Claims.At various periods and for various reasons Kansas has presented claims against the United States. The first instance of this character was in 1857, while Kansas was still a territory. During the border troubles many of the settlers suffered losses by having their stock driven off, their houses burned, etc. In his message to the legislature on Jan. 12, 1857, Gov. Geary said: "In traveling through the territory I have discovered great anxiety in relation to the damages sustained during the past civil disturbances, and everywhere the question has been asked as to whom they should look for indemnity. These injuriesburning houses, plundering fields and stealing horses and other property have been a fruitful source of irritation and trouble, and have impoverished many good citizens. They cannot be considered as springing from purely local causes, and as such, the subjects of territorial redress. . . . In adjusting the question of damages, it appears proper that a broad and comprehensive view of the subject should he taken; and I have accordingly suggested to the general government the propriety of recommending to Congress the passage of an act providing for the appointment of a commissioner to take testimony and report to Congress for final action, at as early a day as possible."
Acting upon the governor's recommendation, the legislature on Feb. 23, 1857, passed an act authorizing the appointment of a commissioner. Hiram J. Strickler was appointed and on March 7, 1858, he filed his report showing that he had examined claims amounting to $301,225, of which he had awarded $254,279.28. His report also gave a list of the claimants. Marcus J. Parrutt, then the territorial delegate in Congress, presented a bill for the payment of these claims, but it was never reported back from the committee to which it was referred.
On Feb. 7, 1859, the legislature passed an act providing for the appointment of three commissionersone by the governor, one by the council and one by the houseto investigate the claims and report, and a supplementary act authorized the commissioners to employ an attorney. The governor appointed Edward Hoogland, the council appointed Henry J. Adams and the house appointed Samuel A. Kingman. William McKay was engaged as attorney. This commission reported claims filed amounting to $676,020.21, of which $412,978.03 had been allowed. Subsequently bonds to the amount of $95,700 were issued, covering $5,400 of legislative warrants and $90,300 of claim warrants. The territorial legislature of 1860 adopted a concurrent resolution asking Congress to assume the payment of these bonds, but no action was taken by Congress, and the last territorial legislature in 1861 passed an act to prevent their payment. The first state legislature, which met in March, 1861, passed a similar act, and the claims for losses during the border war have never been paid.
Kansas was admitted into the Union on the eve of the great Civil war. The machinery of the state government had been in operation less than three months, when President Lincoln issued his call for volunteers to suppress a rebellion. Kansas responded promptly, and during the war the state was at heavy expense in raising and subsisting troops. In addition to that, the general government, by the act of Congress, approved on Aug. 5, 1861, levied a direct tax upon the states, the amount apportioned to Kansas being The citizens of the state lost heavily in the various guerrilla raids and the Price invasion of 1864, and at the close of the war filed claims for damages for property destroyed or appropriated by the contending armies. Immediately following the Civil war, the state incurred heavy expenses in suppressing Indian uprisings on the western frontierexpenses which the state authorities felt should be borne by the United States, the Indians causing the trouble having been "wards of the government." Under the provisions of the Wyandotte constitution and the act of admission, Kansas was to receive sections 16 and 36 in each township for school purposes, certain lands for the benefit of a state university, and five per cent. of the proceeds of all public land sales within the state, but while the war was in progress these provisions were apparently forgotten.
In 1877 Gov. Anthony submitted a statement to the 45th Congress showing that the United States was indebted to the State of Kansas for miltary expenses to the amount of $470,726.15. In that year ex-Gov. Samuel J. Crawford was appointed state agent to look after the collection of these claims, as well as the adjustment of the school lands and the recovery of the five per cent. of the public land sales. Crawford's final report in 1892 shows that he had adjusted claims and received payment of the following sums of money to the state:
|School lands (276,376 acres) valued at||$345,470.03|
|Five per cent. on public land sales||755,919.81|
|Direct tax refund||71,743.33|
Under the provisions of the act of the legislature, approved by Gov. Crawford on Feb. 11, 1865, the secretary of state, adjutant-general and attorney-general were appointed a commission to audit the claim growing out of the Price raid. This commission reported claims allowed amounting to $342,145.99. A new commission, consisting of W. N. Hanley, W. H. Fitzpatrick and D. E. Ballard, was appointed in 1867. This commission reduced the amount allowed by the former one to $240,258.77. Section 2 of the act of Feb. 26, 1867, provided: "That for the purpose of settling the claims audited and allowed by said board of commissioners, certificates to be known and designated as Union military scrip, shall be issued in sums of 1, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100 and 1,000 dollars, as the claimants may desire, in an amount equal in the aggregate to the amount of claims allowed by said board of commissioners."
Under the act of Feb. 17, 1869, Levi Woodard, David Whitaker and T. J. Taylor were appointed a third commission and allowed claims amounting to $61,221.87. On Feb. 2, 1871, President Grant approved an act of Congress authorizing the appointment of a commission to investigate and report upon the Kansas Price raid claims. James A. Hardie, J. D. Bingham and T. H. Stanton, three officers of the regular army, were appointed, and they reported claims amounting to $337,054.38. which sum was appropriated by Congress by the act of June 8, 1872. Between the years 1878 and 1885, ex-Gov. Crawford, as state agent, collected $369,938.10 to be applied on these claims, and in Jan., 1888, an additional sum of $237.01 was received through Gov. Martin, making a total of $707,229.49 allowed by the general government for the payment of the claims.
A joint resolution of the legislature, adopted on March 5, 1887, authorized the governor to appoint a suitable person as auditing commissioner "who shall report to the legislature at its next regular or extra session a full and complete statement in detail of all Price raid claims which are unpaid and which have been audited and allowed by any commission heretofore appointed by authority of the legislature of Kansas, and upon which Union military scrip has been heretofore issued, and also all claims not heretofore audited which may be presented to him."
Gen. John C. Caldwell was appointed commissioner under the provisions of this resolution. He filed his report with the legislature of 1889, giving an alphabetical list of the original holders of the Union military scrip, of which the total issue was $584,035.20, and showing that of the $707,229.49 appropriated by Congress, $26,604.05 was credited to the state on account of the direct tax. He also showed that the state treasurer had paid claims amounting to $46,414.36 that had not been allowed by any commission, and had left unpaid $19,352.44 of claims that had been allowed. Of the scrip, certificates amounting to $336,817 were canceled in 1873, leaving a balance of $247,218.20. The report alludes to the fact that the state legislature appropriated $130,000 in 1881 for the payment of the claims, and since that time something over $300,000 had been appropriated by the general government for the same purpose.
Just before the opening of the legislative session of 1905 an effort was made to have Gov. Hoch recommend an appropriation for the purpose of settling the claims. The Topeka Capital of Jan. 5, 1905, said: "Of the sums appropriated by Congress, $26,604.05 was illegally used to pay the government direct war tax; $8,952.57 was illegally used for the state militia, and $334,618.48 was illegally turned into the state's general fund. The total amount of government money misued by the state was $372,175. Most of the original claimants are dead, and the bulk of the yellow scrip has been bought up by a few speculators for a cent or two on the dollar. On this account, perhaps, there is a lack of enthusiasm for the claims. However, there are a few old men and women, widows and children, who have held to the scrip as it came into the family, and they are making a strong appeal to the governor and the men who will direct the legislature this winter."
George W. Veale, J. L. Allen, R. H. Semple, T. P. Moore, A. M. Harvey, L. G. Beal and J. M. Meade were appointed a legislative committee on behalf of the scrip-holders, with instructions to issue an address to the people of Kansas on the subject. The address was issued and considerable influence was brought to bear to have the legislature provide for the final redemption of the scrip, but that body failed to act.
The act of the legislature of Feb. 27, 1875, authorized the appointment of a commission to audit and certify the amount of losses sustained by the citizens of Kansas through guerrilla raids at the time of the war, chiefly the Quantrill raid on Lawrence in Aug., 1863. These claims were known as the "Quantrill raid claims." The commission issued certificates for $882,390.11. Under the act of March 5, 1887, the state assumed the payment of these certificates, but a compromise was effected, the state paying $362,567.91 for principal and $104,720.26 for interest, a total of $467,288.17, which amount became a claim against the United States.
At the time of the Spanish-American war, Kansas expended $37,787.84 in raising, transporting and subsisting troops. Of this amount the United States refunded $37,200.19. Samuel J. Crawford was succeeded as state agent by W. W. Martin, who served until March 1, 1905, but none of his reports can be found, if he ever made any. John C. Nicholson then became state agent, and in the Kansas Magazine for July, 1909, he presents the following recapitulation of Kansas' account with the United States, the first column showing the amount paid by the state, and the second the amount reimbursed by the United States:
|Raising troops, Civil war||49,052||52,202|
|Interest and discount on above||101,938||97,466|
|For repelling Indian invasions||349,320||332,308|
|Interest and discount on above||438,961||425,065|
Mr. Nicholson also shows the following claims allowed by authorized commissions, but unpaid:
|Territorial period||$ 412,972|
|Price raid, balance||248,218|
|Quantrill raid, balance||415,102|
Concerning the Price raid claims, Mr. Nicholson says: "The unsettled Price raid claims have been for many years a source of great annoyance and dispute, and it is generally admitted that the state ought to pay the unsettled claims allowed by the Hardie commission. The difficulty in adjusting the matter is greatly increased by the fact that duplicate scrip was fraudulently issued for part of the claims."Pages 352-356 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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