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

Best Set of Men' in Lawrence--'Old Fogies' in Leavenworth

Leavenworth Times, Thursday, January 31, 1957


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.

Dec. 1, 1857

Dear Father:

What arrangements are you making for next year's business? If you could sell farm and Mother and all could be satisfied to move to Kansas, say Lawrence, and you follow the insurance business, then I have no doubt you would like it much better than Rochester.

They are the best set of men that ever breathed, over in Lawrence. Our old fogy conservative men here who have heretofore been denouncing Lawrence men -- now unite in saying the Lawrence men have always taken the true stand and to them is owing the privileges which we now enjoy--that of success.

They are earnest men--no boys play--and the report is that Gov. Walker would not have thrown out the Oxford returns had he not been laboring under a wholesome fear for his own neck.

I never saw men more desperate than were the Free State men a few days after the election. they were ready for any move, for open rebellion and worse--in fact I don't think it possible for Gov. Walker to have recognized this fraud and preserved peace also.

If I succeed in getting my Kickapoo land I will have 640 acres in a square body of as handsome land, high rolling prairie rich as rich can be. It is within 12 miles of Atchison on the Missouri River and only 1½ miles south of the St. Joseph and Fort Riley Road and 1½ miles north of the Ft. Leavenworth and Ft. Laramie Road -- both extensively traveled. And it must be kept for years as 640 acres in that location will be very valuable.

As you will see by the NY Tribune, our "National Democratic Constitutional Convention" has framed a constitution. They may foment more trouble and the administration in Washington may back them in their plans, as they do in retaining John Calhoun in office, J. J. Clarkson, Fred Emory, Clark and many others who have assisted in foisting the foul thing upon the people of Kansas. But there are too many freemen here for it to succeed, although many of them are the milk and water kind. Yet there may be enough good and true men on the soil to put down the usurpation.

Yours, etc.

D. R. Anthony

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