Kancoll: The Kansas Historical Quarterlies

Letters of Cyrus Kurtz Holliday, 1854-1859

edited by Lela Barnes

August, 1937 (vol. 6, no. 3 1937, pages 241 to 294)
Transcribed by lhn; digitized with permission of
the Kansas State Historical Society.


CYRUS KURTZ HOLLIDAY, [1] the writer of the letters here reproduced, is nationally known as the original promoter and first president of the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway, but he played a considerable part, as well, in the territorial history of Kansas, particularly in the founding of the city of Topeka. While the railroad, following generally the route of the old Santa Fe trail into New Mexico, was built upon his conception and as a result of his persistent efforts, he threw himself with equal determination into the territorial struggle for a free state. He was one of the organizers of the Topeka town company, assisting in laying out the town; and at the sacrifice of his personal political ambitions was largely instrumental in having it made the state capital.

Holliday came to the territory in the autumn of 1854, at the age of twenty-eight, leaving behind him his young wife, to whom these letters were addressed. He had some capital, realized from work in the organization of a railroad in Pennsylvania, and a determination to build a business career on the frontier. Within four weeks after his arrival he was engaged in founding the town up the river, looking with clear vision beyond the immediate time, and planning with the acumen that marked his entire business life.

These letters, covering only the period 1854-1859, form part of a collection given to the Society by Lillie Holliday Kellam, Holliday's daughter. They are published with no changes beyond the deletion of a few personal passages.


Chicago, Illinoise [2]

My Dear Mary- Nov. 1st 1854

found myself much better and at 3 o'clock (Tuesday) we left Cleve-



land and arrived here today at one. We will leave here for St. Louis tonight at 10 o'clock and expect to reach St. Louis tomorrow at noon when we are in hopes of getting immediate passage to Kansas. I will try and write you again from St. Louis.

Mr. Brigdon could not make his arrangements so as to go along with us which we very much regret as he would have made a good travelling companion.

There is scarcely a stone left standing of the New England Hotel where we stopped last summer when in Cleveland. It together with two or three entire blocks are entirely consumed.

Everything as yet looks encouraging for us. About ten days ago some two hundred persons passed this way to Kansas-and since then another party of 51 from Oberlin near Cleveland have also gone. We find, however, that a great many of those aboard the cars are [going] to other parts of the West-chiefly Iowa.

You had better have your silk dress made this winter for should we select a home in the West you will have no chance to wear it among your Meadville friends.

I think of nothing further about which to write-especially as we are both writing upon a nasty dirty washstand with our lead pencils. And as you will have trouble enough deciphering what is already written I will close . . . . In all I do, Mary, I have your welfare fondly at heart.

Believe me your loving Husband. My love to all the family.


We cant tell you yet where our address will be-

Missouri River

Steamer F. X. Aubrey [3]

Monday Morning Nov. 6, 1854

My Dear Mary-

. . . I will try and write you a line but you will perceive by the scrawly appearance that it is no easy work to write aboard a steamboat.

We are now about 320 miles up the Missouri River above St. Louisquite a little trip to make in one week! for you will remember it is just one week since we left home. We are now within 120 miles of Kansas, and hope if all goes well to reach there by tomorrow morning. We did expect to have reached our destination early


this morning-but we have been running aground continually ever since we left St. Louis the River being very low and our Boat being very large. We have had, as a general thing, a very pleasant journey thus far.

I wrote you a line while in Chicago-well we left Chicago at 10 o'clock Wednesday night and at 3 o'clock the next day were in St. Louis. We immediately went aboard the F. X. Aubrey which was advertised to leave on that evening and at 6 o'clock Thursday evening started for Kansas. I suppose we are on the best Boat in the River in proof of which Ingram will send you a bill of fare. Everything that is upon the bill we had upon the table. [4] I am afraid there will be a great contrast between our bill of fare for dinner today and the dinners we expect to get in a week or two from now. We have about 200 or 250 passengers aboard the Boat many of whom are emigrants and chiefly bound for Kansas. We have formed acquaintance with most on board and find among them very many true gentlemen. At St. Louis I met the agt. for the Emigrant companies who was very anxious to have us wait until the Crawford County Emigrants arrived. [6] I am afraid they will have some difficulty getting along the water is so very low. We shall wait for them a day or two at Kansas, Missouri, but if they do not come soon we shall go on. I have defined no definite course of action yet -nor will not, perhaps until I shall have looked considerably through the territory. But I think I shall enter my claim and then turn my attention to merchandizing at some good point along the River. But I can tell you more of this hereafter . . . . The game is immense. I have seen acres of wild geese rise from the sand bars and form three soldier like lines in the sky-a sight of truly the sublimest magnificence. Storks, cranes, geese, swans, ducksand every kind of water fowl abound in the greatest quantities. My health has not been as good as I could wish since I have been gone.

On the train from Chicago I was attacked with dysentery & vomiting every evening; and again last night was more severely attacked. I feel better this morning but am not well yet. I do not yet know


where my post office address will be-but if anything of great importance should arise you might address me at Kansas, Missouri, at a venture, as I will perhaps get it from there quicker than from any other point . . . . I will not write more now but will write you again in a day or two-or soon after I get to Kansas. Remember me to all . . . C. K. HOLLIDAY

City of Lawrence K. T.

Nov. 18, 54

My Dear Mary-

Through the politeness of the City Magistrate I am favored with materials to pen you a single line just previous to Mr. Ingram's departure. Had it not been for his kindness you could not have heard from me except by word of mouth. Mr. Ingram will fully explain all the inconveniences of our situation and the trials through which we have passed. I design remaining here for some time-how long I don't know-in order to effect some business arrangements. I would not have gone here for anything just now but at the same time will expect to have you come with me here hereafter. I am perfectly delighted with the Country. You may tell those who inquire that my idea of the country is simply this-that God might have made a better country than Kansas but so far as my knowledge extends he certainly never did. I am bound to make it my home if I can at all succeed in making suitable business arrangements. The site of this new city I think is most beautiful-and I know you would be delighted with it. But of all those matters Mr. Ingram will fully tell you. It may be that I will be home in a week or ten days after Ingram's arrival but you must not look for me at that time as I may not come until near spring . . . . If I conclude to stay here for a while I will make arrangements for putting up a building early in the spring-and [if] I succeed in making suitable arrangements we will try and come out in the spring.

Ingram will tell you how to address me and I will hope to hear from you often-much oftener than you can hear from me. There has been a good deal of suffering among some of the Emigrants, in consequence of not properly understanding their business. The Penna. company arrived the day after we did and were very illy prepared for the journey. There was a good deal of disaffection among them. Where they have gone I can't find out-but some of them I believe are here and some at Council Grove about 100 miles south of this. But I will write no more.

A letter from you will do me much good-

Yours affectionately HOLLIDAY


City of Lawrence

Kansas Territory

Dec. 3, 54

My Dear Mary-This Sunday evening I avail myself of the generous offer of a friend to pen you again a very few lines. You will see by this that I have got no place to call my home. But I hope ere long to have you with me and then I feel that I will truly have a home.

I should not have written this evening were it not for the consideration that tomorrow I again start for the up country to be gone I know not how long-perhaps 3 or 4 days-perhaps a couple of weeks. Hence I thought I had better write to you this evening as I might not get a chance to write to you again for some time to come. I am going about 40 miles up the Kansas River to assist in laying out a new town. I do wish you were here, Mary, I should never go back again to Meadville-except merely to visit and scarcely that. I have found the very best of people in Kansas. I am becoming more and more pleased with them every day, and I now you would like them and the place were you here. Last Thursday I was invited and attended a "thanksgiving dinner." Several gentlemen and ladies were present and we had a good time generally. The gentleman who favors me with the privilege of writing this note says if you will come out he will immediately surrender all right and title to his mansion. It is one of the best in the place. I will describe it. In shape it is exactly like the roof of an ordinary house-about 14 ft. long. The floor is earth-such as the Creator made. Next the frame work of the building-which are rough poles stuck together-is a layer of brush-next a layer of sod or turfand next a covering of prairie grass. If you would like the accommodations let me know-and yet I have seen beautiful and refined and educated women occupy just such mansions . . . . None in the city have any better. Even Mrs. Nichols the great lecturer on women's rights and editor of a newspaper has been living here a long time in just such a house. [6]

I don't know yet when I shall be home-perhaps soon. Maybe not till spring. I can tell you more in my next letter-I hope.

Tell Drew I will try and write to him as soon as I can find a place to write in or upon. Tell him the country pleases me much-that it far exceeds my most sanguine expectations. Give my love to all. Address to "Lawrence Kansas Territory."



"Up the River" K. T.

Dec. 10, 1854

My Dear Mary-I have thought that I could not spend this Sabbath morning in a more appropriate manner than in addressing another letter to you. Consequently I now find myself at 11 o'clock A. M. seated on the end of a trunk and writing upon the end of a half band keg-a little better fixture than when I wrote to Ingram for then I had nothing better than the bottom of a pewter platter upon which I had just eaten my breakfast. This will give you some idea of life in a new Territory.

I believe I addressed you last from Lawrence. I am now thirty miles above Lawrence on the Kansas River assisting in starting a new town. We are just about in the central portion of the settled territory and with perhaps the best landing and the most eligible site for a city in the entire country. Governor Reeder [7] passed through our place day before yesterday and spoke very encouragingly of our enterprise. We hope all will go well.

You can't tell, Mary, how glad I am that you are not with me. What we have to endure is almost beyond belief and you never could have gone through it. It is a long time since I have seen anything in the shape of a bed. I have a Buffalo Robe and two blankets in which I roll myself and lay down to rest upon the bare ground with boots, hat, overcoat and all on. Our food is mush, molasses and bacon, mixed plentifully with dirt three times each day. Thus we live in Kansas. Yet notwithstanding all this I have never had better health in my life-growing fatter and heartier each day.

A more lovely country I certainly never saw-and yet it looks worse now than at any other season. I am told by those who know that in the spring and early summer when the grass and shrubbery and flowers appear it is beautiful beyond conception. So I think it must be. And in a few years when civilization by its magic influence shall have transformed this glorious country from what it now is to the brilliant destiny awaiting it, the sun in all his course will visit no land more truly lovely and desirable than this. Here, Mary, with God's kind permission, we will make our home . . . . I do not know when I will return home, as yet. As soon as things are so as not to require my attention here I will go back-but I find that it will be greatly to my advantage to be on the ground.

I have not had any letter from you yet. I hope, Mary, you will remember me often in writing. You would appreciate the matter better if you could see how anxiously our men inquire for letters


whenever a wagon approaches our cabin. Among others I inquire every time but as yet have had no favorable response. Please re member this. My love to all. Your laving husband wishes you much health and happiness. C. K. HOLLIDAY

My Dear Mary-

Topeka, K. T. [8]

Dec. 17, 1854

Having warmed up a little I have concluded to sit down again and write you but a single line.

I am still living (no! stopping) at the place from which I wrote you last. I am enduring almost every thing that it is possible for a man to endure! Yet notwithstanding this I enjoy it all well. My health still continues good except for the past few days I have been a little unwell but nothing serious. This is certainly a most delightful country. I doubt whether even sunny and far famed Italy can favorably compare with this. I will try and make arrangements to have you come out in early spring but cannot say definitely.

Perhaps, as usual I will some of these times start off at a tangent and be at home before you will know it, but you must not be encouraged by this for I may not take such a start for some time to come. I find it necessary to be upon the ground in order to watch out for chances and I have some things here working which I find it necessary to be on hand to see to. I may know more in a few days how things will go.


Lawrence K. T.

Dec. 24, 1854

My Dear Mary-As you will perceive by my heading I am again in Lawrence-having returned here on last Wednesday for the purpose of attending to some business for the Association in our new City and also for personal business. Notwithstanding we have a very beautiful site for a town above where I have been operating for the past three weeks yet I must confess I was much pleased to get


back again to Lawrence. Here I can find a chair to sit upon, a table to eat from and a bed to lie upon. At our town above I can obtain neither, it having neither chair, table nor bed in the entire limits. Something of a city that. Yet we hope for something better-and we think we have good reason for our hope. Our city site is without doubt the prettiest in the Territory the country round is more extensive and better for agricultural purposes than any other I have ever seen and the right kind of men have taken hold of it. I want to, if I possibly can, put up a building for us this winter in order that we may have some place to move into in the spring.

Yet I cannot say definitely whether that home will be at this place Lawrence-or at Topeka our new town. At Topeka I have a city interest and have taken a farm claim-both of which I hope to hold. But if I succeed in holding the claim it will be necessary for me to live upon it-hence I think I will put a house upon it-and we will live there when you come on to the Territory.

I am much gratified by the favorable reception I am meeting with in the Territory-it proves what I have often said to you-that I could do nothing at Meadville but let me get off and try my hand among a new people and under different influences and I could pursue a different course of action. This has proven true. For instance in our own town I have acted as their President from our earliest commencement to the present time and last Monday I was unanimously, by ballot, elected as their first constitutional President to serve until the first Monday of July 1855. I have also received the appointment of temporary agent for the Emigrant Aid Co. of New England. I merely mention these facts to show you that I hold a respectable position before the people among whom I live.

[MS. mutilated: part of page is missing.]

When you want to write you can sit down to your task in a good warm room with paper, table, chairs, pen and ink all at your hand. While I am obliged to sit down upon the ground and write with such and upon such things as I can command. Sitting upon the ground and writing upon a trunk are generally the best accommodations I can find for writing. Today I am better provided than usual-sitting upon a chair and writing upon the top of a pine box.

[MS. mutilated: remainder of letter is missing.]


Topeka K. T.

Dec. 31, 1854

My Dear Mary-The second service of today having just been concluded I know of no better way to spend the remaining hour than to employ it in addressing you.

If you knew the inconveniences under which I write you would almost excuse me from writing at all. I am now better situated for writing than I have been on perhaps, any other occasion; and I am now sitting upon a trunk with a box . . . before me as my desk. At this moment the Minister who has just preached for us-and who is lying upon my bed, which consists of a handful of hay and a Buffalo Robe-by accident has almost kicked my desk over and while writing the last line I have removed twice -once to get out of our cook's way, and once to get nearer the door for light, our cabin having no windows in it. You will see from what I have said in the last few lines that writing is in no sense desirable occupation.

I am President of our city association and acting agent for the Mass. Emigrant Aid Co. These together with my own business give me as much as I can well attend to.

My health keeps good. In fact I weigh more than I ever weighed in my life before and 15 pounds more than when I left home. Our living is very homely indeed, but no doubt is very healthy-at least I hope so.

You Pennsylvania people would be greatly surprised could you have a view of us as we find ourselves situated in this new Territory. In our new city-where I now am-we number about 30 inhabitants all told-among whom there are no women or children. Our washing we get done as we can. For myself I am wearing today a shirt that I put on two weeks ago and scarcely know when I will get a clean one. But this is all right. I would not exchange Kansas and its dirty shirt for Penna. with all its elegance & refinement. Clean shirts & good living will come after awhile and then our territory will far eclipse anything you can find in the East. For instance take our weather . . . . Today there is not one particle of ice in our River or any of the creeks! And with a few days exception we have had no ice this winter. For the past 10 days it has been almost as pleasant as September-and this entire week we have gone about our work without our overcoats and most of the time in shirt sleeves. Except to cook our victuals scarcely requiring fire. Thus it is in Kansas. Tis true we occasionally have a pretty severe wind but it


does no more damage than to blow the dust a little around which makes us very dirty.

I cannot say yet when I will come home. I am trying to effect something that will be of some moment here before I come.

I cannot tell you what it is upon paper as it would take too long, but it will be all right if I can effect it and you will be the better pleased . . . [MS. mutilated: two lines are missing] turn yet from the position I occupy in our city association.

We are likely to have some trouble with some Missourians and it is necessary to stick together until all difficulty may be removed. We are in hopes of getting our saw mill agoing soon-then we will get better houses then I can write you better letters. I am hurrying through this as it is getting dark and Revd. Lum [9] by whose hands it will go leaves us before day tomorrow.

Direct to Lawrence, via Kansas City as usual. Love to all. From

your loving husband HOLLIDAY

Topeka Kansas Territory

Jan. 7, 1855

My Dear Mary-I find myself as usual this Sunday morning engaged in attempting to pen you a few lines-and I am thankful to a kind and all merciful Providence that I am thus permitted, weekly, to send my thoughts . . . they are an inconstant quantity and the product of the times and the circumstances under which I am surrounded. Therefore, you are entitled to them as they may suggest themselves to my own mind.

Well, then, to begin. I think there is no such a country in the world as Kansas. It is certainly more beautiful and desirable than any country I ever saw. And truly glad, indeed, am I, that I ever conceived the thought of coming here. I think again, Mary, that if you will yield to my wishes in this matter, that this delightful country will be our future home. And I think, again, that after you shall have seen this country as I have seen it and tried it as I have tried it (though I pray God you may never have to endure what I have endured) you will be equally delighted with it and will be well reconciled also, to make this, with me, your future home. The climate here is most cheering. For the past week, it is true, we have had weather a little rough, but today again is bright and glorious.

as rapidly


Since I have been in the Territory there has been but one day that the sun was not visible.

I venture to say that you have had many days in Meadville since I left, that you could not see the sun. I fear it may be a little too warm for me in Summer as you know I suffered a good deal last Summer-in fact this is the only dread I have of the Territory but I even think this will all be right inasmuch as we have no dead levels-no towering mountains-but the whole country is gently undulating and rolling like the waves of the sea. For this reason (and I am told it is true) there will be a steady, constant, breeze which will very much relieve the heat which would otherwise be oppressive.

I had a letter from my Brother-the Minister-a few days ago in which he expresses a strong desire to come out to the Territory and make it his home. I have advised him to do so and to come to this place.

Mr. Thomas Willson sent me a letter a few days since in which he wants to obtain information concerning Kansas with the expectation of coming out here to live. And thus it is they are coming from all parts of the country and Kansas will truly be over-flooded with intelligent and enterprising emigrants in the spring.

My health, as I informed you in my last, has never been better than it has been since I have been here. From this I take great hopes-from the fact that our way of living is such that a man would not be likely to grow fat over it.

I have often thought that I would like to give you a description of our living and modes of life. But the thing is too tedious and would tend, perhaps, a little to discourage you.

Suffice it to say that today I am in the principal house and hotel in Topeka. It is 12 x 14 ft.-of logs chinked with turf or sod and roofed with sod. I have known twenty-four persons to sleep in this house at one time.

I am now writing this sitting on a trunk and writing upon the end board of a wagon which I am holding in my lap. We have no windows. Our door is of 6¼ ct cotton cloth. Our house is full of boxes, trunks-logs of wood, tools of different tradesmen, guns, and the floor is strewn with chips, shavings, stones, earth, coals, ashes and prairie grass-a handful of the latter in one corner together with two buffalo robes and two blankets serves as the bed of a Mr. Giles [10] a


fine gentleman from Chicago-and myself. Each evening we turn into our humble couch with as much good feeling and peace of mind and conscience, and sleep as soundly and dream as pleasant dreams, as though we were resting our limbs on beds of down in marble halls; and beside our wives as Mr. Giles has just been cruel enough to suggest. We have both agreed to take back that last sentence.

In this Hotel, or Hall, or Church or whatever it may be we hold our public meetings, discuss the affairs of the Territory and country and world at large sing glees and choruses and other innocent amusements and every other Sabbath (and will soon every Sabbath) have preaching twice a day. [11] Last Sabbath our Preacher while speaking pretty near fell down by stumbling over our cook pots and pans which were directly behind him. Enough of this. For I must stop

From your loving husband HOLLIDAY

Lawrence K. T.

Feb. 11, 1855

My Dear Wife-As you will see by my heading I am again in Lawrence and have just begged a sheet of paper from a friend to write you my usual quantum of Sunday talk. I should be at church at this time instead of writing, but I had to walk some four miles from the Country where I was stopping last night with Mr. Waterman-a friend to Mr. Ingram and myself-and I got in too late for service. The Methodists are holding their Quarterly Meeting 12 today and the "Elder" is just preaching.


I am [in] Lawrence today on my way to the Shawnee Mission again to see Governor Reeder. I will start tomorrow for the Mission and will try and return to Topeka next Thursday, Friday or Saturday.

Everything has gone well with our people since I wrote you last, and the best of feeling is prevailing among them. There is but one thing wanting to make Topeka the first place in the Territory and that one thing I am now on my way to see the Governor about, in order, if possible, to accomplish it. [13] Our Society at Topeka is very superior what we have. There areas yet but four or five families in the immediate town but two thirds of our men are married & have families and will bring their families to our place as soon as navigation opens in the spring.

No place can be more healthy than ours has been. What it may be in the future time alone will determine. But for two and a half months we have had an average population of at least fifty persons among us and out of that entire number but one has been sick. Such a good report cannot be given of this place, Lawrence, although it is very healthy here. G. W. Brown, Editor Herald of Freedom, has been lying dangerously ill for some time but is now improving. A Mr. Litchfield, Hotel Keeper, [14] died last night and will be buried today.

Still there are many more inhabitants in Lawrence than in Topeka-there being some 400 or 500 in Lawrence while there are not over 80 or 100 in Topeka.

I have had no letter from you since I wrote you last--nor I think since I wrote you two letters. This perhaps is not attributable to you so much as to the mails. I understand today that the mails between Chicago and St. Louis have been blocked by snow and ice for some ten days or more. Hence I expect when a mail does come I will receive a whole package from you. I hope so indeed.


The weather since I wrote you last has again moderated. The past week has been almost as mild as summer. Today is very pleasant but very windy. I do not think we will have much cold weather this year, at least not of long continuance.

I think now that I will be enabled to let you know when I will come home after I have seen Reeder, or especially soon after the election. Though of this you must not flatter yourself. I will come just as soon as I possibly can. My business here has shaped itself two or three times in different attitudes and I am desirous of having it become somewhat fixed before I leave for home.

It is hard to tell how I will succeed in money matters out here. I know pretty well how I have succeeded-that is-I know that I have expended all the money I brought with me and will be obliged to borrow some 20$ to 50$ to pay off a debt I contracted yesterday. I wish it were so that I could have you send me fifty or one hundred dollars for I will need it greatly in getting home. But I may be able to borrow for that purpose also. If, however, you and Ingram can raise fifty or one hundred dollars I would be glad if you would purchase a draft with it upon some good house in New York and send it to me. Let Ingram or some one who understands it attend to it so there may be no error as a hundred dollars is too much for me to lose at this time. If Ingram thinks it cannot be sent with safety do not send it. But a great deal of money is sent to persons in the Territory in that way-and I hope you will send it if you can conveniently.

I have made investments at Lawrence and Topeka, and if I had money to spare I would like to make investments at other towns in the Territory-such as Leavenworth, Pawnee, &c., &c. But if I can't do as I would I must do as I can, and I earnestly hope that what I have done will come out right. The great trouble is the insecurity of titles. If it were not for this a- man could not help but do well.

Direct as usual to Lawrence via Kansas City Missouri.

Your loving husband C. K. HOLLIDAY

My Dear Wife-

When I have begun several of my last letters to you I always commenced by saying that I would pen you "but a single line" or "a few lines" or some such remark and then go on and fill up eight or ten pages. This time, however, I will try and be as good as my word and really only write you a "few lines." I have two reasons

Topeka K. T. Feb. 18, 1855


for saying so-first it is late in the evening and second I have no kind of disposition to write.

When I wrote you last I was at Lawrence. Since then I have been to Kansas City and Westport in Mo. and at the Methodist Mission in the Shawnee Reservation where Gov. Reeder is now stopping. I learned while down at Kansas [City] the causes that have prevented me from receiving any letters from you for so long a time as it has been, and I suppose the same causes prevent you from receiving any letters from me. The causes are simply these, that a tremendous snow storm has blocked up the Chicago & Mississippi R. R. so that. no mails have passed for some four weeks. As soon as a mail gets through I hope to have a good time in reading at least a half dozen letters from you. I wish I had them now to cheer me up; for I must confess I have the "blues" a little this evening. I am satisfied they arise only from the fact that I am somewhat homesick.

There has nothing new transpired among us since I wrote you last We have our Mill almost erected. [15] It will be done in about two or three weeks; then we will go to cutting boards and building houses and I trust make something as a show for a town. I was in hopes that my trip to the Governor would enable me [to] know when I might think of starting homebut it has not done so definitely. I can say this, however, that unless something arises to change my intention I will leave for Meadville the week after the election. I have an engagement that I must meet on the Wednesday following the election. I know now of nothing else to prevent my coming at that time. But when will the election be? I hear you ask. Well, Mary, I don't know. But this I do know that it will take place sometime between now and the middle of March. I wrote in my last for you to send me one hundred dollars-getting what portion you have not from Ingram. From what I have said you see you will have to send it soon or it will not reach here in time. My love to all the family. From your loving & true husband



Topeka Kansas Ter.

March 18, 1855

My Dear Wife-

I believe I mentioned in my last that I have after a delay of near two months, received a letter from you. It was dated January-no February-15th . . . . If I receive the money from you and Ingram for which I have written I will leave for home on or before the middle of April. You must however, My Dear Mary, take this statement as you have had to take many others and that is: as being subject to many exceptions. For something may arise between now and that time that may wholly thwart my purpose. Let nothing that I have said in any of my former letters deter Ingram from making his arrangements of coming to Kansas. My opinion of the Territory is unchanged; and I have seen it in its worst possible aspects. And I do think if, after enduring what I have endured this Winter, I am still in love with the Territory I shall certainly love it always.

But mark! I do not urge upon Ingram to come. He knows for himself concerning the Territory & if he is satisfied from what I have from time to time written to you concerning it, and from what he knows personally concerning it, that Kansas is the place for his home, then would I indeed be glad to have him come out here and make it his home. But he must understand it well that investing property in Kansas is like buying tickets in a lottery. He may "draw" a "capital prize." He may "draw" nothing-"a blank." But he knows this as well as I, and much better; therefore he must use his own judgment: at the same time assuring him that I could not be better pleased with any country than I am with Kansas, and that I think it possesses all the advantages for making money and getting a home that we both thought it did last fall.

We are again having cold weather. I think day before yesterday was the most stormy day we have had. The snow was about six inches deep. For two or three days it had been snowing gradually; and on Friday afternoon it came down with great force. At noon I left my house and returned to it after supper in the evening. I found the snow everywhere throughout my house. I measured it on a board and found it three inches deep inside. My bed was also covered with snow three inches deep and I took my washbowl and with a sweep or two of the hand piled it heaping full and thawed it, or melted it for wash water in the morning, having to economize as I have to carry my water one mile. The balance of the snow I


shook off upon the floor. I then took a hoe that some of the boys dug from an Indian grave a few days before, and with it scraped a pathway from the door to the stove. I believe you generally use snow scrapers outside of the house in Penna. Remember that in Kansas we use them for the inside.

I then turned into bed, slept soundly, if not "sweetly" as the poets saywoke up the next morning finding my bed again well covered with snow. This, my dear wife, is life in Kansas. Do you think you can endure it. I hear you answer no! Well! Well! don't say no too quick for I certainly hope and pray that neither you nor I nor any persons will be obliged to live in such houses as we have lived in here this Winter. Yet many intelligent refined and even very beautiful ladies have lived the kind of life and endured the hardships above described in this Territory this winter. But few of them, however, have been in Topeka though for the past two months we have had a few families with us-but quite a number of families have lived as I have described in the City of Lawrence. Things, however, will we all trust soon be better.

Write immediately Yours truly C. K. HOLLIDAY

My Dear Wife

Topeka K. T.

April 1, 1855

Today even I ought to be giving my attention to the care and comfort of some one hundred emigrants who have just arrived from the East; but I could not let the day pass without scribbling you a line and letting you know that I am still living and in the enjoyment of good health and spirits.

Enclosed you will find a circular by which you will learn that my name was used as a candidate for Representative for the Third District. When we went to the polls the Missourians had charge of the grounds-had driven off the Judges of the election and [had] taken the matter into their own hands. We therefore did not vote at all but left the grounds peaceably and have protested against the legality of the whole election. Had the citizens alone been permitted to vote I could have been elected by a respectable majority. Our District numbers, by the Census, one hundred and one votes. There could not have been less than 400 or 500 Missourians on the ground; hence we took the course we did. What the final result of


all this will be I know not. I was very fearful that there would be much violence and bloodshed on the day of election at Lawrence and other points; but so far as I have heard every thing went off peaceably. This one thing, however. I do know that Kansas will be a free state. The friends in the East may fully rely upon. this.

Our city is looking up considerable since the warm and pleasant weather has set in, and I am also satisfied that we must become one of the most considerable points in the Territory. Buildings are going up rapidly and every day adds some new improvement to the place.

I am now fearful that I cannot leave here as soon as I wrote you in my last. I will, perhaps, know this week-but being president of the Association my attention and time are very much required at this place. So that if I do not come as soon as you might wish you must attribute it to the fact that necessity will oblige me to remain here and not to any neglect.

It is a couple of weeks since I have had any word from you and Oh! how long the time does seem. I know not why my letters do not come more regularly. You ought to just see how ragged I am. My clothes are all worn out. They don't even stick together any more and what is worst I have no money even to buy more with-but I will try and raise some at Lawrence this week. Give my love to all the family & tell everybody that I like Kansas

better & better every day Your lov'g Husband


Winona M. T. [16]

Wednesday, July 11, 1855

My Dear Wife--As you will perceive I am still at Winona.

Yesterday Mr. Drew and I started for a tour of a few days into the Territory but just as we had got fairly started-some fifteen miles from Town, a span of runaway horses ran over us & broke our axletree right off. Hence we were obliged to give up the trip and return to Winona.

Neither of us were hurt the least. I regret. very much that this happened inasmuch as I am very favorably impressed with what I have seen of Minnesota and wished much to look at it further. I am so favorably impressed indeed that if things don't move right after my return to Kansas I may shape my course this way.


I will start down the river at the first opportunity and make as much headway as possible on my tour to Kansas. I ought to be there before now.

Winona is one of the most beautiful, if not the most beautiful town site I ever saw, has a good back country to sustain it and must make a place of very considerable importance. I like it much. I will try & write you again from some point in Iowa, although I may not have an opportunity.

There is nothing new or stirring here nor have I heard of anything of importance since I arrived here. It is too far beyond civilization for news.

Kiss the babe "Little Lillie" [17] for me once, twice, thrice, yes a dozen or more times-I love it much.


Iowa City Iowa

Saturday July 14, 1855

My Dear Wife-

I embrace this occasion to pen you another line. I arrived here today at 2 o'clock (it is now 7) and I fear will be obliged to remain over until Monday. I regret this-not that I want to travel on Sunday, but that I ought to be in the Territory and dislike to remain still when I once get started on a journey.

I have nothing new to communicate today. My health continues singularly good for which, of course, I am profoundly grateful to the Giver of all good and perfect gifts.

I left Winona, M. T. on Thursday morning last-arriving at Dubuque Iowa the same evening at 12 o'clock. Friday morning I left Dubuque arriving here, as above stated, today.

When I again get started from here I will be some four days in going to Council Bluffs city. If I can get a steamer down the Missouri River I can arrive at Kansas City in two days more, so I shall expect to get there the close of next week, or beginning of the week after.

I am much pleased with the appearance of the lands & settlements through Iowa. The "lay of the land" is beautiful-while all the towns have a thrifty and healthy appearance. Hence my trip through this country may be turned to a profitable account; for if things don't go right in Kansas I will have some idea of where else to turn my steps.


I have learned nothing from the Territory since I left you of any consequence. Nor do I suppose I will until I arrive in the Territory.

The place where I am now writing is the Capital of Iowa-a pleasant & pretty place and in the midst of a fine farming country. And all the lands between Dubuque & this point are very excellent indeed.

They want me to come to Winona and live-and in fact I feel very much like doing so, from this one consideration alone; that I never felt more at home in a strange place than I did at Winona. Still Kansas is better if we can only get rid of our difficulties here.

I will try & write you again at Fort Des Moines or Council Bluffs although I may not until I get into the Territory.

I have a miserable pen and can scratch no more.

Kiss little "Lillie" for me . . . . Your loving husband


Kansas City

July 24, 1855

My Dear Wife-

My love to you and "little Lillie."

I arrived here yesterday at 10 A. M. but have delayed writing until today.

My health still continues remarkably good. In fact, since I left Cleveland I have scarcely had an unwell hour. This is the more remarkable when considered in connection with the fact that all through Iowa I was obliged to drink the meanest kind of water from cisterns or drains or sloughs or something of that kind. Today, however, we have had green corn & water melons and I must now look out for a change.

After having travelled over Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Nebraska & Missouri, I am prepared to say that Kansas exceeds them all in point of true excellence. The lay of the land in Kansas is much similar to that of Iowa and Western Illinois; but there is a greater depth to the soil & more richness.

I have not been here long enough to ascertain how the political movements stand; but I understand that Gov. Reeder pays no kind of attention to any bill the Legislative Assembly passes, but vetoes everything. They of course immediately pass it over his head.

Those elected at the supplementary election were rejected from


their seats. [18] This was as I expected it would be. Consequently it did not matter much my not being here on the 1st Monday of this Month. It is the unanimous disposition of the settlers to resist any, every, and all laws that the present Assembly may pass. What the result will be, God knows, I do not. They think here, however, that everything will go off peaceably. I earnestly hope so for if difficulties once commence there is no telling where they will end.

I will leave for Topeka tomorrow-passing via Lawrence.

The crops are good out this way-much better than I expected.

My books arrived here on the 17th inst., a week in advance of me.

I had a hard trip down the Mo. River from Council Bluffs. We were 3½ days in coming three hundred & fifty miles . . . . . I became acquainted while in Omaha city with Gov. Izard [19] & other prominent gentlemen of Iowa & Nebraska.

I can state nothing definite concerning the future-nor can I until sometime after I arrive at Topeka. The free state men of this place are confident that Kansas will be a free state & that without fighting. I hope so. I am sure so fair a country is worthy of something better than slavery . . . . Kiss Lillie for me.

Write often, my dear Mary, to your affectionate husband


Lawrence Kan. Tery.

July 29, 1855

My Dear Wife-

I arrived in Lawrence last evening and after having returned from the service of the Rev. Mr. Lum, conclude that I will resume my old established custom of writing to you upon the Sabbath day.

Day before yesterday (Friday) I spent at the Shawnee Mission with the Governor and in visiting the pseudo-Territorial Legislature. The Governor and the Assembly are at perfect loggerheads. The Gov. does not recognize them as a legal body, vetoes all their bills, and pays no respect whatever to them. [20] Where this will all end I


or no other man can dare to predict. The Governor says that when he left his family he told his wife just how things stood and that it was probable she might never see him again. That will give some idea of how he regards things. You must not argue from this that there is any immediate danger. I think not in fact-and things have now assumed such a shape that they will attack Reeder before they do the citizens. I find the crops here remarkably good. Corn is 12 to 16 feet high on an average and must sell for about 25 cents per bushel. Lawrence has improved somewhat since I left, in fact is rapidly beginning to assume the appearance of an old settled place. Topeka I understand is also improving; but I will know more of that in a few days as I will leave for Topeka tomorrow if I can arrange my business here so as to do so. The weather is quite warm; though nothing like what it was in Penna. last year. You remember how hot it was there at Lownys Hotel. I slid. like the country much if it were not for the political difficulties though they must all work out right in course of time.

Your loving & faithful husband C. K. HOLLIDAY

My Dear Wife-

Topeka Kans. Tery.

Aug. 4, 1855

I arrived at Topeka from Lawrence last Monday &amp found things moving on as well as I could expect. Our town has increased more in proportion to its stage of advancement when I left than any other town in the Territory. In fact it is the largest place in either Kansas or Nebraska except Lawrence and Leavenworth city-and I am not certain but that we shall soon exceed them. A newspaper has been partially started here since I left [21] As soon as it gets thoroughly under way I will send it to you. Two new stores have also been started & quite a number of new, but small, buildings have gone up.

I was much gratified at the very cordial reception with which I


met at the hands of the citizens of this place. Every person seemed glad to see me -even those who never saw me before. I am about engaging in an enterprise or two that I think will pay. One is the navigation of the Kansas River [22] -the other the erection of new buildings. In either I think I can make something. Besides these I have about concluded that I will get hold of a piece of land and do some farming.

Business as a general thing is dull in the Territory with the prospect of brightening as soon as fall immigration sets in.

Your aff. husband

My Dear Wife


Lawrence K. T. Aug. 12, 1855

I am again at Lawrence and quite well. I am on my way to Kansas City in order to see if [I] can procure a Wyandotte land warrant in order to make our city property more secure. [23] I design remaining in this place until Wednesday and will take part in the great free-state Convention to be held here on Tuesday the fourteenth inst. [24] I will send you two papers tomorrow, one with my letter from Cleveland signed "Public Opinion" the other from Topeka signed "H." [25] You may show them to the neighbors.


After my return from Kansas I can write you something more definite of what I am doing and what I intend to do.

I cannot form any opinion of how our political difficulties will end here. Some are sanguine there will be fighting-others again think differently. Two months or less, I think, will determine the matter. Then I will be prepared to answer you better about your coming out to Kansas. I certainly wish you were here and I hope to have you here. But I believe Mary you are better off where you are than to be here now. But there will be a large emigration from the North this fall and as I before said the difficulties will assume a distinctive feature in the course of two months. Then I can give you more definite information.

It has been raining almost continually for two days with very heavy thunder & lightning . . . . The crops look fine and Kansas will raise enough corn, beef & pork for her consumption this year-pretty well for beginners.

I am offered a claim near Topeka with a good house upon it. I may buy it upon my return to Topeka and go to farming. I have rented my house that I have in Topeka. You remember I told you last winter that it cost me some 35 or 40 dollars. I rent it for six dollars per month, or at the rate of 75 dollars per year. Pretty good investment.

At Ft. Riley 75 miles above Topeka on the Kansas River the cholera broke out last week in a very aggravated form. It is variously estimated that from 40 to 170 have died .28 It is now healthy there-the epidemic has entirely abated. Topeka is healthy, so is Lawrence, so is the Territory generally.

Yr. aff. husband C. K. HOLLIDAY


Kansas City, Mo., Aug. 20 [1855]

My Dear Wife-

My love to you and our dear little girl. Yesterday I did not get an opportunity to write you owing to the fact that I was anxious to see Governor Reeder before leaving here and had no other opportunity to see him than yesterday. Therefore I spent yesterday with him. Today I will scribble a line to you.

I am still in the enjoyment of most excellent health as I trust you and Lillie also are.

I am at Kansas attending to some business for the Topeka Association and will return today by the Steamer "Financier." I am laboring to secure for our town a better title than we now have; and have great hopes of success. [27] If I can do so it will then give me more liberty to look after other matters.

We had a great political convention at Lawrence last week. [28] What is a little unusual at political conventions with public men, I made more friends than I lost. That of which I spoke to you concerning congress really seems to be brightening from day to day. But I shall make no effort for this object but leave things take their course and abide the consequences. But I have no time to write today and will let you know more of this matter soon.

Tell me what success you have had in the lottery business. Did you draw the 5,000$ prize? I hope so.

Remember me to all the friends.

I will send you some papers upon my return to Lawrence.

Yours very affectionately and truly C. K. HOLLIDAY

Topeka Kan. Ter.

Aug. 27, 1855

My Dear Wife--

Yesterday I was unable to write to you as usual, therefore I take the first moment after my breakfast this morning to let you know that as yet all things go well. I arrived in Topeka last Friday from Kansas City and Lawrence and will remain here until about the middle of next week when I again expect to go to Kansas City. My next visit there will fully arrange my business there and then I will try and become more settled.

I have been offered, since I wrote you last, a chance of equal partnership in the best and largest Mercantile House in Kansas. I have also been invited to take charge of the "Kansas Freeman"


newspaper. I am after something more desirable to me than either and will be able to know this week, I think, how things will ultimate, perhaps not till next week.

You are anxious to know . . . when you can come out. I can't tell you yet, my Dear Mary. But after I arrange the business hinted of in the foregoing part of this letter, then I can answer you more definitely upon this point.

I have been very busy since my return trying to secure something permanent for us and as soon as I succeed in doing so, I will then be able to look farther.

Yesterday I was at Sunday School and Church and then at Class Meeting in the evening-a regular old fashioned Methodist class meeting. I will try and keep up this good disposition.

My love to all- Your aff. husband


Topeka K. T. Sept. 10,1855

My Dear Wife-

As our mail goes out regularly on Tuesdays & Saturdays I don't know but that I will have to change my day of correspondence to correspond with the mail. I received two letters from you while in attendance at the Big Springs Convention of the 5th inst. One of date 16th, the other 23d August. You may rest assured I was most glad to learn that you & the babe were still in the enjoyment of good health-and I trust this will find you so.

For myself my health still continues not only good, but it has never been better. But this is not so with others and may not continue so with me. We have a number of sick in our town and neighborhood at the present time; but this is nothing more than I expected would occur at this season of the year. The disease is generally of a bilious kind-fever & ague bilious, intermittent, remittent, and in some instances typhoid fevers. But few deaths, however, have as yet occurred, and I earnestly hope may not occur..

With respect to your earnest request to come to Kansas, I have only to say that it is as earnestly my desire as it can be yours to have you here; and from the way things are now going I think I will either send for you, or go for you myself, before long. I do not want to go for you, for it will cost me quite two hundred dollars directly out of pocket, but at the same time I will want more money and may for this reason be obliged to go east. If not I will trust to your ability to financier and have you employ Mr. Lenhart to go


[to] the city for you and raise the money; but of this I will write more fully again.

I think it is now probable that I will take charge of the Paper at this place. I have been solicited so to do; and if I can agree with Mr. Garvey upon terms I will accept. My next principal object will be to secure a good farm claim and then have you here. But be not impatient my dear Mary, all things will I am satisfied ultimate in good. If you can learn of any one coming out to the Territory let me know and I will try and make it so as to have you come with them.

At the Free State convention, Gov. Reeder was nominated as the Delegate to Congress. We small fry all had to stand back for his Excellency. But it is all well. He is much the strongest man and will have by far the most influence at Washington of any man that could have been nominated. [29] Had Reeder not have run my chance stood next best in the Convention.

Our town is still improving-and we will very soon have a pretty little place . . . . We will issue a paper from this office this week and I will send you a copy.

Write often.

My Dear Wife-

Your aff. husband


Topeka K. T.

Sep. 16, 1855

As I wrote you in my last we have many sick in our neighborhood generally with ague & fever, or slight bilious attacks which are incident to all new countries. There was one death in the place this last week. A young man, named Brown. He had no relative or particular friend or associate in the Territory. Rather a lonely and sorrowful sight to see a funeral under such circumstances.

Things move along here in much their accustomed manner. That matter of which I was hoping to secure for the city and thereby secure to us a good farm claim & home in the immediate neighborhood of the city I have not yet been enabled to effect. I hope to hear of it this week.

If an opportunity occurs by which you can send, by a reliable man to New York one of those Bonds and sell it, you may do so. And


thus if I should want you to come out here after a while you would not have to delay on that account.

You need not urge the sale too strongly. Sell if a good opportunity occurs. I may return this fall, but do not want to unless it is absolutely necessary. It will cost so much. I think now without doubt I shall want you to come out this fall, and will either go myself or send for you. Now mark. If you get an opportunity to come out with any reliable person do so. Fix up your things there and come right along. I have no house properly prepared for you yet; but ,it will not take very long to get one prepared and in the meantime we can board with some of the neighbors. I am sick & tired of the kind of life we have been living; you there and I here. I want we should get together once more, and live as man and wife should live. With respect to our difficulties they are not yet settled, nor perhaps wont be for some timealthough things look more peaceful than formerly. In two weeks from today the Missourians will come into the Territory to vote for delegate-there may be difficulty on that

day. We shall see. . . . Yours aff. & truly


Topeka Kan. Ter.

Spt. 26, 1855

My Dear Wife-

Since I wrote you last I have a letter from you which contained the good news that you are still well and that our babe was growing both large & pretty. I hope this will find you in the enjoyment of equally good health.

I want to write you today chiefly on business. I find that it will be next to impossible for me to go East-or to Meadville-this fall again owing to the way things are shaping themselves here. But I am very anxious that you should be here and as time is passing away rapidly you will have to come soon or travelling will be so that you will be unable to come. You will remember we talked this matter over; and you were of the opinion that if I could not go for you, you could come out yourself. Now, Mary, if you think you can travel alone I would be most happy, indeed, to have you come; and with what experience you have had in travelling you must make up your own mind upon this subject. You will no where encounter anything worse in travelling than we have already encountered at such places as Cleveland, Alliance &c. Now under the supposition that you will come, I wish to offer a few suggestions in respect to business and travel.


I want you (if you have not done so already, for I wrote you somewhat touching this matter in my last) to employ Mr. I. H. Lenhart to go to New York and sell one of the remaining Bonds in the same way as he sold for me this Spring-and if he can sell for anything near what is right let him sell both. I see, by accounts from New York that the same kind of Bonds have recently sold for 85 and 87½ cents on the dollar. If he can obtain in the neighborhood of 80 cents, let him sell both bonds.

Now I think the above is clear and explicit and if you will show it to Mr. Lenhart he will thoroughly understand it. Pay Mr. Lenhart anything that is right and proper for his trouble; and I know he will ask nothing but what is right and proper. I would prefer to have the proceeds of the Bonds in gold; but as you will find it too inconvenient as well as dangerous to carry gold you had better have him (Lenhart) procure it in 50$ and 100 dollar bills on the Bank that he may regard as the safest and most secure; bills of the "State Bank of Missouri" are here regarded as the best paper money in use and can readily be converted into gold without discount. Therefore he had better get bills of the "State Bank of Missouri" if possible. He might think that "drafts" on New York would be preferable to bills; upon this he must use his judgment, as he is much better posted in money matters than I am. If he should conclude that "drafts" are best, let him get small ones, as it is difficult to exchange or sell a draft here of a large amount. Read this also to Mr. Lenhart and he will doubtless do for me better than I could do for myself. I speak particularly of your having Mr. Lenhart transact this business as he is perfectly honest, and will doubtless have business to see to at New York this fall and can transact this at the same time. But you must insist upon his taking ample remuneration for his trouble.

Now a word with respect to yourself. Be sure and secure the money in such a manner about your person that you cannot lose it, or that it cannot be taken from you by thieves and pickpockets. Your ingenuity will contrive some plan to carry it under your outside garments. You ought not to carry it next your person either, for the moisture from your body might deface the appearance of the bills or drafts-particularly might destroy the President's & Cashier's signatures. At Erie, Cleveland, Toledo, Chicago and St. Louis you will be most liable to have your pockets picked or cut open-therefore you will want to be most on your guard at those places. But these are not the only places where they may be found; but frequently the smooth-


faced gentleman or lady that will make your acquaintance in the cars, and Hotel, and more especially on the steamboats, is of that profession and by his, or her, insinuating address is only desirous of ascertaining how much money you have got, where you carry it, and what the chances are to rob you. So be on your guard, Mary, at all times and against all classes of persons.

A word now concerning your route of travel. You can procure a ticket at Erie clear through to Saint Louis for about $20.00-or from Cleveland to St. Louis for $17.00. At St. Louis you can again [get] ticket for Kansas City for $10 or $12. Your route will be by way of Cleveland, Toledo, Chicago, Alton, St. Louis and Kansas City. At Cleveland you take the Cleveland & Toledo Rail Road. At Toledo you take the Northern Indiana and Southern Michigan R. R. At Chicago you take the Chicago Alton & St. Louis R. R. this last named road was formerly called the Chicago & Mississippi R. R. This last road will take you to Alton. At Alton you will find a Steamboat in waiting to take you to St. Louis. At St. Louis you will take Steamboat for Kansas City. When you get on the boat there will be no further trouble. You will have to change cars at Cleveland, at Toledo and at Chicago-at Alton you change cars for Boat -and at St. Louis you change Boat for Boat. go you will only have five changes to make in all.

You can "check" your baggage through from Erie to Chicago, I think; certainly from Cleveland to Chicago (and perhaps from Erie or Cleveland to St. Louis; but of this I am not sure). At Chicago you can again check to St. Louis; and at St. Louis get your baggage in your "state room" and it will of course, go with you. When you get a check for your baggage to a certain place, you need pay no attention to it until you arrive at that place; then you must see to it and have it checked again to the next farthest place on the line of your travel. After you get your baggage on the Cars there are but two places where you need give it much attention to wit-at Chicago & St. Louis; and perhaps a little at Alton.

Now, Mary, I have strung this letter of cautions and advice until it is enough to frighten an ordinary person; but you will find after you have gone through the journey that, like a long bill of fare, it is not near so formidable as you might reckon. I have enumerated these many particulars in order that you might be well posted.

Carry enough of money in your usual way to pay your expenses through-say fifty or sixty Dollars-the rest, as before said, conceal or secure about your person.


Now one word more. Mr. F. R. Foster [30] of Spring Corners, Crawford County, Pennsylvania, is expected to start soon for this place. He is a reliable young man. I advise you to send some person out to Spring Corners in order to see if he is still there, and try and make arrangements to come with him. A Mr. Slaton of the same place is also coming out. Of him I know nothing, but you would doubtless be perfectly safe in coming with him. Mr. Foster I know would be glad to bring you out and you had better send some person out to see him. If you don't feel like risking the journey alone, hire somebody at Meadville . . . to bring you as far as Chicago or St. Louis. I had rather pay the expenses of a guide clear here than that anything should go wrong.

Buy such articles of dress and clothing generally as you may want this winter and for some time to come, and such other things as you may want.

You had better not attempt to bring more than one trunk in your charge. Have it well marked, with your name in full, and "Meadville Pa." or "Topeka K. T." either or both of the places. The balance of your baggage, together with my trunk, clothes, books &c. have packed in another box or boxes and delivered to the "Express Co." Mark the boxes & trunks sent by the "Express Company" as follows:

(C. K. Holliday

(Topeka, Kansas Territory

(Care of B. Slater, St. Louis, Mo.

(Care of Riddlesbarger & Co., Kansas City, Mo.

I have another suggestion to offer. If you fear to travel alone, or can get no one to travel with you, you can consign yourself to the care of the "Express Company" and it, through its agents, will see you safely delivered on board the boat at St. Louis. This perhaps would be your better plan. It will cost a little more; but then you will have care and protection the whole way to St. Louis and will have yourself safely placed aboard the Boat at St. Louis. The "Express Company" does not extend its operations beyond St. Louis, toward the West.

When you arrive at Kansas City go to the "American Hotel" [31]


and tell the Proprietor, Mr. Eldridge, who you are and that you want a good room. He will furnish it to you. If I should not be there, you will, of course, write me immediately, and I will go down to Kansas City for you.

Try and send me word when you will expect to start from Meadville, and then I will try and be at Kansas City in order to meet you upon your arrival there. It will take you from six to nine days to reach Kansas City.

At St. Louis you can go from the one Steamboat to the other, I think; inasmuch as there is a boat leaving every day for Kansas City. But if there is no boat about to leave you can go to a hotel. The best Boats on the Missouri, are the "Polar Star," "F. X. Aubrey," "Martha Jewett," "Sam Cloon," "New Lucy," "James H. Lucas," "Admiral," "Genoa," &c. If you find either of these on your landing at St. Louis, go right aboard [one] of them and engage your room and passage up the River.

The more I think of your consigning yourself into the hands of the "Express Co." the more favorably the project strikes my mind. If you should do so the agt. of the Co. will see to your baggage, point out your cars, wait upon you to meals, &c., &c.

As I said before it will cost something more, but that is nothing when your safety & comfort is considered. In case you should conclude to come by Express you must remember that you will pay for no tickets or anything of the kind. Simply make a bargain with the agent at Erie to see you and your baggage safely delivered aboard some good Boat at St. Louis, and take his receipt for the same. If you can't get some responsible person to travel with you I certainly think you had better come by Express. This may seem novel to you. It is certainly not common yet it is frequently done, and I think you had better do so. It will insure you more safety, more speed, more comfort, less annoyance, less fear, less trouble of all kind than if you should come alone, or even with another. In case you come by Express you will not have to look after your baggage at all, the agt. will look after it; and inasmuch as I have directed you to send my books, &c., by Express, perhaps it would be best to include yourself and all come by Express together. Your fare alone from Erie to St. Louis would be about $20. You can judge from this whether the agent for the Express Co. would be inclined to charge an exhorbitant price; but don't quibble with him for five or ten dollars, but if he asks you any reasonable fare, pay it to him, take his receipt and come by Express.


P. S. It is now the last day of Sept. I had no opportunity to send this letter before. If you conclude to come, you will have to come as soon as possible as it is getting late and cold. I will write you in a day or two again, such other matters as I may have forgotten in this. Yours as ever C. K. HOLLIDAY

Topeka, K. T.

Oct. 7, 1855

My Dear Wife-

I again take up my pen to address you a line. It will prove I fear only a "line" from the fact that I do not feel in a mood to lengthen out to any great extent today; and secondly from the fact that a few days ago-by the last mail-I wrote you a good long letter of some twelve crowded pages. In that letter, which I trust you will readily receive-I requested you, if you deemed it expedient, to make your arrangements and start for Kansas. I mentioned among other things that a Mr. Foster of Spring, Crawford Co., Pa., was coming to the Territory this fall and that you could perhaps make arrangements to come with him. I have since learned that Foster is now on his way; so that you will be cut off from the opportunity of travelling with him. I would therefore renew the suggestions I offered in my last, that if you conclude to come & cannot get some reliable person to travel with that you had better, by all means, consign yourself into the care of the "Express Company" and have them place you on board some good boat at St. Louis for Kansas City. I am satisfied this will be your safest way to travel, and while it will cost you somewhat more than it would if you travelled on your own responsibility, yet when the over charges and "gouging" to which you will be subjected when travelling alone, are taken into consideration it may prove quite as cheap.

I mentioned in my last that the way things were shaping themselves here prevented my going after you. What I then had reference to, but did not fully express, is this: A Convention to frame a Constitution for Kansas is to be holden at this place on the fourth Tuesday of this month, and it was suggested by many that my name would be used as one of the Delegates to that Convention. Yesterday a Convention met to put in nomination a ticket for this district, and I recd. the unanimous vote of the Convention as one of


the Delegates. Next Tuesday the election will take place, and if the Missourians do not trouble us (and I don't think they will) I will be elected by an almost unanimous vote . [32] This is a very distinguished and responsible trust and honor, and I know you will rejoice with me that the people have so much confidence in me as to confide it to me. And I know too that this and other business matters that I need not represent at present, will be ample excuse for my not coming for you myself.

I sent you the Kansas Freeman of last week. All the inside matter was prepared by me. I did have hopes of becoming Editor of the Freeman but some circumstances have since arisen that will probably prevent my acting as such. I will, however, effect such an arrangement if I can. I am not building as yet, but will commence soon. It may be we will have to board a short time after you come out, but not long, as I can soon build a pretty good house. But even if we have to board some time we may as well board here together as to be boarding apart as we are now doing.

I will leave for Lawrence and Kansas City on Tuesday next and will either write you the result of the election or send you a paper or both.

You had better not bring any girl with you, as girls can be obtained here I think . . . . Your aff. husband


Topeka, Kansas Territory

Nov. 27, 1855

My Dear Wife-

In the same mail in which this letter will go out, there will one go out that I wrote to you yesterday.

Since writing yesterdays letter, I recd. two from you, the mail having come in last night.

When I opened the one, I was rejoiced to learn that you were almost here; but when I read the other I almost wept to learn that you were obliged to abandon your coming. [33] I still however have faith that you will be here this fall.


I am now in session with the Ex. Com. of Kansas34 & cannot write more. Earnestly hope that you will still be here.

My love to all Yours as ever


The selling of the one Bond is right. You had better send all the money except what you will want for yourself.

Head Quarters

Dec. 6, 1855

My Dear Wife-

Major Shanklund is just leaving for the states and I have only opportunity to write a line. My last informed you that we are in the midst of difficulties. This informs you that, as yet, they have

not ceased. We are now hourly expecting an attack-1000 troops are now assembled in Lawrence on our side-400 of the enemy are 4 miles south of us and 500 eight miles west of us. There is now no kind of question but that there will be the biggest kind of a fight. I am doing all I can to prevent it. But if the enemy attack us they will catch ------ and no mistake.

Kiss Lillie for me. I may never see you or her again; but if not remember I fall honorably as I trust I have lived. As ever


My Dear Wife-

The War is over for the time being and all is safe. [35] I think the last battle has been fought that will ever be fought in Kansas growing of this much vexed question of making our Territory a slave state.

Things looked very alarming here for the ten days just passed. The City is full of fortifications & breastworks of defence-1800 to 2000 armed men paraded each day; while the enemy who were encamped some five miles from us numbered as many, or more than we & were well provided with artillery.

Head Quarters

Army of Defence

Lawrence Kansas

Dec. 13, 1855


I pray God I may never again witness such scenes as have transpired here within the past few days.

I was honored with the command of the Second Regiment of Kansas Troops by the title of Colonel. But I will send you papers conveying more information than I could write in a week; besides the mail is going and I must hand this to the driver.

Your letter containing the draft for 50$ was recd. You had better, if you have not already done so send the remainder (except what you want for yourself) on immediately as I want to build a house & make other improvements upon my property.

The Bond sold as well as I expected & Mr. Lenhart has my thanks for his services. As ever yours C. K. HOLLIDAY

The weather is very fine. The Boats are still running.

Topeka Kansas

Jan. 7, 1856

My Dear Wife-- happy New Year to you and little Lillie.

Before the mail goes out this morning I must pen you a single line. By the last mail I recd. two letters from you, one enclosing a draft for 40$. I received a few days ago your other draft for 50$.

I hope you have sent ere this the remainder of the funds (except such an amount as you may need for yourself).

Things are going strangely with us in Kansas. What the end will be God only knows.

I am nominated on the Free State ticket for Secretary of State. It is doubtful about my election. [36] But will know in a few days as one week from tomorrow is the election.

The Ex. Com. have appointed me to go to Washington. I may go after the election; but hardly think I will go. Should I go I will pass by home.

It is well for you and our child that you are in Penna. It is very cold in Kansas & has been for ten weeks; and there is a great deal of suffering. Last night was the most stormy night I ever saw. Today opens up fine again. I will write more fully in a day or two.

Yours as ever C. K. HOLLIDAY


3 o'clock P. M.

Jan. 19, 1856

Dear Wife-

I open my letter to announce to you that a courier has just arrived having ridden all night who states that day before yesterday at the election at Easton-a town about 25 miles from Leavenworth-the free state & pro slavery men came in collision-I know not from what cause-and two pro slavery men were killed and a number of both parties wounded.

I hope there will be no further difficulty but I greatly fear the

results. As ever Your aff. husband, C. K. HOLLIDAY

Topeka Kansas

Feb. 4, 1856

My Dear Wife-

Having a moments leisure I embrace it for the purpose of writing you a line.

I am still well, but feel lonely without you. Oh, how I do wish you were here. And yet can hardly make so cruel a wish, for the weather has been most intensely cold for more than six weeks; and with our poor houses & poor clothing it is very cold indeed, and what you & Lillie would do I scarcely know. But it will be warm weather soon & then you can come.

I wrote to you a few days ago suggesting the propriety of your coming with Mrs. Nichols. I then stated that you had better leave there the middle of March or first of April. I now think that neither you nor Mrs. Nichols had better start until you are satisfied the difficulties are not to be resumed here in the spring.

It is our general impression here that the Missourians will make another invasion on the 4th of March, the day the general Assembly convenes at this place. Should they do so they will be apt to attack Topeka, from the fact that here the session convenes.

You had, therefore, better remain long enough in the spring before starting to hear whether the Missourians have invaded Kansas or not.

I have had no letter from you for some two or three weeks.

I understand the mails are again interrupted owing to the depth of the snows, cold weather &c. I suppose this is the cause of my receiving no letters.

I send you papers weekly-which give you much more general information than I can write.


I wish you would send me papers occasionally from there.

I am writing with the last ink there is [in] town & it is so bad that you will not be able to read what I have written, therefore I will stop. Write often. Kiss Lillie. Love to all

As ever yours aff. C. K. HOLLIDAY

Lawrence Kansas

Feb. 24, 1856

My Dear Wife

I wrote you a few days since that I expected to leave in a day or two for the States, and would then see you.

When I came to Lawrence last Monday I found things in such a condition as to render my leaving at this time highly impracticable. I am a member of the Provisional Government of Kansas, & should I leave there will not be a quorum left; and owing to the apprehensions of another difficulty it is necessary that the Government should continue in full force during the interregnum between now and the inauguration of the new government.

The threat of the Missourians now is that they will attack the Gen. Assembly at Topeka on the 4th of March, and inasmuch as many of our influential citizens have been sent from Kansas to present the cause of Kansas to the States, it is therefore necessary that the remainder of our prominent citizens should remain until after the sitting of the Gen. Assembly.

I now expect to start for Penna. about the 10th of March, but you must place no particular reliance upon this statement, from the fact that something may arise tomorrow or any day, compelling me to go, or to remain. Such is Kansas.

I will continue of course, to keep you advised of the current events, and you will make all your arrangements to start for Kansas at any time. But as I wrote to you some time ago you must not come until you hear that everything is quiet here. But there is but little doubt but that I will be at Meadville this spring; or I will be there if possible.

Our winter which has been very long and severe, is now breaking up. Today is mild and spring like. The frost is coming out of the ground. The ice is leaving the streams, the snow is rapidly melting from the prairies, the birds are singing, and everything gives evidence of approaching good weather.

The mud is very deep, and surprises everybody but it will dry up rapidly and soon our plowing, planting, sowing will begin.


I think if we do not have difficulty on the 4th of March that we will not have any more trouble in Kansas. And I am greatly desirous of using all my influence to prevent difficulty then. I have recently made arrangements by which I will do tolerably well in a pecuniary sense. So much so that I will save myself and with certain contingencies resulting in my favor, will make me well off. I will write you again soon.

Kiss Lillie for me & write often.

Your aff. husband


Lawrence Kansas

Feb. 26, 1856

My Dear Wife--

All is peace. How long it will last, I know not. The late Message, and particularly the proclamation, of the President, [37] are interpreted as being more in favor of the people of Kansas, than against them; and it is thought by many that the Missourians will not attempt to invade us again. Others say that they will certainly be at Topeka on the 4th of March, and that writs of arrest for high treason will be issued against the general assembly and state government. I hardly think they will undertake it; but there is no telling, as the "Border Ruffians" are capable to do any act of villainy.

I have nothing further to advise with respect to my coming home than I wrote you in my last. I can inform you more fully in a week or ten days from now but I still think it probable that I will be in Meadville this spring.

Be a good girl and if the difficulties in Kansas do not continue too fiercely, I will either soon see you there, or you will see me here, providence permitting.

Kiss Lillie for me. Give my love to all the friends. Think of me often and pray for me often, and all will ultimately go well.

No more now. Your aff. husband, C. K. HOLLIDAY

I have just been commissioned as Brigadier General in the service of the people of Kansas. During the "last war" I held the commission of Colonel of the 2nd Regiment.


Topeka Kansas

Mch. 30, 1856

My Dear Wife-

I wrote you six pages by the last mail. Will write you but a line by this.

We are having a thunder storm while I write. And, as I doubt not but that ordinarily the lightning is very severe in this Country, I want you to go, or send, to A. B. Richmond and obtain from him two of his lightning rod paints. I mean the polished silver top for the lightning rod. But he will know what I have reference to. Please do not forget this. You can pack them in your trunk, or mine, or almost anywhere among your things, as they do not weigh more than half a pound.

When I commenced this letter I said there was a thunder storm raging. It is now raining, hailing, snowing, blowing, thundering, & lightning all at the same time. A great Country.

Continue to make your arrangements to come to Kansas about the first of May.

I had a letter from Mr. Randolph of Meadville a few days ago, in which he speaks of coming to Kansas, and of your coming with him. This would be a very good arrangement. If this Randolph is the young man I think he is, he would be perfectly safe to travel with. Or if Thickstun should come as far as St. Louis you could come with him. If you cannot [come] with either then I don't see any better plan than for you to come with Mrs. Nichols. I know it will be difficult for you to come alone, or by Express, as I suggested, from the fact that Lillie must be getting very heavy and troublesome. I may be east yet this spring but think it very doubtful. If I do I will be in Meadville before the First day of May. If I am not there by that time you will be safe in coming.

As I before wrote have Lenhart sell the Bond, and take good care of the money. But tell Lenhart not to have it drawn on Derickson. It is difficult to sell his drafts here, as he is only a private Banker and is not known. I have to become personally responsible for all his drafts. This I do not like. You had better get the proceeds in Gold, or in sound bankable bills-say "Easton Bank" or "State Bank

of Missouri." Your aff. husband, C. K. HOLLIDAY


Topeka Kansas

May 15, 1856

My Dear Wife-

Mr. Nichols will start tomorrow morning for Penna. and will upon his return, bring you with him. This will be the better plan.

I almost, however, regret to have you come now, as we are having difficulties of the severest kind again, and there is no telling when things will end. Still I want you here, and I presume that long before you get to Kansas, or even will be prepared to start, that our difficulties will have assumed some definite form.

Mr. Nichols judgment will be good upon matters and if he says come you may come with safety.

There are 1000 to 1500 Border Ruffians in the neighborhood of Lawrence again threatening destruction to the people and Town. I am greatly in hopes that the thing will be amicably arranged but I sometimes fear the days of our Union are numbered.

I have not time to write more Yours as ever


Mr. Nichols has started before I could send this to him therefore I enclose it with the other. Nothing new this morning from the seat of war. But I still fear there will be difficulty.

Topeka Kansas

May 15, 1856

My Dear Wife-

I have just written you a note by hands of Mr. Nichols. He starts tomorrow. You of course will come with him.

We are having difficulty here again of the hardest kind. I know not when it will end. I expect there will be fighting tomorrow at Lawrence or Franklinas there are 1000 to 1500 men around Lawrence threatening to destroy the town and murder the inhabitants.

I had hoped the difficulties were over, but it seems not. But I am inclined to think that this is the last struggle of the slave power in Kansas.

If anything should happen to me you must remember that I am engaged in my duty defending my principles, my property and life, and those of my brethern in Kansas. I have hitherto sent you a schedule of my property. You can retain it all as the title to all is good. Upon share 55 of the Topeka Association which was bought in your name and traded to Col. M. C. Dickey for a house and lot


in Topeka upon that share I owe about $80-Eighty Dollars-to E. S. Dexter of Newtonville, Massachusetts.

Should anything happen to me you will of course pay this indebtedness in order to secure the property. I have one share recently obtained in Centropolis [38] upon which I have paid the tax of 10$.

But I must not write more.

My Dear Wife-

. . . The draft of 100$ came in time. I needed it very much. You ask whether I want more. I hardly know what to say. If I had about 50$ or 100$ more I could get along for the present..

In my last I requested you to start just as early as possible for Kansas and so urged Mr. Nichols in a note to your care.

Now listen what i say. Do not start for Kansas until you hear from me again. The state of things in Kansas at the present time is perfectly awful; and where it will end God only knows. Men are being killed or driven from their homes or imprisoned almost daily, and unless a change soon takes place civil strife must ensue. [39] My mail matter generally comes through but it may be unsafe to send much more now so you had better withhold sending more for the present, or until you hear from me again.

Write immediately. Yours as ever C. K. HOLLIDAY

P. S. I cannot explain now why I write you not to come at this time. I know you will think it very singular, as you have often charged me with being very changeable. But Dear Mary there seems to be a necessity for this time, else I think I would not so write for you know I want you here greatly.

You shall hear from me soon again. H.

As ever

Your aff. husband


Topeka Kansas

June 1, 1856


Topeka Kansas

June 9, 1856

My Dear Wife-

I have waited until the very last moment before the departure of the mail in order to give you the latest advices.

Everything is confusion & strife in the districts East of Topeka 40 As yet we have peace here-but the Courts sit today and tomorrow the difficulties may be extended to this district. I earnestly hope not -but that Topeka may continue to have peace & prosperity.

Gen. Whitfield is 40 miles from here with about 300 to 400 men. Some 200 or 300 Free State men are also in the vicinity. It is expected there will be a fight between them soon, unless Col. Sumner with his command can succeed in dispersing them which he is now laboring to do.41 I am greatly in hopes that the difficulties are over -at least for the present--but cannot tell. I wrote to you last week not to start for Kansas until I sent you word to that effect. I now repeat. Do not start (nor Mr. Nichols either) until I say come. I understand this thing better than you do, and however anxious I may be to have you come yet I regard your coming now as imprudent & dangerous.

You shall hear from me soon again.

My Dear Wife-

I wrote you last on last Sunday. While many things have transpired during the past week yet they have been of such a public and notorious character that you will obtain a better account of them through the public prints than I could possibly write them. The Papers you most want to examine to ascertain our difficulties are the N. Y. Times and N. Y. Tribune. Almost any person in Meadville will lend them to you. I can send you no papers from Kansas. We have two published here and they never get through Missouri.

I wrote to you on the 1st day of June not to come to Kansas until you could hear from me again. Since then I wrote to you twice, I think, repeating the same, and I now repeat again. You & Mr. Nichols, must not start until I tell you to come. I think mat-

As ever


Topeka Kansas

June 16, 1856


ters will take a more favorable turn in a few days, weeks at most. YesterdaySunday-the Ft. Riley Troops-Cannon and all-passed through this place on their way to the scene of strife. The Ft. Leavenworth troops have been in the field for some time. We are hourly expecting word of a sanguinary battle between the U. S. Troops and the Border Ruffians. There will be about 1000 on a side-with Cannon, Dragoons, Infantry, &c., &c. upon each side and it will be a desperate battle. Look out for the news of the result. Should there be a fight there is no telling when the thing will end. Gen. Whitfield commands the Missouri forces, so I understand, and Col. Sumner the regulars.

I have got 35 acres of corn and beans planted and tolerably well fenced. My house that blew down is pretty near done and will make a right pleasant place to live.

I have recd. the 398$ spoken of in your last, all right. It will be enough to meet my present demands.

We get accounts from the States that everything is there on fire. I think it is time. But the people of the States can have & do have no kind of idea the amount of suffering and outrage to which our people are subjected. A man must be here and go through the trials to appreciate them.

But everything will come right in the morning. And Kansas will yet be not only a free state but the best state in the Union. Mark that. And if anybody in Meadville wants a home they can find no better country for a home than Kansas. I certainly can conceive of nothing better than Kansas has been all this spring.

You shall hear from me again soon. In the mean time do not start for Kansas until I tell you to come.

Love to all.

As ever your aff. husband, C. K. HOLLIDAY

Of course you will tell Mr. Nichols the contents of this noteadvising him also, not to start.

Topeka Kansas

June 22, 1856

My Dear Wife-

Yours of June 9th came to hand on Thursday last. It seems from your letter that you had not as yet received mine advising you not to come at the present or until you would hear from me again.

You have doubtless recd. it before now. For the past few days things have been comparatively quiet. Col. Sumner drove the in


waders from Kansas and is now encamped with his troops on the border of Missouri. Eight proslavery ruffians were killed near Ossawatomie this week by two Wisconsin men-and Gov. Shannon's resignation (so reported) are the latest items for this week. We have escaped arrests and indictments at this place for the present. How long we can remain thus I know not. But not long. On the 2d & 3d of July there will be a large mass convention at this place and on the 4th the Gen. Assembly will convene. This may be considered a pretext for the renewal of trouble but I hope not. You & Mr. Nichols must not think of coming until after the fourth. In the meantime you will hear from me, or as I before wrote you, do not start until I tell you to come. My crops look very well.

I certainly never saw-neither could I dream of a better country than Kansas.

Keep writing often. Love to all.

Your aff. & faithful husband


Topeka July 2, 1856

My Dear Wife

I have only time to write a line to you in answer to yours of June 15th recd. yesterday.

I am equally sorry with you that things are as they are and that your arrangements of coming out here were so suddenly thwarted by my letter of the 1st of June. While our difficulties have to a certain extent subsided, yet they [are] not over I fear. While I write men are crowding into Topeka by hundreds to be present at a Mass Convention tomorrow, and at the convening of the session of the Gen. Assembly on the day after. Within one half mile of town, on the one side is a detachment from Ft. Leavenworth of some 200 U. S. Dragoons and one mile & a half on the other side a detachment from Ft. Riley of 200 to 300 Dragoons and batteries of cannon. Their united force will consist tomorrow of about 800 to 1200 Dragoons besides several batteries of artillery. It is greatly feared there will be difficulty.

The Gen. Ass. is determined to meet but will not take any aggressive movement. [42]

So far as the present would seem to indicate it is just as well you are not here-and a little better although for myself I would greatly desire you to be with me.


I will try and drop you a note again by Fridays mail.

Recently two companies from the states-Illinois of 69, Ohio of 80-have been disarmed and sent back on the Mo. River. This far transcends any other outrage to which we have been subjected. Whether the people of the states will stand this remains to be seen but I suppose the most they can do is to pass a few silly resolutions as usual. It has got to be perfectly intolerable when citizens from Ohio, Ill. or Pa. dare not emigrate to Kansas.

Kiss baby Lillie for me and remember me to all friends.

As ever your off. husband


St. Lawrence Hotel

Philadelphia, July 30/56

My Dear Wife-

A pressure of business has prevented me addressing you until today. [43]

I left Meadville, as you will remember, on Wednesday morn. Reached Pittsburgh Thursday morning & Harrisburgh Thursday evening at about the time I expected. Found Gov. Roberts [44] awaiting me. The State Ex. Com. being chiefly at Philadelphia we concluded to come on here and accordingly left H -h at 1 P. M. Friday arriving here at 7 P. M. same day. Next day saw the Committee except Charles Gibbons Esq. [45] who was visiting at Cape May.

The Committee telegraphed to Gibbons, but he could not return before Monday. Saturday evening both Roberts & I spoke before the Central Fremont club at Head Quarters. Sunday we spent with a most excellent gentleman, Wm. Morris Davis Esq., a member of the Committee, at his residence seven miles in the country. In the afternoon of the same day, Mr. Davis family & ourselves met quite a number of gentlemen & ladies at a brothers of Mr. Davis at tea. They were mostly Quakers. Among the guests was Hon. Chas. Sumner, senator from Mass., who was so brutally beaten by Brooks of S. C.


Monday evening we met the Committee to make arrangements for stumping the state. Last evening we went to Westchester, 30 miles in the country, & spoke afternoon & evening to large & enthusiastic audiences. The four succeeding evenings this week we were announced to speak in this city. It is then our intention to try & make a move for western counties commencing at Erie on the 5th day Aug. This will bring us to Meadville about next Wednesday.

We have not concluded our arrangements yet with the committee but they are exceedingly anxious to have us canvass the state. If you should write me here address me at "St. Lawrence Hotel," Philadelphia. As ever

Your off. husband C. K. HOLLIDAY

Dear Wife-

I beg your pardon for neglecting you so long. But I have not had one moment of time to write for the past two weeks except the last day or two and then I felt little like writing to anybody.

Since writing I have been down through Fayette & Green & Washington counties speaking twice nearly every day.

The election is over. The result disappoints me. From all I could learn I was in hopes of carrying Penna. by 20,000 maj. As it is the result is very doubtful though the latest advices this morning lead us to hope & believe that the Republicans have carried the state by a small maj.-say 500 to 2000. I care not now how small the maj. may be. If we only have a maj. it will enable us to carry the state in Nov. for Fremont.46 I expect to leave for Phila. soon- perhaps tonight-will see you in a couple of weeks at farthest.

At present it looks very much against your going to Kansas this fall owing to the very unsettled condition of things there.

If the people endorse this system of Border Ruffianism at the ballot box, I don't know what will become of our Kansas people.

May God direct the hearts & minds of the people to do right in the coming contest should be the prayer of every honest man & woman in the country.

But we must "labor & wait." I found Gov. Roberts' sister to be a very fine woman & very fine people generally in that section of country.

Monongahela House Pittsburgh

Oct. 17, 1856


I hope your visit proved very pleasant in Ohio.

Write me immediately at Philadelphia, care of the "St. Lawrence Hotel" but you need not send any of my letters. You can extract from them as before. It may be possible that I will return immediately from Phila. and confine my labors the balance of the campaign to Crawford, Warren & adjoining counties.

Your aff. husband C. K. HOLLIDAY

Monongahela House

Pittsburgh Pa.

Oct. 19, 1856

My Dear Wife-

I am still at Pittsburgh and quite well. I expect to leave for Philadelphia tomorrow taking the counties as I go so that I will not, perhaps, arrive there for some days. Judge Church, D. A. Finney, J. W. Farrelly, and others from your section of country are now here. None of them knew whether you had got home or not.

I hope you and the baby are well. I am very anxious to hear from you, and yesterday thought I would try and go to Crawford and speak there the balance of the campaign, but have finally concluded we had better go East. There is little probability of your going to Kansas this fall-owing to the lamentable condition of things there. I scarcely now see any hopes of avoiding civil war, growing out [of ] the course pursued in Kansas by the Administration at Washington.

Penna. has gone against us by a majority of about 1000 out of 400,000 votes. This is not defeat-and I shall certainly hope that Fremont will carry the state in November. If he don't may God have mercy on us.

Be of good cheer Mary. I will be with you in a couple of weeks now. Kiss Lillie for me. And give my love to all the folks.

Write me at "St. Lawrence Hotel," Philadelphia, Pa.

Your aff. & faithful husband


Howard Hotel New York

Oct. 23, 1856

My Dear Wife-

I arrived in this city yesterday morning. Will leave again this evening for Phila. Everything looks well for the Fremont ticket-particularly in Penna.

I am well-will write to you again from Phila. In the meantime keep in good cheer for all will go well. I have just called upon "Jessie" Fremont-John C. not at home. Yours as ever


Girard House

Phila. Penna.

Oct. 26, 1856

My Dear Wife-

I wrote you from the Howard Hotel New York, last Thursday I believe. On Friday night I returned to this city and am stopping at the Girard instead of at the St. Lawrence as I had suggested I would stop. I have been to the St. Lawrence but found no letters from you as I had hoped. I don't know how long I will remain here. I may leave tomorrow, perhaps not until after the election. If I were at Meadville I would be very glad, but we have made arrangements for a Kansas meeting at Boston on the 5th day of Nov. and it will be cheaper to remain here & then go on to Boston, than to return to Meadville & go from there. We have spoken but little since the 14th election and we will not speak much more. The time for speaking is past and for action, private action, arrived.

Things look mixed in Penna. but. I am still in hopes that Fremont will carry the state. The union that was effected at Harrisburg on last Wednesday would seem to indicate such a result 47 I pray God it may be true, for I cannot tolerate the idea that the great state of Penna. will deliberately endorse this infamous Administration and all the crimes that are known to civil society. But we shall see. We shall know all on the 4th of Nov. Until then I shall hope for the best-believing that truth must prevail.

I have not yet been able to ascertain what I shall realize from the Committee. I will try and learn tomorrow. I am afraid I have got about all I shall get. I hope not.

I will be here in all probability for some days. Hence you can address me at this place-"Girard House," Phila.-or I will be at Boston on the 5th of Nov. and you can address me at that time there -at the "Marlboro' House," Boston, Mass.

Kiss Lillie. My love to all.

Your aff. & faithful husband



Council Chamber

Lawrence Jan. 30, 185948

Dear Mary-

Your letter of the 17th inst. came to hand a day or two since; and you may rest assured that I was very glad to hear from you and of your safe arrival at home; I was also glad to learn of the good health of all your friends.

Your expenses have not much exceeded what I supposed they would be, but I certainly do not like the way G acted in borrowing the money from you which I had just borrowed from him. He has been down two or three times since he returned from Leavenworth but he said nothing about it to me. But let that pass for the present.

I am still at Lawrence. The Legislature will close its session in two weeks from yesterday unless we should get an extension of time from Congress. We have petitioned for twenty days more, and I see a bill was introduced into the Senate to that effect. But it is very doubtful about its passage.

The Legislature is working very hard; and as a general thing very acceptably. I suceeded in carrying through four very important measuresone electing a Board of Commissioners to codify the Laws, another annexing all that part of Nebraska which lies south of the Platte River to Kansas,[4]9 another calling a new Constitutional Convention, and the other locating permanently the County Seat of Shawnee County at Topeka.[50] The Topeka boys fired off their cannon, held a public meeting, and had a good time generally upon the passage of this latter bill. The Tecumseh people of course were very angry, and fought the bill from day to day in the Legislature and before the Governor, but it did not succeed. I argued the question for half a day before the Governor, against Judge Hoogland and others, and finally obtained the Governor's signature to the bill.


Hoogland is trying all he can to upset the arrangement; but he wont succeed.

There is much trouble in the Southern part of the Territory. There was a battle fought a few days since in Lynn Co. [51] in which it is reported that ten or twelve men were killed; but I think this will be found to be exaggerated.

The emigration is already beginning to set in for Pikes Peak. It will reach a full hundred thousand.

I have not been at Topeka since I came down on the 2nd inst. I had intended to have gone up today but could not get time.

I think I am not losing any friends here this winter. I have the entire confidence of the Council and to a great extent of the House of Rep.

I have bought me a new frock coat and the finest military overcoat you ever saw. I was obliged to do this, as there is much more fine dressing here than last winter. The Eldridge House is fully open [52] -and is very splendid, and elegantly furnished. It is as good a house as any in Cleveland and as large as all the Hotels in Meadville put together. It cost $76,000.

The weather has been very fine all this winter-excepting a day or two it has been as mild as in September, and today is as bright and beautiful as a May day.

Mrs. Smith & Mrs. Marrow made many inquiries about you; and offered many regrets that you were not going to spend the winter in Lawrence. I have not spoken to another lady in Lawrence since I have been here than the two above. Yes, I forgot Mrs. O'Donnell. She inquired about you and says she is going to Pikes Peak in the spring. I expect she will as her husband is going. He was out all summer and just returned a week or so ago.

I send you the Daily Republican and hope you regularly receive it. I wish you would send me some Meadville papers. We had better subscribe for one and after you read it send it to me.

They are rebuilding the Topeka bridge.[53]

Now I think I have given you all the news. Yours as ever



Council Chamber

Sunday Feb. 6, 1859

Dear Mary-

Your second letter came to hand a day or two since. I have had no time to answer it until today. I was glad to learn that you and Lillie were well and enjoying yourselves so much.

My own health is pretty good, although I am suffering somewhat from a cold, damp rooms and hard work. We have done a vast deal of labor this session; more, I venture to say, than ever a similar body performed in the same length of time.

We are about completing up our work; and it is well that it is so for next Friday the Assembly adjourns by limitations. You had consequently better address me hereafter at Topeka. I still send you daily the Lawrence Republican, and hope you regularly receive it; as it will give you a full report of the proceedings of the Legislature, as well as matters and things in general.

Last night there was a grand festival at the Eldridge House. Speeches, talks &c. I was not present although one of the Committee of arrangements. The reason I was not present is because you were not there. There has been more trouble since I wrote you last, almost wholly in the negro line, and amounts to little or nothing. John Doy & son of this place were going to Nebraska with 15 runaway slaves, and were overtaken and carried into Missouri, and are now at Weston awaiting their trial. [54] "Old John Brown" was also running off with some 15 or 20 more when Dr. Woods of Lecompton and a number of others took after him, but failed to catch him. [55] The troubles in the south part of the Territory seem to have ceased. At Leavenworth a negro named "Charley Fisher" was stolen and taken into Mo. [56] afterwards escaped, and returned to Leavenworth. He was then arrested as a fugitive slave and while guarded as such the door of his room was broken open, his keepers knocked down, and he carried off to Nebraska or elsewhere as no word has been received concerning him since.

I have not been up to Topeka since I came down. But I hear from there frequently, and learn that everything is going off well.

Oh, I almost forgot to mention that yesterday in half a minutes


time a bill was introduced into the Council & passed clear through under a suspension of rules, divorcing Josephine Branscomb from the man she married 6 or 8 months ago. It then went to the House of Representatives, and with equal dispatch, and no discussion, went through there. In all there was not exceeding 15 or 20 minutes in making Miss Branscomb a single woman. It only wants the signature of the Governor to become a law; and this it will doubtless receive. [57]

The Constitutional Convention is to be held at Wyandotte, in July next. I tried all I could to get it at Topeka, but hadn't strength enough. Winants has been here all week. He wanted me to recommend him to the Gov. for Probate Judge in place of Hoogland-and got very angry because I would not do so. He then went off and got drunk and Patrick had to put him to bed at ten o'clock in the morning.

I don't think of anything else just now.

Yours as ever

Dear Mary-

Day before yesterday (Monday) I took my first meal at my new boarding place-that is to say with Mr. Frazier in my own house.

I am now writing from the room I occupy, which is the large front chamber up stairs. I have got one of our good bedsteads, straw bed, card table and two chairs in my room. They will be better taken care of here than at James'.

James is going on with the farm. He has sowed some 15 or 20 acres of wheat and is now plowing for corn. It may be that he will do pretty well-but I still fear it. He commences well however.

It will be difficult for me to tell what or how I am going to do until after the Osawatomie Republican Convention on the 18th of May. I may be sacrificed at that convention and may have to shape my course differently from what I otherwise would.

We have nothing new in town. Weather is very fine-perfectly spring like. Thousands upon thousands are going to Pike's Peak.

I have had this house painted in the inside and two rooms papered. It looks very nice. The folks I live with seem to be very clever people.

Let me hear from you very often.

Yours truly


Topeka Mch. 23,1859



Wyandotte, July 14, 1859 [58]

Dear Mary-

I have now been at this place just one week-looking after Capital matters, and my political prospects. [59] In a day or two the Capital question will be decided. Today the chances are altogether in our favor and I now think we will get the Capital located at our place. But the trickery of politicians may change this expectation. I have said or done little for myself since here. I have no doubt my advocacy of the Capital matter will materially injure my political prospects, but if the Convention will locate the Capital for 5 years at Topeka (what we ask) I am willing to be defeated for a year or two to come . . . . Every boat that arrives at the Wyandotte levee I go to see if you are not on board.

I have, some how or other, had great confidence that you would come here during the sitting of the Convention but as yet you arrive not.

We have had some fine showers recently-but today is as hot as I think I ever saw it. It is almost difficult to move around.

The Convention will not adjourn before the close of next week, perhaps not for two weeks to come.


Wyandotte July 24, 1859

Dear Mary-

I dropped you a line yesterday informing you of the important fact that the Convention has located the Capital at Topeka. This is certainly a great triumph-and will greatly enhance the prospects of our town and of our property.

It kills me politically, however, for a time at least-but present pecuniary good is worth more to me than prospective political position.

Tomorrow night we give a supper to the Topeka friends -soon after which I will return to Topeka.

Yours as ever . . . C. K. HOLLIDAY


1. Cyrus Kurtz Holliday was born near Carlisle, Pa., April 3, 1828. He was a graduate of Meadville College, Allegheny, Pa., and practiced law for a time before coming to Kansas.

2. This slight joke suggests Holliday's impression of Chicago.

3. The steamer F. X. Aubrey, named for the famous freighter and rider, Francois Xavier Aubrey, plied the Missouri river during the years 1853-1860. She bore on er hurricane roof the figure of a man riding at full speed on horseback. The boat sank in 1860 near Hermann, Mo.

4. The excellence of the food served on river boats was so noteworthy that Redpath & Hinton, in their Hand-Book to Kansas Territory and the Rocky Mountains' Gold Region (New York, J. H. Colton, 1859) included the following in rule 13 for travelers: "The fare ion the river boats is generally as good as in first-class hotels, and the manifold temptations to gormandize are frequently indulged in to a dangerous extent, especially by travelers unaccustomed, during their trip, to so many and such delicious luxuries. Hence, a medical authority tells us, the only prudent, as well as the safest course, is to select the lainest food cooked m the simplest manner.

5. A company known as the Western Pennsylvania Kansas Company was organized at Conneautville, Crawford county, Pa., on September 10, 1854. Members left Pennsylvania for Kansas on October 27 arriving in the territory November 9. Many of them went at once to Osage county but their settlement in that section, Eureka, was short-lived. The company scattered to various points in the territory and Missouri.

6. See The Kansas Historical Collections, v. 12, p. 94, for biographical sketch of Clarinda Irene Howard Nichols.

7. Andrew H. Reeder, first territorial governor of Kansas.

8. Fry W. Giles, in his Thirty Years in Topeka (Topeka, Geo. W. Crane & Co., 1886) states that the founders of the new settlement met on the evening of January 1, 1855, to consider names. No decision was reached and another meeting was held the next evening when Topeka was offered and accepted. Giles adds: "Holloway, in his History of Kansas, says that the name was first suggested by Mr. Webb, secretary of the New England Emigrant Aid Society, but this is entirely wrong. The writer first heard the word spoken by the Rev. S. Y. Lum, in a conversation with him at Topeka, on the second day of January, 1855 ; and when he presented it for adoption as the name of the embryo town, no one present had ever heard it before." Holliday's letter of this date indicates that te name had been given before January 2, 1855.

9. The Rev. Samuel Y. Lum, of Middleton, N. Y., was commissioned by the American Home Missionary Society m 1854 to labor as a Congregational missionary in Kansas territory. He arrived in September of that year and began his work at once, preaching his first sermon in Lawrence on October 1. During the winter of 1854-1855 he preached at intervals to the colony at Topeka.

10. Fry W. Giles, a native of New Hampshire, came to Kansas territory in November, 1854. He was one of the founders of Topeka and served as treasurer of the Topeka Association. He held various public offices and in 1864 opened the first bank in Topeka. He was the author of Thirty Years in Topeka (Topeka, 1886).

11. The Rev. William H. Goode (see following footnote) made a tour of the Wakarusa mission circuit early in 1854 and stopped at Topeka enroute to Lawrence to attend the February quarterly meeting Of his visit to Topeka he wrote in his Outposts of Zion (Cincinnati, Poe & Hitchcock, 1864), p. 329: "We traveled through the Pottawatomie Reserve . . . and took up to the newly-laid-off town of Topeka, since famous for free-state Constitutions, Conventions, and Legislatures, then consisting of a solitary frame shanty occupied as a hotel with a cabin dormitory hard by, and a few claim structures in the suburbs.

At Topeka we found a company of intelligent, enterprising men, mostly at that time from Pennsylvania, full of hope as to their town; laoring hard, and iving on rough fare. We were kindly received, found a place to stake out our animals, and a little prairie hay to place before them. Our plain evening repast over, the men assembled in the cabin room.

12. An exploration of the area then designated Nebraska, to determine possibilities for mission work, was planned by the Methodist Episcopal church in the spring of 1854 while the Kansas-ebraska bill was still pending in Congress. The Rev. William H. Goode was sent to the field and as a result of his survey the Kansas-Nebraska mission district was organized. This comprised territory extending from the eastern limits of Kansas and Nebraska to the Rocky Mountains and from the Arkansas river to the Canadian line. One of the subdivisions within this district was the Wakarusa mission circuit comprising all the Kansas valley from the mouth of the river to Fort Riley. James S. Griffing was placed in charge of this circuit and the meeting here referred to was the second quarterly meeting held at Lawrence under the direction of Mr. Goode, presiding elder.

13. This is probably a reference to the great need of timber for the building of the settlement. Governor Reeder at this time was endeavoring to buy timbered land on the north side of the Kansas river from the Kansas half-breed Indians, and the settlers at Topeka were hoping for the consummation of the purchase, inasmuch as they had been assured of lumber if the contracts were :approved at Washington. Indian Commissioner Manypenny, however, disapproved the contracts as being in violation of the treaty of 1825 with the Kansas Indians, and the attempted purchase of the lands by Reeder was later used as one of the reasons for his removal from office.

14. Mr, and Mrs. Lewis T. Litchfield of Massachusetts opened a hotel on the bottom lands in September of 1854. It was a rude structure of poles, thatched with prairie grass. J. Savage, in his "Recollections of 1854," Lawrence Western Home Journal, September 8,

1870, writes: "The pioneer boarding house or hotel was kept by Mr. and Mrs. Litchfield.

Elegant lodgings and well-prepared food were out of the question in their house.

The bread was raised in a large wash-tub which stood behind the stove to keep it warm, and was baked in a large atone oven. It was never light for want of time to rise. This, with boiled and fried beef, was their staple food; plenty of molasses, vinegar and mustard were always on the table, as well as sauce made of dried apples and peaches; and for a substitute for butter we used the drippings from the beef, salted. In the large open tent, the November mornings were cold and chilly without a fire, so that we generally ate wearing our hate and overcoats."

15. This mill was given by the Emigrant Aid Company in return for a portion of the town property. (See Samuel A. Johnson's "The Emigrant Aid Company in Kansas," Kansas Historical Quarterly, v. 1, pp. 434-436 for a brief statement of the policy of the Aid Company in establishing mills in the territory.) In January, 1855, Holliday and M. C.

Dickey went to Kansas City to get the engine and boiler which had been purchased in Rochester by the Aid Company for the new settlement. Transportation to Topeka was attended with great difficulty. Samuel C. Pomeroy, financial agent of the company in the territory, reported to the executive committee that Mr. Dickey, who had contracted to transport the mill and set it in running order for $1,000, claimed a loss of $700 by the transaction. Pomeroy asked for instructions from the committee and was advised to do whatever equity dictated in the case.-Minutes of the executive committee, Emigrant Aid Company, May 19, 1855, in Kansas State Historical Society, division of MSS. Pomeroy's financial records are incomplete and the terms of the settlement with Dickey are not known.

16. The Lawrence Herald of Freedom, April 21, 1855, recorded the presence of Holliday in that city on April 18, en route to ennsylvania. The letters resume while he is in Minnesota territory, on his way back to Kansas.

17. Lillie Holliday Kellam, only daughter of Cyrus H. Holliday, was born March 18, 1866, at Meadville, Pa.

18. An election was called by Governor Reeder on May 22 to fill vacancies in the territorial legislature, the elections of March 30 in six out of eighteen districts having been set aside by him as fraudulent. Free-State voters alone participated in the election of May 22, but members elected by them were unseated by Proslavery members.

19. Mark W. Izard, of Arkansas, second regularly appointed governor of Nebraska territory.

20. The first territorial legislature met at Pawnee on July 2, 1855, but passed an act on July B, over Governor Reeder's veto, to remove the seat of government to the Shawnee manual labor school, and adjourned to meet there on July 16. Upon Roeder's refusal to sanction any of its acts while in session at the labor school, the legislature memorialized the President to remove him from office, eagerly using as one of its charges the fact of Reeder's pecuniary interest in the town of Pawnee which he had selected for the territorial capital.

Reeder's removal was officially announced on July 31.

21. The first issue of the Kansas Freeman, published at Topeka by Edward C. K. Garvey do CO., appeared on July 4, 1855. The policy of the paper was set forth in a prospectus, Lawrence Herald of Freedom, June 9, 1855, and subsequent issues: "The Freeman will make no promises at the commencement of its career, but will endeavor to stand on its own merits and the soundness of its principles on the momentous questions which agitate the public mind not only in this Territory but over the whole extent of our glorious Union. . The conductors of the Freeman have determined to hold themselves independent and at liberty to discuss the various questions of the day, free and untrammelled by party ligatures. It shall be always found on the side of Temperance and religious morality and shall continue to advocate the moat extensive system of Public Free Schools and Colleges, with freedom of conscience to all men seeking a home within our borders. . . No advertisement or article, calculated to offend the moat delicate, shall be permitted to enter the columns of the Freeman."

22. Navigation of the Kansas river was considered entirely feasible by the founders of Topeka and had been a determining factor in the selection of the townsite. A levee was constructed at a point near the foot of Quincy street in the spring of 1855 and three or four boats reached the settlement that year, one proceeding as far as Manhattan. Boats continued to ascend the river to Topeka until 1881. In 1864 the state legislature declared the Kansas river not a navigable stream and gave any duly incorporated railroad company the right to bridge or dam it. For a detailed account of the navigation of the Kansas river see The Kansas Historical Collections, v. 9, pp. 317-368.

23. Thirty-five individuals of the Wyandot nation of Indians were given the right, by the terms of a treaty at Upper Sandusky, Ohio, March 17, 1842 (modified January 31 185b), to select, each, a section of public land in territory west of Missouri and Iowa. Certificates issued to them were known as land floats, and each grantee, upon making his selection, was given a patent. Title to land during this period was secured more quickly by the use of floats than by any other means and they were sought by town founders. The Topeka association purchased float No. 20 of the aeries issued to the Wyandots from Isaiah Walker, paying him $1,200. The association located all of S. 31, T. 11, R 18 E. under the float. A patent was issued February 14 1859, and on July 1 of that year, Isaiah Walker and his wife, Mary, executed a warranty deed conveying the land to the Topeka, association. Fry W. Giles, op. cit., gives a detailed account of the acquisition of title to the townsite, pp. 61-88.

24. First convention of Free-State men made up of adherents of various political parties. This convention issued the call for the Big Springs meeting of September 5 which effected organization of the Free-State party.

25. The letter signed "Public Opinion," here referred to, was published in the Lawrence Herald of Freedom, July 28, 1855.

It was dated at Cleveland, Ohio, July 4, and was addressed to the paper as if written by a non-resident, "to give you and your readers," Holliday wrote, "an inkling of the disposition of the public mind growing out of the recent unparalleled outrage upon the elective franchise in your Territory, and the probable issue that awaits the

Kansas question . . . .I am safe in saying that an overwhelming majority of the people of the entire North rather than see Kansas a slave state of this Union would prefer to see the Union itself shivered into ten thousand atoms.

They say they love the Union; but when it becomes impotent to secure to the citizens of the republic the highest and dearest rights

of a freeman, it is no longer worthy of preservation." A severe condemnation of President/Pierce for his attitude towards Governor Reeder followed, and he then concluded, "It is astonishing to see the very great change that has been wrought, politically, in the public mind of the northern states, since the Kansas election has forever sealed the doom of slavery. You may rely upon this. It is utterly impossible that Kansas, Nebraska, or any other territory, can ever be admitted into the Union as a slave state. The people have decreed it.

The letter signed H, published in the Lawrence Herald of Freedom, August 11, 1855, was dated Topeka, August . It was mainly a comparison of Kansas with the western states and territories through which Holliday traveled on his return from the East for the purpose of examining the merits of each and satisfying himself of the superiority of Kansas. The letter also denounced those emigrants who, finding life in the territory too rigorous, reported unfavorably upon their return to the East.

26. Percival G. Lowe, in his "Recollections of Fort Riley," Kansas Historical Collections, v. 7, p. 110, states that the dead numbered not less than 75 nor probably more than 100.

27. See footnote 23.

28. See footnote 24.

29. Congress refused to seat either Reeder or John W. Whitfield, delegate of the Proslavery party.

30. Freeman R. Foster, a native of Crawford county, Pennsylvania, first arrived in the territory in 1854 with a party of emigrants. Illness necessitated his return to the East for a short time. he assisted in platting the town of Topeka where he resided during the remainder of his life.

31. The Emigrant Aid Company, through its financial agent Samuel C. Pomeroy, purchased the Union hotel in Kansas City in September, 1854, for the accommodation of emigrants proceeding to Kansas under its direction. It was renamed the American house. Shalor w. Eldridge leased the building from the company for a time, then purchased it. Eldridge later leased the Free-State hotel in Lawrence, also owned by the Emigrant Aid Company, and upon its destruction in 1858 purchased The property and built the Eldridge house on the site.

32. Holliday was elected a delegate to the Topeka constitutional convention.

33. Mary Holliday's letters to her husband at this time indicate that she abandoned her plan to join him in the territory upon the advice of friends, and because of ill health.

34. "The Executive Committee of the Territory of Kansas, as appointed at the Topeka Convention, on the 19th of September, and endorsed by the Constitutional Convention, con

sists of, J. H. Lane, president, J. K. oodin, secretary, G. W. Smith, G. W. Brown, M. J. Parrott, P. C. Schuyler, C. K. Holliday.

"I the absence of any other legally constituted authority, this committee has been invested by the people, with all the powers that may be necessary for setting the wheels of government in motion under the new [Topeka] Constitution; and as such they hold stated meetings once in two weeks at the office of the Committee in Topeka."-Lawrence Herald of Freedom, December 1, 1855.

35. On December 8, Governor Shannon made a treaty with the Free-State leaders.

36. Holliday was defeated by Philip C. Schuyler of Council City in this election.

37. In a special message to congress on January 24 President Pierce endorsed the socalled bogus legislature and declared the formation of the Topeka government revolutionary and an set of rebellion. He asked for the passage of a bill authorizing the people of Kansas to frame a constitution. In the proclamation of February 11 he commanded "alt persons engaged in unlawful combinations against the constituted authority of the Territory of Kansas, or of the United States, to disperse and retire peaceably to their respective abodes."

38. In Franklin county. The Centropolis town company was organized in 1856.Andreas' History of Kansas (Chicago, 1883), p. 603.

39. On the afternoon of May 21, Sheriff Jones led a band of armed Proslavery men into Lawrence, and claiming to be acting under orders from the first district court of Douglas county, estroyed the offices of the Herald of Freedom and the Kansas Free State, and the Free-State hotel. Stores were broken open and pillaged and the home of Charles Robinson was burned. This overt act was followed on May 24 by the murder of five Proslavery men living on Pottawatomie creek, in Franklin county, by a band led by John Brown.

40. The two weeks preceding the date of this letter were marked by the capture of John Brown, Jr., and Jason Brown, and their subsequent imprisonment at Lecompton, the battle of Black Jack, the Free-State attack on Franklin and the sack of Osawatomie.

41. John w. Whitfield was a leader of the Proslavery forces in Kansas. Col. Edwin Voss Sumner was stationed at this time at Fort Leavenworth. For a brief biographical sketch of the latter see The Kansas Historical Collections, v. 7, p. 393.

42. The Free-State legislature met at Topeka on July 4, but was dispersed by federal troops under Colonel Sumner.

43. On July 7, Holliday went to Pennsylvania to visit his family and arrange for their removal to the territory. Almost immediately upon his arrival he was pressed into service in the campaign in that state of John C. Fremont for the presidency on the Republican ticket.

On January 20, 1891, Holliday delivered an address before the Kansas State Historical Society on the presidential campaign of 1856 with particular reference to the Fremont campaign in which he participated. This address has been published in The Kansas Historical Collections, v. 5, pp. 48-60.

44. William Y. Roberts a native of Pennsylvania, located at Big Springs, Douglas county, in the summer of 1855 and took an active part in territorial affairs of the succeeding years. He was elected lieutenant-governor under the Topeka constitution. Holliday has referred to him as his running mate throughout the entire Fremont campaign.

45. Charles Gibbons, a Quaker, was chairman of the Pennsylvania Republican state committee in 1856.

46. The Democrats carried the state of Pennsylvania in the October election, but their

victory was not conceded by the opposition for nearly a week. Holliday, "The Presidential Campaign of 1856-the Fremont Campaign," Kansas Historical Collections, v. 5, p. 54.

47. The union here referred to was a somewhat intricate plan devised by the Republican and American parties of Pennsylvania, acting together, by which they hoped to defeat Buchanan in that state. Buchanan, however, won a sweeping victory.-Holliday, op. cit., p. 55.

48. No record has been found of the exact date of Mary Holliday's removal to the territory, but since Holliday went to Pennsylvania in the autumn of 1856 to bring his family back, it is quite possible that she came in that year. There are no letters addressed to her after October, 1856, until January 30, 1859, when she was visiting her former home at Meadville. Holliday was at that time a member of the territorial legislature of 1859.

49. G. W. Martin, in his "The Boundary Lines of Kansas," Kansas Historical Collections, v. 11, p. 68, points out the anomaly of this Free-State legislature petitioning for the annexation of southern Nebraska, while the Free-State members in the Wyandotte constitutional convention bitterly opposed it. The vote of the constitutional convention on the measure was 29 against, 19 for.

50. The first territorial legislature designated Tecumseh the county seat of Shawnee county. The people of the county, however, with the exception of residents of Tecumseh, were generally opposed to that selection. he question of location was submitted to popular vote on October 4, 1858, and the poll books were returnable to the office of the probate judge, held at that time by Edward Hoogland, a resident of Tecumseh. The election had been clearly in favor of Topeka but Hoogland withheld publication of the vote until December and then declared the election illegal and fraudulent. The act of the legislature, referred to by Holliday, settled the dispute in favor of Topeka.

51. Probably a reference to skirmishes in Linn county between a posse composed mainly of Missourians, acting under Marshal Russell, and Free-State men. The posse had been organized to capture Free-State invaders of issouri. There were no fatalities.-Lawrence Republican, February 3, 1859.

52. A "grand opening ball" was held at the Eldridge House on December 31 1858. Holliday was a member of the committee on arrangements. Music was furnished by the Lawrence brass band.

53. A bridge across the Kansas river at Topeka had been opened to traffic on May 1, 1858. On July 17 of the same year, floodwaters lifted the structure from its piers and carried it downstream. An unsuccessful attempt to rebuild the bridge was made in 1859.

54. For accounts of the subsequent rescue of Doctor Doy, see "The Rescue of Dr. John W. Doy, by James B. Abbott, Kansas Historical Collections, v. 4, pp. 312-323; and "The Doy Rescue, by Theodore Gardner, ibid., v. 17, pp. 851-85.

55. This trip out of the territory with eleven slaves, captured in Missouri, was actually Brown's farewell to Kansas. A. P. Wood led a posse from Atchison m an attempt to intercept the band on its way north, but Brown successfully eluded his pursuers.

56. Charley Fisher, an alleged fugitive slave from Louisiana, was kidnapped in Leavenworth and taken to Missouri. He broke away from his captors and returned to the territory. A further effort was made to arrest him, but he escaped from the territory. After the Civil War he was a state senator in Mississippi.Andreas' History of Kansas, pp. 427-428.

57. Divorces were granted by the legislature before the passage of the act of February 27, 1880, vesting the power in the district courts.

58. The Wyandotte constitutional convention was in session in Wyandotte at this time.

59. In a letter dated March 31 1869 not here reproduced because of its lack of general interest, Holliday stated: "I intend to shape my course either for delegate or governor . . . .

Go to previous article     Go to next article     Go to cover page for this issue     Go to KHQ main page