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Page 1 of 15, showing 10 records out of 143 total, starting on record 1, ending on 10

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Title | Creator | Date Made Visible | None

George W. Smith, Jr. to Kansas Central Committee

Smith, G.W. (George W.) 1806-1878

George W. Smith, Jr. of Lawrence, Kansas Territory, requests a supply of "arms . . . for distribution among the Free State men who have formed themselves into Companies." Smith's signature identifies him as Captain, "Munger Battalion, Free State Forces." Smith writes that he led "a force of 32 mounted" men, most of whom were veterans of the "wars of Kansas," and requests the loan of "32 sabres [sic] and any revolvers that you may have to give them."

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National Kansas Relief Committee, minutes

National Kansas Committee

This document details the minutes of three meetings of the Kansas Relief Committee, otherwise known as the National Kansas Committee, held in 1856 on June 9th, June 21st, and June 26th. It also includes information about the membership of this emigrant aid company. The first of these meetings adopted resolutions to aid the plight of free-state settlers in Kansas Territory. Furthermore, the members of the committee decided to establish five thousand settlers in Kansas Territory and to give them a year's worth of provisions.

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Minutes, meetings "on the behalf of sufferers in Kansas"

Denison, Joseph, 1815-1900

Joseph Denison recorded minutes of preliminary meetings that organized efforts to raise money and donations on behalf of the citizens of Kansas Territory, who had suffered as a result of severe drought. Included is an announcement entitled "The Kansas Famine," that predicted at least 30,000 in the Territory would "inevitably perish during the coming winter" were help not secured.

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Edmund Burke Whitman? to Franklin B. Sanborn

Whitman, E. B. (Edmund Burke), 1812-1883

E. B. Whitman (letter not signed, but author's identity is pretty clear), an agent in Lawrence for the National Kansas Committee, wrote Franklin Sanborn in Massachusetts regarding his disappointment with the lack of support being given by "our professed friends" in the East. To their discredit, according to Whitman, Massachusetts "supporters" had refused to provide assistance which was desperately needed for the Kansas settlers who had just endured a very "severe winter." He believed false information was being circulated for political purposes by individuals within the Free State movement: "Kansas, bleeding Kansas, is of value to them only so far as it subserves their selfish ends."

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Richard West to John P. St. John

Richard West, a resident of Barton Station, Alabama, wrote this letter to Kansas governor St. John requesting information about available land in Kansas. West was a farmer who described in some detail many of the concerns facing emigrants, including transportation and other expenses. In addition to his role as governor of Kansas, St. John also served on the Board of Directors of the Kansas Freedmen?s Relief Association.

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Orville Chester Brown to unknown

This letter, presumably written by Orville Chester Brown, is an excellent example of a free state perspective on the events of 1856 in Kansas Territory. Speaking in rather eloquent terms, the author expresses anger at the United States government for their refusal to aid free state settlers.

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Elizabeth Comstock to John P. St. John

Comstock, Elizabeth

In this letter Elizabeth Comstock, a former agent of the Kansas Freedmen?s Relief Association, relates her experiences during her visit to the East coast in 1881. Comstock and some of her New York colleagues had the opportunity to speak with President James Garfield, giving him four main points to consider regarding the Exodus movement. According to her letter, Garfield was devoted to aiding black refugees. She also wrote of other matters, including how some blacks in southern Kansas were displeased about the dissolution of the Kansas Freedmen?s Relief Association; in contrast, Comstock believed the demise of this association had some positive repercussions.

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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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E. B. Whitman to Samuel L. Adair

Whitman, E. B. (Edmund Burke), 1812-1883

E. B. Whitman, located in Lawrence, was the general agent for the National Kansas Committee that was distributing relief supplies in Kansas Territory. He writes that he is sending Adair potatoes and corn to be distributed for planting. Evidently, Adair had written him previously about some boxes of supplies he expected, and Whitman speculates that some boxes might be on the steamer "Light Foot" on the Kansas River in Wyandotte, Kansas Territory, and some might be in St. Louis, Missouri.

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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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