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
Bogus Settlers Bought Land And Resold It to Speculators
Leavenworth Times, 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.
July 3, 1857
I have this PM arrived here from Osawattomie and Paoli--the latter place the Wea Trust Lands are now selling and have been since the 25th June. Webb Wilder, a brother of A. C. Wilder, and a Mr. Achilles are here from Rochester. All of us are well. Wilder; his brother Webb; Achilles and myself go to the Delaware Lands tomorrow to attend to our claims.
I have as yet made no money but have done enough to pay my expenses since my arrival here. I am so busy that I cannot tell you fully all I have been doing and what I intend doing, but shall buy some of the Delaware Lands. Lands at Paoli sold mostly to settlers (bogus) at from $1.50 to $2.25 an acre for the best. At least half was sold afterwards by the settlers to speculators at prices ranging from $2 to $5 an acre. I cannot now explain the "modus operandi" nor give you the definition of "settler," "squatter," and "speculator." You will call on Mr. Mann of Wilder, Chase & Co. and he will post you on what we are doing. I am engaged with Wilder, but not in partnership. I think I shall make something this month.
Susan's and Mary's money is received along with two letters from you and one from Susan. You entirely misapprehend the manner in which I want to use the funds. If I had had $10,000 at Paoli I could have made $1,000 to $2,000 with it in ten days and could do the same thing at the Osawkie Land Sale of the Delaware Trust Lands, but it is now too late.
D. R. Anthony