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Title | Creator | Date Made Visible | None

First Thanksgiving Sermon

McVicar, Peter, 1829-1903

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

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Cyrus Kurtz Holliday to Mary Dillon Holliday

Holliday, Cyrus Kurtz, 1826-1900

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

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William Y. Roberts and Samuel Clarke Pomeroy to Cyrus Kurtz Holliday

Roberts, William Y

William Y. Roberts and Samuel C. Pomeroy reported their activities from Willard's, a hotel popular with wealthy congressmen in Washington, D. C., to Cyrus K. Holliday in Topeka, Kansas Territory. They described the legislators' and President Franklin Pierce's eagerness to resolve K. T. troubles. While approving the July 4th meeting of the free state legislature, they cautioned Holliday to promote peace.

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John James Ingalls to Elias T. Ingalls

Ingalls, John James, 1833-1900

Much of this interesting letter, dated November 21, 1858, from Sumner, Kansas Territory, describes the Ingalls law practice and the nature of a "frontier" court proceedings that often attracted "nearly all the population." According to Ingalls, "the chief difficulty arising [in the courts came] from the conflict of the two Codes, adopted by two hostile legislatures, each of which had adherents who call the other 'bogus.'" Ingalls also discussed the business of land sales, as something many others successfully combined with the practice of law.

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Cyrus Kurtz Holliday to Mary Dillon Holliday

Holliday, Cyrus Kurtz, 1826-1900

Cyrus K. Holliday, the founder of Topeka, Kansas Territory, wrote from Lawrence, Kansas Territory to his wife, Mary Holliday, in Meadville, Pennsylvania. He told her of his planned trip up the Kansas River, his pleasure in the people of Kansas Territory, and a Thanksgiving dinner he attended. Unwilling to return to Pennsylvania, Holliday expressed desire that Mary come to Kansas Territory and described the construction of a friend's sod-covered "mansion," one such as Clarina I. H. Nichols, a lecturer and writer, inhabited.

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Mary Dillon Holliday to Cyrus Kurtz Holliday

Holliday, Mary Dillon, 1833-1908

Mary Holliday wrote from Meadville, Pennsylvania to her husband, Cyrus K. Holliday at Topeka, Kansas Territory. A thoughtful review of the previous year, her letter gave thanks for protection from harm despite sorrows and calamities. Using Biblical allusions and paraphrases, she joyfully expressed hope that eternal bliss begins with a well lived life, and encouraged her husband to consider misspent time and to carry out good New Year's resolutions.

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Mary Dillon Holliday to Cyrus Kurtz Holliday

Holliday, Mary Dillon, 1833-1908

Mary Holliday wrote from Meadville, Pennsylvania to her husband, Cyrus K. Holliday in Topeka, Kansas Territory. Expecting their first child March 7 or 8, Mary delicately discussed her pregnancy. She assured C. K. Holliday of her willingness to live in rough housing with him. She hesitated to send money for his trip to Meadville, as mail delivery was slow and unreliable, and encouraged him to stay until she was able to travel if best for business and their future good. She also mentioned local mad-dog attacks.

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Cyrus Kurtz Holliday to Mary Dillon Holliday

Holliday, Cyrus Kurtz, 1826-1900

Cyrus K. Holliday wrote to his wife, Mary Holliday, in Meadville, Pennsylvania from Lawrence, Kansas Territory, where he had stopped on his way to visit Governor Andrew H. Reeder at the Shawnee Indian Mission. Holliday hoped to make the growing Topeka the capital of Kansas Territory. In Lawrence, a hotel keeper had died and George W. Brown, editor of the Herald of Freedom, was ill. Despite mail-delaying winter storms further east, the weather continued mildly. Holliday described his financial investments and requested money for his trip to Meadville, more urgent as the birth of their first child approached.

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William B. Hutchinson to Cyrus Kurtz Holliday

Hutchinson, William , 1823-1904

William B. Hutchinson of Lawrence, Kansas Territory wrote to Cyrus K. Holliday in Topeka, K. T., requesting support for a People's Mass Convention in Topeka on July 4. The gathering Free-Staters would be armed in case of opposition. Colonel Edwin V. Sumner had received orders on June 4th from K. T. Governor Wilson Shannon to disband unlawful military forces. The camp from which Hutchinson wrote had complied, but John W. Whitfield and his troops, camped at Bull Creek, refused. Hutchinson described northern enthusiasm to aid financially the free state cause. John H. Reeder and James H. Lane were speaking in northern states.

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Cyrus Kurtz Holliday to Mary Dillon Holliday

Holliday, Cyrus Kurtz, 1826-1900

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

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