George A. Crawford Papers

Collection Summary

Title: George A. Crawford Papers
Call Number: MS 75-07
Size: 1.0 linear feet
Acquisition: Donated by Colonel Harrie S. Mueller
Processed By: DAO, 5-19-1975; SMC, 3-23-1998; MN, 11-2012
Restrictions: None

Literary Rights

Literary rights were not granted to Wichita State University. When permission is granted to examine the manuscripts, it is not an authorization to publish them. Manuscripts cannot be used for publication without regard for common law literary rights, copyright laws and the laws of libel. It is the responsibility of the researcher and his/her publisher to obtain permission to publish. Scholars and students who eventually plan to have their work published are urged to make inquiry regarding overall restrictions on publication before initial research.

Content Note

The George Addison Crawford Collection of papers is composed of correspondence, excerpts from speeches, and news clippings from 1854 to 1861. The collection deals with a period in Kansas politics characterized by anarchy and violence and indecision as to whether Kansas would be admitted to the Union as a pro-slavery or a free-soil state. A sizeable portion of the correspondence involves Crawford and his associates' land speculations involving Indian lands in Kansas connected with the railroad's expansion. Another facet involves George Crawford's election to the Kansas governorship in 1861 which was subsequently declared illegal by the Kansas State Supreme Court (State of Kansas ex rel. Crawford vs. Robinson, I Kansas 17). Know-Nothingism comprises a prominent part of the collection with extensive portions of speeches, notes and editorials given by Crawford in opposition to the anti-foreign and anti-Catholic policies perpetrated by the secret organization of Know-Nothings. One of the basic doctrines of the "Sons of the Sires of '76" was that Americans must rule America. A premise further expanded on by the final section of the clippings which deal primarily with the politics of Know-Nothingism and opposition to it in the 1850s. A comprehensive eulogy of George A. Crawford concludes the collections.


George A. Crawford, the founder of Fort Scott, a well known editor and public man and several times a gubernatorial candidate, was born in Clinton County, Pennsylvania, July 27, 1827, of Scotch-Irish-German stock. After receiving an academic education and graduating from Jefferson College, he taught school in Kentucky and Mississippi, when he returned to Pennsylvania to study law. While still reading for the bar, he became editor and proprietor of the Clinton Democrat. During the early years he took an active part in politics against the Know-Nothings and in 1855 was a delegate to the Pennsylvania Democratic State Convention. Crawford arrived in Kansas by steamboat via the Missouri River in 1857. Landing at Leavenworth he proceeded onto Lawrence, in the company of Dr. Norman Eddy, the United States commissioner for the sale of the Delaware and other Indian lands. Crawford, Eddy and other associates purchased 520 acres of land and organized the Fort Scott Town Company, of which Mr. Crawford was made president, a position he held for twenty years. A town was laid out and the streets were named after Mr. Crawford's friends.

He became embroiled in the slave and anti-slave factions during the years of 1857-1860 which marred the Territory of Kansas with violence and anarchy. At the outbreak of the Civil war Crawford assisted in the organization of the Second Kansas Regiment and equipped many of its members. When the border was threatened he organized a committee of safety, was placed at its head and was active in recruiting several militia companies. In 1861 he was elected governor of Kansas on the democratic ticket, but the election was declared illegal. In 1864 he was again nominated by the democratic party for governor but Samuel J. Crawford, the republican candidate, was elected. Under Governor Crawford he served two years as commissioner of immigration, inaugurated the system of exhibiting Kansas products in other states and was one of the organizers of the Kansas Historical Society and its secretary for two years. In 1868 he was again a candidate for governor but was defeated. In 1869 he established the Daily Monitor newspaper and a free reading room and museum at Fort Scott. Mr. Crawford was appointed a regent of the state university in 1871 and elected one of the executive committee of the State Agricultural Society. The same year he was appointed United States commissioner by President Grant to the Centennial Exposition at Philadelphia. When the Ute Reservation was thrown open to settlement he purchased the site of the Town of Grand Junction, Colorado, and was instrumental in developing it. He died there on January 26, 1891. (Source: A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, written and compiled by William E. Connelley, 1918.)

Detailed Description: Series Listing

Series 1 Box 1 FF 1-52 Correspondence. Miscellaneous correspondence to and from George Addison Crawford.
Series 2 Box 1 FF 53-94 Speeches, Notes and Editorials. Portions of speeches, notes, and editorials by George Crawford given in opposition to the Know-Nothings in 1854 and 1855.
Series 3 Box 2 Newspaper Clippings. Miscellaneous newspaper clippings concerning Know-Nothingism and politics in the 1850s.

Detailed Description: Box and Folder Listing

Series 1 -- Correspondence
Box 1 FF 1 Correspondence from William Bigler to George A. Crawford concerning funds to invest in land deals as well as expressing interest in the possibility of a territorial appointment. April 16, 1857.
Box 1 FF 2 Correspondence from William Bigler to George A. Crawford continuing the discussion of additional monies raised for investment in land deals. April 20, 1857.
Box 1 FF 3 Correspondence from William Bigler to George A. Crawford discussing placing trusted associates in key positions, i.e. Marshall of the Western District, therefore is concerned primarily with how certain of his connections or associates could be influenced in the Kansas land power struggle. May 9, 1857.
Box 1 FF 4 Correspondence from William Bigler to Messr. Liken and Boyd. A letter of introduction for George A. Crawford enabling him to view the timber lands in Northeast Kansas. July 14, 1857.
Box 1 FF 5 Correspondence from Horatio King to George A. Crawford concerning Crawford's travels in Kansas and regretting failure to invest in Kansas lands since it "appears very much as if Kansas is to be a free state." July 20, 1857.
Box 1 FF 6 Correspondence from William Bigler to George A. Crawford stating that once peace restored in Kansas would be interested in possibly investing in Kansas lands, especially lands around White Cloud. July 23, 1857.
Box 1 FF 7 Correspondence from A. G. Jenkins to George A. Crawford mentioning Crawford's scouting trips for land in the West (Kansas) in addition to speaking of Crawford's meeting with a pro-slavery supporter in St. Louis, Missouri. July 20, 1857.
Box 1 FF 8 Correspondence from William Bigler to George A. Crawford discussing timberland deals (releasing some options and picking up others) as the eventual course of the railroad becomes certain, as well as authorizing Crawford's access to funds for additional land ventures especially if government notes can be used. Reviews the Kansas political situation and her chances for the Lecompton Constitution being accepted and Kansas being admitted as a free State. Also that a friend, Secretary of State Fred P. Stanton is to be appointed as Superintendent of Indian Affairs. August 25, 1857.
Box 1 FF 9 Correspondence from William Bigler to George A. Crawford. September 26, 1857.
Box 1 FF 10 Correspondence from Dan Woodson to George A. Crawford responding on behalf of General Whitfield, granting permission to refer to himself for any reason, being fellow Democrats and, therefore, allies. October 21, 1857.
Box 1 FF 11 Correspondence from R. W. English to George A. Crawford issuing an invitation to Crawford to visit him. November 16, 1857.
Box 1 FF 12 Correspondence from T. A. Hendricks to George A. Crawford informing Crawford that General Brindle has received his sequestered leave of absence. November 16, 1857.
Box 1 FF 13 Correspondence from Surveyor General's office (Lecompton, Kansas) to George A. Crawford informing Crawford that no action had yet been taken to assign the surveying contracts for the New York Indians Lands. January 6, 1858.
Box 1 FF 14 Correspondence from W. T. Campbell and John C. Sims to James Buchanan notifying him that the removal of G. W. Clarke from the position of Registrar in the Second District was imperative from effective Democratic Party Organization in the Kansas territory. May 15, 1858.
Box 1 FF 15 Correspondence from Judge John Williams to George A. Crawford attempts to outline a synopsis of the situation in Kansas, the lawlessness, and the consequent formation of vigilantes (mutual protection societies). Also mentions that he (Judge Williams) presently owns a substantial interest in Fort Scott, Kansas. May 22, 1858.
Box 1 FF 16 Correspondence from Samuel Medary to George A. Crawford inquiring if the mails from the East are being "jayhawked" and if so, sets up a secret inquiry. July 2, 1858.
Box 1 FF 17 Protection Pledge Against Claim Jumpers 1858.
Box 1 FF 18 Correspondence from Samuel Medary to George A. Crawford concerning the "Jayhawking" of the mail coming from the east. Disturbed over troop withdrawals from area though the President had given him power to bring them back. January 20, 1859.
Box 1 FF 19 Correspondence from D. Crawford (Office of Indian Affairs) to George A. Crawford informing him that the bill relative to the alignment of lands to the New York Indians did not become law. Expects auction will be taken shortly concerning the Miami lands. March 7, 1859.
Box 1 FF 20 Correspondence from Samuel Medary to George A. Crawford alleging that information which he has about the New York Indian lands will change Crawford's mind about leaving. March 26, 1859.
Box 1 FF 21 Correspondence from D. Crawford to George A. Crawford informing him that the Miami land allotments have been made and that the balance of the land within the 1854 session turned over to the General Land Office. April 19, 1859.
Box 1 FF 22   Correspondence from F. Patterson to George A. Crawford classifying the cities of Kansas..
Box 1 FF 23 Correspondence from F. Patterson to George A. Crawford discussing the fact that the Surveyor General's offices had been moved to Nebraska City. April 29, 1859.
Box 1 FF 24 Correspondence from George W. Perkins to George A. Crawford or Charles Blair concerning keeping Judge Johnston's appointment with Marcus J. Parrott. September 16, 1859.
Box 1 FF 25 Correspondence from Asa Harigrove to Marcus Parrott and Robert Mitchell to Marcus Parrott informing Parrott of Mitchell's allegations that Parrott was not honest, sober, nor upright. Mitchell denies that any personal charges were made against Parrott's character. Correspondence from Marcus Parrott to Colonel R. B. Mitchell expressing understanding that Mitchell was not slandering his private character, but only expressing what the newspapers quoted. September 16 and 17, 1859.
Box 1 FF 26 Correspondence from Samuel Medary to George A. Crawford. Cover letter for an enclosure from the Kansas City Journal of Commerce (missing). October 17, 1859.
Box 1 FF 27 Correspondence from S. O. Thatcher to George A. Crawford recounting the fact that Montgomery and his bandits were uncontrollable, refusing to listen to his advice nor remonstrances. He maintains that the only way to control them and stop the violence in Kansas would be to organize a Lynch Court. January 24, 1861.
Box 1 FF 28 Correspondence from Colonel J. W. Forney to George A. Crawford. January 30, 1861.
Box 1 FF 29 Correspondence from R. W. Mitchell to George A. Crawford requesting Crawford to carry some money to his wife in White Settlements town. July 15, 1861.
Box 1 FF 30 Correspondence from James Montgomery to The Citizens of Kansas (A Call to Arms Against the Enemy). August 29, 1861.
Box 1 FF 31 Correspondence from George A. Crawford to Charles Robinson concerning the dispute over Crawford's gubnatorial election and offering to submit it to the Kansas State Supreme Court for Arbitration. November 16, 1816.
Box 1 FF 32   Correspondence from James Lane to General David Hunter. Letter of introduction of Colonel Delahay and George Crawford as representative of Lane's opinions and seeking support in the controversy of Robinson and Crawford over the Kansas governorship..
Box 1 FF 33 Correspondence from Charles Robinson to George A. Crawford in response to Crawford's letter concerning the governorship dispute, cautioning him to wait until all the facts are in before leveling charges of holding office illegally. November 22, 1861.
Box 1 FF 34 Correspondence from M. W. Delahay to Abraham Lincoln. December 5, 1861.
Box 1 FF 35 Correspondence from John Patton to George A. Crawford. Congratulatory note on Crawford's being elected Governor of the State of Kansas. December 17, 1861.
Box 1 FF 36 Correspondence from Sidney Clarke to George A. Crawford discussing Governor Robinson's illegal activities (i.e. swindling the state out of $3,000) and how they can maneuver him out of office. December 29, 1861.
Box 1 FF 37 Correspondence from Sidney Clarke to George A. Crawford discussing his and Lane's position on the chances of Jennison for political appointment, despite outward appearances. May 14, 1862.
Box 1 FF 38 Correspondence from R. B. Mitchell to George A. Crawford requesting photographs to be sent to various friends. June, 1862.
Box 1 FF 39 Petition in support of Governor-elect George A. Crawford. 1862.
Box 1 FF 40 Correspondence from John Keogh Smith to George A. Crawford issuing an invitation to the anniversary of Washington's birthday. February, 1863.
Box 1 FF 41 Correspondence to R. W. Mitchell stating that the forwarded paper had been received. February 19, 1863.
Box 1 FF 42 Correspondence from Captain Stephen Hoyt to Edward Bates, United States Attorney General. Letter of introduction for George Crawford. March 4, 1863.
Box 1 FF 43 Correspondence from Captain Stephen Hoyt to Judge Blair. Letter of introduction for George A. Crawford. March 4, 1863.
Box 1 FF 44 Correspondence from George A. Crawford to the Board of County Commission, Crawford County, inquiring about the true condition of the poor in the new counties, primarily concerned about the image Kansas would project back East. May 20, 1867.
Box 1 FF 45 Correspondence from George A. Crawford to James F. Joy relating his discussion with Joy's opposition, the Neutral Land League, over the dispersal of the Neutral Tract. Elucidates where in Kansas the Leaguers are the strongest and questions forcing the Railroad through these counties. (Letter written on A. McDonald & Brothers, Bankers stationery and it was McDonald who later purchased a huge section of the Neutral Lands.) May 10, 1869.
Box 1 FF 46 Correspondence from James F. Joy to unknown person. (Incomplete letter, P.S. only.) Emphasizes the need to keep Crawford's emissary role for Joy in his visit to the Neutral Tract strictly secret. 1869.
Box 1 FF 47 Correspondence from James Lane to General David Hunter requesting that the five companies of troops just received at Springfield should be equipped and ready to move into Kansas as its position is greatly exposed. November 24 (n.d.).
Box 1 FF 48 Clarke's Resolution to the Lecompton Constitutional Convention.
Box 1 FF 49 Correspondence from Marcus Parrott to Colonel R. B. Mitchell. September 17, 1859.
Box 1 FF 50 Undated excerpt concerning the violence in Kansas during this period.
Box 1 FF 51 Undated note concerning Know-Nothings and the Democratic electoral victory in the North.
Box 1 FF 52 Correspondence from A. W. Walburn to Eugene Ware. June 20, 1900.
Series 2 -- Speeches, Notes and Editorials
Box 1 FF 53 Notes for speech or essay on slavery.
Box 1 FF 54 Campaign speech on abolition "Prohibit slavery in the old as in the new states."
Box 1 FF 55 Notes for speech on abolition.
Box 1 FF 56 Know-Nothingism -- Critique of Nativism.
Box 1 FF 57 Portions of speech: Questioning validity of the Know-Nothing doctrine of Nativity.
Box 1 FF 58 "Prayer of the Foreignwars" -- An appeal against the bigotries of Know-Nothingism.
Box 1 FF 59 Know-Nothingism: Nativity and Americanism.
Box 1 FF 60 Know-Nothingism: "Birth is the Test of Americanism."
Box 1 FF 61 Editorial against Know-Nothingism: "Who can we call the real Americans -- the foreigners who founded it or the natives who betrayed it?"
Box 1 FF 62 Know-Nothingism: Nativism -- "No rights of man as man -- that they are rights of the American born."
Box 1 FF 63 Notes on Know-Nothingism Anti-Foreignism.
Box 1 FF 64 Editorial against the Know-Nothing Policy of Immigration.
Box 1 FF 65 Know-Nothingism: Nativism and Immigration.
Box 1 FF 66 Know-Nothingism recognizes but two crimes. (1) Christian belief and (2) accident of birth.
Box 1 FF 67 Excerpt dealing with religious class bigotry and prejudice.
Box 1 FF 68 Asking for a reconsideration of the Know-Nothing charge of treason against Catholics.
Box 1 FF 69 Excerpt concerning the Persecution of Roman Catholicism -- "soapbox for the campaigns of Nebraska, abolition..."
Box 1 FF 70 The relationship of True Protestantism to Roman Catholicism especially in terms of religious persecution.
Box 1 FF 71 Address on the responsibilities of Christian Leaders.
Box 1 FF 72 On Religious Toleration.
Box 1 FF 73 On Know-Nothing Prejudice Against Catholics.
Box 1 FF 74 Discourse on True Protestantism and the Know-Nothings "sham" Protestantism.
Box 1 FF 75 Excerpt contrasting the party of Washington and its present day form of Know-Nothingism.
Box 1 FF 76 Democrats responsive to the needs of the Whole Union and support religious and civil liberty.
Box 1 FF 77 Excerpt dealing with the methods of Know-Nothings.
Box 1 FF 78 Excerpt discussing the strife within the legislature and the possibility of a Civil War.
Box 1 FF 79 Critique of Know-Nothingism's platform -- "Judge men by their looks rather than by their actions."
Box 1 FF 80 Excerpt criticizing Know-Nothingism as a secret conspiracy without publicly announced goals.
Box 1 FF 81 On the "poignancy of ingratitude."
Box 1 FF 82 Secrecy of Know-Nothingism -- Against this and asks that Know-Nothings and their policies become public and let the people judge.
Box 1 FF 83 The hypocrisy of Know-Nothingism.
Box 1 FF 84 Note branding Know-Nothings as liars.
Box 1 FF 85 Excerpt discussing recent Democratic Party electoral victories in the North.
Box 1 FF 86 Editorial against the secrecy and stealth of Know-Nothingism.
Box 1 FF 87 Notes dealing with Know-Nothing tactics to gain political office.
Box 1 FF 88 Excerpt listing the attributes of Kansas territory and goals for the future.
Box 1 FF 89 Editorial written in response to Know-Nothing charge that members were being removed from office unfairly -- a democratic defense.
Box 1 FF 90 Excerpt concerning the newly gained Democratic majority over the Know-Nothings in the legislature.
Box 1 FF 91 Democrat Editorial concerning the Kansas Nebraska bill and the divisions within the Senate on the issue of free or slave.
Box 1 FF 92 Calling card.
Box 1 FF 93 Masonic check to George Crawford. June, 1868.
Box 1 FF 94 Anniversary address on the life and character of Abraham Lincoln with margin notes (pamphlet). 1866.
Series 3 -- Newspaper Clippings
Box 2 FF 1 Know-Nothingism in Ohio.
Box 2 FF 2 Senator Crittenden's Speech on the Know-Nothing platform.
Box 2 FF 3 Platform of the American Party of Connecticut.
Box 2 FF 4 Ohio and Indiana's State Republican Convention. July 13, 1855.
Box 2 FF 5 The Trouble in the Know-Nothing State Council of Pennsylvania. July 6, 1855.
Box 2 FF 6 Proceedings of the Know-Nothing Northern Convention.
Box 2 FF 7 Synopsis of laws passed by the Know-Nothing legislature of Massachusetts to nullify free state law. 1853.
Box 2 FF 8 The Know-Nothing National Convention (Know-Nothing Platform). June 14, 1855.
Box 2 FF 9 The Know-Nothing National Council (Position on the slavery question). June 11, 1855.
Box 2 FF 10 Proceedings of the Know-Nothing National Convention. June 11, 1855.
Box 2 FF 11 The Know-Nothing National Convention. June 15, 1855.
Box 2 FF 12 Editorial concerning Know-Nothings in politics.
Box 2 FF 13 Proceedings of the first Know-Nothing Convention in Clinton County.
Box 2 FF 14 Miscellaneous clippings on Know-Nothingism.
Box 2 FF 15 James Pollock and Know-Nothingism.
Box 2 FF 16 A song for the "Know-Nothings."
Box 2 FF 17 Expositions of Know-Nothingism.
Box 2 FF 18 Know-Nothings -- Their Secret's Out
Box 2 FF 19 Miscellaneous news clippings concerning Know-Nothings.
Box 2 FF 20 Poster -- Know-Nothingism of Jas. H. Campbell proved -- September 26, 1854.
Box 2 FF 21 Nationality -- Real vs. Sham.
Box 2 FF 22 Immigration -- Its influency on our national progress and prosperity. June 8, 1855.
Box 2 FF 23 An attack on a Nativist policy.
Box 2 FF 24 List of officers in the employ of the United States and place of birth.
Box 2 FF 25 Nativities of the population of Pennsylvania.
Box 2 FF 26 The test of "The Sires of 1776" and the test of "The Sons of 1854." September 18, 1854.
Box 2 FF 27 Clippings dealing with the Irish nationality.
Box 2 FF 28 Miscellaneous quotes by ancestors which repudiate Know-Nothingism.
Box 2 FF 29 Decrease of immigration.
Box 2 FF 30 Religion -- Catholicism.
Box 2 FF 31 Roman Catholicism.
Box 2 FF 32 Henry Clay on Catholicism. March 23, 1850.
Box 2 FF 33 Democratic delegate elections.
Box 2 FF 34 Democratic County Convention.
Box 2 FF 35 The Opposition Convention. March 26, 1855.
Box 2 FF 36 The Political Convention. June 15, 1855.
Box 2 FF 37 Address of the Democratic State Central Committee. September 29, 1855.
Box 2 FF 38 The Granite Democracy in State Convention -- New Hampshire. November 27, 1855.
Box 2 FF 39 Democratic State Convention -- State Central Committee (delegates appointed).
Box 2 FF 40 Pennsylvanian delegates to the Democratic National Convention. 1855.
Box 2 FF 41 Official vote of Clinton County for 1855.
Box 2 FF 42 Contest for Speaker of the House -- no election.
Box 2 FF 43 The Know-Somethings at Cleveland. June 14, 1855.
Box 2 FF 44 The liquor law in the legislature. March 26, 1856.
Box 2 FF 45 The official vote of the Canal Commissioner. 1855.
Box 2 FF 46 Miscellaneous envelopes.
Box 2 FF 47 Grand Junction newspaper -- eulogy of George Addison Crawford.