Scenes In (And En Route To) Kansas Territory
Autumn 1854: Five Letters by William H. Hutter
Edited by Louise Barry
Autumn 1969 (Vol. 35, No. 3), pages 312 to 336;
Transcribed by Susan Hoppe; edited and composed in HTML by Name withheld upon request;
digitized with permission of the Kansas Historical Society.
NOTE: The numbers in brackets refer to endnotes for this text.
Aboard the Missouri steamer Polar Star, Andrew H. Reeder, an Easton, Pa., lawyer and politician, arrived at Fort Leavenworth October 7, 1854, to assume his duties as Kansas' first territorial governor. On October 24 the editor of the Easton (Pa.) Argus set out on a journey to Kansas. He was William H. Hutter, aged 29, a relative (nephew?) by marriage of Governor Reeder (whose wife was Amalia Hutter). Arriving at the new town of Leavenworth on the Edinburg, November 4, he remained in the territory at least till the end of the month; and during that time traveled west, by way of Kansas river valley roads, as far as Fort Riley.
Five letters describing his journey to, and experiences in Kansas, which were published in Hutter's newspaper are reprinted here.  The first two (dated at St. Louis, October 27, and Leavenworth, November 7) appeared under the heading, "Letter from the Editor." The succeeding three (Soldier Creek, November 14; Fort Riley, November 18; and Leavenworth, November 29) were headed "Scenes in Kansas."
II. The Letters
St. Louis, October 27, 1854.
I determined, before starting out for the "Far West," to take notes of what I saw, with the hope that they might not prove uninteresting to the readers of the Argus, and at the same time, be of some service to those who may intend to emigrate in this direction. I left New York at 6 o'clock A. M., on Tuesday morning the 24th in company with Capt. Thomas Heckman of the "Half-way House," between Bethlehem and Easton, after securing a through ticket to St. Louis, at the corner of Broadway and Courtland streets, at $28.50. We reached Albany, at 10 _ o'clock A. M., and the Suspension Bridge below Niagara Falls, 447 miles from New York at 11 _ the same night. We concluded to take this route, over Canada West to Detroit, Chicago and St. Louis, because it had been represented as the fastest and best. We were assured that a prompt connection would be made all the way through, and that we would reach St. Louis, 1287 miles, in 50 hours from New York.
We fared very well until we landed on Queen Victoria's possessions, in Canada, and then one disappointment followed another. We left the Suspension Bridge at 12 o'clock on Tuesday night, and did not reach Detroit until 1 o'clock P. M. the next day [October 25]. The "Great Western Railroad" (as it is termed,) is a grand humbug and a miserable imposition on the traveling public. The Engineer himself told me that they had not come up to their time nor made a connexion in a whole month. The road is a splendid one, the Cars wide and comfortable, but detention after detention occurred, and occasionally, when the Conductor thought he was going too fast, they would run back half a mile and take a fresh start. The road passes through the most miserable region the human eye could well rest upon. It is low, swampy and wet, without a single redeeming feature to rest the eye upon, and seems to be inhabited by a mixture of Canadian French, Americans, English, Dutch and Highland Scotch. It would be an uncharitable supposition to imagine the whole of Canada to be made of such miserable land. But from Hertford to Windsor, a distance of 284 miles, not a single respectable looking house relieves the eye from the monotonous and tiresome view.
The living is in keeping with the appearance of the country. A look at the "refreshments" in the saloons on the road, was sufficient to drive away whatever appetite a wearisome ride had engendered. We stopped to breakfast at London. Although we were to have 15 minutes to dispose of a cup of coffee, we had scarcely been seated at the table before "all aboard" saluted our ears. A number of gentlemen, determined not to pay 50 cents for nothing at all, made a grab for provisions; one who had secured the carcass of a Canadian fowl, discovered, after he resumed his seat in the cars, that the Cook had forgotten to separate the foot from the leg of the fowl. This may be fashionable among the Canadian Cooks, but a connoisseur in such things, would perhaps prefer having the foot and the leg separate. It reminded me of a gentleman who once told a waiter at a hotel who had given him a tumbler of water with two flies in it: "my dear fellow, I have no particular objection to flies -&endash; on the contrary I am rather fond of flies, but I would prefer to have the flies and the water in separate glasses -- when a man has control over both ingredients, he can mix them so much better."
The Great Western Railroad, too, is infested with pick pockets, from one end to the other. Several gentlemen who came on the same train with us, were relieved of their pocket books. One aged man who was on his way to Chicago, with a family of 10, was robbed of $325, (all the money he had in the world,) together with his ticket, and yet the conductor was brutal enough to insist upon having $4 from a little money the old gentleman's wife had left to pay his fare over again. Some of the passengers were not at all backward in expressing their doubts of the honesty of the officers in the train. At all events, I shall avoid the Canada Railroad in future. There is one grade of 500 feet in 7 miles on this road.
Detroit is quite a handsome City. Gen. [Lewis] Cass resides in a very plain dwelling, in a retired portion of the Town. We left for Chicago on Wednesday evening at 6 o'clock &endash;- got an excellent dinner at Bloomington next day, and reached Chicago at 6 o'clock on Thursday morning [October 26]. The ride through Michigan was an exceedingly pleasant one. The road passes through the most charming part of the State. Kalamazoo county is particularly rich and displays some of the finest prairie land in the State.
I forgot to state that we overtook [Pennsylvanians] Maj. Robert Klotz, Mr. Thomas Sherwood, of Honesdale, and John Westover, of Mauch Chunk, at Chicago. From there we travelled in company. And here we had another instance of the miserable management on some of these Western Railroads. They had passengers enough at the Chicago Depot to fill four large cars, and yet they undertook to pack them all in two small ones. Some officer on the ground told Klotz and Westover that a few more cars would be added, which was not done, and without sounding the whistle or ringing the bell, the cars started. Klotz saved himself by hard running, but Westover was left behind in company with two dozen others, whose baggage had gone on.
Chicago is a lively, bustling city, and has made wonderful progress within the last few years, but I would not live there for a small fortune per annum. To an Eastern man accustomed to clean streets and good pavements, the filth is intolerable. I have never seen anything to equal it. It is absolutely awful. The City is so level that the water cannot be carried off; and although the streets are planked, the mud stands in the gutters and streets at least a foot thick. It is not to be wondered at that the cholera carries off its inhabitants by the hundred, every summer.
We left Chicago at 9 o'clock in the morning of Thursday and should have been at St. Louis by 10 on Thursday night, but we did not land here until half past 10 o'clock this (Friday) morning [October 27]. Owing to some neglect or bad management we were detained 6 or 8 hours, twenty seven miles east of this city, in the dead hour of night. Instead of getting to St. Louis in 50 hours from New York, we were on the road 76 hours &endash;- a considerable difference. I do not know that we would have fared any better on the other route, over the New York and Erie road, but "any thing for a change," you know. I mention these things because they are important items to emigrants. Detentions, and failures to connect, are not only unpleasant but expensive. My necessary expenses from New York to St. Louis, in addition to the fare, were $2.50 and as we spent nearly all our time in the cars, there was no lodging to pay. I advise emigrants to Kansas, to avoid the Canada West Railroad, if they don't wish to be taken in.
The ride from Chicago to the City [St. Louis] is principally over prairie land. There are thousands and millions of acres still unoccupied and uncultivated, and to an Eastern man, the feeling on first beholding them, is a strange one. As we passed through what is known as the 90 mile prairie, in Illinois, it seemed like being on the broad ocean. Nothing but sky and land as level as a floor could be seen, so that the eye grew weary in looking at it. Not a hill for the eye to rest upon &endash;- not a tree to remind one of home, it really appeared as if civilization had fled from the earth. As you approach Springfield, the aspect of the country improves. Fences, farm houses and barns, make their appearance, and green fields please the eye. When cultivated, the prairie looks beautiful, but rapid as is the progress of this country, it must be many, many years, before all these broad and boundless acres are given to the plough and made to "bring forth abundance of good fruit." The corn crop seems to have been a failure out here, but apples are abundant.
We have taken passage in the "Edinburg," a very pretty and fine looking boat, for Kansas, and expect to leave here at 6 o'clock this evening. The Missouri river is said to be quite low, and our passage up may be rather slow. Quite a large number of emigrants for Kansas are on the same boat, including a dozen or more ladies. We have plenty of provisions, however, and are in good spirits. We met several gentlemen here, from Kansas, who have made the acquaintance of their new Governor, and speak of him in the highest terms. I will write again from Kansas.
W. H. H.
Leavenworth, November 7, 1854
At the time of writing my last letter, we had transferred our baggage on board the Steamer Edinburg, with the expectation of leaving St. Louis on Friday evening at 5 o'clock. But as the Missouri boats never leave at their advertised time, we did not get under way until the next day, (Saturday, [October 28]) at 12 o'clock. One of the results of this miserable delay, was the robbery of our friend Klotz, of all the money he had with him, $700. Not having seen a bed for four nights, our party retired to their State rooms at an early hour. Towards day-light Maj. Klotz arose and walked in his night clothes to the forward Cabin for a drink of water. He had been there but half a minute, when Capt. Heckman, his roommate followed him. On their return to their room, they met two men in the Hall, who were dressed, walking rapidly for the lower deck. The moment Maj. Klotz saw the fellows, he suspected something wrong, and sure enough, the scoundrels had gone into his room and rifled his pantaloons of $700 in money and $600 in drafts. A gentleman on the next boat saw them running up the levee and turn up an alley. In less time than it has taken me to write this, Maj. Klotz ran to an adjacent Police Station, and had a dozen Policemen out in every direction, but the birds had flown. The amount of the drafts he will recover. Capt. Heckman had his money in a belt around his person, or he would probably have shared the same fate. It was imprudent in Klotz to leave his room with all his money thus exposed, but he said he had no idea Heckman would follow him, and Heckman says he saw no one about the Cabin and thought all was safe. The scoundrels had evidently taken a State room and laid on watch all night, seeking for an opportunity of robbing any one who left his room.
Many of the passengers deeply sympathized with Maj. Klotz, and Dr. Miller, a most excellent old gentleman from Richmond, Kentucky, generously offered to make up the amount on the boat, by contributions from the passengers. Several circumstances led us to suspect that some of the gentlemen who officiate as officers on the boat, knew more about the transaction than they were willing to acknowledge, but we could fasten nothing positively on them.
There is nothing very attractive in the ride up the Missouri from St. Louis to this point, although our trip could not possibly have been more pleasant. We had very agreeable company on board and a general determination seemed to exist to render themselves sociable and agreeable to each other. We spent the hours of the day reading, playing whist and enjoying the delightful weather, promenading the upper deck, and in the evening all who felt disposed, jointed the Cotillion and Polka party. Our hunters amused themselves by firing from the boat at the Deer, Geese, Ducks, Pelicans, &c. I have never seen wild geese in such immense numbers as inhabit the shores of the Missouri river. The sand bars were sometime literally covered with them, and at some points we saw at least 3 or 4,000 in one flock. The river is so very low at present, that we were an entire week making the trip from St. Louis to this point, a distance of 480 miles. We left the latter place at 12 o'clock on Saturday the 28th of October, and arrive here the same hour on Saturday last [November 4]. The river is so crooked that its waters, often, in the course of a few miles, flow toward every point of the compass; and running as it does, with considerable rapidity, the sandy shores are constantly washed, and the water is so muddy that the bottom of the river cannot be seen even where the water is but a few inches deep.
The shores of the stream are covered with nothing but light Cotton-wood and the scenery is interesting only from its newness. This constant washing of the shores causes unexpected changes in the channel, so that it is impossible for the most experienced pilot to steer a boat clear of the bars. The channel through which he passed on the up trip he may find transformed into an immense bar on his return. We laid on one of these bars 20 hours. We were three days making the first 105 miles. The most horrible snags are seen in the river, any one of which would ruin a boat. You may imagine that it is no easy matter to navigate the Missouri, with all those obstructions. The song says "Jordan am a hard road to travel," but I doubt if it is harder than this turbulent, ever-turning, twisting Missouri. The fare from St. Louis to this place, including board, is $12.50.
On our arrival at this point we took quarters at the "Leavenworth House," the only hotel in the town. It is a two-story frame building, hastily thrown up, but affords tolerable accommodations to 30 or 40 men, if they are willing to put up with a bed on the floor. The board is $5 per week for permanent boarders, and $1.50 a day for transient customers. The Carpenter who erected the hotel, says it cost $1700, and I happen to know that the landlords are coining money.  If a man had a good hotel at this point comfortably furnished, he could clear $5000 a year easy. Hundreds of persons are coming here, even at this late day in the season, who stop at all points along the river, seeking accommodations. Next spring the emigration will be immense, and then several good public houses will be much needed. There are about 200 persons at Leavenworth, now, including 5 or 6 lawyers, the same number of doctors, and any quantity of stump speakers and patriots, who are willing to serve the people in almost any capacity. There are about 20 unpainted frame buildings already erected here and workmen are actively engaged erecting more. Carpenters get from $2 to $2.50 a day. Stone masons the same.
Timber is not so plenty as it should be, although there is enough for building purposes. Oak, Walnut and Cotton-wood lumber, for weather-boarding, scantling, &c., sells at $3 a hundred. Seasoned pine, $60 a thousand. Dressed floor boards at $65 a thousand. -&endash; There is a Steam Saw Mill at the lower end of the town. Stone are delivered at 50 cents a perch. What they need here is a practical man to burn brick. There is any quantity of excellent clay, and brick would command a ready sale at almost any price. The investment of a few thousand dollars, I am assured, would double itself in 6 months time. They are also sadly in want of a shoemaker and a Tailor. There is none now in the place.
The location of this town is really a beautiful one. There is a fine landing at the river, and the town site is a gradual rise for a mile back, commanding a fine view of the river. It has been surveyed and streets laid out at right angles. Lots of 24 feet front and 160 deep on the Levee, have been sold as high as $500.  There seems to be some little difficulty about the title, but I am told it will be amicably arranged.
Living here is pretty high. There is a sort of boarding house at the Fort where the price of board is $7 per week. Potatoes sell at $1.40 a bushel, Corn $1 a bushel, Butter 25 cents a pound, Ham 20 cents, Flour $9 a barrel. Whiskey seems to be in demand at 10 cents a drink.
Upon our arrival here, we found Governor Reeder and the Territorial officers on a tour of observation over the Territory. He has gone about 200 miles into the interior, and is not expected to return until the latter end of this week.  He makes his home, for the present, at Fort Leavenworth, three miles above this place, where he has comfortable quarters. All parties speak well of him, and seem to be greatly pleased with their first Chief Magistrate. The old Keystone is very well represented among the emigrants. In the room in which I lodged last evening, there were 26 persons sleeping on the floor, of whom 18 were Pennsylvanians. Among them I see Judge [Robert P.] Flen[n]iken, of Fayette county, Dr. Chas. Leib, formerly of Pottsville, Col. Alexander of Luzerne, and others.
On Sunday morning [November 5] I accepted an invitation to join a party to walk out to the [Munsee] Moravian Mission  about four miles from this place, near the three mile creek. It is in charge of the Rev. D[avid]. Z. Smith, of Bethlehem, and his excellent lady. The venerable father-in-law of Mr. Smith, the Rev. Dr. Peter Ricksecker and his daughter, Miss Edwina E. Ricksecker, also reside at the Mission. They kindly invited me to spend the evening with them, and I can assure you I had no cause to regret it. To say nothing of the excellent fare and good bed, (which, in this county, is a great treat,) I was entertained by fine music. They are most an estimable family and I enjoyed my visit exceedingly. They have a pleasant little home and seem to be quite happy and contented, although feeling the want of intelligent society. The society of Christian and Moravian [i.e., Munsee] Indians, shows a degree of intelligence and refined demeanor, that speaks well for the labors of Dr. Smith and his family. -&endash; They are well dressed, have clean, comfortable looking homes, and seem to be really good and sincere Christians. I attended their Sabbath school in the morning and religious exercises in the afternoon, and was much gratified. Rev. Dr. Ricksecker delivered a plain, yet impressive sermon, which was translated into the Delaware language by the interpreter, Joe Kilbuck. The Indians listened very patiently and sang several hymns in their own language in good style. The Chief of the Mission, an old, intelligent looking Indian, with a moustache and whiskers, delivered a prayer, also in the Delaware language. He seemed to be quite a fluent speaker. In the evening, Dr. Leib delivered an excellent Temperance address to the Society, which they seemed to appreciate and enjoy.
Yesterday [November 6], Mr. Sherwood and myself paid a visit to Weston, a town on the Missouri side, about six miles up the river. It contains about 2,000 inhabitants. The place was filled with Indians, principally Kickapoos.  &endash;- They had just received their annuities from the Government and seemed to spend their money quite freely. I saw at least 1,000 of them, dressed in all their showy, fantastic blankets, and covered with jewelry, feathers and ornaments; some on excellent Indian ponies. We are just fitting out an expedition for the interior, and will probably be gone three or four days. We intend going, to day, to the New England settlement [Lawrence], on the Kansas or Kaw river. On my return you may expect to hear from me again.
W. H. H.
Soldier Creek, Kansas Territory
November 14, 1854
I write this on Soldier Creek, about 70 miles in the interior of the Territory, on the Pottawatomie Reservation of the Indian lands. It is a beautiful portion of Kansas, comprising much of the best soil, the finest timber, and purest water. It is no easy matter, in the present unsettled condition of this region, and the absence of good hotels or stopping places along the route, to make a tour of observation over it. It is necessary for the traveller to carry with him almost every comfort he desires to enjoy on the journey -&endash; food to eat during the day, as well as clothing to protect himself against the cold over night. Major [Robert] Klotz, of Mauch Chunk, Mr. Westover, (Missouri,) a town situated near the southern [i.e., eastern!] line of Kansas, on the 11th inst. We provided ourselves with an ambulance of four mules and a driver, a red hunting shirt for each, a bushel of potatoes, two hams, beef enough to last a week, crackers and cheese, pickles, segars, sugar, coffee, salt, together with a frying pan, tin cups and coffee pot &endash;- and at Major Klotz's earnest solicitation, a peck of onion, and several gallons of old Bourbon. Rifles, powder and shot were not lacking; and thus equipped and prepared for all emergencies, we started with high anticipations of a pleasant tour. &endash;- The weather for two weeks previous had been delightful, but threatening clouds indicated a change, and we had not proceeded more than three miles before it commenced snowing, and the flakes fell all day long. It was quite cold and dreary, and we began to think the Kansas climate was not so genial as had been represented. We pushed on, however, stopping at all places of interest on the road. We tarried a short time at the [Shawnee] Methodist, Quaker and Baptist Missions, which are all located within six miles of each other. They all have beautiful and extensive farms, well fenced, and under good cultivation, and have been the means of doing much good among the Indians. All the roads in this country are really fine, in dry weather, being hard and solid as a rock, but when wet they become slippery, and the streams, being unbridged, there are naturally some steep hills, and several of these required all the strength of mules and men to draw up the ambulance or wagon. At one point we attached a rope to the front on the tongue, and all hands laid hold with all their might.
We made but twelve miles the first day [November 11], halting about dark at Mill Creek. Here we were told that there was not another house at which we could spend the night within 16 miles, and the prospect to remain where we then were, seemed gloomy enough. There were but two Indian cabins within sight &endash;- in one of these lived a Shawnee Indian, his squaw, and six children, who had already given shelter to the wife and five children of a Massachusetts emigrant. &endash; In the other house resided a Shawnee family with four or five children, and as both cabins had but one room, we stood rather a slim chance of obtaining quarters. We finally rented for the night, a deserted cabin, swept the snow from the floor, and made it as comfortable as circumstance would admit. We built a good fire in the hearth, and made a supper on coffee, prairie hen, shot by Mr. Sherwood, and beef, roasted on pointed sticks over the fire. Our buffalo robes and blankets spread on the floor, supplied the place of beds, and as we all had good overcoats, we slept right soundly, although we could, without the aid of spectacles, see the bright stars through the roof, and feel the fresh Rocky Mountain breezes blowing through the house. We certainly had no right to complain of the want of ventilation. Our host, Mr. Siggaman (as near as I could translate Shawnee into English.) charges us but one gold dollar for the use of his house, and a plentiful supply of wood. Our road during the day lay through the Delaware and Shawnee reservations, tolerably well supplied with oak, cotton, and sycamore timber, over rolling prairie.
The following morning [November 12] we started out as early as five o'clock, with a clearer sky but cold winds. We continued our journey on the south side of the Kansas or Kaw river. (The latter is the name universally given it by the residents of the Territory." Our road lay through the Shawnee reservation twenty-three miles further. The country presented the same appearance as the day previous, being rolling prairie, with timber in the ravines, of which there are many over the whole Territory. A little experience soon enables the traveler to discern at a long distance the location and direction of the creeks and streams, by the timber which invariably lines their shores. We noticed that the soil was of a black loamy nature, susceptible of the highest cultivation. The road generally passes over the highest ground, and often runs for miles over the tops of a succession of hills. Every hill is covered with limestone. The stones generally lays bare on the tops or is seen sticking out from the sides. There is limestone in abundance in all parts of the Territory. I saw a number of squatters burning lime by throwing the stone on a heap of wood, and setting it on fire, and the lime is of the finest and best quality. The snow in this neighborhood was full three inches deep, although it melted fast during the day. We were surprised at the early appearance of so much snow, but some of the old Indians assured us that it was an unusual and extraordinary thing, and that they had not had so much snow all last winter.
We reached Blue Jacket's &endash;- a sort of Shawnee boarding house, by night. Blue Jacket lives at the crossing of the Wakarusa, and has two houses &endash;- one double and one single.  But let me explain what a double Indian house is. They are the most commodious and pretending houses that the best of the Indians have in this country, and consist of two or one and a half story log houses, built about 12 or 15 feet apart, gable to gable, and the roofs made to meet over the intervening space which is the only place on which any doors open. This space is floored or not, and more or less enclosed at the pleasure of the owner. The better ones have a kitchen placed immediately behind this space. Others consider this third building a great superfluity, and in that class was old Blue Jacket. Occasionally, but rarely, you find one which has a set of steps in the centre opening to get up to the garret and sleeping arrangements, but of that class old Blue Jacket's was not. On going in we found in the right room, two beds and a bare floor -&endash; on the left one bed, one Indian, three squaws, and all the preparations for supper. One of the squaws was a beautiful girl, who had been name the "Spotted Fawn." Her color was not good, but her features were as though they had been chisselled by the most critical and skilfull sculptor. She was not dark or white, but of that sallow hue which many Indian girls have &endash;- but her eyes and teeth unexceptionable. If she had had a little of the red or warm brown coloring thrown into her cheeks, she would have been admired by man or woman that looked upon her. The room was hung around partly with different kinds of wall paper, and partly with muslin to hide the logs, and all sorts of ornaments within the reach and taste of an Indian, hung about, besides a wax baby behind a pane of glass in a kind of box, and there was one cane seat rocking chair and a good wood stove. We all ascribed this to the taste of the "Spotted Fawn," but ascertained, to our surprise, that she was only employed to assist, and was not a daughter of the house. Her name, she told us, was Emily Tiblow, and she had been educated at the Quaker Mission. &endash;- She spoke English well, and had a very soft and musical voice. The house was already full to overflowing, and we were obliged to bid Emily farewell and push on. We advised our driver to marry Spotted Fawn, and he could get, under the Shawnee Treaty, 400 acres of land, and for every child he might get before the land was set out, 200 more, but he said he didn't want any wife.
We stopped at a grocery kept by a Mr. [John M.] Wallace, an Indiana squatter, about three miles from the New England town of Lawrence, and obtained "entertainment" for the night. The only vacant room in the house was in an unfinished condition. The snow lay three inches deep on the head of each of the two bed steads, but we brushed this off and compromised with the chickens by allowing them to roost all night at the foot, of which they had already taken possession. There was no floor to the house but a cup of warm coffee, good biscuit, fat pork and molasses warmed us, and we lay down three in a bed, and slept right soundly. We made 23 miles this day having loitered along the road in search of game.
During the day, we met a number of gentlemen from Crawford county, Pa., on their return to the States, and several from Massachusetts, who, with their rifles, frying pans, and knapsacks, were wending their way back. &endash;- (An agreeable sort of frankness characterized all travelers on the prairies, and the questions, "where are you from?" and, "where are you going?" are freely and satisfactorily answered, each seeming willing and desirous to compare views relative to appearance, prospects and resources of the country. This by way of parenthesis) And here allow me to say, with profound regret, that the so called "emigrants' Aid Societies" are the grandest humbugs of the age -&endash; regular, down right impositions. The Massachusetts gentlemen above alluded to, told us that they belonged to a Massachusetts company which they had formed amongst themselves, and appointed two agents to come on in advance of the party, see the country and locate good claims. The agents came &endash;- their comrades followed and penetrated 100 miles into the interior, and spent weeks in vain searches for their agents and their claims. They could find neither one nor the other. In the mean time they had run out of provisions and out of patience, and with heavy hearts retraced their steps homeward. We afterwards met the delinquent agents, and found they had gone on to locate a town for themselves on the Big Blue, leaving their companions to shift for themselves.
The Crawford men belonged to the "Pennsylvania Kansas Emigrant Society," but they had abandoned the Society and were taking care of themselves, as every man should do, who undertakes to come here at all. A fresh load of the Crawford men had just arrived at Kansas City, as we passed through that place. I asked one old gentleman what part of Kansas he intended settling in, and received as a reply that "he did not know &endash;- the agents wouldn't tell him." Just think of the idea of men coming 1800 miles into a new Country, on the eve of winter, with their families of women and children, and not know where to go! I was told by one of this company that after he arrived at Kansas, one of the agents wanted $5 to tell him his point of destination, and that it cost him $30 to reach Kansas, although the company agreed to see him safely through for $15. The proper plan is, for each man to be his own agent, and come on this own hook. His own eyes and judgment will serve him better than those of any agent he can select. There will doubtless be much distress in Kansas before winter is over. The desire to be here first and secure good claims has caused such a rush that many persons have come here illy prepared for cold and inclement weather. In Kansas City a large number of families are now living in small cabins and deserted shanties, and in almost every Indian farm-house on our route, we found families of women and children, where they had sought temporary shelter from the cold, while their husbands were hunting up claims. They should not have come out here until next spring, and then they could have planted corn and raised garden produce enough during the summer to support themselves over winter. I saw many families living in their wagons, while their cabins were being built.
We started out early the next morning [November 13] and reached Lawrence by breakfast time. It is located about two miles from the military road, on the Kansas river. I must confess I was disappointed in the appearance of the place. The projectors of Lawrence had ample time during last summer to erect comfortable houses &endash;- they had a steam saw mill in operation some time, and have plenty of timber on the spot, and yet they reside in dwellings with thatched roofs of prairie hay. Their buildings look like great hay stacks with stove-pipes through their tops. It is rather a sorry specimen of yankee enterprise.  The site is a fine one, however, and another year will doubtless give it a more pleasing aspect. Quite near the town is a large hill called the "Back Bone [Mount Oread]." We ascended it at the cost of some little trouble and exercise, and the view from its summit is really magnificent. Far off to the north you see the Kaw winding through the rolling prairie, while on the south and east the eye is lost in vain efforts to take in the vast expanse of beautiful prairie. I have never seen a prettier view.
We made 25 miles this day and had very pleasant weather. The cold winds had subsided and we were glad to walk. It became a pleasure to travel over the gently rolling prairie and admire the beautiful scenery. -&endash; We had left the Indian lands, and passed hundreds of squatter cabins, generally built along the streams and near springs of water. We took breakfast at the cabin of Hon. John A. Wakefield, a hospitable old pioneer, who will become a useful and valuable citizen of Kansas. We reached the house of Mr. [Thomas N.] Stinson, at 5 o'clock in the evening. Mrs. [Julia Ann (Beauchemie)] Stinson is an intelligent and pleasing Shawnee lady, and gave us a good supper and a comfortable bed on a carpeted floor. We began to feel as though we were once more in a civilized region. Here we got good butter, an article that seems precious on account of its scarcity, all over the West. It is at this point that the town of Tecumseh has been laid out. It is a prominent and handsome site, on the Kansas river, and is favorably spoken of for the seat of Government. At a recent sale, lots were sold at an average of $50 each.
We rose before day light the next morning [November 14] and drove 10 miles to breakfast. Our road lay across Papan's Ferry, from whence our course lay along the north side of the Kaw, after crossing which, we struck into the Pottawatomie lands. Monsieur Papan, who has charge of the ferry at this point, is a French gentleman, who with many of his countrymen settled some years ago at Prairie Du Chien, on the Mississippi, married a Pottawatomie woman, and upon the removal of the tribe from that region, emigrated with them.  I find quite a number of Frenchmen here, who have become large land holders in Kansas in this way, and the Indian girls, owing to some strange and unaccountable fancy, seem to prefer them to our own countrymen. We stopped for breakfast at the house of one of these families, where we found a beautiful, black-eyed Indian lady of 19 summers -- a half-breed Pottawatomie. Her father was Mr. John DeView,  and the daughter's name was Angelina. She presided over the household with a grace and dignity that would reflect credit on the most refined young lady in the States. She was educated at St. Mary's Catholic Mission. Maj. Klotz, with commendable good taste and gallantry, has just named a Lake in the neighborhood, and which seems to have no name, "Angelina Lake [i.e., Silver Lake?]," and as the young lady who has thus been honored, and to whom I am indebted for the pen, paper and ink with which I have hastily scribbled this letter, announces "breakfast ready," I will for the present bid you an affectionate farewell.
Fort Riley, Kansas Territory
Saturday, Nov. 18, 1854
My last letter, I believe, was dated on Stranger [i.e., Soldier] Creek. Since then we have come 80 miles farther into the interior of this beautiful Territory, over the handsomest country I have ever seen. No man can travel over Kansas without being pleased with his trip, although hardships and sacrifices must be endured, owing to everything being so new. After partaking of a very fine breakfast, the morning of the 13th [14th], our route lay over a stretch of more flat prairie land than we had thus far seen. On the right and left we saw trees along the streams and ravines. There are many little creeks, and some of them the coolest and clearest water imaginable, that are not laid down on the published maps. The soil on this prairie was rich as it could be. We did not leave the Pottawatomie lands the whole day. Saw many Indian farm houses along the route, and stopped at some of them. These aborigine dwellings, with some exceptions, are generally mean, miserable-looking places. The houses are open, and everything around and about them in the direst state of confusion. There is an utter want of neatness and cleanliness, and the first indication the traveler receives of an adjacent farm, is the howling of three or four wicked-looking, half starved dogs.
We crossed the Cross Creek [at present Rossville], and made 31 miles during the day, to the [St. Mary's] Catholic Mission, under the charge of Rev. Father Durink [John B. Duerinck]. We were fortunate enough to have letters that ensured us a favorable reception, and the most hospitable treatment. This Mission has a large farm under cultivation, and has erected substantial buildings. It was established in 1840 [i.e., 1848, at the Kansas river location], and is pleasantly located. The school at the present time contains 75 girls and 50 Indian boys, of all tribes, who seem to be quite happy, and all speak English. Father Durink has resided here for the past 8 years. Being an old resident, I enquired of him in regard to the nature of the climate. He told me that the summer of 1854 was decidedly the hottest he [had] experienced since his residence in the Territory. -- That the thermometer at his residence stood at 105 for six weeks, without intermission. The evenings, however, were cool and comfortable. The winters are mild, and generally very pleasant, although he has seen the thermometer 14 degrees below zero -- this last snow was extraordinary, more than they had all last winter. Cold weather never lasts long -- often sit in the month of December, with coats off and windows open. They raised potatoes, corn, barley, &c. Father Durink also told me that the Kansas river was always navigable for good sized steamboats in the months of May, June, and July, that he had gone down to St. Louis in two and a half days.
On the morning of the 15th, we started at 5, a beautiful morning, and after traveling 5 miles, camped out on Lost Creek for breakfast, which consisted of prairie hen, quail, cornbread, coffee, &c. Travelled on and crossed during the day, Vermillion Creek, Rock Creek, Sergeant's [Sargent's] Creek, Devil's Elbow, Black Jack, &c. For some distance our route continued to pass over the Pottawatomie reservation, comprising some of the most valuable lands in the Territory. The appearance of the country changed, and instead of the flat, the road traversed a large section of gently rolling prairie. As we reached the summit of a hill or bluff, four miles below Lost Creek, our eyes fell on one of the grandest landscape views I ever beheld. We could see the Kansas and Big Blue rivers uniting their waters twenty miles above, and before us, for miles and miles, until the eye could see no more, lay hundreds and thousands of acres of excellent lands that had never seen a plough. The scene was splendid, and we stood some time gazing in mere admiration of the glorious view. Crossing Lost Creek, our route passed through rolling prairie, the road winding around the limestone bluffs. About noon, we encamped, built a fire and prepared our dinner. We had shot several prairie hens and squirrels during the day, and were tired and hungry as wolves. You may imagine we did full justice to the meal, which was spread on a clean piece of oak plank for a table, and our friend, Col. Sitgreaves, was not forgotten, when Klotz produced a bottle of his best o'd -- schnapps.
It was about dark when we arrived at a place where we were told we could stay all night. We looked about for the accommodations, and found one tent and one small log cabin, and a family already there, of the man and his wife -- two grown up daughters, (one a widow,) one young man sick in bed with the fever and ague -- another half-grown boy -- two half-grown girls -- two wenches, and a nigger baby, besides a nigger man, to which add our party, and you have 20. The cabin was unfinished -- had no loft -- no floor, and was not chinked or daubed so that of course there was no immediate inconvenience arising from the want of windows, which had not yet been cut. Inside were three beds and bedsteads, and they left a small square about large enough to set a table. We were introduced to the young ladies, who had just come with the rest of the family from the town of Westport, where they had been living in a good house with comforts around them, until the father had been seized with the idea of making a city and a fortune, and who being an old pioneer, can live any where and any how. They laughed heartily at the discomforts about them upon the principle that "what can't be endured must be endured." One of them was quite a fine looking girl, merry and quick at a reply. Very soon we were told that four of the party could be accommodated at a cabin about 400 yards off, which we had not seen, and four left.
We walked out to the fire where supper was cooking, (all out of doors of course). The old wench had some kind of a fix of barrel and board on which she had her cooking utensils and knick-knacks, and pretty soon we were entertained with a dog fight in dangerous proximity, and at the height of the yelling and howling down came the whole kitchen around the dogs, most of the things pitching about as if they were taking part in the fight. Kicks, cuffs, firebrands, and nigger yells, soon drove out the dogs, however, and the supper was rescued from a most dangerous and critical situation. Order was restored, an old negro lady walked sentry outside, to prevent a recurrence of the catastrophe, and we went into the house. In a little while supper was ready to serve, and we were informed that we would all have to go out of doors, in order that the table might be set out &endash; a necessity quite apparent of itself, without the information. Accordingly we stept out &endash; the table was set. Five of us ate &endash; and then made room for five more. I had a good glass of milk, and I thanked the Lord that the wench didn't have the milk pot in the dog fight. We had some first rate hot biscuit and some good fried ham, and notwithstanding the dog fight, the supper was good enough. They have a knack of making hot biscuit all over this country that really reflects credit on them. On counting up beds, I could make at the best, enough for six persons in the cabin, and three or four in the tent, and we numbered, all told, thirteen souls besides the four niggers, and although I racked my brain with all sorts of calculations and surmises, I could not contrive how the old man was to figure us to bed. I came to the conclusion that the best place at last was our wagon with curtains all down, and to this we came at last. One of us had the choice of sharing the bed occupied by the fever and ague patient, but we preferred the open prairie.
We turned out early next morning [November 16] &endash; and took a good wash out of doors &endash; a drink of whiskey -- got breakfast, and started off over a beautiful country of rolling prairie, shooting some quails and prairie hens on the way. On the road we wandered into a log house, and found it was the Ranch of a blacksmith and his wife from Philadelphia, and as she talked like all creation, I soon learned all their affairs and all their misfortunes. Their only horse had died &endash; both had had the fever and ague &endash; the prairie fire had burned his hay stacks, and she said she told Pap they might as well turn round and go back. I told her that was very foolish &endash; that it wouldn't bring the old horse to life nor rebuild the hay stacks &endash; that the worst was now over and that she should have patience. Well, she said, that was what Pap said too, and if they went back they could never get such a tract of land again, and she was sure now things would go better &endash; that the Governor had passed there a few days before and stopped to see them. I assented to this, of course, though I could not well see how his presence could keep off the Prairie fires, and fever and ague, or save the old horses from dying. Besides her own clothes she had on an old blue coat of her husband's, buttoned up to the chin and the tails under her skirts. They have a splendid piece of land with a soil like a garden, and if Pap can only finish his house and shop and pay for and fence his land, he will be very comfortable.
Toward night, we reached the cabin of Mt. S [Samuel]. D. Dyer and old pioneer near the mouth of the Blue river. Mr. Dyer has resided here several [?] years, with his family of boys and girls, and is a regular, old-fashioned Jackson democrat.  His house is small, but he did the best he could for us, and we did full justice to the wild turkey and warm biscuit. This is one of the best portions of Kansas Territory, and will become a very wealthy region. It cannot be otherwise. The Blue Valley is fast filling up with squatters, and a few years will exhibit along its shores, beautiful farms and fields teeming with the sources of true riches and independence. We saw four deer and several prairie wolves during the day, and fired at them, but were too far off to kill. The streams are filled with fish of various kinds. Mr. Dyer said he could catch wagon-loads of them. The United States government has built a fine bridge over the Blue at this point.  We remained a day at this place, exploring the vicinity, and visiting several places of interest. We picked up a number of relics on an old camp-ground of the Kaw Indians. Toward evening we crossed the prairie to ascend a prominent bluff or hill, overlooking the Kansas and the Blue. We found it a pretty hard job to climb its rough and almost perpendicular sides, but the view from the summit fully repaid us for our trouble. We could see an expanse of country at least 40 miles in extent. Below us lay two fine streams, and at the north, the Wild Cat flowing gently through the valleys, and along this same Wild Cat lay hundreds of fine farms, which the swatters have not been slow to discover.
The next morning [November 18], we made our way to Fort Riley, a distance of 18 miles. The first 6 miles we passed through very good bottom-land, fit for almost any agricultural purposes &endash; crossed the Wild Cat, which is lined with oak, and some hickory timber, then ascended and crossed a series of singular-looking hills or mounds. There were at least thirty of them, all standing separate, in the shape of an inverted cone, and covered with stone that presented the appearance of having undergone some volcanic action. For three miles the road wound around the edges of these singular-looking hills, when we again descended into the fine, rich bottom-land, along the Kaw, which continued all the way to Fort Riley. Took our dinner on the prairie, and reached the four-mile creek towards evening. At Fort Riley, we were very kindly treated by Col. W. R. Montgomery, commanding officer of the post, Capt. [Nathaniel] Lyon, Lieut. [Robert F.] Hunter, Lieut. Long [?], Mr. Robert Wilson, and others. We spent two days there, and explored the country around.
During our stay we went up the Pawnee river, or as it is called on the maps, Republican Fork, the Smoky Hill Fork, and Clark's [Clarke's] Creek. Both these forks of the Kansas are as large as the Delaware and their shores are lined with timber. I never saw more desirable plains than skirt Clark's creek, and the Emigrant, who has not yet reached this point, will be able to find hundreds and thousands of the finest farms in the country. We struck on several good slate quarries that will undoubtedly yield fine slate, and a species of dark granite that is susceptible of a polish equal to marble. The Fort consists of half a dozen large and substantial buildings, of grey, limestone rock, which is found in large quantities in the vicinity. Government has erected a large Steam Saw Mill on the Pawnee, within a half a mile of the Fort, with saws for lathe and shingles.
About a half mile below the Fort is the site for the projected town of Pawnee. It is a fine location and struck the fancy of our entire party, as a very desirable place. Several of them secured claims in the vicinity. Being at a prominent point on the Kansas river, and a good station for parties fitting out for California and Oregon, and so near Fort Riley, where large sums of money are expended by the national Government, and enjoying commercial advantages, it must and will inevitably become a town of some importance. The spot selected for the town is a beautiful plain on the Kansas river, a mile wide at some points and several miles in length, with a gradual ascent toward the bluffs on the north. There is a fine landing and the country surrounding it is rich in mineral and agricultural resources. The streets are to be 80 and 100 feet wide. The proprietors number some of the best and most enterprising men in the Territory and as an evidence of their energy, intend commencing the immediate erection of a large Hotel, which will be open for visitors early in the spring. &endash; The wages of mechanics are very high here. Stone Masons get $2.40 a day and board.
Fort Leavenworth, Kansas
November 29, 1854
We have just returned to this place from Fort Riley, 140 miles distant, where we left tow of our party [Robert Klotz and John Westover], who concluded to remain at that point and keep an eye on several good claims they selected for themselves. We returned on the north side of the Kansas river, over as fine roads as could be desired, stopping on our return at the Big Blue, Soldier, Grasshopper, and Stranger creeks, to view the country and converse with the settlers.&emdash;The land on the north side of the Kaw is fully equal in every respect, and does not suffer at all in comparison with that on the south side. It bears the same feature of gently rolling prairie, handsome scenery, and unfailing streams. We found many settlers along all the creeks as far up as the Big Blue, 100 miles from this point, beyond which but very few have penetrated. We met quite a number of emigrants on their way up, with their wagons loaded down with goods and chattels and next spring, I presume, will bring with it a grand rush.
For about ten miles beyond Fort Leavenworth the country is quite thickly settled. While standing on the top of a hill, I counted as many as twenty cabins. They generally stick in among the trees on the streams, where the squatters can secure wood and water. The careless observer would perhaps ride along for miles without seeing these rude tenements of the pioneer. At a number of places, I fixed my eye on a handsome plain, and said to myself, "well now, there is a splendid farm open for some one," when, on a closer examination, the smoke could be seen ascending from beneath the trees, bearing evidence that some shrewd squatter had already discovered its beauty and advantages. Many of these men make considerable money by selecting claims, erecting cabins, then selling them and moving on. I know one old gentleman who had made $1600 in this way since last June.
There are some tolerably good houses on this route where "entertainment for man and beast" is provided -- rather rough it is true, but good enough for a new country and very acceptable to the weary traveler. We stopped at one house where, after filling all the beds below, the guests were invited to make themselves comfortable on boards laid across the joists under the roof. We preferred camping out one night to this sort of "entertainment," and rested about as well, although the prairie wolves kept up a continual howling in our immediate vicinity. A large prairie fire on the opposite side of the Kaw illumined the sky for miles, presenting the handsomest scene I have ever beheld. As the strong wind chased the flames over the dry grass through the ravines and over the bluffs it looked as though the hills were belching forth fire and smoke.
On our return trip we tarried several days at the house of Jude Bourassa, a French half breed, about one mile and a half from the Pottawatomie payment post [Union Town].  We found a comfortable double Indian House, of logs of course, one end of which, in all of them, serves the purpose of a better bed room, and also of a parlor to entertain guests. That end was given us with two good beds, a blazing fire in the chimney, and imported carpet on the floor and a handsome modern Piano in the room. We had a capital supper and in the evening prevailed on Mr. Bourassa to bring his daughter Isabella in to play for us. She played Russian march -- Washington march and some other beginner's tunes -- the only merit of the music being that it came from an Indian girl. She is a modest, good-looking girl, dressed with neatness and taste -- not near so handsome, however, as the Spotted Fawn. Her Father has a brother residing in this immediate vicinity, named Joseph Bourassa. Both were educated, with others, among whom was the well known Jose [i.e., William] Walker of the Wyandots, at Hamilton, in the State of New York. They both speak English, with a French accent, but Joseph is the more intellectual man, whilst Jude is much the more wealthy.
I saw at Jude's house a most interesting object, giving strong confirmation to the theory broached more than 30 years ago that the Red men of the North are the ten lost tribes of Israel. He has four slips of parchment covered with Hebrew manuscript, which he has sent to Washington and had translated and which prove to be extracts from the 13th chapter of Exodus and 6th chapter of Deuteronomy, and relate principally to the Passover. These he procured from an old chief, just before his death, a year or two ago, who had kept them secretly nearly all his life, and to whom they had come from his ancestors. -- Mr. B. says there is very good evidence of the tribe having had them for 200 or 250 years, and the tradition accompanying them is that the Red men brought them along with them into this Island, as they call the Continent, and that some day they were to be called for. They are rolled in small flat rolls, and inserted in a stiff, hard box about 2 inches each way, the outsides of which are made of repeated thicknesses of parchment, closely and solidly compressed together and blacked outside with considerable polish. On each end is an ornament consisting of three or four long stalks, each having a bulb at the end, which may represent fruit or flower. -- This box has four compartments one for each of the rolls. Around the open top of the box a square rim projects of about half-inch, and the same piece of parchment (double) which makes this rim, folds over and makes a cover, and this was closely and solidly sewed down, and the outside finished like the body of the box -- so that it was impervious to air or water. Mr. B. had it cut open. The tradition is that the tribe had two of these boxes and that one of them was lost by the upsetting of a Canoe in one of their migrations, but all recollection of the time and place is lost. It is impossible they could have got these things from the Missionaries, for at 200 or 250 years ago none were among them, and if they were they would have no reason for giving these remembrances of the Passover to the Indians. -- Besides the earliest Missionaries they did meet were Catholics, and it is a well known fact that all their amulets are in Latin, and of a different character from that of these extracts. Again Mr. B. tells me that this particular kind of box for the preservation of texts of Scripture, has been, and is in use among the Jews, and that a Jew who saw it in his possession recognized it at once as a Jewish box.
We had as pleasant and comfortable quarters at Bourassa's as in any other part of the Territory. Joseph B. is a single man. The housekeeper is an old lady, a cousin of his (Mrs. Nadeau,) a French half breed also, but with more of the French than the Indian in her manners and one of the kindest women of the face of the earth. The rest of the family consists of her two sons, Alexander and Ely, and her two daughters, Rosanna and Catharine, both grown up -- and Elizabeth, a sister of Bourassa, about 19 years old. Joseph Bourassa himself is a man of education and intelligence and it is pleasant to sit and talk with him of his people. He is writing for publication a History of the manners and customs of the Red man, which will make an interesting book. The house is a double Indian house with kitchen attached and lofts overhead. Every thing is neat and clean and a great many little items of comfort gathered in it. The table is fit for a Prince -- fine hot biscuit, first-rate coffee, rich milk with all the cream in -- prairie chicken &endash; salmon -- apple dumplings -- pan cakes -- butter cakes -- good butter -- peaches and cream, etc., etc. The two daughters of Mrs. Nadeau are very interesting girls for Indians. Catharine is quite good looking -- Rosa is handsome. They have not a great deal of the Indian in their appearance&emdash;Rosanna scarcely any. They all speak Indian, French, and English fluently. Their domestic language is French. The girls play cards and chess very well. They have all been educated at the Missions, and dress in excellent taste.
There was a very wild looking Indian boy staying here with a hideous looking grandmother. The latter having a claim for her furniture etc., destroyed on the occasion of some former removal, has 40 copper kettles included in her inventory, so that she goes among us by the soubriquet of "the 40 kettle woman." Her boy is about 11 or 12 years old, with the most tremendous head of long black hair I ever saw -- so thick and long that a great deal of it is put up in a long thick plait. His face is good and he is a bright boy -- can't understand a word of English. He has a bow and arrow with which I have seen him shoot prairie chickens and hawks. His name is Wahbantis (Little White Shoulder).
Taking Kansas all in all, it is really a beautiful country. If there is any poor land -- land that is not susceptible of cultivation, I have not been able to find it in my travels over a large portion of the territory. It is true that timber is not so plenty as it should be, but there is enough for all practical purposes, and the abundance of rock or stone in every section of it can be made to supply its place in the building of houses. No country is perfect. -- To an eastern man who has never travelled in a new and unbroken region, Kansas is full of interest. Its scenery is beautiful, and the territory may be called a grand, natural panorama. As you travel over it, every hill commands a new view, and the observer will imagine each one to be prettier than the one he just left behind him. One of the government officers, Major Isaacs [A. J. Isacks &endash; attorney general], who has just returned from a tour to Fort Scott, assures me that the country in that portion is fully equal to the northern part of it, and that coal in abundance has been found in that vicinity. Much of the best land has been reserved by the Indians, but the greater portion of this will be thrown into the market in the course of eighteen months. About ten miles from this place, the Shawnees and Delawares own large tracts of excellent timber. I saw beautiful groves of as fine walnut as can be found anywhere. I have seen walnut that our cabinet men would be glad to get for their finest furniture, used for weather-boarding, and even fire wood. We cooked our dinner several times with walnut.
In regard to the climate, I am satisfied from experience, and from enquiries made with old settles that it is much milder than in Penn's &endash; about the same as in northern Virginia. The summers are undoubtedly warmer than ours, and the winters milder. In this month I have enjoyed as mild weather as we generally have in May and June. Occasionally they have severe, cold weather, but it does not last long. The roads are seldom muddy.
The vexed question of slavery will cause some trouble before Kansas becomes a State. There are now quite a number of slaves in the territory and have been for years. I saw them as far up as Fort Riley, 150 miles from the river, and likewise notice a handbill stuck up on a tree on Rock creek, offering a female slave for sale.
There is not so much game in Kansas until you get beyond the Indian Reservations. As the Big Blue river, 100 miles west from the interior, and from thereon, game becomes very plenty, and venison, prairie hens, wild geese and turkeys, parriquetts, quails, &c., are quite plenty, and the streams are filled with fish. On the Indian Reservations the red men have shot all the fame of any account.
I learn that three boats are now building to navigate the Kaw early next spring. One great want in all parts of the territory is good hotels. I feel satisfied that a hotel, conducted with even tolerable care, would make money in any part of Kansas.
W. H. H.
Louise Barry is a member of the staff of the Kansas Historical Society.
1. From the Easton Public Library file of the Easton Argus, issues of November 9, 30, December 21, 1854, and January 4, 1855. (The Argus issues of January 11 and 18, 1855; contain Governor Reeder's letters of December 23 and 25, 1854, from Shawnee Mission; and the February 22, 1855, issue has a letter &endash; written at Fort Riley, January 24 &endash; by "Maj." Robert Klotz, one of Hutter's traveling companions of 1854.) The History of Northampton County, Pennsylvania . . . (1877), p. 167, states that "Col." William H. Hutter became editor of the paper he renamed Argus in 1844, at the age of 19! On p. 266 in ibid., is a biographical sketch of Andrew H. Reeder. In 34th Cong., 1st Sess., H. R. No. 200 (Serial 869), p. 265, Robert Wilson, Fort Riley, in testimony given Ma7 27, 1856, mentioned that Reeder's "nephew, Col. Hutter" (apparently referring to William H. Hutter) had a land claim near Pawnee (the short-lived town in which Reeder held some town-company shares). The biographical sketch of Reeder in Kansas Historical Collections (KCH), v. 3, pp. 193-205, gives Mrs. Reeder's name as "Amelia" Hutter.
2. The proprietors were George H. Keller and Andrew T. Kyle, Weston, MO., men, and members of the Leavenworth town company. See Kansas Weekly Herald, Leavenworth issues of 1854 for Keller & Kyle advertisements. A biographical sketch of Keller, in KHC, v. 10, p. 211, states that his hotel was the third building to be put up in Leavenworth.
3. At the first sale of lots in Leavenworth, held October 9 and 10, 1854, 54 had been sold for a total of $12,609, according to H. Miles Moore (town company secretary). He also reported that eight "front," or levee lots had been sold at prices ranging from $340 to $350 each; other lots had brought from $75 to $200. &endash; See Liberty (Mo.) Weekly Tribune, October 20, 1854.
4. Governor Reeder (and party) had left Fort Leavenworth October 18 on the tour. He returned November 7. &endash; See Kansas Weekly Herald, October 20, November 10, 1854.
5. For a brief history of the Munsee Indians, and their Moravian mission, in Kansas, see Kansas Historical Quarterly (KHQ), v. 29, p. 79. This small band of Indians lived in the location where Hutter visited them for less than five years (1854-1858); and had only recently removed from a settlement on the Kansas river at present Muncie.
6. The Kickapoos, residents of "Kansas" since 1833, lived north of Fort Leavenworth. By terms of the May 18, 1854, treaty they had ceded part of their original "Kansas" reserve to the United States. They chose to retain an area not bordering on the Missouri. &endash; See KHQ, v. 28, p. 326, and v. 33, p. 196.
7. "Of the three Blue&endash;jacket brother [George, Charles, and Henry], George had [the] most red blood and least civilization." Wrote Friends missionary Dr. Wilson Hobbs. &endash; See KHC, v. 8, p. 254. It was George Bluejacket who lived at the Wakarusa crossing. &endash; See ibid., v. 5, p. 274.
8. See an early day sketch of Lawrence in KHQ, v. 21, between pp. 48, 49.
9. Except that Joseph Papin was French, Hutter was wrong in his statements concerning "Monsieur Papan." See KHQ, v. 29, p. 76 for marriage (1837) of Joseph Papin and Mary Josephine Gonville (half-French, half-Kansa daughter of trader Louise Gonville), and p. 328 for item on the Papins' removal (1840?) to the Kansas river site at present Topeka. The A. T. Andreas and W. G. Cutler History of the State of Kansas (1883), pp. 531, 532, states that Joseph Papin, and his brothers (two of whom also married daughters of Gonville) were Canadians "whose father emigrated from Montreal and settled in St. Louis"; and notes that the Papin ferry was started in 1842. In 1846 the Kansa Indians, by treaty gave up their reserve on the Kansas river (see KHQ, v. 30, p. 339); and in 1847 the Pottawatomie Indians began removing to the area formerly occupied by the Kansa (see ibid., pp. 360, 361, 553 &endash; 555).
10. "John DeView" probably was Louis Vieuz &endash; see KHC, v. 17, p. 456.
11. Varied statements have been made about Samuel D. Dyer, pioneer of 1853 (?) at the Big Blue crossing on the Fort Leavenworth-Fort Riley military road. See KHC, v. 4, pp. 247, 248, v. 8, p. 243, v. 12, pp. 426, 427, v. 17, pp. 461, 462; KHQ, v. 21, pp. 87-93.
12. The bridge was under construction in mid-September, 1854, when travelers C. B. Boynton and T. B. Mason stayed overnight at Dyer's. &endash; See C. B. Boynton and T. B. Mason, A Journey through Kansas; With Sketches of Nebraska (Cincinnati, 1855), p. 81.
13. Jude Bourassa lived near the mouth of Mill creek; and ran the Pottawatomies' water-power mill. &endash; See KHQ, v. 32, p. 98.