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Kansas Historical Quarterly - The New England Emigrant Aid Company Parties of 1855

by Louise Barry

August 1943 (Vol. 12, No. 3), pages 227 to 268
Transcription and HTML composition by Tod Roberts;
digitized with permission of the Kansas State Historical Society.
NOTE: The numbers in brackets refer to endnotes for this text.

INTRODUCTION

THE Emigrant Aid Company was founded in 1854, reorganized in 1855 under a new charter, and took its final form as the New England Emigrant Aid Company. Its activities from November, 1854, until March, 1855, were confined to reorganization, and to making plans for the spring season. The Missouri river was closed to navigation during the coldest months and the winter season was, in any case, an unfavorable time for introducing emigrants to Kansas.

The New England Emigrant Aid Company's first regular spring party left Boston on March 13, 1855. It is said to have numbered 200 ' but the names of only 186 have been found. The second party, starting a week later, consisted of about 170 persons. . From this time until the middle of May emigrants set, out regularly each week, but the parties rapidly dwindled in size, and after May but few were sent and these at irregular intervals.

The chief reason for this was the severe drought in Kansas in the winter of 1854 and spring of 1855. Also, prospective settlers in the early parties had been disappointed in finding so few improvements in the territory. The lack of timber lands and the scarcity of mills to make lumber were among the factors which caused many to return home in disgust or to look elsewhere for lands upon which to settle. Moreover, because of the drought the Missouri river was very low and navigation was difficult even for the light-draught steamboats. The cost of transportation on the river rose accordingly. Emigrants had been dismayed to, find the fare to Kansas higher than they had been led to expect. They wrote their Eastern friends and this publicity no doubt discouraged some prospective emigrants from the undertaking. Another deterrent was the renewal of hostilities between Proslavery Missourians and the FreeState settlers in the territory. The election of March 30 was dominated by some 1,000 armed Missourians who took over voting places and rolled up an overwhelming Proslavery vote. This threat of violence was sufficient to intimidate some prospective settlers; although to others it was a challenge.

The total number of emigrants sent to Kansas in 1855 by the 'New England Emigrant Aid Company was about 900. The proportion of those who actually settled was much smaller than in 1854. The only noticeable difference is that they were almost exclusively New Englanders, whereas in 1854 the emigrants included many from New York state. Rhode Island, Maine and Connecticut were more largely represented in the 1855 companies.

One of the fallacies of history, still current, is the belief that Kansas in the early territorial period was populated almost entirely by settlers from New England. The large-scale operations of the Emigrant Aid Company and the wide newspaper publicity its activities received were chiefly responsible for this assumption. The following, published in the Boston Advertiser in November, 1855, is doubtless more nearly correct:

There is a very general impression that New England has been drained of a considerable number of her people to settle Kanzas. It is entirely false. It is not probable that, more than three thousand New Englanders, men, women and children, are now in that territory. They form about a tenth part of its present population. The character of the emigration from New England, after the home sick boys came back, was of the very best, for culture, discipline, and morals. The New England settlers, therefore, take a prominent part in the affairs of the Territory, but in numbers they are in as small a proportion as we have stated. [1]

The New England Emigrant Aid Company sent numerous small parties to Kansas in 1856 and appears to have continued the project on a reduced scale in 1857 and 1858. Few lists of these companies are to be found, although the names of a number of emigrants who purchased railroad tickets through the Aid Company during the years 1856-1858 appear on manuscript records in the Kansas Historical Society's Emigrant Aid Company collection.

THE FIRST SPRING PARTY OF 1855

(Departed from Boston on March 13; Charles Robinson, of Lawrence, K. T., conductor.)

NAME
OCCUPATION
RESIDENCE
REMARKS

Abbott, Francis A.

Manufacturer

Lowell, Mass

Settled near Zeandale. See his reminiscences in Kansas Historical Collections, v. XII, pp. 392-396.

Abbott, Mrs. Maria H.

. . .

Abbott, Joshua

Farmer

Dexter, Maine

Settled in Topeka; died there June 4, 1855.

Adams, C

Farmer

Bedford, Mass.

.

Adams, W. A.

Carpenter

Milton, N. H.

.

Ambrose, David

Carpenter

Lawrence, Mass.

Settled in Manhattan.

Bixby, Luther

Farmer

Moretown, Vt.

.

Bliss, Alexander

Spar maker

New Bedford, Mass.

Settled in, or near Topeka.

Bolles, F.

.

Littleton, N.H.

.

Bolles, James G.

Broker

Boston, Mass.

Settled in, or near Topeka.

Bragg, Carver

Carder

Lawrence, Mass.

.

Bragg, Jacob

Spinner

Lawrence, Mass.

.

Brewer, J. A

Carpenter

Greenwich, R. I.

.

Brooks, James W.

.

Springvale, Maine

.

Brown, George F.

Carpenter

Pawtucket, R. I.

Settled in, or near Topeka.

Brown, John

Farmer

Providence, R. I.

.

Brown, LeRoy S.

.

Newburyport, Mass.

Child; with Joseph H. Chase family

Brown, William

Farmer

Providence, R. I.

.

Bullard, S.

.

Saxonville, Mass.

.

Bunker, James K.

Cabinetmaker

Providence, R. I.

Took claim near Topeka.

Bunker, James W.

.

Providence, R. I.

Son of James K. Bunker. 11 yrs. old

Capwell, J.

. .

This ticket may not have been used.

Chase, Mrs. E. and child

. . .

Chase, Joseph H.

Farmer

Newburyport, Mass.

 Settled in Topeka.

Chase, Mrs. Nancy

.

Newburyport, Mass.

.

Chase, Henry J.

.

Newburyport, Mass

.

Chaze, Eliza

.

Newburyport, Mass.

 Died in Topeka, May 14, 1856.

Chase, Hannah

. .

Newburyport, Mass.

.

Chase, -----

.

Newburyport, Mass.

.

Chase, -----

.

Newburyport, Mass.

.

Chase, -----

.

Newburyport, Mass.

.

Clealand, William

Farmer

Natick, Mass.

.

Crane, George Abel

Farmer

W. Taunton, Mass.

Went to Manhattan, but did not stay.

Crosby, G. L.

. . .

Currier, Gardner

Stonecutter

Lawrence, Mass.

.

†Dame, Luther

Dry goods trader

Portsmouth, N. H.

.

†Davis, Francis

.

Falmouth, Mass.

Settled in, or near Topeka.

Dean, George

Tanner

W. Taunton, Mass.

Went to Manhattan, but did not stay.

Denison, Joseph

Clergyman

Bernardston, Mass.

First president Kansas State College, Manhattan; died in Manhattan in 1900. The youngest child died in Kansas City, on the way to Kansas.

Denison, Mrs. Sarah J. and 3 children

. . .

†Disney, J. C.

.

Boston, Mass.

.

Doane, Abner

Mechanic; carpenter

Eastham, Maine

Settled in Topeka.

Downs, Daniel

Teamster

Cambridgeport, Mass.

.

Emerson, E.

Varnisher; polisher

Boston, Mass.

.

†Emerson, Joseph Whittemore

Carpenter

Boston, Mass.

Settled in Riley county; served in Co. A. Fifth Kansas cavalry in Civil War; died in Seandale, February 6, 1889.

Fessenden, Timothy

.

Leominster, Mass.

Settled in, or near Topeka.

Fessenden, Mrs. Timothy and 2 children

. . .

Fick, Mrs. Sarah Ann

.

New York

Wife and chiuldren of Henry W. Fick of the Second Party of 1854

and 2 children

. .

Under 5 years.

Field, Andrew H.

.

Portland, Maine

.

*Fish, A. A.

. .

Settled in Topeka. See Herald of Freedom, June 9, 1855.

†Fisher, Henry F.

.

Lawrence, Mass.

.

Fitz, George W.

.

Cambridgeport, Mass.

.

†Fogg, J. M.

.

Lowell, Mass.

.

Ford, Ambrose W.

Mariner; farmer

Augusta, Maine

Settle in, or near Topeka. Listed erroneously on printed roster as "A. Lord."

French, George B.

.

Brunswick, Maine

Settled in Topeka.

French, James Cary

.

Brunswick, Maine

Son of George B. French; served in Kansas militia in 1856, and in Kansas volunteers in Civil War.

Getchill, Benjamin

.

Springvale, Maine

Settled in, or near Topeka.

†Gookin, W. H.

.

Portsmouth, N. H.

.

*[Gordon, William]

.

Providence, R. I.

Mentioned in Miller diary.

†Gorton, G. A.

Carpenter

E. Greenwich, R. I.

Went to Manhattan, but did not stay.

†Graves, Converse L.

Varnisher

Boston, Mass.

Also appears on the MS. roster as "Thomas L.," and on the printed roster as "Converse S."

Gray, Nathan H.

Varnisher

Boston, Mass.

.

Gray, Mrs. Nathan H.

.

Boston, Mass.

.

Gray, -----

.

Boston, Mass.

Daughter.

Gray [?]

.

Boston, Mass.

.

Granddaughter.

Gray [?]

.

Boston, Mass.

Boy, 3 years old.

*[Grey, Samuel]

.

Biddeford, Maine

Settled in Topeka. See Herald of Freedom, June 9, 1855. Name spelled "Gray" in above source.

Hagee, J. W.

Farmer

Plymouth, Conn.

.

Hagee, Mrs. J. W.

.

Plymouth, Conn.

.

†Hall, Samuel

Carpenter

Stoneham, Mass.

Settled in Topeka.

Harmon, Henry C.

.

Lawrence, Mass.

Settled in Topeka.

†Haskell, Abner C.

.

N. Brookfield, Mass.

.

†Haskell, Charles A.

.

N. Brookfield, Mass.

.

†Hathaway, Charles

.

Montpelier, Vt.

.

Hathaway, George W.

Farmer

Fairhaven, Mass.

Settled in Topeka.

Henderson, William P.

.

Portsmouth, N.H.

Settled in Topeka.

†Herrendeen, L. M.

Cooper

Falmouth, Mass.

.

Hersey, Ebenezer

Shoemaker

Wayland, Mass.

.

Hersey, Mrs. Ebenezer and 6 children

. .

Aged 10, 7, 6, 3, 2, and 1, respectively.

Higgins, Iram

Carpenter

Fairhaven, Mass.

.

†High, W. C.

Clergyman

Boston, Mass

Methodist

†Hubbard, Moses

Machinist

S. Berwick, Maine

Settled in Topeka.

†Hubbard, Paul R.

Carpenter

S. Berwick, Maine

Settled in Topeka.

Ingraham, Emory D.

.

Coventry, R. I.

Settled in Topeka.

Ingraham, Philip

Farmer

Coventry, R. I.

Settled in Topeka, later moved to Big Blue river region (?).

†Irish, Albert

Manufacturer

Biddeford, Maine

Settled in Topeka.

†Jones, E.

. . .

Keller, Joseph

Cabinetmaker

Baden, Germany

.

Kellogg, Kate E.

Teacher

Belchertown, Mass.

Opened school in Lawrence in June, 1855. See Herald of Freedom, June 16, 1855.

Kimball, Mrs. Frederick

 

Fitchburg, Mass.

Wife of Frederick Kimball of the Third Party of 1854; settled in Lawrence

†Kimball, G. E.

Manufacturer

Lawrence, Mass.

.

Kimball, Mrs. Samuel

.

Fitchburg, Mass.

Wife of Samuel Kimball of the Third Party of 1854; settled in Lawrence.

Kloppenburg, H. J.

Farmer

Lowell, Mass.

.

Landon, E. A.

Cutler

Plymouth, Conn.

Settled in Douglas county.

Landon, Mrs. Maria

. . .

Landon, Charles

. .

8 years old.

Lewis, Samuel

Hairdresser

New York City

.

Lewis, William B.

Caulker

New York City

Settled in Douglas county.

Libbey, Granville

.

Saco, Maine

.

Lincoln, J. M.

.

Cambridgeport, Mass.

.

†Liscom, C.

Farmer

Montpelier, Vt.

.

†Litchfield, Leonard

.

Leominster, Mass.

Settled in Lawrence.

†Livingston, B. G.

.

Fitchburg, Mass.

.

†Locke, Frederick J.

Farmer

W. Cambridge, Mass.

.

Lockley, J.

.

Leominster, Mass.

.

Lockley, J. L.

.

Leominster, Mass.

.

†Luce, John W.

Watchmaker

Lawrence, Mass.

.

McNamee, James

Weaver

Millville, Mass.

Settled in Topeka. Name appears on rosters as "J. McNannie."

Marshall, Andrew

Teacher

E. Weare, N. H.

Settled near Zeandale; died there September 22, 1857.

†Marshall, William

Mason

Fitchburg, Mass.

.

Marshall, William B.

Farmer

E. Weare, N. H.

Settled near Zeandale.

Marshall, Mrs. Anne

. . .

[Mechan, Arthur]

. .

See Herald of Freedom, March 31, 1855.

†Merrill, Daniel

.

Saco, Maine

.

Miller, Joseph C.

Tinman

Providence, R. I.

Settled in Topeka where he died in 1879.

Moore, Hanson

Shoemaker

S. Berwick, Maine

Possibly the same as "D. H. Moore" of the First 1855 Party who settled in Topeka. See Herald of Freedom, June 9, 1855.

Morrison, Abiel

Painter

Lawrence, Mass.

.

†[Mossman, John C.]

.  

Settled near Zeandale; later lived in Wichita.

Perry, S.

Carpenter

Dighton, Mass.

Went to Manhattan. (See I. T. Goodnow's diary, entry for April 3, 1855.)

Phillips, Roswell

Machinist

Saco, Maine

.

Pike, John

Carpenter

Saco, Maine

Settled in Douglas county.

Pike, Mrs. Elizabeth

. . .

Pike, Mary A.

. . .

Pike, Daniel

. . .

Pillsbury, Leonard Hobart

Carpenter

Londonderry, N. H.

Bro. of Mrs. William Marshall; settled near Zeandale.

Rawson, Orlando

.

Lawrence, Mass.

Settled in, or near Topeka.

Redlon, Nathan E.

Mason

Buxton, Maine

.

†Reed, Josiah

Tin plater

Portland, Maine

.

†Rhymes, George

Machinist

Lawrence, Mass.

.

Rice, J. E.

.

Roxbury, Mass.

.

†Rutter, William

.

Leominster, Mass.

.

Sawyer, William

Storekeeper

Saco, Maine

.

†Seeley, R.

Carpenter

Lawrence, Mass.

"Seavy" in printed roster.

†Severance, H. M.

.

Cambridgeport, Mass.

.

†[Shattuck, Truman] [2]

.

Colerain, Mass.

Settled, briefly, near present Manhattan.

Smith, Samuel

Shoemaker

Dorchester, Mass.

.

Smith, Samuel C.

.

Cambridgeport, Mass.

Settled on the Wakarusa, some eight miles from Lawrence.

Stine, T. A.

. .

This ticket may not have been used.

Stone, Abram

.

New Hampshire

Settled near Zeandale.

Stone, Jesse

.

Medford, Mass.

Settled in Topeka; later ran a hotel.

Stone, William Henry

.

Medford, Mass.

Son of Jesse Stone.

Stone, Mary B.

. . .

Swift, Francis B.

Printer

Brunswick, Maine

Settled in Lawrence; served in First Kansas regiment in Civil War; afterwards lived in Girard.

Tabor, Horace A. W.

Stonecutter

Holland, Vt.

Settled near Zeandale; later moved to Colorado and became a millionaire from mining ventures; died in Denver in 1899.

Tolman, Charles F., Jr.

Shoemaker

Gloucester, Mass.

.

Trask, Elnathan

. .

Settled in Topeka.

†Trott, Amos

.

Portsmouth, N. H.

Settled in Topeka.

Vogel, Herman

Cabinetmaker

Saxony, Germany

.

Waite, William B.

.

Portsmouth, N. H.

.

Waters, Andrew S.

Jeweler

Providence, R. I.

Settled near Topeka.

Waters, Henry P.

Jeweler

Providence, R. I.

Took claim near Topeka.

Wells, [3] Thomas Clarke

.

Wakefield, R. I.

Settled near Manhattan.

Wentworth, Hiram H.

Machinist

Providence, R. I.

Settled near Topeka.

* [Whitin, A. F.]

. .

Settled in Topeka. See Herald of Freedom, June 9, 1855.

Whittier, Lewis

Machinist

Lawrence, Mass.

.

†Wilbur, Charles L.

Engineer

Boston, Mass.

Settled in, or near Topeka.

Wilbur, Mrs. Charles L.

 

Boston, Mass.

.

Wilson, H.

.

Springvale, Maine

.

Wright, A. C.

Shoemaker

Natick, Mass.

.

Wyan, Andrew

Weaver

Millville, Mass.

Settled in, or near Topeka.

Wynn, Isaac

Engineer

Millville, Mass.

Settled in, or near Topeka.

Wynn, Samuel A.

Designer

Millville, Mass.

Settled in, or near Topeka.

Chief sources used in compiling this list: (1) A manuscript roster in the J. S. Emery Collection, MSS. division, Kansas State Historical Society, headed: "First Regular Spring Party under charge of Dr. Chs. Robinson. Time of Departure, March 13th 1855"; (2) "First spring party, March 13, 1855, Dr. Robinson conducting agent," printed in Report of the Special Committee Appointed to Investigate the Troubles in Kansas (Washington, 1856), 34 Cong., I Sess., House Report No. 200 (Serial 869), [See. II] pp. 887-889; (3) Joseph C. Miller diary in MSS. division, Kansas State Historical Society.

The names of William Hutchinson and wife, and Thomas Bickerton appear on the printed roster. The Hutchinsons came with the Second Party of 1855. It seems probable that Bickerton also came with the Second Party.

The manuscript roster lists "J. Dennison, 2 ladies and three children." These names are not on the printed roster, but the Denison family did come with this party.

* Names in brackets do not appear on the manuscript or printed rosters, but have been verified from other sources as members of this company.

† Voted in the Kansas territorial election of March 30, 1855, in the first district (i. e., at Lawrence). Proslaverymen from Missouri who came into Kansas and voted in this election claimed they had as much right to vote as the newly-arrived members of the New England Emigrant Aid Company party.

The first regular Spring Party of 1855 departed from the Fitchburg depot in Boston on March 13, 1855. [4] Thomas H. Webb, secretary of the New England Emigrant Aid Company, reported that the company consisted of 125 men, 23 women and 34 children-a total of 182 individuals. [5] The conducting agent was Charles Robinson, who wrote from Rutland, Vt., on March 14:

The first Kanzas party arrived at this place about 8 o'clock this morning, all well and in good spirits. In consequence of the running of a freight train off the track, and the severe snow storm, we are several hours behind time, but shall be in Albany, fortune favoring us, in season for the evening train to Niagara Falls.

Our party was greeted on the way with cheers and good wishes for success at several of the Stations, particularly at Leominster, Fitchburg and Keene. At Fitchburg not less than one thousand of the citizens met us at the depot, and greeted us with songs and cheers that thrilled the heart of every Kanzas bound pioneer.

The songs were sung by a company of ladies and gentlemen of Fitchburg in a very impressive manner, and were very appropriate to the occasion. The first was the prize song by Miss Larcom, and the second was an original production, supposed to be by Rev. E. Davis.... [6]

The route from Boston to Detroit varied from that taken by the parties of 1854. Instead of crossing Lake Erie, they went by train to Niagara Falls, crossed over to Canadian soil, then back into the United States at Detroit.

For this company the entire trip was one of delays and inconveniences. Wrote the Rev. W. C. High:

As you probably already know, our party of 200 left Boston on the 13th, and landed in Kanzas city on the 24th of March, at about 7 o'clock P. M. This was a very tedious and tiresome journey, owing in part to the state of the roads, but more to the size of our party, which continued to increase as we came West. If I do not mistake, we failed of making a single connection between Boston and St. Louis; this was very perplexing to the passengers, being compelled as they were to travel night and day, without rest or much refreshment, for 130 hours together. But I am very happy in being able to say that Dr. Robinson, under whose supervision we traveled, spared no pains on his part to render us as comfortable as possible.

From St. Louis to Kanzas city, a distance of 480 miles, we were crowded in the most uncomfortable manner; and in consequence of unavoidable exposure in our sleeping arrangements, almost every person in our party took a violent cold, from which many have since suffered severely. [7]

The journey from St. Louis to Kansas City was made on the steamboat Sonora. While on board, on March 24, the emigrants held a meeting and passed resolutions thanking their conducting agent and the officers of the boat for their services. Arthur Meehan was chairman of the meeting; Luther Dame was secretary.

The company, which may have numbered as high as 200 at some stage of the journey, had not more than 170 members at the end of the trip. [8] The letter of Henry C. Harmon, dated Topeka, June 5, gives some information on the movements of members of this party after their arrival at Kansas City:

In Kansas City we purchased our teams (mostly ox), and after packing our baggage and what provisions we might want, started for Lawrence City, a distance of 50 miles up the Kansas river.
At this place we were to meet a Committee, previously chosen and sent ahead to explore the country, and to hear their report; we reached there after three days travel and found the committee awaiting our arrival. Their report was in favor of Topeka, a town on the Kansas river 25 miles above Lawrence, and the report was accepted.
The most of our party arrived at this place [Topeka] the first day of April, and those of them who had not become disheartened, soon went in search of claims, and succeeded in obtaining them. These claims lay within a distance of from 3 to 5 miles from the city (that is to be), and have little or no wood upon them, but have abundance of stone, clay, water, limestone, and some coal. The most of those who procured claims, and a part of those who did not, are now at work erecting buildings in the city.
Each member of our company had two city lots given him, 75 by 100 feet, provided the donee would make improvements upon one of them to the amount of $125 in from three to nine months after settlement, the other lot on terms unconditional. [9]

Samuel Grey, who also settled in Topeka, wrote:

Nearly half of our party became homesick and have gone back, but some were really sick and obliged to return. Some seemed to think they should find farms all fenced, and houses built ready for their reception, every advantage here that they had left behind, and rich soil, healthy climate, and in short all the luxuries of the ... [East], and because it was not so ... they turned around and went back well content, I suppose, to pick rocks and dig out stumps and raise their scanty crops from the barren soil of Maine. A man that comes to this country without money, must expect to meet with many privations as well as elsewhere. -- Board is $3.00 per week, and mechanics readily command $2.00 per day. Messrs. Whiting, Irish, and myself are at work on a mill here. We intend to build us each a house in the city this summer. The frame will be mostly of black-walnut. Shall not attend to farming much this summer, as the land is not surveyed.... The country around this place for 8 or 10 miles is all claimed by people who have come here since last fall, and who intend to make farms, and it appears that this will be a place of some importance, perhaps the Capital of the State, when organized, at least it is talked of as such now.... [10]

Some of this party settled in Lawrence or on adjoining land in Douglas county; a few went to Manhattan and to Zeandale in Riley county. But most of those who stayed in Kansas settled in Topeka or its vicinity.

THE SECOND SPRING PARTY OF 1855

(Departed from Boston on March 20; John T. Farwell, of Fitchburg, Mass., conductor.)

NAME
OCCUPATION
RESIDENCE
REMARKS

Abbott, George

.

Providence, R. I.

.

Atherton, Henry

Farmer

Roxford, Mass.

.

Atherton, Mrs. Henry

.

Roxford, Mass.

.

Atherton, Ellen M.

.

Roxford, Mass.

12 years old

Atherton, Henry F.

.

Roxford, Mass.

4 years old

Barton, Peter

Carpenter; joiner

Croydon, N. H.

.

Barton, Mrs. Peter

.

Croydon, N. H.

.

Barton, Mary F.

.

Croydon, N. H.

4 years old.

Barton, Frederick A.

.

Croydon, N. H.

2 years old.

Barton, Laura M.

.

Croydon, N. H.

9 months old.

Bascom, L. H.

Shoe dealer

Worcester, Mass.

Same as L. H. Bascom of the Second Party of 1854?

Bayer, Henry

.

Lawrence, Mass.

"Bayes" on two of the rosters.

Beath, Charles S.

Carpenter

Bath, Maine

.

Beatley, Robinson

.

Providence, R. I.

"Bentley" on two of the rosters.

Bickerton, Thomas

Machinist

Portland, Maine

Settled in Douglas county. See his reminiscences in Kansas Historical Collections, v. I-II, pp. 214-221.

Blaisdell, James H.

Carpenter

Southampton, N. H.

"John H." on two rosters.

Brown, Israel H.

Farmer

Wilmot, N. H.

.

Brown, Jonathan

Farmer

Wilmot, N. H.

.

Brown, Joseph

Carpenter

Lowell, Mass.

.

Brown, Mrs. Susan W.

.

Lowell, Mass.

.

Brown, Onslow F.

 

Lowell, Mass.

3 years old.

Brown, Levi E.

Farmer

Lowell, Mass.

.

Burrows, E. W.

Carpenter

Providence, R. I.

.

Carr, Robert W.

Lawyer

Mechanic Falls, Maine

.

Chappell, Edward

Farmer

Blackstone, Mass.

.

Chappell, Mrs. Edward

.

Blackstone, Mass.

.

Chase, Benjamin E.

.

Salem, Mass.

.

Choate, Isaac P.

Teacher

Naples, Maine

.

Colby, Christopher C.

Farmer; carpenter

Springfield, N. H.

.

Colby, John D.

Farmer; machinist

Springfield, N. H.

.

Colby, Samuel

Farmer, carpenter

Springfield, N. H.

.

Cowee, Carolos

Bookkeeper

Providence, R. I.

"Cooley" on one roster; "Cool" on another.

Cutler, --- ---

.

Vermont

Joined after party started.

Damon, Joseph Thomas

Farmer

Cochituate, Mass.

.

Darling, Thomas

Farmer

Pawtucket, R. I.

.

Davis, Benjamin

Farmer

Pawtucket, R. I.

.

Davis, James

.

Pawtucket, R. I.

12 years old; son of Benjamin Davis.

Dole, Henry S.

Carpenter

Lowell, Mass.

.

Douglas, David

Farmer

Pawtucket, R. I.

.

Fall, Lorenzo D.

Carpenter

N. Andover, Mass.

"Full" on one roster.

Farnum, Joseph

Carpenter

Salem, Mass.

"James" on one roster.

Fish, Edmund

Teacher

Schoolcraft, Mich.

Joned after party started.

Fracker, George

Laborer

Blackstone, Mass.

"Fricker" on one roster.

Francis, Samuel

.

Brownville, N. Y.

Joined after party started.

Fuller, Albert

Carpenter

Pawtucket, R. I.

.

Goodrich, Joshua C.

Farmer

Mt. Vernon, N. H.

"Josiah" on two rosters.

Goodwin, James R.

Painter

Boston, Mass.

.

Green, Joseph G.

Shoemaker

Brattleboro, Vt.

.

Green, Mrs. Joseph G.

Tailoress

Brattleboro, Vt.

.

Green, Herbert F.

.

Brattleboro, Vt.

11 years old.

Green, Albert M.

.

Brattleboro, Vt.

8 years old.

Grout, Admantha

.

Brattleboro, Vt.

Not on printed roster.

Guild, Edwin

Teacher; farmer

Walpole, N. H.

.

Hackett, Nathan

Manufacturer

Lowell, Mass.

.

Hackett, Mrs. Lavinia

 

Lowell, Mass.

.

Hackett, Vinella

.

Lowell, Mass.

.

Hagar, Daniel

Farmer

Rindge, N. H.

.

Hagar, Mrs. Daniel

.

Rindge, N. H.

.

Halbaur, Ernest

Operative

Dedham, Mass.

.

Halbaur, Charles

.

Dedham, Mass.

Son of Ernst Halbaur.

Halbaur, Christiana

.

Dedham, Mass.

.

Haskell, James S.

Factory operative

Worcester, Mass.

.

Haskell, John

Factory operative

Worcester, Mass.

.

Haskell, Leverett

Farmer

Claremont, N. H.

.

Haskell, Mrs. Leverett

.

Claremont, N. H.

.

Hodgon, Thomas

Machinist

S. Berwick, Maine

.

Horne, Mrs. Maria L.

.

Woburn, Mass.

Wife of Daniel H. Horne of Topeka.

Horne, Georgiana

.

Woburn, Mass

Daughter, 3 years old.

Hovey, William H.

Farmer

Cambridge, Mass.

.

Hovey, Mrs. William H.

.

Cambridge, Mass.

.

Hovey, Francis W.

.

Cambridge, Mass.

.

Hutchinson, William

Editor

Randolph, Vt.

Settled in Lawrence; wrote for Eastern newspapers.

Hutchinson, Mrs. William

.

Randolph, Vt.

.

Hutchinson, Alama V.

.

Randolph, Vt.

4 years old.

Hutchinson, Helen M.

.

Randolph, Vt.

9 months old.

Janes, John

Farmer

Foxborough, Mass.

.

Johnson, Alonzo

Farmer

Grafton, N. H.

.

Johnson, Nathan

Farmer

Grafton, N. H.

.

Jones, Sarah

Tailoress

Keene, N. H.

Married C. H. Carpenter of Fourth Party of 1854, on April 5, 1855. at Lawrence.

King, John L.

Farmer

Brattleboro, Vt.

.

Lee, Bernard

Operative

Lowell, Mass.

.

Lee, James

Operative

Lowell, Mass.

.

Lee, Patrick

Operative

Lowell, Mass.

 

Lowe, Willard H.

Farmer

Fitchburg, Mass.

Returned to Fitchburg.

McCabe, John

.

Providence, R. I.

.

Matone, Isaac

Blacksmith

Walpole, N. H.

.

Miller, Mrs. Euphasia

.

Walpole, N. H.

.

Mitchell, William

Shoemaker

Bridgewater, Mass.

.

Morse, Wiliam H.

Ship joiner

Topsham, Maine

.

Newton, William M.

Attorney

Jamestown, N. Y.

Joined after party started.

Nichols, George W.

Merchant

Boston, Mass.

.

Nichols, George W.

Publisher

Brattleboro, Vt.

Died August 29, 1855, at Ottawa.

Nichols, Mrs. Clarina I. Howard

Editress

Brattleboro, Vt.

See, also, Fourth Party of 1854.

Nichols, George B.

.

Brattleboro, Vt.

11 years old.

Paget, Thomas

Machinist

Lawrence, Mass.

.

Paget, Mrs. Isabella

.

Lawrence, Mass.

.

Palmer, David W.

Machinist; gunsmith

S. Andover, Mass.

"Daniel W." on two rosters.

Parkin, John A.

 

Boston, Mass.

.

Parkin, David

.

Boston, Mass.

15 yrs. old; son of John A. Parkin.

Parkin, Harriet

.

Boston, Mass.

Daughter of John A. Parkin.

Pearce, George W.

Tin manufacturer

Providence, R. I.

.

Pearce, Mrs. George W.

.

Providence R. I.

.

Pearce, Francis

.

Providence, R. I.

14 years old.

Pearce, Leonard

.

Providence, R. I.

13 years old.

Pearce, --- ---

.

Providence, R. I.

10 years old; daughter.

Pearce, James

.

Providence, R. I.

3 years old.

Pearce, George A.

.

Providence, R. I.

1 year old.

Pearce, Thomas E.

Carpenter

Walpole, N. H.

"Pierce" on two rosters.

Pierce, Jabez N.

Trader

New Bedford, Mass.

Did not remain in Kansas.

Platts, Aaron E.

Farmer

Rindge, N. H.

Settled in Douglas county; died in Lawrence in 1910.

Platts, Mrs. Aaron E.

.

Rindge, N. H.

.

Potter, Ezra A.

Painter

Providence, R. I.

.

Potter, George A.

.

Providence, R. I.

.

Potter, Otis

Jeweler

Providence, R. I.

.

Pratt, J. C.

Farmer

Randolph, Vt.

Name appears only on MS. list in Hutchinson Collection.

Pray, William F.

.

S. Berwick, Maine

.

Prescott, Samuel M.

Blacksmith

Southampton, N. H.

.

Preston, Marcellus

Farmer

Orange, N. H.

.

Preston, Monroe

Farmer

Orange, N. H.

.

Rawson, Harrison K.

Carpenter

Worcester, Mass.

.

Rawson, Mrs. Harrison K.

.

Worcester, Mass.

.

Rawson, Ella

.

Worcester, Mass.

10 years old.

Rawson, Wallace

.

Worcester, Mass.

7 years old.

Rawson, Charles A.

.

Worcester, Mass.

4 years old.

Rawson, George A.

.

Worcester, Mass.

1 year old.

Richardson, G. P.

Grocer

Providence, R. I.

.

Rowe, S. C.

Painter

Boston, Mass.

.

Ruga, Charles

Carpenter

Worcester, Mass.

"Runja" on two rosters.

Ruga, Mrs. Minnie

.

Worcester, Mass.

.

Ruga, Louisa

.

Worcester, Mass.

11 years old.

Ruga, Christiana

.

Worcester, Mass.

4 years old.

Sargent, James

Farmer

Dummerston, Vt.

.

Sargent, Wallace

Farmer

Dummerston, Vt.

.

Sawyer, --- ---

.

Hartford, Vt.

Joined after party started.

Shaw, John N.

Farmer

Grafton, N. H.

.

Smith, A.

.

Brownville, N. Y.

Joined after party started.

Smith, Benjamin

Carpenter

Southboro, Mass.

.

Smith, Charles Wolcott

Carpenter

Lowell, Mass.

See, also, Second Party of 1854. Settled near Lawrence.

Smith, Mrs. Lucretia B.

.

Lowell, Mass.

Died August 17, 1859.

Smith, Elbridge G.

.

Southboro, Mass.

.

Smith, F.

.

Brownville, N. Y.

Joined after party started.

Stowe, Benjamin

Manufacturer

Rindge, N. H.

.

Stowe, Mrs. Benjamin

.

Rindge, N. H.

.

Stowe, Benjamin F.

.

Rindge, N. H.

9 months old.

Stowe, Warren

Farmer

Rindge, N. H.

.

Sumner, Thaddeus E.

Merchant

Boston, Mass.

"Shad E. Sumner" on printed roster.

Tansler, Adolphus

Manufacturer

Dedham, Mass.

.

Thomas, Charles H.

Farmer

Biddeford, Maine

.

Thomas, Mrs. Charles H.

.

Biddeford, Maine

.

Thomas, Edward

.

Biddeford, Maine

16 years old.

Thomas, Mary

.

Biddeford, Maine

13 years old.

Thomas, Dolly

.

Biddeford, Maine

11 years old.

Thomas, George W.

.

Biddeford, Maine

3 years old.

Thomas, Nathaniel M.

Mason

Wayland, Mass.

.

Thurston, Phebe A.

.

Lowell, Mass.

Married John L. Harding in Lawrence, January 2, 1856.

Tidd, Andrew H.

Carpenter

Portland, Maine

Appears only on MS. roster in Hutchinson Collection.

Trott, Isaac C.

Shipmaker

Bath, Maine

.

Walker, George

Currier

Pawtucket, R. I.

.

Walton, Edward A.

Farmer

Salem, Mass.

.

Whitcomb, Albert

Tailor

Keene, N. H.

Settled near Osawatomie.

Whitcomb, Mrs. Albert

.

Keene, N. H.

.

Whitney, Mrs. S.

.

Dummerston, Vt.

Widow.

Wilson, John N.

Farmer

Worcester, Mass.

.

Wilson, Walter

Farmer

Worcester, Mass.

.

Woodward, J.

.

Lawrence, Mass.

"Edmund Woodward" on two rosters.

Wright, Alpheus H.

Farmer

Westford, Mass.

.

Wright, Erastus

Farmer

Westford, Mass.

.

Wright, Wilbur F.

Farmer

Westford, Mass.

"Erastus E. Wright" on two rosters.

Young, Charles H.

Machinist

Lowell, Mass.

.

Sources used in compiling this list: "List of persons composing the second regular party sent by the N. E. A. Co. for Kansas Ter. Mch. 20, 1855 in charge of J. T. Farwell of Fitchburg, Mass., Manufacturer of tools," in G. W. Hutchinson Collection, MSS. division, Kansas State Historical Society; a list in a record book among the Emigrant Aid papers, MSS. division, Kansas State Historical Society; "Second party, March 20, 1855, John T. Farwell conducting agent," printed in Report of the Special Committee Appointed to Investigate the Troubles in Kansas, [Sec. II] pp. 889-891. There are many points of disagreement in these lists. The most complete list (including a number of individuals who joined the party on the Way) is the MS. in the Hutchinson Collection. It has been used as the basic list in compiling this roster.

The Second Party of 1855 left Boston on March 20, under the guidance of Deacon J. T. Farwell, of Fitchburg, Mass. In the company at that time were 104 men, 23 women and 30 children or a total of 157 individuals. [11] There were accessions en route and the roster herein printed contains 170 names.

The St. Louis Intelligencer of March 26 printed this comment:

A company, consisting of one hundred and sixty-seven persons, among whom were twenty ladies, arrived yesterday morning on the steamer Reindeer, en route for Kansas. They are all from the New England States, and came out under auspices of the New England Emigrant Aid Society. They are to settle at Lawrence, on the Kansas river. The company is under the lead of Mr. Farwell, of Fitchburg, Mass., who, some years since was celebrated as a manufacturer of scythes. Among the emigrants is an own cousin of President Pierce. [12]

Mrs. Clarina I. H. Nichols, member of the party, wrote in a letter dated April 5 at Lawrence to the Keene (N. H.) News:

We ... arrived at St. Louis Sunday, A. M., the 25th [of March], and went directly on board the Kate Swenney (P. M. Chouteau capt; Messrs. Chouteau and Hopkins clerks) where we were entertained in a most kindly manner and fared well till we left Kansas city for an overland route to this place [Lawrence]. We set sail from St. Louis Monday, 4 o'clock P. M. and did not arrive at Kansas city till about 2 o'clock P. M., the next Monday [April 21, the river being very low, so that we spent much time on the sand bars -- eighteen hours on one of them. Our party numbered one hundred and forty, exclusive of children. Many sterling men and women, and some miserable men-a few drunk nearly all the time. [13]

Mrs. Nichols and her party and the Hutchinson family hired a covered carriage in Kansas City to take them to Lawrence. Many others of the party also went to Lawrence, some staying only one night before deciding to return East. These were mostly the young, single men. Wrote Mrs. Nichols: "They were disappointed in not finding work ready for them, and it would seem did not come to take farms unless they could find them in the city, or very near it. (I suspect they were afraid of the Missourians, as it was just then the governor was threatened.)" [14]

The Nichols family did not remain in Lawrence but went to Osawatomie to join Mrs. Nichols' son A. O. Carpenter [15] who had taken a claim there. Others of the Second Party also settled in, or near Osawatomie. The following letter by an unidentified member of the party is dated "Osawattomie, Kansas Terr., April 20, 1855":

... Three of our company bought a two-horse wagon at St. Louis, took it on board the boat up to Kansas, there we bought a yoke of oxen, and what provisions we thought would stand us three months; this we have since learned was a good move. Had we not done so, we might have starved before this; that is one reason why many are going back, they have no conveniences for traveling, and carry no provisions with them, and hunger and fatigue, with a little lack of nerve, are apt to turn a man's face towards home. Our party split at Kansas city, about thirty came this course, and the remaining went to Lawrence and Fort Riley. T think we made a good choice in coming here; a number of men living here have been at Fort Riley and Big Blue, and say that they prefer this section. Our party started from Kansas city Monday P. M., drove as far as Westport and camped in our tent over night. We arrived at this place, about 50 miles from Kansas city, on Wednesday night [April 4].

I have a bottom timber claim, which was about 140 acres of timber, and 20 acres of prairie land, bounded on one side by a creek.... I am between two and three miles from where they will put up two mills this summer. I have two New Hampshire men adjoining me, and a number of Massachusetts men are within two or three miles of me.... [16]

Mrs. Nichols in a letter dated April 7 stated that several of the Second Party found claims about five miles from Topeka. [17] This company seems to have become rather scattered over the territory. There is little available information about individual members of the company.

THE THIRD SPRING PARTY OF 1855

(Departed from Boston on March 27; Dr. Amory Hunting, [18] of Providence, R. I., conductor.)

NAME
OCCUPATION
RESIDENCE
REMARKS

Armington, Russell D.

.

Providence, R. I.

.

Booram, Benjamin E.

Carpenter

Taunton, Mass.

"Benj. C." on printed roster.

Booram, John B.

.

Taunton, Mass.

10 years old.

Booram, James B.

.

Taunton, Mass.

10 years old.

Buffum, Edward W.

Shoemaker

Salem, Mass.

Settled first at Lawrence; later moved to farm near the town.

Buffum, Mrs. Edward S.

.

Salem, Mass.

.

Buffum, George

Carpenter

Salem, Mass.

.

Burt, John S.

.

Sutton, Mass.

.

Coleman, L. Dwight

Carpenter

Northampton, Mass.

Settled in Douglas county.

Cone, Rev. William M.

Clergyman

Pawtucket, R. I.

"Did not go up the river Ap 20, boat money returned." -- Note on manuscript roster.

Dow, Johnson S.

Tailor

Hartford, Conn.

"John T. Dow: on printed roster.

Dow, Mrs. Johnson S.

.

Hartford, Conn.

.

Dow, --- ---

.

Hatford, Conn.

3 years old.

Dunn, Leonard

.

Northampton, Mass.

.

Earle, William

.

Claremont, N. H.

.

Earle, William Dewitt

.

Claremont, N. H.

"William Dewitt" on printed roster.

Eaton, Charles

.

Peterborough, N. H.

.

Eaton, Charles R.

.

Peterborough, N. H.

Child.

Eaton, Timothy

Shoe manufacturer

W. Cambridge, Mass.

.

Farrington, Ebenezer

Farmer

Francistown, N. H.

.

Fisher, Samuel

Farmer

Greenvield, N. H.

.

Goodnow, William E.

Printer

Norway, Maine

Settled near Manhattan; brother of Isaac T. Goodnow.

Gray, Lorenzo

Carpenter

Newport, R. I.

"Alonzo" on printed roster.

Gross, W. Y.

Carpenter

Duxbury, Mass.

.

Hibbard, G. W. M.

Blacksmith

Lisbon, N. H.

"W. M. Hilburn" on one manuscript list.

Hicks, Joseph

Shoemaker

Plaistow, N. H.

.

Holcomb, Cornelius W.

.

Northampton, Mass.

Settled near Osawatomie.

Holcomb, Mrs. Cornelius W.

.

Northampton, Mass.

.

Hubon, Frederick

Carpenter

Salem, Mass.

.

Hubon, Mrs. Frederick

.

Salem, Mass.

.

Jones, Sanford

.

Oxford, Mass.

"Sandford" on printed roster.

Kendall, Franklin

Farmer; sailor

Boston, Mass.

.

Keys, Daniel

Farmer

Claremont, N. H.

"Keys" on printed roster.

Lee, Allen B.

Carpenter

Cumberland, R. I.

Settled near Manhattan.

Lee, G. W.

.

Cumberland, R. I.

Settled near Manhattan.

Lee, Mrs. G. W.

.

Cumberland, R. I.

"Mrs. H. H. Lee" on printed roster.

Leis, Henry

Printer

Providence, R. I.

Settled in Lawrence.

Leis, Mrs. Catherine

.

Providence, R. I.

.

Leis, William

.

Providence, R. I.

.

Leis, George

.

Providence, R. I.

.

Lewis, Francis

Machinist

W. Cambridge, Mass.

.

McHugh, Patrick

.

Sutton, Mass.

"Patrick Welch" on printed roster.

Mather, J. N.

Painter

Lawrence, Mass.

"J. N. Mathes" on printed roster.

Melcher, John A.

Tailor

Salem, Mass.

.

Miles, Augustus

Engineer

Concord, Mass.

.

Morse, George M.

Expressman

Providence, R. I.

.

O'Donnell, John

.

Boston, Mass

Child; with John G. Ricker.

Parsons, E. C.

Farmer

Hartford, Conn.

"E. C. Barrows" on one manuscript roster.

Peckham, Asher R.

Carpenter

Taunton, Mass.

"Reckam" on one roster.

Peckham, --- ---

.

Taunton, Mass.

9 years old; girl.

Peckham, --- ---

.

Taunton, Mass.

7 years old; boy.

Peckham, --- ---

.

Taunton, Mass.

5 years old; boy.

Redfield, Joseph

.

Hartford, Conn.

.

Redfield, Mrs Joseph and 2 children

.

Hartford, Conn.

Under 4 years.

Rehew, Joseph

Carpenter

Salem, Mass.

"Kehew" on printed roster.

Ricker, John G.

Farmer

Boston, Mass.

.

Ridfer, Daniel

Tailor

Hartford, Conn.

"Daniel Rid" on printed roster.

Ridfer, Mrs. Daniel

.

Hartford, Conn.

.

Ridfer, --- ---

.

Hartford, Conn.

3 years old.

Rogers, Orrin

Trader

Hartford, Conn.

.

Rogers, Mrs. Orrin

.

Hartford, Conn.

.

Rowe, George

Farmer

Lyme, N. H.

.

Rowe, Jacob

Farmer

Lyme, N. H.

.

Sawin, Charles L.

.

Littleton, Mass.

.

Scott, David

Carpenter

Providence, R. I.

.

Seagrave, Edward

Minister

Providence, R. I.

.

Shepherd, John W.

Clerk

Nashua, N. H.

"Shepard" on printed roster.

Smith, Charles R.

Tin plater

E. Cambridge, Mass.

.

Smith, Charles W.

.

Albany, N. Y.

.

Smith, Mrs. Charles W.

.

Albany, N. Y.

.

Swett, J.

Carpenter

Claremont, N. H.

.

Taber, Richard M.

Sailmaker

New Bedford, Mass.

"M. M. Tabor" on one roster.

Taber, Mrs. Richard M.

.

New Bedford, Mass.

.

Thurlow, Stephen H.

Carpenter

Newburyport, Mass.

.

Wallingford, Miss E.

Teacher

Claremont, N. H.

"Walington" on one list.

Wardwell, Addison

Farmer

Penobscot, Maine

Settled at Osawatomie.

Wardwell, Mary

.

Penobscot, Maine

Sister of Addison Wardwell.

Webb, George W.

.

Sutton, Mass.

.

Webb, Henry C.

.

Sutton, Mass.

.

Winslow, James

.

New Bedford, Mass.

.

Winslow, Mrs. James

.

New Bedford, Mass.

.

Wright, T. J.

Farmer

Claremont, N. H.

.

Wright, --- ---

.

Claremont, N. H.

8 years old; daughter.

Chief sources used in compiling this list: A printed roster headed "Third party, March 27, 1855, Dr. Hunting conducting agent," in Report of the Special Committee Appointed to Investigate the Troubles in Kansas, [Sec. II] pp. 891, 892; a manuscript list in a record book in the Emigrant Aid Collection, MSS. division, Kansas State Historical Society; a manuscript list headed "List of the Kansas Party -- Armory Hunting," in the Aid Collection.

The Third Spring Party left Boston on March 27 under the charge of Dr. Amory Hunting of Providence, R.I. There were in the group at the time of departure 57 men 13 women and 14 children -- a total of 84 individuals. [19]

One of the party, from Salem, Mass., wrote on March 30 from Detroit:

Arrived in Rutland [Vt.] at 10 P. M., cold and weary, and we all lodged at of the best houses I ever was in. Next morning at 6 o'clk, started for Albany, and arrived at about noon. Here we had the pleasure of seeing our baggage handled rather roughly, one of the Salem men had the end of his tool chest stove in, while others had straps torn off and trunks broken open. There was much complaint also of the enormous freight charges. Started for Rochester at 1 P. M. arrived 10-1/4 P.M. This is a splendid city and they have things in shape. 8-1/4 next morning resumed our journey for the suspension bridge; arrived at 1 P.M. We were detained by snow on the track half an hour, and the engine left us two miles from the station to go for assistance. Crossed the bridge in the cars, and had a view of ... [Niagara] falls, stopped two hours here. At 2 P. M., started for Detroit and arrived at 3 next morning, and are to start again at 9-1/-2. We have had very pleasant weather considering the season -- snow in the morning, and bare ground in the afternoon, this morning pleasant. [20]

The emigrants reached St. Louis on April 1. There they were dismayed to learn that passenger and freight charges on steamboats running to Kansas City had been increased. This was because of the very low stage of the Missouri river. Only a few light-draught boats were able to navigate the stream. Some of the company were inclined to blame the New England Emigrant Aid Company for the predicament in which they found themselves. The National Aegis, Worcester, on April 11, carried this article:

We have received a letter from some members of the party of Emigrants who went from here on Tuesday, March 27th, in which it is stated that the whole party, one hundred and twenty in number, were perfectly disgusted with the pretensions and management of the Emigrant Aid Company, and the whole party advise their Eastern friends and neighbors, if they are going to Kansas, to go any way but under the direction of the Emigrant Aid Company.

The letter is written at St. Louis, where the party arrived Sunday morning.... When the party gets to St. Louis, all but ten dollars worth of the tickets are used up. No boat runs from St. Louis to Kansas for less fare than fifteen dollars, and Emigrants, who have the Emigrant Aid Company's tickets have to pay five dollars additional from St. Louis to Kansas City. [21]

The letter was signed by only three of the party, and while it reflected the opinion of many of the emigrants, there was nothing to do but make the best possible arrangements for reaching Kansas City.

A letter by a woman member of the company describes what happened to a few of the emigrants. It is dated "Lawrence City, K. T., April 16, 1855":

Our party ... was divided at ... [St. Louis]. Our party, that is all of the Salem folks, and a few others, including Dr. Hunting, the agent, went on board the El Paso, by paying two dollars and a half; the others went in the Sam Cloon, at five dollars. We all regretted the division, for I tell you there were some fine people in our company. Well, those of us on the E. P. arrived in Kanzas City on Friday [April 6], about six o'clock, P. M., and the others early the next morning, and Saturday was spent in determining where to go. Most of them fixed on what is called the Osage country, and Joseph [?] thought he would go there too. I tried to persuade him to come to Lawrence, but he thought it would be for his interest to go some other way, and I do not know but that he was right, for, if he had come here, he would have had nothing to do at his trade, or at anything that I know of. The reason why the carpenters, and in fact almost every body else, are idle, is the want of material -- there is no lumber. That old saw-mill, that was going to supply all the people with timber for their houses, is a perfect failure; it needs repairing every two or three days, in order to have it do any thing. If it was a good one, it would not half supply the demand. There are two more that will be in operation if they ever get here, but when that event will take place is uncertain, as the machinery is to be brought up on a steamer, and they cannot ply on the river until it rises....

There has been no rain here since last May or June. What do you think of that? The weather here is any thing but delightful. You must naturally suppose that it would be very dusty; well, so it is, and such winds as we have here you know nothing about. We do not have windy days, such as you have East, but it blows a perfect whirlwind for two or three days and nights, so that I can scarcely stand up when out of doors, and a cloud of dust fills your mouth and eyes. I never had any idea of dirt or dirty clothes, until my arrival here; and, for all the water we use, we have to go as far as from Randall street to foot of Buffum street. For washing, we can dip it out of a kind of pool; but, for drinking and making tea, we catch it as it oozes from the spring, which operation occupies usually about half an hour. There are two or three first rate springs in the ravine....

We have hotter weather here in April than you have in July.... It is said to be quite sickly in this place, and I should think it must be. E. has been quite sick with dysentery, or nearly that, but he is better now.... He never waited to get rested after we got here, but went tramping off five or six miles in the hot sun, then he and G. and D. went up to work on the house, and he got sick.... They have all gone up to finish the house, and we expect to move up tomorrow. Then I shall be lonesome enough -- no neighbor within half a mile. I do not have any neighbors here; I have seen but two or three women to speak with since I came here....

Everything here is enormously high, and half the time you 'cannot get what you want at all. The difficulty of getting goods brought up from Kanzas City, and the high price for freight, makes every thing as high, and some things nearly double, what they are East -- among them are corn-meal, sugar, molasses, salt, spices of all kinds, &c. White beans are ten cents per pound, or six dollars a bushel, and not to be had at that; milk, ten cents a quart; and I have not seen a bit of butter since I came into the territory....

I have something of a family, eight in number, which is rather more than I care about, and more than I can take care of this hot weather. We have but one room, in which we all eat, drink, and sleep, and that is not as large as your kitchen, and has got four chests, two trunks, a cook stove, an apology for a table, half a dozen bags, three or four stools, &c. So you see I have not a great deal of elbow room. Up on the farm it will be rather better....

And now, dear sisters, good bye; you cannot remember me as I do you, for you are in your pleasant homes, and I am a stranger in a strange land, while every thing around you and your distant home wears a charm. [22]

The Salem Gazette states that the writer of the above letter is "the wife of one of our Salem mechanics." It seems quite certain that she was Mrs. Edward S. Buffum.

The "Osage country" to which she refers was the region in and around Osawatomie. [23] Quite a number of the Third Spring Party settled in that vicinity. The letter of an unidentified member of the company dated "Osowatomie, K. T., April 15," gives some information on the settlement:

... On our arrival at ... [Kansas City], we immediately formed a small party, consisting of four gentlemen and a lady and her child from Salem, and a gentleman and his sister from the State of Maine; and, having purchased a quantity of provisions, cooking utensils, and tools, we started for Osowatomie, K. T., situated about fifty miles from Kanzas City, in a southerly direction, where we arrived, after a very hard and laborious journey, on Thursday, April 12th. Osowatomie is a beautiful location, on the banks of the Osage river, with a rich fertile soil, and plenty of timber land. Considering the short time which has elapsed since its settlement. (eight months,) it is in a very flourishing condition -- having, many houses, a store where can he found all kinds of goods, calicoes and hard-ware, (for which we have to pay high prices). We have also a stage running between this place and Kanzas City. They are building a ferry boat for the river; and there is to be a saw mill put up in the summer. There has been no rain to speak of since last June; and if it does not rain soon there will be a poor crop. The nights are chilly and the wind blows continually. We go out gunning every day, game being very plenty; some of our party saw two deers yesterday. We have not seen any Indians since we have been in the place; but they have been living here all winter. We come across their wigwams in the woods occasionally, built of bark. The first death that has occurred here since the settlement, was that of a child, aged two years. Not having any boards, to make a coffin, they manufactured one from a shoe box. We are encamped in our tents at present, but shall build cabins as soon as we get a location to suit us, most of the land having been taken up before we arrived here. This letter is written on a tub turned bottom up, under a large oak tree, beside the river. We take our meals from off a trunk while sitting upon the ground. Wages are $1.25 a day, and found -- poor living at that. Ploughing has not yet been commenced. [24]

THE FOURTH SPRING PARTY OF 1855

(Departed from Boston on April 3; Rev. Richard Knight, of Holyoke, Mass., conductor)

NAME
OCCUPATION
RESIDENCE
REMARKS

†‡Abbey, George M.

.

Belchertown, Mass.

.

†‡Aldrich, Hiram

.

Monson, Mass.

.

*†‡Allen, Henry R.

Trader

Chicopee, Mass.

.

*†‡Athearn, Caleb F.

Farmer

W. Tisbury, Mass.

.

†‡Beckford, Jacob O.

.

Salem, Mass.

.

*†‡Blaisdell, William, Jr.

Machinist

Chicopee, Mass.

.

†‡Bliss, Harvey, Jr.

.

Monson, Mass.

Secretary of the Hampden County Colony.

*†‡Chapin, James

Farmer

Sturbridge, Mass.

Died in Hampden in 1855.

*†‡Chapin, Joseph C.

Trader

W. Springfield, Mass.

.

*†‡Chapin, Joseph L.

Printer

Palmer, Mass.

Died in Hampden in 1855.

*Chapin, Mrs. Joseph L.

.

Palmer, Mass.

.

*Chase, Caleb B.

Carpenter

. .

*Chatterton, Edwin S.

Farmer

Acworth, N. H.

.

*†‡Church, F. B.

Farmer

Middlefield, Mass.

.

*†‡Clark, Joseph A. D.

Carpenter

Pomfret, Vt.

.

[Clarke, Sylvester H.]

.

Clyde, N. Y.

Not on roster; Clarke in his reminiscences says he came with this party.

†‡Crocker, Nathan F.

.

Westfield, Mass.

.

*Crowell, Calvin

Farmer

Sandwich, Mass.

.

*Crowell, Hiram

Carpenter

Sandwich, Mass.

.

*†‡Currier, L. G.

Mechanic

Chicopee, Mass.

.

*†‡Dagenkalb, Charles

Farmer

Palmer, Mass.

.

*†Denecke, Theodore

Tailor

Palmer, Mass.

.

*†‡Eaton, William J.

.

E. Longmeadow, Mass.

.

†‡Ela, [25] W. A.

.

Monson, Mass.

President of the Hampden County Colony; Mrs. Ela died in March, 1866. Mr. Ela removed to Emporia in August, 1866.

Ela, Mrs. Almira

.

Monson, Mass.

.

†‡Ela, William Henry

.

Monson, Mass.

Elder son of W. A. Ela; served in Fifth Kansas cavalry in Civil War.

Ela, George A.

.

Monson, Mass.

Younger son of W. A. Ela; killed in Baxter Springs massacre October 6, 1863.

*Evans, James M.

Farmer

Sanbornton, N. H.

.

*Ewer, Edward W.

Farmer

Sandwich, Mass.

.

*Foss, Stephen

Farmer

Northfield, N. H.

.

*Goss, R. G.

Baker

Salem, Mass.

.

*†‡Grant, Charles H.

Millwright

Springfield, Mass.

.

*Gross, Charles

Carpenter

Duxbury, Mass.

.

*Grout Austin

Farmer

Acworth, N. H.

.

*†Haley, Daniel

Farmer

Brimfield, Mass.

.

†‡Harrington, Andrew

.

Salem, N. Y.

Died in Hampden in 1856.

Harrington, Mrs., Andrew

.

Salem, N. Y.

Died in Hampden in 1862.

Harrington, Lydia

.

Salem, N. Y.

Married T. Y. Proctor of the Hampden County Colony.

Harrington, Susan

.

Salem, N. Y.

Married Levi P. Heddens.

†‡Harrington, Ebenezer H.

.

Salem, N. Y.

Later moved to Leavenworth; died before 1868.

†‡Harrington, Stephen R.

.

Salem, N. Y.

Became major in Fifth Kansas cavalry; later moved to Washington, D. C.

Harrington, Rowena

.

Salem, N. Y.

Married William Vandever in April, 1867.

Harrington, Rosetta

.

Salem, N. Y.

.

*†Hart, David D.

Woolen worker

Willimansett, Mass.

.

*†‡Hart, John B.

Woolen worker

Willimansett, Mass.

.

*†‡Hart, John G.

Woolen worker

Willimansett, Mass.

.

†‡Hills, Alberto

.

Wayne, Pa.

.

†‡Hills, E. F.

.

Wayne, Pa.

.

*†‡Holland, W. J.

.

Belchertown, Mass.

.

*Hopper, [John?]

. . .

*†‡Knight, Richard

Minister

Holyoke, Mass.

Missionary; removed to Lawrence in October, 1855; returned East in 1856. Mrs. Knight and son died on February 12, 1856, in Lawrence.

*Knight, Mrs. Marianne

 

Holyoke, Mass.

.

*Knight, Robert Charles

.

Holyoke, Mass.

.

*†Knowlton, Orealus

Mason

Springfield, Mass.

.

*†‡Knowlton, Phineas

Farmer

Springfield, Mass.

.

*Ladd, Carleton

.

Lowell, Mass.

.

*Ladd, Samuel G.

Operative

Lowell, Mass.

.

†‡Law, George

.

Milford, Mass.

Died at Waukegan, Ill., on February 13, 1857.

Law, Mrs. George

.

Milford, Mass.

.

*Linnell, Edmund

Sailor

Orleans, Mass.

.

*Lock, Luther

Farmer

Bethel, Maine

.

*†‡Lombard, Roswell

Druggist

Springfield, Mass

Treasurer of the Hampden County Colony; returned to Massachusetts in 1855 or 1856.

*Lyon, Dennis

Watchman

Lawrence, Mass.

.

*Matheson, Duncan

Farmer

Natick, Mass.

.

*Matheson, Mrs. Margerite

.

Natick, Mass.

.

*†‡Mellen, John R.

.

Lowell, Mass.

.

†‡Merrick, George F.

.

Palmer, Mass.

.

*Merriss, John

.

Providence, R. I.

.

*Merriss, Mrs. John

.

Providence, R. I.

.

*Merriss, --- ---

.

Providence, R. I.

.

*Merriss, --- ---

.

Providence, R. I.

.

*Moore, Joseph M.

Farmer

Canterbury, N. H.

.

†‡Morse, Charles [and family?]

.

Auburn, Mass

Remained in Coffey county, moveing to Burlington after nine years on a farm.

*†‡Morse, Chauncey [and family?]

Handle maker

Warren, Mass.

Mr. Morse died in Hampden in 1856 and his family returned to Massachusetts.

*†‡Morse, Lincoln

.

Butcher

Southbridge, Mass.

.

*†‡Morse, Lucius

Handle maker

Warren, Mass.

.

*Palmer, George W.

Farmer

Sutton, N. H.

.

*Palmer, James M.

Farmer

Sanbornton, N. H.

.

†‡Pease, B. F[ranklin]

.

Chicopee, Mass.

 

*†‡Peasley, John

Stonecutter

E. Longmeadow, Mass.

.

†‡Pepper, Stephen P.

.

Brimfield, Mass.

.

Pepper, Mrs. Stephen P.

.

Brimfield, Mass.

Died in Hampden Aug. 14, 1855.

Pepper, Sarah F.

.

Brimfield, Mass.

Died in Burlington in 1860.

Pepper, Stephen G.

.

Brimfield, Mass.

.

*Pettengil, Charles R.

Farmer

Springfield, Mass.

.

*Pettengil, Mrs. Jane

.

Springfield, Mass.

.

*Pettengil, --- ---

.

Springfield, Mass.

.

*Pettengil, --- ---

.

Springfield, Mass.

.

*†‡Pierce., John R.

.

Barre, Mass.

.

*Pierce, Mrs. John R.

.

Barre, Mass.

.

*Pierce, --- ---

.

Barre, Mass.

Daughter.

*†‡Porter, Elijah

Editor

Westfield, Mass.

Returned East in 1855.

†‡Pratt, H. O.

 

Wales, Mass.

.

†‡Proctor, Levi A.

.

Union, Pa.

.

†‡Proctor, Thomas Y.

.

Union. Pa.

.

†‡Reynolds, Henry

.

W. Springfield, Mass.

.

*†‡Rice, Luther, Jr.

Mechanic

Greenfield, Mass.

.

†‡Richards, Loomis

.

Springfield, Mass.

.

†‡Richards, William

.

Massachusetts

Returned East in winter of 1855-1856.

*Richardson, B. S.

. . .

*Richardson, Mrs. B. S.

. . .

*Richardson, --- ---

. . .

*Robertson, Joseph L.

Farmer

Northfield, N. H.

.

*†‡Sampson, Amasa B.

Farmer

Springfield, Mass.

.

*Saunders, Charles R. P.

Carpenter

Salem, Mass.

.

*Saunders, Mrs. Harriet C.

.

Salem, Mass.

.

*Saunders, Mrs. Martha E.

.

Salem, Mass.

.

*†‡Seiders, David W.

Lawyer

Waldoborough, Maine

.

*Smith, Burdit F.

Trader

Westfield, Mass.

.

*†‡Smith, Luther C.

Farmer

Willimansett, Mass.

Died in Hampden in 1855.

†Stevens, A. G.

.

Chicopee, Mass.

.

*Tacher, J.

.

E. Brookfield, Mass.

.

*Vickeray, Nath.

Wheelwright

Boston, Mass.

.

*†Warner, Lemuel F.

 

Chicopee, Mass.

.

†‡Wetherbee, Joseph B.

.

Warren, Mass.

"Wetherby?" Remained in Kansas; settled on farm south of present Burlington.

Wetherbee, Mrs. Mary

.

Warren, Mass.

.

Wetherbee, George

.

Warren, Mass.

.

Wetherbee, Albert

.

Warren, Mass.

.

*Whitcomb, Isaac C.

Trader

Boston, Mass

.

†‡Whittacre, Benjamin E.

.

Pontiac, Mich.

.

*[Wilder?], B. M.

Clerk

. .

Chief sources used in compiling this list: (1) a roster labeled "4th party Ap 3." in a record book among the Emigrant Aid Company papers, MSS. division, Kansas State Historical Society; (2) Elijah Porter's list of the names of members of the Hampden colony on the Neosho, Kansas territory, who were present and drew lots on the first of May, 1855, in "Coffey County Clippings," v. I, pp. 1, 2, Library, Kansas State Historical Society; a similar list in a "History of Coffey County," in The Kansas Patriot, Burlington, issue of May 30, 1868. The manuscript list is incomplete (containing only about 95 names). To it have been added names of members of the Hampden County Colony known to have arrived with the first group. Of the Fourth Spring Party of 1855, some seventy or eighty were Hampden County colony members.

* Name appears on MS. roster.
† Name appears on Porter's list (see above note).
‡ Name appears on list in "History of Coffey County" (see above note).

The following advertisement appeared in the late March and early April, 1855, issues of the Springfield (Mass.) Republican

Kanzas. -- The Hampden County Colony for Kanzas will leave the Springfield Depot, Tuesday, April 3d, at 6 o'clock p.m., on the arrival of a party from Boston. Rev. Richard Knight of Holyoke will accompany the train as the Agent of the N. E. Aid Company.

It will be necessary for the members of the company to pay into the treasury before Monday night the amount of their fare, which will be $37 to Kanzas City, provided the water in the Missouri river should not remain as low as at present. If it should the fare will be a trifle more. The members of the Colony are requested to spread the above information.

HARVEY BLISS, JR., Sec. and Treas'r. [26]

On the afternoon of April 3 the Fourth Emigrant Aid Company Party started from Boston. At that time there were in the group 92 men, 12 women and 11 children -- a total of 115 individuals. [27] On reaching Springfield a few hours later they were joined by some fifty members of the Hampden County Colony and by the Rev. Richard Knight who was to act as guide for the whole group. 

Although there were many in the Fourth Party who did not, belong to the Hampden colony there is little known concerning them. The account which follows is devoted exclusively to the founders of Hampden settlement in present Coffey county. 

The emigrants reached St. Louis on April 7. The letter of Joseph C. Chapin, dated "Camp Knight, near Westport, Mo., April 16, 1855," describes the Journey to Kansas City and the arrangements decided upon there: 

... After parting with our friends at Springfield, we found but little to interest, until our safe arrival at St. Louis. There we found the elegant steamer Cataract, Capt Welton, waiting our arrival. We immediately embarked, and were soon on our winding way up the Missouri. Although the water was exceedingly low, and we often encountered snags and sand bars, we made the passage in four days to Kanzas City. On our arrival there we were at once introduced to the society's agent, Mr Pomeroy. In him we found the gentleman and scholar. A meeting was immediately called and Mr P. addressed a few words of encouragement, and directed us to proceed immediately to the Neosho river about 100 miles south-east of Kanzas City, as being the most eligible, and promising portion of this fair country. On this river there is abundant wood, and the water is good; and what is of more importance, and what will prove of unbounded wealth to this association, is the fact, that at this point there is a superior and a continual water power, -- sufficient for the purposes of this part of the country for many years to come. This section of land was owned by a gentleman in Westport, Mo., who now presents it to this colony. This we consider a great prize, a valuable gift, -- for which we feel under the greatest obligations.

We have many of us left our families -- others have friends in Hampden county, who only wait our success, before joining us on the Neosho. To our friends we say, "let nothing daunt you." We passed the Sabbath in view of the Kanzas territory. This afternoon we pass into it. We are now well prepared. We have purchased nine yokes of oxen, two spans of horses, five wagons, plows, provisions, seed, cows, &c.... [28]

The company had arrived at Kansas City on Wednesday, April 11. They spent the next few days in camp at Westport, purchasing teams and supplies, and set out on Monday, the sixteenth, for the Neosho river. After traveling as far as the Sac & Fox Indian agency, the Hampden colony members sent a committee on ahead to select the exact location for their settlement. The site was chosen on April 25, and the Succeeding day the colony arrived at its new home. [29] 

The pioneers were at first very favorably impressed with the Neosho river country. Wrote George H. Church on April 29: 

It is the pleasantest place I was ever in; the land is hilly enough to suit any one; the grass is up about six inches; wild geese, ducks, turkies, cranes and deer are plenty, and we have great fun fishing....

We have ... commenced laying out our city about a mile and a half from the river, on a hill sixty feet above the flat.... [30] 

And another member of the Hampden colony, Elijah Porter, wrote: 

We have chosen a location about 100 miles from the border of civilization, in one of the fairest situations in the world, and are proceeding to lay out a township six miles square, with a city one mile square in the center. In the center of this territory of six miles, is a high hill, beautifully rounded off, on which we design to erect our city hall, schools and churches, in the good time coming. [31]

On May I the drawing of lots took place as scheduled. According to Elijah Porter there were 61 men of the colony present and taking part in the proceedings. In addition Samuel C. Pomeroy and his brother-in-law Willis E. Gaylord drew lots by proxy. An error was found in the first drawing, and on the following day the procedure was begun all over again. This caused some dissatisfaction as a number who had secured good land on the first day were not so lucky in the second drawing. "As soon as the lots had been staked out....," wrote Porter, 

we commenced the art of plowing, which did not seem to work remarkably well. The first day both plows were broken, and thrown aside for the present, as useless. After sundry means had been resorted to to mend the broken plows and hunt up the oxen, they began the "work" again, and finally became so expert in the business, that three men, five yoke of oxen, one pair of wagon wheels, and one mammoth plow, could turn over, "all told," one acre of the turf in a day. The roots of the grass made a complete net work as hard as adamant, and the corn must be planted in holes made by "sharp sticks." Whether the corn will ever grow in such a hard soil, is to me a question to be decided next fall.... [32]

It was not long before the early enthusiasm of a number of the Hampden colony settlers had disappeared. Among those who soon became discouraged was Elijah Porter who wrote the following letter from Boonville, Mo., May 15, 1855, on his way back East:

You will see from the date of my letter, that I am on my way Home. [33] I left the Hampden Colony on Wednesday last, and am now on board the steamer Edinburg bound for St. Louis, Mo., where I shall arrive if prospered on the 19th inst. To tell a long story in a few words, I have seen enough to convince me that, Kansas is a humbug.... Yet to those who are still thinking of emigrating I can say that there is any quantity of prairie land here, which can be had at $1.25 an acre; but there is no wood on much of the land, and little or no water, and, except in the region of the Neosho, there is very little prospect of the country ever filling up.... Were the country supplied with wood and water, it might soon become a State of which all would be proud. The Colony at Hampden has laid out a handsome paper city, and also a township six miles square ... and that is about all I can say about it. Here is a little timber, a decent stream of water, and a town of some seventy-five persons in all, with little cash among them, and a small quantity of edibles, with a market only one hundred miles off. Should there be a fruitful season, there may be enough raised to last the people next winter, but as it takes some five stout yoke of oxen to plow the sod, there are few who will get in more than from five to six acres of corn this spring, in consequence of the want of teams.

There has been only one rain for a year past. and the water stands in puddles, covered with a filthy green scum, and I passed one place yesterday where twenty persons had died of the cholera, in five days, and eight lay in one church at the same time awaiting burial. This must be a sickly country, and instead of my health improving, it is no better than when I left home. The ground in Kansas is all baked so hard that it is next to impossible to plow it, and there will be very little raised this year. All kinds of provisions are extremely dear; flour will be from 15 to 18 dollars a barrel; cheese is 30 cents a pound; beans 3 1-2 dollars a bushel; butter I have not tasted for days and weeks; and the water is hard and has an unpleasant odor.... [34]

Porter's letter gave an exaggerated picture of conditions in the Hampden colony. Until late in the summer the settlement was fairly prosperous and the pioneers busily engaged in establishing homes and raising crops. The Rev. Richard Knight wrote to a friend on June 12:

Rev. Asa Bullard, -- Dear Brother, -- You may probably have heard of my flight to Kanzas. I gave up my charge at Holyoke to accompany the Hampden County Colony, as their Pastor. My family are with me, and so far we have not regretted the step, although we have had to endure considerable privation and inconvenience, believing that we are in the path of duty. We have dwelt in a cotton tent for six weeks, exposed to all weather, and sometimes entirely drenched with rain; but the Lord has been gracious to us. We have none of us taken any cold. Mrs. K., especially, has not enjoyed such good health for many years.

Our Colony has located in a most beautiful country, on the banks of the Neosho (clear water) the second river in Kanzas. We are about 80 miles south of Lawrence; and from the beauty of our situation, and its probable commercial advantages, we anticipate a rapid growth. Already we have quite a population, -- about 150. And when the families of many now here, come out in the fall, we shall have quite a community. Our congregations are good. We meet in a beautiful grove. I have a pulpit of wood between two very large oak trees.... There too, assembles a Sabbath school; and from 40 to 60 children and adults weekly study the sacred oracles .... [35]

On July 16 the Springfield (Mass.) Republican published the following article on the Hampden colony in Kansas: 

L. G. Currier of Chicopee, who has returned temporarily from Hampden in Kanzas, brings us letters to July 2d, and gives an encouraging account of our colony. The Hampden company have established a "union store," and run a team weekly to Kanzas city, Mo., for supplies and for conveyance of passengers, and have considerable trade with the settlers located around them. They have over a hundred acres under cultivation, and the corn was looking finely. They have 31 cows and 17 yokes of oxen. There is coal within the city limits that burns freely, plenty of excellent building stone and no lack of timber, but very great need of a saw-mill, which we trust they will not be allowed to need much longer.

For the future they contemplate establishing a trading depot on the Santa Fe road, where they can dispose of their produce, unless they succeed, as they hope, in changing the route of a portion of the road, so as to bring it through Hampden. They also propose, as soon as the saw-mill arrives, to manufacture Santa Fe waggons [sic], 2000 of which are annually brought from St Louis and sold at, Kanzas city. They have all the materials except iron at Hampden, and can undersell the St Louis manufacturers, if necessary, and still make a handsome business out of the manufacture.

Our correspondents express some indignation at the accounts given of their condition in the letters: of Mr. Porter of Westfield. They wish it understood that; his gloomy representations have not been, and are not likely to be, in any respect true.... [36]

From May through July the Hampden colony thrived. In late August almost every person in the community was stricken with ague. The effect of this malarial fever was demoralizing. All the settlers were ill at the same time and helpless to care for themselves or their neighbors. Five or six members of the colony died. Many who had withstood all the other pioneer hardships with fortitude were now frightened into returning East. The Hampden colony was soon much reduced in numbers. 

But the settlement continued in spite of this serious setback. On November 14, 1855, a steam sawmill purchased by the New England Emigrant Aid Company was delivered at Hampden. It was never up, chiefly because of the border troubles of 1856. There was little development of the settlement in 1856. On December 18, 1856, W. A. Ela, of the original Hampden colony wrote: "Out of the one hundred men, women and children who came here one year ago last April, thirty only remain." [37] 

Other settlers came into the community gradually and the affairs of the Hampden colonists became merged with those of their neighbors. With the establishment early in 1857 of the town of Burlington across the river Hampden suffered a further decline and lost its identity as a settlement. Harrison Kelley writing an historical address on Coffey county in 1876 had this to say about the Hampden colony: "There remains of this colony now in the county living, Stephen Pepper, Charles Morse and family, Henry W. Ela, J. B. Wetherbee and two or three female members of the family of Stephen Harrington." [38]

THE FIFTH SPRING PARTY OF 1855

(Departed from Boston on April 10; Ferdinand Fuller, of Lawrence, K.T., conductor)

NAME
OCCUPATION
RESIDENCE
REMARKS

Atkins, Albert S.

.

Southampton, Mass.

.

Bacon, Calvin H.

Chairmaker

S. Gardner, Mass.

.

Bailey, Paul E.

Carpenter

E. Boston, Mass.

.

Bassett, William

.

Amherst, Mass.

.

Brown, Charles

. . .

Corbin, S. B.

.

Worcester, Mass.

.

Cowee, George L.

Painter

S. Gardner, Mass.

.

Daggett, Charles

Carpenter

S. Weymouth, Mass.

.

Damon, Sacharia

.

Phillipston, Mass.

.

Dennett, Alfred H.

Carpenter

Amesworth, Mass.

.

Dexter, Stephen

Carpenter

E. Corinth, Maine

Left company at Lexington, Mo., and returned to Maine.

Dockum, Charles

Farmer

Poland, Maine

.

Drummer, John A.

.

Keene, N. H.

.

Fiske, Verry

.

Southbridge, Mass.

.

Foster, Charles A.

Attorney

Springfield, Mass.

Settled in Osawatomie.

Foster, Mrs. Elizabeth

.

Springfield, Mass.

.

Foster, Mrs. Lucretia

.

Springfield, Mass.

Mother of Charles A. Foster.

Fuller, James

.

Lebanon, Conn.

.

Gaskill, Thomas

Engineer

Roxbury, Mass.

.

Gray, William

Carpenter

Manchester, Mass.

.

Grimes, David

Farmer

Springfield, Vt.

.

Hale, James O.

Teacher

Temple, N. H.

.

Hastings, Henry

.

Worcester, Mass.

.

Hayward, Stevens

Shoemaker

Marlborough, Mass.

.

Hersey, Henry F.

Carpenter

Hingham, Mass.

.

Higgins, Leonard

.

W. Boylston, Mass.

.

Josselyn, Ozen

Farmer

Quincy, Mass.

Joined the Hampden colony.

Josselyn, Maria

.

Quincy, Mass.

20 years old.

Josselyn, Melissa

.

Quincy, Mass.

15 years old.

Josselyn, Robert

.

Quincy, Mass.

12 years old.

Kent, Proctor

. . .

Killam, Francis

Carpenter

Pembroke, N. H.

Settled in, or near Lawrence.

Killam, Mrs. Francis

.

Pembroke, N. H.

.

Knight, Samuel J.

.

Williamsburg, Mass.

.

Liniker, Mrs. Harriet

.

Groveland, Mass.

.

Loring, Isaiah W.

Tin worker

Hingham, Mass.

.

Matok, H.

. . .

Millett, John

. . .

Millett, Nath.

. . .

Mirick, Moses H.

.

Princeton, Mass.

.

Newhell, Daniel F.

.

Southbridge, Mass

.

Newton, Charles W.

  . .

Nights, B.

. .

"Knight?"

O'Brien, John

Cordwainer

N. Reading, Mass.

.

Paddock, C. F.

.

Holden, Mass.

.

Parker, E. W.

.

Worcester, Mass.

.

Parker, George W.

Painter

Boston, Mass.

.

Peckham, William H.

Jeweler

Providence, R. I.

.

Perrin, P. R.

.

Montpelier, Vt.

.

Phillips, James D.

.

Boston, Mass.

.

Phillips, John

Trader

Boston, Mass.

.

Phillips, Mrs. John

.

Boston, Mass.

.

Preble, A. H.

. . .

Reed, Josiah M.

Paper business

Boston, Mass.

.

Ricker, William

. .

12 years old.

Rising, George

Farmer

Keene, N. H.

Settled near Osawatomie.

Robinson, H. J.

. . .

Rogers, George W.

. . .

Shaw, H. C.

.

Boylston, Mass.

.

Simpson, Joseph

Farmer

E. Corinth, Maine

.

Sims, Aaron

Cordwainer

N. Reading, Mass.

.

Sims, Mrs. Aaron

.

N. Reading, Mass.

.

Stone, Henry, Jr.

Carpenter

Manchester, Mass.

.

Tay, P. B.

Farmer

E. Corinth, Maine

.

Taylor, George

. . .

Tripp, Warren

Mason

N. Bedford, Mass.

.

Turner, Hartwell F.

Teamster

Boston, Mass.

Joined Hampden colony.

White, Asa S.

Carpenter

Keene, N. H.

Settled near Osawatomie.

White, Mrs. Asa S.

.

Keene, N. H.

.

White, --- ---

.

Keene, N. H.

9 years old.

White, --- ---

.

Keene, N. H.

6 years old.

White, --- ---

.

Keene, N. H.

Under 4 years.

White, --- ---

.

Keene, N. H.

Under 4 years.

Whitney, Augustus

. . .

Whitney, Sophia S.

.

Worcester, Mass.

.

Wilcox, William

.

Worcester, Mass.

.

Chief sources used in compiling this list: "5th Party" in a record book, and MS. headed "List of persons composing the 5th party for Kanzas," in Emigrant Aid Collection, MSS. division, Kansas State Historical Society.

The Fifth Spring Party of 1855 left for Kansas on April 10 under the charge of Ferdinand Fuller, [39] member of the pioneer party of 1854 and one of the founders of Lawrence. At the Fitchburg depot in Boston, before departing, the emigrants and their friends sang Lucy Larcom's prize Kansas song and an original song, "Stand By The Right," written by J. R. Orton. There were in the company at that time 62 men, 12 women and six children -- a total of 80 individuals. [40] 

The Daily Spy, Worcester, Mass., on April 11, published this item: 

The following named persons left this city yesterday for Kanzas by the Fitchburg train; at which place they were to join the main party from Boston, viz: E. W. Parker, Sophia S. Whitney, William Wilcox and S. B. Corbin, Henry Hastings of Worcester, Leonard Higgins, West Boylston, Zacharia Damon, Phillipston, Samuel J. Knight, Williamsburg, Moses H. Mirick, Princeton, James Fuller, Lebanon, Ct., C. F. Paddock, Holden, H. C. Shaw, Boylston, Verry Fiske and Daniel F. Newhell, Southbridge. [41] 

At Buffalo, N. Y., the company took the South Lake Shore railroad. Their journey as far as St. Louis seems to have been uneventful. The exact date of their arrival in that city is unknown. They left for Kansas City on the steamboat Australia on April 18. Some distance up the river, near Lexington, Mo., she went aground and remained so for two or three days. The Australia carried a heavy load of passengers including some 250 U. S. troops who were crowded below deck in unhealthful quarters. The weather was unseasonably warm and conditions on the boat were not improved by the heat. Cholera broke out, on board and there were a number of deaths. Sixteen of the emigrants in the Fifth Party were said to have died of cholera on the Australia. [42] Discouraged, or frightened, many of the passengers left the boat while it was aground. According to one of the Emigrant Aid Party some of the company, giving up the idea of going on to Kansas, had decided to settle in Iowa or Wisconsin. 

There is little additional information to be found concerning the Fifth Party. Samuel C. Pomeroy, writing on May 4 to the New England Emigrant Aid Company, stated that the Fifth Party had located sixty miles southwest on Pottawatomie creek, twenty miles above Osawatomie. [43]

On July 15 Asa S. White of this company wrote the following letter from Osawatomie:

You will expect me to write something about the country, but I will not attempt, as others more able have described its beauty, its rich soil and lovely climate, which so far as I have seen and experienced I can fully endorse. But those who come here must come expecting to find a new country, one entirely destitute of most of the conveniences of old settlements.... We think false inducements have been held out to mechanics and to those who come here merely to get employment. Wages are lower here than at the east, and mechanical business will not be very brisk till there is more material to work with. We have no saw mill in this section of the territory yet, but expect one will be put in operation in the fall.... The city of Ossawattamie is not a very large or fast-growing place, though perhaps it has grown as fast as could have been expected under the circumstances, but little was done toward building till the past spring. The dwellings are mostly built of logs. There is one large framed building which is occupied for a store. Two other stores are soon to be opened. A hotel and several more dwelling houses are soon to be built. The city is laid out within the forks of the Osage, between the branches of the Meridczene [Marais des Cygnes] and the Pottawatamie, and is fifty miles southwest from Kansas [City], Mo., and about the same distance from Lawrence, K. T. The claims are nearly all taken up in the vicinity of the city. We have meetings here every Sabbath and a good supply of preachers, but have no meeting house.... Most of the settlers here are from the free States, yet many of them do not attend public worship on the Sabbath, they seek only the treasures of earth. When I came here I found the timber claims nearly all taken up and not wishing to go farther I bought one within one mile of what we term the city. I am much pleased with my claim -- there were some improvements on it which I have found very convenient.

Our journey out here was long and tedious, and my family were worn out with fatigue. -- Since we came here two of our children have gone to that country from whence none return. This has been a great bereavement to us, and we sometimes fear that our long and wearisome journey hurried them away.... You may desire to know my opinion in relation to the political future of the territory. If the people could be left to themselves and have the privilege of doing their own voting, it certainly would be a free State. We met with many threats while passing thro' Missouri, and our lives may have been in danger, but I trust the threats of the Missourians will never be executed. Many, however, were frightened back after getting as far as Kansas. [44] 

THE SIXTH SPRING PARTY OF 1855

(Departed from Boston on April 17; George W. Hunt, of Lowell, Mass., conductor.)

NAME
OCCUPATION
RESIDENCE
REMARKS

Adams, Newell

Trader

Boston, Mass.

.

Atkins, Abraham

Sailor

New Bedford, Mass.

.

Bain, Nathaniel M.

Farmer

Cornville, Maine

.

Beardsley, J. S.

Editor

Cleveland, Ohio

Editor of the Plaindealer

Bishop, James L.

.

Syracuse, N. Y.

Left at Lexington, Mo.

Blaisdell, William

Machinist

Chicopee, Mass.

Joined Hampden colony.

Brown, P. G.

Farmer

Poland, Maine

.

Buckman, Samuel G.

Mariner

Bath, Maine

.

Burdett, Abiden K.

Comb maker

Leominster, Mass.

Settled in Lawrence.

Burdett, Mrs. Jane G.

.

Leominister, Mass.

.

Burdett, Willis C.

.

Leominister, Mass.

Died July 5, 1855, in Lawrence.

Burdett, Frank E.

.

Leominister, Mass.

Infant.

Butts, James D.

Carpenter

Chicopee, Mass.

Took a claim on the Neosho river, near Hampden.

Coffin, Samuel

Mariner

Newburyport, Mass.

.

Coffin, Mrs. Samuel

.

Newburyport, Mass.

.

Coffin, Abby Ann

.

Newburyport, Mass.

.

Coffin, Francis L.

.

Newburyport, Mass.

.

Coffin, Jennett

.

Newburyport, Mass.

.

Comer, Mrs. Emily

.

Newburyport, Mass.

.

Comer, Baingridge

.

Newburyport, Mass.

.

Comer, Melvin

.

Newburyport, Mass.

.

Comer, Samuel

.

Newburyport, Mass.

Under 5 years.

Comer, Mary E.

.

Newburyport, Mass.

Infant.

Cooper, William R.

Cabinetmaker

Boston, Mass.

.

Damon, Jonas M.

Farmer

Lancaster, Mass.

.

Davis, Charles A.

Machinist

Lowell, Mass.

.

Dewey, H.

.

Granby, Conn.

.

Duty, Mathew

Mason

Hartford, Conn.

.

Dyer, Robert P.

Merchant

Boston, Mass.

.

Flanders, Albert

Farmer

Cornville, Maine

Joined Hampden colony.

Foss, Moses B.

Machinist

Lowell, Mass.

.

Foss, Mrs. Caroline

.

Lowell, Mass.

.

Foss, Duna

.

Lowell, Mass.

.

Goddard, Eber

Miller

Leominister, Mass.

.

Goddard, Mrs. Eber

.

Leominister, Mass.

.

Goddard, Artemus

.

Leominister, Mass.

.

Goddard, Lucy A.

.

Leominister, Mass.

.

Goddard, Charles A.

.

Leominister, Mass.

.

Godfred, Joshua S.

Farmer

E. Greenwich, R. I.

.

Gorton, Nathaniel

.

Salem, Mass.

.

Graham, M. W.

.

Granby, Conn.

.

Gray, John

Dyer; laborer

Concord, N. H.

.

Gray, Mrs. Elizabeth

.

Concord, N. H.

.

Gray, James

.

Concord, N. H.

Under 4 years.

Hall, Lydia S.

Teacher

Lowell, Mass.

Missionary to the Choctaw Indians before coming to Kansas; kept boardinghouse in Lawrence in 1855, with Mrs. Hurd.

Higby, A.

.

Granby, Conn.

.

Higgins, Wm. W.

Machinist

South Hadley, Mass.

.

Hopkins, Charles, Jr.

Manufacturer

Lowell, Mass.

Joined Hampden colony.

Hopkins, Mrs. Charles, Jr.

.

Lowell, Mass.

.

Hopkins, O.

.

Lowell, Mass.

Under 5 years.

Hopkins, Arletta

.

Lowell, Mass.

Under 5 years.

Hoppin, William W.

Machinist

S. Hadley, Mass.

Joined Hampden colony.

Howland, Noah D.

Blacksmith

Westport, Mass.

.

Hunt, George W.

.

Fitchburg, Mass.

.

Hurd, Mrs. Clarissa

Boardinghouse keeper

Lowell, Mass.

Established boardinhouse in Lawrence, with Lydia S. Hall.

Hurd, George R.

Machst.; farmer

Lowell, Mass

Son of Mrs. Clarissa Hurd.

Hurd, Henry

Machst.; farmer

Lowell, Mass

Son of Mrs. Clarissa Hurd.

James, H. T.

Painter

New Bedford, Mass.

.

James, --- ---

.

New Bedford, Mass.

Son of H. T. James.

King, Cyrus A.

Miller

Oxford, Maine

.

Merchant, Joseph

.

South Adams, Mass.

Settled in Lecompton township, Douglas county.

Merchant, Mrs. Prudence

.

South Adams, Mass.

Died August 29, 1859.

Merchant, Leonard P. E.

.

South Adams, Mass.

Son of Joseph Merchant; settled in Lawrence; later lived on a farm (?).

Newcomb, Charles R.

Teacher

E. Hampton, Mass.

Joined Hampden colony.

Newton, William A.

Printer

Boston, Mass.

.

Newton, Mrs. William A.

 

Boston, Mass.

 

Philips, George M.

Machinist

Chicopee, Mass.

.

Putnam, Simeon

Methodist clergyman

Sutton, Mass.

.

Russell, Philemon R.

Butcher

Bath, Maine

.

Russell, Mrs. Philemon R.

.

Bath, Maine

.

Russell, Charles

.

Bath, Maine

Under 5 years.

Russell, E.

.

Bath, Maine

Under 5 years.

Sawyer, Henry

Mason

Hartford, Conn.

.

Souile, Soith H.

.

Westport, Mass.

.

Tilton, Josiah

Farmer

Cornville, Maine

.

Tremain, C. T.

Clerk; trader

Boston, Mass.

This name may have been "Fremain."

Vaill, William K.

Teacher

Salem, Mass.

.

Walker, John E.

Cabinetmaker

Reading, Mass.

.

Wilbur, Hollis

. .

Settled in Lawrence.

Wilbur, Mrs. Hollis

. . .

Wilbur, --- ---

. . .

Wilbur, --- ---

. . .

Chief sources used in compiling this list: Record book and MS. in Emigrant Aid Collection, and MS. labeled "... a true copy of the names &c of those constituting the company which came to Kansas in the year A. D. 1855 under the immediate supervision of Geo. W. Hunt as conductor," all in MSS. division, Kansas State Historical Society.

The Sixth Party left Boston on April 17. The journey to Kansas territory was made via the Canadian route. There were in the company at the time of departure 37 men, 13 women and 14 children -- a total of 64 individuals. George W. Hunt of Lowell, Mass., was the conductor. [45]

The trains were crowded and the company suffered numerous inconveniences and delays. In Chicago, where a riot was in progress, some of the party were given a military escort from their hotel to the depot. They all reached St. Louis safely and on April 24 took passage on the Kate Swinney. The Missouri river was still very low. [46] The steamboat journey to Kansas City took nine days. 

At a meeting of the emigrants while on board the Kate Swinney resolutions of thanks were voted the captain and other officers of the boat. George W. Hunt was chairman of the meeting; Charles R. Newcomb acted as secretary. The committee on resolutions were W. K. Vaill, Simeon Putnam and Jonas M. Damon. [47]

S. C. Pomeroy, Aid Company agent in Kansas City, wrote on May 4 of the arrival of the Sixth Party stating: "They are a good set of men -- also some noble women." "All," he wrote, "are in fine spirits -- most of them will stick." In a letter written on the next day he indicated that some of the company had decided to settle on Pottawatomie creek, along with the Fifth Party. [48] 

G. W. Hunt, writing later in the month, stated that most of the Sixth Party had gone to the Hampden colony on the Neosho river. [49] From the roster of this company it will be noted that several of the party settled in Lawrence. There is almost no information available concerning individual members of the Sixth Party. 

THE SEVENTH SPRING PARTY OF 1855
(Departed from Boston on April 24; arrived at Kansas City, May 3;
W. P. Dutton, of E. Boston, conductor.)

This party was described in the trustees' records of the New England Emigrant Aid Company as consisting of seven men and one married woman. [50] Below is a copy of the original manuscript list of the Seventh Party: 

List of persons composing the 7th party to Kanzas April 24th, 1855. Wm. P. Dutton, conductor.

No.

1

Weston Humphry

Waterbury Vermont

Will join at Bellows Falls
Send names and occupations to Dr. Webb

.

2

A. Durkee

Brookfield Vermont

Will join at Bellows Falls
Send names and occupations to Dr. Webb

.

3

. .  
.

4

W. H. Blakely

Boston

Trader

.

5

Simon O. Hareis

Billerica, Ms.

 
.

6

Mrs Hancock

.

wife of Mr Hancock, now in Lawrence

.

7

Charles J. Bushee

Warren R.I.

Farmer

.

8

James P. Bushee

" " "

 
.

9

J. Wiley

S. Reading

Store Keeper [51]

C. J. Bushee and J. P. Bushee joined the Hampden colony. No information has been found concerning other members of the party.

THE EIGHTH SPRING PARTY OF 1855
(Departed from Boston on May 1;
William P. Crocker, of Meredith Bridge, N. H., conductor.)

The Eighth Spring Party left Boston on May 1, traveling to Kansas via the Canadian route. The company then consisted of twelve men, two women and three children -- 17 people in all. [52] Their conductor was William P. Crocker. They arrived safely in St. Louis and went up the Missouri river on the steamboat Edinburg on May 6. 

The two available rosters of this party are both in the handwriting of William P. Crocker. One is contained in a letter sent by him to Thomas H. Webb. This letter, printed below, lists 19 individuals. 

Dr. Thomas H, Webb.

Dear Sir

I have the pleasure of informing you of the safe arrival of the eighth Kanzas party to this place consisting of the following names:

Hiram Hill

Farmer

Williamsburgh, Mass.

Charles Fay [53]

"

Fitchburg "

Charles Freeman

Baker

Worcester "

J. W. Russell

Shoemaker

South Brookfield "

Mrs. C. A. Stephens

.

" " "

Henry Stephens

Aged 7 years

" " "

George Stephens

" 4 years

" " "

Mary E. Stephens

" 1 year

" " "

Charles Rand

Machinist

Lowell, Mass.

E. L. Cottle [54]

Carpenter

Boston, Mass.

Mrs. Jane Cottle

.

" "

Alouretta Cottle

3-1/2 years old

" "

Granville Cottle

1-1/2 years old

" "

M. Bennett

Brushmaker

Boston, "

Ella Frances Bennett

8 months old

" "

William P. Crocker

Civil Engineer

Meredith Bridge, N.H.

E. A. Thomas [55]

Teacher

N. Prescott, Mass.

Rodney Gage

Minister

" " "

The charges for Extra Baggage from Suspension Bridge to Chicago was at the rate of two cents per pound; from Chicago to St. Louis $1.37 per cwt. Each full ticket is allowed only 80 lbs free of charge from Chicago to St. Louis when the party consists of less than fifty full tickets.

At Chicago I thought it advisable to telegraph B. Slater for the purpose of having a boat ready as soon as we arrived to prevent unnecessary expense to the different members of the party. This was done and we were not delayed beyond a reasonable time at St. Louis. The expense of that despatch was 70 cents which is the only extra expense that I have incurred in the prosecution of my duties as Conductor of the Party

Yours very truly
William P. Crocker [56]

THE NINTH SPRING PARTY OF 1855
(Departed from Boston on May 8; Luke P. Lincoln, of Newton, Mass., conductor.)

The Ninth Spring Party under the guidance of Luke P. Lincoln, left Boston on May 8, traveling to Kansas territory via the Canadian route. There were in the company seven men, four married women and four children. [57] They arrived in St, Louis on May 12 and took passage on the Martha Jewett for Kansas City.

There is no known list of the members of this party. However, the document reprinted below gives the names of the men in the group: 

Steamer Martha Jewett,
May 17, 1855.

In view of the upright, gentlemanly, business-like deportment and management of her officers -- the well furnished and richly supplied table -- the assiduous attention of waiters on board the Martha Jewett -- the following resolutions were adopted by the passengers who left Massachusetts, May 8th, '55. 

Resolved, That we heartily recommend this Boat to all our friends, and the public generally, who may have occasion to travel on the Missouri river.

Resolved, That we fully appreciate the defference and respect paid to religion and morality, -- together with the rights and privileges of all on Board.

Resolved, That we recommend the management of this boat, from the fact of the practical demonstration we have witnessed on board, that a boat can be most efficiently managed without descending to low vulgarity and profanity on the part of its officers and crew.

Resolved, That it is with pleasure we record, to the credit, not only of the boat and crew, but also to the passengers on board, amounting to eighty in number, that we have witnessed no gambling, no profanity, or other vulgarity, with one, or two exceptions, that could annoy the most fastidious persons.

Resolved, That copies of these resolutions, signed by the Chairman and Secretary, be presented to the officers of the boat, and forwarded to the following papers for publication:: --Herald of Freedom, Boston Evening Telegraph, Boston Journal, and Evening Traveler, dailies and weeklies of these papers, and in any other paper that Dr. Webb should deem expedient. 

Wm Leach, Sec'y.
L. P. Lincoln, Ch'r.

In addition to the above the following resolution was adopted:

Resolved, That we appreciate and gratefully acknowledge the kindness and valuable assistance of L. P. Lincoln, the Party's Agent, in his earnest endeavors to promote our comfort, advance our interests, and make agreeable our tiresome journey.

Signed, 

CHARLES J. P. FLOYD,
JAMES L. MONROE,
NINIAN FERGUSON,
JOHN L. HARDING,
WM. LEACH,
HENRY LEARNED,[58]
T. F. CURTISS. [59]

Organized emigration from the New England states in 1855 appears to have been very light after the middle of April. This was particularly true of the summer months. Specific mention of parties sent out by the New England Emigrant Aid Company appear only occasionally after May in the trustees' records.

At the trustees' meeting of June 30 Thomas H. Webb reported that a small party under the charge of Samuel F. Tappan had left for Kansas on June 19. It consisted of two male adults, five female adults (four of them married) and seven children. Tappan's letter of June 23, read at this same meeting, told of the arrival of the party at St. Louis in good health and spirits. They were to take passage for Kansas City on the steamboat Amazon. [60]

Although not mentioned in the trustees' records, a party of twenty left for Kansas on July 24 under the auspices of the Emigrant Aid Company. Their guide was Edward P. Fitch, whose letter of August 11, 1855, describing the journey is published here. 

THE PARTY OF JULY 24, 1855p
(Departed from Boston on July 24; Edward P. Fitch, of Hopkinton, Mass., conductor.)

LAWRENCE, Aug. 11, 1855.

Ed. Herald of Freedom -- Dear Sir: Thinking that perhaps your readers at the East might like to know something of the "wanderings" of those who have taken the line of march to this far off country, I am induced to note some of the incidents connected with the journey to Kansas, of the party which left Boston on the 24th ult.

We left Boston from the B. and Worcester R. R. station at half past one P. M., in a rain storm, which kept with us all through the State of Massachusetts, making it more comfortable traveling than it would have been had it been dry and dusty.

Our party numbered just twenty persons, being the women and children of four families, going to join their husbands and fathers in the land of promise. We arrived safely in Albany about ten o'clock in the evening, and immediately took the cars on the New York Central R. R. for Buffalo.

... We arrived in Buffalo about ten o'clock in the morning, and found that we should be obliged to stay there until evening, as the Detroit, boat did not leave till nine P. M.

We crossed the Lake in the Buckeye State, which is a first class boat. During the night a very violent thunder storm arose, and it came upon us so suddenly that it frightened many of the lady passengers very much, but did no further damage.

At Detroit, where we arrived about four o'clock P. M., we had occular demonstration that the "Maine law" was not in force in that city. There were two or three fire companies from London, C. W., there, on a visit to their Detroit friends; and I noticed many who looked as tho' they thought that everybody was drunk but themselves....

After a good supper at the Western Hotel, at a moderate charge, we took the cars for Chicago at nine P. M....

We traveled all night on the Michigan Central railroad, in the patent night cars now in use on that road, (and which I don't think much improvement on the old ones.) We arrived in Chicago about eight in the morning.... We found we must wait more than twelve hours, until nine o'clock P. M., before the cars left for Alton and St. Louis. This interval we filled up as best suited ourselves, some going to look at the public buildings, and some remaining at the depot through the day.

Evening found us seated in the cars, and preparing for a night's rest, but in this we were doomed to be disappointed, for the road was so rough, and the cars jolted so much, that sleep was out of the question. The Chicago, Alton and St. Louis railroad is the worst road over which I ever traveled, and although some of the passengers said that the Illinois Central was worse, I cannot see how it can be possible; for if much worse I think every train would be thrown from the track.

Sun-rise found us at Bloomington, and from there to Alton the road was better, and we got some of the sleep we lost during the night.

At Alton, where we arrived about noon, we took the steamer Reindeer for St. Louis, and on arriving, we found the Martha Jewett nearly ready to start up the river. We engaged our passage on board of her, and at six o'clock on Saturday evening [July 28] [61] we were under weigh. We took a company of United States soldiers on at Jefferson barracks, who are bound for the western frontier, to fight the Indians. They were all, with one exception -- the captain -- young, single men, and all from Georgia. Some were slaveholders, and most of them pro-slavery men....

We had one death on board while we were on the river, from consumption, a man of about forty-five....

We arrived at Kansas City on Wednesday, the first inst., just at night, having been eight days and four hours from Boston. Twenty-four hours of which time we were stopping in Buffalo and Chicago, so it is not so long a journey as some might think.

The officers of the Martha Jewet[t], especially Capt. Burton, have our thanks for attentions shown to us while on their Boat, our stay with them being very agreeable, and in fact with the exception of a little fatigue, our whole journey was very pleasant. The entire cost of the journey from Boston to Lawrence is but a trifle less than fifty dollars.

EDWARD P. FITCH. [62]

Thomas H. Webb reported to the trustees at their September 15 meeting that a small party of twenty-four New Englanders had left for Kansas on September 11, 1855, under the guidance of L. H. Bascom. [63] This is the last mention found of the departure of Emigrant Aid Company parties in the year 1855. No rosters have been located for any of the parties after the one of May 8, 1855.

Notes

1. Clipping in "Webb Scrapbooks" (Library, Kansas State Historical Society), v. VII, p. 10, from the Salem (Mass.) Gazette, November 27, 1855, quoting the Boston Advertiser.
2. Truman Shattuck's letter dated at Shannon, K.T., May 7, 1855, clipped in ibid., v. IV, p. 138, indicates he came in this party. He states: "I arrived here on the 10th of April, being just four weeks on the road, at double the expense it was represented it would be.... Denison [i.e., the Rev. Joseph Denison] has not arrived yet, being detailed by the sickness of his child, which he has buried with lung fever.... Friend Goodnow has gone after him and family." Shattuck probably returned East in 1855.
3. Thomas C. Wells' letters of March and April, 1855 (see The Kansas Historical Quarterly, v. V, pp. 143-149), mention a companion, James -----. It appears that James was a relative, but he has not been further identified.
4. This party was preceded on March 6, 1855, by a party of some seventy persons under the guidance of Isaac T. Goodnow and Luke P. Lincoln. The company, not officially an Emigrant Aid Company party, settled at the site of present Manhattan.
5. "Trustees' Records (Emigrant Aid Co.)," v. 1, pp. 85, 86. -- Meeting of March 17, 1855.
6. Published in the Boston Daily Advertiser, March 20, 1855. -- Clipping in "Webb Scrapbooks," v. III, p. 50. Early in 1855 Thomas H. Webb, secretary of the New England Emigrant Aid Company, offered a fifty dollar prize for a Kansas poem. Of the 89 entries, Lucy Larcom's "The Call to Kansas" was selected as the winning number.
7. Letter dated April 6, 1855, published in Zion's Herald and Wesleyan Journal, 1855. -- Clipping in "Kansas Territorial Clippings," v. I, pp. 104-107. High also stated in this letter: ''Many of our party have been and now are sick of lung fever, induced by colds from unavoidable exposures. Several are still in Kanzas city, and among them, Bro. Joseph Denison and family. When I left that place he was confined to his bed with lung fever; his youngest child was lying at the point of death, his life having for some days been despaired of, and all his family more or less ill." He also made comments regarding the New England Emigrant Aid Company to which a number of other members of the party took exception. Their letter disputing some of High's statements was published in the Herald of Freedom, June 9, 1855. It was headed: "Topeka, Kan. T., June 5th, 1855," and was signed by Amos Trott, D. H. Moore, J. C. Miller, H. P. Waters, G. B. French, M. Hubbard, A. A. Fish, Samuel Gray, A. F. Whiting, P. R. Hubbard, W. Emerson and W. Henderson.
8. Statement by Charles Robinson in Report of the Special Committee Appointed to Investigate the Troubles in Kansas, [Sec. II] p. 830.
9. Clipping from the Boston Journal, June 25, 1855, in "Webb Scrapbooks," v. IV, p. 183.
10. Clipping from The Union and Eastern Journal, Biddeford, Maine, June 1, 1855, in ibid., pp. 126, 127.
11. "Trustees' Records," v. 1, p. 90. -- Meeting of March 24, 1855.
12. Clipping in "Webb Scrapbooks," v. III, p. 58.
13. Clipping in ibid., p. 241. The steamboat was the Kate Swinney.
14. Another letter, dated April 7, in ibid.
15. A. O. Carpenter, son of Mrs. Nichols by her first marriage, came out to Kansas in the Fourth Party of 1854 and remained through the winter of 1854-1855.
16. Clipping in "Webb Scrapbooks," v. IV, p. 189.
17. Clipping in ibid., v. III, p. 242.
18. "Dr. Amory Hunting, long known as one of the firmest, self-sacrificing temperance men in Rhode Island, will leave us for Kansas today...." -- Providence (R. I.) Daily Tribune, March 26, 1855, in ibid., p. 59.
19. "Trustees' Records," v. 1, p. 94. -- Meeting of March 31, 1855.
20. Salem (Mass.) Gazette, April 3, 1855. -- Clipping in "Webb Scrapbooks," v. III, p. 80.
21. The National Aegis, Worcester, April 11, 1855. -- Clipping in ibid., p. 104.
22. Salem (Mass.) Gazette, June 6, 1855. -- Ibid., v. IV, pp. 140, 141.
23. Osawatomie was founded in October, 1854 by Orville C. Brown, of Brooklyn, N. Y. In the spring of 1856 Samuel Geer opened the first store.
24. Published in the Essex County Mercury, Salem, Mass., May 4, 1855. -- Clipping in "Webb Scrapbooks," v. III, p. 238.
25. The Ela family joined this party in St. Louis. They had left Massachusetts one week in advance.
26. Clipping in "Webb Scrapbooks," v. III, p. 76. The Hampden County Colony was organized at Springfield, Mass., on March 6, 1855. W. A. Ela is credited as being the originator of the plan. The officers selected were: W. A. Ela, Monson, president; N. F. Crocker, Westfield, vice-president; Harvey Bliss, Jr., Springfield, secretary; Roswell Lombard, Springfield, treasurer. A second meeting was held March 16 to complete arrangements and adopt regulations. They laid plans for a city two miles square with "lots" of 160 acre -- the location to be determined after the colony reached Kansas territory. It was specified that the drawing of lots should take place in the territory on May 1. They also organized a Congregational church and petitioned the American Home Missionary Society to send the Rev. Richard Knight with the colony. (Knight gave up his pastorate of the Congregational church in Holyoke and came with the Hampden group to Kansas.) The most complete account of the Hampden colony is to be found in The Kansas Patriot, Burlington, issues of May 23-June 27, 1868.
27. "Trustees' Records,'' v. I, p. 100 -- Meeting of April 7, 1855. Some were members of the Hampden colony.
8. Published in the Springfield (Mass.) Republican, April 28, 1855. -- Clipping in "Webb Scrapbooks," v. III, p. 192.
29. Hampden was located in sec. 24 of T. 21 S., R. 15 E., across the river and about a mile east of present Burlington.
30. Clipping from unidentified newspaper in "Kansas Territorial Clippings," v. I, p. 234, Library, Kansas State Historical Society.
31. Ibid., pp. 234, 235.
32. Clipping from unidentified newspaper in "Coffey County Clippings," v. I, pp. 1-3, Library, Kansas State Historical Society.
33. Five other men of the Hampden colony left with Elijah Porter. -- Ibid., p. 3.
34. Clipping from The National Aegis, Worcester, Mass., June 6, 1855, in "Webb Scrapbooks," v. IV, pp. 141, 142.
35. Clipping from The Puritan Recorder, Boston, July 19, 1855, in ibid., p. 249.
36. Clipping from the Springfield (Mass.) Republican, July 16, 1855, in ibid., p. 226.
37. Letter in Herald of Freedom, Lawrence, January 10, 1857.
38. Kelley, Harrison, A Centennial Oration; Historical Address on Coffey County, Kansas! ... (Burlington Weekly Patriot Book and Job Office, 1876).
39. Fuller's family may have been in this party, also. The Herald of Freedom, Lawrence, May 5, 1855, in an item concerning the Fifth Party stated: "Mr. Fuller lost a child while on his passage up the [Missouri] river."
40. "Trustees' Records," v. I, pp. 107, 108. -- Meeting of April 14, 1855.
41. Clipping in "Webb Scrapbooks," v. III, p. 104.
42. "KANZAS EMIGRANT RETURNED. Deacon Stephen Dexter, of East Corinth, who, with Joseph Simpson and Mr. P. B. Tay of the same town, recently left home for Kanzas returned to this city Yesterday on his way home. The boat in which he was, grounded near Lexington on the Missouri river, and sixteen of the company of Kanzas emigrants on board, dying of cholera, he became discouraged. Joseph Simpson was robbed of all his money at St. Louis, but with Mr. Tay, kept on their way to the promised land." -- Clipping in ibid., p. 239; see, also, ibid., v. IV, p. 22.
43. "Trustees' Records," v. 1, p. 128. -- Meeting of May 12, 1855.
44. Published in the New Hampshire Sentinel, Keene, August 10, 1855. -- Clipping in "Webb Scrapbooks," v. V, p. 37.
45. "Trustees' Records," v. I, pp. 115, 116. -- Meeting of April 21, 1855.
46. Letter of L[ydia] S. H[all] published in the Boston Evening Telegraph of April, 1855. -- Clipping in "Webb Scrapbooks," v. III, pp. 142, 143.
47. Herald of Freedom, Lawrence, May 12, 1855.
48. "Trustees' Records," v. I, pp. 128, 133. -- Meetings of May 12 and 19, 1856. 
49. Ibid., p. 135. -- Meeting of May 26, 1855. 
50. Ibid., pp. 120, 121. -- Meeting of April 28, 1855.
51. MS. in the Emigrant Aid Collection, MSS. division, Kansas State Historical society.
52. "Trustees' Records," v. 1, p. 125. -- Meeting of May 5, 1855.
53. Charles Fay settled in Lawrence. -- See his letter in the Herald of Freedom, Lawrence, September 22, 1855.
54. Edwin L. Cottle died at the Shawnee Baptist Mission en route to Lawrence. 
55. E. A. Thomas returned East in 1855. He wrote several letters condemning the New England Emigrant Aid Company. 
56. Letter is in Emigrant Aid correspondence, MSS. division, Kansas State Historical Society.
57."Trustees' Records," v. I, pp. 130, 131. -- Meeting of May 12, 1855.
58. Henry Learned's reminiscences, on file in the MSS. division, Kansas State Historical Society, contains the statement that he was accompanied by his wife and son. They settled in Douglas county.
59. Published in the Herald of Freedom, Lawrence, issue of May 26, 1855.
60."Trustees' Records," v. 1, pp. 152-154. -- Meeting of June 30, 1855.
61. Date supplied from letter of Edward P. Fitch, July 28, 1855, in correspondence in the Emigrant Aid Collection, MSS. division, Kansas State Historical Society.
62. Herald of Freedom, Lawrence, August 11, 1855.
63. "Trustees' Records," v. 1, p. 179. -- Meeting of September 15, 1855.