Border Disputes and WarfareBorder Disputes and Warfare > Significant Incidents > Dispersal of Topeka Legislature (July 4, 1856)
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Author: Sumner, Edwin Vose
Date: May 16, 1856 - August 31, 1856
Colonel Edwin Vose Sumner, leader of a Kansas Territory cavalry regiment, corresponded primarily with Territorial Governer Wilson Shannon and the Secretary of War's Adjutant General regarding military action taken in response to the Sack of Lawrence and the subsequent retaliatory skirmishes between free state and proslavery men. Sumner maintained that safety in the Territory could not be guaranteed "unless the posse of the U.S. Marshal was dismissed" in favor of local troops. Fearing civil war, Sumner and his correspondents discussed the convening of the Topeka Legislature, which they dubbed "bogus".
Keywords: Border disputes and warfare; Dispersal of Topeka Legislature; Fort Riley, Kansas Territory; Free state activities; Free state legislature; Lawrence, Kansas Territory; Leavenworth, Kansas Territory; Sack of Lawrence, May 1856; Sedgwick, John; Shannon, Wilson, 1802-1877; Skirmishing; Smith, Persifer F.; Sumner, Edwin Vose, 1835-1912; Topeka, Kansas Territory; United States marshals; Violence; Woodson, Daniel
Letter, S. N. Simpson to Hiram Hill Esqr.
Author: Simpson, Samuel Newell
Date: July 7, 1856
Samuel Simpson wrote from Lawrence, Kansas Territory to Hiram Hill. Simpson reported to Hill that the Topeka Legislature had recently been dispersed by U.S. Troops under order of President Pierce, and that southern emigrants were coming into Kansas Territory by "hundreds" while the northern emigrants found themselves forced out by proslavery supporters. Short on time, Simpson kept his report regarding Hill's properties short; Whitney had almost finished his home, offers had been made on various lots, Mr. Fuller continued to be a problem.
Keywords: Dispersal of Topeka Legislature; Douglas County, Kansas Territory; Emigration and immigration; Free state activities; Hill, Hiram; Lawrence, Kansas Territory; Proslavery activities; Real estate investment; Simpson, Samuel Newell
Letter, Nelson Rusk to Wm. Barnes
Author: Rusk, Nelson
Date: July 13, 1856
Nelson Rusk, writing from Topeka, described for William Barnes, secretary of the New York State Kansas Committee, economic conditions and political events in Kansas. Rusk commented on the high cost of living and described in negative terms Col. Edwin V. Sumner's dispersal of the free state legislature on July 4, 1856.
Keywords: Barnes, William, 1824-1913; Cost and standard of living; Economic conditions; Free state legislature; Prices; Rusk, Nelson; Sumner, Edwin Vose, 1835-1912; Topeka, Kansas Territory
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