KANSAS COLLECTION BOOKS
Kathleen Roper, Jack Coffee, Susan Stafford and Lynn Nelson produced this selection.

WENT TO KANSAS;

 

BEING

A THRILLING ACCOUNT

OF AN

ILL-FATED EXPEDITION

TO

That Fairy Land, and its Sad Results;

TOGETHER WITH A SKETCH OF THE LIFE OF THE AUTHOR
AND HOW THE WORLD GOES WITH HER.

 

BY

MRS. MIRIAM DAVIS COLT.

______

"There's a Divinity that shapes our ends,
Rough hew them as we will."

_______

 

WATERTOWN:
PRINTED BY L. INGALLS & CO.
1862

 


To My Daughter,

MIRIAM LOUISA COLT, WHO HAS STOOD BY MY SIDE WHILE
THE DARK WATERS OF SORROW AND ADVERSITY
HAVE SURGED AROUND ME; AND WHO HAS
BEEN, AND IS A WORLD OF COM-
FORT TO ME,

This Volume is Affectionately Dedicated

 

 

 

_______________________
John W. Gorse & C., Binders.

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS.

CHAPTER I.

Anticipations and preparations -- Vegetarian Co.,--H. S Clubb's circular--Going to Kansas -- Preparations for journey--Letter from H. S. Clubb--Decision--Packing and starting.

CHAPTER II.

Our journey--Bid farewell to friends--Detained at Watertown--Stop at Buffalo-- Take Lake Shore route for Cleveland--Stop at Indianapolis--Arrive at St. Louis--
Go on board steamer for Kansas City--"The call to Kansas"--Journey into the territory--Fording rivers-Camping--Arrive at destination.

CHAPTER III.

Disappointments and discomforts--Find no mills--No place of shelter--"The centre Octagon "--Improve it--Our dormitory--Rainy season--Simple food--Manner of cooking--Hope revived--Expect a saw mill--Company leave--Receive calls-Washing-Baking--Take claims--Build cabins.

CHAPTER IV.

Ploughing and planting--A busy time--Ploughing by moonlight--Mrs. Herriman sick--Visit her, carry flower--Climate of Kansas--Ramble in the bottom lands--The Neosho--Vines and berry bushes--Indians, dress and wild nature--Go with husband to plant corn--A spot selected for cabin--Don the Bloomers-Flowers--A novel picture--Church at Mr. Clubb's--The eager cattle--Spider wart--Thunder storm--The Indians gone on a hunt-Presentiments--Plough broken--Mr. Herriman leaves the Territory--Sabre gone--Sambo day--Tune for Flowers--Visit to the ruined wigwams--Indian utensils--Purslain plant.

CHAPTER V.

Tbe unsettled state of the Territory--Northern invasion-What Willie said--Mr. Buxton--No papers--The city of Lawrence destroyed--Osawatomie sacked--Mob threaten to come here--Trunks locked--I am made Treasurer--May Heaven save us-Air-Bugbear--Straw ticks filled with prairie grass-Musquetoes--Fencing cornfields--H. S. Clubb's house--Soft stone for building-Limestone-Coal--Baking Days--White bread--Writing home--Letter from St. Louis--Dried apple and berries-Grasshoppers-Evening prim roses--Big creek-Whippoorwill--Frogs.

CHAPTER VI.

The fever and ague has surely come--Mother, Lydia, Mema, Mr. V. and wife all sick--Mr. V. intends leaving the Territory--I am taken sick also--Husband concludes to leave--Husband washes--We cook for journey--The water failing--Father hunts for water--Doomed to disappointment--Father takes mother and sister L., and goes to Indian house--Mr. V. and wife leave for Kansas City--What shall we do?--Submit to paternality--H. S. Clubb sick--Leaves the settlement--Sick at Mr. Adams'-Stewart's-Broadbent's--The Oliver brothers leave--Willie taken sick--Unhappy Fourth--Husband returns from cornfield sick--Thunder storm--We go to Indian house--Spring of cold water--Husband goes to Mr. Stewart's, is sick with fever and ague--All sick but father and myself--Father draws Water.

CHAPTER VII.

All sick but myself--Mr. Buxton here--Writing home--Sick ones scattered about--Three months from Northern home--Go to settlement--Borrow a sieve--Mr. Stewart and wife visit us-- Buxton takes sick and goes home--I am nurse and maid--Take care of oxen, cow and calf--Bring water--Attend to the sick--Mourning dove--Charnel house of red men's bones-Indian burial-Snakes--Mysterious personage--Take sick ones out to ride--Drive oxen--Storing water to wash-Wolves-Husband's birth-day--Oxen run away--Go for them--Lose my way, but find lovely dells and grain fields--Go again for oxen--See Mr. Stewart--Ride home--Father Broadbent's visit--Prayer.

CHAPTER VIII.

Indians return from hunt--Timely warning--Critical hour--My proposal--Take leave of family--Kiss my Willie again--Start off--Walked, run or flew--Fear of being seized by Indians--At the cornfields by sundown--Osage's superstition--Hurry on for fear of darkness and getting lost--Reach Mr. Adams'--Make known our danger--Mr. Adams makes ready men and teams--Mr. Stewart and Broadbent start with me--Thunder storm--Woolen quilt--Confused and bewildered--The oxen's instinct--The moon--Scattering trees--The cry of "a light," "a house,--Thanks to Heaven--Embrace my family--Husband's anxiety--The men asleep--No sleep for me--The dawn of day--Bid a glad adieu to Indian house--Sweet corn and squashes--Arrive at settlement--Condition of cabin--"Puncheons" and heater, beds and trunks take their former place--Thanksgivings and rejoicings.

CHAPTER IX.

Life at the settlement again--A letter from Mrs. V.-Another terrific thunder storm--A walk of four miles for spring water--The Indians pass and re-pass, going to Cofuchigue with dried buffalo meat and tallow--Their hungry dogs--Buy buffalo meat--Green corn and squashes in abundance--Family some better--Mr. V.'s cornfield--Mr. V's flowers and tomatoes--My dream--Hot days--Mr. Adams, wife and child, and young men sick--Mr. Stevvart s family sick--We go to see Mr. Clubb--A shower on onr return--A long, drizzling rain--bring water through the wet grass--Chase after cow--Husband tries to persuade father again to leave the Territory, but all in vain; he must stay to sell land--Indians destroying our corn--Steal the melons--Oxen cannot be found--Sunday morn--Sister L. and Mema go with me for water--White crows--Quails--Another letter from Mrs. V.--Inend to leave the country--Washing, and white clothes--Willie afraid the Indians will carry off his mamma--Trunks packed, and cooking done for our journey--Mr. Breadbent sick--Indian amenities--Our fannily better--Wagon sold--Agree with Mr. Morris to take us out of the Territory--Disappointed again--My husband's dream--He divides funds--Spike of flowers--Another chance to go--Make arrangements with Healy--The big melon.

CHAPTER X.

Our journey from the Neosho, &c.--View the journey before me--Camp at Conreal's--Pass the Catholic Mission--Camp on Cow creek--Lame ox--Cooking by camp fire--Bad water--Rumors of war--Reach marks of civilization--Driver obstinate--Husband stays in a house--A rainy night and morning--Look in at Mr. Decker's--Families propose a rest--Our ruffian driver demands our blood or our money--The scene overcomes my husband--He has a chill--Gives the crazy driver a little--He tbreateos to leave us by the side of the road--Find a place in a house for husband--Sleep with my children in the wagon--Insulted by drunken driver--He is persuaded to take us on a few miles--We stop at Carthage, Jasper Co., Mo.--Find a friend in one Mr. Wells--Husband and children sick some--Stop one week with Mr. Wells--Leave for Booneville, Mo.--Mr. Wheeler sick--Leave him at Mellville--Willie taken sick with dysentery--Hold him on pillows all day--Watch with him all night--We travel on--Arrive at Booneville--Stop at Bullock's hotel--Mema sick--Willie very sick--Mema better--I still watch with trembliog.

CHAPTER XI.

Willie's death--Bury him in the city burying ground, a lovely, retired spot--Receive much sympathy from stranger friends--Pack trunks to journey--Purchase grave stones for Willie, (pay with my own clothes,) marked, Willie, the little stranger--Husband tries to sell gold watch--My dream--Husband taken sick 8ee the stones placed at Willie's grave--Call Dr. McCutchen--Friends try to comfort me with hope of husband's recovery--My heart is sorrowful--husband no better--Friends kind--Husband's advice in case of his death--My husband s death and burial--We go to Capt. Walter's pleasant home--A letter from St. Louis states that my goods are in Kansas City--I must not grieve, but up and attend to business--Much sympathy, and administering to necessities--The county fair, but no desire to go--Write a long letter in regard to goods--Headache--My husband's clothes sold at auction--The avails used to purchase him gravestones--A pleasant Sabbath--The negro servants--Notice of husband's death in the paper--Go to the burying ground to see husband's gravestones set--Take a last farewell--Have papers made out to send to Insurance Co.--Take leave of my kind stranger friends.

CHAPTER XII.

Step out on the sea of life alone--Journey from Boonville to Jackson, Mich.--Meet with a warm reception from friends--Ride about the city--Visit to the state prison--Visit a brother in Parma--Mema sick--Return to Jnckson--Sad news--Father Colt's death and burial in Kansas--Mother Colt and sister L. start for the State of New York--They arrive in Stockholm, N. Y --Mother Colt's death the 4th of November--Mema very sick with the chills--Hear O. S. Fowler lecture on Phrenology--Holidays in Jackson--Sister Lydia's death--Journey to Owassa, Mich.--Stop one night in Lansing--Stay one week in Bingham--Pass through thrifty towns--Owassa (bright spot)--Receive letters from friends--Visiting with friends--Letters from the Insurance Co.--Write to Montreal--Policy lost--Write to Hartford--Give bonds--Receive insurance money--Invest it--Leave Owassa for Jackson, on the cars--Visit and bid farewell to friends--Start for New York--Visit Niagara Falls--Sick at Syracuse--Arrive at Potsdam--In West Stockholm--Purchase a little land to make a home--Visit, and receive-letters from friends--My goods arrive--My home ready--Move into it--Barn and henery built--The widow's home and heart.

CHAPTER XIII.

My early life--My pedigree--My father's character--My mother--My place of nativity--Entrance upon this life--A puny childhood--Fifteen years of age before I had books or health to study--Joined the church before I was fourteen--My desire to dress well--Aspirations for knowledge--Kept house for a brother--Denth of a little brother--Attended school winters--Tanght school--Was successful--My minister's approval--Journey to St. Lawrence co.--My stay in Fort Covington--A pleasant time My father's moving to Parishville--Our pleasant home--My teaching and going to school--My marriage--Mema's birth--My life in the city, and love of the same--Our removal to the country--Boarding and visiting--Birth of my Willie--Living on a farm--Genealogy of the Colt family--My husband's birth-place--Removal to New York--His occupation and education.

CHAPTER XIV.

How the world goes with me--"Only waiting"--My intentions of improving my little home--Setting trees and cultivating flowers--My interest not paid--My effort for a livelihood--Called to mourn--My brother sells and leaves--Called to mourn again--Remembered by my Booneville friends--Adversity still reigns--The farm sold on which my security rested--I am called to pay my little debts--My health poor--The cold winter--My neighbors get me wood--My nephew sends a little money--Mema's poetry--Messages from my husband--My husband s whisper--The war--My neighbors--Fitting Mema to take care of herself--The poultry business--Poverty still gapes upon us--Relief from Montreal friends--Still try to improve our home--Praise God, and ask for grace.

APPENDIX.

Vegetarian Settlement Company--Origin--The Site--Octagon Plan of Settlement--Area of Plan--Programme of Routes--Names of those who went to Kansas.

CONSTITUTION OF VEGETARIAN SETTLEMENT COMPANY.

Article I.-Object--Article II.-Principle--Article III-Officers--Artcle IV.- Qualification of Members--Article V.-Capital--Article VI-Transfer of Shares.--Article VII-Election and Voting--Article VIII-Settlements--Article IX - Disposition of Lots--Article X-Currency--Article XI-Purchase and Transfer of Lands--Article XII-Meetings--Article XIII-Liabilities--Article XIV-Arbitration.

  Preface    Chapter I      Contents 

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