American Settlement Company.This company, which was organized in Sept., 1854, had its headquarters at No. 226 Broadway, N. Y. The officers were: Theodore Dwight, president; J. E. Snodgrass, vice-president; G. M. Tracey, secretary; D. C. Van Norman, treasurer; George Walter, general superintendent. The preamble to the constitution of the company set forth that "The subscribers hereto, being desirous to form a company for the purpose of settling a tract of land in the Territory of Kansas, in order to assist in making it a free state, and to found thereon a city, with a municipal government, and the civil, literary, social, moral and religious privileges of the free states, for the equal benefit of the members, have associated and formed, and do hereby associate and form themselves into a joint stock company, under the name of 'American Settlement Company,' and have adopted the following articles for the government of said company," etc.
Article I provided for a capital stock, to be divided into shares equal to the number of lots in the proposed city, the price of which was at first fixed at $5 a share, subject to an advance when so ordered by the board of directors, and no one was to be allowed to purchase more than six shares.
Article II vested the management in a board of directors, a majority of whom should be residents of New York City. This board was to be self-perpetuating, being given power to fill vacancies, etc.
Article III provided that members of the company and colonists should be persons of good moral character, the aim being to establish a community with a high ideal of citizenship.
Articles IV to XI defined the duties of the officers and dwelt principally with the routine matters pertaining to such associations.
Article XII provided that the money received from the sale of shares should be used to secure a tract of land two miles square, on or near the Santa Fe trail, and to defray the expenses of surveying and laying out a municipality to he known as "Council City."
Article XIV stipulated that one lot out of every fifty should be given for school purposes, and the management should have the power to donate other lots for the establishment of institutions "appropriate to an orderly, virtuous, temperate and refined American community."
Immediately after the organization was perfected a committee of seven mencitizens of New York, Pennsylvania and Ohiovisited Kansas to select a site for "Council City," and after exploring the territory for several weeks decided upon a tract between Dragoon and Switzler creeks, in what is now Osage county, a short distance south of the present city of Burlingame. About the same time a circular was issued by the company, stating that the object was "to found in Kansas a large and flourishing city, one that would claim the attention and patronage of all interested in the growth and prosperity of that territory."
Council City was laid out with streets 75 feet wide and avenues 150 in width. The lots were 75 by 150 feet, and there were several tracts ranging from 10 to 50 acres each reserved for parks. A small party of settlers arrived late in Oct., 1854, and a few of the more energetic set to work to make Council City a reality, but the majority were disappointed by the prospect. Other settlers came in the spring of 1855, but the metropolis never met the expectations of its projectors, and after a precarious existence of a few months it disappeared from the map.Pages 67-68 from volume I of Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. ... / with a supplementary volume devoted to selected personal history and reminiscence. Standard Pub. Co. Chicago : 1912. 3 v. in 4. : front., ill., ports.; 28 cm. Vols. I-II edited by Frank W. Blackmar. Transcribed May 2002 by Carolyn Ward.
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