Provisional Government

The Journals of William Walker
Provisional Governor of Nebraska Territory

Edited by William E. Connelley,

Member Nebraska State Historical Society; Corresponding Member Kansas State Historical Society, Chairman Committee on American Ethnology, Western Historical Society, Kansas City, Missouri








Provisional Governor of Nebraska Territory.



J. STERLING MORTON, President,                                   Nebraska City.

ROBERT W. FURNAS, First Vice-President,                        Brownville.

G. M. LAMBERTSON, Second Vice-President,            Lincoln.

CHARLES H. GERE, Treasurer,                               Lincoln.

HOWARD W. CALDWELL, Secretary,                       Lincoln.



Obituaries–R. W. FURNAS, GEO. L. MILLER, W. H. ELLER.



JAY AMOS BARRETT, Assistant Secretary and Librarian.


Preface………………………………………………………………………………………….. V

The Wyandots…………………………………………………………………………………. 1

The Walker Family……………………………………………………………………………. 5

The Provisional Government of Nebraska Territory……………………………………. 17

Documents Relating To The Provisional

Government of Nebraska Territory……………………………………………………….. 43

A Brief Sketch of Abelard Guthrie……………………………………………………….. 101

The Journals of William Walker-First Book……………………………………………. 153

The Journals of William Walker-Second Book………………………………………… 299

Index…………………………………………………………………………………………. 407


Governor William Walker ………………………………………………………. Frontispiece

Map Of The Wyandott Purchase……………………………………………………………. 1

Joel Walker…………………………………………………………………………………….. 8

Russell Garrett……………………………………………………………………………….. 16

William Cecil Price…………………………………………………………………………… 32

Joel Walker Garrett………………………………………………………………………….. 48

Abelard Guthrie………………………………………………………………………………. 96

Quindaro Nancy Guthrie…………………………………………………………………… 112

William Walker……………………………………………………………………………… 153

John W. Gray-Eyes…………………………………………………………………………. 256

Isaiah Walker………………………………………………………………………………. 288

Matthew R. Walker…………………………………………………………………………. 304



It is now almost twenty years since I commenced the collection of original documents relating to the early history of Nebraska Territory. Those published in this work are a portion of the collection which I have made. They were obtained principally from the Wyandots, now either dead or living in the Indian Territory; for few of them remain yet at the old home at the confluence of the Missouri and Kansas Rivers. I found them anxious to have these papers preserved; for this purpose they gave them to me. I have been given all the assistance that the Wyandots could render as well in this as in all matters pertaining to their history, manners, customs, and ancient religious beliefs. It was my good fortune to have the confidence of Matthias Splitlog, H. M. Northrup, Mrs. Lucy B. Armstrong, the Walkers, the Zanes, the Longs and other prominent Wyandot families, for the whole time of my residence in the Wyandot Purchase at the mouth of the Kansas River.

When there was nothing remaining to be learned on these subjects from one person or family I took up the work with another, and this led me to visit the Indian Territory to see and talk with the Wyandots on the Reservation at the Quapaw Agency. I was kindly received by the Wyandots there, and they assisted me to the full extent of their ability. I wish to mention particularly the services and aid that Mr. Alfred Mudeater and his excellent wife gave to this work. In addition to the generous hospitality which I enjoyed in their home, Mr. Mudeater was always ready to take me to


any part of the Wyandot Reserve that I desired to visit, or to send for and bring any Wyandot to his house that I desired to see and converse with. In the matter of recollections of the customs, manners, and history of the Wyandots, I am more indebted to Mrs. Sarah Dagnett than to any one else there; but Hon. Silas Armstrong was of great assistance to me. I have never asked a single Wyandot for information that was not freely given to the extent of his knowledge and ability.

In addition to those mentioned above and in another part of this work, I desire to mention the following persons that have aided me in this work: William Walker McMullan, of Kansas City, Kansas, grandson of Governor Walker; Miss Jessie S. McAlpine, granddaughter of Joel Walker; Miss Carrie Hamlin, granddaughter of Isaiah Walker; Jacob Guthrie, of Coffeyville, Kansas, and James Guthrie, of Chetopa, Kansas, and their wives; Mr. Russel B. Armstrong1 and wife; Miss Mina Lane1; Mrs. Frank H. Betton1; M. T. Betton1; Miss Florence Betton1; Rev. C. W. Backus1; Mrs. A. B. Northrup1; Kenneth L. Browne1; John A. Hale1; James S. Gibson1; J. B. Garrett1 (married Governor Walker’s daughter Martha); John S. Stockton1; Mrs. Carrie Lofland2; John R. Matney3; the Robitaille Brothers, Wyandotte, Indian Territory; and William Bearskin. Eldredge H. Brown and his family were very obliging and gave me valuable assistance. The Cotters, Zanes, and many other Wyandot families aided me.

Hon. F. G. Adams, Secretary of the Kansas State Historical Society, has been particularly helpful to me; and I am indebted for aid to Hon. John Speer, President of the Society.

Mordecai Oliver, one of the members of the Congressional Committee to investigate the Border Ruffian troubles, gave

1) Kansas City, Kan.

2) Seneca, Mo.

3) Argentine, Kan.


me much valuable information of those incidents and transactions on the border that so aroused the whole country.

Judge William Cecil Price, of Springfield, Mo., gave me much very valuable information concerning the political conditions existing in Missouri during the period covered in this work.

As to the historical value of the documents published herein I prefer to let them speak for themselves. That they supply a want in the history of Nebraska and Kansas which has been felt by all writers on the subject, will, I believe, be readily admitted. For some of them I searched unsuccessfully for fifteen years both in Wyandotte county, Kansas, and the Indian Territory.

As a large part of this work is devoted to the Journals of Governor William Walker a few words here in relation to them may not be amiss.

Governor Walker did not write his Journals for publication. While be would Dever have objected to having them made public be never once thought of’ their becoming valuable historical documents and records. If he had, the record would have been written much more full and complete than it was. On the subject of preparing papers of this character for the press a very eminent authority says:

“It would seem to be an editor’s privilege (if, indeed, it is not his duty) to correct verbal and grammatical mistakes or inaccuracies, in bringing forth the letters of a person after death, written without any design of publication; but, in doing this, great caution should be observed that the writer’s meaning and purpose are not changed or affected.”–C. W. Butterfield, in Preface to Washington-Irvine Letters.

In preparing Governor Walker’s Journals for the press I have made few corrections, by no means going to the limit allowed by the above conservative rule. I have:

1. Corrected any errors that haste or inattention caused


in orthography. These were rare. Governor Walker was a remarkably accurate writer in this respect.

2. Supplied punctuation marks where they were omitted if, in so doing, Governor Walker’s full meaning could be preserved.

3. In some instances separated an entry into paragraphs other than those made by the writer.

4. Occasionally supplied capital letters, but in no instance have I substituted small letters for superfluous capitals used by the writer. In Governor Walker’s day more capital letters were found in MSS. than at the present time.

5. Enclosed in brackets words supplied to complete the evident meaning.

6. Written the names of the days of the week in full. Sometimes Governor Walker abbreviated them.

This is a special publication of the Nebraska State Historical Society.

At the request of H. W. Caldwell, Secretary, and Jay Amos Barrett., Assistant Secretary and Librarian, I attended the Annual Meeting of the State Historical Society, at Lincoln, January 12, 1898. 1 laid the papers published herein before the Society’s meeting held in the evening of that day. The President of the Society, Hon. J. Sterling Morton, and all members who had opportunity to examine them recognized their historical value. The Society believed that in the interest of the history of the State the papers should be published. A committee was appointed to arrange for their publication. The committee is as follows:

Ex-Governor Robert W. Furnas, Vice-President of the Society.

Prof. H. W. Caldwell, Secretary.

Mr. Jay Amos Barrett, Assistant Secretary and Librarian.

Hon. C. H. Gere, Treasurer.

Hon. A. J. Sawyer.


An agreement to publish the papers was reached. The committee have stood ready, willing, and anxious at all times to do anything possible to help me make the work all that it should be, and I have availed myself freely of their assistance. For their generous aid, their kindness and courtesy, I here tender my grateful acknowledgment.

It is fitting, too, that I mention the labor performed and the attention bestowed upon this work by my wife. She encouraged me to persevere in the collection of the material for this volume. She also, with painstaking care, deciphered many a page of difficult manuscript and prepared it for the press.





The Wyandots1 belong to the Iroquoian Family of North American Indians. They are the descendants of the Tionnontates or Tobacco Nation of the Huron Confederacy. Their legends and folk-lore indicate that they are of extreme Northern origin as a tribe, and their history confirms this. The Hurons were visited by the Jesuits early in the seventeenth century. They lived then between Lake Simcoe and the Georgian Bay of Lake Huron, in what is now the province of Ontario, Canada. The Tionnontates lived a little more to the south and east, in the Blue Mountains, about the southern shores of the Bay of Nottawassaga. They were called Petuns, or the Tobacco Nation, by the French, because they cultivated tobacco in sufficient amount to form a considerable commerce in its barter and exchange with other tribes.

In 1649 the Iroquois destroyed the Huron Confederacy. Of all the Huron Nations, the Tionnontates alone retained a tribal organization after this catastrophe. The fragments of the broken tribes fled northward along the Great Lakes, and were for years wanderers in those dreary wastes. As they increased in strength and became blended into a single tribe or people with the name Wyandot, they gathered about Mackinaw, and from thence began slowly to descend the Great Lakes, and stopped at Detroit. Here they were Pontiac’s best and bravest warriors. In the wars between the

1) Read Parkman’s “The Jesuits in North America,” for the early history of the Wyandots and the Hurons.


British and Americans they were on the side of the English until the war of 1812, when about half the tribe sided with the Americans. At the close of the war that portion of the tribe that had adhered to Great Britain settled permanently in Canada, and those who had espoused the cause of the United States remained about the western end of Lake Erie, in what is now Ohio and Michigan. Their Ohio lands were in what is now Wyandot County. Here Methodism was introduced among them and a Mission established.1 On March 17, 1842, they ceded their Ohio lands to the United States.2 They were the last of the tribes to relinquish their lands in Ohio.

In July, 1843, the Wyandots followed in the steps of the other tribes and moved beyond the Mississippi.3 Here in the “Indian Territory” they purchased the land in the fork of the Missouri and Kansas Rivers from the Delawares.4 They brought with them from Ohio a well organized Meth-

1) John Stewart arrived in the Wyandot country in November, 1816. He was a Methodist, but had not been authorized by his Church to preach. He preached, however, to the Wyandots with success through the winter of 1816-17. He went to Marietta, Ohio, in the following spring but returned, later. On August 7, 1819, Rev. J. B. Finley was appointed to an oversight of the work begun by Stewart, and the Mission was taken in charge by the Ohio Conference. Read Finley’s “History of the Wyandot Mission” (Cincinnati, 1840); and “History of American Missions” (Worcester, 1840), 540.

2) Revision of Indian Treaties, 1017.

3) “The Wyandots left for the far west in July, 1843, and numbered at that time about 700 souls.”–Howe’s Historical Collections of Ohio (Cincinnati, 1847), 549.

4) Among the many authorities confirming this, see “Laws of the United States of a Local or Temporary Character” (Washington, 1884), 849. The agreement between the Delawares and Wyandots is there set out. The Delawares donated to the Wyandots three sections of land and sold them thirty-six sections. For this land the Wyandots paid the Delawares $46,080.00. This agreement was sanctioned by Congress, July 25, 1848. The Wyandots had made a treaty with the Shawnees while yet in Ohio whereby they were to have a strip of land adjoining the State of Missouri running south from the mouth of the Kansas River in the Shawnee Reserve, but the Shawnees finally repudiated this treaty. The Wyandots complained that when the Shawnees and Delawares were homeless they had “spread a deer skin for them to sit down upon” and given them each a large tract of land–to the two tribes the greater portion of Ohio, in fact; and now that the Wyandots were without a home, the Shawnees would not even sell them one, and the Delawares exacted from them more than the true value of the land sold. I have the copy of the treaty retained by the Shawnees, but it in unsigned. It was given me by Charles Blue-Jacket, Head Chief of the Shawnees.


odist Church, a Free Mason’s Lodge, a civil government, and a code of written laws which provided for an elective Council of Chiefs, the punishment of crime and the maintenance of social and public order.

In 1855 the Wyandots accepted the allotment of their lands in severalty, and dissolved their tribal relations.1 A part of the tribe was dissatisfied with this action, and resumed their tribal relations.2 They purchased a tract of land in the Indian Territory from the “Cowskin Senacas,” and there re-established their own government.3 Those living on this reservation number about 300. As a tribe they are poor, but many individuals are quite well to do. They are intelligent and industrious and are all self-supporting. The Government maintains a good school for them and it is well attended.

The Wyandots were always brave and humane warriors.4 They adopted persons captured in war;5 no instance is known of their burning and torturing a prisoner. The Wyandot tribe stood at the head of the Confederacy of the Northwestern tribes formed to oppose the settlement by white people of the Territory Northwest of the Ohio River. The tribes composing this Confederacy were all removed

1) Revision of Indian Treaties, 1020.

2) Id., 844.

3) Id., 839.

4) Howe’s Historical Collections of Ohio (Cincinnati, 1847), 549: “The Wyandots were the bravest of Indian tribes, and had among their chiefs some men of high moral character. With all other tribes but the Wyandots, flight in battle, when meeting with unexpected resistance or obstacle, brought with it no disgrace. . . . With them, it was otherwise. Their youth were taught to consider anything that had the appearance of an acknowledgement of the superiority of the enemy as disgraceful. In the battle of the Miami Rapids, of thirteen     chiefs of that tribe who were present, one only survived, and he badly wounded. Some time before this action, Gen. Wayne sent for Capt. Wells, and requested him to go to Sandusky and take a prisoner, for the purpose of obtaining information. Wells–who had been bred with the Indians, and was perfectly acquainted with their character–answered that he could take a prisoner, but not from Sandusky, because Wyandots would not be taken alive.”

5) The Walker, Hicks, Brown, Zane, Armstrong, Driver, Mudeater, and other Wyandot families were all founded by captives who were adopted into the tribe.


West of the Mississippi River. In October, 1848, a great Congress of these tribes was held near Fort Leavenworth. The ancient Council-fire was re-kindled and the Wyandot tribe confirmed in the honorable position so long held by it.1

1) Governor Walker’s Journal, Oct., 1848.




“The subject of this brief sketch was born in 1770, in or near Green Brier, some of his relatives say, Rockbridge County, Va. He was captured by a war party of the Delawares in the early part of the summer of 1781, being then eleven years of age. There was in the neighborhood a small stockade or temporary fort, to which the inhabitants fled for safety whenever an alarm was raised. The settlers, at the time this attack was made, were entirely off their guard; nothing calculated to excite their alarm had occurred for a long time, and all, old and young, male and female, were busily engaged in their fields. Young Walker and (I think) his Uncle were ploughing corn, the former riding the horse and the other holding the plough. When coming out at the ends of the rows and in the act of turning they were fired upon from behind the fence, wounding the man in both arms. The lad sprang from the horse and both fled towards the fort. He was captured before getting out of the field and the wounded man overtaken and killed within a few yards of the Fort. No attack was made upon the Fort, tho’ there were only a few women and children in it. The invading party commenced a rapid retreat and after traveling four or five miles halted in a thick wood, from which a reconnoitering party returned to the invaded district. In the afternoon the party returned to the place of rendezvous laden with plunder and accompanied by another party of Delawares which the prisoner had not seen before, and to their mutual astonishment Aunt and nephew here met. Mrs. Cowan was captured in another part of the neighborhood by this second party. This was a distinct party, tho’ they moved and travelled [sic] together. These two were the only prisoners they took.

“Then commenced the return march, which was attended with much fatigue and suffering, and to add to their distress, notwithstanding the country abounded with game, yet the warriors ware singularly unfor-


tunate in their bye hunts. They travelled [sic] several days on a very small allowance of dried meat, still urging their way as fast as they could consistently with the power of endurance of the prisoners; still fearing a pursuit and rescue. To their great joy the warriors killed a fat Buffalo just as they were camping.

“During their march to the Ohio River he availed himself of the opportunity of breaking to his aunt his intended attempt at an escape; but she promptly interposed her objections to so rash an act, which could not be otherwise than a failure, and which would, in all probability, bring upon them fatal consequences; pointing out to him the impossibility of successfully eluding pursuit and recapture, and the certainty of his perishing from hunger, even if he eluded recapture. Crossing the Ohio all hope of a rescue died within them. They ejaculated a long farewell to home, family, and dear friends; their hearts sickened and sank within them; but their cup of anguish was not yet full, for here the two parties separated. The Aunt and nephew bade adieu to each other. It was the last sad adieu–they never met again.

“The party having the young captive proceeded direct to the Indian settlements on the Sciota, where, resting a few days, proceeded to their villages on the Whetstone, now Delaware, Ohio, where he underwent the discipline of running the gauntlet; out of which, as he frequently stated, he came with very little bodily injury. He was then adopted into, as he said, ‘a very good family and treated with kindness.’ The clan to which he belonged seemed more inclined to the chase and other peaceful pursuits than ‘following the war path.’ How long he remained with his adopted relatives I am unable to determine,–four or five years, at least. While his party attended a council at Detroit, the subject under Consideration being the treaty concluded at Fort McIntosh the winter before, these Delawares there met with a large body of Wyandotts, among which was an adopted white man named Adam Brown, who, when a man grown, had been captured by the Wyandotts in Dunmore’s war in Greenbrier County, adopted and was married, was influential and respected by the tribe. The youth attracted his attention and a conversation in English ensued, the latter not having entirely forgotten his native language. Brown, finding out where he was from, and knowing his family, determined upon ransoming him. Negotiations for this purpose were opened, but here


an almost insurmountable obstacle presented itself. It was contrary to Indian customs and usages to sell an adopted person on account of the reputed ties of relationship. This, with the unwillingness of the family into which he was adopted to part with him, rendered the project a hopeless one. The influence of the Wyandott Chiefs and that of the Military Commandant were invoked. An official speech to be delivered to the Delawares by Skan-ho-nint (One bark canoe), was agreed upon. If this proved unavailing, the attempt was to be abandoned as fruitless. The points taken may be thus briefly stated: ‘We Wyandotts are your uncles and you Delawares are our nephews. This you admit. Where, then, would be the violation of our law and custom if, all parties being agreed, an adopted nephew should choose to reside in the family of his uncle? This would be only an interchange of those social amenities which are proper among relations; there would be no purchase in the case; your uncle would be loath, indeed, to insult his nephews by an offer to purchase their adopted son. Our father, the Commander, who joins with us, promises, as an earnest of his good will towards his Delaware children for their compliance with his and your uncle’s wishes, to make your hearts glad (with Rum) and bestow upon you, and especially upon the immediate family of the youth, valuable presents out of the King’s Store house, such as Blankets, Cloths, guns, ammunition, &c.’ (Here the Com’dt confirmed the promise.) After the delivery of the speech, time for deliberation was asked for and granted. Whether the argument was deemed conclusive against the objections, or the promised presents acted as a salve to their consciences, it is sufficient to state that the Delawares acceded to the proposition and next day the transfer was duly made. The subject of these negotiations knew but little about the details of these doings beyond the transfer, and being content to remain with his newly formed acquaintances, gave himself but little concern about them.” 1


James Rankin was born in Tyrone, Ireland. At an early age he engaged in the service of the Hudson’s Bay Company,

1) This sketch is taken from Governor Walker’s account of his father, in the William Walker Correspondence in the Draper Manuscript Collection in the Library of the Wisconsin State Historical Society.


and was for many years high in position with that great corporation. He had charge of many important branches of their extensive business in the fur trade of the North. Having mastered the intricate details of the Indian trade, and acquired a sufficient sum to enable him to do so, he embarked in the business for himself. He was very successful in this venture, and in the course of time accumulated a large fortune. For many years Detroit was the point from which he directed his business.1


“About the year 1667 a French gentleman named Montour settled in Canada. By a Huron Indian woman he had three children–one son and two daughters. The son, Montour, lived with the Indians, and was wounded in the French service, in a fight with some Mohawks, near Fort La Motte, on Lake Champlain, in 1694. He deserted from the French, and lived with ‘the farr Indians’–the Twightwees (Miamis) and Diondadies (Petuns or Wyandots). By his assistance Lord Cornbury prevailed on some of these tribes to visit and trade with the people of Albany in 1708. For his endeavors to alienate the ‘upper nations’ from the French, he was killed in 1709 by the troops under Lieutenant le Sieur de Joncaire, by orders of the Marquis de Vaudreuil, Governor of Canada, who wrote that he would have had him hanged, had it been possible to capture him alive.

“Of the two daughters of the Frenchman Montour, one became conspicuously known as Madame Montour. She was born in Canada about the year 1684, captured by some warriors of the Five Nations when she was but ten years old, taken to their country and brought up by them. It is probable that she lived with the Oneidas, as, on arriving at maturity, she was married to Carondawana, or the “Big Tree,” otherwise Robert Hunter, a famous war-chief of that nation.

1) This is the best account I have been able to make up from documents in possession of Mrs. Lillian Walker Hale of Kansas City, Kansas, and some letters written to the “Wyandotte Gazette” in 1870. I feel that more should be said, but I have been unable, so far, to obtain the information necessary to make a more detailed statement. Mr. Rankin was a remarkable man in many respects, and was held in high esteem by the Wyandots.



He was killed in the wars between the Iroquois and Catawbas, in the Carolinas, about the year 1729.”

So great became the influence of Madame Montour with the Indian tribes, and so proficient was she in their various languages, that she was for many years in the pay of the Colony of New York, and her influence was ardently sought by the Government of Canada. No important Council between the colonies and the Indian tribes was held without her being present. She lived at various places in the West, from the country of the Iroquois to that of the Miamis at the western extremity of Lake Erie. She had a sister, married to a Miami. Count Zinzendorf was the Bishop and head of the Moravian Church. In the fall of 1742 he visited the village of Madame Montour. “He preached therein French to large gatherings.” It is said that she was deeply affected when she saw Zinzendorf and learned the object of his visit. “She had entirely forgotten the truths of the Gospel, and, in common with the French Indians, believed the story originated with the Jesuits, that the Saviour’s birth-place was in France, and His crucifiers Englishmen.”

Many strange things are told of this remarkable woman. It was persistently maintained that she was the daughter of a former governor of Canada. There was never any governor of Canada named Montour, and her ancestry is well established. It is not certainly known how many children she had. We have definite accounts of three. Her daughter was known as “French Margaret.” It is reasonably certain that she had another daughter, who was “one of the converts of the Moravian Mission, at New Salem, Ohio, * * * and that she was a living polyglot of the tongues of the West, speaking English, French and six Indian languages.” Her two sons were Andrew, alias Henry, and Louis. Andrew Montour’s work is a part of the history of the exploration and settlement of the Ohio Valley and the Great West, and


so important and extensive were his services that no account of them can be attempted here.1

I have been, as yet, unable to trace definitely the ancestry of Gov. William Walker to any particular descendant of the French gentleman, Montour. But that he is descended from this French gentleman there can scarcely be a question. This original Montour married a Huron woman, and his son lived with the “Diondadies” (Petuns or Wyandots). The Wyandots of history are the descendants of the Petuns, or “Tobacco Nation” of the Huron Confederacy. When the Wyandots lived in Wyandotte County, Kansas, there were still Montours belonging to and living with the tribe, and they were allotted their proportion of the land belonging to the Nation when the holdings were assigned in severalty. The name was erroneously written “Monture” by the allotting agent.

James Rankin married Mary Montour. She belonged to the Big Turtle Clan of the Wyandot tribe. They were married at Detroit. There is reason to believe that Mary Montour was the descendant of Catherine, a granddaughter of Madame Montour. This accords with the best information 1 have been able to obtain from the old people of the Wyandot tribe. By Indian law the child always belongs to the clan of the mother, and in the instance of so noted a name, it is more than probable that the name Montour was always retained by her children.

Mary Montour was born in 1756. After their marriage James Rankin became a Wyandot by adoption, and he spent most of his life from that time, with the Indians; but at the same time pushed forward his business of trader. He gave his children a good education, and for this purpose removed to Pennsylvania, in his last days, and there died.

1) The foregoing account of the Montours is taken and compiled from “Christopher Gist’s Journals,” by William M. Darlington.


Mary Montour Rankin, like her ancestors, had great influence in the Councils of her people. Many interesting accounts and traditions of her hospitality and influence in the tribes about Detroit are remembered to this day by her descendants.

Of the children of James and Mary Montour Rankin I know of but two, James and Catherine. James came west with the Wyandots, and died in what is now Wyandotte County, Kansas. Catherine married William Walker, Sr.

Catherine Rankin was born June 4, 1771.1 I have not been able to determine the date of the marriage of William Walker and Catherine Rankin, but their first child was born October 14, 1789. Walker had lived with Adam Brown until his marriage. He took the side of the Americans in the war of 1812, and rendered valuable service to his country. Many of the Wyandots espoused the cause of Great Britain, and Walker was in constant danger of death. He was afterward Indian sub-agent for the Ohio tribes, and it was under his administration that Methodism was introduced into the Wyandot Nation. For an account of his valuable services in this work see the “History of American Missions; Worcester, 1840”: and Finley’s” History of the Wyandot Mission.” He died at Upper Sandusky, Ohio, January 22, 1824.1 His wife died at the same place, in December, 1844.


William Walker was the son of William and Catherine (Rankin) Walker. He was born in what is now Wayne County, Michigan, March 5, 1800.2 He belonged to the

1) Manuscript letter from Governor Walker to his mother. Now in my possession.

2) There are two dates given. In the old family Bible of William Walker, Sr., now owned by Mrs. Mary Haff, the date is put down as March 5, 1799. This date is used by Mr. Lane in his obituary notice of Governor Walker’s death. Governor Walker always says when writing of the matter that he was born March 5, 1800. In his Jour-


Big Turtle Clan of the Wyandot tribe.1 He had two Indian names. The first was Häh-shäh’-rêhs, meaning “the stream over full”; the second was Sêhs’-täh-rôh, meaning “bright,” and is taken. from the brightness of the turtle’s eye as seen in clear water.2

As much of his life will develop in this work, little need be said here. He was given a good education at a Methodist school at Worthington, Ohio. Besides the English, he read and spoke Greek, Latin and French. He spoke the Wyandot, Delaware, Shawnee, Miami, and Pottawatomie Indian languages. He was Head Chief of the Wyandot tribe while it was yet in Ohio,3 and was Postmaster of the town of Upper Sandusky, Ohio.4 He was for a time a teacher in the Mission school there.5 He was twice married.6 His first marriage was to Miss Hannah Barrett, at Upper Sandusky; she was at the time a student in the Mission school. The date of this marriage is April 8, 1824. Of this marriage were born five children, two sons and three daughters. Hannah Walker died December 7, 1863.

April 6,1865, he was married at Dudley, Hardin County, Ohio, to Mrs. Evelina J. Barrett. She was the widow of a

nals he mentions this date as his birthday. He was certainly correctly informed in the matter of the date of his birth. The entries in the family Bible of William Walker, Sr., have the appearance of having been made all at the same time. If they were it is possible that an error was made in recording the date of Governor Walker’s birth.

1) His mother belonged to the Big Turtle Clan. By Wyandot law the children belong to the clan of the mother. Two persons belonging to the same clan are not permitted to marry.

2) I have not been able to find any record left by Governor Walker in which he had written his Indian names. But that they are correctly written here a hundred Wyandots or more have assured me.

3) Governor Walker was a modest and retiring man. He left little of record that concerned himself, except as to his health. That he was Head Chief of the Wyandots in 1835-6 is established by Howe’s Historical Collections of Ohio (Cincinnati, 1847), 445.

4) Manuscript letters of the late John Johnston, of Piqua, Ohio, for many years Indian Agent for the Ohio Indians. These letters are now in my possession.

5) History of the Wyandot Mission — Finley.

6) His family Bible so states. It is owned by his grandson, William McMullan, Kansas City, Kansas.


brother of his first wife. She died August 28, 1868. No children by this marriage.1

After the death of his father, William Walker was the most influential man in the Wyandot Nation. Intellectually he was one of the greatest men of that tribe of Indians, a tribe acknowledged strong in Council.

He was an eloquent speaker, and as a forceful writer on political subjects he has been surpassed by few men. He wrote many valuable papers on passing events from the time of his removal West to the beginning of the war; these were published in the newspapers in Ohio and Missouri, and few of them can be found now. He wrote some excellent papers for literary publications.

He was an ardent Democrat, and a slave holder. He hated abolitionism and contended for the rights of slavery as he understood those rights, to the commencement of the war. But he was never in favor, so far as I have been able to learn, of secession. I have a speech which he delivered on the 4th of July, 1864, in which he says that the war was uncalled for and without any justification. He was loyal to his country. He was elected a member of the Lecompton Constitutional Convention, and was present and participated in the proceedings.2

Governor Walker was kind and gentle in his demeanor and bearing towards others. He was a lover of his home and was devoted to his family. He had the French love for company and conversation and all social enjoyments.

Of his selection as Provisional Governor of Nebraska Territory it is unnecessary to speak here. The facts are set forth in another part of this work.

1) All these facts were taken from his family Bible, except the statement: “She was the widow of a brother of his first wife.” This I ascertained, by inquiry, from his and her relatives.

2) Wilder’s Annals of Kansas, 127. He says so in his correspondence now in the Library of the State Historical Society of Wisconsin.


The last years of life were sad and sorrowful ones for Governor Walker. He had lost both his wives and all his children by death. There is little doubt that he welcomed death as a friend. He was heart-broken by the loss of his family. He speaks of himself as being “stricken with grief,” and says, “and now I stand like a blasted oak in a desert, its top shivered by a bolt hurled from the armory of Jove.”

The poem “Oft in the Stilly Night” was a favorite one with all the Wyandots.’ One of the last entries ever made in his journal is a quotation from this poem, and is as follows:

“Oft in the stilly night,

E’er slumber’s chain has bound me,

Fond mem’ry brings the light

Of other days around me:

The late Mrs. Lucy B. Armstrong’s favorite stanza is as follows:

3. Yet when I look above

This mansion thus forsaken

To that where God in love

My friends so dear has taken,

My doubts are quelled,

My fears dispelled;

For faith’s sweet pledge is given

That those so dear

Are hovering near

To welcome me to Heaven.

CHORUS.–Thus oft in the stilly night

E’er slumber’s chain hath bound me

Religion pours her light

Of heavenly joys around me.

Below is the same stanza in the Wyandot language:

3. Yah-rohn-yah’-yeh eh-mah-tih

Noh-mah’-deh sah-yah-kah-quah,


Nohn-dih-yah yah-teh’-yeh-ah-hah.

Dooh shah-tooh-rah’t tah-yah-rah-nyeh-ohs,

Dih-yah zhooh-tih dah nyeh-ehn-tah-rih

Dah kah’-tooh ah’t ah-roh-mah-nyeh-oh,

Nehn dih tah-kih-oh-yah-gyeh-ah’-tehs.

CHORUS.–Dooh-neh tah-wah’-rah-tah

Tooh-reh-zhah-ih mehn-tsah’-yeh

Yah-reh-weh-zhooh-stih neh

Kweh- ah-yeh-ohs wah-tih ah-stih-eh-quahs.


The smiles and tears

Of boyhood’s years,

The words of love then spoken,

The eye that shone,

Now dimmed and gone,

The cheerful heart now broken.

When I remember all

The friends so link’d together,

I’ve seen around me fall

Like leaves in wintry weather,

I feel like one

Who treads alone

Some banquet-hall deserted,

Whose lights are fled,

Whose garlands dead,

And all but be departed.

Thus oft in the stilly night,”

Again he says:

“It costs me a pang to break up housekeeping, having kept house for forty-five years with so many pleasing associations. . . . . Whatever fortune may betide me in the future, I will say–

“‘Sweet vale of Wyandott, how calm could I rest

In thy bosom of shade with the friends I love best.

When the storms which we feel in this cold world shall cease,

Our hearts like thy waters shall mingle in peace.’ “1

The following is copied from the Wyandott Herald2 of February 19, 1874:



The distinguished gentleman whose name heads this article was for many years as well known in Kansas as any citizen in the State.

He was born at Gibralter, Michigan, March 5th, 1799, and died at the residence of Mr. H. H. Smalley in Kansas City, Mo., on Friday, the 13th inst., having accomplished seventy-five years of useful and eventful life.

Governor Walker received a thorough education at Worthington, Ohio, under the immediate instruction of the venerable Bishop Chase.

1) From his Journal.
2) Hon. Vincent J. Lane established the Herald in 1872. He is still its editor and proprietor.


After acquiring his education, William Walker entered almost at once upon an active life in behalf of the North American Indians in general, and of the Wyandott Nation in particular, among whom he became leader and counselor, devoting the best years of his life to their interests.

As early as 1831 he visited the “Platte Purchase” as agent of the Wyandott Nation with a view to purchasing a new location for it. He was at the treaty of St. Marys and rendered efficient services to all contracting parties.

He was for some years the private Secretary and friend of Gen. Lewis Cass, his secretaryship beginning after the close of the war of 1812, and the friendship continuing until the death of the General.

In 1843 William Walker came to Kansas with his tribe, where he has remained ever since, except when he was called away on business or for his health which for some years has been feeble.

He acquired his title of Governor in 1853, when he was appointed Provisional Governor of Kansas Territory.

With him died more Indian archaeological knowledge than has been preserved by any writer on the subject. Indian antiquity and history were his special study, and being an Indian himself, highly educated and with a natural taste in that direction, his success was not surprising.

He furnished Schoolcraft with a large amount of information contained in his works on the Indians of North America, and also gave General Butterfield many incidents contained in his new work on Crawford’s campaign against Sandusky.

Governor Walker wrote much himself for newspapers and periodicals but unfortunately has left none of the results of his deep research in a form to be used by the historian or antiquary.

He was buried on Saturday last in Oak Grove Cemetery, with Masonic honors, having been one of the Charter Members of Wyandott Lodge No. 3, and for many years an honorary member thereof.

So has passed away one of our oldest and most valued citizens.

He who first bore the title of Governor of that territory embraced within the present bounds of Kansas and Nebraska sleeps upon the banks of the Missouri River, at the mouth of the Kansas. To the shame of both States, be it said, no monument of any kind marks his last resting place.




I commenced the collection of facts concerning this period of the history of Kansas and Nebraska more than fourteen years ago. Some of the persons from whom I obtained statements and with whom I consulted are named here: H. M. Northrup, Nicholas McAlpine (son-in-law of Joel Walker), Lucy B. Armstrong, R. W. Clark, H. T. Harris, H. C. Long, Matthias Splitlog, Michael Hummer, Mrs. Lillian Walker Hale, William McMullan, Hon. Frank H. Betton,1 Sanford Haff, Mrs. Mary Haff, E. F. Heisler, Hon. W. J. Buchan, S. S. Sharp, M. B. Newman, Stephen Perkins, W. H. H. Grinter, Hiram Malott, John G. Pratt, John C. Grinter, Geo. U. S.

1) Frank Holyoke Betton was born in Derry, Rockingham County, New Hampshire, August 1, 1835. He came to Kansas in 1856. He has been an active man, connected with various enterprises, the principal of which are the milling, lumber, and insurance business. He has been successful and has an elegant and commodious home at the little town of Pomeroy in Wyandotte County. He was appointed Commissioner of Labor for Kansas, which office he held many years, and was a faithful and capable official. He was married to Susanah Mudeater, daughter of Matthew Mudeater, March 8, 1860. Of this marriage were born: 1. Silas, born January, 1861, died September 13, 1873; 2. Florence, born September 8, 1862; 3. Frank Holyoke, Jr., born November 17, 1865; 4. Cora Estelle, born August 18,1868; 5. Matthew Thornton, born July 12,1870; 6. Susannah W. J., born December 5, 1871; 7. Ernest L., born July 13, 1881. All born in Wyandotte County, Kansas.


Hovey, R. M. Gray, Ebenezer Zane, Rezin Wilcoxen, and V. J. Lane, Editor of the Wyandott Herald, and, for many years the personal and political friend of Governor Walker. George W. Martin, Editor of the Kansas City, Kansas, Gazette, furnished me valuable aid. In addition to these, and many others of Wyandotte County, Kansas, I have consulted Mrs. Sarah Dagnett, Alfred Mudeater, Mrs. Julia Mudeater, Eldredge H. Brown, Silas Armstrong, Smith Nichols, Mrs. W. H. Stannard, Henry Hicks, B. F. Johnson, Mrs. Mary Walker, Mrs. Margaret Pipe, John W. Gray-Eyes, Mrs. Carrie Lofland, James Long, Benj. Mudeater, Allen Johnson, Allen Johnson, Jr., Read Chief of the Wyandots, John Barnett, George Wright, David DeShane, Mrs. Jackson (supposed to be more than 100 years old), Charles Blue-Jacket,1 and many other intelligent and reliable Wyandots and Shawnees in the Indian Territory.

1) Charles Blue-Jacket was the son of a Shawnee Chief of the same name. He was born in what is now the State of Michigan, on the banks of the River Huron, in 1816. His grandfather was Weh-yah-pih-ehr-sehn-wah’ the famous Shawnee Chief who was associated with Mih’-shih- kihn’-ah-kwah, or Little Turtle, the Chief of the Miamis, in the battle in which General Harmer was defeated by the Northwestern Confederacy of Indians, in 1790. In the battle in which Wayne defeated the Confederacy, Weh-yah-pih-ehr-sehn-wah’, or Blue-Jacket, or Captain Blue-Jacket, as he was called, commanded the allied Indian forces. The ancestors of the Blue-Jackets were war chiefs, but never village or civil chiefs until after the removal of the tribe to the West.

When Charles Blue-Jacket was a child his parents moved to the Piqua Plains in Ohio. In 1832 they removed to that part of the Shawnee Reservation in the West now in Wyandotte County, Kansas. Here Charles Blue-Jacket lived with his tribe. He moved to the Indian Territory in 1871. His home was at the town of Blue-Jacket, named for him by the M., K. & T. Railroad Co. He was a Chief always after coming to Kansas. He was an honest man and much loved by the Shawnees, and greatly respected by the white people. He died in December, 1897, at his home, from the effects of a cold contracted while searching for the Shawnee Prophet’s grave in Wyandotte County, Kansas, the previous summer. Mr. Blue-Jacket was well acquainted with Lah-uh’-leh-wah’-sih-kah’, called after he became the Prophet, Tehn-skwah’-tah-wah, and sometimes Ehl-skwah’-tah-wah, and was present at his burial in 1836 in Shawnee Township, Wyandotte County, Kansas. Mr. Blue-Jacket was a Free Mason. He was married three times, and twenty-three children were born to him. His youngest child was born in 1889.


Some of the statements were contradictory, and few of them agreed exactly in all details; but in all material matters there was substantial agreement. I have not relied entirely upon oral evidence in any case where there was a record. C. W. Butterfield, the well known author, rendered me valuable assistance.

The territory embraced in Nebraska as bounded in the bills introduced in Congress (which uniformly failed of passage), was obtained from France in the purchase from that country of the province of Louisiana. The treaty between France and the United States by which Louisiana was ceded to the latter was signed in Paris on the 30th day of April, 1803.1

France delivered possession of Louisiana to the United State on the 20th day of December, 1803, at the City of New Orleans. Mr. Claiborne, Governor of the Territory of Mississippi, represented the American Government upon this occasion, and M. Laussat represented the Government of France.2

But the authority of the United States Government in, and the exercise of power over that part of the “Louisiana Purchase” of which the original Nebraska was a part, dates from March 10th, 1804, when Amos Stoddard assumed the duties of Governor of Upper Louisiana.3

On March 26th, 1804, Congress divided the territory acquired by the purchase of Louisiana into two parts. One of these was called the Territory of Orleans, and comprised that part of the country south of the north line of the present State of Louisiana. The other contained all the remainder

1) Andreas’s History of Nebraska, 46.

2) Annals of the West (1850), 534.

3) Andreas’s History of Nebraska, 46.


of the vast province, and was named the District of Louisiana. This District was attached to the Territory of Indiana. for the purposes of government.1

On March 3d, 1805, Congress changed the name of the “District of Louisiana” to that of the “Territory of Louisiana,” and detached it from the Territory of Indiana. It was erected into a Territory of the “second class,” and James Wilkinson was appointed its Governor by President Jefferson.2

On June 4th, 1812, Congress changed the name of the “Territory of Louisiana” to that of the “Territory of Missouri,” and provided a System of government for the new Territory. On January 19th, 1816, the Legislature made the common law of England the law of the Territory.3

The Territory of Arkansas had been created from territory taken from the Territory of Missouri, in 1819. Missouri was admitted as a State in 1820-21. The “Platte Purchase” was added to Missouri by the adroit statesmanship of Colonel Benton, in 1836. The territory comprising the States of Arkansas and Missouri as now constituted was taken from the Territory of Missouri. All that area of Missouri Territory, except that portion taken for the States of Arkansas and Missouri, remained de facto as well as de jure Missouri Territory. It had no capital – no seat of government, it had very few white residents. It extended north to British America, and on the west it was bounded by the extreme limits of the “Louisiana Purchase.”

On June 30th, 1834, the old Territory of Missouri was divided. For the purposes of the Act, it was declared to be Indian Country “–what it had always been, in fact, and

1) Andreas’s History of Nebraska, 46.

2) Andreas’s History of Nebraska, 46. St. Louis was made the capital. Frederick Bates was appointed Secretary. Return J. Meigs and John B.C. Lucas were appointed Judges. The Governor and Judges constituted the Legislature.

3) Andreas’s History of Nebraska, 46.


came to be called and spoken of as the “Indian Territory.” The criminal laws of the United States were declared to be in force in any part of it within the exclusive jurisdiction of the United States.1 The crimes committed by one Indian against the person or property of another Indian were excepted. The South division, including all that part of the “Indian Country” west of the Mississippi River that is bounded north by the line of lands assigned to the Osages produced east to the State of Missouri, west by the Mexican possessions, South by the Red River, and east by the west line of the State of Arkansas, was annexed to the State of Arkansas. The jurisdiction of the United States District Court of Missouri was extended over the remainder of the “Territory of Missouri.”2 The “Annual Register of Indian Affairs” for the year 1835 defined the boundaries of the “Indian Territory” as follows: “Beginning on Red River, east of the Mexican boundary and as far west of Arkansas Territory as the country is habitable, thence down Red River eastwardly to Arkansas Territory; thence northwardly along the line of the Arkansas Territory to the State of Missouri, thence up Missouri River to Pimcah River; thence westwardly as far as the country is habitable, and thence southwardly to the beginning.”3

In 1834 a considerable portion of the Territory of Missouri, on the North, was set off to the Territory of Michigan. What remained was still the Territory of Missouri, and so remained until the passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Act of May 30, 1854. Then the Territory of Missouri was extinguished – wiped out – but not till then. Whether in its

1) The term “Exclusive jurisdiction of the United States” was probably used on account of the contention over the line or boundary between Louisiana and Texas, then a part of Mexico. A neutral ground between the two countries had been agreed upon – a beautiful arrangement for the pirates and free-booters then in the Gulf of Mexico in great numbers.

2) Annals of the West (1850), 542.

3) History of American Missions (Worcester, 1840), 540.


“ pristine glory,” or shorn of much of its extent, it had, through all this time (1820-1854), a government – one in fact and one in law; but it was an exceedingly limited one in its powers. It came very near being no government at all. Its functions were all condensed into the dicta of the United States District Court of Missouri. There was no ordinary Territorial Government for what was then the “Indian Country” during all these years, except what was decreed by that Court; for what was left of Missouri Territory was “attached” by the act of Congress of 1834 to that tribunal “to be looked after.”

As much as ten years before the passage of the Kansas-Nebraska bill the want of a more effective government for the “Indian Territory” was recognized. In 1844, the Secretary of War recommended the organization of a Territorial Government; and, acting on this recommendation, Mr. Douglas, of the House Committee on Territories, introduced a bill to establish the Territory of Nebraska, on the 17th of December, 1844. This bill was referred to the Committee on Territories; an amendatory bill was reported on January 7, 1845, which was referred to the Committee of the Whole on the State of the Union, and no further action was had thereon.

The next effort for the organization of Nebraska Territory was made in 1848. Mr. Douglas had, in the meantime, been elected to the Senate. Here he introduced a bill, which, on the 24th of April, 1848, was made the order of the day for Monday, the 24th of the same month, but nothing further was done with the bill.

On December 4th, 1848, Mr. Douglas gave notice that he would introduce another Nebraska bill. This bill was introduced and was referred to the Committee on Territories, December 20, 1848, and no further action was had thereon.1

1) See the Statement of Abelard Guthrie, in this work, for an account of these bills.


This was the last effort of Congress to organize the Territory of Nebraska prior to the movement of the people of the Territory themselves for the establishment of a Territorial Government.

In the years 1849 and 1850 thousands of people passed through “Nebraska Territory,” as the country was beginning to be called, on their way to California. The emigrant tribes of Indians residing in the Territory had been removed from the country further east where they had lived near and had much intercourse with white people, and they possessed and enjoyed many of the institutions of civilization. These tribes were located on the borders of Missouri, with the inhabitants of which State they traded and bartered many commodities. The leading tribes were the Wyandots, the Delawares, the Shawnees, the Miamis and Kickapoos. In all these tribes were men of education and influence. They comprehended their condition and could plainly discern the tendencies of the times. It was obvious to them that they were occupying the country through which the great highway to the Pacific Ocean must be built in the near future. Along this line of road must be settlers, and these settlers must live on land then belonging to the Indians. The Indian had had enough experience to know that the word “forever” written in his title to the soil was intended to mean “until the white man wants it.” The pressure along the western line of Missouri was increasing, and white men looked across an arbitrary line and saw the Indian country “and behold it was very good,” and they wanted it; and the Indian knew they wanted it. It was plain to the intelligent Indians that the tribes would soon be compelled to move. If they must sell their lands, they wanted as good a price as could be obtained. To enhance the value of their lands it was necessary that white men should have liberty to settle in their vicinity, in numbers, and for the purpose of allowing them to do so


the Indian tribes themselves moved for the organization of Nebraska Territory. Foremost in the movement was the Wyandot Nation, which occupied the land between the Kansas and Missouri Rivers, at the mouth of the Kansas. The emigrant tribes, adhering to their ancient customs, looked to the Wyandots to take the initiative. The Wyandots were the keepers of the Council fire of the Northwestern Confederacy of Indian tribes which opposed so long and so successfully the settlement of the Territory Northwest of the Ohio River. The great Council fire had been re-kindled in the West, at a Congress of the tribes held near Fort Leavenworth in October, 1848, and the position of the Wyandot Nation, as the head of the Confederacy, confirmed and renewed. It was necessary that any movement among the Indians that would affect the interests of the tribes of the ancient Confederacy should originate with the Wyandot Nation, if it expected to receive consideration.

During the first session of the Thirty-second Congress in the winter of 1851-2 and the spring of 1852 these people petitioned Congress to establish a Territorial Government in the Territory of Nebraska. Little or no attention being given their petitions, they concluded to adopt a more effective course – one which Congress could not so easily ignore. They decided to elect a delegate to the Thirty-second Congress and send him to attend the last session of that body, to be held in the winter of 1852-3. Those most active in this course were, William Walker, Matthew R. Walker,1

1) Matthew R. Walker was a brother of Governor Walker. He was born June 17, 1810. He belonged to the Big Turtle Clan. His Indian name was Rah’-hahn-tah’-seh. It means “twisting the forest,” i. e., as the wind twists the forest, and it refers to the willows and reeds along the stream as they are swayed by the breeze. He was one of the leading business men of the Wyandot Nation. Before the Wyandots removed from their home at Upper Sandusky he made a trip from Ohio to the Senecas, and to the Delawares and Shawnees, for the purpose of selecting a home in the West for his tribe. This was in 1841. Governor Walker had visited the country about the mouth of the Kansas River in 1833. On the reports of these and some others of the tribe. the Wyandots came to what is now Wyandotte County, Kansas, when they removed West. Matthew R. Walker lived on the banks of the Missouri where the mansion of George


Joel Walker,1 Isaiah Walker, Abelard Guthrie, Francis A. Hicks, George I. Clark, Charles B. Garrett, Russell Garrett, Joel W. Garrett, Matthew Mudeater, Silas Armstrong and John W. Gray-Eyes.

Fowler now stands, in Kansas City, Kansas. He married Lydia B. Ladd. one of their daughters is Mrs. Lillian Walker Hale, the well known writer.

The first communication of a Masonic Lodge in what is now Kansas, was held in Matthew R. Walker’s home, and Mrs. Walker acted as Tyler, there not being enough Masons present to fill all the official places. The Masons met informally at his house up to July, 1854, when a warrant was obtained from the Grand Lodge of Missouri authorizing J. M. Chivington, W. M., M. R. Walker, S. W., and Cyrus Garrett, J. W. to meet and work U. D. V. J. Lane says the first meeting under this dispensation was held August 11th, A. L. 5854, and a Lodge of Masons U. D. was duly organized. The officers of the Lodge were installed by Bro. Piper, D. G. M. of Missouri.

In May, A. L. 5855, a charter was granted from the G. L. of Missouri to M. R. Walker, W. M., Russell Garrett, S. W., and Cyrus Garrett, J. W., authorizing them to meet and work, under the name of Kansas Lodge No. 153, A. F. & A. M. The first meeting under this charter was held July 27, A. L. 5855. On the 27th of December, A. L. 5855, a meeting of the Lodges of the Territory of Kansas was held in Leavenworth City, at which Wyandotte, Smithton, and Leavenworth Lodges were represented. At this meeting the G. L. of Kansas was organized. Matthew R. Walker was an officer of the Grand Lodge. In the by-laws of Wyandotte Lodge No. 3, A. F. & A. M., of Kansas City, Kan as (the oldest Lodge in the State), is the following:

Wyandotte Lodge, No. 3.

In Memoriam.

Matthew R. Walker, P. M. & P. S. G. W.,

Oct. I5th, 1860.

Matthew R. Walker was Probate Judge of Leavenworth County, Kansas, when it included what is now Wyandotte County. He is buried in the old Huron Place Cemetery in Kansas City, Kansas. On the monument over his grave is the following inscription:

M. R. Walker


Jan 17 1810


Oct 14 1860

1) Joel Walker was also a brother of Governor Walker. He was born in Canada West. The three dates of his birth that I have found are all different. In the family Bible of his father the date is July 17, 1813. In Governor Walker’s Journal the date is February 18, 1813. On his monument it is February 17, 1813. His Indian name was Wâh’-wahs (Way-wahs) and means “lost turtle, or “turtle in a lost place” and was given to commemorate his birth which was on this wise: His mother, Catherine Walker, like all her maternal ancestors, was familiar with the languages of many of the tribes of the Northwest, and she had great influence with them. Her presence was required at many of the Councils of consequence. At one time she was sent for to act as interpreter in an important meeting that would determine some question for some tribe, relating to the war of 1812. Her period of maternity was fulfilled, or nearly so, and she desired not to go. But as the Council could not proceed without her the warriors procured a wagon and team and having bundled her into this rough conveyance started away in the darkness, over rough roads. In the black darkness of the cloudy night the horses left the


On the 12th day of October, 1852, the election for a Delegate to Congress was held in the Council House of the Wyandot Nation. The entry in Governor Walker’s Journal on that date says: “Attended the election for Delegate for Congress from Nebraska Territory. A. Guthrie received the entire vote polled.”

The officers of this election were: Judges, George I. Clark, Samuel Priestley and Matthew R. Walker; Clerks, William Walker and Benjamin N. C. Anderson. The names of the persons who voted at the election are as follows: Charles B. Garrett, Isaac Baker, Jose Antonio Pieto, Henry C. Norton, Abelard Guthrie, Henry C. Long, Cyrus Garrett, Francis Cotter, Edward B. Hand, Francis A. Hicks, Russell Garrett, Samuel Rankin, Nicholas Cotter, Joel W. Garrett, Isaac Long, Thomas Coon-Hawk, Jacob Charloe, Wm. Walker, George 1. Clark, Benjamin N. C. Anderson, Matthew R. Walker, Samuel Priestley, Henry Garrett, Wm. Gibson, Presley Muir, Joel Walker, Isaac Brown, Jas. Long, Jno.

way. and they were soon driving aimlessly about through the dark woods. The result was as she had feared. She was seized with parturient pains and a son was born to her while she was lost in the forest. His name was to keep this event in memory.

When Wyandott City (now Kansas City, Kansas) was laid out a street was named Wawas, for Joel Walker. Strangers called it “Wäh’-wahs” street, but the proper pronunciation is “Wa’-wahs” (Way’-wähs). Some years ago a City Council, wholly ignorant of the City’s history and the history of its founders, changed the name of the street to “Freeman Avenue,” because one Freeman built a fine residence on it. The old name should be restored.

Joel Walker was married to Mary Ann Ladd (born July 1, 1819, died January 8, 1886) in Franklin County, Ohio, May 19, 1844. Their children were: 1. Florence, born March 20, 1845, died Oct. 6, 1845; 2. Maria W., born June 17, 1647, died Feb’y 26, 1891; S. Justin, born April 6, 1849; 4. Ida E., born Feb’y 22, 1851, died Feb’y 16, 1866; 5. Everett, born August 27, 1853, died March 30, 1888. Only Maria W. was married; she was married to Nicholas McAlpine (born in County Down, Ireland, April 5, 1835) June 21, 1866. Their children are: 1. Robert L., born May 8, 1867; 2. Jessie S., born July 19, 1874; 3. Mary A., born January 24, 1882; 4. John W., born June 30, 1887.

On the monument over his grave in the old Huron Place Cemetery is the following:



Joel Walker

Born in Canada West

Feb 17 1813

Died In Wyandott Kansas

Sept 8 1857.


Lynch,1 William Trowbridge, John W. Ladd,2 Daniel McNeal,3 Edward Fifer, Peter D. Clark and Henry W. Porter.4 The purpose to hold an election to elect a Delegate to Congress from Nebraska Territory met with much opposition from the representatives of the Government of the United States then in the “Indian Territory.” Governor Walker says that even the discussion of the settlement of the country “attracted the attention of the Interior Department and drew forth official intimation that the government could not allow any portion of that Territory to be occupied by white people; and that the President was authorized to employ, if necessary, the military force of the United States in removing from the Indian Country all persons found there contrary to law.” Mr. Guthrie says that “one Colonel Fauntleroy, Commanding Officer at Fort Leavenworth (and now I believe of the rebel army), threatened to arrest me if I should attempt to hold the election.” And in another communication (to the New York Tribune August 9, 1856), “I met with many difficulties, and on one occasion was threatened with imprisonment by the commanding officer of one of the military posts in the Territory, for my attempt at ‘revolution,’ as he called it.” Notwithstanding the fact that the military authorities forbade the holding of the election, the people went forward with their purpose. Seeing both their threats and their commands disobeyed, the election held, and Mr. Guthrie chosen, the opposition changed tactics, and called an election for Delegate, at Fort Leavenworth. At this election a Mr. Banow was selected to oppose Mr. Guthrie. The intention was to choose Banow and defeat Guthrie at the sub-

1) Often spoken of in Governor Walker’s Journals, and sometimes called “Jonny 0’Bludgeon.”

2) John Wanton Ladd, born in Warrick, R. L, August 10, 1793, died in Wyandotte, Kansas, Sept. 25, 1865. Buried in Huron Place Cemetery. He was the father-in-law Of Matthew R., and Joel Walker.

3) Was a “hired man” in the “Nation.” Worked for Governor Walker.

4) He is the “ Old Connecticut “ mentioned in Governor Walker’s Journal.


sequent election, and send Banow forward for the purpose of preventing Mr. Guthrie from obtaining his seat, or to contest the seat if the Territory was organized and Mr. Guthrie admitted as Delegate. This action of the military was inspired by Senator Atchison of Missouri.

The people however, wanted the Territory organized, and refused to become a party to this movement for delay, political advantage, and confusion. Mr. Guthrie defeated Banow at this subsequent election by a vote of 54 to 16.

The opposition to Territorial organization was next felt in Washington. At that time there were two opposing and bitterly hostile factions in the Democratic party in the State of Missouri. One faction stood for moderation and the rights of slavery under existing laws without effort to extend it by the repeal of the Missouri Compromise, and was in favor of the organization of Nebraska Territory. This faction was led by Colonel Thomas H. Benton, Willard P. Hall, Frank P. Blair, Jr., and to some extent by the St. Louis Republican, the principal Democratic newspaper of the State. The other faction was radical, aggressive and extreme in favor of all matters and measures put forward by the slave power of the South. The real leader and the inspiring genius of this faction was William Cecil Price,1 of Springfield. Senator

1) William Cecil Price was born in Tazewell County, Virginia, and is a direct descendant of Lord Baltimore, who settled Maryland. He came with his parents to Green County, Missouri, in 1828. Was prominent in politics of the State until the war. Was an able lawyer, and was elected Probate Judge, Circuit Judge, District Attorney, Member of the Legislature, State Senator, Member of Congress, and held other positions of honor and trust. Organized and carried to a successful issue the fight on Colonel Thomas H. Benton, but in doing so divided the Democratic party of Missouri. Was Treasurer of the United States under President Buchanan. Was an advocate of secession, and selected Claiborn Jackson to be the candidate of the Democratic party of Missouri for Governor. Joined the Confederate army. Was captured at Wilson’s Creek and for a long time confined in the military prison at Alton, Ills. & He is one of the old school Southern gentlemen. He had a keen sense of humor. A friend once introduced him to a stranger, and remarked “Judge Price was in the United States Treasury under President Buchanan.” “Yes,” said the Judge,” and in the penitentiary under President Lincoln.”

Judge Price was the leader in Missouri of the extreme and radical element of the


Atchison, Sterling Price and others were his able Lieutenants. All the outrages of the Border Ruffians were committed at the dictation of this faction, which was bitterly opposed to the organization of Nebraska Territory unless slavery could be expressly made one of its fundamental institutions. Mr. Guthrie set out for Washington, November 20th. On December 1st he wrote to Governor Walker, from Cincinnati, that he had traveled from St. Louis to Cincinnati with the Missouri Senators, Atchison and Geyer, and that no assistance from them could be expected.1

When Mr. Guthrie arrived in Washington be set to work with great energy to accomplish the purpose for which he had been sent. On December 9th he wrote Governor Walker that Willard P. Hall, member of the House, had prepared a bill and would introduce it the following week.2 The bill provided for the organization of the Territory of the Platte with the following boundaries: On the south, the thirty-sixth degree and thirty minutes; on the north, the forty-third degree; on the west, the summit of the Rocky Mountains; on the east, by Missouri. So effective were Mr. Guthrie’s efforts that the Chairman of the Committee on Territories assured him that if Mr. Hall did not introduce his bill, the Committee would introduce one for the same purpose. Mr. Hall introduced his bill on the 13th of December, and it was referred to the Committee on Territories. Hall’s bill was never reported by the Committee, but in lieu thereof William A. Richardson, of Illinois, from the Committee, reported a bill on February 2, 1853, providing for the organization of Nebraska Territory, with boundaries identical with those in Hall’s bill. In the Committee of the Whole the bill met

Democracy until the war, but since then has not been active in politics. He insists yet that slavery is right, and that it was a blessing to the negro. Sterling Price was his cousin.

1) See letter published in this work, page 76.

2) This letter is published herein, page 78.


with strong opposition from Southern members and was reported back to the House with a recommendation for its rejection, but on February 10, 1853, it passed the House by a vote of 98 to 43. On the following day it was sent to the Senate where it was referred to the Committee on Territories, of which Stephen A. Douglas was Chairman. On February 17th, Mr. Douglas reported the bill without amendment. Several unsuccessful efforts were made to have it taken up. The Congressional term would expire by limitation March 4, and Mr. Guthrie was anxious to have it taken up as long before that date as possible. In the expiring hours of the session (March 3) it was taken up and by a vote of 23 to 17, laid on the table. Mr. Guthrie believed he had a majority for it in the Senate, and could it have been brought to a vote at an earlier date it is probable that it would have passed the Senate. Mr. Guthrie says in his letter to the New York Tribune that the bill was not brought to vote, but in this he is in error.

Although he failed in securing the passage of his bill, Mr. Guthrie virtually accomplished the object sought in his election. He forced a consideration of the question of the organization of Nebraska Territory. The passage of the bill for that purpose through the House and the close vote upon it in the Senate convinced the slave power that the question would have to be settled at the coming session of Congress.


It was determined by the Wyandots that a Territorial Convention for the purpose of organizing a Provisional Government for Nebraska Territory should be held on the day appointed for their national festival, the Green Corn Feast. Their annual National election was often held on this ancient anniversary. In the year 1853 it was fixed to fall upon Tuesday, August 9th. The other emigrant tribes were noti-


fied of this intention, and asked to send delegates; and all white men then resident in the Territory among the emigrant tribes were requested to be present and participate in the work. Russell Garrett says these notices were written. Only such white persons as were then in the service of the Government in the capacity of Agents, Missionaries, Agency-farmers, Agency-blacksmiths, and Agency-carpenters, and the licensed Indian traders were permitted to live in the “Indian Territory.” Colonel Benton was advised of this conclusion of the Wyandots, and he approved it, if, indeed, he had not urged it.

Another factor was entering into the movement for Territorial Government for Nebraska. This was the fixing of the location of the line of the railroad soon to be built between the Pacific Ocean and the Missouri River. Iowa wanted the initial point of this road on her western border, and Missouri contended that the valley of the Kansas River was the logical, most central, and most practicable route. Ever since the enormous and phenomenal emigration to California, the initial point of this “great national highway,” as it had been called by Colonel Benton, had been a matter of contention between the people of Iowa and Missouri, and, to a certain extent, of the country at large. The North, generally, favored Council Bluffs as the starting point, and insisted that the valley of the Platte was the route of greatest utility, from a national standpoint. The South contended that the mouth of the Kansas River was the better location from which to start.1 The controversy followed the old line drawn between the North and the South by the question of the extension of slavery, and was the one matter upon which the factions of the Missouri Democracy could unite.

In 1850, Colonel Benton had introduced in the Senate

1) A fair statement of the contention in this matter is given in the paper of Hadley D. Johnson, a portion of which is printed in this work, page 83.


his bill for the location and construction of this “great national highway,” and explained its leading features.1 From that time the matter was one of general discussion, and opposing forces were seeking to fix the line of the road where it would best subserve their interests. A meeting in the interest of the Missouri or central route was appointed for July 26, 1853, in that part of the “Indian Country “ or “Nebraska Territory” immediately west of Missouri. The Benton Democracy, for some reason unknown as yet, determined upon the organization of the Provisional Government of Nebraska Territory at this meeting.2 It is known that Colonel Benton believed that the point at the mouth of the Kansas River would at some time in the near future become a great commercial center. He had been defeated for Senator in 1850-1 in the Missouri Legislature. Senator Atchison denounced his attempt to organize Nebraska Territory and charged him with the intention of removing his residence to the mouth of the Kansas River for the purpose of being elected United States Senator for Nebraska when it should be admitted as a State.3 William Cecil Price has often asserted to me that this ambition was the cause of Col. Benton’s efforts to organize Nebraska Territory at this time.

The determination to organize the Provisional Government of Nebraska at the Convention in the interest of the “Central Route” made it necessary that this meeting should be held in the Council House4 of the Wyandot Nation.

1) See his remarks on the bill, made when he introduced it, published in this work, page 88.

2) I have been unable to determine the cause of this. Judge Price does not think it could have been because the opposing faction of the Democratic party was intending to attempt to organize a Provisional Government in Nebraska Territory. To the best of his recollection, no such intention was ever entertained. But he admitted that Colonel Benton may have believed this, and that his belief may have hastened his actions.

3) Many of the old time Democrats of Missouri have told me this, among them Judge Price, General Shelby, and Judge Oliver.

4) The Council House stood in the center of what is now Fourth Street in Kansas City, Kansas, at the point where it is crossed by Nebraska Avenue. It is thus described by Mrs. Sarah Dagnett: “I can’t tell the size. It had three windows on each



Abelard Guthrie was, perhaps, the only Wyandot notified in advance, of this change in the programme. Governor Walker in his “Notes” says: “In the summer of 1853, a territorial Convention was held pursuant to previous notice to be held in Wyandot. The Convention met on the 26th of July – .” This statement does not say that the notice was that the Convention should meet on the 26th of July. In Governor Walker’s entry in his Journal, describing the Convention and it’s proceedings, he states that he did not attend this meeting until noon and then only after he had, Cincinnatus-like, been sent for. It is more than probable that he did not know of the change in the order of events until he arrived at the Council House. The series of Resolutions adopted by the Convention and which served the Provisional Government as a Constitution bears only one resolution in his hand-writing. And it was not his intention to accept the position of Provisional Governor. Public office had no attractions for him. He intended that one of his brothers, Matthew R. Walker or Joel Walker, splendid business men of great energy, and both possessing fine executive ability, and several years younger than himself, should be selected as the Provisional Governor of Nebraska Territory.

Among the delegates to the Convention were the following persons: William Walker, Russell Garrett,1 Silas

side and two in the east end and two in the west end – with the door between those in the west end. I remember it stood that way – east and west. It was a frame building and plastered. Always had a large box stove, as we had only wood to burn those days. The furnishings were of the most common kind – benches and common chairs, with one large square table. I can remember the table well, because they used to keep the money – gold and silver – stacked up on it during a payment time. The bulk of the money was kept at the Agency building across the street. Once during a payment a box containing $1,000.00 was stolen, they supposed – never was found – so we were short that much.”

1) Russell Garrett lives at the present time in Ventura, California. He is the only Delegate to the Convention known to be now living. He wrote his recollections of this Convention for me. The following is taken from his letters: The building in which the Convention was held was a little, one-story, frame build


Armstrong, W. F. Dyer,1 Isaac Munday,2 James Findley,3 —- Grover,4 William Gilpin5 (afterwards Governor of Colorado), Thomas Johnson, George I. Clark, Joel Walker, Joel W. Garrett, Charles B. Garrett, Matthias Splitlog,6

ing, built and used for a school house and Council House. It stood on what is now the center of Nebraska Avenue and Fourth Street. It was a clear and pleasant day. You ask how delegates were chosen. By sending invitations to those who were interested in the formation of a Territorial Government to come and meet with us. There were about forty met with us. I think they all voted in the Convention.”

The forty were exclusive of the Wyandots.

1) W. F. Dyer “lived and kept a store on Grasshopper River at the Military Crossing on the road leading from Fort Leavenworth to Fort Riley,” Russell Garrett writes me. He was afterwards County Treasurer of Jefferson County, Kansas. See Kansas Historical Collections, Vol. 3, 305.

2) Isaac Munday was a blacksmith for the Delawares and lived at the “Delaware Crossing.” This was the point where the Military Road from Fort Leavenworth to Fort Scott crossed the Kansas River. This was only a very short distance above the point where the S. W. Corner of the “Wyandot Purchase” was fixed on the Kansas River. His house is marked on one of the old maps of the “Wyandot Purchase,” although it was on Delaware land. Russell Garrett says: “I remember Isaac Munday very well. He was a blacksmith for the Delawares. He had a shop and lived at what was called at that time the Military Ferry. It crossed the Kansas River on the Military Road leading from Fort Leavenworth to Fort Scott. He lived at Westport, Mo., before he was appointed blacksmith for the Delaware Indians. I now remember that he was a Delegate to the Convention. I do not remember where he went to when the Delawares got through with him, if I ever heard.”

3) James Findley was an Indian Trader at that time and lived at the “Delaware Crossing.” He traded with the Delawares and Shawnees. I have this information from many persons yet living in the Indian Territory, and from Major John G. Pratt. Russell Garrett says: “James Findley lived at the Military Ferry. He was an Indian Trader. He kept a variety store and traded with the Delawares. He lived there with his family, as did Monday the blacksmith.”

4) —- Grover was the son of a Missionary to the Delawares. I have not been able to learn his given name. He was either D. A. N. Grover or Charles H. Grover. These were brothers, sons of a Missionary from some Church in Kentucky, to the Delawares. They were both in the Council of the Legislature of 1855, D. A. N. as a member and Charles H. as Assistant Clerk. From the quotations from their speeches given by Wilder, I should think that Charles H. was with the Delawares at the time, and if he was, he is the one that attended this Convention. They were lawyers. I find this in Russell Garrett’s letters to me: “I knew a Mr. Grover and he was there, but I do not know where he lived or what he did. But his father was a Missionary among the Indians and was shifted around from pillar to post, so I cannot tell where he lived at that time. It may be that his son lived with him. I do not remember where they went to.”

5) William Gilpin was at that time editor of some newspaper published at Independence, Mo.; or if not editor, in some way connected with it. He addressed the Convention. So says Mr. Garrett.

6) Matthias Splitlog was a Cayuga-Seneca by descent, his ancestors having been from each of those tribes. His immediate ancestors married into the Wyandots and furnished them some of their bravest warriors and chiefs. He was born in Canada in 1816, he has often told me. He married Eliza Charloe, a Wyandot, and came West with the


Tauromee, Abelard Guthrie, Matthew R. Walker, Francis A. Hicks, John W. Gray-Eyes, Irvin P. Long, H. C. Long, Captain Bull-Head, Baptiste Peoria, the Blue-Jackets and other Shawnees.

The only written account of the Convention and the proceedings that I have been able to find is that in Governor Walker’s Journal, and which is as follows:

“Monday, July 25, 1853. – Cool and cloudy morning. Resumed cutting my grass. Warm thro’ the day. Sent Harriet to Kansas for some medicines for Mr. C. who has every other day a chill. In the evening three gentlemen rode up and enquired if W. W. resided here. Upon being assured in the affirmative they stated they wished to stay all night. I sent them to C. B. G’s. They said they were delegates to the Rail Road meeting in Nebraska on the 26th inst. I would gladly have entertained them, but owing to family sickness I was compelled to send them where I did.

“Tuesday, July 26, 1853. – Very cool and clear. Went over to C. B. G’s and got my scythe ground. Warm day.

“On yesterday morning ‘One-Hundred-Snakes’ Standingstone died of Mania a potu.

“At noon a messenger was sent for me to attend the Rail Road Convention. I saddled my horse and rode up to the Wyandott Council House, where I found a large collection of the habitans of Nebraska.

“The meeting was called to order and organized by the appointment of Wm. P. Birney1 of Delaware, President, and Wm. Walker,

Wyandot Nation. His home was in what is now Connelley’s Addition to Kansas City, Kansas. Here, at an early day, he built a horse-mill for grinding corn, but was of so eccentric a disposition that he often refused to “grind.” He had a large family of children and much land was allotted to him for them when the Wyandots accepted their lands in severalty. These lands increased enormously in value and made him the famous “Millionaire Indian.” Unprincipled white men swindled him out of much of his money. He built and equipped a railroad from Neosho, Mo., to the Arkansas State line. This road is now a part of the Pittsburg & Gulf main line. He was an ingenious man and could copy and construct almost any piece of machinery that he had opportunity to examine thoroughly. It was by taking advantage of his love for machinery that scoundrels interested him in schemes for the purpose of robbing him. He made his home in the Seneca country when the Wyandots moved to the Indian Territory. Here he erected a fine house and a fine church-building. He died there late in 1896.

1) William P. Birney was an Indian Trader at Delaware in the Delaware Reserve, near the present village of White Church, Wyandotte County, Kansas. I have been able to learn but little of him. He remained in Wyandotte County, Kansas, at least


Secy. A Committee was then appointed to prepare resolutions expressive of the sense of the meeting. James Findley, Dyer and Silas Armstrong were appointed.

“In. accordance with the resolutions adopted, the following officers were elected as a provisional government for the Territory: For provisional Governor, Wm. Walker; Sec’y of the Territory, G. I. Clark; Councilmen, R. C. Miller, Isaac Mundy, and M. R. Walker.

“Resolutions were adopted expressive of the Convention’s preference of the Great Central Rail Road Rout.

A. Guthrie, late delegate was nominated as the Candidate for reelection. Adjourned.”

While no boundaries were fixed for the Territory for which the Provisional Government was organized it was taken as a matter granted that the Territory included the same area as defined in the Hall and Richardson bills.

The organization of the Provisional Government of Nebraska Territory gave general satisfaction to the people of Missouri. Each faction of the Missouri Democracy became now intent on securing the Delegate to Congress to be elected in the following October. In this contest the Price-Atchison faction had a tremendous advantage as they controlled the patronage of the Indian Bureau of the Department of the Interior, while Mr. Guthrie, Benton’s representative, could only depend upon his own personal efforts and the personal efforts of his friends.

Hand-bills were printed containing the record of the proceedings of the Convention. These were distributed, and were copied into the newspapers of Missouri. In Governor Walker’s Journal mention is made of this fact:

“Thursday, July 28, 1853.-

“A. Guthrie called upon and dined with us to-day.

“Rec’d the printed proceedings of the Nebraska Territorial Con-

until the commencement of the war. He is frequently mentioned in Abelard Guthrie’s Journals, and on the 13th of January, 1860, Guthrie’s Journal speaks of him living at that time in Quindaro City, or of his owning houses there.


vention. Great credit is due the Proprietors of the “Industrial Luminary “in Parkville for their promptitude in publishing the proceedings in hand-bills in so short a time.”


The first duty of the new Government was to call the election for Delegate, as directed by the resolutions of the Convention. Governor Walker’s mention of this event is as follows:

“Saturday, July 30, 1853.–

“Well, by action of the Convention of Tuesday last I was elected Provisional Governor of this Territory. The first executive act devolving on me is, to issue a Proclamation ordering an election to be held in the different precincts of one delegate to the 33rd Congress.

“Monday, August 1, 1853.–Issued my proclamation for holding an election in the different precincts in the territory on the second Tuesday in October, for one delegate to the 33rd Congress”

This proclamation was printed and distributed throughout the Territory; and in all probability it was printed in most of the newspapers of Missouri.1 Their preparation for distribution is mentioned by Governor Walker:

“Monday, August 8, 1853.–Geo. I. Clark, Sec’y of the Territory, called this morning and delivered the printed Proclamation (200 copies) for circulation.”

It had been the hope of Colonel Benton and Mr. Guthrie that no candidate would be put forward to stand for election against the regular nominee of the Territorial Convention. While the leaders of the Price-Atchison Democracy of Missouri had opposed the organization of a Provisional Government and believed that the slave power could prevent the admission of Nebraska Territory and the recognition of its Provisional Government, it still believed it best to participate in the election for Delegate to Congress. A strong man

1) See Hadley D. Johnson’s statement, page 83.


n thorough sympathy with the extremists of the slave power of the South was sought for and found in the person of Rev. Thomas Johnson, Missionary of the, M. E. Church, South, to the Shawnees. Mr. Johnson resided near Westport, Missouri, in the Shawnee country. The Shawnee and Kickapoo tribes are closely related by blood, and Mr. Johnson’s nomination was made in the country of the latter tribe. Governor Walker says: “A few days after the adjournment of this Convention another rather informally was called at Kickapoo, at which Mr. Johnson was nominated as Candidate for Delegate. The latter then yielded to the wishes of his friends And became a candidate in opposition to the regular nominee.”

Having secured a strong candidate the Price-Atchison Democracy brought to bear every influence at their command to secure his election. The Commissioner of Indian affairs came to the Territory where he remained more than a month to influence personally the emigrant tribes (and perhaps the other tribes) to vote for Mr. Johnson. Governor Walker leaves us enough evidence to confirm this.

“Tuesday, September 6, 1853.–Mr. Commissioner Manypenny came over in company with Rev. Thos. Johnson to pay the Wyandotte a visit. The Council being in session I introduced him to the Council. To which body he made a short address.”

“Thursday, October 6, 1853.–

“Received a letter from Maj. Robinson informing me that Com. Manypenny wished to have an interview with the Council to-morrow.”

“Friday, October 7, 1853.–

“Attended a Council called by the Com. of Indian Affairs. Speeches were passed between the parties on the subject of the Territorial organization, [and] selling out to the gov’t.”

“Tuesday, October 11, 1853.–Attended the election for delegate to Congress, for Wyandott precinct. Fifty-one votes only were polled.

A. Guthrie           33.

Tom Johnson      18.



“The priesthood of the M. E. Church made unusual exertions to obtain a majority for their holy brother. Amidst the exertions of their obsequious tools it was apparent it was an up-hill piece of business in Wyandott.

“Executed a commission to J. B. Nones as Commissioner and Notary Public for Nebraska Territory.”

“Monday, October 31, 1853.–

“I suppose we may safely set down Thomas Johnston’s election for delegate as certain. It is not at all surprising, when we look at the fearful odds between the opposing Candidates. Mr. Guthrie had only his personal friends to support him with their votes and influence, while the former had the whole power of the Federal government, the presence and active support of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, the military, the Indian Agents, Missionaries, Indian Traders, &c. A combined power that is irresistible.”

The Territorial Council canvassed the returns of the election at the Wyandot Council House Nov. 7, 1853, and issued a Certificate of election to Mr. Johnson on Nov. 8th. Governor Walker notes these transactions in his Journal:

“Monday, November 7, 1853.–Attended at the Council House at an early hour, tho’ in poor health.

“The Territorial Council, Sec’y and Governor, then proceeded to open the returns of the Territorial Election. After canvassing the Returns it appeared that Thomas Johnson1 had received the highest number of votes and was declared elected delegate to the 33rd Congress.

1) Rev. Thomas Johnson was born in Virginia, July 11, 1802. He was assassinated in his own home in Kansas, near Westport, Mo., January 2, 1865.

He was sent by the M. E. Church to preach to the Shawnees in the “Indian Territory,” in 1829. After laboring here for some time, he was compelled to abandon his work on account of poor health, and he then moved to Fayette, Mo. In 1847 he was prevailed upon to resume his work in the Shawnee Mission Schools. From this time until his death he was prominent in the councils of the Price-Atchison Democracy of Missouri in their efforts to introduce slavery into Nebraska and Kansas. He was elected President of the first Territorial Council of Kansas Territory, in 1855. This was the “Upper House” of the Legislature that enacted the “Bogus Laws.” The laws fill a large volume. Many of them are infamous.

Mr. Johnson was a good man. The cause which he believed a holy one was in fact a bad one and was hastened to destruction by the madness of its advocates. His firm belief in its righteousness is not surprising, for it had been instilled into his mind from


“Tuesday, November 8, 1853.–J. W. Garrett1 deputy Secretary, attended at my House and we issued the certificate of election to Thomas Johnston delegate elect to the 33rd Congress.”

The Wyandots felt outraged by the action of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs but as their interests were so largely in his hands they could do nothing else than submit without protest, and this they all did, except Mr. Guthrie. He filed a contest for the seat of Delegate and vigorously attacked the Commissioner of Indian affairs in the public prints. He spent a portion of the winter in Washington and labored for the Territorial Government of Nebraska until he was convinced that the slave power would organize two Territories, and endeavor to make one slave, and permit the other to come into the Union, free. In relation to Mr. Guthrie’s attacks on the Commissioner of Indian Affairs Governor Walker says:

“Saturday, November 12, 1853.-

“Mr. Guthrie called and examined the election returns for delegate, and intends taking copies of them.

“Thursday November 24, 1853.-

“Wrote a communication to Col. Manypenny, Commissioner of Indian Affairs, correcting an error in a communication published in the Missouri Democrat by Mr. A. Guthrie in relation to a speech delivered by the former to the Wyandott Council.

“Thursday, January 12, 1854.-

“Rec. two letters from A. Guthrie. In trouble again. Wants cer-

infancy. He did what he believed to be right. He was a true and humble Christian and an eloquent and earnest minister of the Gospel. There is an excellent biography of Mr. Johnson in Andreas’s History of Kansas, page 300. It was prepared by his friend, Rev. Nathan Scarritt, of Kansas City, Mo.

1) Joel Walker Garrett was the son of George Garrett, who died February 17, 1846, aged 46 years. George Garrett was the brother of Charles B. Garrett. He married Nancy Walker, sister of Governor Walker. Joel Walker Garrett was their oldest child. He was born June 18,1826. He married Jennie Ayers. Their daughter Nina lives yet in Kansas City, Kansas.

Joel Walker Garrett was appointed Deputy Secretary of State for Nebraska Territory, and he seems to have performed most of the labor attached to the Secretary’s Office. He died August 25, 1862.


tificates to prove his charges against Commissioner Manypenny. I can’t help him much.

“Saturday, January 28, 1854.–

“Rec’d an “Ohio State Journal.” This is the amount of my mail. Guthrie out on Col. Manypenny again. The former, I fear, will come off second best. He is imprudent and rash.”

But bitter as the fight became between Johnson and Guthrie, they were not the only candidates voted for at this election. Governor Walker says:

“Upon canvassing the returns it was found that a third candidate was voted for in the Bellevue precinct, in the person of Hadley A Johnston, Esq., who rec’d 358 votes.

“From information derived from that precinct it appeared that Mr. Johnston was an actual resident of Iowa, and at that time a member of the Legislature of that State; and an additional circumstance tending to vitiate the election in this precinct, was that a large majority of the voters were actual residents of that State. The officers were compelled to reject these returns.”

Mr. Johnson’s statement will be found in another part of this work. His credentials consisted only of the Certificate of the judges and clerks of the election stating the fact that he received a certain number of votes in the election held in the Bellevue precinct. The poll-books must have been sent to the Provisional Government as the returns were canvassed there; and it is more than probable that Mr. Johnson’s certificate was not written until after it was known that the votes of the Bellevue precinct had been rejected by the Territorial Council.

Governor Walker’s Journal says on March 27, 1854, “Heard that Hon. Thomas Johnson, Delegate elect from this Territory, returned from Washington yesterday.”



The cause of the failure of the Provisional Government of Nebraska Territory to secure recognition from the Government of the United States was the division of the Territory it represented into two separate Territories by the Kansas-Nebraska bill. Governor Walker says in his Notes that “the provisional government of Nebraska continued in existence till after the organization by Congress of the two Territories and the arrival of A. H. Reeder, the first Governor of Kansas.”


What did this movement for the organization of Nebraska Territory accomplish? It forced the Thirty-third Congress to action. This action and its consequences are matters of history. The results which Mr. Guthrie claims for himself in his statement to Congress are justly the results of this whole movement. The claim that these results were due to the organization and efforts of the Provisional Government of Nebraska Territory is certainly entitled to consideration, at least.




Adopted July 26, 1853, in the Council House of the Wyandot Nation, in what is now Wyandotte County, Kansas, but at that time in what was known and spoken of as Nebraska Territory; said Convention being, held for the purpose of selecting provisional officers and organizing a Provisional Government for Nebraska Territory. This is the Constitution of the Provisional Government of Nebraska Territory–the first State Paper of Nebraska and Kansas.

1) These resolutions are copied from the original now in my possession. It was given. to me by Mrs. Margaret Pipe, a Wyandot, now living in the Wyandot Reserve in the Indian Territory. Governor Walker spent much time, when in the Indian Territory, at the home of Irvin P. Long, and as he had no home at that time, he carried all his important papers to the Wyandot Reserve with him. He gave Mr. Long this and other papers. Mrs. Pipe cared for Mr. Long’s household during the last years of his life and her daughter was adopted by Mr. Long and made his heir by will. She did not know the historical value of these papers, and in house cleaning burned large quantities of them, as useless rubbish, so she said. Some of his papers he carried to Ohio with him a short time before his death, and he gave some of his Journals and many of his papers to some one in Columbus to keep long enough to copy certain portions of them. I am confident this was a Mr. Geo. W. Hill. None of them were ever returned to him. Governor Walker died at the house of Mr. Henry Smalley, now of Springfield, Mo. Mrs. Smalley says that after his death some one representing a Historical Society came and got some of his books and papers. So, to date, these invaluable papers are scattered abroad. Mr. H. M. Northrup and Nicholas McAlpine both told me that the mice destroyed many of his papers, including his History of the Wyandots.

I searched for this paper for many years. I looked through hundreds of receptacles for old papers in the public offices of Wyandotte County, Kansas, with the hope of finding it.


Whereas it appears to be the will of the people of the United States that the Mississippi Valley and Pacific Ocean shall be connected by railroad to be built at the national expense and for the national benefit; it becomes the duty of the people to make known their will in relation to the location of said road and the means to be employed in its construction. In selecting a route “the greatest good to the greatest number” should be the first consideration and economy in the construction and in protecting the road should be the second in estimating the ‘greatest good to the greatest number,’ present population alone should not govern, but the capability of the regions to be traversed by the road, for sustaining population should be considered

Economy in the construction will be best secured by the cultivation of a productive soil, where materials for the road exist, along and contiguous to the line of road whereby provisions, labor and materials can be obtained at low rates. Then the farmers with their teeming fields will ever be in advance of the railroad laborer to furnish him with abundance of wholesome food at prices which free competition always reduces to a reasonable standard. At the same time they will be a defense to the work and the workman against savage malice without the expense of keeping up armies and military posts. These too will be the surest and safest protectors of the road when finished and without expense to the Government. But should the road be constructed through barren wastes and and mountains and upon the frontier of a foreign and jealous and hostile people an immense and expensive military power must be erected to protect it – a power ever dangerous to freedom and desirable only to despots. In view of these facts therefore be it

Resolved  That from personal knowledge of the country and from reliable information derived from those who have traveled over it we feel entire confidence in the eligibility of the Central Route as embracing within itself all the advantages and affording all the facilities necessary to the successful prosecution of this great enterprise.

Resolved  That grants of large bodies of the public lands to corporate companies for the purpose of building railroads, telegraph lines or for any purpose whatever are detrimental to the public interests, that they prevent settlement, are oppressive and unjust to the pioneer settler and retard the growth and prosperity of the country in which they lie.


Resolved  That we cordially approve of the plan for the construction of a railroad to connect the Mississippi valley and Pacific Ocean recently submitted to the public by the Hon. Thomas H. Benton whereby the settlement and prosperity of the vast country between Missouri and California will be promoted and the construction of that great work be rendered much cheaper, more expeditious, and more universally useful.1

Resolved  That it was with profound regret that we heard of the failure of the bill to organize a government for Nebraska Territory; that justice and sound policy alike demand the consummation of this measure and we therefore respectfully but earnestly recommend it to the favorable consideration of Congress and ask for it the earliest possible passage.2

Resolved  That the people of Nebraska cherish a profound sense of obligation to the Hon. Thomas H. Benton and to the Hon. Willard P. Hall of Missouri for their generous and patriotic exertions in support of the rights and interests of our territory and that we hereby express to them our grateful acknowledgements.3

Whereas it is a fundamental principle in the theory and practice of our government that there shall be no taxation without representation and the citizens of Nebraska being subject to the same laws for the collection of revenue for the support of government as other citizens of the United States it is but right that they shall be represented in Congress, therefore be it4

Resolved  That the citizens of Nebraska Territory will meet in their respective precincts on the second Tuesday of October next and elect one delegate to represent them in the thirty third Congress.

Resolved  That this Convention do appoint a provisional Governor, a provisional Secretary of State and a Council of three persons, and that all election returns shall be made to the Secretary of State and be by him opened and the votes counted in the presence of the Governor and Council on the second Tuesday of November next and that

1)See in another part of this work this plan, and Colonel Benton’s remarks to the United States Senate when he brought in his bill, page 88.

2) The Hall-Richardson bill.

3) If there remained any question as to who inspired the movement to action at this particular time, this Resolution would settle it.

4) This preamble is crossed out, in the original document, by drawing the pen diagonally through it each way.


a certificate of election shall be issued by them to the person having the largest number of votes.1

Resolved  that while we earnestly desire to see this territory organized, and become the home of the white man, we as earnestly disclaim all intention or desire to infringe upon the rights of the Indians holding lands within the boundaries of said territory2

Resolved  that the people of Nebraska territory are not unmindful of the services rendered by our late Delegate in Congress the Hon Abelard Guthrie, and we hereby tender him our sincere thanks and profound gratitude for the same

Resolved  that this Convention nominate a suitable person to represent Nebraska territory in the 33rd Congress

Resolved  that Editors of Newspapers throughout the country favorable to the Organization of Nebraska Territory and to the Central Route, to the Pacific Ocean are requested to publish the proceedings of this Convention3

Resolved  That the Editors of newspapers throughout the country who are favorable to the organization of Nebraska Territory and to the Central Route to the Pacific Ocean are requested to publish the proceedings of this Convention4

Endorsed on the back are these words:

Preamble and resolutions to be submitted to the Nebraska Convention to meet on the 26th July 18535

1) To this point the Resolutions are in the same handwriting, a small, rather heavy, running hand, having some appearance of having been written with a quill pen. The ink is a deep black. I feel confident that they were written by Mr. Dyer, as he was the Chairman, of the Committee on Resolutions, appointed by the Convention.

2) This Resolution is in the handwriting of Governor Walker. The ink used was of a poorer quality than that used by Mr. Dyer.

3) This and the two preceding Resolutions are in the handwriting of Abelard Guthrie. The ink used was a dark blue. Mr. Guthrie must have carried a bottle of this ink with him. He seems to have used no other kind for some years.

4) This Resolution is in Mr. Dyer’s handwriting, and must have been written before the meeting of the Convention, at the same time the other Resolutions in Dyer’s handwriting were prepared, probably some days before the Convention. Guthrie evidently overlooked the fact that this Resolution was already written, as his last one is almost exactly like it.

5) This indicates that the Resolutions were drawn up some considerable time before the Convention met.



In pursuance of the sixth Resolution adopted in the general Convention of the citizens of Nebraska Territory to organize a provisional govt and other purposes held in Wyandott City on the 26th ultimo, embraced in the following words, viz: “Resolved: That the citizens of Nebraska Territory will meet in their respective precincts on the second Tuesday of October next, and elect one delegate to represent them in the thirty third Congress of the United States”:

I, William Walker, by virtue of authority in me vested as Provisional Governor of Nebraska Territory, do issue this my Proclamation, notifying the legal voters in the said Territory to meet in their respective precincts on the second Tuesday in October next ensuing, then and there to elect one delegate to represent this Territory in the 33rd Congress of the United States, under such rules and regulations as the Territorial Council may prescribe.

Given under my hand [and] seal at Wyandott City, Nebraska Territory, this the 1st day of Aug, Anno Domini 1853 and of the Independence of the United States the seventy seventh year


Provisional Governor of the Territory of Nebraska


Secy of the Territory

Endorsed on back:

“The Industrial Luminary”


1) This Proclamation is a model in brevity, strength of language, and the absence of unnecessary, official tautology.

2) George 1. Clark was the son of —- Clark who married —– Brown, daughter, of Adam Brown, the adopted white man who was Chief of the Wyandots, and who purchased William Walker, Sr., from the Delawares. See sketch of the Walker family, in this work. George I. Clark was born June 10, 1802. He was a man of influence in the Wyandot Nation, and was elected Head Chief. He was a good man. Abelard Guthrie says in his journal: “I mourn his loss with tears — the first that have moistened my eyes for years.” He belonged to that faction of his people that favored the old Church and opposed slavery. He and J. M. Armstrong maintained that slavery was wholly foreign to ancient Wyandot customs and usage. They said, with entire truth, that any member of the tribe must necessarily be as free as any other member of it. That the tribe in ancient times either killed or adopted all prisoners of war. If adopted,



Rules adopted by the Territorial Council of Nebraska, prescribing the manner of conducting the election of Delegate to the, 33rd Congress of the United States:

First. On the 11th day of Oct next ensuing, the voters in each precinct will assemble at the hour of 10 o’clock A. M. and shall proceed to appoint three Judges of election and one Clerk; who shall, previously to entering upon their respective duties, be sworn to act faithfully, fairly and impartially in conducting the election. The oath to be administered by the Seignior Judge, then by a Junior Judge to him.

Second. The seignior Judge shall then proclaim publicly the opening of the polls and add, “Voters prepare your ballots.”

Third. The voters shall vote by ballot printed or written, and the seignior Judge shall receive the ballots and announce the names of the voters, the Clerk recording the names of such voters in the appropriate column of the Poll book; the Judge then depositing the ballots in a Box or some other suitable receptacle.

Fourth. The Polls shall be kept open from 11 o’clock A. M. till the hour of 4 o’clock P. M., when the Judge shall publicly proclaim “the Polls closed”.

Fifth. To insure a full vote from all the voters present, at 1/2 past 3 P. M. the Seignior Judge shall publicly proclaim that in “one half hour more, the Polls will be closed”.

Sixth. The Judges and Clerk shall then proceed to canvass the votes and as each ballot is read aloud, the clerk shall enter in the column under the name of each candidate the ballot so cast for each

they were entitled to all the privileges of those born into the tribe. He and the wife of Abelard Guthrie were cousins, and he seems uniformly to have supported Guthrie. He married Catherine —–. They had three children: 1. Richard W.; 2. Harriet W.; and 3. Mary J. They are buried in Huron Place Cemetery. The following is copied from the stone at the head of George I. Clark’s grave:

(Square and Compass.)

George I. Clark

Head Chief of the

Wyandott Nation


June 10 1802


June 25 1858


56 Yrs 7 Mo 8 Ds.



respectively. The Clerk shall then under supervision of the J[udges] add up the votes cast for each Candidate and enter the aggregate at the foot of each column. The Seignior Judge shall then publicly announce the result.

Seventh. The Judges shall then append a certificate at the bottom of the Poll book officially signed by them and countersigned by the Clerk -Fold up and seal and forward the same by some safe conveyance to the address of


Secretary of the Territory of Nebraska

Wyandott City” —

Endorsed, Poll Book

for ………………..Precinct

Nebraska Territory

Si[x]th Unnaturalized citizens or foreigners are excluded from participating in the election the same as in the States.

Adopted Sept 10, 1853.


Secretary of the Territory



Provisl Governor.


Return of the election held in the precinct of ………………………

Nebraska Territory for Delegate to the 33d Congress of the United States on the second Teusday [sic] in Oct 1853:


VOTERS NAMES               A. B.            C. D.           E. F.

V. D. Hale                      1

J. L. H.                                                     1

J. L. S.                                                                        1

Tho 0. S.                                         1

D. A. L.                          1

W. M. O.                                                            1

P. S.                                                1

T. P.                              1

L. G.                                                1


………………….  Precinct Nebraska Territory Oct …… 1853.

We the undersigned Judges of the election for this precinct, certify that the above is a correct account of the votes polled in this precinct for delegate to the 33rd Congress of the U. S. and that C. D. recd a majority (or plurality as the case may be) of all the votes cast


I Certify that pursuant to a Call for an election to be held on the 2d Mondey [sic] of Oct 1853 at Old fort Kea[r]ney Commencing at 12 M. and closing at 4 O.Clock P. M. for a Del[e]gate to Congres[s] for Nebra[s]k[a] Ter[r]it[or]y

No. 1 H. P. Downs

2 Thomas Helvey

3 John. B. Boulwane

4 Wm. C. Folkes

5 Joel. Helvey

6 Isham Holland

I Certify this is a Correct Statement of an elettion [sic] held this the 10th day of October 1853 given unde[r] my hand as above Stated


Judg[e] of an electian [sic]


Clerk of an election

1) This poll book is, I believe, entitled to the distinction of complete originality. I have studied it deeply and have failed to find even an intimation or suggestion in it as to whom the six votes it records as having participated in the election were cast for.

2) The following is from Rev. William H. Good’s “Outposts of Zion (Cincinnati, 1864), page 264. Mr. Good was at Old Fort Kearney in August, 1854, reaching the house of Major Downs on the first:

“Returning to Oregon, I again took stage early on the morning of August 1st, and about midnight, crossing the State line, reached Sidney, Iowa. Here I again left the stage, obtained a horse, and set off with a guide for the Territory, about fifteen miles distant. Reaching the Missouri River opposite Old Fort Kearney, I was surprised to find a fine steam ferry-boat. The enterprising proprietors of the two young cities just laid out at the site of the old fort, determining to ‘take time by the forelock,’ had made provision for an anticipated amount of travel and emigration, and consequent ferry patronage, which has never been realized. My first crossing at this point was under pleasant auspices. But this was of short duration, and many weary hours have I since lingered and shivered, or sweated upon the shore, waiting the slow movements of one of the most dilatory flat-boat transits upon the river. Many of the early improvements in this country, especially in the vicinity of contemplated cities, were



At an Election held at Miami, in the Osage River Agency, on Tuesday, the 11th day of October 1853 for the purpose of Electing

ahead of the times, and were compelled to take a step back till the actual wants of the country should call for their reappearance.

“Old Fort Kearney was an evacuated military post, the name and the troops having been transferred to a new post about two hundred miles up the Platte River. A substantial block- house, one old log dwelling, and the remains of a set of rude, temporary barracks, were all that was there to be seen of the old fort. Squatters had taken possession of the lands, and the two rivals, Nebraska City and Kearney City, had been laid off, the one above and the other below the mouth of South Table Creek. The site of the old fort, now of Nebraska City, is bold and fine. I found a single frame shanty erected, in which were a few goods, and a single settler in the old fort cabin in the person of Major Downs. The Major had served through the Mexican war, accompanied by his heroic wife; afterward was a sergeant among the troops at the garrison, and, on its evacuation, had been left in charge of the government property. Being on the ground and in actual possession at the passage of the organizing act, he laid his ‘claim’ upon the land on which the fort stood, and became the original proprietor of Nebraska City. I found him to be a frank, generous hearted soldier, possessing some noble traits of character, with some unfortunate remains of army habits. He took me to his house, treated me kindly and generously, exhibited quite an interest in my mission, took down his city plat, and, in my presence, marked off certain lots, since risen to a value equal to five times the outlay and expenses of my whole trip, which he then and there donated to the Methodist Episcopal Church. Major D. has since served one term in the Nebraska Legislature, and has been appointed Major-General of the Militia of the Territory. Others became interested with him in the proprietorship of the city, and in the result he reaped but little pecuniary benefit from his early occupancy. But in my reminiscences of Nebraska pioneers I shall never forget Major Downs and his amiable lady. Their house has always been open for personal accommodation or for public religious service, and his large heart has always stood out in generous actions. They have both for sometime been seeking for a higher life. I hope to meet them above.”*

Early in the following winter Mr. Good again visited Old Fort Kearney and he leaves us this record of the event (see page 319):

“After a laborious week’s travel, I succeeded, on Saturday afternoon, in reaching the ferry opposite Old Fort Kearney, alias Nebraska City. But the steam ferry-boat was gone, and slender substitutes were left. The ice was running in large quantities, and the prospect gloomy of reaching my intended point for the Sabbath, though now in sight. Ordinary ferrying was suspended. Finding, however, a bold, skillful man – whose kind services I have repeatedly since had in time of need – about to cross, we tied ourselves on to his fortunes, entered the skiff, and made our way through the vast field of floating ice to the opposite shore.

“Again in Nebraska City, I called on my friend Major Downs, who, meantime, had erected a large frame hotel. His house was crowded to its utmost capacity, and the weather severe. He offered to take me in, but the prospect was forbidding. I inquired for the preacher, whom I understood to be on the ground, and was pointed to a cabin on the opposite side of Table Creek, at quite a distance, where he was

* Major D. has since served honorably in his country’s cause as Lieutenant-Colonel of Nebraska Volunteers.–1863.


a Delegate to represent Nebraska Territory in the next Congress of the United States the following is the result

VOTERS NAMES.              Thomas Johnson.  Abelard Guthrie.

James Chenault              1

David Lykins                   2

Joseph Jebo                   3

William A. Heiskell          4

Luther Paschal                5

John Paschal                           6

Thomas I. Hedges          7

Baptiste Peoria1 8

Andrew Kaskaskia           9

—– Mitchell                   10

Peter Cloud                    1

Chin. gwa. ke. Ah            2

Kah. a. sha                    3

supposed to be boarding. Dark was about setting in, when, leaving my young companion to the chances of the hotel, and taking my course, I set out on foot for the place. The creek intervened, with a thicket of timber and brushwood, and the cabin was lost from my view. It grew darker and darker as I crossed the creek and ascended the opposite hill, till I found myself entangled in the brushwood, and bewildered in my course. For a time I wandered and called, but met no response. The lights in the city were yet to be seen. Wishing to take an observation while I could, I drew out my pocket-compass, lighted a match, and took the course; then started again, traveling as I could, and calling aloud. At length, through an opening cabin-door, I espied a light, and heard a female voice in response. Seldom has a gentle voice fallen more gratefully upon my ear. I made way to the place, and was invited in. The preacher was not there, the husband was absent, and the lady was alone with her little children. I told her who and what I was. Late and dark as it was, I accepted her kind invitation for the night, was well entertained, and formed an acquaintance with a worthy Christian lady. The husband returned soon, and I made the brushwood cabin my home during my stay.

“On the day following, being the Sabbath, Major D. tendered a room of his hotel for public service, and I occupied it for preaching. The day was cold; men kept within doors; some rudely running up and down stairs; a group of shivering Indians stood and looked curiously on; but there was a goodly number of attentive and solemn hearers, and I trust the seed was not sown in vain. The Major would have me dine with him, but, to secure the object, had to take me in privately and seat me before the rush of hungry men in waiting was let in, for frontier’s-men are proverbial for appetite, and not always very deferential to the appetites or the positions of others.

This was all of the first quarterly meeting for Old Fort Kearney mission.”

1) Baptiste Peoria was the leading man of the Peoria tribe. I have been unable to obtain material for even a brief sketch of his life.


VOTERS NAMES.                      Thomas Johnson.          Abelard Guthrie.

Pe. si. ah.                               4

Joe Peoria                               5

Battiste Basure                        6

Chal. U. lie                              7

Ken. ge tah no sah                           8

Jack Boys                                9

Go. to. kah. poo. ah                          20

Se pah. ka. ah                        1

Pah. kon. ge. ah                      2

Kish. e. wan. e. sah                           3

Tall. wah. kwah. ke. naw. gah    4

Pe. tah. nah. ke. kah. poo. ah  0.

zar. ah. ke. yow. gah                         6

Mah. kon. sah                                  7

Kah. ke. lan. gwau. gah            8

Wah. pah. koo. se. ah              9

Chah. pen. doo. ce. ah             30

Bazie Boye                              1

Lewis Dequine                         2

Capt. Big Legs                         3

Sam Delaware                         4

Little Doctor                             5

Kil. son. sah                            6

Wan. sah. pe. ah                     7

Wah. pan. e. kah. poo. ah                 8

Nap. shin. gah                         9

Nah. wan. ge. ah                      40

Kil. son. sah                            1

Ke. no. zan. yah                      2

Go. to. kahs. poo. ah                        3

Wap. shin. gah                        4

Lewis Peckham                        5

Elie Geboe                              6

Old Beaver                              7

Yellow Beaver                                   8

—– Wilson                             9

Kish e kon. Sah                       50

501 00

1) There is a certain uniformity and a noticeable sameness in the vote of this precinct that must have struck Mr. Guthrie as being remarkable, at least.


Endorsed on back:

Messrs. Munday, Miller & Grover


Miami Polls.        N. T.


Whereas at the late general Convention of delegates which assembled in Wyandott City, Nebraska Territory, on the 26th day of July, 1853, among the Acts of the said Convention, was the adoption of the two following Resolutions, viz: “6 Resolved. That the citizens of “Nebraska Territory will meet in their respective precincts on the “second Tuesday in October next, and elect one delegate to the 33rd “Congress. “7. Resolved. That this Convention do appoint a provisional Governor, a provisional Secretary of the Territory and a Council of three persons, and that all election returns shall be made to the Secretary of the Territory and be by him opened and counted in the presence of the Governor and Council on the second Tuesday in November next, and that a certificate shall be issued by them to the person having the highest number of votes”–And Whereas in pursuance of the above Resolutions, elections were held, returns were made to the Secretary and by his deputy “opened and counted in the presence of the Governor and Council,” and it appearing that Thomas Johnston having received the highest number of votes is, by virtue of authority in me vested, declared duly elected delegate to represent Nebraska Territory in the 33rd Congress of the United States.1

Given under my [hand] at Wyandott City this the 8th day of November A. D. one thousand eight hundred and fifty three and of the Independence of the United States the seventy seventh year —


Provisional Governor


Deputy provisional Secretary of the Territory—

1) Thomas Johnson must have carried the original certificate of election to Washington with him. But the original from which this is copied is in my possession, and while it may have been intended for the first draft of the certificate it is well executed and is in Governor Walker’s handwriting. It is most probable that the certificate was issued in duplicate, one copy being retained by the Provisional Goverment [sic]; the other given to Mr. Johnson.



RICHMOND VA Feby 25th 1854.


I will be much obliged to you, if you will confer upon me the appointment of Commissioner of Deeds, &c for the territory of Nebraska. Below are the signatures of members of Congress to whom I beg leave to refer you as to my character and qualifications1

Very Respectfully,

Your Obt sevt.


To His Excellency

The Governor of Nebraska.

J. M. MASON          Va. U.S. Senators


J.S. CASKIE           Va. Representatives


P. S. I am authorized to refer also to Senators Thomas J. Rusk and Samuel Houston of Texas.







Oct. 17th 1853

His Excellency

William Walker

Prov.Governor &c..


I have taken the liberty of enclosing the Maryland State Capitol Gazette, a leading Democratic paper, containing a notice of Nebraska, which I hope will meet your approbation.

1) The signatures are genuine autographs and not a list of names furnished by Mr. Mayo for Governor Walker to write to if he so desired.


If I can be of service to you personally, or to the Territory, let me know in what manner, and your wishes shall be imperative with me

Allow me to subscribe myself personally and politically and sincerely

Your Friend



[The following letter, it is believed, is a letter to O. H. Browne, Esq., the writer of the foregoing letter. It is evidently not an answer to the foregoing, but one of a correspondence of which it was the commencement. This correspondence resulted in Mr. Browne’s coming to Kansas to live, as suggested in the following letter. He settled in Osage County and engaged in farming, and was elected to the Legislature in 1865; he was then 45 years old; his Postoffice was Ridgeway. He died in Rice County, July 22, 1874, aged 59 years.]


Your favor of the —– reached me while confined to my bed with a violent attack of Pneumonia, from which I am now slowly recovering. I am not sure that “gin horse prudence” would, as the Scottish poet would say if consulted, sanction this attempt at clerical labor, while so enfeebled in body and depressed with mental embecility and weakness: -certain I am, my worthy physician would interpose his earnest remonstrance against any such premature labors.

But it is my desire, if I can do nothing more, to tender to you my warm thanks for your favor and the slip enclosed containing your letter addressed to the p—–. Accuse me not, my dear air, with fulsome flattery when I say that I listened to its reading with admiration and delight, and mentally exclaimed, This is just what is so much needed at the present juncture – facts and figures that are incontrovertible.

1) In his Journal Governor Walker mentions writing to Mr. Browne.


I must be brief. I wish here to state a fact that you may not be aware of, that slavery has existed in what is now called “Kansas Territory,” and still exists, both among Indians and whites regardless of the exploded Mo Com. Some of the slaves are held by the former by, virtue of their own laws and usages, and some by regular bills of sale from citizens of Mo. How will this description of Indian “property” be protected if the change in D’s bill, so clamorously called for, be made? Will that clause in the First section which provides” That nothing in this act contained shall be construed to impair the rights of person or property now pertaining to the Indians in the said Territory” protect them in their right to this kind of property ? To my mind this is not so clear.

Be pleased to accept of the thanks of the Officers of the Prov gov’t for your able defence of them.

For your information, which you may use hereafter should occasion &rise, I will state that there is not one of these men intermarried with the Indians. Of the members of the Territorial Council [torn away here] R. C. M. [R. C. Miller] a native, I believe of the Ancient Dominion is a licensed trader among the Pot[tawatomie] Indians. Mr I. M. [Isaac Mundy] a native of Ky is the Gov’t B S [blacksmith] among the Dr [Delaware] Indians. M. R. Walker a Quadroon Wy—– and G. I. Clark Secy is a native of Canada, and your humble servt another Quadroon and a native of Michigan. My colleagues, as you say, justly “are all the right kind of men, and eminently worthy of the distinguished positions assigned them by their fellow citizens” —-

In your application for an appointment in the judiciary by all means choose one in this Territory. It is in every respect superior to N—– in climate soil and indeed all the elements promotive of general thrift and prosperity. The other will, in climate prove, I am sure, too Labradorian for you. It is a sterile, cold and uninviting region when compared to this. Lying between the parellels of 40 & 49’. This Territory will be the Cynosure of the enterprising emigrant and will fill up more rapidly than the other.

[No signature.]




[In] The year 1852, public attention, especially in the West, was drawn to the occupation of those large tracts of land held by the United States for the use of such Indians as may still emigrate from the States East of the Mississippi, at that time vacant. And considering also the fact that, except the Six Nations of N. Y. there were no more Indian tribes to be removed to these parts; and considering also that these large bodies of surplus land must, if the Govt policy be adhered to, remain unoccupied in all time to come. Independently of this, another grave question presented itself furnishing matter for serious and sober reflection. A guarrantee was made to all the Emigrating tribes that in the Country assigned them West, no territorial government shall ever be formed over them, nor become subject to any State authority.

These questions were discussed at public meetings, in private circles and in the public Journals with considerable earnestness. These discussions attracted the attention of the Interior Department and drew forth official intimations that the government could not allow any portion of that territory to be occupied or settled by white people; and that the president was authorized to employ, if necessary, the military force of the U. S. in removing from the Indian Country all persons found therein contrary to law.

But unfortunately for the government, it turned out that it was the Indians, not the indigenous, but the Emigrant Indians themselves especially the Wyandotts that warmly favored the occupation by white people of the vacant lands and ultimate organization of the territory. They foresaw that the pressure Westward and from the Pacific slope Eastward of emigration would ere long force the government to abandon its restrictive policy. The Wyandotts and such whites as were within their [tribe] took the initiatory step, by holding an election for a Delegate to Congress in the fall of 1852, and elected Mr A. G.2 a gentleman every way qualified to represent this [Territory in Congress].

1) This MS. is unsigned, but it is in Governor Walker’s handwriting. I obtained it with the resolutions or “Constitution” of the Provisional Government.

2) Abelard Guthrie.


The Missouri delegation in Congress were, with the exception of Col. Benton and Hon W. P. Hall, opposed to the measure, and nothing was accomplished, but an increased interest excited and public attention aroused to the importance of this novel measure inaugurated by two parties, in which the Indians and the ever restless and erratic whites coalesced and opposed the very policy intended for the protection of the former.

In the summer of 1853, a Territorial Convention was held pursuant to previous notice to be held at Wyandott. The Convention met on the 26th of July when the following proceedings took place: (See “Industrial Luminary” herewith sent)1

A proclamation was issued in pursuance of the 10th Resolution ordering an election for a Delegate to the 33rd Congress on the 2nd Tuesday in Oct. and designating the precincts at which the polls should be opened.

A few days after the adjournment of this Convention another rather informally was called at Kickapoo, at which Mr Thomas Johnson was nominated as Candidate for Delegate.1 The latter then yielded to the wishes of his friends and became a Candidate in opposition to the regular nominee. The election was held accordingly. Upon canvassing the returns it was found that a third candidate was voted for in the Bellevue precinct, in the person of Hadley D. Johnston Esq who recd 358 votes.2

From information derived from that precinct it appeared that Mr Johnston was an actual resident of Iowa, and at that time a member of the Legislature of that State; and an additional circumstance tending to vitiate the election in this precinct, was that a large majority of the voters were actual residents of that State. The officers were compelled to reject these returns.3 Upon canvassing the returns it was found that Thomas Johnson of Shawnee had received a majority of all the votes cast and was declared duly elected. Many politicians and Editors of public Journals whose standard of political morals was of the straitest kind viewed these proceedings with decided aversion and regarded them as revolutionary &c mobocratic law

1) These “Notes” were evidently intended for publication in some newspaper, most probably the Ohio State Journal. This is the rough draft of what the communcation [sic] was when rewritten.

2) This is the same number of votes given in Mr. Johnson’s certificate of election. See Mr. Johnson’s statement in another part of this work.

3) See Mr. Johnson’s statement in another part of this work.


defying, unprecedented, illegal; forgetting the several provisional govts of California, Oregon, New Mexico &c.1

It is here worthy of remark that in each of the emigrant tribes of Indians elections were held and they voluntarily and freely participated in them; showing clearly. that they anticipated and were prepared for the change in their political condition which they saw would soon be wrought out. As was the case with Mr G who was elected Delegate the year previous, Congress being averse to a departure from “the line of sav[f]e precedent”, by admitting delegates from unorganized territories, refused to admit Mr Johnson to a seat in that body. The provisional government of Nebraska continued in existence till after the organization by Congress of the two Territories and the arrival of A. H. Reeder the first Governor of Kansas. Of all the remarkable events that transpired subsequently, “are they not written in the book of Chronicles” of Kansas Territory?


[The document of which the following is a copy is in the handwriting of Governor Walker. The paper is not complete, it being only a portion of the first draft of an article for some periodical. It has no date.]


The first movement looking to an organization of this Territory was made in 1845. Senator Douglas then Chairman on Territories reported a Bill for that purpose; but the measure not meeting with much favor with the Senate, was laid aside and but little more said about the measure till the summer of 1852, when a few daring and resolute spirits in the Wyandott nation determined upon making a demonstration in favor of its organization, by concerting measures for holding an election for a delegate to Congress. But a serious question at hand had to be solved: Who would go, if elected, and run the risk of having to pay his own expenses to, at and from Washington, as it was extremly [sic] doubtful whether the delegate so elected would be

1) Especially the papers of the South, and many of the Democratic papers of the North.


admitted to a seat. Mr A. G. a man of talents and some experience in public life, having “done the State some service” in other responsible positions, offered his services & was duly elected amidst the opposition of Government officials, the military especially.

There being no existing provisional government in the Territory to give official evidence to Mr G. of his election, he took with him the Poll Books as prima facia evidence of his election.

As was feared, he was not admitted to a seat in the House, tho’ his election was admitted, yet he did good service “on his own charges” in the character of a “Lobby member.” As evidence of this it will be recollected that the Committee on Territories in the House reported a Bill for the organization, which finally passed the House by a vote of 98 to 43!

Upon the Senate, especially the Chairman of the Com. on Territories (Mr D.) rests the responsibility of its failure in that body. The metes and bounds of the Territory as fixed in the bill, are as follows: The 43 degree of North latitude on the Missouri river, thence running West to the base of the Rocky Mountains–thence South following the meanderings of said base to latitude 36o 30 minutes, thence East till it intersects the N. W. corner of Arkansas, thence following the Missouri State line North to the place of beginning.

The bill was so framed as not to violate any of the political or property rights secured to the Indians holding lands in the territory, secured to them by treaty stipulations. A clause in the first section of the Bill provides “that nothing in this Act contained shall be construed to impair the rights of person or property now pertaining to the Indians in said territory, or to include any territory which, by treaty with any Indian tribe, is not, without the consent of said tribe, to be included within the territorial limits or jurisdiction of any State or Territory” – The above clause was supposed to be amply sufficient to guard all the rights of the Indiana and to preclude the possibility of any violation of treaty stipulations with the latter.


[The document of which the following is a copy is in the handwriting of Governor Walker. It is from the archives


of the Wyandot Nation, and is a record of the official views of the Legislative Committee, the highest tribunal of the government. It is a legal document, and was probably handed to the Council of Chiefs during a joint session of the two bodies. As all parties were present it is possible that it was not considered necessary to have the paper signed by the members of the Legislative Committee. While it is not dated, it is evident that it was written during the time when the Wyandots were working for the organization of a Territorial Government for Nebraska. And it would seem that this document conclusively shows that the Government of the Wyandot Nation was then taking part in this movement.

The paper was given to me by Hon. Allen Johnson, Jr., Head Chief of the Wyandot Nation in the Indian Territory.]

The Legislative Committee previous to adjournment deemed it necessary to make some formal and official expression of its views upon our Indian relations as they now exist, and upon our relation with the United States in the present aspect of affairs.

First, then, it is well known that for the last hundred years a league has existed between the following tribes, viz: Wyandott, Delaware, Chippewa, Ottawa, Pottawottomie, Shawnee and Miami. This League unanimously elected the Wyandott the Keeper of the Council fire, where all diplomatic and other important matters involving the interests of the several tribes composing this league were to be discussed. Whether in peace or War this league maintained a unity of mind and action in all important measures. On the happening of any important event interesting to them, it appears from past history that the Keeper of the Council fire was the member whose duty it was to apprise the members by a confidential runner bearing the official wampum, of the nature of the information received.

In pursuance of this understanding mutually entered into, the tribes composing this Confederacy naturally looked to the Wyandott for all official information of importance to them. Thus the principles of


this compact were kept up till by the action of the U. S. Gov’t the tribes composing this Confederacy removed from the North and East to the west of the Mississippi. This caused some derangement in our intercourse with each other – caused an interruption of the usual interchange of friendly messages. Thus matters continued till the autumn (Oct) of 1848, when the members of the league assembled for the first time in the West and demanded “Where is the Council fire” 1 The Keeper promptly responded: “When I rose from my seat in the East with my face to the West, I snatched the only fire brand yet burning in the Council fire and bro’t it with me; and here my brethren I rekindle it in the West. Light the pipe and scour up my dish and Camp kettle again.” At this first session West, all the former arrangements of the league were solemnly renewed and two other tribes joined us and agreed to incur the responsibilities and abide by the regulations and joint acts of the league, viz: the Kickapoos and Kansas. It is well known the Sacs and Foxes played an unmanly part on this occasion and we have had no explanation.1 The Wyandott being thus formally re-appointed the Keeper of the Council fire in the West, the obligation still rests upon him to discharge faithfully those obligations he incurred when originally invested with this mark of distinction.

Second. Our relations with the U. S. Gov’t. It would seem from present indications that the present Indian policy is about to undergo an important, and to us emigrant tribes, vital change. Heretofore the general policy has been to purchase the domain of the Red men little by little and confining him to narrower limits with the view, as the Gov’t said, of compelling him by the extinction of game, to resort to agricultural and civilized pursuits. This not working well, or rather it was the excuse, the injurious and demoralizing effects of

1) This incident is mentioned by Clarke in his “Traditional History of the Wyandotts,” page 132.

“A group of Fox Indians were noticed to be rather reserved and distant at this general Council, and who knew of a certain dark bead belt then in the hands of the Wyandotts with the shape of a tomahawk of a red colour on it, indicating some contemplated warfare whenever it was exhibited in a general Council. They knew, too, of the hostile incursions their forefathers used to make against the Wyandotts and other tribes about Detroit, over a century ago; how they were chastised by them at different times, and that they never made peace with each other.

“The group of Fox Indians watched the Wyandotts with an eagle eye, and no sooner than they observed the crimson tomahawk exhibited than they were off to their homes an their ponies, followed by wolfish-looking dogs.”


being surrounded by a dense white population being so palpable, induced the government again to change the whole policy to that of colonizing the Red race in a new country West, to be assigned them. by the Gov’t and to be theirs “as long as, grass grows and water runs.” Where they could have their choice of pursuits, either the chase or agricultural and where they and their descendants would be free from the trammels of State or territorial laws, and be governed by their own laws, usages and customs. And in order to this the government threw around the emigrant tribes its strong protecting arm. This change in its policy took place about twenty two years ago. The next and present apprehended change is that of purchasing of us emigrant tribes the lands assigned, or rather sold to us to be our perpetual home. This presents to us a new question. If we submissively fall into this new line of policy, what is to become of us? further west we can not go – nor indeed to any other point of the compass, as the Gov’t has no more rich-soiled, timbered and watered territory on this continent to bestow upon the Red man. What are the emigrant tribes to do? In this exigency the Committee would respectfully suggest to the Executive Council the propriety of sending the messenger with the Wampum to the tribes composing the Confederacy and such other tribes as emigrated from the East as we may be upon friendly terms with, apprising them of this apprehended change with a view to a consultation upon the propriety of uncovering the great Council fire, and devising the measures necessary to be adopted in this new case.




Your letter dated the 4th inst was rec’d yesterday, and although pretty well over run with similar letters, some yet unanswered, yet I

1) Governor Walker bestowed the name “Jersey” upon the creek running through Kansas City, Kansas, into the Missouri River. He named his homestead “West Jersey,” why, I do not know; his home in Ohio may have been “Jersey.” Governor Walker’s house stood on what are now lots 4, 5, 6 and 7, in block 4, Sunnyside Addition to Kansas City, Kansas. The grounds and garden enclosed with the house included the remainder of block 4, the south half of block 3, the north half of block 6, lots 1 to 25 inclusive in block 5, and all streets and alleys included in these bounds. His house had been the


feel bound to give precedence to enquiries from the “Buckeye State.” I will endeavor to give you such information in regard to the character of this frontier and this Territory as 1 can command. My travels in the Territory have been chiefly through the Southern portion; therefore, cannot give you much from personal observation in regard to other parts but must rely upon information derived from other sources for a general description.

Then fancy me Chief Magistrate of this wild and untamed territory, seated upon a bleak boundless prairie, with a furious wind from the mountains whirling snow, leaves, grass &c in circling eddies round my head, with an icicle pendant from my proboscis, as long as a 10d nail, with my saddle on my lap for a writing desk, pouring my warm breath into my pen to thaw the congealing ink – anon thrashing my arms round my body to quicken circulation in my chilled fingers, while my company, composed of Wyandotts Shawnees Delawares and a quadroon Frenchman as Fort man, are attending to our animals. The devil and Phoenix bitters! how can I write in this fix? 0 here’s a mitigant. Antoine appor [part of this sentence torn away at this point] ici votre Boutielle de eau de vie et um cruche aussitot. Your good health, Sir. Ahem, Tres bien. Taut mieux. But stop. I forget myself. I am not on an exploring tour, taking notes of observation. Sure enough I’m in my own domicile, at my own comfortable fire side. Yes, I faix, there’s Mrs W. seated cosily in her arm chair and the girls one reading the latest Novel (sorry to say it, but ‘tis true) and the other gleaning political news from the National Intelligencer and your humble servant at the writing table. My negro domestic enters and announces “the Thermomaker 10o below Nero.” But I’m wandering from the matter on hand – no more digressions episodes &c, but to the point. Nebraska Ter extends to the 43rd parallel of N. lattitude and running S. to the parallel of 36o

old Delaware pay-house, where the Delawares came to receive their annuities from the agents. Governor Walker improved it and built additions to it until it was two stories high and contained ten or twelve large rooms. The building and most of the additions were of logs, but it was weather-boarded, and was a comfortable, roomy, delightful old home. Nothing remains of it now except a few stones of one corner of the foundation. The heavy door which had a square hole cut in it, through which the agent passed out the money to the Delawares, was always retained in use by Governor Walker. It was a rough, rude piece of workmanship, and Mrs. Walker wished to replace it with a more respectable looking one, but the Governor would not suffer this to be done.


30’’, bounded on the E. by Mo & Iowa and on the west by the spurs of the Rocky Mountains.

It is a rich champaign country; beautifully undulating. and well watered & generally well supplied with stone and I have no doubt but time will develop large and rich pits of coal. The chief deficiency is the want of good building timber. The timbered lands are confined to the streams. These wending their ways to their points of debouchment are fringed with timber. There are exceptions to this rule. There are some high rolling ridges timbered with a somewhat stunted growth of Bur Oak & Hickory, but these are valueless except for fuel. These immense praries are doubtless produced by the annual conflagrations of the tall grasses, weeds and undergrowth of wild shrubbery, rendering it impossible for a young growth of timber to survive these fearful ravages produced by the brand of the wild and tame incendiary; as often by the latter as the former. This scarcity of timber will always be a drawback – indeed an insurmountable obstacle to a compact settlement. But there are to be found, as will be more abundantly proved, whenever a geological survey shall be made, all the elements provided by the god of nature, to supply these deficiences, such as an abundance of stone for building houses and fences, added for the latter purpose Osage thorn, Stone coal for fuel. There is every variety of soil. The high rolling lands after a crop or two of corn yield fine wheat, Rye and Oats crops. The lower lands for corn, Hemp, Tobacco &c and the soil [is] inexhaustible. There is one important item that I cannot omit mentioning which operates seriously against the durability of the soil, especially in hilly or broken lands. There being the want of substantial clay or marl basis and the upper soil being [of] a light loamy character, the heavy rains peculiar to this country, sweep away, when tilled, the soil to the bottoms, rivers or ravines, presenting in a few years an unseemly sight of sterile knobs, fissures & gutters. This obj does not apply to the slightly undulating or level lands.






No. 67.


[To accompany bill H. R. No. 381]

Mr. Loomis, from the Committee of Elections, made the following


April 3, 1862. – Ordered to be printed.

The Committee of Elections, to whom was referred the memorial of Abelard Guthrie, praying to be allowed mileage and per diem as delegate from Nebraska to the thirty-second Congress, have had the same under consideration and respectfully report:

On the second Tuesday of October, A. D. 1852, the people of Nebraska, (then an unorganized Territory,) desiring to secure a territorial government, elected the memorialist as their delegate to the thirty-second Congress.

In pursuance of this election he came to Washington, and on the 17th day of December, 1852, presented his memorial to the House of Representatives, asking to be admitted as a delegate. This memorial was duly referred, and a report was made thereon and ordered to be printed, but no further action was had upon it. But a bill was immediately introduced for the organization of a government for that Territory, which passed the House of Representatives on the 18th day of February, 1853, by a vote 98 yeas to 43 nays. The bill was sent to the Senate, and there received the approval of the Committee on Territories, but as the session terminated on the 4th of March following it failed to become a law, and the memorialist was never admitted as a delegate, nor was any compensation ever allowed him for coming and remaining here for the purposes aforesaid.

The memorial now under consideration asks for the usual per diem and mileage, as before allowed in similar cases. This claim has long been pending before Congress.

On the 19th of July, 1856, the Hon. Israel Washburn, as chairman of the Committee of Elections, made a report in favor of the claim, accompanied with a bill granting the memorialist mileage not


to exceed two thousand dollars, and his per diem of five dollars per day from the time of presenting his memorial at the 2d session, 32d Congress, to the close thereof, but no further action was had thereon.

Your committee find that several claims similar to the one now under consideration have received the sanction of both houses of Congress.

In 1850 Hugh N. Smith petitioned the House to admit him as delegate from New Mexico, and A. W. Babbitt made application to be admitted as delegate from Utah. To these applications it was objected, among other things, that the Territories which they claimed to represent were unorganized, and that their boundaries had never been defined; and, further, that these gentlemen were appointed by delegates to territorial conventions or assemblies, and not chosen by the people in their primary meetings. The decision of the House was adverse to the claimants, but Congress passed an act to pay them mileage and per diem.

These cases are similar in principle to that of the memorialist, or, if there be any difference, it is in favor of the latter, as he was designated or elected by the people themselves in their primary assemblies.

Your committee believe that it was important to have an organized government for Nebraska at the time the people of that Territory sent the memorialist here as their delegate.

In the years 1849 and 1850 it is estimated that more than one hundred thousand emigrants passed through that Territory on their way to California, Utah, New Mexico, and Oregon.

The memorialist came here in good faith and with good reason to believe that the Territory would be organized, and he admitted as a delegate. The vote of the House before mentioned recognized in a most emphatic manner the propriety of its organization, and must have made the memoralist feel confident that he would be admitted to his seat as a delegate before the close of the session.

Your committee, therefore, recommend the passage of the accompanying bill.


To the House of Representatives of the United States now in session:

GENTLEMEN: Your memoralist begs leave to represent to your honorable body that be was elected by the people of Nebraska Territory


as their delegate to the second session of the 32d Congress; that he accepted the trust, came to Washington, presented his credentials and exerted his best abilities to serve his constituents, but was not admitted to a seat in the House, for the reason that there had been no Territorial government for Nebraska established, and therefore the election was unauthorized by law. A bill, however, was immediately introduced into the House for the organization of a government for Nebraska, and passed the House of Representatives, but was lost in the Senate.

It was confidently believed by the friends of the measure that the bill would pass the Senate, and that I would then be immediately admitted to a seat in the House as delegate, and this confidence continued up to the last day of the session, when it was too late, amidst the general press of business, to take the necessary, steps to obtain an appropriation for my per diem and mileage; and since that time a long and painful illness has made it impossible for me to bring the matter to your notice. I am fully aware that there is no law authorizing payment in such cases, and therefore I throw myself upon the generosity of Congress, as did the delegates from Utah and New Mexico, who came here under similar circumstances, before governments were organized for those Territories, and were paid. And I respectfully ask to be treated with the same liberality.

Very respectfully,


Washington City, D. C., June 14, 1856.


Personally appeared before me, Thomas J. Williams, a justice of the peace for the District of Columbia and county of Washington, Abelard Guthrie, who, being duly sworn, deposeth and saith that, in pursuance of public notice, an election was held in the Territory of Nebraska on the second Tuesday of October, 1852, for a delegate to represent the said Territory in the Congress of the United States, and that at the said election he received a majority of all the votes given, and was declared duly elected. That the evidences of his election, consisting of the poll-books and tally-lists of each precinct, or certified copies thereof, were handed, together with a memorial setting forth the


facts of said election and praying to be allowed a seat in Congress, to the Hon. Mr Phelps, of Missouri, to be presented to the House; and that Mr Phelps afterwards told him that he had presented them, which he believes to be the fact, for in subsequent conversations with the Hon. Mr Ashe, then chairman of the Committee of Elections, be alluded to them as being before his committee. The deponent further states that he has caused search to be made for these papers in the office of the Clerk of the House of Representatives, and they cannot be found.

Given under my hand and seal this 2nd day of July, 1856.


Justice of the Peace.


WASHINGTON CITY, D. C., June 30, 1856.

SIR: I called upon Mr. Buck, who made a search for my papers, but they can nowhere be found. The following is an extract from the journal of the House of Representatives, second session of the thirty-second Congress:

“FRIDAY, December 17, 1852.

.     .    .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .

“By Mr Phelps: The petition of Abelard Guthrie, praying to be admitted to a seat in this House as a delegate from the Territory of Nebraska; which was referred to the Committee of Elections.”

This record does not state, as it should have done, that my credentials were with the memorial. The committee to whom they were referred did not, I believe, make a report, for the reason, as I stated in my former letter, that I desired it kept back until the bill organizing the Territory should have passed both houses.

I was in Washington a short time during the latter part of the winter of 1854, when I memorialized Congress for my pay and per diem, but left soon after, and no action was had upon my application. In the journal of the House of Representatives, first session thirty-third Congress, is the following entry:

“THURSDAY, February 23, 1854.

.     .    .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .

“By Mr Edgerton: The memorial of Abelard Guthrie, to be allowed mileage and per diem as delegate from Nebraska Territory.


Ordered that said petitions, letters and memorial be referred to the Committee on the Judiciary.”

I think it quite probable that among these “said petitions, letter, and memorial” were the original evidences of my election presented by Mr Phelps on the 17th December, 1852. They were, however, referred to the wrong committee. I was told when I started home that they would, if opportunity offered, be reported back to the House and be referred to the Committee of Elections. This was probably never done, and yet they are not on file with the papers of the Judiciary Committee.

There was evidently culpable neglect in some quarter, but I do not know who was to blame. But I do not think it reasonable or right that I should lose my claim from this cause. The records of the House present facts enough, I think, to justify the hope that you will grant the relief I ask.

My credentials consisted of one of the poll-books and tally-list from each precinct, or certified copies thereof; I am not certain now which. These, under the circumstances, were thought to be the best evidences of election that I could present. They, and my memorial accompanying them, were, I believe, all the papers submitted to the House on the occasion of my, asking a seat as a delegate from Nebraska.

I am, sir, very respectfully, yours,



Chairman Committee of Elections.

P. S. – Enclosed herewith is an affidavit setting forth the facts of my election.


WASHINGTON CITY, D. C., June 26,1856.

SIR: I desire to say a few words explanatory of the circumstances connected with my application for mileage and per diem as delegate to Congress from Nebraska Territory, showing the necessity of sending a delegate to Congress at the time I was elected, in doing which I will quote from a speech delivered in the House of Representatives on the 16th May, 1854, (see Appendix to Congressional Globe, p. 715,) by the Hon. S. Mayall, of Maine. Mr Mayall says:


“In accordance with the recommendations of the Secretary of War, Mr Douglas, of the House Committee on Territories, gave notice on the 11th December, 1844, of a bill, and the 17th of the same month introduced the same, (H. R. 444,) to establish the Territory of Nebraska, and it was referred to the Committee on Territories. Mr Aaron V. Brown, on the 7th of January, 1845, reported back an amendatory bill, and it was referred to the Committee of the Whole on the state of the Union, and no further action was had thereon.

“The next movement in favor of Nebraska was made by Mr Douglas, in the Senate, by the introduction of a bill, (No. 170,) which, on the 20th April, 1848, was made the order of the day for Monday, the 24th of the same month, but no further action was had thereon.

“In the Senate, December 4, 1848, Mr Douglas gave notice of another Nebraska bill, and also a bill for Minnesota and New Mexico; and on the 20th of the same month the Minnesota and Nebraska bills were referred to the Committee on Territories of that body, when another opiate was administered to Nebraska. Four years of dead silence on the part of Congress in relation to Nebraska now ensued.

.     .     .     .     .     .     .     .

“In October, 1852, the people of Nebraska elected a delegate, (Mr Guthrie,) who came to this capital, and, as all know who were members of the last Congress, urged with great zeal the organization of a government for that Territory. A bill was reported, and on the 18th of February, 1853, it passed the House of Representatives, by a vote of 98 to 43. It went to the Senate, received the sanction of the Committee on Territories, but was never brought to vote, but on the morning of the 4th of March was consigned to its grave.”

Thus it will be seen that four years had elapsed since the last abortive attempt to organize a government for Nebraska, and the people of that Territory had but little reason to believe their interests would be attended to until they sent a delegate to urge them upon the consideration of Congress. They had observed that this course had been pursued by the people of Oregon, of Utah, of New Mexico, and of Minnesota, with success.

Under these circumstances, and with these examples before them., the people of Nebraska held an election, and I was chosen delegate. At Fort Leavenworth, however, (where the largest body of citizens resided,) the officer in command of the post forbade an election. Sub-


sequently however, certain persons proposed holding another election, to overturn the first. This election was held at Fort Leavenworth, (the commanding officer having abandoned his opposition,) and resulted in a large majority for me – I think 54 to 16.

This second election I gave no attention to, knowing that it was contrary, to all law and usage regulating popular elections; but my friends at the fort, (not soldiers,) having been prevented from voting at the first election, determined to remove all shadow of a right of my opponent to contest my claim to a seat in Congress, by giving me a very decided majority at this election also. But the judges never sent me the returns; nor would I have presented them had they done so, for the reason already given. I was now universally admitted to be the rightfully elected delegate, and met with no further opposition.

The number of votes given at my election was not large, for the reason I have already stated. Besides, the citizen population of the Territory was very small, and could not increase under the restrictions of the law of 1834, “regulating trade and intercourse among the Indians,” which, you will remember, formed the ground of opposition to the passage of the Nebraska bill, on the 18th of February, 1853, but which was satisfactorily answered by the friends of the bill on that occasion.

In addition to what I stated in my memorial, I will add, that, anxious to get my mileage and per diem, I went to Judge Douglas on the last night of the session, when the “civil and diplomatic bill” was before that body, and asked him if the appropriation could not be put on the bill. To which he replied, that if the House Territorial committee would recommend it, he would try to get it on, adding some reasons why it should come from the House. I immediately went to the chairman of that committee, Colonel Richardson, and stated the facts to him, and he and all the other members of the committee then in the House, (a majority of the whole,) signed the recommendation, and I took it to Judge Douglas, who showed it to the members of the Senate committee; but some of these objecting, on the ground that the appropriation should be made in the House, the judge thought it better to let it drop for the present; and nothing more was said about it.

I have spent much money in obtaining a government for Nebraska, and that, too, from the best motives, and though evil has grown out of it, both for myself and the country, it was not my desire it should


be so; and I think I am entitled to the same remuneration that other informal delegates received, and I ask nothing more, but would respectfully urge that, should your committee favor my application, the most speedy course will be pursued to enable me to get the money.

I am, Sir, with great respect, yours,



Chairman Committee of Elections.


WASHINGTON CITY, D. C., July 20, 1861.

Mr. CHAIRMAN: Understanding your committee have doubts of the propriety and necessity of a government for Nebraska, (now Kansas,) at the time I came here as its delegate, I desire to say a few words on the subject. I need not remind you that this Territory lies immediately west and south of the State of Missouri, but it may be well to call your attention to the fact that the vast emigration to California, Oregon, Utah, and New Mexico had to pass through its whole length. At that time the usual landing for emigrants starting from the states by water was at Kansas City, about one mile from the northeast corner of Nebraska, (Kansas,) and, although many went across the States by land, they all directed their course to this point or neighborhood. Here the overland journey commenced, and the sudden change from the comforts of civilized life to the exposures of such a journey produced much sickness which, from the fatigues of travel and the want of care, generally ended in death, for the country was uninhabited, except very sparsely, by Indians, and the journey of more than two thousand miles, to be performed by ox teams before the fall of the early mountain snows, admonished the emigrants of the dangers of delays, even to nurse their sick. This great thoroughfare was strewn with their graves. Only those familiar with the hardships and dangers of such a journey can form a just conception of the embarrassments and fatal consequences of this condition of things. By the organization of this Territory it was opened to settlement, and soon the hospitable door of the pioneer was opened along the route for a distance of two hundred miles, where the invalid could enter and be cared for. Had the Territory been organized several years earlier, as


it should have been, I think I may safely say thousands of human lives would have been saved and a vast amount of human suffering prevented. For you will remember that during the years 1849 and 1850 more than one hundred thousand emigrants crossed this Territory on their way to California, Utah, Oregon, and New Mexico, and yet not one word was said in Congress about establishing, a government for it or even opening it to settlement. Was not this silence significant? Under such circumstances, is it reasonable to urge that it was not time to move in this matter? Has there, in the history of this country, been a more urgent case of the kind? Congress was evidently impressed with its importance; for in the House the bill for the organization, after a violent but brief struggle, passed by a vote of nearly two to one, and even in the Senate there was an ascertained majority in its favor. It may not be improper here to state, that of the southern members who voted for the measure, I think less than half a dozen were returned to Congress.

Allow me also, if you please, to submit the following propositions:

If your committee have any sufficient evidence, or can obtain any, that it was the intention of the party then in power, or any other party, to organize this Territory within any reasonable or definite period, I will abandon my claim.

If the committee have any sufficient evidence, or can procure any, that there was any other course as likely to succeed in securing an organization as that of sending to Congress a man acquainted with the condition, wants, soil, climate, and resources of the Territory, I will give up my claim.

If the committee have any sufficient evidence, or can get any, that it was not the design of the slave power to secure this Territory, by quiet and stealthy legislation and colonization, for the benefit of its favorite institution, I will abandon my claim. But here I wish you to examine the law of 30th June, 1834, annexing this Territory to the State of Missouri for judicial purposes; and the law of 1836, annexing to the same State forever and for all purposes the very large and fertile portion of this Territory lying between the Iowa State line and the Missouri river, cutting us off entirely from contiguous free Territory, the effects of which were disastrously felt during our civil troubles, and to the present day; and also to the several abortive attempts of the late Mr Douglas to organize this Territory.


If the committee have any sufficient evidence, or can obtain any, that this Territory would not eventually have been received into the Union as a slave State under the skillful management and well matured plans of southern statesmen and their northern friends, I will abandon my claim.

If the committee have any evidence, or can get any, that my movement for a government for Nebraska did not frustrate this design, I will abandon my claim.

If your committee have any sufficient evidence, or can obtain any, that the republican party would have been in existence but for this very act of mine in forcing upon the consideration of Congress the policy of erecting a territorial government over this magnificent region, (which the slave power had already practically grasped, and was guarding with jealous care,) I will abandon all claim to per diem and mileage.

In this connection it is proper I should state that I am not a candidate for any office whatever, as my senators and representatives will bear me witness. But when I get the money I ask at your hands, and to which I think myself justly, though not legally, entitled, I will return to the cultivation of my grapes and gooseberries.

I will only add that I am fully aware of the apparent extravagance of the pretensions I have here put forth, but I am also fully pursuaded of their entire justice, and that the humbleness of the instrument employed is the weightiest objection that can be urged against them.



Chairman Committee of Elections, U. S. House of Representatives.


CINCINNATI, OHIO, December 1st 1852.

William Walker, Esq.


Having a little leisure I drop you a line to tell you how I am getting along. Thus far I have traveled faster than I expected and if I had felt well enough I could have taken the cars this morning and have arrived in Washington City tomorrow night – such are the wonderful facilities for travelling from this point eastward. From St. Louis I travelled in company with Senators Geyer and Atchison of


Mo. and Representatives Richardson and Bissil of Ills. I am sorry to say our Missouri Senators are by no means favorable to our Territorial projects. The slavery question is the cause of this opposition. I regret that it should interfere-it ought not. Mr. Atchison thinks the slaves in Nebraska1 are already free by the operation of the Missouri Compromise Act, and asks a repeal of that act before any thing shall be done for Nebraska; this would put us back till doomsday for no Congress as our Government now stands will ever repeal that act.2 But for myself I do not consider it binding upon the people in moulding their State institutions. However since the South take a different view of it we must fight it out. I foresee the struggle will be a fierce one but it will be short and therefore not dangerous. I did not expect to accomplish this object without trouble; and I feel prepared for it. One incentive to determined perseverance is the fact that I beat Banow at his own election, so Mr. Atchison informs me. I shall certainly endeavor to merit the good opinion my friends have formed of me. I am full of hope and confidence as I have been from the start. I called to see Col. Benton but he had gone to Washington, this is fortunate for he is our friend and can do us great service. The measure will succeed! short as the time is, and with an opposition where we ought to have support. I think you, Garret, Matthew and Isaiah Walker should locate your sections very soon,3 for after the Territorial organization I apprehend they will not be recognized there will be no land set apart for Indian purposes as now. I will tell you in confidence that no treaty with the Wyandots can be confirmed until the Territory be organized. You need not tell this to any one because the folks in that country are so jealous of me that they would attribute the declaration to unfriendly feeling when God knows that I have been but too warmly their friend and still am. I want you to write to me soon and often. I shall be in Washington about Sunday. My respects to Mrs. Walker.

Very respectfully

Your Obedient Servant.


1) Governor Walker, Matthew R. Walker, Francis A. Hicks, the Garretts, and other Wyandots owned slaves. There may have been slaves held in other emigrant tribes, but I do not know whether there were or not.

2) How he was mistaken! In less than three years from that time Congress repealed the Missouri Compromise.

3) This refers to land guaranteed to many individuals of the Wyandot Nation by the treaty by which they ceded their lands in Ohio.



WASHINGTON CITY 9th Dec. 1852. Wm. Walker, Esq.

Wm. Walker, Esq.

MY DEAR SIR, Although I have but little to communicate I feel very much like trying to say something if only to drive away the blues. There is no business that tries a man’s patience and good nature so much as trying to do business with men who feel that their self interests are not intimately connected with your projects. I have ascertained almost to a certainty that I shall not get my seat. But that is a small matter. I never expected it and am not disappointed, but my faith is still strong that much will be effected. Mr Hall has proposed a Bill organizing one1 Territory, he has given it the name of Platte which I don’t like but don’t care much about the name though I shall try to have the old name retained. His bill has not yet been introduced but it is already and I think will be presented next week; if not another will be introduced by the Committee on Territories. The Chairman of that Committee has given me assurances to that effect. Mr Hall’s bill says nothing about slavery but leaves untouched the Missouri Compromise. The Territory it is pretty confidently believed will be free. Another measure highly beneficial to our interests will be the appropriation of one hundred thousand dollars to enable the President to negotiate with the different tribes for their surplus lands and other purposes. You will therefore have Commissioners authorized to treat early in the spring. This is important and you may regard it as a “fixed fact.” I forgot to state to you the boundaries prescribed for our Territory by Mr Hall’s bill; they are these: On the South thirty sixth degree and thirty minutes on the north the forty third degree on the west by the summit of the rocky mountains east by Missouri these are ample boundaries and just what we want.

I have paid so little attention to politics since I came here that I am entirely in the dark about the distribution of offices after the fourth of March and indeed it is [a] thing I care d—d little about. Nebraska and its interests are the all absorbing topics with me. I am already housed. I wish you would write to me very soon and I

1 There had been discussion at this early date of organizing two or more Territories from the “Indian Country” or “Indian Territory.”


would be glad if you would take a little pains to let [me] hear how my family are and how they are getting along.1

I shall write to you presently again and may then try to entertain you with a little gossip.

My best respects to Mrs Walker

Believe me

I am truly your friend


I arrived here the day before the opening of the session being eleven days after leaving home.2 The weather is mild as June. How is it in Wyandot?

A. G.


(Wyandotte Gazette, Oct. 4, 1862.)

The following is an extract from an Address to the voters of the Congressional District. He was at that time an Independent candidate for Congress. The whole address is printed in the Gazette; the following is the only portion of it which has any reference to historical matters:

“Eighteen years ago I became a resident of what is now the State of Kansas. Ten years ago ‘solitary and alone’ I proposed to the people of the then Territory to make an effort to secure a Territorial Government.3 This was the first act in that great national drama in which the whole American people are now actors, and the whole civilized world intensely interested spectators.

“The Republican party owes its existence to this movement. My proposition met with much opposition from Government officials and others. One of them, Col. Fauntleroy,4 commanding officer at Fort Leavenworth (and now I believe of the rebel army) threatened to arrest me if I should attempt to hold the election. However an elec-

1) Mr. Guthrie seems always to have been devoted to his family. His wife was a very intelligent and spirited woman.

2) Rapid traveling for those times.

3) This statement was framed to influence votes at the time. I think the expression “solitary and alone” can scarcely be accepted as describing the inception of the movement.

4) T. T. Fauntleroy, Colonel of First Dragoons. Wilder’s Annals of Kansas, 30.


tion for Delegate to represent the Territory in Congress was held on the 2nd Tuesday of October, 1852, and I was chosen Delegate. We christened our new Territory “Nebraska,” for as yet it had no legal name.1 I proceeded to Washington and had my petition and evidence of the election presented to Congress, and virtually succeeded in my mission by getting a bill for organization passed by the House of Representatives, and a favorable report from the Committee on Territories of the Senate.2 But the opposition to the measure had been very violent and obstinate throughout, and the organization was not perfected until the next session of Congress.

“The South had already taken possession of this territory, had planted its favorite institution within it, and believed itself secure in its stolen acquisition. Kansas (then Nebraska) was the arbiter of the destinies of the Republic. This was well understood by the South. Hence the desperate struggle so familiar to us all to secure it. Had she succeeded, the slave power would have been omnipotent, for the Pacific States were already strongly imbued with the Southern sentiment, and Kansas was the only link needed to perfect the chain which would unite those regions to a common destiny. I am assuming nothing more than the facts will warrant, when I say that my agency in calling public attention to this Territory, and impressing the claims upon the consideration of Congress, defeated the crafty and ambitious designs of the slave power, and opened this beautiful and fertile country to free men and free labor.3 Kansas owes her civil existence to my efforts in her behalf. I have never before appealed to her people for any acknowledgment of the services I have rendered. But the present seems a fitting opportunity to do so. . . .


“Quindaro, Kansas 8th Sept. 1862.”


(Copied from N. Y. Tribune, Aug. 9, 1856.)

To the editor of the New York Tribune.

SIR: In your remarks on the vote on Governor Reeder’s claims to a seat in the House of Representatives as delegate from Kansas, you

1) “Nebraska” had been proposed as the name, in the Douglas bills for organizing the Territory. It is from the Pawnee word Ne-brath-ka–shallow river.

2) It was defeated in the Senate, March 3, 1853.

3) This is a good statement of the facts.


say, “Cases are frequent of the election of such delegates in the most informal and unauthorized manner. We are confident the first delegate from Kansas, (then called Nebraska), the Rev. Thomas Johnson, was so elected!’ This is a mistake, but one I should pass unnoticed, were it not for the injustice it does myself.

I was the first delegate elected to Congress “from Kansas (then called Nebraska).” I was elected by a spontaneous movement of the people,1 and I came to Washington in accordance with their expressed will, presented my evidences of election, and, though not admitted to a seat in the House, I pressed the interests of my Territory upon the consideration of Congress with such success that a bill for its organization passed the House of Representatives by a large majority, and would have passed the Senate had it been brought to a vote at that session; but unfortunately for the country and myself, this was not done.2

I was elected for the second session of the 32nd Congress. [Met Dec. 6, 1852] In the autumn of the succeeding year, 1853, a convention of the people of the Territory assembled at Wyandotte, and established a provisional government – a measure first suggested and the plan proposed by, myself. At this convention I was nominated for re-election. But a portion of the convention voted and another convention was called at which Mr Thomas Johnson was nominated as my competitor. The Chief of the Indian Bureau at Washington sided, both by money and personal influence, with my opponent. This I can prove. The repeal of the Missouri compromise was now first agitated, and it was thought important to success that the Territory should be represented by one favorable to that measure. Hence the interference. And as all the Indian agents were under the control of the Government, they obtained a very large Indian vote persons who were not citizens of the United States, nor willing to become such, and who voted against me, because these agents told them “if they did not do so I would be elected and bring them under the white man’s laws.” But a majority of actual citizens voted for me, yet the certificate of election was given to my competitor by the provisional governor. I contested the election, but the committee on elections, to

1) This is more in accordance with the facts than his expression “solitary and alone.”

2) Mr. Guthrie seems to have forgotten, or never to have known, that the Senate voted on his bill.


whom the subject was referred, never came to any decision thereon. Mr Johnson obtained lucrative employment in the Indian Department, and through the instrumentality of Indian treaties made himself rich, and I was taken sick and have been on the verge of the grave most of the time since.

It was not the policy of the pro-slavery party to have the country, north of 36o, 30 minutes, known as Nebraska, opened for settlement at all; and for that reason it was set apart for Indian colonization, and its settlement by white men was forbidden by law under heavy penalties. The few whites there were there by sufferance and by license. But circumstances, which it is not necessary for me here to relate, impelled me to urge upon the people of the Territory the necessity of a territorial organization. I met with many difficulties, and on one occasion was threatened with imprisonment by the commanding officer of one of the military posts in the Territory, for my attempt at “revolution,” as he called it.

But to give a history of my early struggles in behalf of Nebraska,, then including Kansas, would take more time than I have inclination to spare. Yet I can say, without fear of refutation, that but for my efforts there would not be either Kansas or Nebraska open to the settlement of the white man. I have sacrificed much money and more time than any other living man in the cause of Kansas, and have never received one cent in return – not even the usual mileage and per diem hitherto paid to informal delegates. Then do not, I beg of you, deprive me of the honor to which I am entitled. I have paid dearly enough for it, and think I should have full credit for what I have done. In your almanac of the current year you have done me similar injustice, and I trust you will make the correction in both cases.

In regard to Gov. Reeder, I entirely agree with you. He ought to have been admitted, and I so urged whenever I had a Congressman’s ear, without reference to the man, I mean Reeder, who to tell the truth, is very far from being without sin, although, had he even done his duty as Governor of Kansas, the present condition of affairs could hardly have been averted – it was a foregone conclusion.

Yours respectfully,


Washington, D. C., Aug. 6, 1856.



(From Wilder’s Annals, under date of July 28, 1853.)

In 1855, a correspondent to the Chicago Press, made the statement that a convention was held at Wyandotte July 28, 1853, a territorial government organized, and a delegate to Congress nominated. Abelard Guthrie was put forward by a friend of Thomas H. Benton, and Rev. Thomas Johnson by the friends of D. R. Atchison. Guthrie received the nomination. Late in the fall, Thomas Johnson was brought out as a candidate, and was elected by Indian votes. He went to Washington, but the Territory was not organized, and he was not received as a delegate. The Washington Union spoke of him as “The Rev. Thomas Johnson, a noble specimen of a western man.” In the New York Tribune of August 9, 1856, Mr Guthrie gives his account of this “provisional government.”


(Excerpt from a paper read before the meeting of the Nebraska State Historical Society, January 11, 1887, by Hon. Hadley D. Johnson. Taken from the Transactions and Reports of the Nebraska State Historical Society, Vol. 2, page 85 and following.)

“As early as 1848, the subject of the organization of a new territory west of the Missouri river was mentioned, and in congress I think a bill was introduced in that year, but did not become a law, and in 1852 the subject having been long discussed, a bill was introduced, but again without result. In 1852, however, the railroad question having been agitated more generally during the preceding year, during the session of 1852-3, a bill was reported to congress providing for the organization of the Territory of Nebraska, within the boundaries, substantially I believe, now embraced in the states of Kansas and Nebraska. Prior to this, however, some of the citizens of western Missouri, and a few persons residing or staying temporarily in the Indian country west of the Missouri river, took steps to hold an informal election of a delegate who should attend the Coming session of congress and urge the passage of the territorial bill. This election, though not sanctioned by any law, and informal, was ordered to be


held by a meeting of a number of persons held in the Indian country south of the Platte river, who fixed a day on which the election was to be held, and designated certain places at which votes, would be received. Among the places named, appeared Bellevue or Traders’ Point. A newspaper printed somewhere in Missouri, containing a notice of this election, accidentally came into my possession a few days prior to the date fixed for the election. On reading this announcement, I immediately communicated the news to prominent citizens of Council Bluffs, and it was at once decided that Iowa should compete for the empty honors connected with the delegateship. An election at Sarpy’s was determined on; arrangements made with the owners of the ferry-boat at that point to transport the impromptu emigrants to their new homes, and they were accordingly landed on the west shore of the Missouri river a few hundred yards above Sarpy’s trading house, where, on the day appointed, an election was held, the result of which may be learned from the original certificate hereto annexed, a copy of which was sent to the Honorable Bernhart Henn, the member of the house of representatives from Iowa, by him submitted to the house, and referred to the committee on elections, but for reasons obvious to the reader of the proceedings of congress immediately following, no report was ever made by that committee in the case.1

“I may remark here that I consented with much reluctance to the use of my name in this connection, and for several reasons: I was poor and could not well afford to neglect my business and spend a Winter at Washington; the expenses of the trip I knew would be a heavy drain upon my limited exchequer; besides I had so lately neglected my private affairs by my service at Iowa City. However, I

1) Belview, Nebraska Territory, Oct. 11, 1853.

Be it known that at in pursuance of Resolutions heretofore adopted an election was held at this place on this the Eleventh day of October 1853 being the second Tuesday in said month for delegate to Congress for the Territory of Nebraska at which the undersigned were duly appointed Judges and Clerks.

And we do hereby certify that the number of votes cast at said election was three Hundred fifty-eight Votes of which Hadley D. Johnson received Three Hundred fifty-eight votes.










finally yielded to the earnest request of a number of my personal friends, who were also ardent friends of the new scheme, and consented to the use of my name, at the same time pledging my word that I would proceed to Washington if chosen and do the best I could to advance the cause we had in hand. In addition to the ballots cast for me for delegate at this election, the Rev. William Hamilton received 304 votes for provisional Governor; Dr. Monson H. Clark received 295 for Secretary, and H. P. Downs 283 for Treasurer.

“These proceedings at Sarpy’s landing were followed by various public meetings in Iowa, (and also in Missouri) at which resolutions were adopted, urging the organization of Nebraska territory. Amongst others, meetings were held at Council Bluffs, St. Mary’s, Glenwood, and Sidney, at which the actions at Sarpy’s were endorsed. Earnest and eloquent speeches were made by such leading citizens as Hon. W. C. Means and Judge Snyder of Page county, Judge Greenwood, Hiram P. Bennett, Wm. McEwen, Col. J. L. Sharp, Hon. A. A. Bradford, L. Lingenfelter, C. W. McKissick, Hon. Benjamin Rector, Charles W. Pierce, Dan. H. Solomon, —– Downs, I. M. Dews, George Hepner, Wm. G. English, Geo. P. Stiles, Marshal Turley, Dr. M. H. Clark, and others.

“In the month of November, Council Bluffs was visited by Hon, Augustus C. Dodge, Col. Samuel H. Curtis, and other distinguished citizens of other states, who attended and addressed meetings of the people of the town, warmly advocating the construction of our contemplated railroads, and the organization of Nebraska territory. In its issue of December 14, 1853, the Council Bluffs Bugle announced that ‘H. D. Johnson, delegate elect from Nebraska, passed through our place on his way to Washington last week.’

“In compliance with my agreement, I set about making arrangements to visit the national capital, which, as you may suppose, was not easily accomplished. Before starting, however, a number of our citizens who took such a deep interest in the organization of a territory west of Iowa, had on due thought and consultation agreed upon a plan which I had formed, which was the organization of two territories west of the Missouri river, instead of one as had heretofore been contemplated, and I had traced on a map hanging in the office of Johnson & Cassady a line which I hoped would be the southern boundary of Nebraska, which it finally did become, and so continues to the present time.


“In starting out upon this second pilgrimage, I again faced the dreary desolate prairies of the then sparsely settled Iowa, but not as a year before, solitary and alone. B. R. Pegram, then a young and enterprising merchant of Council Bluffs, being about to visit St. Louis, it was agreed that we should travel in company to Keokuk, he with a horse and buggy, I with a horse and saddle. The trip was accomplished in safety, and on arriving at Keokuk, we took a steamer for St. Louis, shipping the horses and buggy.

“On arriving at St. Louis, I tried in vain to sell my horse for a satisfactory price, and leaving him with a friend to be sold afterwards, I took a steamer bound for Cincinnati, whence I boarded a railroad train for Washington. (I remark in parenthesis that my horse was not sold, but subsequently died, to my great grief and considerable loss.)

“On my arrival at Washington (early in January, 1854,) I found that a bill had already been introduced in the senate, and I think referred to the committee on territories, of which the Hon. Stephen A. Douglas was chairman. This bill provided for the organization of the territory of Nebraska, including what is now Kansas and Nebraska, or substantially so. I also found, seated at a desk, in the House of Representatives, a portly, dignified, elderly gentleman, who was introduced to me as the Reverend Thomas Johnson. He was an old Virginian; a slave holder, and a Methodist preacher. This gentleman had also been a candidate for delegate at the informal election, and was credited with having received 337 votes. He had preceded me to Washington, and together with his friends, ignoring our Sarpy election, had, through some influence sub rosa, been installed in a seat at a desk aforesaid, where being duly served with stationery, etc., he seemed to be a member of the house.

“Previous to this time, in one or two instances, persons visiting Washington, as representatives of the settlers in unorganized territory, and seeking admission as legal territories, had been recognized unofficially, and after admission had been paid the usual per them allowance as well as mileage, and in the present case I think my namesake had looked for such a result in his own ease, but for my part I had no such expectation.

“On being introduced to Mr Johnson, who seemed somewhat stiff and reserved, I alluded to the manner of my appointment to the pres-


ent mission, which, like his own, was without legal sanction, but was for a purpose; told him there was no occasion for a contest between us for a seat to which neither of us had a claim; that I came there to suggest and work for the organization of two territories instead of one; that if he saw proper to second my efforts, I believed that we could succeed in the objects for which we each had come.

“After this explanation the old gentleman thawed out a little, and we consulted together upon the common subject.

“Hon. A. C. Dodge, senator from Iowa, who had from the first been an ardent friend and advocate of my plan, introduced me to Judge Douglas, to whom I unfolded my plan, and asked him to adopt it, which, after mature consideration, he decided to do, and he agreed that, as chairman of the committee on territories, he would report a substitute for the pending bill, which he afterwards did do, and this substitute became the celebrated ‘Nebraska Bill,’ and provided, as you know, for the organization of the territories of Kansas and Nebraska.

“The Hon. Bernhart Henn, at that time the only member of the house from Iowa, who also was my friend and warmly advocated our territorial scheme, finding that the Rev. Thomas Johnson was seated in the house and posing as a member and not wishing to see him more honorably seated than myself, interceded, I presume with one of the doorkeepers, who admitted me into the house and seated me at a desk beside my friend, the minister, who it afterwards appeared was, like myself, surreptitiously admitted to the seat occupied by him, unknown to the speaker, or perhaps to the chief doorkeeper.

“The fates decreed, however, that we were not to hold our seats a great while, for one day the principal doorkeeper approached me as I sat in my seat, and politely inquired who I was, and by what right I occupied the seat; and being by, me answered according to the facts, he informed me that as complaint had been made to the speaker, he was under the necessity of respectfully asking me to vacate the seat, as such was the order of the speaker. I replied to him, that of course I would do so, but, I added, as my neighbor on the left occupied his seat by a right similar to my own, I felt it to be my privilege to enquire why I should be ousted while he was permitted to remain. On this the doorkeeper turned to Mr Johnson, who corroborated my statement, whereupon the ‘two Johnsons,’ as we were called, were incontinently bounced and relegated to the galleries.


“I never learned, nor did I care to know, whether I was removed at the instance of the friends of Mr Johnson, or whether a Mr Guthrie, who had also been a candidate for delegate, had fired a shot at his adversary, the Rev. Thomas. If the latter, was the case, in firing he hit two birds. I did not feel hurt by this event, but believe that the dignity of the other Johnson was seriously touched, and himself mortified.

“I ought perhaps to mention the fact, that in our negotiations as to the dividing line between Kansas and Nebraska, a good deal of trouble was encountered, Mr Johnson and his Missouri friends being very anxious that the Platte river should constitute the line, which obviously would not suit the people of Iowa, especially as I believe it was a plan of the American Fur Company to colonize the Indians north of the Platte river. As this plan did not meet with the approbation of my friends or myself, I firmly resolved that this line should not be adopted. Judge Douglas was kind enough to leave that question to me, and I offered to Mr Johnson the choice of two lines, first, the present line, or second, an imaginary line traversing that divide between the Platte and the Kaw. After considerable parleying and Mr Johnson not being willing to accept either line, I finally offered the two alternatives – the fortieth degree of north latitude, or the defeat of the whole bill, for that session at least. After consulting with his friends, I presume, Mr Johnson very reluctantly consented to the fortieth degree as the dividing line between the two territories, whereupon Judge Douglas prepared and introduced the substitute in a report as chairman of the committee on territories, and immediately, probably the hardest war of words known in American history commenced.”



Agreeably to notice, Mr. BENTON asked leave to bring in a bill for the location and construction of a great central national highway from St. Louis, on the Mississippi, to the Bay of San Francisco, on the Pacific ocean; and said that, not being of the committee to which the consideration of the bill might be referred, he took occasion to explain its leading features before it was referred, so that its object


might the better be understood in the committee. It conforms, he said, to all the ideas of a national highway.

First centrality. I deem this a cardinal idea in every conception of a national road; and my bill conforms to it. It is central under all aspects. It is to begin and to end between the parallels 38o and 39o of north latitude, and, with slight deflections, to follow these latitudes from the Mississippi to the Pacific. These are the middle latitudes of the United States from the Atlantic to the Pacific. They cover the central parts of the Atlantic States, the centre of the valley of the Mississippi, cut the centre of all the territory west of the Mississippi, and strike the Pacific coast both at the central point of our possessions, and that of the whole North American coast. Beginning and ending between these latitudes, and following, with little variation, the route which the bill proposes fulfills with rigorous exactitude the essential condition to every national highway – that of centrality.

Secondly. It is to be national in its form and use, consisting not of a single road adapted to a single kind of transportation, but of a system of roads adapted to all kinds of traveling, and of all kinds of carrying, free from monopoly and private interests, and free from tolls. It proposes a railroad and a common road, to be begun at once, and the common road finished next summer; with such other roads, either macadamized, plank, or additional tracks of railroad; and a margin for lines of magnetic telegraphs, all running parallel to each other, and at sufficient distances apart to avoid interference, and yet near enough together to admit of easy transition from one to the other. This fulfills another requisite of nationality; for a nation must contain people of all conditions, rich and poor; and of all tastes and tempers, and addicted to all the modes of traveling. Some, to whom time is everything and money nothing, and who demand rapidity, without regard to cost. Others, to whom money is an object, and time a subordinate consideration, and who want a cheap conveyance, no matter how slow. Others, again, who may choose to carry themselves, going on a horse, or in a vehicle, or on foot. All these will be accommodated, and without crowding or jostling; a mile wide for the whole, and an ample track for each, gives room for all.

Thirdly. Accommodation to the different parts of a nation is another requisite of nationality. This projected highway fulfills that condition. It accommodates all the populations west of the Missis-


sippi. Its straight line would accommodate California and Utah, and the Territories hereafter to be formed on the Kansas and Arkansas. A short branch at or near Bent’s Fort would lead to Santa Fe; another branch would lead to the Mormon settlements on the Great Salt Lake, if the main way does not pass it; and a branch, still lower down in the Great Basin; would lead to Oregon. Thus, a straight line, and two or three branches, will accommodate all our populations west of the Mississippi – California, Oregon, New Mexico, and Utah – and also the valuable Territories which may soon be formed on the Kansas and Arkansas.

Fourthly. Nationality requires the work to be done by the National Government, and owned by it when it is done: and so the bill provides. The construction and the jurisdiction of the highway are both to be in the hands of the General Government; and these are the hands in which every public and national consideration would require them to be. The means are to come from the public resources; and, what amounts to a particular propriety in this case, they are to come from the places where the roads are to go; they are to come from beyond the Mississippi – from beyond the frontier of Missouri so as to leave untouched all the present sources of revenue, now needed for the payment of the principal and interest of the new national debt. The means proposed in my bill are: 1. A strip of land from the frontiers of Missouri to the Bay of San Francisco, one hundred miles wide and sixteen hundred long, for the main highway. 2. A strip fifty miles wide and about two hundred long, from a point on the main road, on the upper Arkansas, to Santa Fe, for the New Mexican branch. 3. A strip fifty miles wide and about five hundred long from some point on the main highway in the great basin to the mouth of the Columbia, for the Oregon branch. 4. The income from the customs and the sales of the public lands in California, Oregon, New Mexico, and Utah, over and above the expenditures in those places. 5. Loans in anticipation of these resources, founded upon their hypothecation.

In these strips, a breadth of one mile wide is to be reserved for the main, leading highway in the reservation of one hundred miles wide; and one thousand feet each is to be reserved for the branch roads in the reservations of fifty miles wide.

These are the resources for constructing this great national highway


– all of them national – all to be derived from the new countries to which the highways are to go – and amply sufficient in my opinion for the speedy accomplishment of the work. The lands set apart in the three slips will be about one hundred and fifty millions of acres, or the one tenth part of the public lands belonging to the Federal Government; in which, after deducting for the tracts of the highways, and for donations to first settlers, and for private claims, and gold mines, and for that which may be unfit for sale, it is probable that one third, or fifty millions of acres, may be made available at the present minimum price for constructing the roads. That would be about sixty millions of dollars. The income from the customs would be considerable and immediate. San Francisco alone would probably yield $2,000,000 the ensuing fiscal year; and increase forever. The public lands to be sold in California and the three Territories, after all deductions for liberal donations to first settlers, will still be large, amounting in a few years to some millions of dollars per annum. The proceeds of the whole – the reserved slips, the custom-house revenue, and the income from the land sales – will soon be eight or ten millions per annum; which, with loans in anticipation of these avails, will yield enough to have the system of roads commenced at all points – both ends and the middle, and all along – at the same time; and with men enough at work upon every section to finish the whole in as short a time as any one section of it could be finished.

These are the leading features of the bill, every, one fulfilling the condition of nationality, and preserving to this highway the exalted, beneficent, and disinterested character of a public work. No tolls, or local jurisdictions, or private interests to debase or injure it; none such should ever be allowed to degrade the character, impede the use, or diminish the utility of such a work.

Practicability, and upon the parallels indicated, is the only question; and that the concurrent voice of experienced men enables me to answer. The men of the mountains – the men who have spent their fifteen, twenty, or thirty years in the region of the Rocky Mountains, and in the regions beyond – they answer the question, and say that the loaded wagon can now go upon that route, with a little assistance at a few points – some axes and pickaxes – to remove some obstructions. These men say there is a way for a straight road across the continent; and they can show it, and mark it out, and that about as


fast as a horse can trot. There is an idea become current of late – a new-born idea – that none but a man of science, bred in a school, can lay off a road. That is a mistake. There is a class of topographical engineers older than the schools, and more unerring than the mathematics. They are the wild animals buffalo, elk, deer, antelope, bears, which traverse the forest, not by compass, but by an instinct which leads them always the right way – to the lowest passes in the mountains, the shallowest fords in the rivers, the richest pastures in the forests, the best salt springs, and the shortest practicable lines between remote points. They travel thousands of miles, have their annual migrations backwards and forwards, and never miss the best and shortest route. These are the first engineers to lay out a road in a new country; the Indians follow them, and hence a buffalo road becomes a war-path. The first white hunters follow the same trails in pursuing their game; and after that the buffalo road becomes the wagon road of the white man, and finally the macadamized or railroad of the scientific man. It all resolves itself into the same thing – into the same buffalo road; and thence the buffalo becomes the first and safest engineer. Thus it has been here, in the countries which we inhabit, and the history of which is so familiar. The present national road from Cumberland over the Alleghanies was the military road of General Braddock, which had been the buffalo path of the wild animals. So of the two roads from Western Virginia to Kentucky – one through the gap in the Cumberland Mountains, the other down the valley of the Kenhawa. They were both the war-path of the Indians and the traveling route of the buffalo, and their first white acquaintances the early hunters. Buffaloes made them in going from the salt springs on the Holston to the rich pastures and salt springs of Kentucky; Indians followed them first, white hunters afterwards and that is the way Kentucky was discovered. In more than an hundred years no nearer or better routes have been found; and science now makes her improved roads exactly where the buffalo’s foot first marked the way, and the hunter’s foot afterwards followed him. So all over Kentucky and the West; and so in the Rocky Mountains. The famous South Pass was no scientific discovery. Some people think Fremont discovered it. It had been discovered forty years before – long before be was born. He only described it, and confirmed what the hunters and traders had reported, and what they showed


him. It was discovered – or rather first seen by white people – in 1808, two years after the return of Lewis and Clark, and by the first company of hunters and traders that went out after their report laid open the prospect of the fur trade in the Rocky Mountains.

An enterprising Spaniard of St. Louis, Manuel Lisa, sent out the party; an acquaintance, and old friend of the Senator from Wisconsin, who sits on my left, [General Henry Dodge,] led the party – his name Andrew Henry. He was the first white man that saw that pass; and he found it in the prosecution of his business, that of a hunter and trader, and by following the game, and the road which they had made. And that is the way all passes are found. But these traders do not write books and make maps, but they enable other people to do it. There are plenty of these men in the Great West at present – men who know every pass in the mountains, every ford in the rivers, every spot fit for cultivation, and the best and shortest way from any one point to another – who know every buffalo road and every Indian war trail, between the Mississippi and the Pacific ocean – and these men can go and mark out a road from the frontier of Missouri to the bay of San Francisco, as fast as a horse can trot. And they can cut out a common road, passable for wagons and carriages, with the aid of some axemen and some pickaxes, in the course of next summer, and upon the parallels which I have mentioned, with occasional slight deflections. There is a good route for the system of roads which should constitute the national central highway from the Mississippi to the Bay of San Francisco – a good way and central – a better way than any one not central that can be found in the United States. It is up the main branch of the Kansas, along the Upper Arkansas, along the Huerfano river, the Utah Pass, out at the head of the Del Norte, through Roubidoux’s Pass, and thence across the valley of the Upper Colorado, and through the Great Basin, crossing the Sierra Nevada near its middle, or turning it on the south; the whole way nearly free from obstructions, a great part of it fertile, with wood and water fit for inhabitation, and brushing the present settlements of New Mexico and Utah. I have the map, and the description of the country, but cannot use it because the author is not here. I know what I say, and stake myself upon it. It will cross the Rocky Mountains between three and four degrees south of the South Pass, (now a misnomer, so called at the time because it was south of Lewis &


Clark’s route,) and can be traveled earlier in the Spring, and later in the Fall, on account of grass, and easier all the Winter. This route, besides fulfilling all the requisites of a national highway, fulfills another condition of high and national treaty obligation. It traverses the ground which the protection and defence of the country requires to be occupied – to be garrisoned – that country which lies about the heads of the Arkansas and Del Norte – the hunting ground and war ground of the Utahs, Arapahoes, Navahoes, and other tribes which make war upon New Mexico and upon us. We are bound by treaty stipulations to protect Mexico against these Indians, and are bound by duty to protect our own people against them. A line of military posts is necessary through their country to give that protection: and this bill provides for it as a part of the road system, and also provides for the settlements which are to support the posts.

I have demonstrated the nationality of this work – its practicability – and the means in our bands for making it; I do not expatiate upon its importance. When finished it will be the American road to Asia, and will turn the Asiatic commerce of Europe through the heart of our America. It will make us the mistress of that trade – rich at home and powerful abroad – and reviving a line of oriental and almost fabulous cities to stretch across our continent – Tyres, Sidons, Palmyras, Balbecs. Do we need any stimulus for the undertaking? Any other nation, upon half a pretext, would go to war for the right of making it, and tax unborn generations for its completion. We have it without war, without tax, without treaty with any power; and when we make it all nations must travel it – with our permission – and behave themselves to receive permission. Besides riches and power, it will give us a hold upon the good behavior of nations by the possession which it will give us of the short, safe, and cheap road to India.

The work is great, but nothing compared to our means, and to the magnitude of the object, or to what was done by the Incas of Peru before the New World was discovered. Their two roads from Quito to Cuzco (to say nothing of many shorter ones) were each nearly as long, both over more difficult ground, equal in amount of labor required, and more commodious than the proposed system of roads from the Mississippi to the Pacific ocean. One of our classic historians (Prescott) thus describes them:


“There were many of these roads traversing different parts of the kingdom; but the most considerable were the two which extended from Quito to Cuzco, and, again diverging from the capital, continued in a southern direction towards Chili. One of these roads passed over the grand plateau, and the other along the lowlands on the borders of the ocean. The former was much the most difficult achievement, from the character of the country. It was conducted over pathless sierras buried in snow; galleries were cut for leagues through the living rock; rivers were crossed by means of bridges that swung suspended in the air; precipices were scaled by stair-ways hewn out of the native bed; ravines of hideous depth were filled up with solid masonry; in short, all the difficulties that beset a wild and mountainous region, and which might appal the most courageous engineers of modern times, were encountered and successfully overcome. The length of the road, of which scattered fragments only remain, is variously estimated, from fifteen hundred to two thousand miles; and some pillars, in the manner of European milestones, were erected at stated intervals of somewhat more than a league, all along the route. Its breadth scarcely exceeded twenty feet. It was built of heavy flags of freestone, and, in some parts at least, covered with a bituminous cement, which time has made harder than the stone itself. In some places where the ravines had been filled up with masonry, the mountain torrents, wearing it for ages, have gradually eaten a way through the base, and left the superincumbent mass – such is the cohesion of the materials – still spanning the valley like an arch. Over some of the boldest streams it was necessary to construct suspension bridges, as they are termed, made of the tough fibers of the maguey, or of the osier of the country, which has an extraordinary degree of tenacity and strength. These osiers were woven into cables of the thickness of a man’s body. The huge ropes, then stretched across the water, were conducted through rings or holes cut in immense buttresses of stone raised on the opposite banks of the river, and there secured to heavy pieces of timber. Several of these enormous cables, bound together, formed a bridge, which, covered with planks, well secured and defended by a railing of the same osier materials on the sides, afforded a safe passage for the traveler.

“The other road of the Incas lay through the level country between the Andes and the ocean. It was constructed in a different manner,


as demanded by the nature of the ground, which was for the most part low, and much of it sandy. The causeway was raised on a high embankment of earth, and defended on either side by a parapet, or wall of clay; and trees and odoriferous shrubs were planted along the margin, regaling the sense of the traveler with their perfumes, and refreshing him by their shades, so grateful under the burning sky of the tropics. All along these highways, caravansaries were erected at the distance of ten or twelve miles for the accommodation of travelers, militarily constructed for security, and supplied with water brought in aqueducts when not found at the place. Couriers, in relieves, and running swiftly, carried dispatches the whole extent of these long routes at the rate of one hundred and fifty miles a day; and, besides dispatches, often carried fish from the distant ocean, and fruits and game from the hot regions on the coast, to be served up fresh at the Inca’s table in the imperial capitals.”

The Baron Humboldt, “the Nestor of Scientific Travelers,” thus speaks of the remains of the same roads from his own personal observation:

“As we were leading our heavily-laden mules with great difficulty through the marshy ground on the elevated plain del Pullal, our eyes meanwhile were continually dwelling on the grand remains of the Inca’s road, which, with a breadth of twenty-one English feet, was there remaining by our side. It had a deep understructure, and was paved with well cut blocks of blackish trap-porphyry. Nothing that I had seen of the remains of Roman roads in Italy, in the South of France, and in Spain, was more imposing than those works of the ancient Peruvians, which are situated, according to my barometric measurements, 13,258 English feet above the level of the sea – or more than a thousand feet higher than the summit of the Peak of Teneriffe. There are two great artificial paved roads, or systems of roads, covered with flat stones, or sometimes even with cemented gravel; one passes through the wide and and plain, between the Pacific ocean and the chain of the Andes, and the other over the ridges of the Cordilleras. Milestones, or stones marking the distances, are often placed at equal intervals. The road was conducted across rivers and deep ravines by three kinds of bridges-stone, wood, and rope bridges; and there were also aqueducts for bringing water to the resting places (caravansaries) and to the fortresses. Both systems of roads



were directed to the central point, Cuzco, the seat of government of the great empire, in 13o 31’ south latitude, and which is placed, according to Pentland’s map of Bolivia, 13,378 English feet above the level of the sea. The two important capitals of the empire, Cuzco and Quito, thus connected by two different systems of roads, are 1,000 English geographical miles apart, in a straight line – (S. S. E. N. N. W.) – without reckoning the many windings of the way; and, including the windings, the distance is estimated by Garcilasso de la Vega and other conquistadores at 500 leagues.”

Such were the roads constructed on our own continent before the discovery of the New World, and by a people whom we consider uncivilized, and who certainly had but few of the helps of civilization knowledge of iron – no mechanical powers – no beast of burden but a sort of sheep – the lama – too light for the draught, and too weak for the burden-only carrying an hundred pounds ten miles in a day; and yet a people who constructed two such roads, each near about as long as from the Missouri to the Pacific – one at a mountainous elevation only about a thousand feet lower than the summit of Mont Blanc, and the other in the arid sands of the lowlands, under a tropical heat, and both in a direction to cross successive mountains or rivers, and both executed in a style of accommodation that we do not pretend to rival: military protection, safe lodging, water, shade, baths, the perfume of odoriferous shrubs! and mails, messages, and -small burdens transported upon them at the rate of one hundred and fifty miles a day, without horses and without steam, by men running on foot alone. After seeing such a system of roads on our own continent, devised and established by such a people, what is there to prevent us, the vanguard of the Anglo-Saxon race, and the descendants of the elite of Europe, to open the system of roads which my bill proposes – a common road, on which the mail stage is to run one hundred miles in twenty-four hours, and a letter horse mail two hundred Miles in the same time – a railway on which the cars are to fly, like the express trains in England, forty-two miles to the hour – an electric line along which, and across the continent, people are to communicate as they would hold converse across a room ?

Mr. President, if there ever was a time when nationality and centrality, should pre-eminently govern the action of Congress in great


measures, this is that time; and the system of roads I propose is one of those measures.

I now ask leave to bring in the bill.

Leave was granted, and the bill was read.

A BILL to provide for the location and construction of a central national highway from the Mississippi river, at St. Louis, to the Bay of San Francisco, on the Pacific ocean.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

That a district of territory one hundred miles wide, and extending from the western frontier of Missouri to the Pacific ocean, and corresponding as nearly as may be to the central latitudes of the United States, together with the revenue from lands and customs in California, Oregon, New Mexico, and Utah, so far as not required for expenditures therein, shall be set apart and reserved for opening communications with California, Oregon, New Mexico, and Utah, by means of a central national highway from St. Louis to the Bay of San Francisco, to connect with ocean navigation in that bay; with a branch of said highway to Santa Fe, in New Mexico; and a branch to the tide-water region of the Columbia river, so as to connect with Ocean navigation at that point; and also a branch to the city of the Great Salt Lake, if said central highway should not in its proper course pass that city; and a breadth of fifty miles shall be set apart and reserved for the location and construction of said branch roads respectively.

SEC. 2. And be it further enacted, That the said central national highway shall consist of a system of parallel roads adapted to different modes of travel and transportation, and a margin for lines of electro-telegraphic wires, whereof one common road and one iron railroad shall be immediately opened and constructed; and much other roads shall be hereafter opened and constructed as Congress from time to time may authorize; and in order that the said national central highway may be constructed on a scale commensurate to its importance, and adapted to the wants of present and future time, and in order to allow convenient space for all the parallel lines of road which commerce and travel may require thereon, a breadth of one mile shall be allowed through the reserve of one hundred miles; and the said branch roads shall equally consist of a common road and a railway, and such other roads as Congress may from time to time authorize and direct, with a margin for a line of electro-telegraph wires, and a breadth of one thousand feet shall be allowed through the reserve of fifty miles for such branch roads each, respectively; and each track for a road shall be entitled to a space of one hundred feet wide,


and when finished the said iron railway, or ways, shall never be subject to any toll or tax beyond that which may be necessary to provide repairs; and the said common roads shall be forever free from any toll or tax, and shall be kept in traveling order by the care and expense of the Federal Government,

SEC. 3. And be it further enacted, That the President be authorized and requested to cause all the authentic information in possession of the Government, or in its power to procure, necessary to show the practicability of a route for said central highway, to be collected and digested into brief memoirs, illustrated by topographical and profile maps, to be laid before Congress as soon as possible; also, that be be authorized and requested to cause further surveys and examinations to be made, and the results to be laid before Congress as soon as possible; and for that purpose to employ as many citizen civil engineers as may be necessary.

SEC. 4. And be it further enacted, That as soon as Congress shall fix upon the routes of said central highway and branches, the President shall be and hereby is authorized and requested to cause the Indian title to be extinguished upon a breadth of one hundred miles, to cover the route of said central highway; and also to extinguish the Indian title upon suitable breadths of fifty miles each, covering the said branch roads; and the location and construction of the central highway shall immediately be commenced, both for the common road and the railway, and with a force calculated to finish the common road in one year, so as to be passable for wagons and carriages, and the railway in ten years.

SEC. 5. And be it further enacted, That as soon as the said common road is finished, the same shall be a post road, and a daily mail carried thereon in wagons, or coaches, or sleighs, when necessary, at the rate of at least one hundred miles in twenty-four hours; and a daily horse mail for light letters and printed slips, at the rate of at least two hundred miles in twenty-four hours.

SEC. 6. And be it further enacted, That as soon as said railway, or any sufficient part thereof, shall be completed and fit for use, the use thereof shall be granted, for a limited time, to such individuals or companies as shall, by contract with the Government, agree to transport persons, mails, munitions of war, and freight of all kinds, public and private, in vehicles furnished by themselves, over the same, at such reasonable rates as shall be agreed upon: Provided, That if other roads shall hereafter be constructed on the ground reserved for roads by this act, the same company or persons shall not be allowed to have the contract for transportation, or any interest in more than one road at the same time.

SEC. 7. And be it further enacted, That military stations shall be established on the line of the central highway and its branches, at such places as the President shall direct.


SEC. 8. And be it further enacted, That donations of land, to the extent of one hundred and sixty acres, shall be made to each head of a family, widow, or single man over eighteen years of age, who shall be settled on the line of said central highway and branches, and within the bounds of the extinguished Indian claim, within twelve months after the time of such extinction of title; and pre-emption rights, to the same extent, shall be allowed to all similar settlers after twelve months; and the residue of said reserved districts, except gold mines and placers, and private claims, or donations or pre-emption rights, shall be sold, and the proceeds applied to the construction of the roads.

SEC. 9. And be it further enacted, That the sum of three hundred thousand dollars, out of any money in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated, shall be and the same hereby is appropriated, and placed at the disposition of the President, to defray the expenses of carrying into effect the third and fourth sections of this act, for the collection and preparation of information and the extinction of Indian titles necessary to the selection and location of the route for said central national highway and branches.

SEC. 10. And be it further enacted, That it shall and may be lawful for the President of the United States to contract with the Mississippi and Pacific railroad Company for their interest in so much of said road as shall be within the State of Missouri, and to purchase the same at a price not exceeding their actual expenditures, the said purchase to be subject to the ratification of Congress.

The bill was read a first and second time by its title, and referred to the Committee on Roads and Canals, and ordered to be printed.

[From the Congressional Globe, 2d Session, 31st Congress, 1851, page 66.]





Abelard Guthrie was born five miles north of Dayton, Montgomery County, Ohio, March 9, 1814. He was of Scotch-Irish extraction, and was possessed of all the persistency and tenacity of purpose of that hardy people. His parents were born in Pennsylvania, and were among the early emigrants to Ohio. They were closely related to the progenitors of the present Todd (or Tod) family of Ohio and Kentucky.

The following genealogical information concerning Mr. Guthrie’s family was kindly furnished me by my friend, J. V. Andrews, Esq., the wealthy banker, of Kansas City, Kansas. It is taken principally from “Pennsylvania Genealogies,”chiefly of the “Scotch-Irish, and German,” by William Henry Egle, M. D., M. A.; Harrisburg, Pa., 1896.

John Andrews came from Londonderry, North Ireland, to Pennsylvania, in 1737. He located on the Manada, Hanover Township, Lancaster County. His name appears on the first Assessment, for the “East End of Hanover.” He married Miss Jane Strain of Dauphin County, Pennsylvania. Among his children were Hugh, Robert, John, and James. John was a physician; he had charge of the Philadelphia Hospital; died unmarried.


Captain Hugh Andrews was born August 31, 1764. He married Ann Speer, who was born October 2, 1764, and died June 25, 1797. Their children were four in number — 1. Isabella; 2. James; 3. John; 4. Margaret.

Captain Hugh Andrews was married a second time, to Miss Elizabeth Ainsworth, who was born August 31, 1780. They were married September 10, 1799, and moved to Dayton, Ohio, where be bought property. He bought, also, two thousand acres of land on Mad River, five miles north of Dayton. He improved this tract of land and built a house on it in which he lived, and where he died May 17, 1811.

Elizabeth Ainsworth was the daughter of John Ainsworth, and the granddaughter of Samuel Ainsworth – all born in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. The children of Hugh and Elizabeth (Ainsworth) Andrews were: 1. Nancy Speer, who married David Shaw; 2. Samuel Ainsworth, who married Miss Margaret Ramsey; 3. James, who married Mary Cornelia Van Cleve; 4. Eliza, who married Alexander Stephens; 5. Hugh, who married Phoebe Cook.

James Andrews and Mary Cornelia (Van Cleve) Andrews had eleven children, six of whom grew to manhood and womanhood, among whom were John Van Cleve Andrews of Kansas City, Kansas, the banker above mentioned, and who married Miss Mary E. Hill of Lincoln, Nebraska. He lived ten years in Pueblo, Colorado; four years in Topeka, Kansas; then moved to Kansas City, Kansas.

Mrs. Elizabeth (Ainsworth) Andrews married James Guthrie, April 22, 1813.

James Guthrie was born in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, August 19, 1784. His ancestors were Scotch-Irish Presbyterians who came early to Pennsylvania from the North of Ireland. He came to Ohio in 1809, and engaged in teaching school in and about Dayton. He was an energetic man of somewhat eccentric character, but held in high


esteem for his industry, public spirit, and genuine worth. His wife Elizabeth (Ainsworth) died September 1, 1850. He was married a second time; this second marriage caused him and his children much trouble. He died August 3, 1860. He and his first wife are buried in Woodland Cemetery, Dayton, Ohio, with other kindred.

The children of James Guthrie and his wife Elizabeth (Ainsworth) were: 1. Abelard, born March 9, 1814; 2. Eloisa, born June 19, 1817; married Jacob Light; 3. Margaret, born May 19, 1819; married Isaac Strohm.

Abelard Guthrie was married early in the year 1844, in what is now Kansas City, Kansas, to Miss Quindaro Nancy Brown, a Wyandot-Shawnee girl, of the Big Turtle Clan of the Wyandot Tribe and the Turtle Clan of the Shawnee Tribe. Miss Brown was born in Canada West, and was the daughter of Adam Brown, who was the son of Chief Adam Brown, who bought Governor Walker’s father from the Delawares. Miss Brown’s mother was a Shawnee. Mrs. Guthrie was, at the time of her marriage, said to be the most beautiful girl in the Wyandot Nation. She was tall and of faultless form. Intellectually she was a superior woman. She was a faithful wife, a devoted, Christian mother. She died at her home on Russell’s Creek in the Cherokee Country, Indian Territory, April 13, 1886, and is buried in the cemetery at Chetopa, Kansas.

Four of the children of Abelard Guthrie and his wife Quindaro Nancy (Brown) lived to maturity, two sons and two daughters: 1. James; married Grace —– ; they have four children: 1. Lucy; 2. Percy; 3. Hugh; 4. Ray; Lucy is Matron of the Government School at Wyandotte, Indian Territory.

2. Abalura; married Charles Graves; died, leaving one son, Clarence Graves.

3. Norsona; married Edward S. Lane, brother of Hon.


V. J. Lane, the veteran editor of the Herald, of Kansas City, Kansas. They have two sons; 1. Marsh; 2. Vernon.

4. Jacob; married Dora —–; they have two children 1. Wade Abelard; 2. Robert.

When Abelard Guthrie married Miss Brown he was adopted into the Bear Clan of the Wyandots, and given the name Tah-keh’-yoh-shrah’-tseh, which means the twin brain, or the man with two brains. The name was given to denote his recognized ability. He was supposed, by the Indian system of name-giving in this particular instance, to possess, after his adoption, the brain of the white man and the brain of the Bear (i. e., the Indian).

He died suddenly in Washington City, of heart failure, January 13, 1873. He was there at the time urging upon Congress the justice of some long neglected claims of the Wyandots and himself, and the Shawnee claim of his wife and family.


Abelard Guthrie was not a large man. In his Journal, February 28,1862, he gives his height as five feet, nine and three-fourths inches, and his weight as one hundred and fifty-seven pounds. His eyes were blue, his complexion fair, his hair auburn. His features of face were rugged and strong; mouth large, mobile, firm. Until the very last years of his life he wore his hair like the Indians formerly wore theirs – long, and falling over his shoulders. He was a man of strong religious nature and convictions. All through his Journals be speaks of his faith and his trust in God. He even writes some of his prayers. Had it not been for his strong belief in the justice of the overruling providence of God, he says often in his Journals, he could not have survived many of his trials and troubles.

In his writings little is revealed concerning his early life.


He speaks of having attended school. He was a man of wide experience and extensive information. His mind was rugged and retentive. He was quick to decide and fearless to execute. He was daring, and perseverance was the strongest trait of his character. He was nervously restless and energetic. Compulsory inaction was to him what the cage is to the lion. He was honest, honorable, and direct in business transactions himself, so much so that he was credulous and somewhat lax in binding others to strict performance of their stipulations. This trait caused him to trust unworthy and dishonest men, and the result was financial ruin, and life cut short by disease superinduced by worry.

For some years he was chief clerk in the office of John Johnston, Esq., Agent at Piqua, Ohio, for all the Ohio Indians. In this capacity he had much business to transact with the Chiefs and principal men of the Wyandots and thus became acquainted with them. He seems to have taken much interest in the welfare of the Wyandots from the first, and to have rendered them important service in the negotiation of the treaty by which they ceded their Ohio lands to the Government.

In the summer of 1842 President Tyler appointed Guthrie Register of the United States Land Office at Upper Sandusky. He took charge of the office and administered its affairs for a time. No action was had on his nomination until near the close of the year 1843, when it was rejected. His rejection was the result of the political conditions existing at the time, and not of any charge of incompetency or unfitness to administer the office. This was in the unsettled times caused by the death of President Harrison and the demoralization of the Whig party by the action of President Tyler. The Wyandots had already left Upper Sandusky when he was notified of his rejection by the Senate, they having departed in the previous July. His disappointment was keen, and he


was so mortified for the moment that he determined to follow the Wyandots West. He arrived at the mouth of the Kansas River in January, 1844.

Many years afterward he made the following entry in his Journal:

“13th February 1858

To-day I have been overhauling a large number of old letters and papers. How much I could say on the subject! These silent mementoes of the past, how many reminiscences and associations do they call up! and what a picture of the meanness, the treachery and the falsehood of man do they present! Not one of these correspondent’s now even writes to me and how full are all these letters of the warmest professions [of] friendship. And it is not the most agreeable circumstance that these friends were the most numerous and the most punctual when any good fortune sprang up in the way. For instance when I was appointed Register of the Land office at Upper Sandusky by the President of the United States many old friends who had been oppressed with cares to such a degree that they had ceased to write any but business letters, now found leisure to renew their correspondence with me; but after my rejection by the Senate and my exit to the Indian Country, their cares and embarrassments again compelled them to drop me until I was sent to Congress by the people of Nebraska, when again I found the affections of my friends as fresh and strong as ever, if not much improved by the few years of oblivion. This momentary gleam of prosperity however soon passed away and disease and poverty compelled me to retire from the field of political strife and my friends in their excess of delicacy were unwilling to obtrude upon my solitude [and] entirely deserted me. Now for two or three years 1 have been struggling with disease and poverty and I have not in that time rec’d one letter from any of my former friends; but misfortune may also have fallen upon them. And it would be another strange coincidence, should my present enterprise be successful, and be followed by a revival of old and withdrawn or latent friendships? Yet I doubt not most if not all of these young men were sincere in their professions of friendship and could not foresee what effect adversity would have upon the growth of this delicate plant. But I believe I can conscientiously say before God that I never dropped or


neglected a friend on account of his misfortunes or want of success. In God I trust and he will sustain me only as I am just.”

When Mr. Guthrie left Upper Sandusky he did not intend to remain for any great length of time in the West. He expected to look over the great prairies and return to Ohio after a visit with his friends, the Wyandots. But how little does any man control his own destiny, or even the actions or events of a brief day of his existence! The vast extent, the beauty, the fertility of the country west of the Mississippi River was a revelation to him. He was impressed with the immense possibilities of the virgin country, the extent of which he now only began to comprehend. His astute mind grasped at once the possibility and to some degree the extent of the development which the resources of this vast domain would reach in the quick-coming future. Like all men of great mind, he was charmed with the thought that he might become a factor in the transformation which he foresaw.

He had met Miss Brown in Ohio, and, it is said, desired very much to marry her before she came West, but this was opposed by her father, who always bore a strong aversion and dislike to Mr. Guthrie. There is little doubt that he hoped to return with her as his bride to Ohio. In the early summer of 1844 Abelard Guthrie and Quindaro Nancy Brown were married, in what is now Kansas City, Kansas. This was one of the first weddings, if not the very first, in what is now Wyandotte County, Kansas.


I cannot state positively that Abelard Guthrie was in the Mexican War, although there is every probability that he was. Many Wyandots went into the American Army in this war and fought well for their country. A man of


Guthrie’s disposition could hardly resist the temptation to go into the army, under the circumstances then existing.

Whether he was a soldier or not, he was, in some way and in some capacity, in Mexico in the year 1848. In a manuscript letter, now in my possession, from John Johnston, Esq., Indian Agent at Piqua, Ohio, to Governor Walker Mr. Johnston speaks of the death of his son in Mexico. He says he had the body brought home and buried by his wife. Mr. Guthrie may have performed this service for his oldtime friend and employer. If so it is possible that the following Journal refers to this. It is to be regretted that the Journal ends so abruptly. Why it was interrupted and not resumed cannot now be ascertained:


Left Cincinnati Sunday morning at 1/2 past 10 o’clock the 20th Feby 1848, for New Orleans on board the steamboat United States Capt Caldwell and arrived at New Orleans on Monday morning the 28th February.

Left New Orleans 10 o’clock P. M. Sunday the 5th March 1848 on board the steam ship Edith and passed over the bar of the Balize at 11 o’clock A. M. the 11th March.

Left Vera Cruz at 8 o’clock A. M. Wednesday 15th March under escort of 350 infantry & 80 horse and a train of 40 waggons, the escort being under the command of Col. Williams of the Michigan Volunteers and encamped the first night about five miles from Vera Cruz the road lies over a succession of barren sand hills; the next 2 miles are over or rather through a constant succession of bills of sandy earth covered with many varieties of acacia and cactus. The road through these hills is perfectly level but narrow and crooked and must either have been once the bed of a stream of water or excavated by immense labor. In any part of this narrow defile twenty resolute well armed men could have driven us back and no more secure biding place for an ambuscade could be wished It would have been impossible for our men to have fought with any effect in a pass so narrow nor could they have pursued a foe through the chaperal so armed is


every thing of the vegetable kind with thorns or spikes that no one can penetrate them without sharing to a certainty the fate of the man who “picked up a briar bush and scratched out both his eyes” The next mile is a rich black sandy soil and indeed all save the first 2 miles is well suited to cultivation. This day the weather was cool and pleasant. I wore woolen clothes and was neither too cold nor too warm.

16th March. Resumed our march this morning at 6 o’clock. After a march of about ten miles over a most beautiful prairie country of rich yellow soil we halted at a spot where 54 Georgia volunteers & 30 Louisiana volunteers attacked a band of guerrillas about two hund. strong and lost in killed 6 Georgians & 1 Louisianian. The body of the latter was carried away and the others left on the field. It was to collect and bury their bones that we here halted. While searching for the bones two shots were fired at us from a distant hill by guerrillas. One of those killed in this encounter was a waggoner. After the guerrillas were routed Col. Briscoe of the Louisiana volunteers the commander of the escort ordered a retreat directing the waggoners to take each a mule from his wagon and save himself, the murdered man’s mule became stubborn and his companions deserted him. So soon as the guerrillas saw the waggons and driver abandoned they returned and took possession of the abandoned property and killed the driver – his body was not recovered. We found the bones of the Georgians and carried them to Cordova for interment. This night we encamped on the west bank of the Solidad a beautiful little river about twenty miles from Vera Cruz at a ranch (farm) called San Diego, owned by a guerrilla Chief named Zanobia; it was deserted as indeed were all the ranches (farms) thus far. This day was warm with alternate cloud and sunshine, but the heat was not oppressive. The Solidad afforded the finest bathing which our men engaged in with a hearty good will. The attack above alluded to under Briscoe was on Saturday the 19th Feb. 1848.

17th March. About a mile from last night’s encampment we found the bones of a wagon master who had been killed by guerrillas about a month before when out upon a scouting party. He was drawn into the danger by mistaking the Mexicans for Americans nor did he discover the error until in the very midst of his foes. He was buried the next day by his companions but his body was torn from its grave


and the grave filled up. This day’s march was about 15 miles over hilly prairie of rich black sandy soil but not tillable with the plow because of the great quantities of fragments of stone that lie upon it. In this day’s march we saw the remains of ancient walls which in all probability once composed an immense city. Nothing now is to be seen but the innumerable straight lines of stones composing squares of all sizes and frequently so large as to have many partitions marking off rooms of various sizes and forms. This night we encamped at a ranch called Palo Verda (green tree) where we had to carry water 1 1/4 miles and bad at that though we had not seen a drop since morning. Here the beef contractor for the Army killed a cow and calf which I was told belonged to the old lady who kept the ranch but though she demanded pay for it I could not learn that she received anything This was the more outrageous from the fact that we had been treated with great kindness by this woman and her family; she having given us freely a barrel of excellent water which had been brought a distance of two miles and kept in large earthen vessels until it was cold – a most delicious treat after a whole day’s thirst. I now learned that our beef killer had contracted with our government to furnish beef to the army at nine cents a pound; a good business certainly on the part of the contractor for as he paid nothing for the beef and paid nothing for the services of the soldiers who were required to assist him in bringing it into camp the profits were very handsome. These contractors are attached to every division of the army whether in quarters or station or on the march. And though I have heard of private soldiers being “bucked and gagged” for taking beef in the same way, indeed I have heard of no instance of private soldiers killing animals for food but were punished for it. I cannot believe our government has sanctioned knowingly a contract for paying a man 9 cents a pound for stealing beef. In the morning the water keg of our kind hostess was missing and she sent a complaint to that effect to Col. Williams but as the train was then in motion he said he could not think of losing the time it would require to search all the wagons but had rather pay for the keg. But I am not aware that he did. This day was warm but for the most part cloudy and in the evening we had a slight shower of rain though in the mountains we could see it pouring down in cataracts and the constant flashes of lightning and peals of thunder showed. that a violent storm was raging there. These mountains have


been in view for two days though we have been marching directly toward them.

18th March. This morning the sun rose from a dark cloud but for half an hour before it was visable we could see its reflection on the snowy top of the Orizaba still about sixty miles distant. The other mountains the Chickawuta seemed only about two or three miles off yet they were really nearly twenty. This deception is produced by the extraordinary transparancy of the atmosphere. To-day for many miles the road on either side as far as the eye could see were the remains of stone habitations which must have been a sort of rural city the spaces between the ruins being sufficiently large for extensive gardens. We saw a stone wall of excellent workmanship thrown across the bed of a dry stream, designed to form a reservoir for the purpose of supplying the cattle and farmers with water during the dry season. The dam was broken down in one place no doubt with a view of depriving the Americans of water in this dry region. The labor expended on this wall would doubtless have been sufficient to have made half a dozen wells and certainly the water would have been much better yet there is not a single well of water between Vera Cruz and Cordova save the miserable apology for one five miles from the former place.


Abelard Guthrie was an Argonaut – a pioneer in California. So restless a spirit could not behold thousands of gold hunters sweep by his very door without himself contracting the feverish desire to be a partaker in their adventures, their dangers and in the golden harvest. It is supposed a hundred thousand men crossed the plains in 1849 and 1850. A great number of these started from Westport, Mo., and many from Fort Leavenworth.

A number of Wyandots organized themselves into a mining company early in 1850. Their purpose was to dig gold from the mines and wash it from the beds of streams in California. For the names of these Wyandots see Governor Walker’s Journal, under date May 15, 1850. On that date


the party set out upon the long and painful journey to the gold fields beyond the Sierras. They were six months on the road across the boundless prairies, the frightful mountains of barren rock, the parched and dreary wastes of burning sands. They worked along the Feather River, and Russell Garrett says they found an abundance of gold.

We are not informed when Mr. Guthrie returned from California, but it was some time before the summer or fall of 1852.


Mr. Guthrie, in the summer of 1852, directed his efforts toward securing a Territorial organization for the Territory of Nebraska, with bounds practically those of the present States of Kansas and Nebraska. In this, all the evidence I have been able to obtain and examine shows that he was acting with, and largely for, Senator Thomas H. Benton of Missouri, although he says the idea was his own, and that “solitary and alone” he undertook this work. His Journals are full of references to his work as a Delegate to Congress from Nebraska Territory, but they contain no extensive statement of the movement which sent him there. I have not been so fortunate as to find those covering the years of the movement for a Territorial Government for Nebraska Territory. My account of his services, so far as they relate to this movement, is written in another part of this work.


In 1862 Mr. Guthrie made some effort to have all the Indian Country between the States of Kansas and Texas erected into the Territory of Lanniwa, and provided with a Territorial Government. He prepared a bill for this purpose and advocated its passage. The bill was introduced by Senator Pomeroy of Kansas. The merits of the bill and



the policy which it outlined were discussed in the columns of the New York Tribune.


During the troublous times in Kansas Territory immediately succeeding the passage of the Kansas-Nebraska bill there was no point within her borders where Free-State people from the East could land unmolested to enter the conflict for liberty and freedom then raging there. The Missouri River towns of the Territory were little more than camps for border ruffians, and it was often necessary for settlers from the Northern States to enter Kansas by the way of Iowa and Nebraska. The necessity for a Missouri River town where the Free-State sentiment prevailed was recognized, and the building of such a town urged by Free-State men and Free-State interests.

Guthrie was identified with the Free-State movement in Kansas Territory from its inception. He was a Delegate to the Big Springs convention. But he did not aspire to leadership in the movement. Like John Brown and other great men of the day, he believed it was to be only a temporary expedient which would carry the struggle for freedom in Kansas through a preliminary stage, then be succeeded by something broader – a National party. Others of Kansas, some of the so-called great men, never got beyond this point in Kansas politics. When the Free-State party was absorbed by the Republican party they were left floundering about without rudder, chart, or compass, and could never make up their minds about the relative merit of existing political parties, but were found first in one and then in another, as the opportunity for office or gain seemed them best for the time being.

At this time steamboats on the Missouri River furnished the only means of communication with the East, aside from


the overland freighter’s wagon and ox-team, consequently a good landing for steamboats was of the first importance in selecting a town site. Ascending the Missouri after it becomes the State line, the first good landing on the Kansas side is some six miles above the mouth of the Kaw. Here the yellow waves of the mud-laden Missouri surge against a limestone ledge, and deep water is as reasonably certain as the capriciousness of this erratic river will allow at any point. The land along this broken shore was owned by the Wyandot Indians, but by a recent treaty they were permitted to sell it. Guthrie, being a Wyandot by adoption and a prominent Free-State man, was invited to take an interest in the new town. To this he was not averse. But there were pro-slavery and anti-slavery factions in the Wyandot Nation, and it was necessary that both be represented in the Town Company, for otherwise it might be difficult, if not impossible, to purchase the required Indian land. For this reason Joel Walker, a brother of Governor Walker, and a splendid business man, was solicited to take an interest, which he did, and became one of the founders of the Free-State town.

The Free-State city was named Quindaro, in honor of Mrs. Guthrie. The plat was filed in 1860, but the survey had been made in 1857, and lots were sold in that year. A city was rapidly built. Stone and brick blocks rose along the broken bluffs and serpentine gullies and ravines. Here was to be the crossing of the Missouri River and Rocky Mountain Railroad, and lands for terminal facilities for this road were provided.

After two years of unparalleled prosperity the town began to decline. Nature and not man selects sites for great marts. It was soon seen that the great city of Kansas, and the Valley of the Missouri, was to be built on the site indicated by Senator Benton, at the mouth of the Kansas, and principally on the Missouri side of the State line. Honest


management would have made Quindaro, a thriving village, but not having that, it fell almost as rapidly as it rose. The business blocks were deserted and became the habitations of bats and owls. To-day one may see these ruins in the fragments of old walls remaining scattered over the town site. After the civil war many negroes from Missouri took up their residence in these ruins, and they own most of the old town site yet.

This venture was the financial ruin of Guthrie. He put into it all he possessed, and endorsed for the Quindaro City Company and different members of the corporation to such an extent that he was overwhelmed with debts. For fifteen years he struggled with these debts, and finally sank into the grave beneath their weight.


I give here a few quotations from Mr. Guthrie’s Journals. Some of these excerpts indicate a spirit of bitterness in the writer. He may, perhaps, be justly charged with a denunciation too severe. But when one has read all the circumstances under which he wrote, as they are recorded in his Journals, he will, I believe, be constrained to admit that the provocation was great – often exasperating. His arraignment of Governor Robinson is severe in the extreme, but I believe no more so in his Journals than in a pamphlet which he published, a copy of which can be seen in the Library of the Kansas State Historical Society. These Journals are of interest at this time as showing how many of the patriotic men of his time misjudged President Lincoln. I have taken the following extracts at random and as representative of the whole Journal, and not for the sentiment expressed, in a single instance.


March 9, 1858.

To-day I am forty four years old. Alas, what have I done with these 44 years! More good than I have credit for, less evil than I am charged with. And yet how much more good I might have done! and how much evil I might have avoided! But oh! how much have I suffered and how little have I enjoyed! Yet in every vicissitude of life my hopes and my faith in the future were never diminished for I know that God sets all things right. . . .

Went to Quindaro and voted for Walden, Ed. of the “Chindowan” for Delegate to frame a Constitution the other gentlemen on the ticket I know nothing favorable of and therefore I did not vote for any of them.

14th March, 1858.

In the evening I went over to Alfred Gray’s and we talked prosily enough upon general topics for a short time I returned home. Why are men in good health sometimes so much duller than at others? I sometimes think I can coin ideas as fast as other men but at other times it is a labor to think or to talk upon the most commonplace subject, and what is strangest this stupidity is most oppressive just after reading an interesting book.

9th April, 1858

I was shown a letter to-day from Gov. Robinson speaking in the most confident language of his success in getting a grant of land for our railroad. Should this enterprise succeed Quindaro will be the great city of the West, and it is believed that with my present property I will be a rich man, so people tell me and so I would like to believe. What immeasurable felicity must be that of the rich man who feels and knows that God has bestowed upon him this much of his favor for wise and useful purposes.

12th April 1858

Gov. Robinson is much to blame for these embarrassments. The debts I have been paying are his and now I am obliged to disappoint and injure my own creditors. Robinson may turn out an honest man but he is certainly a very callous one – and such an one as I hope never again to do business with.


Tuesday 13th April 1858

Went to Kansas City intending to go to Shawnee to see Capt. Parks but meeting him in Kansas City I did my business, . . . and to try to get the Captain to get the Shawnees and Delawares to build a bridge over the Kansas river at the point nearest to Chillicothe in the success of which he is largely interested. The measure I propose would make it a place of considerable importance whereas without it there will be no town. The Captain I believe thinks well of my project and said he would bring it up in Council. A bridge at this point will be as advantageous to Quindaro as at any other hence my interest in it.

Thursday 15th April 1858

I have never suffered more anguish of mind than I have suffered within the last month on account of pecuniary embarrassments. I have aimed at a fortune but it would be dearly earned were this state of things to last long. After all the old Indian life, with all its poverty and hardship is the happiest.

Wednesday 15th [September, 1858.]

Went to Wyandot city to attend the “Free State” County Convention as a delegate from Quindaro. The convention was conducted with harmony and goodfeeling; but it made no declaration of principles on which to act as a permanent party, the chief desire appearing to be to unite as far as practicable the anti slavery element in the county, and the control of the territorial legislature but without reference to any line of policy designed for the public good. I was put on the “Committee[“] to draft a platform and resolutions expressive of the views and designs of the convention and endeavored to have principles enunciated in support of which we could labor permanently, but it was contended that if we took decisive grounds upon the great questions of the day we would drive off the moderate men of the democratic party who would otherwise support nominations made solely on the question of free or slave State. How hard is it to conquer prejudice after reason has yielded everything! And how often does temporary expediency triumph over and trample down truth justice and


wise policy! This convention was composed of as intelligent and fine looking men as I ever saw assembled on a like occasion, yet I never before saw so little display of independence and outspoken truth and such studied cowardice and timidity, and all appeared felicitated with the manner in which they had hid their heads in the sand. Poor ostrich we laugh at thy simplicity and imitate thy example with gravity and diligence?

This is the first nominating convention I have attended in the Territory, and after spending a thousand dollars in obtaining a government for the Territory (and without my efforts there would have been no territorial organization) and opening the country to white settlement, I had not money enough to buy myself a dinner and so fasted from morning till my return home at night. The humiliation of such poverty was more painful than the want of food and more painful still it has been brought upon me by the ingratitude and dishonesty of men who owe to me all they are worth.

Monday 4th October 1858.

Attended the election, but was too weak to stay long on the ground. This election presented scenes which cannot but lessen one’s confidence in the popular will; the catholics voted in a body at the dictation of their priest, and the Indians sold their votes for a dinner, whisky, and some of them probably received small sums of money. Yet with all this competition on the part of the democracy, the free State party received 99 votes out of the 157 cast. Alas, the poor Indian despised by those who use him and spurned by those he opposes and who have been his only friends! Ungrateful, ignorant and unprincipled how soon will thy sad fate be sealed.

Friday 15th October 1858

This trouble and all others I have suffered the past year [comes] from overconfidence in C. Robinson who authorized me to buy lands but leaves me to pay for them not even coining near me but avoiding me as if he was afraid of hearing the truth. I have never known such cold blooded ingratitude before. I have placed unbounded confidence in him and he has shown as boundless a disregard of honor, gratitude and honesty.


Monday 8th November 1858

Health improving, but am confined to my room. Last night I slept sweetly and without sweat – a providential blessing for I had prayed to God that he would grant me a sweet and refreshing nights sleep – and that prayer was answered. I was amazed and transported with agreeable emotions at this unexpected change.

Thursday 18th November 1858

Attended a meeting of the citizens of Quindaro which I understand was called with a view to consider projects for the future welfare of the town, but I was satisfied from the composition of the meeting that no good could result from its action and therefore left it at an early hour. The meeting was held at Alfred Grays office. Charles Robinson who was to have been there skulked off as he always does when any responsibility may be thrust upon him.

Saturday 20th November 1858

Mr Alfred Gray was here wanting me to agree as a member of the Quindaro Co. to release Mrs Nichols from the payment of five hundred dollars which she owes the Co. on the condition that she will edit and conduct “The Chindowan” for one year, which it is proposed to revive. The agreement with Mrs Nichols is to terminate at the end of any quarter; provided other arrangements shall be made for the publication of the paper, in which case we are only to release her in proportion to the time she acts as Editor.

Wednsday 9th March 1869

Today am I forty five years old – long eventful years, fruitful of troubles to myself – of benefits to others! My acts misunderstood, my words distorted, my motives impugned. Others claim the rewards of my labors and history seems disposed to favor the fraud, but I have an abiding confidence in the justice of that overruling Power who shapes the destinies of man.

Tuesday 15th March 1859

Started to hunt my grey pony, Fanny, and called at Frank Cotter’s


to get Thomas Crooks to go with me as he wants to buy the pony but he was not there and I rode out to “Young America” a grog shop a mile further on where it was supposed I could find him, but he had left. Such a scene as this “grocery” exhibited I never before beheld – Indian women and men were lying about as if a battle had been fought and these were the slain, some yet stood, others leaned against whatever they could sieze upon and others were reeling about, all the victims of whiskey. This “hell” is kept by a white man who it is reported steals from and robs these wretched votaries of Bacchus. This sink of iniquity is on one of the public highways, and yet no effort is made to abate it. Our laws are said to be defective in this respect which may account for this shameful neglect of a vital moral duty.

Monday 4th April, 1859.

Capt. Parks died about 6 0’ clock last night. He was tho’t to be about 66 years old. He has been for several years, Head Chief of the Shawnees but General Cass, who employed him as interpreter when in the Indian service, stated in a speech in the U. S. Senate in 1853 while a Shawnee claim was under discussion that Parks, then in Washington was a pure white man and had been captured by the Indians when very young. But among the Shawnees he claimed to be of Shawnee extraction and the claim was universally acknowledged. He was plausable, shrewd, unscrupulous and avaricious and had accumulated a fortune of sixty or seventy thousand dollars.

Saturday, 9th April, 1859.

I remarked that the debt was not mine and I would not pay it. He said he would sue me immediately and I told him to do so. This note was given for lands bo’t for C. Robinson & others and Robinson was to give his note, on which I was to go as security, and my note was to be returned to me. After I had given the note however Robinson avoided the fulfillment of his promise and thus I am held responsible for his debt. I told Smith, Robinson’s confidential tool that I wished to settle this and other matters amicably but settled they must be, and I am led to believe from Smith’s remarks that Robinson will not pay unless compelled, showing that be is a swindler of the worst stamp.


Monday 23rd May, 1859.

Went to Quindaro where I met Charles Robinson. The cool villainy of this man would be incredible did I not witness such repeated evidences of it. About thirty months ago he left with me $700 to buy a piece of land for him and I gave him a receipt for the money. The land belonged to Isaac W. Zane and lies in Missouri opposite Quindaro; the price was $1400 and he required $800 in hand; this I paid him advancing $100 of my own money and gave my note for the remaining $600 payable in one year, Robinson being absent. I had therefore to secure myself by taking the Bond for a deed in my own name. To-day when I saw him in the Q. Co’s office his man Chapin presented the bond to me with an assignment written on the back of it which he requested me to sign – this assignment conveyed all my right to Robinson and authorized Zane to make him a deed, Robinson remarking at the same time that he would take up my note and close up the whole business, but said nothing of the $700 receipt or the $100 advanced! When I mentioned these things he said he had given me credit on the books and probably destroyed my receipt! but the books were examined and no credit [had been] given! His design was evidently to get the title to the land perfected to have me pay the note of $600 and when time should favor, present my receipt and compel me or my estate to pay it also! The $100 he seemed to consider already safe in his pocket!

After the repeated acts of treachery and ingratitude of which he is guilty this proposition would seem more like a premeditated insult than the trap of a cunning scoundrel. Yet this is his peculiar plan of operations – he assumes that people will regard him as above suspicion; pretends great ignorance and simplicity in business; to entrust the care of his affairs to others who have no character to sustain nor reputation to lose; he is in fact a perfect confidence man with a more than ordinary amount of cunning.

Tuesday 7th June, 1859

Attended the Election for two Delegates to the convention to frame a State constitution. I voted for one free State man and one Democrat because I knew the other professedly free State man W. Y. Roberts was dishonest and has heretofore abused and betrayed the confidence


reposed in him. I believe a government is safer in the hands of a good man professing bad principles than in the hands of a bad man professing good principles, because the former will endeavor to have good results flowing from his administration while the latter expects his name and profession to paliate and cover up his corrupt and tyranical government. Besides I would prefer at this moment, the Democrats should form the Constitution in which they will be compelled to yield much to the proslavery party which will make their constitution so objectionable that the people will vote it down, and then we will remain in our Territorial condition a year or two longer which I most devoutly desire for we are not only not able to support a State government, but the demagogues who now lead the Republican party, would doubtless get all the offices of trust and profit, which would involve us in debts and difficulties for years to come. In two or three years more these men will sink to their proper level and honest men may be found to manage our public affairs.

Sunday 12th June, 1859.

A pleasant Sabbath day, family at church, I at home until near evening I rode down to William Walker’s but he was not at home. Saw a strange assemblage of Germans from the neighboring towns, near Mr —- Stewart’s (the gardener) men, women and children making merry they had a drum, a brass band, a bar for the sale of lager beer, and sang and danced till night. They said they were celebrating in the old Country style, this particular sunday probably in honor of some good old Saint. . . .

Friday 17th June, 1859

Mrs Guthrie and her sister Margaret rode to the payment and I walked, a distance of 3 1/2 miles. Apparently but few Wyandots were present, as they were lost in the multitude of whites most of whom had claims on Indians. Some honest and many I believe utterly dishonest. It is alleged by the Indians themselves that they have paid the same debts several times but have received no credits nor took receipts. Some of them however having learned the value of receipts demanded them on making full payments and in a few instances; have disconcerted and disappointed their creditors by exhibiting their re-


ceipts when dunned; others have unfortunately lost them, and these and those having none were threatened with a lawsuit (of which they are much afraid) unless they should satisfy the demands against them. If the Indians are to be believed, thousands of dollars are thus fraudulently obtained. Will a just retribution overtake these dishonest creditors?

Wednesday 29th June, 1859.

Met C. Robinson with whom I had some plain talk about the management of the Quindaro Co’s affairs and about his own acts. He is a thorough villain, cool, calculating, heartless, ungrateful and audacious.

Thursday 25th August, 1859.

Went to Quindaro in the evening and received two letters, one from Isaac Strohm my brotherinlaw; the other from Chas. W. Wingard of Lockhaven Chester County, Pennsylvania; the former enclosing one from Mrs Anna Guthrie, my stepmother announcing the illness of my father who it seems attained his seventy-fifth year on the 19th day of this month. Strange that I should never have heard his age before! These letters are coldly formal and convey no intimation that my revered father has mentioned my name on his sick bed, or in any way evinced a desire to see me. Yet I know he can not dislike me, nor can I think otherwise than that my presence would be agreeable to him. I ought to be there and I do most earnestly desire to attend him in his last sickness, but I have not the money to carry me thither. I know the worst construction would be placed upon my hasty visit by the expectant friends who surround him, and this would be a sad drawback upon the satisfaction I would otherwise feel in a faithful discharge of my filial duties. My father is one of the best men I ever knew – I should say the best; strictly honest in all his dealings, and honorable in all his feelings. The uppermost traits in his character are properly alluded to by Mr Strohm, who says “His ruling traits for kindnesses, desire for the hospitable treatment of the visitors at his house, and reluctance to appear troublesome, are strongly shown in his deportment now.” I do pray to God that he may live many years in perfect health of body and mind not only on his own


account but on mine for I wish to have it in my power to smooth and gladden his future years with the means of a free exercise of his benevolence and munificence. No man ever enjoyed the performance of a good act more than be.

Monday 12th September, 1869.

Started early and entered the Mississippi river 10 O’clock A. M. passing St. Charles at 1/4 past 8 O’clock A. M. I never pass St. Charles without looking at the “Convent of the Sacred Heart” with mingled feelings of interest and indignation for it was the home for two years of my little girls Abalura and Norsona. As their education had been almost entirely neglected I was anxious that their studies should be confined to the common branches of a good English education. But the ladies wished to give them lessons in music and drawing and I was surprised [to] find charges for these studies. I again forbade it but the ladies were very importunate and had the children write letters urging me to give my consent to have them take lessons in music and drawing. And when Mrs Guthrie visited her children they obtained her consent and thus the useful branches of their education were much neglected and they returned home very little improved in intellectual culture. Their bills for clothing were also enormous, and I afterwards learned that the nuns induced them to give up their clothing when the least sullied and sometimes on the pretext that it had become too small for them. This clothing was either sold or given to the poor so that these nuns enjoy a fine reputation in St. Charles for their large charities. People little know and indeed as little care, that they rob their pupils or rather their wards that they may indulge their display of liberality. Strange that these people having abjured the vanities of the world should be so avaricious and so ambitious of securing the approbation of the outside world. They knew that they were deceiving me in relation to my children’s studies and best interests and in regard to the expense incurred for clothing.

Tuesday 13th September, 1859.

Left Dayton at 1/2 past 10 O’clock A. M. and arrived at my father’s at 11 A. M. finding my father improved in health for which I thank God with devout gratitude. But my father did not know me and


when told who I was he said “Why Abelard you look old!” Alas he little knew what agony of mind the Kansas swindlers had given me! and how cares and troubles multiply the tracks of time!

Friday 16th September 1869.

Pa seemed very restless last night and I overheard him from my room complaining that he was very unhappy ending with the words “I fear, I fear, I fear.” “Grandmother” his second wife, replied very calmly “I did not know it, my dear. I thought you were very happy.” He was silent. What was the cause of his uneasiness I could not imagine as he talks to me very little – never about his condition either of body or mind.

Jim [his brother, or half brother, James Andrews] told me some strange things about this “Grandma” who it seems is a very shrewd selfish woman. Shortly after her marriage with Pa he went to Dayton at a time when the waters were very much swollen by recent rains and he was not able to return the same night, a very unusual thing with him; she was very much alarmed at his absence and feared he had been drowned and had left no will; and immediately on his return she insisted on his making a will in view of the uncertainity of life. He yielded to her wishes, and it was supposed all was satisfactory. But in his recent illness when his life was dispaired of she prevailed on him to make another will by which she is made his sole heir! So far as I am concerned I care not a cent; but there are others who are entitled to kindly remembrances, they have loved and served him well; but God who orders all things right will not permit the consummation of this wrong.

Saturday 17th September, 1859.

Heard the distinguished Abraham Lincoln of Illinois make a speech on the slavery question. He is an able clear headed man, but not an agreeable speaker. His speeches appear to better advantage in print than in their delivery. . . .

Monday 19th September, 1859.

I stay to-night at the “City Hotel” kept by Wm Atkinson When I wanted to go to my room he looked at his register for my name and


then said “There had been a person of that name in Dayton a few years ago he was a dark looking fellow a lawyer, had gone North married a Squaw emigrated to Nebraska was a member of Congress &c. He seemed never to suspect that he might be talking to and about the same individual and he was rattling along with my history at a rate and with such a mixture of truth and falsehood I was constrained to make my bow in the midst of his interesting revelations.

Saturday 14th January, 1860.

This morning I discovered that George had taken the bark of from one of the finest linden trees in my park, to bottom an old chair with. I have not lately been so hurt and irritated and I told him I had rather he had burnt all the chairs I had than have killed that fine tree. The thing has oppressed my mind all day even when I was not thinking about it, I felt that there was something that distressed me without being able at the moment to remember it. I had, too, repeatedly told him not to touch a tree in that grove. How little above the brute is a man who will wantonly disfigure any of God’s glorious handiwork!

Friday 16th February, 1860.

Rec’d a letter from my sister Eloisa informing me of the death of our sister Eliza Stevens. This news most painful and unexpected fills my whole soul with the saddest thoughts. I saw her but a few months ago in excellent health and spirits looking forward to years of serene enjoyment and these alas! had but commenced when the dread summons came and life with all its promised joys was exchanged for the silence and gloom of the grave. Ah what an exchange! The gloom of the grave extends even to me and my heart is heavy and my soul is sick with its dampness and darkness and the powers of the mind are subject to the emotions of the heart. I am without thought and my whole being seems lost in a vague, indefinite and inexplicable feeling of profound sadness, not only embracing the death of my dear sister, but her whole life, for alas! that life brings up its mournful history and strews its joyless memories around her grave! Adieu my sister always beloved and as long to be mourned.


Monday January 6th 1862.

[Mr. Guthrie was in Washington City at that time.]

Had some conversation with F. P. Stanton who is contesting Genl. Lane’s right to a seat in the Senate. Mr Stanton assures me he has [an] understanding with Gov. Robinson whereby his action as Senator would be governed, and will feel himself at full liberty to take care of the interests of other sections of the State than those in which Robinson is especially interested, and to persons opposed to Robinson. Should Lane leave the Senate I would certainly prefer Stanton to any of those now spoken of for the succession. . . .

Wednesday January 8th, 1862.

Listened awhile to a debate in the Senate on the contested case between Lane and Stanton. It is one in which an honest difference of opinion may be entertained, but with the facts as I understand them I should vote for the admission of Stanton to the seat, otherwise the provision of the Constitution designed to guard against executive influence with members of Congress by making the acceptance of office under the Executive a disqualification for a Seat in the Senate [—–]. True General Lane’s appointment was not authorized by law, but that instead of favoring his cause should weaken it, because the president might find frequent occasion for gratifying the ambition of Senators by these marks of favor

Called to see Mr Dawes, chairman of the Committee of Elections to which my claim for mileage and per diem as delegate from Nebraska was refered and he encouraged me to hope for success saying the Committee thought favorably of the claim but wanted to be prepared to defend it before the house. . . .

Thursday 9th [January 1862]

Spent 2 or 3 hours with Col. Sims formerly of Missouri but now of Kansas. I urged upon him (he has much influence with Missouri members of Congress) to get the members of Congress from Missouri & Kentucky to meet and devise some means whereby we may be able to restore peace to the country. Kentucky and Missouri at this time control the administration; and if their delegations in Congress should


agree upon some practicable decisive plan of action, I have no doubt it would be successful. But I am convinced that any scheme to receive the necessary support of the people at large must look to the ultimate extinction of slavery.

Friday 10th January, 1862.

Mr Pomeroy told me Mr Dawes of the House had expressed an opinion to him adverse to my claim for mileage and per diem. This is very different from what he led me to believe when I called to see him two or three evenings back. There in a want of manliness, of honor and justice in eastern men that will always run counter to the better qualities of the western heart. And even the Republican party as such are constrained by the same narrowness of views which transcends its action defeats its objects, and disappoints the country. I have performed an important service for my country and now the very men who are reaping the rich fruits of that service hesitate to pay me the usual wages for it!

Heard Dr. Cheever, of New York, deliver a lecture in the Smithsonian Institution on the subject of slavery and our duties and relations to it. It was a terrible denunciation of the policy of the administration and military men; yet its truthfulness could hardly be controverted. His views of our duty under the constitution were in some respects new to me but were maintained with much ingenuity if not ability. He advocated the immediate abolition of slavery and the conquest of the rebellious States. I would have prefered the gradual emancipation of the slaves but the terrible alternative forced upon us by the rebellion of either losing the Territory altogether or of liberating the slaves and thereby undoing that worthless and even dangerous [—–] which has at the same time been the cause and the sinews of the war. The French assembly in their first declaration, to intimidate the German princes said, “That it was not with fire and sword they meant to attack their territories but by what would be more dreadful to them the introduction of liberty.” See Edmund Burke’s works vol. 4, page 52. This would to some extent overturn the social order, but I do not think this evil could be of long duration. The amalgamation of the races; the absorption of the African by the Anglo-Saxon or rather the white race would probably be more rapid than now as a much larger white population would


soon fill those States; whites from all the States and all countries who now and for many years were afraid to seek homes in the South because of the savage despotism that everywhere prevailed there.

This morning I handed Senator Pomeroy of Kansas a resolution which I wished him to introduce into the Senate, but which he probably will not do; it is this:

Resolved, that the Committee on the Judiciary be directed to enquire into the expediency of making provision by law for the payment annually for a period of twenty years an amount of money equal to ten dollars per capita of the slave population as shown by the census of 1860, to such of the so called slave States in proportion to the number of slaves contained in each, as shall establish a system of emancipation whereby slavery shall cease to exist within twenty years.

But on further reflection I think this bounty should only be given to the loyal States even though but nominally so. As for the others I now think the abolition of the system should be immediate and unconditional, both as a means of stopping the war and as a punishment for the rebellion. And I think the slaves should be armed and permitted to take apart in the conflict. If we do not use more vigorous means to put down the rebellion the new government it has set up will be recognized by the European powers, which they are all anxious to do because the principles of our government like those of the French revolution are penetrating into every nation of Europe and undermining the thrones of their rulers. The continuance of our present form of government with its territorial integrity, will finally overthrow the monarchies of Europe. We should not deceive ourselves by their pretended sympathy or friendship. They will attack us as soon as they have prepared the public mind of Europe for it and are fully apprised of our own impotency, which is not yet fully demonstrated.

Saturday 11th January 1862

In the Library of Congress I examined a volume of the Washington Union and discovered my old circular when first sent as delegate from Nebraska (now Kansas) It is in the Union of 18th January 1853 part 1st

Sunday 12th January 1862

In my room all day reading and writing a pamphlet on the subject


of our present troubles and dangers; I feel well pleased with it so far, and think it contains at least as much good sense as, I find in most of the speeches in Congress.

Monday 13th January 1862

Discovered that all my papers refered by Genl. Lane to the Com. on Indian Affairs had been refered to sub committees. Lane had assured me he would have them refered to himself and fairly examined but he deceived me in this as in everything else. He has treated me with the grossest ingratitude and injustice. His duplicity has greatly endangered the loss of my claims. Yet people are crazy with adulation of this insincere, egotistical, ungrateful demagogue for that is his true character.

Thursday 16th January 1862

Genl. Lane advised me to get Mr Samuel V. Niles an Attorney to attend to my business. This would not have been necessary had he attended to his business as Senator or redeemed his promises as friend. Mr Niles, I believe was his Attorney in the Jenkins contested land claim, and he probably pays him by giving him other business. I went to see Mr Niles and left my papers with him and he is to have them examined by morning and give his opinion of the case.

Saturday 18th January 1862

Went with Genl. Lane, Maj. Abbot & Mr Niles to the Indian Office and heard Mr Niles read the statements of Abbott and Matthew King in explanation of the part they took in the Clark & Hall swindle among the Shawnees; also the argument of Mr Niles in defence of Maj. Abbott. The papers were prepared with skill and ability and may save Maj. Abbott from removal, but I fear the case will not stop there and that Maj. Abbott will be ruined in the end. The Shawnees were evidently swindled out of about $18,000 by Clark & Hall, which Maj. Abbott as Indian Agent should have prevented. I have hitherto regarded Maj. Abbott as an honest man and I have no doubt he was imposed on by this Clark who is represented as a great rogue. I sincerely hope Maj. Abbott will be able to escape


from this difficulty and yet I dont see how he can unless Clark & Hall will refund the money which now seems improbable.

I have been to see Mr Niles and finally agreed to give him twenty per cent of all he can obtain on My Wife’s claim, except the land on which he is to charge nothing. This is rather a bad bargain, but I believe members of Congress form partnerships here with claims agents and will give no attention to the business of a constituent unless it first goes through one of these mills. Whether the toll is then divided or not it is impossible to say, but I have no doubt it is. They would probably not enter into such an arrangement with a constituent because the danger of exposure would be much greater. People in Washington City who never saw Kansas and care nothing for her interests monopolize more of time, are treated with more consideration and have more influence with our Senators than I have, and it is not improbable other constituents are treated in the same manner but to me it [is] peculiarly ungrateful for these men all owe to me their elevation. . . .

Sunday January 19th 1862.

Called to see Col. Sims of Kansas formerly of Missouri. He told me [he] had overheard a conversation between a Mr —— reporter of the Philadelphia Press and a Mrs Winslow who claims to be the wife of Col. Winslow now in the service of the United States on the Potomac, in which were discussed the prospects of the rebellion, both are earnest secessionists and expressed their confidence that Genl. McClellan is with them and other officers were also named as ready to betray the cause of the Union at the first favorable moment! The very walls of this accursed city breathe treason! Yet our stupidly credulous President is pouring out the treasure of the country in the full belief that he is re-establishing the authority of the Government while the rebels actually command both armies! My God! can human wickedness go farther! Has God abandoned this country to the powers of hell! What enormous unpardonable sin has brought upon us this degradation, this utter depravity! I shall again see Col. Sims to learn if any thing can be done to meet and defeat this foul plot to utterly ruin the best government ever established by the wisdom and courage of man.

Genl. Lane and family started to Kansas The Genl. is a great


lion here and his room is always filled with visitors, at this moment there is not a man in Washington more sought after. The Genl. aims at the Presidency although some hints are thrown out that his Southern expedition is designed to establish his power permanently in the Indian Country or Texas. It would not surprise me if ambitious military men would endeavor to break up the Union to secure each a fragment wherein to fix himself in power. Yet I hardly think the scheme can succeed. The people at large nor the soldiers are not prepared for such gigantic treachery and ingratitude. I think there is good reason to believe that many of them dream of “Kingdoms, crowns and regal sway.” I can not understand on what other principle our armies are so large and inefficient. May a terribly just retribution speedly overwhelm the conspirators!

Wednesday January 22d 1862

Have been in my room most of the day reading speeches on the charge of treason against Senator Bright. It seems to me very clear even from Mr B’s own answers to questions addressed to him that he is more the enemy than the friend of his country and is an unsafe man to be in the councils of the nation. Just such men have brought upon us our present calamities. And love of country and fidelity to its government should be an indispensable qualification of a public officer and even the private citizen who is deficient in these virtues should be regarded with suspicion and aversion.

Col. Sims spent an hour or so with me this evening. He says Mrs Winslow refered to Sunday last is the Sister of Roger A. Prior late a Member of Congress from Virginia. . . .

Thursday January 23rd 1862.

Went to see Mr Niles, (who it seems is a grandson of Hezekiah Niles who published “Niles’ Register” which I believe was the first newspaper I ever saw,) to band him some memoranda of precedents in favor of Mrs Guthrie’s claim. Mr Niles thinks the prospect of success favorable.

Thursday 30th January, 1862.

.     .     .     .     .     .     .     .

Called to see Hon. M. F. Conway. Mr Wilson of the Senate’s


Committee on Military Affairs moved in the Senate to have the Chair appoint a member to fill the place of Mr Lane of Kansas and the motion was agreed to. I inferred from this that Lane would not return to the Senate and went to see Mr Conway to have him go to Mr Doolittle Chairman of the Committee on Indian Affairs and request him to make the same motion in reference to Genl. Lane’s place in the Com on Indian Affairs, and to ask the appointment of Genl. Pomeroy to succeed Lane. Conway objected to having it done immediately as it was uncertain about Lane’s going into the army, and would be displeased with this premature removal. My object was to anticipate the movement by some one else and to secure the place for Pomeroy in whom as a Senator I have great confidence. He is industrious and faithful and we greatly need such a man on that Committee; although Lane would suit me very well and may perhaps have more influence but Pomeroy is more reliable and attentive to business. However Conway said he would see Mr Doolittle in the morning and have him keep the Committee as it is until Lane is heard from and in the event of Lane’s resigning to have Pomeroy appointed. Lane is certainly acting very strangely if not insanely. Constantly beset by an army of sycophants who pander to his vanity and obey his behests he turns a cold shoulder to old and real friends. No man that does this can long enjoy the confidence and respect of any class of men for the sycophant loves new idols, and the earnest man will not long be trifled with and then the ungrateful man is deserted and prostrated. Pomeroy made a good remark last night; he said “I will take care of my friends and they and I can take care of my enemies.”

Saturday 1st February, 1862.

In my room most of the day writing my pamphlet on the condition and prospects of the country. If I can get it published soon I think it will be conceded to have some merit. I have not yet fixed on a title. . . .

Sunday 2nd February, 1862.

Finished my pamphlet on the condition and dangers of our government but will yet have to make corrections and a more methodical arrangement of the topics.


Monday 3rd February, 1862.

Received my Indian Territory bill which I had forgotten at home and for which I wrote to Mr Newman. He sent it with a few lines to Genl. Pomeroy.

Dropped a note in the Post Office for Mr Wattles requesting him to come and see me. He also is trying to have the Indian Country covered by a territorial Government and we agreed to compare our respective plans and prepare a bill from the better features of each. . . . .

At home most of the day reading and writing my pamphlet which I have entitled “On the difficulties and dangers that beset the Nation” or rather I have spent a part of the day in correcting it.

Tuesday 4th February 1862.

Mailed a letter I wrote yesterday to James H. Lane urging him to return to the Senate. Genl. Lane has a thirst for military fame because it is the kind that administers most extravagantly to his insatiable love of honors. I have great doubt of his real desire to command the expedition to Texas. But by not having his wishes complied with he enjoys the eclat of attempting to make a great sacrifice to save the country; and of increasing public confidence in his military talents, which are indeed of a very low order, except in these very essential qualities of vigilance and discretion. Lane wishes to keep himself perpetually in the public eye, and he is undecided how to accomplish it. . . .

Wednesday 5th February, 1862.

Mr Augustus Wattles of Kansas called to see me and I read to him my bill for the establishment of a Territorial government for the Indian Country south of Kansas. He appeared to be satisfied with its provisions but took it to examine it more at his leisure. He also has a bill prepared for the same purpose and will bring it tomorrow and we are to compare the two together and determine which shall be presented to the committee.

Mr Willis Gaylord called to see me in relation to my claims for pay and mileage as delegate, and I agreed to give him twenty per cent to attend to the business for me rather than suffer the delay which I see is purposely occasioned to get a fee for somebody. Mr G.


is a brother to Mrs Pomeroy and it seems is in partnership with a Mr Edward Clark a fact I did not know before; nor was I at all aware that he was engaged in the business of presenting claims.

Saturday 8th February, 1862.

To-day I learn that the war is hereafter to be under the immediate direction of the President through his Secretary of war without the intervention of the highest officer in the army, (now McClellan) as has hitherto been the practice. Of this course I heartily approve for I have long doubted the loyalty and ability of McClellan, besides too much deference has been paid to these professional military men, who generally lack sound judgment so all important to success in all the pursuits of life, and perhaps most of any in military life.

The foreign news this evening is that the French Emperor would declare his intention to interfere in our civil war, to his Legislative Council on the 27th ultimo. This I have long looked for but it is not only the French Monarch but he will be backed by England and all the European governments for there is evidently a combination among them which has for its object the overthrow of this government because of its republican form and institutions. It will be a war of political systems as indeed it already is. The South seeking to consolidate its power in the hands of the few and to assimilate its form of government to those of Europe will naturally enlist their sympathies, as it already has done, and very soon secure their alliances offensive and defensive. If we are true to ourselves, however and exert but a moity of the courage and self denial of our revolutionary ancestors we will come forth from the terrible struggle a better wiser and more powerful nation than before. God grant us these high virtues in such perfection as the emergency demands!

Sunday 9th February, 1862

Called to see Hon. M. F. Conway and talked with him nearly an hour about our National troubles. Mr C. voted against the passage of the bill making U. S. notes a legal tender and I cordially approve of this vote. But Mr C. has some views in regard to our future policy that I cannot endorse. He thinks if France, (as she now threatens) breaks our blockade which I would regard as a declaration of


war and acknowledges the independence of the “Southern Confederacy [“] as it is called that we should acquiesce. I differ from him entirely in this regard for I believe if we should have to raise an army of a million of men it is our duty, and indeed our only hope of salvation, to do it and fight combined Europe as I have no doubt we shall have to do, on our own soil, and I have no doubt we can do it successfully and crush the rebelion besides. . . . .

Monday 10th February, 1862

Mr Wattles spent the evening with me in comparing our respective plans for the organization of the Indian Country south of Kansas for the especial use of the Indians. I think his plan is crude and not equal to the necessities of the object. Last summer at the extra session of Congress I prepared a bill for this purpose, but Genl. Lane whom I wanted to present it to the Senate was opposed to organize a government over any territory for Indian settlement exclusively. His wish was to destroy the Indian not to civilize him. I think under a mild and simple government with laws executed by themselves the Indians might under the fostering care of the United States, become a united and homogeneous people, and in time form a valuable State of the Union. Without a measure of this kind they must soon become extinct. I am well pleased with the attention Mr Wattles gives the matter, but his plans seem ill-digested and ill-judged.

Tuesday, 11 February, 1862

Mr Wattles has been here much of the day perfecting his territorial bill. But withal I think it a bungling piece of work and have no idea Congress will pass it in the form he has now got it. I have made a good many suggestions which he adopted but still it does not please me.

Thursday 13th February, 1862

Mr Wattles left on My table a copy of the N. Y. Tribune containing an article against erecting an exclusively Indian State south of Kansas, The article was probably, written by Mrs Lucy B. Armstrong. Mr Wattles wanted me to answer it and I accordingly wrote the greater part of a reply, but feel to dull too finish it.


Thursday 20th February, 1862.

Handed Mr Augustus Wattles my reply to “Yarahkonehta” in the N. Y. Tribune. The writer is supposed to be Mrs Lucy B. Armstrong and urges some plausible but erroneous reasons against the organization of the Indian Territory south of Kansas. I have endeavored to answer these objections. The article is not well written and should have been carefully corrected.

Saturday 22nd February, 1862.

Today was to have been a gala day for the double purpose of celebrating the birth of Washington and our recent victories over the rebels. The former is entitled to all the honors which a grateful nation can bestow, but the rejoicing over the latter is premature. Celebrations should only be accorded to those events great or small in themselves which have an important agency in producing a desired consumation, and should therefore be reserved until the crowning act is performed. We can all feel the inspiration and confidence these victories should produce but our open manifestations of joy should be restrained until the possibility of defeat and disaster shall entirely disappear. We have now arrived at the critical point when a little treachery may overturn the whole fabric of our hopes founded on the brilliant events of the last few days. And I greatly fear that treachery is even now doing its accursed work. Else why should the immense army of the Potomac lie idle and permit the rebels to withdraw their forces and use them against our little armies in North Carolina and Tennessee? These armies are performing the most signal service and if backed by our army on the Potomac would soon end the war. This deliberate treachery, (as I believe it to be) is exciting public criticism and suspicion, and there seems to be a general inclination to demand a forward movement of the armies of the Potomac; but may not treachery be as successful in moving forward as in lying still? and may it not be even more fatal to the interests of the country? I confess I see no hope of safety but in the removal of McClellan from the chief command of the army, and the appointment of a true man in his place. Who this “true man” should be is a question of most difficult solution, but any truly loyal man would be preferable to this doubtful one. . . .


Thursday, 27th February, 1862.

Hearing Genl. Lane had again telegraphed to his friends here to make another effort to secure to him the command of the army supposed to be destined for Texas. These persistent efforts to secure a position never promised him and in violation of army regulations without any good reason has very much lessened the confidence and respect he had hitherto enjoyed both here and in Kansas. There seems to me a species of insanity in some of this man’s eccentricities, He has treated me both discourteously and ungratefully But I have borne these things in silence but I feel that his protracted absence from his duties as Senator is a serious wrong to Kansas. . . . I shall now try to have his place on the Com. of Indian Affairs filled by the appointment of Genl. Pomeroy. . . .

Sunday 2nd March, 1862.

Snow fell to the depth of 2 or 3 inches, and I have remained in the house all day reading very little and talking less. In the evening however, I had quite an animated conversation with Mrs Thompson a boarder, and the sister-in-law of Genl. Waddy Thompson of South Carolina. She professes strong Union sentiments and has some employment from the Government, but defends the intolerence, virulence, and despotism of the South. The views she entertains or expresses in regard to the rights of northern men who become citizens of the South accord with the true spirit of slavery, every where and are clearly in conflict with the guaranties of the Constitution. She insists that no anti-slavery man has a right to express opinions unfriendly to the institution of slavery; that if any one entertains such opinions he must suppress them or leave the slave States. This is the evil spirit with which we are now at war and against which we are sending our immense armies.

Thursday 6th March 1862.

Spent an hour with Genl. Pomeroy. He signed a recommendation for Moses B. Newman’s appointment to an Indian Agency in Kansas expecting to get for him the Delaware Agency. Genl. Pomeroy also agreed to have the Pacific Railroad bill altered so as to make Quindaro a point. He agreed to introduce and have passed the bill


Mr Wattles and myself have been preparing to establish a Territorial Government exclusively for Indians over the present Indian Country South of Kansas. . . .

Friday 7th March 1862

In the proceedings of Congress as published in the Daily Globe is a short message from the President conveying a resolution which he recommends Congress in substance to pass. It is worth remembering that on the 10th of January of this year I handed to Senator Pomeroy a Resolution which I wished him to present to the Senate having in view the same object now recommended by the President and my resolution differs only from his in being more specific.

Saturday 8th March 1862

Bo’t two copies N. Y. Tribune containing my article on the subject of the organization of a new Indian Territory South of Kansas.

Sunday 9th March 1862

Today I complete my forty eighth year and enter upon my forty ninth. . . . It seems strange that a man should live so long and accomplish so little. Yet my course has not been a barren one. Few men have performed acts out of which more important events have grown. The successful effort to establish a government for Nebraska (now Kansas) originated with me and under most discouraging circumstances, and out of this act sprung the republican party and the wonderful events that have followed in such quick succession. And though I get but little credit for this now, history must and will do me justice.

I start upon the new year with bright hopes and much confidence dashed only by the lowering clouds that overhang the political horizon. I have painful forebodings of disaster near at band. It is generally understood that our great armies of the Potomac march against the traitors tomorrow although a general battle may not take place for a day or two after. I have all confidence in the courage of our men, in their numbers and equipments, but I have no confidence in their principal officers, such as McClellan, McDowell nor indeed in any man from the military school at West Point. Far better would it be for this country had that institution never existed. It is the nucleus around


which will gather the enemies of free government and it has and always will instil into the minds of its pupils sentiments favorable to the establishment of independent hereditary orders in the State. I regard this institution as more dangerous to the liberties of this country than African slavery itself, and henceforth I shall devote what time I can to its abolition.

To day I have prayed again and again most earnestly for the success of our armies in the coming battles. In God I trust and He alone can defeat the treachery which I fear is meditated against us. He alone knows the hearts of all men and can disappoint their wicked schemes. May He remember us in this our day of terrible trial!

Mrs Thompson sisterinlaw of Genl. Waddy Thompson of South Carolina told me to-day that a Secession female friend of hers told her yesterday that the “Confederates” (rebels) would be victorious in the great battles so soon to be fought; that all Richmond is full of confidence in the result. It seems this “Secession friend” gets letters regularly from her sister in Richmond Virginia communicating important information and no doubt receiving the same in return. How this correspondence is kept up is a mystery although this Secession friend said she received them through Fortress Monroe. Mrs Thompson professes to be a Unionist.

Called to see Genl. James H. Lane who has just returned with his family from Kansas.

Borrowed “Principles and Acts of the Revolution” by Hezekiah Niles from his grandson Samuel V. Niles. This book I have been long wanting to get and this is the first copy I have seen.

Monday 10 March, 1862.

It is now stated upon apparently good authority that the rebels have abandoned and retreated from all their strong holds about Washington while for the last two or three days our hopes and fears have been excited to the highest pitch by mighty preparations for a great battle and while this very farce is being enacted the prompters in it must have well known there would be no enemy to fight.

Tuesday 11th March, 1862.

It is now ascertained that the rebels have abandoned their reputed


strong holds at Manassas. That they should thus have been permitted to escape will be a wonder to the world but it confirms what I have long believed that our army of the Potomac is controlled by traitors who have an understanding with the rebels. These men may have found it impracticable for many reasons to yield a victory to the rebels and rather than capture their force or meet them in battle, it was understood that that the cause of the Union could be more seriously damaged by the rebels withdrawing and striking a blow when superior numbers might give them a victory. The whole management of the war on the Potomac is without a parallel in all history for imbecility, treachery, cowardice and extravagance. Should the retreating rebels not attack Genl. Banks or Genl. Burnside, the probabilities I think are that the war is in a great degree ended, and the retreat was probably prompted by a consciousness of a sinking cause.

Saturday 15th March 1862.

Called upon Genl. Lane to talk with him about Indian claims I had entrusted to his management, but he was very taciturn, only saying, he would now attend to my business. This is indeed all as a business man I could ask, but his whole manner was cold and destitute of cordiality. I felt indignant at this manifestation of indifference and perhaps should have expressed it; but Lane either is or affects to be deeply wounded by the explosion of his military projects he doubtless does feel the apparent and comparative neglect of the swarms of sycophants who clustered around him when he had offices to bestow and glory in prospect. I have more than once cautioned him against the selfishness and hypocracy of these flatterers and I trust his comparative solitude will now lead him to a juster estimate of his real friends.

Sunday 16th March 1862.

Prepared the following amendment to be placed on the Indian appropriation bill, and handed it to Augustus Wattles with the request that he would get some member of the Senate’s committee on Indian Affairs to have it put in that bill. I should have done it myself but I have so much business before that committee that I am afraid of appearing too troublesome. This law I urged as essential to the protection of those poor creatures it is designed to benefit; for I have seen them


shamefully robbed among the Wyandots and among the Shawnees and I have no doubt it is done among all the tribes:

And be it further enacted, That the Secretary of the Interior be and he is hereby directed to cause settlements to be made with all persons appointed by Indian Councils to receive moneys due to incompetent or orphan Indians, and to require all moneys found to be due to said incompetent or orphan Indians to be returned to the Treasury of the United States, and moneys so returned shall bear six per cent interest until paid by order of said Secretary to those entitled to the same; and no moneys shall hereafter be paid to persons appointed by any Indian Council to receive moneys due to incompetent or orphan Indians, but the same shall remain in the Treasury of the United States until ordered to be paid by the said Secretary to those entitled to receive them, and shall bear six per cent interest until so paid.

Thursday 20th March, 1862

Called upon Genl. Lane who told me he would have the papers in the Wyandot cases refered to himself for examination and report tomorrow. Genl. Lane may act faithfully in his attention to my business but I have serious fears. Personally he treats me badly I have not seen one of his old enemies approach him who has not been treated with more cordiality. I have certainly done him some service when he needed it and did not expect such an exhibition of ingratitude.

Monday 24th March, 1862.

This evening I called to get Lane [to] assist me in getting the Wyandot papers into his hands so as to be able to report by Wednesday but he did not seem disposed to take any interest in the matter and treated me with marked neglect I shall not again go to his room. Both before his election and since he repeatedly assured me he would attend to any business I should have before Congress.

Wednesday 26th March, 1862.

In my room most of the day under the influence of medicine.

Mr Wattles spent an hour with me and informs me that there is a combination of men in power here to force the Indians in Kansas into treaties whereby their lands shall be secured to this association of Gov-


ernment officials. Senator James H. Lane of Kansas Commissioner Win. P. Dole and Secretary Caleb B. Smith are said to be concerned in this cruel and gigantic system of fraud.

Mr Niles called to tell me that Genl. Lane assured him he would do all he could for Mrs Guthrie’s claim and would see him this week again to look over the evidence. Mr N. insists that I must see Lane tomorrow and let him (Niles) know when Lane will see him. I dislike very much to call upon Lane his personal ill treatment of me has created a repugnance to visiting him which I shall feel it difficult to overcome.

Mr Blake & Rev. Mr Richmond called to see me. Mr Richmond is now Chaplain to one of the Wisconsin regiments, and a few years ago made some noise in the world by being imprisoned by the Austrian authorities in Hungary for, as he says, nothing more than some thoughtless expressions of sympathy for nations struggling for freedom. How long, at the present rate of travelling toward despotism, will it be till men shall be imprisoned in this country for like offenses? The imbecility of this administration is only equaled by its cruelty, its tyrany, and total disregard of law and every principle of justice. Are we really to have three years more of this execrable reign? This disgraceful rebellion might have been suppressed long ago and at half the expense already incurred, had it but suited the interests of those at the head of affairs to have done so.

Thursday 27th March, 1862.

Called to tell Mr. Niles that Genl. Lane would be at leisure this evening to examine the papers in Mrs G’s case.

Mr Niles after seeing Genl. Lane called to see me and I agreed to give him five hundred dollars if he would get my Wyandot claims through at the same time as Mrs Guthrie’s, to which he agreed. I have done this because I am not well enough to bear Lane’s stupid indifference without retaliating which would probably get up ill blood and possibly cause him to oppose me, for he is sometimes governed by the merest trifles, and never by reason and justice except as he is importuned into it.

Friday 28th March, 1862.

Had a good deal of conversation with young Doolittle, clerk of the


Senate’s Com. on Indian Affairs from which I learn Genl. Lane has never given the least attention to my business notwithstanding all his promises. The cool ingratitude and heartless stolidity of this man astounds me! And yet I must not tell him what I think of his conduct!

Monday 31st March, 1862.

Went with Judge Helfenstein to see Mr Campbell Chairman of the House Committee on the Pacific rail road. My object was to get Quinardo and Atchison named as points in the bill, but Mr C. says his Committee are unwilling to name any other point than the one now named Kansas City; this of course gives that town an immense advantage over all others and particularly in Kansas. Thus we see the revolting spectacle of men whom Kansas has made, for Kansas gave the Republican party to the world, enriching the enemies of the Government and the very men who resorted to every means fair and foul to drive the anti-slavery population of Kansas from their new homes, and I who made Kansas civilly and more remotely the Republican party am without influence among or benefit from the very men who owe all they are to the almost immediate results of my labors.

I read with feelings of the deepest grief and alarm an editorial in the Daily Globe of this city of this date advocating the establishment of a large standing army in this country. If this is to be the result of the subjugation of the rebels I have no hesitation in saying that it would have been better to yield their success without a struggle if that alternative would have exempted us from the curse of a standing army; but it would not. I only measure evils on the supposition that the acceptance of one would secure us against the other. I am satisfied the war was necessary to preserve the simplicity of our form of government; and if managed with but ordinary wisdom this would speedily have been attained. But with an imbecile head it is not strange that the same incompetency should pervade every branch of the public service.

April 1st Tuesday 1862

Mr Augustus Wattles came to see me and says some radical measure will be adopted in regard to the Indian tribes. At the extra Session of Congress in July last I prepared a bill setting apart the Indian country south of Kansas for the colonization and permanent home of


all the Indian tribes East of the Rocky Mountains but Senator Lane of Kansas (of whom I expected better things) opposed the measure — opposed any measure designed for their melioration; and would not present my bill except to oppose the policy. At this session Mr Wattles has also undertaken a similar project in behalf of the Indians, but we concluded it was better to wait until the next session of Congress. But it seems both friends and foes of the Indian are impatient to have something done for or with the Indiana. I have therefore undertaken to prepare another bill with which I shall take more pains and much subsequent reflection will enable me to make it more perfect.

Sunday 6th March [April] 1862

This evening I have written a letter to Horace Greeley about the dangers and troubles of the country. The hasty and inconsiderate legislation of Congress, the arbitrary acts of the Executive, the dilatory if not treacherous conduct of the military, the vast proportion of the Negro question all fill my mind with the saddest forebodings. And I believe our only means of avoiding total ruin is to unite while we may the councils of true men and elect to office men who will carry out a policy dictated by calm and earnest patriotism. We must reorganize party with a wide and more comprehensive basis of principles.

Wednesday, 9th April, 1862

Have learned that Lane has totally neglected my business although he has several times assured me he would have it all done just as I wished. Why he should so persistently lie to me and deceive me I can not imagine for he is certainly under some obligations to me and even if he were not I am entitled to fair and open dealing. He is an enigma to me. I often think be is insane, or his extraordinary moral obliquity at least often produces effects so nearly like it that one is in doubt as to the true origin of his aberation of mind. Pomeroy on the contrary has greatly exceeded my expectations in ability, industry, fidelity and reliableness, and makes himself respected by friends and foes.


Thursday 17th April, 1862

Called at the Senate document room and got a copy of the bill introduced into the Senate yesterday by Genl. Pomeroy for the organization of the Territory of Lanniway. This bill I prepared myself with the view of securing a permanent home for the Indians. On reading it as printed, I find some errors which may have been in the manuscript; and some omissions I did not detect before. Having the whole thing before me now in a printed form I think I can make such corrections and alterations as will effect the object I have in view — A suitable government for the Indians under which they may live in peace and security.

Thursday 24th April, 1862.

I found among the papers a private letter to Lane in reference to this and other business which could not but have prejudiced my interests. Lane may have put this letter in inadvertantly but a man who would thus by negligence do an act so injurious to one trusting in him is unworthy of confidence and official position of any kind. Lane is really one of the most unprincipled men I ever knew without a particle of honor, gratitude, or honesty. No wonder the country goes to ruin when such men rule it.

Friday 25th April, 1862.

Called to see Genl. Lane twice to get him to recommend Col. Chas Sims to the President as a suitable person for the office of Superintendent of the new mint (to be) at Denver City. Lane signed it with apparent cheerfulness, saying he would do anything be could for Col. Sims. All this looked most encouraging, but when I called on Genl. Pomeroy he said both be and Lane had signed a recommendation for another person! and of course [could not] consistently sign this. He said besides Genl. Lane’s brother in Indiana was a candidate for the same office and he thought Genl. Lane had a promise in favor of his brother. Now if these things are so how much more honest and satisfactory would it have been if Genl. Lane had frankly stated all the facts! What is there to be gained by such double dealing?


Thursday, 8th May 1862.

Called to see Genl. Pomeroy who informs me that Lane did not attend the meeting of the Indian Committee on Wednesday although he told me the night previous he would do so. Was ever man more destitute of gratitude and truthfulness? Lane’s treachery and falsehood give me much trouble and anxiety. He occupies a place in which he obstructs my business; if he were away I should get along much better. His conduct is entirely inexplicable. Nothing but a heart as black as hell could impel a man to so much baseness as this man is guilty [of], meantime I am the victim. My whole soul is filled with anguish from the discouragements, ill treatment, and embarrassments that overwhelm [me]; and but for my poor family I had far rather be in my grave than thus submit to these oppressions, and humiliations. I cannot withdraw my mind from the wretched condition to which I am reduced.

Wednesday 21st May, 1862.

A day of disappointment and mortification. As the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs were to meet, I went to see Genl. Lane to urge him to attend the meeting as he has all my business under his management and professes to feel a deep interest in it. But he told me he could not attend. I then went to Mr Niles my Attorney and recommended by Lane and requested him to see Lane and urge upon him the necessity of his attendance. This he promised to do and at once wrote a letter to Lane upon the subject. This letter I sent into Lane by his son. Lane attended the meeting and the Committee agreed to report favorably on Mrs Guthrie’s claim. I afterward visited the Committee room myself and Mr Doolittle, Jr, the clerk told me he was then making out the law the Committee proposed to pass. I then went into the Senate gallery and soon after saw Mr Doolittle Jr take some papers to Mr Harlan who after examining them took them to Lane who on looking over them hastily took his pen and erased several lines. I afterwards learned these were the law for the relief of Mrs Guthrie and that Lane had struck out all that was essential in the case. The law or joint resolution as it now remains is worth just nothing at all and I could months ago have had settled more to my satisfaction without any trouble. The Committee has twice


agreed to this claim and why Lane should thus defeat it after pretending to be its principal champion is really a mystery. But the mystery might be solved if we could understand the business of Mr Legate, Abbott’s (the Shawnee Agent) Agent here. Lane has evidently betrayed me and that treachery has been brought about by some underderstanding [sic] between Lane, Abbott, and Legate. I have no words to express my indignation at, and detestation of this baseness. Lane’s treachery and ingratitude are the most gross it has been my misfortune to experience. But he shall yet pay the full penalty of his villainy.

This evening I called to see Genl. Lane and met Mr Niles there Lane pretends to have done all he could to secure a more favorable issue. The audacity of the scoundrel is most consumate.

Sunday 25th May, 1862.

Called to see Genl. Pomeroy to show him the law introduced by Senator Harlan for the relief of Mrs Guthrie and proposed to him to have it amended, he was willing to sustain it, but told me that my interviews with Senators Harlan and Wilkinson in reference to this claim had predjudiced them against the claim because in conversation I claimed that the republican party originated in my efforts for a government for Nebraska (now Kansas) As no intelligent truthful man can controvert this fact I presume the feeling excited against me was that it was presumption in me to claim a merit which they all think themselves to some extent entitled to. So it seems that it matters not what a man’s merits are if not supported by successful ambition, they are to be ignored even by those who reap the beneficial fruits of them. After Nebraska (Kansas) was organized I determined to live a quiet simple life on my little farm and so far as I could, I have adhered to that resolution. And because I have not kept myself in the public eye, these great men think it preposterous that I should lay any claim to the important service I have performed! I will yet be the pen of these political ingrates and make them feel the injustice of their dastardly conduct.

Called to see Genl. Lane who told me the same as Genl. Pomeroy and Senator Doolittle has also conceived a prejudice against me. I do not happen to have the graces of a courtier and talk to these men as I would talk to other men; but they seem to expect a deference that I cannot conceive them entitled to. The jealousy of power always


makes it anxious to forget all to whom it is indebted. I would certainly not have gone to see one of these Senators had Lane given any attention to my business. I have now been here five months and the business I have entrusted to Lane is no further advanced than when I came; indeed it is in a much worse condition, and it was not until I was forced by his neglect and repeated falsehoods that I called upon other Senators and for the first time on the tenth of this month and then only on those I heard were hostile to Mrs G’s claim so that my interviews with them could not have produced their opposition but I am satisfied that Lane’s negative support did. His treachery and ingratitude are most wanton and inexplicable. I shall find it impossible to forget it.

Friday 6th June, 1862.

Made some corrections in the bill to organize the Territory of Lenniwa, for the benefit of the Indians. This bill I prepared myself but find much to correct in it. Senator Pomeroy introduced it into the Senate.

Saturday 7th June 1862.

Wrote a letter to Senator J. R. Doolittle enclosing a slip from the New York Tribune of the 7th March of this year, containing an article written by myself in support of the organization of the Territory South of Kansas for the exclusive benefit of the Indians, and also a copy of the bill introduced into the Senate by Genl. Pomeroy for that purpose, with such amendments as I thought necessary to render the organization effective. This bill as originally prepared by me covered a large amount of manuscript and as it was prepared at different times, some confusion and omissions occurred which I have endeavored to arrange and correct. I have great confidence in the success of the plan if controlled by good men, but under any circumstances the Indians can be no worse off than they are now.

Thursday 12th June, 1862

Sent a letter written, written three or four days ago, to Horace Greely with a copy of the Report of the House Committee on Elections on my claim for mileage and per diem as delegate from Nebraska.


Mr Greeley or some one for him, in an article on Nebraska, Kansas, in the Tribune Almanac of 1866, stated that Thomas Johnson, was the first delegate from Kansas (Nebraska.) This does me the greatest injustice as Johnson was not heard of until after I had represented the Territory one session of Congress and had obtained the passage of the bill for the organization of the Territory through the House, but the session being a short one it failed in the Senate for want of time.

Friday 27th June, 1862.

Today it is said Genl. Pope has been put in command of the armies under Genls. Banks, Fremont, McDowell, & Shields [—–] except McDowell whom I regard as a traitor or wholly destitute of military talents. I have no doubt these Generals are individually as competent as Pope, but as they are volunteers, and have never been through West Point, it is the design of the graduates of that institution, to deprive them of all means and opportunities of distinguishing themselves, and for this reason their forces have been kept so small that they have been able to do really nothing and besides have been crippled by the arbitary orders of their superiors; the result too of West Point jealousy. Such reflections and conclusions at least seem justified by the result; while the public are not permited to know what takes place behind the curtains. West Point through its graduates now rules the destinies of this country and are as rapidly revolutionizing the government as the rebels, and are more dangerous to the liberties of the country; for they are overthrowing its institutions under the guise and pretense of loyalty and therefore excite no suspicions of their infamous designs, while [the] country sees only the open efforts of the rebels.

Tuesday, July 1, 1862.

To-day I got a Wyandot newspaper in which I find all my land advertised for sale to satisfy claims against the Quindaro Company. Of this debt I never received one cent and am now entirely ruined by the villainy of Charles Robinson who has grown rich by plundering me. The appraisement is so low too as if for the very purpose of making my ruin the more certain. I am a good deal indebted too,


for this misfortune to my kindness to these creditors whom I favored as far as in my power allowing judgments to go by default when I could have made a defense and thus have kept back judgment a long time. I have no language that could even remotely express the anguish these things occasion me; were it not for the hope that my poor family will be saved from starvation by the success of Mrs Guthrie’s Shawnee claim, I should sink into the grave from utter despair. God alone can sustain and guide me under such distressing circumstances. Has God no punishment for such villains? Why should they be allowed to rob the innocent and unwary? This infamous wretch never experienced any thing but kindness and boundless generosity from myself and my poor family until his true character was developed and even then I long bore in silence the crushing wrong in the vain hope that shame or contrition would bring him to some sense of justice. I have found the laws unequal to a remedy; he has had them so made as to suit himself and thus with his own perjuries and those of his confederates I am entirely powerless and utterly ruined without the hope of legal redress.

Friday July 4th 1862

I have made up my mind to be an independent candidate for Congress in Kansas, and commenced writing an address to the people of the State some days ago, but have been too unwell to finish it; if I can get money enough to pay the expense of the contest I think I shall succeed – otherwise doubtful. It would appear strange that so humble and now so obscure an individual should succeed in so important an election. But I feel impelled to make the trial because there are many public measures I would like to bring forward in Congress; because I think more independent men are wanted in Congress; because I have done more for Kansas than any other citizen.

Tuesday 22nd July, 1862.

Talked with Genl. Lane about getting some military appointment for Mr Cobb. He said Mrs Dole had spoken to him on the same subject; that he was authorized by the president to organize and equip an army of fifty thousand Negroes, and would start for Kansas for


that purpose in a day or two and if Mr Cobb would call and see him he thought he could give him as good a place as he had wished. I have not much faith in the promises of Lane, but think with Mrs Dole’s solicitation and his own interest Mr Cobb will be offered a place on Lane’s staff. Although I look upon the whole scheme as chimerical and expensive, and frought with more danger than benefits. Wrote to S. A. Cobb.

Monday 28th July, 1862.

Finished an address to the people of Kansas proposing to run as a candidate for Congress. I feel this office is due me for past services and if I had only the gift of gab I believe I should as an independent candidate be elected. Still I feel it a kind of duty, to offer and trust to the justice of the people.

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