustrations; Shawnee County, Kansas Territory; Topeka Constitutional Convention, October 1855; Topeka buildings; Topeka, Kansas Territory


Election, location of capitol of Kansas, Topeka Convention, 1855
Authors: No authors specified.
Date:  October 23, 1855
The Free-State government held a constitutional convention in Topeka from October 23 through November 11, 1855, and one of its actions was to vote on the capital of Kansas. According to these tally sheets, Topeka defeated Lawrence on the second ballot, 20 to 16. Numerous other towns received votes from the convention delegates on the first ballot.

Keywords: Douglas County, Kansas Territory; Free State Party; Free state government; Lawrence, Kansas Territory; Shawnee County, Kansas Territory; Topeka Constitution; Topeka Constitutional Convention, October 1855; Topeka, Kansas Territory


Letter, C. K. Holliday to My Dear Wife [Mary Holliday]
Authors: Holliday, Cyrus Kurtz, 1826-1900
Date:  October 7, 1855
Cyrus K. Holliday, founder of Topeka, Kansas Territory, advised his wife in Meadville, Pennsylvania concerning travel. He restated advice from his much longer letter of September 26th. He wrote of his nomination, yet to be confirmed by vote, as a delegate to the Topeka Constitutional Convention. Holliday decided to decline the editorship of The Kansas Freeman. He expressed sympathy for Lizzie Holliday, his wife's sister, and suggested boarding when Mary Holliday and their daughter Lillie arrived, as he had not yet built a house.

Keywords: Elections; Emigrant aid companies; Emigration and immigration; Health; Holliday, Cyrus Kurtz, 1826-1900; Holliday, Mary; Kansas Freeman; Meadville, Pennsylvania; Shawnee County, Kansas Territory; Topeka Constitutional Convention, October 1855; Topeka, Kansas Territory; Transportation; Travel


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