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THE

Kansas Historical
Quarterly



K1RKE MECHEM, Editor
JAMES C. MALIN, Associate Editor
NYLE H. MILLER, Managing Editor



Volume XI
1942

(Kansas Historical Collections)

VOL. XXVIII



Published by

The Kansas State Historical Society

Topeka, Kansas

19-4781



Contents of Volume XI



Number 1 February, 1942



PAGE

AN INTRODUCTION TO THE HISTORY OF THE BLUESTEM-PASTURE REGION OF
KANSAS; A Study in Adaptation to Geographical Environment,

James C. Malin, 3

With a chart showing "Type-of-Farming Areas in Kansas," p. 5.

"LETTERS FROM KANZAS" Julia Louisa Love joy, 29

NOTES ON THE PROSLAVERY MARCH AGAINST LAWRENCE 45

With a portrait of Gov. Wilson Shannon, opposite p. 56, and a lithograph,
"River Scene at Lecompton in 1855," opposite p. 57.

LETTERS OF DAVID R. COBB, 1858-1864 ; Pioneer of Bourbon County,

Edited by David Glenn Cobb, 65

THE ANNUAL MEETING: Containing Reports of the Secretary, Treas-
urer, Executive and Nominating Committees; REMINISCENCES OF
THE HISTORICAL SOCIETY, George A. Root; Election of Officers; List
of Directors of the Society Kirke Mechem, Secretary, 72

BYPATHS OF KANSAS HISTORY 93

KANSAS HISTORY AS PUBLISHED IN THE PRESS 103

KANSAS HISTORICAL NOTES . . 109



Number 2 May, 1942



THE FORT LEAVENWORTH-FORT GIBSON MILITARY ROAD AND THE FOUNDING
OF FORT SCOTT Louise Barry, 115

With a map showing "Line of the Western Military Frontier, June, 1845," op-
posite p. 120 ; photographs, "Early Views of Fort Scott," opposite p. 128
and map of "Fort Leavenworth-Fort Scott Military Road," opposite p. 129.

THE FOURTH OF JULY IN EARLY KANSAS (1858-1861) Cora Dolbee, 130

THE INGALLS AMENDMENT TO THE SHERMAN ANTI-TRUST BILL,

David F. McFarland, Jr., 173

SOME NOTES ON COLLEGE BASKETBALL IN KANSAS Harold C. Evans, 199

BYPATHS OF KANSAS HISTORY 216

KANSAS HISTORY AS PUBLISHED IN THE PRESS 218

KANSAS HISTORICAL NOTES 220

(iii)



Number 3 August, 1942



OVERLAND TO THE GOLD FIELDS OF CALIFORNIA IN 1852 : The Journal of John
Hawkins Clark, Expanded and Revised From Notes Made During the
Journey Edited by Louise Barry, 227

With portrait of John Hawkins Clark, opposite p. 240; photographs, "Two Views
of Fort Bridger, Wyoming," opposite p. 241; "An Emigrant Train of the
1860's," opposite p. 272, and "Placerville, Cal., About 1856," opposite p. 273.

ATCHISON, A GREAT FRONTIER DEPOT Walker D, Wyman, 297

RECENT ADDITIONS TO THE LIBRARY,

Compiled by Helen M. McFarland, Librarian, 309

BYPATHS OF KANSAS HISTORY 332

KANSAS HISTORY AS PUBLISHED IN THE PRESS 333

KANSAS HISTORICAL NOTES . . . 335



Number 4 November, 1942



RESTORATION OF THE NORTH BUILDING AT SHAWNEE METHODIST MISSION . . . 339

With photographs showing exterior and interior views of the restored North
building, opposite pp. 340, 341.

THE STORY OF A KANSAS FREEDMAN Edited by Alberta Pantle, 341

With map showing "Some of the Places Mentioned by Larry Lapsley in the
Story of His Escape From Texas," p. 349.

THE SOFT WINTER WHEAT BOOM AND THE AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT OF
THE UPPER KANSAS RIVER VALLEY (Part I) James C. Malin, 370

BYPATHS OF KANSAS HISTORY 399

KANSAS HISTORY AS PUBLISHED IN THE PRESS 410

KANSAS HISTORICAL NOTES 419

ERRATUM IN VOLUME XI 423

INDEX TO VOLUME XI 425

(iv)



THE

Kansas Historical
Quarterly



Volume XI Number 1

February, 1942



PRINTED BY KANSAS STATE PRINTING PLANT

w. c. AUSTIN, STATE PRINTER

TOPEKA, 1942

19-1875



Contributors

JAMES C. MALIN, associate editor of The Kansas Historical Quarterly, is pro-
fessor of history at the University of Kansas, Lawrence.

Biographical mention of JULIA LOUISA LOVEJOY will be found on pp. 29, 30.

DAVID GLENN COBB, native of Fort Scott, is head of the History and Social
Science Department of the Eastern Washington College of Education, Cheney,
Wash.



An Introduction to the History of the Bluestem-
Pasture Region of Kansas 1

A Study in Adaptation to Geographical Environment 2
JAMBS C. MAUN

'T^HE bluestem-pasture region of Kansas has come to be recognized
A as a natural region with rather clearly defined boundaries. On
the map it appears as a somewhat elongated oval-shaped area about
200 miles from tip to tip, with Pottawatomie county, Kansas, at
the northern end and Osage county, Oklahoma, at the southern end,
the intervening country being some fifty miles, or somewhat more
than two counties, in width. Roughly, this is the central third of
the eastern half of the state, between 96 and 97 west longitude and
36 30' and 39 30' north latitude. The average annual rainfall
varies from 30 to 35 inches except in the southern portion, but there
the higher precipitation is offset, in part at least, by the higher tem-
peratures and longer period of frost-free days 186 or more annually
in the southern tier of Kansas counties, as against about 178 days
in the central and northern sections. Topographically the region is
rolling to hilly, with rather narrow valleys, but the most charac-
teristic features of the typical pasture portions are hills, or bluffs,
formed by outcroppings of rock of the Permian and Pennsylvania
strata. For the most part this rock is limestone, but in places, es-
pecially in the southern end, there is sandstone. The soil is of the
residual type derived from the limestones, shales, and sandstones.
In the typical limestone area outcroppings of stone appear near the
top of the hills, the weathering process washing the decomposed ma-
terials down their sides to the lower ground.

Bluestem is the dominant native grass, represented by two major
varieties: the Big Bluestem (Andropogon jurcatus) which thrives
in the lower lands, and the Little Bluestem (Andropogon scoparius)
found on the high uplands. These are tall grasses, as contrasted
with the short grasses, the buffalo and the gramas, which are present
in greater or lesser numbers according to location and season, invad-
ing the region from the western side. Kentucky bluegrass has in-

1. This is a slightly revised version of the presidential address delivered before the annual
meeting of the Kansas State Historical Society at Topeka October 21, 1941.

2. The paper printed here is a part of a larger research project, "The Adaptation of
Population and Agriculture to Prairie-Plains Environment," for which the author has received
financial assistance from the Social Science Research Council, New York, and from the Grad-
uate Research Fund of the University of Kansas.

(3)



4 KANSAS HISTORICAL QUARTERLY

vaded the region from the eastern side, extending its occupation
westward during wet periods and retreating eastward under the ad-
versity of prolonged drought. Prior to the occupation of the country
by white settlement the bluestem grasses were widely distributed
over the open prairie regions of the Middle West, occupying a domi-
nant position over most, if not the whole of eastern Kansas. They
were and still are present also in limited areas of the plains, especially
in the sandhill districts where the common name is bunch grass. For
various reasons early descriptions of the grass associations of the
West are often contradictory. Historical experience has indicated
in part at least an explanation in the fluctuations of the weather.
Descriptions written by observers during periods of prolonged
drought would tend to emphasize the short grasses which thrived
at the expense of the tall grasses and moved eastward under such
influences, and similarly those descriptions written during favorably
wet periods would reflect the reverse process. Several such cycles
have occurred since white observers began writing descriptions and
consequently the first necessity in making interpretations of such
materials is to fit them into the weather chronology.

The growing season of the bluestem grass is the spring and early
summer months. During May, June and July its nutritive value is
strongest, declining until it reaches a minimum after frost. Blue-
stem makes the best hay when cut just after mid-summer and before
it has seeded, while most tame grasses are at their best for hay dur-
ing the blooming period. In hay making, early settlers followed
Eastern tame hay practices and only after years of experience did
they come to appreciate the importance of early cutting. 3

The assumption is made frequently, indirectly if not directly, but
without foundation in fact, that the bluestem region is unique and
that even in the natural state it possessed the present limits as
natural boundaries. The historical development of the area indi-
cates, however, that the present limits are the result of a prolonged
process of differentiation from the surrounding country. On the
north and northeast, for example, the commercial cornbelt, utilizing
glacial drift soils, encroached early upon the hill country; on the
east a mixed farming area developed which invaded the hills from
that direction; and on the west the wheat belt of central Kansas

3. The grama and buffalo grasses retain more feed value than bluestem when cured on the
ground (in the pasture), and therefore make better winter pasture. The Kentucky bluegrass
makes an earlier spring growth and a later fall growth, being nearly dormant during the sum-
mer, and during mild seasons remains green well into the winter.

For winter pasture the bluestem region is more valuable in proportion to the amount of
grama and buffalo grass that may be intermixed with it, and for early spring and fall pasture
in proportion to the mixture of Kentucky bluegrass with the bluestem, but for summer pasture
the bluestem with the minimum of mixture is best.



MALIN: THE BLUESTEM-PASTURE REGION 5

challenged the hills; while on the south the Indian reservation pas-
tures of the old Indian territory and Oklahoma delayed the process
of demarcation from the lower end. Within the region, the land
most obviously suited to cultivation was occupied and the native
sod broken. This included not only bottom land, but also upland.
The principal barrier to general cultivation of the whole were the
hills, with their outcroppings of stone, sometimes a succession or
series like terraces up their slopes. In many places land was culti-
vated at one time that was later returned to grass.




TYPE-OF -FARMING AREAS IN KANSAS

Areas 1-3, general farming, but with somewhat different emphasis as between areas; area
4, corn belt; area 6, bluestem-pasture region; areas 6, 7, 9, wheat, but with different com-
binations; area 8, secondary cornbelt; areas 10, 11, wheat and cattle; area 12, short-grass
grazing region and wheat. This map is Figure 18 from J. A. Hodges and associates, "Types
of Farming in Kansas," Bulletin 251, Kansas Agricultural Experiment Station (Topeka, Kansas
State Printing Plant, 1930). Used with the permission of the director.

The Osage-pasture region of Oklahoma is not shown on this map, but it lies south of
Cowley, Chautauqua and Montgomery counties of Kansas and centers in Osage county,
Oklahoma.

At some points the stock country has persisted beyond the con-
ventional limits of the bluestem region. To the eastward a spur of
such country runs into Linn county along the divide separating the
water sheds of the Marais des Cygnes and the Neosho rivers. In
1857 a local observer described the hill country of Linn county as
follows in terms almost identical with those so frequently applied
to the bluestem-pasture region of the present:

Owing to the very singular position of the limestone rock strata near the
top of the "divide" their constant washings and decomposition continue to
enrich the land below, causing the grass to grow in great luxuriance, making
the best feed for stock during the summer and winter. 4

4. John O. Wattles, Moneka, Kan., in the New York Tribune, March 31, 1857.



6 KANSAS HISTORICAL QUARTERLY

To the northwest across Clay county the hill country connects the
bluestem-limestone area to the Dakota sandstone area of Ellsworth,
Lincoln and Cloud counties, which is also a bluestem country. To
the southwest across Cowley, Harper and Sedgwick counties the
Arkansas valley only briefly interrupts the bluestem-pasture region
in its transition into the bluestem and short-grass pastures of the
Medicine river red lands, and into the bluestem-bunch grass of the
sandhills along the southern banks of the Arkansas and Cimarron
rivers.

The bluestem-pasture region serves three significant functions,
but the one that gives it distinction, if it does not render it unique,
is that it occupies an intermediate position as a maturing ground or
a grass- fattening area between the cattle-growing ranges of the
southwestern plains and the central markets for grass-fattened cat-
tle, or the feedlots of the cornbelt. Cattlemen have praised this
unusual arrangement on the ground that the finishing weights are
put on the animal near the market, saving freight and shipping
shrinkage, and permitting flexibility in quick adjustment of shipping
schedules to take advantage of favorable prices. 5 It is the largest
such commercial grazing area for transient cattle in the United
States. The time limits of the grazing season are about six months,
April 15 to October 15, but the grass is ready earlier in the southern
than in the northern end of the region. The movement of south-
western range cattle by rail into the bluestem grass begins in the
latter part of April and is usually completed by mid-May. These
cattle from a distance are supplemented to some extent by stock
from local or nearby sources. The out-shipments to market usually
begin in July, but vary with the season, the condition of cattle when
delivered to the pastures, and the condition of the grass and are com-
pleted by October 15, leaving the pastures empty during the winter.
The second function of the region is feed-lot finishing. This process
is carried out on corn and alfalfa or other feeds, without grass, or
with grass. This is not done so extensively as in the cornbelt, but
on a scale large enough to account for a substantial contribution to
the market for full-fed beef. The third function is the maturing
of young cattle by roughing through the winter, sometimes with grain
added, pasturing through the following summer, and if not marketed
as grass- fattened beef, full feeding into the second winter. The
fourth and an important function is that the blue-stem region serves
as a breeding area for thoroughbred livestock. Although these func-

5. The Kansas Stockman, Topeka, May 1, 1933



MALIN: THE BLUESTEM-PASTURE REGION 7

tions have persisted together in varying proportions throughout the
history of the area and often are hardly distinguishable from one
another, the purpose of this address is to emphasize the evolution
of the pasture function. The other aspects are included only as
seems necessary to the principal objective.

The bluestem grass and the region have been the subject of many
eulogies, some of which have gone beyond the limit of facts that
can be or have been demonstrated scientifically. Furthermore, there
is some disagreement concerning what factors give distinctive value
to it as a grazing region. One school of thought, and the one most
widely held, takes the ground that the limestone imparts to the
bluestem grass its remarkable strength for fattening cattle. If this
test were applied rigidly, it would restrict the limits of the region by
excluding the sandstone country. The occupants of the sandstone
pastures object, however, to the discrimination, holding that it is the
grass itself that is distinctive, and that the bluestem grass has the
same qualities whether grown on the limestone or the sandstone soils
of eastern Kansas. Comparative scientific tests seem not to be
available at present to determine conclusively the merits of the
divergent views.

In the early days no particular name was applied to this pasture
region, the term Flint Hills being a geographical name for the hills
themselves in which flint or chert outcroppings occur. As a region
it was not then thought of as conspicuously different from others.
When the grazing for Southwestern cattle was being referred to by
livestock men of the 1880's the terms used were usually "northern
pastures" which meant primarily the northern Plains States and
territories. At that time Kansas excluded "green" Texas cattle on
account of the Texas fever except for shipment, either from desig-
nated western stations or through rail consignments. When Kansas
came to be referred to in particular, which occurred rarely prior to
the 1890's, the terms used were "Kansas pastures," or "Southern
Kansas pastures," or some equivalent and they were used so as in-
cluding western short-grass as well as eastern long-grass grazing
grounds.

The term "Flint Hills" as applied to pastures occurred only oc-
casionally in the early accounts and then designated only the grazing
in the hills themselves rather than the region. Thus the people of
Chase county differentiated the Flint Hills as grazing grounds from
the farming lands of the bottoms and the upland prairies. 8 As time
passed a broader usage of the term Flint Hills developed, especially

6. Chase County Leader, Cottonwood Falls, March 1, 29, 1872.



8 KANSAS HISTORICAL QUARTERLY

on the part of those outside the area. During the second and third
decades of the twentieth century the term was rather generally used,
but was not altogether appropriate because the pasture district was
more extensive than the Flint Hills.

The name "Bluestem" was used in the later years of the nine-
teenth century to describe the grasses from a botanical standpoint,
but popularly the more frequently used names were prairie grasses,
long grasses or tall grasses. In the early years of the twentieth
century bluestem was sometimes used to designate the grass of cer-
tain pastures, but not until after the World War did the term blue-
stem pastures gain general currency as applying to the region. 7 The
J. E. Edwards eulogy of the bluestem grass, printed in 1918, con-
tributed to grass consciousness among cattlemen, the more effective
portions being frequently quoted. 8 A suggestion was made in 1923,
but not acted upon, that the new hotel at Emporia be named "Blue
Stem" and advertised nationally. 9 The term "Kansas Bluestem Re-
gion" or some variation was used with increasing frequency during
the 1920's, gaining in popularity over the term "Flint Hills." 10 Other
possible names, the "Limestone Pastures" or the "Bluestem-Lime-
stone Pastures," did not find popular favor. In a sense, therefore,
when in 1929 the Kansas State Board of Agriculture adopted the
name "The Bluestem Pasture Region of Kansas," it was registering
what was already well on the way to becoming an accomplished fact.

The first steps in white occupation of the bluestem region occurred
in the northern part prior to the organization of the territory at
Council Grove on the Santa Fe trail and at St. Mary's mission, the
latter in the late 1840's where stock raising and general farming, ex-
cept wheat production, were carried on vigorously in order to provide
support for the mission and to teach agriculture to the Pottawatomie
Indians. With the organization of the territory, settlements were
made immediately in the Kansas river valley as far west as Fort
Riley. Only shortly afterwards settlements were made on the Neosho
and Cottonwood rivers in the central area. Following the Civil War
the settled area expanded rapidly, first occupying the bottom land
and then pushing into the upland prairie. Part of the area was rail-
road land, but a substantial part could be acquired under the pre-

7. Junction City Union, November 16, 1872; Ottawa Daily Republican, April 2, 1884;
Texas Live Stock Journal. Fort Worth, November, 1886; George E. Tucker, "Blue [stem]
Grass and the Beef Steer," Greenwood Magazine, Eureka, April, 1905, pp. 7-10.

8. Kansas Stockman, Topeka, April 5, 1918, December 15, 1922. Cf. eulogies of the
bluestem by T. H. Lampe, ibid., February 15, June 16, 1927, April 15, 1931, November 15,
1935, February 15, 1941.

9. Ibid., January 15, 1923.

10. Ibid., August 1, 1919, June 15, 1921, August 15, 1922, April 15, 1925, February 1,
June 15, 1927, February 1, 1928.



MALIN: THE BLUESTEM-PASTURE REGION 9

emption law and after the Civil War under the homestead act, the
taking of homesteads being reported in Chase county as late as
1880. 11 As had happened on earlier frontiers, livestock was for a
time the predominant interest, but it was generally viewed as a tem-
porary or transitional stage which would give way to general farming
on all but the roughest of the uplands. On these matters opinion
fluctuated somewhat with the weather, however, and during dry
periods especially the advocates of livestock as a permanent interest
had the opportunity to urge their views. 12

During the decade of the 1870's the agricultural interests of
eastern Kansas were relatively diversified. There were at least four
types of activities represented: general farming on a small scale
which was largely of the subsistence type, but which emphasized
grain crops; farming which emphasized the raising of corn to be fed
to livestock on a commercial basis; the breeding of fine stock; and
the maturing and grazing of transient cattle.

In Chase county in the heart of the bluestem the small-farmer
point of view was hostile to the transient herds driven in for grazing
and demanded the herd law:

We want this law to protect us from the large herds that are driven in
here by men who do not settle and help to improve the country, but merely to
turn non-residents' and railroad lands into stockyards, and allow their cattle
to run at large, destroying all crops that are not strongly fortified. 13

A spokesman for the resident stockmen declared that nine of
every ten men in Chase county depended upon stockraising as the
basis of prosperity :

This is truly a stock raising county, we have thousands of acres of land
that cannot be cultivated, but cannot be surpassed for grazing. 14

Later an Elmdale correspondent reported that farmers were en-
larging their cultivated fields "being convinced that farming will
pay in this country." 15 Three weeks later the Chase County Leader
announced through its boom column to prospective immigrants that
the valleys of the watershed of the Cottonwood river were destined
to be occupied by small farmers and that "the divides between them
are excellent grazing grounds for cattle and sheep, and will always
be open to the stock-raiser without cost." 16 On this assumption
small fanners made no effort to secure title to the hills.

11. Chase County Leader, Cottonwood Falls, April 29, 1880.

12. The Nationalist, Manhattan, January 25, 1878, June 23, 1881 ; Dickinson County
Chronicle, Abilene, February 10, 1882.

13. Chase County Leader, Cottonwood Falls, March 1, 1872.

14. Ibid., March 29, 1872.

15. Ibid., May 17, 1872.

16. Ibid., June 7, 1872. A later statement to the same effect was made as a reminis-
cence and was reported by Vandergrift in the Atchison Globe, reprinted in the Chase Cowty
Republican, Strong City, May 15, 1890.



10 KANSAS HISTORICAL QUARTERLY

After the lapse of two years the herd law provided again the text
for the argument that without it the county could never be settled
and to be a first-class county the uplands, "the best wheat land in
the state . . ." must be occupied. "Give us the herd law and
we can settle every quarter section of prairie land in the county." 1T
Another correspondent endorsed this assertion but with some qualifi-
cation, saying that "nearly every quarter section of arable land
would be a fine farm." 18

Calling attention to differences in geographical environment an-
other letter writer asserted that:

Every new county and country is always opened up by men of moderate
circumstances. In a heavily timbered country it takes a life-time; in a country
like this, but a few years, if all work for the public good. 19

The year 1874 with its drought and grasshoppers was one to make
Kansas conscious of climatic differences and in protest against an
Ohio man's clover theories, an old resident wrote:

The writer seems altogether ignorant of an important fact, which is about
the first lesson taught to every practical farmer, viz.: that farming in Ohio, or
any other state, is one thing, and farming in Kansas is something altogether
different; and crops that pay in one section of the country are comparatively
worthless in another. 20

During 1875 farmers were searching for substitute crops that



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