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Kansas City, Mo., a Famous Freighter Capital

by Walker D. Wyman

February 1937 (vol. 6, no. 1, pages 3 to 13
Transcribed by lhn; digitized with permission of
the Kansas Historical Society.

Kansas Historical Quarterly, February 1937THE overland trade to New Mexico was the most ancient and honorable of all ox-team freighting from Missouri river towns. Beginning in the eighteen twenties, it grew slowly until the Mexican War; [1] then the necessity of supplying troops stationed in the area, as well as other Americans, created a new era in this traffic. Lower Missouri river towns outfitted this trade in its infancy. But when Kansas City came into existence in the forties it soon became the headquarters. Its fame lies in being the patron saint of the trade down the old Santa Fe trail. It enjoyed practically an unbroken monopoly on the private trade to New Mexico, but only a small proportion of the other western trade.

Independence, Mo., located in the fat farming country ten miles east of the Kansas boundary, and four miles below the river, was the depot for the Santa Fe and Indian trade as early as 1832, favored because it was the westernmost point of settlement. [2] This it enjoyed until a new settlement, farther to the west, at the bend of the river, grew up to steal the whole business.

Thomas Hart Benton, spokesman for the West in this middle period, once prophesied:

There, gentlemen, where that rocky bluff meets and turns aside the sweeping current of this mighty river there, where the Missouri, after running its southward course for nearly two thousand miles, turns eastward to the Mississippi, a large commercial and manufacturing community will congregate, and less than a generation will see a great city on those hills. [3]

Evidently other men, not necessarily shrewd men either, saw that there where the current ran close to the rock bank, making an excellent landing, should rise a frontier depot. Just below this ideal landing place, upon the trail from Independence, there was growing a settlement known as Westport, noted for its "truck and dicker" trade with the Indians and the sale of last-minute knickknacks to emigrants. Although goods were landed there at the bend after 1832, freighters still loaded in Independence until the middle of the forties.



When H. M. Northup came up to Westport Landing in 1844 with the "largest stock of merchandise ever yet offered" to the conveyors of overland goods, and when W. H. Chick built a warehouse, outfitting had properly made its debut. Four years before, W. G. and G. W. Ewing had built a warehouse for Indian goods. The next year, 1845, Bent and St. Vrain shipped there the first load of goods. When this train of twenty-five wagons was unloaded the warehouse was full from top to bottom and 5,000 tons of buffalo hides covered with a tarpaulin were stored on the levee. [4] Within another year it was "conceded that Kansas City and Westport fairly divided this great trade with the city of Independence . . . " [5] The first commission house grew up in Westport, but the history of the two towns is inextricably interwoven. The economic differentiation during the first few years is as difficult to ascertain as are the boundaries of Westport today.

The Kansas City of the fifties was but little more than a few rough warehouses. Its narrow levee was accessible through a ravine and walled in by hills covered with a mighty forest and studded with a few cabins hanging perilously to the precipice. All the life was at the wharf, where the few inhabitants gathered to see the daily show of churning steamboats, men bustling about loading or unloading goods, and plodding oxen, drawing prairie schooners up the ravine, urged on by Missouri or Mexican profanity. This was the beginning of the golden age of steamboating. The railroad menace was yet to come. Some sixty steamboats were to make regular (or as nearly regular as a boat could be on the Missouri) trips to the bend of the river, and half as many "tramps" were to operate on a "come and go when possible" basis. [6]

From the turn of this decade this town among the hills claimed a lion's share of the freighting to the mountains and to the Southwest. Six hundred wagons left there in 1850. In 1854 the business of Kansas City was given thus: merchandise, $3,185,502; warehousing, $545,000; livestock, $2,148,200; and exports, $1,767,761. [7] The Santa Fe trade was growing; as the Indians sold their birthrights for an-


nuities more wagon loads of glittering trinkets and kegs of whisky were needed; and the hinterland began to fill up with farmers to save Kansas. Merchants realized that the fish-barrel could not repose on the calico counter. Specialization began in earnest. Stores selling dry goods, drugs or hardware alone characterized the business life before the end of the decade.

In 1857 some 300 merchants and freighters were engaged in the mountain and New Mexican commerce and a total of 9,884 wagons loaded at the levee for the territories and the hinterland. Hides, pelts, and furs worth half a million dollars were shipped in and a New York buyer bought them for export. Wool was first imported this year. In 1854 the saddle and harness business amounted to $14,000 in Independence, but in 1857 that trade had mounted to over $81,000 in Kansas City alone. Freight charges and commissions paid at the warehouses were close to $500,000. [8] Fourteen thousand seven hundred horses, mules, and oxen were sold, and 52,000 stock cattle from Missouri, Texas, Arkansas and the Cherokee country, changed hands there for California, Salt Lake, Forts Kearney and Laramie, and home markets. The city had become a rendezvous for cattle dealers from far and wide, a place through which coursed cattle from the West going east and from the East going west. [9]


Kansas City realized that her future, as that of no other town on the Missouri, lay in the commerce of the frontier. Each year over $5,000,000 in specie was distributed there by the government, emigrants and freighters: $1,100,000 in annuities went to the Indians; the army spent $2,000,000 for stock, forage, and salaries, and if any of it was withheld from circulation there was "more husbandry in our army than it had credit for"; mail contractors were paid $200,000; an estimated $300,000 was spent by emigrants; and the Santa Fe traders paid out some $1,500,000 annually to merchants, blacksmiths, producers of livestock, and bullwhackers. [10] This was sufficient to stave off any panic similar to the one of 1857 which struck most towns so hard but left Kansas City fairly intact. The question of agricultural surpluses was cared for seemingly for all time; they were not to be disposed of in Europe but between the Missouri border and the Rockies, "around the campfires of emigrants and freighters-in the cabins of the pioneer and the wigwam of the Indian, far, far away in the mountains." [11]

The merchants believed they had every advantage necessary for a grasp upon the commerce of the whole plains, prairies, and mountain areas. They purchased largely in the East, as did many St.. Louis merchants, and sold for cost plus five percent, as did their down-river brethren. The extra freight charges up river from St. Louis were offset by lower rents in Kansas City. Competition of the rising Kansas towns was not feared for they lacked the abundance of stocks and the stability of prices.

As the year 1858 loomed over the horizon, business prospects seemed bright. The turmoil in Kansas was waning and trade with the West was potentially greater. In April several Santa Fe as well as local merchants and freighters were granted contracts for food supplies to be delivered at southwestern forts. [12] Russell, Majors, and Waddell were also to start ten trains from McCarty and Ranson's warehouse, the official depot rented by the army. [13] There was reason, therefore, for the organization of a chamber of commerce, the grading and macadamizing of Front street (at the river front), the extension of the levee three times normal size, the erection of


new warehouses and a packing plant, and the improvement of the Westport road. [14]

As soon as the ice broke steamboats began to unload everything from lager beer to church bells, destined for over thirty towns in the Santa Fe area and for that many in Missouri and Kansas territory. [15] Mexican traders-Jose Chaves, Juan I. Pares, P. Delgado, J. C. Armigo, and others-Yankee freighters, and local farmers loaded over 8,000 wagons at Kansas City and nearly 2,000 from Westport, paying about $800,000 for freight and commission at the warehouses. [16] This was not all Santa Fe business, for fewer than 2,000 wagons creaked down that trail. [17] This year, for the first time, most of Indian trade from Bent's Fort, Laramie, and the Osage, Ottawa, and Cherokee countries concentrated there instead of at St.


Louis. [18] The army sutlers at Fort Laramie also purchased at this place, and at least one merchant sent goods "comprising everything that is needed to constitute a stock in, trade of a miner's merchant . . . ." [19]

From spring until late summer the warehouse, wharf and stores bustled with activity. Hacks and drays rattled up and down the hilly streets. The prairie southwest of town was covered with the camps and corrals of the traders. In June "at least four thousand head of stock" grazed serenely on the prairie grass. An observer mused over the thought of an easterner's reactions to such a sight, saying that "in any of these places [in the East] every housetop, window, and balcony. would be crowded with people looking at this mountain caravan . . . ." [20] Of course, frontiersmen would also gape at the sight of clipper ships lying in harbor.

The border editor, speaking for the business interests of his bailiwick, carried upon his shoulders the troubles of the town, and periodically gave the people something new to worry about. In 1859 the Journal looked sadly at liquor and wagon importations. Why should corn from the prairies of Kansas be shipped to Kansas City, down to St. Louis, and then returned in bottles, two-thirds of which was sent overland to New Mexico? Across in Clay county, Missouri, Henderson and Reed were distilling liquor. Could not such be done in Kansas City? Why should freighters and farmers import nearly 2,000 wagons annually from Chicago, St. Louis, Cincinnati, and the town of Indiana in Pennsylvania, at an average cost of $160 plus fifteen cents per hundred pounds freight costs to Kansas City, when there were 13,000 acres of timber in the area of the "City of Hills"? [21] Within a few years local wagon makers were to take the suggestion literally, but that was a time when the heavy wagon had been relegated to second position by many freighters for a lighter type of vehicle.

The gold discovery at Cherry creek was not greatly to affect the economic life of Kansas City. Certainly its position as border depot was not so dependent upon it, as was any river town above there.


The mountain, New Mexican and hinterland trades were deeply rooted there by tradition, as well as by geography, and only the vicissitudes of a Civil War could disrupt that and send it to a rival town. This city, as it claimed, was one "destined to be the greatest Western Centre beyond the Mississippi . . . ."

In the first year of the major rush to Pike's Peak Kansas City prospered, but not upon the Colorado trade. Leavenworth had been regarded as an unworthy but largely successful competitor at the business of government freight before 1859; [22] but when Leavenworth captured a fair proportion of the miners' trade, that was going a bit too far. Hence, thereafter, there was but one rival to condemn and abuse, and that was the city near the fort. The establishment of branch firms in the mountain valleys would have been a better way to corner a good share of that commerce. This was not done nearly to the extent that Leavenworth did. Instead a "Kansas City Gold Hunter's Express Transportation Company" was organized to make the vital contact with a region which the town feared would ultimately become a producer itself. This was hailed as a certain method of becoming the economic sire of the Rockies. Another express was planned which, if it did materialize, did not do a great business. [23]

The extent of the miners' trade is not known, nor is the total over land commerce for the season given. [24] The Santa Fe total was in completely given as 1,970 wagons. [25] Wool and hides continued to be the great imports from the end of the trails. [26] The four commis-


sion and forwarding houses, three harness makers, two steamboat. agents, six wholesale groceries, and twenty-two saloons surely had a profitable year in this great splurge before the shadow of secession hovered over Kansas City. [27] The navigation of the Kansas river was expected to deal the finishing blows to Leavenworth, while the completion of the Hannibal and St. Joseph Railroad would open up the upper Mississippi valley. [28] Even Main street was macadamized to lure the inexperienced as well as to keep the faithful in the vast. commercial net. One merchant showed his abounding confidence in the "Gem of the Prairies" by establishing a new store designed to appeal to New Mexico alone. In so doing he exemplified the economic life of his own city-its staff of freighting life being that rutted road-bed leading toward the land of the Mexicans and Indians, and Yankees in uniforms and civilian clothes. Their demand for the food and comforts of civilization made these humble men the builders of Kansas City.

That the Civil War paralyzed the economic life of the patron saint of Santa Fe freighting is a belief which must be slightly modified. The year 1860 was a good one. Levee life began in February and by April one could see trains for the interior, Santa Fe and the mountains loading at the warehouses. Several of the merchants established branch houses at the mines. [29] While the town expected to capture one fifth of the total (or 14,940 wagons) it is doubtful if such success was acbieved. [30] Whole trains of private goods for New Mexico, totaling 2,170 wagons, did outfit at Kansas City commission bouses. [31] But the greatest victory of all was the removal of the army depot from Leavenworth. All goods for the Kansas and New Mexican forts and the Indians were to be transported from Kansas City. With reason did the Journal joyfully write

Yes, we have got the government outfitting business. Immense stone warehouses for this trade have sprung up at the upper end of our levee within the past two weeks and already nearly one thousand wagons have been shipped and now cover over acres of ground in the bottom just above our city. Yesterday some eight or ten wagons arrived from Leavenworth, bringing the goods


which had been purchased and shipped to that point for the hundreds of men who are in the employ of this government freighting company. The finest business house in this city, consisting of two rooms 40 by 100 feet each, has been opened for the reception of these goods . . . . [32]

All that remained to be done, it was believed, was to get the Salt Lake trade

Alexander Majors, of the firm of Russell, Majors, and Waddell, nearly apologized to this happy city for bringing his bullwhackers down upon them. In a warehouse he delivered to a great crowd a speech long to be remembered. After the reading of the first Psalm and the rendition of a prayer, he talked for two hours about how he tried to keep his drivers from getting intoxicated, being immoral, playing cards, and otherwise living a life leading to ruin. He had been freighting for ten years, he said, and had made the Bible a rule of action. If men would study it, they would succeed in life. He had no education, but God had given him sense to understand right from wrong. He hoped the drivers would think of these things and be upright moral men. It was reported that the drivers were impressed, but the secret of getting government contracts remained, as it is today, an undivulged matter. [33]

The two government contractors, Irwin, Jackman & Co. and Russell, Majors, and Waddell loaded 863 wagons for Forts Garland, Larned, Wise and Union. The freighters of Indian annuities, Bent. and Campbell, sent out at least 57 wagons. The government freighting, therefore, increased the commercial activity of this town by over 900 wagons. [34] But the private freighting remained as it had been in the past and was to be in the future, the greatest segment in the economic life of Kansas City-exclusive of the hinterland traffic.

Eighteen hundred sixty-one was a year of calamity to this lower Missouri river town. Secession came, and with that act the government and private freighting largely shifted to Leavenworth. Indian annuities were shipped from this town again in 1861. [35] It was alleged that no trains starting from the fort city were attacked by the Kansas abolitionists. Thereafter they had to pull their wagons through the mire of "Government Lane" from Leavenworth to a point four miles west of Kansas City, or take the Fort Riley road and then turn south to the old trail. Apparently a great number of the New Mexicans shifted to these routes from 1861 to 1863. Al-


though the Journal spoke of streets blocked with wagons and of the great revival in 1862, evidence does not cause one to conclude that the days of pre-secession years had returned. When the army depot for the "District of the Border" was established there in 1863, a few residents began to smile again. [36] New Mexican traders were lured back to the fold by assurances from the chamber of commerce that troops were to be stationed at Westport, Cottonwood Springs, and Olathe to protect them. [37] This military news, along with prices, appeared in public print both in English and Spanish. About 2,000 wagons constituted the total business of the year, many of which probably were loaded for the Kansas interior. [38] A moral victory was gained when the Santa Fe mail was transferred from Independence. While the war crippled the city, it certainly was not as prostrate in 1860 and 1863 as some have been inclined to believe.

By 1864 Kansas City had gained back a major part of its private freighting to New Mexico. The chamber of commerce kept the oxteam professionals informed of the freedom of the Santa Fe trail. It was pointed out that stages ran regularly to Fort Scott and Lawrence, and that Union troops kept the bushwhackers away. [39] This must have had considerable effect in bringing back those who had forsaken the traditional depot. The total Santa Fe trade of 3,000 wagons, although not all from Kansas City, showed no increase over that of two years before. [40] Surely Kansas City outfitted more of the 1864 trade than that of a year before.

Slightly greater gains were made in 1865. Dusty, bronzed "greasers" were more numerous, as were the merchants from Las Vegas, Moro, and elsewhere in that area. An owner of a bridge at 142 Mile Creek reported that 4,472 wagons crossed there between May 20 and November 26. [41] Apparently Leavenworth and Kansas City shared evenly in this trade for the season. Both branches of the New Mexican legislature were reported to have passed a resolution recommending Leavenworth as a terminal for the Santa Fe stage, since " `nearly all their purchases are made in Leavenworth . . ."'. But obviously this statement was inspired by


Leavenworth propaganda. The bushwhacker dangers were over; only Indian difficulties remained for these last years of the overland traffic to the Southwest. Leavenworth could no longer hold that. supremacy when abnormal circumstances disappeared.

In 1866 happy days were in evidence again, but bullwhacking as a business was nearing an end. The old trail was open and the railroad from St. Louis was pushing west; competition between the Hannibal and St. Joseph, the Kansas Pacific and the river boats assured low rates. The traders, coming in earlier than usual, were advised not to ship from the end of the railroad. Mexican trains were reported to have "almost entirely" returned to the fold. Daily records give evidence of the genuine revival. Government freights for posts south of Laramie were to be shipped by rail direct to Topeka, and then taken overland to Fort Riley. [42] Of the estimate for the season by Col. J. F. Meline-five or six thousand wagons Kansas City probably had a share fairly commensurate with its geographic advantages. But after 1866 the railroad transported the goods to the end of the line from which it was forwarded by the remnants of a great business. Those bands of steel kept for Kansas City the prestige gained in a former day, while competitors upstream settled on the river bank for a long period of drowsy existence.

The Santa Fe trail and the Missouri river made Kansas City. The New Mexican and the mountain trade made it famous for more than a decade. The consequences of Civil War destroyed the monopoly and perhaps contributed to the failure to get more of the Colorado business. It did not deserve the government patronage to the upper forts, nor was it favorably situated to sell to the Mormons. That belonged elsewhere. But the inexorable forces of geography dictated that it should be the supply depot for the upper Arkansas and New Mexico. That portion secured by Leavenworth (government freighting before 1858 and from 1860 to 1865, and a good part of the private freighting for three years or so in the sixties) was not so much a result of natural advantages as of political influence. Even in the sixties it would probably have been cheaper to send troops with trains through Kansas rather than pay extra freight costs from Leavenworth. In spite of these discriminations in producing a distortion of economic forces, Kansas City was the capital of the trade to the Southwest most of the years of its existence.


1. The classic volumes covering the prewar days of Santa Fe freighting is Josiah Gregg's Commerce of the Prairies (New York, 1845), Vols. I and II. Two years before the war started four companies went out from Independence, Mo., employing 160 men, 92 wagons, 60 oxen, and 780 mules. See the article, "Commerce of te Prairies," Merchants' Magazine and Commercial Review, v. XI, p. 475. Author not given.
2. See Gregg, ibid., v. I pp. 33-34; W. H. Miller, The History of Kansas City (Kansas City, Mo., 1881), p. 2; and 6. w. Eldridge, "Recolletions of Early Days in Kansas," Publications of the Kansas Historical Society, v. II, p. 26.
3. Quoted in P. W. Morgan's History of Wyandotte County, Kansas, and Its People (Chicago, 1911), v. I, p. 113.
4. W. H. Chick in the Kansas City (Mo.) Star, December 14, 1906.
5. C. C. Spaulding, Annals of the City of Kansas (Kansas City, 1858), p 33 The beginning of this trade is compiled from C. P. Deatherage, Early History of Greater Kansas City (Kansas City, Mo., 1927),, v. I, pp. 362-363 ; C. W. Whitney, Kansas City (Chicago, 1908), v. I pp. 95-97; Spaulding, op. cit., passim; Miller, op. cit., pp. 23-34; and Eldridge, op. cit., p. 28.
6. Reminiscence of a pioneer in a clipping from the Kansas City (Mo.) Journal-Post, September, 1925.
7. Spaulding, op cit., p. 33 ; Merchants' Magazine and Commercial Review, "Commerce of the Prairies,v. XLIV, pp. 25-26; and Deatherage, op. cit., p. 468.
8. Total pounds of freight, 59,304,000; mules and oxen used, 98,840. Some writers state that this number constituted the New Mexican trade, a position which seems incredible and in error. The St. Louis Missouri Republican, October 17, 1857, gives 13,440 as the total for the year. See Spaulding, op. cit., pp. 32-34, 74-81, and the writer's "Freighting: A Big Business on the Santa Fe Trail," The Kansas Historical Quarterly, November, 1931, pp. 22-23. Spaulding, op. cit., p. 79, gives the following as the total warehouse business: Amount of gold and silver received

Number of packages
Number of wagons
Number of plows
Number of sacks of flour
Number of sacks of meal
Number of sacks of oats
Number of sacks of corn
Number of sacks of potatoes
Number of bales of hay
Number of kegs of powder
Number of dry hides
Number of bales of buffalo robes
Number of bales of furs and skins
Number of bags of buffalo tongues
Number of packages of furniture
Number of gallons of stone-ware
Number of carriages
Number of pianos
Mexican wool received
865,000 lb.
1,277,200 ft.
844,200 ft.
656,090 ft.
Amount of gold and silver received
Amount of silver ore from Gadsen Purchase
2,000 lb.
Other freight

A total of $3,183,502.34 in business was done that year, lumber, dry goods, groceries, and furs being the greatest items of trade.
9. ibid., pp. 78-79; and the Kansas City (Mo.) Job of Commerce for 1858, scattered issues.
10. Spaulding, op. cit., pp. 22-23.
11, Kansas City (Mo.) Journal of Commerce, November 7, 1857.
12. Flour contractors and destinations were: Joseph Hersch, Santa Fe and Albuquerque; Ceran St. Vrain, Fort Union; A. J. Otero, Fort Defiance. Beans: Ceran St. Vrain, Fort Union, Fort Massachusetts and Cantonment Burgwin F White Fort Fill more and Fort Bliss; F. and C. Huning, Albuquerque. Vinegar: Dens and May, Fort Fillmore; Kesler and Zeckendorf Albuquerque; Thomas Logan, Fort Thorn; Joseph Nangle, Fort Bliss. Salt: James Cumming, destination not given. ibid., April 10, 1858.
13. ibid., June 19 July 1 10, 1858, and January 4, 1859. Also the Weekly Kansas Herald, Leavenworth, July 24, 1858.
14. Journal of Commerce, December 17, 1857; January 23, March 6, November 7, December 17, 1858.
15. These articles were seen in one warehouse: doors, circular saws, bands, packing, machinery, sashes, whisky, sugar, cog wheels, shovels, wheels, church bells, grind stones, furniture, bedding, brooms, stoves, nail iron, lager beer, fan mills, crockery, crates, saw mill, wagon felloes, bows, spokes, horse collars, cement, soap, syrups, wine, leather, glass ware, preserved fruit, log chains, bacon, flour, emigrant chests axletrees, rope, and pianos.
The destination was Bent's Fort, Fort Union, Fort Massachusetts, Fort Thorn, Albuquerque, Pena Blanca, Atrisca, Rio Ariba Santa Fe, Bernallilo, Ranchos, Las Vegas, Las Lunas, Regada, Taos, Peralto, Valverde, La Micia Donna, Socorro, Sabine, Parida. Louis Lopez, Limitar, Moro, Anton Chico, Donna Ana, Las Castillo, Algodennis, San Miguel, San Jose, Tocolote, West oint, New Santa Fe, Harrisonville, Westport, Dry Wood, Tecumseh, Lawrence, Brownsville, Wyandot, Wabonsa, Topeka, Butler, Ossawatomie, Prairie City, Leroy, Centropolis, Council Grove, Cofacheque, Neosho, Mnhattan, Fort Riley, Oakland, Monticello, Emporia, Lexington, Olathe, McCannish, Oxford, Shawnee, and Richardson.-ibid., June 25, 1858.
16. Missouri Republican, July 18, 1859, and Kansas City (Mo.) Daily Western Journal of Commerce, January 1, 1859. This summary of the year's business is given by the latter: merchandise sold, $3,232,921.52; brick sold, $96,000; livestock sold, $2,241,217; and exports, $2,018,045.75.
The exports were given thus Mexican wool, 1,051,000 lbs.; goat skins 55 000; dressed deer skins, 60,000; dry hides, 61857; specie in boxes, $1,527,789; estimated furs, peltries, and skins, $50 000; or a total of $2 018,045.75. The cattle trade report showed the sale of 16,600 horses, mules, and oxen, for $1,328,900; stock cattle from Missouri Cherokee country, Texas and Arkansas, and sold for California, Salt Lake, Fort Kearney, Laramie Riley, Chicago, and home markets, 864,000 (11,000 being taken to hicago), valued at $864,000; 5,063 hogs, $45,657; and 1,825 sheep, $3,650; a total of $2,241,217.
The merchandise business was thus distributed: dry goods, $399,231.68; boots and shoes, $151,875.25; hats and caps, $25,228.15; clothing, $105,131.04; boots and stationery, $16,136.10; hardware, $150,14638; powder and lead, $49,042; glassware, $26,138.64; wooden ware, $10,926.02; stoves and tin, $71,948.50; plows, wagons, carriages, $56,052; groceries, $526,536.20; flour and meal, $395,645; bacon and lard, $103,163.04; liquors, $151,234.28; cigars and tobacco, $55,941; robes and hides, $582,190; drugs, ate., $93,002.25; soaps and candles, $41,095; confectionery, $12,998.64; crackers and pilot bread, $27,653.78; saddles, harnesses, and leather, $92,563.19; furniture, $74,840; lumber, shingles, and such, $324,319.28.
The warehouse business in detail was thus given: number of packages received, 513,292; wagons, 1,836; plows, 2,117; sacks of flour, 76,324; meal, 3,275; oats, 3,168; corn, 5,400; potatoes, 2,120 ; bales of hay, 175 ; Mexican wool, 1,051 000 lbs.; lumber, 1,926 750 feet; number of shingles, 857,000; laths, 1,234,000; kegs of powder, 2,054; dry hides, 4,628; buffalo robes 8,080; bales of furs and skins, 2 718; bags of buffalo tongues, 746; buffalo meat, 75,000 lbs.; packages of furniture, 1,806; gallons of stoneware, 10,00; carriages, 158; pianos, 43 ; and gold and silver in boxes, $1,527,789.
17. S. M. Hayes & Co., located on the trail at Council Grove, recorded these engaged in the Santa Fe trade: 2,440 men, 1,827 wagons, 429 horses, 15,714 oxen, 5,316 mules, 67 carriages, and 9,608 tons of goods. These statistics are pasted in front of a copy of John Maloy's "History of Morris County, Kansas, 1820 to 1880" (newspaper clippings), which is in the Kansas Historical Society. It was also reported that a "wind wagon" or "Ship of the Prairie" was to make a trial run to Santa F6. In 1860 a "steam wagon" was exhibited at the court house. See the Kansas City (Mo.) Daily Western Journal of Commerce, April 22, August 30, 1859, and February 11, 1860.
18. Journal of Commerce, July 15, 1858. The Cherokee traders noted were Major Linn and Colonel Bryant, the latter being "the largest and most popular dealer in the nation"; from Laramie were Ward and Geary, and Maj. A. Drips; the Creek trader was a Mr. Warfield; the Osage was A. B. Canville; and Col. William Bent came from Bent's Fort, a man said to have "probably transported more merchandise over the Great Western Plains than any one man living."-Compiled from ibid., June 5, 19, 26, July 8, 15, August 5, 7, 12, 1858.
19. ibid., September 11, 1858.
20. ibid., May 29, 1858.
21. ibid., June 6 19 July 1, 3, 17, 1858. Russell, Majors, and Waddell purchased wagons ®t a cost of $4,000. The wagons weighed 2,400 pounds and were shipped in fourteen pieces.
22. Col. E. C. McCarty, commission merchant of Kansas City, said in a speech, December 25, 1857, that Brown, Russell, & Co. offered to receive government freight at St. Louis, and pay transportation ad insurance to Kansas City rather than ship it to Fort Leavenworth, but were refused, for "who ever knew an army officer to walk ten steps out of his way to accommodate anybodyop. cit., p. 33. In 1858, some of the government freight was shipped from Nebraska City and Kansas City.
23. Daily Western Journal of Commerce, March 19, May 5, 1859. The first was organized by Irwin, Porter & Co., to run via the Santa Fe road, to carry twenty-five percent cheaper than any other company, and to insure delivery from ten to twenty days in advance of all others. The second was planned by John S. Jones. But the Kansas City Western Journal of Commerce, December 30, 1859, spoke of a meeting being held by the business men to talk over a permanent stage line td Jefferson territory and Santa Fe, for unless such was done, the loss of that business was feared.
24. The total trade, including overland freighting was given thus by the Daily Kansas City Journal of Commerce, January 5, 1860: Groceries and provisions, $954,090; dry goods, $368,300; hardware, $179150; drugs, $110,000; furniture, $32,463; boots and shoes, $101,330; saddles and harness, $37 000; clothing, $156 237; books and stationery, $7,525; leather, $12,000; hides and skins, $6T,836; grain, $38,70'1: lumber, $114,500; stock, $83,128; hogs, $26,871; millinery, etc., $4,060; saloon sales, $6T 394; confectioneries, $10 376; wagons, plows, and ox yokes ade in Kansas City, 30,595 ; wagons sold there (Eastern made), $18,000; carriages made there $25500; brick, $30,000 bakery sales, $17,086; butchers' sales, $53,043; auction sales, $28,000; queensware, $15,750; beer manufactured there and sold from brewery, $35,000, and brooms made there, $1,000.
25. Missouri Republican, August 15, 1859. This was between March 1 and August 15, 1859. Since some wagons ran quite late in the fall and winter it is probable that this cannot be taken as complete. A total of 2,300 men, 840 horses, 4,000 mules, 15,000 oxen and 73 carriages were employed in transporting the 1,900 tons of freight to New Mexico.
26. The Daily Kansas City Journal of Commerce, January b, 1860, states that 456,771 pounds of wool, 6 787 pounds of hides, and 21,120 pounds of furs and pelts were shipped from there in 1859.
27. Sutherland and McEvoy, Kansas City Directory, and Business Mirror for 1859-1860 (St. Louis, 1860), pp. 69-79.
28. Daily Western Journal of Commerce, May 8 and 21, 1859.
29. James Sutherland, Kansas City Directory, and Business Mirror for 1860-1861 (Indianapolis, Ind., 1861), p, 1.
30. Merchants' Magazine and Commercial Review, v. XLIV in its article "Commerce of the Plains," fails to credit Kansas City with any commerce to the mines. This is in error. See miscellaneous wagons loading in Daily Kansas City Journal of Commerce, January 28 and February 26, 1860. Sutherland, op. cit., mentions the branch stores there.
The "Probable" total was based o the assumption that 50,000 people were there, consuming two pounds per day, plus machinery. See the Daily Kansas City Journal of Commerce, January 19, 1860.
31. Merchants' Magazine and Commercial Review, v. XLIV, p. 43.
32. Daily Kansas City Journal of Commerce, May 20, 1860.
33. ibid., May 22, 1860.
34. Merchants' Magazine and Commercial Review, v. XLIV, p. 43. Russell, Majors, and Waddell loaded 546 of the 863 wagons. The two firms employed 1,030 men, 26 mules, and 10,670 oxen in transporting the 4 859,124 pounds of freight. Also see Daily Kansas City Journal of Commerce, May 31, 1860.
35. Sutherland, op. cit., p. 17. Forty wagons were sent out with 240,000 pounds of freight.
36. Kansas City (Mo.) Western Journal of Commerce, October 24, November 7, 14, and 21, 1863.
37. ibid., August 15, 1863.
38. ibid., August 8, 1863. Up to July 1, 1,385 wagons had loaded at five houses with 6,482,928 pounds of freight.
39. ibid., March 5, 1864. A government wagon train was robbed that fall at Cabin Creek. ibid., September 24 1864. A Santa Fe trader, Antonio Manuel Oterio, was robbed in the Raton mountains that summer. ibid., July 2, 164.
40. Maloy, op. cit., gives the total of 618 horses, 20,812 oxen, 8,046 mules, 98 carriages, 8,012 men and 15 000 tons of merchandise for 1864. In 1862, the Council Grove Press, June 15 1863 gives this total: 3,000 wagons, 618 horses, 20,812 oxen, 6,406 mules, 96 carriages, and 3,720 men.
41. Kansas City (Mo.) Weekly Western Journal of Commerce. December 16, 1865.
42. ibid., February 4, 1866.