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Title | Creator | Date Made Visible | None

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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J.M. Rankin to Thaddeus Hyatt

Rankin, J. M.

J.M. Rankin wrote this letter from Emporia, Kansas Territory to Thaddeus Hyatt, chairman of the National Kansas Committee. It discussed how the drought of 1860 was affecting Emporia and expressed thanks for the support of the National Kansas Committee.

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A. Venard to Thaddeus Hyatt

Venard, A.

This letter is from A. Venard, a medical doctor from Pleasant Grove, Kansas Territory, who wrote to Thaddeus Hyatt, president of the National Kansas Committee. The letter described the sickness and disease that plagued the settlers along the Verdigris River in southeast Kansas. Dr. Venard had worked diligently to aid the settlers, even using funds from his own pocket to purchase medicine, but he requested that the committee give him 100 dollars worth of drugs. Attached to this letter is an itemized list of the drugs he wished purchased with the requested funds.

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Kansas Emergency Relief Committee accomplishments movie

Kansas. Emergency Relief Commission

This motion picture film documents the various work projects completed in Kansas during President Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal. It begins with an introduction to the Kansas Emergency Relief Committee personnel, starting with the executive director, John G. Stutz. It then shows the various projects across the state, including the construction of farm ponds and lakes as part of the Water Conservation Program, the renovation and construction of courthouses, schools, libraries, and other public buildings, and the weaving and sewing rooms that produced clothing for needy Kansans. It also includes footage of rabbit drives, dust storms, and women sweeping piles of dust out of their homes. Click on the thumbnails below to play each clip. Click on Text Version for a detailed description of each chapter.

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James W. Randall to Thaddeus Hyatt

Randall, James W.

In this letter, James Randall of Emporia, Kansas, informed Thaddeus Hyatt, president of the National Kansas Committee, of the drought?s effect on the neighboring population. Many families were destitute after the failure of the corn crop and were considering leaving their homes altogether. Randall hoped that Hyatt could send aid to the starving settlers.

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