THE sixty-ninth annual meeting of the KansasState Historical Society and boardof directors was held in the rooms of the Society on October 17, 1944.The annual meeting of the directors was called to order by President Fred W.Brinkerhoff at 10:25 a. m. First business was the reading of the annual report bythe secretary.
Although the war has reduced the number ofpersons who come to the Society fromother states to do research there has been little falling off in the work of mostdepartments. There were fifteen hundred more visitors to the museum than in 1943,probably because of new signs which were erected on the lawns outside thebuilding. Assistance was given to more than 3,000 Kansans who needed evidence ofplace and date of birth for war jobs. Three members of the staff of the Societyare still on leave in the service.. Lt.Edgar Langsdorf is now in France. Ens. Josephine Louise Barry, U.S.N. R., is inDenver. G. R. Gaeddert is doing historical research with the American Red Crossin Washington, D. C.
President Fred W. Brinkerhoff reappointed Sen.Robert C. Rankin, Charles M.Correll and Gen. Milton R. McLean to the executive committee. The members holdingover were Chief Justice John S. Dawson and T. M. Lillard. Since last year'smeeting four members of the board of directors have died. They are C. Q.Chandler, Wichita; Mrs. Laura P. V. Doerr, Larned; William Allen White, Emporia,and Sam F. Woolard, Wichita.
Mr. Chandler, who was chairman of the board ofthe First National Bank inWichita, was much interested in the history of southwest Kansas and had presenteda number of pictures and maps to the Society. Mrs. Doerr was well known as astudent of the history of the Sante Fe trail and the Plains Indians. WilliamAllen White was a past president of the Society and a director for many years.Mr. Woolard was also a past president and during his many terms as directorprobably enrolled more new members than any other officer.
During the year 1,700 persons did research inthe library. Of these more than 600worked on Kansas subjects, 500 on genealogy and 500 on general subjects. Numerousinquiries were answered by letter and there were many requests for loans by mailfrom the loan file on Kansas subjects. Attendance and requests for informationdecreased, although in this department there were more writers engaged inextensive research than in the previous year. There were many out-of-statepatrons using the genealogical books. More than 68,000 cards were filed in theLibrary of Congress depository catalog.
Some of the government publications are ofspecial interest at this time.
Pamphlets on Latin-American countries and theirrelations with the United Statesare issued by the Office of the Coordinator of Inter-American Affairs. Similar tothese pamphlets are those in the war background studies series of the SmithsonianInstitution. Somewhat wider in scope, they cover such subjects as Peoples ofIndia; Polynesians-Explorers of the Pacific; The NaturalHistory Background ofCamoufiage, and Island Peoples of the Western Pacific. Each subject is treated byan authority and illustrated with photographs. The Office of War Informationissues some similar material but many of its publications are on the home-frontproblems of food rationing, price control, labor problems and state-absenteevoting and registration laws.
Filling a need in the literature of the FirstWorld War is a series of summariesof operations of United States divisions. These books, issued by the Americanbattle movements commission, are published with large-scale maps.Despite newsprint cuts, the volume of clipping did not decrease. Clippings onwar, defense, post-war problems, Red Cross, U. S. O., and the many Kansans in thelimelight of the war theater, together with those on general subjects, totaled450 biographical cards and 3,321 sheets. In addition there were 1,540 oldclippings that came in to be mounted. These were from the J. C. Ruppenthalcollection of papers covering various Kansas subjects, clippings on the FirstWorld War and on woman suffrage. To take care of these clippings, which numbered5,212, the clipping clerk worked full time for three months instead of the usualhalf time.
During the year 282 pictures were classified andcataloged and added to thepicture collection. Nearly all were gifts.
The largest accession of state archives was acollection of 505 volumes ofrecords from the ad valorem division of the Department of Revenue and Taxation.Although these records were primarily for tax purposes, they offer valuableinformation about state-wide operation of railroads, pipe line companies, utilityorganizations, etc., and show growth and decline of activities.
Also added to state archives were 22 boundvolumes containing records of countyofficers from the office of the Secretary of State.
An important addition to the microfilm copies ofthe records of the Office ofIndian Affairs reported last year were 25 new reels of microfilm representing theoutgoing letters of that office from 1861 to 1869.
Three manuscript volumes, three reels ofmicrofilm and 49,911 individualmanuscripts were received during the year.The largest single accession was approximately 48,000 manuscripts of the lateSen. Joseph L. Bristow. These came from Frank H. Bristow, administrator of hisfather's estate. Senator Bristow died in August at his home in Virginia. Thepapers supplement the important collection previously received. They have not yetbeen organized.
Mrs. Lillian Ross Leis presented letters andmiscellaneous papers of Edmund G.Ross, her father. The correspondence dates from 1856 to 1933 and includes lettersof Ross to his wife while he was in the Civil War. Ross will be remembered as theKansas senator whose vote saved President Andrew Johnson from conviction onimpeachment charges.
Herman Newman of Newton, Pa., gave a collection of papers on the Friendschurchin Kansas. There are 43 letters, dating from 1859 to 1909, reminiscences,historical documents, and a diary, which give valuable information on the earlyhistory of that church.
Records of divorces filed in the 23rd Judicialdistrict, 1909-1930, approximately550 manuscripts, and the marriage records of Russell county from 1873 to 1883were given by Judge J. C. Ruppenthal.
Tombstone inscriptions from Montana roadcemetery, an old burying ground fourmiles north of Oswego, and the inscriptions from a private cemetery in Macontownship, Harvey county, were received from D. D. Murphy of Oswego.Rev. Charles L. Atkins lent for copying the records of the First CongregationalChurch in Topeka. These include the minutes of the meetings from October 14,1855, to September 16, 1869, the roll of members and the records of baptism.A group of seven letters and statements pertaining to John Brown were the gift ofJames H. Beach of Chester, Pa. Mr. Beach was formerly a teacher in the Fort HaysState College.
Three reels of microfilm purchased from YaleUniversity contain copies of themanuscript journal of H. Miles Moore consisting of 42 volumes covering the periodfrom 1852 to 1880. H. Miles Moore was a prominent early-day citizen of Kansas andone of the founders of Leavenworth. There are also copies of the original recordsof the founding of Leavenworth, including the articles of the association,minutes of the meetings, the constitution, account books, etc. A copy of therecords of the founding of Topeka is likewise included.
Other donors were: Claud Baird, Wilber Blackestate, John G. Campbell, Sen.Arthur Capper, Birdine Chandler, Mary Elizabeth Cochran, Mrs. A. Z. Combs, EvelynSteenrod Dashen, Mrs. Guilford Dudley, Mrs. Cora A. DuLaney, Edward T. Fay,Standish Hall, Mrs. Henry J. Haskell, Helen McFarland, Jennie Small Owen, DonaldD. Parker, Rev. T. F. Rudisill, Frances Mitchell Wardin.
During the year more than four thousand patronswere served by the newspaper andcensus divisions. Seven thousand loose issues of newspapers and four thousandbound volumes were consulted; 6,301 census volumes were searched and from them3,209 certified copies of family records were issued.
A microfilm copy of the population schedules ofthe 1880 federal census ofKansas, in 29 reels, has been added to the collections. These came from the U. S.Bureau of the Census. Almost complete state and federal census records are nowavailable for Kansas for the years 1855, 1860, 1865, 1870, 1875, 1880, 1885,1895, 1905, 1915 and 1925. All these records, excepting this last acquisition,are originals.
The 1944 List of Kansas Newspapers andPeriodicals was published in July. Itshowed the issues of 686 newspapers and periodicals being received regularly forfiling, 11 fewer than were shown in the 1943 List. Casualties among the state'sbona fide newspapers now total eighty-four since Pearl Harbor.Of the 686 publications in the 1944 List, 53 are dailies, seven semiweeklies, 422weeklies, one three times monthly, 31 fortnightlies, 12 semimonthlies, four onceevery three weeks, 90 monthlies, 13 bimonthlies, 21 quarterlies, 26 occasionals,two semiannuals and four annuals, coming from all the 105 Kansas
counties. Of these publications, 142 are listed Republican, 30 Democratic, and234 independent in politics; 86 are school or college, 34 religious, 19fraternal, pine labor, six local, 17 military, 11 industrial, 15 trade and 83miscellaneous.
On January 1, 1944, the Society's collectioncontained 49,718 bound volumes ofKansas newspapers, and more than 10,000 bound volumes of out-of-state newspapersdated from 1767 to 1944.
In addition to the 686 publications regularlyreceived by the Society as giftsfrom Kansas publishers, miscellaneous newspapers have been received from thefollowing: Dr. Edward Bumgardner, Lawrence; Mrs. Cora A. DuLaney, Odenton, Md.;Grant Harrington, Kansas City, Kan.; Mrs. Henry J. Haskell, Kansas City, Mo.;Kansas State Board of Agriculture, Topeka; Cecil Kingery, Phillipsburg; Dr. JamesC. Malin, Lawrence; Charles L. Mitchell, Topeka; Miss Olga Newton, Kansas City,Mo.; E. I. Rubinstein, New York City; N. E. Saxe, Topeka, and J. B. Wilson,Lawrence.
The attendance in the museum from October 1,1943, through September 30, 1944,was 32720. Visitors include many soldiers from the Topeka Army Air Field and theWinter General Hospital. There were 20 accessions. Among the most interesting isa bag of the type used by the Kansas seed wheat committee for Russian War Relieffor sending seed wheat in 1943 to the devastated areas of Russia. Sen. ArthurCapper presented a piece of sandstone from the original unit of the United Statescapitol, the cornerstone of which was laid by George Washington in 1793. Dr.Charles M. Sheldon presented a quilt containing autographs of 216 men and womenwho took a leading part in the prohibition movement.
Several interesting objects have been added tothe World War II museum is themain lobby. An exact model of a Landing Craft Tank, made in Kansas, was lent byHarry Darby, whose company manufactures these boats. A large Nazi flag capturedin Rome was the gift of Brig. Gen. Edgar E. Hume through Mayor Frank Warren ofTopeka.
In co-operation with Mrs. Andrew F. Schoeppel,the Historical Society is making acollection of photographs of the wives of Kansas governors. One set of thesephotographs will be uniformly framed and hung in the governor's mansion. Theother set will be preserved and cataloged in the Historical Society'scollections.
During the year the following have been subjectsfor extended research:Biography: William S. "Old Bill" Williams; Gen. Dwight Eisenhower. County andtown history: Reminiscenses of Edwards county; Victoria colony. Education: Ghostcolleges in Kansas; Kansas school for the blind; rural schools in Lyon county.General: Folklore of northwest Kansas; Friends in Kansas; recent changes in theCimarron river; early Kansas church architecture; Gardner photographs taken alongthe Union Pacific; Methodist church of Gypsum; frontier lawyers; Rothschildadvertisements in Leavenworth papers; history of the Kansas conference of socialwork; negroes in the West; fiction in early Kansas; land speculation inKansas.
The Kansas Historical Quarterly is now in itsthirteenth year, twelve volumesalready having been published. Much of the credit for the high standard themagazine has achieved among the state historical magazines of the country shouldgo to Dr. James C. Malin, associate editor, who is professor of history at KansasUniversity. Doctor Malin's criticisms of articles submitted is invaluable. TheQuarterly is widely quoted by the newspapers of the state and is used in manyschools.
Although the war has reduced the number ofvisitors at the Old Shawnee Mission,improvements continue to be made on the property. Last spring a number of treeswere set out, bringing the total number of elms alone to 203. A new pipe line wasrun across the south side of the property to bring water from the Kansas CitySuburban Water Company, making it possible to discontinue service from the golfcourse. Minor repairs were made on the buildings, including papering of severalof the rooms in the West building.
Until general traffic is permitted through theFort Riley reservation visitors atthe old capitol building will continue to be limited to soldiers of the post andmembers of their families. Last year the registration was only 401. The buildingand grounds have been maintained in good condition.
The accomplishments noted in this report are dueto the Society's splendid staffof employees. It is a pleasure to acknowledge my indebtedness to them.Respectfully submitted,KIRKE MECHEM, Secretary.
At the conclusion of the reading of thesecretary's report, James Malone movedthat it be accepted. Motion was seconded by John S. Dawson.President Brinkerhoff then called for the report of the treasurer, Mrs. LelaBarnes. The report, based on the audit of the state accountant, follows:
This donation is substantiated by a U. S.savings bond, Series G, in the amount of $1,000. The interest is credited to themembership fee fund.
This report covers only the membership fee fundand other custodial funds. It is not a statement of the appropriations made bythe legislature for the maintenance of the society. These disbursements are madenot by the treasurer of the Society, but by the state auditor. For the yearending June 30, 1944, these appropriations were: Kansas State Historical Society,$34,270; Old Shawnee Mission, $3,750; First Capitol of Kansas, $1,074.
On motion of John S. Dawson, seconded by MiltonR. McLean, the report was accepted.
The report of the nominating committeefor officers of the Society was read by John S. Dawson:
October 17, 1944.
To the Board of Directors, Kansas State. Historical Society:
Your committee on nominations submits thefollowing report for officers of the Kansas State Historical Society
For a one-year term: Ralph R. Price, Manhattan, president; Jess C. Devious,Dodge City, first vice-president; Milton R. McLean, Topeka, second vicepresident.For a two-year term: Kirke Mechem, Topeka, secretary; Mrs. Lela Barnes, Topeka,treasurer.
JOHN S. Dawson, Chairman.
The report was referred to the afternoon meetingof the board. There being no further business the meeting adjourned.
The members were called to order by the president, Fred W. Brinkerhoff.
The annual address by Mr. Brinkerhoff follows:
AMERICAN statesmen destined to achieve thePresidency have had a habit of comingto Kansas to be seen and to be heard as their parties prepared to move towardconvention halls. To put it another way, Kansas has established the custom ofbringing future Presidents to Kansas for a close-up appraisal. Four men who wereapproaching the nominations appeared in Kansas within the memory range of largenumbers of living Kansans. In 1895, William McKinley came out from Ohio andaddressed a great throng at the famous Ottawa Chautauqua. The next year he waselected President. In 1907, William H. Taft, also of Ohio, then Secretary of War,came out from Washington to make an address at the Ottawa Chautauqua. The nextyear he was elected President. In 1912, Woodrow Wilson, governor of New Jersey,came to speak to a political gathering in Topeka. That year he was electedPresident. In 1927, Herbert Hoover, then Secretary of Commerce, came fromWashington to meet a large group of Kansans at the home of William Allen White inEmporia. The next year he was elected President. The aspirant who used thistechnique of campaigning and set the example was Abraham Lincoln. In 18-8888-8-Lincoln came out from Illinois and made a Kansas tour. The next year he waselected President.
In the autumn of 1940 one of the first of thehistorical markers on Kansas highways was unveiled at Elwood. That marker recitesthree historical facts concerning Elwood. Elwood was the first Kan sas station ofthe Pony Express. It was one end of the first railroad in Kansas. It was therethat Lincoln first set foot on Kansas soil and made the opening speech of hisKansas tour. Speaking at the unveiling, I endeavored to sketch the eventsconnected with Lincoln's visit and speech, and his tour. After the ceremonies aKansan very active in Kansas affairs, then and now in high station, expressedsurprise at what he had heard. He said that he never knew that Lincoln had beenin Kansas. That seemed rather strange. But after reaching home, I took up thetextbook of Kansas history which was used in the public schools at the beginningof the century and examined it carefully. There was not a line in it concerningLincoln's visit. Yet the author was a famous journalist who spent
several years of his distinguished career innewspaper work in one of the cities in which Lincoln spoke. An examination of theKansas newspapers of the time of the tour reveals no mention of the Lincoln visitand speeches with some notable exceptions. These exceptions are the rather fullaccounts in the Leavenworth and Elwood newspapers, a single belated but valuableparagraph in the Kansas Chief, then published at White Cloud, a paragraphin theEmporiaNews and a reprint from a Leavenworth newspaper in a Manhattanpublication in The Annals of Kansas are only two brief paragraphs althoughD.W. Wilder, the compiler, was one of the former publishers of the Elwoodnewspaper, had something to do with inviting Lincoln to Kansas and had metLincoln at the railroad station in St. Joseph and escorted him across the riverto Elwood. The biographers of Lincoln have paid little attention to his Kansastour. Most of them have made some mention of the fact that he came to Kansas anddelivered some speeches. In one of the monumental works, the authors haveattempted to set forth an outline of the themes of his Kansas speeches asgathered from some notes found in his papers. An occasional newspaper article oran interview with someone who remembered incidents of the tour, published manyyears later, and one or two articles from correspondents published in Easternnewspapers, finish up the available literature devoted tothe visit of Candidate Lincoln to Kansas in 1859.
The bypassing of this notable chapter in Kansashistory and in Lincoln's life bythe biographers and the historians may be easily explained. Only a year before,Lincoln and Douglas had engaged in the great debates in Illinois. In less thanthree months Lincoln delivered his memorable political speech at Cooper Institutein New York. Both events-the stump duel in Illinois and the New Yorkspeech-attracted national attention of the highest degree. The debates and theNew York speech were reported fully in the newspapers. The scenes were laid in animportant and well settled state and in the nation's principal center. Thedebates were thrilling because two great orators, running for the Illinoissenatorship and the Presidency at the same time, were clashing. The CooperInstitute speech was made close to the preconvention contest. The Kansas tour,overshadowed fore and aft, was overlooked or ignored as a trivial incident of theday as the historians settled to their work.
But some of the biographers and historians havepointed out an important truth.The Kansas speeches showed up later at Cooper Institute. Lincoln in Kansas testedout that speech. In October
and November he had received the invitation to New York and accepted it. Hewasalready preparing the address. Obviously, he knew that his chance for theRepublican nomination could be advanced tremendously or retarded, perhaps lost,by that speech. Lincoln had no doubt about that. So Lincoln accepted theinvitation to speak in Kansas for three reasons. First, he wanted to try outhis ideas on Kansans. He wanted to see how the things he planned to say wouldsound. He wanted to see what the reaction of the Kansas audiences would be. Hewanted to practice his New York speech. He had reason to believe that his Kansasspeeches would not receive attention in the East. He did not desire that they bereported there. Made in Illinois or some other state, such speeches would commandattention and get into the newspapers. And that would spoil his plans for the NewYork speech. He was a candidate for the Presidency. He was skilled in politics.He was a careful candidate. He was glad to have the opportunity the trip offered.Then, there was a sentimental reason. Bleeding Kansas was the big issue. He hadbattled with Douglas about Kansas. The country was worked up about Kansas. Theslavery question was linked tothe struggles in Kansas. Lincoln was deeply interested in the FreeState cause. Hewas distressed by the strife in the territory. Hehad been unable to visit Kansas earlier. Here was his opportunity. Finally,Kansas would have six delegates in the coming Republican national convention andthey would be helpful to Lincoln. And so Lincoln came to Kansas.
The question whether Kansas would enter theUnion as a free state or a slavestate had been decided when Lincoln came to Kansas. On March 7, 1859, an electionto decide whether to hold a constitutional convention or not was called for March28. Nearly 7,000 votes were cast and the result was nearly four to one in favorof holding the convention. The heaviest vote against holding the convention wascast in Leavenworth county, although the convention won nearly four to one.Doniphan county opponents cast the third largest vote among the counties, theconvention winning byless than two to one. On the other hand Atchison was one of the strongestconvention counties, the vote being nearly ten to one. In mid-April GovernorMedary called the constitutional convention for Wyandotte, to assemble on July 5,and an election for delegates to be held June 7. Before the election of delegatestwo important political meetings were held in the territory. A Democraticterritorial convention was held May 11 at Tecumseh where a platform full ofdemands upon the constitutional convention was adopted. At a convention atOsawatomie the Republican party in Kansas was organized May 18. This conventionwas featured by the presence of Horace Greeley who addressed the convention.Lincoln had been asked to attend the convention but could not make the trip.Greeley in his address referred to "the able and gallant Lincoln of Illinois,
whom we had hoped to meet and hear to-day." OnJune 7 the election of delegatesto the Wyandotte convention was held. The Republicans elected thirty-fivedelegates and the Democrats seventeen. Ten of the seventeen Democratic delegateswere from Leavenworth county, a solid delegation. Four were from Doniphan, whichhad five delegates. Jefferson and Jackson, neighboring counties, furnished oneDemocrat each, the other coming from Johnson county. The convention adopted aconstitution on July 29. An election as specified by the constitution was held onOctober 4 and the constitution was adopted by a vote of nearly two to one. Bothparties immediately proceeded to nominate candidates for state officers. Theconstitution provided that the election be held on the first Tuesday in December,which was December 6.
Whether it was merely an accident or Lincoln hadplanned his visit that way, justahead of the state election, is one of the many things about the Lincoln visit toKansas which must be left to speculation. But logic supports the view that heconsidered the election in making his plans. There is some evidence to sustainthat idea. It seems quite clear that the actual invitation to speak in Kansascame from Mark W. Delahay, Leavenworth lawyer whose wife was a distant relativeof Lincoln. Delahay had practiced law in Illinois. D. W. Wilder was said to havetalked with Lincoln in Springfield during the summer. Just how long a notice theKansans had of Lincoln's coming is not plain. It could not have been very long.But the Times on Monday, November 28, said that Lincoln "will arrive inLeavenworth Wednesday" and said that the Turners had been asked to makearrangements for the reception of the guest. On the next morning the Timescarried the notice of a meeting that night to make "preparations for thereception of the Hon. Abe Lincoln who will arrive in Leavenworth to-morrow or theday after." The Times of November 30 told of the planning meeting. A committee ofseven was named to handle the matter.
What Lincoln actually did in the way of making aspeaking tour in Kansas would docredit to a modern campaigner in the state where such campaigning long ago becamecommon. It was not, however, a novelty to Lincoln. He had been making similartrips in Illinois. He had ridden the circuit as a lawyer. He was not accustomedto
comfort in traveling. He did not require or demand luxuries. In the Illinoisdebates, Douglas had the benefit of a private railroad car, certainly a refinedluxury in that day. But Lincoln used any accommodations available. It was almostthe pre-horse-and-buggy era in Kansas. But such a rig was provided for his Kansastour.
The slavery question had been decided in Kansasafter years of bloodshed. But theKansas decision had intensified it as a national issue. Greeley, on the bank ofthe Marais des Cygnes at Osawatomie, referred to the Trading Post massacre andsounded a call to battle for universal freedom. It was everywhere believed thatthe crisis was near. The election of 1860 would bring the showdown. Kansas hadgiven a preview of the great drama, many believed, and with fine accuracy ofreasoning. When Lincoln was preparing to come to Kansas, John Brown of Kansas hadstirred both the North and the South with his Harper's Ferry project. Interest inthe course of the young Republican party was acute. William H. Seward was theoutstanding candidate for the Presidential nomination. But there was a deepinterest in Lincoln over the North. Easterners wanted to know more about him.They desired to see and hear the prairie lawyer who had met the mighty Douglas onthe stump and bested him in the arguments. He could be a better candidate thanSeward. The Northwestern states were needed in the election. Seward might notcarry them. But Lincoln could carry the aroused East. Lincoln, the most profoundstudent of practical politics of the day, knew all these things. So he was gladto have the opportunity to face the Easterners from the rostrum of CooperInstitute. And Lincoln undoubtedly was glad to have the chance to use a Kansasaudience-or, as it developed, several Kansas audiences-as a proving ground forthe arguments he proposed to display in New York.
Lincoln had seen Kansas before he came for histour. He made a business visit toCouncil Bluffs, Ia., in August. He used the new railroad, the Hannibal & St.Joseph, finished earlier in the year. He took a steamboat up the river.Returning, he came down the river to St. Joseph and went east on the train. Fromthe decks of the steamers he had a chance to look at Kansas.
It is very probable that this trip of Lincoln'sto western Iowa influenced him tomake the visit to Kansas in December. The railroad made the journey to Kansasvery easy-in comparison withaccommodations available until that year. The traveling westward through Missourihad been on steamers on the Missouri river, or by wagon. There is reason for thebelief that Lincoln wanted to cometo Kansas for the Osawatomie convention. He had explained to those who invitedhim that he desired to attend the convention but that he had been out of his lawoffice so much during the year just past that he had to stay at home and make aliving for his family.
Apparently, Lincoln's acceptance of theinvitation to Kansas has not beenpreserved. But Leavenworth correspondence in the New York Tribune ofAugust 30,1860, gives an account of the visit. The correspondent, who must have been acompetent observer, said that a message came from Lincoln early in November inwhich he said that he had been advised by "old acquaintances" that by coming toKansas then he might render a slight service to the country and the common cause.In October and November, Lincoln's mind was on his engagement to speak in NewYork. He was already preparing his address, although the speaking date was threeor four months away. As he went about his business in Springfield he wasdeveloping the idea of testing out his line of thought for the New Yorkers, hewas thinking of meeting Kansans on their own blood-stained soil and he wasthinking of half a dozen votes in the second national convention of his party.Late in June the Elwood Free Press of which D. W. Wilder was then one of thepublishers, had raised the banner of a national ticket--William H. Seward forPresident and Abraham Lincoln for Vice President. This undoubtedly interestedLincoln. He knew that he had attracted attention in Kansas. And so, at the veryend of November he set out from Springfield for Leavenworth.
Lincoln's departure from home was not much of anevent. He was always leavingSpringfield and this departure appears to have attracted no attention at all.Paul M. Angle, noted Illinois historian, whose valuable book gives Lincoln'swhereabouts day by day, fixes the date as November 30. But this was done by goingbackward from the date, generally accepted, of his arrival in Kansas. Lincolnwent by train west to the Mississippi, crossed that river to Hannibal and boardeda train for St. Joseph. As the historians and biographers in their meageraccounts have given the record, he arrived at St. Joseph in the afternoon ofDecember 1. He was met there by Delahay and Wilder. Delahay had sent his distantinlaw relative the invitation and urged him to come. Wilder had seen Lincoln inSpringfield in the summer and is said to have urged him to visit Kansas. TheKansans took Lincoln up town in an omnibus from the railroad station. There was avisit to a barber shop and the Kansans obtained for him New York and Chicagonewspapers at the postoffice news stand. Then they started to Elwood.
They crossed the river on the ferry. Elwood thenwas a prosperous and promisingKansas town. In it was what was said to be the finest hotel in Kansas, the GreatWestern, with 75 rooms. There was no speech scheduled there. But Elwood men askedLincoln to talk that night. He agreed and a man went through the streets,according to Wilder, pounding a gong and announcing that Lincoln would speak inthe dining room of the hotel that night. And so Lincoln's first address, a briefone, was delivered at Elwood. There is little information as to the size of thecrowd but it could not have been large. A report said that following the speechLincoln and members of his audience enjoyed a good meal in the hotel.
The night was spent at Elwood. The next dayLincoln started to Troy in an openbuggy, drawn by one horse. The weather had turned very cold. Three or four menhave been reported as Lincoln's traveling companions. Either the buggy was oflarge capacity or a second vehicle or riding horses were used. Delahay is notnamed as one of the men. The probability is that Delahay went directly fromElwood to Leavenworth to prepare for the big days ahead. Lincoln was "blue withcold" when he reached Troy. On the trip the party met a bewhiskered man in awagon. The man recognized Lincoln. He was Henry Villard, newspaper correspondent.He had been to Colorado on an assignment for a New York newspaper. He had buffalorobes and he lent Lincoln one which Lincoln returned to Villard at Leavenworth.At Troy Lincoln made an address in the courthouse, speaking for one hour andthree-quarters. Not more than 40 persons were in his audience. Free speech wasmaintained in Kansas by the pioneers. They believed in hearing both sides. Aformer Kentuckian, the largest slave holder in the territory, was called on. Hemade a reply to Lincoln.
From Troy, which had only the courthouse and atavern and a few business places,Lincoln was driven down to Doniphan, on the Missouri river. It, like Elwood, gavepromise of a great future. It had developed into an important river port. JimLane was interested in the town. It was a sort of headquarters for him. There, inA. Low's hotel, Lincoln made his third Kansas speech. The record is vague as tothis meeting but the presumption is that the crowd was small and the speechshort.
Here at Doniphan we get into confusion as totime and the historians run out onus. They make the record show that Lincoln was driven from Doniphan to Atchisonwhere he spoke the night of December 2. The weather had continued cold. JudgeNathan Price,
for the quarter of a century following a noted lawyer, judge and politicalfigurein Kansas, was either the driver or a companion on the trip and he provided alighted lantern that was placed under the robe to make the distinguishedcampaigner a little more comfortable.
At Atchison Lincoln spoke in the Methodistchurch. The edifice was crowded.Lincoln was introduced by the mayor, Samuel C. Pomeroy, who was destined tobecome one of the first United States senators from Kansas and to be one of themost persistent enemiesof Lincoln in the senate. In the audience was a foremost Proslavery leader ofKansas, Gen. Benjamin F. Stringfellow. Another man in the audience was a youngfellow named John J. Ingalls. Another' was Franklin G. Adams, first secretary ofthe State Historical Society, who served for 23 years. Another was Frank A. Root,then an Atchison printer, who made many important contributions to Kansashistorical literature. Ingalls, Adams and Root all left important but meageraccounts of the meeting. Lincoln spoke for two hours and twenty minutes. When heindicated his intention to conclude after an hour and a half, the crowd insistedhe continue. Here Lincoln had the opportunity and the inspiration he had soughtin coming to Kansas. The speech was a try-out for the Cooper Institute address.Lincoln stayed at the Massasoit House, a pretentious new hotel and was escortedto the church by a band.On the morning of Saturday, December 3, a delegation or committee from
Leavenworth took Lincoln in charge for thejourney to Leavenworth. Leavenworthhad prepared a welcome for him. A crowd with a band and many vehicles met Lincolnand his party just outside the town. There was a parade into town and the streetswere filled with people. Lincoln was taken to the Mansion House. There he waswelcomed to Leavenworth by Col. John C. Vaughan. He responded briefly, explainingthat he would speak at length at night. He registered at the Planters House. AtStockton hall, packed with Kansans anxious to hear him, Lincoln that night discussed popular sovereignty. Sunday he went to the Delahay homewhere he was a guest for the rest of his stay in Leavenworth. Therehad been enthusiastic reports on his address Saturday night. There were insistentdemands for another speech Monday. Lincoln consented, probably withoutprotesting. Stockton hall again was packed at 2:30 o'clock in the afternoon,Monday, December 5. The Times on December 6 reported: "The day was fearfullyunpleasant but the hall was filled to overflowing-even ladies being present."Thus Lincoln made three speeches in Leavenworth-one the short one
outdoors when he arrived, and the other two in Stockton hall. There has been alittle confusion concerning the place of the third address. But the Times'account very definitely settles any question as to the time and the place.The next day, Tuesday, December 6, was election day. State offIcers were chosen.Lincoln stayed to witness the voting. Undoubtedly Lincoln was deeply interestedin the outcome of the election-especially in Leavenworth and Atchison andDoniphan counties. On Wednesday, December 7, he left for home. Marcus J. Parrott,delegate in congress, accompanied him eastward. The historians have avoided thedetails of his departure. An account, generally accepted, was that he went up theriver to St. Joseph by steamer. But a single little paragraph found in the Times,issue of Wednesday, December 7, the day Lincoln left, says: "The River oppositethis city has been frozen over since Sunday morning. The ice on an average is sixinches thick, and many persons and horses crossed with safety yesterday." Lincolnwent back to St. Joseph by horse and buggy or carriage.
And so the first visit to Kansas of aPresidential candidate on the way tovictory and the first real political campaigning tour in Kansas came to an end.As the record presented by the historians and biographers in their limitedtreatment of Lincoln's tour stands, this is the story: Lincoln came into Kansasat Elwood from St. Joseph late on Thursday, December 1, 1859. He spoke in thehotel at Elwood that night and spent the night there. The next day, Friday,December 2, he was driven to Troy, twelve miles from Elwood, where he spoke foran hour and three-quarters. Then he was driven to Doniphan, fourteen miles fromTroy, where he spoke. Then he was driven to Atchison, six miles from Doniphan,where he spoke that night and spent thenight. The next morning, Saturday, December 3, he was driven to Leavenworth wherehe remained until Wednesday.
There can be no doubt that Lincoln arrived inLeavenworth on Saturday, December3. Nor can there be any doubt that he was in Atchison the night of December 2. Soin the interest of accuracy, we may pick up the Lincoln trail there and go back.If we take the accounts of the tour that have been accepted generally, this iswhat Lincoln did on December 2, 1859: He traveled 32 miles by horse and buggyover trails that some of the pioneers had started to call roads. He made twospeeches on the way, one of which required a stop of at least two hours, and theother a stop of at least an hour. And he ended the day with his Atchisonspeech.
Considering the condition of the roads and theweather in December, 1859, therate at which Lincoln traveled could not have exceeded five miles an hour and itis more likely, not more than four miles an hour. At that rate, it would havetaken him eight hours on theroad to Atchison. Add to this the two hours, minimum, at Troy, and the hour atDoniphan, and Lincoln took eleven hours to go from Elwood to Atchison.Disregarding for the moment the time of his arrival at Atchison, he was there fora night meeting at 8 o'clock. It would have been necessary for Lincoln to leaveElwood at 9o'clock. It would have been possible for Lincoln to have kept this schedule. Itis also possible that the start was made from Elwood before 9. In fact, it isquite probable, in which event there could have been more time for a noon mealsomewhere along the line.
But there are some other things that interferewith acceptance of this picture ofLincoln's movements and activities on December 2. Such references as there areput the meeting in the Troy courthouse in the afternoon. This was most likely. Itis improbable that a meeting was held in the morning and not very probable thatit was held even at noon. Almost certainly, Lincoln spoke in the afternoon. Thatwould have made it impossible for him to reach Atchison, twenty miles away intime for his night meeting, with a stop at Doniphan because he certainly couldnot have left Troy before 3 o'clock. At least one historian has set forth thatLincoln spoke at Troy in the afternoon and spoke again that night at Doniphan.The testimony and evidence at Atchison sustain the statement that Lincoln spokeat Doniphan on the night of the day he spoke at Troy and that he spent the nightin Doniphan. There is ample reason to believe that Lincoln arrived in Atchisonduring the day. Frank A. Root, then foreman of John A. Martin's newspaper, theChampion, says that Lincoln arrived in Atchison about 10 o'clock in the morning.Since Doniphan was only six miles away, this seems a logical time forhis arrival. Root got out a handbill announcing that Lincoln would speak at 8o'clock that night in the Methodist church, the use of which Franklin G. Adamsand others obtained from reluctant church offIcials. There is evidence thatarrangements were not made for Lincoln's Atchison speech until after Lincolnarrived in Atchison. The negotiations with the church officials and the printingof the handbills after his arrival are sufficient proof of that fact. Therefore,it becomes clear that Lincoln could not have traveled 32 miles by horse andbuggy, visited Troy and spoken there, stopped at Doniphan and spoken there andreached Atchison during the day-and it is just as certain that he reachedAtchison during a day.
Geography and time, reinforced by the Atchisonevidence, force the conclusionthat on December 2, Lincoln rose after a night in Doniphan, undoubtedly in theLow hotel, and drove to Atchison. There he spent the rest of December 2 and thenight following. This necessarily means that Lincoln arrived at St. Joseph andElwood on Wednesday, November 30, and that he was at Troy and at Doniphan onThursday, December 1. There are some bits of evidence to support this conclusion,too.
The belated article published in the New YorkTribune August 30, 1860, which hasbeen used by some of the historians as a basis for their references to theLincoln visit says that Lincoln arrived in St. Joseph "on the afternoon of Nov.31st." Although that November had only 30 days, it must be assumed that thewriter at least meant the last day of November. The Tribune article'sauthor wenton to say that "the next day" Lincoln went to Troy where he spoke "inthe afternoon" for nearly two hours. The writer continued that "the sameafternoon Mr. Lincoln went to Doniphan, and spoke in the evening."Better evidence was published in the St. Joseph Gazette on December 1. TheGazette said: "The Hon. Abe Lincoln, of Illinois, passed through this cityyesterday, on his way to Kansas, where he is advertised to make Republicanspeeches."
The St. Joseph Weekly Free Democrat, dateof December 3, had this clearstatement: "The Hon. Abe Lincoln, who beat Douglas on the popular vote for U. S.Senator at the last election in Ill.-addressed the citizens of Elwood onWednesday evening last, upon National politics." That Wednesday was November 30.More evidence is in this statement in the Kansas Chief, published at WhiteCloud,date of December 1: "Hon. Abe Lincoln, of Illinois, who stirred up Douglas with asharp stick until he squealed, is now stumping it in the Territory. He speaks atTroy to-day, at Atchison to-morrow, and at Leavenworth on Saturday."
The evidence seems to be conclusive. Lincolnarrived in Kansas on November 30,spoke at Elwood that night, at Troy the afternoon of December 1 and at Doniphanthat night. The next morning he went on to Atchison.
The historians who have dealt with the Lincolnvisit ignored geography andtransportation facilities. A statement by one writer that it was 30 miles fromElwood to Troy has been accepted and used by later writers.
That section of Kansas in which Lincoln spokehad the greatest Democraticstrength in the territory. Leavenworth was the party's
stronghold. In the election on December 6, which Lincoln stayed over to see,Leavenworth county cast 1,404 votes for Medary, the Democratic candidate forgovernor, and 997 votes for Robinson, the Republican candidate. Doniphan gave theRepublican 476 and the Democrat 371. Atchison voted 644 for the Republican and585 for the Democrat. Doniphan and Atchison counties had been settled byMissourians. They were named for famous Proslavery leaders in Missouri. Many oftheir most substantial citizens were Proslavery men. Lincoln had plenty of men ofopposite views to work on with his speeches. He was equal to the occasions. Hewas trying out for Cooper Institute. The reception his Kansas speeches receivedmust have impressed the veteran stump orator. At Troy, Col. Andrew J. Agey, aformer Kentuckian and the heaviest slave owner in the territory, called by thecrowd to answer Lincoln, said: "I have heard, during my life, all the ablestpublic speakers, all the eminent statesmen of the past and the presentgeneration, and while I dissent utterly from the doctrines of this address, andshall endeavor to . refute some of them, candor compels me to say that it is themost able-the most logical-speech I ever listened to." The demand of the Atchisonaudience that he continue after he had spoken for an hour and a half and theinsistent request for a second speech at Leavenworth surely must have indicatedto Lincoln that his line of argument would do for the Cooper Instituteaudience-and for the country which would read it carefully later. The friendlyLeavenworth newspapers gave Lincoln's speeches there complete praise, which musthave been very satisfactory to Lincoln.
The Kansas speeches dealt with the organizationand purpose of the Republicanparty as Lincoln viewed them. The purpose, he said, was to prevent the extensionof slavery. He devoted major attention to the "Douglas popular sovereignty" asopposed to "real popular sovereignty"-a subject of acute interest in Kansas. Heargued that Republicans must follow their own leaders and fight under their ownbanner. He referred to the great battle the year before in Illinois and said thatthe Illinois Republicans had been advised by "numerous and respectable outsiders"to re=elect Douglas to the senate. He asserted that he did not believe that "wecan ever advance our principles by supporting men who oppose our principles" andthat if the advice had been taken "there would now be no Republican party inIllinois and none to speak of anywhere else." In this way he sought to appeal tothe Kansas Republicans to perfect and extend their organization and to battle fortheir principles, regardless of the opposition. This argument, of course, wasintended
for the Kansans and he threw in many observations that were intended tolocalizehis utterances and intensify the interest of his hearers-a device alwayseffectively used by the skilled stump speakers. But the lines of his discussionof issues of vital importance in 1860 were those of the great speech that was inthe making. When he rose to speak at Atchison, John Brown of Kansas had been deada few hours-hanged that day at Charlestown, Va. Many an orator on the Antislaveryside, speaking in Kansas that night, would have denounced the hanging of Brown.But Lincoln did not. He said that Brown was guilty of treason and had paid theproper penalty. Ingalls reported 30 years later that Lincoln, alluding to thethreats of secession, said that secession would be treason, and declared: "Ifthey attempt to put their threats into execution we will hang them as they havehanged old John Brown to-day."
Lincoln must have had pleasant thoughts of hisKansas tour as he traveled back toSpringfield from Leavenworth.
The first objective of the Kansas tour had beenachieved. He had tested out his speech ideas and obtained a favorable decision.He also accomplished his second objective. He had seen bleeding Kansas and hadmet Kansans who had bled. But as to the third objective, the six delegates fromKansas to the national convention, that had to await the developments of the nextyear-and the wishes of the Republican leaders of Kansas.
Seward was strong in Kansas. He had been thestrong and eloquent friend of the Free-State cause. He had been in a position torender great service. He had opportunities to dramatize his friendship. WhileLincoln met Douglas on the stump in Illinois, Seward met Douglas in the UnitedStates senate. The Kansas Republican leaders were for Seward. The rank and fileRepublicans were for Seward. The Kansas newspapers were favorable to Seward.
When Lincoln visited Atchison, there was nomention of his visit in the Atchison Champion, a foremost Free-Statenewspaper. Not a line concerning his stay or his speech appeared in theChampion. His presence in Atchison was big news. By all the standards ofnews evaluation, it was a major news item. But the Championignored it. John A. Martin was the editor. Martin was for Seward. He believedthat publishing an account of Lincoln's appearance in Atchison would be treasonto Seward. There is no more interesting episode in the history of Kansasjournalism than Martin's suppres sion of this big news story. Martin demonstratedthe intense loyalty of the Kansas Republican leaders to Seward.
On April 11, 1860, the Kansas Republicans met inconvention at
Lawrence to select the six delegates to the national convention in Chicago.Martin was one of the delegates chosen. Col. William A. Phillips was another.Phillips, called to the platform, made a Seward speech and closed by offering aresolution which declared Seward to be the "first representative man of theRepublican party and the first choice of the Republicans of Kansas for thePresidency in 1860." The resolution was adopted, only one or two delegates votingagainst it.
In the Wigwam at Chicago a month later, the sixKansas delegates voted for Sewardand never flopped to Lincoln. Lincoln learned that the third objective of hisKansas tour had failed. The horse and buggy had been a bandwagon but Kansasmissed it.
A tribute to William Allen White by Henry J.Allen followed Mr. Brinkerhoff's address. Mr. Allen, chairman of a committee toraise funds for the William Allen White foundation, paid tribute to the life andcharacter of Mr. White and explained the plan to perpetuate his ideals in agraduate school of journalism at the University of Kansas. The endowment willoffer special inducements and awards designed to teach an honest and vigoroustype of country journalism. The committee's goal is $250,000, to be raised mainlyby subscription.
The report of the committee on nominations wasthen called for:
October 17, 1944.To the Kansas State Historical Society:
Your committee on nominations submits thefollowing report and recommendations for directors of the Society for the term ofthree years ending October, 1947:
JOHN S. DAWSON, Chairman.
Upon motion by John S. Dawson, seconded by FrankHaucke, the report of the committee was accepted unanimously and the members ofthe board were declared elected for the term ending October, 1947.
Reports of county and local societies werecalled for and were given as follows:
Mrs. Percy L. Miller, for the Shawnee MissionIndian Historical Society; Robert C. Rankin and Mrs. Lena Miller Owen, DouglasCounty Historical Society; John M. Gray, Kirwin Historical Society; Fred W.Brinkerhoff, Crawford County Historical Society. A telegram from Stella B. Hainesreporting on the Augusta Historical Society was read by President Brinkerhoff.Grant W. Harrington reported that the annals of Kansas, begun by the late JudgeRichard J. Hopkins and continued by his wife, had been completed to 1900 and thatthe work would go on.
There being no further business the annualmeeting of the Society adjourned.
The afternoon meeting of the board of directorswas called to order by President Brinkerhoff, who asked for a rereading of thereport of the nominating committee for officers of the Society. Robert Rankin,substituting for the chairman, John S. Dawson, read the report and moved that itbe accepted. Motion was seconded by W. F. Thompson and the following wereunanimously elected:
For a one-year term: Ralph R. Price, Manhattan,president; Jess C. Denious, Dodge City, first vice-president; Milton R. McLean,Topeka, second vice-president. For a two-year term: Kirke Mechem, Topeka,secretary; Mrs. Lela Barnes, Topeka, treasurer.
There being no further business the meetingadjourned.