JAMES R. Stewart, a young bachelor from New Castle, Pa., came to Kansas territory in the fall of 1854 with his brother William and a company of fellow-Pennsylvanians. The Stewarts had joined an association called the Western Pennsylvania Kansas Company which was organized at Conneautville, Pa., on September 16, 1854, with the stated objective of settling Kansas with anti-slavery and temperance people. An agent of a similar group, the American Settlement Company of New York, was present at the Conneautville meeting, and the Pennsylvanians adopted a resolution to appoint a delegate to confer with the New York company on selecting a site in Kansas. 
The pioneer colony from western Pennsylvania set out for Kansas on October 27, 1854, under the direction of Charles Albright, one of the secretaries of the company, and arrived at Kansas City, Mo., on November 9. There were probably over 200 persons in this party, but the group quickly broke up after reaching Kansas, the members being disgruntled over lack of accommodations and apparent mismanagement of their affairs, and discouraged by the rainy and snowy weather which they encountered. When George W. Brown, the company's president, arrived in Kansas City a few days later, he found that the members were already scattered. Some had gone to the new towns of Lawrence and Topeka, some had stayed at Kansas City, Westport, Parkville and other points in Missouri, and some had returned to Pennsylvania. 
Meanwhile, the locating committee of the two companies was traveling over the Kansas prairies in search of a townsite. This group consisted of George H. Stebbins and Lotan Smith of New York state and Joseph W. Kerr and George W. Barnes of New York City, representing the American Settlement Company, and Dr. William F. Owen of Pennsylvania, representing the Western Pennsylvania Kansas Company. They had traveled from St. Louis to Kansas City on the steamer Polar Star. Other passengers on this trip were Andrew H. Reeder, newly appointed governor of Kansas territory, and James M. Winchell of New York, who settled in Osage county and later was president of the Wyandotte constitutional convention. Winchell accepted an invitation to accompany the exploratory party in their search for a location for the new colony.
A townsite actually had been selected in advance, and believing that it occupied the old Indian trading post of Council Grove, about 140 miles out on the Santa Fe trail, the locating committee had already christened their new town Council City. However, they were not sure of the exact location, and when they learned that Council Grove was situated on an Indian reservation and was not available for settlement they transferred the name of Council City to a new site.
The tour, which was made in the wagon of a Shawnee Indian named Jackson, took them over the Santa Fe trail through Westport, Shawnee Mission, and Black Jack, where they made their first camp. On the afternoon of the third day they reached One Hundred and Ten crossing, and pushed on the seven miles which separated them from "our imaginary town of Council City." This, according to Winchell, was supposed to be at the crossing of Switzler creek, a few miles above its junction with the Dragoon. "When we reached an eminence overlooking the region lying between the two creeks, the sun was about setting; a light haze softened the picture, and we ordered the wagon to stop, and burst into a cheer of spontaneous admiration. Never before nor since, in Kansas, have I seen a landscape so calculated to excite pleasure as this. . . . Who selected this spot as a site for a `city'? I do not know: but, at that moment we were unanimously agreed to ratify the choice. . . ." 
On the other side of Switzler creek the party came in sight of an Indian log house, abandoned by its original occupants and inhabited by Isaac B. Titus and his family, emigrants from Iowa, who are frequently mentioned by Stewart in his diary. There the explorers
spent the night, and next day they moved on downstream toward the confluence with Dragoon creek, selecting homesteads as they went. They did not make definite selection of a townsite, but traveled on another day-forty miles-to Council Grove to assure themselves that it was indeed unavailable. They then struck north to Fort Riley, and after leaving there traveled east along the north bank of the Kansas river to a point which they judged nearly opposite Council City. There the party divided. Owen, Smith and Barnes, with Jackson and the wagon, returned to Kansas City, while Stebbins, Kerr and Winchell proceeded south on foot to lay out the townsite. 
During the autumn of 1854 and in the following spring, many settlers arrived to take up claims in the vicinity of Council City. In his diary Stewart speaks often of friends and acquaintances in the new settlement. Isaac Titus, his wife Minerva, and their children Lorana, Idelda, and Isaac S., were among the earliest comers. John W. Freel (or Frele), an Iowa farmer, was the first settler to locate in Osage county after the organization of Kansas territory. With his wife, Mary Ann, and their daughter Margaret, he stopped at a point on the Santa Fe trail where Burlingame is now located. Their son Thomas, born that winter, was the first white child born in the county. Absalom W. Hoover, a farmer, was one of the Pennsylvania party which arrived at Council City on November 14. He had a wife, Catherine, and four children. The Bratton family, George and Sarah and their four children, also came from Pennsylvania, as did Joseph McDonald, a tailor, who was one of the oldest men among the settlers. Other Pennsylvanians included Joseph and Johnston McIntire, wagon maker and carpenter respectively; Marcus H. Rose, a stonemason; Ithiel Streit, a carpenter, and his wife and child, and David Condit, a farmer. From Ohio came the Harveys, Henry and George, who were farmers, and Samuel, a cabinetmaker. Foster Harvey, a physician, was perhaps of the same family, but is shown in the census of 1855 as emigrating from Indiana.
Lotan Smith, the resident agent of the American Settlement Company until he was succeeded by James M. Winchell in the spring of 1855, was a farmer from New York. Winchell described him as "an elderly man, of a great deal of energy, and self-esteem, with grey hair and black, sharp eyes, which, in moments of excitement, snapped like torpedoes. . . . [He] was illiterate, but made industry a
substitute for culture. He wore a pair of horn-rimmed spectacles, through which the sparkles darted when his temper was excited. . . ." In his capacity as agent, Smith built a large log-house on the townsite which was called the council house, and was used for all public purposes. Another of the town fathers, J. W. Kerr, although commonly addressed as "doctor" and listed in the 1855 census as a physician, was said by Winchell to have been a druggist in New York. 
Of James Stewart himself comparatively little is known. He was born in or near New Castle on December 20, 1829, and is listed in the territorial census of 1855 as a saddler by profession. He lived at Council City, which was renamed Burlingame in 1857 (see diary entry for March 24, 1857), from his arrival in 1854 until 1868. During those years he was active in community affairs, and was elected justice of the peace in 1860. He served briefly in the Civil War as a sergeant in Company D, Second regiment, Kansas Volunteer infantry, from May 14 to October 31, 1861, the dates on which the regiment was mustered into and out of service. In 1862, while on a visit to his old home in Pennsylvania, he married Mary A. Newell. Later he was county attorney and representative from Osage county in the state legislature. In 1868 he was suffering from "bronchitis and general debility," and planned a trip across the plains to New Mexico, hoping that the journey would improve his health. However, his illness had so weakened him that his doctors warned him against the expedition, and he and his wife left for a visit to New Castle early in May. In late May or early June he died there of consumption. 
The diary which follows was secured through the courtesy of Leon R. Mitchell of Burlingame. It is in two volumes, the first covering the period from April, 1855, to April, 1857, and the second from May, 1858, to November, 1860. It will be published in four installments in the Quarterly.
PART ONE: APRIL-OCTOBER, 1855
APRIL 1855 KANSAS TER.
garden seeds from him, recieved a letter & peice of music from Miss Clara E. Mcmillen. Stopped at Hoovers, got some bread, returned home, arrived after dark, found Jim [James J.] Miller & Jim [James 11.] Young there, got them some supper, talked, tolld stories &c during the evening.
ning. All alone for the last three days begining to feel lonesome & homesick.
went over to Wills, found the door locked & could not get in. Came back home, went to the garden, hoed corn a while Came to the house and read untill bed-time.
arrangements for fourth of July Celebration, looked out the ground on which to hold it, made some other arrangements & returned home Stopping short time on the way at the boarding house, at Freels, & at Hoovers, got some bread there, read bathed and went to bed.
bible. wrote a notice for a meeting of the citizens to inquire into the affairs of the American Set. Co.
one, the other was from Jim White. came home & answered Whites letter.
Ferris's letter. the afternoon. Came home, read & built air castles. 
ing to draw the water out of his well in order to get my mattock which was buried in the water, worked a while at it and quit for a bad job. Came home went down to Freels, thence to Brattons, thence to Hoovers, took super there, thence home, sang, fiddled on three strings, read wrote & went to bed.
time at Allisons, Went thence to Hoovers, got some bread and home read fidled &C as usual.
the house waiting on William &C. Will died about half past eleven OClock, sent Will Smith to get help to dress him. Mr Hoover & Jim Bothel  came & attended to it. Smith went to see about getting a coffin made, grave dug & shroud made, Mr Hoover remained with [me] untill towards evening & then went home, Smith came back soon after and also Jim Bothel about dark. am setting up to-night with my last Brother for the last time. what luck is to be meted out to me?
SAT. 1. Warm, scattered clouds. Came from Mr Brattons in the morning to Freels, remained there all day settling up George Youngs accounts, bought a piece of fresh beef in the evening, came home about dark, Bill Smith came with me.
tons, thence to Prentises, got half bushel corn meal, thence home, read Paines age of reason 
Kerrs bill for attending William, got cloth for a pair of pants from J Byers.
1. The Kansas Herald of
Freedom, Wakarusa (Lawrence), October 21, 1864. George
W. Brown, editor and publisher of the newspaper, was also
president of the Western Pennsylvania company.