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Journal of the House of Representatives of the Territory of Kansas
July 2 through August 30, 1855
This printed document contained the actions of the First Territorial House of Representatives. It first met at the town of Pawnee near Fort Riley on Monday July 2, 1855. On July 6, 1855, the House of Representatives approved a resolution sent to them by the Council (Senate) that moved the meeting of the Legislature to Shawnee Manual Labor School beginning July 16, 1855. This session of the House of Representatives concluded this first session on August 30, 1855. Included in the volume are various messages from the Governor and Acting Governor. The appendix contained reports of various committees--judiciary, special committee on exempting slaves from execution, bounds of counties and districts, elections, convention, public printing. The appendix also had the "opinion of the Supreme Court in regard to the legality of the present session" by Samuel Lecompte and Rush Elmore, a memorial from the legislature of Kansas to the President of the United States requesting the removal of Andrew Reeder, and the Rules and Orders under which the House of Representatives conducted business. The last 31 pages were an index to the volume.

Keywords: Browne, O. H.; Courts; Davis County, Kansas Territory; Elmore, Rush; Geary County, Kansas; Johnson County, Kansas Territory; Johnson, Alex S.; Kansas Territory. Governor; Kansas Territory. Legislature; Lecompte, Samuel D. (Samuel Dexter), 1814-1888; Marshall, F.J.; Mathias, William G.; Pawnee, Kansas Territory; Reeder, Andrew H. (Andrew Horatio), 1807-1864; Shawnee Manual Labor School; Stringfellow, John H.; Wilkinson, Allen; Woodson, Daniel

Authors: Kansas Territory, Legislature

An Act to Punish Offences Against Slave Property
August 14, 1855
This act was passed by the Legislative Assembly of Kansas Territory on August 14, 1855. It was to take effect on September 15, 1855. The Speaker of the House was J. H. Stringfellow and the President of the Council was Thomas Johnson. The act included a death penalty for persons causing or aiding in any "rebellion or insurrection of slaves, free negroes, or mulattoes" in Kansas Territory. Other provisions dealt with "speaking, writing, or printing" that encouraged slaves to rebel or that argued that the right to hold slaves did not exist in Kansas Territory. Several sections of the act contained penalities for encouraging or assisting slaves to escape and one stated that anyone opposed to the holding of slaves cound not serve on a jury.

Keywords: Abolitionists; African Americans; Antislavery; Antislavery movements; Johnson, Thomas; Kansas Territory. Legislature; Kansas Territory. Legislature - Pawnee/Shawnee Mission; Laws; Shawnee Manual Labor School; Slave insurrections; Slavery; Slaves; Stringfellow, John H.

Authors: Kansas Territory, Legislature

Territorial Census, 1855, District 17
January-February, 1855
This census was taken in order to determine eligible voters for elections to be held as proclaimed by Governor Andrew Reeder on November 10, 1854. The categories for information in the census were name, occupation, age, male, female, emigrated from, native of United States, naturalized citizen, declarant (intention to become a citizen), Negro, slave, and voter. Only white males over 21 were eligible to vote. The districts used for the census were the same as the election districts. A statistical summary of the census follows the enumeration pages. For District 17, the place of election was the house of B. F. Robinson. The boundaries of each district were described in Governor Reeder's proclamation and it is difficult to determine what counties were in each district. The 17th Dist was organized by a supplemental proclamation of the governor, Nov. 25, 1854. He declared that it seemed expedient that the first district should be divided to form the 17th district, which was located in the east part of the present Johnson county, quoted as to bounds as follows, (from the ex minutes, 1854, p. 24.) "beginning at the mouth of the Kansas river; thence up said river to the mouth of Cedar creek; thence up said creek to the Santa Fe Road; thence by said road and the Missouri State Line to the place of beginning."

Keywords: Census; Johnson County, Kansas Territory; Johnson, Alex S.; Robinson, B. F.; Shawnee Mission

Authors: Johnson, Alex S.

Letter, Sam Tappan to Mrs. [Ellen] Goodnow
June 29, 1855
Samuel Tappan wrote from Barker's Mission on the Shawnee Reserve in present-day Johnson County, Kansas Territory, to Ellen Goodnow, Isaac Goodnow's wife, near Manhattan. Tappan updated Ellen on the status of some misplaced luggage, providing a good description of local shipping and travel procedures. He praised the land of Kansas, " a glorious country to try 'men's soles' ". Tappan also described the recent scuffle between Governor Reeder and Benjamin Stringfellow, an incident which embodied the tension between anti and proslavery supporters.

Keywords: Freight and freightage; Goodnow, Ellen; Kansas Territory. Legislature - Pawnee/Shawnee Mission; Landscape; Reeder, Andrew H. (Andrew Horatio), 1807-1864; Shawnee Mission; Stringfellow, Benjamin F.; Tappan, S. F. (Samuel Forster), d. 1913

Authors: Tappan, S. F. (Samuel Forster), d. 1913

Journal of the Council of the Territory of Kansas, At Their First Session
July 2 through August 30, 1855
This printed document contained the actions of the First Territorial Council (Senate). It first met at the town of Pawnee near Fort Riley on Monday July 2, 1855. On July 6, 1855, the House of Representatives approved a resolution sent to them by the Council that moved the meeting of the Legislature to Shawnee Manual Labor School beginning July 16, 1855. This session of the Council concluded this first session on August 30, 1855. Included in the volume are various messages from the Governor and Acting Governor. The appendix contained reports of various committees--judiciary, special committee on exempting slaves from execution, bounds of counties and districts, elections, convention, public printing. The appendix also had the "opinion of the Supreme Court in regard to the legality of the present session" by Samuel Lecompte and Rush Elmore, a memorial from the legislature of Kansas to the President of the United States requesting the removal of Andrew Reeder, and the Rules and Orders under which the House of Representatives conducted business. The last 52 pages were an index to the volume. The members of the Council were Thomas Johnson and Edward Chapman, 1st Council District; A. M. Coffey and David Lykins, 4th Council District; William Barbee, 5th Council District; John W. Forman, 7th district; William P. Richardson, 8th district; D. A. N. Grover, 9th district; L. J. Eastin and Richard R. Rees, 10th district. The elections in the 2nd, 3rd, and 6th Council Districts were disputed but Andrew Macdonald, 2nd Council district, H. J. Strickler, 3rd district; and John Donaldson, 6th district were sworn in as members of the Council. John A. Haldeman served as the Chief Clerk.

Keywords: Barbee, William; Chapman, Edward; Coffey, A. M.; Courts; Donaldson, John; Eastin, Lucian J.; Elmore, Rush; Forman, John W.; Geary County, Kansas; Grover, D. A. N.; Halderman, John Adams; Johnson County, Kansas Territory; Johnson, Thomas; Kansas Territory. Governor; Kansas Territory. Legislature; Lecompte, Samuel D. (Samuel Dexter), 1814-1888; Lykins, David; Macdonald, Andrew; Pawnee, Kansas Territory; Reeder, Andrew H. (Andrew Horatio), 1807-1864; Rees, Richard R.; Richardson, William P.; Shawnee Manual Labor School; Strickler, Hiram Jackson; Woodson, Daniel

Authors: Tappan, S. F. (Samuel Forster), d. 1913

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