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
Restrictions: None
Note: Digital collection, George A. Crawford Papers

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 tenets of the "Sons of the Sires of '76" was that those they defined as Americans (white Protestant males born in the U.S. of British descent) must rule America. This belief is further documented by the final section of 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 collection.

Biographical Note

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 in opposition to the Know-Nothings in 1854 and 1855 and on several other subjects, including the Kansas Nebraska bill and the life and character of Abraham Lincoln, 1854-1868.
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, such as Marshall of the Western District. Bigler is concerned primarily with how certain of his connections or associates could be influencial 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 King's 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 is restored in Kansas, he 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 western Kansas and also 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 as the eventual course of the railroad becomes certain, and authorizing Crawford's access to funds for additional land ventures especially if government notes can be used. Bigler reviews the Kansas political situation and doubts the acceptance of the pro-slavery Lecompton Constitution. He also notes 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 to Crawford on behalf of General Whitfield and granting Crawford permission to refer to Whitfield and himself for any reason, since they are 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 for effective Democratic Party organization in the Kansas territory and recommending James E. Jones in his place. May 15, 1858.
Box 1 FF 15 Correspondence from Judge John Williams to George A. Crawford outlining the situation in Kansas of violence and lawlessness, the consequent formation of "mutual protection societies," and his support for the pro-slavery Lecompton Constitution. Williams also mentions he 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 robbed and if so, asks him to set 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" (i.e., robbing) of the mail coming from the east. He is 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. He expects action 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 cessions was 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. April 21, 1859.
Box 1 FF 23 Correspondence from F. Patterson to George A. Crawford discussing the fact that the Surveyor General's Office was 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 informing Parrott of Robert Mitchell's questioning if Parrott was honest, sober, or upright. September 16, 1859. Correspondence from Robert Mitchell to Marcus Parrott denying any personal charges were made against Parrott's character and Mitchell was only expressing what the newspapers quoted. September 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 and refusing to listen to his advice and remonstrances. He maintains 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 carry some money to his wife in White Settlements Town. July 15, 1861. Newspaper clipping praising Crawford, undated.
Box 1 FF 30 Correspondence from James Montgomery to the Citizens of Kansas: A Call to Arms and Rally to engage 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 representatives of Lane's opinions and seeking support in the dispute between Robinson and Crawford over the Kansas governorship. November 22, 1861.
Box 1 FF 33 Correspondence from Charles Robinson to George A. Crawford in response to Crawford's letter concerning the governorship dispute and 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 18, 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 and 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. He 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.) He 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. [1857]
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, containing references to events from 1856 to 1858.
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 des foreigner": 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 -- 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 on 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 to "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 "The Secrecy of Know-Nothingism": Crawford is 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 Crossed-out 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, 186_.
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 17, 1868.
Box 1 FF 94 Announcement card and Crawford's published anniversary address on the life and character of Abraham Lincoln with margin notes. Last page missing from unbound pamphlet. February 12, 1867.

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 and slavery.
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, slavery, sectional strife, and religious liberty.
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 influence 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 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. November 13, 1847, and 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.