Kansas Historical Quarterly - Bypaths of Kansas History - August 1943
(Vol. 12, No. 3), pages 319 to 326.
Transcribed by lhn;
digitized with permission of the Kansas Historical Society.
WHEN SOME OF THE MAILS TRAVELED "SECOND CLASS"
From the Kansas City (Mo.) Daily Journal of Commerce, January 9, 1859.
Passengers arriving in the eastern stages on Friday evening, report to Mr. Foster, our post office clerk, that six bags of mail matter were thrown off from the stage between Tipton and Independence, to make room for passengers. Henry M. Stanley, who later was to find Livingstone in Africa, visited western Kansas during the Indian campaigns of 1867. In his My Early Travels and Adventures in America and Asia (1895), v. I, p. 49, he wrote:
It has frequently been the custom for overloaded stages to dump the mail into some of the creeks that run across the road. In Plum creek, above Fort Larned, when the expedition passed over it, were found five bags of mail matter, and one sack of books, which consisted fortunately of only agricultural reports.
TO AND FROM THE GOLD MINES
From the New York Daily Tribune, March 21, 1859.
OUTFIT FOR THE GOLD MINES.-- We republish from the St. Joseph (Mo.) Gazette the following list of articles necessary for an outfit to the gold mines. It has been carefully prepared by men of large experience in frontier life, and all who intend to emigrate will do well to be guided by it. Of course other little conveniences and luxuries will be added according to the taste of emigrants. A few good books should not be omitted, and an order for the Tribune should by no means be forgotten.
Traveling and Camp Outfit for Four Men.-3 yoke of oxen, 1 wagon, covers, etc.; 1 tent, 3 augurs, 1 chisel, 1 ax, 1 handsaw, 1 nail hatchet, 1 drawing knife, 11/2-inch file, 6 lbs. nails, coffee boiler, 1 coffee mill, 1 camp kettle, 1 frying pan, 1 skillet or oven, 1 bread pan, 6 coffee cups, 6 tin plates, 1 set of knives and forks, 1 set of spoons, 1 water keg, 1 water bucket, 1 water dipper, 1 lantern, 10 lbs. candles, 2 dozen boxes matches, 25 lbs. soap, 1 grass, scythe and snath.
Mining Tools, For Each Man.-2 steel picks, 1 round point shovel, 1 gold pan, 1 large tin-dipper, 1 iron scraper for cleaning up rockers, 1 strong wooden bucket, 1 sieve for cleaning gold, 1 blow pan, perforated sheet iron for long toms and rockers, irons for axles for wheelbarrows, leather for pump valves, heavy drilling or sail duck for hose, palm, sail needles, twine, tacks, gold scales and weights.
Provisions For Four Men, Six Months.--800 lbs. flour, 400 do. bacon, 200 do. sugar, 50 do. coffee, 6 do. tea, 40 do. dried fruit, 30 do. rice, 60 do. beans, 30 gals. molasses, 200 lbs. crackers and hard bread, 10 do. soda or baking
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powders, 2 do. pepper, 30 do. salt, 25 do. lard, 4 gals. pickles, 3 boxes mustard, 2 gals. vinegar, 2 do. brandy.
Luxuries.-Oysters, fresh peaches, sardines, catsup, pepper sauce, tobacco, cigars, pipes, &c.
Each man should take 1 gun, 1 pistol, or revolver, 2 butcher-knives, belt and scabbard, powder, lead, shot and caps, 2 pair heavy Mackinaw blankets, 3 heavy flannel overshirts, 3 pair heavy pants, 3 pair heavy boots, 3 pair heavy socks, 2 pair heavy coats, 3 pair woolen drawers, 1 hat, 1 cap, 1 comfort, 1 vest, 2 pair gloves, 3 silk handkerchiefs, buttons, thread, &c.
From The Daily Times, Leavenworth, June 10, 1859.
"INFIT" FROM THE MINES.-Some waggish contemporary-we know not what one gives the "infit" of a Pike's Peaker, in contradistinction to the "outfit." Some months since, so says the aforesaid exchange, we were giving tables, showing items to constitute a complete outfit to Pike's Peak. We are now able to give a schedule of an infit as we saw exemplified yesterday by one who has been there and got back:
1 ragged coat, with collar and tail torn off; 1 pair pants, hanging together by shreds;
1 hat, barrin' the rim;
1 1/2 shoes, looking like fried bacon rind; 11/4 lbs. raw beans;
1 1/2 pints parched corn.
In answer to our interrogatory whether he designed returning to Pike's Peak shortly, our traveler responded, "not by a jug-full!"
The Times bears witness to the truth of the "infit." We have seen emigrants by hundreds exactly thus accoutred.
A FEDERAL JUDGE BEFORE THE HATCH ACT
From the White Cloud Kansas Chief, April 28, 1859.
OUTFIT AND WAYS OF A KANSAS JUDGE.-Persons at a distance may not generally know what kind of an outfit is required for a Kansas judge; and we cannot enlighten them better than by mentioning that of Judge [John] Pettit, our new judge, as taken down by an informant, upon the judge's late visit to Hiawatha.
Himself and suite arrived in town, on Sunday evening. His suite, or bodyguard, consisted of a clerk, who rode in the buggy with him, and several Democratic lawyers following after. Arriving in town, they were at a loss to find the hotel, and the judge sent his clerk out to hunt one. That worthy started out, with a revolver in his hand, which he carried in plain sight wherever he went, no doubt looking every moment to be set upon by some ruffian Abolitionist. Finding the hotel, they put up, and occupied all their spare time in discussing politics, and devising plans to give the Democratic party control of the territory once more. One of the lawyers got drunk, and spewed at a terrible rate. On the following day, our informant made an excuse to go into the judge's private room, where he glanced around, and found it to contain the following legal documents; one keg of brandy, four revolvers, four bowie knives, three flasks of brandy, and a quantity of cigars and tobacco! When the judge started away, he took all these articles with him in his buggy. When the landlord harnessed the horse to the buggy, the animal took a balking fit, and the man undertook to drive him around awhile, to get him in traveling condition. The judge seeing this, commenced cursing the landlord, pouring forth the oaths as if he were doing it by note, raving loud enough to be heard over the whole town, and giving vent to blasphemies horrible enough to make the hair stand on the head of a heathen
Such is a fair specimen of federal office-holders in Kansas. Can any decent man blame the people of Kansas for arraying themselves against them? To think of a territorial judge going about with his buggy loaded down with brandy, revolvers and bowie knives, and raving and cursing because a man undertakes to do him a favor; his clerk carrying a revolver through the street, on Sunday, to hunt a hotel; and one of his particular friends getting beastly drunk, and puking all over town!
AN INDIAN ISSUES A DIPLOMATIC "WHITE PAPER"
From the Western Journal of Commerce, Kansas City, Mo., May 21,1859.
We give below a letter just received from Bourassa, the Pottawatomie Indian. His account is interesting, as coming from an Indian, and gives an insight into their feeling in such matters:
POTTAWATOMIE RESERVE, May 13th, 1859.
I now will write you a notice of my people killing two Pawnees, in their own reserve.
The Pottawatomies killed two Pawnees on the 30th day of April, in their own reserve; they came to steal ponies, and also as a war party, probably to kill the Pike's Peakers, on their intended march to the gold mines. These two horse thieves were killed on the road, that leads from Topeka to Wahbahn-se. The Pottawatomies had lost seven horses curiously from their midst -having accidentally found them tied up in the bushes-they mistrusted some one was about stealing. So they looked for tracks and signs; sure enough they discovered cautious tracks and camp signs of some Indians.
Shaw-gene called together several braves and started in search of them, with the determination to find out what tribe had committed the depredation. In a short time, the keen eyed brave Sho-min, fell on fresh tracks-the thieves having passed on high and low lands, in the beds of creeks, etc., to avoid detection.
After tracking them for several hours, they fell on the thieves-who were apparently watching the public road. Sho-min being the first man who saw them, he killed one, and the young men pitched in and soon dispatched the other marauder. They proved to be Pawnees, one gave up, the other showed fight, but it was in vain, he did not even have time to shoot his first arrow, ere he was laid low by the well aimed rifle, and his head cut off before he
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quit kicking. These Pawnees cried out, they were Pawnees, but it done no good, for the fatal shot was made.
These men were not only horse thieves, but they were a regular war party, for they had a war sac and war pipe, which are a token of war. So the Pottawatomies fought on the defensive. If these Pawnees had killed a white man in our reserve, and on the public road, the blame might have fell on the Pottawatomies. So, in a few days after, the Pottawatomies danced the scalp dance, in Shaw-gene's village, according to their custom.
Pawnees are remarkably noted for committing depredations on all the tribes in their reach, even with those they have entered into bonds of peace and friendship, even upon the people of the United States. They had made such arrangements with the Pottawatomies, but they disregarded them.
It is very curious, what constitutes bravery and honor among the Pawnees, for with them, horse stealing is considered more honorable and brave, than to kill an enemy; so it is, that they get killed and scalped so frequently, by nearly all the other tribes. Yours,
JOSEPH NAP. BOURASSA.
INDIANS AND NEWSPAPER OFFICES
Reprinted from the Rocky Mountain News, Cherry Creek, Kansas territory, in the Leavenworth Weekly Herald, June 4, 1859.
Our city and vicinity (the Denver area) has been visited recently by great numbers of the native population. By far the greater number are Cheyennes, Arapahoes and Apaches, coming in large parties, erecting their lodges in our midst, they spend a few days and then move on to other hunting grounds. We have also noticed small delegates of Comanches, Kioways, Siouxs and Utes. All seem friendly and well disposed toward the white settlers. Nearly all these Indians are tall and finely formed, being much superior in general appearance and in their manner and mode of living to the Indians of the immediate frontier.
Little Raven paid our office a visit a day or two since; he looked upon the various operations and minutia of the office with interested wonder and astonishment, and when he had seen the movements of the press and the printed sheets therefrom, and the whole operation was explained to him, he ejaculated, "Big Medicine."
From the Marysville Enterprise, May 11, 1867.
There have been several "Los!" from the Otoe tribe, in town the past week. One "Big Ingun" came into the Enterprise office, and seeing our cans of fancy colored inks, imagined them to be "war paint," and expressed a desire to be painted up. Our Junior Devil embellished his "noble" countenance with a variety of figures in carmine, and furnished him with a beautiful pair of Prussian blue moustaches) Unless that Indian spends a "heap" of money for soap during the next few weeks, he'll stay painted.
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A LONG DRIVE WITH A PAIR OF ELK
From the New York Daily Tribune, July 9, 1859.
The Cleveland Leader announces the arrival in that city of Mr. George Raymond, all the way from Salt Lake City, via Cherry Creek mines and Kansas, having come the entire distance, driving a span of elk before a wagon. The elk in question are only three years old, an age at which horses are not at all fit for use, yet Mr. Raymond assures us that he actually traveled as fast as 100 miles in a single day. Mr. R. is on his way to Vermont with his novel team. The elk have now upon their heads horns three feet in length, which have been only six weeks in growing.
MILITARY REVIEW AT FORT LEAVENWORTH IN 1860
From the Leavenworth Herald, March 17, 1860.
Napoleon I was wont to remark that "the sight of soldiers makes soldiers," and yesterday we fully realized its truth when we witnessed the military parade at Fort Leavenworth. "The pomp and circumstance of glorious war" possesses an attraction to which the human heart is peculiarly susceptible, and we found ourselves a willing captive to the grandeur and magnificence of the "tented field."
The weather was propitious in the highest degree. The rays of the sun, tempered by a cool and gentle breeze, shone brightly upon the uniforms of the officers and soldiers, and glistened upon burnished weapons, while good feeling, smiles and happy faces ruled the day.
The exercises took place in the large meadow north of the fort, which is admirably adapted for the purpose in pleasant weather. All the troops at the station were out, in parade dress; consisting of Magruder's battery, Barry's battery, Companies E and F, 2nd artillery, and Company H, 2nd infantry; all under the command of Colonel Magruder. Among the officers who took active part in the exercises we observed Captain Barry, Captain Totten, and Lieutenants Beckwith, Robinson and Lee.
Though we paid close attention to the exercises, our pen would certainly fail at a detailed description. The movements were executed with a precision and swiftness which challenge any comparison; the maneuvering being the same as executed upon the field of battle. It was truly an inspiring sight, just such a one as excites the spectator's patriotism to fever heat. The blasts of the bugles, the roll of the drums, the measured tread of infantry, the thundering rush of artillery, the rolling fire of musketry, and the roar of the cannon, all united, forced upon us a retrospect of the bloody drama of war, enacted during our century, and we wandered from Austerlitz, Marengo and Waterloo, to the fields of Mexico, and again to Montebello and Solferino, in sunny Italy.
The troops certainly exhibited great proficiency, if we are permitted to judge, and reflect much credit upon the officers who have them in charge, as well as upon the country. We doubt whether better or more efficient batteries were ever upon the field of battle than the two now at Fort Leavenworth-Magruder's and Barry's.
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The taste and skill of Colonel Magruder in getting up these military displays, is certainly commendable. They are a new feature at the fort, and we are pleased to know that they are received with general favor. They enable the public to form a correct estimate of the men who protect our country in the hour of trial, and the skill and daring of those who lead where danger calls. On behalf of our .citizens, we tender thanks to Colonel Magruder for the grand Matinee Militaire of Tuesday. May it not be the last. The Colonel's marquee abounded with the delicacies requisite for the occasion, and the handsome manner in which he did the honors, when not engaged in the field, were well calculated to convey a favorable impression. We say this in his behalf, without wishing to detract in the least from the distinguished consideration due Captain Barry and other officers, who did the amiable quite handsomely.
A large number of ladies and gentlemen from the city and fort were present. They all appeared to enjoy the opportunity, and expressed much gratification at being permitted to witness the display.
WITCHCRAFT IN KANSAS
From The Kansas State Journal, Lawrence, July 24, 1862.
An Indian woman was lately condemned to death, and subsequently shot by the Indians still encamped near Leroy. The charge against her was that of witchcraft. The authorities in charge of those Indians have distinctly and most emphatically given them to understand that another such occurrence will not be tolerated, and the chief executioner has been arrested by the United States marshal and is now held in custody. So says the Burlington Register.
MUTINY ON THE MISSOURI RIVER
From The Smoky Hill and Republican Union, Junction City, June 18, 1864.
We learn from the Atchison Free Press
that a mutiny took place on the Montana, on Saturday morning, shortly after she left St. Joseph. The deck hands got into a difficulty with the Negro cooks, and commenced an attack upon them. The cooks in turn threw hot water upon the deck hands, who finally overpowered the Negroes, and they fled to the cabin above. The deck hands armed themselves with knives and followed the Negroes. They stabbed the steward and another Negro, the former in four different places. He crawled under the table, where the roustabouts continued to beat him, when the mate arrived with a stick of wood and knocked down three or four of the mutineers. They then retreated to the lower deck, devoured the breakfast intended for the passengers, and held high carnival until the boat landed at a woodyard, when the whole party, eighteen in number, jumped ashore. The passengers were obliged to wood up, and the boat was compelled to leave without a crew.
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WHY THE TRAINS WERE LATE
From the Junction City Union, September 5, 1868. Trains going west now lie over at Ellsworth during the night, owing to the Indian scare. They run to Hays by ten o'clock the next morning.
FUEL RATIONED TRY THIS!
From the Dodge City Times, June 1, 1878.
The fuel question is one of great moment in this country. The Wichita Eagle describes a Farmer's Fuel Press for sale in that city. It rapidly and conveniently compresses slough grass, corn stalks, sunflowers, husks, etc., into good, convenient shape for stove fuel. It makes fuel easier and faster than can be made out of wood after it has been cut and hauled, even if wood was obtainable. The machine costs $25 and freight. Two men can put up one cord and a half in one hour. It also cuts feed and makes a good sorghum mill, the sorghum stalks being converted into fuel as they leave the machine. The machines are made of iron.
WAR STAMPS MIGHT SELL FASTER THIS WAY
From The Dickinson County Chronicle, Abilene, June 28, 1878.
Hug socials are now the rage. It costs ten cents to hug any one between fifteen and twenty, five cents from twenty to thirty, one dollar to hug another man's wife, old maids two for a nickel, while female lecturers are free with a chromo thrown in. At these prices it is said that the old maids are most productive, because they can stand so much of it without getting tired. A fortune awaits the organization that will get up the first hug social in Abilene.
A NOVEL EXPRESS PACKAGE
This department was skeptical of the following story published in The Mercury, Manhattan, May 28, 1884, until Walter E. McKeen of Manhattan came along with an affidavit by his fellow townsman, Louis H. Woodman, who remembers the facts, as stated, to be true.
The express from the midnight train had been landed upon the depot, and the messenger had just finished his lonely task of wheeling it into the store room, when he heard a voice interrogate, "are you through?" The expressman started, and looked wildly around, but could not see anybody, and was just concluding that he was mistaken, when another outbreak brought him to his wits and raised his hair a little higher: "I say, hurry up that checking and turn me over." The expressman had been in tight places-had witnessed many a wreck on the railroad, but in all his experience he never felt so pale as at that moment, but was relieved by, "say, cast your eye down to your right hoof." On doing as commanded, he discovered a human face peering out a
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square opening in a box, "can't you turn me over, I don't want to stand on my head all night." The expressman rushed to the night operator and the two with a thirty-two caliber and the handle of a letter press, returned and standing the box on the other side, demanded an explanation of the situation "Well, look on your book and you'll see I'm all right." The book showed an entry: "To W. C. Buell, Manhattan, Kansas, one box merchandise, from Chicago, collect charges, $925." This entry corresponded with address on the box, but did not explain the presence of a man as merchandise. A demand was then made for the occupant of the box to explain matters or they would open fire upon it. "Don't shoot, I can explain everything satisfactorily, if you will open up." It was with considerable timidity and fearfulness that the expressman opened the box while the telegraph operator kept it covered with the pistol. On being released the occupant seated himself on his late habitation, of which the following is a summary:
P>My name is Horace Buell, and I have relatives living in Manhattan. From my early youth I have displayed wonderful talent for art. Believing that there was a field open for me in the larger cities I sought a situation, and for a time was successful, but I lost my health, and being severely distressed and in need, resolved to return home. Too proud to write for means to defray my expenses, I hit upon the plan which has landed me here tonight, thirty-six hours from Chicago. The way I managed to get billed out of the city was very easy. I called at the main office and told them I had a box which I wished to ship to Manhattan, giving instructions where it could be found. I then packed myself in it and was soon speeding westward. Once I was left in a car for some time alone, and had a chance to stretch myself. Before entering the box I supplied myself with sufficient crackers and cheese to sustain me for four days, and suffered only for water. I don't feel much worse for the trip, it was an easy matter to brace myself in the box so I would not be injured.
The contents then expressed a disposition to saunter up town and inform its friends of safe arrival, but the messenger questioned the propriety of this procedure, as his instructions stated positively that he would be held responsible for loss of "livestock" or other merchandise after its delivery into his hands-unless he could give satisfactory explanation. Therefore, under pressing persuasion the contents concluded to remain until morning, when a large, square store box was hauled up street by Joe Parkerson, and the contents meandered along under the protection of the messenger. The fare from Chicago to Manhattan is $17.25. The cost of the trip would foot up to
One store box
One pair hinges
Crackers and cheese
Wear and tear of clothes
The contents saved the enormous sum of $4.49-and if any messenger on the train had discovered him, the funeral expenses would have amounted to more than that.