From the collections at the Leavenworth County Historical Society and Museum. Reprinted with permission from The Leavenworth County Historical Society and Museum and the Leavenworth Times. Donated by Debra Graden.
The Anthony Letters
The 'Yankee' Get Business Even From Pro-Slavery Men
Leavenworth Times, Thursday, December 20, 1956
Editors note: This is another in a series of letters written by Col. D. R. Anthony to his family in the east almost 100 years ago when Leavenworth was a new town and Kansas was still a territory. The letters give a clear picture of Leavenworth in its early period. The Times is publishing the letters each Sunday and Thursday.
Leavenworth City, K.T.
Saturday, Nov. 7, 1857
We have filed on 5 quarters of land and can prove up and preempt on the 4th of December when I shall want the 5 160 acre warrants and $300 or $600 cash. You need not send the cash but give me orders to draw on you payable in gold.
Send warrants by express. You ought to be able to get them in Rochester for 70 or 80 cents. If I can close my land matters before the river closes think I shall go to rochester from the 7th to 15th December (start then for home).
My business so far is good for this month. Have issued 9 fire and 6 river cargo policies, at premiums a little over $800. I take all the desirable risks. Although there are 4 other agents, yet somehow "the damned Yankee" does the business -- best Pro-Slavery men give me their business.
I must make some arrangement for money next year. It seems too bad not to have money to loan at 5 per cent per month when it can be had east at 7 to 10 per cent per annum and on poorer security than we get here. You have no experience in the west -- you look upon most everything as moonshine. You don't believe half of what I write. You think everybody here is crazy and while you think so, everybody here is getting rich. Now is the time to dip in--money won't be made at this rate five years hence. Don't allow anything to prevent the prompt sending of those 5 land warrants by the 20th Nov. at farthest.
If Buchanan would only turn a few of the federal office holders out who have been guilty of murder and robbery here, people would feel better. But it does grind them to have men control important offices in whom nobody has any confidence, not even the ruffians themselves. The time will come when they will get their deserts.
The Steamer "New Lucy" is now lying at the levee but I am too late to put this letter in her mail. Write soon and fully.
D. R. Anthony