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County:Shawnee   (140 results)

Map, Topeka Town Lots
c. January 1856
This hand drawn map of Topeka, Kansas was probably created by Franklin L. Crane on behalf of the Topeka Association. The accounts of the Topeka Association included elsewhere described how Crane numbered the lots to keep track of who owned which lots so the association could to sell unclaimed lots.

Keywords: Maps; Shawnee County, Kansas Territory; Streets; Topeka Association; Topeka, Kansas Territory; Town lots; Town settlement

Authors: Topeka Association

Photograph, Constitution Hall, Topeka, Kansas Territory
1856
An exterior view of Constitution Hall, Topeka, Kansas Territory. The Constitutional Convention met here in 1855 and the Topeka Legislature was dispersed from the building by Col. Edwin Vose Sumner in 1856.

Keywords: Illustrations; Photographs and Illustrations; Shawnee County, Kansas Territory; Topeka Constitutional Convention, October 1855; Topeka buildings; Topeka, Kansas Territory

Authors: Topeka Association

Photograph, Kansas Avenue, Topeka, Kansas
c. 1860
A view looking south from Sixth Street on Kansas Avenue, Topeka, Kansas, early 1860s. The Topeka Drug Store was located at 607 Kansas Avenue. Many of the buildings shown in the photograph were built during the Kansas territorial period. The photograph was taken by W. P. Bliss, Photographic Car.

Keywords: Banks and banking; Business enterprises; Cartes de visite; Cities and towns; Commerce; Drugstores; F. W. Giles & Co.; Groceries; Grocery trade; Horses; Photographs and Illustrations; Shawnee County, Kansas Territory; Topeka Drug Store; Topeka buildings; Topeka, Kansas Territory; Wagons

Authors: W. P. Bliss, Photographic Car

Battle of Indianola from Autobiography, volume 1
1906
The section of Samuel Reader's autobiography deals with the Battle of Indianola, which occurred on August 30, 1856. The autobiography is based on notes from his diary for the same period. The reminiscence describes events near Indianola, Shawnee Co. when the local militia gathered to prevent theft and burning by pro slavery supporters but no fighting actually occurred.

Keywords: Free state militia; Indianola, Battle of; Indianola, Kansas Territory; Proslavery supporters; Reader, Samuel James; Shawnee County, Kansas Territory

Authors: Reader, Samuel James

Bill of Lading, Steamboat Lebanon
June 23, 1857
Bill of lading listing several items of furniture to be shipped by Smith & Haneley via the steamboat Lebanon from Cincinnati, Ohio to J. Cook & Co. in Tecumseh, Kansas Territory.

Keywords: Bills of lading; Business; Commerce; Furniture; J. Cook and Company; Lebanon (steamboat); Retail businesses; Steamboats; Stores (see Retail businesses)

Authors: Smith & Haneley

Letter, Edw.[Edward] Hoogland to Col. [Thomas N.] Stinson
November 16, 1859
Edward Hoogland, writing from Tecumseh, Kansas Territory to Thomas N. Stinson, expressed his views on the prospects of completing a bridge over the Kansas River at Tecumseh. Hoogland and Stinson had been involved in an unsuccessful venture to finance and build a bridge at Tecumseh since 1857. Hoogland also proposed to Stinson a settlement of a debt that he owed to him for the acquisition of land.

Keywords: Bridges; Business; Hoogland, Edward; Land sales; Real estate; Shawnee County, Kansas Territory; Stinson, Thomas N.; Tecumseh, Kansas Territory

Authors: Hoogland, Edward

Journal, Topeka Constitutional Convention
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

Authors: Smith, Samuel C.

The Prairie Star: A paper edited by the ladies of the Philomathic Literary Society, Volume 1st, Number 1st
January 24, 1857


Keywords: Community life; Kansas Philomathic Institute; Literature societies; Martin, Maria M. (Mrs. Samuel E.); Philomatic Literary Society; Poetry; Shawnee County, Kansas Territory; Topeka, Kansas Territory; Women

Authors: Kansas Philomathic Institute

The Prairie Star: A paper edited by the ladies of the Philomathic Literary Society, Volume 1st, Number 2nd
January 31, 1857
A weekly handwritten literary publication produced from January through April 1857 by the Topeka-based Kansas Philomathic Institute (also known as the Philomathic Literary Society). The literary club, which included male and female members, met weekly to read aloud essays and poems, which then were collected, recopied, and published as The Prairie Star. Maria M. Martin, wife of Dr. Samuel E. Martin, edited the paper.

Keywords: Community life; Kansas Philomathic Institute; Literature societies; Martin, Maria M. (Mrs. Samuel E.); Philomatic Literary Society; Poetry; Shawnee County, Kansas Territory; Topeka, Kansas Territory; Women

Authors: Kansas Philomathic Institute

The Prairie Star: A paper edited by the ladies of the Philomathic Literary Society, Volume 1st, Number 7th
March 7, 1857
A weekly handwritten literary publication produced from January through April 1857 by the Topeka-based Kansas Philomathic Institute (also known as the Philomathic Literary Society). The literary club, which included male and female members, met weekly to read aloud essays and poems, which then were collected, recopied, and published as The Prairie Star. Maria M. Martin, wife of Dr. Samuel E. Martin, edited the paper.

Keywords: Community life; Kansas Philomathic Institute; Literature societies; Martin, Maria M. (Mrs. Samuel E.); Philomatic Literary Society; Poetry; Shawnee County, Kansas Territory; Topeka, Kansas Territory; Women

Authors: Kansas Philomathic Institute

Journal, Topeka Constitutional Convention
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

Authors: Smith, Samuel C.

Letter, H. H. Williams and others, to Rev. Sir [Samuel Adair]
June 14, 1856
H. H. Williams wrote from Tecumseh, where he was imprisoned along with seven other suspects in the Pottawatomie massacre, informing Rev. Samuel Adair of their situation. The letter is also signed by the seven other prisoners--William Partridge, Jason Brown, S. W. Kilbourne, John Brown Jr., S. B. Morse, Jacob Benjamin, and P. D. Maness. He indicated that they were charged with high treason. He also reported on John Brown, Jr.'s health. Williams asked Adair to try to raise some funds for their legal defense as they had hired a lawyer.

Keywords: Benjamin, Jacob; Brown, Jason; Brown, John, Jr.; Kilbourne, S. W.; Maness, P. D.; Massacres; Morse, S. B.; Partridge, William; Pottawatomie Massacre, May 1856; Prisoners; Shawnee County, Kansas Territory; Tecumseh, Kansas Territory; Treason; Williams, Henry H.

Authors: Williams, Henry H.

Letter, [Mary Holliday] to Dear H [Cyrus K. Holliday]
February 2, 1861
Mary Holliday wrote from Topeka to her husband, Cyrus K. Holliday, in Washington, D. C. She described farm and financial difficulties, especially her frustration with John, an incompetent hired hand. She also considered releasing her "girl" to save money and taking in Sister Tite as an unpaid but potentially helpful guest. Mary requested instructions concerning lumber, asked for seeds and carpets, and mentioned local happenings. She hoped that the statehood of Kansas would encourage Cyrus to return quickly. The letter has no signature.

Keywords: Economic conditions; Holliday, Cyrus Kurtz, 1826-1900; Holliday, Mary; Household activities; Livestock; Servants; Statehood (see also Admission, Kansas); Topeka, Kansas; Weather

Authors: Holliday, Mary

Photograph, Gale block, Topeka, Kansas
c. 1864
A view of Gale block on the east side of Kansas Avenue, between 6th and 7th Streets, Topeka, Kansas, 1863-1865. The Gale block was used by the Kansas Legislature in the 1860s. Many of the buildings shown in the photograph were built during the Kansas territorial period. The photograph was taken by W. P. Bliss, Photographic Car.

Keywords: Bliss, W. P.; Business enterprises; Cartes de visite; Cities and towns; Commerce; Gale block, Topeka, Kansas; Mills and mill-work; Photographs and Illustrations; Shawnee County, Kansas Territory; Streets; Topeka buildings; Topeka, Kansas

Authors: W. P. Bliss, Photographic Car

Photograph, Methodist Church, Topeka, Kansas
c. 1860
The Methodist Church, 523 Quincy Street, Topeka, Kansas. The photograph was taken by W. P. Bliss, Photographic Car.

Keywords: Bliss, W. P.; Cartes de visite; Churches; Methodist Church; Photographs and Illustrations; Shawnee County, Kansas Territory; Streets; Topeka buildings; Topeka, Kansas Territory

Authors: W. P. Bliss, Photographic Car

Photograph, First Congregational Church, Topeka, Kansas
c. 1860
The First Congregational Church, Topeka, Kansas, as it appeared in the 1860s. The photograph was taken by W. P. Bliss, Photographic Car.

Keywords: Bliss, W. P.; Cartes de visite; Churches; Congregational churches; Photographs and Illustrations; Shawnee County, Kansas Territory; Streets; Topeka buildings; Topeka, Kansas Territory

Authors: W. P. Bliss, Photographic Car

Photograph, Kansas Avenue, Topeka, Kansas
c. 1860
A view of Kansas Avenue, Topeka, Kansas, early 1860s. Many of the buildings shown in the photograph were built during the Kansas territorial period. The photograph was taken by J. Lee Knight, The New River Side Gallery, Kansas Avenue, Topeka, Kansas.

Keywords: Business enterprises; Cartes de visite; Cities and towns; Commerce; Knight, J. Lee; Photographs and Illustrations; Shawnee County, Kansas Territory; Streets; The New River Side Gallery; Topeka buildings; Topeka, Kansas Territory

Authors: J. Lee Knight, The New River Side Gallery, Kansas Avenue, Topeka, KS

Photograph, Fourth Street and Kansas Avenue, Topeka, Kansas
c. 1860
A view showing the corner of Fourth Street and Kansas Avenue, Topeka, Kansas, early 1860s. The buildings were located north of the Gordon House. Many of them were built during the Kansas territorial period. The photograph was taken by W. P. Bliss, Photographic Car.

Keywords: Bliss, W. P.; Business enterprises; Cartes de visite; Cities and towns; Commerce; Merchants Union Express Company; Photographs and Illustrations; Shawnee County, Kansas Territory; Topeka buildings; Topeka, Kansas Territory

Authors: W. P. Bliss, Photographic Car

Photograph, Kansas Avenue, Topeka, Kansas
c. 1860
A view of Kansas Avenue, Topeka, Kansas. Many of the buildings were built during Kansas' time as a territory. The photograph was taken by J. Lee Knight, The New River Side Gallery, Topeka, Kansas.

Keywords: Business enterprises; Cartes de visite; Cities and towns; Commerce; Knight, J. Lee; Photographs and Illustrations; Shawnee County, Kansas Territory; Streets; The New River Side Gallery; Topeka buildings; Topeka, Kansas

Authors: J. Lee Knight, The New River Side Gallery, Kansas Avenue, Topeka, KS

Photograph, East side of Kansas Avenue, Topeka, Kansas
c. 1860
A view of the east side of Kansas Avenue from slightly north of Sixth Street, Topeka, Kansas, early 1860s. Many of the buildings shown in the photograph were built during the Kansas territorial period. The photograph was taken by W. P. Bliss, Photographic Car.

Keywords: Business enterprises; Butcher shops; Capitol Meat Market; Cartes de visite; Cities and towns; Commerce; Covered wagons; Feed stores; J. F. Osenburg Saddle and Harness Manufacturer; Photographs and Illustrations; Provision Feed Seed Store; Shawnee County, Kansas Territory; Topeka Meat Market; Topeka buildings; Topeka, Kansas Territory

Authors: W. P. Bliss, Photographic Car

Photograph, Topeka, Kansas Territory, 1858
1858
A panoramic view of Topeka, Kansas Territory, December 25, 1858, copied from Leslie's Weekly, December 25, 1858.

Keywords: Cities and towns; Cityscapes; Periodical illustrations; Photographs and Illustrations; Shawnee County, Kansas Territory; Topeka, Kansas Territory

Authors: Unknown

Letter, James Gillpatrick to Gen. [Samuel C.] Pomeroy
October 24, 1856
From Brownville, K.T., Gillpatrick wrote seeking compensation for his losses to the "border ruffins," or specifically at the hand of "a miserable horse thief from Missouri." Gillpatrick had been advised by a Chicago friend that all such aid was being distributed through the Lawrence based committee, thus his letter to Pomeroy, who would "doubtless know who they are."

Keywords: Border ruffians; Chicago, Illinois; Lawrence, Kansas Territory; National Kansas Committee; Pomeroy, S. C. (Samuel Clarke), 1816-1891; Relief funds; State Central Committee of Kansas

Authors: Gillpatrick, James

Letter, E. L. [Mrs. William] Partridge to Mr. [Samuel] Adair
December 28, 1856
Mrs. William Partridge reported on the condition of her husband while a prisoner at Tecumseh. Mr. Partridge was one of the free state men arrested after the Pottawatomie massacre. She described his health and his prospects for being released.

Keywords: Adair, Samuel Lyle; Massacres; Partridge, E. L (Mrs. William); Partridge, William; Pottawatomie Massacre, May 1856; Prisoners; Shawnee County, Kansas Territory; Tecumseh, Kansas Territory

Authors: Partridge, E. L. (Mrs. William)

Letter, C. K. Holliday to S. N. Wood
September 19, 1860
Dated Sept. 19, 1860, from Topeka, Kansas, this brief letter from AT&SF founder C. K. Holiday urged Wood to garner support and signatures to influence to the course of a proposed "R.R. [railroad] from the Mo. River via Topeka toward your place. . . . Now is the time to act and act promptly."

Keywords: Holliday, Cyrus Kurtz, 1826-1900; Missouri River; Railroads; Shawnee County, Kansas Territory; Topeka, Kansas Territory; Wood, S. N. (Samuel Newitt)

Authors: Holliday, Cyrus Kurtz, 1826-1900

Receipt and memorandum concerning weapons and ammunition
September 27, 1856
This receipt, which provides a detailed listing of revolvers, knives, cartridges, and other weapons and ammunition, declared that these weapons were "received of Chas. Robinson." The following page is a memorandum by Preston Plumb, who writes that he received the weapons and ammunition listed on the receipt in Iowa City, Iowa "on or about the 4th of September 1856." The weapons were to be delivered to J. M. Winchell in Kansas but were to be used for the "defense of Kanzas." Several hundred weapons were involved.

Keywords: Ammunition; Border disputes and warfare; Guns; Higginson, Thomas Wentworth, 1823-1911; Plumb, Preston B., 1837-1891; Receipts; Robinson, Charles, 1818-1894; Sharps rifles; Shawnee County, Kansas Territory; Topeka, Kansas Territory; Weapons (see also Guns); Winchell, James M., 1823-1877

Authors: Miller, Joseph C.

Account Book for the Topeka Association
April 23, 1855 - December 1, 1857
Franklin L. Crane was elected chairman of the board of trustees of the Topeka Association in 1856. These pages contain the association's financial accounts as well as an ongoing narrative about town association business. It describes sales and trades of lots, efforts to start businesses and cultural institutions, and the names of people involved in Topeka's early history. Interspersed throughout these accounts of association business are brief mentions of Franklin Crane's personal affairs. Select pages have been chosen from this volume.

Keywords: Account books; Burgess, H. B.; Business; Business enterprises; Businessmen; Dickey, Milton C.; Election, Territorial Legislature, March 1855; Holliday, Cyrus Kurtz, 1826-1900; Land speculation; Oakley, Walter; Railroads design and construction; Schools; Shawnee County, Kansas Territory; St. Joseph, Missouri; Surveyors; Tecumseh, Kansas Territory; Topeka Association; Topeka bridge; Topeka, Kansas Territory; Town associations; Town development; Town lots; Willits, Jacob; Zimmerman, Israel

Authors: Crane, Franklin L.

Journal, House of Representatives, Topeka (1856)
1856-1857
This Journal of the House of Representatives of the State of Kansas was, apparently, the original record of the Free State Provisional Government of Kansas, which was organized at the Big Springs Convention September 5, 1855. Joel K. Goodin was chief clerk of the House and felt the journal was "a flat contradiction of the pro-slavery inuendo, that we were all abolitionists from Boston, Massachusetts, and hired to come to Kansas by the Emigrant Aid Society." The first two pages of the original bound journal have been scanned. The original is oversized with the pages measuring 9.5 inches wide and 14 inches high. The journal, as published in its entirety in the Kansas Historical Collections volume 13 pages 166-249, follows the two pages from the original.

Keywords: Free State Party; Free state government; Free state legislature; Goodin, Joel Kishler; Holliday, Cyrus Kurtz, 1826-1900; Lane, James Henry, 1814-1866; Prohibition; Robinson, Charles, 1818-1894; Shawnee County, Kansas Territory; Sumner, Edwin Vose, 1835-1912; Topeka Constitution; Topeka Movement (see also Free state movement); Topeka, Kansas Territory; United States. Congress; United States. Congress. House

Authors: Goodin, Joel Kishler

Journal. Miscellaneous Records of the Free State Executive Committee
1855-1856
This journal, compiled by Joel K. Goodin, secretary of the Executive Committee of the Topeka free-state movement, began with a statement explaining the reason the Topeka Movement formed and the call for a Mass Meeting at Big Springs, August 15, 1855. It included notes of numerous meetings, proclamations, etc. These committee records were published in their entirety in the Kansas Historical Collections Vol. 13:125-158.

Keywords: Free State Party; Free state movement (see also Topeka Movement); Goodin, Joel Kishler; Journals; Lane, James Henry, 1814-1866; Robinson, Charles, 1818-1894; Shawnee County, Kansas Territory; Topeka Constitution; Topeka Movement (see also Free state movement); Topeka, Kansas Territory

Authors: Goodin, Joel Kishler

Journal, Topeka Constitutional Convention, October 26, 1855
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

Authors: Smith, Samuel C.

Journal, Topeka Constitutional Convention, October 26, 1855
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

Authors: Smith, Samuel C.

First Thanksgiving Sermon
November 29, 1860
Apparently pretty typical of the Rev. Peter McVicar's sermons, this one is entitled "First Thanksgiving Sermon." It was delivered in Topeka on November 29, 1860, just weeks after he assumed the pastorate of the Congregational Church. McVicar focused on the concept that God's blessings were not to be measured by the accumulation of money or property, making specific comments about Kansas. He suggested, for example, that citizens of Kansas Territory who gathered together on that day should be especially thankful for the hardships endured by "early" settlers in order to establish freedom from slavery.

Keywords: Churches; Congregational churches; McVicar, Peter; Religion; Sermons; Shawnee County, Kansas Territory; Slavery; Thanksgiving Day; Topeka, Kansas Territory

Authors: McVicar, Peter

Letter, James M. Hunter to T. N. Stinson
December 5, 1854
James M. Hunter, writing from Westport, Missouri, informed Thomas N. Stinson about a joint land speculation deal involving lots in Tecumseh, KT. Hunter alluded to Governor Andrew Reeder's involvement in the speculative venture.

Keywords: Hunter, James M.; Land speculation; Reeder, Andrew H. (Andrew Horatio), 1807-1864; Shawnee County, Kansas Territory; Stinson, Thomas N.; Tecumseh, Kansas Territory; Town lots

Authors: Hunter, James M.

Tenant agreement, Thomas N. Stinson and Edward Hoogland
March 17, 1856
Agreement in which Thomas N. Stinson agreed to rent twenty acres of land to Edward Hoogland in exchange for one-third of the crops produced on the land.

Keywords: Agriculture; Crops; Farm tenancy; Hoogland, Edward; Land tenure; Legal documents; Rent; Shawnee County, Kansas Territory; Stinson, Thomas N.; Tenant farming (see Farm tenancy)

Authors: Hoogland, Edward ; Stinson, Thomas N.

Letter, T. H. Ellis to Mr. [Thomas N.] Stinson
April 23, 1856
T. H. Ellis reported that he left three plows at Thomas N. Stinson's home and requested that Stinson attempt to sell the plows at prices designated in the letter. Ellis told Stinson that he would receive a commission on the sales.

Keywords: Agriculture; Business; Commerce; Ellis, T. H.; Plows; Shawnee County, Kansas Territory; Stinson, Thomas N.

Authors: Ellis, T. H.

Letter, R. A. Randlett to Ely Thayer
February 25, 1860
With regard to clothing sent from New England to "the poor of Kansas in 1856," R. A. Randlett of Topeka sought to find out if Thayer's Emigrant Aid Company was involved and if officials had intended that the clothing be sold or given away. The clothing was sold during the summer of 1857 "on a years time," according to Randlett, and now some men were trying to collect for it.

Keywords: Massachusetts; New England Emigrant Aid Company; New Hampshire; Randlett, Reuben A.; Relief fraud; Shawnee County, Kansas Territory; Thayer, Eli, 1819-1899; Topeka, Kansas Territory

Authors: Randlett, Reuben A.

Letter, O. H. Browne to J. A. Halderman
February 25, 1859
This letter, written by O. H. Browne from Ridgeway, Shawnee County, was a call to action. Browne was convinced that he and Halderman and others were being "swindled" out of their shares in the Lecompton Town Company, and that "little Bob [Robert] Stevens, law partner of Gov. Shannon, is the mischief making monkey that has caused all this difficulty." Although Halderman was apparently inclined to let this matter go, Browne wanted to file a law suit, and if that didn't work he was "ready to join any company that may be organized and deal out justice to the Lecompton Town Company according to the rules of equity as recognized and administered by Judge Lynch."

Keywords: Browne, O. H.; Fraud; Halderman, John Adams; Lecompte, Samuel D. (Samuel Dexter), 1814-1888; Lecompton Town Company; Lecompton, Kansas Territory; Lynch, Judge; Ridgeway, Kansas Territory; Shannon, Wilson, 1802-1877; Shawnee County, Kansas Territory; Stevens, Robert S.; Tax-sales; Town shares

Authors: Browne, O. H.

Photograph, Topeka, Kansas Territory, 1856
1856
An illustration showing Topeka, Kansas Territory, 1856. Constitution Hall is visible on the left side of the illustration.

Keywords: Cities and towns; Constitutions; Photographs and Illustrations; Shawnee County, Kansas Territory; Topeka Constitutional Convention, October 1855; Topeka buildings; Topeka, Kansas Territory

Authors: Browne, O. H.

Photograph, Pile Bridge, Topeka, Kansas Territory
c. 1858
A copy of a painting showing a pile bridge in Topeka, Kansas Territory, 1857-60. Henry Worrall was the artist.

Keywords: Bridges; Bridges, pile; Kansas River, Kansas Territory; Photographs and Illustrations; Shawnee County, Kansas Territory; Topeka, Kansas Territory; Worrall, Henry

Authors: Worrall, Henry

Autobiography, Volume 2
Circa 1896
These sections of this volume of the autobiography were titled "Border War, Kansas Territory, 1856," and "Hickory Point." Sketches and watercolors by Reader accompanied portions of the text. The Border War section described events in which Reader participated as part of a free state militia. This section provided detail about militia activities as well as contact with John Brown and Aaron Stevens (Captain Whipple). The second section described the Battle of Hickory Point which occurred on September 13, 1856. The accounts in the autobiography were based on Reader's diaries.

Keywords: Brown, John, 1800-1859; Free state militia; Hickory Point, Battle of; Hickory Point, Kansas Territory; Indianola, Kansas Territory; Lane, James Henry, 1814-1866; Reader, Samuel James; Shawnee County, Kansas Territory; Stevens, Aaron Dwight (see also Whipple, Charles)

Authors: Reader, Samuel James

Report of the Treasurer, Kansas State Central Committee
January 6, 1857
Dated Topeka, January 6, 1857, this document claimed to be a "report of Money & goods received and Paid out, by Treasurer." Its initial entry was for July 24, 1856, and the last October 29, 1856, and it includes the names of Charles Robinson, W. F. M. Arny, and S. W. Eldridge.

Keywords: Arny, W. F. M. (William Frederick Milton), 1813-1881; Eldridge, Shalor Winchell, 1816-1899; Horses; Kansas Central Committee; Lawrence, Kansas Territory; National Kansas Committee; Relief; Robinson, Charles, 1818-1894; Topeka, Kansas Territory

Authors: Kansas State Central Committee

Receipt, D. A. Clayton, Jr. to G. W. Hutchinson and William Hutchinson
July 25, 1856
D. A. Clayton, Jr., of Topeka had received and promised to deliver to G. W. and William Hutchinson of Lawrence $134.95 worth of articles: sugar, candles, pepper, mustard, cinnamon, and flour. Under Clayton's signature is a note indicating that the provisions were supplied to "Company B.," which was under the command of H. A. Burgess.

Keywords: Free state cause; Free state militia; Hutchinson, George W.; Hutchinson, William, 1823-1904; Kansas State Central Committee; Lawrence, Kansas Territory; Militia; Receipts; Topeka, Kansas Territory

Authors: Clayton, D. A., Jr.

Circular, Grand Mass Convention
June 9, 1856
This printed circular called for a "grand mass convention" to be held by the Free State Party on July 3, 1856 to discuss the "perils of the times." It was signed by several Topekans and others involved in the free state cause.

Keywords: Burgess, H. B.; Circulars; Crane, Franklin Loomis; Farnsworth, Loring; Free State Party; Free state activities; Holliday, Cyrus Kurtz, 1826-1900; McClure, W. M.; Nichols, H; Ritchie, John, 1817-1887; Ross, William Wallace, 1828-1889; Schuyler, Philip Church; Shawnee County, Kansas Territory; Thornton, Thomas G.; Topeka Council of Safety; Topeka, Kansas Territory

Authors: Topeka Council of Safety

Journal, Topeka Constitutional Convention, October 30, 1855
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

Authors: Smith, Samuel C.

Journal, Topeka Constitutional Convention, Afternoon Session
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

Authors: Smith, Samuel C.

Plan of the Topeka Bridge
c. 1858
This bridge, the first bridge over the Kansas River from Topeka, was built in 1857 through the efforts of the Topeka Association. It was destroyed by wind in 1858 and took several months to rebuild. The diagram is undated.

Keywords: Bridges; Shawnee County, Kansas Territory; Topeka Association; Topeka bridge; Topeka, Kansas Territory; Transportation

Authors: Smith, Samuel C.

Shareholders in the Topeka and St. Joseph Railroad Company
c. 1858
Prepared by the temporary treasurer (perhaps Franklin Crane), this list showed the names of individuals who pledged capital to the Topeka and St. Joseph Railroad Company, the number of shares they held, and the communities they represented.

Keywords: Burgess, H. B.; Crane, Franklin Loomis; Dickey, Milton C.; Doniphan County, Kansas Territory; Doniphan, Kansas Territory; Elwood, Kansas Territory; Grasshopper Falls, Kansas Territory; Hillyer, George S.; Holliday, Cyrus Kurtz, 1826-1900; Jefferson County, Kansas Territory; Kansapolis, Kansas Territory; Martin, Samuel E. (Dr.); Palermo, Kansas Territory; Railroad promotion; Railroads; Railroads finance; Russell, Edward; Swendson, Sevest; Thornton, Thomas G.; Topeka and St. Joseph Railroad Company; Walker, Robert J. (Robert John), 1801-1869; Willits, Jacob

Authors: Topeka and St. Joseph Railroad Company

Bills Received and Paid, Kansas Central Committee to J. Willits
January 7, 1857
The Kansas State Central Committee apparently paid this itemized bill for $12.64 on January 7, 1857, to Jacob Willits of Shawnee County. It included everything from apples to molasses to quinine.

Keywords: Blood, James; Food; Kansas Central Committee; Kansas State Central Committee; Merchandise; Relief; Willits, Jacob

Authors: Kansas State Central Committee

Bills Received and Paid, Kansas Central Committee to Ross Brothers, Kansas Tribune
July 12, 1857
The Ross Brothers, Edmund G. and William W., editors of the Kansas Tribune, Topeka, marked this bill for $5.50 to the "Kansas Central Committee" paid. It was for "250 1/8 Posters (July convention).

Keywords: Blood, James; Kansas Central Committee; Kansas State Central Committee; Newspapers; Political conventions; Ross, Edmund G. (Edmund Gibson), 1826-1907; Ross, William Wallace, 1828-1889

Authors: Ross, Edmund G.; Ross, William Wallace

Photograph, Constitution Hall, Topeka, Kansas Territory
1856
Exterior view of Constitution Hall with Col. Edwin Vose Sumner dispersing the Free-State Legislature, Topeka, Kansas Territory, July 4, 1856. Illustration from Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper, July 26, 1856.

Keywords: Free state legislature; Periodical illustrations; Photographs and Illustrations; Shawnee County, Kansas Territory; Sumner, Edwin Vose, 1835-1912; Topeka buildings; Topeka, Kansas Territory; United States. Army

Authors: Unknown

Photograph, Constitutional Convention 1855
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

Authors: Orr, J. W.

Report of H. J. Strickler, Commissioner to Audit Claims of Citizens of the Territory of Kansas
1859
Benjamin D. Castleman, Tecumseh, Shawnee County, presented claim #216 for losses suffered in August and September, 1856. He operated as a merchant so his claim listed groceries, clothing, dry goods, medicines, guns, hardware, books and stationery, and tin and glassware. He stated that the damage was caused by about 50 well armed men under the command of James H. Lane and another group of 200 men under the command of "Captains A. Jameson, Cleveland, and Charles Moffet." Each claimant had to submit an itemized list and have two witnesses attest to the losses claimed. Even though many of these claims were approved for payment, no funds were ever appropriated or distributed.

Keywords: Alcoholic beverages; Castleman, Benjamin D.; Clothing and dress; Damage claims; Food; Groceries; Jameson, A.; Lane, James Henry, 1814-1866; Militia; Moffett, Charles; Retail businesses; Shawnee County, Kansas Territory; Strickler, Hiram Jackson; Tecumseh, Kansas Territory

Authors: Strickler, Hiram Jackson

Report of H. J. Strickler, Commissioner to Audit Claims of Citizens of the Territory of Kansas
1859
Robert A. Edwards submitted claim #221 for losses and damages suffered at the hands of James Lane's men under the command of Captain Jameson in August and September, 1856. His list was detailed and included livestock, furniture, food, and household goods. He lived in Shawnee County. Each claimant had to submit an itemized list and have two witnesses attest to the losses claimed. Even though many of these claims were approved for payment, no funds were ever appropriated or distributed.

Keywords: Agricultural implements; Damage claims; Edwards, Robert A.; Food; Free state militia; Furniture; House furnishings; Household equipment; Jameson, A.; Lane, James Henry, 1814-1866; Livestock; Shawnee County, Kansas Territory; Strickler, Hiram Jackson

Authors: Strickler, Hiram Jackson

Articles of Agreement and Specifications, Topeka School House Construction
June 9, 1857
Charles H. Branscomb, acting on behalf of the New England Emigrant Aid Company, contracted with Abner Doane to construct a school house on Harrison St. in Topeka. Detailed construction specifications for the school house were included as part of the agreement.

Keywords: Branscomb, Charles H.; Construction; Doane, Abner; Education; New England Emigrant Aid Company; School buildings; Schools; Shawnee County, Kansas Territory; Topeka, Kansas Territory

Authors: New England Emigrant Aid Company

Diary
May 23, 1855 through December 31, 1857
Diary entries by Samuel Reader beginning with the latter part of his travels to Kansas from La Harpe, Illinois, and his life in Kansas Territory. He described daily activities as well as events related to the territorial struggle. He settled in Shawnee County north of Topeka. He participated in a militia group at the battles of Indianola and Hickory Point. Reader was an amateur artist and some of the diary pages contain sketches and water color paintings.

Keywords: Battles; Diaries; Free state militia; Hickory Point, Battle of; Hickory Point, Kansas Territory; Indianola, Battle of; Indianola, Kansas Territory; Reader, Samuel James; Shawnee County, Kansas Territory

Authors: Reader, Samuel James

Election, location of capitol of Kansas, Topeka Convention, 1855
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

Authors: Reader, Samuel James

Letter, J. B. Chapman to Dear Sir [Oscar E. Learnard]
September 28, 1858
John B. Chapman wrote from Mandovi, Kansas Territory to Oscar Learnard regarding the location of "prospective Rail Roads" and his efforts toward "making Burlington a point" on the road to Emporia. He mentioned the importance of citizen's support for the construction of the line--"subscription of stock, donations, & credit"--to assure its location and some additional problems faced by the rapid advancement of railroads.

Keywords: Breckinridge County, Kansas Territory (see also Lyon County, Kansas); Burlington, Kansas Territory; Butler, John B.; Coffey County, Kansas Territory; Emporia, Kansas Territory; Learnard, Oscar E., 1832-1911; Lyon County, Kansas (see also Breckinridge County, Kansas Territory); Railroads; Railroads design and construction; Transportation

Authors: Chapman, John Butler

Letter, Sherman Bodwell to Rev. Peter McVicar
November 7, 1860
Peter McVicar, a native of Eastport, Maine, and a graduate of Andover Theological Seminary, moved to Kansas Territory in 1860 to become pastor of Topeka's Congregational Church. This letter from church clerk Sherman Bodwell of Topeka pertained to McVicar's pastoral call and requested that the American Home Missionary Society continue to provide partial support for the minister.

Keywords: American Home Missionary Society; Andover Theological Seminary; Bodwell, Sherman; Churches; Congregational churches; Maine; McVicar, Peter; Religion; Shawnee County, Kansas Territory; Topeka, Kansas Territory

Authors: Bodwell, Sherman

Concurrent Resolutions, Topeka Legislature, House and Senate [1858]
no date
These handwritten copies of two, slightly different, concurrent resolutions were passed by the House and the Senate of the Topeka Free-State Legislature, probably in 1858. They established the legitimacy of the state government under the Topeka Constitution, and "respectfully urge[d] the Territorial Legislature, now in session, at Lawrence, to take immediate steps for removing the present forms of a territorial government, so that the legitimate government of the people may become the only government in Kansas."

Keywords: Free state government; Free state legislature; Shawnee County, Kansas Territory; Topeka Constitution; Topeka Movement (see also Free state movement); Topeka, Kansas Territory

Authors: Free State Legislature

Photograph, Alfred Gray

Alfred Gray was a resident of Quindaro, Kansas Territory and an attorney. He was involved in a number of land and other business dealings. This photograph of Gray was taken after the territorial period in 1882.

Keywords: Cabinet photographs; Gray, Alfred; Lawyers; Leonard & Martin, artists; Photographs and Illustrations; Quindaro, Kansas Territory; Town development; Wyandotte County, Kansas Territory

Authors: Leonard & Martin, artists

Photograph, Free-State Battery
1856
During the year 1856, the pro-slavery people of Missouri virtually cut off free-state emigration to Kansas Territory by the way of the Missouri River. Numerous emigrant parties were intercepted and turned back. This circumstance led to an organized emigration to Kansas Territory overland through Iowa. Parties came in organized companies and were generally armed. These arms were furnished largely through organized movements in the Eastern states from which the emigrants came. In a number of instances cannons were brought by these emigrant parties. This daguerreotype shows one of the cannons brought by a company to Topeka in 1856.

Keywords: Cannons; Daguerreotypes; Firearms; Free State Battery; Free state; Free state activities; Free state militia; Guns; Photographs and Illustrations

Authors: Leonard & Martin, artists

Promissory Note, Wm. Clark and E. Updegraff
December 18, 1856
Under the terms of the promissory note, William Clark and E. Updegraff agreed to pay a $10.50 fine to Shawnee County imposed on them for card playing.

Keywords: Cards, playing; Clark, William; Courts; Crime; Entertainment; Ethics; Legal documents; Shawnee County, Kansas Territory; Updegraff, E.

Authors: Clark, William ; Updegraff, E.

Certificate of Commission, Kansas Militia
June 14, 1856
This is a printed certificate filled in by hand by Charles W. Topliff, Maj. General of the Kansas Militia, commissioning Samuel Wemple to 2nd Lieutenant of 7th Company G. As such, Wemple must "defend the rights and liberties" of the people of Kansas "from threatened destruction by foreign invaders, and internal foes."

Keywords: Clark, Eduard; Military; Militia; Topliff, Charles W.; Wemple, Samuel

Authors: Topliff, Charles

Letter, C. K. Holliday to My Dear Wife [Mary Holliday]
March 18, 1855
Writing from Topeka, Kansas Territory to his wife, Mary Holliday in Meadville, Pennsylvania, Cyrus K. Holliday joyfully reported receiving a letter from her. He planned to return to Meadville by the middle of April. He encouraged their friend Mr. Ingram to consider returning to Kansas Territory, but cautioned that investing in property was like buying lottery tickets. Holliday described cold weather, with snow indoors and out, and also inquired after family members' health.

Keywords: American Indians (see also Native Americans); Health; Holliday, Cyrus Kurtz, 1826-1900; Holliday, Mary; Houses; Lawrence, Kansas Territory; Meadville, Pennsylvania; Property disputes; Shawnee County, Kansas Territory; Topeka, Kansas Territory; Weather

Authors: Holliday, Cyrus Kurtz, 1826-1900

Letter, C. K. Holliday to My Dear Wife [Mary Holliday]
April 1, 1855
Cyrus K. Holliday wrote from Topeka, Kansas Territory to his wife, Mary Holliday, in Meadville, Pennsylvania. He described the Territorial Legislature election of March 30, 1855, in which he was a Representative candidate for the Fourth District (in the third election district). Missourians had taken charge of the polls, and Holliday, along with other free state Kansas Territory citizens, did not vote. He assured his wife that Kansas would be a free state. Business in growing Topeka continued to delay his return to Meadville. Holliday also alluded to the recent birth of their child and mentioned his ragged clothing.

Keywords: Election fraud; Election, Territorial Legislature, March 1855; Elections; Emigration and immigration; Free state; Holliday, Cyrus Kurtz, 1826-1900; Holliday, Mary; Meadville, Pennsylvania; Missourians; Shawnee County, Kansas Territory; Topeka Town Association; Topeka, Kansas Territory; Town building (see Town development)

Authors: Holliday, Cyrus Kurtz, 1826-1900

Letter, C. K. Holliday to My Dear Wife [Mary Holliday]
July 2, 1856
Cyrus K. Holliday wrote from Topeka, Kansas Territory, where hundreds of free state supporters were gathering for a Mass Convention on the 3rd and meeting of the free state legislature on the 4th, to his wife, Mary Holliday, in Meadville, Pennsylvania. Cyrus reported that U. S. dragoons from Fort Leavenworth and Fort Riley were camped around Topeka, since difficulty was expected. [In fact, U. S. and proslavery troops dispersed the free state legislature on the 4th.) Two companies of northern immigrants had been turned back at the Missouri River. Cyrus seemed skeptical that effective action would be taken against this outrage.

Keywords: Dragoons; Emigration and immigration; Federal troops; Free state legislature; Holliday, Cyrus Kurtz, 1826-1900; Holliday, Mary; Meadville, Pennsylvania; Topeka Legislature (see Free state legislature); Topeka, Kansas Territory

Authors: Holliday, Cyrus Kurtz, 1826-1900

Map, Topeka Town Lots
c. 1855
This map includes the lot numbers as laid out in the original plan for the city of Topeka. It was probably created by Franklin Crane on behalf of the Topeka Association.

Keywords: Maps; Topeka Association; Topeka, Kansas; Town development; Town lots

Authors: Holliday, Cyrus Kurtz, 1826-1900

Stockholders in the Topeka Bridge Company
July 21, 1858
This document lists the various individuals who provided support to rebuild the Topeka Bridge, which was destroyed by wind in 1858, shortly after being completed.

Keywords: Bridges; Crane, Franklin Loomis; Dickey, Milton C.; Farnsworth, Loring; Holliday, Cyrus Kurtz, 1826-1900; Shawnee County, Kansas Territory; Topeka Bridge Company; Topeka bridge; Topeka, Kansas Territory; Transportation

Authors: Topeka Bridge Company

Message of Charles Robinson, Governor of Kanzas, Delivered at Topeka, June 11, 1857
June 11, 1857
Charles Robinson addressed his remarks to the Senate and House of Representatives that met as the extra legal free state legislature during 1856 and 1857. He reviewed the violence that had occurred since the legislature first convened in March, 1856. He also indicated that since their terms would soon expire, the legislature needed to pass an election law and make provisions for a census, otherwise the free state government would no longer exist if it had not formal procedures for continuing. The address included several statements about how the officially recognized government was usurping its powers.

Keywords: Free state legislature; Free state movement (see also Topeka Movement); Robinson, Charles, 1818-1894; Shawnee County, Kansas Territory; Topeka Movement (see also Free state movement); Topeka, Kansas Territory

Authors: Robinson, Charles

Letter, James R. Mead to My dear Father
August 13, 1859
In this letter, James Mead wrote from Tecumseh, Kansas Territory, to his father about his efforts to secure a claim. He included information about the people of the territory, and the beautiful vegetation and flourishing towns. Mead also spoke of the immense amount of traffic along the Santa Fe Trail, and of the roads to Lecompton and Topeka which he declared were "the best roads I ever saw anywhere." He also described the buildings of Burlingame, Kansas Territory and the make up of the community. At the end of the letter, he mentioned the new constitution, which "is all Free State."

Keywords: Burlingame, Kansas Territory; Land acquisition; Land claims; Mead, James R.; Osage County, Kansas Territory; Prices; Roads; Santa Fe road; Transportation; Travel; Wagon trains

Authors: Mead, James R.

Territorial Census, 1855, District 3
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 3, the place of election was the house of Thomas Stinson, in the Town of Tecumseh. 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 description of the Third District follows: "Commencing at the mouth of Big Spring Branch, on the south side of the Kansas River; thence up the same to its furthest source; thence by a southerly line to the north bank of the Wakarusa River, on the east side of the house of Charles Mattingly; thence by the southern and western line of said reservation to the Kansas River, and down the said river to the place of beginning."

Keywords: Census; Hays, Thornton W.; Shawnee County, Kansas Territory; Stinson, Thomas N.; Tecumseh, Kansas Territory; Wabaunsee County, Kansas Territory

Authors: Hays, Thornton W.

Letter, C. K. Holliday to My Dear Wife [Mary Holliday]
September 10, 1855
Cyrus K. Holliday wrote from Topeka, Kansas Territory to his wife, Mary Holliday, in Meadville, Pennsylvania, in good health, though others in Topeka were ill. He wanted Mary to join him, but when and with whom were undecided. He foresaw accepting the editorship of The Kansas Freeman, founded by Edward C. K. Garvey, and acquiring a farm. To Cyrus' disappointment, not he but Governor Reeder was nominated as the Kansas Territory delegate to Congress. He closed by inquiring after Lizzie and friends in Meadville.

Keywords: Big Springs Convention; Free State Convention; Health; Holliday, Cyrus Kurtz, 1826-1900; Holliday, Mary; Kansas Freeman; Meadville, Pennsylvania; Reeder, Andrew H. (Andrew Horatio), 1807-1864; Shawnee County, Kansas Territory; Topeka, Kansas Territory

Authors: Holliday, Cyrus Kurtz, 1826-1900

Letter, C. K. Holliday to My Dear Wife [Mary Holliday]
January 7, 1856
Cyrus K. Holliday, reelected on the 6th for a third six-month term as president of the Topeka Town Association, wrote from Topeka, Kansas Territory to his wife, Mary Holliday, in Meadville, Pennsylvania. He had been appointed to visit Washington by the Free State Executive Committee and nominated for territorial Secretary of State (losing in the January 15th election). Cyrus had received the money drafts Mary sent. He reported cold, stormy weather.

Keywords: Free state; Holliday, Cyrus Kurtz, 1826-1900; Holliday, Mary; Meadville, Pennsylvania; Money; Shawnee County, Kansas Territory; Topeka, Kansas Territory; Weather

Authors: Holliday, Cyrus Kurtz, 1826-1900

Letter, C. K. Holliday to My Dear Wife [Mary Holliday]
February 4, 1856
Cyrus K. Holliday wrote from bitterly cold Topeka, Kansas Territory to his wife, Mary Holliday, in Meadville, Pennsylvania. Fearing an attack by the Missourians on March 4th, the day the Free State Legislature was to meet in Topeka, he advised Mary to wait before traveling to K. T. with Lillie and Mrs. Nichols. Cyrus also requested northern newspapers.

Keywords: Free state legislature; Holliday, Cyrus Kurtz, 1826-1900; Holliday, Mary; Missourians; Newspapers; Shawnee County, Kansas Territory; Topeka, Kansas Territory; Travel; Weather

Authors: Holliday, Cyrus Kurtz, 1826-1900

Letter, C. K. Holliday to My Dear Wife [Mary Holliday]
March 30, 1856
Cyrus K. Holliday wrote on a stormy day in Topeka, Kansas Territory to his wife, Mary Holliday, in Meadville, Pennsylvania. Mary was finally to leave for K. T. on May 1st, provided Cyrus did not come to Meadville before she left. He suggested that she travel with Mr. Randolph, Mr. Thickstun, or Mrs. Nichols. He also requested money drafts drawn from well known banks to ease selling them.

Keywords: Holliday, Cyrus Kurtz, 1826-1900; Holliday, Mary; Meadville, Pennsylvania; Money; Shawnee County, Kansas Territory; Topeka, Kansas Territory; Travel; Weather

Authors: Holliday, Cyrus Kurtz, 1826-1900

Letter, C. K. Holliday to My Dear Wife [Mary Holliday]
May 15, 1856
Expecting a clash between free state and proslavery forces at Lawrence, Kansas Territory, Cyrus K. Holliday wrote last instructions to his wife, Mary Holliday, in Meadville, Pennsylvania. Despite the threat of violence, Mary was to travel to Topeka, K. T. with Mr. Nichols, where Cyrus had traded shares to Milton C. Dickey for a house. He told her of a debt to E. S. Dexter of Massachusetts and a share in Centropolis, established that year in Franklin County. While emphasizing business matters, Cyrus did not neglect to express his love.

Keywords: Centropolis, Kansas Territory; Dickey, Milton C.; Franklin, Kansas Territory; Holliday, Cyrus Kurtz, 1826-1900; Holliday, Mary; Lawrence, Kansas Territory; Meadville, Pennsylvania; Shawnee County, Kansas Territory; Topeka, Kansas Territory; Violence

Authors: Holliday, Cyrus Kurtz, 1826-1900

Letter, C. K. Holliday to Dear Mary [Holliday]
March 31, 1859
Cyrus K. Holliday wrote from Topeka, Kansas Territory to his wife, Mary Holliday, who had returned to Meadville, Pennsylvania to give birth to their second child, Charles. Cyrus had been joined in Kansas Territory by his mother and two brothers, James T. and George K. Holliday. Cyrus sadly told of his mother's death at George's home in Wakarusa, Kansas Territory. He suggested that Mary wait to return to Topeka until May 1st, when Alfred Huidekoper of Meadville would issue him a loan. Cyrus also mentioned his political aspirations and two upcoming elections, the first at the Osawatomie Republican Convention, the second for delegates to the Wyandotte Constitutional Convention.

Keywords: Health; Holliday, Cyrus Kurtz, 1826-1900; Holliday, Mary; Loans; Shawnee County, Kansas Territory; Topeka, Kansas Territory

Authors: Holliday, Cyrus Kurtz, 1826-1900

Letter, C. K. Holliday to My Dear Wife [Holliday]
September 26, 1855 - September 30, 1855
Cyrus K. Holliday wrote twelve pages from Topeka, Kansas Territory to his wife, Mary Holliday, in Meadville, Pennsylvania. Anxious to have her and their young daughter, Lillie, with him, and unable to come for them himself, Cyrus gave detailed business and travel instructions. He suggested that I. H. Lenhart go to New York to exchange their bonds for gold or bills from the State Bank of Missouri. Mary was to keep the money close and beware of thieves. He also gave instructions concerning route, railroads and steamboats, tickets, baggage, and escorts. Cyrus suggested that Mary travel with F. R. Foster of Spring Corners, Pennsylvania or an agent of an Express Company. Her safety and ease during the nine day journey was his main concern. (Mary and Lillie did not join Cyrus in Topeka until March 1857.)

Keywords: Bonds; Holliday, Cyrus Kurtz, 1826-1900; Money; Railroads; Steamboats; Topeka, Kansas Territory; Transportation; Travel

Authors: Holliday, Cyrus Kurtz, 1826-1900

Letter, C. K. Holliday to Dear Sirs [Alfred and Edgar Huidekoper]
September 20, 1858
Cyrus K. Holliday, founder and prominent citizen of Topeka, Kansas Territory, wrote to Alfred Huidekoper and Edgar Huidekoper, old associates from Meadville, Pennsylvania, to tell them of investment opportunities. He described rural claims, Town Act investments, and loans. He gave examples of large returns, including those gained by former governor Andrew H. Reeder. The time was ripe since Kansas' free statehood seemed certain, the land was titled, securities were assured, and financial difficulties had left some land and property owners with no option but to sell sacrificially. Holliday also confirmed the discovery of gold in western Kansas Territory (now Colorado).

Keywords: Holliday, Cyrus Kurtz, 1826-1900; Land claims; Land titles; Loans; Meadville, Pennsylvania; Reeder, Andrew H. (Andrew Horatio), 1807-1864; Topeka, Kansas Territory; Town lots

Authors: Holliday, Cyrus Kurtz, 1826-1900

Stock Certificate, Topeka Bridge Company
May 22, 1858
This stock certificate (No. 39) certified that Milton C. Dickey owned one share of the Topeka Bridge Company. It was signed by Franklin Crane, president of the company.

Keywords: Bridges; Crane, Franklin Loomis; Dickey, Milton C.; Stock certificates; Topeka Bridge Company; Topeka bridge; Topeka, Kansas

Authors: Topeka Bridge Company

Proclamation, General Constitution and Banking Law
c. November 24, 1855
This article, published in the Kansas Freeman newspaper, called for an election over the constitution framed by the Topeka Convention in October 1855. "Qualified voters of said Territory will meet at the several precincts hereinafter mentioned, on the 15th day of December, A. D., 1855." In that same election, the voters would be called upon to consider a general banking law. The article also outlined the election precincts and miscellaneous details.

Keywords: Banks and banking; Elections; Goodin, Joel Kishler; Lane, James Henry, 1814-1866; Laws; Topeka Constitution; Topeka Constitutional Convention, October 1855

Authors: Goodin, Joel Kishler; Lane, James Henry, 1814-1866

Diary, Franklin L. Crane
February 23, 1855 - September 29, 1856
The entries pertaining to Kansas Territory began on page 18, with Franklin Crane leaving his home in Easton, Pennsylvania with his son, Franklin Jr. He described their journey to Kansas and their initial impressions and travels while in the territory. In June 1855, he returned to Easton to sell his property so he could then return to Kansas. The later entries began in September of 1856 and described tensions in Topeka with efforts to build a fort and rumors of armed Missourians in the area.

Keywords: Border ruffians; Brown, George W. (George Washington), 1820-1915; Crane, Franklin Loomis; Davis County, Kansas Territory; Easton, Pennsylvania; Geary County, Kansas; Geary, John White, 1819-1873; Holliday, Cyrus Kurtz, 1826-1900; Lawrence, Kansas Territory; Lecompton, Kansas Territory; Miami County, Kansas (see also Lykins County, Kansas Territory); Osawatomie, Kansas Territory; Pawnee, Kansas Territory; Shawnee County, Kansas Territory; Tecumseh, Kansas Territory; Topeka Association; Topeka, Kansas Territory; Town shares; Travel; Updegraff, E.; Weather

Authors: Crane, Franklin L.

Photograph, Franklin Loomis Crane
undated
Franklin Crane was a prominent citizen in Topeka, Kansas Territory. He was a member of the Topeka Association and he helped to build the first bridge across the Kansas River from Topeka. He also established the Topeka Cemetery and served as director of the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railroad beginning in 1860. This picture was most likely taken after the territorial period.

Keywords: Businessmen; Cartes de visite; Crane, Franklin Loomis; Photographs and Illustrations; Topeka Association; Topeka bridge; Topeka, Kansas

Authors: Phillips, Wendell

Letter, C. K. Holliday to My Dear Mary [Holliday]
December 10, 1854
Cyrus K. Holliday, founder of Topeka, Kansas Territory, wrote from "Up the River," Kansas Territory to his wife, Mary Holliday, in Meadville, Pennsylvania, describing the difficult living conditions for him and the other men at the future site of Topeka, where they had been visited by Governor Andrew H. Reeder. Holliday assured his wife of his health and requested that she explain to Mr. Drew Lowry and Mr. McFarland in Pennsylvania why he had not written. He praised the beauty of the country and expressed his vision of its future, ending with a request that she write to him.

Keywords: Food; Holliday, Cyrus Kurtz, 1826-1900; Holliday, Mary; Kansas River, Kansas Territory; Landscape; Meadville, Pennsylvania; Reeder, Andrew H. (Andrew Horatio), 1807-1864; Shawnee County, Kansas Territory; Topeka, Kansas Territory; Town site speculation; Town sites

Authors: Holliday, Cyrus Kurtz, 1826-1900

Letter, [Cyrus Kurtz] Holliday to My Dear Mary [Holliday]
December 17, 1854
Cyrus K. Holliday, the founder of Topeka, wrote from Topeka, Kansas Territory to his wife, Mary Holliday, in Meadville, Pennsylvania, mentioning difficulties but emphasizing his love for her and his desire that they be reunited soon. He compared the local landscape to the Italian countryside. Uncertain as to the time of his return, he wrote that he must stay to oversee business.

Keywords: Holliday, Cyrus Kurtz, 1826-1900; Holliday, Mary; Landscape; Meadville, Pennsylvania; Shawnee County, Kansas Territory; Topeka, Kansas Territory

Authors: Holliday, Cyrus Kurtz, 1826-1900

Letter, [Cyrus Kurtz] Holliday to My Dear Mary [Holliday]
December 31, 1854
Cyrus K. Holliday wrote from Topeka, Kansas Territory, to his wife, Mary Holliday, in Meadville, Pennsylvania. He described living conditions in Topeka. Holliday expressed his intent to write to Mr. McFarland and his thanks for letters recently received. He mentioned Samuel Y. Lum, a Congregational minister, who was sleeping in his cabin. He also mentioned his presidency with the Topeka Town Association, agency with the New England Emigrant Aid Company, and his own business. Finally, Holliday expressed hopes of a sawmill and referred to the possibility of trouble with Missourians. A few lines have been cut and removed from the lower part of pages 7 and 8.

Keywords: Holliday, Cyrus Kurtz, 1826-1900; Holliday, Mary; Lum, S. Y; Meadville, Pennsylvania; Missourians; New England Emigrant Aid Company; Religion; Sawmills; Shawnee County, Kansas Territory; Topeka Town Association; Topeka, Kansas Territory; Weather

Authors: Holliday, Cyrus Kurtz, 1826-1900

Letter, John E. Stewart to My Dear Sir [Thaddeus Hyatt]
December 20, 1859
John E. Stewart wrote from Wakarusa, Kansas to Thaddeus Hyatt, president of the National Kansas Committee, describing his work on the underground railroad. This letter detailed the inclement weather and difficulties he encountered as he helped slaves to escape from Missouri, as well as his procedure for locating the slaves and hiding them in his wagon. Stewart sought to gain assistance from Hyatt, mainly in the form of provisions and horses. He also needed advice about what to do with the escaped slaves to ensure that they were not captured and sold again into slavery.

Keywords: Abolitionists; African Americans; Fugitive slaves; Guns; Horses; Iowa; Missouri; Nebraska Territory; Relief; Slaves; Stewart, John E.; Underground railroad; Weapons (see also Guns)

Authors: Stewart, John E.

Letter, C. K. Holliday to My Dear Wife [Mary Holliday]
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

Authors: Holliday, Cyrus Kurtz, 1826-1900

Letter, C. K. Holliday to My Dear Wife [Mary Holliday]
June 9, 1856
Writing from Topeka, Kansas Territory to his wife, Mary Holliday in Meadville, Pennsylvania, Cyrus K. Holliday repeated his previous letter's instructions that neither she nor Mr. Nichols come to Kansas Territory until he wrote again. He mentioned turmoil in district courts and described the positions and numbers of Proslavery forces under General John W. Whitfield and Free-State forces. Colonel Edwin V. Sumner and his federal troops from Fort Leavenworth were attempting to maintain peace.

Keywords: Courts; Holliday, Cyrus Kurtz, 1826-1900; Holliday, Mary; Sumner, Edwin Vose, 1835-1912; Topeka, Kansas Territory; Travel; Whitfield, John W. (John Wilkins), ca. 1826-1879

Authors: Holliday, Cyrus Kurtz, 1826-1900

The Vote on the Constitution
c. December 15, 1855
This article, printed in the Kansas Freeman newspaper, gave a preliminary count of the votes cast in the election to ratify the Topeka Constitution. The other two issues on the ballot were whether or not slaves should be excluded from the territory, and whether or not the territory should have a general banking law. The returns from Lawrence, Topeka, and Tecumseh are all listed, but not all the returns had been tallied.

Keywords: African Americans; Banks and banking; Constitutions; Elections; Lawrence, Kansas Territory; Slaves; Tecumseh, Kansas Territory; Topeka Constitution; Topeka, Kansas

Authors: Holliday, Cyrus Kurtz, 1826-1900

Proclamation, Results of the Free State Election
March 7, 1856
This proclamation, published in the Kansas Daily Tribune on March 7, 1856, announced to the public the results of the election for senators and representatives in the Topeka legislature. These members of the free state legislature had been asked to meet in Topeka on March 4, 1856 (three days earlier). The proclamation was issued by James Lane and Joel Goodin.

Keywords: Abbott, James Burnett; Allen, Lyman; Blood, James; Brown, John, Jr.; Curtiss, John; Dickey, Milton C.; Elections; Free state legislature; Goodin, Joel Kishler; Lane, James Henry, 1814-1866; McClure, W. M.; Newspapers; Shore, Samuel T.; Thornton, Thomas G.; Topeka Legislature (see Free state legislature); Topeka, Kansas; Updegraff, W. W.

Authors: Goodin, Joel Kishler; Lane, James Henry, 1814-1866

Minutes, Free State Legislature
March 6, 1856
The minutes of the Topeka free state legislature's meeting on March 6, 1856 was published in the Kansas Daily Tribune on the next day, March 7, 1856. The Senate primarily discussed admission to the Union and whether or not the decisions of the territorial legislature should supercede those of the United States Congress. The House of Representatives discussed the national government's stance on the murder of Thomas Barber and decided to draft a document listing the grievances of the people of Kansas. The speaker of the House also announced the members of the various standing committees. Lastly, the House resolved that all laws passed by this body would become effective once Kansas entered the Union.

Keywords: Barber, Thomas W.; Brown, Reese P.; Curtiss, John; Free state legislature; Minutes; Robinson, Charles, 1818-1894; Topeka Legislature (see Free state legislature); United States. Congress

Authors: Goodin, Joel Kishler; Lane, James Henry, 1814-1866

Land Deeds Recorded in Topeka, Kansas
July 1, 1856 - May 3, 1860
This document lists the land deeds recorded in Topeka, presumably by Dr. Franklin Crane, a member of the Topeka Association. Each dated entry includes the name of the owner, the section or share number, the street address, and the price.

Keywords: Burgess, H. B.; Crane, Franklin Loomis; Farnsworth, Loring; Holliday, Mary; Topeka Association; Topeka, Kansas; Town associations; Town lots

Authors: Crane, Franklin L.

Letter, Marc [Parrott] to Dear Edd [Edwin Parrott]
October 27, 1856
Marcus Parrott wrote from Topeka, Kansas Territory, to his brother, Edwin Parrott, having recently arrived there to participate in a Constitutional Convention. Marcus instructed him to watch the newspapers for current developments as the New York Tribune, as well as other regional papers, had reporters on site. He again suggested to his brother to come to Kansas and experience the "matchless magnificence" of his home, the proslavery faction having been conquered "finally and forever", by Marcus's words.

Keywords: Constitutional conventions; Newspapers; Parrott, Edwin A.; Parrott, Marcus J., 1828-1879; Shawnee County, Kansas Territory; Topeka, Kansas Territory

Authors: Parrott, Marcus J., 1828-1879

Photograph, Edmund Gibson Ross

Edmund Gibson Ross was active in Kansas territorial politics and served as a delegate to the Wyandotte Constitutional Convention. He and his brother William W. were editors of the Kansas Tribune in Topeka, Shawnee County, Kansas Territory. He later served as the U. S. Senator from Kansas from 1866 to 1871,

Keywords: Card photographs; Journalism; Journalists; Newspaper publishing; Photographs and Illustrations; Ross, Edmund G. (Edmund Gibson), 1826-1907; Shawnee County, Kansas Territory; Topeka, Kansas Territory; Wyandotte Constitution

Authors: Cobb

Letter, [Cyrus K. Holliday] to My Dear Mary [Holliday]
January 7, 1855
Cyrus K. Holliday wrote from Topeka, Kansas Territory to his wife, Mary Holliday, in Meadville, Pennsylvania. After a loving introduction, he described Kansas Territory's sunny, breezy climate. Holliday mentioned letters received from his brother and Mr. Thomas Willson, both named in previous letters, who also wanted to emigrate. He described the principle building in Topeka, which served as meeting hall, hotel, and church, and where he slept with Frye W. Giles, a free state supporter from Chicago. Holliday ended with concern for Lizzie, Mary Holliday's younger sister.

Keywords: Giles, Frye W.; Holliday, Cyrus Kurtz, 1826-1900; Holliday, Mary; Landscape; Marriage; Shawnee County, Kansas Territory; Topeka buildings; Topeka, Kansas Territory; Town settlement; Weather

Authors: Holliday, Cyrus Kurtz, 1826-1900

Letter, C. K. Holliday to My Dear Wife [Mary Holliday]
June 1, 1856
Having long wished to be joined in Topeka, Kansas Territory by his wife, Mary Holliday, and daughter, Lillie, Cyrus K. Holliday instructed them not to leave Meadville, Pennsylvania, until he wrote again. Alarmed by recent killings, arrests, and home evictions of free state men, Cyrus, usually optimistic, foresaw continued unrest. He also mentioned receiving money Mary had sent. In a post script, he emphasized that their journey was necessarily, though undesirably, delayed.

Keywords: Holliday, Cyrus Kurtz, 1826-1900; Holliday, Mary; Meadville, Pennsylvania; Money; Shawnee County, Kansas Territory; Topeka, Kansas Territory; Travel; Violence

Authors: Holliday, Cyrus Kurtz, 1826-1900

Letter, William Hutchinson, Secretary to Dear Sir [Cyrus K. Holliday]
October 26, 1857
William B. Hutchinson, an abolitionist from Lawrence, Kansas Territory and secretary of the Freemen of Kansas, wrote to Cyrus K. Holliday, free state activist and president of the Topeka Town Association, informing him of his appointment to a secret committee. The fifty-two members were to gather and turn in evidence against those responsible for election fraud. Holliday had also been appointed to the fund-raising subcommittee. In a later written response, Holliday refused these appointments, referring to time-consuming family and business responsibilities.

Keywords: Election fraud; Free state activities; Holliday, Cyrus Kurtz, 1826-1900; Hutchinson, William, 1823-1904; Lawrence, Kansas Territory; Lecompton Constitutional Convention, September 1857; Shawnee County, Kansas Territory

Authors: Hutchinson, William , 1823-1904

Letter, C. K. Holliday to My Dear Wife [Mary Holliday]
June 16, 1856
Cyrus K. Holliday of Topeka, Kansas Territory advised his wife, Mary Holliday, in Meadville, Pennsylvania, to read northern papers for new of Kansas. He repeated that she wait to come. Troops from Fort Riley and Fort Leavenworth led by Colonel Edwin V. Sumner gathered to battle proslavery forces led by General John W. Whitfield. Cyrus also mentioned a house and crops, receiving Mary's money and, despite difficulties, he praised Kansas as a home for settlers.

Keywords: Border ruffians; Crops; Fort Leavenworth, Kansas Territory; Fort Riley, Kansas Territory; Holliday, Cyrus Kurtz, 1826-1900; Holliday, Mary; Newspapers; Shawnee County, Kansas Territory; Sumner, Edwin Vose, 1835-1912; Topeka, Kansas Territory; Whitfield, John W. (John Wilkins), ca. 1826-1879

Authors: Holliday, Cyrus Kurtz, 1826-1900

Letter, C. K. Holliday to My Dear Wife [Mary Holliday]
June 22, 1856
During a lull, Cyrus K. Holliday reported from Topeka, Kansas Territory to his wife, Mary Holliday, in Meadville, Pennsylvania that Colonel Edwin V. Sumner had forced proslavery troops back to Missouri and camped on the border. Two free state men from Wisconsin had killed proslavery supporters near Osawatomie. Governor Wilson Shannon had resigned. A "large mass convention" was planned for July 2nd and 3rd, with a meeting of the free state legislature on the 4th. Cyrus advised Mary and Mr. Nichols to wait until after the 4th to travel to the territory.

Keywords: Free state legislature; Holidays; Holliday, Cyrus Kurtz, 1826-1900; Holliday, Mary; Shannon, Wilson, 1802-1877; Shawnee County, Kansas Territory; Sumner, Edwin Vose, 1835-1912; Topeka Legislature (see Free state legislature); Topeka, Kansas Territory; Violence

Authors: Holliday, Cyrus Kurtz, 1826-1900

Letter, [I. Sabin] to Chad Kellogg
August 8, 1856
I. Sabin wrote to Chad Kellogg regarding real-estate transactions and troubles along the Missouri-Kansas border. Sabin, the commander of a 40-man company against pro-slavery forces, described the amount of firearms needed by each fighting man and his lack of money with which to purchase them. The letter is written on a printed circular "Appeal of Kansas to the Voters of the Free States," which enumerates various offenses done to free state men, focusing particularly on the contested election of 1856.

Keywords: Barber, Thomas W.; Brown, Frederick; Buford, Jefferson; Free state perspective; Guns; Kellogg, Chad; Leavenworth County, Kansas Territory; Leavenworth, Kansas Territory; Pierce, Franklin, 1804-1869; Popular sovereignty; Sabin, I.; Shannon, Wilson, 1802-1877; Sharps rifles; Shawnee County, Kansas Territory; Topeka, Kansas Territory; Wakarusa War, November-December 1855; Weapons (see also Guns)

Authors: Sabin, I.

Report, Robert Simerwell to the American Baptist Publication Society
March 1, 1860 - April 1, 1860
Robert Simerwell, a missionary for the American Baptist Publication Society, made this report to the headquarters in Philadelphia. It includes a tally of the number of miles he traveled, the number of tracts and volumes he sold, and the number of families visited, along with other information about the religious lives of Kansas settlers. The bottom portion of the report contains a note from Simerwell to Rev. B. Griffith, dated April 2, 1860. In general, this report provides valuable information about the demand for religious supplies in Kansas Territory.

Keywords: American Baptist Publication Society; Auburn, Kansas Territory; Baptists; Books; Churches; Missionaries; Shawnee County, Kansas Territory; Simerwell, Robert W.

Authors: Simerwell, Robert W.

Report, Robert Simerwell to the American Baptist Publication Society
October 1, 1860 - November 1, 1860
This report to the American Baptist Publication Society was written by Robert Simerwell, a missionary in Kansas Territory. It includes information about the number of families he visited, the number of miles he traveled, and the number of books he sold, as well as other pertinent information. The end of the report contains a note to Rev. B. Griffith that recounts his travels and his interactions with churches that were being formed in Kansas Territory.

Keywords: American Baptist Publication Society; Baptists; Books; Churches; Missionaries; Religion; Simerwell, Robert W.

Authors: Simerwell, Robert W.

Quarterly Statement, Robert Simerwell, Missionary Coleporter
September 1, 1860 - December 1, 1860
This quarterly statement was written by Robert Simerwell, a missionary with the American Baptist Publication Society. It contains the dollar amounts for the number of books on hand, his salary for one month, and the amount from book sales, among other items.

Keywords: American Baptist Publication Society; Baptists; Books; Freight and freightage; Missionaries; Simerwell, Robert W.

Authors: Simerwell, Robert W.

Letter, R. L. Mitchell to Col. [Cyrus K.] Holliday
October 12, 1856
Robert L. Mitchell wrote from Topeka, Kansas Territory to Cyrus K. Holliday, president of the Topeka Town Association, who was in Pennsylvania. Holliday had returned to his home state, nicknamed "Key stone," to speak on behalf of the free state cause and John C. Fremont. Mitchell requested Beecher Bibles and reported arrests of free state men, including [Carmi William] Babcock, the Lawrence postmaster. Mitchell withheld details since Holliday's name had gained notoriety in Missouri. A post script mentioned the October 6th election and discussed the upcoming trial of John Rich[ie] and Charles A. Sexton.

Keywords: Babcock, Carmi William; Beecher Bibles; Elections; Fremont, John Charles, 1813-1890; Holliday, Cyrus Kurtz, 1826-1900; Law and Order Party; Pennsylvania; Ritchie, John, 1817-1887; Topeka, Kansas Territory

Authors: Mitchell, Robert L.

Letter, Fannie E. Cole to Miss [Zu] Adams
October 20, 1895
Fannie Cole wrote about slaves in Kansas Territory that she remembered from her childhood. Her family came to the territory in the spring of 1855 and settled in Shawnee County. The families with slaves that she mentioned were George L. Young and his mother, John Young, Louis Harris, and Perry Fleshman. This item is from information collected by Miss Zu Adams in 1895. She was researching the topic of slaves in Kansas and contacted a number of early Kansas settlers requesting information about slaves brought to Kansas Territory. While all of the information she collected was based on reminiscences, it still provides useful information that is difficult, if not impossible, to find elsewhere. Miss Adams and her father F. G. Adams were employees of the Kansas State Historical Society and the information received was donated to that institution.

Keywords: African Americans; Cole, Fannie E.; Fleshman, Perry; Harris, Louis; Shawnee County, Kansas Territory; Slavery; Slaves; Slaves in Kansas Territory; Women; Young, George L.; Young, John

Authors: Cole, Fannie E.

First Semi-Annual Catalogue of Topeka Academy, For 1859-'60
1860
This catalog for the Topeka Academy listed the teachers, the committee of examination, the students (gentlemen and ladies were listed separately), information about the academy including costs and textbooks used. Two of the teachers were women.

Keywords: Community life; Daily life; Education; Schools; Shawnee County, Kansas Territory; Teachers; Topeka Academy; Topeka, Kansas Territory; Women

Authors: Topeka Academy

Harper's Weekly, Exoduster Illustrations
July 5, 1879
Illustrations from Harper's Weekly magazine depicting Exodusters. As life in the South worsened for Blacks after the Civil War, many left for more promising lands. Thousands came to Kansas in a great exodus (hence the name "Exodusters") during the 1870s, attracted by the state's free-state reputation established during the territorial era. These three illustrations are captioned, "The Colored Exodus - - Scenes at Topeka, Kansas - - From Sketches by H. Worrall." Worrall was an early Kansas artist.

Keywords: African Americans; Exodusters; Immigration and early settlement; Objects; Periodical illustrations; Photographs and Illustrations; Settlement; Topeka, Kansas; Worrall, Henry

Authors: Worrall, Henry

Minutes of the Third Session of the Kansas and Nebraska Annual Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church
April 15-19, 1858
The annual conference was held in Topeka, Kansas Territory from April 15 through 19, 1858. The minutes included the names of those attending as well as the business conducted. It listed the various ministerial appointments in Kansas and Nebraska as well as the membership of the committees. The minutes reported on educational efforts at Baker University and Blue Mount Central College. It contained information on the church's stand on slavery and temperance. The constitution of the Kansas and Nebraska Conference Missionary Society was included in the report as were statistics for the various churches.

Keywords: Atchison, Kansas Territory; Baker University; Baldwin, Kansas Territory; Big Springs, Kansas Territory; Bluemont Central College; Burlingame, Kansas Territory; Churches; Community life; Denison, Joseph; Dennis, Levin B.; Fort Riley, Kansas Territory; Grasshopper Falls, Kansas Territory; Holton, Kansas Territory; Indianola, Kansas Territory; Lawrence, Kansas Territory; Manhattan, Kansas Territory; Methodist Church; Methodists; Oskaloosa, Kansas Territory; Paddock, G. W.; Palermo, Kansas Territory; Prairie City, Kansas Territory; Religion; Shawnee County, Kansas Territory; Slavery; Sumner, Kansas Territory; Temperance; Topeka, Kansas Territory; White Cloud, Kansas Territory; Wyandotte, Kansas Territory

Authors: Kansas and Nebraska Conference, Methodist Episcopal Church

Sculpture of Slave Auction Block
1920-1927
Carved figure inside a glass bottle, depicting a slave auction. Figure was carved by Frederick I. Douglas to represent a story passed down by his father, Thomas O. Douglas, who had been sold in a similar manner in Tennessee. Thomas Douglas was an Exoduster who settled in Wabaunsee County in 1879. His son Frederick's carvings won ribbons when exhibited at a Topeka fair in 1927.

Keywords: African Americans; Art; Artist; Douglas, Frederick I.; Douglas, Thomas Oliver; Exodusters; Objects; Slave auctions; Slavery; Slaves; Tennessee

Authors: Douglas, Frederick I.

Kansas pioneer staking his squatter claim, 1855
July 26, 1855
Samuel Reader painted this watercolor of himself staking a claim at Indianola. Reader moved to Kansas from Illinois in 1855, attracted by "rich, cheap farm land" (as stated in his autobiography). The inscription on the painting reads, "Samuel J. Reader. July 26, 1855." The artist drew many Kansas territorial and Civil War scenes.

Keywords: Art; Artist; Daily life; Immigration (see Emigration and immigration); Indianola, Kansas Territory; Land acquisition; Land claims; Objects; Photographs and Illustrations; Reader, Samuel James; Settlement; Shawnee County, Kansas Territory; Squatters

Authors: Reader, Samuel James

Organization of the Free State Government in Kansas with the Inaugural Speech and Message of Governor Robinson
March 4, 1856
This pamphlet provides a vivid description of the scene, players, and proceedings of the initial sessions of the Free State Government convened in Topeka. From Governor Charles Robinson's inaugural speech, the intent of the new Legislature was clear: they convened in order to formulate a State government which would serve their political interests and would reflect the principle of "squatter [popular] sovereignty", since the existing Territorial government was merely provisional and furthermore did not advance their free-state aspirations.

Keywords: Border ruffians; Free state legislature; Jones, Samuel J. (Sheriff); Lane, James Henry, 1814-1866; Robinson, Charles, 1818-1894; Shannon, Wilson, 1802-1877; Speeches, addresses, etc.; Squatter sovereignty; Statehood (see also Admission, Kansas); Tappan, S. F. (Samuel Forster), d. 1913; Topeka Movement (see also Free state movement)

Authors: Reader, Samuel James

Photograph, Samuel J. Reader
1854
Samuel J. Reader was a participant in some of the free state activities. He wrote about his efforts in his diary, including descriptions of the Battles of Indianola and Hickory Point. He also used the diary as the basis for an autobiography which he illustrated with drawings and water colors. He lived in Shawnee County, Kansas Territory. His accounts also describe daily life. Samuel J. Reader copied this photograph from a daguerreotype taken at La Harpe, Hancock County, IL, March 1, 1854. He was 18 years old.

Keywords: Free state supporters; Indianola, Battle of; Indianola, Kansas Territory; Militia; Photographs and Illustrations; Reader, Samuel James; Shawnee County, Kansas Territory

Authors: Reader, Samuel James

Photograph, Cyrus Kurtz Holliday and Mary Holliday
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

Authors: Reader, Samuel James

Photograph, Cyrus Kurtz Holliday
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

Authors: Reader, Samuel James

Leslie's Illustrated, Panoramic View of Topeka.
December 25, 1858
Illustration from Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper, December 25, 1858, showing a panoramic view of Topeka. The scene includes businesses, homes, and a bridge crossing the Kansas River. The illustration is captioned "City of Topeka, Kansas Territory."

Keywords: Kansas River, Kansas Territory; Periodical illustrations; Photographs and Illustrations; Shawnee County, Kansas Territory; Topeka, Kansas Territory; Town settlement

Authors: Reader, Samuel James

Photograph, J. Lee Knight

J. Lee Knight was a photographer. He owned the New River Side Galley in Topeka, Kansas Territory and took some of the photographs of Topeka included in this project.

Keywords: Knight, J. Lee; Photographers; Photographs and Illustrations; Shawnee County, Kansas Territory; Topeka, Kansas Territory

Authors: Reader, Samuel James

Leslie's Illustrated, Panoramic View of Leavenworth
Dec. 25th, 1858
Illustration from Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper, December 25, 1858, showing a panoramic view of Leavenworth. The scene shows businesses, homes, and steamboats on the Missouri River. The illustration is captioned, "City of Leavenworth, Kansas Territory."

Keywords: Immigration (see Emigration and immigration); Leavenworth, Kansas Territory; Periodical illustrations; Photographs and Illustrations; Settlement

Authors: Reader, Samuel James

Photograph, John Ritchie
Between 1870 and 1887
Portrait of John Ritchie, Topeka, Kansas Territory, active in the anti-slavery movement. He helped runaway slaves as they passed through Topeka. Ritchie was a delegate to the Leavenworth and Wyandotte Constitutional Conventions.

Keywords: Cartes de visite; Photographs and Illustrations; Ritchie, John, 1817-1887; Shawnee County, Kansas Territory; Topeka, Kansas Territory; Underground railroad

Authors: Reader, Samuel James

Photograph, Free State Meeting!
December 1, 1855
Photograph of a broadside announcing the election of delegates to a District Convention where delegates will be chosen to attend the Kansas Free State Convention at Lawrence. The announcement was "by order of the Kansas Free State Executive Committee, C. K. Holliday, Ch'n 3d dist. Ex. Com., Topeka, Dec. 1, 55."

Keywords: Broadsides; Free State Convention; Holliday, Cyrus Kurtz, 1826-1900; Photographs and Illustrations

Authors: Reader, Samuel James

Letter, J. S. G. [James Griffing] to Mr. Editor [William Smyth]
July 27, 1859
James Sayre Griffing wrote from Topeka, Kansas Territory to William Smyth, editor of the Owego (New York) Times. Griffing described in some detail his family's overland journey to Kansas Territory in a "double waggon." He commented upon the quantity and nature of provisions to take on an overland journey, methods for crossing streams and rivers, and the advantages of a good "fowling piece" for hunting wild game. Griffing also observed that the amount of travel in and through Kansas Territory had increased during 1859, due in part to the Pike's Peak gold rush.

Keywords: Ferries; Griffing, James Sayre; Hunting; Owego, New York; Pikes Peak gold rush; Roads; Shawnee County, Kansas Territory; Smyth, William; Topeka, Kansas Territory; Travel; Wagons

Authors: Griffing, James Sayre

Letter, James [Griffing] to [J. Augusta Goodrich Griffing]
July 28, 1859
James Griffing wrote from Topeka, Kansas Territory to his wife J. Augusta (Goodrich) Griffing. Mrs. Griffing was visiting her family in New York for the first time since her arrival in Kansas in 1855. James Griffing described his efforts to perform household chores in his wife's absence including cooking, milking the cow, churning butter, laundry, butchering chickens, and gardening.

Keywords: Agriculture; Daily life; Food; Griffing, James Sayre; Griffing, Jemima Augusta (Goodrich); Household activities; Shawnee County, Kansas Territory; Topeka, Kansas Territory

Authors: Griffing, James Sayre

Letter, James [Griffing] to Dear Cuttie [J. Augusta Goodrich Griffing]
August 7, 1859
James Griffing wrote from Topeka, Kansas Territory to his wife J. Augusta (Goodrich) Griffing. Mrs. Griffing was visiting her family in New York for the first time since her arrival in Kansas in 1855. James Griffing described his daily activities including his efforts to protect his chickens from "polecats," to gather wild grapes, and to prepare his own meals.

Keywords: Animals; Daily life; Food; Griffing, James Sayre; Griffing, Jemima Augusta (Goodrich); Shawnee County, Kansas Territory; Topeka, Kansas Territory

Authors: Griffing, James Sayre

Letter, James [Griffing] to My Dear [J. Augusta Goodrich Griffing]
August 9, 1859
James Griffing wrote from Topeka, Kansas Territory to his wife J. Augusta (Goodrich) Griffing. Mrs. Griffing was visiting her family in New York for the first time since her arrival in Kansas in 1855. Mr. Griffing gave his wife instructions on fruit seeds (plum, cherry, and peach) and cuttings (gooseberry and blackberry) to collect and transport back to Kansas. He also described his plan to purchase pine flooring in Leavenworth.

Keywords: Food; Fruit; Griffing, James Sayre; Griffing, Jemima Augusta (Goodrich); Lumber; Shawnee County, Kansas Territory; Topeka, Kansas Territory

Authors: Griffing, James Sayre

Photograph, Peter McVicar

Peter McVicar came to Kansas in 1860 from Maine. He was the first pastor of the Topeka Congregational Church. He later served as president of Washburn College

Keywords: Congregationalists; McVicar, Peter; Photographs and Illustrations; Shawnee County, Kansas Territory; Topeka, Kansas Territory

Authors: Snyder, Photographer

Circular, Kansas Tribune Office
January 1, 1856
This circular is an advertisement for the Kansas Tribune, a newspaper that was published in Topeka, Kansas Territory. The "sole and entire object has been the promotion of the Freedom of Kansas." The circular was inviting support from beyond Kansas and listed several reasons why such support was necessary. The publishers were apparently Speer and Ross of Topeka, Kansas. The subscription prices were listed for individuals as well as reduced prices for clubs.

Keywords: Advertisements; Community life; Free state support; Newspapers; Shawnee County, Kansas Territory; Speer & Ross; Topeka, Kansas Territory

Authors: Speer & Ross

Printed Letter, Lewis Bodwell to Sir and Brethren
1856
Lewis Bodwell was a Congregational minister located in Topeka, Kansas Territory. He reported that his activities to organize a Congregational Church in Topeka had resulted in 24 members. Apparently, he was working under the auspices of the Home Missionary Church. He wrote that he only held one service a month in a "public hall," as it was also used by three or four other denominations. He indicated that he had preached "in the open air, in ball-rooms and bar-rooms and kitchens." He implied that there was a great need to form a permanent church to aid the congregation by having its own center of activitiy but also to take the financial burden off the Home Missionary Society. This item is undated and the years 1856 and 1860 are both written on it in pencil.

Keywords: Bodwell, Lewis; Churches; Community life; Congregational churches; Congregationalists; Missionaries; Religion; Shawnee County, Kansas Territory; Topeka, Kansas Territory

Authors: Bodwell, Lewis

Letter, James [Griffing] to My dear Cuttie [J. Augusta Goodrich Griffing]
July 27, 1859
James Griffing wrote from Topeka, Kansas Territory to his wife J. Augusta (Goodrich) Griffing. Ms. Griffing was visiting her family in New York for the first time since her arrival in Kansas in 1855. Mr. Griffing described daily activities including planting buckwheat and growing cucumbers.

Keywords: Agriculture; Food; Grain; Griffing, James Sayre; Griffing, Jemima Augusta (Goodrich)

Authors: Griffing, James Sayre

Photograph, Cyrus Kurtz Holliday

Cyrus Kurtz Holliday came to Kansas Territory from Meadville, Pennsylvania. He 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. He was very active in territorial political activities including the Topeka movement. He was a delegate to the Topeka Constitutional Convention.

Keywords: 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

Authors: Griffing, James Sayre

Topeka Constitution (as printed in D.W. Wilder's Annals of Kansas (1868)).
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

Authors: Topeka Constitutional Convention

Letter, J. H. Kagi to "My dear Father"
December 20, 1856
Just released from "prison" after three months, John H. Kagi wrote to his father (who still resided in their native Ohio but was then in Nebraska City) from Topeka, regarding the poor state of his health and finances, as well as politics and future plans. Kragi wanted his father and/or his father's money in KT as soon as possible.

Keywords: Bogus legislature; Democratic Party (U.S.); Free state cause; Free state legislature; Free state perspective; Kagi, John Henry; Nebraska City, Nebraska Territory; Ohio; Topeka Tribune

Authors: Kagi, John Henry

Letters, J. H. Lane to "Friends" [Robinson and others] and C. Robinson to "Dear Sir" [J.H. Lane]
August 11, 1856
Copied by R. J. Hinton from his journal in preparation of one of his publications on the Kansas war, the first letter is Jim Lane's offer to rescue the Lecompton prisoners (Robinson, George W. Brown, Gaius Jenkins, et al) and Charles Robinson's reply, suggesting that in light of current congressional activity the plan was ill-advised. Both were dated August 11, 1856.

Keywords: Border disputes and warfare - Free state perspective; Border ruffians; Brown, George W. (George Washington), 1820-1915; Brown, John, 1800-1859; Congress (See United States. Congress); Deitzler, George W.; Free state militia; Jenkins, Gaius; Lane, James Henry, 1814-1866; Lecompton, Kansas Territory; Robinson, Charles, 1818-1894; Smith, George W.

Authors: Lane, James Henry, 1814-1866; Robinson, Charles

Letter, J. H. Kagi to "Dear Father"
September 4, 1856
From Topeka, Kagi wrote his father about his (Kagi's) personal situation and more generally about the civil war in Kansas. Several thousand "armed Missourians" had been committing outrages against free state citizens with the support of proslave leaders--Wilson Shannon, Samuel Lecompte, and Daniel Woodson. Freestaters, according to Kagi, were just then mounting an effective defense of both Lawrence and Topeka, both primary targets of the proslavery forces--"the enemy are determined to 'wipe out', as they say, both these towns."

Keywords: Border disputes and warfare; Border ruffians; Free state cause; Kagi, John Henry; Lawrence, Kansas Territory; Lecompte, Samuel D. (Samuel Dexter), 1814-1888; Militia; Shannon, Wilson, 1802-1877; Topeka, Kansas Territory; Woodson, Daniel

Authors: Kagi, John Henry

Letter, J. H. Kagi to "My dear sister"
January 4, 185[7]
From Topeka, shortly after the end of his imprisonment, John Kagi wrote his sister in Bristol, Ohio, a mostly personal letter to say he was eager to return for a short visit, but, he wrote, "I love Kansas [???] than ever, and feel more like laboring with my whole soul's strength for the triumph of her rights."

Keywords: Border disputes and warfare - Free state perspective; Kagi, John Henry; Kansas question; Ohio; Topeka Tribune; Topeka, Kansas Territory

Authors: Kagi, John Henry

Letter, J. H. Kagi to "Dear Father"
January 26, 1857
Written on stationery that included a item from the Kansas Tribune, "Appeal of Kansas to the Voters of the Free States," Kagi wrote his father, who was still in Nebraska, regarding his continuing problems with proslavery officials in Lecompton. Kagi was arrested again (quickly made bail) and nearly killed by a mob while there "to report the proceedings" of the territorial legislature, which opened on January 12. (This was the first legislature to meet in Lecompton.)

Keywords: Free state perspective; Kagi, John Henry; Kansas Territory. Legislature - Lecompton; Lecompton, Kansas Territory; Proslavery activities; Stevens, Aaron Dwight (see also Whipple, Charles); Stringfellow, John H.; Territorial government; Topeka Tribune

Authors: Kagi, John Henry

Letter, J. H. Kagi to "Dear Father"
January 30, 1857
From the Tribune office in Topeka, Kagi wrote his father on January 30 that he planned to leave for Ohio via Nebraska City (the safest route and also where his father resided at that time) soon, perhaps by February 15; but, apparently before he could mail that letter, on February 1 (note on back on first letter) he wrote that he would be delayed--Kagi was "shot" on Saturday, January 31, in an "affray" with Judge Rush Elmore in Tecumseh (see, Kansas Tribune, Topeka, February 2, 1857).

Keywords: Border disputes and warfare - Free state perspective; Elmore, Rush; Kagi, John Henry; Nebraska City, Nebraska Territory; St. Louis, Missouri; Tecumseh, Kansas Territory; Topeka Tribune; Violence

Authors: Kagi, John Henry

Letter, Paul Shepherd to James Redpath
January 3, 1860
From Dover, Michigan, Paul Shepherd--formerly of Kansas Territory--wrote Redpath to pass along "some useful information, in repect to John H. Kagi." Of most interest, perhaps is Shepherd's account of the "shoot out" at Tecumseh between Kagi and Judge Rush Elmore, who Kagi had accused of "being a prime mover in the murderous attack upon him" at Lecompton in mid-January 1857.

Keywords: Bogus legislature; Border ruffians; Cato, Sterling G.; Courts; Elmore, Rush; Free state cause; Free state militia; Geary, John White, 1819-1873; Kagi, John Henry; Lecompton, Kansas Territory; Moffett, Charles; National Era; Newspapers - Free State; Proslavery perspective; Stevens, Aaron Dwight (see also Whipple, Charles); Tecumseh, Kansas Territory; Topeka Legislature (see Free state legislature); Topeka boys; Topeka, Kansas Territory; Violence

Authors: Shepherd, Paul

Letter, John Ritchey to "Friend Stevens" [A.D. Stevens]
March 7, 1860
Topeka's "John Ritchey" [Ritchie] wrote this letter dated March 7, 1860, to A. D. Stevens from Franklin, Indiana, where he had "been spending the winter with his family." Although Ritchey mentioned John Brown and his own fervent views in opposition to "Slavery," the focus of his brief comments to his former Kansas comrade, who was scheduled to die on the Charlestown gallows on March 17, were an expression of concern for Steven's eternal soul: "I can see but one way left for me to be of any service to you and that is to direct your mind to the Savior. 'Ye must be born again.'"

Keywords: Brown, John, 1800-1859; Charles Town, Virginia; Harpers Ferry, Virginia; Religion; Ritchie, John, 1817-1887; Slavery; Stevens, Aaron Dwight (see also Whipple, Charles); Topeka boys; Topeka, Kansas Territory

Authors: Ritchie, John , 1817-1887

Letter, J. H. Kagi to "My dear sisterr"
February 13, 1857
On February 13, 1857, Kagi informed his sister in Bristol, Ohio, that he wouldn't be able to make the expected spring trip home afterall. He did plan to travel to Nebraska City for a few days, but because he was due to appear in court later in the spring, or lose the $8000 bail that had been posted for him, he didn't have time to journey east. He planned to be back in Topeka for the "Great Mass Convention" of freestate me on March 10. (See, Wilder, Annals of Kansas, 157)

Keywords: Border disputes and warfare - Free state perspective; Courts; Free state cause; Kagi, John Henry; Nebraska City, Nebraska Territory

Authors: Kagi, John Henry

Letter, J. H. Kagi to "My dear father"
March 3, 1857
Once again, from Topeka, Kagi wrote his father that his long planned trip to Nebraska City had to be delayed, this time because of high water on the "Kaw river" that "prohibited my crossing" and the state convention, which started in one week. On the positive side, he was still bothered by "the jarring of my head" (the blow inflicted by Elmore with his cane), his wound (gun shot) had nearly healed.

Keywords: Border disputes and warfare - Free state perspective; Free state cause; Free state movement (see also Topeka Movement); Kagi, John Henry; Kansas River, Kansas Territory; Topeka, Kansas Territory; Violence

Authors: Kagi, John Henry

Essay, Sketch of J. H. Kagi by E. R. Moffet
March 4, 1860
Apparently written for Redpath and Hinton on March 4, 1860, this handwritten sketch of John H. Kagi is the reflection of long-time acquaintance E. R. Moffet, then of Davenport, Iowa. Moffet knew Kagi from the time the latter was two years old and became reacquainted with him in Kansas Territory. They spent time in "prison" together in October 1856, and in this somewhat odd manuscript, Moffet recreates some "Prison Scenesor Dialogue" and subsequently includes some correspondence from Kagi. Moffet recounts Kagi's second arrest, bail, and March 1857 altercation with Rush Elmore at Tecumseh.

Keywords: Bogus legislature; Elmore, Rush; Free state cause; Geary, John White, 1819-1873; Kagi, John Henry; Kansas Territory. Legislature - Lecompton; Lecompton, Kansas Territory; National Era; Newspapers - Free State; Proslavery activities; Tecumseh, Kansas Territory; Topeka Tribune; Violence

Authors: Moffet, E. R.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

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