Oct. 17, 1854. After dining with Mrs. Robert Ames left Roxbury in omnibus for Worcester depot Boston, Mass. Cars started at 2 ½ Oclock, taking us from friends and home. Arrived in Albany, N. Y. at midnight, left the cars and walked to the Hudson river, crossed on a ferry boat, walked to the Delevan hotel and remained ‘til 8 Oclock A. M. Mrs Colman from Holliston, Ms. fell down some steps in going to the Delevan with a child in her arms and bruised her badly. 18th. Took the cars for Buffalo, made slow progress, not having sufficient steam for the heavy load. Mr. Lemuel Knapp joined our party at Schenectady with his large family, lost his pocketbook, but it was found, but no money in it.
The lightning train just ahead of us run off the track and detained us for hours; arrived in Buffalo at 5 Oclock on the morning of the 19th. Went on board the steamship Mayflower, left this morning for Detroit, Mich. There were many disagreeable passengers, some evidently for the purpose of plunder.
We had a pleasant passage and arrived in Detroit on the morning of the 20th. Breakfasted at a Hotel at 25 cts. each.
Took the cars at 9. A. M. for Chicargo, arrived to late for the night train. After standing awhile at the depot to find what we should do, - the women and children were permitted to return to the cars and remain over night as best they could, a few ungallant, selfish men crowded in, to the inconvenience of the weaker party. the cars stood over water so that should any step off the cars they would take a bath.
21st. Omnibuses took us to Smith’s hotel for breakfast; took another train for Alton, Ill. passed over much prairie, repeatedly run over pigs and once a steer, but without any serious accident – arrived in Alton at daylight. 22nd. took a steamboat for St. Louis, a short trip down the Father of waters brought us to St. Louis, Mo. Dined with Rev. Mrs. Crowel, a Ms. acquaintance.
23rd. boarded the Sam Cloon for Kansas City, Mo. After a slow but comfortable passage up the Missouri of five days we made the City and began to see some of the methods of proslavery
We had made purchases in St. Louis, one thing was 25 lb. of shot, - now it was reported we were not to be allowed to take anything with us as we left the boat and some
of the passengers did not take even a hand satchel.
Our family, seven in number, each carried a satchel, bucket or whatever was convenient, I wore a cloak, placed the 25 lb. of shot on my arm under my cloak, took a bandbox in my hand, - some one made as if to take my box, - in my best mood I politely told them it contained a ladies bonnet; they acted ashamed and we were no further molested.
After landing our menfolk relieved me of my secret bundle and we climbed the hill through the mud to the hotel owned by Sam Pomroy and managed by Mr Morgan. Here we were packed for the night, The room I occupied afforded lodging for twelve, vis. one feather bed three straw beds and two bedsteads, were the chief materials we had for furniture, my fortunate place was the feather bed on the floor; my husband and two daughters on the same, Wm. and Chas. at the barn and John on the bare floor in the lower room. Hear we were charged 75 cts. a day each one.
29th. the Sabbath. We had preaching at the hotel by Rev. Mr Gilpatric and Elder Palmer.
On the 30th took one room of a log house in the City, began housekeeping; two families named Bisbee of our party occupied the other room. O yes, we had an attic. George Roby, my nephew, made his home with us. The weather was beautiful mild and agreeable. Some of those who came with us and stopped in the City had children sicken and die and Mrs Hatch Hall, who came with us from Maine died and left a husband and large family of children; she was an excellent woman and it was a terrible loss to her family.
Nov. 4th. Mr. Allen, Wm. and Charles start in company with many others for Lawrence, K. T. to meet the Committee who had been chosen and gone out to decide on a location.
They arrived in Lawrence next day, the com. reported that Rock Creek was thought to be the desirable place.
Next day Mr Allen and Chas. start to go and build a hut. Wm. who was ill returned to take the family along.
10th. Had a severe rain accompanied with heavy thunder and lightning. It was very dark, Mr Bisby and Wm. were near home when Mr B. fell into a ravine and hurt him considerably, they were within sound of the house and
as I chanced to open the door heard them; a light was appreciated. Have Wm. to doctor or nurse if you please.
12th. A cold severe snow storm, house quite open.
This night our imigrants, who were in pursuit of a City yet to be, camped on the ground some of the Committee had apparently chosen; they suffered in the morning were homesick and scattered. Mr Knapp one of the Com. had been to the Blue river and wished Mr A. to go with him there, they with Chas. went, They considered the land near the mouth of the river two low for farms and they wanted some farms; found the very prairie and timber desired on the wildcat creek, there they cast the tent and began to build together just to winter in.
Mr Knapp sick and must lay by. Mr A. concluded he had better build on land by himself so left that located and built a regular log house and wrote for his family to come.
Many of our party unite and hire an Indian to take our goods up the Kansas to Rock creek in a flat boat for $1.50 per hundred and Wm. is to go with them and see to the goods. 15th. Starts off another Mr Bisbee with 2000 apple trees and Mr Morse school teacher go with him on the flat boat.
16th. A party comprising five families started in two wagons. in one Mr Bisbee wife and 4 children, Mr Ryan, wife, mother and three children,Ours was a hired team driven by a Missourian, two miserable looking mules took us along better than I expected for I was much discouraged with the prospect of accomplishing our journey. Our load consisted of Mr Tabor, wife and one child Cary, wife and three children also myself and three Chil.
Each family had a trunk to sit on, Cary tried to get ours because it was low and our schooner cover was anything but high. We arrived at the Quaker Mission that night, nine miles from the City of Kan. Paid $1.50 for our entertainment. The house seemed to be full of travellers & boarders besides quite a school of Indian boys and girls. They were kind and accommodating to us and seemed to have the Christian spirit. 17th. While journeying today met perhaps fifty Kaw Indians. They were the most savage men & women I ever saw; begged of us but got little. Mr Bisbee and Cary had stopped at a bakery and were out of sight. The Indians surrounded Cary and frightened him by their savage gestures, got his wallet
and took three half dollars all he had, as Bisbee came up he gave them ten cts. they began to follow him, he shook a stick at them and the cowards retreated. Poor Cary was wofully scared. We continued to meet squads of them for some time, men loaded their guns, but our driver expressed much bravado. This night we camped out near an Indian hut in the Shawnee land; slept in the wagon.
18th. Arrived in Lawrence about 2 P. M. wind blew hard and cold, one of the mules was sick, - our driver backed out and left us in Lawrence. We took up our lodge in the meeting house which was made of polls slanting from the ground to the ridgepole, covered with straw and turf, windows in the end – (guess the door was to.) floor of straw hay on the ground on which many slept.
19th. Here was Divine worship to day. Three Ministers were present, the pulpit was made of trunks set one upon another with a buffalo skin laid over them. Rev. Burgess of the Christian denomination preached in the evening an excellent discourse. This night Mr Geo. Tilton came in, he had a wagon and two horses going back to Rock Creek
Mr Tilton is from Maine, came out with us but I had not made his acquaintance, but he knew Mr A. had been to carry the homesick ones towards home with his newly purchased team; he readily agreed to take us along with him to my husband.
20th. Expected to start but Mr Tilton did not get ready. 21st. Mr T. went down the river several miles to see if he could discover the flat boat and crew, we started about noon, staid this night at Mr Harper’s, a log house without a floor or window. The family had moved in this day, were very kind. 22nd. at night at the Baptist Mission, met Elder Gilpatric whose acquaintance I first made in St. Louis, he introduced me to Mrs Sanders, the Lady Superintendent, who invited me to tarry over night.
Was treated with much Christian Friendship, had a pleasant interview; Slept on a good feather bed and beadstead for the first time since our auction in Roxbury, where all my beds were sold at less than half price by the express advice of Mr Caswell, a gold bowed spectacled man appointed to give advice to Kansas Imigrants, said prairie hay was good enough.
23rd. Soon after starting came to the great crossing of the Kansas river, in fording broke the crossbar of the wagon, - were just now in company of Judge Flenakin or some other name and his party of four; two of them took a boat and rowed to us in the midst of the river and brought us safely ashore; the Judge tho’ quite corpulent gallantly assisted us up and down the banks between the river and the road. I promised to reward him with my vote. Met a man who gave me a letter from my husband informing me he had located on Wildcat Cr. 23 mi. above Rock Cr. passed the Catholic Mission toward night, the wind blew fiercely, as we approached the Vermillion it became very dark, the fire was raging in the timber and grass near us. We decended the steep bank of the Creek and rode through the water, then we all got out and walked up the other bank. Henrietta declared her eyes were full of dust and smoke and she could not see. Mr T. walked at the horses heads it was so dark. Arrived at Mr Wilson’s Rock Cr. late at night, camped on the floor, a cold uncomfortable night. 24th. Started late, called on Mr and Mrs. Weeks of our party; arrived at Esq Dyer’s on the Blue before dark, but staid over night.
25th. Left this hospitable dwelling where all travellers find a good home arrived on the Wildcat and learning Mr A. had not got his house ready but was two miles beyond, off the road. Paid Mr. Tilton ten dol. boarded at Mr Eubanks until Dec. 6. as we were preparing to leave to go to our own house, - Mr Knapp’s family arrived, he had no kind of shelter for them so they occupied part of our one room, I had our small tent moved into one corner for a bath room. House not all chinked, no door, no window, no floor, some of our bed clothes were left at Mr Eubanks and some with Wm. on the flat boat. Mr Knapp had wife and seven children and little bedding, their baggage had not all come, we lost one trunk. Mr K. had a stove ours was on the way. Cold and windy, we slept, Mr A. and Chas. applied themselves to keeping out the wind and on the 9th hung the door, having worked himself about sick and had a catak or felon, coming on the inside of right hand. 11th Mr A. went to Mr Dyer’s to have his very bad hand opened and to find Wm. 13th. Met Wm. just below the Catholic Mission; had left the goods at Lawrence. The boat could get no further, it was 16 days getting there. The Indian engaged to take them to Rock Cr. in 8 days from Kansas City.
18th. Wm. and Chas. went to Mr Eubanks to a raising and on the 21st. to Esq Dyer’s to another raising and returned on 22nd with Mr Tilton.
I was out of provision bought a turkey of a squaw for twenty five cents and borrowed flour two miles off. 23rd. Mr T. left but Messrs. Eubanks and Avy dine with us at their own request. 24th. Mr Allen left for Rock Cr to pay Mr Morse who had lent Wm. ten dol. to pay freight.
25th. Mr Knapp’s family move to Pawnee joining Fort Riley, to live in a tent. 25th. A happy day because we are alone once more.
27th. Henrietta and I take a trip on the highest bluff handy, gather flower seeds. Messrs Brayton and Wilbur arrive with our delayed goods. Pay $30 for freight for goods from Lawrence.
Jan. 1st, 1855. Was determined to write to Eastern friends, but was growing quite sick; a large boil on my neck, was very sick all the week. 7th. Dr Whitehorn came from Esq Dyer’s ten miles and opened it,
Called it a Carbuncle. Charged $3. The Dr. came out to Kan. in our party so did Messrs. Brayton, Wilbur and Tilton.
Without a team we all felt too far off. Mr Avy, seeing we had two looking glasses wanted to borrow one to shave by. Told him he could come here and shave. He was our neares neighbor, professed to be a bachelor from Ken. Got some of his board by courting Sally C - Heard he had a wife & three children in Ken.
10th. Mr Allen went to Juniatta, Esq. Dyer’s place of residence, concluded to accept of a City lot under the auspices of the Esq. who possessed about everything in that region, and take up a claim on the Blue near the Government bridge. 26th. Mr A. and Chas. went to Fort Riley more than 12 m. west of us, for provisions. 27th. It stormed, snow and wind; they almost perish with fatigue and cold on their way home.
Feb. 1st. They went to Esq D’s. to board and work at building house on the lot. (It is well to observe there was no Government survey done in this part of the Ter. and nobody knew how the lines would run.)
6th. Moved from Wildcat with Esq D’s. ox team driven by Enoch D. and went into John Dyer’s house next claim to the City lotts. Mr D. and family were away. 13th. J. D. returned and we moved to a tiny house near the Esq’s. 18th. Mrs Dunkin, J. Dyer’s wife’s mother died at J. D’s. quite suddenly, I am called to assist and go. 19th. Mr A. and I attended the funeral. Rev Blood officiates at the grave, singing by Esq Dyer; there are 25 persons present.
27th. Mrs. Esqr. Dyer and I go to Mr Eubanks on horseback, Mrs E. confined with a daughter the day before. 28th. A fine day and pleasant ride home
Mrs Eubanks is the strongest proslaveryite I have met with.
March 1st. Mr A. raised his log house of two rooms; Mr Brayton is here sick. 4th. Rev. Blood preached at the Esq’s, Subject, Sympathy, good discourse. 7 and 8th. Sew on Miss Lydia Dyer’s dress and receive a letter from J. Stone of Boston, by the hand of S Pomroy. I showed Mr P. the first butter I had made in Kan. having been without all winter.
12th. Wm. went to Mr Hall’s for flour and sugar, gets them, both articles are very scarce. 14th cold and snows, callers. 15th. Mr Brayton called. The snow falls upon my book while I write by the stove.
16th Storms. 17th. Snow fell three in. deep, is quite cold.
18th. Cold and clear, no meeting, more boils on my neck.
Electioneering takes precedence of preaching, a caucus meeting is to be held at Mr. Childs to nominate one Councilman and two Representatives for the Territory, to be elected by this district. The family are all convened around the stove. We are baking boiled corn and pork to take the place usually assigned to pork and beans; there is quite a difference in the relish. 19th. piercing cold through the day and very uncomfortable.
Booth Fox with his slave woman passed by to day. The poor creature had no covering for her head but picked up a cast off cap while in the neighborhood and went off running after her master and his ox team.
20th. Dr Whitehorn was called and lanced my much afflicted neck, think his lance as not very sharp. 21st. Wash a little feel weak & spiritless. 22nd. a little more washing; at night Mr Morgan and son from Brooks, Me desired supper, lodging and breakfast, and two more to cook their own food and lodge in our little hut, to which I assented, Morgan wished to sell a bag of flour, as the scarcity of timber and the expense of moving conspired to make him conclude that he had better return to Maine and be content with his already good home. By us this flour is considered a God send for we were out and could buy none in Juniatta, we lacked a dollar to make enough to pay for a bag of flour and the price of their entertainment just made it.
Let me never forget to trust and serve my Heavenly Father. 23rd. accomplished the washing to day. Morgan and Son returned from Fort Riley and stopped with us over night. Gave us seed corn and apple seeds, sold socks for their supplies, which seemed to be the very things we needed. I love to think of and trust in an overruling Providence. 24th. Health improved, - husband has our house so near fixed we are to move Monday.
25th. Rev. C. Lovejoy preached to us to day. His text was “Lovest thou me?” a truly good discourse. May it prove seed sown in good soil.
Mr L. is a Methodist from N. H. arrived yesterday, is stopping with Mr Blood who was also present. Mr Tilton spend the day with us.
It rains this evening. Dr Whitehorn made us a pleasant call.
26th. It was a cold blustering day, but we moved into our new house, it consists of two rooms on the lower floor and the attics, we nailed up quilts to make it more comfortable, it has a puncheon floor and the roof is called extra good for this place.
30th. The much talked of Election came off to day. I have not heard of any bloodshed though it was somewhat announced to be.
M. Conway, Councilman and I. D Huston, Representatives both Free State men. Think they did not have material for the second Rep. Further I do not know. If the women had been there I might have known.
Mr Park’s City site at the mouth of the Blue has been taken possession of, by Mr. A. Martin by breaking into the house thereon. Congress had refused to grant any City Charters, by some this was not considered lawful.
Imigrants from Mass. pitched their tents and thought they had possession, but to day a party of Missourians went there armed, the Mo’s. shot a
ball into the tent nearly hitting a yankee, and tis said the yankees agreed to decamp tomorrow.
Apr. first. The Yankees did leave and took up their residence nearer the Blue at a site called Canton; expecting Esq Parks up from Parkville Mo. to decide the matter.
The wather is warm and dry, the season very backward, so that cattle suffer for the want of grass.
4th. Sent many letters to friends in Mass. by Mr Luke Lincoln.
5th. Wm. and Chas. went to work for Mr Green digging wells at two dol. a day each and Mr G. came to our house to board.
14th. Parks city site is settled for. Mr Martin gives up his right for $150. 21st. Messrs. Glenn and Wykoff came to board.
Mr Green finished the well and paid each boy $10 wages.
Mr Tilton brought us two Brants and next day he and Sam. Allen dined with us. Heard Rev Lovejoy preach at Esq Dyer’s. The value and preciousness of the word of God was strongly enforced.
Had the pleasure of paying Mr Tilton the last $10 for a cow we had bought of him. The first animal we had in Kan. except a worthless dog.
27th. Was sent for to go to Mr Power’s at old Kaw town about four m. from here; so husband borrowed a pony and a little before sunset I started when about halfway the sun set, - I urged pony on until I was obliged to turn off the road into a not much used path for one mile and quarter, this I was obliged to travel by moonlight, I never had been there and was uncertain whether I was in the right direction as I could not discern the house from a tree, but the light from the window cheered, it was not a steady light and I was not certain but it was a fire bug yet pony seemed to understand it and brought me safe to the lone house; to my joy Mrs. Powers had a daughter one hour old, dressed by the kind hands of Mrs. Debotts. I returned next day.
The Mo’s. through excitement on Freesoilism took Esq Park’s printing press at Parkville, Mo. and threw it into the river and threatned the life of Parks. He immediately went home and left for the east. May 17th. Mr Brayton who had spent some time with us left for his home in Fall river, Mass. We much regretted to part with so kind a friend. Mr Allen sold his improvments on the Wildcat to Mr Merris for $40. 20th. Rev Lovejoy visited us and staid over night, Mr H. Hall in a drunk came and staid to, greatly disturbing our rest and insulting us, particularly Mr Lovejoy. Heit and Tilton were here also.
25th. A tremendous rain, with thunder and lightning it struck a tree near here. Our rains are most invariably accompanied with the latter.
27th. Our family attend meeting at Esq Dyer’s. Preaching by Rev. Chas. Blood. A Sab. School was organised. Six classes, three male and three female teachers. Rev. Lovejoy, Mr. Nealy and Mr Allen, Mrs Lovejoy Mrs Child and Mrs Allen: Librarian, Dr Whitehorn. The scholars were Lydia, Martha, Sarah and Mary Dyer; Wm. Chas. Jno. Henrietta and Abbie Allen; Harriet and Mary Lyman, Mary and Eudora Merris, Juliet Lovejoy, John Duncan, Abraham, Enoch and James Dyer, John Dyer, Hays, Smith, Blood, Browning, Whitehorn, Wells, Perry, Weldon, Mrs. J. Dyer, Rev Mr and Mrs Trafton and Mrs Denison.
28th. Henrietta’s birth day is celebrated by the arrival of the first steam boat Financeer No. 26. of the year up the Kansas as far as Bluemont, a city laid out at the mouth of the Blue. It can go no further until the river rises! Called in the P. M. at Mrs. J. Dyer’s.
June 3rd. This pleasant Sabbath, the northern Methodist held their first [qrly?] meeting at the new log house of Esq Dyer.
Ministers present. Presiding Elder Good, El. Lovjoy who is to
to have charge of the circuit embracing this place; also Trafton Denison, Griffin and Blood. A full house, increasing S. S. and good preaching were characteristic of the day. 18 individuals dined at our house on baked beans, plum pudding, bread & butter.
Most of the people were entertained at the Esq’s.
The City of many names last called Bluemont is now permanently named Manhattan. My husband went to M. and asked to be permitted a share in the lots. Mr Thurston who had management of the business refused him and Mr A. is too modest and sensitive to press his claim. 5th. Went to Mr Powers, Mrs. P. is very badly poisoned with ivy that grew near the house, poisoned mostly in her face.
10th My class in S. S. consists of 6 young ladies. – A soldier of the U. S. Army while traveling to Fort Riley died near here of Cholera. he was from Vt.
July 4th. Independence day passed away quietly. a picnic at Manhattan and a dinner at Mrs. Dyer’s to which we were all invited. Three more soldiers died in this vicinity of Cholera; one of our settlers Mr Frazier died of the same while travelling, at Grasshopper Falls and left a wife and children. Mr A. had 10 acres of corn in and fenced. The Esq’s. cattle tore down and leaped over until they destroyed the whole of it. This seems hard for Mr A. has done his best.
July 24th. Mr. Allen, Wm. and Chas. have gone to Fort Riley to work for U. S. Mr Tilton is here sick of Typhoid fever, is quite low. 25 Rec’d a letter from husband saying, he and the boys were at work at the sawmill for $1.25 pr day and rations.
30th Dr Jacobs called to see Tilton this morn and called him better. Four travelers staid over night.
Aug 5th. Before daylight Mr A. Wm. and C. arrived home from the Fort. The Cholera was raging there alarmingly, they walked and very much tired out. Wm. was sick when he started and was nearly exhausted. I gave him medicine and all retired, was sick through the day, better at night. 6th. Dr Jacob came, a dangerous case of Cholera. He was very sick through the day. About 4 P. M. Charles got Pain Killer at Dr. Hunting’s and Wm. began to be better to our great joy and relief. To make W. think he was better, let Henrietta go with a party and gather wild grapes. 8th. Tilton leaves for a buffalo hunt. 9th. I watched with Mrs Wilson of Fort R. now at Esq Dyers.
12th. Watch with the Suttler’s wife again. Much thunder and lightning with copious showers is our daily lot. Mr Weeks died at the Fort to day. There has lately been near 40 deaths by Cholera there.
15th Washed. Called to see Mrs. Wilson. Tilton returned. John sick.
16th. Rains. Mr Allen’s birth day. Bought Mr Heit’s cow and calf for $25.
It pays his board. 23rd. Most of the family go to the Esq’s to a dinner party, an infair or wedding feast of William Dyer and Miss Jane Hanna.
27th. Am busy making a coat, elderberry wine and preserving plums.
Sept. 9th. Helped eat a watermelon we raised weighed 25 lb. very good.
Three old boarders are back T. H. and A. The people at Pawnee have had orders from U. S. to vacate the place, it is included in the Reserve which is 9 m. square. Oct. Our family are invited and go to the wedding of Miss Lydia Dyer and Mr Jamerson, Rev Wisner officiates, a supper, an agreeable time.
Oct. 9th Mrs S. D. Houston and children dine with us. 17th Mr L. Lincoln comes to board, has a large boil on his neck, poultice it.
24th. Chas. is home from the Fort having jammed his finger at work.
25th. Mr J. J. Long comes to see Mr Lincoln and stays over night, he is afflicted, had his house burned on Rock Cr., been distressingly sick, his wife left him, suspects she poisoned him, Dr Adams of St George cares for him and he gets well. Mr Lincoln left his shot gun to pay board and goes to Mass. Mrs. Trafton spent the day with us.
12 to 14th. Rev Wisner worked for us building chimney, paid him $6.
17th. Wm. and Charles send there Father $175. of their Fort money. May God bless the boys and keep them from all harm.
Mr Allen signed a protest against the Wyandotts taking our claim
They are trying to hold it as part of a float.
22nd. Called to the death bed of Elmira, wife of J Dyer, a rather sudden death. Prepared her remains for the grave, watched through the night, all others retired. 25th. attended the funeral. 27th. Sent for to visit Mr J. Stewarts child; walked a mile and nursed it through the day, it got better walked home. 29th. I walked three miles to visit Mrs Wisner, spent the day and walk back. Mr Allen bought a pair of oxen of Mr Adkins of McIntire Cr. for eighty five dollars in gold. * Dec. 2nd. Before sunrise was called to go 4 ½ m. to Mr Main’s. about noon Mrs M. was mother of a stillborn child, deformed, its hands where its elbows should have been, minus a thumb, hands ill formed and small. Rode there horseback, but walked back overtook Mr H. Martin with an ox team, heard him say “go long d_n you,” did not think he was talking to me for he had not seen me, so I asked for a ride, rode ½ mi. called at Mr Stewarts, and walked home. Mr M. brought Abbie a cat. A collision between the Northern & Southern Methodist. The Northites requested permission to preach at our house –
Mr Allen gave them leave.
*Mr Adkins after several years wrote a bit of history for the Nationalist of Manhattan, in which it was stated that Mr Allen paid him $200 (two hundred). in gold for the oxen.
Heard that Mr Colman formerly of our party of Lawrence shot and killed a man who was driving him from a claim he had jumped. The proslavery party got him, but the Freesoilers got him away. Strife appears to be rife.
8th. A circular was received from Lawrence asking aid from our Freesoilers to protect them in their rights as citizens of K. T. signed by Dr. Roberson and others. Mr Parks has returned to Parkville, Mo. by request of the good citizens thereof. A Collision is expected at Lawrence.
Mr Choudet, a Frenchman and mountaineer is an occasional border. Archie Safely is another. The cold weather increaces.
Jan. 1st. 1856. The birth of another year, how momentous to us as it unfolds its events. Thermomerter some of the time 20° below zero
Have had a house full of travellers so cold they had to stop two nights and four more regular boarders. 6th Rev. Blood preached, during service Willie returned from the Fort on a visit. He has earned an hundred dollars in forty five days. 18th. A Co. of 12 men have bought an Indian float and are making an effort to lay it on the other side of the bridge here and take our claim away, they have surveyed it. Wrote to Hon. A. H. Reeder at the general land Office to intercede for us. 24th. A snow storm. 25th Storm increased 26 Storm worse, three boarders return to spend the Sabbath.
27th. Storm abates. From 12 to 15 in. of snow has fallen.
28th Sent a remonstrance to the General Land Office against the Wyandotte float being laid on our claim. Put my last week’s washing out to dry. Feb 9th. Wm. and others came from the Fort to work on the bridge to prevent it from going off when the ice breaks up, there is an unusual quantity of ice this winter. In piloting the men from the Fort he strained his eyes with the dassling snow, they were terribly inflamed a few days.
26th. The bridge was destroyed by the ice to day; a great inconvenience to us as our claim is on the other side of the river from our house.
Spent a day with Mrs. Whiteside. – the birth of her first son. A second M. D. was called. March 7th. Wm. is 21 to day, his friends spend the jubelant eve- with us. Elderberry wine, candy and nuts constitute refreshments.
14th. Rode to see Mrs Powers on a three yr. old Indian pony, pony saw a log, jumped one side and threw me off. Had a good visit, staid over night in the morning wished to come home, pony would not go. Borrowed Mr Hinton’s pony to take me home. The little boy who took the animal while there walk beside it on our return asked me, how I came to fall off. I replied, I lost my balance.
“Did you find it again?” I replied yes, when I got on.
March 17th. Mr A. and Chas. commenced to dig a cellar on his claim. Mr Tilton came to stop awhile having cut his ancle chopping. A warning to Sabbath breakers and to all careless persons. 18th. Mr A. and C. went to Hackberry grove to make rails. I am severely lame, suppose it is the effect of falling from a wild pony. The new ferry boat was launched and commenced service. 20th. Mr Hulse and Wm. went over to Heits claim, they saw hundreds of ducks in the slews close by them, but the guns were at home.
March 6th. Two travelers stay over night and bought Elderberry wine
7th. Mr A. desirous of peace and a good neighborhood found a claim for sale joining Friend Powers. 10 or more acres broken and a poor fence, bargained for it for $50. Apr. 13th. The ground is putting on its beautiful attire of green.
15th. Mrs Shannon came to visit and we do visit the neighbors. On the 19th. returned home. Wm. decided to take a claim next the one just bought. 21st. Myron Clark and Frank Weston arrived from Roxbury, Mass. The first old acquaintance we had seen since our residence in the Ter. Rested; footsore. Went to Fort Riley to see Wm. and Chas. and get work. Wm. engaged Tilton to move his house logs to his new claim on the 21st, but Tilton did not get ready until the 23rd, and when they got there, Mr. A. who was with T. was informed that Tom Huey who had just arrived in the Ter. wanted the claim and if he put the logs on it Huey
would be apt to jump the one he had bought. So the logs were left on the bought claim. Mr Huey did not take the claim. “A Spirit in the woodpile.” Esq Dyer employed Esq Thurston to survey his claim and lay out lots. Esq T. has been surveying on the other side the river for a town in lots.
In surveying it was found an east and west line of qr sections run between one house and the Esq’s. The two houses stand perhaps 40 rods apart and the line half way between. The conclusion all around is if Government survey agrees with this survey we can hold a claim where our house stands, with wood and timber on the river, a spring just back of the house. It will also include about a hundred acres on the other side of the river with every house there on. Mr Alonso Garrett’s store and Mr Comston’s. It also covers part of Mr Allen’s breaking where he had commenced a claim. Decided to stay here awhile longer and have Charles take a claim including the rest of the breaking.
May 1st. A. Safely called and settled for board and staid over night also three others a Mr Hill of Ms. And two Mr Higinbotham’s, slept on floor beds ate bread and milk in tin dishes for breakfast so as to get started early.* Wm. left the Fort to work on his claim. Mr A. breaks up a garden patch near the house, W. and I clear up the yard. 4th. Preaching as usual, by Rev Denison to day, quite a large audience though an unpleasant day. *I have since then felt motherly toward Messrs Higingbothams.
Wm. bot. A pair of young oxen for which he paid $70.
7th. I have been sick to day. At eve, a gent to appearance, weary and dusty, came in and took a seat. He rolled his large and beautiful eyes heavenward, they probably rested on the children’s bed in the open attic, he asked leave to stay over night, - he was from Indiana, had thoughts of the ministry, was not decided, talked of blooded stock. &c.
I vacated my bed and he slept with Mr. A. who said he was the most uneasy man to sleep with he had ever had in bed with him.
After breakfast his bill was fifty cents. As we were in the habit of doing our own praying we did not ask him to pray it out as did the good lady at the Catholic Mission; we just now needed material support.
He did take out his money and pay. This gentleman Rev. Mr Washington Marlatt called and staid another night and met with the same treatment. He talked of claims, - I told him of Mr Wilson’s for sale and he afterwards bought the same.
*He found Meth. br. in Manhattan and came no more, but when giving a history of his experience in Kansas held up Mr A. and I in derision by false statements and published the same in Manhattan Nationalist. I thought it must be through his great love of money. May his soul get through it.
10th. A rattle snake jumped at the oxen while plowing and Wm. killed it, it had five rattles. 11th. Rev. Blood preached, twenty present.
Mr Tilton paid me five dol. to day for boarding and nursing him in sickness last summer. 13th. Just at bed time French Jo and four other travelers came, called for supper, lodging and breakfast, so I dressed and got them supper.
Roasted coffee for breakfast & retired. 14th. At eve as Abbie was going after the cows that were in sight, she stepped on a snake, it bit her leg and run off, we were much frightned as we did not know what kind it was. I sucked the bites it had bit twice, washed it in saleratus, put on sweet oil and gave her whiskey. No signs of poison appeared. 16th. It is reported that a lot of Missourians and Georgians have besieged Lawrence with intent to destroy the place. That Gen. Pomroy started for Ossawatomie and it is not known what has become of him. That Gov. Roberson had been arrested while traveling. 18th. Preaching by Rev. Trafton. Heard the President had ordered the U. S. Cavalry from Fort to Lawrence to fire on the first one that commences hostilities. Wm. has gone to Mrs Power’s as her husband and three nephews have gone to the rescue to Lawrence. We have paid four dol. pr bu. for potatoes to plant. No collision at Lawrence, folks came home. 31st. Heard the hotel at Lawrence had been blown up by the proslaveryites, the printing presses were destroyed, the inhabitants made to leave the place, money and goods stolen, that a man who was moving into the Ter. was robbed of $400. and his provision taken.
O: President Pierce of Granite state Wo! Wo!! Wo!!! be unto thee.
This professedly in consequence of an unknown person shooting Jones who had been acting Sheriff of L. and had made himself obnoxious by violating the ballot box, threatening to slaughter the Free State men, &c.
June 16th. A U. S. Surveyor has surveyed the so called Indian float and there by taken away most of our claim. We cannot think of going to law about it while there is so much good land not taken.
27th. Went with Mr A. to Manhattan in ox team to mill to see the country, came home over Manhattan ferry and called to see Mrs. Powers who is still sick of chills and fever; also passed through a claim we had in view. July 4th. A picnic at Manhattan. 6th Rev. Denison preached & dined 7th. Mrs Tilton and son Arthur arrive here from Me. and remain ‘til the 12th. then go to housekeeping up the Blue. 13th. Rev. Blood preached.
15th. Mr A. and Chas. pitched on the new claim one and a half miles from the mouth of the Blue, commenced a cellar and laid poles around it. I spent an anxious day least John whom we expected home early would be overtaken by the Georgians a large party passed up by our house to camp and hunt the Free states men, Was thrown into consternation having lost my wallet, but Henrietta found it safe where I put it, made a sage cheese and took tea with Mrs Wilhite.
20th. Hear that Col. Lane had come into the Ter. with some say 500 and some say 2200 men, that he has destroyed the town of Franklin and gone to Lecompton, it seems a mighty strife for freedom has commenced.
22nd. Our folks went plumming up Cedar Cr. got perhaps two bushels.
23rd Heard of the death of Mrs Carrol of Wildcat, the only woman who visited me in my lone two months residence and sickness. This dear woman walked three miles to comfort in my affliction. A Morman by profession and fared hard. Mr Green was killed in a well by a stone falling on him.
A man in Leavenworth asked another where he was from? he replied Lawrence the former shot the latter dead. They proved to be both proslaveryites.
John cut his foot with an ax. Abbie fell down the ladder
31st Heard of the death of my cousin Mrs. Jesse Stone of Topeka. Mrs W. Dyer has just been presented with a fine daughter this week. The wolves are becoming troublesome, they bite calves so that they die, we have lost one, wild animals catch the poultry. Mrs Arnold, who lives at the mouth of the Blue, has been bitten by a Copperhead snake, it was under her pillow and as she put up her hand it bit, it was exceeding painful, but she recovered.
Here that Lane with 2000 men is opposing the Missourians who are coming into the Ter. in great numbers and it is more than the Militia can do to keep them from fighting.
Sept. 1st. Mrs Stewart was taken sick, watched and nursed her much of the time 5 or 6 days once thought her dying. Their oldest daughter was also quite sick. 6th. James Powers was brought to our house quite low with fever and ague, been sick 16 days. 7th. This morning was called to be with Mrs. Childs, a bouncing daughter made her debut into this world to breath for herself.
8th. I was taken sick of chills. J. P. has chills every day. 14th. I have third day chills. Am sick. Rev. Blood preaches, dines and so do others.
15th. Gen A. Hall called and said I had Billious fever.
Mr. A. commenced to harvest his corn. 22nd. Dr. Adams of St. George visits me, called my disease Intermittent fever, Charged two dol.
28th. Mr Trafton preached, J. P. returned to his home quite smart.
Oct. 1st. Our three boys are all sick of ague, I am getting better
5th. Rev. Blood preached and dined. Mrs. Blood sent me a present of two linen handkerchiefs, paper of hooks and eyes, spool of cotton, cord and two hairpins. Dr. A. came to see the boys. Wm. and John are doing well. Chas. is pretty sick of Billious fever, thinks he will have to see him again. 6th. Have got a new P. M. a rabid proslaveryite. John quite sick.
12th. Amos Powers came and informed Wm. that Mr Mails’ cattle had repeatedly been in his corn field. A. and Wm. Leave. John has hard chills and fever, takes lobelia emetic under the direction of M. Nealy.
26th. Rev. Blood preaches and dines and two Mr Kellys who Mr A. hires to help harvest. None of the family well but Henrietta and Abbie. Boys all take quinine. 31st. Messrs. Kelly work until Friday when they become to lazy to do chores and leave. Nov. 2nd. No preaching, think the Ministers must have found a place where their services were better appreciated. I am not certain about the dinners. Kansas needs the dear souls.
Mr Allen went for Dr. Stillman who has lately come here. He gave medicine to Ch. Gno. And Self. 6th a storm commenced. 7th. grows colder
8th. Ch. has dumb ague. Dr. leaves more medicine as Ch. Broke the bottle and the Cologage spilt. Nov. 26th. Wm. went to the Fort with corn for his father, camped out, a snow storm. 27th. Returned late and very cold.
Dec. 5th Mr Allen went to Manhattan and by the help of A. Powers drew logs on the new claim. Henrietta and I attend an infair at Esq Dyer’s. Abraham Dyer and Minerva Randolph married the day before. Mr A. has help by his friends and lays up the logs for the cabin as other people are looking toward the same place for a claim and they had just got to work when a man came to take it. 8th Mr A. went after the grist and carried shingles to the claim and bought flour at Mr Nyharts. Dr Whitehorn and wife stay over night Boys haul corn to the Fort. Cold, sick and suffering, its very slippery. Henrietta went out to get gather sumac berries, slipped down.
Jan. 1st. 1857. A new year has commenced. – How solemn the thought the wheels of time have so rapidly brought us hither.
Let us be thankful that we are yet an unbroken circle since our soujourn in Kansas, with health improving and prospects brightning. We will ever trust in and praise the Great Ruler of all things.
Boys have done hauling the corn to the Fort. Had very cold weather and bad road. Had three prairie chickens and mince pie for dinner.
2nd. A stormy morning. Mr. A. Started for the Fort about noon.
I went to bed tired out. Henrietta fried cakes. Snow blowed into the fat, fat exploded and burned her on her face and arm. I hopped up and went to work. 3rd. Mr A. returned from the Fort lame in his knee from walking, having received $273. for corn. Did that money look good
14th. Mr Stephen Williams, our bogus Sheriff, called and chatted away the evening very pleasantly, - he lives close by, but has never asked us for taxes assessed by the bogus laws. 17th. The coldest day yet, the night-more so. 18th. a cold quiet Sabbath all to ourselves.
24th Finished husking corn, had 455 bu. of good corn. Had we lost none by cattle, would probably had 600 bushels.
25th. Had an interview with Mrs Legore, she has been acquainted with some of my cousins in Mich. She must be a Michigander.
29th. Folks went up the Blue, got a load of rails, had trouble with Burnes, who claimed them. Mr. A. cut, split, drawed and laid them by the river to raft before B. came into the Territory.
Feb. 11th. Mr. A. got his canoe out of the ice. Mr J. Hays presented me with a large wild turkey the seconed one thus received this winter.
16th. Bought butter of Mrs. Frasier, 60 cts. lb. 17th. Mr Allen & Wm. go up the Blue to look out a place to make rails, stay over night with Mr Woods 17th They return having passed the night with only buffalo robe and overcoat for bed; weather quite cold. Wm. sold his corn to Mr Tailor at 75 cts bu. at the crib.
20th. John went after the cattle, run home saying, our young cow was mired, menfolks run to help, but when found she was dead. She rolled down the bank of a ravine into the water, her head under, she drowned. A loss of not less than thirty dol
Mr A. gave Mr Thurston two dol. to get the claim registered. March 3rd. Mr McIntire and Mrs. Cutting his daughter spent day and night with us. Mrs Cutting said, while she was living on Grasshopper Cr. last summer, the border ruffians came in the house in great numbers, drunken and vile, one staggered up to her while sitting with her child and with a weapon, a threat and a thrust, attempted to gouge out the childs eyes, she dodged, he fell and she run with her child and hid. She said they actually did gouge one child’s eyes and threw it out to the hogs, it was two yrs. old and drove the mother to unknown parts.
12th. Mr I. Goodnow call to see if I would go and nurse Mrs Houston, of Wildcat, as she was very sick, he plead so eloquently I agreed to go and leave Henrietta with her very sore finger to do the work and nursing at home.
13th. Hon. Mr Houston came after me so I hurried off; found Mrs. H. very low.
16th Mrs Bicnell died having lately been confined and lost her babe, her husband died last year soon after they came here, so a whole family have passed away.
18th Mrs H. not so well, refused to take medicine, had a sore mouth, is very firm. Mr H. brought me home, felt I must go. He gave me $5. for my poor services Found Mr A. setting by the fire sick, he got well.
26th. Mr Hulse and Wm. came about noon on the largest raft of logs that has been run on the Blue, the water was very high and not before they had gone a mile past the house could they stop it. Chas. caught the rope and tried to tie it to a small tree, raft pulled the tree over and took off the nail of the middle finger, jamming it very bad, Mr A. tied it to another tree.
28th. Mr H. and Wm. started the raft, the water still higher. Mr A. walked to Elbow Cr. place of destination to aid in fastning the raft, tied it to a tree, the rope broke, an oar broke by running into a tree in the water, raft wheeled around and continued her course down the stream, going more than a mile struck a tree lately undermined and brought up. H. and W. jumped into the water, the bank was 7 ft. straight up. Mr A. and John run a race with the raft and kept up.
Mr A. had a rope in his hand threw it to Mr H. and with John’s help hauled him up the bank, he could not swim and was much agitated. W. could swim, caught by the roots of a tree and climed the bank alone. 30th. Wm. blistered his hand chopping and it is very sore, - grows worse.
Apr. 4th. Henrietta came from Manhattan, had a fall from a runaway pony and hurt her elbow quite bad. So my three oldest children cannot use their right hands and Abbie has to day hurt a finger. We send for Dr Whitehorn to open Wm’s hand, he did not come: his father tries to open it, but did not go deep enough, he is in terrible agony. 6th. Early we get the Dr. to come and he opened it to the very great relief of the great sufferer. 8th. By the kindness of Mr. Nealy, who has just arrived from N. H. with his new wife – we received from benevolent ladies there 20 yds. of calico. 9th As Mr J. Dyer and Miss Drusilla Hanna were married yesterday, according to custom here our family were invited to the infare at the Esq.s Our folks went to Mr McIntire’s for boards they had made, he said the prairie had been on fire and burned them up
When you doubt a man’s word you don’t know the truth.
11th. Robt. Hays has just brought home his new wife from Missouri.
May 5th. One of our yearling calves was drowned in the Blue. 11th. Mr A. Wm. Chas. John and I went to Wm’s little, nice looking, log cabin and commenced to keep house. I called on Mrs Powers who last Thursday was presented with a nice son.
16th. Chas. and I return to Juniata. 18th H. went with C. to keep house at Wm’s claim. 26th. Abbie and I attend the wedding of Preacher Williams and Martha Dyer at her father’s. 31st. a large drove perhaps 3000 sheep passed by for California. News came that when 40 miles beyond here on the Republican, the Camanches and other indians had killed four of the men, wounded one taken women and children prisoners and got the sheep. Some people are alarmed of course.
July 1st. Moved from Juniata into Wm’s. cabin and our men commence to take down the cabin to raft down the Blue. 4th. All our family, in company with the Williston family, old acquaintances, who had just arrived from Mass. go to a picnic just beyond Manhattan. Spent the day pleasantly, had a good dinner, about 300 people present. Speches, sentiments, singing, renewing old acquaintances and forming new were the features of the day.
12th. Attended meeting in Manhattan where all denominations worship together, Stopped at the S. S. was chosen Assistant Missionary.
22nd. Moved into our cabin on our own claim.
Aug. 2nd. Heard an express had come to Manhattan for citizens to go and protect the Fort for the Cheyenne Indians were killing the settlers within 8 mi. of the Fort and but few soldiers were there. Consternation prevailed, we attended meeting – The men were mostly gone, women and children the audience but O’. how they did watch the bluffs to see the first pop of an Indian!
In the night a report came that Fort Riley was burned, 25 more men Chas. included prepared to start for the scene of action when a true report came that the alarm was false, that the warring tribe was not so near the Fort, a few Pottawatomies had been killed and Pottawatomies had gone to reward their enemies. 3rd. 25 Pottawatomies passed up by here this morning, many had gone before. Mrs Williston has made us many presents. Mr and Mrs Powers are very kind. The Indian scare is said to originate from Mr Rosa. 5th. We have good weather, corn and vines are growing, but potatoes are cut off first by worms then by bugs. 13th ten of us go graping over the river, with ox team, oxen stop in the middle of the river and the boys had to jump into the water to make them go. Oct. 5th. Mr. Allen, Wm. and Charles went to Esq Dyer’s to Election and each cast a Free state vote. In getting the praise for those three votes all to, myself, I will just say, if I had not come to Kan. they would not. Can a woman do any better bound by the wretched laws men made?
Ague is bad enough, but I exclaim with Patric Henry, don’t every body know what the orator said? Dec. 28th. John commenced to go to school in Manhattan Mr Pillsbury, teacher.
Jan. 1st. 1858. The year 1857 is dead! gone, yes, gone!
We spend the day at Mr G. Nicleman’s. 6th. Menfolks are making a truck wagon. 10th. A rainy day, the first since Dec. We have had remarkable warm and agreeable weather, more like a pleasant fall. 11th. Mr A. exchanged 5¼ bu. corn for three bu. potatoes. Surely things are getting reversed! New England; - where are you!
Feb. 24th. Mr A. commenced to exercise his office as J. P. 27th. I finish the last of our men’s winter coats and they finish getting posts, have 700. March 8th. In fording the Blue near here Dr Stillman wet the contents of his saddle bags and filled his boots with water. Stopped over night and dried off. We lade poke root drying for cattle. Dr. said it was not poison. John chewed and swallowed a little, to while away the evening, soon began to vomit, took warm water, peppermint, green tea, opium and white of eggs, still vomited by spells, next day gave him clear laudnum had thrown up blood but fell asleep much exhausted.
March, 25th. This eve. Mrs Shaffer, whose husband was 70 m. west hunting, put her four children abed and shut up the house and went to Mr Power’s one and half m. The house burned, it was seen by the neighbors, the four dear Children were burned to death. Neighbors get help and another house is built. Apr. 1st. Met with ladies at Mrs Hall’s to sew for Mrs Chaffer.
3rd. As the washing was progressing, Mr. A. to Manhattan, Wm. had got home with a load of lumber and a west wind blowing briskly, -- lo! A smoke off west, behold! – The prairie is in a blasé coming in the high grass toward us, - call to Wm. who said the danger was great, - he set fire to the prairie south – ‘etta, Abbie and I took water and hoes to fight fire. Mr A. and John return, hitch the oxen to plow and made two furrows, set fire west of us, we draw water with all our might, run with it, the fire had crossed the furrows direct for the hay. Mr A. and Wm. dashed into the flames and with the greatest exertion overcame the fire in the most dangerous place, with the help of all of us damage was averted, but o! wasn’t we tired?
It burned several hundred rails for our neighbors, came near burning Mr Tyler’s cabin, great exertion was required to save things further on This fire was set by three things called men ‘voters probably’ traveling. We had been waiting for a still day to burn off the old grass.
14th. Have had a long storm, - Mr A. went to St. George to take the oath of office for Supervisor. 15th. When last counted our young chicks numbered 50. 20th. Mrs Shaffer came to have me go to M. to collect subscription for her – as the ferry boat was sunk, had difficulty in crossing the river, went to Mrs. Willistons and called for tea, had a pleasant interview.
Met Mr and Mrs Trafton at the river and as they could not cross with their team was glad to go back and spend the night with us.
22nd. Wm. has been to work for Mr Butterfield drawing logs from what is called Mr Kelloch’s claim, was arrested with three others by Mr Jo Stewart and must need go to St George for trial for trespass. They came home at night free men and in good spirits as Stewart could do nothing more. 26th. Wm. had to leave his team in the field to be tried again about the timber fuss. – The case went in his favor.
In closing the Journal extending over three years of Kan. life we will add a few items. We built a stone room by the log one and lived on encountering sickness, losses, calumny and prosperity. When the war came, Wm. and Chas. joined the 2nd. Reg. Kan. vol. Co. B. served until the Reg. was disbanded. John served three years in 11th. Reg. Co. G. Each met with thrilling adventures and returned wise.
Wm. spent six years and Chas. two in Colorado, then built us a stone house.
Three weeks after we occupied it, our dearly beloved Henrietta died. Nov. 17th,
1870. Last summer, Mr Allen gradually failed was in Dr Roberson’s care
a month and died of old age Oct. 4th, 1879. The writer still occupies the place
boarding with her ever faithful daughter Abbie, now Mrs Garrett, surrounded
by five grandchildren, three of them Charles’ and motherless; the other
two Mrs Garrets.