Collection of Early Kansas Drawings

Collection Summary

Title: Collection of Early Kansas Drawings
Call Number: MS 93-03
Size: 0.25 linear feet
Acquisition: Purchased from Riba Auctions
Processed By: JLT, 9-16-1992; JEF, 11-3-1998; ALS, 1-11-2008; MN, 12-1-2011
Restrictions: None

Literary Rights

Literary rights were 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 collection contains drawings of life in Kansas during the 1860s and 1870s in addition to including several sketches of life in Indiana drawn during the 1870s. Contained within the collection is a satirical essay written during the period with corresponding drawings related to the text. The collection provides insight into life in Kansas and the settlement of certain parts of the state. The drawings provide commentaries on politics and human relations. They present a great deal of background on the character and stamina of these “pioneering” Kansans in day-to-day situations.

Administrative History

Not much is known about the artists in the collection. A definite drawing style can be tied to the essay as well as numerous “Scenes from my Window” sketches depicting life in early Kansas. A later, much more mature and precise style of drawing is seen in both the Indiana series and an undated collection of landscape drawings. The latter contains both pencil and watercolor sketches.

The majority of work in the collection was done with pencil on a variety of types of paper, ranging in size and texture from lined notebook paper to a drawing on the back of a Baker University membership card of the Athenian Literary Society.

No artist’s name is attributed to the collection; however, the names E. E. or A. A. Brewster and Emma appear on several pieces in the collection. The female artist in the early Kansas essay appears to be the same artist in the series of drawings titled “Scenes from My Window.” She traveled and might have moved to Indiana as several sketches demonstrate the collection and boiling of maple sugar in Indiana. Another series of drawings are based on a view at the Modesto Mine.

Detailed Description: Series Listing

Series 1 Box 1 FF 1-16 Kansas. Contains drawings of eastern Kansas scenes and illustrated essay about Kansas. 1866, 1867, 1870 and undated.
Series 2 Box 1 FF 17-23 Indiana. Contains drawings of Indiana scenes. 1877, 1879 and undated.
Series 3 Box 1 FF 24-26 Modesto Mine. Contains drawings of Modesto Mine, 1881.
Series 4 Box 1 FF 27-36 Unspecified Location. Contains drawings of people and places. No specific locations noted. All undated except one 1861 sketch.

Detailed Description: Box and Folder Listing

Series 1 ‒ Kansas

Box 1 FF 1 Collection of sketches on one sheet entitled “Scenes from my Window.” Sixteen sketches are included, each titled, with such titles as “Woman milking,” “Cow drinking,”and “Coming from Mill.” These are dated March 1866, Baldwin City, Kansas. Verso: Ten sketches with such titles as “Father and Mother coming home,” “Coming from Market,” and “Kansas Baby wagon.”
Box 1 FF 2 Collection of sketches on one sheet entitled “Scenes from my Window.” Nine sketches are included with such titles as “Coming from a Hunt,” “Kansas Hay-cart,” and “Boiling Soap.” These are dated May 1866, Baldwin City, Kansas. Verso: One drawing, no title, styling a woman’s hair, with written commentary.
Box 1 FF 3 Collection of sketches on one sheet without title. Nine sketches are included with such titles as “The Man in Buckskin,” “Coming for Lumber,” and “Turning the Grindstone.” Dated November 1866, Humboldt, Kansas. Verso: Collection of five sketches with such titles as “Coming from school,” “A sleighing we go,” and “A scene of Horror.” Some are dated December 1866, Humboldt, Kansas. Some are dated January 1867, Baldwin, Kansas.
Box 1 FF 4 Collection of sketches on one sheet without title. Ten sketches are included with such titles as “A Corral,” “Going to Plow,” and “Nice fresh Lettuce.” Dated May 1866, Baldwin City, Kansas. Verso: One large sketch titled “A Kansas Funeral.”
Box 1 FF 5 Collection of sketches on one sheet of paper without title. Collection includes four drawings with such titles as “The Gleaners” and “Butcher Boy.” At top of page is date March 10, 1867, Baldwin. At mid-page is date April 1867; location, Urbana, Ohio. Verso: Note from Em on various topics including description of Kansas.
Box 1 FF 6 Essay entitled “Kansas seen through Green Spectacles.” Pages 1 and 2. This satirical essay includes illustrations to support text which includes thoughts from the author on Eastern biases, the beginnings of towns in Kansas, and reflections on early Kansas life. Pages 7 and 8 of essay are missing.
Box 1 FF 7 Essay from FF 6 continued. Pages 3 and 4, with sketches on page 3.
Box 1 FF 8 Essay from FF 6 continued. Pages 5 and 6, with a sketch on page 6. Pages 7 and 8 of essay are missing.
Box 1 FF 9 Sketch of the laying of the cornerstone of Baker University, Baldwin City, Kansas. Dated June 27, 1866, Baldwin City, Kansas.
Box 1 FF 10 Sketch, no title but has the number 2 at the top, signed “E. E. B.” Dated 1870, Humboldt, Kansas.
Box 1 FF 11 Drawing entitled “Rocky Ford or the Falls, Captain’s Creek. Johnson Co. Kansas. Near Lanesfield.” Dated July 13, 1867 with the note “From Nature.”
Box 1 FF 12 Drawing entitled “Capt. Hall’s House, Kansas.” Signed “A. A. Brewster.” No date.
Box 1 FF 13 Drawing of two people on a bridge that spans a creek. Verso: “Sketched from my window. Ottawa, Kansas.” No date.
Box 1 FF 14 Drawing entitled “The Ravine.” Verso: “Monday Morning. Baldwin City, Kansas, April 30, 1866" (Last digit of year unclear). Signed “Emma.”
Box 1 FF 15 Collection of four drawings on sheet labeled “Kansas,” each with a title, including “Praire (sic) life maketh strange Bed fellows,” “Poor White, Missouri” and “Among Mississippi hills,” “Farm of poor white.” Verso: Collection of six drawings on one small sheet, each drawing titled, including such titles as “Here is the old cabin home” and “Here is the father.” Notes on the “Brakeman” included with sketch.

Series 2 ‒ Indiana

Box 1 FF 17 Drawing entitled “Toll Gate - Marion Co. Pike. Ind.” No date. No signature. Verso blank.
Box 1 FF 18 Large drawing entitled “At the Toll Gate, Indiana 1879.” No signature. Verso blank.
Box 1 FF 19 Large drawing of a residence and corral. Verso: “Lincoln-fellows Place - Indiana - On the Contested Franklin & Bethel Gravel Road - Lingenfelter.”
Box 1 FF 20 Small drawing of a farm. Verso: “Indiana Homestead.” Also “Indianapolis - 1877.”
Box 1 FF 21 Large nighttime drawing with a man tending kettles and people around a fire. Verso: “Boiling Maple Sugar, Indiana” and “Nettie, Anna, Ed Lewis, Sam Fisher, Willie, Eddie, Frankie.”
Box 1 FF 22 Large nighttime drawing similar to the drawing in Box 1 FF 21. Verso left blank. Possible Indiana scene.
Box 1 FF 23 Pencil drawing entitled “In the Sugar Camp , May 19, 1877" with the initials “E. E. B.” Verso: Mr. Quinlan, Tillie, Jennie, Cass [?], Georgianna.”

Series 3 ‒ Modesto Mine

Box 1 FF 24 Pencil drawing entitled “View from our front door at Modesto Mine.” Dated July 26, 1881.
Box 1 FF 25 Small rough sketch. Verso: “Modesto Mine, Aug 1881, Birdie for Auntie.”
Box 1 FF 26 Rough pencil sketch with the word “First” written on it in the lower right corner, in ink. Possible Modesto Mine scene.

Series 4 ‒ Unspecified Location

Box 1 FF 27 Small sheet of three sketches, each sketch titled, including “The way we light our log cabin,” “Dusky Maidens of the Prairie,” and “Buffaloe Gun.” Verso: Notes about staff at unspecified school.
Box 1 FF 28 Pencil drawing. Verso: “Spring house at Mr. Fletcher’s.” Also, “Mrs Churchman, Nellie, Anna, Self.”
Box 1 FF 29 Drawing of a mill and stream without title. No date. Signed “A. A. B.” Verso blank.
Box 1 FF 30 Small sketch entitled “Elevating an old Hulk.” Verso: Rough sketch of hill and field.
Box 1 FF 31 Sketch entitled “The Tide” (?) - Signed “M. J. B.” Dated 1861. Verso blank.
Box 1 FF 32 Small sketch. No title. No date. Has the initials “E. O. B.”
Box 1 FF 33 Small sketch entitled “Old Mr Hall.” No date. No initials.
Box 1 FF 34 Drawing of a person fishing in a mill stream. No date. No initials.
Box 1 FF 35 Small sepia toned sketch of a bridge over a ravine. Verso: “July 25 Wed”; other lettering illegible.
Box 1 FF 36 Small watercolor sketch of a bridge over a ravine, very similar to the one in FF 35, painted on blank certificate of honorary membership in Baker University’s Athenian Literary Society.