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Page 1 of 3, showing 10 records out of 25 total, starting on record 1, ending on 10

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Title | Creator | Date Made Visible | None

Kansas Territory citizens to the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America

This unsigned statement was written to protest "the practice of taxing the people of the Territories for the support of a Government in which they are not represented." The residents of Kansas Territory complained that they had had no voice in how these tax dollars were appropriated, and they asked this "honorable body" to remit to them these taxes. Since this was during the drought of 1860, they declared that they would use these funds for famine relief.

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John W. Robinson to John M.S. Williams

Robinson, John W

John W. Robinson wrote from Manhattan, Kansas Territory to John M. S. Williams. Robinson thanked Williams for his $25 donation to the relief fund for Kansans suffering from the effects of drought.

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Isaiah T. Montgomery to Governor John P. St. John

Montgomery, Isaiah T. (Isaiah Thorton), 1847-1924

Isaiah T. Montgomery of Hurricane, Mississippi, wrote Governor John P. St. John of Topeka, Kansas, concerning the migration of twenty five families of black refugees from Mississippi to Kansas. Montgomery described the difficulties faced by the families and a visit he made to Kansas to assess their conditions. He also critiqued the relief programs in Kansas and made recommendations for assisting present and future migrants. In addition, the letter addresses Montgomery's broader effort to establish a community for black refugees in Kansas and the oppressive conditions under which blacks lived in Mississippi. Montgomery dictated a letter sent to him from William Nervis regarding the conditions of the refugees. During 1879 and 1880 a mass exodus of blacks from the deep South, known as the Negro Exodus, overwhelmed the state's ability to accommodate the refugees. These refugees were called Exodusters. Governor St. John established a Freedman's Relief Association to assist the migrants but its efforts were largely seen as a failure.

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Thaddeus Hyatt to Cleaveland

Hyatt, Thaddeus

This rather inspiring letter, written by Thaddeus Hyatt while traveling in Kansas, demonstrates Hyatt's commitment to the National Kansas Committee and his passion for the free state cause. Apparently there was some sort of conflict within the committee that threatened its ability to function, but nevertheless Hyatt was determined to aid the struggling free state settlers in Kansas. He spoke in great detail about some of his travels around the territory, including the inclement weather and his perspective on the pro-slavery and free state settlers that he encountered during his stay.

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Recollections of early days in Kansas

Baker, Orinda S.

This reminiscence, published in two parts, details the experiences of Orinda S. Baker and her family, who moved to Centralia, Nemaha County, in 1860. The Bakers, like other Kansas families, suffered from hunger and sickness during the severe drought that struck Kansas that same year. Included at the end of Part I there are two letters regarding the drought and the aid received from the East. Part II begins with a letter from Phil C. Day regarding relief goods sent to Kansas; Baker had written to out-of-state friends about the suffering of Kansans and acted as coordinator of relief supplies. In January 1862 Baker and her family moved to Topeka when her husband, Floyd P. Baker, was elected to the State House of Representatives. The rest of her reminiscence relates her experiences while living in Topeka, with the exception of a selection discussing a particularly fierce snow storm that hit on January 18, 1861.

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New York Daily Tribune, "The Drouth and Famine in Kansas"

New York Daily Tribune

This newspaper article, published in the New York Daily Tribune from October 10, 1860, outlined the basic details of the suffering and destitution of settlers in Kansas. It also included reprints of two circulars originating from Kansas Territory. One was from the Presbytery of Highland, and the other was from the Central Relief Committee based in Leavenworth. The first reprinted circular provided information about the dire situation and gave the names of the members of this committee. The second circular requested that the elders and deacons of each church in Kansas ascertain how many families needed immediate assistance in order to present a full report to the Central Relief Committee.

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S.T. Shore, testimony

This testimony, a portion of the Journal of Investigations in Kansas, was collected by the National Kansas Committee under the leadership of Thaddeus Hyatt. Although Captain Shore was a free state militia captain and was active during the border warfare of 1856, this account focuses on his personal life and his perceptions of the Kansas Territory rather than upon his political or military experiences. The testimony begins with general information about his family, claim, etc., and then proceeds to his personal opinion of the land and vegetation in Kansas.

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W. F. M. Arny to Thaddeus Hyatt

Arny, W. F. M. (William Frederick Milton), 1813-1881

W.F.M. Arny, agent of the National Kansas Committee, continues to send Thaddeus Hyatt, president of this committee, copies of letters he had received from Kansas settlers. These letters describe the economic conditions resulting from the continued drought during 1860. The reports were submitted by Rev. J. W. Fox of Ridgeway, Kansas Territory; the "Committee on the Little Osage" of Bourbon County, Kansas Territory; Dr. I. W. Robinson of Manhattan, Kansas Territory; and Joseph M. Todd and others of Greenwood Township in Greenwood County, Kansas Territory.

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Thaddeus Hyatt to James Buchanan

Hyatt, Thaddeus

Thaddeus Hyatt, president of the National Kansas Committee, wrote this letter to the President of the United States in an effort to obtain assistance for the suffering inhabitants of Kansas. He described in detail the needs of the settlers, including their lack of adequate winter clothing and the scarcity of food. According to his personal observations, Hyatt concluded that the only options left to Kansas settlers were exodus or starvation. He also asked that all government lands be removed from the market, especially those in the New York Indian reserve.

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S.T. Learnard to Oscar Learnard

Learnard, S. T.

S.T. Learnard, a farmer and occasional state legislator from Bakersfield, Vermont, wrote his "Kansas" son frequently and complained that replies from Kansas were far too scarce. In this letter, S.T. Learnard commented on suffering in the territory, presumably from drought, and his hope that the national election would eliminate "her troubles from one source." He complimented the "brave men and women" of Kansas for their "suffering and endurance in the Cause of Liberty," and expressed confidence that Abraham Lincoln, who did well in Bakersfield, would win New York.

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