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Territorial Politics and Government > Constitution Making > Wyandotte (July 1859)
13 Topic Specific Items
Letter, Tho. Ewing Jr to Dear Sir [Leandre Martin]
Author: Ewing, Jr., Thomas , 1829-1896
Date: July 2, 1859

In his reply to a June 25 letter from Leandre Martin, Osawatomie, Ewing, Jr. agreed there was little doubt that "several hundred illegal & fraudulent votes" for the Democrats impacted Leavenworth's early June election for delegates to the Wyandotte Constitutional Convention. (Democrats captured all ten spots in the county's delegation.) The problem was establishing proof for individual cases of fraud totaling 450, the Democratic majority in the county.

Keywords: Contested elections; Democratic Party (U.S.); Leavenworth County, Kansas Territory; Republican Party (U.S.: 1854- ); Wyandotte Constitutional Convention, July 1859

Expense Account, Pay Roll of the Wyandotte Constitutional Convention
Author: Unknown
Date: July 5, 1859 - October 3, 1859

This document listed the expenses for the Wyandotte Constitutional Convention, including per diem for delegates (individuals listed by name), payments for printing, and some post-convention canvassing costs.

Keywords: Constitutions; Financial statements; Winchell, James M., 1823-1877; Wyandotte Constitution; Wyandotte Constitutional Convention, July 1859; Wyandotte County, Kansas Territory; Wyandotte, Kansas Territory

Letter, J. J. I. [John James Ingalls] to Dear Father [Elias T. Ingalls]
Author: Ingalls, John James
Date: July 5, 1859

On the first day of the Wyandotte Constitutional Convention, Ingalls wrote from Wyandotte, Kansas, with observation on the city and the nature of the convention, which he considered "not a very superior one." Nevertheless, the Republicans had a big majority, and Ingalls was "on some of the most important committees in the convention and shall be obliged to do some hard work."

Keywords: Celebrations; Democratic Party (U.S.); Ingalls, John James, 1833-1900; Kansas City, Missouri; Kansas River, Kansas Territory; Missouri River; Republican Party (U.S.: 1854- ); St. Louis, Missouri; Steamboats; Wyandotte Constitutional Convention, July 1859; Wyandotte, Kansas Territory

Correspondence, Champion Vaughan to S.O. Thacher, et al
Author: Vaughan, Champion
Date: July 7, 1859

Vaughan, editor of the Leavenworth Times, wrote this letter soon after the convention convened to introduce and lend his support to three "Delegates elect from Southern Nebraska to the Kansas Convention." They had convinced Vaughan that efforts toward annexation were not just more Democratic politics.

Keywords: Constitutions; Democratic Party (U.S.); Leavenworth County, Kansas Territory; Leavenworth Times; Leavenworth, Kansas Territory; Nebraska Territory; Republican Party (U.S.: 1854- ); Ritchie, John, 1817-1887; Thacher, Solon O. (Solon Otis), 1830-1895; Vaughan, Champion; Winchell, James M., 1823-1877; Wyandotte Constitution; Wyandotte Constitutional Convention, July 1859

Correspondence, Reinzi to Sir [J. M. Winchell]
Author: Rienzi
Date: July 22, 1859

In the midst of the convention, a "Rienzi" of Wyandotte wrote to convention president James M. Winchell concerning a potential threat to Winchell's life. The ill-will toward Winchell had been sparked by the convention's "silly and ill advised move . . . To deprive Indians, (who by treaty stipulation have acquired the rights of citizenship) of the right of suffrage with negroes."

Keywords: African Americans; American Indians (see also Native Americans); Constitutions; Native Americans; Suffrage; Winchell, James M., 1823-1877; Wyandotte Constitution; Wyandotte Constitutional Convention, July 1859; Wyandotte County, Kansas Territory; Wyandotte, Kansas Territory

Wyandotte Constitution
Author: Wyandotte Constitutional Convention
Date: July 29, 1859

Official copy of the Wyandotte Constitution that became the Constitution of the State of Kansas on January 29, 1861, upon Kansas' admission to the United States of America.

Keywords: Wyandotte Constitution; Wyandotte Constitutional Convention, July 1859

Letter, Wm Taylor to S. S. Cox
Author: Taylor, William
Date: July 31, 1859

William Taylor wrote to S. S. Cox regarding his impressions of the Wyandotte Constitution, which had been recently submitted to Congress. He then added details praising the peace and fertility of the land in Kansas Territory. Taylor concluded by supposing "that there will not any disturbance"caused by the border ruffians in the Territory.

Keywords: Border ruffians; Cox, S.S.; Kansas Territory. Legislature; Landscape; Leavenworth County, Kansas Territory; Leavenworth, Kansas Territory; Taylor, William; Women Suffrage; Womens rights; Wyandotte Constitution; Wyandotte Constitutional Convention, July 1859

Speech, Fellow Citizens--In Support of the Wyandotte Constitution
Author: Martin, John A., 1839-1889
Date: c. July 1859

This eleven-page document was a speech or essay, most likely in John Alexander Martin's handwriting, in support of the proposed Wyandotte Constitution, which was ratified by the voters of the territory on October 4, 1859. Martin, a twenty-year-old Atchison editor, served as secretary for the convention which finished its work at the end of July. Thus, this speech, attacking the Democrats for conspiring to defeat this latest free-state constitution and for "the Lecomptonizing of Kansas," was undoubtedly delivered several times during the months of August and September 1859. It covered the various issues opponents were likely to use to defeat it at the polls and stressed that in light of actions of "a servile judiciary" slavery could not be removed from Kansas until it was admitted as a "sovereign state."

Keywords: Buchanan administration; Constitutions; Democratic Party (U.S.); English Bill; Free state constitutions; Kansas Territory. Supreme Court; Lecompton Constitution; Martin, John A., 1839-1889; Missouri compromise; Republican Party (U.S.: 1854- ); Scott, Dred; Slave power; Slavery; Squatter sovereignty; Wyandotte Constitution; Wyandotte Constitutional Convention, July 1859

Letter, J. J. I. [John James Ingalls] to Dear Father [Elias T. Ingalls]
Author: Ingalls, John James
Date: August 14, 1859

Back in Sumer on August 14, 1859, Ingalls wrote regarding the convention's recently completed work and the prospects for the Wyandotte Constitution, now "before the people." The Democrats were "taking strong ground against it" because of the state boundaries set by the delegates (excluded "Southern Nebraska & Pike's Peak"), there was to be no exclusion of "free negroes" from Kansas, and of the "apportionment," which gave the Republicans, and thus their proposed constitution, a big advantage. "The democracy are furious about it [the apportionment] of course and some temporizing Republicans are inclined to smooth the matter over by explanations and euphimisms. I adopt a different ground . . . ." Ingalls argued that he "was not aware of any extreme favors or kindnesses extended to the people of Kansas in the last four years by the democratic party which warranted any very delicate considerations form the party in power today."

Keywords: Apportionment; Boundaries; Buchanan administration; Democratic Party (U.S.); Election, Wyandotte Constitution ratification, October 1859; Exclusion, African Americans; Ingalls, John James, 1833-1900; Land speculation; Leavenworth, Kansas Territory; Nebraska Territory; Pikes Peak, Kansas Territory; Republican Party (U.S.: 1854- ); Wyandotte Constitution; Wyandotte Constitutional Convention, July 1859

Correspondence, John A. Martin to J. M. Winchell
Author: Martin, John A., 1839-1889
Date: September 7, 1859

In the weeks following the close of the Wyandotte Constitutional Convention, John A. Martin, the convention's secretary, and James M. Winchell, president of the convention, were occupied with the campaign for its ratification. This letter from Martin, dated Atchison, September 7, 1859, addressed some of the steps that had been and should be taken in the document's behalf during the bitter, partisan campaign leading up to the October 4, 1859, referendum.

Keywords: Constitutions; Democratic Party (U.S.); Martin, John A., 1839-1889; Medary, S. (Samuel), 1801-1864; Nebraska Territory; Pomeroy, S. C. (Samuel Clarke), 1816-1891; Republican Party (U.S.: 1854- ); Robinson, Charles, 1818-1894; United States. Congress. Senate; Winchell, James M., 1823-1877; Wyandotte Constitution; Wyandotte Constitutional Convention, July 1859; Wyandotte County, Kansas Territory; Wyandotte, Kansas Territory

Certificate, Election proclamation for J.C. Bartlett
Author: Board of State Canvassers, State of Kansas
Date: January 15, 1860

Certificate by the Board of [Kansas] State Canvassers proclaiming the election of J.C. Bartlett as a Representative of the Eighth District, which was comprised of Douglas, Johnson, and Wyandotte counties. Bartlett was elected during the Wyandotte Constitutional Convention, July 29, 1860. The certificate is signed by the Governor, Samuel Medary.

Keywords: Bartlett, J.C.; Douglas County, Kansas Territory; Elections; Johnson County, Kansas Territory; Medary, S. (Samuel), 1801-1864; Wyandotte Constitution; Wyandotte County, Kansas Territory

Letter, Tho. Ewing Jr to My dear Sir [Hon. John J. Crittenden]
Author: Ewing, Jr., Thomas , 1829-1896
Date: June 5, 1860

In this letter to Kentucky Senator John J. Crittenden, Ewing urged support for the pending Kansas bill, which would have brought Kansas into the Union under the Wyandotte Constitution, by explaining one potentially controversial provision and assuring the senator that the population of the territory was between 80,000 and 100,000. The constitution provision in question conferred "suffrage on aliens who have declared their intention to become citizens of the United States." Ewing did not argue "the wisdom of this provision" but explained that it was a necessary "inducement to Emigrants" being made by all the western states and territories.

Keywords: Admission, Kansas (see also Statehood); Census; Crittenden, John J. (John Jordan), 1787-1863; Ewing, Thomas, 1829-1896; Immigrants; Kentucky; Suffrage; United States. Congress. Senate; Wyandotte Constitution

Photograph of William Riley Griffith
Author: Leonard, 613 Kansas Ave., Topeka, KS.
Date:

Griffith was a free state supporter living in Marmaton, Bourbon County. He was a delegate to the Topeka and Wyandotte Constitutional Conventions and was on the Free-State central committee.

Keywords: Cabinet photographs; Constitutional conventions; Free state cause; Griffith, William Riley; Photographs and Illustrations; Topeka Constitution; Wyandotte Constitution

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Photograph, Clarina Irene Howard Nichols
Authors: No authors specified.
Date:  Between 1855 and 1860
Clarina Irene Howard Nichols and her husband settled in Quindaro, Wyandotte County, Kansas Territory. She was active in politics and women's rights. Nichols attended the Wyandotte Constitutional Convention 1859 where she secured for Kansas women liberal property rights, equal guardianship of their children, and the right to vote on all school questions. Susan B. Anthony paid tribute to Clarina Nichols in her "History of Woman Suffrage".

Keywords: Nichols, Clarina Irene Howard, 1810-1885; Photographs and Illustrations; Women; Women Legal status, laws, etc; Women Suffrage; Womens rights; Wyandotte Constitutional Convention, July 1859


Diary, G. W. Paddock
Authors: Paddock, G. W.
Date:  April 12, 1857 - July 28, 1860
G. W. Paddock was a minister and free state supporter who came to Kansas Territory in 1857. He describes his daily activities and his religious work, as well as his impressions of the city of Wyandotte while the constitutional convention was meeting there. His entries for this time period indicate he visited the convention, although he does not discuss the substance of the proceedings. The 1857 portion describes some of the free state controversies. He also mentions working with American Indians; however, his descriptions are often stereotypical and uncomplimentary. A number of entries from this diary were selected, but the entire diary is not included.

Keywords: Daily life; Free state supporters; Paddock, G. W.; Religion; Wyandotte Constitutional Convention, July 1859; Wyandotte County, Kansas Territory; Wyandotte, Kansas Territory


Letter, C. K. Holliday to Dear Mary [Holliday]
Authors: Holliday, Cyrus Kurtz, 1826-1900
Date:  February 6, 1859
Cyrus K. Holliday, soon to return to Topeka after a productive territorial legislative session in Lawrence, wrote to his wife, Mary Holliday, in Meadville, Pennsylvania. He wrote about a festival held at the Eldridge House, and reported on several other incidents of note: the arrest of John W. Doy, captured by Missourians while helping former slaves travel to Iowa; John Brown's avoidance of capture by [John P.] Woods (at the Battle of the Spurs on January 31, 1859); and Charles Fischer's escape after being twice arrested as "a fugitive slave." Holliday also wrote that the legislature had passed and Governor Samuel Medary would approve a bill granting Josephine Branscomb a divorce. Despite Holliday's efforts, the constitutional convention would be held at Wyandotte in July. He had refused [Alfred L.] Winans' request for a recommendation.

Keywords: Branscomb, Josephine; Brown, John, 1800-1859; Divorce; Doy, John; Fisher, Charley; Holliday, Cyrus Kurtz, 1826-1900; Holliday, Mary; Lawrence Republican; Lawrence, Kansas Territory; Meadville, Pennsylvania; Spurs, Battle of the; Winans, A. L.; Wood, John P.; Wyandotte Constitutional Convention, July 1859


Letter, S. C. Pomeroy to Dear Sir [Isaac Goodnow]
Authors: Pomeroy, S. C. (Samuel Clarke), 1816-1891
Date:  March 8, 1859
Samuel Pomeroy wrote to Isaac Goodnow from Atchison, Kansas Territory. Pomeroy told Goodnow he was not disposed at the moment to come to Manhattan on account of lawsuits and railroad business, but would come as soon as possible. He looked forward to being present when the cornerstone of the Bluemont College building was placed, and asked Goodnow to list him as a subscriber to Manhattan's new newspaper. Pomeroy also referred to the upcoming election the following June, which would determine the delegates to attend the Wyandotte Constitutional Convention, and prayed for a successful outcome.

Keywords: Bluemont Central College; Border ruffians; Denison, Joseph; Election, Wyandotte Constitution delegates to convention, June 1859; Goodnow, Isaac T., 1814-1894; Hannibal and St. Joseph Railroad Company; Manhattan, Kansas Territory; Newspapers; Pomeroy, S. C. (Samuel Clarke), 1816-1891; Skirmishing; Wyandotte Constitutional Convention, July 1859


Letter, C. E. Blood to Dear Bro. [Isaac] Goodnow
Authors: Blood, C.E.
Date:  June 20, 1859
C. E. Blood wrote from Manhattan, Kansas Territory, to Isaac Goodnow, imparting that the Vivaldi family had arrived in the town via the steamboat Gus Linn, Mr. Vivaldi having brought along his printing press and other equipment. The newspaper was then a "fixed and permanent fact." Blood updated Goodnow on the status of construction at the College and Joseph Denison's new home. He closed by reporting a rumor that there was a Republican majority in the Constitutional Convention at Wyandotte.

Keywords: Blood, C.E.; Goodnow, Isaac T., 1814-1894; Kansas River, Kansas Territory; Manhattan, Kansas Territory; Newspapers; Riley County, Kansas Territory; Steamboats; Town development; Wyandotte Constitutional Convention, July 1859; de Vivaldi, Charles F.


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