Kansas and the West Manuscript Collection

Collection Summary

Title: Kansas and the West Manuscript Collection
Call Number: MS 94-34
Size: 0.5 linear feet
Acquisition: Purchased from various sources
Processed by: MN, 6-1994; JEF, 7-13-1998; JLY, 8-2007; MN, 11-2012
Restrictions: None
Note: Digital collection, Kansas and the West Manuscript Collection

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 Kansas and the West Manuscript Collection contains documents, manuscript items, ephemera, broadsides and other printed materials of diverse origin. Many different subjects are discussed, and all relate to Kansas and this region. There are descriptions of cities and towns, transportation systems (especially railroads), commercial activities, and physical features. Most date from the late 1800s. Addresses on the letters include these Kansas cities: Ottawa, Topeka and Ft. Scott.

Detailed Description: Series Listing

Series 1 Box 1 FF 1-27 Letters
Series 2 Box 1 FF 28-31 Broadsides
Series 3 Box 1 FF 32-34 Journals
Series 4 Box 1 FF 35-36 Miscellaneous

Detailed Description: Box and Folder Listing

Series 1 ‒ Letters

Box 1 FF 1 Letter, handwritten, to W. A. Nutt, Esq. of Quincy, Ohio, from Jordan & Mechem, real estate agents, Ottawa, Kansas, dated April 11, 1885. Reply from Nutt on verso, dated April 20, 1885. The subject of this letter is residential property in Ottawa, Kansas. Stationery includes map of Ottawa and surrounding area, depicting railroad connections, and also provides data about Ottawa, including population, industries, location and governmental function.
Box 1 FF 2 Letter, typed, to Joseph Dixon Crucible Co. of Jersey City, New Jersey, from Joseph M. Patten, general manager of the Topeka Railway Company, dated May 9, 1894. This letter submits an order for a particular type of paint to be used on “iron centre poles” for a trolley system. The letterhead lists officers of the Topeka company.
Box 1 FF 3 Letter, handwritten, to Mr. E. H. Smith (of Kentucky?), from S. C. Gainer of Ft. Scott, Kansas, dated March 19, 1871. This letter describes the Ft. Scott area in detail, citing railroad connections, water availability, agriculture and growing conditions, and recent emigrants to the area. There is some mention of a railroad bill before Congress possibly in connection with a rail line between Louisville and Frankfort, Kentucky. The author describes Kansas as “an elegant state.”
Box 1 FF 4 Two letters, handwritten, to “Dear Folks” of Wamego, Kansas, from illegible, dated November 30, 1892 and December 14, 1892. The letters discuss the writer’s experiences while serving on a jury in Topeka, Kansas, and other personal business matters.
Box 1 FF 5 Letter, handwritten, to Miss Sarah Ferguson of Jersey Shore, Pennsylvania, from Missionary Sarah Vocht at the Iowa and Sac Mission [Kansas], dated September 25, 1846. The letter discusses missionary work. Includes a typed transcription.
Box 1 FF 6 Letter, handwritten, to John N. and Nancy Smith of Iowa Point, Doniphan County, K. T. [Kansas Territory], from James W. and Lucinda Smith, dated May 8, 1859. The letter discusses life in Iowa Point and gold hunters going to Pike’s Peak.
Box 1 FF 7 Two letters, handwritten, to “Dear Brother,” from [Rev.] George Nye Boardman of Binghamton, [New York], dated March 14, 1864 and March 28, 1864. The letters discuss a proposed missionary colony near Lawrence, Kansas, and a description of the land.
Box 1 FF 8 Letter, handwritten, to Claudius B. Walker of Jefferson City, Missouri, from A. W. Chenoweth, surgeon in 14th Kansas Calvary Volunteers, of Lawrence, Kansas, dated January 5, 1862. The letter discusses slavery, emancipation, and Civil War fighting in Missouri and Arkansas. Typed transcription included.
Box 1 FF 9 Letter, handwritten, to “My Dear Old Friends,” from A. W. Chenoweth, surgeon in 14th Kansas Cavalry Volunteers, of Clarksville, Arkansas, Headquarters 14th Kansas Calvary Volunteers, dated January 31, 1865. The letter discusses life in the Western Campaign. Typed transcription included.
Box 1 FF 10 Letter, handwritten, to Mr. Wm. (Hackeney ?) of Medicine Lodge, Kansas, from A. H. (Picard ?) of Walton, Harvey County, Kansas, dated (June ?) 1876. The letter discusses the possible purchase of cattle.
Box 1 FF 11 Letter, handwritten, to “Mr. Editor,” from Ike (Partington ?). No date given. Editorial about the weather.
Box 1 FF 12 Two letters, handwritten, to “Cousin Don” (of Easton, Massachusetts ?), from “Cousin Carrie” of Ellsworth, Kansas, dated March 19, 1887 and August 20, 1887. The letters discuss family matters, life, weather, and business in Ellsworth and Kansas in general. Both letters include envelopes.
Box 1 FF 13 Two letters, handwritten, to Mary, from (Theo Arnold?) of St. Louis, Missouri, dated April 16 and April 17 (18??). The letters mention slaves and life in Missouri and Kansas.
Box 1 FF 14 Letter, handwritten, to “Father & Mother,” from Adelaide of Rumsey, Comanche County, Kansas, dated October 28, (?). The letter discusses her husband being away in Medicine Lodge to appear as a witness for a murder trial, farming, and family matters.
Box 1 FF 15 Three letters, typed, to Dr. E. J. Nodurfth of Wichita, Kansas, from D. S. Jackman, Treasurer of the Kansas Milling Company, Wichita, Kansas, dated December 27, 1932, May 5, 1933 and January 20, 1936. The letters discuss financial matters regarding a cabin rental and a request to schedule a meeting of the Glenrock. The letters are typed on Kansas Milling Company stationery with a large graphic letterhead.
Box 1 FF 16 Two letters, typed, to Dr. Nodurfth of Wichita, Kansas, from J. W. Buck, Vice President of The Rorabaugh Dry Goods Co., Wichita, Kansas, dated December 26, 1934 and December 26, 1935. The letters announce Dr. Nodurfth as a prize winner in Christmas Decorations contests.
Box 1 FF 17 Letter, handwritten, to “Cousin,” from Augustus Shepherd of Highland Home [Illinois], dated March 17, 1857. The letter discusses Kansas and Border Ruffians.
Box 1 FF 18 Letter, handwritten, to Boydie [Edith Boyd Steinkuchuer] of Chanute, Kansas, from Stephen R. Williams of Oxford, [Ohio], dated October 4, 1903. The letter discusses family matters. Includes envelope.
Box 1 FF 19 Letter, handwritten, to “Friend Alfred,” from John S. Gray, Union Scout, of Ft. Scott, Kansas, dated September 7, 1862. The letter details how Gray tricked the Missouri 6th Cavalry into an ambush. Includes a typed transcription.
Box 1 FF 20 Two letters, handwritten, to J. [James] W. Denver, from R. [Robert] S. Stephens, of Lecompton, dated July 11, 1858 and October 21, 1858. The letters discuss the rumor of Denver’s resignation as Governor of the Kansas Territory, land deeds, and the impossibility “to get the old pro-slavery men to unite any way with anything, connected with the Free State party.”
Box 1 FF 21 Letter, handwritten, to “My Dear Bill,” from James S. Pike dated August 17,1854. In the letter Pike writes “Meantime my aim will be to the end as it has been from the beginning to get the democratic candidate, whoever he may be, committed openly against the admission of Kanzas as a slave state.” The top right hand corner of Page 3 is missing from the letter.
Box 1 FF 22 Letter, handwritten, to “Brother” of Princeton, New Jersey, from unidentified sender, dated September 28, 1860. The letter discusses slavery, family and financial matters with many religious references.
Box 1 FF 23 Letter, handwritten, to “My Dear Friend” [F. B. Sanborn] of Concord, Massachusetts, from John Brown, Jr. of Put-In-Bay, Ohio, dated May 13, 1888. The letter expresses thanks for aiding the Brown family financially and also discusses the republishing of Sanborn’s book Life and Letters of John Brown.
Box 1 FF 24 Letter, handwritten, to “brothers & sister” [John W. Hunt] of Kansas City, Missouri, from Olive of Mound City, Kansas, dated March 26, 1875. The letter discusses family matters and happenings in Mound City. Includes envelope.
Box 1 FF 25 Letter, handwritten, to “Friend Hod,” from Horace (Dreyser?) of Lowell, Maine, dated January 4, 1863. The letter is written about life on the home front. Includes envelope.
Box 1 FF 26 Letter, handwritten, to “My Dear Parents” of Norwich City (Connecticut?), from (Sarah L. Smith?) of (Smyrna?), dated July 28, 1836. The author relates to a picture in her father’s drawing room she saw as a child.
Box 1 FF 27 Letter, handwritten, to “Dearest Tooth Pickie,” from Mary Williams Hemingway, circa 1903. The letter by Hemingway is to her cousin and discusses her wedding and future plans. It is believed Hemingway is the aunt of Ernest Hemingway.

Series 2 ‒ Broadsides

Box 1 FF 28 Broadside, $50.00 Reward “Wanted For Rape,” Arcadia, Valley County, Nebraska, no date
Box 1 FF 29 Broadside, Wanted for Embezzlement, Twin Falls, Idaho, October 10, 1910.
Box 1 FF 30 Broadside, $50.00 Reward, For the Arrest and Delivery of An Escaped Prisoner, Fort McPherson, Georgia, May 18, 1912.
Box 1 FF 31 Broadside, Missouri, Kansas & Texas Railway Co. Requiring Prompt Loading and Unloading of Cars, Sedalia, Missouri, August 7, 1891.

Series 3 ‒ Journals

Box 1 FF 32 Journal, W. B. Carter of Pleasanton, Kansas (?), circa 1880s. Journal discusses business ventures and a trip across Kansas. Mentions Paola, Ft. Scott, Olathe, and Baxter Springs.
Box 1 FF 33 Journal, John Young and James Allen, November 1847. Journal discusses travels across the midwest.
Box 1 FF 34 Journal, Edmund W. Ferris, circa 1860s. The journal lists birth dates of the Ferris family, has lists of names, and other written entries.

Series 4 ‒ Miscellaneous

Box 1 FF 35 Muster Roll of the Provost Marshals Department- Nashville, Tennessee, in the service of the United States, Colonel John A. [Alexander] Martin, 8th Kansas Commanding, from the 28th day of February, 1863, when last mustered, of the 30th day of April, 1863. Brief biographical information for Martin included.
Box 1 FF 36 16 page manuscript of a proceeding, handwritten, page 1 is missing, signed by the Brigadier General, not dated.