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creek is there any at all. But, fortunately for the country, these
lowest places are real reservoirs and never wholly dry up. Give us
Vermont for her beautiful ponds and rivers, her babbling brooks
and cold springs, gushing forth from every hillside.

The principal crop here is corn. Every farm of 160 acres will
have about 60 acres of corn, 15 to 20 of oats, 10 to 15 of wheat, with
a sprinkling of barley, rye, buckwheat, sorghum, &c., according to
taste. Corn yields an average of 40 bushels per acre, wheat 10, and
oats 30. Every farmer also cuts and stacks in the field all the prairie
hay he wants, or has time to secure, the yield being a ton to two
tons per acre. These crops are fed out to Texas cattle, purchased
in the fall. Occasionally, if one fails to secure stock, he sells his hay
for $3 per ton, in the stack, and corn for 30 to 40 cents a bushel. But
the aim always is to secure the cattle to feed, which, in addition to
the profits of growth and feed, leaves the droppings for the improve-
ment of the farm. The idea of manure is riot scouted by prairie
farmers as it was 20 years ago. The deepest and best soil can be
impoverished.

Sowing time begins here in March, and by the middle of April
the crops are all in. Feeding time begins about the middle of No-
vember, though it is possible for the stock to graze the year round,
and in some cases it is allowed to do so. Grain is harvested the last
of June and the first of July, and corn ripens in August. But this
crop is not usually harvested. Large fields of corn are still standing.
Feeders take their wagons into the field daily, pick a boxful and feed
it out. If it is not all thus gathered in season for spring plowing,
then it is regularly harvested. A portion of this crop, however, is
usually cut up, stocked, and fed to cattle, stalks and all, as circum-
stances require through the winter.

The absence of winter I presume this is the cause has in one
respect a bad effect upon farmers hereabouts. In Vermont we
notice that tools are properly sheltered, and farmers in that country
consider it a great waste if they are exposed long to sun and rain.
Not so here. The mower and reaper are dropped in the field



AN EDITOR LOOKS AT EARLY-DAY KANSAS 287

where they cut the last swath, and they are not disturbed again
till wanted the next season. Wagons, plows and all small tools
are treated in the same way. If long exposure to the weather in-
jures agricultural implements in Vermont it will do it here, and
it is a surprise to us that farmers, who are actually struggling to
pay for their lands, will allow this steady, constant leak in their
finances. A cheap shelter from the sun and rain, suitable for large
and small tools, would pay for itself every year, even in this country.
They might follow Vermont's example in other respects, to their
great advantage.

A Vermont farmer will do at least a third more work in a day
than a man does here. It would surprise a set of farm hands
here to start them out at six o'clock in the morning. If a gang
of threshers get started here at eight o'clock they are doing well.
Men work leisurely here. They want sufficient time for stretch-
ing, gaping and making up their minds what to do. This dis-
position comes partly from climate, and partly from the extreme
length of the working season, which gives more than sufficient
time to put in and secure the crops. But let men economize and
labour here as they do in Vermont and all the farms would be
paid for in two years.

Among the greatest blessings of this country is the coal, of
which there is an abundant supply under every man's farm. This
is really the salvation of southern Kansas. Without it farmers
would be compelled to abandon their claims, or haul their wood
5 to 20 miles, after paying such prices as owners would choose
to ask. The coal found here is of the soft kind, and is from one
to six feet below the surface. A man with plow, scraper and
shovels will dig 100 bushels a day, which is about 4 tons. If a
farmer prefers to dig on his neighbor's land he is allowed to do so
for one cent a bushel. This is 25 cents a ton in addition to labour
of digging. Coal in the village sells for $3 a ton. The expense
of fuel is consequently really nothing, and is hardly reckoned
among the expenses of living.

Wages are very low here. Good men can be hired for 75 cents
a day and board. Farm hands $12 to $15 a month for the season
or the year. House carpenters $2 to $2.50 per day. Masons $3.
Servant girls $1.50 per week. Laborers can see by this that the
east is the best country for them. A bill of house lumber costs
$30 to $35 per thousand. Flour brings $7 a barrel, potatoes $1 a
bushel, corn 35 cents. Groceries and hardware about the same



288 KANSAS HISTORICAL QUARTERLY

as in Vermont. Horses and cattle are just now very low. Three
year old Texas steers, weighing about 900, bring $12 to $13. Horses
according to quality. A first-rate animal can be purchased for $100,
while Indian ponies for riding are plenty for $15 to $20.

Taxes of course are enormous. Who ever knew of a country
where they were not taking the taxpayer's story for it. In the
farming section the whole tax amounts to about $3 on every $100
of the assessed valuation. In the villages and districts where school
houses have been built the tax is higher. Baxter City groans under
a $7 tax this season, and western profanity, distinct and positive,
is employed by way of expressing the taxpayers' opinion of the
situation. But Baxter is a Republican city and does wrong to
swear at the legitimate consequences of that kind of legislation.

Kansas has got Granges on the brain, over 800 having already
been chartered. No one can predict the upshot of the movement,
but there is little doubt, judging from the late election, that it
will result in a political affair. In this state the Republicans have
gobbled the entire body. Nearly every granger elected to the
legislature turns out to be a strong Republican. No organization
in this country can exist long without opening bids to the political
parties. If the grangers are independent, and paddle their own
canoe, they may succeed in dictating terms. If not, they will be
swallowed up by one party or the other, or both. In this locality
they are taking on the spirit of the leaguers and preparing to fight
the railroads, and have already resolved not to contract for their
lands till the company reduces the price. [C. M. C.]

QUAPAW MISSION, INDIAN TERRITORY^

Nov. 18, 1873.
DEAR READER:

To-day we have devoted to "Indian affairs." You have heard of
the Modocs. That terrible tribe, right from Oregon, arrived at Bax-
ter on Sunday last, under the charge of Capt. M. C. Wilkinson,
of Gen. O. O. Howard's staff, and a Mr. Squires, of the Indian de-
partment, at Washington, D. C. The tribe numbers 152 persons
60 children, 63 women and 29 warriors. These are the last of the
Modocs, the tribe which defied for weeks the power of the United

6. Crawford Seminary, a Quapaw mission school of the M. E. church, South, was
established in the Quapaw Nation, March 27, 1843, and named for T. H. Crawford, com-
missioner of Indian Affairs, 1832-1845. About April, 1848, it was moved to a new site
about five miles north, near and east of present Baxter Springs, close to the north line of
the Quapaw lands. This school was closed in February, 1852. In 1872 buildings were
erected for a mission school on the Quapaw reservation in the northeast corner of present
Oklahoma and Asa C. Tuttle and his wife, Emeline H. Tuttle, were placed in charge. They
were members of the Friends church.



AN EDITOR LOOKS AT EARLY-DAY KANSAS 289

States. 7 They are quartered at the Hall House, in Baxter, and are
the greatest lions which ever visited that city. We sought an inter-
view this morning, and were ushered into the front door, with a
crowd, and hurried through the house, out of the back door, in a
most unsatisfactory manner. We afterward appealed to the captain
on the ground that we were newspaper men from a distant country,
and desired to interview the whole tribe, men and squaws. After
hesitating about the squaws, who were in mourning, he finally con-
sented and we entered again on business.

Our first introduction was to Bogus Charlie, who gave us a hearty
shake of the hand, and introduced us to the present chief, Scarfaced
Charlie. The chief is about 35 years old, scarfaced, but a good
looking man, sprightly, nervous and earnest. The hand shake he
gave us penetrated to the boots. Next came Shack-Nasty Jim, a
short, thick-set boy about 25 years old, rather of the independent,
saucy kind, and tolerably familiar with the profane part of the
English language, which, he said, he learned from the soldiers.
We saw also, Hooker Jim, Steamboat Frank, and all the other nota-
bles of the tribe. Bogus Charlie, the 2nd chief, is the tallest man,
about 30 years old, speaks English, is of pleasing features, of positive
points, and, in any crowd, would be recognized as a man above the
average in natural mental force. He is quick in motion, observing,
penetrating, and a character of marked identity. He received us
cordially, introduced us to his squaw and papoose, of whom he
seemed reasonably proud. We met Lucy and Amelia, both smart-
looking squaws. We were also introduced into the mourners' room,
among the squaws, who were feeling badly on account of the irregu-
lar departure of Capt. Jack and others. Their heads had been
dipped in tar, and they intend to seclude themselves from general
observation till that evaporates. If you ever sat down in a pot of
tar, you will perhaps remember that the material is obstinate about
evaporating.

We shook hands with Capt. Jack's two wives and his little
boy. We fell into conversation with his sister, Mary, who was a
little offish at first. But as we suggested that there were good look-

7. The home of the Modoc had at one time been in northern California. In 1864
they joined the Klamath in ceding territory to the United States and removed to the
Klamath reservation in Oregon. They were not contented, however, and the more restless
among them were led to the California border by their chief, Kintpuash, commonly known
as Captain Jack. An attempt to return them to the reservation brought on the Modoc war
of 1872-1873. Captain Jack and his band retreated to near-by lava beds and resisted
attempts to dislodge them. Two peace commissioners sent to treat with them were killed.
The Modoc were finally dispersed and captured; Captain Jack and five other leaders were
hanged in October, 1873. Some members of the tribe were permitted to remain in
California; the others were removed to Indian territory and placed on the Quapaw reserva-
tion.



290 KANSAS HISTORICAL QUARTERLY

ing boys among the Quapaws, where they were going, she began
to twist the corners of her apron, and said "she didn't care, for she
wouldn't have them." We suggested there were good looking white
boys in that vicinity, who were single and matrimonially inclined;
whereupon she gave another twist at the apron, smiled a string of
"yeses" and informed us that she "wouldn't have them, anyhow."
Mary is a good looking squaw, and if we were single but to return
to our subject. It is proper to remark that the Modoc physiognomy
indicates more than the average intelligence, shrewdness and zip.
They know what they are about. They express themselves as will-
ing to work, like this country and seem to be enjoying themselves.
The Quapaws who own the country just south of Baxter, are in
council to-day for the purpose of deeding to the government a few
thousand acres of their land for the Modocs. The tribe is all well
clothed by the government and look as civilized as anybody. They
will be supplied with rations and other necessaries by the govern-
ment until they learn to grub the soil and earn money for themselves.

After leaving the Modocs we drove to this mission, where we
arrived in season to dine with A. C. Tuttle and his excellent lady,
who have charge of the missionary work. In that country, marked
on the map "Indian Territory," are over 50 tribes, great and small,
each tribe having defined territory which they own on fee simple.
Each tribe also speaks a language of its own entirely different from
that of every other tribe. The Cherokees, number [ing] 17,000 peo-
ple, is the largest and most highly educated tribe. They have their
chiefs, legislature, courts, councils, schools, and conduct affairs with
as much intelligence as white people. All of these tribes do some-
thing in the way of farming, and many of them, having considerable
annuities from the government, are quite wealthy.

The whole are also embraced under the head of ten agencies,
H. W. Jones having the agency in this section which includes the
following tribes, numbering in all about 1300 persons: Senecas,
Wyandottes, Eastern Shawnees, Ottawas, Quapaws, Confederated
Peorias, Miamies, and Kas-Kas-Kias. Of these the Quapaws, num-
bering about 260, are the largest tribe. The Shawnees are not over
75. Mr. and Mrs. Tuttle, formerly of Dover, N. H., have been en-
gaged in this missionary work three years. Having recently built
up a good institution among the Senecas, they came to this point
a year ago, built a good boarding house, a school house, and fenced
in a farm of 160 acres, which, with the help of Indians, they are
now tilling.



AN EDITOR LOOKS AT EARLY-DAY KANSAS 291

Mrs. Turtle's school, which we have visited to-day, numbers about
30 scholars of various ages, none of whom knew a letter one year
ago. To-day some of them are as far advanced as the third reader.
Mrs. Tuttle understands the Indian character to perfection, and
during every hour of her instruction makes the dispositions of her
scholars her study. Her aim is to make them love the school and
the mission better than they do their own homes. And this is the
only way she holds them, for the Indian parents are quite indifferent
to her work, allowing their children to remain with her, only as it
pleases the children. They have, consequently, to be handled ten-
derly, or they come up missing. By her tact in management, if
she secures a child a week, she usually interests him enough to hold
him. While in the school we were interested in the steady industry
of the scholars. Each had a task before him to which he gave his
steady attention. We seldom see white children, of similar ages,
more industrious. They have an ambition to learn, and are mortified
at failures. In the matter of obedience they would be models for
white children to follow. A respect for authority seems to be rooted
in the Indian character, but they are not inclined to recognize au-
thority too readily. They seldom disobey their chiefs, and as fast
as they yield to the authority of a teacher, they regard it as some-
thing to be respected. The exercises in singing interested us very
much. They use the Sabbath school book, "Fresh Laurels/' 8 and
the pieces sung had been committed, without really understanding
the words, and the pronunciation was about as accurate as might
be expected from a Yankee boy's rendering of Indian language.
But they sang with spirit if not understanding. We have heard
better voices, but rarely more earnestness.

The law of confidence, love and kindness prevails in this mission,
and Mr. Tuttle and wife claim that this is the only key to the Indian
heart, that it is a policy which the government should not only adopt
but compel its agents to carry out to the letter. With this policy
faithfully enforced among all the tribes, they are sure we should
never again hear of an Indian war. [C. M. C.]

8. A copy of this small book has been preserved in the library of the Kansas State
Historical Society. The full title is Bradbury's Fresh Laurels for the Sabbath School. A
New and Extensive Collection of Music and Hymns (New York, c!867). The first hymn
in the book, "Fresh Laurels for the Sunday School," has provided the title.



292 KANSAS HISTORICAL QUARTERLY

LAWRENCE, KANS., Nov. 19, 1873.
DEAR READER:

Lawrence is the head center of the "bleeding" part of Kansas.
"Bleeding Kansas" was a political by-word from '54 to the close of
the rebellion. The last time we were in Lawrence in the fall of
1863 180 of the citizens lay dead in the streets and the greater part
of the town was in ashes. Quantrill and his three hundred devils
were leaving just as we entered the place. We should be pleased
to announce that the occasion of our entry is what frightened the
demons out of Lawrence, but as these letters are devoted to truth-
telling, we are compelled to admit that the scare was on the other
side, and had not Quantrill been evacuating at the east end of town,
we should have been hastily engaged in an undertaking of that
nature at the west end. It is a proud thing for one to relate his
courageous deeds, but on this occasion it would be improper for us
to enlarge upon that subject. For particulars Mr. Quantrill is the
man to apply to. ...

Notwithstanding this terrible blow Lawrence is to-day the second
city in Kansas. Like the Chicago fire, so far as the city itself is
concerned, it contributed to its growth and has made it larger and
richer than it would have been had Quantrill never visited it. The
city dates back to about 1855 9 and was settled principally by Massa-
chusetts men, but has now a good sprinkling, greater probably than
any other Kansas city, from all the New England states. No city
of its size in the country can boast of more intelligence, more busi-
ness enterprise and acumen, and more liberality in support of edu-
cation, religion and public charities. It is situated on the Kaw
river 35 miles west of Kansas City and 160 miles north of the state
line. The Union Pacific railroad, running from Kansas City to
Denver, passes through the city. The Leavenworth, Lawrence and
Galveston road, running north and south, also passes here. Another
road running southwest to Burlingame is completed and the Midland
road from Olathe to Topeka is nearly completed. As a railroad
center it is among the best inland towns in the state.

The population is about 10,000. During the hard times of the past
two years it has made slow progress, but a company of men at the
cost of $60,000 are about completing an immense dam across the
Kansas river, which, with a never failing supply of water gives a fall
of 7/2 feet. It is so constructed as to furnish power to any amount of
machinery. If this enterprise proves a success, as it doubtless will,

9. Lawrence was established in 1854.



AN EDITOR LOOKS AT EARLY-DAY KANSAS 293

the same energy which can secure the erection of such a dam will not
fail to induce manufacturing enterprises to locate here. This is now
a promising hope of the future increase and prosperity of the city.

No city can these days make pretention to metropolitan import-
ance without horse railroads. Lawrence is not behind in this
respect. A good line is in operation from the depots in North Law-
rence, across the river into the main town, and nearly the whole
length of Massachusetts street. They prove to be a convenience
which a city of 10,000 inhabitants cannot dispense with.

We met here Ed Reddington, Esq., formerly of St. Johnsbury,
who, by the by, is one of the most popular young men of the city.
He came here some years since and served a long time acceptably
as cashier of the Union Pacific railroad company, making his regular
monthly trips to Denver, and paying off the employees on a line of
road nearly 600 miles in length. A year or so ago the office was abol-
ished and, although Mr. Reddington was offered another situation on
the road, he preferred business which kept him more at home, and
finding a good partner in a former mayor of the city, embarked in the
lumber business. Mr. Reddington is a member of the school board
and gave us interesting statistics relating to the schools of the city,
from which it appears that Lawrence is fully up to the Kansas stand-
ards in the support of the best schools which money can secure.
The cost of schools in Kansas is never so much debated as their
quality. Every town insists upon good schools at whatever cost.
The young and energetic men who have thus far peopled the state
understand their value, not only as educators but as agencies and
instruments of progress in a business point of view. There seems
to be a strife between towns all over the state to see which shall
have the best schools, and there is noticeable absence of the dead
wood in society which is usually found trigging the wheels of such
enterprise.

In company with Mr. Reddington we visited the State University,
on which already has been expended $140,000. Lawrence donated
$100,000 to secure its location at this place. The state has already
voted $40,000 and annually votes a sufficient sum to pay running
expenses, thus affording to the scholars free tuition to as good a
college as the state can establish. The building is a noble structure
very large, containing high rooms, with modern finish and con-
venience, and a capacity to accommodate over 500 students. Its
locality is in the southeastern part of the city on high ground over-
looking miles around. From the cupola the view is one of the most



294 KANSAS HISTORICAL QUARTERLY

enchanting to be found in the state. Prof. [F. E.] Stimpson, formerly
of Massachusetts, professor of philosophy, chemistry and the sci-
entific departments, conducted us through his various rooms, giving
us a view of his apparatus and a slight insight into his method of
instruction. He has already secured many and is steadily increasing
his collection of instruments for the perfect illustration of every
subject taught. Wires from his battery are conducted into all prin-
cipal rooms of the University. They tick and strike every clock and
give the several classes, all of which have forty-five minutes recita-
tion, the orders to go and come. The professor is a thorough student
in his department and a competent professor. If all study the in-
terests of the University as faithfully and effectively as he does it will
eventually take a high rank among the institutions of learning in the
land. The building is not yet completed and cannot be till the state
appropriates for construction about $50,000 more. The character of
the Kansas people is a sufficient guarantee that this will soon be
done.

Probably no locality in the state has given a more liberal support
to churches than Lawrence. She has some church buildings which
cost $40,000. Congregations are large for the Massachusetts ele-
ment is given to church going. They are pious Sunday, at all events,
and this is a good deal better than none at all. If a Kansas town will
be really and downright pious one day in seven, the old acquaint-
ances of Jim Lane, Pomeroy, Sid Clarke, Caldwell, and other repre-
sentative men of the state, will find no fault. [C. M. C.]

TOPEKA, KAN., Nov. 21, 1873.
DEAR READER:

Topeka, the capital of Kansas, is twenty-seven miles west of Law-
rence, on the Kaw river and Union Pacific railroad. Like Lawrence,
it stands upon rolling prairie and has occasionally to battle against
the prairie wind for its very existence. It has a population of 8,000,
and entertains, not without reason, sanguine hopes of great increase
and prosperity. We should not be surprised if in ten years it was
the largest town in the state.

But the curse of Kansas politics rests upon Topeka. Here is where
the state rottenness focuses every January 10 to be stirred up and to
stink in the nostrils of the nation. During this annual gathering of
political "varmints," corruption walks the streets of Topeka at noon-

10. Article 2, section 25, of the constitution of Kansas provided for annual sessions
of the legislature to be held in January. A revision of section 25 was adopted at the election
of November, 1875, and beginning with 1877, regular sessions were held every two years
until the section was amended again in 1954 to provide for budget sessions in the even-
numbered years.



AN EDITOR LOOKS AT EARLY-DAY KANSAS 295

day, and bribery, brazen and bold, looks political integrity and
patriotism out of countenance. York's exposure of Pomeroy's $7,000
bribery produced a temporary panic in the political commerce of
the state, 11 but the traders and gamblers will continue to ply their
nefarious business, nevertheless, only in a more guarded way. They
will examine more carefully their securities. York's explosion, in-
tended to blow villains out of political existence, will effect prin-
ciple less than action. They will continue just as infernal but more



Online LibraryKansas State Historical SocietyThe Kansas historical quarterly (Volume 26) → online text (page 33 of 59)