ROSANA WHITENIGHT produced this selection.

William G. Cutler's History of the State of Kansas
was first published in 1883 by A. T. Andreas, Chicago, IL.


PART 1: Legislative and Political Annals | 1861 | 1862
PART 2: 1863 | 1864 | 1865 | 1866 | 1867 | 1868 | 1869
PART 3: 1870 | 1871 | 1872
PART 4: 1873
PART 5: 1874
PART 6: 1875
PART 7: 1876 | 1877
PART 8: 1878
PART 9: 1879
PART 10: 1880 | 1881
PART 11: 1882
PART 12: 1883, Part 1
PART 13: 1883, Part 2
PART 14: Gubernatorial Vote of Kansas
PART 15: Vote of Kansas at Presidential Elections
PART 16: Presidential Electors | Representatives in Congress | United States Senators
PART 17: The Judiciary of the Territorial Period | Territorial Judicial Districts | Courts Under the State Regime | District Courts
PART 18: United States Courts | State Officers | The Governors of the State of Kansas
PART 19: Charles Robinson | Thomas Carney | Samuel J. Crawford | Nehemiah Green | James M. Harvey
PART 20: Thomas A. Osborn | George T. Anthony | John P. St. John | George W. Glick


* These annals have been, up to the close of 1874, chiefly compiled from Wilder's "Annals of Kansas." As a work for local historic reference, it is the most thorough and comprehensive of its kind ever published in this country. The editor here, as elsewhere, acknowledges the invaluable aid he has derived from it in the compilation of this history.


The First State Legislature, Charles Robinson, Governor, met March 26, adjourned June 4. Speaker of the House, W. W. Updegraff; President of the Senate, J. P. Root; April 4, the first United States Senators were elected, to wit: James H. Lane and Samuel C. Pomeroy. The voting continued for two hours, during which time members were constantly changing their votes. During the interval of balloting the votes for the candidates fluctuated - for Lane, from 45 to 64; for Pomeroy, from 49 to 57; for Parrott, from 47 to 60. The final vote, as declared, stood as follows:

James H. Lane, 55; Samuel C. Pomeroy, 52; Marcus J. Parrott, 49; Fred P. Stanton, 21; Mark W. Delahay, 2; S. D. Houston, 1; S. A. Kingman, 3; A. J. Isacks, 11; Martin F. Conway, 1.

The breaking-out of the war, and the first call of President Lincoln for troops, April 15, only three weeks after the State Government was put in motion, gave little time to attend to the peaceful legislation which would have otherwise characterized its first legislative deliberations and acts. It was essentially a war session, busy in providing ways and means for the coming conflict. With supplies exhausted by the famine of the previous year, and the currency of neighboring States, which constituted the only circulating medium, depreciated to a point that had destroyed all credit and financial stability, the Legislature went sturdily to the work of supplying the men and means to fill the quota required of the State.

The most important legislation was an act authorizing the issue of bonds of the State to the amount of $150,000, to defray the current expenses of the State; acts changing names of counties - Lykins to Miami, Dorn to Neosho, and Godfrey to Seward; an act providing for an election of a District Attorney in each judicial district; an act calling an election for the permanent location of the State capital.

A Bogus Election. - In October, 1861, the following petition, quite numerously signed by respectable and loyal citizens of the State, was presented to the Republican State Committee:

We, the undersigned citizens, suffering in common with others from the impotency or malice of the present State Executive, and earnestly desiring a State government that will, in a patriotic and energetic manner defend our people from invasion - knowing that by the plain and emphatic provisions of the State Constitution, the term of our State officers expires on the lst day of January, and that the Legislative enactment continuing the State officers beyond that time is null and void, and that there is not sufficient time, before the election, to hold a nominating convention, do respectfully pray your honorable body to nominate a full State ticket of efficient Union men, without reference to their political antecedents - men who will conduct the State government with reference to the good of the whole country, and not upon mere personal grounds.

The State Committee, in response to the above petition, met in Topeka, October 16, and nominated the following ticket:

For Governor, George A. Crawford, of Bourbon County; for Lieutenant Governor, Joseph L. Speer, Jefferson County; for Secretary of State, J. W. Robinson, Riley County; for Attorney General, Samuel A. Stinson, of Leavenworth County; for Treasurer, H. R. Dutton, of Brown County for Auditor, James R. McClure, of Davis County; for Superintendent of Public Instruction. H. D. Preston, of Osage County.

The Committee, during the session at which the above nominations were made, adopted the following:

Resolved, That the vigorous prosecution of the present war, the earnest and hearty support of the Administration in its efforts to crush out the rebellion, the maintenance of the Constitution, the enforcement of the laws, and the preservation of the Union, are the issued upon which these nominations are made.

The election of the officers nominated occurred November 5, the day of the legal election of Representatives, State Senators, State officers, Judges - to fill vacancies - and District Attorneys, as provided by law. The canvassers in the counties of Atchison, Douglas, Leavenworth, Butler and Jefferson, refused to recognize or return the vote cast. In the remaining twenty-nine counties, 5,436 votes were returned for Crawford as Governor. The State Board of Canvassers did not canvass Crawford's vote. The case was carried to the Supreme Court, for adjudication, and, on January 21, 1862, the court overruled the motion of George A. Crawford, and declared the election of Governor in 1861 illegal. The opinion was rendered by Chief Justice Ewing - (See State of Kansas, ex rel.; Crawford vs. Robinson, 1 Kan., 17).

At the State election, held November 5, the vote on the permanent location of the capital resulted in favor of Topeka. The vote was: Topeka, 7,996; Lawrence, 5,291; all others, 1,184. The vote for or against a banking law was: In favor, 4,655; against, 2,807. An amendment, whereby banking institutions were prohibited to issue notes of a less denomination than $1, was adopted by a vote of 3,733 in favor, to 3,343 against.

The State seal was adopted by the first Legislature. The history of its adoption was given in January, 1883, in the Topeka Capital. It read as follows:

On the 3d of April the State Senate, considering the Governor's message, referred that part which mentioned the great seal of the Committee on Ways and Means. Five days after, Monday, April 8, the following resolution was submitted to the Senate: "Resolved, That a Committee of three be appointed on behalf of the Senate to act with a like committee on the part of the House to draw and recommend a design for the great seal of the State of Kansas." This resolution was referred to the Committee on Ways and Means. Similar resolutions were considered by the House, and the two committees got to work.

But they did not produce a seal very soon. There were designs and designs, mottoes and mottoes. Scholars suggested and Western men insisted. Mr. McDowell, of the State Library Committee, suggested a design with a landscape something like that afterward adopted, and the emphatic motto "We will." Mr. Denman proposed to change the motto to "We won't." Backward and forward the thing was bandied about. The House journal for Friday, May 17, records the fact that the Senate sent a message on "House joint resolution State Seal," saying they had amended and desired concurrence. This message was discussed next day by the House, which did not concur. Then a committee was appointed for conference. The Senate appointed a conference committee on Monday and at the meeting of the two committees the same day the matter was substantially settled.

Of that date, May 20, a letter in the Leavenworth Conservative contains the following passage: "The vexed question of a State seal has at last received its quietus at the hands of the conference committee. The new design embraces a prairie landscape with buffalo pursued by Indian hunters, a settler's cabin, a river with a steamboat, a cluster of thirty-four stars surrounding the legend 'Ad astra per aspera' the whole encircled by the words "Great seal of the State of Kansas, 1861." The Senate accepted the report of the conference committee on Wednesday the 22d of May, 1861, and the House concurred on the same day, and so the "design" for a seal was decided.

Mr. Wilder, in his "Annals of Kansas," says the writer of the letter in the Conservative, was John J. Ingalls, and as Wilder was editor of that paper he ought to know. The same J. J. Ingalls was Secretary of the State Senate and had therefore means of accurate information. John A. Martin, of Atchison, was a member of that conference committee referred to above, and a letter of inquiry addressed to him by the present writer brought back the statement that J. J. Ingalls had submitted to the committee the design that was finally adopted. Why then did not the letter in the Conservative state that fact? Undoubtedly mainly because Mr. Ingalls was too modest to claim the honor of having settled "the vexed question," for modesty belongs to youth and J. J. was a young man then. Besides being to modest, Mr. Ingalls had another motive for not claiming it. The design as finally adopted is not his alone, and though he may fairly claim credit for some of it, yet of other parts he is by no means proud.

The design as submitted to the committee by Mr. Ingalls consisted "of a blue shield at the base of a cloud out of which was emerging one silver star to join the constellation in the firmament comprising the thirty-four then in the Union, with the motto "ad astra per aspera.' The cloud symbolized the struggles through which we had passed, the star the State, the constellation the Union. The motto was both descriptive and suggestive and the entire design simple, unique and satisfactory." It was so satisfactory to the committee that they adopted it entire. But after that, some of the "wild heralds of the frontier" altered it by mixing a steamboat and plowing, with buffalo hunting, etc., till really nothing but the motto is Mr. Ingall's, and the landscape is probably substantially the one submitted by Mr. McDowell. The historic part of the seal is the motto, the date, and the bison hunt and the log cabin. But the motto is not only historic, but suggestive of a fact that will be true for ever, that the conquest of difficulties is the way to moral as well as political success. John J. Ingalls is now United States Senator from Kansas, and his life has not been unmarked by usefulness, but in years to come he will be most proud of the fact that he gave our prosperous State its noble motto which has been the text of many a sermon and the starting point of many a career. Ad astra per aspera. So be it.

We have seen that it is constitutional to have a great seal for our State, and yet months elapsed in which the State government was administered without a seal. We saw a few days ago a commission issued by Gov. Robinson in that same month of May, 1861, which has merely a blank where the seal ought to be. The old legal definition of a seal was a cake of wax marked by the proper impression, but later judicial decisions say that a document is properly sealed if only there is a rough impression made with the pen of the place of the seal. The fact that King James threw the great seal of England into the Thames, or that Charles Robinson went on for many months without a seal in Kansas shows that this thing is not an indispensable symbol of authority, though its use is a great convenience.

The report of John W. Robinson, Secretary of State, for the year 1861, says that "the State seal and seals for some of the State officers were procured early after the adjournment of the Legislature." That adjournment took place in June, 1861. In the Auditor's report for 1862, dated January, 1863, there is this item of money paid: "Estate of O'Shawnessy, seals, $120," which we suppose is the payment for the seals mentioned by Secretary Robinson the previous year.

Thus, then, we have given the origin of the great seal of Kansas. We have only to add that the first seal was in a screw-press like those used for copying, and that since then there have been two others made, the present one being used like an ordinary Notary's seal, and giving a very clear and definite impression.



The Second State Legislature, Charles Robinson, Governor, met January 14, adjourned, March 6. President of the Senate, J. P. Root; Speaker of the House, M. S. Adams. During the session the laws were compiled, and the following acts and laws were passed: Accepting the terms prescribed by Congress on the admission of the State; apportioning the State for Senators and Representatives; establishing codes of civil and criminal procedure; establishing a Criminal Court in Leavenworth County; organizing the County of Greenwood; changing the name of Breckenridge County to Lyon; creating a State Board of Equalization; Homestead exemption law; providing for the management of the School fund, and the University fund; fixing the salaries of State officers, etc.

January 23, the Legislature, accepted a gift of twenty acres of land from the Topeka Town Company, as a site for the Capitol.

Impeachment of State Officials. - Soon after the meeting of the Legislature, it was openly charged that in the sale of the State bonds, authorized by the preceding Legislature, the leading State officials had, in collusion with one Robert S. Stevens, a stock and bond broker, sold the said bonds, or the major part of them, at a much higher price than had been reported to the State, and, that thereby the State had been defrauded of a large sum of money. It was reported and generally believed that the difference between the price at which the bonds had been sold by Stevens, and the amount paid into the State Treasury as net proceeds, was not less than $40,000. A committee of the House, after investigation, reported, February 14, which report concluded with a resolution impeaching Charles Robinson, Governor, John W. Robinson, Secretary of State, and George S. Hillyer, Auditor of State, for high misdemeanors in office. The report was signed by Martin Anderson, H. L. Jones, B. W. Hartley, Sidney Clarke and Thomas Carney. The resolution of impeachment was adopted unanimously by the House, the vote being sixty-five votes in the affirmative and none in the negative. The impeachment managers, on the part of the House, were: P. B. Plumb, Lyon County; F. W. Potter, Coffey; Azel Spaulding, Jefferson; W. R. Wagstaff, Miami; Davies Wilson, Riley; and S. A. Stinson, Attorney General.

The Senate met as a Court of Impeachment, June 2. Wilson Shannon, Fred P. Stanton and N. P. Case appeared as counsel for the defense. Thomas A. Osborn was elected President pro tem., on June 3, on the fourteenth ballot, John J. Ingalls being his competitor for the office. Byron Sherry was elected journal clerk, and Richard J. Hinton and Robert Parham, reporters.

The articles of impeachment against John W. Robinson were eight in number. The first contained the vital arraignment, and, in the three cases, varied only in the names and offices held by the parties on trial. In the case of John W. Robinson, Secretary of State, who was first brought to trial, the first article of impeachment was as follows:

ARTICLE 1. That the said John W. Robinson was, prior to the third day of June, A. D. 1861, ever since has been, and still is, Secretary of State of said State of Kansas. That on the fifth day of June, A. D. 1861, the said John W. Robinson, as Secretary of State, together with Governor and Auditor of said State, was authorized and empowered to negotiate and sell the bonds of the State, the issuance of which was provided for in the act authorizing the negotiation of one hundred and fifty thousand dollars of the bonds of the State of Kansas, to defray the current expenses of the State, approved, May 1, 1861.

That bonds of the State of Kansas, to defray the current expenses of the State, were prepared, executed, and issued according to law.

That the said John W. Robinson, being so empowered to sell and negotiate said bonds, did authorize and empower one Robert S. Stevens to negotiate and sell said bonds, to the amount of eighty-seven thousand two hundred dollars, at any price over sixty per centum upon the amount of said bonds, he, the said Stevens, paying to the State no more than sixty per centum of said amount; that under said agreement, and with the full knowledge and consent of said Robinson, said Stevens proceeded to sell and deliver a large amount of said bonds, to wit, the amount of fifty-six thousand dollars of said bonds, at the rate of eighty-five per centum on said amount of fifty-six thousand dollars, all of which was well known to said Robinson; and under the said agreement, with the full knowledge and consent of said Robinson, said Stevens paid over and accounted to the said State for only the amount of sixty per centum on said bonds as sold aforesaid, which said agreement, so made and entered into by said Robinson, was in direct violation of the laws of said State in this, that under the said laws said bonds could not be sold for less than seventy per centum on the amount of said bonds; and was in violation of the official duties of the said Robinson in this, that the said State was, by said agreement, defrauded out of its just rights, in that said State was entitled to receive the full amount for which said bonds were sold, while in truth, and in fact, with the full knowledge and consent of said Robinson, said bonds were sold, for eighty-five per centum upon the dollar of the amount of said bonds, while in truth, and in fact, the said State did not receive more than sixty per centum upon the whole amount of bonds so sold; whereby said John W. Robinson betrayed the trust reposed in him by the State of Kansas, subjected said State to great pecuniary loss, and has thereby been guilty of a high misdemeanor in said office of Secretary of State aforesaid.

June 12, the trial of John W. Robinson was concluded, and the vote taken by the President pro tem., on each article of impeachment, in the following form:

"Mr. _______, how say you? Is the respondent guilty, or not guilty, as charged in this article of impeachment?"

On the first article the vote stood: Guilty, 17; not guilty, 4. Those voting guilty were Bayless, Cobb, Connell, Curtis, Essick, Holliday, Hubbard, Keeler, Knowles, Lambdin, McDowell, Osborn, Rankin, Rees. Roberts, Sleeper and Spriggs. There were four absentees. Those voting not guilty were Barnett, Ingalls, Denman and Lappin. Votes were taken on each article of impeachment, the result being announced by the President, as follows:

On the first article of impeachment, seventeen gentlemen having voted guilty, and four not guilty; on the second, ten gentlemen having voted guilty, and eleven gentlemen not guilty; on the third, eight gentlemen having voted guilty, and thirteen not guilty; on the fourth, five gentlemen having voted guilty, and sixteen not guilty; on the fifth, seven gentlemen having voted guilty, and fourteen gentlemen not guilty; on the sixth, twenty-one gentlemen having voted not guilty; on the seventh, twenty-one gentlemen having voted not guilty; on the eighth, twenty-one gentlemen having voted not guilty; it therefore appears, that John W. Robinson is found guilty of high misdemeanor in office, as charged in the first article of impeachment, and is acquitted on the second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh and eight articles.

On the finding of the court, Secretary Robinson was removed from office by a vote of 18 to 3.

The trial of George S. Hillyer followed, the verdict on the evidence being announced by the President as follows:

On the first article of impeachment, seventeen gentlemen having voted guilty, and four not guilty; on the second, nine gentlemen having voted guilty, and twelve not guilty; on the third, six gentlemen having voted guilty, and fifteen not guilty; on the fourth, five gentlemen having voted guilty, and sixteen no guilty; on the fifth, no gentleman having voted guilty, and nineteen not guilty; on the sixth, four gentlemen having voted guilty, and seventeen not guilty; on the seventh, twenty-one gentlemen having voted not guilty - it therefore appears the George S. Hillyer is found guilty of high misdemeanor in office, as charged in the first article of impeachment, and is acquitted on the second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth and seven articles.

On the finding of the court, the Senate voted to remove George S. Hillyer from the office of Auditor, the vote being 18 in favor of removal to 2 against.

The trial of Charles Robinson, Governor, was short. It was begun and concluded on the same day. The articles of impeachment were five in number. The first article charged him with misdemeanors in office, of like character of those preferred against the subordinate officers, as appears in the first article in the impeachment of John W. Robinson, before quoted.

The Governor was acquitted on every article, by a vote so nearly unanimous as to render the trial a complete vindication of his honesty.* (*But for a bitter feud, then at its height, in which Gen. Lane and Gov. Robinson were the opposing leaders, it is doubtful whether any attempt would have been made to inculpate him in the matter. The result of the trial left neither him nor his friends cause for regret.) His acquittal was thus announced:

On the first article, two gentlemen have pronounced guilty, and nineteen not guilty; on the second article, there is a unanimous vote of not guilty; on the third article, there is a unanimous vote of not guilty; on the fourth article, there is a unanimous vote of not guilty; on the fifth article, one has said guilty, and twenty not guilty; hence it appears, that there is not a constitutional majority of votes finding Charles Robinson guilty on any one article. It therefore becomes my duty to declare that Charles Robinson stands acquitted of all the articles exhibited, by the House of Representatives against him.

Conventions. - The Republican State Convention met September 17, at Topeka. The following nominations were made: For Governor, Thomas Carney; Lieutenant Governor, Thomas A. Osborn; Secretary of State, George A. Crawford** (**Mr. Crawford declined the nomination, and W. W. H. Lawrence was put upon the ticket by the Republican State Committee, October 1.); Auditor of State, Asa Hairgrove; State Treasurer, William Spriggs; Attorney General, Warren W. Guthrie; Superintendent of Public Instruction, Isaac T. Goodnow; Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, John H. Watson; Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, Lawrence D. Bailey; Representative of Congress, A. C. Wilder.

The Union State Convention met at Lawrence, September 29, and made the following nominations: For Governor, W. R. Wagstaff; Lieutenant Governor, John J. Ingalls; Secretary of State, James Humphrey; Auditor of State, N. S. Goss; State Treasurer, David L. Lakin; Attorney General, Louis Carpenter; Superintendent of Public Instruction, E. D. Brown; Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Willard P. Gambell; Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, E. S. Lowman; Representative in Congress, Marcus J. Parrott.

The Democratic State Convention was held at Topeka, October 1. It recommended "to the Democracy of every Senatorial and Representative district run a candidate or candidates (as the case may be) for the State Legislature." The nominee for Member of Congress was William G. Mathias.

The State election took place November 4. The vote for Governor was: Carney, Republican, 10,090; Wagstaff, Union, 5,463. For Congressman the vote was: Wilder, Republican, 9,676; Parrott, Union, 4,666; Mathias, Democrat, 930.

[TOC] [part 2] [part 1] [Cutler's History]