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Immigration and Early Settlement

Immigration and Early Settlement > The Economy > Water transportation
12 Topic Specific Items
Letter, Tovey, R. [Robert] A. to My Dear Wife [Eliza (Matthew) Tovey]
Author: Tovey, Robert Atkins
Date: c. 1854

Robert Atkins Tovey, Sr., an Englishman traveling to Kansas Territory, wrote to his wife Eliza (Matthew) Tovey, at their home it Albany, New York. Tovey recounted his travel experiences by steamboat and rail. Throughout, he provided detailed scenic descriptions from New York, the Great Lakes, Detroit, Illinois, St. Louis, and the Missouri River. Tovey, coming into contact with slavery on his journey, included brief commentary on the subject.

Keywords: Diseases; Medicine; Missouri River; New York; Railroads; Slavery; St. Louis, Missouri; Steamboats; Tovey, Robert Atkins; Transportation; Travel

Letter, [Hiram Hill] to Dear Wife
Author: No authors specified.
Date: May 7, 1855

Hiram Hill of Williamsburgh, Massachusetts wrote to his wife while traveling up the Missouri River from St. Louis to Kansas City. Hill was a free soil sympathizer evidentially traveling with a company of like-minded settlers, for he wrote that some steamboat passengers viewed the company with "rather suspitious eyes." Hill told his wife not to worry although one family had cholera and, on another boat, fifteen had died the previous week. The letter, written hastily in pencil, is not signed.

Keywords: Diseases; Hill, Hiram; Missouri River; Sickness (see Illness); Steamboats; Transportation; Travel; Water transportation

Letter, Hiram Hill to Dear Wife
Author: Hill, Hiram
Date: November 26, 1855

Hiram Hill, a resident of Williamsburgh, Massachusetts wrote to his wife from St. Louis, Missouri, on his way to Lawrence, Kansas Territory, where he owned property. Hill had traveled by railroad and boat and was now a passenger on the steamboat Senora. Ticket prices were high due to the late season. Also on board were Erastus D. Ladd, who was elected to the Topeka free state legislature on March 30th, and Thaddeus L. Whitney, a friend and business associate. Hill also mentioned Mr. Pom[e]roy and Mr. Eldridge. Interestingly, a second letter dated December 20 and perhaps from Hill's wife to her sister-in-law (the wife of Hiram's brother Otis) was written on a blank page.

Keywords: Eldridge, Shalor Winchell, 1816-1899; Free state settlers; Hill, Hiram; Ladd, Erastus D.; Pomeroy, S. C. (Samuel Clarke), 1816-1891; Railroads; St. Louis, Missouri; Steamboats; Whitney, Thaddeus L.

Photograph, Ferry crossing the Kansas River
Author: Hogan, Thomas
Date: 1857

Drawing of a ferry crossing the Kansas River with a view of Lawrence, Kansas Territory, 1857, copied from Beyond the Mississippi by Albert D. Richardson, 1867.

Keywords: Book illustrations; Cities and towns; Douglas County, Kansas Territory; Ferries; Kansas River, Kansas Territory; Lawrence, Kansas Territory; Photographs and Illustrations; Wagons

Advertisement, Three Steamboats on the Kansas River
Author: F. A. Hunt and Company
Date: 1857

F. A. Hunt & Co., steamboat and land agents, advertised steamboat travel on the Kansas River between Wyandott and Manhattan.

Keywords: Advertisements; F. A. Hunt & Co.; Steamboats; Transportation

Letter, J. H. Trego to an unidentified recipient [probably his wife, Alice Trego]
Author: Trego, Joseph Harrington
Date: September 10, 1857

Trego was in St. Louis, Missouri awaiting a boat trip to Kansas City. He describes his trip to that point as well as the weather. Trego was a doctor and he wrote about trying to locate his medicine chest for the second part of the journey. He also described his activities as he waited. It is not clear whether he had been to Kansas Territory before but he knew he was going to Sugar Mound in Linn County, Kansas Territory.

Keywords: Free state settlers; Linn County, Kansas Territory; Physicians; Steamboats; Sugar Mound, Kansas Territory; Trego, Alice; Trego, Joseph Harrington

Letter, J. [Joseph H. Trego] to Dear Alice [Alice Trego]
Author: Trego, Joseph Harrington
Date: ca. September 1857

Joseph H. Trego, en route via steamboat to Kansas City, wrote to his wife Alice in Rock Island, Illinois. Trego commented on the unpredictable and perilous conditions of steamboat travel on the Missouri River due to snags and sandbars, but despite these, admitted that the journey itself had "little to claim his attention." He feared that his wife might have an accident in his absence, and asked her to wait until he returned to "indulge her spirit." Trego, though he missed his family, was comforted by their miniatures (small portraits).

Keywords: Domestics; Linn County, Kansas Territory; Missouri River; Steamboats; Sugar Mound, Kansas Territory; Trego, Alice; Trego, Joseph Harrington; Women

Circular, The Lawrence Landing
Author: No authors specified.
Date: c. 1857

This circular advertised that the Lawrence landing was in Delaware City, Kansas Territory. Delaware City lay on the Missouri River and it was closer to Lawrence than either Leavenworth or Quindaro; therefore, the most convenient way to ship goods over the river route would be to have them land at Delaware City. Delaware City had recently come into the hands of free state settlers, who wrote this circular to improve the town and to encourage emigration.

Keywords: Delaware City, Kansas Territory; Freight and freightage; Lawrence, Kansas Territory; Missouri River; Town promotion; Transportation

Letter, Tho. Ewing, Jr. to Dear Sir [Wm. S. Reyburn]
Author: Ewing, Jr., Thomas , 1829-1896
Date: November 23, 1858

In his capacity as attorney for H. B. Denman, who had just "bought of [John A.] Halderman the interest of the latter in the ferry, Ewing wrote Reyburn, Philadelphia, to encourage "an amicable settlement" to avoid taking their disagreement to court. The nature of their dispute was not entirely clear, but Ewing insisted that if not settled it could undermine the legitimacy of the ferry company's charter in the eyes of the soon to be constituted State government.

Keywords: Courts; Denman, Hamp B.; Ewing, Thomas, 1829-1896; Ferries; Halderman, John Adams; Lawsuits; Lawyers; Leavenworth County, Kansas Territory; Leavenworth, Kansas Territory; Philadelpia, Pennsylvania; Reyburn, William S.

Letter, Sherman [W. T.], Ewing [Thomas] & McCook to Geo. B. Parker
Author: Sherman, Ewing & McCook
Date: April 4, 1859

Although unclear as to the exact nature of the litigation, this letter from the Leavenworth firm pertained to the taking of depositions in "the case against the steamboat 'Isabella.'" The "Isabella" was a side-wheeler which made regular runs to Sioux City during 1858, and in this case apparently came to the aid of the "Kate Howard" when ice forced her to "give up her trip."

Keywords: Courts; Isabella (steamboat); Kate Howard (steamboat); Keiser, John D.; Lawsuits; Lawyers; McCook, Dan; Missouri River; Parker, George B.; Sherman, Ewing & McCook; Steamboats; Transportation

Letter, Edw.[Edward] Hoogland to Col. [Thomas N.] Stinson
Author: Hoogland, Edward
Date: November 16, 1859

Edward Hoogland, writing from Tecumseh, Kansas Territory to Thomas N. Stinson, expressed his views on the prospects of completing a bridge over the Kansas River at Tecumseh. Hoogland and Stinson had been involved in an unsuccessful venture to finance and build a bridge at Tecumseh since 1857. Hoogland also proposed to Stinson a settlement of a debt that he owed to him for the acquisition of land.

Keywords: Bridges; Business; Hoogland, Edward; Land sales; Real estate; Shawnee County, Kansas Territory; Stinson, Thomas N.; Tecumseh, Kansas Territory

Rates of Ferriage, 1861
Author: Curtis, O. A.; Middaugh, J.
Date: 1861

This rate schedule was printed by the State Record and was apparently filed with a Shawnee County board chaired by H. Covell. It gave rates for ferrying vehicles, animals, and people. The proprietors were apparently J. Middaugh and O. A. Curtis

Keywords: Covell, H. C.; Curtis, O. A.; Ferries; Middaugh, J.

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