Jump to Navigation

Annual Meeting - 1944

February 1945 (Vol. 13 No. 5/14 No. 1), pages 286 to 309.
Transcribed by lhn;
digitized with permission of the Kansas State Historical Society.

THE sixty-ninth annual meeting of the Kansas State Historical Society and board of 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 by the secretary.


Although the war has reduced the number of persons who come to the Society from other states to do research there has been little falling off in the work of most departments. There were fifteen hundred more visitors to the museum than in 1943, probably because of new signs which were erected on the lawns outside the building. Assistance was given to more than 3,000 Kansans who needed evidence of place and date of birth for war jobs. Three members of the staff of the Society are still on leave in the service.. Lt. Edgar Langsdorf is now in France. Ens. Josephine Louise Barry, U.S.N. R., is in Denver. G. R. Gaeddert is doing historical research with the American Red Cross in 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 holding over were Chief Justice John S. Dawson and T. M. Lillard. Since last year's meeting 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 of the First National Bank in Wichita, was much interested in the history of southwest Kansas and had presented a number of pictures and maps to the Society. Mrs. Doerr was well known as a student of the history of the Sante Fe trail and the Plains Indians. William Allen 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 director probably enrolled more new members than any other officer.


During the year 1,700 persons did research in the library. Of these more than 600 worked on Kansas subjects, 500 on genealogy and 500 on general subjects. Numerous inquiries were answered by letter and there were many requests for loans by mail from the loan file on Kansas subjects. Attendance and requests for information decreased, although in this department there were more writers engaged in extensive research than in the previous year. There were many out-of-state patrons using the genealogical books. More than 68,000 cards were filed in the Library of Congress depository catalog.

Some of the government publications are of special interest at this time.



Pamphlets on Latin-American countries and their relations with the United States are issued by the Office of the Coordinator of Inter-American Affairs. Similar to these pamphlets are those in the war background studies series of the Smithsonian Institution. Somewhat wider in scope, they cover such subjects as Peoples of India; Polynesians-Explorers of the Pacific; The NaturalHistory Background of Camoufiage, and Island Peoples of the Western Pacific. Each subject is treated by an authority and illustrated with photographs. The Office of War Information issues some similar material but many of its publications are on the home-front problems of food rationing, price control, labor problems and state-absentee voting and registration laws.

Filling a need in the literature of the First World War is a series of summaries of operations of United States divisions. These books, issued by the American battle movements commission, are published with large-scale maps. Despite newsprint cuts, the volume of clipping did not decrease. Clippings on war, defense, post-war problems, Red Cross, U. S. O., and the many Kansans in the limelight of the war theater, together with those on general subjects, totaled 450 biographical cards and 3,321 sheets. In addition there were 1,540 old clippings that came in to be mounted. These were from the J. C. Ruppenthal collection of papers covering various Kansas subjects, clippings on the First World War and on woman suffrage. To take care of these clippings, which numbered 5,212, the clipping clerk worked full time for three months instead of the usual half time.


During the year 282 pictures were classified and cataloged and added to the picture collection. Nearly all were gifts.


The largest accession of state archives was a collection of 505 volumes of records from the ad valorem division of the Department of Revenue and Taxation. Although these records were primarily for tax purposes, they offer valuable information about state-wide operation of railroads, pipe line companies, utility organizations, etc., and show growth and decline of activities.

Also added to state archives were 22 bound volumes containing records of county officers from the office of the Secretary of State.

An important addition to the microfilm copies of the records of the Office of Indian Affairs reported last year were 25 new reels of microfilm representing the outgoing letters of that office from 1861 to 1869.


Three manuscript volumes, three reels of microfilm and 49,911 individual manuscripts were received during the year. The largest single accession was approximately 48,000 manuscripts of the late Sen. Joseph L. Bristow. These came from Frank H. Bristow, administrator of his father's estate. Senator Bristow died in August at his home in Virginia. The papers supplement the important collection previously received. They have not yet been organized.

Mrs. Lillian Ross Leis presented letters and miscellaneous papers of Edmund G. Ross, her father. The correspondence dates from 1856 to 1933 and includes letters of Ross to his wife while he was in the Civil War. Ross will be remembered as the Kansas senator whose vote saved President Andrew Johnson from conviction on impeachment charges.


Herman Newman of Newton, Pa., gave a collection of papers on the Friends church in Kansas. There are 43 letters, dating from 1859 to 1909, reminiscences, historical documents, and a diary, which give valuable information on the early history of that church.

Records of divorces filed in the 23rd Judicial district, 1909-1930, approximately 550 manuscripts, and the marriage records of Russell county from 1873 to 1883 were given by Judge J. C. Ruppenthal.

Tombstone inscriptions from Montana road cemetery, an old burying ground four miles north of Oswego, and the inscriptions from a private cemetery in Macon township, Harvey county, were received from D. D. Murphy of Oswego. Rev. Charles L. Atkins lent for copying the records of the First Congregational Church 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 of James H. Beach of Chester, Pa. Mr. Beach was formerly a teacher in the Fort Hays State College.

Three reels of microfilm purchased from Yale University contain copies of the manuscript journal of H. Miles Moore consisting of 42 volumes covering the period from 1852 to 1880. H. Miles Moore was a prominent early-day citizen of Kansas and one of the founders of Leavenworth. There are also copies of the original records of the founding of Leavenworth, including the articles of the association, minutes of the meetings, the constitution, account books, etc. A copy of the records of the founding of Topeka is likewise included.

Other donors were: Claud Baird, Wilber Black estate, John G. Campbell, Sen. Arthur Capper, Birdine Chandler, Mary Elizabeth Cochran, Mrs. A. Z. Combs, Evelyn Steenrod Dashen, Mrs. Guilford Dudley, Mrs. Cora A. DuLaney, Edward T. Fay, Standish Hall, Mrs. Henry J. Haskell, Helen McFarland, Jennie Small Owen, Donald D. Parker, Rev. T. F. Rudisill, Frances Mitchell Wardin.


During the year more than four thousand patrons were served by the newspaper and census divisions. Seven thousand loose issues of newspapers and four thousand bound volumes were consulted; 6,301 census volumes were searched and from them 3,209 certified copies of family records were issued.

A microfilm copy of the population schedules of the 1880 federal census of Kansas, 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 now available 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 and Periodicals was published in July. It showed the issues of 686 newspapers and periodicals being received regularly for filing, 11 fewer than were shown in the 1943 List. Casualties among the state's bona fide newspapers now total eighty-four since Pearl Harbor. Of the 686 publications in the 1944 List, 53 are dailies, seven semiweeklies, 422 weeklies, one three times monthly, 31 fortnightlies, 12 semimonthlies, four once every 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, and 234 independent in politics; 86 are school or college, 34 religious, 19 fraternal, pine labor, six local, 17 military, 11 industrial, 15 trade and 83 miscellaneous.

On January 1, 1944, the Society's collection contained 49,718 bound volumes of Kansas newspapers, and more than 10,000 bound volumes of out-of-state newspapers dated from 1767 to 1944.

In addition to the 686 publications regularly received by the Society as gifts from Kansas publishers, miscellaneous newspapers have been received from the following: 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. James C. 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 the Winter General Hospital. There were 20 accessions. Among the most interesting is a bag of the type used by the Kansas seed wheat committee for Russian War Relief for sending seed wheat in 1943 to the devastated areas of Russia. Sen. Arthur Capper presented a piece of sandstone from the original unit of the United States capitol, the cornerstone of which was laid by George Washington in 1793. Dr. Charles M. Sheldon presented a quilt containing autographs of 216 men and women who took a leading part in the prohibition movement.

Several interesting objects have been added to the World War II museum is the main lobby. An exact model of a Landing Craft Tank, made in Kansas, was lent by Harry Darby, whose company manufactures these boats. A large Nazi flag captured in Rome was the gift of Brig. Gen. Edgar E. Hume through Mayor Frank Warren of Topeka.

In co-operation with Mrs. Andrew F. Schoeppel, the Historical Society is making a collection of photographs of the wives of Kansas governors. One set of these photographs will be uniformly framed and hung in the governor's mansion. The other set will be preserved and cataloged in the Historical Society's collections.


During the year the following have been subjects for extended research: Biography: William S. "Old Bill" Williams; Gen. Dwight Eisenhower. County and town history: Reminiscenses of Edwards county; Victoria colony. Education: Ghost colleges in Kansas; Kansas school for the blind; rural schools in Lyon county. General: Folklore of northwest Kansas; Friends in Kansas; recent changes in the Cimarron river; early Kansas church architecture; Gardner photographs taken along the Union Pacific; Methodist church of Gypsum; frontier lawyers; Rothschild advertisements in Leavenworth papers; history of the Kansas conference of social work; negroes in the West; fiction in early Kansas; land speculation in Kansas.



October 1, 1943, to September 30, 1944

Books 864
Pamphlets 3,407
Magazines (bound volumes) 1684
Separate manuscripts None
Manuscript volumes 530
Manuscript maps None
Private Manuscripts:  
Separate manuscripts 49,911
Volumes 3
Printed maps, atlases and charts 660
Newspapers (bound volumes) 680
Pictures 282
Museum objects 20


Books, pamphlets, bound newspapers and magazines 418,406
Separate manuscripts (archives) 1,552,406
Manuscript volumes (archives) 28,820
Manuscript maps (archives) 583
Printed maps, atlases and charts 12,360
Pictures 21,336
Museum objects 33,210


The Kansas Historical Quarterly is now in its thirteenth year, twelve volumes already having been published. Much of the credit for the high standard the magazine has achieved among the state historical magazines of the country should go to Dr. James C. Malin, associate editor, who is professor of history at Kansas University. Doctor Malin's criticisms of articles submitted is invaluable. The Quarterly is widely quoted by the newspapers of the state and is used in many schools.


Although the war has reduced the number of visitors at the Old Shawnee Mission, improvements continue to be made on the property. Last spring a number of trees were set out, bringing the total number of elms alone to 203. A new pipe line was run across the south side of the property to bring water from the Kansas City Suburban Water Company, making it possible to discontinue service from the golf course. Minor repairs were made on the buildings, including papering of several of the rooms in the West building.


Until general traffic is permitted through the Fort Riley reservation visitors at the old capitol building will continue to be limited to soldiers of the post and members of their families. Last year the registration was only 401. The building and grounds have been maintained in good condition.


The accomplishments noted in this report are due to the Society's splendid staff of employees. It is a pleasure to acknowledge my indebtedness to them. Respectfully submitted, KIRKE MECHEM, Secretary.

At the conclusion of the reading of the secretary's report, James Malone moved that it be accepted. Motion was seconded by John S. Dawson. President Brinkerhoff then called for the report of the treasurer, Mrs. Lela Barnes. The report, based on the audit of the state accountant, follows:


October 1, 1943, to August 30, 1944



Balance, September 30, 1943:  
U. S. savings bonds, Series G 3,500.00
Balance, August 30, 1944:  
Disbursements 745.47
Cash 1,586.75
U. S. savings bonds, Series G 3,500.00


Balance, September 30, 1943:  
Cash $126.41
treasury bonds 950.00
Interest received:  
Bond interest 13.68
Savings account 1.04
Disbursements, books 13.12
Balance, August 30, 1944:  
Cash 128.01
U.S treasury bonds 950.00



Balance, September 30, 1943:


Cash $41.32
U.S. treasury bonds 500.00
Interest received:  
Bond interest 7.18
Savings account.54
Disbursements None
Balance, August 30, 1944:  
Cash 49.04
treasury bonds 500.00


This donation is substantiated by a U. S. savings bond, Series G, in the amount of $1,000. The interest is credited to the membership fee fund.

This report covers only the membership fee fund and other custodial funds. It is not a statement of the appropriations made by the legislature for the maintenance of the society. These disbursements are made not by the treasurer of the Society, but by the state auditor. For the year ending 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 Milton R. McLean, the report was accepted.

The report of the nominating committee for 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 the following 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.

Respectfully submitted,

JOHN S. Dawson, Chairman.

The report was referred to the afternoon meeting of the board. There being no further business the meeting adjourned.


The annual meeting of the Kansas State Historical Society convened at 2:30 p. m.
The members were called to order by the president, Fred W. Brinkerhoff.
The annual address by Mr. Brinkerhoff follows:


Address of the President



AMERICAN statesmen destined to achieve the Presidency have had a habit of coming to Kansas to be seen and to be heard as their parties prepared to move toward convention halls. To put it another way, Kansas has established the custom of bringing future Presidents to Kansas for a close-up appraisal. Four men who were approaching the nominations appeared in Kansas within the memory range of large numbers of living Kansans. In 1895, William McKinley came out from Ohio and addressed a great throng at the famous Ottawa Chautauqua. The next year he was elected 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 next year 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 elected President. In 1927, Herbert Hoover, then Secretary of Commerce, came from Washington to meet a large group of Kansans at the home of William Allen White in Emporia. The next year he was elected President. The aspirant who used this technique of campaigning and set the example was Abraham Lincoln. In 1858 Lincoln came out from Illinois and made a Kansas tour. The next year he was elected President.

In the autumn of 1940 one of the first of the historical markers on Kansas highways was unveiled at Elwood. That marker recites three historical facts concerning Elwood. Elwood was the first Kansas station of the Pony Express. It was one end of the first railroad in Kansas. It was there that Lincoln first set foot on Kansas soil and made the opening speech of his Kansas tour. Speaking at the unveiling, I endeavored to sketch the events connected with Lincoln's visit and speech, and his tour. After the ceremonies a Kansan very active in Kansas affairs, then and now in high station, expressed surprise at what he had heard. He said that he never knew that Lincoln had been in Kansas. That seemed rather strange. But after reaching home, I took up the textbook of Kansas history which was used in the public schools at the beginning of the century and examined it carefully. There was not a line in it concerning Lincoln's visit. Yet the author was a famous journalist who spent


several years of his distinguished career in newspaper work in one of the cities in which Lincoln spoke. An examination of the Kansas newspapers of the time of the tour reveals no mention of the Lincoln visit and speeches with some notable exceptions. These exceptions are the rather full accounts in the Leavenworth and Elwood newspapers, a single belated but valuable paragraph in the Kansas Chief, then published at White Cloud, a paragraph in the Emporia News and a reprint from a Leavenworth newspaper in a Manhattan publication in The Annals of Kansas are only two brief paragraphs although D.W. Wilder, the compiler, was one of the former publishers of the Elwood newspaper, had something to do with inviting Lincoln to Kansas and had met Lincoln at the railroad station in St. Joseph and escorted him across the river to Elwood. The biographers of Lincoln have paid little attention to his Kansas tour. Most of them have made some mention of the fact that he came to Kansas and delivered some speeches. In one of the monumental works, the authors have attempted to set forth an outline of the themes of his Kansas speeches as gathered from some notes found in his papers. An occasional newspaper article or an interview with someone who remembered incidents of the tour, published many years later, and one or two articles from correspondents published in Eastern newspapers, finish up the available literature devoted to the visit of Candidate Lincoln to Kansas in 1859.

The bypassing of this notable chapter in Kansas history and in Lincoln's life by the 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 than three months Lincoln delivered his memorable political speech at Cooper Institute in New York. Both events-the stump duel in Illinois and the New York speech-attracted national attention of the highest degree. The debates and the New York speech were reported fully in the newspapers. The scenes were laid in an important and well settled state and in the nation's principal center. The debates were thrilling because two great orators, running for the Illinois senatorship and the Presidency at the same time, were clashing. The Cooper Institute speech was made close to the preconvention contest. The Kansas tour, overshadowed fore and aft, was overlooked or ignored as a trivial incident of the day as the historians settled to their work.

But some of the biographers and historians have pointed out an important truth. The Kansas speeches showed up later at Cooper Institute. Lincoln in Kansas tested out that speech. In October


and November he had received the invitation to New York and accepted it. He was already preparing the address. Obviously, he knew that his chance for the Republican nomination could be advanced tremendously or retarded, perhaps lost, by that speech. Lincoln had no doubt about that. So Lincoln accepted the invitation to speak in Kansas for three reasons. First, he wanted to try out his ideas on Kansans. He wanted to see how the things he planned to say would sound. He wanted to see what the reaction of the Kansas audiences would be. He wanted to practice his New York speech. He had reason to believe that his Kansas speeches would not receive attention in the East. He did not desire that they be reported there. Made in Illinois or some other state, such speeches would command attention and get into the newspapers. And that would spoil his plans for the New York 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 had battled with Douglas about Kansas. The country was worked up about Kansas. The slavery question was linked to the struggles in Kansas. Lincoln was deeply interested in the FreeState cause. He was distressed by the strife in the territory. He had been unable to visit Kansas earlier. Here was his opportunity. Finally, Kansas would have six delegates in the coming Republican national convention and they would be helpful to Lincoln. And so Lincoln came to Kansas.

The question whether Kansas would enter the Union as a free state or a slave state had been decided when Lincoln came to Kansas. On March 7, 1859, an election to decide whether to hold a constitutional convention or not was called for March 28. Nearly 7,000 votes were cast and the result was nearly four to one in favor of holding the convention. The heaviest vote against holding the convention was cast in Leavenworth county, although the convention won nearly four to one. Doniphan county opponents cast the third largest vote among the counties, the convention winning by less than two to one. On the other hand Atchison was one of the strongest convention counties, the vote being nearly ten to one. In mid-April Governor Medary 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 delegates two important political meetings were held in the territory. A Democratic territorial convention was held May 11 at Tecumseh where a platform full of demands upon the constitutional convention was adopted. At a convention at Osawatomie the Republican party in Kansas was organized May 18. This convention was 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." On June 7 the election of delegates to the Wyandotte convention was held. The Republicans elected thirty-five delegates and the Democrats seventeen. Ten of the seventeen Democratic delegates were from Leavenworth county, a solid delegation. Four were from Doniphan, which had five delegates. Jefferson and Jackson, neighboring counties, furnished one Democrat each, the other coming from Johnson county. The convention adopted a constitution on July 29. An election as specified by the constitution was held on October 4 and the constitution was adopted by a vote of nearly two to one. Both parties immediately proceeded to nominate candidates for state officers. The constitution provided that the election be held on the first Tuesday in December, which was December 6.

Whether it was merely an accident or Lincoln had planned his visit that way, just ahead of the state election, is one of the many things about the Lincoln visit to Kansas which must be left to speculation. But logic supports the view that he considered the election in making his plans. There is some evidence to sustain that idea. It seems quite clear that the actual invitation to speak in Kansas came from Mark W. Delahay, Leavenworth lawyer whose wife was a distant relative of Lincoln. Delahay had practiced law in Illinois. D. W. Wilder was said to have talked with Lincoln in Springfield during the summer. Just how long a notice the Kansans 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 in Leavenworth Wednesday" and said that the Turners had been asked to make arrangements for the reception of the guest. On the next morning the Times carried the notice of a meeting that night to make "preparations for the reception of the Hon. Abe Lincoln who will arrive in Leavenworth to-morrow or the day after." The Times of November 30 told of the planning meeting. A committee of seven was named to handle the matter.

What Lincoln actually did in the way of making a speaking tour in Kansas would do credit to a modern campaigner in the state where such campaigning long ago became common. It was not, however, a novelty to Lincoln. He had been making similar trips in Illinois. He had ridden the circuit as a lawyer. He was not accustomed to


comfort in traveling. He did not require or demand luxuries. In the Illinois debates, Douglas had the benefit of a private railroad car, certainly a refined luxury in that day. But Lincoln used any accommodations available. It was almost the pre-horse-and-buggy era in Kansas. But such a rig was provided for his Kansas tour.

The slavery question had been decided in Kansas after years of bloodshed. But the Kansas decision had intensified it as a national issue. Greeley, on the bank of the Marais des Cygnes at Osawatomie, referred to the Trading Post massacre and sounded a call to battle for universal freedom. It was everywhere believed that the crisis was near. The election of 1860 would bring the showdown. Kansas had given a preview of the great drama, many believed, and with fine accuracy of reasoning. When Lincoln was preparing to come to Kansas, John Brown of Kansas had stirred both the North and the South with his Harper's Ferry project. Interest in the course of the young Republican party was acute. William H. Seward was the outstanding candidate for the Presidential nomination. But there was a deep interest 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 on the stump and bested him in the arguments. He could be a better candidate than Seward. The Northwestern states were needed in the election. Seward might not carry them. But Lincoln could carry the aroused East. Lincoln, the most profound student of practical politics of the day, knew all these things. So he was glad to have the opportunity to face the Easterners from the rostrum of Cooper Institute. And Lincoln undoubtedly was glad to have the chance to use a Kansas audience-or, as it developed, several Kansas audiences-as a proving ground for the arguments he proposed to display in New York.

Lincoln had seen Kansas before he came for his tour. He made a business visit to Council 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. From the decks of the steamers he had a chance to look at Kansas.

It is very probable that this trip of Lincoln's to western Iowa influenced him to make the visit to Kansas in December. The railroad made the journey to Kansas very easy-in comparison with accommodations available until that year. The traveling westward through Missouri had been on steamers on the Missouri river, or by wagon. There is reason for the belief that Lincoln wanted to come to Kansas for the Osawatomie convention. He had explained to those who invited him that he desired to attend the convention but that he had been out of his law office so much during the year just past that he had to stay at home and make a living for his family.

Apparently, Lincoln's acceptance of the invitation to Kansas has not been preserved. But Leavenworth correspondence in the New York Tribune of August 30, 1860, gives an account of the visit. The correspondent, who must have been a competent observer, said that a message came from Lincoln early in November in which he said that he had been advised by "old acquaintances" that by coming to Kansas 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 New York. He was already preparing his address, although the speaking date was three or four months away. As he went about his business in Springfield he was developing the idea of testing out his line of thought for the New Yorkers, he was thinking of meeting Kansans on their own blood-stained soil and he was thinking 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 the publishers, had raised the banner of a national ticket--William H. Seward for President and Abraham Lincoln for Vice President. This undoubtedly interested Lincoln. He knew that he had attracted attention in Kansas. And so, at the very end of November he set out from Springfield for Leavenworth.

Lincoln's departure from home was not much of an event. He was always leaving Springfield and this departure appears to have attracted no attention at all. Paul M. Angle, noted Illinois historian, whose valuable book gives Lincoln's whereabouts day by day, fixes the date as November 30. But this was done by going backward from the date, generally accepted, of his arrival in Kansas. Lincoln went by train west to the Mississippi, crossed that river to Hannibal and boarded a train for St. Joseph. As the historians and biographers in their meager accounts have given the record, he arrived at St. Joseph in the afternoon of December 1. He was met there by Delahay and Wilder. Delahay had sent his distant in law relative the invitation and urged him to come. Wilder had seen Lincoln in Springfield in the summer and is said to have urged him to visit Kansas. The Kansans took Lincoln up town in an omnibus from the railroad station. There was a visit to a barber shop and the Kansans obtained for him New York and Chicago newspapers at the postoffice news stand. Then they started to Elwood.


They crossed the river on the ferry. Elwood then was a prosperous and promising Kansas town. In it was what was said to be the finest hotel in Kansas, the Great Western, with 75 rooms. There was no speech scheduled there. But Elwood men asked Lincoln 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 in the dining room of the hotel that night. And so Lincoln's first address, a brief one, was delivered at Elwood. There is little information as to the size of the crowd but it could not have been large. A report said that following the speech Lincoln and members of his audience enjoyed a good meal in the hotel.

The night was spent at Elwood. The next day Lincoln started to Troy in an open buggy, drawn by one horse. The weather had turned very cold. Three or four men have been reported as Lincoln's traveling companions. Either the buggy was of large capacity or a second vehicle or riding horses were used. Delahay is not named as one of the men. The probability is that Delahay went directly from Elwood to Leavenworth to prepare for the big days ahead. Lincoln was "blue with cold" when he reached Troy. On the trip the party met a bewhiskered man in a wagon. 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 buffalo robes 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 and three-quarters. Not more than 40 persons were in his audience. Free speech was maintained in Kansas by the pioneers. They believed in hearing both sides. A former Kentuckian, the largest slave holder in the territory, was called on. He made a reply to Lincoln.

From Troy, which had only the courthouse and a tavern and a few business places, Lincoln was driven down to Doniphan, on the Missouri river. It, like Elwood, gave promise of a great future. It had developed into an important river port. Jim Lane was interested in the town. It was a sort of headquarters for him. There, in A. Low's hotel, Lincoln made his third Kansas speech. The record is vague as to this meeting but the presumption is that the crowd was small and the speech short.

Here at Doniphan we get into confusion as to time and the historians run out on us. They make the record show that Lincoln was driven from Doniphan to Atchison where he spoke the night of December 2. The weather had continued cold. Judge Nathan Price,


for the quarter of a century following a noted lawyer, judge and political figure in Kansas, was either the driver or a companion on the trip and he provided a lighted lantern that was placed under the robe to make the distinguished campaigner a little more comfortable.

At Atchison Lincoln spoke in the Methodist church. The edifice was crowded. Lincoln was introduced by the mayor, Samuel C. Pomeroy, who was destined to become one of the first United States senators from Kansas and to be one of the most persistent enemies of Lincoln in the senate. In the audience was a foremost Proslavery leader of Kansas, Gen. Benjamin F. Stringfellow. Another man in the audience was a young fellow named John J. Ingalls. Another' was Franklin G. Adams, first secretary of the State Historical Society, who served for 23 years. Another was Frank A. Root, then an Atchison printer, who made many important contributions to Kansas historical literature. Ingalls, Adams and Root all left important but meager accounts of the meeting. Lincoln spoke for two hours and twenty minutes. When he indicated his intention to conclude after an hour and a half, the crowd insisted he continue. Here Lincoln had the opportunity and the inspiration he had sought in 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 escorted to the church by a band.

On the morning of Saturday, December 3, a delegation or committee from

Leavenworth took Lincoln in charge for the journey to Leavenworth. Leavenworth had prepared a welcome for him. A crowd with a band and many vehicles met Lincoln and his party just outside the town. There was a parade into town and the streets were filled with people. Lincoln was taken to the Mansion House. There he was welcomed to Leavenworth by Col. John C. Vaughan. He responded briefly, explaining that he would speak at length at night. He registered at the Planters House. At Stockton hall, packed with Kansans anxious to hear him, Lincoln that night dis cussed popular sovereignty. Sunday he went to the Delahay home where he was a guest for the rest of his stay in Leavenworth. There had been enthusiastic reports on his address Saturday night. There were insistent demands for another speech Monday. Lincoln consented, probably without protesting. 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 fearfully unpleasant 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 a little 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 interested in the outcome of the election-especially in Leavenworth and Atchison and Doniphan counties. On Wednesday, December 7, he left for home. Marcus J. Parrott, delegate in congress, accompanied him eastward. The historians have avoided the details of his departure. An account, generally accepted, was that he went up the river 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 opposite this city has been frozen over since Sunday morning. The ice on an average is six inches thick, and many persons and horses crossed with safety yesterday." Lincoln went back to St. Joseph by horse and buggy or carriage.

And so the first visit to Kansas of a Presidential candidate on the way to victory and the first real political campaigning tour in Kansas came to an end. As the record presented by the historians and biographers in their limited treatment of Lincoln's tour stands, this is the story: Lincoln came into Kansas at Elwood from St. Joseph late on Thursday, December 1, 1859. He spoke in the hotel 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 for an hour and three-quarters. Then he was driven to Doniphan, fourteen miles from Troy, where he spoke. Then he was driven to Atchison, six miles from Doniphan, where he spoke that night and spent the night. The next morning, Saturday, December 3, he was driven to Leavenworth where he remained until Wednesday.

There can be no doubt that Lincoln arrived in Leavenworth on Saturday, December 3. Nor can there be any doubt that he was in Atchison the night of December 2. So in 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 is what Lincoln did on December 2, 1859: He traveled 32 miles by horse and buggy over trails that some of the pioneers had started to call roads. He made two speeches on the way, one of which required a stop of at least two hours, and the other a stop of at least an hour. And he ended the day with his Atchison speech.


Considering the condition of the roads and the weather in December, 1859, the rate at which Lincoln traveled could not have exceeded five miles an hour and it is more likely, not more than four miles an hour. At that rate, it would have taken him eight hours on the road to Atchison. Add to this the two hours, minimum, at Troy, and the hour at Doniphan, 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 for a night meeting at 8 o'clock. It would have been necessary for Lincoln to leave Elwood at 9 o'clock. It would have been possible for Lincoln to have kept this schedule. It is also possible that the start was made from Elwood before 9. In fact, it is quite probable, in which event there could have been more time for a noon meal somewhere along the line.

But there are some other things that interfere with acceptance of this picture of Lincoln's movements and activities on December 2. Such references as there are put the meeting in the Troy courthouse in the afternoon. This was most likely. It is improbable that a meeting was held in the morning and not very probable that it was held even at noon. Almost certainly, Lincoln spoke in the afternoon. That would have made it impossible for him to reach Atchison, twenty miles away in time for his night meeting, with a stop at Doniphan because he certainly could not have left Troy before 3 o'clock. At least one historian has set forth that Lincoln spoke at Troy in the afternoon and spoke again that night at Doniphan. The testimony and evidence at Atchison sustain the statement that Lincoln spoke at Doniphan on the night of the day he spoke at Troy and that he spent the night in Doniphan. There is ample reason to believe that Lincoln arrived in Atchison during the day. Frank A. Root, then foreman of John A. Martin's newspaper, the Champion, 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 for his arrival. Root got out a handbill announcing that Lincoln would speak at 8 o'clock that night in the Methodist church, the use of which Franklin G. Adams and others obtained from reluctant church offIcials. There is evidence that arrangements were not made for Lincoln's Atchison speech until after Lincoln arrived in Atchison. The negotiations with the church officials and the printing of 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 and buggy, visited Troy and spoken there, stopped at Doniphan and spoken there and reached Atchison during the day-and it is just as certain that he reached Atchison during a day.


Geography and time, reinforced by the Atchison evidence, force the conclusion that on December 2, Lincoln rose after a night in Doniphan, undoubtedly in the Low hotel, and drove to Atchison. There he spent the rest of December 2 and the night following. This necessarily means that Lincoln arrived at St. Joseph and Elwood on Wednesday, November 30, and that he was at Troy and at Doniphan on Thursday, December 1. There are some bits of evidence to support this conclusion, too.

The belated article published in the New York Tribune August 30, 1860, which has been used by some of the historians as a basis for their references to the Lincoln 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 the writer at least meant the last day of November. The Tribune article's author went on to say that "the next day" Lincoln went to Troy where he spoke "in the afternoon" for nearly two hours. The writer continued that "the same afternoon Mr. Lincoln went to Doniphan, and spoke in the evening." Better evidence was published in the St. Joseph Gazette on December 1. The Gazette said: "The Hon. Abe Lincoln, of Illinois, passed through this city yesterday, on his way to Kansas, where he is advertised to make Republican speeches."

The St. Joseph Weekly Free Democrat, date of December 3, had this clear statement: "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 on Wednesday evening last, upon National politics." That Wednesday was November 30. More evidence is in this statement in the Kansas Chief, published at White Cloud, date of December 1: "Hon. Abe Lincoln, of Illinois, who stirred up Douglas with a sharp stick until he squealed, is now stumping it in the Territory. He speaks at Troy to-day, at Atchison to-morrow, and at Leavenworth on Saturday."

The evidence seems to be conclusive. Lincoln arrived in Kansas on November 30, spoke at Elwood that night, at Troy the afternoon of December 1 and at Doniphan that night. The next morning he went on to Atchison.

The historians who have dealt with the Lincoln visit ignored geography and transportation facilities. A statement by one writer that it was 30 miles from Elwood to Troy has been accepted and used by later writers.

That section of Kansas in which Lincoln spoke had the greatest Democratic strength 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 for governor, and 997 votes for Robinson, the Republican candidate. Doniphan gave the Republican 476 and the Democrat 371. Atchison voted 644 for the Republican and 585 for the Democrat. Doniphan and Atchison counties had been settled by Missourians. They were named for famous Proslavery leaders in Missouri. Many of their most substantial citizens were Proslavery men. Lincoln had plenty of men of opposite views to work on with his speeches. He was equal to the occasions. He was trying out for Cooper Institute. The reception his Kansas speeches received must have impressed the veteran stump orator. At Troy, Col. Andrew J. Agey, a former Kentuckian and the heaviest slave owner in the territory, called by the crowd to answer Lincoln, said: "I have heard, during my life, all the ablest public speakers, all the eminent statesmen of the past and the present generation, and while I dissent utterly from the doctrines of this address, and shall endeavor to . refute some of them, candor compels me to say that it is the most able-the most logical-speech I ever listened to." The demand of the Atchison audience that he continue after he had spoken for an hour and a half and the insistent request for a second speech at Leavenworth surely must have indicated to Lincoln that his line of argument would do for the Cooper Institute audience-and for the country which would read it carefully later. The friendly Leavenworth newspapers gave Lincoln's speeches there complete praise, which must have been very satisfactory to Lincoln.

The Kansas speeches dealt with the organization and purpose of the Republican party as Lincoln viewed them. The purpose, he said, was to prevent the extension of slavery. He devoted major attention to the "Douglas popular sovereignty" as opposed to "real popular sovereignty"-a subject of acute interest in Kansas. He argued that Republicans must follow their own leaders and fight under their own banner. He referred to the great battle the year before in Illinois and said that the 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 "we can ever advance our principles by supporting men who oppose our principles" and that if the advice had been taken "there would now be no Republican party in Illinois and none to speak of anywhere else." In this way he sought to appeal to the Kansas Republicans to perfect and extend their organization and to battle for their principles, regardless of the opposition. This argument, of course, was intended


for the Kansans and he threw in many observations that were intended to localize his utterances and intensify the interest of his hearers-a device always effectively used by the skilled stump speakers. But the lines of his discussion of issues of vital importance in 1860 were those of the great speech that was in the making. When he rose to speak at Atchison, John Brown of Kansas had been dead a few hours-hanged that day at Charlestown, Va. Many an orator on the Antislavery side, 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 the proper penalty. Ingalls reported 30 years later that Lincoln, alluding to the threats of secession, said that secession would be treason, and declared: "If they attempt to put their threats into execution we will hang them as they have hanged old John Brown to-day."

Lincoln must have had pleasant thoughts of his Kansas tour as he traveled back to Springfield from Leavenworth.

The first objective of the Kansas tour had been achieved. He had tested out his speech ideas and obtained a favorable decision. He also accomplished his second objective. He had seen bleeding Kansas and had met Kansans who had bled. But as to the third objective, the six delegates from Kansas to the national convention, that had to await the developments of the next year-and the wishes of the Republican leaders of Kansas.

Seward was strong in Kansas. He had been the strong and eloquent friend of the Free-State cause. He had been in a position to render great service. He had opportunities to dramatize his friendship. While Lincoln met Douglas on the stump in Illinois, Seward met Douglas in the United States senate. The Kansas Republican leaders were for Seward. The rank and file Republicans were for Seward. The Kansas newspapers were favorable to Seward.

When Lincoln visited Atchison, there was no mention of his visit in the Atchison Champion, a foremost Free-State newspaper. Not a line concerning his stay or his speech appeared in the Champion. His presence in Atchison was big news. By all the standards of news evaluation, it was a major news item. But the Champion ignored it. John A. Martin was the editor. Martin was for Seward. He believed that publishing an account of Lincoln's appearance in Atchison would be treason to Seward. There is no more interesting episode in the history of Kansas journalism than Martin's suppression of this big news story. Martin demonstrated the intense loyalty of the Kansas Republican leaders to Seward.

On April 11, 1860, the Kansas Republicans met in convention 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 a resolution which declared Seward to be the "first representative man of the Republican party and the first choice of the Republicans of Kansas for the Presidency in 1860." The resolution was adopted, only one or two delegates voting against it.

In the Wigwam at Chicago a month later, the six Kansas delegates voted for Seward and never flopped to Lincoln. Lincoln learned that the third objective of his Kansas tour had failed. The horse and buggy had been a bandwagon but Kansas missed it.

A tribute to William Allen White by Henry J. Allen followed Mr. Brinkerhoff's address. Mr. Allen, chairman of a committee to raise funds for the William Allen White foundation, paid tribute to the life and character of Mr. White and explained the plan to perpetuate his ideals in a graduate school of journalism at the University of Kansas. The endowment will offer special inducements and awards designed to teach an honest and vigorous type of country journalism. The committee's goal is $250,000, to be raised mainly by subscription.

The report of the committee on nominations was then called for:


October 17, 1944.

To the Kansas State Historical Society:

Your committee on nominations submits the following report and recommendations for directors of the Society for the term of three years ending October, 1947:

Aitchison, R. T., Wichita. Miller, Karl, Dodge City.
Anthony, D. R., Leavenworth. Moore, Russell, Wichita.
Baugher, Charles A., Ellis. Murdock, Victor, Wichita.
Capper, Arthur, Topeka. Price, Ralph R., Manhattan.
Carson, F. L., Wichita. Raynesford, H. C., Ellis.
Chambers, Lloyd, Topeka. Russell, W. J., Topeka.
Dawson, John S., Hill City. Shaw, Joseph C., Topeka.
Durkee, Charles C., Kansas City. Smith, William E., Wamego.
Ellenbecker, John G., Marysville. Solander, Mrs. T. T., Osawatomie.
Euwer, Elmer E., Goodland. Somers, John G., Newton.
Hobble, Frank A., Dodge City. Stewart, Donald, Independence.
Hogin, John C., Belleville. Thomas, E. A., Topeka.
Hunt, Charles L., Concordia. Thompson, W. F., Topeka.
Knapp, Dallas W., Coffeyville. Van Tuyl, Mrs. Effie H., Leavenworth.
Lilleston, W. F., Wichita. Walker, Mrs. Ida M., Norton.
McLean, Milton R., Topeka. Wilson, John H., Salina.
Malin, James C., Lawrence.  

Respectfully submitted,

JOHN S. DAWSON, Chairman.


Upon motion by John S. Dawson, seconded by Frank Haucke, the report of the committee was accepted unanimously and the members of the board were declared elected for the term ending October, 1947.

Reports of county and local societies were called for and were given as follows:

Mrs. Percy L. Miller, for the Shawnee Mission Indian Historical Society; Robert C. Rankin and Mrs. Lena Miller Owen, Douglas County Historical Society; John M. Gray, Kirwin Historical Society; Fred W. Brinkerhoff, Crawford County Historical Society. A telegram from Stella B. Haines reporting on the Augusta Historical Society was read by President Brinkerhoff. Grant W. Harrington reported that the annals of Kansas, begun by the late Judge Richard J. Hopkins and continued by his wife, had been completed to 1900 and that the work would go on.

There being no further business the annual meeting of the Society adjourned.


The afternoon meeting of the board of directors was called to order by President Brinkerhoff, who asked for a rereading of the report of the nominating committee for officers of the Society. Robert Rankin, substituting for the chairman, John S. Dawson, read the report and moved that it be accepted. Motion was seconded by W. F. Thompson and the following were unanimously 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 meeting adjourned.




Bailey, Roy C., Salina. Norris, Mrs. George, Arkansas City.
Beezley, George F., Girard. Philip, Mrs. W. D., Hays.
Bowlus, Thomas H., Iola. Rankin, Robert C., Lawrence.
Brinkerhoff, Fred W., Pittsburg. Ruppenthal, J. C., Russell.
Browne, Charles H., Horton. Ryan, Ernest A., Topeka.
Cron, F. H., El Dorado. Sayers, Wm. L., Hill City.
Ebright, Homer K., Baldwin. Schulte, Paul C., Leavenworth.
Embree, Mrs. Mary, Topeka. Simons, W. C., Lawrence.
Gray, John M., Kirwin. Skinner, Alton H., Kansas City.
Hamilton, R. L., Beloit. Stanley, W. E., Wichita.
Hardesty, Mrs. Frank, Merriam. Stone, Robert, Topeka.
Harger, Charles M., Abilene. Taft, Robert, Lawrence.
Harvey, Mrs. A. M., Topeka. Templar, George, Arkansas City.
Haucke, Frank, Council Grove. Trembly, W. B., Kansas City.
McFarland, Helen M., Topeka. Walker, B. P., Topeka.
Malone, James, Topeka. Woodring, Harry H., Topeka.
Mechem, Kirke, Topeka.  


Barr, Frank, Wichita. Lindsley, H. K., Wichita.
Berryman, Jerome C., Ashland. Means, Hugh, Lawrence.
Brigham, Mrs. Lalla M.,Council Grove. Morgan, Isaac B., Kansas City.
Brock, R. F., Goodland. Oliver, Hannah P., Lawrence.
Bumgardner, Edward, Lawrence. Owen, Mrs. Lena V. M., Lawrence.
Correll, Charles M., Manhattan. Patrick, Mrs. Mae C., Satanta.
Davis, W. W., Lawrence. Payne, Mrs. L. F., Manhattan.
Denious, Jess C., Dodge City. Reed, Clyde M., Parsons.
Fay, Mrs. Mamie Axline, Pratt. Riegle, Wilford, Emporia.
Frizell, E. E., Larned. Rupp, Mrs. Jane C., Lincolnville.
Godsey, Mrs. Flora R., Emporia. Schultz, Floyd B., Clay Center.
Hall, Mrs. Carrie A., Leavenworth. Sloan, E. R., Topeka.
Hall, Standish, Topeka. Stewart, Mrs. James G., Topeka.
Hegler, Ben F., Wichita. Van De Mark, M. V. B., Concordia.
Jones, Horace, Lyons. Wark, George H., Caney.
Lillard, T. M., Topeka. Wheeler, Mrs. Bennett R., Topeka.
  Wooster, Lorraine E., Salina.



Aitchison, R. T., Wichita. Miller, Karl, Dodge City.
Anthony, D. R., Leavenworth. Moore, Russell, Wichita.
Baugher, Charles A., Ellis. Murdock, Victor, Wichita.
Capper, Arthur, Topeka. Price, Ralph R., Manhattan.
Carson, F. L., Wichita. Raynesford, H. C., Ellis.
Chambers, Lloyd, Topeka. Russell, W. J., Topeka.
Dawson, John S., Hill City. Shaw, Joseph C., Topeka.
Durkee, Charles C., Kansas City. Smith, William E., Wamego.
Ellenbecker, John G., Marysville. Solander, Mrs. T. T., Osawatomie.
Euwer, Elmer E., Goodland. Somers, John G., Newton.
Hobble, Frank A., Dodge City. Stewart, Donald, Independence.
Hogin, John C., Belleville. Thomas, E. A., Topeka.
Hunt, Charles L., Concordia. Thompson, W. F., Topeka.
Knapp, Dallas W., Coffeyville. Van Tuyl, Mrs. Effie H., Leavenworth.
Lilleston, W. F., Wichita. Walker, Mrs. Ida M., Norton.
McLean, Milton R., Topeka. Wilson, John H., Salina.
Malin, James C., Lawrence.